Chapter 398 The Curly-Horns Tribe
With the situation about to blow up at any moment, though it was worrying that the Players being away from the Long-Ears’ settlement was worrying for their chief and elders, they eventually decided to contact the other herbivorous nonhuman tribes. Even though they did not know about the excellent diplomatic solution of ‘the enemy of my enemy is friend’ that was never outdated for back Earth even after thousands of years, but they still understood the basic principle of ‘there is strength in numbers’.
Of course, they could not send out too a big group. After all, the Long-Ears’ population was dwindling at the moment, and there would be no sufficient forces to defend their home if they sent out too many since the Players had yet to return.
In fact, the Players who were stationed at the Western Continent were now a lot fewer than the start, since life here had become dull after destroying the Tigermen’s fortress. There were only daily quests to do even if they stayed here.
Moreover, daily quests with Long-Ears tribe was quite low in rewards yet troublesome, which was a lot less attractive compared to the Unnamed Town, the elven capital or even the frogpeople’s village.
Though they could encounter many nonhumans on explorations, all of them would be neutral. With all wild animals and whatnot being captured and eaten, there was no monsters to fight either.
That was why aside from Zonyan and a few others who were still farming the good graces of the Long-Ears, most Players had returned to the Eastern Continent for other quests.
It was also why although the seven-days feast that Angora had organized was over, most of the Players returned to their work at the Eastern Continent, but almost none came to the Long-Ears’ settlement at the Western Continent.
But that was besides the point.
Either way, the Long-Ears lacked numbers and could not send out too many of their own to discuss an alliance with the other docile nonhumans. Moreover, they were one of the oldest nonhuman tribe—the other tribes were keeping an eye on them despite having cornered them to such desperate straits, and any major movement makes them vulnerable to those violent tribes’ ambush.
In fact, if the Hyena-men and the Tigermen were not wiped out and the other meat-eating nonhuman tribes did not become aware of their backing, they probably would have come for the Long-Ears long ago!
That was why the Long-Ears’ chief eventually decided to send Rangka and Laybit to seek an alliance with the other nonhuman tribes.
Being the second-in-command of the Long-Ears and having a say in matters, Rangka could make an oath in the chief’s stead if necessary. While he was no match for the Players (second-rate or above), he had some extent of accomplishment in martial sorcery, and was one of the elites of the tribe.
As for Laybit, he would work as Rangka’s helper while gaining some knowledge in the developments of the outside world. As the son of the current tribe chief, he could be kept as a hostage in another tribe if necessary, so that they could have no worries while working with the Long Ears.
If it was in the past, the Long-Ears tribe chief would definitely tell Rangka to try to claim leadership over the alliance. After all, since they had martial sorcery and were one of the oldest nonhuman tribe, they would have no problem being the boss of the alliance.
But now, that was unnecessary since no matter which tribe was the boss, they would have to listen to the Players once they return.
If any tribe proved to be stubborn… they must have seen what had befallen the Hyena-men and the Tigermen, no? It would be a light punishment if they were strung up and beaten since the Players could blow up your tribe into dust. You could count on that!
At first, the alliance talks were thought to be a hassle and could take a rather long time, but the Curly-Horns immediately agreed to the alliance when Rangka and Laybit arrived at their village and made their intentions known.
The reason for that was the Curly-Horns’ village had been closest to the Vierlin Plains after they were banished. In other words, the Sheeple would the first victims once the meat-eating nonhumans there lose control.
As a matter of fact, one of their own was already eaten.
“I didn’t imagine that you would be this understanding that you would agree to the alliance so easily, chief of the Curly-Horns.” Rangka’s apprehensiveness was alleviated considerably. “With your leadership, I’m sure the friendship of our tribes would last a long time!”
“Perhaps you believe that we are cowards, Mister Rangka.” The chief of the Curly-Horns tribe sighed.
“No way. I hold absolute respect for you!” Rangka said, tapping his chest.
That was when he realized that it was a rather crude and impolite gesture on his part, and couldn’t help muttering inwardly that he was infected by the rugged and bold manners of the Players…
“We’ve sent someone to issue a strong protest with the Grayclaw tribe.”
The Curly-Horns chief, however, paid that indiscretion no heed. Seated at the main chair, there was an ugly look on his face as he told Rangka, “But this morning, only that clansman’s incomplete corpse was returned to us!”
“Wha…” Rangka was stunned.
“The Grayclaw tribesman who brought the corpse to us claimed that they had run into some beasts on the way, but the bite marks clearly were not from ordinary beasts!” The Curly-Horns chief snorted. “Moreover, every beast in the Vierlin Plains was probably eaten by the meat-eating nonhumans… if they could still be called that!”
“That’s really…” Rangka racked his brains, but was unable to find a word for the unrestrained behavior of those nonhumans, and could only shake his head. “So horrible.”
No wonder the Curly-Horns would agree to the alliance so easily—their entire tribe had long since become unhinged with a member of their tribe being eaten, and twice at that.
“In a few days, I would move our tribe so that we could be as close to the Long-Ears tribe as possible. I hope you could inform your chief about that, Mister Rangka, so that your tribe could accommodate us.”
The Curly-Horns’ chief sighed again-it was upsetting to leave your home, but it was still better than being wiped out.
“Understood. I shall leave right now.”
Rangka did not hesitate. He shared the Curly-Horns’ horrific experience, since he too almost had his entire tribe being wiped out by the meat-eating nonhumans, and would not complain even if would have to work hard a little.
“Oh, before that, could you bring along Woolsprout, my youngest daughter? You may just consider her a hostage.” The Curly-Horns’ chief suddenly said.
Rangka and Laybit shared a glance.
While they did not expect the Curly-Horns’ chief to share their intentions, there was also a change in perspective: instead of calling the chief’s daughter a hostage, bringing her along was more like protecting her now.
Even though the Long-Ears were good at sprinting and moved quickly despite having problems with their stamina, they would definitely move a lot slower if they had a Sheeple with them.
Rangka was about to refuse, only for Laybit to answer before he could.
“No problem. Leave it to us!”