Chapter 150 - The Mount of White Horse
With the only arm, Silk scrambled forward tenaciously. Its ribs were full of cracks imposed by the war. Fortunately, its head, right arm, and shoulder managed to survive intact.
Silk kept creeping arduously in search of bone pieces that could be used to piece its body together; the job did not take it much time. Shortly afterwards, its frame was complete again, and back was its usual deftness of movement.
Silk tried the new limbs and was quite satisfied with them. After fully adjusted to the new body, it began wandering about battlefields, and then paused by a grey skeleton that had been cut into halves. The two pale green flames in the skeleton's eye sockets had not died out, causing Silk to rapidly lift its foot and crushed the skeleton's head.
With a crisp sound, the skull cracked into pieces, causing a green light to float out which Silk immediately breathed in.
Battlefields in the Death Space had many skeletons whose spirit fire had not completely extinguished. Silk ambled along and in a short while, had absorbed many of the spirit fires. Its own spirit power thus got strengthened, causing the flames in its eyes to turn into a pale blue and gaining in brightness. From a distance, the two eyes looked just like two small blue torch lights.
In the process, the cracks in its bones all over his body had gradually merged until they finally disappeared. After an hour, Silk halted on the ground; the blue fires in its eyes were jumping.
Abruptly it turned back and squatted by a half-dead silver skeleton, gazing at it intently. The blue fires kept blinking, indicating that their owner was in deep thought.
The silver skeleton returned Silk's gaze fearfully while the pale green spirit fires in its eyes shuddered quietly.
Suddenly, Silk bent over and snatched the skeleton's head off its body while simultaneously opening its mouth. The skull released a green light and Silk quickly inhaled it. Immediately, the spirit fires of Silk's underwent some violent change, tumbling like waves inside the eye sockets.
After a short moment, Silk reopened its mouth and spat out another green fire that vanished into the silver skeleton's head. The skull responded, and then its eyes were lighted up again. As if in communication, Silk's eyes flashed several times accordingly before it put the skull back to the skeleton's body.
There were some creaking and cracking noises from the silver skeleton. Slowly, it staggered to its feet, turning out to be even higher and stronger than Silk. Reverently, it knelt down at Silk's feet. Silk raised its head, opened its mouth, and then made a soundless cry. After doing this, it turned around and moved on to the next battlefield. The silver skeleton rose up and closely followed Silk.
After less than half a day, when Silk left the next battlefield, it was followed by two pious skeletons, both of them being much stronger than itself.
One month later.
Somewhere in the northwest the wasteland, the landscape took on a different fashion; there were flowers and grasses as far as the eyes could see, replacing the ordinary bleakness of the desert. There was even a verdant green forest causing a striking difference from the babbling blue river that winded through it. The current was swift and clear. At the end of the river stood a towering mountain as high as three thousand meters.
The mountain, from foot to top, was strangely white. The stones were oddly shaped as well. Looking afar, the mountain resembled a white horse standing on its hind hooves. Hence its name the "Mount of White Horse" by the barbarians.
The White Horse stood there as a mountain of peculiar significance; the surrounding area was said to be the origin of the ancient giants, deeming it as a sacred place. Accordingly, the White Horse Mount became a sacred mountain.
At its top, stood an imposing white palace; it was the Mecca for all the barbarians as well as the residence of the Great Shaman. It is known as the the Sacred Snow Palace.
At this moment, on a hill not far from the sacred mountain, a couple of travelers were overlooking the White Horse. The man was wearing an overcoat of lion hide on a Four Odd, whereas the woman had a cloak of fox fur around her shoulder. She was riding on a chestnut barbarian horse. The couple was exactly Shi Mu and the princess, who had endured all the drudgery to come here.
During the journey, the two of them had changed their disguise numerous times, also going out of their way to dodge some of the fiercer tribes. Finally, they had made it all the way to the peripheral area of the sacred mountain in one piece. Arriving at the location allowed them to now contentedly throw away their disguises, though still maintaining the barbarian garments.
Shi Mu shifted his eyes from the Sacred Snow Palace, to the foot of the hill of where they were now standing. There was a barbarian military camp guarding day and night. The tents were all white and even all the buildings were made from white rocks. This camp could not be counted a big one. At best, it consisted of three hundreds soldiers who were on the watch for the sole pathway leading into the sacred mountain.
"Brother Shi, let's go there!" The princess's eyes glittered exuberantly. The sacred palace was like a destination at hand's reach to her.
This said, she goaded the horse and galloped to the barbarian camp downhill. Shi Mu gave the Four Odd a gentle spur and followed her.
"Whoever coming must stop now! It's not time for pilgrimage yet! Anyone who dares to enter the sacred mountain at the wrong time shall be killed indiscriminately!"
When the two came to the gate of the camp, they were immediately surrounded by a group of barbarian soldiers who held weapons in their hands.
"I am the Fire Dancing Princess of Qi the Heavenly Country. On behalf of the Union of the Seven Sects, I request to see the Great Shaman on an issue of great importance." The princess raised her eyebrows, announcing her identity.
