"Brother Qian Xiong, watch out!"
Bai Shui Xiu shouted loudly from far above the water surface. She raised the wand in her hand, and a layer of blue light lit-up magnificently on its surface.
Qian Xiong had already drawn a few steps backwards from the edge of the pool. He was almost seventy or eight feet away from where Jin Xiao Chai currently stood. He had barely heaved a sigh of relief when Bai Shui Xiu’s voice rang in his ears. It stole away the color of his face, and left him thunderstruck.
A yellow luminescence had appeared on the ground behind his body. Then, the gigantic four-eyed tiger sprang out from within the ground. Its body trembled, and its long yellow-and-black striped tail instantly turned into a long shadow. It then swept over while carrying a tyrannical and imposing momentum.
Qian Xiong whirled around quickly, but he noticed that he didn’t have enough time to dodge the attack. Suddenly, an idea crossed his mind like an electric-current. A layer of black radiance bubbled-up on the surfaces of the two iron maces in his hands. Then, two groups of black lights violently danced in his hands to meet the shadow.
‘Bang!’ A loud rumble was heard.
Qian Xiong felt an overwhelming force plummeting down on his hands as the black light came in contact with the shadow. It seemed impossible to resist. The place between his thumb and forefinger received a severe jolt. The two iron maces couldn’t withstand the jolt, and got tilted. Then, they were sent flying in the air. Even Qian Xiong’s stature couldn’t help but stagger for a while.
The shadow halted for an instant. Then, it darted towards Qian Xiong’s chest.
Suddenly, a vast-stretched mass of cold air emerged and arrived in front of Qian Xiong. It was blue in color. It then condensed into a blue ice-wall.
‘Bang!’ A crisp and loud sound resounded.
The ice-wall shattered into smithereens with a loud explosion as soon as the shadow collided with it. However, the shadow was also blocked-off. The complex pattern of the tiger’s tail finally came into view.
However, Qing Xiong looked a bit slow and sluggish now. It couldn’t be said where he had pulled out that dark-green small shield from. However, it dramatically rose to the size of a ten-feet-long shield, and stood in front of him. And, Qing Xiong began to retreat in the meantime.
Suddenly, a series of metal clanging sounds resounded in the air.
A dozen or more yellow light-blades whistled, and flashed past the shield. The dark-green small shield ruptured and got exterminated. Then, the light-blades struck Qing Xiong’s body in a crisscross pattern. They landed on the ground behind him, and left a few traces of blood on the ground.
Qing Xiong still maintained a retreating posture. He retreated a few steps. Then, his body crumbled into pieces – like a collapsed city wall. He turned into a pile of meat lumps in a twinkling of an eye. Blood gushed out from his body, and permeated the entire place.
Bai Shui Xiu’s complexion turned deathly pale as she saw this from the top of the water-pillar.
The parrot had been hovering in mid-air this entire time. It was even more petrified when it saw this. It started to issue a series of ‘quack’ sounds. It fluttered its wings, and flew even higher in the sky.
Suddenly, a half-moon-shaped red blade-light and a black whip shadow galloped from two different directions.
Shi Mu and Jin Xiao Chai weren’t far from the pool. And, they scuttled towards the pool with a flying speed.
The tiger disappeared from the sight once again as a yellow luminescence flashed on its body. The blade-light and the whip-shadow missed its target, and landed in air.
‘Boom!’ A loud explosion was heard amid the cloud of blue hoarfrost was on the other side.
Mo Ning’s silhouette flashed, and staggered out of the blue hoarfrost. The watery-blue sword had already disappeared from his hand. A long wound could be clearly seen on his back; it was almost the size of a palm of the hand. Fresh blood was seeping out of his wound.
The black whip and the half-moon-shaped red blade chased after the light, and submerged in the blue cloud. The cloud rolled and soon dissipated. But, the tiger had again disappeared along with the cloud.
Shi Mu and Jin Xiao Chai had arrived at the side of the pool now. They had formed a battle formation – they had taken a pincer-like position with the pool as the corner and Mo Ning in the middle in order to protect him.
Jin Xiao Chai couldn’t complete her words. Shi Mu immediately turned around. He saw that the gigantic tiger had made its move, and had plunged from the ground. The tiger flicked its front claws. ‘Chi! Chi!’ A shrill grating sound was heard. After that, a dozen or more yellow light-blades galloped towards Shi Mu.
Shi Mu hastily pinched a golden magic charm in his hand, and a thick layer of golden light engulfed his entire body as a protective-shield.
Shi Mu turned around at the same time. The black blade in his hand flared-up magnificently. Then, blossoming clouds of fire emerged on its surface. Shi Mu wielded his blade, and a half-moon-shaped red blade-light flashed in the air amid the violently rolling clouds of fire.
‘Bang!’ A series of crackling sounds was heard.
