Thursday, 28 January 2016

Chapter 100 - Gigantic Tree


The sky gradually lightened up.

The rain ceased and the wind died down, the first ray of morning sunlight, through the sky’s layers of thick clouds and the death marsh drifting mist, shone down.

In the forest, everywhere was still but slowly following that sunlight, gradually started to stir. From an unknown place, the first cry of a bird was heard. Immediately, following the streams of lights that spilled down from the gaps of the forest’s canopy, the whole forest seemed to rouse from the night’s deep sleep, regardless near or far, the joyous cries of the early morning were heard everywhere, greeting this new day.

Right now in the forest, the mist, like a white veil, floated everywhere. When one walked into it, a faint moisture would be felt on the face. In addition with the especially fresh air in the forest, when one inhaled in, it felt like your heart had opened up.

Ghost Li breathed the morning air in deeply, expressionlessly looked in front, even Xiao Hui who was lying on his shoulder, also stretched lazily.

About ten zhangs away, was the direction of the previous night’s golden light beam, the mist had suddenly thickened, turning hazy and indistinct, it looked surreal. Just that this mist and the inner marsh miasma boundary was different, the color was not grey and was a pure white color. Looking far ahead, the mist drifted lightly in the forest, wisps and threadlike, layer upon layer, piling up.

There, might be the location of the rare treasure!

Ghost Li unhurriedly turned his head and looked to the side, Lu XueQi was standing two zhangs away from him, attired in white like snow, silently staring at that mist in front.

The two of them, in the end did not fight.

The whole night, after that first moment of surprise and subtle agitation, between the both of them, was a long silence.

Both of them were just three feet apart but it seemed like it was a chasm bigger than the Forsaken Abyss, deeply entrenched between them, and even more in their hearts.

Even when that dazzling golden light beam charged up to the sky, both of them turned and watched it from a bird’s-eye view, the sky’s golden light rays reflected on their faces, quietly watching in this strange foreign place, adding several degrees of coldness.

The past, in the end still changed…

Lu XueQi seemed to sense something and turned her head over, meeting Ghost Li’s stare, her eyes as clear as water, maybe there was still a faint ripple deep inside her eyes but right now, it could no longer be seen by anyone.

She looked at that man in front of her, he stood beside her in the forest, carefully looking at him, she finally discovered that he was no longer that youth anymore!

The once so familiar face, the innocent and smiles replaced by calmness and the look of someone who had been through life’s vicissitudes.

She lowered her head slightly, her clear eyes stopped at the Tian Ya Celestial Sword in her hand as if thinking of something, after a while, her voice lightly floated, suddenly said, “Come back!”

She did not raise her head or make any movement, her expression did not change even the slightest, only the hand that was clutching Tian Ya, the slender and fair fingers slowly tightened.

“...Zhang junior brother!” She softly, softly said.

Come back…

These four words, the words that drifted in the morning breeze, enveloped him, then like a stone, one by one charged into his heart.

Ghost Li breathed deeply, closed his eyes. The ice-cold Soul-Absorbing stick in his sleeve beside his hands, like a loyal friend, never once abandoned him!

After a very long time.

When he opened his eyes, there was a faint smile, he unhurriedly said, “This name, I have not use it for a very long time.”

The corner of Lu XueQi’s mouth twitched, she slowly raised her head but eventually whatever words that she wanted to say, she did not say it and kept quiet.

Both of them stood like that but the distance between them seemed to increase again. The morning sunlight shone onto that unparalleled beautiful girl’s face, warmly radiating a soul-moving beauty, the faintly discernable light mist seemed to be also attracted to her, gently danced and enveloped her.

That instant, her face, also seemed to be faintly blurred.

Lu XueQi turned and strided without saying anything and walked towards where that blanket of dense haze was, leaving that man behind her.

Just that when her figure was becoming more indistinct in the haze, she suddenly heard that man’s voice behind her, unhurriedly saying, “Will you kill me?”

Her figure, disappeared into the white haze, nobody could see her eyes, her expression, her body again.

The silent morning, after a long time, floated out her voice from the haze, “I will. So whenever you have the chance to kill me, do not hesitate to do so…”

The sky brightened up completely but walking in the haze made one felt that it was still dim. This stretch of haze was far denser than the other places and limited one’s vision too.

