Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Chapter 114 - Celestial Fox


The fire beast with its head raised was watching Xiao Hui suspended in the air, enveloped in golden light, after a while, suddenly with a roar, the temperature in the great hall instantly rose rapidly, like being in sea of fire. In its bellowing roar, its attention had obviously transferred from Ghost Li to Xiao Hui, four of its legs stomped on the floor and abruptly leapt up, heading straight towards Xiao Hui. The flames on its body burned fiercely, even the rotating mysterious fire totem halo behind it, dazzled as if it was on fire.

Against this overwhelming fire pressure, the golden light emitted by Xiao Hui was suppressed in an instant, the flames surged and leapt up, looked like it was soon going to swallow Xiao Hui.

In this imminent peril, a figure appeared in front of Xiao Hui, it was Ghost Li. He was seen soaring up and floated in front of Xiao Hui, the black Soul-Absorbing stick under his conjuring, lit up entirely, emitted streams of black green radiance, in it were also faint traces of blood.

In the next moment, that enormous beast’s head had already arrived before Ghost Li, facing such tyrannical and ferocious mythical beast, Ghost Li could even clearly see the sharp teeth inside its bloody mouth.

Inhale, deeply!

In the air full of fire sparks, a Buddhism incantation suddenly appeared three chi in front of Ghost Li, glowing with resplendent golden light. A greenish black air flashed across his face and just when the beast’s enormous claw reached the incantation, a faint dark colour floated out of the incantation’s golden light at the same time.

Ever since the establishment of the Qing Yun Sect and Tian Yin Temple, ‘Great Brahman Wisdom’  and ‘TaiJi Xuan Qing Way’ the two formidable skills for the first time, exhibited at the same time.

The fire flames everywhere, like the mountains and seas!

The beast roared, struck down with a paw. The powerful force of the fire forcibly slammed onto the incantation, in that instant, the point of contact burst with unparalleled glorious radiance. The mountain-like flames immediately rebounded inverted, the beast’s massive body was actually  thrown back, the entire great building shook with the impact of the invisible force.

That fire beast landed on the floor, looked to be also shocked, abruptly raised its head, a pair of burning flames looked at that human figure.

The incantation slowly dimmed and then dispersed, unhurriedly disappearing into the air. Ghost Li’s body landed, when his feet touched the ground, he involuntarily staggered, his face pale.

The Soul-Absorbing stick slowly floated down, suspended in front of its owner, facing that fire, dark green light still emitting from it.

Ghost Li’s lips twitched slightly and then repressed it immediately however the next moment it moved again and finally his shoulder shook, with a [wa] sound, threw out a mouthful of blood. The red blood like a red mist, sprayed in front of him.

Just like many years ago, that mournful, grieving heartbroken rain!

Little by little, drop by drop, that fresh blood covered the black stick, the used-to-be ‘firestick’ quietly absorbing every drop, silently sucked it into its body, leaving not a single trace.

On the Sinister Orb, red light slowly glowed.

A cold feeling washed over Ghost Li’s body.

The savageness that he had been repressing, finally reached its limit, Ghost Li howled long to the sky, both eyes crimson, a thousand thoughts raced past his mind, the endless blood and bones like in a nightmare hurled over, enveloping him in it. The trembling hands started to grab tighter, as if he was unable to restrain the seething excitement of his blood from that pungent blood smell!

Opposite him, the eight ferocious deities on top of the fire totem behind the beast, also glimmered, as if responding to that bloodlust aura from his body.

The Ghost Li now, seemed to have transformed into a cruel ferocious beast, facing that fire beast in front of him. In the great hall of blistering heat, even the air seemed to be inflamed.

[Hou!]

Suddenly, that fire beast growled, as if for the first time, it felt uneasy.

Xiao Hui floated down and landed before Ghost Li.

That eye on its forehead shimmered with golden light, at the same time, [ka ka ka ka] sounds of the joints shaking violently came from Xiao Hui’s body. Then, under the watchful glares of both Ghost Li and that fire beast, Xiao Hui started its transformation.

The original small body suddenly developed innumerable thick, bulging muscles, in-between the [ka ka] sounds of joints knocking, Xiao Hui’s body slowly grew. When it was still visible to the human eyes, a monkey whose height was less than half of a human, rapidly grew bigger with its abruptly increasing muscles and bones, in a blink it had already exceeded Ghost Li’s height.

