A trace of hesitation appeared on Shi Mu’s face. He promptly retrieved his black blade. A huge force rolled back along with the blade, and made his chest stuffy.
Shi Mu then pushed his Real Qi towards the lower part of his body. After that, he placed his right foot on the ground, and moved backwards.
The blue machete shadow hacked down in front of him the next moment; he was just a hair’s breadth away from it. The cold and murderous aura of the machete made Shi Mu’s body quiver even though he had succeeded in avoiding the attack.
However, Wu Li didn’t stop for even a second. He waved his hand again – like a demon. Then, the machete in his hand transformed into a group of blue knife shadows. A vaguely visible thunderbolt arc could be seen on its surface. It arrived close to Shi Mu’s neck to chop it down.
Shi Mu’s complexion sank. The black blade in his hand flared-up, and transformed into a huge blazing blade shadow. He then waved his hand. The gigantic red blade-shadow rushed forward to meet the machete.
‘Bang!’ a ring-shaped fervent airwave spread around with a loud sound. It was mixed with a faint-blue thunder that emitted ripples in all directions.
Wu Li’s complexion changed. This massive force had far surpassed his imagination. In fact, that force passed through his machete, and invaded his right arm. It then rushed forth and spread into his body – like a flood.
His right hand became numb. He couldn’t help but let go off his machete. His machete flew from his hand. He was forced to retreat several steps. He then tried to neutralize the huge force within his body with great difficulty. He felt as if his internal organs were going through an overwhelming and uncomfortable feeling. This left him startled.
A cold look flashed across Shi Mu’s eyes. He stomped his feet on the ground, and sprang out like a cheetah. He then appeared in front of Wu Li in the blink of an eye.
Wu Li hadn’t yet recovered from his startled state when Shi Mu’s black blade flashed and released thirteen red blade lights. They rushed towards Wu Li in order to chop down his belly.
Then, something strange happened.
The black blade was about to touch the scales on Wu Li’s belly when the hazy halo on the surface of his body was set into motion. Then, a strange force blocked the blade light.
Shi Mu didn’t get enough time to react. He felt as if his blade’s edge had slid down from its target. It was supposed to hit his enemy’s scales. But, it could merely rub the surface of his scales before it flew into the air.
A tyrannical force passed through his blade; it made his body tremble.
Shi Mu was startled for a moment. It seemed to him that his blade had hit a slippery object. It couldn’t cause any harm to his enemy.
Meanwhile, Wu Li seized this opportunity and dodged the attack. He quickly slipped away while leaving his after-image behind. He withdrew far from Shi Mu’s attacking range. After that, he pulled out a deep-green hilt from his waist. That thing was emitting a pungent fishy smell; it was a short but sharp knife.
Shi Mu stopped moving. He frowned as he watched Wu Li’s demon-like speed.
Priest Yi He’s eyes revealed a trace of amazement. But then, it was replaced by a ridiculing expression.
He noticed that Shi Mu had reached the advanced stage of the Hou Tian level. Moreover, his brute force was awe-inspiring. But, Yi He wasn’t worried. He knew that Shi Mu couldn’t break the layer of snake-scales on Wu Li’s body even if he relied on his bewildering force.
Suddenly, his eyes were drawn towards the short green knife in Wu Li’s hands; a hint of imperceptible fierce look flashed through his eyes.
Priest Yan Ya sat next to Princess Huo Wu. His eyebrows wrinkled, and he shook his head.
The other tribal Priests were watching the fight passively. This snake was one of the most formidable and dangerous Hou Tian level beasts in the forbidden area. Therefore, these people were still talking about Wu Li’s confidence.
The High Priest narrowed his pale eyes, and titled his head to one side. It seemed as if he had been sleeping this entire time.
Princess Huo Wu was delighted at first. But, her happiness gradually receded, and a startled expression appeared on her face. She looked at the hazy halo on Wu Li’s body with a dignified expression, and wrinkled her graceful eyebrows.
An intermittent cheering sound burst out near the ring. The surrounding people were passionately watching the fight between Wu Li and Shi Mu. Their speed was so fast that people were facing difficulty in watching their movements. However, it only made them exclaim with ecstasy.
