“Was that the mysterious Totem magic of the barbarians? It was so powerful to have broken your ice ball.” Shi Mu glanced at the Devil Witch of Tianyin in an attempt to figure out her mood.
“It was my fault. Zong Yuan had, unexpectedly, absorbed the soul of a Thunder Tiger.” She stamped her delicate bare foot, and her tightly knit eyebrows suggested a reluctance to resign herself to defeat.
“It was purely by luck that he could escape, don’t let it bother you. If you really mind this, I can get revenge for you.” Shi Mu blinked, a gleam in his eyes, trying to smile away his beloved girl’s irritation.
“I wonder if you are really ignorant or just too full of yourself. You know nothing about the difficulty of upgrading to Xiantian stage. Do you know that, even among Xiantian saints, Zong Yuan is considered to be a very strong one and you will not be a match for him even if you can upgrade by good luck. Cherish this life I have saved!” The Devil Witch of Tianyin could not help but feel both angry and amused. Laughing heartily, she found her tone had softened involuntarily.
“I will do as promised.” Shi Mu said solemnly, to her surprise.
“Humph! You? A man that can not even stand up on his feet! Where does that boldness in you come from, bragging about avenging me. You are such a idiot!” The Devil Witch of Tianyin snorted and waved her jade ruler, not moved by the serious vow at all - at least, that was what her face said. Immediately the two patches of white cloud that supported Shi Mu and the girl named Qi rose, floating in midair, ready to take departure.
“Wait. Sister Ke is still left untended. She was injured by Zong Yuan too, and I’m concerned about her condition now. Could you find her and take her with us?” Shi Me’s voice resounded with a touch of worry, prompted by the sudden thought of Ke Er.
“Ke Er….” The Devil Witch of Tianyin frowned, her long eyelashes drooping, casting a shadow on her eyes. Her voice was full of doubt.
“There’s nothing special between the two of us. We have just been assigned to the same stronghold. She was an Adept of wood element from the Etherial Phoenix Sect and has helped me several times.” Shi Mu’s heart leaped into his throat, and he hastily explained.
“Humph! You don’t have to explain it to me. The girl has a defensive treasure with her and has resisted most of the attack so she was not badly wounded. She is awake now.” The Devil Witch of Tianyin blushed slightly and scolded Shi Mu coldly, turning her eyes away.
Shi Mu was stupefied at first, being quite at a loss. But he turned aside as well, following the Devil Witch’s sight. From behind a tree, he saw Ke Er stagger out, pale, with bloodstains on her lips. She was pleasantly surprised as she saw Shi Mu was safe.
“I am so happy to see brother Shi is Ok.”She said brightly to Shi Mu at first, much relieved; then turning her face, she greeted the Devil Witch of Tianyin reverently, bowing deeply, “It’s my honor to see you here, Saint.”
The Devil Witch of Tianyin looked at Ke Er for a brief moment, a gleam of suspicion in her eyes. But she did not make any remark, and only gave a casual wave of the jade ruler to produce another patch of cloud to lift Ke Er into the air, too. After a moment of silence, she spoke in an authoritative voice,
“It’s not safe here. Let’s move and I will find somewhere to cure you.”
The Devil Witch of Tianyin then floated upwards and sit beside Shi Mu, sharing the same cloud, and raised her fair hand once again. Instantly, the three patches of cloud moved, flying towards some distant place amid air-rending sounds.
They flew for more than two good hours before they landed on a huge mountain peak. The Devil Witch of Tianyin settled them in a natural cave there and began to heal the girl named Qi first. She had the slightest wounds, and the Devil Witch fed her a pill before massaging her body to activated her blood for a while. Without much difficulty, her breath became regular again, and color returned to her cheeks, though her eyes were still firmly shut, showing no sign of waking up.
All the while Shi Mu lay on the ground, a contented smile around his lips, looking at the Devil Witch busy herself in front of him. Before they came here, all his external injuries had been cured by her as easily as picking up a leaf from the ground, and, thanks to this, he was not bleeding any more.
Ke Er sat beside them, propping herself against the stone wall, eyes shut. Her body was twinkling green. Apparently she was also using spells to cure herself.
Just then, the Devil Witch of Tianyin stood up and stepped up to Shi Mu.
“You have just had a fierce battle, and carried us for a long time. It must have cost you much real Qi, so just have a rest and don’t worry about me. I won’t die if you take a short rest.” Shi Mu stopped her as he saw her pale face.
“I’m OK. It doesn’t take my real Qi to heal you.” The Devil Witch of Tianyin replied, waving the topic off. Without further words, she beckoned another cloud to lift Shi Mu into the air. Red light glittered in her hand and a short red stick appeared.She stooped down and began to draw on the ground. Judging from her skillful movements, she was quite versed in formulas too. With a flick of her wrist, a dark red character was completed on the ground. The thought that she could also draw a formula had never crossed his mind. It was not that he did not believe in her abilities. It was just that he simply had not imagined this scene, which was, at the moment, taking place right before his eyes as, and he simply felt breathless.
It was just amazing that she was so proficient in drawing formulas! In a quarter of an hour, she had finished quite a complex one!
When Shi Mu was still lost in amazement, the Devil Witch waved her hand and Shi Mu found himself sitting in the middle of the formula the next second. A beam of red light shot up from her hand and then disappeared into the formula on the ground, which then rapidly began to work, forming a red light column that enveloped Shi Mu. Quickly, he felt a warmness well up inside his body, and was much comforted, as some Qi contained by the red light seeped into his body.
