Chapter 481 - A Powerful Challenger Has Joined

The Portal of Wonderland Wang Yu, 忘语 2022/9/13 16:48:49

Chapter 481: A Powerful Challenger Has Joined

Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation

Shi Mu shook his head at their offer.

“What’s the matter? Major distrust towards the two of us, huh?” Ma Lie sneered, his tone sour.

“Heh, that’s not it. I was just wondering if the two of you really thought that you could beat every single prominent, highly-motivated family in the entire Magnum Solis for a few drops of mysterious tree sap,” Shi Mu smiled faintly and rebutted, “I’m saying that the rate of success is too low to be worth the effort. Besides, even if you did manage to obtain it through some massive fluke, are you truly prepared to pay a hefty price for it?”

“Well, if your concern is a disproportionately minimal reward, I can assure Brother Shi that every single part of the Sylvan King is a treasure of its own. Sure, they paled in comparison to the Holy Tree Fluid, but excluding that, they absolutely deserve all of the attention and effort. In fact… Those who managed to defeat its derivative form in the past Entrance Tests reaped more than just Heaven-rank Demon Nucleus as benefits, you know. What more could we say about the Sylvan King’s true form?” Ma Long said, chuckling lightly.

Shi Mu’s expression changed a little as he lapsed into a pensive silence.

“Sigh. Look, Brother Shi…” Seeing that Shi Mu was a little moved by her sister’s words, Ma Lie decided to offer his own push after all. “You ever heard of the phrase ‘no pain, no gain’? If we don’t get out there and take some risk, we won’t get anything truly lasting from this entire event, you understand me?”

“…Alright. Seeing that the two of you are really trying to persuade this Shi here, he can’t help but to try his luck too,” Shi Mu said finally, nodding. “But please, tell me more about this Sylvan King while we’re on the way.”

“Delighted to do so! That’s no problem at all!” Ma Long replied immediately, the two of them visibly overjoyed.

It had been half an hour since the trio resumed their journey hurriedly while chatting, filling Shi Mu with more details.

“I have no idea this Sylvan King thing can be so powerful!” Shi Mu exclaimed, exhaling a gasp.

“Oh yes, the Sylvan King is an entire trove of treasures… as well as being the guardian of the treasure itself. We’ll really need your power and expertise to take it down, Brother Shi. I really look forward to working with you!” Ma Long said, cupping her hands towards Shi Mu.

“Oh, right. Where’s your, er… Little Spirit Pet parrot, Brother Shi?” Ma Lie said suddenly.

Shi Mu fixed Ma Lie a look before replying slowly, “You know, I can’t stop wondering why you take such a particularly fond attention for this Shi’s Subjugated Spirit. It’s just a typical bird.”

“Heh, are you sure you know what ‘typical’ means? That bird is hella smart; what’s not to like?” Ma Lie said, before his voice suddenly dropping into a low, more emotional tone. “To tell the truth, this lowly one used to have a similar Spirit Pet in the past, but… It felled several years ago to save this lowly one’s life. Your bird really reminded me of it, you know, which is why I was wondering if—”

“Oh. I did not expect Brother Ma to be a sentimental type,” Shi Mu cut his sentence off directly. “Which is why I’m very sure that Brother Ma would understand this Shi’s decision to not sell the bird because much like you, it has been my companion for years.”

“Argh? Um… What if we negotiate the price again…?”

“No, because it’s not even for sale! Look, let’s move on from this talk about my Subjugated Spirit, alright? I’m not selling it—that’s an immutable decision,” Shi Mu said firmly and shook his hand in dismissal. “We rest enough, haven’t we? Let’s just focus on getting to our destination.”

He turned to Ma Long who was standing next to him. “Sect Fellow Shi, a moment please,” the girl replied upon meeting his gaze.

She flipped her hand and a surge of red light flowed out from the center of her palm. There, amidst the red light, was a small bronze sculpture of a fish about two inches long with snake-shaped patterns etched on its surface.

“What’s that?” Shi Mu asked, puzzled.

