Chapter 154: Female Saint of the Sea Race
Translator: Novel Saga Editor: Novel Saga
The eight tribal Priest Priests present in the hall fell into a state of turmoil as they heard the words of the High Priest - Bi Lige.
"High Priest, this order is too impracticable to accept..."
"The Portal of the Brave Warriors isn't only a forbidden place of our race... but it's also the sacred resting place of our ancestors. There's no way that we should allow the human race and the sea race to enter our sacred land. This would tarnish the souls of our deceased heroes and great elders."
The Priests of both the vicious and peaceful barbarians had been deeply moved by this decision.
"Hehe... I'll obviously not allow them to participate in this competition for free. Convey this message to them - each of them will have to submit forty-five-thousand kilograms of refined iron or two-hundred-thousand kg of food grains. Moreover, there can be at the most two participants from the human and sea race," the High Priest pursed his dry lips, and spoke in a calm voice.
The High Priest's voice was brimming with confidence even though he was speaking softly. The complexions of the all the Priests became dignified as they heard these words. They remained silent for a moment.
The sea and the human races had come on their own for the purpose of forming an alliance with the barbarians. They desperately wanted this alliance in order to enhance their strength and manpower. So, the barbarians didn't have any other alternative but to follow this order.
The barbarian's wasteland had been suffering from the scarcity of refined iron and foodstuffs since ages. The tribal Priests still had some scruples in their hearts, but they chose to remain silent. After all, there would be only four participants from the other two races against their one-hundred formidable barbarian warriors. So, they certainly didn't stand any chance against the barbarians.
"High Priest, the quality of the ominous beasts' souls differs from each other in terms of their strength. So, I don't understand how will we determine the outcome of this hunting competition?" the narrow-eyed Priest of the Fierce Snake Tribe thought of something. He then asked.
"It's quite simple. Let's consider a Hou Tian primary-level beast soul as the base beast soul. A Hou Tian middle-stage beast soul will be an equivalent of ten times of the base beast soul; a Hou Tian advanced-stage beast soul will be an equivalent of a hundred times of the base soul... a consummate Hou Tian beast will be an equivalent of a thousand times of the base soul... a Xian Tian primary-level beast will be an equivalent of ten-thousand times of the base soul... and so on," the High Priest slowly explained.
After that, he shot a glance towards Priest Yan Ya; there was a gloomy expression on Priest Yan Ya's face. The High Priest's eyelids fluttered a few times... as if he would fall asleep any moment.
The Priests bid their farewell as they saw this. Then, they left the hall. The only person left in the hall was the High Priest with his droopy eyes.
After some time...
Halfway up the Holy Mountain... in the Green Tooth Palace...
Priest Yan Ya and the other three Priests of the peaceful tribes had gathered in the hall. They then started to discuss the counter-measure plans for the competition.
They knew that the strength of the peaceful tribes was far inferior to that of the vicious tribes. So, the competition was highly unfair and unjust. They knew that Princess Huo Wu and Shi Mu didn't pose any threat to them. So, they could be considered to be the capable participants.
The three Priests left the hall after a discussion of two hours. There were traces of anxiousness on their faces.
A servant stepped out the hall after a while, and started to walk towards Princess Huo Wu's stone chamber.
"So... the High Priest means to say that we can also enter the Portal of the Brave Warriors. But, we'll have to offer refined iron and foodstuffs in order to obtain the right to enter, right?" Princess Huo Wu looked at Priest Yan Ya, who sat on the seat of honor. Her complexion had turned unsightly.
"That's right. Nobody can change the decision of the High Priest. One more thing... whatever you obtain in that mystical place shall belong to you," Priest Yan Ya nodded, and spoke in a sinking tone.
Princess Huo Wu's delicate eyebrows creased. She remained seated for a while without uttering a single word.
Shi Mu's expressions didn't change. However, he was overwhelmed with happiness.
This propitious co-incidence had granted a glimmer of hope to Shi Mu. This meant that he could still weave his way out... even though all the roads had seemingly been sealed.