“All your bones have been broken, so you have to recombine them and rebuild your veins and sinews.” Telling him this, she pulled out a red jade case, which contained a red, half-transparent pill the size of a pigeon egg. The pill was full of red light that floated around it, like wisps of mist, through which the faint image of a ferocious tiger could be seen in the pill, giving out strong magic power that spread into the air.
“The Pill of Black Blood” Ke Er opened her eyes in astonishment, crying with her hands on her mouth.
“This little girl does, indeed, have quite a bit of knowledge. Yes, this is the Pill of Black Blood, with refined blood of a Blood Wind Tiger sealed inside,” The Devil Witch of Tianyin glanced at Ke Er, then turned her face to Shi Mu, warning him, “If you can bear the pain and contain the black blood in your veins, you can then rebuild your body. Also, the Qi of fire inside the pill will also be stored in your body and you will benefit a lot in future cultivation.” Thus she spoke of danger without any expression on her face, but Shi Mu was still moved, studying the pill in the jade box closely. Judging from Ke Er’s reaction, he reckoned that it must be very precious,which proved the Devil Witch’s concern for him. “So she does care about me, doesn’t she?”
Shi Mu was over the moon now, secretly savoring this sudden happiness. Decisively, he took a deep breath and said, ”No need to worry, no matter how painful it is I will bear it to the end.”
The Devil Witch giggled when she heard this, and this sound was like a lotus flower blossoming on an icy river. Her laughter was music to his ears, and could simply sweep him off his feet. For a moment, he was lost, and the environment faded. It seemed that he did not care about anything else now.
By now, Ke Er had, at last, realized that there was something unusual going on between Shi Mu and the Devil Witch of Tianyin. She was struck stupefied for a moment, her face clouded with amazement.
“The Formula of Reincarnation can reduce your pain a bit.” The Devil Witch of Tianyin smiled and, before Shi Mu knew it, she was back to her icy cold self again. She stepped outside the formula as soon as she finished speaking.
Shi Mu nodded, and took a deep breath. The Devil Witch raised her hand and the pill in the jade case flew into Shi Mu’s mouth. Instantly, his face began contorting with pain, and he downed the pill with much effort, feeling the aftertaste lingering in his mouth. The pill was as hot as a piece of burning charcoal, and, for a brief moment, he slipped into unconsciousness. It went down his throat and into his stomach, feeling like a burning fire ball, spreading hot waves of flame inside his body. “That was too much,” he thought to himself as color receded from his face and beads of sweat slid down his forehead. Blue veins protruded on his skin. Even so, he clenched his teeth as hard as he could, without letting out a tiny groan.
The Devil Witch of Tianyin glanced at him and opened her rosy lips, chanting incantations with a clear voice while waving her fair hands in the air. The formula soon shone brightly with red light, which came to his body and twined around it like silk. Though it was not much, Shi Mu felt the pain lessening a little bit. He trembled, gasping, but the pill in his abdomen had already turned into flames, the red light could even be seen from the outside. The pain soon grew more fierce and transferred to every patch of his body, his blood and flesh felt like it was burning and being cut with countless sharp knives over and over again, torturing him to death.
“Hold your mind and don’t let yourself loose, otherwise you’ll fail!” The voice of the Devil Witch rang out beside his ears, like a cool spring reaching out to a hot, dry desert.
Shi Mu tried hard to suppress the physical pain, and simultaneously worked the Art of Accumulating Spirit Power to protect his soul. The pain in his body kept disquieting his soul one round after another, but under the guidance of the Art of Accumulating Spirit Power his mind gradually regained its steadiness. The hot wave in his abdomen circulated all over his body and through his veins, but as the heat ran over every bone, he could felt distinctly a tendency of his broken bones recombining. Shi Mu was quite elated, and began to focus more on the Art of Accumulating Spirit Power.
The Devil Witch frowned in surprise, her eyes dilating. Then she chanted more incantations and pointed a finger at Shi Mu. The formula seemed to burst as more red light came out to wind around Shi Mu until it finally formed a red cocoon-like thing that wrapped him up, seeming to move like a breathing human chest. The sight seemed to have settled the Devil Witch down, and she stood still, gazing at the blood-red cocoon, lost in thought.
Time crept by and, before they knew it, the sky had gradually turned bright.
Inside the cave, the Devil Witch sat motionless with her legs crossed, still staring at the blood cocoon. The girl named Qi and kE Er had both already gotten up, standing next to each other and watching the Devil Witch of Tianyin.
The Formula of Reincarnation was still at work, buzzing while emitting a faint red light from its surface. All of a sudden, the Devil Witch stirred, and ran her eyes over the cocoon for several times. At last she nodded and murmured to herself some incantations.
The formula soon stopped working and the red light on the ground gradually died away, but the red light on the blood cocoon had not faded at all.
“Saint, how is Brother Shi now?” Ke Er hesitated for a second before she got the courage to speak.
He had his bones and veins rebuilt after suffering the pain of the pill, but he still needs to rest for a couple of days to recuperate.” The Devil Witch of Tianyin turned to Ke Er and said, her bright eyes reflecting light.
Ke Er finally let out a long breath after hearing that Shi Mu was safe.