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Chapter 123: Strong Liquor

 Chapter 123 - Strong Liquor

A group of Miao people walked down from the mountain, Ghost Li and Xiao Bai turned to look and saw seven or eight sturdy Miao soldiers escorting an elderly who looked to be in his early fifties.

The loud shout just now, was made by this elderly man.

The surrounding Miao soldiers bowed, the agitated crowd also turned silent, everyone bowed their heads, showing deference to the elder.

Until the group of people came near, that elder walked out from the group, came to Ghost Li and Xiao Bai and looked at them, the two of them also assessed him at the same time.

The elder's body build was quite tall and sturdy, however because of his advanced age, grey hairs was seen at his temples but he looked very healthy and vigorous, a pair of eyes bright and piercing, right now he was frowning and carefully scrutinized the two of them.

Then, that elder said, "Ji li ji li hu lu lu, hu la hu la lu lu hu?"

Ghost Li was stunned, the words seemed similar to what the soldier was asking him previously, most likely they had the same meaning and should be questioning his identity and his purpose here?

But he could only guess and still did not understand the meaning of the words. He could only say, "We have an urgent matter, wish to.." While speaking, he was about to raise his hand and realized with a start, quickly placed his hand down and said, "wish to pay a visit to the great shaman in the altar."

As he spoke, he was feeling vexed too, these Miao people could not understand his words at all, what was the point of saying it? But to remain quiet would be even more rude and instead might infuriated those Miao people, for the moment he felt very anxious.

Unexpectedly like Heaven had answered his prayers, the elder heard Ghost Li's words, frowned and again assessed them from top to bottom, and then suddenly spoke, using clumsy Central Plains language, "You, you are Central Plains people?"

Ghost Li and Xiao Bai were shocked and then immediately delighted, right now the world's sweetest sound was most probably this elder's thick-with-local-accent words. Ghost Li quickly nodded, said, "That's right, that's right, we have come from Central Plains and have an urgent matter, wish to pay a visit to your honorable tribe's shaman."

The elder glanced at them, saw them wearing the southern border ethnic costume but the materials looked coarse. However the demeanours of these two people did not look simple and evidently not ordinary merchants, especially that girl, with her naturally endowed beauty, these clothes which even ordinary Miao woman would not take a fancy to, worn by her actually had an unique distinctive style.

"Who are you? Why are you looking for the great shaman?" The elder drawled.

Ghost Li and Xiao Bai looked at each other, cupped his hands before his chest and said, "This..Sir, I have a friend who is seriously injured, nine out of ten of her three souls and seven mortal forms had scattered, leaving only the remnant of one soul. For ten years she is like a dead person, it is really..."

When he spoke until here, an image of BiYao lying in the Majestic Fox Mountain freezing stone chamber suddenly appeared in his mind and for one moment, he became emotional, his voice involuntarily quivered. Although many of the Miao people surrounding them could not understand what he was saying but when they saw his expression and from the tone of his voice, they could roughly guessed what he was beseeching something and for a moment, had a favorable impression of this person.

As for Xiao Bai standing beside Ghost Li, a pair of bright eyes watching him, at that very moment, that faint smile which had always been on her lips and looked like it had seen beyond the worldly affairs, disappeared and became solemn.

Ghost Li composed himself, said, "An enlightened man once advised me, this type of injury and condition would definitely need an extraordinary person who knows the Soul Return Unusual Art and use the remnant of her single soul to carry out the extraordinary spell to call back the scattered souls, so that the person could fully recover. I had been searching hard for ten years but unfortunately I am unable to find it in the vast world. Luckily recently, " He glanced at Xiao Bai and continued, "recently I heard that your honorable tribe great shaman knows such soul-calling extraordinary spell therefore especially came to beseech the great shaman to please save her. My humble self would be extremely grateful!"

After that elder heard it, he frowned tightly, his expression looked extremely complicated but looking at Ghost Li's sincere expression and really did not look at he was lying, after a pause, said, "It's rare that the Central Plains men still has such affections but I cannot decide for this matter, wait here for a while, I will go up the altar and ask for the great shaman's decision. If the elder refused to see you all then I can't help too."

