It was the dead of night and the whole mountain village was in peace and darkness, except for the faint light in the house of the Zhou's.
The pale yellow light looked like a small bean, tearing out a piece of brightness in the endless night. Wang Tianlei was laying down on a small table, quietly snoring; it seemed that he had fallen asleep. Mrs. Zhou was sitting in bed lethargically, occasionally wetting a towel in a nearby basin and putting it on the forehead of Little Shiba, sighing every now and then.
What had happened the day before made her totally scared. Yesterday, a black bear rushed into her daughter's house, and her son, Little Shiba, came out boldly, holding a hatchet, and directly hacked into the black bear's throat by some chance just when his sister was about to be swallowed. Little Shiba killed the black bear, and her daughter was rescued. However, Little Shiba himself was injured under the bear's paw and was unconscious until now with a high fever.
Her daughter was shocked and almost lost her impending baby. Fortunately, with God blessing, the woman was so lucky that she gave birth to a white and fat boy safely, giving Mrs. Zhou a grandson. Such joys and sorrows occurred in just one day. She did not know whether she was going to be happy or not, but in general, it seemed that happiness held the upper hand.
A doctor from Qingyang Market had diagnosed Little Shiba, and said that he was a lucky guy. Although he was hit by the bear's paw, he was not injured seriously, with only some of his bones and muscles hurt and some of his skin scratched. He would be fine after a period of resting. However, it seemed that Little Shiba was frightened yesterday and had caught a fever that night, lasting for a whole day with no evidence of relief. Mrs. Zhou could not think of a better idea than cooling him with a wet towel.
Her son-in-law, named Wang Tianlei, was a reasonable man. He knew that Little Shiba did not only save his own sister, but also saved his parents and the baby in his wife's womb, which was a great blessing for the people that lived in the mountains. Therefore, he put his new-born baby aside for that moment and ran around for Little Shiba for two days. He got a doctor from Qingyang Market and took care of Little Shiba in every possible way, without resting for 24 hours. Only when Little Shiba managed to keep the fever down did Wang Tianlei fall asleep on the table gently, feeling relieved.
"People always say that one who survives a great disaster is destined to good fortune forever, and I'm wondering whether you, my boy, are really so blessed!" Looking at Little Shiba whose face was covered with sweat, Mrs. Zhou sighed in her heart, with a little tender love in her eyes, but actually, more confusion.
Little Shiba, who remained unconscious over the past days, twitched his face suddenly as Mrs. Zhou was entranced by him. He showed a painful expression, and then suddenly opened his eyes as if shocked by something. The brightness in his eyes dimmed for a second before he sat up from the bed.
"Little Shiba, you woke up! Are you all right?" Mrs. Zhou quickly grabbed his body and tried to support him, and then asked him with concern. At that moment, Wang Tianlei, who had been sleeping on the table, was awakened by the noise. Seeing Little Shiba sitting in bed, he jumped up all of a sudden.
"Little Shiba, you woke up. Great! I knew that you were blessed by the gods since you were capable of killing the big black bear. I never believed that you would be defeated!"
Having just woken up from the long sleep, Little Shiba looked a bit lost in his eyes. He looked around blankly and asked, "Where... where am I?"
"You are at home!" Mrs. Zhou suddenly hugged Little Shiba in her arms, with tears bursting from her eyes. "You bad boy! You scared me so badly... Hum... Hum...!"
At that moment, she could not continue her words anymore, clasping Little Shiba with cries of relief, as the heavy burden in her heart began to recede.
Little Shiba regained his consciousness gradually. Suffering from a dry mouth and with nothing in his stomach, he felt extremely thirsty and hungry.
"Mom, water... I want some water." He struggled to speak since he was a little out of breath in Mrs. Zhou's tight hug.
"Oh, water. Of course you need water."
Hearing this, Mrs. Zhou quickly let her son go, and suddenly remembered that her son had been in a coma for two days without drinking or eating. She released Little Shiba in a hurry, wiped her tears and said, "Well, stay here for a moment. I'll get you some porridge."