“A Glass-etched Bronze Carp, made from a mineral stone from the center of this very place by an ancestor of mine,” Ma Long explained. “It shares a sort of connection with the center of the Secret Territory, which helped us from getting lost in the jungle.”

She murmured an unintelligible incantation in a low voice. In response, the surface of the bronze carp started to light up before floating several inches away from her palm and spinning slowly.

Then, the carp’s eyes suddenly glowed red and stopped spinning, fixing its head at a particular direction.

The trio gave each other a meaningful glance and resumed their journey through the jungle without another word at the direction the bronze carp had pointed.

On their way, they came across many corpses of all sorts of species. It didn’t matter how large or small they were when they were alive—they all looked the same when they died, with their face twisted into a grotesque grimace while their body deteriorated into a gruesome state. It was obvious that they had all fallen prey to the attacks of those sinister roots.

The sight of these corpses had caused the trio to be even warier of their surroundings, but fortunately, they were no longer attacked by those roots.

Three days later, Shi Mu’s accumulated scores had reached close to thirty millions, allowing him to rise steeply up the ranks; Now, he had occupied about the one hundred eightieth position or so, which meant that there was still quite a distance to close before reaching the One Hundred and Eight list.

It was clear that they weren’t the only ones who had been collecting dead people’s Qing Shan Orders.

Up to this point, the contestants had been drastically culled to about two thousand three hundred people.

The trio had arrived at a tenebrous, primitive jungle. Here, every single tree averaged about a hundred yards tall, their body covered with dark-green moss, making the whole area looked quite humid.

“Five hundred odd yards more, and we’ll reach our destination,” Ma Long announced, closing her hand around the bronze carp and pointing at the direction beyond them.

Shi Mu looked at where she pointed and looked as far as he could. All he could see were trees, layers, and layers of enormous trees with dark green leaves—not a single sight of the Sylvan King.

There was a sudden racket erupting from the direction before them like the explosion of thunder, sending out shockwaves all the way across to them while shaking the gigantic trees through.

Shi Mu’s expression shifted and started to race towards the direction. The brother-sister pair, meanwhile, gave each other a look before they followed him.

About a hundred miles away from where they were, Shi Mu came to a clearing.

It was a clearing by the merits of “being forcefully cleared of trees”—on the earth, a dozen enormous large trees laid and scattered everywhere, while broken branches, twigs, and leaves littered the ground everywhere.

Standing on a single piece of the olive-green split trunk was a towering figure with their hands clasped behind their back. That figure was blocking Shi Mu’s way.

The figure was wearing a long green robe with a sash fashioned around their waist. On their back was a pair of green feathered wings, now tucked behind their back, as they raised their head with their eyes strained towards the sky. It seemed that the figure did not notice Shi Mu approaching.

Shi Mu was immediately wary of this person, but he couldn’t help but avert his gaze to the sky following the figure’s eyes for a little while…

There was another rumble causing the jungle to shudder once more.

There was a big puff of gigantic green fog in midair colliding with another massive orb of fireball forcefully before disintegrating completely.

The green fog seemed to rest in between the state of concreteness and intangibility. Green light converged deep within it while the outermost layer of light was quite dim; After colliding with the fireball, the fog seemed to be steaming.

Meanwhile, the surface of the gigantic fireball was ablaze with crimson flames while its surface was stuck with small puffs of green foggy flames. They fell off from the fire ball and fell onto the earth.

One of them fell close to Shi Mu, incinerating a gigantic dent in the earth.

Shi Mu turned his attention to the single puff of fire and noticed that instead of putting off after landing on the earth, the fireball continued to burn through the earth, sinking deeper and deeper into the earth.

Shi Mu’s heart skipped a beat. He sensed something familiar with this gigantic fireball.

In midair, the gigantic fireball suddenly expanded itself drastically before splitting into several fist-sized crimson fireballs, which then shot towards the roll of green fog like a meteor shower.

