Chapter 109: Ambushing the Barbarians
Translator: Novel Saga Editor: Novel Saga
One year later...
In Mou City; situated in Fortress-Prefecture Fu of the Da Qi kingdom...
Shi Mu was attired in black clothes. A silver dagger and a black blade were sheathed and hung on his back. His eyes were closed; he sat cross-legged on a branch of a huge tree. He was surrounded by several tree branches.
Two or three years had passed in a blink of an eye since he had left the fishing village. His appearance and stature had undergone major changes during this time.
However, his big eyes and thick eyebrows hadn't changed. But, his face looked more conspicuous and resolute because of years of hard training. Even his facial features had become more distinct. His tanned complexion had been replaced by a bronze color.
He had grown taller. He had gained broad shoulders and a strong chest. His arms were as strong as cast iron. He had gained several distinct personality traits apart from the innate stubbornness and wildness that he had always possessed.
Shi Mu breathed freely since there was no one around. His entire body was covered in thick foliage.
It seemed that there were no other living creatures in this small forest. A rustling sound of sand could be heard occasionally; it seemed to be blown-around by the wind. These factors gave a unique and desolate feeling to the forest.
The Mou City had fallen under the invasion of the barbarian race a year ago.
Shi Mu had witnessed countless tragic scenes throughout his journey. The people seemed to be trapped in a terrible situation.
Several villages in the prefecture had been slaughtered and plundered by the barbarians. Innumerable fertile lands had been trampled upon by the barbarian horse-riders.
A huge number of young men were harnessed. They were treated like servants and domestic animals. They were now under the control of barbarians. Their masters whipped them whenever they pleased. The bare bodies of several women could be seen scattered around. The elderly and children had met with a relatively quicker death. Their slaughtered corpses could be seen lying around in the streets...
This act of unparalleled savagery had drained the last bit of composure from Shi Mu's head. His murderous intention had grown stronger with each passing day.
After all, he belonged to the human race. Moreover, the Da Qi Kingdom was his birthplace.
There was a barbarians' stronghold outside the forest. It was established as one of the eight army bases of the barbarian race in this vicinity. This stronghold belonged to the army of horse-riders. Shi Mu's current mission was to ambush the mounted scouts who patrolled the vicinity of this stronghold.
"Thump! Thump! Thump!"
Suddenly, a faint sound of horses' hoof trotting towards the woods was heard. It started to grow louder with each passing moment.
Shi Mu's ears moved as he opened his eyes wide. A faint golden gleam flashed in them. He then peaked through the leaves of the tree, and saw a group of approximately ten barbarian soldiers. They were riding in his direction.
The mounted troops were tall and sturdy. Each one of them was at least ten feet tall. They were carried spears on their shoulders. These spears were made of bones. They also carried stone-axes. The axes were hung from their waists. Even their horses seemed to be stronger and taller than normal horses.
How could an ordinary horse bear the enormous weight of these riders and their weapons?
The leader of these troops was an exceptionally formidable young individual. His right arm was thicker than Shi Mu's thigh. He held a ten feet long mace in his hand. It looked extremely heavy. A striking totem of a howling blue lion was engraved on his bare chest.
Some information about the barbarians flashed through Shi Mu's mind as he examined these riders.
The leaders of the barbarian's patrolling groups were usually Hou Tian level Totem Warriors. They were almost at the same level as normal Hou Tian warriors of the human race.
Shi Mu quietly moved his hand and reached for the black blade that hung on his back. He narrowed his eyes; they revealed a strong sense of hatred, and an intention to kill.
The leader of the troops looked vigilant. This military stronghold had been sneaked attacked by strong human martial warriors a month ago. This had caused a great damage to their unit.
Something strange happened as they crossed a big tree.
'Bang!' a loud sound was heard.
Suddenly, the dense foliage of the big tree burst open. Then, a large streak of cold light cascaded down on the head of the leader of the barbarian troops. Thirteen blade shadows emerged along with the cold light. They were shot by a black-robed youth from behind the leaves.
The youth was none other than Shi Mu.
