Tian Huo Wus complexion changed as she heard Shi Mus story. In fact, she was lost in thoughts by the time Shi Mu finished narrating his story.
She was aware that the Rats Nest stronghold had been attacked by the barbarians. So, she was bound to believe what Shi Mu was saying since she was unable to find any loophole in his story.
She had even heard about few of the curse magic arts of the barbarian tribe owing to the experienced and knowledgeable masters of the Tian Yin Sect.
Moreover, Shi Mu wouldnt have saved her if he wanted to hurt her. He couldve easily killed her when she was seriously wounded.
The girl seemed to be quite rational. She understood that it wouldve been quite convenient for Shi Mu to kill her if he was a barbarian.
She blushed as this thought crossed her mind. She asked, "This explanation isnt enough these are just spoken words. I wont be convinced until and unless you show me some proof."
"This" There was a trace of embarrassment on Shi Mus face since he didnt hold any substantial proof.
"Sister Tian, if you dont believe me then theres nothing that I can do about it. So, Ill take my leave now." Shi Mu was a little angry. So, he spoke-up with a cold expression on his face, and started to walk away.
"Wait a minute give me my sword back." Tian Huo Wus vision flashed as she stretched out her hands.
Shi Mu wrinkled his brows. He then picked-up the long silver sword that lay beside a barbarian corpse, and handed it over to Tian Huo Wu.
Tian Huo Wu grabbed the hilt of the sword, and exposed a smile on her face.
But then, the long silver sword transformed into a silver phantom as she shook her hand. It seemed as if a thunderbolt had struck Shi Mus chest.
Shi Mu didnt get the time to understand anything. His body fell and shot out in a flash. He was shot a hundred feet backwards, and landed on the ground. His complexion became ashen.
The gigantic snake totem on his chest cracked open, and blood started to exude out of his wound.
"Sister Tian, what do you mean by this? Do you really wish to fight with me?" Shi Mu asked in a cold voice.
Tian Huo Wu didnt reply. She lifted her sword, and looked at the stains of blood on the tip of the sword.
"Since you cant give any proof Ill see for myself," she smiled and replied.
She then took out a thumb-sized pearl from her bosom. It seemed to be made-up of some kind of a transparent jade stone. A few strange charm characters could faintly be seen on the surface of that pearl. It seemed to be a magic tool.
The angry look on Shi Mus face vanished at the sight of this pearl. He wrinkled his brows as he saw Tian Huo Wus movements.
Tian Huo Wu mumbled something. Then, the pearl started to emit a faint-white light.
She then shook her wrist, and discharged a drop of blood from the sword on the pearl.
A strange sound was issued.
The transparent pearl issued a white light. It then transformed into a grey light. A group of grey clouds and mist started to appear at the same time. They then started to roll inside the body of the pearl.
Huo Wu looked for a while. Then, she nodded and returned the pearl to her chest pocket.
"The totem on your chest has a deep aura of a curse. It seems that youve told me the truth. This is some kind of a witchcraft curse," Tian Huo Wu spoke-up.
Shi Mu nodded. However, he didnt say anything.
"Brother Shi, Im really very sorry. I know that what I did a moment ago was extremely disrespectful. But, I have a huge responsibility to fulfil. A minor carelessness on my part can lead to a series of incalculable aftermaths. So, I had to test you. I ask for your forgiveness," Tian Huo Wu bowed in front of Shi Mu and said.
"What do you mean by that?" Shi Mus anger dissipated as he saw Tian Huo Wus sincere attitude. He then asked in a calm manner.
"Im a disciple of the Tian Yin Sect. Im also the princess of the Da Qi Kingdom." Tian Huo Wu forced a smile on her face. She then shared her experience on the island that had been surrounded by the three kingdoms. She also told Shi Mu that she had a special status. So, the union had assigned her the task to go into the holy land of barbarians in order to negotiate a treaty. She also told him about the attacks that she had faced during her journey.
Shi Mus complexion changed as he heard this. He had spent several days in the depth of the wasteland. However, he didnt know about the peace talks between the human race and the barbarian race. Moreover, the information regarding the sea race had made him restless.
"It seems from your expressions that you werent aware of these things, right?" Princess Huo Wu asked in a surprising tone.
"Yes. I entered the wasteland several months ago. I didnt hear this news at that time." The alarmed expression on Shi Mus face slowly vanished. He then said. Now, he was thinking about the impact of this news on his trip to the Fierce Snake Tribe.
Princess Huo Wu noticed that Shi Mu was lost in his thoughts. There was a trace of hesitation on her face. She then asked, "This woman was rude to Brother Shi a moment ago. Theres so much for Brother Shi to say. But, may I ask Brother Shi a favor. Will you please listen to me?"
Shi Mu looked at her, but didnt reply. He spoke-up after a while, "Your Majesty bears a heavy responsibility on her shoulders. So, shell have to be extremely cautious. Im not narrow-minded. Please tell me what you wish to ask."
"As Brother Shi now knows the negotiating troops have been wiped out completely Im the only one who is left. Im also seriously injured. There is a Holy Mountain of the barbarian race itll take a month to reach there from this place. Moreover, the journey is full of troubles and misfortunes. Brother Shi, as a disciple of the seven Sects can you please escort me to the Holy Mountain of the barbarian race? I have to meet the High Priest of the barbarians at that place," Princess Huo Wu requested in a sincere manner.
Shi Mus brows wrinkled as he heard this.
