Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Su Yu stared at the two women. Judging from the situation, he had no choice but to explain honestly. “After the sacrificial offering ended, the Heavenly Knife Region had suffered great losses and wanted to finish me off. Helpless, I was chased into the Desolate Evil Jungle. I was in a rush just now, so I accidentally bumped into Wuxie and injured her. That’s what happened.”
Gongsun Wuxie scrambled to her feet, both of her big eyes bulging. Her face was also red because of either shame or anger.
She was gritting her silver teeth with a creaking sound and clenching her pink fists as she yelled back, “Injuring me? You were trying to kill me! We’re sworn enemies now!”
Ignoring her Su Yu he looked at the duo and asked, “Can you tell me, how did the two of you enter the Desolate Evil Jungle? You don’t look like you were forced to come here?”
After hearing his previous explanation, Fairy Ling was starting to believe him and let her wall down. Since just before they left, Su Yu had pulled the score apart by more than 2,000, it was reasonable that people from the Heavenly Knife Region would brazenly pick a fight!
“We have our own purpose for coming here. I was just wondering how you managed to walk into the inner circumference all by yourself?” Fairy Ling revealed her doubts.
After all, the two women had relied on the compass that had been used by Yaomu Daoren to navigate the place, and even with that, they had encountered a couple of evil trees along the way. So, she had to wonder… How did Su Yu make it this far alive?
“Inner circumference?” Su Yu’s eyes shone as he spoke. As he knew that they had a deep understanding of the Desolate Evil Jungle, he figured that they could even recognize the inner circumference.
After a bit of pondering, Su Yu took out a bottle of golden sand and said, “This golden sand was left behind by Yaomu Daoren. I followed its guidance all the way here. I’m willing to share it with you, with the precondition that you’ll have to share some information with me, too.”
Golden sand? Neither of the women recognized the origin of the item, but they believed most of what he said was true. Otherwise, it would be too unbelievable for Su Yu to have been able to walk into the place by mere chance!
“Dream on! Why should I share any information with you?” Gongsun Wuxie glared fiercely at Su Yu, puffing her cheeks out angrily.
Fairy Ling interrupted her, her eyes shining as she asked, “What do you want to know?”
“Everything,” Su Yu said.
After she stared at the golden sand in Su Yu’s bottle and pondered over the deal for a moment, Fairy Ling slowly nodded and said, “Alright.”
“We’ve read the ancient books and learned that the Desolate Evil Jungle came from the starry sky and has the ability to degrade everything,” Fairy Ling said. “The reason why the winners in the sacrificial offerings obtain the instillation of pure energies is that these energies are products of the degradation of living creatures that have been sacrificed by the Desolate Evil Jungle. A large part of that will be used for its own growth, while the rest will be given as a reward to the people who offered it.”
She then added, “We took the risk to enter here in order to find the root source of the all-degrading ability. There are only two things that we know about this place. Firstly, it’s divided into the inner circumference and the outer circumference. The outer circumference is where the evil trees are, which I believe you’ve seen… Those with branches and vines that devour the spiritual energies of all living creatures. They are the dead tree men, and their bodies are occupied by filthy, evil things after death. Most of them are situated at the outer circumference!”
She paused to take a breath, then continued, “The inner circumference is the area for the Mu people, and it is often patrolled by ancient bronze tree men. They’re extremely strong, with the lowest cultivation among them being a seventh-grade Almighty and the highest being a ninth-grade Almighty! If we run into them, we’ll have a zero chance of survival!”
She then added, “After we cross the inner circumference, we will see the Fountain of Life, which is the root source of all-life degradation. Once, Yaomu Daoren owned the Fountain of Life, and that was how he could break through the hardships and reach the level of the Jiuzhou King, thus shocking everyone!”
Su Yu understood everything after listening to her explanation. It was clear that the Fountain of Life was what they had come here for.
The level of the Jiuzhou King was too far from Su Yu at this point, so he did not desire the Fountain of Life for himself. But, since the two women had dared to enter this place, he figured that they surely knew a way out. That was what mattered the most to Su Yu!
“I understand. Before leaving the Desolate Evil Jungle, I hope that we can grow to trust each other. After all, if you die, it’ll serve no advantage to me,” Su Yu said.
Fairy Ling nodded, then said, “The same goes for us. If you die, we can’t get any benefits either. Instead, I’ll have an unfinished Ancient Book of Heart’s Oaths, which will hinder my training. As long as you don’t do anything that threatens our safety, I will not hurt you.”
She then said, “We relied on the compass that was used by Yaomu Daoren in the past to enter this place, but since this is an ancient item, it means that it’s not exactly accurate and many errors happened along the way, thus putting us in danger. If you have a more accurate way, you can show us.”
Fairy Ling put away the compass as she spoke. Su Yu glanced at it and felt delighted. In other words, as long as one walked straight in the direction that the compass pointed, they could get out of the Desolate Evil Jungle!
All of his worries had now been eliminated, so Su Yu started calculating the inner circumference. He was curious about where the golden sand would lead him next.
