Shi Mu issued a loud shout as he brandished his arms. Seven layers of overlapping stick shadows emerged in front of his body like a mountain. Then, they smashed against the black cage.
"Bang" a series of loud rumbling sound rang out in the air!
Multiple waves of blistering-hot air current and strong gust of wind exploded on the black cage. Then, they turned into a circle of shock-waves, and started to roll up in a violent manner.
The magic characters on the surface of the black cage flashed for some time in a violent-manner. The cage went through a disastrous state in this process. And, the cage was gradually routed and dispersed. It then changed into a plume of black smoke.
Bai Shao Feng witnessed this scene before his eyes, and his jaws dropped in shock. He was left thunderstruck for a moment even though he was the leader of this group.
Then, his stature flashed and he rushed towards the courtyard’s entrance. He didn’t even pay attention to his subordinates who were lying on the ground in the courtyard.
He was about to reach the entrance. Suddenly, the half-moon-shaped blade light darted towards him from behind; it was blazing with fiery-red flames.
Bai Shao Feng whirled around, and infused his Real Qi into his arms. Then, he violently brandished the dazzling silver spear he held. The silver spear’s shadow changed into several silver leopard-heads. Then, those leopards turned towards the half-moon-shaped blazing blade-light to receive it head-on.
A few ‘Chi Chi’ sound resounded!
The silver leopards were slashed into two pieces as they collided with the half-moon-shape blade light. After that, they were engulfed by the roaring flames of the blade.
Then, the half-moon-shaped blade light struck the silver spear in Bai Shao Feng’s hand. The silver spear was shaken up, and sent flying from his hand as it received this powerful jolt.
Afterwards, a cloud of blazing flames soared into the sky. And, Bai Shao Feng’s stature was thrown backwards with a formidable force as this happened. In fact, even his clothes were torn and tattered in this process. The Real Qi within his body – that had been protecting him all along - had been exterminated by the impact. He heavily fell to the ground. He tried to get up, but a spurt of blood gushed out of his mouth instead.
Shi Mu then carried the extended back on his shoulder. After that, he walked and arrived in front of him at a moderate pace. Then, he said, "I won. So, don’t you have something to tell me, Your Excellency?"
"No... I don’t know what Your Excellency wants to know from me. I... I’ll share everything I know..." Bai Shao Feng swallowed a mouthful of saliva. He then began to talk in a stammering voice.
After some time…
Shi Mu stood still with the extended blade on his shoulder. A pensive look could be seen on his face. He then turned around and walked in the direction of his room.
He had learned some anecdotes about the Ascension to Immortality Ceremony from Bai Shao Feng. This information was different from what he had learned from Jin Xiao Chai. Shi Mu now wanted to scoop out some more information.
The Transcending Heaven Immortal Cult used to hold this grand ceremony once in every thirty years. All large sects of the Lu Shan Kingdom were eligible to participate in this ceremony. In addition, various other sects of the surrounding small nations and the aristocratic family of the entire mainland could also choose to send their disciples to attend this ceremony.
Those Sects whose disciples were chosen to attend this ceremony would be entitled to receive endless benefits. And, their status would also rise dramatically as a result.
A number of disciples were sent by their sects. But, only a handful of disciples were filtered out to attend this ceremony. However, a few of them who possessed exceptional intelligence and innate qualities might choose to stay in the Transcending Heaven Immortal Cult. It was said that the Cult would provide them all kinds of natural resources and ancient books of cultivation arts to facilitate their practice. Moreover, these disciples would also receive a myriad of magic tools and valuable treasure from the Cult. These resources were considered far beyond the imagination of the outside world. Furthermore, the cult might bestow some of the precious treasure and resources to their respective Sects. And, these items weren’t easily attainable outside…
Therefore, each and every sect in the Eastern territory would rack their brains and explore all means to send their disciples to this ceremony.
Consequently, the number of participating disciples had continued to increase every time this ceremony was held. Hence, the Transcending Heaven Immortal Cult came up with a rule. Each sect must pay a bountiful quantity of expensive spirit stones for each disciple it wanted to send.
A large number of small sects of aristocratic families were blocked outside the door as a result of this rule.
However, most of the natural resources granted by the Transcending Heaven Immortal Cult were utterly precious. In fact, they were far beyond the value of the spirit stones they would have to submit. Therefore, most of the sects still took pleasure in this…
Bestial Mountain Sect was one such sect.
There were obviously many sects that chose not to attend the Ascension to Immortality Ceremony. The Heavenly Demon Sect was also one of them; this sect was situated in the northern part of the mainland.