Shi Mu had been wallowing in melancholy a while back since he didn't know a way to find a multiple-headed python. But, he had got this opportunity to forge ahead with his plan, and achieve his goal.
"Very well then. We - the Human Race - would like to offer forty-five-thousand kilograms of refined iron, and two-hundred-thousand kg of grains. We want places for two participants," Princess Hou Wu raised her head after a while, and said in a resolute tone.
She knew that the barbarian race had resorted to a blatant extortion. But, she was left with no choice but to comply with them at this crucial juncture.
"Good. Our tribes are presently busy in preparing for the competition. I'll send you a message when the Portal of the Brave Warriors will be officially opened." Priest Yan Ya wasn't surprised to hear her reply. Instead, he nodded and spoke this.
After that, Princess Huo Wu started to ask some basic information related to the Portal of the Brave Warriors from Priest Yan Ya.
Priest Yan Ya didn't seem to have any intention to conceal anything from her. So, he shared all the information that was needed to enter the Portal.
The Portal of the Brave Warriors had been created in ancient times. A collaborated magic seal had been performed by several barbarian Priests to seal the place at that time. There was a massive space sealed inside it, and this territory still retained the ancient ethos. Therefore, the traces of many ancient fierce beasts that had become extinct outside the Portal could still be found in this territory. In addition, it was the dwelling place of numerous ancient ominous beasts.
A sacrificial offering was held in the Holy Land once in every ten years. The High Priest would open the gate after the prayer. Then, each tribe would send a group of warriors into the gate. These warriors would hunt and kill ominous beats in order to obtain their souls. This ceremony gradually came to be celebrated as a grand ceremony by the barbarians. The barbarian tribes attached great importance to this ceremony. It was because the beast souls that were captured in this Portal were considered to be much more formidable than the beasts of the outside world.
Shi Mu continued his closed-door training throughout this period. He also made occasional visits to the rural market in the vicinity of the Holy Land.
Shi Mu bought some materials to make a medicinal powder based on the ancient prescription that he had received from Min Tu. This medicinal powder had the ability to suppress the multiple-headed viper. He also purchased a stack of high-quality paper that was made-up of animal skin. He had bought this to make low-level magic charms.
He knew by his previous experiments that his speed would be increased by one-third of the normal charm paper if the Body-Lifting Charms were to be drawn on such hides.
Moreover, Princess Huo Wu had given him three middle-level magic charms for self-defense. It was called the Cold Yin Charm.
It was an ordinary water-attribute magic charm. But, it was beyond Shi Mu's capability to draw.
Shi Mu felt a bit more confident about his trip to the forbidden land after he had made these preparations.
After several days... in the valley behind the Baima Mountain...
The valley was pretty spacious; it was a hundred or more acres wide. Several huge white rocks stood upright on the ground at a certain place in the valley. They were rectangular in shape, and were nearly ten feet in height. A dark blood-red magic character was carved on the surface of each of the white rocks.
These huge rocks seemed to have been arranged in a gigantic circle from afar; it seemed to be a thousand feet in diameter. It constituted an illustrious landscape of a huge stone-array.
But, there was something unusual about these boulders. One or several pieces of rectangular white rocks were overlaid on some of these huge rocks; they were huge in size. They were placed vertically or horizontally, and constituted an extremely disorderly scene. However, they seemed to hold some special meaning.
A black altar stood not far from these boulders; it was ten feet wide. Priest Yan Ya and the other seven barbarian Priests stood in front of the altar. They all bore a solemn expression on their faces. Their silence indicated that they were waiting for something.
A hundred or more barbarian people stood in the open land in front of the altar; each one of them wore different clothing. But, a virtual line that divided them into two groups could be seen rather distinctly. They stood in two groups on either side. The people of one of the groups were tall and sturdy. They looked far better than the people on the opposite side; regardless of their built and imposing aura.
The stronger party comprised of the totem warriors from the vicious barbarians. The other side was of the peaceful barbarians, and consisted of warriors from four peaceful tribes.
Shi Mu stood in the group of the peaceful tribes; beside Princess Huo Wu. Seven or eight strange people were clustered around a blue-robed girl near the group of the vicious barbarians. That girl seemed to be their leader.
