Chapter 172: Harboring Unfathomable Motives
Translator: Novel Saga Editor: Novel Saga
The Priests and the people of the vicious barbarian tribes chuckled. The Crow Horn Tribe's predicament was something they could pleasure in.
Princess Huo Wu revealed an unsightly expression on her face. Shi Mu's eyebrows wrinkled. He looked towards the Priest of the Crow Horn Tribe, and saw his embarrassed face. Then, he retrieved his gaze.
Priest Yan Ya and others were annoyed. But, the presence of the Priest of the Crow Horn Tribe stopped them from taking any action. They thought that they shouldn't denounce him in the public. But, they couldn't help as they maliciously at the people of the Crow Horn Tribe. Then, they looked towards the three totem warriors of the Fierce Snake Tribe in a worried manner.
The peaceful barbarians' tallied numbers had slid down since the Crow Horn Tribe's contribution was extremely low. But, they were still ahead with more than eight-hundred ordinary beast souls from the vicious barbarians.
So, the vicious side could manage to pull a comeback only if the three people of the Fierce Snake Tribe came up with a few Hou Tian advanced-stage or a Hou Tian consummate-stage beast souls.
The peaceful barbarians obviously hoped for the harvest of the Fierce Snake Tribe to be low.
The three people of the Fierce Snake Tribe looked at each other. One of them was a thin and tall barbarian. His face revealed a trace of complacency as he strode forward.
His upper body was naked, and his chest had a coiled red python totem. A few scars could be seen on his face. His cold eyes were exuding the tyrannical aura of being at the Hou Tian consummate-stage.
He smiled indifferently as he took-off the beast bag from his waist. Then, he held it up in front of his body, and stimulated his Real Qi in his hands.
Then, several beast souls started to depart from his bag. In fact, several dozens of them had flown out of his bag in an instant.
There were two Hou Tian consummate-stage and one middle-stage beast souls in his bag. The rest of them were Hou Tian primary-stage beast souls.
The complexions of Priests of the peaceful barbarians turned unsightly. The vicious barbarians seemed to have surpassed the peaceful barbarians.
The thin man's action looked a little slow. But, he didn't loosen his hands from the beast soul bag. His eyes swept over the floating light balls. Then, he caressed the bag's mouth with his hand once again.
A blue light ball winged its way out of the bag; it was as big as a head. There was a miniature of a lion floating in that blue light. It was brandishing its claws menacingly. It was a Xian Tian level beast soul.
"A large Steep Bank Lion!"
The narrow-eyed Priest of the Fierce Snake Tribe was amazed. Then, his face revealed an ecstatic look.
Priest Yan Ya and several other people of the peaceful side were struck dumb; as if they were damned.
The remaining two people of the Fierce Snake Tribe also let out their beast souls. Their numbers was also amazing, but no one seemed to care about them.
"This... Oh... the game is already over!" The Priest of the Golden Feather Tribe forced a smile. He then shook his head and sighed.
"This undue pessimism isn't required. We still have a race left... they have two people. They haven't yet turned up with their inventory," Priest Yan Ya breathed deeply as he spoke in a sinking voice.
The facial expressions of the other people loosened-up as they heard this. They glanced towards Shi Mu and Princess Huo Wu with a little hope. But, they still couldn't conceal their doubtful expressions.
A large number of barbarians had entered into the forbidden land. So, these two people seemed quite insignificant in front of these formidable barbarians.
Princess Huo Wu's complexion turned pale. She turned around and looked at Shi Mu. The corners of her mouth moved... it seemed as if she wanted to inquire about something. But, she failed to convey her words. She gradually walked forward and stood in front of the altar. Then, she took down the beast-soul bag from her waist.
Priest Yan Ya took a long breath as he stared at her. Her eyes looked gloomy as her real Qi rushed through her hands, and into the beast soul bag.
A group of twenty light balls emerged out of the bag. There were five Hou Tian consummate-stage and one advanced-stage beast souls. The remaining souls were primary and middle-stage Hou Tian beast souls.
