Shi Mu went and stood along with the peaceful barbarians. He then looked around.
"Brother Shi..." a voice was heard from behind. Shi Mu turned around and saw that it was Princess Huo Wu.
She looked unharmed… except for her pale complexion. Her face revealed a trace of happiness as she noticed that Shi Mu was also safe.
"Princess, it’s good to see that you’re safe and sound." Shi Mu heaved a sigh of relief.
The Princess carried a huge burden on her shoulders – to carry out negotiations with the barbarians in order to form an alliance with them. This alliance was closely related to the safety of the three species. Therefore, there would be an enormous after-effect if she failed.
However, she could’ve used several life-saving means owing to her special status. She needed to protect herself even if she couldn’t defeat the enemy. She could take care of herself as long as she didn’t encounter an excessively formidable beast.
"Thank you for your concern, Brother Shi. But, your cultivation..." She wrinkled her brows as she sized Shi Mu up. She then spoke in a puzzled manner.
"I had a fortuitous encounter after you left. So, my cultivation forged a step ahead." Shi Mu couldn’t let her know the truth. So, he made it up and replied with a laugh.
Princess Huo Wu noticed that Shi Mu didn’t wish to talk about the matter. So, she didn’t ask anything else even though she was full of curiosity.
Suddenly, Shi Mu felt that someone was staring at him. He turned around to see who it was.
Xiang Zhu stood beside the black armored man near the vicious barbarians’ group. Her blue dress was fluttering like waves. She was looking at Shi Mu with a concerned look in her eyes.
Shi Mu felt gratitude towards her in his heart as he recalled his battle with the three-headed python. He looked at her, and nodded with a smile.
The facial expression of the eight Priests looked different from each others’. They stood near the altar.
Thirty peaceful barbarians had returned safely. However, only twenty vicious barbarians had come back.
This unexpected situation had brought a cheerful expression on the faces of the four Priests of the peaceful tribes. However, the complexion of the Priests of the vicious tribes seemed to be frozen.
The complexion of the narrow-eyed Priest of the Fiery Snake Tribe looked dark since only three people out of the twelve of his tribe had returned from the forbidden area. This was a big loss for the four vicious tribes.
The narrow-eyed Priest was startled as he looked towards the peaceful barbarians. He saw that Princess Huo Wu was happily chatting with Shi Mu.
His pupils shrank, and a trace of astonishment flashed through his eyes. Then, a cold look crept into his vision.
Shi Mu’s heart trembled. He felt as if he was being observed by a viper. He looked towards the altar; the narrow-eyed Priest’s eyes turned towards him at the same time.
The Priest gazed deeply into Shi Mu’s eyes. Then, he turned away his vision.
Shi Mu’s eyebrows wrinkled. A trace of sneer spread across the corners of his mouth.
The High Priest Bi Lige’s pale eyes glanced around from the altar. Then, he staggered backwards to the stone chair, and sat down.
"Well… the warriors of the God have returned. So, let’s start checking the beast souls," the High Priest squinted his eyes as he spoke-up in a light tone.
The eight tribal Priests immediately complied with his order.
The eight tribes – divided into two groups – arrived in front of the altar under the guidance of their Priests. Then, they unfastened the beast soul bags from their waists, and became ready to release the souls.
The Beautiful Gauze Tribe took the lead from the peaceful barbarians’ side. Over ten people of this tribe had entered into the forbidden area. But, only seven had returned.
The green-robed middle-aged Priest of the Beautiful Gauze Tribe had heaved a deep sigh in his heart when he had realized this.
A sturdy young man took down the beast soul bag from his waist. Then, he gently opened the bag. A group of nine light balls flew out of his bag.
Six of the balls were smaller in size, and the remaining three were bigger. All of them were different in color.
"There are six primary and three middle-stage Hou Tian beast souls," the green-robed priest swept a glance over them, and reported with a gloomy complexion.
A low-level Priest stood to one side. He held a pen and a paper. He hastily jotted down the numbers.
