Chapter 15 - The Ancestral Worship Ceremony (edited)
Chapter 15 - The Ancestral Worship Ceremony
When the sunlight had warmed up the Gold Black Mountain, all the Fire Crow Clan people had arrived the Ancestral Temple, and were waiting outside.
Under the sunshine, gigantic crows were cawing and hovering above the temple. A couple of old crows lazily leaned their heads and looked down from their nesting tree.
Ji Hao was also standing outside of the Ancestral Temple with a group of children.
The Ancestral Temple of the Fire Crow Clan wasn't exactly looking like a temple. It had been built on the mountainside, below a sheer cliff. It was more like a cave. Ji Hao and the other Fire Crow’s people were standing in front of a square entrance. From the entrance, one had to walk through a thousand feet long hallway, where the holiest place, where the ancestors of the Fire Crow Clan’s people had been buried, was.
People were standing there orderly and quietly, with a serious look on their faces.
A dozen of Elder Magi and Maguspriests were standing in front of the crowd, carrying trays, which were carved out of jade, and were holding gold, precious stones and other treasures in it.
Ji Hao hadn't even heard about some of those treasures. He could sense a strong spiritual energy coming from those sparkling precious stones. The mysterious energy even caused a splendid, multi-coloured sunglow in the sky.
After the sun had reached its zenith at the horizon, spreading its light and giving life to everything it touched, the Master Maguspriest of the Fire Crow Clan, Ji Kui came forth from the crowd. He was wearing a cloak made of dragon skin, a helmet made of dragon skull and a string of sharp beast teeth. He was holding a blood-jade dagger and walking towards the entrance of the temple. Then, he turned around and waved to the crowd.
After that, all the Maguspriests, who had come from thousands of branch clans, walked out, lined up and kneeled behind Ji Kui. After that they began to read an ancient and obscure magic-spell.
Ji Hao shivered and looked around. He sensed a weirdly cold air which was pervading around him along with those Maguspriests’ voices, as if he had been surrounded by ghosts. Both his body and soul felt cold as ice.
Right at that moment Ji Hao heard sounds of screaming and wailing. Ji Xia and a thousand of sturdy warriors were bringing thousands of slaves from the back of the mountain. Those slaves were skinny, wounds all over their bodies and their eyes were filled with fear and hopelessness.
“You bastard! Fire Crow Clan, We, the Black Water Serpent Clan, We will prey on you until the last one of us die!”
“No...You can’t kill me...My father...My father is the elder Magus of the Black Water Serpent Clan!”
“My great ancestor, please take my soul now, please don't let the evil have my soul!”
However, no matter how hard those slaves were shouting and struggling, they couldn’t escape from Ji Xia and his people’s control.
Soon, the man who had claimed that his father was the elder Magus of the Black Water Serpent Clan, had been pinned down to the ground in front of Ji Kui.
“Son of the Black Water Serpent Clan’s elder Magus. Our ancestors would love to have your soul!” Ji Kui said coldly and pressed his hand onto the slave’s chest. The slave was around a foot taller than Ji Kui. However, he painfully screamed when Ji Kui’s hand touched him, after which his body quickly went limp. Ji Kui drove the Blood-Jade dagger deep into his chest, and pierced through his heart. In the meanwhile, Ji Hao had noticed that a few spell-symbols on the dagger surface had started to shine, and a blast of hot air came out from the dagger.
The slave began to twitch uncontrollably. His muscular body rapidly shriveled and turned into a wisp of black smoke, ultimately it had been puffed away by the wind. All his bones, muscles, blood and life-force had been sucked into the dagger.
Other slaves who had witnessed this man’s death, started to struggle even harder than before. Some of them even cried out in fear.
Ji Kui remained cold. He continued killing thousands of slaves one after another. The dagger became blood-red, those mysterious spell-symbols were shining with a bright light. The air was turning hotter and hotter. People had started to sweat.
Suddenly, a whirlwind came out from the entrance of the Ancestral Temple, which blew through the feet of every Fire Crow People.
Ji Hao was very nervous. He clenched his fists and gazed at Ji Kui.
This was only a decennial worship ceremony. Ji Hao had heard that at the centennial worship ceremony, the Master Maguspriest would kill ten thousands of slaves at the very least.
However, the dagger had already become truly miraculous after Ji Kui had taken thousands of people’s lives with it. It was floating in front of Ji Kui and shining with a bright fiery light, which seemed like a blood-red sun. The light constantly grew and shrank, just like the beating of a heart. Ji Hao sensed a strong life-force coming from the fiery light.
The Maguspriests who were kneeling behind Ji Kui continued reading the magic spell louder and louder with excitement on their faces.
Though this was Ji Hao’s first Ancestral Worship Ceremony, he had heard a lot about the standard procedure before. First the Master Maguspriest would kill slaves in front of the entrance, letting the dagger absorb the life-force and souls from those human sacrifices. Then he will send these souls and life forces along with other oblations into the temple, offering them to the ancestors.
The mysterious being inside the temple might be the souls of Fire Crow people’s ancestors, or other unknown things. They will devour the oblations and grant ‘gifts’ to the Fire Crow people.
People who would receive the ‘gifts’ would be randomly chosen from the crowd of the Fire Crow’s people.
In the history of the Fire Crow Clan, there had been a newborn child who got all of the ‘gifts’ from a worship ceremony. The ‘gifts’ allowed him to open up a hundred of ‘magus acupoints’, making him as powerful as a Senior Magus. The child was the last Divine Magus of the Fire Crow Clan.
Ji Kui was about to walk into the Temple when Ji Shu walked out and said something aloud.
“Respected Master Maguspriest, I have something to say and I want to say it in front of our ancestors,” said Ji Shu.
The corner of Ji Kui’s mouth twitched. He looked at Ji Shu and said in a very cold tone: “According to the rules of our ancestors, anybody can talk about anything at the ceremony. But, Ji Shu, if you’re planning to say something not important, you should be prepared to take the punishment from our ancestors. Are you aware of that?”
Ji Shu bowed to Ji Kui, smiled and answered: “Of course it is important. I’m talking on behalf of the entire clan. Someone should let others have the important position if he is no longer qualified for it.”
Ji Shu then raised his arms and yelled: “Ji Xia, my brother! You’re the leader of the Holy Land warriors, which means you are the leader of a thousand of branch clan’s warriors! But, do you think you still deserve this position?”
Ji Shu waved his arm and growled: “Let us obey the rules of our ancestors. Ji Xia, my brother. I’m now challenging you! Do not blame me, this is for all of us.”
Ji Xia snorted. He calmly went up to Ji Shu with his spear.
“Abba! Hold! Ji Shu, my dear uncle, have you forgotten that your son still has a fight against me?” Ji Hao’s voice broke the silence.
“In front of our ancestors and all our people, we have a match!”
①People in a large clan or tribe usually call each other brothers and sisters, even if they weren’t born to the same parents.