Ghost Li walked along in the forest and had already noticed that other than the mist, even though he was still in the forest but it was very much different from the outside. Other than the looming tall trees in the haze, there were only a few of the thick thorny undergrowth and bushes as seen in the forest outside, not sure if it was because of the thick haze that prevented the sunlight from reaching down.

But the most surprising thing was, the venomous insects, ferocious beasts, bizarre plants and flowers that permeated the death marsh forest suddenly disappeared too. Ghost Li traversed in this forest for at least an hour and had not encountered even one poisonous insect.
 
Here, not a single living thing seemed to exist, a heavy dead atmosphere.

Ghost Li frowned and continued to walk ahead. Xiao Hui on his shoulder also quietened down, its hands grabbing onto his clothes tightly but a pair of sharp eyes were still turning around, ceaselessly looking around. Without the thorny undergrowth and those pestering poisonous animals and strange beasts, it was clearly much more easier to travel. This was the first time ever since he had entered the inner marsh.

Lu XueQi entered the haze earlier than him, Ghost Li outside, had deliberately waited for a long time before entering, right now where exactly was Lu XueQi?

Just that, while he was walking in the forest, on one hand he was staying vigilant against any strange movements but in his heart, subconsciously his mind kept going over that white-attired girl’s figure.

“Come back…” Ghost Li spoke to himself, using only the voice that he could hear, softly chanted these four words.

Qing Yun Hill, Big Bamboo Valley, Observed Silence Hall, small courtyard, bamboo forest…

His lips twitched, a anguished smile emerged and said, “I can no longer return, isn’t it, Xiao Hui?”

[Zi zi!] The monkey Xiao Hui softly called out twice, nobody knew what it meant also.

Ghost Li patted Xiao Hui, after a moment, he suddenly cheered up, with a wry smile, strided and headed deep inside the haze.

Walking for another hour, the trees in the forest were getting thicker and thicker, until the latter part, it was almost as thick as two persons’ arms going around it. Ghost Li observed the surroundings and was secretly alarmed.

The past ten years, after the shock from the Qing Yun Hill battle and with the magical weapons, Soul-Absorbing stick and Sinister Orb, beside him exerting their subtle influence, other than devoting his concentration to cultivation and his nature gradually evolving into a ruthless and blood-thirsty one, he had also learned other kinds of knowledge from Ghost King. And this generation of Ghost King was really a talent out of this world, not to mention his skills were extraordinary high, he also read extensively and had broad ambitions.

Because of BiYao, Ghost King treated him like his own, affectionately taught him, under his planned guidance, the Ghost Li now not only trained and cultivated but even his knowledge and experience, far exceeded that naive and ignorant Qing Yun Sect junior disciple.
    
Right now he observed the enormous trees in this forest, actually these trees were not rare and uncommon trees, these were oak, maple and pagoda trees etc, even in the mountains outside the death marsh, there were abundant of them. But the strange part was that the trees here were extraordinary huge, the normal ones were only about half of their sizes and it was already quite alarming, to add to that, so many of these trees were all gathered here.

But what was even more strange was that by right it should be exuberant at where these trees were but under this sheet of haze, not even one animal was seen. Even the occasional thorny undergrowth seen at the beginning were all gone. And above the ground, other than the occasional revealed roots of these huge trees, were all solid and light yellow mud, not even grass grew here.

Under the chilly cold haze, it had a sombre and desolate feeling.

Ghost Li frowned deeply, he muttered to himself for a long while, surveyed the surroundings and saw that the enormous trees reached up to the sky, perfectly straight and towering, he himself strolling in the forest looked as if he was inside an enormous maze.

He suddenly waved his sleeve and his entire being soared up, unwilling to stay any longer in this strange place, he wielded his Soul-Absorbing stick, in the dark-green light, he flew forward.

His speed naturally increased a lot but considering that the rare treasure could be around here, Ghost Li did not fly up above the forest and maintained about six feet above the ground, he flew swiftly and searched carefully at the same time.

The time passed by quietly, the forest was still silent, only the sound of his flight reverberated in this forest. The trees in this forest, following Ghost Li’s deeper and deeper penetration, their trunks got bigger and bigger, right now the trees projecting in his eyes, most likely were already an unbelieveable thickness of six, seven burly men arms length going around. Without even guessing, one would know that the trees in this forest were most likely several hundreds or even thousands of years old!

In the sheet of thickening strange atmosphere, Ghost Li’s figure suddenly stopped.

Right now the sky had already brightened up for a long while but this haze seemed to have no intention of dispersing, as if since the ancient times, these layers of haze seemed to co-exist with this area of forest.

