Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Chapter 131 - Legend


Seven Mile Cave, Miao’s altar.

The tranquility in here seemed not to be affected by the big battle last night, led by that young shaman, Ghost Li and Xiao Bao walked soundlessly in the altar. Crouching at Ghost Li’s shoulder, Xiao Hui seemed much quieter than usual, as if the solemn atmosphere had also made it well-behaved.

Traversing the long corridor, they arrived before the stone chamber located deep inside the altar, the young shaman nodded slightly without saying any words to them, turned and left, disappearing into the darkness not long after, leaving the both of them alone. Ghost Li and Xiao Bai looked at each other, Ghost Li said, “Let’s go in!”

Xiao Bai nodded and both of them walked in.

The chamber was still as dusky, a fire pit was still burning in the recesses, in front of the fire, a stooped figure was still sitting back-facing them.

This familiar scene, for a moment, made last night event seemed surreal, maybe it was just a dream…

A slight cough was heard from that old man, the firelight casted upon his figure, quivered violently, breaking the stillness and bringing them back to the reality again.

“You all have come “ The great shaman after a fit of coughing, unhurriedly said using his voice which had turned slightly hoarse, “Come over!”

Ghost Li and Xiao Bai walked to his back and sat down quietly, before this frail old man, for some reason, both of them did not know what to say.

The great shaman seemed to sigh softly, said, “My people were rude to you all just now, please do not mind.”

Ghost Li nodded his head slightly, said, “I won’t dare.”

The great shaman again coughed twice but became silent and did not speak. Ghost Li and Xiao Bai could only wait patiently, unexpectedly the wait became half a day, that great shaman seemed to fall asleep, unmoving and not a single response.

Ghost Li felt more and more anxious, firstly he did not know what exactly the great shaman was thinking, secondly the unexpected attack last night almost made him filled with remorse for his whole life, if BiYao was impeded because of himself, he would not be able to atone for it even if he died a hundred times.

Right now after waiting for a long while, the great shaman did not look like he was going to start speaking at any time now, Xiao Bai was still patience and not at all worried, Xiao Hui was already restless. The monkey was inherently playful and could no longer stand the solemn atmosphere, with a grab and slide, it had quietly slipped down from Ghost Li’s shoulder.

Ghost Li really did not wish to delay any further, spoke, “Senior, I had beseeched you that…”

Before the word “matter” could be utter, the great shaman suddenly interrupted, “Young man, let me tell you a story!”

Ghost Li was stunned and glanced sideways at Xiao Bai, she was also frowning and she looked perplexed, obviously she too did not know what was the elder’s intention. Just that right now they needed his help and Ghost Li could only sigh in his heart and suppressed the anxiety, said, “Senior, please speak!”

The great shaman with his hoarse voice, in this dark recesses of the altar, faintly resounded, as if after thousands and hundreds of years, at this moment it had now quietly turned back…

“Our southern border is located south of the Divine Land and has never been as prosperous as the Central Plains but we have a unique origin…”

Ghost Li quietly nodded, the unique custom of the southern border was indeed different from Central Plains.

“The world now know that there are five tribes over at our southern border, residing together on this piece of land. But in fact, long long ago, Miao, Li, Zhuang, Tu, GaoShan are actually all from the same paleo tribe, called ‘Shaman Tribe’.”

Ghost Li and Xiao Bai were surprised, not to mention that Ghost Li never heard of this before, even Xiao Bai did not have any impression of it.

The great shaman’s figure, refracted by the burning fire to be slightly twisted, reflected onto the floor, his voice at the same time together with the firewoods’ crackling sounds in the fire, faintly, carried the vicissitudes of the past.

“The tribe legend said, in the ancient times, the paleo shaman tribe managed the southern border, its power great and produced powerful shamans each generations, in each generation the shaman lady that served the deity had the strongest shaman skills.”

