Chapter 120: A Friendly Match
Translator: Novel Saga Editor: Novel Saga
Both the sides were blazing with a desire to kill each other; so much so that their eyes were bloodshot. No one noticed as a deadly arrow was aimed at its target from somewhere.
'Whiz!' an arrow whistled, and flashed past at a lightning speed - like a black line.
A strange sound resounded. It caught the attention of both - the Totem warrior and the military officer; the two of them were locked in a fierce battle at this moment. The Totem warrior saw a dark shadow moving towards him at a rapid pace. The shadow had arrived close to him before he could respond. So, it was impossible to dodge it.
The arrow flashed and submerged into his chest.
There was a sudden illumination of fire. Then, the arrow exploded with a loud rumbling sound.
A short yet pitiful bellow of the Totem warrior was heard. An intense energy of fire-element exploded as the arrow sunk into his chest; a huge hole had been formed. It was almost as big as a human head. He crashed down heavily on the ground. Blood spurted out from his wound like a stream, and showered on the military officer's face.
The officer was dumbfounded. So, he couldn't avoid this fountain of blood in time.
'Whiz! Whiz! Whiz!' the whistling sound of arrows resounded one after another.
A barbarian soldier had just knocked down the weapon of a human soldier. His stone sledgehammer was still in the air when a shadow pierced through his throat.
Another barbarian soldier on the edge of the battlefield was flinging his bone spear in a crazy manner. He had just raised his hand when he was shot in his forehead by another arrow. He fell down heavily to the ground.
Similar incidents occurred at various other places on the battlefield. Another barbarian soldier fell dead on the ground with a 'whistling' arrow. However, the loud explosion that had occurred a moment ago wasn't heard again.
The military officer also responded, and moved into action. He realized that the hidden archer was on their side. This lifted his spirits. He thundered loudly as he turned around and rushed into the barbarian army.
Ordinary barbarian soldiers were no match for him. His long silver spear swayed around in a flexible manner like a poisonous snake; it looked extensible like a lamp's pith. Each of its shot injured a barbarian soldier.
Other human soldiers were also encouraged by the bravery of the mysterious archer and their commander. They became excited, and began to launch counter-attacks.
The two-hundred soldiers of the barbarian army were wiped-off within a couple of minutes. Then, the human soldiers started to clean-up the battlefield.
The military officer started to walk in the direction of Shi Mu's hideout. He shouted loudly, "Thank you so much for your help, brave warrior! I request you to come out and show yourself."
Shi Mu glanced at his half-empty arrow pouch. He then walked out of the ditch with the Purple Steel Bow in his hand.
The military officer cried out in amazement. He was so startled that he became motionless.
Shi Mu was also startled.
The military officer noticed a perplexed expression on Shi Mu's face. Suddenly, his eyes flashed as a thought crossed his mind. He hastily took off his mask and revealed his face.
"Wang Tian Hao!"
Shi Mu's eyes exhibited a hint of astonishment as he gazed at the fair and clear complexion of the youth.
"You... have you really become a disciple of the Black Demon Sect?" Wang Tian Hao exclaimed as he saw the emblem of red flames on Shi Mu's cuff.
The Black Demon Sect was considered a famous Sect of the Yan Kingdom; in fact, it was as famed as the three big Sects of the Da Qi Kingdom. It had far surpassed the Kai Yuan Martial Arts School.
Shi Mu smiled. However, he didn't reply.
His journey had been extremely complicated and strange. He couldn't explain it in a couple of sentences. Moreover, there were many soldiers around. He didn't wish to share anything in front of them.
"Haha... I had never thought that Brother Shi would run to the Yan Kingdom. The Wu and Jin families have separately offered a reward of five-hundred-thousand silvers to find you. They wouldn't be able to sleep at night... if they knew that you've joined a Sect." Wang Tian Hao didn't dig into the details. He changed the topic of discussion. He laughed as he spoke.
Shi Mu was moved.
He didn't know anything about this matter. But, he had anticipated the actions the Wu and the Jin families might take.
"This matter is too complicated to talk about. But, Brother Wang... how did you become a high-ranking military officer of the Da Qi Kingdom?" Shi Mu pointed at his armor and asked.
