Chapter 557: The Final Step
Translator:?EndlessFantasy Translation??Editor:?EndlessFantasy Translation
“Don’t be. You’ve just experienced the temper of the Enchanted Road. It left you dazed and confused. It’s not a sin but don’t ever do this again. Well, go along now and recover,” the lawmaker said.
“Thank you for your patience, lawmaker. I shall take my leave now.”
Shi Mu turned around and quickly walked out of the Enchanted Hall.
After leaving the Xuanling Tower, Shi Mu exhaled a deep breath. His body glowed brightly and he flew away like a red streak.
After a while, the red light fell onto the ground again. Under the light, Shi Mu’s figure emerged from within.
He entered the yard for the first time in a long while. Qi Feng was commanding some of the attendants. As soon as he saw Shi Mu, he quickly came over and rushed in for a respectful bow and handshake.
“Young Master, you’re finally back!”
Shi Mu sighed inadvertently and no longer said anything more as he lifted his foot forward into the main hall.
Before he could take a few more steps, Shi Mu heard Cai ringing in his ears.
“Shi Mu, I didn’t know you would be back this quick? Did you pass the Enchanted Road?”
It was unknown where Cai had come from but he ended up fluttering his wings and perched on Shi Mu’s shoulders.
Shi Mu thought about it for a long time then slowly nodded.
“What’s wrong, Shi Mu? Why do you look like your soul isn’t in your body? Don’t tell me you got hooked by some beauty in the Enchanted Road.”
Shi Mu glimpsed for a little as if he heard of something. He immediately grabbed Cai hard and looked at him carefully.
As Shi Mu gripped Cai’s wings, he began to flinch and scream in confusion and horror.
“Shi Mu, what are you doing? I-I’m not as tasty as I look..”
When Shi Mu heard this, he could not help but smile as he threw Cai out of his hand and strode toward the main hall.
The news about Shi Mu passing the challenge of the Enchanted Road had spread around the entire yellow region. He was now qualified to be promoted to a millennium disciple.
Shi Mu was famous for the moment. He stole all the limelight to the point that he even overshadowed Zhao Hi, who was taken away by the Holy Land.
For the next few days, disciples who knew Shi Mu came to congratulate him. This included Qing Zhangtian, Ma Long, Zi Ling among others, some who had no relations with him. Even those within the top ten disciples of Qinglan brought gifts.
Shi Mu did not enjoy this kind of entertainment. Except for those who were close to him, he would send Qi Feng to usher the others away.
There were times when Shi Mu was embarrassed to send them away, so on occasion, he would hesitantly entertain them and, and made a friend or two in the process.
Half a month later, it was the official date for Shi Mu’s promotion as a millennium disciple. All his friends, including the newer acquaintances, came to see him off.
For a time, nearly a hundred people had gathered in front of the Xuanling Tower.
“Brother Shi, after becoming a millennium-year disciple, don’t you ever forget about me. Once you have more time, do come back and visit us whenever you can,” Qing Zhangtian said with a smile.
“Brother Shi Mu, do come back and see us!” Ma Long said.
“Naturally, of course…” Shi Mu laughed.
Before Shi Mu could even finish his sentence, he felt a strong spiritual fluctuation. He quickly looked up at the sky.
The white clouds in the blue sky above him suddenly burst into the huge mouth of a black scorpion.
It could be seen that on top of him, the white clouds floating in the blue sky had suddenly burst into a huge mouth of a black scorpion. A huge dragon claw covered in gold scales was trying to find its way out.
Shi Mu felt there was something familiar about the golden dragon claws.
All exclaimed as the huge dragon claws were drawn and the cracks enlarged. Nine huge gold urns over a hundred feet suddenly slammed out of them as all nine heads roared at the crowd below.
After the nine-headed serpent roared, its body shone in golden light and shrank until it had transformed into a tall man wearing a golden robe.
“Little child Shi Mu, I’ll see how you run away this time!” the man shouted coldly.
“Ao Zu…” Shi Mu bit on his tongue and cursed silently.
“I’m here today solely to look for my one and only enemy! Those who have nothing to do with what’s between us, leave now!” The man in golden robe screamed as his body began to exude strong qi. In just the snap of a finger, an unspeakable violent pressure swept across everyone.
“Saint… It’s a Saint-rank warrior… Run for your lives!”
Everyone in the crowd scrambled to safety.
“Brother Shi Mu, this is someone I can ever compete against. Let’s escape together! Hurry, let’s go!” As soon as Qing Zhangtian finished his sentence, his body had already flashed into a green light, taking the lead fleeing.
“Big brother Shi Mu, my strength is nowhere close to his. I’m leaving now!” Ma Long said without hesitation as she transformed into a ray of light and flew away.
“Take care, brother Shi Mu!” Zi Ling said as she too transformed into purple light and disappeared out of sight.
The hundreds of people who were around him had all fled. Not a single one stayed back. Ao Zu did not seem bothered by those who left as he had his gaze locked on Shi Mu.