“The so-called shaman lady, was a virgin picked from each generation of the paleo shaman tribe with the highest spiritual intelligence aptitude, serving the shaman deity in the altar, specializing in studying the shaman skills and commanding the shaman tribe. Those kind of days, went on for many many years…”

Ghost Li and Xiao Bai raised their heads slightly, both of them were intelligent people, right now they knew that the great shaman had arrived at the key point of his story. And Xiao Hui by then had already sneaked off somewhere in the dark.

“However at the third year of the eleventh succession of the shaman lady’s reign, in the southern border ten thousands great mountains, something strange happened.” The great shaman’s voice, still hoarse but his tone had became higher, as if his indistinctly agitated internal emotions were revealing out slowly. “In the ten thousands great mountains, a creature who claimed to be ‘Beast Deity’ appeared, nobody knew the origins of this creature, it was as if he had appeared out of the thin air from the precipitous harsh ten thousands great mountains.”

“In the beginning, nobody noticed the existence of that creature but gradually, the shaman tribe people felt something different. The undulating mountain ranges of the ten thousands great mountains although were precipitous but the forests were exuberant and animals abundant, the best highly-skilled hunters of the tribe had always been hunting there. But ever since from that time, in the mountains, a poisonous miasma suddenly appeared, once inhaled, the entire human body would become ulcerous and die. And what’s even stranger was, the animals had also started to change. Some became beasts with human bodies, extremely savage and cruel, killing humans without provocation and sharing the kill, the people were absolutely terrified.”

Ghost Li and Xiao Bai could not help but glance at each other, the things that the great shaman was telling, were really strange and unheard of.

The great shaman paused for a while, he had seemed to sink into the past events of the ancient history, after a while, he unhurriedly continued, “At that time, the shaman lady gathered all of the shaman masters in the tribe for discussion and sent out a troop of elite warriors led by three shaman masters to investigate and find out what strange thing had exactly happened to create this miasma and the animals’ transformations. However on the tenth day after this group had entered the mountains, one of the shaman masters with the highest skills escaped back and his entire body was ulcerated, despite the shaman lady’s best effort to save him, on his deathbed, he only utter the words, ‘evil beast’ and died!”

“Evil beast…” Ghost Li and Xiao Bai, in their hearts, repeated the words.

“From that moment, the shaman tribe finally knew, a strange creature had appeared in the ten thousands great mountains. And then after many trips of investigations and sacrificing many brave warriors’ lives, they came to know that the creature had appeared suddenly in the mountains and possessed inconceivable abilities, under his evil powers, the original exuberant mountains had turned barren, the clear streams filled with venomous fluid and poisonous miasma filled the air. And the multifarious animals in the forests had also turned into monsters by his powers, transforming into various human bear, human tiger, human leopard, human wolf etc evil creatures, savage and human-eating, extremely horrible…”

Ghost Li’s lips suddenly twitched, interrupted, “Was there a human fish in it?”

The great shaman’s back suddenly stiffened, after a moment of silence, as if recalling something, slowly nodded, “That’s right, the tribes’ legend said that in that ten thousands great mountains savage barbarians, there is indeed a species of human fishes.”

“Why, don’t tell me you…”

Ghost Li after remaining silent, eventually still spoke, “That’s right, I had once encountered such a human fish creature in the western big marsh.”

The great shaman’s body shook greatly, he finally could not bear it, abruptly turned around, the firelight shone onto his wrinkles, as if engraved deeply by the long years and his voice right now was already hoarse, “You, you actually saw these creatures?”

Ghost Li silently but affirmatively nodded.

The great shaman’s face blanched, stammered, “It had appeared, it had finally appeared, Heaven’s will! Heaven’s will...but why would they appear in the west? The entrance of the ten thousands great mountains, isn’t it guarded by the cultivated FenXiang Valley…”

On his face, fear and confusion oscillated unceasingly, appeared to be lost in his own thoughts.

Ghost Li stretched his hand and gently patted the elder’s shoulder.

