The three-headed python totem looked vivid. It seemed to be on the verge of crawling out of his chest. However, it appeared calm and motionless; apart from exuding a wisp of a faint black ray of light from its surface.
"This is... was the seal successful?"
Shi Mu shook his dizzy head and muttered.
He didn’t dare to believe that he had successfully completed the sealing process. Not only had the secret totem technique been perfectly recorded, but the beast soul had also been accurately sealed-up.
He hadn’t expected that his misfortune would turn into a blessing; so much so that he could even seal a Xian Tian middle-stage beast-soul into his body.
However, his life essence and Real Qi had been greatly consumed-up at the last moment. Moreover, his spiritual power had been used-up in an attempt to block the three-headed python’s beast-soul from causing a ‘backbite’.
It was such a thrilling scene that Shi Mu became a little fearful.
"Oh! That’s right… what’s the matter with the grey ape?"
Suddenly, a thought crossed his mind. He recalled that a gigantic grey ape had emerged in his sea of consciousness at the last moment. He then lowered his head, and looked at the necklace in his neck.
The necklace had resumed its original state. There was nothing usual about it; apart from its strange appearance.
Shi Mu felt a strange heaviness in his head; as if a spell of dizziness had been cast on him.
He shook his head, and cast away these doubts for the time being. He then used the last trace of magic power, and put a stop to the last trace of the circulating Totem Technique.
After that, he walked to the side, and sat down cross-legged in order to recover.
Time passed slowly. Shi Mu continued to sit in the same pose for two days.
He finally opened his eyes on the third day. He noticed that his Real Qi and magic power had been restored.
He stood-up, and looked at the totem pattern on his chest. He wrinkled his eyebrows at what he saw.
He felt a gloomy and cold energy spinning around his totem.
This energy and Real Qi felt very similar. But, this energy seemed to be smarter than the Real Qi… as if it was a living thing.
Shi Mu looked startled. But then, his spiritual power came in contact with this energy.
‘Bang!’ an explosion resounded.
Suddenly, a tingling pain was transmitted in his sea of consciousness; Shi Mu felt as if something was rushing inside his consciousness.
The gloomy and cold energy surged into his meridians at the same time. It then started to transmit into numerous paths in order to flow everywhere into his body.
Suddenly, he felt an acute pain in various places in his body. He felt as if his body was being torn apart. Shi Mu issued a pitiful scream since he was unable to endure the pain.
Suddenly, several black scales emerged on the surface of his skin. They sprouted over his entire body; including his arms.
It seemed as if he had worn an armor made-up of black scales.
Shi Mu clenched his fists tightly. He felt that his entire body was blazing with an explosive power. His strength had increased several-folds after the transfiguration.
His five senses had also been strengthened to a great extent… apart from a tremendous increase in his strength.
Now, his nose could easily differentiate between several kinds of odors. He wouldn’t even have taken notice of these odors in normal times.
Moreover, his aural sharpness had been enhanced; even the voice from across a number of walls was faintly audible to him.
Shi Mu went wild with excitement; he had never expected that his strength would see an increase owing to the three-headed python totem.
Shi Mu could clearly feel that his present strength had escalated by several-folds.
Shi Mu’s heart quivered with joy as he curled his hands into fists, and brandished them in midair.
‘Boom!’ a group of black Qi gushed out forcefully from his fists, and bombarded the surrounding wall with a loud sound.
The wall received a violent jolt, and a huge hole and a long crack formed in it.
"I can release Real Qi out of my body!"
Shi Mu’s body turned stiff. He was left stupefied. He stared at his clenched fist for a while.
His vision flashed after a moment. Then, he bombarded his fist once again.
A group of black Qi appeared once again; it was bigger than before. It bombarded on the wall – like a meteor. A big hole burst out in the wall once again with a loud explosion.
Shi Mu was stunned. He then burst out laughing.
Shi Mu’s strength had reached the Xian Tian level after the transfiguration. Therefore, he was able to release his Real Qi out of his body.
