Chapter 135: The Starlight Island
Translator: Novel Saga Editor: Novel Saga
"The Eternally Doomed Soul?" Shi Mu's complexion sank.
"As far as I know... there are only a handful of people who are familiar with this spell. Moreover, this spell can only be used when it's absolutely essential since it's very vicious. It requires the totem warrior to offer his own spirit to the beast spirit that's sealed inside his totem. The beast devours its master's soul... and then it infiltrates the enemy's body. Then, it starts to corrode the enemy's state of mind. This process continues for one year. Then, the beast's strength breaks out... and makes its host taste the intensity of an internally tormenting sorrow. The host's entire body eventually bleeds to death. The host's soul also gets caught up in the eternal doom phase with the passage of time," Feng Li explained in a hesitant tone.
Shi Mu's complexion turned ghastly pale as he heard these words. He had been standing straight during this entire time. However, his body started to tremble once this devastating news fell into his ears. He subconsciously propped himself against the table so that he didn't collapse.
"Brother Shi, don't panic. As far as I know... there's a way to neutralize this curse," Feng Li said hurriedly.
"You should've said this earlier. You scared the hell out of me!" Shi Mu heaved a sigh of relief as he heard these words. He then shot a ferocious glance at Feng Li.
A trace of embarrassment appeared on Feng Li's face. He scratched his head and said, "There are two ways to neutralize this kind of a spell. First - to seek help from an Earth-Grade or higher-levelled existence... You'll have to request them to foist another seal on the existing cursed-totem. The new seal will forcibly suppress the strength of the curse. But, this kind of a sealing technique consumes a massive amount of the seal-caster's spirit power. Moreover, this seal might make a counter-attack on the seal-caster. In addition, the suppression can only be considered as an expedient measure..."
Shi Mu touched his chin thoughtfully. His complexion slightly darkened.
The seven big sects were currently fully occupied with the barbarians' invasion. Therefore, an Earth-Grade Warrior and a Xian Tian Warrior had become exceptionally important for the sects. Moreover, nobody would pay any attention to this matter at such a crucial time even if Shi Mu reported this to the union. In addition, any action would be way too risky to help an ordinary Hou Tian Warrior.
"May I know the second method?" Shi Mu asked after a momentary consideration.
"The second method is to practice the Secret Totem Technique on one's own. Brother Shi, you can learn this technique. The person who's inflicted with the Eternally Doomed Soul needs to seal even fiercer beast's soul inside his body than he already has. The new beast soul will gradually suppress the curse. Also, it would absorb the strength of the weaker soul and use it for its own benefit," Feng Li thought for a moment and replied.
"Seal an even fiercer beast's soul?" Shi Mu's complexion changed as he heard these words.
He had been constantly fighting with the barbarians for the last few years. Therefore, he had developed a little understanding of the barbarians' Secret Totem technique.
The Secret Totem Technique was a kind of a sealing technique. Barbarians used some sort of a sealing method to seal an ominous beast's soul inside one's body. The seal enabled the host to access and utilize the special abilities and attributes of the sealed beast for their own purpose whenever they wanted. However, the dangerous process of sealing was utterly painful. The suffering was far beyond an ordinary person's imagination.
"Thank you so much for this valuable information, Brother Feng. The second option doesn't seem to be easy. But, it would still be far better and reliable than seeking help from an Earth Grade Warrior." Shi Mu's expression changed as he pondered over these choices. Then, he cupped his hands across his chest in obeisance and thanked.
"Don't mention it. I just shared with you the things that I was aware of. But, I can't help you from here on... because I don't have any idea where to look for an ominous beast's soul... that's stronger than your cursed beast," Feng Li looked a little confused as he replied with a deep sigh.
Shi Mu could practice the secret Totem Technique that could lift his curse. But, he would have to visit the barbarians' wasteland for that purpose. Only then, he could cultivate the sealing technique. Feng Li originally belonged to the wasteland. Therefore, he clearly knew the degree of danger therein. Stepping foot in the barbarians' territory meant to be prepared to encounter myriads of perils in the depth of the wasteland.
"It's alright... I might find some ways to deal with this issue. Also, it's a better choice than to resign oneself to extinction..." Shi Mu forced a smile and responded.
"Oh! You're right! If Brother Shi wants to visit the wasteland... then there's one thing that you need to pay attention to," Feng Li's facial expression looked dignified as he said.
