Chapter 134 - The Eternal Doom Spell
The green-skinned barbarian grinned hideously upon seeing Shi Mu's figure in front of his eyes. His lips quivered excitedly, and he aimed his bow precisely at Shi Mu, giving the string an abrupt pull.
A long, green arrow whistled to Shi Mu's chest, making an ear-splitting noise in the air. The young barbarian's bow had never missed a single target within a distance of a hundred and fifty meters, which made it a breeze for him to shoot Shi Mu with a distance of less than one hundred meters between them.
Just as he had expected, the blue arrow flashed and quickly penetrated Shi Mu's upper body. Blood streamed from the wound.
The green-skinned barbarian's face creased with a grim smile of satisfaction. At the last second, Shi Mu's body had shifted a little from where he had previously stood, thus avoiding the vital part, but since his Arrow had sunk into his body, Shi Mu's strength must have been crippled.
However, his smile quickly froze. Shi Mu's movements did not stop, even for a moment, after he was shot. Keeping his momentum from before, he raced to his side, quickly covering about sixty meters. Then he waved his arm, and the black blade turned into a hot blaze, glaring while swooped down at his face. Halfway through the swing, the blaze shook vigorously, transforming into thirteen shadows that plummeted down from all directions.
A scorching heat rolled towards him! The green-skinned barbarian was scared stiff, unable to draw the iron mace from his back. In a great fluster, he instilled power into his white bow in his hand, and the bow responded by increasing to threefold its original size, as long as an average man's height. He brandished it and threw out a fan of light.
Then a crisp clash resounded, and the light fan flashed and died out after resisting most of the blade shadows. But two or three shadows of blaze were not stopped, and thus exploded on his body in the next moment.
Bright lights flashed wildly around the green-skinned barbarian to shield him. Gritting his teeth, he was able to withstand the blow, but just as he halted for a breath, Shi Mu spat out a white vapor ball, which slammed into the green-skinned barbarians face. Shi Mu had used the Art of Air-Explosion!
[ED: The only other time this has been mentioned was back in chapter 87. Yep. That's right. 47 chapters ago. I completely forgot he had this skill -_-; ]
A roaring explosion resonated, and the pale light of the red shield was hit head-on by the vapor ball, thus breaking at the irresistibly great impact. The green-skinned barbarian's face was blasted, bleeding profusely, and he fell down, uttering a sad cry.
Shi Mu's eyes glared, and, without the slightest hesitation, the black blade in his hand turned into a streak of red light, flying into the barbarian's chest and nailing him onto the ground. From this giant wound, blood gushed out horribly.
After finally sending the barbarian to the other world, Shi Mu staggered back a few steps, gasping heavily, and kneeling down on the ground. His left side had been pierced by the arrow, and through this gaping hole his organs could been vaguely seen. Owing to the Art of the Strong Ape, his physical body was highly toughened. Otherwise, he would have slumped onto his face.
After having a brief respite, Shi Mu took a quick look at the green-skinned barbarian nailed to the earth by his blade. The light shield around his body had completed faded and the barbarian's heart was perforated. There was no chance that he had survived.
Panting, Shi Mu took out a Rejuvenation Charm out from his shirt and stuck it to the wound on his stomach. Soon a sense of coolness spread from it. Bust just then, an alarming sight came into view! The green-skinned barbarian's body suddenly swelled up, and the totem on his back glared! Shi Mu immediately knew that this was a threatening sign, so he stepped on the ground and hurriedly jumped backwards. This movement had stretched his stomach, and he was not able to act as quickly as he wished.
"You human bug, die with me!" The green-skinned barbarian raised his head abruptly, like a corpse rising from the dead. A grim smile appeared on his blood-washed face, along with his bloodshot eyes, constituted to a most horrendous sight. Just as his rasping voice fell, the light over his body shone more sharply, and his balloon-like body exploded, blood splattering all over. To Shi Mu's astonishment, a light, which was shaped like a snake, wriggled out of the mists of blood at lightening speed, striking into Shi Mu's body before he realized it.
