Book 2: The Demon Leaves the Mountain
The Yellow Dragon river is the third river in the Southern Border - it is over eight thousand kilometers. It starts from Mount Huang Guo, and passes through mountains and hills like Mount Xuan Ming, Mount Gui Bei, Mount Qing Mao, Mount Bai Gu and Mount Lei Ci before finally flowing into the ocean.
If the whole Southern Border was seen through a bird's eye view, one could see the Yellow Dragon river forming a zigzag shape as it ran through over half of the Southern Border.
Several waves roared as they turned over, the violent waves rolling in an imposing manner along the river. It bore through the crack between the shores, and fog was raise up into the blue sky.
The Yellow Dragon river flowed rapidly and unceasingly. Many creatures lived in the river - fishes, turtles, snakes, clams and other life forms. At this moment, there was a bamboo raft bobbing up and down with the waves.
This green raft looked quite battered and seemed to be in need of repair. There was a simple and crude mast in the middle with a shabby white sail hanging on it. A pile of goods were put around the mast to stabilize the center of the raft. The bamboo were tied with hemp ropes and there were many loops around some areas; they were clearly hurriedly done as the raft sailed through the river.
The bamboo raft flowed with the currents of the river, and every time the waves crashed onto it, the raft gave out a creaking noise which was far from reassuring.
This bamboo raft which looked like it could break apart at any moment was carrying two youngsters - one had an ordinary face with black pupils and black hair, wearing a black gown; another was a woman with the looks of an immortal fairy, blue pupils and silver hair, wearing a white gown.
They were Fang Yuan and Bai Ning Bing.
After the battle at Qing Mao mountain - Bai Ning Bing self exploding his Northern Dark Ice Soul physique and sealed Lord Sky Crane for the moment - they used all their strength to break out of the ice, then cut off some Qing Mao bamboos to make this raft before immediately hitting the road to flee.
Fang Yuan's thousand li earth wolf spider was already dead; and ever since Bai Ning Bing's white form immortal snake had flown out on its own, there had been no news from it.
With no transportation gu worms, the two would definitely be caught by Lord Sky Crane if they were to move on land as their speed would be too slow. Thus, Fang Yuan could only think of this method.
Many tributaries of Yellow Dragon river flowed through Qing Mao mountain. Previously, the Rank five River Swallowing Toad had flowed with the main course of Yellow Dragon river and accidentally flowed to the foot of the Qing Mao mountain.
The bamboo raft flowed through one of the tributaries to the main river course, and as it flowed with the river, its speed was naturally extremely fast.
"It has been five days, it doesn't look like that old guy will come," Fang Yuan mumbled as he stood on the bamboo raft and took a glance behind him.
The bamboo raft's speed could definitely not match the Ironbeak flying crane king. But the Ironbeak flying crane king would definitely need to rest and couldn't compare with the bamboo raft which continuously flowed with the river. And as more time went by, Fang Yuan became more assured.
Moreover, Fang Yuan recalled that Lord Sky Crane had returned alone after killing the Gu Yue first head. The Ironbeak flying crane king was likely to be already dead.
The raging waves of the river bombarded their ears. Bai Ning Bing took a glance at Fang Yuan; she might not have understood the details in his words, but knew what he meant.
She laughed loudly, "What are you so worried for! If that old geezer chases us, we will just fight to death. Fighting on this Yellow Dragon river will be extremely spectacular. Well, the thing is that if we die here, we will end up in
the stomachs of some fishes. Haha, that sounds interesting too."
Fang Yuan ignored her, instead gazing towards the distance.
With five days of sailing, they were almost at the Bai Gu Mountain.
According to his memories, there was a secret inheritance hidden in Bai Gu Mountain. The inheritance was arranged by a Rank four Gu Master of the righteous path, for someone fated to it.
"I haven't personally seen this inheritance in the Bai Gu Mountain, and have only heard about it. But it was rumored that this inheritance had some obstacles which required two people to coordinate to pass through."
