Stealing The Heavens - Chapter 42
Chapter 42 - The Ritual
Although they managed to completely slaughter a barbarian village, they had suffered great losses as well.
Without taking those guards who were killed into consideration, Lord Flame had both his palms wounded severely, thus his battle ability had dropped by at least thirty percent. Old Devil had his backbone broken, without some legendary medicines that could rejoin his bones and meridians, he would be a cripple for the rest of his life.
As for Liu Suifeng, he was lying on the ground with both hand holding onto his crotch. His face had turned pale, due to extreme pain, while white bubbles kept spitting out from the corner of his lips. He was in so much pain that both his eyes were popping ou. Green veins near his neck kept trembling and both of his hands were stained with blood.
’’Why did this happen to me? How can it be? How could he do this to me? No. Impossible! I would rather have one leg chopped off than become a cripple like this!’’ Liu Suifeng was experiencing a severe pain that caused his body to keep trembling. He looked to Yan Bugui and said, ’’Master Yan, Master Yan Bugui, save me, please save me! Do you have any medicine that can make my broken part be reborn? Please save me!’’
Yan Bugui kept a straight face and didn't make a sound.
Make a broken body part be reborn? Maybe some legendary medicines could do this? But even if there was one, it would not be something that he, as a Scouting Officer, would have in hand. Even if he had it, would he really gave it to Liu Suifeng to regrow his di*k?
Wu Qi, with his hands on his back, walked toward Liu Suifeng with a bright smile on his face. He popped his head in and thrown an examining look at where Liu Suifeng was wounded. He breathed out a long sigh, ’’Master Yan, after this mission, you definitely need to say a few good words for Marquis Liu. If there is any vacancy in the palace of Great Yan, could you help Marquis Liu get a position there?’’ 
Yan Bugui had his face twist in an odd manner when he heard what Wu Qi said, without giving any response, he clenched his teeth tight and turned around, looking at his subordinates, who were busy searching the village.
Liu Suifeng was so angry that his eyes turned green. He gnashed his teeth at Wu Qi and let out a hoarse roar, ’’Wu Qi, I swear, One day I will kill you! I'll kill you!’’
Hearing this, Wu Qi jumped back like a frightened rabbit, and ran up beside Yan Bugui. He pointed at Liu Suifeng, who was yelling in fierce anger and shouted, ’’Marquis Liu, both of us are working together with master Yan for his military mission, you'd better nott do anything silly!’’ He turned to Yan Bugui, ’’According to the military laws of the Great Yan Dynasty, what is the punishment for killing a comrade during a mission?’’
Yan Bugui replied with a cruel voice, ’’According to military laws of the Great Yan Dynasty, punishment for the one who killed his comrade is death! Also, all his family members titles will be demoted by one rank!’’ Liu Suifeng shut his mouth instantly. He just kept staring at Wu Qi in an insidious way, clenching his fist tighter and tighter. As a result, he squeezed his crotch too tight and almost smashed what's left there, making him scream out in terrible pain again.
Yan Bugui glared at Liu Suifeng, then, in a deep voice, said, ’’Lord Flame will lead the rest of guards and follow me in the mission. Have two men stay here and take care of Marquis Liu and Old Devil. Both of you, if you have the courage, just stay in the village and wait for our return. If you lack in courage, return to where you came from by yourselves!’’
Liu Suifeng's body trembled, and he stared blankly at Yan Bugui.
He was only leaving two men behind to take care of Liu Suifeng and Old Devil? Staying in this village of the barbarians? What if some barbarians from another village came and visited their friends? What if there were some wild beasts or poisonous bugs? It was really risky to stay in the village! But, how could they return to where they came from? With just the four of them, Liu Suifeng had no confidence they could make it out alive!
Yan Bugui didn't care what Liu Suifeng was thinking about, he just kept giving out orders and had everyone gather in front of him. Seven of his subordinates had found few sheets of thin beast skins in one of the biggest wooden houses in the village. Something unknown was drawn on top of these skins. Yan Bugui rolled up these beast skins like they were something really precious, then he inserted them into a copper pipe made from an Earthfire tri-alloy and tightly sealed it.