The girl was roughly thirteen or fourteen years old. Her skin was as white as snow. She was pretty, and had striking facial features. Her resourceful and shiny black eyes were looking towards the huge stone-array in a curious manner. She seemed to be fascinated by them.
These people with strange appearances looked like human beings. However, some of them had scales all over their bodies, and some had a fin-like object in place of ears. One of them even had a fishtail; the lower part of his body was shaped like a fishtail. He was a heavily-built man with protruding muscles. He was holding a giant trident.
These odd-looking people shot a cold look at Princess Huo Wu. There were traces of provocation in their eyes.
However, Princess Huo Wu wasn't paying any attention to them. She was looking at them with a smile of her face. Shi Mu also took advantage of this opportunity. He started to size them up in an ostentatious manner with a semblance of arrogance on his face.
These strange-looking people belonged to the sea race. The blue-robed girl seemed to be the so-called Female Saint of the sea race.
Min Tu had told Shi Mu that the Female Saint was one of the two participants of the sea race. Therefore, Shi Mu couldn't help but look at her repeatedly.
A strange feeling bubbled-up in his heart every time he looked at her. He didn't know why, but he had a feeling that he had met this girl before. However, he couldn't remember where he had seen her; no matter how hard he tried.
Shi Mu was still swaying in the tide of his thoughts when he felt that he was being looked at with a gaze filled with hostility.
Shi Mu gathered his scattered thoughts, and raised his guard. He slightly tilted his head to one side, and looked in the direction of the hostile gaze.
The person turned out an old barbarian man who was clad in a tribal Priest's robe. He held a red scepter made-up of bones in his hand. His eyes were long and slender - like a pair of serpent's eyes. His shriveled skin looked strange... as if it was covered in a layer of faint-green light.
The old man shot a cold look at Shi Mu as he saw that Shi Mu had taken note of him. Then, he averted his eyes.
'The Fierce Snake Tribe' - these words suddenly burst out in Shi Mu's mind. However, he maintained his composure.
Meanwhile, a little commotion was heard from the direction of the participating barbarians. They then turned their gazes towards the opening of the valley.
Shi Mu also followed their gaze.
He saw a diminutive old barbarian man walking into the valley with a withered branch-like scepter in his hand. He looked extremely shriveled and fragile.
The eight tribal Priests and the hundred barbarian warriors stood firm with deep veneration as soon as they saw the frail old man. The provocative and hostile looks that they bore earlier had disappeared without a trace.
Shi Mu was astounded.
However, he was uncertain about this old man. Was this trembling and petite old man the most reverent person, and the most renowned man of the barbarian race? Was he the so-called High Priest Bi Li Ge?
Moreover, he couldn't sense the slightest trace of this elderly man's Qi. The High Priest looked similar to an ordinary barbarian man. Shi Mu couldn't relate this frail old man with the most respected person of the barbarians...
Bi Li Ge was walking very slowly; as if each of his steps was consuming every bit of his strength. But, the barbarian warriors and Priests waited patiently. In fact, they were looking at the old man as he walked towards the black altar without batting an eye.
Everyone was quiet.
The High Priest finally reached his destination after a quarter-of-an-hour. Priest Yan Ya and other tribal Priests dispersed as he ascended the altar. They then stood around the altar in a circle.
"The brave warriors of our sacred God, the Portal will be opened soon. Are you ready?"
Bi Li Ge stood alone on the high altar. He spoke as he swept his vision over the audience with his pale-yellow eyes.
The barbarians answered in a thunderous voice. The voices of hundreds of barbarians, and totem warriors shook the entire gravel. Their reply reverberated through the valley.
The warriors then burst out shouting, and rushed towards the stone-array.
Shi Mu and Huo Wu looked at each other. Then, they started to follow the barbarians of the peaceful tribes. Meanwhile, the blue-robed girl whispered something to her fellow companions. Then, she too started to walk towards the stone-array along with a sturdy man who was half-man and half-fish.
The stone- array was enormous in size with a diameter of one-thousand feet. It could easily accommodate over a hundred people. It didn't look crowded at all.