Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
His eyes glued to the direction Shi Mu had gone off, his eyebrows bunched together in the middle. In the deepest recesses of his pupils, a single stroke of ignobility flitted through.
The elegant youth cupped his hands before his chest and started to make a series of hand signs while muttering an unintelligible and esoteric incantation. As he did, a flash of bright white light started to flare from his body…
The elegant youth had turned into a streak of white light catapulted towards the direction where Shi Mu had left, forming a single white arc of light in the sky before disappearing completely.
Lu Jing recovered from his stupor a brief while later with a howl and an enraged stomp of his foot before turning into a ball of green light giving chase to the same direction Shi Mu had taken off.
Far in the jungle, on the air above it.
Shi Mu’s gigantic flaming wingspans—with streams of white flames coursing through them like white capillaries—flapped, taking him to several hundred yards away with every single movement as if he was teleporting instead of flying.
Suddenly, his eyebrows furrowed a little before snatching out a single piece of green charm from himself and crushing them, causing a few streams of green lights to burst out from his hand and circled around his body, increasing his speed.
He turned into a single white blur. In a few blinks, the white blur had reached the farthest part of the horizon; With another blink, it was gone completely.
It was almost within the same second that the air where Shi Mu once stood suddenly shimmered in white before revealing the silhouette of the elegant youth, who gritted his teeth in frustration at where Shi Mu had once again disappeared into.
It was then when a single strike of green light zipped towards where he was from far, its speed just as terrifying, revealing a frowning and very crossed Lu Jing.
The elegant youth gave a glance at the latecomer and caused the latter to immediately stand on his guard, his expression shifted instantaneously to one of wariness, backing away slowly as green smog started to ooze out of his body while his palms glowed brightly in green.
The elegant youth sneered disinterestedly and turned away. He exhaled a quick breath, his expression returned to calmness, before his body blurred in action as he raced towards the other direction.
Lu Jing stunned, and then released a breath of relief for the smackdown that did not come. He looked at the direction where Shi Mu had left and back at the direction the elegant youth had gone, his eyes mired with a look of surliness.
He remained motionless for a while longer. After being encased by a thick shroud of mist, he dashed towards another direction.
High in the sky above a chain of undulating, unbreaking mountains, a single white dot hurled across the horizon so quickly one could mistake its movement as short-distance teleportation.
The blinding lights receded from the white dot and revealed Shi Mu, who had quickly turned his head to the direction he was from, his eyes golden as he stared before finally relaxing.
Combining the speed of his white flame-laced flame wings and a single Wind Shadow Magic Charm, he had flown over thousands of miles in the span of a single breath. The tax on his strength, of course, was palpable as the sickly paleness on his visage.
The white sparks in his flame wings dimmed and vanished as Shi Mu’s wings shortened and shrank into their regular size. With a gentle flap, he started to descend downwards.
He flew around the mountains casually for a while before stopping before a cliff. His fingers flicked several times, projecting a few bursts of crimson light puncturing through the cliff until he created a cave out of it.
He flew inside it and sat. Raising his hands, he waved, shedding a few green lights around the cave to assume a formation blanketing all over his cave.
It was then when Shi Mu finally had the time to really catch his breath. Speeding forward without rest, combined with the use of his White Flame Wings—it took such a heavy toll from his Real Qi that he was edging towards complete exhaustion.
But at least he was now alone, free from everyone’s grasp.
He produced two pills and ate them, then took out two Mid-rank Fire attribute Spirit Stones and clutched them in his hands as a faint red glow started to emanate from his body.
It took a full day and night. When Shi Mu finally opened his eyes, his pupils shone brightly for a second, indicating that he had completely replenished his Real Qi.
He did not stand up immediately. Instead, he waved, and the single portion of the green tree branch appeared in his hand.
It was the Sylvan King’s body, the very one he had just snatched from everyone else’s nose.
He caressed the tree branch, his face brightening up in glee. It had been a dangerous experience, but at least it was all worth it…
He slowly frowned as he inspected the tree branch longer. This thing may emit some bursts of spiritual pulses, but that was all to it. There was none of that Holy Tree fluid that Ma Long had mentioned to him earlier. There was nothing special about it at all!
Did Qing Zhang Tian and everyone else out there fighting each other like wolves just for this… thing? Or was the Holy Tree Fluid actually stored in some other branches?
His mind pondered on the possibilities as he subconsciously rubbed his chin.
“Hmm?” He suddenly let out a faint exclamation. On a side of the branch was a single faint green line. It would have evaded his sight even longer if he didn’t have such good eyesight.
He stared at it before producing his Golden Pound Blade, using it to make an incision along with the green light gently.
The blade went through the bark without meeting any resistance. Shi Mu’s eyebrows raised, his Golden Pound Blade continuing its cutting motion.
The nigh-unbreakable tree branch suddenly split into half, letting out a single green wooden stick about a foot long from its core.
He quickly caught the wooden stick before it hit the ground and turned his attention back to the split branch. There was a single trough in the middle—perhaps the wooden stick was stored inside of it.
“Now, what’s this?” Shi Mu pinched the wooden stick very lightly.
The green wooden stick felt tactilely different from the branch it popped out from. Visually, it was luminous, almost as if it was transparent.
His expression changed a little as soon as he noticed very fine patterns etched on the surface of the wooden stick. They looked very similar to magical glyphs, but he couldn’t recognize any of them despite his extensive knowledge and experience with them.