When Fang Yuan thought of this, he gave a casual glance towards Bai Ning Bing.
Although they were travelling together, it was only due to the situation and the pressure of a powerful enemy. He himself was only at Rank one initial stage and absolutely needed help to roam outside. But with Bai Ning Bing turning into a woman, he had the greatest hold on her in the Yang Gu, giving her no choice but to compromise.
After entering the Bai Gu Mountain, could they really coordinate with one mind? It was a big question mark.
Suddenly, a muffled sound was heard.
"Not good, the rope has come off." This sound was very familiar to Bai Ning Bing as she immediately shouted.
The force of the river flow was fierce, and in these five days, who knows how many times the hemp rope binding the raft had rotted out due to it. Fortunately, Fang Yuan had made enough preparations before they had set out.
"Quick get the hemp rope, I will hold it till then." Fang Yuan immediately crouched down and used his hands to hold the areas where the rope had come loose, preventing the situation from getting messed up.
The river flowed fast and violently, it would take a lot of strength to hold the bamboo raft; Bai Ning Bing wasn't qualified for this, only Fang Yuan who had the strength of two boars was.
Luckily, this situation had occurred multiple times before and Bai Ning Bing had become more experienced in dealing with this; she quickly went to get the hemp rope tied around the simple and crude mast in the center of the boat.
"Here, take it!" She rushed over and handed the hemp rope.
Fang Yuan agilely took it and rapidly coiled it around the loose areas with sweat starting to drip off his head as he concentrated on the task. After coiling the hemp rope around the loose area several times, the raft finally stabilized.
"This raft has already suffered a lot of damage, from the looks of it, it can only continue on for a day. We need to reach the shore in this duration." Fang Yuan heaved a sigh.
Yellow Dragon river was not safe at all, who knew how many dangers were hidden within this raging river. If the bamboo raft fell apart in the middle of the river, Fang Yuan and Bai Ning Bing would have no choice but to go with the river, with no way of telling if they would survive.
There was a soft muffled sound.
"What was that sound?" Fang Yuan immediately furrowed his brows.
Bai Ning Bing listened closely with a doubtful expression: "What sound? I didn't hear anything."
Roots grew out from Fang Yuan's ears, and almost immediately he heard the continuous tatata sounds. Along with the sounds, the bamboo raft also started shaking.
"What is that thing attacking the bamboo raft from the river!" Bai Ning Bing cried out in surprise.
A black ray flew out from beside the bamboo raft and brushed past Bai Ning Bing.
This black shadow was too fast and couldn't be seen clearly. Bai Ning Bing only felt her ear go cold, with some liquid flowing down her cheeks. She subconsciously wiped it; it was blood!
"What the hell is this thing!" She cursed as she looked up, only seeing a spindle-shaped black fish falling into the river from mid-air.
"It is the Shuttle Swordfish, damn it, we need to pull towards the shore immediately!" Fang Yuan shouted before pulling the sail.
The Shuttle Swordfish had a sharp head and tail, whereas its stomach was big, just like a textile shuttle. They only appeared in big rivers or oceans, roaming and hunting in groups of hundreds or thousands. They were carnivorous and would often hunt prey ten times or even hundreds of times their size.
The Shuttle Swordfishes shot out of the river like black arrows.
The bamboo raft shook violently as many of the Shuttle Swordfishes struck it. Fortunately, Qing Mao bamboo was a top grade bamboo; it was very strong and durable. But as the Shuttle Swordfishes kept on piercing the bamboo raft from below, the raft looked like it would fall apart at any moment.
The sail was adjusted to borrow the force of the wind, thus the raft leaned to a side and sailed quickly towards a riverbank.
However, the group of Shuttle Swordfishes had no intention to give up. They scuttled beneath the river and attacked the raft violently.
A Qing Mao bamboo was split open and a Shuttle Swordfish smashed upon the bamboo raft; its momentum was already exhausted as it landed beside Bai Ning Bing.