Shi Mu's face turned ghastly pale, and he was not able to get to his feet until after rolling on the ground for a few seconds. He managed to regain his balance, and tried to inspect his body. He suddenly felt a surge of heat well up inside his stomach, as if a ball of fire was leaping up within it, constantly eating at his flesh.
Shi Mu let out a painful groan, not knowing how to deal with the heat. It felt like it was darting around inside his veins, like streams of scorching magma, and his body exuded a layer of red light, just like that of the green-skinned barbarian.
Shi Mu flopped down on his knees, his body twitching due to the extreme pain. Beads of sweat were streaming down his cheeks.
Fortunately, the agonizing feeling vanished. After taking a few breaths, it left Shi Mu's body, as if all were just an illusion.
Shi Mu sat up slowly, feeling completely exhausted. He panted heavily, and a hint of doubt crept over his face.
After a long time, he struggled to his feet, not feeling the slightest bit of heat in his body, let alone any other abnormal sensations. More surprisingly, the wounds all over his body, including the big hole in his stomach, had miraculously healed.
"What's going on?" Shi Mu murmured, his brows clouding with doubt. The mad shouting of the barbarian in his last moments showed his ill intentions. Shi Mu stood still for a thoughtful moment, then shook off the bewilderment. He decided to stop worrying about it, then strode to his black blade, which had been blown away by the barbarian's self-destruction.
He had to leave this hill as soon as possible. Due to its short distance from the stronghold, that fight must have attracted the attention of some of the barbarian's companions. Shi Mu picked up the black blade and sheathed it. Suddenly, just as he was to move, he was caught unprepared by a strange sight. The Black Demon's uniform he had been wearing was slashed badly during the battle. He looked down and saw a red light inside his shirt. His countenance changed to that one filled with great alarm, and, tearing the clothes open, he saw a giant tattoo of a red viper on his chest! This was, unquestionably, a barbarian totem!
Suddenly, the face of the barbarian's, full of blazing hatred, floated up in his mind, and he felt his heart freeze in despair, sinking to the bottom of a great chasm. For a moment, he could not stand still, his body shaking in panic.
By taking a few deep breaths, he managed to steady himself. His mind had been disrupted and needed to a moment to refocus.
He stood motionless for a while on the same spot, his mind a total blank. Then, bit by bit, consciousness returned, and he quickly scanned his surroundings. He picked up the barbarian's white bow and quiver, which was full of green arrows. Then he scuttled off.
On all accounts, it was wise to leave this place as soon as possible. By virtue of his familiarity with the surrounding terrain, as well as his superb eyesight, Shi Mu took a detour that avoided most of the other barbarians, taking a full two hours to arrive at the union's stronghold in Lan City. By that time, it seemed that some of the Adepts had made it back here from the Rat Nest, and the whole city was ablaze with lights, guarded heavily by patrols of disciples, who were keeping close watch on any possible attacks from the barbarians.
Shi Mu was let into the city after showing his union pass. He headed directly to a large hall, which was situated in a certain building inside the city. According to the guards, all the Adepts who had successfully fled from the Rat Nest had convened here. They used to have as many as twenty charm Adepts at the Rat Nest, but, right now, there were, at most, ten, most of whom were disciples that had followed Shi Mu, forcing their way out of the north exit. Though many were wounded, they still wore a blissfully happy face, which was quite understandable. When Shi Mu entered the hall, they were discussing something in groups of two and three.
"Brother Shi, so you made it!" AS soon as Shi Mu stepped inside, a blue-robed youth enthusiastically scampered to his side. This was Feng Li, and he happily welcomed Shi Mu with great joy. Shi Mu nodded in great pleasure, and Feng Li smiled back, looking rather relieved. But just as he was to say something, his face darkened, his eyes clouded by a trace of doubt. Shi Mu noticed the nuanced change of expression on Feng Li's face, and his eyes shone in surprise. But the approaching Adepts who came to offer their gratitude disrupted this train of thought. The familiar faces, now glowing with happiness, were haggard but also rather relaxed. When Shi Mu saw them, he was taken by surprise, then cracked into a hearty smile, "So you guys also made it! So good to see you!" He exclaimed.
