Chapter 710 – Pursuit and Flight
The night grew deeper, and the reeking of blood became even heavier. The corpse of a pack animal collapsed in the centre of the path, but no vicious beasts approached it. They circled around it in the distance before fleeing into the depths of the jungle as if they had been frightened off.
The grey eye of the pack animal suddenly moved, and a black insect squirmed out, turning around and squirming back in. The huge body of the pack animal was riddled with holes, revealing its bloody bones. A large, multicoloured spider claimed the pack animal all for itself, plunging its fangs through its skull and sucking up the brain juices.
The insects of various sizes had already completely claimed this space. There were everywhere, in the sky and on the ground; it was as if they were the masters of the jungle.
Specks of green light suddenly lit up in the darkness. They were pairs of eyes. Hideous figures emerged from the forest one by one—the shamans of the Bone-eating tribe were here!
“Chief, it’s right here!” The shaman who Li Qingshan had frightened away said to the colossal figure in front of him fearfully.
“Gu insects? They have shamans among them?”
The Bone Eating chieftain looked back and said. No one would have thought he had once been a human. White, curled teeth protruded out of his mouth as his arms rippling with muscle draped right to the ground, like a mix between a black bear and a gorilla, except the hair on him was a little thin. His voice was like the growl of a wild beast, filled with an imposing force.
“No, there shouldn’t be!”
“Then where did these gu insects come from?”
The Bone Eating chieftain’s eyes were filled with caution. If there were not shamans, how could so many gu insects gather here in just a short while? Although the Bone Eating tribe was definitely the most ferocious predators in this region of the rainforest, the lessons they had learnt generation after generation prevented them from underestimating other shamans.
“Chief, these insects don’t seem to be under anyone’s control. They taste quite nice!” said a Bone Eating shaman with a head of white hair.
This Bone Eating shaman was different from the others. He was extremely skinny, and if it were not for his hideous face, he basically seemed no different from an ordinary, small, old man. He held a staff in one hand. On the top of the staff was a shrivelled head, and in his other hand was a forearm-sized insect. He shoved it into his mouth and took a bite. With a spurt, yellowish-green liquid spurted out and satisfaction filled his face.
“Shaman priest, what do you think happened?” The Bone Eating chieftain asked while showing some respect through his voice.
Even tribes of barbarians had “shaman priests”. Their status was only second to the chieftain, or even higher than the chieftain. They handled the matters of divination, sacrifices, healing, and so on. Within shaman tribes, they were also a representation of power.
“They must have been drawn over here by something. Only after they ate that thing did they become so large in such a short amount of time.” The Bone Eating shaman priest gestured around with his long, boney hands. Suddenly, he swung his staff and struck the shaman who had brought back the news over the head. “You bastard, you said the infant was born from the egg?”
“Yes, yes, yes, shaman priest!”
“It’s the eggshell. Look around in the surroundings. There still might be some fragments!”
The Bone Eating chieftain wrinkled his nose and glanced around. He arrived before a large tree and plunged his hand into it viciously, digging out a piece of pith. After crushing it, a scarlet-red fragment the size of a grain of rice appeared. The dense life force inside left him surprised. It was no wonder these insects could become so large in such a short amount of time.
He was voracious. Just a single piece of eggshell was like this. If he ate the entire egg, just what would happen? The only thing that bothered him was the infant that hatched from the egg. What was his identity and origins and was he powerful?
The Bone Eating shaman priest smiled. “He was probably very feeble back then. If he had another choice, why would he scatter the eggshell everywhere? Yet, a coward like you had actually been frightened away! Hehehehe, all you can say is you’re not fortunate enough. If you eat him, you might even draw in the heavenly lightning. It’ll be even better than eating a hundred, a thousand people!”
The shaman’s face was filled with deep regret, but when he recalled the scarlet pair of eyes, he shivered inside. He thought, If you had seen those eyes, you definitely would have fled too!
“Chase him down. I have to eat that infant and avenge our children!” The Bone Eating chieftain raised his arms and howled viciously.
Roar! The Bone Eating shamans responded with growls.
The shamans rushed off on all four limbs into the depths of the jungle. To them, Goldie A’bao’s scent and tracks were as clear as a signpost.
Li Qingshan became more and more familiar with the way of draining life force. Before long, all of the howls and shrieks vanished, having been reduced to withered corpses. Only the naive lad who had no idea what was going on laid on the ground limply as if he was living a nightmare.
As if he did not see him, Li Qingshan sat back around the fire.
“Sir, what do we do with this lad?”
Goldie A’bao lifted up the lad. As the life force flowed into his body, he became a little blinded by greed. It was no wonder the Bone Eating shaman would be so careful and devoted when they ate people. Basically nothing could compare to the delight that came from this. Right now, all he wanted was a little more!
“It’s not like he provoked you!” Li Qingshan stared at the flames and plunged his hands into the bonfire.
“If we don’t kill them all, Huangliang beach might come for revenge!” Goldie A’bao said.
Although the people from Huangliang beach had been in the wrong first, wanting to kill him for his riches, there was no concept of right or wrong in the jungle, only the strong preying on the weak. He would want to minimise his troubles as much as possible.
“Is Huangliang beach a shaman tribe like the Bone Eating tribe?”
“Of course not. How can there be so many shaman tribes? They have a shaman priest at most!”
“Then what revenge are you afraid of?”
Goldie A’bao suddenly returned to his senses. Before he knew it, the surroundings had become much brighter. The jungle that had originally been so gloomy had now cleared up, like it was dusk right now. He casually picked up a blade and twisted it forcefully. The blade bent. The tough metal had become like clay in his hands.
He felt like he had limitless strength and so much energy that he felt like he had returned to his twenties; no, it was even better than back then! This was the power only shamans possessed! With this power, why would he still be afraid of revenge from Huangliang beach? Huangliang beach were the ones who were supposed to fear his wrath, just in case he destroyed them. And, as long as he continued to follow this A’yue, the power would definitely become stronger and stronger!
“Thank you, sir!”
Goldie A’bao tossed aside the lad from Huangliang beach. He dropped down on his knees and buried his head into the ground. The gratitude on his face was definitely not fake. The people of the Mist province’s desire for power was beyond the imaginations of people from peaceful places like the Green province.
Just the value of this power alone had surpassed gold by a hundred fold. He had already made up his mind. He would latch himself firmly to this A’yue. Even if there was some danger, it would be worth it. Benefits came from danger after all. And from the type of person A’yue was, at least he did not have to worry about being cast aside as soon as he was not needed anymore!
“Prepare to set off!” Li Qingshan stood up and said.
Goldie A’yue was originally utterly exhausted, planning to rest up. However, after absorbing the life force of seven or eight people, he no longer felt any exhaustion anymore. He stripped a corpse of his clothes and changed into them before equipping a blade. He even gathered some food, water, and money, making ample preparations. He was brimming with energy, differing greatly from how shaken and uneasy he was a few hours ago.
Li Qingshan took something with him too, which was the bonfire. He shrunk it to the size of a fist and fiddled around with it in his hand, using it to comprehend the essence of fire. After he recovered all of his strength, he would begin practising the second and third layers of the Phoenix’s Scripture of Nirvāṇa. The difficulty of merging water and fire would increase too, so he had to get to work now.