"Thank you, mom!" Little Shiba said in a hoarse voice and nodded. At that point, he felt that his throat was smoking.
Seeing Mrs. Zhou hurry to leave, Wang Tianlei took the opportunity to go over to Little Shiba on the bed and said, "Little Shiba, at this time, I, your brother-in-law, must express my great thanks to you!"
"My brother-in-law?!" Little Shiba was still in confusion then, but seeing Wang Tianlei, his face changed suddenly as if a certain memory had just resurfaced in his mind. He asked, "Oh, is my sister all right?"
"Yeah, they are both safe and sound thanks to you."
"Both?" Little Shiba blanked out for a moment and then immediately realized what his brother-in-law meant. He suddenly cried, "My sister gave birth to a baby? I'm an uncle now!"
Before his voice had died away, he had a burst of a coughing.
"Ah, yeah, your sister and the baby are both all right." Wang Tianlei quickly leaned forward toward him and patted his back. "Oh my god, you can't get so excited. How could I explain to your sister and my parents-in-law if something happened to you again?"
"Hei, hei... " Little Shiba laughed gently. He did not speak, and actually, he did not dare to speak, since when he did, his throat was so sore as if it was being torn, and he was really uncomfortable. So he just sat there, listening to the words of gratitude from Wang Tianlei, gleaning the information that he wanted to know. From the current situation, he knew that his actions this time could be considered a worthy thing.
The dead black bear that ran into the village to cause trouble was lying in their yard now. Once the snow had stopped, its skin would fetch quite a lot in Qingyang Market. Although its meat had yet to be treated in the busy past couple of days, Little Shiba knew that the bear's meat, in addition to the small parts used as gifts for the neighbors and relatives, would mostly be sold in Qingyang Market together with the bear's skin, leaving only a quite small part at home for food.
"In this way, my brother-in-law owes me a lot. Hei, hei. It will be much easier next time when I want to gain advantages from him." Looking at the excited Wang Tianlei, Little Shiba was also secretly excited in his heart.
At that time, Mrs. Zhou pushed the door open and came in with a bowl of porridge in her hands. "Come on, Little Shiba, have some porridge. You'd better not eat too much though, since you haven't eaten anything for days."
It was natural for Little Shiba to understand. Then, Wang Tianlei stood up and said, "Mom, now that Little Shiba has awakened, I want to go back, and... "
"Well, well, go back now. I know that you can't wait to see your baby son, right? And tell Hua-er that Little Shiba has awakened, and not to worry about him."
"Okay!" Wang Tianlei quickly replied and then excitedly ran toward his home.
Misty Mountain, West Mountain Pass—
The Younger's body was floating in the wind, traveling at an extremely fast pace, and he arrived at the entrance of West Mountain in seconds. It was a place where the voices of heavy howling and reproach came from.
The entrance of West Mountain at that moment was already in a mess, with dozens of corpses toppled down on the ground in a disordered fashion. All of them were killed by critical strikes without any opportunities to resist, and each of them had only one mortal wound—three quick and forceful claws in their throats.
Looking at the inside area of the mountain pass, there were dozens of people besieging a giant wolf that had only one eye.
"An evil beast?" Seeing that one-eyed giant wolf, the Younger's pupils shrank. "Oh my god, it's an evil beast. I wondered why there was a powerful palpitation when I heard the heavy howling. Well, I never imagined that I could encounter an evil beast in such a remote and backward place."
The Younger squinted his eyes, the smile on his face was increasingly expanding. Inside of the West Mountain Pass, the one-eyed evil beast was caught in a siege, but it was able to move freely and was not injured when common swords sliced against his body. Even as it was attacked by so many people and swords, the evil beast was still fierce and attacking.
However, its body was not totally unwounded. There was a sword mark extending from its back to its right hind leg. The bleeding wound affected its movement, and that was the reason why it could not get through the tightly grouped siege, even though it was still agile and its claws were still sharp.