"We owe everything to brother Shi. We could never have fled without you." The Adepts all were all deeply grateful, expressing their genuine gratitude to Shi Mu.
Suddenly, Shi Mu became aware of Mountain Green's absence, and he asked anxiously, "Why isn't brother Green here?"
"He made it here too. The elders just had a few questions for him. Don't worry." Feng Li explained, with a light heart.
Shi Mu relaxed upon hearing this. Mountain Green was one of the Adepts that he felt more close to.
For the following time, these Adepts, who had survived a life and death encounter together, chatted in a jovial mood, savoring the hard-won safety and newly generated friendship.
After some time, the door creaked open, and a white-robed elder man came through, followed by some more warriors, who seemed to be this stronghold's leaders. The crowd soon turned their heads to look at the comers. Shi Mu's eyes shone sharply, and he could tell that the elder man must be a strong Xiantian saint.
"The union has been notified of the attack on the Rat Nest stronghold. You have all shown the virtues of qualified union disciples by breaking through the barbarians' siege. Please rest as long as you wish in Lan City, and don't be worried about missions." The elder's eyes swept over the crowd slowly, full of authority, as he announced in a mild, yet powerful, tone of voice. The announcement met no opposition for sure, and the disciples all nodded meekly.
The followers of the white-robed elders soon distributed single rooms to these disciples. The one Shi Mu received was rather clean and spacious.
Two hours later, in Shi Mu's accommodation, he was walking restlessly about the room, his brows tightly knitted. Though he had successfully gotten rid of the barbarians, and gained an extra magical weapon, he was disturbed by his queer snake tattoo. In spite of its current lifelessness, Shi Mu knew that there would be future ramifications.
Just then, there came a knock at his door. Shi Mu pulled open the door, raising his eyebrows, and saw Feng Li waiting outside.
"Brother Feng, it's you. Come in, I was just about to look for you. Got something on my mind I'd like to hear your opinion about." Shi Mu was happy to see Feng Li, and hastily invited him in.
"Brother Shi, how come you have the eerie sense of a barbarian totem on your body?" Feng Li first looked to both sides outside the doorway cautiously, then entered the room and quickly closed the door. He stepped near Shi Mu and asked, with a voice full of concern.
"Just as I'd expected..." Shi Mu gave Feng Li a wry smile. Though he had already made the same guess, the confirmation from Feng Li still made his heart sink. He sighed softly, and took off his clothes, revealing the tattoo of the great red viper on his chest. Feng Li's countenance changed profoundly after seeing the pattern. Shi Mu saw his face, and was further disappointed. After a moment he put on the shirt again.
"I got this after beating a Totem warrior who followed me from the Rat Nest, and the barbarian blew himself up..." Shi Mu related the story about how he fought with the green-skinned barbarian to Feng Li in great detail. The latter bent his head with a thoughtful look after hearing the whole story. He did not break the silence until after a long time. Looking up with a pair of solemn eyes, he paused before he opened his mouth.
"Do you have any ideas, brother Feng? Seems that you know what has happened." Shi Mu's eyes widened in expectation.
"I left the barbarian tribe when I was little, so I do not dare to say that I know much about them. I'm not quite sure about your condition either, so I can only make a guess." Feng Li spoke up hesitatingly.
"No problem, brother Feng, just say it." Shi Mu persuaded earnestly.
"I remember that I once heard about an ancient magic of the barbarians. It was a magic to bring evil to people. It's called the Eternal Doom Spell. It bears some resemblance to your condition." Feng Li paused for a brief moment when mentioning this spell.