The arrow was ready, and both sides were fully wrapped up in fighting, so no one noticed a deadly arrow fitted to a bow, aiming at its target from the dark woods.
Finally, the arrow swished through the dense air. It flashed by like a piece of black thread, fast as thunder. The air whistled, giving pause to the two armies that were locked in battle. The barbarian Totem warrior titled his head, flustered, but when he finally made out the gloomy shadow coming his way, it was already too late for him to dodge.
The Fire Arrow sank into the chest of this tall barbarian. Immediately, his upper body burned with a glaring light before the sound of an explosion burst forth. With a screech, the barbarian Totem warrior collapsed, fire energy bursting from his chest, making a hole as big as a human head, where blood spewed out, like a stream, showering on the human commander’s face.
The commander was struck dumb by the abrupt event. Who would have thought of a strange arrow hitting his enemy in a hopeless battle just as he was about to lose? For a moment, he just stood at the same spot with his spear in hand, shocked.
Swish! The sounds of arrows did not stop. A barbarian warrior had just knocked the weapon of his enemy away, and his stone hammer was rising up into the air, when a shadow pierced his throat. On the edge of the battlefield, a barbarian warrior who had been flinging bone spears had just raised his hand when he was shot on his forehead by another arrow and fell down heavily onto the ground with his spear. Similar scenarios were occurring continuously on this field, and every arrow caused the death of a barbarian warrior, but the explosion had not happened again.
The human commander had, by now, eventually realized that the hidden archer was on their side. His spirits were greatly boosted, and, shouting energetically, he rushed into the barbarian army. Surely the ordinary barbarians were no match for him, and his silver spear danced like a snake, hissing, and every attack of it would wound one barbarian fatally.
With the encouragement of the mysterious archer and their commander, the remaining human soldiers got a boost in morale and began to launch a counterattack. In just a few minutes, the barbarian army of more than two hundred soldiers was decimated, leaving the human soldiers to clean up the battlefield.
The human commander who wore a suit of armor stepped forward toward the direction where Shi Mu was hiding, shouting at the top of his lungs, ”Thanks for your help, brave warrior! Please do us the honor of showing yourself!”
Shi Mu looked at his half-empty arrow quiver, and decided to step out of the ditch. Slowly, he walked towards the human commander, holding his Purple Steel Bow.
“Shi Mu?” The commander cried, so immensely surprised that he stopped his steps.
The person opposite him also jerked in amazement as he heard his own name called out.
The commander saw Shi Mu’s curiosity on his face and realized that he was still wearing the mask. In an excited haste he unmasked himself, showing a familiar face.
“Wang Tian Hao!”
Shi Mu was even more amazed at the fair young man’s presence.
“You…you entered the Black Demon Sect? That’s amazing!” Wang Tian Hao stared at the emblem of red flames on Shi Mu’s coat, exclaiming in surprise. The Black Demon Sect enjoyed a fame that was similar to the three big sects of the Heavenly Qi Country, far surpassing that of the Kai Yuan Martial Arts School.
Shi Mu replied with an embarrassed smile. He had been through so much that a few words would not help explain. Besides, circled by so many soldiers of the Heavenly Qi country, he would rather let his experiences remain a mystery. There was nothing to brag about.
“Haha, I never thought that brother Shi would have run to the Fire Country. The Wu Clan and the Jin Clan have offered a reward of five hundred thousand silver to find you! They wouldn’t be able to sleep at night if they ever knew that you had joined a sect!” Wang Tianhao sensibly discerned Shi Mu’s embarrassment, so he diverted the topic and laughed the former question off.
Shi Mu felt dazed, and old memories stirred in his mind. He really did not know this, but it was not unexpected that the two families would continue hunting for him.
“It’s hard to explain. A better question, brother Wang, is why have you become a commander of the Heavenly Qi?” Shi Mu pointed at Wang Tianhao’s armor and asked.
“Shortly after you left our city, I Joined the Kai Yuan Martial Arts School. When the barbarians invaded our land, the school sent the new students to the army in turns to test us. Now that you are here, it must be due to the orders of your sect.” Wang Tian Hao answered frankly.
“You can say that.” Shi Mu nodded and returned a friendly smile.
“I still remember that, back then, you had been detected as having the Stone Ape bloodline and had, thus, been declined by the Kai Yuan Martial Arts School. But so what? It turns out that it was a blessing in disguise, because now you have joined a sect. You know, the Black Demon Sect is one of the big seven sects in the three kingdoms, boasting a large collection of secret arts and magics. You must have already reached the primary stage of the Houtian level.” Wang Tian Hao remarked with shining eyes.
Primary stage? Shi Mu rubbed his nose and said nothing about this.
“How the two of us have ourselves a friendly competition right here and now? I’ve been longing for a competition with a disciple from a great sect for a long time, but I never have gotten a chance before now.” Wang Tian Hao waved the silver spear in his hand and looked at Shi Mu fervently.
Shi Mu was amazed at these words, and he thought about this request for a moment. From the fighting before, he could see that Wang Tian Hao was not weak but was, undoubtedly, not his match.
“It’s just a competition. No matter whether I win or lose, I will still offer you a hundred thousand silver. What do you say?” Wang Tian Hao sensed Shi Mu’s reluctance and was worried about whether Shi Mu would receive the challenge or not.
