Chapter 1 – Hunter (edited)
Chapter 1: Hunter
The Southern Wastelands, a boundless primitive jungle.
Poisonous miasma spiralled around the treetops of the tall, ancient trees. The miasma reflected the sunlight, creating colorful rays of light that merged into a gorgeous rainbow.
Drifting above was a floating island with a circumference of several hundred miles. Dozens of white-dragon-like waterfalls roared out from the edges of the island. A hurricane blew by, dispersing the waterfalls into a cloud of mist. Dozens of rainbows were dancing around in the mist, complementing the colorful miasma circling around the treetops.
Ji Hao was standing on the edge of the island, gazing down at the vast Southern Wasteland jungle.
A breeze ruffled Ji Hao’s hair. He had a determined and delicate face and a pair of deep, mysterious eyes, that shone brightly. Whenever Ji Hao focused his gaze on a certain area, nine dark purple and golden flash marks would suddenly appear around the pupils of his eyes, which, although seemed dignified and mysterious, made others feel uncomfortable to directly look at them.
A simple leather skirt wrapped around his waist. Two sharp eyebrows struck out from his temple, his nose stood tall and straight, and his lips were angular and broad. From time to time, the corners of his mouth would form a faint, mocking smile. This handsome and attractive young man, Ji Hao, didn’t seem to take anything to heart.
Ji Hao looked like a pine which was firmly rooted in the rocks, no matter how fierce the wind and the rain were or how heavy the thunder and lightning roared, he seems would stay immovable and indestructible like a mountain.
A gigantic crow with a wingspan of more than thirty feet, was standing beside Ji Hao. His red pupils seemed faintly blazed. The crow turned his head and looked around every now and then.
“Mr. Crow, we’re just taking a stroll. Relax.” Ji Hao patted one of the his talons and said, “Later, we will get you a serpent to fill your stomach, then we will go to the Black Wind Valley. Let’s see if we can find some ‘Wind Dragon Plant’ for Abba.”
The crow cawed a few times then intimately rubbed Ji Hao’s head with its sharp beak.
Ji Hao raised his head and stretched his arms. He yawned and said, “Comfortable, so comfortable. No need to stay with those old grandpas and study grass...tree bark...snake teeth...or poison sacks...so nice!”
“Hey, are there really people who do not fear death? Don’t these stinky snakes know that this jungle belongs to us, the Fire Crow Clan? This is the Fire Crow Clan’s territory!” said Ji Hao. He looked around, then suddenly widened his eyes and pointed down at the jungle.
A group of topless, sturdy, and two-meter-tall men, with scars slashed all over their bodies, were swaggering around in the jungle. They were carrying a variety of hunted prey on their shoulders. Ji Hao looked carefully, there were tigers, leopards and bears; each of them were tens of feet tall, like a small mountain of meat.
“Bastards! This is the Fire Crow Clan’s hunting grounds. Those animals are ours! These animals, even the smallest one can feed a kid for a whole year. If you would get them skinned and cleaned, you could even trade for three young women with those furs!”
Ji Hao shouted out. He opened his arms, locked his fingers together and cast a spell. Suddenly, the waterfall closest to him rumbled and no longer fell straight down; a mysterious power tilted the waterfall thirty degrees towards those men in the jungle.
Those Black Water Serpent Clan warriors were happily walking in the jungle, while the waterfall transformed into a heavy downpour and fell onto their heads. They saw the waterfall, laughed out loud, opened their mouths and headed up to drink the chilly and sweet water pouring down from the sky.
The man who walked in the front had a ten-foot-long Single-Horned Serpent coiled around his waist, which swayed its body leisurely. The sudden bath seemed to make it feel incomparably joyful. The Single-Horned Serpent is the Black Water Serpent Clan’s special battle beast. Only elite warriors had the qualifications to have a Horned Serpent as a contract fighting beast, help them with killing in the battle.
In the torrential rain, the water droplets suddenly turned into lines then slowly gathered into transparent water ropes, which silently and abruptly wrapped around the men’s necks.
“Enemies...a sneak attack!” roared the leader, his voice full of fear.