"What is it?" Shi Mu wrinkled his eyebrows.
"I don't know the tribe the green-skinned barbarian belongs to. But, the totem warriors of his tribe must know a way that enables them to put the Eternally Doomed Soul Spell on a person," Feng Li spoke in a dignified tone.
Shi Mu was startled. He had heard something like this for the first time.
Feng Li's statement indicated that there was an increased level of danger and risk than he had anticipated.
"But there's a way to fix this problem. I once worked in the stronghold in the Lan city. And, I saw a unicorn viper's blood on display there. It's sold in that stronghold. You might as well buy a little quantity of it before you enter the wasteland. The unicorn viper is considered to be one of the high-ranking snakes among all the beasts in the wasteland. So, if you smear your totem with its blood... then it would have a certain masking effect on your curse," Feng Li came up with a suggestion after he had given it some thought.
Shi Mu beamed with exultation.
Feng Li continued to explain some basics things of the wasteland that Shi Mu needed to know for this dangerous trip for the next few minutes. Then, he turned around to depart.
"Brother Feng, please wait!" Shi Mu's eyes flickered a few times. Then, he stopped Feng Li.
"I've got a question to ask you. But, I don't know whether Brother Feng will like to clear my confusion..." Shi Mu said in a hesitant tone.
"Brother Shi, please say it." Feng Li's eyes flashed.
"The Eternally Doomed Soul Spell seems to be quite a rare type of magic... on the basis of the explanation provided by you. In that case... the sealing method to lift-up this curse ought to be equally secret. May I know how did Brother Feng came to know about it?" Shi Mu asked slowly.
Feng Li frowned as he heard this question. He remained silent for some time.
"If this question has put Brother Feng in a difficult situation... then there's no need to answer it," Shi Mu said.
"Thank you so much for understanding my situation, Brother Shi." Feng Li felt relieved. He then bid his farewell and quickly left the room.
A strange look flashed across Shi Mu's eyes as he closed the door.
Shi Mu's suspicion about Feng Li's true identity had been dispelled up to an extent owing to this little interaction. But, he still thought that it would be inappropriate to return Feng Li's necklace before setting out on this journey. He also had a feeling that Feng Li's experience must be more complex than what it looked like.
Shi Mu shook his head after a while, and decided to no longer mull over Feng Li's matter. Then, his attention shifted to the Curse Sealing Technique that Feng Li had mentioned.
The barbarians' wasteland had always been considered to be an extremely dangerous place. The seven big sects had been frequently sending over several strong warriors to infiltrate the wasteland since ancient times. Many Xian Tian warriors had also been sent there. But, the people who safely returned from the wasteland could be counted on one's fingers. In fact, most warriors went missing shortly after they sneaked into the enemy's land.
Shi Mu had read about such matters in the ancient book of the Black Demon Sect. He could now relate his life with these incidents. He had no other choice but to brace himself, and forge ahead with his plan.
However, he needed to make arrangements before that. Otherwise, he would be declared a deserter. Moreover, he would be listed as 'wanted' by the Sect if he didn't notify this matter to anyone before he left the stronghold.
He opened his door after a long time, and headed towards the Lan City's stronghold. He wanted to exchange his money for the required materials from the Main Hall of the stronghold.
At first, he verified the information that he had received from Feng Li through various sources. Then, he left a letter behind for the Black Demon Sect's high-rank elders. He wrapped-up everything within two days. After that, he quietly left the Lan city's stronghold early in the morning, and started to advance in the direction of the barbarians' wasteland.
There was a group of islands around hundred-fifty kilometers away from the eastern seacoast of the Da Qi Kingdom. These islands looked as if they had been scattered all over the place. The largest one of them was the so-called Starlight Island.
The Starlight Island was shaped like a 'tong' or a 'semi-open folding fan'. The terrain of this island was high on the eastern side, and slanted downwards to the west. It was similar to a natural barrier. Therefore, it was like a protective shield for the archipelago.
There was a lofty mountain on the eastern part of the island. It was a vast-stretched mountain with undulating ranges; it was almost a hundred feet long. A small land could be seen on the western side of this mountain. It was a fertile land with enough fresh water. So, this land had attracted the attention of a large number of impoverished people of the Da Qi Kingdom. People would come and settle down there. Thus, the population of this Starlight Island - along with the local fishermen - was over ten million people.