The young barbarian leader looked around in an angry manner. Suddenly, his arms grew even stronger and bulkier than before. Surprisingly, the hair of the blue lion in the totem started to sprout from his skin. He quickly wielded his heavy mace, and a light-arc streaked across the air. It was followed by a fierce cold wind. His mace advanced extremely fast to meet the black blade-shadows; it appeared like a vicious flood dragon that had left its den.
'Boom!' an explosive sound burst-out.
The thirteen black blade-shadows dissipated with a loud rumble. However, the mace had also been blocked.
Shi Mu felt a chill in his heart.
He had always been confident of his inhuman strength. But, he had never thought that his enemy's brutal force would reach his arm with a mere touch of their weapons. His right arm had received a huge shock; it was trembling severely. He felt a tingling pain and a sense of numbness in his right arm.
The barbarian leader seemed to have the strength of a Hou Tian middle level warrior.
Shi Mu had understood the situation. Therefore, he somersaulted in the air to minimize the impact of the attack.
However, the pursuing mace didn't even slow down. It continued to advance towards him with great speed.
A strange look flashed across Shi Mu's eyes; he was still mid-air. He hastily stimulated his magic power, and it rushed towards his hand. He hurriedly infused it into his black blade, and wielded it mid-air. A thick red blade-shadow flashed, and collided with the approaching mace.
The collision set-off a massive and dazzling fire in the air.
The barbarian leader felt a scorching heat wave press against his face. He could see nothing but the blazing fire. His hands had been stung from the blow; so much so, that he almost loosened his grip from the mace.
His horse was in an even worse condition even though it was huge in size. How could a horse withstand two gigantic attacks by Shi Mu in succession? Its legs finally gave way, and it collapsed onto the ground.
The barbarian leader somersaulted in the air and stood firm. He held the mace in front of his chest to resist further strikes.
Shi Mu also fell down from the tree. He felt a tingling pain and numbness in his right arm. He couldn't even use his right arm for a while. But, his left hand had already moved into action, and was posed in a strange gesture. His lips moved and started to mutter some incantations. Then, he opened his mouth and spouted a small group of white clouds - like an arrow.
The two warriors stood close to each other. However, the barbarian leader hadn't expected such an attack. So, he couldn't dodge it.
A 'puff' sound was heard.
The white ball of clouds passed through the mace and submerged into the chest of the barbarian leader. 'Bang!' the upper half of his body was blown-up with a huge explosion. His blood scattered like heavy rains. His head rolled over to one side.
It seemed that the battle had took a long time. However, the entire incident had taken place in a fleeting second.
The remaining barbarian soldiers were alarmed to witness the death of their leader. They aimed and flung their bone spears at Shi Mu.
A swishing sound filled the air.
A dozen or more bone spears rushed towards Shi Mu. Shi Mu tried his best to dodge them, but his right arm still got severely injured. A huge wound was torn open on his hand; it was as big as a human-palm.
The barbarian soldiers seized this opportunity, and pulled-out the stone axes from their waists. They issued a howling sound as they surrounded Shi Mu.
Shi Mu couldn't help but grin. He began to whirl his black blade in the air. The glint of the blade reflected in all directions. A chill was spread in the air as it swept towards the barbarians.
The ordinary barbarian soldiers were as formidable as an ox. Moreover, they were extremely fierce; they didn't fear death. But, they couldn't stand against Shi Mu since he was a tough Hou Tian warrior.
The remaining barbarian soldiers could be seen lying in the pool of blood after a while; they were all dead. Severed broken legs and arms could be seen scattered around. Not a single corpse was intact.
Shi Mu's stern face slowly loosened. Then, a black light flashed as he inserted the black blade into its sheath.
He walked over to the severed corpse of the young barbarian leader. He rummaged through his clothes, and found an especially-made silver-embedded bone token from his waist. Several lines of odd characters were carved on its surface; these characters looked like earthworms.
Shi Mu's face beamed with happiness. He slipped the bone token into his shirt.
He didn't linger over the place since his mission was complete. He turned around and made his way into the woods. Then, he started to advance towards the north-west direction. Soon, he disappeared into the woods.
Another group of barbarian horse-riders passed through the same woods after half-an-hour. They were massive in number. Their group consisted of more than a hundred soldiers.
