Chapter 63 - Allied forces (edited)
Chapter 63: Allied forces
The continuous sounds of drums, horns and shouts were so loud that even the sky was shaking; the roars of the battle beasts and birds started a fierce gust of wind, violently swaying the jungle in the vicinity of hundreds of miles.
The Fire Crow Clan and Fire Leopards Clan’s warriors quickly drew back to the top of the cliff through the winding trail hidden in the wood of thorns, guarding the only trail that led to the top of the cliff.
Maguspriests of the Fire Leopards Clan ruthlessly beheaded those captured from the Blood Crocodile Clan and Ghost Frog clan one after another, with bitter and sad expressions on their faces. Daggers, made from obsidian, tore those captives their necks apart; once the fresh blood had spurted out of their wounds, a hot gust of wind would come roaring over, rolling all of the blood away; every single drop of fresh blood was being absorbed by the ancestors’ banner of the Fire Leopards Clan, which had been raised once again.
Nourished by over two thousands of captives’ blood, two-hundred fire leopards phantoms quietly darted out of the banner, crawled in those highly poisonous thorn bushes, without making any noticeable sound.
“Such a bunch of reckless people! Don’t they fear the Fire Crow Clan’s revenge?” Qing Ying waved his long bow, standing on the edge of the cliff and shouted.
Ji Hao crossed his arms around his chest, while looking at the groups of warriors who were rushing towards them in the jungle afar, without saying a word.
In the Southern Wasteland, the cost to gather this many of elite forces from so many clans at the same time was very high. The paths in the Southern Wasteland jungle were dangerous and complicated; if someone tried to gather the warriors from tens of clans simultaneously, and arrange them in order to ambush a certain spot, the mobilization of the troops, the negotiations and time control would all be huge problems.
Not to mention that almost every single Southern Wasteland warrior was a great eater; even an ordinary Novice Magus warrior needed at least five kilograms of meat, while the appetites of the Senior and Junior Magi were similar to bottomless pits; elite warriors from tens of clans summed up together could eat up two to three huge mountains piled up by beast-meat within a short amount of time.
No matter who planned all these, the money, the forces and the material resources they had to spent on all this were all astonishingly high.
Fiery light flashed through Ji Hao’s pupils, he was carefully identifying the totems painted on those banners.
“Cyan Cattle Clan, Buffalo Clan, Raging Bull Clan...hmm, the famous ‘three-cattle clans’, aren’t they neutral clans?” murmured Ji Hao.
“Tusk Tiger Clan, Raging Lion Clan, Wind Eagle Clan, these small clans have always been especially cautious and careful, what’s wrong with them? Not afraid of death anymore?”
However, soon, Ji Hao found a few totems that made him feel stressed looking at those banners.
“Ghost Clan, Demon Clan, Gu Clan...Damn! These weird people had never any contact with the Southern Wasteland clans before, how did they get involved in this?! Are they trying to challenge the Fire Crow Clan? Or are they coveting this jungle of the Southern Wasteland?”
None of those mutual clans, such as the ‘three-cattle clans’, or the middle scale clans like the Tusk Tiger Clan, Raging Lion Clan and Wind Egle Clan, had ever challenged big clans like the Fire Crow Clan and Black Water Serpent Clan, which were ruling their own pieces of land; all of these small to middle scale clans had always been mutual and only minding their own businesses; they had never ganged up with either the Fire Crow Crow or Black Water Serpent Clan; these clans had never shown any sign of sudden rise, nor were they worried about complete collapsing.
If someone had promised them enough profit, it would be reasonable for these small to middle scale clans to gather together and try to tear off a fat piece of meat from the Fire Crow Clan.
However, clans like the Ghost Clan, Demon Clan, and Gu Clan never got along with others Southern Wasteland Clans, instead, they have formed their own systems; even big clans like the Fire Crow Clan wouldn’t provoke them initiatively.
Take the Ghost Clan as an example, they didn’t have a bloodline power; what they had, was a system of inheritance, called ‘ghost-inheritance’; from generation to generation, they were worshiping evil spirits and ghosts, existing in the jungle; every new born kid would merge with an evil ghost after he or she came to this world, becomming a half human and half ghost being; by merging their own body with those ghosts, they would be gifted all kinds of unimaginably strange power.