The Wild Bull Tribe stood on the vicious barbarians’ side. Only four people of this tribe had returned from the forbidden area.
A tall and sturdy man of the Wild Bull Tribe released the beats souls. Several beast souls started to float before his body. There was a white light ball amid them. It looked pretty big in comparison with the other balls.
"There’re nine Hou Tian primary-stage, four middle-stage and one consummate-stage beast souls," the middle-aged priest of the Wild Bull Tribe reported loudly. A complacent smile sparkled across his face.
The complexion of the green-robed Priest of the peaceful barbarian tribe turned gloomy. Then, a sneer crawled across his face. He waved to the young barbarian to step down, and asked the next barbarian to go forward.
The sturdy barbarian retreated to his side after he had collected the nine souls back into his beast-soul bag.
The next youth of the Beautiful Gauze Tribe ascended to the altar, and opened his beast-soul bag. A group of seven or eight beast souls flew out. They were Hou Tian primary and middle-stage beast souls.
A trace of disappointment appeared in the green-robed Priest’s eyes as he saw this. He waved his hand, and indicated the next barbarian to step forward.
The barbarians stepped forward in succession, and drew out the beast souls from their bags. And, the low-level Priest continued to record the numbers on the paper.
The Beautiful Gauze and Wild Bull Tribe had finished showing their beast souls soon.
The number of beast souls captured by each individual of the Wild Bull Tribe had outnumbered that of the Beautiful Gauze Tribe’s. Moreover, the Wild Bull Tribe had captured a few Hou Tian advanced-stage beats souls as well. But, the difference between the number of surviving warriors on both the sides wasn’t small. But, the final result turned out to be very surprising. The number of beast souls on both the sides ended-up being almost the same. However, the High Priest had a set an evaluation system for the beast souls in advance. And, the Wild Bull Tribe won by a bare margin of three ordinary souls.
The Priest of the Beautiful Gauze Tribe felt relieved. But, the middle-aged Priest of the Wild Bull Tribe still looked reluctant. His copper-bells-like eyes glared. He let out a cold grunt reluctantly. He then retreated to the side while leading the four people of his tribe.
Then, the Golden Feather Tribe came forward. This tribe was one of the four peaceful barbarian tribes. More than ten people of this tribe had returned alive. However, the number of the beast souls that they had captured was ordinary. They had together collected five Hou Tian advanced-stage beast souls and a few Hou Tian primary-stage and middle-stage beast souls.
The Priests of the peaceful barbarians wrinkled their eyebrows as they saw this.
Suddenly, a burst of exclamation was heard from the side of the vicious barbarians. Several Priests turned around to look in that direction; their complexions changed.
The Red Tail Tribe of the vicious barbarians had stepped forward. Only five of their people had stepped into the forbidden area. But, they had a Hou Tian consummate-stage beast soul.
They also had a few Hou Tian advanced and middle-stage beast souls. The number of souls that they had captured was lesser than that of the peaceful side. But, their total score sprang-up higher than them as they had a Hou Tian consummate-stage beast soul.
The complexions of the Priests of the peaceful barbarians darkened. They looked at each other, but remained silent.
Then, a barbarian in green robe strode over. He was a Hou Tian consummate-stage barbarian of the Green Tooth Tribe.
A trace of complacent smile hung on his face. He took off the beast-soul bag that hung from his waist, and gently shook it.
A group of head-sized red light ball flew out of his bag. It was emitting an intermittent energy. A few dozen small beast souls also flew out of his bag.
"A Xian Tian level beast soul!"
The peaceful barbarians were startled as they saw the head-sized red light ball. Then, their faces beamed with ecstasy.
Princess Huo Wu and Shi Mu stood underneath the altar. The Princess’s eyebrows were tightly locked; she had looked a little anxious a moment ago. But, her face brightened-up as she saw the Xian Tian level beast soul.