And in the deepest corner of this forest, Ghost Li hovered in mid-air and looked ahead.

Ahead of him, a wall suddenly towered in front!

Wooden wall!

The rough wood grain, solid and with faint fissures, suddenly extended out from the fog, almost as high as three zhangs, like a strong and healthy young dragon lying across the huge forest, thrusted deeply into the earth.

Ghost Li coldly watched, did not move and carefully assessed this wooden wall, the corner of his eyes began to twitch. After which, he slowly moved his body forward and gently touched it.

The moment his hands touched it, he felt something warm and rough. In his heart Ghost Li seemed to have a thought but he could not dare to believe it. He took back his hand and his body started to drift along this wooden wall to the front.

The white haze ahead gradually dispersed and then slowly congealed behind him, the wooden wall in front of him was getting taller and thicker, gradually becoming a curved shape and its height was slowly increasing too.

Finally about six zhangs high, he reached the end point of this wooden wall, Ghost Li stopped.

He breathed deeply but still was unable to calm himself down, under the palpitating heartbeats, what was before him, through the haze, was finally revealed in front of his eyes.

This enormous wooden wall, at the end of the haze, harmoniously merged into a even bigger object.

In the sky, a strand of sunlight suddenly shone from the haze and disappeared soon after, obscured by the haze.

Ghost Li finally confirmed the inconceivable thought in his heart just now.

The enormous wooden wall was part of a tree branch…

The layers of haze drifted around, because of the shock he was slightly panting and then he abruptly raised his head, that gaze seemed to break through the blurring sunlight, headed straight and charged up.

Like a soundless lightning, rumbling, the entire forest seemed to tremble and appeared before him, it was actually a gigantic tree totally beyond one’s imagination, that tree trunk was so thick that its borders could not be seen in this haze and covered with a rough bark, like an enormous mountain towering and lofty, going straight up towards the sky, immersing in the haze, like drilling into the sky!

Ghost Li like an ant, so insignificant in front of this gigantic tree.

A gigantic tree with branches that could even reach up to six zhangs, what kind of sight was that?

Ghost Li slowly looked away, Xiao Hui on his shoulder quietly called out once and seemed to be nervous. Ghost Li leaned his head slightly to the side and suddenly smiled, lightly said, “The world is so big, there is no lack of strange stuffs, we are really a frog in the well. Xiao Hui, let’s go! Let us take a good look at this gigantic tree!”

Under his feet, the Soul-Absorbing stick’s dark-green light suddenly lighted up, after a moment, it tilted and flew up, Ghost Li howled and following that piercing sound, one human and one monkey charged into the sky, immersing into the layers of haze.

The winds hurtled past, biting because of the high speed. Within the haze, the situation seemed similar to when they first entered the inner marsh, within the miasma wall but it was after all not the same, first there was no poisonous air and second, they could see further. Just that in this layers of haze, it congealed till an extremely high level. Ghost Li followed along this inconceivable gigantic tree and flew upwards. Flying for almost an hour, the haze still had not dispersed, made one wondered if the haze actually connected to the cloud layers.

At the same time, Ghost Li also noticed some changes on the gigantic tree trunk. While on the ground, which was also the lowest part of the tree, it was thick beyond imagination and on the tree itself, other than the rough bark, there was nothing else.

But after flying for so long, branches started to appear and the most conspicuous thing that started to appear was a vine-like weird plant, twining criss-crossed around the trunk, its leaves were huge and at the tip, a colourful flower bloomed. There was red, yellow, orange and purple, extremely beautiful, when the wind blew over, there was also a faint fragrance.

But until now, he was still unable to see, just how thick was this gigantic tree trunk?

The amazing creation was really out of this world, this gigantic tree most likely really was thousand and thousand of years old, that was why it was this gigantic!

[Si!]

A sharp sound pierced the air, the dark-green light glimmered and dashed out from the haze. The haze under his feet too, following his figure, wisps followed up and then gently settled back down, just like the sea settling down.

Ghost Li finally emerged out of this haze!

Heaven and Earth, suddenly opened wide!

The bright blue sky, cloudless for thousand of miles, a cloudless blue sky and the white boundless haze below surrounding the gigantic tree, the nearer it was to the tree, the denser the haze was.

And now, Ghost Li was already high up in the air and could finally take a good look at this gigantic tree.