Though Shi Mu’s expression remained calm, he felt a sense of loss. He thought those closest to him would at least have his back as comrades and friends.
“Shi Mu, even when everyone else left, you’re still here. I’ll fight by your side!” Cai waved his wings and reassured Shi Mu while perched on his shoulder.
Shi Mu was stunned for a moment. After composing himself, the light in his eyes flashed brightly as he widened his mouth and spit the Wishful Steel Staff into his hand.
“Come on then! We’ll settle this today!”
He slammed his hands down as he waved the Wishful Steel Staff tight in his hand. The staff began to glow in black and white light as a current of white airflow formed around him.
With just a sweep from left to right, dozens of black staves broke out through the void while unleashing an astonishing scream as it charged toward Ao Zu.
“This is child’s play!” Ao Zu mocked.
With one hand bent into a claw, it suddenly came straight out at Shi Mu. In midair, a huge golden dragon claw broke out from the void and smashed the staff into dust.
The golden dragon claws continued to sneak down as they moved toward Shi Mu.
Shi Mu’s expression did not change in the slightest. With just a roll of the staff in his hand, several white tornadoes slammed up and hit onto the golden dragon claws head-on. However, it did not do much but stopped the dragon claws for only a second before it continued charging toward him.
He took the opportunity to step back a little to avoid another possible attack.
The claws began emitted a brighter golden light. Like a teleportation technique, it appeared above Shi Mu’s head and pressed him into the ground below.
With a loud bang, the earth beneath Shi Mu cracked with a fissure that extended directly to the white tower nearby.
Shi Mu’s mind blurred as he spat blood. His body was held deadly tight within the dragon’s claws. Although the Wishful Steel Staff was still in his hand and he could easily land an attack if he wanted to, he was unable to move even a single muscle.
“Shi Mu…” Cai flew down next to Shi Mu and called out to him sadly in fear.
“Go now… Run…” Shi Mu gritted his teeth and spit out, pleading desperately.
“No… I won’t leave! Shi Mu, seeing this time you’re caught up and can’t escape, I will stand by your side. I will die willingly with you,” Cai said determinedly.
“You… Well then. Since you want to die by my side, I will deliver your death,” Shi Mu said as his face abruptly turned cold.
The light on his body suddenly turned brighter as flames rushed out around him. As soon as the Crimson Ape Energy Construct appeared, it made a fearful roar as its thick arms lifted up and pushed the golden dragon claw back.
Shi Mu turned around as the black light flashed on the Wishful Steel Staff in his hand. He swung it down and swatted Cai with a muffled sound.
Cai’s body instantly burst into bits.
“Ah… Shi Mu, why did you…!” Cai asked, his feathers drenched in blood.
“If you’re the real Cai, you’d know whenever danger occurs, he’d always be the first to escape. Ever since the Golden Jiao Serpent appeared, you showed no sign of vigilance. You even said that you’re willing to perish in battle along my side. Not to mention, this so-called Holy Land of Qinglan is highly unusual. The real Cai had been training for some time now. It wouldn’t be that easy for him to break into pieces with just one attack!” Shi Mu said.
“Eh… I did not expect that you wouldn’t even believe in your own spirit pet that you get along with.”
A strange smile appeared in the corner of Cai’s mouth.
“You’re wrong. I believe in Cai and that’s why I don’t believe in you at all!”
The black longstaff blazed in flames and fell on the illusion Cai once more.
Cau dissipated, turning into a cloud of black smoke.
Shi Mu looked up at the Ao Zu who was in a flashy golden robe. By this time, he had also broken up into a cloud of black mist. The surrounding trees, hills, and even the Xuanling Tower had disappeared as well.
Immediately afterward, the black fog rushed over and the surrounding space was re-masked.
Shi Mu’s eyes blurred before finding himself back again at the black crystal path.
Every time he went further on the Enchanted Road, he would fall into the illusion until he broke through.
These illusions were all closely related to memories of his past. Those from his past such as Jin Xiaochai and aunt Jin Zhen. Even Liu An was present in these illusions.
The illusions were very real, and the content often pointed to the weakness in his heart. Even with Shi Mu’s state of mind, he often unknowingly got trapped in it as he was unable to distinguish between reality and illusion. There were several times when he almost completely sank into it.
Fortunately, he relied on his strong will and his understanding between life and death. He often woke up at the last minute and was able to recover.
It was unknown how much time had passed when Shi Mu once again broke free from an illusion and found himself back on the black crystal path.
Aside from the dense fog around him, nothing could be seen clearly.
“This is the last step!”
Shi Mu let out a sigh of relief. He closed his eyes and sighed for a while as he murmured under his breath.
Every time he experienced an illusion, he could faintly feel that his will was firm and more determined. It was as if an iron plate had undergone repeated quenching and resulted in it becoming more tenacious.
He took a deep breath and continued to move forward.
However, just as he stepped out, the black crystal path in front of him exploded in white light as a white door appeared out of thin air.