Ghost Li was exulted, nodded hurriedly and said, "Thank you Sir."

That elder nodded, hesitated for a moment then turned around and spoke a few words to the Miao soldiers beside him, those few soldiers nodded at the same time. Then the Miao elder walked back to the mountain by himself, the remaining soldiers slowly gathered around and watched the two of them, not sure if they were surveilling! Or carrying out orders to protect them.

As for the Miao onlookers who saw that the elder conversed in gibberish with those two outsiders (to them, the Central Plains language was also incoherent) and then instructed those soldiers to watch over them, he himself walked back to the altar, for a moment whispers and all sorts of speculations were heard.

With so many pairs of eyes, Ghost Li's heart was heavy and his mind preoccupied, he did not notice the rest of the Miao people at all, Xiao Bai instead again revealed a sweet smile, surveyed the surroundings unhurriedly, inciting numerous lewd or jealous or angry stares.

Only Xiao Hui on her shoulder was curiously looking around and not interested in those people, its gaze finally stopped on that brook by the side and developed a great interest in the fishes swimming in it, stared intently at it and grinning from time to time. Its body also began to move restlessly, looking like it wanted to jump into the brook to play.

The Miao altar was built entirely from enormous rocks, majestically towering yet with a hint of primitive and crude form. That elder walked up the path and came before the altar, there was a terrace in front of the altar, paved and levelled from long rectangular stone slabs. Behind the terrace, was where the altar was.

Two enormous stone pillars, erected towering in front of the altar, one look at it, most probably at least ten zhangs tall, and not a single fissure was seen on the stone pillars, it was actually perfectly carved from one enormous stone, one really wondered where did the Miao ancestors find such an enormous stone and could actually transport and erect it before the altar.

Walking past these two pillars, would be the altar built from stone. The Seven Mile Cave Miao tribe altar had always been well-known in the southern border. Half of it was because it was built from enormous stones and the other half was because hewing directly in the mountain, excavating out from the solid hard rock walls.

The elder walked in and immediately the surrounding light dimmed. The temperature also seemed to be much lower.

The elder evidently was an important figure and very familiar with this sacred place in the Miao people's hearts, he did not have any hesitation and walked straight deep into the altar, occasionally a Miao shaman appeared and both parties exchanged greetings. If Ghost Li and Xiao Bai saw it, most probably they could guess the identity of this elder.

For someone that could exchange greetings with the Miao shamans, other than the other shamans in the altar, only the Miao tribe leader was qualified.

The elder continued to walk in, passing through the wide tunnel and came to the deepest part of the altar, which was also the biggest room in this altar.

Hanging above the stone door was an ornament made from a ferocious beast bones, the stone walls beside were also painted with blood, symbolizing the devotion in ancestral sacrifice.

Looking at it in the dark, all of these seemed extremely savage.

But to the Miao people, this was the most sacred place, the elder had a solemn expression on his face, he straightened out his clothes and unhurriedly walked in.

In the enormous stone chamber, absolutely empty except in the innermost area, a fire burned, looked especially bright in the dimness.

In front of the fire sat a strange stone statue carved from the same enormous stones, its head looked like a dog but it had ten feet and even had sharp claws on it, and on its back, a pair of wings, it was really a strange statue and looked like it was the deity that the Miao people worshipped.

And in such a huge stone chamber, there was only one person, his back image looked very old and hunched, quietly sat before the fire, as if in meditation and also like he was reticent.

This strange place somehow gave one an eerie feeling that time had stopped and came to a standstill.

Over here, everything seemed still and tranquil.

The fire burned strongly, causing that person's figure in front of it, to flicker between brightness and darkness.

The elderly unhurriedly walked up, stopped about one zhang before that person, lowered his voice and respectfully said, "Great shaman master."

The figure sitting in front of the fire stirred, a frail voice was heard saying, "Tu MaGu, why are you back again? The Dog deity decree, didn't I just tell it to you just now? Unless you still have any doubts?"

