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Chapter 126: Black Fire

Chapter 126 - Black Fire

[Dong, dong dong...]

The sound of knocking again but no one spoke from outside the door. Ghost Li, frowning, walked over and opened the door.

A person stood at the entrance, was a thirteen, fourteen years old young Miao teenager, his face still possessed the innocence of a child, his hand carrying a basket, in it were some dishes and drinks, seemed like Tu MaGu had sent someone with food over.

The young man passed the basket over, Ghost Li nodded and said, "Many thanks."

That young man grinned but only muttered a sound of [yi ya], Ghost Li was stunned, this young man was actually mute, no wonder he only knocked and did not speak.

He could not help but appraised the young man with a few more glances, the young man's clothes was patched up many times, evidently it had been worn for a long time, compared against the Miao people seen walking at the Seven Mile Cave streets just now, the difference was glaring, most probably the young man did not have a high status here and most likely an orphan.

The thought of the word, orphan, stupefied Ghost Li but in that short moment, that young man after smiling to him, turned and left, looking at his expression and departing figure, he did not seem depressed or sad, instead he looked quite happy.

Ghost Li watched that departing young man's figure until it gradually went far away, suddenly he felt an inexplicable melancholy, gently sighed, turned and went in, with a [pa] sound, he shut the door.

The sun slowly sank in the west, the sky gradually darkened, many of the Miao houses, one by one lighted up.

The dim yellow lights filtered out of each window, flickered ceaselessly in the darkness, vanishing and appearing, like a silent eye in the night.

Each household, under every light, everyone would most probably have their own moods and lives!

Ghost Li stood at the window, gazed far upon the Miao people's residences, not speaking a word.

The night breeze picked up speed, distant sounds of joyous laughter from the Miao people travelled over frequently, intervals broken by sounds of dogs barking from somewhere, these sounds carried over by the wind instead highlighted the tranquility on this piece of land.

Maybe those ordinary Miao people compared to the cultivated Taoists people, were much more happier.

Ghost Li slowly shut the window, turned over, cutting himself off from the world outside the window.

He got a start when he turned over, Xiao Bai who was quietly sleeping just now, had already woke up and was leaning against the wall by the bed, quietly looking at him.

Ghost Li looked at her, said, "You awake?"

Xiao Bai smiled, used her hand to gently rub her forehead, said, "Is there tea, pour one cup for me! I've got a headache."

Ghost Li walked to the table, poured a cup of water, handed it over to her, said, "How would there be tea at this Miao place, drink some water instead!"

Xiao Bai nodded her head, took the cup and drank a few mouthfuls, she seemed more invigorated, let out a long sigh and then sneaked a glance at Ghost Li, said, "Do you blame me?"

Ghost Li gave a wry laugh, shook his head and said, "If it's not for you, I won't know that the Miao great shaman might have the chance to save BiYao, forget it, tomorrow we will go and see him again."

Xiao Bai nodded her head, said, "I was in a stupor after I was drunk, have you seen the Miao great shaman?"

Ghost Li nodded and said, "Well I did meet him and he also admitted that he knows the Soul Return Unusual Art. However, he insisted to know your origins and how you came to know this secret before he will agreed." While speaking, he could not help but feel anxious, whether the nine-tailed celestial fox was willing to reveal her identity, he had no inkling on Xiao Bai's response.

Xiao Bai was silent for a while, faintly said, "After daybreak tomorrow, I will go with you to see him!"

Ghost Li nodded his head, was about to speak further, Xiao Bai suddenly laughed and said, "Look at this monkey, it is actually in a deeper drunken stupor than me."

Ghost Li looked at Xiao Hui who was still lying beside Xiao Bai, with its four limbs sprawled opened and soundly asleep, shook his head in silence.

Xiao Bai stretched out her hand, smoothed Xiao Hui's head, her eyes travelled up to Xiao Hui's third eye in the centre of its forehead, after a moment of deliberation, raised her head and spoke to Ghost Li, "There is one matter, I have thought about it for a long time, it is regarding Xiao Hui's third eye..."

Before she could finish, suddenly outside their house, deafening noises like dog barking exploded over the Seven Mile Cave's sky, the noise shook the surroundings, as if the entire mountain ranges were also quaking. Even with their level of cultivations, they could also feel their ears ringing.

Both of them were startled, Ghost Li with hurried steps walked to the door, pulled opened it and walked out. The booming sound reverberated within the Seven Mile Cave, incessant echos continued to reverberate. By now all of the Miao people were already alarmed by the noises and the original tranquility instantly shattered.