The East China Sea was blessed with various kinds of marine animals. The hides and bones of these animals were considered to be the best raw materials for making pills and magic weapons. Therefore, the island had always been the center of attraction for innumerable people. The warriors would often stream-in groups to hunt down the sea beasts. Then, they would return to their natives to sell their hunts. These activities had gradually taken the form of an industry.
Consequently, the Starlight Island had become increasingly busy with constant hustle-and-bustle. The merchants started to swarm on this island. Soon, their numbers became more than the already established and richest coastal towns like Yue and Fu Prefectures of the Da Qi Kingdom.
This island always seemed to be calm. Moreover, it was a fertile land. So, it was constantly under the watch of five-thousand elite soldiers. These soldiers had been dispatched here by the Da Qi Kingdom to maintain peace and tranquility. So, the island was perennially under heavy security.
However, nobody made any effort to oppose the army since the army neither affected their lives... nor got involved with the warriors when they came to the sea.
It was midnight. The entire island seemed to be hidden behind a curtain of darkness.
All the people on the island - both the common people and the warriors - were sound asleep. They were restoring their energies for the next day's work.
A 'fiery dragon' seemed to be meandering somewhere on the island's beach. It was a troop of fifty soldiers who were patrolling the area.
'Sha! Sha!' the sound of their footsteps echoed as they walked. They gradually went far away, and the beach fell into darkness once again.
A wave rippled on the dark sea's surface near the beach after some time... even though there was no wind. Then, a several-feet-high black line rose from the sea's surface. It roared and rapidly advanced towards the beach.
One would've been hugely startled to see this if someone had been on the beach. Several dark figures stood on the sea waves. Some of them were carrying weapons on their shoulders.
Their entire bodies were covered in scales. Some of them had fish scales, while some had solid tortoise shells. They had various sorts of strange and unusual appearances. However, they all had one thing in common - a pair of eyes that were blazing with a murderous look.
Meanwhile, in the biggest barrack of the army base on the island...
A middle-aged general sat by a dark-purple wooden desk. There was a scar on his stern-looking face. He looked like a high-ranking military officer. His eyes were serious and alert. He seemed fully absorbed in reading a scroll under a lantern's light.
He was clad in full-body armor. A naked silver blade lay near his right hand. The surface of the blade was covered in pale-golden charm characters.
This person was the Garrison General of the Starlight Island. He was a Hou Tian consummate-stage warrior.
Suddenly, a strange look flashed across his eyes as his right hand grasped the silver blade. He then raised his head and shouted fiercely.
'Bang!' he heard a loud rumble in response.
The roof of the camp collapsed with the explosion. Suddenly, five or six gigantic deep-blue tentacles appeared and swayed like a pendulum. They plummeted down together with a whistling sound at an astonishing speed.
Suddenly, the surrounding air became a little heavy; as if it had transformed into the vast sea's water. Then, a formidable binding force surged towards the general from all directions; like the mighty ocean's waves.
'Ha!' a shout was heard.
The silver blade glared with a dazzling golden light. The general's eyes widened, and his complexion turned red in rage. He exerted his entire strength and broke the fetter of the strange force. He then stomped his foot on the ground, and shot-up into the air.
He started to slash his silver blade rapidly in the air. The blade emitted a golden blade Qi that quickly took the shape of a pale-golden vortex. The vortex then firmly wrapped his body to shield him from any attack.
However, four of the blue tentacles flogged the golden vortex from all four directions. And, the vortex immediately stopped swirling, and dispersed with a loud rumble.
The general's complexion changed. Two of the cold tentacles had already moved into action before he could think of his next move. One of them wrapped itself around his neck, and the other one around his waist. Then, both of them made an effort together, and pulled him apart with a frightening force.
The general's head was abruptly torn-off his body; his face had retained a frightened and furious expression.
A rain of blood spurted out of his body, and showered over the place. Then, a headless body and a head dropped to the ground.
The six tentacles wriggled and retreated from the cracked space on the roof. They returned and gathered together into a long blue whip. Then, the whip wound around the slender arm of a white-robed girl.
The girl raised her head and gazed towards the night sky. She then opened her mouth and spurted out a silent wave.
Suddenly, a burst of pitiful yells and shouts erupted from various places on the island.
The blessed tranquility of the Starlight Island was hindered by flames that sprang-up everywhere. The dark night had turned as bright as daytime...
Similar incidents occurred on several outlying islands of both - the Yan and the Huang Kingdoms.