The leader of the guards was a barbarian wearing a red headband. The announcement certainly surprised him. After a short hesitation, he spoke to a fellow barbarian in a whisper before he raised his head again. He did not utter a single word, and stared at the two normal humans more suspiciously. If anything, it was the humans' supreme disguise of barbarian garments that piqued him.
After receiving the order, the fellow barbarian immediately scuttled back to the camp. Several minutes passed, and a middle-aged barbarian with eagle-like eyes rode out of the very deep building of the camp. The guards soon made way for him in a great haste. The middle-aged barbarian had three fiery red feathers decorated in his hair.
"My name is Ahguna, the leading general of this camp. I heard from my soldier that you two called yourselves ambassadors from the Union of the Seven Sects. Do you have any proof?" The general said in a cold voice after shooting Shi Mu and the princess a wary look.
"This is my token which proves my identity as the ambassador. The saints of the seven unions have made it themselves. There's no way to make an imitation. The Great Shaman shall know when he sees it." Assuming a calm poise, the princess took out a white jade token and claimed. This token resembled a white slip at first glance, but the obscure magic characters imprinted on it proved otherwise; it was definitely no ordinary thing.
"Hehe, young girl, the Great Shaman is not someone anyone can have the honor to meet in person. Too young and too naive! Show me your token, and then I'll examine it myself. If it's not a fake, I'll forward it to the Great Shaman." Ahguna sneered and answered.
The princess sank into a hesitating silence. She looked at Shi Mu for help. Shi Mu moved his lips gently, saying something in a hushed voice. The princess then gave it some thought and finally threw Ahguna the token.
The barbarian general reached out his hand in a satisfied manner and took the token with a powerful grip. However, without even looking at it, he slipped the token into his coat. Immediately, he changed his countenance and adopted a harsh voice, "Human spies! Come and take them!"
His voice roused more than hundreds of barbarian soldiers that rushed out of the camp uproariously. Among them, there were at least ten totem warriors who instantly besieged Shi Mu and the princess, as if performing an action that they had long rehearsed.
The soldiers by now, had readied themselves for an attack at anytime. Those in the first row had adopted a pose, ready to throw out their spears. The ten-odd totem warriors had also began stimulating their totem power; their bodies speedily bulking up.
The princess stayed unperturbed before such a scenario. A white light flashed around her waist and in the next moment, a soft and white sword was already in her hand. The sword glowed with a layer of white mist, quite on the alert.
However, Shi Mu did not even change his expression. The black blade was already shining with red magic characters, and the way he looked at Ahguna seemed to suggest the latter's incoming death. Shi Mu's upper lip slightly curved ironically.
"What? You bastards want to fight? Look at your surroundings!" Somehow, the penetrating cold look of Shi Mu had made Ahguna feel disturbed. He shouted with an affected authority.
Just as he was about to make the order, a low and reverberating voice came into his ears.
"At this sacred place, Ahguna, how dare you disturb the Great Shaman's repose? Do you think you are still at your own tribe, the Firing Snake?" A burly barbarian man walked out of the camp in a manner full of genuine authority. He was at least three meters high, wearing a blue cloak, and had a necklace made of blue tusks. In his right hand was a giant blue axe that slung over his shoulder; it looked like it was at least a thousand kilograms in weight.
Hearing his words, Shi Mu's eyes flashed as he searched the part on Ahguna's chest where a tattoo was most likely to be done. His eyes narrowed slightly.
"Master Ulan, these two humans are the spies I've just found out. It's not inappropriate to arrest them, I think." Ahguna's voice staggered, but the right arm he had just raised was not laid down.
"Master Ulan, I am the Fire Dancing Prince of Qi the Heavenly Country, the ambassador sent by the Union of the Seven Sects. I've got urgent issue to report to the Great Shaman. Ahguna has my token. Please, master Ulan." After having a glance at the necklace around Ulan's neck, the princess's eyes lighted up as she hurriedly reasserted her identity.
"Ahguna, show me her token." Ulan titled his head and demanded.
Aghna's face dropped, and in a sullen mood, he passed Ulan the white jade token.
Ulan took it coldly, and then stuck the token onto his forehead. A moment later, he removed the token with a hearty smile.
"So you are really the human ambassadors! Good! You guys can retire." Ulan waved the soldiers around Shi Mu and the princess away. The barbarian soldiers obeyed immediately and returned to the camp.
"Ahguna, do you still want to have a look at this token?" Swaying the token in his hand, Ulan eyed Ahguna by his side austerely.
"I'd like to." Ahguna reached out his hands to take the token, answering with his head bent down. But soon he returned the token, crest-fallen, and stood by Ulan without a word.
"Ahguna, a piece of advice. As the leading general of the Sacred Palace, you'd better pay attention to your responsibilities!" Ulan looked directly into Ahguna's eyes piercingly, and then simultaneously unleashed the supercilious qi inside his body belonging only to a Xiantian saint.
This display of overpowering Xiantian qi shocked Ahguna into a lurch as he staggered back several steps, shuddering and flushing with shame. Hurriedly, he apologized and retired from the stage like an embarrassingly dismissed clown.