The great shaman’s body shook, like being shook awake, looked at Ghost Li, his expression slowly calmed down and then turned around again, facing the fire.

“I, better continued! Anyway if it’s Heaven’s will, we mortals can do nothing.”

His voice seemed to more bleak, “After knowing the existence of this creature, the shaman tribe never had a day of peace again and as time went by, the different monsters under the evil beast started to come out of the mountains. Like that, news of the tribe people being killed were heard from different areas and the number of people kept increasing until it had reached a state of outright panic among the people, in the end, the paleo shaman tribe commoners started to abandon their homes and migrate to the north, if that went on, the entire shaman tribe would soon be destroyed.”

“The shaman lady initially wanted to gather more of the creature’s information before strategizing on how to get rid of the creature. However at that time, the people were indignant and the situation had reached its most dangerous point, in the end she decided to gather all of the shamans and warriors in the entire tribe and go forward to face this peerless evil creature, to fight till death in order to save the shaman tribe.”

“Unexpectedly, on the night that the shaman lady made this decision, the evil beast led his innumerable demons and suddenly attacked from the mountains and straight to the altar. The altar was where the shaman tribe people worshipped the shaman deity and had always been the lifeblood of the tribe, the holy deity could not be violated. That night, it could be said that whoever was in the tribe, regardless whether man or woman, even slightly older child, all dashed into the battle scene and fought with their lives against the ferocious demons!”

The great shaman’s voice until here, stopped gently and Ghost Li and Xiao Bai, both held their breaths, that bloody massacre scene in the ancient history, in this dimness, in the great shaman’s bleak words, once again, quietly emerged.

“That fierce battle was definitely not what we could imagined, what our Miao tribe forefathers passed down in each generation, only touched the surface of that battle. Anyway, after blood had dyed all of the ground trampled by feets red, after countless warriors using their bodies perished with the demons, the evil beast eventually still led some evil demons and charged into the last fort where the shaman lady was defending the altar. And outside the altar, the massacre was still going on…”

“Just that, the great shaman deity at that moment finally started to protect its people and the shaman lady, was widely acknowledged as the most powerful shaman in history.  After an earth-shaking fight, the evil beast and his few fearless demon henchmen were finally trapped by the shaman lady using ‘Eight Savage Inferno Formation’ passed down by the paleo shaman deity...”

“What?” Ghost Li and Xiao Bai suddenly exclaimed.

The great shaman puzzledly turned and glanced at them, said, “The ‘Eight Savage Inferno Formation’, what about it?”

Ghost Li and Xiao Bai looked at each other, after a moment, said, “This name is quite unusual.”

The great shaman sighed and said, “This formation was handed down by the paleo shaman deity, activated by a rare treasure with the essence of a thousand fires, ‘Inferno Mirror’, its power was very strong and at that time, even the evil beast with unparalleled power, was also trapped in this formation. The morales of the shaman people were boosted greatly and those evil creatures without their leader were in a disorder, finally were gradually forced to retreat.”

“Just that even though the power of ‘Eight Savage Inferno Formation’ was boundless but the evil beast’s powers were not ordinary, under the day and night unceasing eight fire dragons’ fire, although heavily injured but it still survive and continued to face off with the shaman lady. At that time in the entire altar, because of the great power of the formation, the other shaman masters could not go near and help, only the shaman lady using her own shaman powers maintained this powerful formation. Like that for three days and three nights, when the entire tribe almost lost it because of that, that evil beast actually broke through the formation.”

“But although the evil beast escaped but it was already on the verge of death and without a moment’s hesitation, flew directly back to its nest in the mountains. And when the crowd rushed to the altar, the shaman lady was also spent, almost at her limit. Just that that shaman lady was really an admirable figure, after only a day of rest, heavily injured but she decided to enter the mountains alone and finished off that evil beast. Because if that evil beast recovered then that would be the end of the shaman tribe.”

Xiao Bai sighed gently and said, “This shaman lady, was really a heroine among women, with the heart of a Bodhisattva, such sacrifice for others!”