"I joined the Kai Yuan Martial Arts School shortly after you left the Feng city. Our school sent new disciples to join the Da Qi Kingdom's armed forces when the barbarians mounted a large-scale invasion on the kingdom. It was similar to a test for the new disciples. You're also here... this means that you've also been sent by your Sect," Wang Tian Hao replied in a calm manner.
"Yes, that's right." Shi Mu nodded.
"Shi Mu, it was detected back then... that you possessed the wasted bloodline of the Stone Monkey. It turns out that it was a blessing in disguise... as you have joined a Sect now. You must know that the Black Demon Sect is considered as one of the seven big Sects of the three kingdoms. Your sect is famous for possessing a large collection of wonderful secret arts. You might have already reached the primary stage of the Hou Tian realm." Wang Tian Hao's eyes shined as he looked at Shi Mu.
Hou Tian primary stage?
Shi Mu rubbed his nose; he didn't speak anything. His facial expressions revealed a noncommittal look.
"It would be great if the two of us have a match. What do you think? I always wanted to have a match with a disciple of a renowned Sect. But, I never got any chance," Wang Tian Hao swung his silver spear across his face and said. He was looking at Shi Mu fervently.
Shi Mu was dumbstruck as he heard these words.
Shi Mu had seen Wang Tian Hao fighting with the barbarian soldiers. He knew that he wasn't weak. However, his strength couldn't be placed on par with Shi Mu's.
"It's just a friendly match to learn something from each other. I promise to offer you a hundred- thousand silvers regardless of the outcome. What do you say?" Wang Tian Hao noticed that Shi Mu was reluctant to fight as he didn't give any reply. So, he quickly explained.
"If Brother Wang loses... then he'll have to give two low-grade spirit stones apart from the money. Then, I might think about it," Shi Mu blinked and said with a smile.
"Fine, that's settled then." Wang Tian Hao was delighted.
Shi Mu nodded. He placed his Purple Steel bow to one side. He then ritually cupped his hands towards Wang Tian Hao. After that, he took a posture.
The surrounding soldiers who were cleaning-up the battlefield stopped working, and circled around the two people in small groups. Shi Mu and Wang Tian Hao stood in the center of a huge circle; the circle was almost a hundred feet in radius.
The soldiers had barely survived a fierce battle. So, they held a sense of gratitude towards Shi Mu - a mysterious archer who had helped them with his wondrous arrows. They had also noticed that their team commander was familiar with him. Moreover, he was about to begin a friendly match with the archer. So, they couldn't help but cheer in exhilaration.
There was nothing more entertaining for martial artists than witnessing two experts compete. This was an extremely rare opportunity.
Wang Tian Hao was bubbling with excitement. He laughed heartily. Then, he waved his silver spear. The sharp tip of the upper half of the spear gleamed, and became fuzzy.
'Puff! Puff! Puff!' twelve dark-red flames appeared in front of him.
He had mastered the latter half of the Blazing Spear Art in the past two years. He had probably reached the consummate stage of this art as the fire appeared more intense than before. Moreover, he could release twelve fire balls in one breath.
Wang Tian Hao grasped his spear with both hands and shook it. The point of the spear drew a silver circle in the air. The twelve flames seemed to have received a mysterious traction force. They took a turn in the air, and got absorbed into the circle.
The silver circle was shrouded by the roaring flames in a flash. Then, Wang Tian Hao struck his spear out. A fire dragon leapt from the center of the circle, and darted towards Shi Mu's chest.
A burst of scorching heat wave had spread in all directions even though the spear hadn't even arrived. This made everyone gasp for breath.
Shi Mu's expressions changed. He moved his right hand, and the sparkling white light enveloped his fist as it transformed into a fist-shadow. Then, he thrust his fist towards Wang Tian Hao with a loud rumble.
'Boom!' a loud rumble filled the air.
It seemed as if a huge rock had pounded on the fire. A dazzling light radiated in all directions with a spark.
Shi Mu's Stone-breaking Fist had turned out to be better than his opponent's attack. The radiance of the fire dragon dimmed. This revealed the sharp tip of the silver spear; it was still shrouded by the dim radiance of the fire dragon.