After coming to terms with one another, the group put aside their former resentments and hurried to use Su Yu’s golden sand. Su Yu released one grain of sand at a time, and all of them chased after it with all their might.
When they failed to catch up and the golden sand vanished into the mist, Su Yu would take out another grain. Hence, although many unforeseen circumstances happened, making them unable to catch up with the golden sand in time, they were not lost because Su Yu had numerous grains of the golden sand.
Fairy Ling’s eyes shone as she said, “The golden sands are much better than the compass, as the thick mist is not a problem now! You were lucky to get them!”
Su Yu shrugged. He was about to answer her when his face froze slightly and he stopped in his pace. Fairy Ling also held Gongsun Wuxie back, her face turning serious.
“The air has changed! It’s fresher here!” Su Yu said.
Fairy Ling nodded. “Indeed.”
As they noticed the subtle change in their surroundings, insecurities crept into their hearts.
“That’s because you have invaded the Holy Land of my race!” A deep, muggy, and unintelligible language sounded from three feet away!
Fairy Ling and Gongsun Wuxie could not understand it, but Su Yu did. It was the Mu language!
“Oh no! It’s the Ancient Bronze Tree Men!” Su Yu’s mind raced, recalling what Fairy Ling had said about the Ancient Bronze Tree Men that patrolled the inner circumference.
A light sound, like the rustling of countless leaves, was heard. Then, a light breeze blew, clearing all of the mist in the surroundings.
A tall tree that was the color of ancient bronze stood across the middle of the road, three feet before them. Su Yu and the others stood under the tree, trembling and feeling as weak and tiny as ants.
The entire ancient bronze tree radiated a metal sheen, and if it was not for the green leaves, the tree patterns, and the thick, wood-based air, it would be hard to believe that this was even a tree at all! Even stranger, the inner part of the ancient bronze tree resonated with the Mu language…
“Those who invade the Holy Land of my race must die!” The ancient bronze tree emitted a terrifying utterance, and its strong spiritual pressure made Su Yu’s blood freeze in his veins, causing him to lose control of the Vital Energy in his body.
Su Yu replied in the Mu language, “Senior, we had no intention of disturbing this Holy Land! Our entry was forced! Please forgive us.”
“Eh? You know my Mu language?” The ancient bronze tree was slightly surprised. “Regardless, you must die!”
Numerous leaves trembled and fell before turning into many sharp blades, all slashing toward them. Upon seeing this, Fairy Ling’s face fell. She gripped Gongsun Wuxie with one hand and Su Yu with the other, her gorgeous figure flashing continuously as she transported them a hundred feet away.
When they were about to retreat even further, a gust of frightening air appeared from behind them. A towering huge tree broke out from the soil underneath the yellow mist! It was the same shade of ancient bronze, and it was blocking Su Yu’s and the others’ way of retreat!
Then, in several other directions, frightening gushes of air rushed out, while seven to eight towering trees rose from beneath the ground! Su Yu and the others were surrounded!
“Ha, you’ve made such a huge commotion in the outer circumference, how could we not know that you were here? We’ve been waiting for you for a long time!” the first ancient bronze tree said coldly.
Fairy Ling asked in a low voice, “What are they talking about?”
Su Yu repeated the tree’s words in regular speech, which made Fairy Ling’s face sink.
Among the nine ancient bronze tree men, even the weakest was a seventh-grade Almighty, whereas the strongest, which was the one currently speaking, was an eighth-grade Almighty! She knew that she would have difficulties fighting off just one, let alone this many! It seemed that they had no way of escape!
At that moment, an ancient bronze tree man appeared. A human figure was tied on its tree trunk by vines.
It was none other than Hu Wangui, who was also dragged into the Desolate Evil Jungle! He had clearly failed to escape in the end.
Not a twinge of spiritual energy could be felt coming from his body, and it was dry and shriveled up, like a wilted tree drawing its last breath. It was hard to believe that he was the fifth-grade Almighty, Hu Wangui!
“My Lord, we have found the last one.” The ancient bronze tree man tossed a shriveled Hu Wangui onto the ground.
The first tree man replied coldly, “Was he sucked dry by the evil tree? Fine. Bury a seed in the body to nourish the next generation of tree men.”
The tree man’s words meant that Hu Wangui’s body would be used as the soil to cultivate the tree men’s seeds. Worse still, it would be done while Hu Wangui was still alive! The essence in his flesh and blood would be absorbed gradually, during which, he would suffer hellish torment, while his life slowly slipped away.
Such cruel methods made Su Yu draw in a cold breath, but it seemed to be reasonable to the tree men, as it seemed to them to be exactly like how humans killed living creatures and consumed their flesh and blood to get rid of their hunger. To them, it was a matter of survival.
“What about them?” the ancient bronze tree man asked.
The eighth-grade Almighty tree man answered indifferently, “Since they’re alive, of course they’ll be used to nourish the next generation of tree men. Plant seeds in their bodies.”
“What did they just say?” Fairy Ling was perplexed.