The elderly who was addressed as Tu MaGu, was the current tribe leader of the Miao in the southern border, he was heard respectfully replying, "Great shaman, I understand the Dog deity decree fully and I will definitely do what the Dog deity's decree said."

The great shaman still did not turn around and he was heard saying, "Hm, that is good. But what is it that made you turn back, I sense your heart is disturbed."

Tu MaGu frowned slightly, seemed to be deliberating on how to describe the matter, after a while he decided to say it directly, "Great shaman, two strangers from Central Plains have come to the Seven Mile Cave below, they hope to be able to meet great shaman."

The great shaman before the fire shifted, his head which had been facing that Dog deity statue and fire, turned over slightly but only his thinning head of grey hair could be seen.

"Who is it? I have not leave this altar for nearly a hundred years, why would there be Central Plains people here to find me?"

Tu MaGu said, "Yes, I felt very puzzled too so came up to consult great shaman, should we let them come up?"

The great shaman contemplated for a while, said, "Did they say what are they here for?"

Tu MaGu replied, "Yes, a man and a woman came, that man said he wish to invite great shaman to help him treat a friend's illness."

The great shaman snorted, said, "I have to serve the Dog deity and do not have the time to bother with these people, reject them for me."

Tu MaGu was stunned for a moment but did not comment further, "Alright, then I will go and convey your wishes." Speaking, he turned around and headed out.

He had only taken a few steps when suddenly he heard the great shaman's voice behind him said, "Wait."

Tu MaGu turned around and asked, "What is it, is there any other matters, great shaman?"

The great shaman's hunched figure was still facing the fire but his aged voice wafted slowly over, "The illness that they are seeking me to treat, what is it?"

Tu MaGu said, "From what they said, it was a rather unusual sickness, seemed like nine out of ten of a person's soul was gone..."

The great shaman's figure in front of the fire suddenly shook.

Tu MaGu continued to say, "That man said, a master once advised him, that for this kind of condition, only Soul Return spell could cure it. Not sure from where the man had gotten the information, said that great shaman might know such spell, therefore wish to beseech great shaman to treat."

Tu MaGu slowly finished his words but the great shaman did not have any reaction, his figure unmoving, not sure what was he thinking in his heart.

The fire leaped and shrank ceaselessly, engulfing the wood in the fire, Tu MaGu waited for a long time but the great shaman still did not speak, he then hesitantly said, "Great shaman then I...will go and reject them, ask them to leave immediately?"

The great shaman was still silent, not even speaking a word.

Ma TuGu slowly turned around and headed out but just when he was about to leave the stone chamber, the great shaman voice, again was heard.

This time, even he could also tell, the great shaman who had always been mysterious and wise, like he had pondered through long and complicated thoughts, slowly spoke.

"You...bring them up!"

Ghost Li could not help but tightened his fists and then slowly released them, he realized with a start, his palms were sweaty because of his anxiety.

How long was it, since he had felt this agitated and yearning? As his anxiety increased, Ghost Li kept staring at that altar halfway in the mountain. But that elderly, had left for quite some time and still had not returned.

Unless, that great shaman in the altar, refused to treat outsiders?

Or, don't tell him he had committed another taboo?

Ghost Li could not help his thoughts, even his heart also started to beat faster.

Xiao Bai by his side, watched his face, watched this man who could not hide his anxiety, that concealed deep love, seemed to etch onto his face.

She sighed lightly and turned her head over.

The surrounding Miao onlookers, were not as many as before, after all they had waited for such a long time but the tribe leader had not returned after entering the altar and also did not leave any instructions on how to handle these two outsiders, a part of the crowd had dispersed.

But because Xiao Bai was too beautiful, attracted many of the young Miao men to stand around, while blantly looking at her, they chatted and laughed loudly, most likely talking about her beauty.

As for the monkey Xiao Hui, it has since jumped down from Xiao Bai's shoulder, ran to the riverside, crouched beside the clear brook and watched the fishes swimming in-between the rocks, suddenly it threw itself in and tried to catch the fishes with its hands. However the fishes were all crafty and slippery, wriggled here and there and escaped from its hands, in the end he was drenched in water sprays.

