Chapter 132: Breaking the Siege
Translator: Novel Saga Editor: Novel Saga
"The barbarians have dared to infiltrate so deep into the union's territory... just to besiege our stronghold. They must've made a comprehensive plan. So, it would be futile to rely on Master to come and rescue us," Shi Mu shook his head and explained.
"This..." Feng Li's heart sank as he heard these words.
"There's no time to ponder over it. The longer we stay here... the greater the danger would be. Let's go," Shi Mu said. Then, he took a step and strode forward.
Feng Li nodded and followed after him.
"Brothers, please wait." An intermittent sound of footsteps was heard. Many charm magicians caught up with them from behind. They looked aghast, and were trembling with fear.
Shi Mu's eyebrows snapped into a frown. However, he reluctantly came to a stop.
"Brother Shi, can we tag along with you?" It was a youth attired in the blue clothing of the Tian Yin Sect. His complexion had turned ghastly pale after he saw a multitude of mutilated corpses that lay on the ground. So, he started to plead with Shi Mu.
The other disciples also looked deathly pale. They also cast a pleading look towards Shi Mu.
Most of these charm magicians had been properly protected when they were in their respective Sects. Therefore, they didn't have the slightest experience of a real battle; let alone a hand-to-hand combat with barbarian warriors.
The rat's nest had been thrown into a complete disorder owing to the sudden invasion of the barbarians. However, these disciples could see the calmness and strength that Shi Mu had displayed even in such chaotic times. So, they wanted to follow him.
A hint of hesitation gleamed in Shi Mu's eyes as he looked at them.
These people had hardly experienced the danger of actual combats in their entire life. So, it didn't matter how powerful they were. They probably couldn't put up a fight with these barbarians if they bumped into them. So, it would be rather cumbersome to take them along with him. Moreover, this would surely hamper Shi Mu's and Feng Li's flexibility in fighting.
However, Shi Mu couldn't refuse them as these people had shared the same stronghold as him for such a long time.
"Brother Shi, we're all companions. So, it would be a good idea to let them follow us. Besides, we can use them as a shield at the time of danger..." Feng Li moved close to him and spoke in a low voice.
Shi Mu shook his head; he didn't seem to have paid any attention to Feng Li's words. He then turned towards the other disciples and spoke in a low voice, "You people can come with us if you want to. But, you must rely on your own strength in case we run into the barbarians."
The disciples beamed with exhilaration as they heard Shi Mu's reply. They nodded to give their assent.
Then, the group of disciples advanced toward the front passageway under Shi Mu's leadership. And, they soon arrived at an intersection.
"Brother Feng, you lead us now," Shi Mu said.
Feng Li complied. He thought for a moment. Then, he turned around and proceeded towards the left passageway. Shi Mu followed after him without any hesitation.
The other disciples considered Shi Mu's action to be a little strange. However, they didn't say anything, and continued to follow the two of them.
The rat's nest couldn't be considered to be a very big stronghold. But, it had several small auxiliary passages apart from the four main passages to the east, south, west and north. And, each one of these auxiliary paths led towards the exit to the stronghold. They had probably been built to cope-up with this kind of a contingency.
The group made several detours under the guidance of Feng Li. Then, they gradually approached the northern exit.
They had hardly bumped into any barbarian on their way. The few barbarians who had showed-up before them had either fallen prey to Shi Mu's black blade or to the Serial Charm Bombs Technique cast by the other charm magicians. The group gradually passed through the passage with a daunting fear in their hearts. However, they didn't come across any real danger.
Shi Mu moved sideways after a while, and leaned against a stone wall. The northern exit was right in front of them. It was at the end of the front turning.
Shi Mu slightly bent his head and glanced towards the exit. He then drew back. There were shadows of a few tall barbarians outside the exit door. They were walking back and forth... as if they were on guard.
"The opposite party has thirteen men. The two of them are Hou Tian advance stage warriors... while the others are primary or middle stage Hou Tian warriors." Feng Li moved and stood alongside Shi Mu. He closed his eyes to sense the surrounding area. Then, he spoke in a low voice.