The great shaman lightly said, “We in the southern border, do not believe in Bodhisattva.”

Xiao Bai smiled and did not say anything.

The great shaman continued, “At that time within the tribe, nobody agreed with the shaman lady’s decision and everyone knew that this time, she might never come back. But the shaman lady’s mind was made up, eventually she still left but seven of the bravest warriors escorted her, a total of eight people entered the extremely treacherous mountains.”

On their journey in, they had to break through all obstacles and killed countless number of monsters, finally on the sixth day, they came to the ancient cave where the evil beast resided. The shaman lady then made an unexpected decision, she wanted the others to wait outside the cave while she entered it alone. The seven warriors naturally refused but the shaman lady was determined and told them straightforwardly that they could do nothing even if they entered and instead would drag her down, eventually the seven warriors could only accede.”

“After the shaman lady went in, there was no news of her anymore, the seven warriors waited for a total of two days and two nights and finally two of them could not wait any longer and wanted to go in and find the shaman lady but the other five felt that they should continue to wait and obey the shaman lady’s orders. Among the seven warriors, an argument ensued and in the end, the two warriors still went ahead and entered the cave and from then on, there was no news of them anymore.”

“Like that, until the fifth day, when the remaining five warriors also gradually lost their confidence, the shaman lady miraculously staggered out from the cave, she at that moment, seemed to have lost all of her blood and was frightfully white. But as the five warriors were overjoyed, they did not notice all of that. The shaman lady gave each warrior a shimmering object, tools filled with strange shaman powers and told them, these five sacred objects were refined from the evil beast’s body after she had destroyed it. But as the evil beast was a peerless evil creature formed from the malignant energy between Heaven and Earth, even though its body was destroyed, its soul could not be scatter.”

“The five warriors were shocked, the shaman lady again spoke, so long these five sacred objects do not return again to this cave, the evil beast would never be revive again! After speaking, her body trembled incessantly, blood suddenly poured from the seven apertures on her face. The five warriors were shocked, the shaman lady, using her last breath, urged them again and again that the entire shaman tribe should guard these five objects forever and must never let the evil beast revive again, if not, it would be the end of the tribe and the world. And she herself would forever stand guard outside this cave, using her own soul to suppress all of the evildoers, keeping them within the cave. After struggling to finish her words, the shaman lady could no longer hold on and passed away while standing, and the next moment, her body actually faced the cave and transformed into a stone statue!”

The great shaman’s voice, slowly sank.

In the fire light, everyone’s expressions looked strange, an indescribable look, after a long pause, Xiao Bai with a long sigh, said, “What a great lady! But great shaman, why are you telling us this story?”

The great shaman’s back, looked as if it was bended over by an invisible heavy burden, looked especially desolated. He did not answer Xiao Bai’s question, instead continued to speak, “After the five warriors wept and grieved, they returned to the shaman tribe. Although the shaman lady died unfortunately but the evil beast was a powerful foe never encountered before by the tribe and finally repressed within that cave. The shaman tribe in their grief, felt a few degrees of relief and joy. However it was also at that moment, the five warriors who enjoyed great prestige because of their achievements, started to fight among themselves while vying for the leadership of the tribe.”

“The most unfortunate was, every shaman lady of each generation was appointed by the shaman lady of the previous generation and that generation, the shaman lady did not leave any instructions, the five warriors at that time also totally forgot about this issue. Like that, a once prosperous and powerful shaman tribe under the tussle of the five warriors slowly split up. The common people also chose their own preferred man and finally, it gradually disintegrated into the southern border today, Miao, Li, Zhuang, Tu and GaoShan tribes, and the five important sacred weapons are also each guarded by the five different tribes.”

When this heartstopping ancient story finally concluded, Ghost Li inhaled deeply, facing the great shaman’s back, slowly said, “Senior, after telling us so much, could it be that you want me to help get the Miao’s sacred weapon back?”

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