He had a hunch that these magical glyphs were formed naturally.
Still, the wooden stick itself did not let out any sort of spiritual energy, which was why he could not detect its presence deep within the wood.
There was a very faint smile oozing out of the wooden stick, too. It smelled rejuvenating, like one of those relaxing incense sticks.
He watched the wooden stick as he applied an even greater force on it.
His expression changed a little. The wooden stick was dissonantly strong—it was as if he was trying to bend a single metal stick. With his eyebrows raised in interest, Shi Mu added a little more force, but the wooden stick remained stubbornly unyielding.
“What do we have here…” He smiled before snapping his finger, shooting out a single dart of red light onto the wooden stick.
Splak! The red spark popped at the instant it met the surface of the wooden stick, but the latter was not even a smidge damaged. In fact, there was even a single blemish on its surface.
Shi Mu was more pleased than surprised at the discovery. This wooden stick was quite intriguing—it was only a shame that there was very little else he could do to figure out what it was at this moment.
He tested the wooden stick a few more times before finally keeping it back to himself. He had decided to figure it out after leaving this place. He turned to the split tree branch and waved, storing them as well.
He finally stood up and released the cave from his own formation before flying out of the cave very carefully, his eyes staring towards the horizon as his mind raced.
There was about one-third of time more before the Entrance Test was over. He took out his Qing Shan Order, his eyes lighting up a little—throughout his journey of collecting other people’s Qing Shan Orders, he had slowly racked up his ranks to about a hundred or so, and was now within the list of a hundred and eight.
He thought for a while. An acceptable position—one that could already earn him a place in the Holy Land of Qing Lan.
Still, even within the list of a hundred and eight, the succeeded candidates could be ranked in tiers. If he wanted to be given more resources for his future, eventual cultivation of the Nine Revolutions Mysterious Art… Then he better pushed himself into the ranks of the first to the thirty-sixth.
Decided on his next objective, Shi Mu stuck his hand into the Spiritual Pet Pocket. A second later, Cai flew out from it, its wings flapping wildly before landing on his shoulder.
“Phew! Can we talk about you stuffing me into this bag for days? You’re clogging my respiratory system with this!” The parrot’s reappearance was, as usual, marked with a loud shriek.
“Oh, quiet down. I let you out right now because I need your help,” Shi Mu said. “I’m going to hunt as many Demon Beasts as I can for the rest of this test, and I need your vision for that.”
“Aha! That’s mah talent!” Cai’s eyes lit up.
There was a flash of red light behind Shi Mu’s back as his Crimson Flame Wings sprouted from his back, before he dashed towards the deepest reach of the mountains.
This part of the mountains was filled with spiritual energy along with several powerful auras from all sorts of demon beasts. In other words, this was a fertile ground to harvest Demon Nucleuses.
Shi Mu had not even flown far when Cai reported, with its eyes twinkling, “Shi Tou, there was a den of Demon Beasts about thirty miles away from here. It’s a family of Earth-rank Mongoose Lizards.”
Shi Mu’s face brightened with joy and started flying towards the direction where Cai had mentioned.
A few moments later, he arrived above a basin among the mountains. Down at the foot of the mountain, was a large, black cave where thick black smog oozed out time and again.
Shi Mu waved and sent an orb of dazzling red lights into the cave.
The red light exploded, causing the entire mountain to shudder before a sudden cacophony of belligerent bellows erupted from the cave.
A few technicolor silhouettes dashed out from the cave. There were five Mongoose Lizards with beautiful, colorful hides, though that as far as pleasantness went—their multicolor hide looked more like ironclad armors, their eyes dark red, and every single one of them looked like they were out for blood.
All five of them emitted an aura of Early Earth-rank as they rushed towards Shi Mu.
“I’m gonna need a few minutes, Cai.”
With that, Shi Mu sent Cai away from him using a gentle force as crimson lights erupted from his body and the Crimson Ape Energy Construct emerged behind him.
Seven to eight days had passed.
In an area filled with marshes, a single jet black light soared into the sky before taking the form of a large blade swinging downwards.
There was a loud, hair-curdling wail as a thick drove of blue lights clashed with the black blade, sending out a shockwave of magical energy to all sides and whipping out a storm lifting water and mud and slush into the air.
The storm ceased. It revealed Shi Mu, his face a little pale as he wielded his Black Meteorite Iron Blade. There were two cuts etched on his arms, but it didn’t look very grave.
Before him laid a single enormous demon beast about twenty yards long. It looked like some sort of Jiao dragon or serpentine creature, but by this point, it was already lying in a puddle of its own blood, its neck almost completely lopped off. That was where the blood of the puddle came from, and it soaked the area around it in deep, uneasy red.
Shi Mu moved, advancing towards the side of the large corpse and sliced open the demon beast’s head to retrieve a fist-sized blue Demon Nucleus. It glowed, pulsating with terrifyingly potent spiritual energy.
It was a demon beast of Late Earth-rank. Of course, its Demon Nucleus would emit such a powerful pulse.
“Hey, Shi Tou, you gotta’ admit you got this good one mostly because of yours truly, right? I’m keeping scores, just so you know… Because when we get out from here, I expect a hefty reward—the finest dishes this planet can offer!” Cai said, flying out from nobody-knows-where before landing dexterously on Shi Mu’s shoulders.