The muscles in Xiao Hui’s arms, chest and stomach swell out, its head also grew bigger, long and sharp fangs also appeared in its mouth, white with a gleam grew suddenly beside its huge mouth.The palms which used to pluck fruits for food, also grew sharp claws.

Finally, this monkey which had transformed into an extremely frightening ferocious beast which was almost the same height as the fire beast, slowly opened its eyes, the eyes below its third eye.

The bloodthirsty and red glare, mixed in the golden light, dazzling.

The original spacious altar building, suddenly with the appearance of two such massive beasts, became packed. Xiao Hui’s eyes were full of ominous glare, stared at that fire beast, roaring incessantly.

The fire beast’s massive head slowly turned, with only flames in its pair of eyes, there seemed to be no expression. But it could be seen towards this abruptly transformed huge ferocious monkey, there was some reservations.

Suddenly, Xiao Hui howled, the third eye which was glimmering with golden light suddenly shone brightly, a stream of golden light swiftly shot out, that fire beast with a low roar, avoided it.

The golden light hit onto the floor, a boom and immediately an enormous pit formed in the solid crimson flagstones.

Without waiting for the fire beast to react, Ghost Li who had been standing behind Xiao Hui, had already leapt up, his body shrouded in a strange glow, the Soul-Absorbing stick in front of him with a sound of [sou] charged towards that fire beast.

Almost at the same time, Xiao Hui also charged over.

The flames in the fire beast’s eyes instantly flared up.

Suddenly, just when Ghost Li who had been inundated with bloodlust and was about to strike the beast with his full force, the Inferno Mirror on his right arm abruptly awakened, projected out an extremely thick pure Yang, far exceeding what it had done previously, and charged towards the Sinister Orb’s malevolent energy in Ghost Li’s body energy channels.

Ghost Li’s body received a great shock, his face instantly blanched. His body while in the air, like being hit abruptly with an enormous force, felt his entire body in that instant was being stabbed by a hundred thousand sharp knives. That pure Yang energy inside his body, as if being stimulated by the Sinister Orb’s Yin cold malevolent energy, with an unimaginable speed turned into a broiling fiery blaze, covered every single channels in his body, fighting unceasingly with the Yin cold energy of the Sinister Orb.

His body in that instant collapsed, fell lifelessly from high up in the air and landed heavily onto the ground. And the Soul-Absorbing stick, lost its master’s conjuring while halfway flying and as if it had a spirit awareness, flew back and [peng] dropped onto his body.

[Zhi hou…] Three of Xiao Hui’s eyes looked over at the same time, angrily bellowing, evidently unable to understand what had suddenly happened to Ghost Li.

But almost at the same time, the fire beast opposite it started to act. Above the rotating fire totem halo, one of the eight ferocious deities suddenly with a flash, accompanying the loud roar of the fire beast, pounced over. That ferocious deity apparition, like a living thing, made threatening gestures and charged over with the beast.

Xiao Hui bellowed in anger, its massive body suddenly leapt over, the two massive beasts clashed in the mid-air and again heavily landed onto the ground, the entire hall immediately shook unceasingly.

The burning flames, like toppling the mountains and overturning the seas, set several parts of Xiao Hui’s sturdy body aflame but it seemed to disregard the pain from the fire, swept down with its claws and hit heavily onto that fire beast’s head but almost at the same time, its tummy received a heavy blow from the opponent.

The two giant beasts at the same time cried out in pain and then grappled with each other again, the gigantic bodies became terrifying volcanos, each blow causing rains of blood to fill the air.

Ghost Li lay lifelessly on the floor, unable to move from the sudden excruciating pain, blood red color appeared before his eyes but for some reason, at that moment, he became clear-headed.

All of the clamour instantly went far away, the glare from the blazing flames also became distant in the horizon, the pain in his body invaded every inch of his flesh. His eyes in the blood-red light clearly saw that ferocious deity spectre, manipulated by some strange force, savagely pouncing towards him.

But he, did not have a single ounce of fear!

An instant, how long was that?

At the cusp of life and death, what would you recall?