The leader of the group was an extremely tall barbarian; he was taller than regular barbarians. He was a middle-aged man. He looked as formidable as a brown bear. Two huge steel axes were hung on his back in a crisscross pattern. They were twice the size of a normal human adult.
The complexion of the soldiers changed as they saw the horrible scene in the woods. They hurriedly drew out their weapons as if they were about to encounter a formidable enemy.
The middle-aged barbarian leader jumped down from his horse and looked around. Then, he walked-up to the corpse of the young barbarian leader; the upper-half of his body was missing. The eyebrows of the middle-aged leader moved a few times as he saw this; his face turned pale.
"The Lion Totem! Can this be warrior Wu Luo?" A tall barbarian approached. His complexion darkened as he saw the lower-half of the corpse lying on the ground.
"Right..." the middle-aged leader forced out a word through his gritted teeth.
Wu Luo and the middle-aged man belonged to the same tribal background. Both of them seemed to be related by blood. The tall barbarian was tactful. So, he didn't say anything else.
"The human race is too atrocious. They slaughtered our warriors right under our noses. We've already lost more than twenty totem warriors over these past few months," the middle-aged man spoke in a bitter tone.
"It seems that the humans have set-up a stronghold for ambushing the barbarians in this area. They must've been especially assigned to ambush our formidable warriors. We better report this matter to our Great Leader... so that we can scout around in this area," the tall barbarian suggested after a momentary silence.
"We'll report this together... The Great Leader will definitely approve. Wu Luo was the youngest totem warrior of our Black Fire Tribe. So, I'll make sure that I personally behead the murderer... and offer his head to Wu Luo's dead spirit," the middle-aged leader said furiously. A glint of murderous look flashed across his eyes.
The killer that he was cursing had already traveled several kilometers by this time. He had arrived in a forest shrouded in fog.
Shi Mu galloped towards the entrance of the woods. He looked vigilant; he continuously observed his surroundings.
He slowed down once he had travelled several kilometers into the depth of the woods.
He touched his bosom and felt the bone token in his shirt. Then, he heaved a sigh of relief.
The barbarian race had launched an unprecedented large-scale invasion on the Da Qi kingdom a year ago. The seven major Sects of the three kingdoms had formed an alliance at that time. They had collaborated to fight against the barbarians' invasion.
However, the barbarian race hadn't anticipated that the seven big Sects would react so quickly. Therefore, the invasion had been repelled, and they had re-captured the three fortress-prefectures of the western part of the Da Qi kingdom. Therefore, the flames of war hadn't spread into the Yan and Huang kingdoms.
However, millions of houses had been destroyed. People had been captured and turned into slaves. Therefore, the three kingdoms and their neighboring prefectures had been extremely annoyed. They had desperately wanted to express their displeasure.
Therefore, the elders of the Black Demon Sect had decided to cancel the annual competition after a high-level discussion. Moreover, all the disciples had been sent to take leading positions and reinforce the Da Qi fortresses in turns. It was considered as a learn-through-experience training for the disciples. So, the tasks assigned by the Sect had changed into battles with the barbarians.
However, Shi Mu hadn't been dispatched to the fortress-prefectures because of his splendid skills of making paper charms. Instead, he had been asked to stay within the Sect, and make commonly used low-level paper charms for the battlefront.
However, the Black Demon Sect had begun to suffer scarcity of manpower as the battles grew more intense.
Therefore, Shi Mu was finally dispatched to the battlefield six months ago. He was assigned to the Fu prefecture - one of the three fortress-prefectures of the Da Qi Kingdom.
Shi Mu had become quite familiar with the woods since he had been roaming around for a while. He arrived under a cliff at the edge of the woods. He stopped in front of a huge tree.
He observed the area carefully, and listened to distant sounds. He fished out a blue token from his shirt once he was satisfied.
Five or six red charm characters were inscribed on the surface of the token. These characters were surrounded by a complex circular pattern.
Shi Mu held the token in his right hand. Then, he started to mumble something. The characters on the token lit-up brightly as his magic powers were infused into them. It exuded a faint-blue light; it was shot in the direction of the huge tree. After that, the blue light got submerged into the tree.