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The old man took away his snake corpse and gave it to some woman in the tribe that would make him a good set of shirts and pants.

Alex told the chief that they could use the rest of the monster for whatever they wanted as that was all he could do for letting them stay there.

Of course, there was the case of him having to do nothing as strength was what these people revered, and would let him get away with almost anything just based on his strength. But he didn't feel like doing that since he had his own values that were different from what these people followed.

He walked out with the chief and went somewhere to talk. The chief was curious about where Alex was from and Alex used the opportunity to learn more about the Southern Continent from the father that the daughter would likely not know.

"These fish you get from the Maroon Bay. How often do you go to get them?" he asked.

"3 times a year," the old man said. "Each trip brings back enough food to last 4 whole months, so we only have to go there 3 times each."

"And this Maroon Bay, does it have Qi?" Alex asked.

"Qi? Hmm… I can't say confidently, but I would suspect that it doesn't," the old man said. "Well, not the bay at least."

"I see," Alex said. He had suspected as much after all.

"I have to be honest, I've only ever heard of a Qi cultivator. I know there are some in the north, but they never come in this direction. Is this true that they can live for thousands of years?" the old man asked.

Ning smiled and started answering his question.

Li Yun came back a few minutes later, holding nearly 15 different beast cores in between her arms. "Will this be enough?" she asked.

"Oh, yes. That will be plenty," Alex said.

"Just wait, I will return after washing this," she said and went into the room with the water.

"I see you guys don't treat water as a rarity. Why is that?" Alex asked.

"Oh, water is not rare. While it is rare on the surface, if you dig deep enough, you can find it," the old man said. "There's a well at the bottom of the cliff over there. We go down to bring water each day."

"Oh," Alex gave a surprised expression. He truly hadn't expected the desert to be this resourceful when it came to water.

Li Yun returned not long after with clean beast cores and sat in front of Alex as she handed them to him.

"Thank you," Alex said as he took them, but found it hard to eat when she kept staring at him.

"Umm… do you have to look at me like that when I'm about to eat?" he asked.

"Of course, I'm very curious how you can stomach it all," she said.

"Sigh, do as you want," he said as he started eating the cores. He ate them one after another, shocking both the father, daughter, and anyone that was around that saw them.

They looked absolutely appalled at seeing someone eat something that would otherwise make them terribly ill.

"How is he eating all that?"

"Is he not sick?"

"He must be a beast in human clothing."

"I hear he came from across the ocean."

People talked around him, but Alex was too focused on eating the cores to care about the rest of the stuff.

Not a single one of these cores he ate was a Saint rank one and that made him sad. If it was, then maybe he would have a decent amount of Qi.

The total Qi he got from the 15 beast cores was not even enough to fill a tenth of his dantian, and even then, half of it was taken away by Whisker, and surprisingly some by Scarlet.

'Dammit, I have two Qi-hungry beasts with me. Eating beast cores alone isn't going to be enough for me,' he thought. He would have to down hundreds of such cores to gather enough Qi to fill his dantian.

"Can all people with Qi do that?" Li Yun asked with a look of awe on her face.

"A few, not all," Alex said.

"Was it useful?" she asked.

"Uh… no, not really," he said. "It's not your fault though. The cores were just from weak beasts."

"Weak… are they really that weak?" she asked. She remembered the trouble one would have to go through to find such fish, and Alex was calling them weak.

"If you are done, let us feast now," the chief said.

The giant fish was brought out, fully cooked and every single person in the tribe that had gathered there was given a piece of it.

Alex looked around at the people who were broken arms, cuts all over their bodies, lacerated skin, and an overall hurt look as if they had just been through a gruesome fight.

They all ate some piece of the fish, the weaker ones getting more as they required strength to function.

Alex saw the slaves that had eyes full of determination to get stronger. They were with wounds too.

He quietly ate his fish while watching the people talk to each other. The tribe had been just back from a long journey, so the people were catching up to what happened.

Some talked about fighting beasts on the path. Some talked about how hard it was to catch a fish. Some talked about the many, many distance-long beaches of salt.

The chief stayed quiet as he watched his tribes folk passionately speak too.

A while later, after everyone was done eating, they all stood up around the same time and started walking away.

"Where are they going?" Alex asked curiously.

"Oh, to the hall of Sacred flames. They will sit there for a few hours to heal," Li Yun said.

"Ah, I see," Alex said. He went along and walked into the hall. Inside, he saw the same type of flame burning as the one he had seen by the crater where he had appeared.

"Come to the middle," the chief said when he saw Alex stop moving after entering the hall.

"It's fine. I can remain here. Let the wounded stay closer," he said.

"Nonsense," the old man said. "In the Stepstones tribe, only the strongest get the best treatment. Since you're the strongest, you will sit closest to the flames."

"Come on, do we have to?" Alex asked.

"It's tradition," the old man replied without giving any room for argument.

"Fine, let's go," Alex said and walked up to the fire.

He sat the closest to the fire that was at the center. Even the chief stayed a step behind him. 'They really care about strength, huh?' he thought.

The room was quiet, aside from a few grunts of pain here and there. Alex didn't have to heal himself, so he simply looked around the room at those that needed it.

He was truly surprised by just how quickly they were all healing. It wasn't at the same rate as his Undying body of course, but in just an hour, one would be able to heal broken bones. Wounds healed in a matter of minutes too.

The kids were surprisingly healing faster, perhaps due to the low energy required to heal fully.

As the entire tribe stayed quiet in the room, they were all healed.

After an hour, a few people finally started standing up and leaving. Alex kept on sitting while watching the colorful flames, trying to see if there was any way he could replicate the properties inside of it.

However, it seemed a bit too advanced for him. If there was only the property of fire, he most likely could have understood it all, but there was clearly something else present in the flames that he couldn't even begin to understand.

"You don't have these flames in your place?" the chief asked. "You seem to be entranced by it."

"No, we don't," Alex said. "This is exclusive to just the Southern Continent, and maybe a few other locations out there."

"Oh, is that so?" the old man said. "Well, we are blessed to have this then."

"Right, how easy is it to find the Sacred flames in the Southern Continent? How did you find yours?" he asked.

"Well, it has been here since before my grandfather's time. It should have been here forever. Also, just like us, you should be able to find Sacred flames in any of the tribes in the Wasteland," the chief said.

"Any tribes? Do you have a special method of acquiring it?" Alex asked curiously.

"Oh, no," the chief said. "I guess I misspoke, in a way."

"Hmm? What do you mean?" the old man asked.

"Rather than saying you can find the Sacred flames in every tribe of the Wasteland, it is more accurate to say that wherever there is a Sacred flame, you will find a tribe," he said.

Alex thought for a bit and said, "So, you're saying that you don't acquire a Sacred flame, but rather you flock to one when you find it."

"Yes, my ancestors did the same with this place as many others did with their own," the chief said.

"I see," Alex said. He was truly very much intrigued by the Sacred flames now.

He had been in the Southern Continent for just a few days and he was already curious about the mysteries it held. He hoped he would get the answers by the time he left the continent not long from now.