The peaceful and the vicious barbarians assembled in the open area in the center of the stone-array. But, they were still divided into two groups. The two sides glared at each other; their eyes were filled with provocation and hostility.
Everyone had soon entered into the stone-array. Suddenly, a sound of an abstruse chanting was heard; it was quite difficult to understand. It was coming from the direction of the black altar.
Shi Mu and Princess Huo Wu stood along with the peaceful barbarians. Shi Mu looked towards the source of the sound. He saw that High Priest Bi Lige was dancing on the black altar while holding his withered scepter. He was dancing in a strange manner, and on an odd rhythm.
Bi Liges eyes still looked the same yellow and turbid. But, his quivering hands and feet had become extremely nimble. He looked like a different person now. His agile movements made a striking contrast with his previously tottering steps.
The surrounding eight Priests knelt down around the altar with a solemn expression on their faces. They then raised their arms, and started to mumble something; it seemed as if they were muttering a prayer.
Suddenly, the spiritual energies within a radius of thousands feet of the altar became impatient, and started to move in an abnormal manner.
Numerous luminous dots appeared in the air out of nowhere; they were visible but vaguely. Then, they rushed towards the High Priest like a massive and surging tide.
The mighty currents of these luminous dots were centered on the high priest. They began to swirl above his head in an unceasing manner, and gradually formed a visible vortex. The undulating waves of intense magic power proliferated in all directions. They seemed to be curling and shooting up to the sky like torrential waves.
There were several scudding black clouds high up in the sky. These dense clouds gradually started to cover the blazing sun until it was got completely concealed.
The entire valley became murky and gloomy. Then, the High Priest stopped his strange dance. He was now holding his four limbs in a strange posture. Suddenly, the surrounding eight Priests stopped chanting the incantations as well.
However, the people in the stone-array became exceptionally excited; their eyes started to beam with an unending eagerness.
Suddenly, the withered branch-like scepter in Bi Liges hand radiated a bright-red light. Then, an overwhelming aura was shot up to the sky from this red light. This aura was so profound and majestic that it seemed to possess the strength of wiping out the entire universe.
Bi Liges aura changed in an instant. It seemed as if his body was brimming with a profound and sacred aura.
The black and dark blood-red magic characters carved on the huge rocks of the stone array also began to send out a faint-red radiance at the same time.
Shi Mu was shocked as he saw this unusual scene. Moreover, the High Priests hidden strength had left him flabbergasted.
Suddenly, Shi Mu felt a burst of warmth in his chest. He was taken aback. He quickly slipped his hand into his shirt.
The blue-robed girl of the sea race seemed to have induced something at the same time; she stood on Shi Mus opposite side. Her beautiful eyes swept across the crowd until they fell on Shi Mus face. A pleasantly surprised expression glittered on her charming face; she couldnt hide it. She slightly opened her mouth as if she wanted to say something.
Suddenly, a vast-stretched red light cascaded down from the sky, and enveloped everyone who stood in the stone-array.
Then, the red light disappeared in its entirety. The stone-array also resumed its original bleakness and tranquility. The open area in the center was empty now.
Shi Mu found himself in a dark world. But, there was a faint ray of light in this darkness; it looked like a meteor in the night sky.
Shi Mus body was swiftly floating in the darkness like a fallen leaf fluttering in midair. There was no foothold beneath his feet.
But, this state didnt continue for a long time. A short while passed, and Shi Mu felt his body being pulled down by a mighty and frightening force.
Suddenly, myriad of stars started to appear before his eyes. They were glittering and flashing in a miraculous manner. Then, his body hit a hard place with a sudden flash, and an explosive sound.
He felt a burst of scathing pain in his shoulder. The corners of his mouth sucked in a breath of cold air as he struggled to his feet. The surrounding scenery gradually became clearer before his eyes.
There was a vast-stretched and dense forest as far as his eyes could see.
The trees were so huge that it would need many people to surround a single tree. And, such sky-towering trees could be seen in every direction. Moreover, they were laden with heavy and luxuriant foliage that seemed to have covered the entire sky. Even the bushes and shrubs on the ground grew in clumps. These peculiar features constituted an exuberant picture in front of Shi Mus eyes.
Shi Mu took a long and deep breath. He could feel that the air was permeated with a strong presence of spiritual energies.