The Bestial Mountain Sect’s disciples who lay in the surroundings had also regained their consciousness by now. And, they immediately flew away from Shi Mu’s courtyard under Bai Shao Feng’s leadership.
The petite man and the dark-skinned man still stood on guard at the hotel’s entrance. Their faces flushed red as they heard the clamorous sound inside the courtyard. It seemed like they had failed to flatter these beastly-robed men. This obviously meant that they couldn’t demand some monetary rewards as they had initially planned.
These two men waited for them for quite a while. But, the result was disappointing since Bai Shao Feng and his subordinates dashed away from the scene in a distressed condition. And, these two men’s complexion turned ashen as a result…
The next day…
Shi Mu left the room along with the parrot.
He stepped out of the hotel, but only to find the elderly Town-Chief outside. The Chief stood with the support of a petite man's arm. He seemed to be waiting for Shi Mu in a respectful manner. Dozens of town’s people also stood with him in front of the hotel.
"This trivial old man is here to see off the righteous man Shi!" The elderly chief pushed away the petite man as he saw that Shi Mu had appeared. He then moved two steps forward, bent down, and greeted him with veneration.
Shi Mu acted as if he hadn’t heard his words. He instead swept his vision over the people who gathered there. Then, his vision affixed itself on the petite man and a dark-skinned youth for a moment.
The two men felt a slight chill running down their spines. Their backs had gotten drenched in cold sweat within a split second. And, their legs had also started to tremble with fear.
"It’s hard to differentiate the good from the evil!" Cai crooked its neck as it mumbled.
Shi Mu retracted his vision. He then walked past the elderly Chief without speaking anything. And soon, he had drifted away from everyone’s sights…
Shi Mu stopped at a crossroad outside the Mountain Town after some time.
"Shi Tou, you are far more powerful than those Bestial Mountain Sect’s useless weaklings. Why didn’t you kill them and rob their spirits stones! They have stayed here for so long. They must have dug up a lot of spirits stones by now. Think about it… how exciting it is, Ah! " The parrot flapped its wings. Its eyes shimmered as it mumbled these words.
"Do you understand that killing them and grabbing their things could provoke them? Do you want to make me deal with their entire Sect alone?" Shi Mu patted the parrot’s head with his finger as he replied.
"I am there with you. I’ll ensure that you grab every single one of them. No one could slip away and disclose this information to anyone!" the parrot patted its chest with its wings and said.
"Oh, if some of them display Earth-Grade escaping technique… can you still go and find them?" Shi Mu asked.
"Uh... wait for me to grow to the third level... humph!" the parrot replied in an unwilling manner.
Layers of clouds were scudding across the sky… they looked like fish scales. A round-disc-shaped moon hung in midair. But, these clouds gradually veiled the moon, and blocked its silvery radiance. This added a little mystery to this tranquil night.
There was a lofty mountain peak that stood upright. It seemed as if it was soaring to the sky. It was surrounded by uninhabited and desolate lands.
Intermittent bursts of metal-clanging sound could be heard at the foot of this peak. Two silhouettes were interlaced and staggering back and forth in the open space near the peak.
They were very fast… so much so that their statures seemed to be flickering. These two silhouettes were Shi Mu and Yan Luo.
Shi Mu had stimulated his Real Qi to its maximum limit at this time. His body was wrapped in a layer of dark-red light. He held the black blade in one hand, and a short stick in the other. The blade-lights and the stick-shadows cascaded down toward Yan Luo like a surging tide.
Shi Mu had launched an overwhelming offensive attack. But, Yan Luo merely waved its bone spear in a casual manner to confront such a breathtaking attack. And, Shi Mu’s fierce and incomparably formidable attack was warded-off in a rather effortless manner. In fact, Yan Luo didn’t budge an inch from the beginning to the end.
Moreover, Yan Luo didn’t miss the slightest chance to attack whenever Shi Mu's attack revealed the slightest of gaps. Its bone spear would drill into the gap like a poisonous dragon. It was very fast and relentless… so much so that it would often throw Shi Mu into a state of panic.
Shi Mu narrowed his eyes after some time, and his eyes got smeared with a touch of golden color. After that, he wielded the short stick at a lightning speed, and a fan-shaped shadow streaked across the air. He then struck Yan Luo’s bone spear in a precise manner. And, the bone spear was left to shake, and nearly flew out of Yan Luo’s hand.
A bright radiance appeared in Shi Mu’s eyes. Then, his body fired towards Yan Luo. And, the black blade he held in his hand flared up vehemently.
Two half-moon-shaped blade lights darted out, and slashed towards Yan Luo’s chest.