This was the matter of safety of the human race. Moreover, he hailed from the Da Qi kingdom. So, it would be his duty to escort Princess Huo Wu to that place. However, it would take him at least two months in doing so.
He didnt have much time because of the curse on his body. In fact, there would be no hope left for him if he accompanied the Princess on this trip.
"Brother Shi doesnt need to worry about the totem curse. Its very important to talk to the barbarians right now. But, Ill find an opportunity and request the High Priest to practice the totem cultivation method of the Fierce Snake Tribe. It wouldnt cost you anything; itll be the Unions responsibility. Even if the High Priest wont agree then you can return to the headquarters of the union in Tian Qing Shan with me. Im a favored disciple of Elder Gongsun. He knows many earth-ranked methods through which your curse can be sealed." It seemed that Princess Huo Wu had understood Shi Mus concerns. She then spoke-up with a faint smile on her face.
"Well Ill risk my life to accompany you for this noble cause. Ill go with you." Shi Mu thought for a while. Then, he made a firm decision and promised in reply.
There was no certainty of sealing his totem curse if he went to the Fierce Snake Tribe in order to acquire their totem cultivation method. However, there were better chances of success if he escorted Princess Huo Wu to the Holy Mountain.
Shi Mu could find other ways even if the High Priest refused to help him. After all, the Holy Mountain was considered as the holy land of the barbarians. So, there must be other ways to deal with such witchcraft curses in a place like that.
Princess Huo Wu made a promise to Shi Mu with a happy expression on her face.
"This place isnt safe to stay any longer. We should immediately set out on our journey," Princess Huo Wu spoke-up. Suddenly, her complexion turned white. She then issued a low cough.
"Youre seriously injured. Please find a place to rest for tonight. Well set out on our journey tomorrow morning," Shi Mus vision flashed as he said.
Princess Huo Wu wrinkled her brows since the feeling of suffocation in her chest was quite intense.
Her wounds had been covered with cotton wadding to control excessive bleeding. However, her injuries would get worse if she continued her journey.
"Well but these corpses" Princess Huo Wu nodded. She then asked in a hesitant manner.
"Leave it to me," Shi Mu said as he advanced towards the corpses of the barbarians.
He started to search their pockets without any hesitation. However, he could only find a few golden foliages. He felt a little disappointed at his loot.
After that, he put the corpses in one place. He then took out an animal skin from his bosom. A few red charm characters were engraved on the animal skin; it was a Fireball Magic Charm.
Shi Mu had purchased these paper charms a fortnight before coming to the barbarian wasteland. These paper charms were made-up of the skin of some vicious animals; they were refined with some raw materials of the barbarians.
Shi Mu had accidently discovered that these animal skin paper charms had the capability to sustain the paper charms of the human race. Moreover, they were better than the ordinary charms.
A red light flashed in his finger. Then, the paper charm transformed into a ball of fire. Shi Mu dropped it on to the pile of corpses.
The flames burned for a moment. Then, the corpses of the barbarians were turned into ashes.
Next day early in the morning inside an uncultivated place in the forest near the oasis...
Shi Mu sat cross-legged in an open place. He was meditating and breathing smoothly with a tranquil expression on his face.
"Brother Shi," Princess Huo Wus voice was heard from behind.
Shi Mu opened his eyes and turned his head. A glimmer of surprise was exposed on his face.
A huge and strange barbarian man wearing grey-leather clothes was approaching him. He had red skin, and a yellow beard. Shi Mu wouldve taken him to be a barbarian man if not for the Princesss voice
"Youre Princess Huo Wu?" Si Mu was flabbergasted.
"Hehehe Who else can I be? I learnt this easy disguising technique from the masters of my Sect. My previous disguise has been seen by other barbarians. So, its better to change it this time. Oh by the way you should also change your look," Huo Wu chuckled and said.
Shi Mu nodded. No one had recognized him in the wasteland so far. But, he still looked a little like a human. So, changing his looks could avoid a lot of trouble.
Princess Huo Wus disguising technique was extremely polished. Shi Mu transformed himself into a forty-year-old dark-skinned barbarian man within half-an-hour.
Shi Mu was stunned to see his reflection in a small puddle. He was surprised by the abilities of Princess Huo Wus disguising technique.
In the Dead Spirit World
A chill wind was whistling in the sky.
A row of blood-moons was suspended in the black sky. Shi Mu wouldve been surprised to see that there was one blood-moon less. Now, there were only eleven blood-moons. However, each of the blood-moons had become bigger than before.
But, the creatures on the ground didnt seem to care about the change in the number of the blood-moons. Everyones behavior was the same as before.
The piece of land under the barren hill seemed as if it had just experienced a war. Broken bones were spread everywhere on the ground. The cold wind was blowing through this area with a whistling sound; it sounded as sad as the devils voice.
A few skeletons of zombies, horsemen knights, and vicious beasts could also be seen apart from the remains of ordinary human skeletons.
Suddenly, a green light flashed in one of the skulls in that pile of human skeletons. Two green spirit fires seemed to have been ignited.
Half of this skeletons body including the feet and the left arm had disappeared without a trace. Only its chest cavity remained intact. His skull and his right arm were still linked to his chest.
The skeleton took support of the earth with its one hand, and stood-up with great difficulty. It then looked at its remaining body. The green flames in its eye socket shook. It seemed a little depressed.
This skeleton was Yan Luo.