A trace of astonishment flashed across Shi Mu's face when he heard this assessment. Feng Li could sense the number of the barbarians as well as the level of their strength from a short distance.
"Retreat!" Shi Mu waved his hand. Everyone retreated inside, and arrived at the remote passage.
Shi Mu then stretched out his hand and patted on the wall twice. A small split appeared in the passage. They walked inside it, and the split got closed.
There was a medium-sized stone room inside. It was the storeroom of the stronghold. All kinds of stuff was stored there. Moreover, the room was located in the remote area. Therefore, it hadn't been discovered by the barbarians as yet.
Several other charm magicians were already hidden inside the room. They immediately encircled Shi Mu and the others as soon as they stepped inside.
"Brother Shi, do you have any idea about the front exit?" a blue-robed youth asked.
Shi Mu explained the entire situation to them. A few disciples looked at each other in a blank dismay as they heard him.
"Now, we don't have any other choice but to fight our way out. The shouting voices and the noises of the fighting are gradually fading away. The longer we stay here... the more perilous the situation would become," Feng Li made a quick assessment.
The blue-robed youth and the others looked at each other and nodded in agreement.
"Well... we all know that the barbarians have the edge over us because of their relatively huge numbers. So, we must carefully decide our strategy," Shi Mu said in a sinking voice.
Suddenly, the door of the room creaked open with a 'kacha' sound. Then, a person's shadow jumped-in.
That person wore barbarian clothing and a hide mask on his face. He looked startled as he saw humans inside.
A sword was thrust towards the visitor's throat with a sudden flash of light. This attack had been launched by Feng Li.
The visitor had been caught off-guard. He had been attacked from such a short distance that he didn't get enough time to dodge it.
'Clang!' Feng Li's sword was about to stab the visitor when a black blade emerged out of thin air, and blocked the sword.
"Brother Feng, wait! This person isn't a barbarian. He has only disguised himself as one," Shi Mu grabbed Feng Li's wrist and spoke hurriedly.
Several other people had also moved into action besides Feng Li. They also jumped towards the visitor with paper charms in their hands. However, they also stopped when they heard Shi Mu's voice.
"Everyone, it's me." That person took off his mask and revealed his face. It was Qing Feng.
"Oh! It's you, Brother Qing!" Feng Li was dumbfounded. He put down his sword. The others also withdrew their weapons, and heaved a sigh of relief.
"Brother Shi has a great eyesight. Otherwise, I would've been dead by now." Qing Feng closed the door. Then, he spoke as he forced a smile.
"Brother Qing, you've disguised yourself in the barbarian's clothing... but you forgot to change your shoes. Moreover, Brother Feng would've sensed you if you were really a barbarian," Shi Mu said slowly.
Feng Li's complexion turned red as he heard these words.
Feng Li had been too nervous to think sensibly. So, he had made an attack the moment he had seen the clothes of a barbarian. He had completely forgotten about his own special ability.
A trace of dubious look flashed on Qing Feng's face as he heard these words. He cast a glance at Feng Li. Shi Mu's words had seemed to be a little bewildering to him.
"Well... let's not talk about this now. Look at Brother Qing's appearance. It seems that he also intends to escape from the northern exit, right?" Shi Mu coughed and changed the thread of conversation.
"That's right. I just examined the situation. It seems that several totem warriors are guarding the exit. It won't be easy for us to escape," Qing Feng sighed and said with a forced smile.
"We want to rush out of here. Do you want to join us?" Shi Mu asked without any hesitation.
Qing Feng's eyebrows wrinkled, and a hint of hesitation crawled across his face.
"Brother Qing, it's fine if you have some other plans in your mind. We'll then move separately." Shi Mu immediately saw through his expressions. He spoke in a determined tone even though he was surprised.
Qing Feng was just a magician practitioner. So, he was one of them.
"Thank you for your understanding, Brother Shi!" Qing Feng replied in an embarrassed tone.
He stood to one side, and looked towards Shi Mu and others. They were discussing countermeasures for dealing with this situation.
"Remember, we must use as many paper charms as possible at a stretch. We have to confuse the opposite party so that we can ruin their battle formation. After that, we have to take advantage of this upheaval to force our way out. It depends on our respective luck whether we can escape or not," Shi Mu said quickly.
