“Head Saint, as far as we can tell, the barbarians are definitely planning to do something unusual this time, so shouldn’t we do something to strike back……?” Xie spoke in a voice filled with urgency.
The Head Saint nodded, looking pensive.
“Wild Killer had always been known as the strongest warrior amongst the barbarians, having already achieved the middle stage of the Earth Grade decades ago. Though Fire Yao is at the primary stage of the Earth Grade, he is relatively weaker than Wild Killer, but Earth Grade is still Earth Grade! Wild Killer would never dare to go deep into the restricted area of the Black Tortoise Sect and he should also be unable to kill Fire Yao in just one strike! Therefore, I assume that Wild Killer may have made some progress since we last saw him, and it is very likely that this has got something to do with the barbarians’ large-scale invasion. So we can infer that the previous attacks and this invasion are on completely different levels.” Sitting near the door, a black-robed man wearing a tiger mask suddenly spoke up. This was none other than Tiger Bone.
All who were present became silent upon hearing these alarming words.
“Head Saint, I think things concerning warriors of the Earth Grade must be reported to the Great Elder before we come to a decision.” Feng Kong Zi finally gave his advice.
“I agree. As these events show, the only action we can take is to disturb his highness. Also, dispatch more disciples to strengthen the guards and let it be known that all disciples are forbidden to leave the sect. Improve all the seals in order to ward off any barbarian warriors making a surprise attack.” The black-robed Head Saint ordered.
“Yes, your Highness.”
All the people present stood up and bowed, and then quickly strode outside the hall.
Xie and Feng Kong Zi stepped out of the hall last, glaring at each other expressionlessly, they parted without saying anything.
Feng Kong Zi stepped slowly down a flight of stairs, his eyebrows tightly knit(TL’s note: The god of eyebrows was angry!), and his deep thoughts were veiled by a concerned expression. When he reached a corner he stopped, and turned around to cast a meaningful glance at the No.1 Peek. From his current angle, he could see that there was a quiet and secluded courtyard hidden in the shadow of the mountains, faintly peeping through puffs of dark mist. That was where the great elder was meditating in seclusion, undisturbed except when the Head Saint requested his audience. Even the mountain hosts and the other elders were forbidden to get close to there.
Feng Kong Zi’s eyes flashed momentarily before he stepped down the stairs and walked away. After he had left, a charming girl slowly walked out from behind a huge stone. This was none other than Jin Xiao Chai. She stared at the receding figure of Feng Kong Zi, her beautiful eyes twinkling.
Outside the courtyard situated on the No.1 Mountain, the Head Saint of the Black Demon Sect pushed the door open and stepped in. There was nothing unusual about the courtyard, with grey walls and green tiles. It looked exactly the same as any other courtyard in the sect. The only difference was a small altar placed in the middle of the yard. On the top of the alter was a piece of flame that was burning and crackling quietly. The air in the courtyard felt thicker than the air outside, which may be a result of the black flame. The Head Saint felt a little out of breath as soon as he walked in. But it was obvious that he had been here many times, judging from the smooth steps he took when he bypassed the alter and stepped slowly to the front of the house.
“This is Zong Yan coming to call on your highness, the great elder.” The black-robed elder bowed toward the house and spoke reverently.
“Come in.” A dignified voice resounded and the door opened itself. The head Saint thanked him and stepped in.
The room was quite spacious, but with no table or chairs or beds in it. There were some strange patterns drawn by some dark red paint on the walls around, some looking like men, and some looking like standing beasts. There was a total of eight patterns on the walls.
From the doorway, the room seemed quite dark and scary. The big room was quite empty, and deep in it stood a big black statue. The statue was of a strong man wearing a black robe, with red hair that curled up like flames. Its face was ferocious, black, with two horns on his head and two long canine teeth sticking out like a demon. There was a long-handled weapon in his hand and his arms raised high, like he was going to chop down on an enemy. This statue was exactly the Black Fire God who was worshiped by the Black demon Sect, but there was no incense table or burning candle for it, which seemed quite strange.
Just in front of the statue, a tall man was sitting on the floor, back to the doorway, his face unseen.
“Great elder.” The head Saint wore a respectful face and spoke softly.
“What happened?”Without turning back, the tall man asked in a low voice.
“I have learned of some disturbing news.” Then the head Saint recounted the events that the great elder of Black Tortoise Sect had been killed and that the great elder of Tian Yin Sect had been attacked .
“Really? How strange! Fire Yao was killed in the forbidden area of his sect! There is a Great Formula of Dark Hell outside the forbidden area of Five Poles Palace in the Black Tortoise Sect, and the formula was connected to the qi of Yin in the deep earth and had no weak point at all. That Wild Killer had to destroy it by sheer force before he could sneak inside! It seems that he has made a lot of progress in his practice. He might have even reached the last stage of the Earth Grade. It seems he really has some talent.” The great elder laughed lightly at himself and turned back.