Ghost Li saw countless of Miao people dashing out of their houses, looking far out, their faces registered shock and fear, many of them kept repeating the same words but he could not understand what they were saying.

Footsteps sounded behind him, Xiao Bai had also walked out, stood beside him and looked at the flurried Miao people, she heard the words that they shouted repeatedly and her eyebrows slowly frowned, she quietly said, "There might be trouble."

Ghost Li could also tell something was not right, said, "What happened, what are those Miao people saying?"

Xiao Bai's face was grave, said, "That loud sound just now, was a warning siren made by the Dog Deity statue that the Miao people worships, unless the tribe is at its peril, the Dog Deity would never make this warning. From what I know, for the past thousand years, the Miao Dog Deity has only made such a warning once."

Ghost Li felt a wave of frustration, right now BiYao's biggest hope of survival hinged on that enigmatic great shaman of the Miao altar and yet this bizarre thing just had to happen at this juncture. Just when he was about to speak and enquire more from Xiao Bai, in the initial quiet night sky of the Seven Mile Cave, phenomenal changes started appearing.

The night sky which was full of twinkling stars, thick dark clouds suddenly started to gather together and covered the sky full of stars. The layers of dark clouds from all directions flocked together, wind and clouds changed, extremely unusual.

The tiny humans standing on the ground, could not help but exclaimed in fear and shock, great number of humans started to panic and run around, following which even more started to kneel and pray in the direction of the Miao altar.

Under the heavy black clouds, this stretch of paradise land became a scene of desolation.

Ghost Li frowned, quietly said, "There are skilled cultivated taoists in there."

Xiao Bai beside him, looked at the sky and said, "Where are they from, do you know?"

Ghost Li slowly shook his head, said, "From the skill formation of the winds and clouds, it is very unusual, it doesn't look like it came from Central Plains Good Faction skills and it is also greatly different from the Evil sect."

Xiao Bai's lips twitched, a strange expression flitted through her face, she seemed to recall something but for some reason, she did not say it out.

With the descending black clouds sinking lower and lower, the Miao people in the Seven Mile Cave seemed to have difficulty even in breathing, the shock it caused everyone, was even more evident in the chaos. And at this moment of chaos, a figure suddenly jumped out from the crowd, Ghost Li saw from afar, it was the Miao tribe leader Tu MaGu.

Tu MaGu bellowed to the Miao people, he waved strongly with his arm and slowly the people started to calm down slightly, under Tu MaGu's commands, the women and children all started to run towards a mountaintop located at a distance, leaving the able-bodied and sturdy men, among them many held weapons, obviously the Miao people also understood the peril of the situation and were prepared to fight to their death.

In the scene of chaos, Tu MaGu looked towards the shore and saw both of them standing outside the door, he was taken aback and then nodded his head to indicate his acknowledgement and again placed his attention back to leading his people.

The black clouds slowly descended, casting Xiao Bai's face in-between light and dark. Suddenly, she quietly said to Ghost Li, "With such a highly-skilled unfathomable person, most likely the Miaos are not his match, do you want to help them?"

Ghost Li deliberated for a while, nodded and said, "Since BiYao needs their help..."

Before he could finish, suddenly a strange deafening sound was heard from the black clouds, like thunder, like an animal roar, instantly half of the black clouds seemed to be inflamed, brilliant lights shone out, glaring golden lights inside and outside of the clouds.

After a moment, a rumble was heard deep inside the clouds layers, an enormous ball of fire descended from the sky, carrying raging fire but in the centre of it, a strange black flame burned within it. Before it landed, the surrounding trees blackened and shrivelled. The Miao people were extremely shocked, shouts and screams were heard but this fireball's force was extremely swift, before the Miao people could run and avoid, a sharp piercing sound was heard, struck with a [boom] sound and clashed onto the people on the ground.

In the deafening sound, numerous broken limbs, following the raging fire, flew out, an appalling scene of devastation, anguished wails were heard everywhere.

Ghost Li's countenance changed, unexpectedly the person within the black clouds had hit out without a warning, he was about to fly up to help the Miao people when he felt his clothes tightened behind his back, it was Xiao Bai who was pulling him back.

Ghost Li felt puzzled and looked at her, Xiao Bai shifted her gaze far ahead, said, "Don't be impatient, look over there."

Ghost Li followed her gaze and looked, the Miao altar situated halfway up the mountain, on that levelled platform, the area where it was lit up by the raging fire flames, a skinny hunched figure stood there, his head tilted up to watch the sky. Although the distance was too far and the person's face could not be clearly seen but from the posture, Ghost Li immediately recognized the person to be that enigmatic great shaman in the Miao altar.