Its head was like an auger and scales tightly covered its whole body, shining with grim light. Bai Ning Bing watched it struggling helplessly; after she had self-exploded, all the Gu worms she possessed had been frozen to death, while the Yin Yang Rotation Gu saved her but it didn't have the ability to resurrect her Gu worms.
Crack, crack, crack.
Following closely, other bamboos on the raft started snapping apart.
It was outstanding enough that the bamboo raft could even endure the first wave of attacks. But it couldn't endure the second wave.
The bamboo raft was damaged and was starting to sink under the river.
"Quick, quick, quick!" Fang Yuan cursed as he protected the sail. If the sail was lost, the raft would lose the propulsive force; Fang Yuan and Bai Ning Bing would fall into the river, their deaths being a sure thing!
The Shuttle Swordfishes prepared to charge in for a third wave of attacks. Large numbers of the Shuttle Swordfishes shot out like arrows, breaking the bamboos and snapping the hemp ropes; the bamboo raft was breaking apart.
Sky Canopy Gu!
Fang Yuan forcefully activated the Rank three Gu, immediately causing the primeval essence in his aperture to decrease in a terrifying rate.
This was still under the conditions of him having 90% A grade aptitude along with Heavenly Essence Treasure Lotus.
A Rank one initial stage's green bronze primeval essence could hardly meet the requirements for the Sky Canopy Gu.
Even if a white light armor took shape, it looked extremely weak and didn't exude the aura of a Rank three Gu.
Bang, bang, bang.
A series of dull thuds issued as the Shuttle Swordfishes struck against the white armor; they were unable to harm Fang Yuan. Bai Ning Bing, however, was already injured, and was frantically avoiding the Shuttle Swordfishes that shot towards the bamboo raft. At the same time, she stood behind Fang Yuan, relying on him to block off majority of the attacks.
The situation was very critical; the sail was already covered with holes and the speed of the bamboo raft continued to decrease. There was less than one-third of the bamboo raft left, and it was already sinking down with the water surface reaching the ankles of Fang Yuan and Bai Ning Bing.
"Damn it, a Rank five Gu Master couldn't kill me, but I am going to die by this group of measly Shuttle Swordfishes instead?" Bai Ning Bing let out a deep sigh.
With another wave of attacks, the bamboo raft would definitely sink, and they would surely die after falling into the river.
The Shuttle Swordfishes were delaying their attacks, causing Bai Ning Bing to hold her breath and watch tightly, seemingly on edge.
"We have reached the shore, the Shuttle Swordfishes won't swim in shallow water. Huff! We are safe for the time being." Fang Yuan let out a breath of turbid air. His whole body ached and was on the verge of giving out.
He had almost no rest in the past few days, what with needing to control the sail and adjusting the direction of the raft from time to time. It had already taxed his body to the limits.
Bai Ning Bing also gasped in the cold air, her white gown dyed with blood. There were many injuries on her body, but fortunately she had combat talent, and with full efforts on dodging along with the bamboo raft lowering the charging momentum of the Shuttle Swordfishes, she suffered only light injuries.
Fang Yuan glanced at Bai Ning Bing, and shortly after, intense pain travelled through his body.
He was also injured, with the bleeding continuing even now.
The primeval essence in his aperture had completely dried out within few minutes of using the Sky Canopy Gu. Without its protection, his flesh body naturally couldn't resist the Shuttle Swordfishes.
His original plan had been to sail for a day more.
However, unexpected events can happen at any moment. Planning could never overtake the changes, and there was still some distance from Bai Gu Mountain, but Fang Yuan knew they had to pull toward the shore now.
The sail was already useless. Fang Yuan had given all his efforts to steer the raft clear from the reefs, stranding towards a beach.
The two splashed their way through the water and stepped on the soft beach; they had reached the shore.
Bai Ning Bing covered her wounds and sat down on her butt. Her face was pale, "If this continues, I might die from excessive blood loss! Quick, bring out your healing Gu."
Fang Yuan gave a bitter smile, how could he pull a healing Gu out of thin air?