But Xiao Hui did not mind, withdrew his hands and patiently waited, after a while, the water surface was still again and those fishes swam back, Xiao Hui waited for his chance and pounced again. As such the cycle started once more, Xiao Hui was greatly interested in this game and was not tire of playing it again and again.

At the foot of the mountain, the crowd slowly dispersed, the place regained its peacefulness.

Tu MaGu still had not returned, Ghost Li felt more and more anxious, almost a few times he wanted to dash up and charge into the altar, grabbed hold of that great shaman and begged him properly but each time he thought of it, he thought of BiYao, eventually he forcibly repressed the urge.

Waiting, was actually so torturous.

The anxiety on his face gradually became apparent, other than Xiao Bai, the Miao soldiers also started to notice it, they looked at each other, actually those Miao soldiers also felt greatly puzzled.

Wasn't it just a question, why would it need such a long time, unless tribe leader and the great shaman had other important matters?

The Miao people were coarse and simple, although they still did not understand who those two people were but to let those two to wait here for so long, those Miao people also somehow felt embarrassed.

After a while, the young tall leader came up, coarsely spoke to Ghost Li, "Hu lu lu, gua la la!"

Ghost Li was startled, did not understand what he meant but saw the Miao soldier took an animal skin bag from his waist and threw it over to him.

Ghost Li caught it, felt it heavy in his hands, he saw a wooden stopper at the mouth of the bag and looking at the Miao soldier again who stretched his hand to his mouth, making a drinking action. Ghost Li realized then pulled out the stopper, the strong smell of alcohol was thick, it was indeed a bag of strong liquor.

Ghost Li laughed wry, he was not a person who was fond of drinking and now he was even more not in the mood but those Miao people were watching him, he felt he should not let down their good intentions and so nodded and smiled to the Miao soldier, placed the bag into his mouth and forced himself to drink a mouthful.

Unexpectedly with this mouthful, immediately he grimaced, the liquor fermented by the Miao people was really very strong, it even had the southern border character, a spicy and numbing taste, invading his throat with a force, as he was unprepared, he felt it quite unbearable.

His reaction was all seen by those Miao people and several laughed loudly out, most probably this was not the first time they had seen the expression made by Central Plains people unused to the Miao's fermented strong liquor, their laugher carrying their pride.

Ghost Li was angry but then he thought to himself that those people did not have any malicious intent and besides, he needed to ask a favour from them, how could he throw a fit, so he could only laughed bitterly and was about to return the wine bag, that Miao soldier [he he] laughed and stretched out his hand to take back.

Suddenly a fair hand stretched over from the side, taking the big bag of liquor from Ghost Li. The crowd and Ghost Li were all stunned, the one receiving the wine bag, was actually Xiao Bai who was quietly standing beside.

She held up the wine bag to her nose, breathed deeply in, that wine fragrance assaulted her nose, it was extremely strong but this girl seemed not to be bothered at all and instead looked intoxicated. She then raised up both of her hands and placed the wine bag into her mouth, drank it with big mouthfuls.

Everyone was shocked, even Ghost Li was shocked!

Xiao Bai after taking a long draft, put down the bag, contentment slowly emerged on her face, after a while exclaimed softly, "Good wine!"


The chorus of shouts were from the Miao soldiers. The strong liquor of the southern border Miao, the Miao had always turned fierce and tough after drinking and in their region, the strongest man had always been the one who could hold his alcohol the best. In the Miao tribe, women usually would not touch the strong liquor that only those men drank.

Unexpectedly today in front of them this woman who looked gentle and lovely, could surprisingly drink this strong liquor with great gusto and looking at her reaction after drinking, it was simply the distinctive look of a veteran drunkard. Each of the Miao men loved to drink, immediately a stir went around the crowd and cheers were heard.

On Xiao Bai's fair face, because of the liquor, a faint blush covered her face but she was suddenly invigorated, her right hand holding the wine bag, her left hand loosened, snapped her finger lightly at the group of Miao soldiers, making a thin pa] sound.