At the same time, the Younger realized that a small part of the people who were besieging the wolf were Level Three masters of martial arts, among whom one older man was impressively a Level Four fighter. He held a sword, looking forceful, and had a thin streak of blood still left on his blade. The Younger guessed that the wound on the back of the wolf was his masterpiece.
Such an old man is only a Level Four fighter? He has lived in vain. I think he had no reason to siege the evil beast here, except for coveting the effect of its Inner Elixir. It is possible that he wants to use it to prolong his life or to improve his force. Hum, are you eligible to get it?
The Younger stood silently in front of the West Mountain Pass, looking at the scene inside with a hint of a sneer visible on his face.
The people in this battle were the Elder of the Black Dragon Triad and the altar master of its branch altars, together with dozens of elite masters of martial arts from the Black Dragon Triad.
In order to kill the One-eyed Wolf, the Black Dragon Triad came fully prepared this time. Numerous masters of martial arts were included in the team, and no one among them was a fighter lower than Level Two. However, they still underestimated the strength and wisdom of the One-eyed Wolf. However, the situation was not very optimistic now, even if the one-eyed wolf hurt one leg and had no possibility to escape. All of the people in this battle would be eaten by the One-eyed Wolf when it needed to replenish its energy. God knew how tenacious the vitality of this beast was. It had been over an hour since it was wounded, and its blood should have been exhausted, even if it dripped out drop by drop. However, it seemed that the One-eyed Wolf was not affected and still full of vim and vigor even though the blood on its back was flowing, just the same as it was an hour ago. It was the people who would not be able to holdout.
"I'm afraid that it's not the right way, sir. It seems that the beast is endowed with endless strength and energy, and we might be overwhelmed if this continues," Little Jin shouted at him. Among all the people that suffered in the fight, he was the best with his exquisite Lightness Skill and was busy containing the beast, which was the most tiring task.
"Damn. By my best guess, the blood of ancient animals might exist in this beast's body, and now, that blood has been awakened. Well, I don't believe that so many of us can't exhaust it," the Elder shouted, and suddenly stabbed out with his long sword before his body went back two steps. Seeing this, all the people fighting against the beast revealed a delighted expression as if a certain awareness jumped into their bodies. They also went back a few steps, not far from the center, and surrounded the One-eyed Wolf tightly, giving it no chances to run away.
"Is this... a secret skill?"
Seeing that the Elder went back all of a sudden, gathering his whole strength on the sword, the people around felt an overwhelmingly strong and choking sense of death. The Elder held his sword high, directing his Internal Qi violently. Then, the body of the long sword was covered by a black mist, accompanied by bursts of low but forceful screams, as if they were the roars of endless discontent from depressed dead people.
"It turns out to be a secret skill. Oh my god, it's really a place where dragons hide and tigers crouch, not only the inheritor of an extinct bloodline, but also people with secret skills. It seems that this secret skill has extreme power, and cannot be matched by common skills. Fortunately, the Elder with this skill doesn't have enough capacity to give it free reign." The Younger frowned gently and was shocked by the power that burst forth from the Elder.
Indeed, it was impossible for a Level Four fighter to bring out the full power of that kind of secret skill.
The so-called secret skill was an independent branch of martial arts skills in the world. Each kind of secret skill basically needed to coordinate with unique ways of using Qi. How to use strength was called Technique as well as how to use Qi was called Mental Cultivation Skill. The essence of secret skills was combining the Internal Qi and strength and use them in special ways. In a sense, it was something like playing arcade games. A compositive technique was the most powerful one.
Of course, Great Power was only one of the Three Greats of secret skills.
The Three Greats of secret skills were respectively: Great Power, Great Harm, and Great Consumption.
Great Power explains itself. A fighter with secret skills would be endowed with the ability to challenge the fighters in a higher level. For example, a Level Four fighter with secret skills might defeat a Level Five without secret skills, and even a Level Six fighter. Of course, it would not be so easy if the opponent had also mastered the same skills.