Wu Li looked at Shi Mu with cold and gloomy eyes. Then, a cold smile appeared on his face. His red python totem flashed the next moment. Wu Li floated upwards in a circle with a burst of a ‘ka… ka…’ sounds.
After that, his body flashed and transformed into three blurred person’s shadows. Each one of the shadows held a short green knife. The shadows then rushed towards Shi Mu.
The look in Shi Mu’s eyes turned into an indistinct and bewildering one. Then, a subtle golden light flashed in Shi Mu in them. The black blade in his hand transformed into a blazing blade. Then, it quickly moved towards Wu Li from his right side to meet his attack.
Wu Li’s eyes lit-up with a joyous look. He saw that he was about to bump into the blade. Then, his feet slid and he appeared on Shi Mu’s left side. He reached quite close to him in a split second. After that, he placed his blade towards Shi Mu’s throat. His other two remnant shadows stood motionless, and slowly dissipated.
Shi Mu quickly retrieved his right blade shadow. His stature moved and evaded Wu Li’s blow. Then, his left hand transformed into a sparkling translucent fist with a faint metallic luster. He fiercely pounded it towards Wu Li.
A muffled sound resounded as his fist bombarded on Wu Li's belly. But, the layer of hazy halo on his scales started to move.
The strange force appeared once again. Shi Mu roared loudly. Then, his left arm swelled-up. After that, he struck with his entire strength. A formidable tyrannical force burst out; it didn’t seem inferior to a Xian Tian level warrior’s.
The hazy halo moving on the surface of Wu Li’s body got condensed. His abdominal scales exploded at the same time.
The stunned expression on Wu Li’s face hadn’t even dissipated when a burst of intense pain transmitted from his abdomen. It seemed as if a ten-thousand pound heavy hammer had smashed into it.
"Ah!" a blood-curdling screech burst out. But, it immediately stopped.
Wu Li’s body flew upside down, and got knocked against the ring’s protective barrier – like a worn-out sack. Then, his body bounced back and crashed onto the floor of the ring. Blood started to bubble out from his nose and mouth. He was unconscious now.
The short green knife got inserted deeply into the ring. It continued to sway back and forth for a couple of seconds as it issued a buzzing sound.
Several hundred barbarians turned expressionless around the ring. They instinctively looked towards Wu Li, and saw that he was severely injured. Even his belly-scales looked badly shattered. He seemed to be badly mutilated; so much so that even his breathing had slowed down.
The outcome of this battle had proved Shi Mu’s superiority.
Everyone inhaled a cold breath. It seemed as if everyone’s mouths had been zipped; not a single sound could be heard.
The expressions of all barbarian Priests froze; especially that of the Priest of the Fierce Snake Tribe. He remained startled for a moment. Then, his eyes revealed a frightened and a furious look at the same time.
Princess Huo Wu remained awestruck for a moment. She glanced at Shi Mu, and heaved a sigh of relief. She comfortably leant on the seat; a shallow smile floated around the corners of her mouth.
High Priest Bi Lige had been drowsy this entire time. Suddenly, his droopy eyes exposed a strange look. He then said slowly, "Yi He, announce the result."
Yi He’s complexion became pale. He didn’t speak for a while. But then, his expressions changed. He said slowly, "The winner is Shi Mu."
An intermittent sound of cheers burst out from the barbarians around the ring.
These barbarians truly venerated the strong. Shi Mu had proved his strength. So, he had won the approval of majority of the barbarians.
Shi Mu felt relieved in his heart. He glanced towards the unconscious Wu Li. Then, his eyes shifted towards the short green knife that had sunk into the ring. A grin spread across his face.
His enemy had almost received the fate Priest Yi He had talked about. Shi Mu would’ve needed to be a little stronger than his opponent in order to take his life. But, that hadn’t been the case.
Shi Mu retracted his vision. He then returned the black blade to its sheath. After that, he leapt and jumped down the ring.
Yi He’s complexion turned more unsightly as he heard the earth-shaking sound of cheering.
"Elder Yi He..." a man of the Fierce Snake Tribe whispered.