The red and yellow lights collided, and ruptured in mid-air. But, a few yellow light-blades still survived the explosion. They struck the golden shield that was around Shi Mu’s body. Bursts of dazzling yellow luminescence appeared in the air as it collided with the shield.
An overwhelming and anti-seismic force surged-up vehemently on his golden shield. Shi Mu couldn’t withstand this force, and was compelled to draw back three or four steps. He then stopped, and stabilized his body. But, the golden light shield around his body had become considerably dim and extremely thin.
Fortunately, this was the Golden Star Charm that was drawn on the three-headed python’s skin. The extraordinary might it possessed could be placed on par with a high-grade magic charm. Therefore, it had repelled the greater part of the beast-attack. But, it seemed that it wouldn’t be able to resist a similar kind of attack again in its present state.
A shrill and ear-piercing sound rang out in the air. Then, an arm-thick shadow of the black whip fluttered high in the sky. It plummeted down towards the four-eyed tiger with an alarming speed.
The whip shadow was about to land on the tiger’s body. Suddenly, the magic character between the tiger’s eyebrows emitted a bright-yellow light. Then, the tiger sneaked into the ground once again.
‘Boom!’ A loud explosive sound rang out.
A three-feet-long stick dashed forward. It was shrouded in a layer of blue light. It then drilled straight into the ground where the tiger had just escaped – like a shadow. Only two-third of the stick was sticking outside the surface of the ground.
‘Ping!’ It seemed that a part of the tiger’s body had been terribly struck by the short stick. One-third of the stick had already pierced the ground. But, it was stopped halfway. Then, it couldn’t penetrate the ground any further.
‘Chi!’ A whistling sound resounded once again.
Suddenly, the black whip shadow turned fuzzy, and transformed into a hundred or more large black ropes. Then, they captured and bundled the beast firmly together.
The gigantic tiger issued a loud roar as it attempted to shrug-off the fetter. Another golden beam of light was shot at the same time. It quickly condensed into a long golden chain that was as thick as a finger. Then, it tied-up the tiger, and strangled its movement.
Shi Mu leapt and rode on the back of the tiger. And, his palms turned into a pair of sparkling and translucent fists. His fists then turned fuzzy, and transformed into seven or eight misty white fist shadows. Then, they bombarded on the tiger’s head with brute force.
A burst of yellow luminescence emerged on the surface of the tiger’s body as a protective shield as soon as Shi Mu’s fists fell on it.
However, the might of the ‘Stone-Breaking’ Fist had already exceeded ten-thousand pounds when Shi Mu had instilled his Xian Tian Real Qi into his fists. He could achieve this feat only after he had stepped into the Xian Tian realm.
The yellow luminescence on the tiger’s body dimmed, and subsequently died away within a matter of few breaths.
The head of the tiger had been reduced to a pulp after a string of rapid thudding sounds. Moreover, three out of its four eyes had burst out its eye sockets. A spurt of blood gushed out from its head in a torrent. Its massive body soon collapsed to the ground. Its body continued to make a few futile twitches. Then, it turned completely motionless.
Shi Mu finally turned over, and got down. He then heaved a sigh of relief.
Jin Xiao Chai and others also felt relieved in their hearts.
Shi Mu stared at the gigantic tiger’s corpse. Then, the storage ring in his hand sparkled, and emitted a magnificent luster. After that, a red animal-skin bag appeared in his hand.
He pointed the bag’s mouth towards the tiger's head. Then, the magic power surged within his body, and the beast soul bag gleamed with a blood-red luster. After that, the bag started to issue a suction force.
A miniature image of the gigantic yellow tiger flashed, and disappeared into the beast soul bag.
Shi Mu wouldn’t hesitate to collect as many beast souls as possible as long as he had an opportunity. It was because of two major reasons – Yan Luo needed them, and Shi Mu himself needed them in order to promote his totem beast soul.
Jin Xiao Chai and others watched Shi Mu’s strange action. But, none of them considered it to be inappropriate. After all, these beast souls were totally useless for them.
Near the pool...
Bai Shui Xiu’s eyes got smeared with a touch of grief as she looked at the badly fragmented and tormented body of Qian Xiong.
"Sister Bai, life and death is just an ordinary thing for us disciples. We should bury Brother Qian properly. He was truly worthy of being one of the Masters of our Sect," Mo Ning’s voice resounded from behind her.
Bai Shui Xui nodded.
"Mo Ning, you take care of Qian Xiong, and bury him properly. After that, bring a piece of animal skin to me," Jin Xiao Chai pointed at the tiger’s corpse and said.
"The remaining things are yours," Shi Mu added.
Mo Ning and Bai Shui Xiu glanced at Shi Mu, and expressed their gratitude. The tiger was a Xian Tian level fierce beast. Each and every part of its body – its bones, blood, gallbladder and other things – were extremely valuable and rare.