Great Harm referred to the use of secret skills that would harm the body. These powerful secret skills would generally cause damage to the body after they had been used, and could not be used again for a long period of time in the future, otherwise, they would hurt the body. If they were forced to be used, they would probably cause a life-long disability.
Great Consumption, was the same as Great Burden—it would make the Internal Qi of the body exhausted once the secret skill was used. Therefore, generally speaking, no matter what kind of secret skills, there was only one chance to succeed, and if it failed, it was difficult to have enough power to battle again, and even escape would become a luxury. So even a fighter with a certain kind of secret skill would not use it until the last minute.
And with respect to the secret skills, as the name suggests, they were secret, and each kind of secret skill had its own unique method, and so they were only mastered by a tiny minority. Moreover, the more powerful the secret skill was, the more secret its practice method was, and the more difficult its process of practice was. In addition, in the opinion of the Younger, no one would generally have a secret skill in such a small place near Misty Mountain.
Well, the Elder in front of him was the one with a secret skill, a very mysterious secret skill. "I don't know what stroke of luck hit him, but seeing the momentum of his sword, the power of the secret skill must not be small. I wonder whether the evil beast will be overwhelmed or not."
The One-eyed Wolf was an evil beast and was endowed with a spiritual mind, which could not be matched by human beings. It had already found problems after the fighters around it started to retreat, so it stopped, without trying to drive out of the encirclement. Instead, it shrunk its body, making a gesture of attacking, and the green hair on its whole body stood erect suddenly, looking like steel needles nailed onto its body. The wolf hissed as it exhaled, with two strands of white gas cycling around its nose.
"Oh—" the Elder suddenly exhaled and shouted, with his long sword stabbing toward the One-eyed Wolf fiercely while the wolf moved at the same time. After its calf-size body moved forward, its previous body was split up into three shadow figures in three directions, roaring and rushing up.
The middle shadow figure was right on the Sword Qi of the Elder, and was killed in a second by the Sword Qi, and the other two shadows were not affected and rushed up from the left and right sides respectively.
The Elder was so calm and directed his long sword. It unexpectedly split into two, a black one and a white one, and went to assault the two sides of the One-eyed Wolf respectively. With a mournful screaming, the two fast flows split the shadows before they could pounce on him.
The Sword Qi dashed against the shadows in one place, and almost disappeared at the same time. After two wolf shadows vanished into thin air, the One-eyed Wolf finally came out in its true body in front of the Elder a foot away, roaring, with blood unwillingly spewing from three deep visible wounds, and its body slowly fell down.
"Howl—!" Seeing the One-eyed Wolf falling down, the Elder drew in a breath and his body also lowered from midair, collapsing on the ground.
"Leave me alone. Go fast! Kill it and take out his Inner Elixir!"
The Elder fell down on the ground and cried when he saw the people crowd around him, with black blood flowing out from the seven holes in his head. At the same time, his skin that was exposed on the outside also oozed drops of blood. The final attack just now almost exhausted his entire Internal Qi.
"Yes!" People replied immediately and rushed toward the One-eyed Wolf, preparing to dissect the wolf and to take its Inner Elixir away.
A clear voice sounded, then a white shadow flashed out and instantly circled around the crowd in front of the One-eyed Wolf. With a "Puh, Puh!" noise, dozens of the elites, including the five altar masters of the Black Dragon Triad, fell down on their backs while the shadow stood on the ground, each with a finger-sized bloody hole in their forehead.
"This is a treasure, it is not your turn to kill it!"
The white shadow stopped. He was the man who had just watched the bustling scene from the sideline. Watching the Elder lying on the ground with a smile, he flicked a finger of his left hand, and a drop of tiny blood flew off.
"Your secret skill that you used just now is really a good one. I never imagined that someone here had secret skills. Great, great. Give the secret method of practice to me, and I'll leave you with full corpses!"