"You’re still gawking… what are you up to? Don’t you have to bring Wu Li down?" Priest Yi He shouted indignantly.
The barbarian’s body was shaken-up. He hastily ran down the platform. Two other people of the Fierce Snake Tribe rushed over along with him. They climbed-up the ring, and brought down the unconscious Wu Li.
"The outcome of the competition has been declared. Priest Yi He, the Fierce Snake Tribe’s secret totem technique should be handed over to Shi Mu in accordance with the agreement," a faint smile cracked on Princess Huo Wu’s face as she spoke while looking at Priest Yi He.
Shi Mu arrived at her side, and stood behind her.
The surrounding Priests looked at him. But, the look in their eyes was different from the look that they had before. Everyone looked at him with a little more trust now. They had now accepted that Shi Mu was genuinely strong. They also admitted that Shi Mu must’ve hunted the three-headed python in the forbidden area.
Priest Yi He’s complexion looked extremely gloomy.
He waved his hand after a while. There were several blue spicules in his hand. ‘Whoosh!’ One of them darted towards Shi Mu at an extremely fast speed with a whistling sound.
‘Bang!’ a faint sound was heard as Shi Mu stretched out his hand and caught it.
"Little Brother Shi Mu is indeed a hidden warrior… who never exposes himself. Yi He truly admires him. The basis of our tribe’s secret totem technique is recorded in that spicule. You can ask the High Priest to examine it if you don’t trust me. You only have three days to memorize it. Whether you can learn it or not totally depends upon your power of understanding. The High Priest won’t spare you if I ever find out that you’ve leaked the information and violated our tribe’s greatest secret. I hope that you do your best," Yi He spoke in a courteous tone as he faced the High Priest. He then turned around and walked away. The other members of the Fierce Snake Tribe didn’t dare to stay there any longer. They also stood-up and followed after him.
The competition had ended. So, the audience gathered near the ring gradually dispersed.
Princess Huo Wu looked at Shi Mu.
Shi Mu understood her gaze. He quickly stuck the stipule on his forehead and closed his eyes. He then used his spiritual power to verify its authenticity.
He opened his eyes a moment later; a smile was spread across his face. He then slightly nodded to Princess Huo Wu.
Princess Huo Wu looked relieved. She then stood-up, and looked towards the High Priest.
"High Priest, now that the matter of forming an alliance has already been settled… this young girl also needs to return to her union as soon as possible. Only then this news will be passed on to them. I’ll also make arrangements for some of the resources as mentioned in our agreement. So, I should take my leave now," the Princess said while cupping her hand across her chest in obeisance.
"I won’t stop you if that’s the case…" the High Priest stood-up in a tottering manner, and replied in a courteous tone.
"Yan Ya, send a group of elite warriors of the Green Tooth Tribe to escort Princess Huo Wu to her home safely. There mustn’t be any mistake." The High Priest paused for a while. Then, he ordered in a dignified tone.
"Yes!" Yan Ya stood-up and replied respectfully.
Bi Lige nodded to Princess Huo Wu. Then, he slowly went down the platform by taking the support of an attendant's arm. After that, he gradually drifted away.
Everyone knew that Princess Huo Wu was about to return to her homeland. So, the other tribal Priests – either out of sincerity or hypocrisy – stepped forward and greeted her. Then, they departed.
Now, only Princess Huo Wu, Shi Mu and a few people of the Green Tooth Tribe remained there.
Priest Yan Ya spoke a few words to a few low-ranked Priests who stood beside him. A few of them nodded. Then, they quickly went down the high platform since they had to arrange the manpower.
Shi Mu’s eyes slightly moved. He noticed that Min Tu wasn’t present amongst the people of the Green tooth Tribe.
"Priest Yan Ya, thank you for your trouble," Princess Huo Wu cupped her hands in obeisance across her chest and said.
"Princess Huo Wu is an honored guest of my tribe; you’re very welcome," Priest Yan Ya replied with a smile.
Both of them chatted for a while. Then, the low-ranked Priests returned. They were leading a team of the warriors of the Green Tooth Tribe.
Priest Yan Ya issued a loud sound, and moved forward to greet them.