They had only been left with one choice - to throw the enemies into a total disorder and seize the opportunity to rush out.
Feng Li and the others nodded and grasped paper charms in their hands. A resolute expression gleamed across their faces.
"Let's go!" Shi Mu opened the stone door. Then, all of them stepped out.
"Wait, Brother Shi. I also want to come with you." Qing Feng's eyes flashed. It seemed as if he had finally taken a resolute decision.
"Brother Qing, why did you change your mind all of a sudden? Never mind. We don't have time to talk. You must've heard our discussion. We have to rush out together. If you have powerful paper charms... then take them out and use them together," Shi Mu shook his head and said. He didn't ask anything further.
Qing Feng sighed and nodded in agreement. He then took out two paper charms that were exuding sparkling blue light. A few interwoven charm characters could be seen on their surface; they constituted a blue tornado-like shape.
Shi Mu felt a little strange as he looked at the paper charms in Qing Feng's hand. However, he couldn't inquire about it at the moment. He turned around and led the others towards the exit.
Shi Mu issued a loud shout as he turned around the corner. He then stomped his feet on the ground, and transformed into a faint shadow. After that, he rushed forward at an unimaginably high speed.
He waved his hand at the same time. Six fiery-red paper charms fled from his hands, and transformed into six fiery snakes. Each snake was about one meter long. They produced an undulating wave of hot winds that exploded and transformed into a torrent of fire. The fire then plummeted down on the nearby barbarians...
These magic charms were called the Firing Snake Charms. They were considered to be one of the rare low-grade magic charms that could be used for a wide-scale attack.
Qing Feng also flung out two sparkling-blue paper charms in the air. Two tornados emerged in mid-air with a sudden flash of blue light; they were ten feet tall. They combined together, and started to expand in size. The gigantic tornado rolled out towards the exit while producing a loud hauling sound - like a huge monster's roar.
The surrounding walls and stones started to collapse as the mighty tornado forced its way through the passageway. They were swept-up in the wind. The passage ahead gradually started to expand.
"The middle-level charm - Tornado!"
The other disciples beamed with happiness as they saw such a powerful charm. They also began to throw all kinds of charms at the barbarians. A number of fire ball magic charms, ice cone magic charms, lightning bolts magic charms and other charms started to rain in torrents within a fleeting moment.
The barbarians at the exit were taken by surprise as the attack befell them. And, they were caught off-guard. So, they didn't get enough time to think of a counter-attack. They were shrouded by a series of magic charms and a tornado before they could understand anything.
The barbarians started to activate their totem magic in desperation. Their bodies then started to undergo various strange mutations.
Various kinds of magic charms hailed on these totem warriors one after another. Some of the barbarians were knocked down to the ground, while some other were sent flying in the air. But, none of the charms could severely injure them as the striking power of these low-level charms wasn't formidable. The charms could only injure the barbarians if they could hit their vital organs.
However, this attack was enough to throw these barbarians into a panic. Therefore, their planned battle formation had been completely devastated.
Shi Mu seized the chance and rushed towards the exit. He covered dozens of feet in an instant. He could see the exit of the stronghold now.
'Woo!' Suddenly, a droning sound was heard. A long blood-red spear darted out from the smoke in front and attempted to stab Shi Mu in his chest - like a poisonous snake.
The spear was so fast that it had arrived in front of Shi Mu almost instantaneously.
Shi Mu was thunderstruck. But, he responded immediately. He stomped his foot on the ground, and became motionless. His arm turned at the same time, and pounded on the spearhead with his elbow - like a bolt of lightning.
'Bang!' A loud sound was heard as the spear was jolted back with a huge force - as if it had been hit by a massive object.
Suddenly, a loud shout was heard from the smoke in the front. The spearhead trembled and transformed into seven or eight blood-red spear-shadows. Then, those shadows gathered together, and plummeted down on Shi Mu's chest and lower abdomen.
Shi Mu snorted coldly. His eyes flashed with a golden light. He then pounded fiercely at one of the spear-shadows.