He stopped in his tracks, watched that old figure in the mountain from afar.

The fire clouds in the sky increased in intensity, dyed the entire night sky red, like an apocalyptic sign, the complete destruction of Heaven and Earth, in this southern border, acted out in fervertly.

Thundering rumbles, the night wind soarching hot, suddenly an astonished cry, behind the Miao warriors, cries of battle sounds were heard.

The Miao people turned pale, Tu MaGu's countenance changed even drastically, Seven Mile Cave was a place that was easy to defend but hard to attack, with only one mountain path leading to the outside world, the Miao people had always guarded it with heavy troops yet right now someone had stealthily attacked, unless..

Tonight was really the day where the Miao tribe would be exterminated?

Just that the Miao tribe had dominated the southern border for as long as two hundred years, Tu MaGu as the tribe leader, still maintained his composure in the midst of chaos, with a loud shout, he was the first to charge towards the attackers from the back, after a moment the Miao warriors started charging after him.

The night colour like blood, innumerable cold glints from the weapons, instantly gleamed everywhere, streaked across the night sky, spraying fresh red blood.

The fire raged, Heaven and Earth on the point of breaking, that bunch of warriors like demonic ghosts, their chests tattooed with savage bear heads, leapt and roared, dashing out madly from the darkness. Their eyes were crazed, bloodthirsty, the foremost person, his physique extremely tall, his naked upper body riddled with scars, an enormous stone axe in his hands, cutting down left and right, wherever he passed by, blood filled the ground, wails rang out.

The Miao soldiers were known for their bravery but first, because tonight incident came too sudden and with the Dog Deity's cry, it was an ominous sign seen in a thousand years, the Miao people were shaken and beyond terrified; second, the Li tribe had lay in ambush for a long time, with their sudden attack, including the courage moulded out from two hundred years in the southern border badlands and also the thought of their tribe perishing if they failed, in that moment the Miao warriors whom had dominated the southern border were unable to hold them back and started to move back.

Tu MaGu's eyes looked as if fire were about to spew out, by now he had already recognized the enemy's face and bellowed, "Li tribe!"

That Li tribe leader raised his arm and brought down his axe, another Miao soldier was hacked to death, he savagely smiled at him, "Miao dogs, two hundred years of enmity, today all of you have to pay it in full!"

He had just spoken and as if following his words, Li tribe numerous warriors roared out in unison, like a wild beast howling at the moon, with infinite frenzy, charged up, the Miaos even more could not withhold them, looked like they were going to collapse.

At this critical moment, suddenly in this valley, a deep low mysterious voice sounded, like a whisper, like otherworldly, reverberated and wrapped around every inch of this Seven Mile Cave.

The Miao warriors were immediately exulted, their spirits greatly boosted but instead over at Li tribe side, starting from the tribe leader and onwards, everyone faces abruptly revealed panic.

The great shaman whose fame shook the southern border, finally emerged the Miao tribe's moment of dire peril.

Red light, flashed once in the horizon of burning sky and then expanded rapidly, from the great shaman standing at the platform in the middle of the mountain, it blanketed over the entire Seven Mile Cave. Wherever it passed, the burning flames started to be extinguished.

After a while, the red light had already reached the battle ground between the Miao and Li tribes, coming in from the back, the Miaos were unaffected under the red light but before the red light reached the end, one of the Li warriors touched the mysterious red light and suddenly let out a miserable cry, fell down and convulsed ceaselessly, after a moment his entire body trembled, blood flowed out of the seven apertures in his face and died.

The Li tribe turned pale and started to step back, these warriors were used to killing and any type of strong enemy or enormous beast before them, to ask them to attack, they would not even bat an eyelid. But this kind of mysterious witchcraft, had always been the most feared force of the southern border tribes, immediately, fear appeared on everyone's faces.

The Li tribe leader's face also revealed uncontrollable panic, the Miao great shaman's reputation, to the other four southern border tribes, it was like an existence of a terrible demon, right now, he deeply understood this point.

But he did not issue the command to retreat, instead he looked up.

That raging fire burning strongly in the night sky, broiling and surging fiercely!

Laughter, suddenly boomed, carrying disdain and malevolence.

The sky full of clouds, instantly illuminated, the raging fire seemed to become transparent and blazing suddenly, transformed into an enormous terrible beast in the sky. The wind fed the fire, the fire flames leapt higher, the sky changing constantly, like a turbulent great sea, howling unceasingly.