A commotion went through the group of Miao soldiers,everyone looked surprised and amused, that gesture was clearly among the southern border Miao tribe, a gesture made between the men to initiate a drinking challenge, this woman who looked to be from Central Plains actually made a totally accurate gesture, for the moment they looked at each other.

But even more formidable, making their eyes go wide, was actually at the later part.

Xiao Bai laughed lightly, her eyes looking genuinely tender like water, she raised her head, swaying her hair, placed the wine bag in her mouth, [gu lu gu lu] drank heavily.

The Miao crowd was taken aback, Ghost Li, could not understand the situation and yet did not mind, however he only blamed Xiao Bai in his heart that at this moment she could still create such thing but in the Miao people's eyes, this woman right now was almost like the world's number one unusual woman.

The Miao liquor was extremely strong, such a big bag of wine, currently in the entire Miao tribe, not a single man could drink it all in one breath, most likely would be already knocked out after drinking three quarters of it. But now watching this woman's throat drinking unceasingly and by large mouthfuls, for the moment one by one, the Miao men's countenances changed.

And Xiao Bai just had to make that extremely classic hand gesture!

The Miao people was after all, outspoken and straightforward, and when so many men saw a woman who looked gentle, challenging them, how could they have any slightest thought of backing away. Not knowing who was the first to shout out, threw the long pointed spear onto the ground, untied the wine bag on his waist and raised his head to drink.

As per the Miao custom every man had a wine bag with him, once it started immediately like a pot exploding, the Miao crowd vied to drink, the scene was really spectacular.

Only that young Miao leader, who suddenly came out of his reverie, stretched to take his wine bag at his waist but unexpectedly discovered it missing, he then realized his wine bag was already in Xiao Bai's hand. Watching all of his fellow tribe mates drinking, the Miao leader's face turned all red with panic, if he did not drink right now, he might be shamed for thousands of years.

His eyes looked around, had an idea in moment of desperation, the Miao leader with a [sou] scuttled to a Miao soldier who was standing beside the river, abruptly snatched the wine bag from his hand and started to drink it down with big mouthfuls.

That soldier immediately was enraged, as said rather be killed but must never be denied to drink, with a roar he looked to charge up to snatch his wine back, unexpectedly the Miao leader was already prepared, suddenly with one kick, immediately kicked him into the river, [hua la] a sound large water waves splashed out, scaring Xiao Hui who was playing by the shore.

The soldier felt extremely wronged and this matter concerned his face, how could he let it go, immediately he scurried back up the bank, with one quick look he knew he could not fight against the Miao soldier leader, stomped his feet angrily and ran with big strides, dashed into a house by the side and among the surprised cries, the man actually snatched a big bag of liquor out, with a [sua] sound, stood with the other Miao soldiers, [gu lu gu lu] drank in big mouthfuls.

Ghost Li watched dumbfoundedly, for a moment forgot about the altar up in the mountain, he saw a large group of Miao men standing at one side, the other side was a demure lady, both sides drinking like crazy, the sight although was spectacular but yet amusing, making one sweat for them.

Right now the scene was really too fascinating, immediately attracting the other Miao people, in an instant the news spread and hearing the Miao people shrill voices talking continuously, [hu la la] a large crowd encircling them, at least three times larger than the previous crowd.

The merchant left their stalls, the hunters left their preys, the inhabitants of the houses all ran out, surrounding this area so tight that water could not trickle through, crowds and crowds of people, it was really a sea of people.

Shouts and shrieks were heard frequently from the crowd, most probably those were cheers from the people who were too excited.

In the center of the crowd, the critical moment had came for those in the challenge, the strong Miao liquor, how could it be idle, even though they were the Miao soldiers who frequently drank, right now slowly people started to fall down.

Every time someone fell, immediately [hua] exclamations would be heard from the crowd and a commotion but the people's expressions were all filled with excitement.

After another period, more and more Miao men revealed pained expressions, they were all red in the faces, standing unsteadily and wavered, although they were still making an effort to hold up but as the world turned upside down, they could only dejectedly fell down.