Was it that many years ago scene of howling night rain in the bamboo mountain? Or that pale white figure beside in that deep endless abyss?

In that trance he saw the past, that faint smile when they first met…

He slowly closed his eyes.

Was he about to die? Then die!

This lifetime, had been too arduous!

The next moment, that boundless darkness with a heavy ominous air, enveloped him.

[Peng!]

The powerful force pushed Ghost Li straight from the floor, right up into the air, flying out  backwards, the transformed ferocious deity spectre attached onto his body while grinning hideously, [si] with a sound tore opened his clothes, it opened its bloody mouth and was about to bite his throat.

Xiao Hui who was wrestling with the fire beast heard the noises and turned back, its eyes turned wide in that instant and the corner of its eyes split, blood trickled down and ran down its face, with blood dripping, it seemed like one of the evil spirit from the nine netherworld and it made a mournful shrill.

With an incredulous force, the red light in Xiao Hui’s eyes looked like it was about to drip blood out, it bellowed and actually flung that fire beast away. But almost at the same time, the fire beast’s sharp claws gashed a huge wound in its stomach, blood like an angry tide spurted out.

But Xiao Hui did not even glance at its own body, pounced with all of its strength towards Ghost Li.

That man entangled with that savage deity!

Right now reflecting in its red like blood eyes…

The distance which was actually very close, would it become the horizon?

……

The wind shrieked.

Waves of ominous intention.

The savage deity’s sharp teeth with one bite, bit Ghost Li’s throat. Xiao Hui who was still several zhangs away, whimpered and howled with desperation.

A faint red ray suddenly shone out from Ghost Li’s tattered clothes. That savage deity for some reason, like its body had suddenly froze, unmoving.

Inferno Mirror!

That ancient flame totem set in the center of dark green jade, right now unhurriedly lighted up, emitted a red light ray and shone onto that savage deity spectre.

Almost without any resistance, [si] a sound, that ferocious deity spectre,like a whale sucking water, was sucked in and disappeared in a flash.

After a while, Xiao Hui reached Ghost Li but before it could check his wound carefully, strong wind movements were heard from behind, that fire beast had leapt up again.

The wound on Xiao Hui’s stomach was gushing with blood and clearly, its movement were already somehow strenuous but subconsciously, Xiao Hui was still defending in front of the already unconscious Ghost Li.

Just that, that fire beast suddenly stopped, its massive head moved slowly, the eyes still burning with flames saw the Inferno Mirror on Ghost Li’s right arm.

The ancient fire totem, glimmered with vague red lights, as if it was speaking.

Xiao Hui warily watched that fire beast.

But this strange beast suddenly behaved oddly, as if it could not believe it, looked at the Inferno Mirror and again looked at Ghost Li and Xiao Hui, it massive head still moving around, it was actually agitated, making low growls incessantly.

After a while, as if it finally was unable to resist anymore, the fire beast suddenly bend its two front legs down, its body fell prostrate, the massive head slowly nodded thrice towards that Inferno Mirror and then with a low deep roar, the flames on its body suddenly dimmed down, all of the flames - disappeared and then finally, even this huge beast also started to dissipate into the air. And the eight ferocious deities in the fire totem above, after losing the fire beast, also started to disappear.

The entire hall, suddenly quietened down.

All of the ferocious lights disappeared, the hall once again shrouded by that faint red light from the volcano well, only above, where the fire beast had appeared, revealed a round hole which led to the second level.

Xiao Hui whimpered, slowly sat on the floor beside Ghost Li and quietly watched its master, then, at the huge gash on its stomach.

It waited silently.

The pain gradually receded, life’s survival instinct pulled him out from the darkness.

Ghost Li slowly opened his eyes.

The excruciating pain was like an invisible burning fire, burned every inch of his flesh, it did not leave any trace but it was enough to exhaust him.

He inhaled deeply, felt something cold in his hand, the ‘fire stick’ was beside his hand, accompanying him.

Fire stick…

He suddenly made a bitter laugh quietly, [zhi zhi] sounds were then heard beside him. Ghost Li turned his head and saw Xiao Hui lying beside him, watching himself. The enormous body had now resumed its normal form and became that small monkey who again leaned close to his hand. Just that its stomach had been discoloured by the blood from the wound and that third eye which still glimmered with faint golden light, all reminded him of what had happened just now.