Before the clouds, a person emerged, like a celestial being, its body was inflamed, looking down from the sky, it looked like an arrogant deity.

But he gestured and danced in the sky, making a series of peculiar movements, the next moment like a mysterious force behind him roaring, the entire sky of flames surged up, the clouds swirled crazily, a loud explosion was heard and in that instant, innumerable fireballs dropped down from the sky, each raging with fire, heading for the mortal world.

The crowd below, including Ghost Li and Xiao Bai, their faces turned pale, with only one fireball just now and its power was already so formidable, once these innumerable fireballs landed, most likely Seven Mile Cave would immediately turned into a sea of fire and could no longer be salvaged.

If the common people could deduce that then naturally the great shaman could also, the red light in the valley brightened up almost at the same time, looking from afar, although his expression could not be seen clearly but that thin frail body under the astonishing might of the burning sky, seemed especially frail.

The crowd could see clearly now, that sheet of red light actually came from the great shaman's body, to say it specifically, it was projected out from the wooden staff in his hand. That wooden shaft was black in color, held upright and its height was even taller than the great shaman, especially the tip of the shaft, a strange stone, neither gold nor jade, was set in it, under the great shaman's mysterious conjuring, it projected an even stronger red light.

A commotion immediately went around the Li tribe, numerous warriors instantly became red-eyed, the Li tribe leader, that huge man even gave a bellow, as if carrying two hundred years of infinite enmity.

"Jade Bone!"

He, with his head facing the sky, bellowed, "The great Bear Deity ahhhhhhh...."

That voice was mournful and fierce, shook the countryside, instantly all of the Li tribe warriors cried out at the same time and charged up, that glint of blood-spraying moment, was the border of life and death.

The night was burning, people were in a frenzy!

The Miao warriors fought with all of their mights but facing the frenzied Li tribe warriors, they gradually lost their fighting spirits and started to move backwards.

That river in Seven Mile Cave, slowly turned red, reflecting the numerous fireballs descending from the sky!

The red light suddenly exploded, rising towards the sky and facing those enormous fireballs, forming a sheet of red screen, enveloping the Seven Mile Cave sky.

The inflamed fireballs, almost all at the same time touched the red screen, loud explosions reverberated in the mountain ranges, blowing up into balls of enormous red flames.

The great shaman raised both of his hands over his head, that long staff pointing straight at the horizon, full force battling with that mysterious man in the sky. Just that as time passed, the force from the sky became stronger and stronger, almost beyond a human's might.

The great shaman was taken aback, in the Li tribe, there was never such skills in a thousand years, if not during that holy weapons battle between the two tribes two hundred years ago to determine their fates, they would have used it long ago.

But before him, that mysterious figure in the sky, right now was like an unbeatable God of War.

Deep inside the great shaman's heart, a fog grew bigger and bigger, this bizarre skill simply did not exist in the world and in the southern border, secretly rumoured for several thousands years, that mysterious evil demon legend...

The horizon, the raging fire, Ah HeTai standing high up in the clouds, his eager face illuminated red by the surrounding fire flames, could no longer conceal his conceitment. Deeply shocked by his tribe calamity since young, he forsaked everything else and went deep into the ten thousands great mountains and found that evil demon, beseeched its infinite great powers and today, finally he could save his tribe from abyss of hardship.

And the first step to the Li tribe's perfect life, was at this moment, to trample the entire Miao tribe, take back the Jade Bone set in the Miao's sacred weapon, 'Black Staff', offer sacrifices to the mighty Bear Deity, no, what was the Bear Deity, when the Li tribe was in hardship, where was the Bear Deity?

Ah HeTai cried out in fury in his heart, conjured his powers, instantly another several huge fireballs leapt out from the clouds, while he was happily watching every fireball collision with the red screen, and that once unbeatable figure trembling each time, his mind was already made up, the Li tribe after their victory, he wanted the entire tribe to change their religion to worship that deity, only it, could bring new life to the Li tribe!

X x x

Note: Li tribe - originated from a branch of the ancient bai yue, far before the Qin Han dynasties, 'Luo Yue' branch from the mainland crossed the sea to Hainan island, Sui dynasty named the inhabitants of Hainan island as 'Li Liao', also the ancestors of Li tribe. Today mainly resides at Hainan southern province autonomous prefecture Li tribe and Miao tribe, the rest scattered to Wanning, Tunchang, Qionghai, Chengmai, Luxian, Ding'an etc mixed with the Han people. Li evolved from their pronunciation of the word 'shan ling'.

[Translator's note:

BaiYue - a generic term for southern ethnic groups.

Shan ling means a chain of mountains.]