He had already asked about some of the basic details of the Portal and the world inside it from Priest Yan Ya and Min Tu before he had entered the place. However, the feeling that he experienced at this moment was entirely different from what he had expected.
He retracted his vision after some time. Then, he looked around with his vigilant eyes. He tightened his grip on the black blade at the same time.
The surrounding area was tranquil. There was nothing unusual about it.
Shi Mu felt a little relieved. He then took out a piece of yellow animal hide from his bosom. He had obtained this hide from Min Tu earlier. It was a rough topographic map of this Portal.
He swept his gaze around once again. Then, his body leapt, and started to climb one of the biggest old trees like an agile monkey.
Shi Mu crawled-up to the peak of that tree in a fleeting moment. The surrounding trees looked quite small in front of it; as if they had been truncated. So, Shi Mu got a panoramic view of the surrounding area within a radius of several kilometers as a result.
Shi Mu had gotten a rough idea of the place where he was at. It was a dense forest, and was located in the middle of two mountain peaks. There was an even more luxuriant forest on his right hand; on his left hand side was an open land. Its terrain had gradually caved in, and had formed a low-lying land. But, it was a fairly wide area with a tranquil lake beside it.
Shi Mu consulted the map, and realized that he was in the south-eastern region.
Shi Mu continued to look at the map for a while. There was a tranquil expression on his face; his eyes looked as if he was in a deep thought.
The map in his hand showed only a little detail of the distinct area that had already been explored in the past. And, that area was called the forbidden region of this world.
This place was marked with a huge river till the northern extremity of the map; the river traversed the world from east to west. The land on the northern side of the river was called the Central Region.
The environment of the Central Region was relatively more dangerous than that of the several peripheral regions. It was because the Central Region was considered to be the dwelling place of many Xian Tian level ominous beasts. The Portal had been opened several times in the past. However, only the Xian Tian level warriors had braved visits to the Central Region.
Therefore, the Central Region of this map wasnt as thorough and detailed as the other peripheral areas. But, the barbarians had never spoken anything against this.
The depth of the Central Region was the most forbidden area of this world. This place was only visited by a few Earth-Grade barbarian powerhouses. It had been reported that there was a huge number of extremely formidable savage beasts there, and that these beasts were almost equivalent to the Earth-Grade level. This made this place a savage and primeval area.
However, the barbarian people didnt talk about how big this extremely forbidden area was. They only knew that it was a boundless area with a huge fertile land. No one had ever reached its end.
Shi Mus gaze got pulled towards the northern direction. He knew that he may have to enter this forbidden area. And, his prime goal would be to hunt a Xian Tian Level multiple-headed python. He knew that he would have to undertake an inevitable excursion into the depth of the Central Region.
Shi Mu retraced his gaze, and jumped down the tree like an ape. Then, he quickened his pace towards the northern direction.
The space within the restricted area was rich in spiritual energies. So, all kinds of precious and rare treasures were found in that place; that too in in unimaginable numbers. Shi Mu soon started to discover several kinds of Heavenly grasses that were rarely seen in the outside world.
Similarly, several rare and ominous beasts were also found in large numbers in that area. Therefore, Shi Mu had no choice but to weigh the pros and cons before making any decision. He decided that he shouldnt waste time in collecting the herbs that could be easily obtained outside. Instead, he should concentrate on forging ahead with his journey.
After all, he had a limited time of ten days in this mystical land.
After some time on a natural stone bridge
Shi Mu stood at one end of the bridge, while a giant green wolf stood at the other end as if blocking Shi Mus way. It was nearly ten feet in height.
The bridge wasnt very long; it was approximately fifty meters in length. But, it connected two cliffs. Therefore, it was the only way ahead. Otherwise, it would take at least half-a-days time to make a detour.
"The Green Demon Wolf!" Shi Mu sized-up the giant wolf from top-to-bottom as he murmured to himself.
The stature of this giant wolf looked quite majestic. Its entire body was covered with a thick layer of bright hair. A long green horn could be seen on top of its head. It had eyes like copper-bells; they were radiating a blood-red light. The wolf was ferociously staring at Shi Mu with a pair of ominous eyes.