Within the green fog, the lights blazed brightly as parts of the green fog turned corporeal to become arcs of emerald crescents as they braced the attacks from the meteor shower.

Pwath! Pwath! Pwathh—!

A series of explosive rackets shook the sky, which was now filled with a large drove of green fog as dozens of fireballs fell and crashed onto the trees relentlessly until every single one of them snapped and shattered.

Meanwhile, the green fog fell off from the sky and blanketed the large trees gently.

The olive-green enormous trees suddenly withered into a sickly sallow color as if every single water had been sucked dry from them—then in a flash, they turned ashen white, as if grilled by fire, before turning completely into ashes.

Shi Mu and his newfound pals had a terrified look as they retreated several steps away…

It was then when the towering figure suddenly turned and faced them.

He looked young, but his face was as sharp as a falcon’s. He looked a little emaciated, with his cheekbones jutting out of his face while his eyes sank, but the most eye-nabbing feature on his face was perhaps the tall, hooked nose.

The hook-nosed youth looked at Shi Mu and his pals for a while and curled his lips into an abrupt smile. Then, suddenly, his body blurred—and vanished from where he stood.

A look of trepidation crossed Shi Mu’s face. His eyes shone in golden lights, his body moving forward instead of backing away—he lunged as he unsheathed his Black Meteprote Iron Blade and swung forcefully.

A single layer of black glow projected out of the sword and turned into thirteen blurry mirages of black swords, covering the space before Shi Mu.

There was a very faint sound in the air when the hooked-nosed youth suddenly appeared amidst the space filled with black sword mirages.

Between his right index finger and middle finger was a single emerald-green dagger shaped like a willow tree leaf. The youth moved as gracefully and airily as the gentle movement of a willow tree branch as it moved past all thirteen sword mirages delicately—without once touching a single blade!

This man flashed and blinked among the lightning-fast mirages of swords that Shi Mu had unleashed before finally—with a blur of his body—returned to exactly where he stood milliseconds before, smiling sweetly at Shi Mu.

It all happened as long as the blink of an eye. To a common observer, it would seem that this hooked-nosed youth merely turned towards them without ever leaving his spot, albeit his body blurred at times.

Shi Mu knew better than think that it was all a trick of his magical eyes. He knew right from the start—this man before him was very dangerous.

“Oh ho! You managed to catch a glimpse of my Shadowless Movement technique, didn’t you?” The hooked-nosed youth nodded his head satisfactorily and smiled, saying, “Very well. You made the cut to join this affair… narrowly.”

Shi Mu said nothing. He gripped his sword hard, his left hand balled into a fist hidden inside his elaborated sleeve without once taking his eyes off from them.

“But those two worthless fodders back there better scram back to wherever pathetic place you crawl out from! Neither of you sorry excuse of a warrior could even defend yourself against a single one of my hits!” The hooked-nosed youth ignored Shi Mu’s hostile stance and moved his attention to the brother-sister pair behind him, his tone filled with contempt. “Every single part of the Sylvan King may be valuable, but none of them deserve to be tainted by the hands of useless idiots like you.”

Shi Mu’s eyebrow creased at the opponent’s words. He turned to look at Ma Lie and Ma Long—and his eyes twitched uncontrollably.

Ma Lie was holding onto his left shoulder, his face twisted in fear as he looked at the hooked-nosed youth; Ma Long, meanwhile, was pressing on her right shoulder with her fae as white as paper.

Shi Mu may have seen a lot of things and met all kinds of people over the years of traveling from planets to planets—it was fortunate that he had quite a handful of Star Stones to expend—but even then, he was aghast at this scene.

It seemed that the hooked-nose youth didn’t just prance in the rain of Shi Mu’s swords; he even found the time to attack and wound Ma Lie and Ma Long using his dagger.

Shi Mu had never seen someone moved so fast, so deftly, so… sinisterly.

If it wasn’t for his magical, enhanced eyes which had allowed him to catch glimpses of the man’s movement enough for him to put some sort of defense… Shi Mu was sure that he, too, would have fallen victim to this maverick’s attack.