Shi Mu’s eyes revealed a trace of an inconceivable look. But then, he felt a little relieved. The Xian Tian level fierce beasts were very difficult to deal with. But, it was possible to kill them by relying on one’s strength and an appropriate tactical coordination.
The Xian Tian beast soul was exuding an intense red light along with a huge energy fluctuation. But, it still looked rather inferior to Shi Mu’s three-headed python’s soul. It seemed to be a Xian Tian primary-stage beast soul.
The vicious barbarians’ complexion turned gloomy as they saw this.
The green-robed barbarian had a Xian Tian level, two Hou Tian consummate-stage, five advanced-stage, and seven or eight middle and primary-stage beast souls.
This barbarian had made the peaceful side surpass the vicious side.
Priest Yan Ya stood on the altar. He had started to grin from ear-to-ear by now.
The other three priests weren’t as elated as Priest Yan Ya. But, their wrinkled eyebrows unfolded, and revealed their happiness nonetheless.
Several Hou Tian warriors had entered the Portal of the Brave Warriors in an attempt to strive for stability. But, very few people had had the courage to hunt a Xian Tian level beast soul. Moreover, the opportunities were less because of the time limit. They had only a span of ten days.
It was clear that the victory would fall into the hands of the peaceful barbarians if nothing unexpected happened.
But, the happiness of the peaceful barbarians didn’t last long. A red haired barbarian of the Wild Lion Tribe of the vicious barbarians stepped forward. The red-hair barbarian wore a cold smile as he strode forward. He waved his hands, and a light flashed from his beast-soul bag. Then, a cyan-colored light ball flew out into the sight; it was as big as a head. It was also a Xian Tian primary-stage beast soul.
The smiling faces of the Priests of the peaceful barbarian tribes froze.
Then, the remaining people of the Green Tooth Tribe and Wild Lion Tribe came forward. The number of their contributed beast souls was also recorded.
Now, both sides had a Xian Tian level beast soul. The number of people in the Green Tooth Tribe was more than that of the Wild Lion Tribe. Moreover, the number of their beast souls weren’t small. Finally, the number of the beast souls of the peaceful tribes ended-up being equivalent to the vicious tribes. Both of these tribes had a total of three-hundred-and-seventy-six ordinary souls.
This number seemed big. But, it was lesser than the value of four Hou Tian advanced-stage beast souls. Moreover, a single Hou Tian consummate-stage beast soul could easily surpass this number.
Now, only one tribe from both the sides hadn’t contributed their beast souls.
The Crow Horn Tribe of the peaceful barbarians and the Fierce Snake Tribe of the vicious barbarians…
The bilateral disparity between these two tribes was quite large. There were total eleven people in the Crow Horn Tribe, while the Fierce Snake Tribe had only three people. The Crow Horn Tribe had over four times the numbers!
The peaceful side looked confident owing to this huge gap. They felt that they would be victorious as long as the Crow Horn Tribe wouldn’t contribute ordinary beast souls alone.
A trace of an unbelievable look could be seen on the faces of the totem warriors of the Crow Horn Tribe as they looked at each other. Then, a dark-skinned young barbarian came forward. He was a Hou Tian consummate-stage warrior.
He glanced at the Crow Horn Tribe’s priest. Then, he reluctantly removed his beast-soul bag, and shook it gently.
The light balls slowly began to fly out of his bag. Thirty to forty light balls departed from his bag.
The faces of Priest Yan Ya and others brimmed with ecstasy. The majority of the light balls were Hou Tian primary and middle-stage beast souls, but three or four advanced-stage beast souls were also a part of that group. The result was remarkably good. The Priests of the peaceful barbarians wanted to praise the dark-skinned youth.
"Elder Priests, there’s something I wish to say. Most of the warriors of our Crow Horn Tribe met with an accident in the forbidden place. They were stranded in a place… and were unable to escape. These beast souls were the harvest of all of us..." the dark-skinned youth looked ashamed as he said.
Priest Yan Ya and the other people were thunderstruck; their complexions turned unsightly.