An expression of disappointment grew on Priest Yan Ya and others' faces as the last beast soul flew out of the bag. Even the last trace of hope seemed to have dissipated from their eyes.
Such a harvest was indeed admirable. It was sufficient to get a tribe some income. However, it didn't have a single Xian Tian beast soul. So, it turned out to be totally insignificant.
Priest Yan Ya and others didn't seem to have any hope in Shi Mu since it was a miracle that a Hou Tian middle-stage warrior had survived and returned safely from the forbidden land.
Therefore, several people didn't even notice that Shi Mu's cultivation had moved a step ahead, and reached the advanced stage of the Hou Tian level.
Shi Mu's eyes flickered as he strode forward in silence.
Suddenly, a burst of exclamation resounded from the side of the vicious barbarians.
The peaceful barbarians, Princess Huo Wu, and Shi Mu's eyes followed the source of the sound. They saw that the two people of the Sea Race stood before the altar; they were releasing their beast souls.
The blue-robed girl Xiang Zhu stood in the front. A white light ball was floating in front of her. It was as big as a person's head, and was shining brightly. It was a Xian Tian level beast soul.
Shi Mu was astounded. He couldn't help but admire the strength of the Saintess.
Priest Yan Ya and other people froze to the spot. But then, they shook their heads and revealed a forced smile.
The hope of victory in the hearts of the peaceful barbarians had faded away as the vicious barbarians had taken the lead by presenting two Xian Tian beast souls.
Priest Yan Ya felt a sense of loss in his heart. The surrounding air felt disturbing to him. He wanted to leave at once. But, he didn't dare to leave because of the High Priest.
His face finally revealed a trace of intolerance. His eyes swept around, and fell on the large cloth bag that hung on Shi Mu's body. Shi Mu seemed to be on the verge of releasing beast souls from his bag.
The cloth bag seemed casually packed by Shi Mu. Its corner revealed a small hole because of the size limit. Priest Yan Ya vaguely saw something inside it from the place where he stood. He saw a python skin with fine scales inside it.
He was stupefied. He started to recall everything that he had heard about Shi Mu from Min Tu.
He remembered what Min Tu had told him before these warriors had entered into the portal. According to him, Shi Mu had been inquiring about the multi-headed python.
Priest Yan Ya's expressions changed. Shi Mu waved his hand. Then, a black light - almost the size of a fully matured watermelon - emerged out of the bag. It was emitting a spooky black light.
"Quickly... look at this beast soul!"
"A pretty formidable soul with vigorous energy fluctuation; is it possible that..."
A few sharp-eyed peaceful barbarians noticed the light, and exclaimed aloud in astonishment.
The intense fluctuation of energy soon captured the attention of all the people who stood near the altar. Everyone was thunderstruck as their eyes fell on the black beast soul.
The drowsy High Priest also opened his eyes, and looked at the soul with a suspicious look in his eyes.
"This... this is... this is a Xian Tian middle-stage beast soul..." the Golden Feather Tribe's Priest said in a murmuring tone.
The peaceful barbarians Priests responded with a burst of laughter. Their faces beamed with rapturous joy.
It was as if a big meat pie had dropped from the sky, and almost smashed them.
Even Princess Huo Wu looked startled. She gazed at Shi Mu with an inconceivable expression. Then, a pleasantly surprised expression appeared on her face.
The faces of the people of the vicious barbarian tribes turned pale. The smiling faces of several people had become stiff by now. They couldn't believe their own eyes. They had been brimming with complacency since the victory seemed to be in their grip. But then, the victory slipped out of their hands.
Xiang Zhu wrinkled her eyebrows, but she straightened it immediately. Her graceful eyes gazed towards Shi Mu, and a splendid radiance sparkled in her eyes. Surprisingly, she didn't look too disappointed.