Suddenly, a bone-cracking sound was heard as Shi Mu's arms swelled up; they looked as muscular as a barbarian's arms.
Then, a loud shout was heard.
His sparkling and translucent fist struck the fire dragon on its head. It caused a loud sound; it was similar to a metal clanging sound. The fire dissipated, and the tip of the silver spear became fully visible.
Wang Tian Hao was shaken-up by the gigantic force that passed through his spear's tip. He couldn't help but draw a few steps backwards. A gleam of surprised look flashed in his eyes.
However, Shi Mu still stood at the same place. He withdrew his fist as if nothing had happened.
Wang Tian Hao steadied his body and stood firm. He looked at Shi Mu with a dignified expression on his face. He then adjusted his hands, and held his spear in a strange posture.
Shi Mu saw a row of fiery-red magical characters at the back of his silver spear. He was surprised to see that the spear was also a magic weapon.
"The Black Demon Sect lives up to its reputation. Brother Shi, if you repel my Dragon Tail Spear's attack - then I'll accept my defeat willingly," Wang Tian Hao spoke in a tone that dripped of self-confidence.
The Dragon Tail Spear was a special martial art that was used to amplify the strength of one's Bloodline power. Wang Tian Hao had chosen it as an optional course when he had joined the Blood Hall of the Kai Yuan Martial Arts School. Only those who possessed the corresponding bloodline could practice this art.
Suddenly, the flame of Wang Tian Hao's spear increased and intensified. The spear seemed to be swaying and twisting in the fire - like a snake. The hot air wave also seemed to be more intense than before.
Wang Tian Hao dragged his spear - with its tip trailing on the ground. He then scuttled a few steps, and twisted his waist to strengthen the force. Suddenly, the spear's point sprang from the ground. A dozen or more fire snakes fled from the spear's tip, and leapt towards Shi Mu at an incredible speed.
Shi Mu's expressions remained unchanged. His right hand moved towards his back, and a black light flashed out of thin air. Then, his black blade trembled and emitted thirteen black blade-shadows at one breath. The shadows fled and collided with the group of fire snakes.
'Bang! Bang! Bang!'
A series of explosions resounded. The thirteen blade-shadows had successfully repelled the attack of fire snakes. However, the blade shadows were also routed and dispersed.
Wang Tian Hao's eyes beamed with a contented and delighted expression. He rotated where he stood, and the sturdy tail of his spear transformed into a red snake's tail. He then whipped it fiercely at Shi Mu.
"Fire Dragon Swaying Tail!" Wang Tian Hao shouted.
Shi Mu's eyes flashed with an astonished expression. He promptly activated his magic power. The charm spell engraved on his black blade dazzled with bright-red light. Then, a raging flame emerged on the surface of his blade. It pounded forcefully at the snake's tail - like a long-hilted blazing blade.
'Bang!' a thunderous sound was heard.
A huge fire burst out on the snake's tail. The tyrannical force of the blast made it difficult for Wang Tian Hao to hold his spear. Consequently, his spear was shaken-up and sent flying in the air. It then fell down and submerged into the ground several meters away.
Wang Tian Hao stared at the tranquil expression on Shi Mu's face. His lips moved slightly, but he couldn't speak anything.
Moreover, most of the surrounding soldiers had an expression of amazement on their faces.
Soldiers dealing with a life-and-death situation on a regular basis worshipped strong warriors more than ordinary people did.
A soldier walked a few steps forward. He respectfully handed over twenty steel arrows to Shi Mu. These arrows were shot by him a short while ago.
However, Shi Mu didn't express any gratitude to him. He took them and slipped them in his arrow-pouch. He then picked-up his Purple Steel Bow, turned around and left the place with long strides.
"Brother Wang, you can drop the things that you promised in the nearby stronghold. I'll collect them someday. I still have a mission to carry out. So, I can't linger around any longer," Shi Mu's voice resounded from far away.
"I'll keep my word!" Wang Tian Hao gazed at Shi Mu's receding figure. He then sighed and replied in a loud voice.