The magnificent luster of the silver moonlight was similar to the running water. It seemed as if it was pouring down in torrents over the Black Rock mountain range.
Shi Mu sat cross-legged on a black boulder in the open area. He exhibited the posture of the Moon-Swallowing Art. He closed his eyes, and soon slipped into the dream.
However, the dreamland that greeted him this time was an unfamiliar scene.
Shi Mu took a broad view of the surroundings, and saw that his surroundings were piled with clusters of dense and sky-soaring gigantic trees. It constituted a beautiful image of a vast-stretched primitive forest.
The forest was permeated with strong presence of spiritual energy. The water droplets could be seen on the tip of the tree-leaves that had already condensed into a tiny grain of white jade.
A drop of water loaded with spiritual energy fell from a branch of the gigantic tree. A shaggy small beast stood below the same tree. It opened its mouth, and swallowed the condensed water droplet.
The soft fur of the little beast became a lot softer and glossier. The beast looked quite satisfied with this result. It then closed its eyes, and fell into a deep slumber.
Shi Mu was astounded. He retracted his vision and found himself incarnated into the white ape. He stood in an open space somewhere in the forest. His hands were hanging alongside his body. A thirty-feet-long monstrous white tiger stood on the opposite side. It wasn’t far from him. An ominous glint flashed through its eyes as it stared at him fiercely.
The tiger roared loudly.
The white tiger dashed towards the white ape while carrying a strong gust of wind along with it. It was almost as if an arrow had left the bow. It sprang-up from the ground when it was twenty or thirty feet away from the ape. The tiger’s claws turned fuzzy in midair, and hundreds of claw shadows cascaded down towards the white ape.
The white ape thundered as it pounded its arms in the air. Numerous misty-white fist shadows burst forth, and dashed towards the claw shadows that had pervaded the sky.
Bursts of lights sparked at the point where the fist shadows intersected with the claw shadows. Such a powerful collision set-off a strong gust of wind. It then quickly took the form of a whirlwind, and started to roll everywhere while carrying dust and gravel from the surroundings.
It seemed like the entire sky was shrouded with a curtain of sand and gravel. Even the forest had turned gloomy in this chaotic situation. The surrounding towering trees looked long and narrow against the background of this gloominess.
The might of the claw-shadow gradually weakened. A trace of apprehension finally crawled into the white tiger’s eyes. It turned around, and fled towards a distant place.
The white ape roared loudly. It took a few large strides, and dashed behind the tiger at a lightning speed. It caught-up with the tiger in an instant. It then stretched out its right hand.
Suddenly, a large stick-shadow swept over like the tiger’s tail.
A golden gleam flashed in the ape’s eyes. It then raised it arm twice as high as before, and grabbed something. It was the tiger’s tail. In fact, it had grabbed it with such precision that the stick-shadow dissipated in an instant.
The ape grabbed the tiger's tail with both its hands. It then exerted all its might to pull the tiger backwards. The tiger issued a miserable screech in agony, and stopped to move forward.
The ape seized this opportunity, and climbed-up the tiger's back. Then, it tightly grasped the fur around the tiger’s neck with its hands. It pressed its legs firmly against the tiger’s body to ride on its back.
The tiger thundered, and went into a rampage. It began to charge around the forest at an astonishing speed; so much so that it looked like a fleeting white shadow. It frequently jumped, leapt, and took rapid turns in order to toss the ape off its back.
But, it couldn’t shake the white ape off its back; no matter what methods it resorted to.
The ape seemed to be enjoying the thrill of this astonishing speed. It issued a few cheerful shouts while sitting on the tiger’s back.
The tiger finally calmed down after an hour of rampage. It issued a soft roar resignedly, and let the white ape ride on its body. It didn’t struggle anymore.
But, the white ape turned over, and got down from the tiger's back.
The white tiger was startled. It glanced at the ape with a fearful look in its eyes. It didn’t show the slightest sign of escaping.
The ape swiftly climbed-up a nearby peach tree. It then picked two large peaches, and gave one of them to the white tiger.
The tiger hesitated for a moment. But, it made-up its mind to eat the peach as it saw the enthusiasm of the white ape.
The tiger tasted the peach. Then, it took a few mouthfuls of peach. Soon, the fruit was finished. The white ape issued a few mocking shouts. It seemed as if it was saying that this peach hadn’t been enough for the tiger. But, its attitude appeared a little friendly.
Then, the ape extended its hand and passed another peach to the tiger. The tiger raised its right claw to grasp it. But, the peach vanished before the tiger could touch it. The tiger’s claw ended-up hitting the air.
The white ape contorted its face, and burst out into laughter.
The tiger pounced on the ape, but the ape dashed forward with a lightning speed. The tiger was left empty-handed once again.
The two beasts continued to wander around the forest while issuing cheerful shouts; one of them in the lead, and the other one following behind.