Earthfire tri-alloy copper, it was an alloy that made from melting red copper, purple gold, and white silver essence together with Earthfire. Lightweight and tough, it was able to withstand high temperatures. This kind of copper pipe was a special tool used by Scouting Officers to keep important documents safe.
Lu Chengfeng watched Yan Bugui as he carefully placed the copper pipe into a small bag on his waist. To his surprise, the unattractive, dirty, black, small bag was actually a magical storage bag. By storing a few thin sheets of beast leather in such a protected place, it was obviously that the things recorded on it were really valuable.
After wiping out this village, Yan Bugui gave out an order and the whole group continued their journey deeper into the forest.
A guard was ordered to stay back in the ruined village and take care of Old Devil, who had his backbone broken into pieces. Liu Suifeng had his severely wounded little brother dressed up with a bandage, then asked two of his guards to make a stretcher with a wooden door from the village. They carried him, staggering behind the group. According to Liu Suifeng, as long as he could keep moving, he wanted to follow Yan Bugui and help him to accomplish the mission, risking his life for the Great Yan Dynasty!
Along the way, Wu Qi kept strolling around Liu Suifeng and purposely looked at Liu Suifeng's bleeding crotch. Liu Suifeng was extremely pissed off, but since his little brother was severely wounded, how could he be in the mood to quarrel with Wu Qi?
After the first barbarian village, Yan Bugui brought the whole group and wiped out another thirteen barbarian villages along the way. These villages had small populations. The most populated village had about six hundred barbarians residing within it. Except for four villages, which had beast warriors, the rest of the villages only had ordinary barbarian fighters. Under the brutal attack from Wu Qi and the rest, none of these villages caused them much trouble.
There were a few times when Yan Bugui's group met with one of the other groups. Sometimes they even worked with other groups to wipe out a few barbarian villages. After that, they would quickly separate. As Wu Qi thought about it, he found out that all five groups of men were separated, yet moving in a straight line, wiping out all the barbarian villages along the way.
After another seven days of the expeditioning, the group had finally come to the deepest area of the Meng Mountains.
[ED: It is at this point that I realize that this is not a singular mountain, but an entire mountain range. I will now go back and change all the ’’Meng Mountain’’s into ’’the Meng Mountains’’s, to indicate their status and size correctly.]
The group had become like a bunch of savages, due to the restless expedition. They came out from the forest breathing rapidly, and then were shocked by what was presented in front of them: was a huge, sky-blue lake.
The round lake had a calm surface, and was over a hundred miles in diameter. It was really surprising that there would be such a huge lake in the depths of the Meng Mountains. Even Zhang Hu, who had been hunting barbarians in the Meng Mountains for years, was amazed by what he saw. There were dozens of huge rocks and small islands in the middle of this lake. A flock of white water fowl flew above the lake's surface, and the crystal clear water reflected their elegant movement, like a mirror.
On the other side of this huge lake stood a tall mountain. It was at least ten thousand feet tall, and numerous caves were dug out of the side of the mountain. These caves were connected with planked bridges, and countless barbarians were going in and out from these caves. The largest cave was right in the middle, with the entrance spanning around a thousand feet. A large amount of smoke kept spreading out from within.
’’We're finally here. Stay alert. We'll walk around this lake and group up with the rest of our men at the foot of the mountain.’’ Yan Bugui estimated the time with his fingers, then he nodded his head satisfyingly and said, ’’We are right on time. Tomorrow night, these barbarians will have a ritual, which is a grand ceremony to worship their god. During the ritual, we'll need to snatch a few black stone tablets!’’
Yan Bugui's vision was like a sharp blade. He gazed at everyone fiercely and said, ’’We'll need to snatch those stone tablets, regardless of the cost. We might only have one shot at it. After this grand ceremony, these stone tablets will be sent to another major barbarian clan deeper within the Meng Mountains. It will take another sixty years for them to come back to this clan. With our current manpower, there is no way for us to venture deeper into the Meng Mountains.’’