Ghost Li suddenly smiled, looked at Xiao Hui and slowly sat up, he stretched his hand to gently smooth its head. Xiao Hui grinned and called out [zhi zhi] twice, scratched its head.

The red lights in the hall slowly rotated, shone onto their figures.

Ghost Li observed his surroundings and felt exhausted but the channels inside his body, after that incredulous internal fight, seemed well. Just that he could not figure out why did the gentle and pure Inferno Mirror suddenly turned so violent, after musing on it, it seemed to have some relations with this Inferno Altar and that bizarre ferocious deities formation.

Ghost Li arranged his torn clothing and then tore a piece out, carried Xiao Hui over and carefully bandaged the wound on its stomach. Xiao Hui lowered its head, three eyes blinking, it saw a belt like sash on its stomach, [zhi zhi] called out and seemed very curious, kept touching above it.

Right now Ghost Li gradually regained his strength, hugged Xiao Hui and stood up, looked around. The hall was in shambles, remnants from the intense fightings could be seen everywhere but the scars were all on the floor, only a few on the walls. And that circle of savage deities carvings, right now had resumed its tranquility, lying there lifelike.

He stood and contemplated for a while, could not figure out how long he had been in this Inferno Altar but evidently that ShangGuan elderly who was guarding this place still had not returned, most likely he left knowing that there was a fire beast guarding this place!

Then, he saw the round hole which led to the second level above his head.

Some of the red lights in the great hall drifted up but looking at it from below, he could only see a small area of the hole entrance, beyond it seemed to be darkness.

Ghost Li glanced at that darkness, suddenly spoke to Xiao Hui, “Let’s go up and take a look! Alright?”

Xiao Hui grinned in his embrace.

Ghost Li gently patted its head then placed Xiao Hui at his shoulder, took a deep breath and then slowly floated up, leaving the ground and flying towards that hole.

He ascended very slowly, extremely careful, who knew what strange creature was guarding this mysterious and unfathomable altar. But the surroundings were still, even when he floated up to the second level, he did not receive any attack.

The second altar level other than the faint red lights from that round hole, the surroundings were pitch dark but deep in the darkness, there was an object which was glowing with faint light.

Ghost Li walked towards that.

There was a stone platform about half of a human’s height, in the shape of a round pillar, the entire stone was very different from the crimson flagstones, while emitting a faint chill, a faint light above the stone pillar constantly changed color, turning light red at times, light purple, pale yellow, dark green, extremely captivating.

And on top of the platform, a circular indentation and beside it, engraved with three words -

Inferno Mirror!

Ghost Li’s eyes looked to his right arm, in-between the torn clothes, indistinctly revealed a crude shaped flame totem Inferno Mirror.

He gently untied the treasure, after staring at it for a moment, placed it into the slot, it was a perfect match.

The next moment, a low groan was heard from above. Xiao Hui and Ghost Li looked up at the same time, the flagstones above, receded and revealed a stone hole.

Almost at the same time, the temperature dropped drastically, from the blistering heat to frigid coldness like ice. Against that faint red light, cold white air could be seen drifting down from the round hole above.

The extreme temperatures of hot and cold, could actually exist at the same time on this Inferno Altar!

A faint smiled revealed on Ghost Li’s lips, he took the Inferno Mirror from the stone platform and into his bosom, without any words, he again headed for the highest level.

The air became colder and colder, the heat from the volcano mouth simply had no effect at all here, when Ghost Li landed on the floor of the third level, he discovered that it was all thick frozen ice.

There was no light in there but after Ghost Li’s eyes adjusted to the surroundings, he discovered faint bluish lights emitting from every corner.

The solid ice which had been frozen for unknown number of centuries, seemed to be telling something softly.

He slowly walked forward, his footsteps reverberating on the ice, breaking the ancient silence in this place.

Suddenly, a low alarmed, gentle yet desolated female voice was heard in the darkness, “You are not ShangGuan Ce?”

Ghost Li immediately stopped, after a moment, he stared deeply into the darkness and unhurriedly said, “I am not?”

That voice after remaining silent for a while, slowly said, “Who are you?”