They were only a few people in the Ghost Clan, however, the evil spirits they had inherited from their ancestors were very powerful; once their newborns merged with those evil spirits, they would become as powerful as ordinary Junior Magi; after the Ghost Clan warrior grew up and inherited all of the power from the evil spirit, their power would be great enough to compete with Senior Magi.
Demon Clan, Gu Clan, and a few other small clans were all similar to the Ghost Clan, and had their own special systems. People from these clans were hardly human-like; from a certain degree, they had already become some other humanoid-like beings
Usually, these clans rarely connected with the outside world; none of the Southern Clan was willing to make contact with them. But today, Ji Hao had found eight to nine totems of these non-human kind clans.
“How generous you are! Whoever you are, why spent these much of efforts on this? For Abba? Amma? Or me?”
Ji Hao gazed at those fluttering banners in the air, and gasped heavily. “Uncle, release the wind-sparrow.” He turned around, looked at Qing Ying and said in a low voice.
Qing Ying nodded with a twisted face, then carefully took a baby-palm-sized, cyan, long tail bird out of his cloth. This was a special kind of wind-sparrow, only belonging to the Qing Yi Clan. The size of this kind of sparrow was very miniscule, while the speed of it was extremely high; they knew how to hide themselves in the shadows of branches and leaves during flight; even the snipe-eagle, which had the best eyesight, could hardly find any trace of them.
“Go! To the Cold Stream Valley! Good bird, tell Brother Ji Xia what’s happening here!” Qing Ying fed the bird with a few round pills, that had a mix of his own blood and the essence of five kinds of cereals, and whispered a few words to the bird.
The bird raised its head, repeated every single word said by Qing Ying with a silvery voice; the voice of the bird was clear and fluent, not even one word had been missed.
“Good, just like this, tell Brother Ji Xia that this is a trap, that has been set by someone other people!” Qing Ying narrowed his eyes and raised his hand. The bird let out a ringing call, and transformed into a faint piece of cyan shadow, rose high into the air and flew seven to eight miles away within the blink of an eye.
A black gust of wind came from the sideway towards the bird, within the black wind, tens of palm-sized iron-claw vultures, that had evil looks, gave a few high-pitched howls then quickly encircled the flying cyan sparrow.
The cyan wind-sparrow lithely moved and rotated within the circle of iron-claw vultures, dodged the attacks of tens of sharp claws within only a moment.
The cyan sparrow was about to rush out of the circle with its tiny body and lightning-fast movements, when a sharp infant cry came from the air afar.
On a tip of a branch miles away, under the banner of the Demon Clan, a deadly pale infant was leaning against a branch, who cried towards the bird with a very strange tone. The infant was giving a death and evil vibe, that was nothing like any human kids.
Before the cry faded, the cyan sparrow, which was flying in the air miles away, suddenly stopped, as if it was hit by a lightning bolt; its body went slanted and fell down from the sky.
A green serpent head quietly rose from the dense jungle below, opened its jaws and swallowed the falling cyan sparrow.
Ji Hao’s heart suddenly sank. Qing Ying’s face darkened immediately, he almost cried out, “Hao! This sparrow...I raised it...since I was a little kid. These bunch of bastards! I’ll kill them all!”
On the other side of the river, two gigantic trees were pushed aside; a three-meter tall, sturdy figure slowly walked out of the jungle, while carrying a wooden stake on his shoulder.
The figure was half naked; his light green skin was covered in a twisted, ghost-face-like totems. He looked up at Ji Hao and Qing Ying and said with a very muffled voice, “Walk out by yourselves, and beg for mercy, then we will kill only a half of you!”
The dense jungle started to shake, and waves of weird and creepy laughter continuously were comming from it.
Gu: was a venom-based poison associated with cultures of south China, particularly Nanyue. The traditional preparation of Gu poison involved sealing several venomous creatures (e.g., centipede, snake, scorpion) inside a closed container, where they devoured one another and allegedly concentrated their toxins into a single survivor. Gu was used in black magic practices such as manipulating sexual partners, creating malignant diseases and causing death. According to Chinese folklore, a Gu spirit could transform into various animals, typically a worm, caterpillar, snake, frog, even dog or pig.