Zhang Hu opened his mouth and let out a slight cough, then he boldly asked, ’’But master, this place is the deepest area of the Meng Mountains.’’
Yan Bugui lookeded at Zhang Hu, then he breathed out a sigh and said, ’’I brought eighty men here, and, even after spending two years here, we only plotted out a rough map of the Meng Mountains. The place we at right now is only considered to be at the border of the Meng Mountains. The Meng Mountains beside Little Meng City is just a small branch of the real Meng Mountains. No matter how deep into these mountains you have come, it is nothing compared with their actual size.’’
Zhang Hu swallowed and kept his mouth shut.
When Wu Qi heard what Yan Bugui said, he instantly felt pins and needles on his scalp. The few thousands miles of the Meng Mountains near Little Meng City were just a small branch of the real Meng Mountains? Exactly how big exactly were these Meng Mountains?
Yan Bugui didn't bother to check on their reactions, he just started walking and quickly lead the group around the huge lake. By the time the sun started to set, they had finally come to a dense forest. The other four groups of men had arrived at the same spot too. Wu Qi calculated silently, there were only forty-three Scouting Officers who were wearing the same uniform as Yan Bugui. In two years, Yan Bugui had lost thirty-seven men in this forest.
Wu Qi had no idea how strong were these Scouting Officers were. If they were all beast warriors, like Yan Bugui, then the losses were, actually, quite huge. Those barbarian beast warriors had the ability to injure a cultivator at the Embryonic Breath tier of the Xiantian realm. From this, he could guess how strong beast warriors actually were.
Compared to Wu Qi's group, the other four groups didn't have too many casualties. The greatest casualties actually came from Liu Suifeng's guards. After all five groups joined together, there were still over eight hundred people left. The deaths of Liu Suifeng's guards accounted for half of the total casualties.
This large group of people was now hiding within the dense forest, waiting for the right time to strike.
Late in the afternoon of the next day, the dull sounds of horns and drums resounded from the shore of the beach a few miles away.
Yan Bugui, who was resting under a tall tree, immediately jumped to his feet. He pointed at a few men and signaled them to follow him. Wu Qi and Lu Chengfeng were among those he pointed to. These few men carefully crossed the thick forest and approached the beach, hiding in small bushes at the edge of the forest.
The beach was an open space, so Wu Qi and others could see what's happening without any obstructions. Soon they saw a lot of barbarians with a solemn and respectful expressions start walking out of a cave at the foot of the mountains. The ones who walked in front were a few old and skinny barbarians. They were so skinny that they actually looked like walking skeletons. They had poisonous snakes coiling around their necks, and their earrings were actually some poisonous bugs. These old barbarians were top naked, and they carried bone and jade blades while dancing with strange movements.
Almost ten thousand barbarians came out from the cave. All of them were following closely behind those old barbarians, walking toward the lakeside and forming a half circle formation on the wide open beach. Those old barbarians were standing right in the center point of the circle, facing toward the huge lake that reflected the starry sky under the moonlight.
Accompanying by the dull drum sounds, one hundred huge cows were lead out by a group of barbarians. These cows were a few times bigger than the biggest cow Wu Qi had seen on Earth. The cows were lead and lined up in a straight line on the shoreline where the water and beach met.
With a command given by one of the old barbarians, these one hundred cows had their heads chopped off by axes held by the barbarians standing beside them.
One hundred cow's heads fell into the lake, and a huge amount of blood flowed into the water. Soon the lake was covered with a large patch of blood.
The calm surface of lake starting to ripple, causing countless silvery gleams of light to roll on the surface of the water. The next second, a long shadow appeared under the water.
Accompanying with the sound of water splashing, an extremely elegant, silvery white, giant serpent emerged slowly from the water.
Gentle moonlight sprinkled on the body of this giant serpent, and the silvery white scales on its body reflected the moonlight and shone like a crystal lamp, producing a gorgeous halo around it.