Had they just been attacked by a water magic sorcerer?
But to sneakily attack enemies in a torrential rain is one of the Black Water Serpent Clan’s specialties. In the Southern Wastelands, the Black Water Serpent Clan’s archenemy was the Fire Crow Clan, who were experts at fire spells. They never had heard of a Fire Crow Clan Magus warrior who could cast a water spell.
Ji Hao changed his hand gesture. The water ropes shook violently and sent the men flying. One after another, they heavily smashed onto the trees and fainted.
Only the leader struggled up, ripped apart the water rope from his neck, and tore it into countless water droplets. A water-tank-sized pit appeared on the tree trunk behind him, clearly showing just how strong his body was.
“The coward who only dares to use sneak attacks, show your face!” The man jerked out a long spear and growled angrily.
The single-horned serpent uncoiled itself from the man’s waist, nimbly moved around in the heavy rain, and spat out cold black smoke fitfully from time to time.
“Mr. Crow! Go!” Ji Hao hopped onto the crow’s back. The gigantic crow opened his wings and let out a sharp caw, rushing down towards the furious man.
The floating island was a few miles above the ground. The crow diving down at lightning speed, reached the forest within the span of a few breaths.
Once the Black Water Serpent Clan’s warrior saw the crow coming, his face twisted in fear that even hardly looked like a human face. He screamed out, “Fire Crow! Fire Crow! The Holy Land protector!”
The Fire Crow swiped downwards with its talon, the black, steel-like talon gently bumped into the man’s body; the man’s body then exploded into a cloud of dense bloody mist and splashed everywhere. The Single-Horned Serpent turned around in fear and tried to flee; but the Fire Crow opened its beak toward the serpent and spewed out a lava-like red flame.
The Single-Horned Serpent hissed loudly as it was burnt to a wisp of smoke. Several ancient trees were also set ablaze by the fire, like a few torches.
After that, the Fire Crow spread out its wings, landed on a branch, and proudly cawed towards the sky.
Ji Hao patted the Fire Crow’s head and leapt down into the woods. Not far away, there was an enormous tree with vines coiled around it. Ji Hao neatly selected several hundred-year-old “Dragon Vines” and weaved them into a rope. then tied the fainted men and all the hunted animals together with it.
“Let’s bring them back first. Mr Crow, let’s go!”
Ji Hao hopped on the Fire Crow’s back again, then whistled sharply. The Fire Crow picked up the captives and animals, flapped his wings, and flew south. With a few flaps, the crow rushed high into the sky. His jet-black plumage started emitting a faint, fiery light; the crow transformed into a streak of flames and flew far into the distance, soon disappeared.
About an hour later, a majestic mountain blocked their way. On the mountaintop, thousands of mulberry trees were standing.
Tens of huge bird nests could be seen on the treetops. Hundreds of colossal crows, even bigger than the Fire Crow under Ji Hao’s feet, were hovering around those trees.
They were still a few hundred miles away from the mountain when a stream of fire shot towards them. A three-meter tall muscular man was standing on the flames and growled loudly at Ji Hao, “Hao! You snuck away again? How old do you think you are? You’re just a little kid! Aren’t you afraid of being snatched away by a large bird?”
Pausing for a second, after seeing the captives and hunted animals in the Fire Crow’s talons, the brawny man laughed out loud and waved his fists, “You really are our big brother, Ji Xia’s son! Where did you catch these stinky snakes? Now we’re going to have enough mining slaves, for the mines in the back of the mountain!”
He hesitated for a second, then frowned and continued, “You should go back first. Brother Ji Xia’s distant cousin came...and he brought his people...this guy... is not amiable at all, I’m afraid he has not come with any good intentions...”
Ji Hao’s facial expression changed. He tapped the Fire Crow’s head. The crow then sped up and headed towards the deep valley below the massive mountain.
 Dark golden and purple marks: A series of symbols which contain mysterious power.
 In mysterious Eastern culture, Magi and Maguspriests usually cast their magics by locking their fingers together in certain motions while chanting magic spells.