Ghost Li responded with another question, “Then who are you?”

The solid ice that was emitting a faint blue light seemed to glimmer, the female voice was silent. After a while, balls of faint bright light, like endless deep pupils, blinked and blinked, in the darkness, watching Ghost Li and Xiao Hui.

Finally, to the Soul-Absorbing stick in his hand.

“That monkey on your shoulder, is the Three-eyed Divine Monkey right?”

Ghost Li was surprised, did not answer, instead it was Xiao Hui which shouted out to the darkness, as if showing its strength.

That female was not offended, slowly said, “That magical weapon in your hand, is it ‘Sinister Orb’ and the evil object, ‘Soul-Devouring’, with Evil Sect ‘Blood Forging Skill?’ smelted by it?”

Ghost Li was shocked, his pupils shrank.

That female voice seemed to laugh quietly and unhurriedly said, “Soul-Devouring and Sinister Orb are the world’s supreme evil and savage objects, especially Sinister Orb, it contains ruthless demonic energy, invisibly infiltrating one’s soul. I can tell that although your skills are high but the evil energy had already penetrated deep into your body, sooner or later you will turn insane and die.”

Ghost Li coldly said, “Who exactly are you?”

The female instead ignored him and continued, “That monkey beside you, although known as the divine among the living creatures and now its celestial eye has been opened but I see faint red savage light in its celestial eye’s golden light, most likely because it is around you, it is also infiltrated by the Sinister Orb evil energy, with time it will just be a savage beast massacring the livings, why not just name it as ‘Three eyed Savage Monkey’.”

Ghost Li was greatly shocked and was speechless. He had started to detect unusual changes in Xiao Hui but now that the facts were being clearly said out by the mysterious lady, a thousand thoughts tumbled in his mind, he felt lost.

Xiao Hui instead showed its anger, shrieked out loud and bared its sharp teeth at the darkness.

That female voice suddenly laughed, faintly said, “You are angry, hehe, what for? We are both innate divine creatures, you know me and I too know you, why do you have to covet the mortal world’s complicated human relationships?”

Ghost Li focused his thoughts, calmed himself down and his eyes turned cold, the Soul-Absorbing stick in his hand also slowly lighted with dark green light, he coldly said, “If you still do not reveal yourself, don’t blame me for offending!”

That female humphed, said, “You are not FenXiang Valley disciple and still able to reach the third level of the Inferno Altar, definitely you have some ability. Is ShangGuan Ce dead? But even he is not around, you can still go pass the ‘Eight Savage Inferno Formation’ guarded by ‘Crimson Fire Beast’...”

“Not right!”

Suddenly, that female voice went shrill, as if recalling something, her voice became agitated.

“Not right, even how high your skills are, other than ShangGuan old ghost, in this whole world only...only with Inferno Mirror then the third level of the altar can be opened. You, you have the  Inferno Mirror?”

At the last sentence, as if reflecting her emotional voice, the surrounding solid ice lighted up with blue light at the same time.

Ghost Li frowned but before he could react, that faint eyes in the darkness had already saw the edge of the Inferno Mirror peaking out from his bosom.

The ancient totem, seemed to be burning faintly.

“Inferno Mirror!”

A sharp long cry, that female voice instantly became loud and sonorous, mixed with deep anguish, shock, sadness, hopelessness and a trace of desolation.

“Why, why is the Inferno Mirror on you? How about Xiao Liu? How about Xiao Liu...”
[Translator’s note: Xiao Liu also means Small Six]

She wailed, as if she had lost her mind. In the third level of the Inferno Altar, deep in the darkness, blue light suddenly exploded out, numerous shadows danced in the faint blue light, wavering between the darkness and light.

A figure, as if flying out from the dark abyss but as if also like from the ancient desolation, a huge figure like a demon, moved in this space.

Ghost Li was stunned, no matter how ferocious and terrible the thing would be, he was also mentally prepared. But when he saw the figure in front of him, he was still shocked.

The far memories in an instant gushed up, filled his mind, even Xiao Hui on his shoulder also shrieked unceasingly.

Behind that figure, like in a nightmare, nine shadows danced.

He slowly, slowly, spoke, “Nine-tailed Celestial Fox!”

…...

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