Even though at such high place, this tree was still hundred of zhangs thick and thinking back to the distance that he had flew from the ground to here, this tree was not a tree and instead a lofty mountain!

But then, this was obviously a tree.

And it still continued to extend up, that gigantic trunk, other than the same alarming thick branches, extended perfectly straight up to the sky.

Ghost Li raised his head and looked far, deep somewhere in the sky, there seemed to be an indistinct figure.

He suddenly laughed and flew towards the blue sky.

Which man, facing such a scene, would not be in high spirits?

He flew up and pierced through the sky!

His speed increased, disregarding the knives-like biting winds on his face.

As he flew up, the gigantic branches gradually shrunk, until the end, it was only several zhangs big but even so it was still astonishing. And right now, thin floating clouds were seen, occasionally drifting beside the tree.

The gigantic tree, like what the ancient legend said, the stairways to Heaven, straight to the sky!

Again flying for another about five zhangs, Ghost Li figure finally stopped, in front of him, the perfectly straight trunk suddenly splitted into two big branches and extended left and right.

Ghost Li hesitated for a while and unhurriedly flew over, landing at where the gigantic branches splitted. Although it was described as bifurcation, the gigantic tree was so colossal that several people could stand here and yet not feel squeezy. When Ghost Li landed on the tree, [Zi] a sound and Xiao Hui was the first to jump down, its monkey head looked around and then carefully touched the tree. Evidently it was very curious, in its whole life this was the first time it had seen such gigantic tree, and even though it was just a monkey, it was still very surprised.

Ghost Li smiled and did not bother about Xiao Hui, while flying on his way here, he was really shocked. Before this, he could not imagine that there would be such gigantic tree in this world and right now, after the initial shock, he already surmised that could it be that the rare treasure might actually be on this incredible gigantic tree?

The two branches were about the same sizes and almost several zhangs thick, stretching horizontally, like two enormous dragons leaping in the air. Starting from here, the leaves gradually became luxuriant and the distance that it extended out were extremely long, standing at where it bifurcated, the ends could not be seen.

Ghost Li pondered for a while and decided, he turned around and called, “Xiao Hui.”

The monkey Xiao Hui was jumping around on the tree and seemed not to fear the terrifying height at all, at times it even ran to the edge and stretched its head out to look down, it was extremely brave for a monkey. Now that it heard its master shout, [Zi zi] it called out twice and happily jumped back and leapt onto Ghost Li’s shoulder.

Ghost Li smiled and said, “Let’s go!”

Xiao Hui’s eyes rolled around and nodded, seemed like the monkey was also very curious, it was grinning non-stopped and looking very excited.

Ghost Li looked left and right for a while and hesitated for a moment, and then without any delay, he wielded his Soul-Absorbing stick again, in the brilliant dark-green light, headed towards the left side of the tree branch.

He flew for another long while again but although the gigantic tree trunk was high up in the air, it still had numerous enormous leaves, extremely exuberant. However, it did not seem to have any fruit or flower and instead that nameless vine which had started to climb around the tree from the bottom, its flowers were in full bloom, displaying a beautiful scene.

Ghost Li kept flying, as he kept going, the branch became thinner but the vines instead became thicker and the number of flowers also increased, until it was everywhere, a feast for the eyes and a strange fragrance floated in the air.

Suddenly, Ghost Li’s body which had been flying, stopped abruptly in the mid-air. Because of the abrupt stop, it emitted a sharp noise.

The trunk in front of him was totally obscured by the vines, the flowers vied with each other for glamour, from the top to bottom like a sea of flowers, they congealed to become a wall. And in this sea of flowers, a stone door stood towering, with a height of five zhangs and width of three zhangs, it was embedded in the trunk. The numerous flowers covered it totally, leaving only a thick solid enormous stone in the middle and engraved on top of it were four words in ancient lettering.

[Celestial Emperor Treasury!]

Barely audible, a sound similar to some ancient stately music reverberated in the blue skies, soul-moving.

Ghost Li’s gaze moved to the stone door, within the sea of flowers, a white figure stood in front of it.

As if she had heard the movement behind her, that white-attired girl slowly turned around, the numerous beautiful flowers under the blue sky, suddenly like they were laughing heartily together, set against her unparalleled beautiful face, blooming proudly!

In the sea of flowers, she was the most bright elegant and beautiful dash of color.

Ghost Li in the air, a mixed of emotions swelled up in his heart for a moment, stared dazedly.

No comments:

Post a Comment