Aunt Zhen had once mentioned a thing when he was with the Jin Family. According to her, a Xian Tian warrior could produce Xian Tian Real Qi in their body, and could then release it outside. This Real Qi could even injure his enemy in midair without actual physical contact.
But, the practice of the barbarian race was different than that of the human race martial arts. Shi Mu could naturally draw support from the strength of beast soul that was sealed within his body. Therefore, he could promote his own cultivation. However, the group of Yin Qi whirling in the totem in his chest were equivalent to the strength of a Xian Tian Warrior’s Real Qi. So, Shi Mu just needed to assume the ‘beast-mode’ in order to display his true strength.
He had already succeeded in sealing the Yin Qi of the three-headed python’s soul. So, he could launch a Yin-attribute attack – equivalent to that of the Xian Tian middle stage’s strength – if he would stimulate the strength of his totem.
Suddenly, something crossed Shi Mu’s mind. He curbed his surging mood and closed his eyes.
His complexion changed, and he felt a little restlessness in his heart.
There was a black three-headed python’s beast-soul within his sea of consciousness. It was wandering aimlessly, and absorbing his spiritual power in a continuous manner. Shi Mu also had a strange feeling that the python’s spirit had got fused with his own spirit.
Suddenly, Shi Mu felt that the python’s soul had changed into a mass of black light in his sea of consciousness. Then, it started to flow back-and-forth along with the energies of Shi Mu’s body. It gradually formed a group of Yin Qi in his body, and slowly started to rotate in his chest.
The strange changes in Shi Mu’s body gradually subsided. The scales quickly retracted into his body. Then, his body returned to its original state.
Shi Mu wrinkled his eyebrows; he looked perplexed. He recalled his discussion with Min Tu – the ones that related to the totem warriors.
He was aware that the secret totem technique had the ability to enhance one’s strength. However, a barbarian warrior couldn’t continue to stimulate the power of totem for a long time. Otherwise, the beast-soul would be awakened. It was possible that the beast-soul could take over the control of the host’s body forever. The host would then remain as a guest in the state of the beast.
The general totem warriors chose to develop and enhance their own spiritual power in the process of uplifting the strength of the sealed beast-soul. Therefore, they could continue to adapt themselves and become compatible with the beast-soul state. Then, they might succeed in maintaining the consistent beast-state for almost half-an-hour.
Shi Mu had sealed-up a Xian Tian middle-stage beast-soul at a single stroke; he hadn’t even prepared for it. But, the sealed beast’s spiritual power was still quite formidable. However, Shi Mu was far from being at the Xian Tian middle-stage. Therefore, he couldn’t suppress the beast-soul for a long time.
According to his estimates, he could maintain his beast-mode for only a couple of minutes. He could suffer an enormous risk if he tried to exceed this time-limit.
But, the time would gradually increase with the enhancement of his spiritual strength.
Shi Mu could be now considered as a half Xian Tian middle-stage totem warrior. So, he could easily withstand the overwhelming strength of a Xian Tian level powerhouse.
However, it would be inappropriate for him to disclose this matter to anyone of the barbarian or the human race.
After three days…
A person’s shadow flashed at an uninhabited place near the White Horse Mountain. Then, it fled from the place.
The shadow pointed its foot on the ground, and drifted a few feet away in a flash; as if it was weightless.
The shadow’s speed grew faster to such an extent that it nearly produced after-images the entire way. Its incredible speed set out a burst of surging waves in the surroundings.
Suddenly, the shadow stopped moving… as if it had been nailed to the spot. It abruptly came to a halt from an unimaginable speed. This would’ve looked bewildering to anyone who would’ve been watching it.
It was none other than Shi Mu.
He had stimulated the strength of his totem at the moment. His entire body was covered with a layer of fine black scales. Even his eyes looked cold.
His vision shifted toward a megalith in front of him; it was as big as a house. He pointed his foot on the ground, and swept forward. He issued a punch in the air at the same time.