“I’d say good if brother Wang loses. And, throw in two more low-level heavenly stones.” Shi Mu blinked naughtily and flashed him a smile.
“Good, that’s a deal!” Wang Tian Hao accepted without thinking.
Shi Mu nodded and put his Purple Steel bow aside, then bowed to Wang Tian Hao before adopting a prepared pose.
The soldiers cleaning up the battlefield saw the scene and their faces lit up with excitement. They soon stopped what they were doing and came to circle around the two, making a ring that centered around Shi Mu and Wang Tianhao. After what they had been through, the soldiers that had survived the war were all grateful to Shi Mu, who had helped them secretly with his wondrous arrows. Now that they knew their commander was familiar with him, they could not help but cheer in exhilaration. After all, what would stimulate a warrior more than seeing two experts competing? Moreover, such a chance was rare to come by.
Wang Tian Hao could wait no more and laughing heartily. Then, after the gale of laughter, he waved his silver spear, and the tip of the spear glittered and then became blurred. Then twelve red flame balls suddenly appeared in front of him, blossoming dazzlingly in the air. In the past two years, he had already accomplished the latter half of the Firing Spear Art, and the flames had been more powerful than before. Now he could strike twelve flame balls in one breath.
Next, Wang Tian Hao held out his spear with both hands and traced silver circles in the air, and the twelve flames seemed to be led by a mysterious force to flow into the circles.
Soon the silver circles were completely engulfed by flames and Wang Tian Hao suddenly stabbed out, and a fire dragon flew out from the center of the circle and towards Shi Mu’s chest.
In front of the spear was a burst of hot air, making everyone gasp for breath. Shi Mu concentrated seriously on the flames, and then punched out with his right hand. White light shined from his fist before shooting toward Wang with a loud sound.
Boom! The sound of the explosion burst forth.
It was as if a huge rock had hit the fire, and sparks flew off in all directions. It was very dazzling to the eye. But Shi Mu’s Stone-breaking Fist seemed to prevail, and the fire dragon gradually faded to expose the silver spear pointing at Shi Mu.
Suddenly there came noise of explosion from within Shi Mu’s arms as they bulked up to the size of a barbarian’s, and blue veins protruded thickly. Then he shouted, his jade like fist hit upon the head of the fire dragon, causing deafening noises, like the sound of metal being crushed, as the fire faded and the silver spear was fully shown.
Wang Tian Hao was knocked back by the great force and it took him several steps to regain his balance. He had a look of shock in his eyes. Shi Mu had remained where he started during their bout. He slowly pulled back his fist, as if nothing had happened.
After Wang Tian Hao had steadied his body, he looked seriously at Shi Mu and shifted his stance into a strange pose to hold his spear. It was at that time that Shi Mu finally found a line of red magical characters on the tip of the silver spear, which suggested that the spear was a magic weapon, too.
“The Black Demon Sect really lives up to its name. Brother Shi, if you can receive my Dragon Tail Spear attack, I will bow to your superiority.” Wang Tian Hao spoke with his usual great confidence.
The Dragon Tail Spear was a special Bloodline art which Wang Tian Hao acquired after he joined the Bloodline Hall of the Kai Yuan martial arts school. It could strengthen one’s bloodline and only someone with the corresponding bloodline could practice it.
As he finished speaking, Wang Tian Hao’s spear became bright, burning with a great fire, and the spear twisted in the fire like a living snake, the hot air felt even thicker than before.
Wang Tian Hao dragged his spear with its point on the ground, and twisted his waist after rushing several steps to strengthen the force. The spear point suddenly sprang up from the ground, bring with it tens of fire snakes, all leaping up towards Shi Mu at a ridiculous speed.
Shi Mu’s expression didn’t even change. His right hand stretched out to his back and, with a dark light, his blade shivered and thirteen cuts flew out and hit the fire snakes.
After a round of deafening explosions, all thirteen blade beams had been launched and repelled the fire snakes, before they themselves too faded.
Wang Tian Hao was quite satisfied seeing this, and he rotated his body where he stood, his wide spear end forming a red tail of a dragon, whipping wildly at Shi Mu.
“Fire Dragon Tail!” WangTian Hao shouted.
Shi Mu was only shocked for a second before he activated his spirit power, and the formula on the black blade glittered with red light, great flames appearing all over it. The next moment, the blade hit the tail, straight and clean.
With a thunderous noise, the fire exploded on the tail and the great force made Wang Tian Hao hardly able to hold his spear, which was sent flying into the ground several meters away, where it sank into the earth.
Wang Tian Hao looked at Shi Mu’s calm face with great amazement, and his lips quivered without saying any words. All the soldiers were also in great shock at the sensational scene.
Indisputably, soldiers who have fought battles of life and death worship strong warriors much more than ordinary people.
Just then, a soldier in the crowd broke the spell, walking up to deliver to Shi Mu the twenty steel arrows, which were used to protect their lives a few minutes earlier. Shi Mu thanked him and showed no more courtesy, putting the arrows away into his bag. He then picked up his Purple Steel Bow and strode away.
“Brother Wang, just store what you betted in the big stronghold nearby. I will fetch them myself someday. I still have a mission right now and can stay no longer. Please excuse me.” From far away, Shi Mu’s voice came.
“I will definitely keep my words!” Wang Tian Hao gazed at Shi Mu’s back, sighed, then replied loudly.