"Ha-Ha! If I'm not mistaken... then this should be a Xian Tian middle-stage beast soul of a three-headed python. Little brother Shi isn't that ordinary. It can be said that he has amazed the world with a single brilliant feat... Eh!" Priest Yan Ya laughed aloud at first. He then realized his ill-manners and restrained his facial expressions. After that, he sized-up the black beast soul that floated before Shi Mu and exclaimed.
"Priest Yan Ya is flattering me." Shi Mu's facial expression looked cold and indifferent. He wielded his hand since he wanted to put away the black beast soul that was floating before him.
"Slow down!" the Fierce Snake Tribe's narrow-eyed Priest spoke in a chiding manner.
He grasped his red bone wand, and made his way out of the crowd.
Shi Mu hand stopped moving as he heard this. He looked at the Priest in an indifferent manner. Then, he shifted his vision towards Priest Yan Ya.
"Priest Yi He, the truth lies before us. Can it be that you still have an objection?" Priest Yan Ya's eyebrows raised into a frown as he said.
Other Priests and tribal people stuck their gazes at the Fierce Snake Tribe's Priest Ye He; they looked at him with a contemptuous look on their faces.
"Hehe... anyone with eyes can see the result of this competition. Little brother Shi Mu is indeed an extraordinary warrior who can even hunt a three-headed python. I'm ready to gamble everything to prove this point. I wouldn't dare to have any objection. It's just that..." Priest Yi He's eyes turned to look towards Shi Mu.
"So, what's the issue? If there's something... then spit it out. Don't keep everyone waiting..." the Golden Feather Tribe's Priest urged.
"It's just that it's inappropriate to let him keep this three-headed fierce python's soul," Yi He spoke-up in a cold voice.
"What?!" Priest Yan Ya was startled.
Shi Mu looked at the narrowed eyes of Priest Ye He. But, Princess Huo Wu rushed forth before he could say anything. She said, "If I remember correctly... then the High Priest had personally promised us one thing. My human race had readily paid sufficient resources in exchange for the access to the forbidden place as per his instructions. So, everything that we've obtained from the forbidden area belongs to my race," the princess cupped her hands towards the High Priest and said.
"It's true. But, the Portal of the Brave Warriors has an unusually high significance in our race. Honestly speaking... it's impossible to allow humans to visit it. We depend upon these beasts as they are the only basis of our practice. The Xian Tian beasts are very precious to us as they are very few in numbers. Therefore, I hope that Your Highness will hand this beast soul over to us for the sake of this alliance... We would be deeply grateful to you for this. Then, we'll forget that you two people had entered into our forbidden place." Yi He slowly swept his vision around. Then, his eyes finally fell on the Princess.
The other three Priests of the vicious tribes also raised their voice to support Yi He. The Priests of the peaceful tribes also revealed a thoughtful look; except for Priest Yan Ya. The Priest of the Crow Horn Tribe went a step ahead and gave a slight nod in agreement.
Shi Mu's expression remained unchanged, but he was enraged in his heart.
"This..." Priest Yan Ya looked at Shi Mu. Then, he looked around and noticed the changes in the expressions of the surrounding people. This made him feel awkward.
"Can it be that Your Excellency wants to use the matter of alliance to coerce us? Are you compelling us to hand over the beast soul?" Princess Huo Wu's delicate eyebrows creased as she said in a cold voice.
"Your Highness, please don't misunderstand us. We're just discussing this matter in accordance with the principle. A Xian Tian beast soul is useless for your human race. But, it's highly important for our barbarian race. We're ready to form an alliance with your race. But, we also wish the opposite party to think about this," Yi He said.
"We - the barbarians - are the God's subjects. So, our words must be truthful. I made a promise to them. How can I go back on my words?" the High Priest Bi Lige's voice resounded from the altar.
The surrounding barbarians were startled. But, they chimed in agreement.
"High Priest, this..." Yi He's clear expressions got cloudy. He opened his mouth... as if he wanted to say something.
But, the High Priest stood-up in a trembling manner before he could say anything. He inquired from the two low-ranked Priests, "Well... are you done with the calculations of the beast souls?"