[Pa, pa, pa!]

The Miao soldiers' alcohol tolerance limits were about the same, a big group fell, over at the Miao side, only three were left, struggling to hold up, including that young Miao soldier leader.

Instead over at Xiao Bai, the crowd was astonished, Xiao Bai's eyes were halfway closed, the redness on her face slowly thickened, almost as if it was going to seep out from her fair skin, extremely alluring. And even that shimmering eyes, glimmering like it was going to flow out, making one mesmerized upon looking at it.

Just that even her beauty was such, her alcohol tolerance was even more scary, until now, she showed no signs of unsteadiness and was still drinking big mouthfuls of the strong liquor.

A few women were in the crowd and all knew much about drinking, one look and they knew that this woman was not pretending, she was really using her own alcohol tolerance to compete with those men, surprised and in awed, especially her exceptional beauty, all cheered and shouted.



Two muffled sounds, again from the Miao side, two had fallen, right now, only that Miao young soldier was struggling but looking at his staggering footsteps, evidently he was also at his limit.

And over at Xiao Bai, her face was also gradually turned redder, suddenly her body slanted, the onlookers cried out at the same time, Xiao Bai instead slowly put down the wine bag, drew out a long breath, both of her eyes looked like tears were about to spill out, the liquor increasing her charms, she was as beautiful as a flower, her right hand was still holding the wine bag, her left hand instead waved to the crowd, smiling sweetly she said, "Ah KeXi!"

An uproar went up in the crowd, [Ah KeXi] meant good wine in Miao language, this lady's alcohol limit was bewilderingly huge and just at the right time called out "Good wine..."

Instantly loud applauses exploded from the crowd.

Xiao Bai flinged her head, seemed to be slightly drunk, her footsteps were also unsteady, slowly walked to Ghost Li, leaned against him, [he he] laughing at him.

Ghost Li was speechless.

Xiao Bai closed her eyes, her head lightly moved, suddenly another smile, loudly laughed and said, "Three hundred years! Three hundred years!"

Her head raised, hand raised, drank!

That drinking posture, was also so captivating and alluring!


The last Miao person, that leader finally also fell down, even though how unwilling he was but his face was as red as Xiao Hui's arse, was already incapacitated, after a moment he was unconscious, sleeping soundly on the ground. Someone by the side ran over and lifted his wine bag to check, there was still less than half of liquor left, the person's countenance changed and announced it loudly to the crowd, there was a commotion instantly, evidently this was already an inconceivable record.

But, the people did not forget, there was still an incredulous girl, still drinking.

Xiao Bai's face, right now was like a red jade, even her fair neck and her slightly revealed upper chest skin, were also faintly red.

Looking at her, right now she also could not stand straight but she leaned against Ghost Li and still drinking in big mouthfuls.

The crowd gradually became quiet, everyone's expression had already turned from excitement to respect.

Finally, Xiao Bai after drinking the last drop, both of her eyes seemed heavily closed then she smiled with her face red, her expression sluggish and then with a swing of her hand, threw the big wine bag away.

Immediately someone ran over and pick up the bag to inspect, and then discovered, the wine bag was actually empty!

That person was dumbstruck then loudly announced to the crowd which was staring at him intently, the people was silent for a long while, suddenly exploded with earth-shaking shrieks and cheers.

In the hubbub, Ghost Li, as if sitting on a bed of nails, Xiao Bai's slackened body leaning softly against him, her face white and rosy, her eyes half opened, shimmering with tenderness, watching him intently.

"Are, are you alright?" Ghost Li after repressing for a long while, muttered only this sentence.

Xiao Bai stretched her hand and grabbed his clothes, her body paused, as if the alcohol had went up her head, her white teeth bit gently on her lips, even her breathing was getting heavier but the tenderness in her eyes, the smile on her lips, never once changed.

"You..." Xiao Bai's voice, was as gentle as the water about to drip out, at Ghost Li's ears, softly said.

"Have you ever liked me?"