Shi Mus unscrupulous vision had perhaps enraged the wolf. It issued a frightening howl, and swooped down on Shi Mu while making a threatening gesture. It was so fast that its huge mouth had reached Shi Mus neck in an instant. It opened its mouth, and bit at Shi Mus neck while exhaling a puff of nasty wind. Its giant bucktooth looked as sharp as a dagger.
Suddenly, Shi Mus body flashed, and vanished into thin air. And, the wolf ended-up with thin air in its mouth.
Shi Mus silhouette appeared behind the wolf the next moment. But, there was still a tranquil expression on his face like a motionless pond. Suddenly, he pounded his fist forward, and hit the wolfs head forcefully.
His fist was suffused with a jade-like color, and had a faint-metallic sheen.
A dull thumping sound was heard as Shi Mus fist had bombarded on the wolfs skull.
The wolfs head had been hit by a mighty strength in a turbulent manner as if its head had been pounded by a megalith. A light snapping sound was heard from his skull; its giant body was struck to fly. It rolled on the ground a few times.
A hint of astonishment flashed across Shi Mus eyes.
The wolf would seem to be a Hou Tian middle-stage beast. But, Shi Mus mighty Stone-Breaking Fist coupled with his own overwhelming strength could only cause a little crack in its skull; it shouldve been killed in a single blow.
A barbarian wouldve been profoundly shocked if he had witnessed this scene.
The Green Demon Wolf was known as a iron skull beast. It was because of its skull was harder than iron. So, a barbarian had never attempted to kill such a wolf by smashing its skull.
The wolf issued a painful roar. It then sprang up to its feet. The bright-red gleam in its eyes grew even brighter than before. Suddenly, a bright-green radiance also appeared on its horn.
Then, a green blade-wind shot out from its horn like an electric current, and flashed towards Shi Mu at a lightning speed. It was half the height of a normal human.
Shi Mu seemed prepared for this attack. He spouted out a burst of white Qi, and his attack collided with the green wind.
Boom! the Qi Explosion technique and the burst of green wind exploded, and dispersed with a loud explosion.
Whiz! Suddenly, a black shadow darted out of the explosion like an electric current. It flashed and dashed towards the wolfs chest; Shi Mu had thrown the black blade.
Suddenly, a blood-light flashed.
The wolf moved aside to dodge the blade. But, it couldnt fully evade the attack. Its claw was stabbed by the blade. And, blood started to bubble-up from its injury.
Shi Mu seized this opportunity, and hurriedly strode to the wolfs side. He then threw a powerful kick at the wolfs waist; it was as solid as an iron whip.
Kacha! A bone-cracking sound was heard.
The wolf was sent flying backwards. It then heavily crashed to the ground. Its waist looked abnormally twisted. Its waist bone seemed to have been smashed rather terribly. The wolf couldnt endure the pain, and issued a pitiful scream.
A persons shadow flashed as Shi Mu appeared to the wolfs side once again. Then, his solid fist bombarded on the wolfs head.
The wolfs head couldnt endure the formidable blow this time. Its skull cracked like a melon with a cracking sound. Its brain flowed out of its head in a watery form it was red and white in color.
The blood-curdling screeches of the green wolf ceased after some time. Its huge body twitched a couple of times before it finally became motionless.
A ball of green light emerged from the wolfs smashed head; it was as big as a fist. It then started to hover over the wolfs corpse.
A fuzzy miniature image of a wolf could be seen inside the green light.
A trace of curiosity glittered across Shi Mus face as he looked at the light ball. He then took out a bag that was made-up of a red animal skin.
Some obscure characters of black magic were engraved on the surface of the bag. The Sacred Snow Palace had distributed these bags to all the participants before they had entered this place. It was used to seal the beasts souls.
Shi Mu poured his magic power into the bag. Suddenly, the shriveled bag brightened a little, and issued a traction force.
The green light ball was sucked into the bag.
Shi Mu nodded in satisfaction. He then retrieved his black blade. After that, he wielded it and cut-off the dead wolfs horn.
The Green Demon Wolf was an ordinary beast with average strength. But, its horn was considered to be a very valuable material for making magic weapons.
Shi Mu then kicked the wolfs corpse off the stone bridge because the pungent smell of blood could cause further troubles for him. After that, he crossed the bridge, and continued to advance in the northern direction.