A group of fist-sized black Qi flashed and submerged into the megalith.
‘Bang!’ a loud rumbling sound was heard.
The megalith split-up into pieces, and scattered in all directions. It collapsed halfway down, and transformed into fragments of stones.
"I’ve almost grasped the utilization mechanism of the strength of my totem. It’s time to leave from here." Then, he thought of something, and reverted back from the transfiguration mode.
He had stayed there for a few days. But, he had been polishing and improving the utilization skill of his totem power throughout this time. And, he had almost grasped its essence by now.
Then, his figure flashed, and started to advance towards the direction of White Horse Mountain.
On the White Horse Mountain… somewhere in the hall…
‘Bang!’ a loud sound resounded. A piece of white jade ornament fell to the ground, and shattered into pieces. Even the tiles on the floor got cracked, and revealed several slits.
The face of the Priest of the Fierce Snake Tribe looked tensed and pale. He was shuttling back-and-forth in the hall in an anxious manner. His footsteps were producing a loud rattling sound.
Several tribal people of the Fierce Snake Tribe stood outside the hall with their heads lowered. They felt a slight chill in their hearts as they saw that Priest Yi He was blazing with fury; so much so that their hair stood erect on their skin. They didn’t dare to budge an inch.
"Why… why didn’t that person die…?!" Priest Yi He finally stopped walking, and muttered to himself.
He had handed over the genuine secret totem technique of the Fierce Snake Tribe to Shi Mu. But, the secret technique recorded in the spicule had been passed down from generation-to-generation in the Fierce Snake Tribe. So, a number of modifications had been made in it over these years. It wouldn’t create any problem for an ordinary barbarian man. But, it wouldn’t render a huge advantage to a human.
The process required preparations to make the conditions suitable and safe. And, the success rate of the sealing process would be greatly enhanced if a massive amount of Real Qi was injected at the time of sealing. However, it also had a disadvantage. The sealing process couldn’t be stopped in the middle if initiated…
Therefore, Shi Mu couldn’t have stopped the sealing process of this secret totem technique once he started it; even if he knew the way to stop it. And, he would’ve been compelled to continue with this process as a result. Then, the beast-soul would’ve launched a counter-attack on Shi Mu at the appointed time. Shi Mu would’ve eventually lost control as a result, and should’ve fallen prey to the beast.
"It seems that he must’ve meddled with this technique…"
Priest Yi He’s face darkened as a thought crossed his mind. He looked a bit puzzled; he gritted his teeth indignantly.
The people outside the hall stopped hearing the sound of footsteps from inside. They raised their heads and glanced at each other. But, no one dared to enter the hall.
"Come in..." Priest Yin He’s soft voice was heard from inside the hall.
A thin and tall middle-aged man heard the voice, and hurriedly rushed in. His eyes barely met Yi He’s eyes, and he lowered his head.
"Priest Yi He, what are your orders?"
Priest Yi He’s complexion looked serene. He was looking ahead blankly. He didn’t speak anything for a while.
The middle-aged man didn’t dare to utter a single word to disturb him. So, he stood there with his head bowed.
A little time passed. The middle-aged man gradually began to feel a little pain in his back. Suddenly, Priest Yi He stood-up, and took out a palm-sized jade token from his bosom. Some kind of a strange pattern was drawn on its surface. It was flickering and emitting a faint-black light.
Priest Yi He caressed the jade token in a reluctant manner. Then, the token resumed its normal state. He handed over the jade token to the middle-aged man.
"Give this to the Elder. And, deliver him the message on my behalf..." Priest Yi He said slowly.
The thin and tall middle-aged man quickly walked out of the hall after a moment. He then advanced toward a distant place.
Priest Yi He smiled coldly as he gazed towards the sky outside the hall.
A green silhouette left the Holy Snow Palace after twelve hours. It moved so fast that it looked like a green meteor. It disappeared into the boundless horizon within a couple of breaths.