When Su Yu translated their conversation, Fairy Ling’s scalp felt numb upon hearing it. She was shocked and angry, so she turned and grabbed Gongsun Wuxie to try to flee. She was determined that they would not die in such a cruel way!
However, at that moment, a tree branch whipped on Fairy Ling’s body like an illusionary shadow, making her fly backward and vomit blood. Meanwhile, several branches wrapped around her and Gongsun Wuxie, making it impossible for them to escape.
“Once you’ve entered here, don’t ever think of escaping!” The first tree man snorted. “Capture that human, too!”
An ancient bronze tree man immediately waved its branches and charged toward Su Yu.
Upon seeing this, Su Yu said, “Wait! If you kill me, who’s going to save the tree men?”
Hearing that, the chief tree man snorted and asked, “Save us? An inferior human? Haha…”
“Mai meng? Hong, tian quan ling dao, shu ren zhi jia!” Su Yu’s pronunciation was clear as he said a few words in the Mu language.
The chief tree man stopped laughing abruptly. The surrounding tree men began shaking, voicing their comments to one another in shock…
“He just spoke some lost ancient Mu words!”
“Not even our tree men race knows those well! How does a human know them?”
The chief tree man then asked, “Human, what makes you think that I will let you go just because you said a few lost ancient Mu words?”
Su Yu replied calmly, “If you don’t, what is the purpose for setting up the sacrificial altar?”
The words that he mentioned were the golden words that were written on the sacrificial altar during the late-stage forty-fifth round. Luckily, Su Yu had managed to remember them.
“If the tree men truly wanted the sacrifices, you could have despoiled them yourselves. No one on the Jiuzhou Continent could stop you. So, what’s the point of going to such great lengths to set up the sacrificial altar? If I’m not mistaken, the sacrificial offering is merely superficial, and your true desire is for someone from the human race to decipher the ancient words on the sacrificial altar.” Su Yu’s pupils were filled with the profound light of wisdom as he spoke.
All of the tree men kept quiet. It was as if Su Yu had read their thoughts.
“Human, what makes you think that you’re saving us tree men? Out of the ten thousands of races of the starry sky, you humans are merely low-class living creatures…” The chief tree man’s tone was unkind.
Su Yu laughed. “Then, why have the high-class tree men race fallen in the Jiuzhou Continent, thus being trapped in this place and unable to leave?”
The chief tree man was speechless.
Fairy Ling and Gongsun Wuxie found the tree men to be weird, and they were shocked by them and they wondered… What did Su Yuxian just tell them?
“Fine. I’ll hold off planting seeds in your body for now. Follow me to meet Lord Yinmu,” the chief tree man said.
Su Yu pointed at Fairy Ling and Gongsun Wuxie, then said, “Let go of them, too.”
“Human, don’t get greedy. Death has always been the only way out for those who invaded the Holy Land! There’s no exception for any living creatures. Your life and death are still uncertain, so why still bother about them?” The chief tree man was unhappy.
Su Yu wrapped his arms around his chest and stood unmoving. His intention was obvious… If they were not released, he was not going anywhere. He had taken control over the tree men!
The chief then asked, “How are they related to you? If they are not important, there’s no need to release them.”
They were not close with Su Yu, as he really only considered them acquaintances. But, since they were all in this adventure together, Su Yu could not just leave them to die.
“Yes, they’re important.” Su Yu nodded.
The chief looked at them and said, “I understand now… They’re females and you’re a male, so they must be your breeding mates.”
Su Yu was startled by this, and he wondered… Wait, what do you think that you have you understood?
“Put them down,” the chief ordered, then turned and said to Su Yu, “Tell your breeding mates, if they dare to try and run away, they’ll be sent as food for planting trees!”
Fairy Ling and Gongsun Wuxie were immediately released. They were shocked and doubtful, and they scurried to Su Yu’s sides, afraid of moving again.
“Su Yuxian, did you tell these tree men? Why did they release us?” Gongsun Wuxie asked as she looked at Su Yu, her heart filled with curiosity. Although she regarded Su Yu as an enemy, she felt compelled to voice her doubts openly.
Su Yu’s wondered… Should I tell them that the tree men think they’re my wives? Oh, I mean, my breeding mates?
Once the thought arose in his mind, Su Yu shivered with chills and thought… I’d better not, as these two are bed-tempered. Besides, keeping it from them will do them no harm.
“I only promised to trade something with them. I said that you are my friends, which is why you were released,” Su Yu said with a casual expression. “Now, these are critical times, so do not act recklessly!”
Gongsun Wuxie stared at Su Yu doubtfully. “Really? Why do I feel like you’re lying?”
Su Yu felt guilty, so he pretended not to hear her.
Fairy Ling nodded seriously. “Alright, if we survive this peril, the Tianya Auction House owes you a debt.”
“Human, bring your breeding mates and follow me to meet Lord Yinmu,” the chief tree man then said.
Su Yu grinned a little. “Can you change your way of addressing them? Breeding mates are for animals! It is not a suitable name for humans.”
“Fine! I’ll call them your sexual targets…” the chief tree man said.
Su Yu was defeated and sighed. “Just go with breeding mates…”