He had long black hair that tumbling down to his neck and his skin looked as smooth as silk. Satiny without any wrinkles, which made him look like a man who was, at most, forty years old and much younger looking than the head Saint. However, the great elder of the Black Demon Sect only looked young. As a matter of fact, he was already over three hundred years old.
“Great elder, we are expecting on your highness to decide what measures our sect is going to take.” The head Saint said.
“We don’t have any choice at all at this juncture.The real strength of the barbarians is beyond what you think. If the three sects of the Heavenly Qi were ever to be destroyed, we, of the Black Demon Sect would not survive much longer. Now. Summon disciples and dispatch reinforcements to the Heavenly Qi.” The great elder ordered without any hesitation.
“Yes, your highness.”
“Now that Wild Killer has strengthened a lot and other barbarian warriors of Earth Grade have shown themselves, I must negotiate with the warriors of Earth Grade in the other sects about this. I’ll leave the barbarian armies, as well as normal Totem warriors, to you.” The great elder stood to his full height and ordered seriously.
The head Saint changed his look but still nodded respectfully.
The news that the great elder of Black Tortoise Sect had been killed and that the great elder of the Tian Yin Sect had been badly wounded found its way into the three kingdoms and the seven sects. Consequently, people were all shocked and filled terror, everyone from ordinary citizens to high-level warriors was feeling very insecure
By this time, the seven sects had figured out the situation and started to negotiate forming a union, and working to repel the invasion of the barbarians with an alliance.
In the Black Demon Sect, however, the high-level leaders chose not to openly announce the invasion of the barbarians, but the senior disciples and part of the junior disciples still got the information,which had gone viral among older disciples. Everyone was stricken terrified before the incoming enemy. But the primary disciples, at the bottom rung of the sect, did not know anything about the invasion. They were all still bustling about in preparation for the annual competition, completely unaware of the grave news that the world had changed.
These days Shi Mu was still practicing in his stone house as per usual, knowing nearly nothing about the outside world, not to mention things taking place thousands of miles away. During this period, he mainly practiced the Art of the Heavenly Elephant and the Art of Accumulating Spirit Power. He would occasionally accept some orders for charms for other, equally unaware, disciples, who were working hard for the upcoming match. Hence, he was normally quite busy, but this business paid off with many silver notes and other resources flowing into his account each day. After some days of accumulation, he had finally gathered up the materials for the summoning formula.
Finally, it was time. Shi Mu shut his door firmly, even his windows, so that no one could see what was happening in his house. Shi Mu had closed himself in his house like a snail in its shell for days had attracted many people’s attention, but considering Shi Mu’s reputation among the new disciples, no one dared to allow their curiosity to develop into any real action.
In his room, Shi Mu stood up, and the golden light in his eyes faded away slowly. With a black magic brush in hand, he looked exhausted, but his eyes were as focused as usual. Now in front of him on the floor was a strange octagonal formula, drawn with many magic characters that were different from what Shi Mu had learned before. The magic characters looked very odd, just like some kind of ancient hieroglyph. For example, some of the strange characters looked like domestic animals, some like birds, and the other were just scribblings, but all of them connected properly to each other.
Embedded in the formula were five grey and black crystal stones, glimmering and emitting a chilling sense of dark and coldness. These crystal stones are crystals of the space element, and Yin quality respectively, which are even rarer than heavenly stones of the five elements, and had cost him most of his income.
Shi Mu took a deep breath and put the magic brush away. Then he began chanting several spells, after which all the formula began to shine black. Shi Mu relaxed a little at the sight. It was the first time he arranged a formula on the ground, and the difficulty could not be compared with making formulas on magic paper. It took him a good three days of attempting to draw it before he finally accomplished it.
She Mu sat on the floor with his legs crossed and downed a Spirit-Enhancing Pill. It pained his heart thinking of how precious the pill was. After taking several deep breaths, he suddenly opened his eyes, resting one of his hands on the formula so that his magic power could rapidly flow into it. Meanwhile, he worked the spell, using another hand to point successively at some places in the formula.
Beams of dark light shined and disappeared on to the formula, and the crystals on it soon shone with a bright light. Afterward, the light of the formula shined even more brightly, and the magic characters started to glitter correspondingly. Within several breaths, the brightness became even brighter and a buzzing sound could be heard.
Shi Mu’s spell started to be louder and, in accordance, the light of the formula became brighter. After a quarter of an hour, the light of the formula was almost dazzling and black mist began to appear in the stone house. If it was not for the tightly closed door and windows, the amazing scene may have been seen by people outside.
Shi Mu’s head was straining so hard his veins could be seen, and beads of sweat were rolling down his face. The formula had now been completely activated and it began to absorb his remaining spirit power quite quickly. His breath came to be heavy, but the spell he was chanting was still very distinct.
The space in the middle of the formula suddenly twisted, and a black mist spread in all directions. A sense of death started to permeate the room.chaptererror();