The soul flame in Yan Luo’s eyes slightly flickered. Then, it took a step back, and moved its bone spear. Then, it started to brandish the bone spear up and down a few times. It seemed like a dragon that was floating in the air.
A layer of faint-white light bubbled-up on the surface of the bone spear. And, the spear drew a number of sparkling silver traces in the air as it was brandished. It also gently touched the two blade-shadows in this process.
The two blade-lights deviated from their path as a result, and brushed past Yan Luo’s body.
Suddenly, the bone spear in Yan Luo’s hand galloped towards Shi Mu in a fierce manner. It changed into a fuzzy spear shadow halfway, and arrived in front of Shi Mu in a flash.
Shi Mu’s complexion changed. He was about to ward-off the attack. But, the bone spear again underwent a change - from a straight thrust into a horizontal sweeping shot. It then bombarded on Shi Mu’s waist.
Shi Mu issued a loud shout. The black blade and the short stick danced wildly in his hand. Several intersecting layers of blade-light and stick-shadows emerged in a crisscrossed manner. And, they immediately formed a layer of shield around his body.
Yan Luo tightened its grip on the bone spear, and gently shook its arm. The spear-shadow trembled violently. Then, it swept into the blade and the stick’s shadows.
Shi Mu only felt that a fuzzy shadow flashed before his eyes. He didn’t even get enough time to respond. Suddenly, a vigorous force surged up from his waist. And then, his body was sent flying high up in the sky.
Yan Luo received its spear and stood still; it didn’t continue to pursue him.
Shi Mu was thrown several feet backwards in the air. Then, his body crashed to ground heavily as the wisp of this formidable strength dissolved. His chest moved up and down severely for some time.
"Wonderful, it’s was truly wonderful!" a sharp voice sounded.
A parrot with multi-colored feathers stood on a stone not far away. It fluttered its wings, raised its neck, and exclaimed loudly.
"Shi Tou, you are extremely weak. It’s been more than once now. In fact, you get defeated by Boss Yan Luo every time you fight," Cai shifted its vision and said.
"Shut up. I will pull out some feathers from your body if you blabber again." Shi Mu coldly snorted. He then stood up. But, his complexion still looked somewhat pale.
The plucking of his feather was the scariest thing for this parrot. Therefore, it covered its mouth with its wing as soon as it heard Shi Mu’s words. And, it didn’t dare to speak a single word after that.
"I feel terrified and alarmed every time I fight with you." Shi Mu patted the dust off his clothes. He then turned around, looked at Yan Luo as he said.
Yan Luo’s last blow had swept him several feet away, and had been sufficient to crush the Real Qi within his body. But, the strike surprisingly didn’t render any injury to his body. In fact, even the slightest of damage hadn’t been caused to his clothes.
Shi Mu had been summoning Yan Luo whenever there was moonless night over the course of this journey. He would then practice martial arts with it in an attempt to strengthen his physical strength. And, he felt that the effect was indeed remarkable.
He had begun to comprehend the depths of the Gale Force Blade Art and the ‘Art of Seven Killer-Sticks’ better with each passing day. His Stick art had been greatly benefitted with this practice. He was now able to display the seven-killer sticks very conveniently. In fact, his moves had become as natural and graceful as floating clouds.
Shi Mu felt that the promotion of his person martial skills was great. But, the promotion of Yan Luo’s martial skills seemed to be even more astounding…
"Have I made some progress this time?" Shi Mu looked at Yan Luo and asked.
Yan Luo threw a glance at Shi Mu, but didn’t speak anything.
"Good." Shi Mu smiled bitterly.
Yan Luo turned around, and its body started to emit black smoke. Yan Luo apparently wanted to return to the Dead Spirit World now.
"Yan Luo, wait a minute." Shi Mu’s eyes slightly moved. He then opened his mouth and called out to stop Yan Luo.
He waved his hands and a bright red flower appeared in his hand out of thin air. That flower looked very similar to lotus flower. It was exuding soft fragrance. Its petals were also smeared with a few drops of water… all these features made the flower look very tender and exquisite.
"I think you are fond of flowers. I plucked this one during the day." Shi Mu gazed towards Yan Luo’s head. He had once seen a green flower inserted on its head. But, that flower had gotten crumbled because of Shi Mu.
Shi Mu’s eyes slightly moved again. Then, they immediately regained their calmness.
The soul flame in Yan Luo’s eyes flashed. It extended its hand to grab the red lotus. But, it was left empty-handed since its hand landed in empty space.
Shi Mu’s storage ring had exuded a streak of light, and the lotus flower had disappeared from his hand as a result…