Chapter 192 – Lost Vermillion Bird
“Believe it or not, what is your choice?” Lin Ming wickedly smiled. His pupils had turned entirely into the black swirling vortexes like before, slowly spinning around. They simply did not look like human eyes.
Seeing those fathomless eyes, the soldier felt a trembling from the depths of his soul. Lin Ming had said that his soul would be annihilated and he would not be able to enter the cycle of Samsara and reincarnation. The soldier was afraid he wasn’t lying. He did not fear death, because he believed that once a human died, they would be reincarnated. 18 years from now, he would still be a man.
But to be annihilated forever and not enter Samsara? That was something he was afraid of.
That could be considered the truest form of death, a complete destruction. It must be the highest level of punishment even among demons.
He thought that Lin Ming might be lying, but the he recalled that soul-tearing pain from a moment ago, as if a part of his soul was being pulled out.
Along with the countless lifetimes of memories that he had seen of his Samsara, the soldier didn’t dare to make this bet. If what he said was really true…
Moreover, he had already lost all of his martial arts. Even if he died and didn’t say anything, what good would come of that?
Thinking this, the soldier began to hesitate.
“Well how about it, have you given it some thought?” Lin Ming asked, smiling.
The soldier took a deep breath, the corners of his mouth twitched. He closed his eyes and said, “Ask your questions. I will answer them.”
“Mm. Very good.”
Lin Ming quickly asked his questions and was able to get the answers he wanted. He was able to mostly confirm that the eternal flame was indeed a Flame Essence.
The Fire Worm Shaman who controlled the eternal flame had a cultivation at the middle Houtian realm.
As for the reason that Chi Guda was going to Blackwater Swamp, he had two. His first goal was to completely destroy the Blackmarsh Tribe that was located at the edge of Blackwater Swamp.
The Blackmarsh Tribe was only a small tribe. Originally their tribe had about 20,000 people. But ten years ago, the Blackmarsh Tribe had discovered a vein of Profound Iron Ore. Because of this, they were able to rapidly expand. These years they had many foreigners that had joined them, and their population had ballooned to around 40 or 50 thousand.
Before the Na Tribe had been destroyed, the Na Tribe and the Fire Worm Tribe were the two major tribes that were kept in mutual balance with each other. Both tribes didn’t want to see the other grow stronger. Because of this, the Blackmarsh Tribe had been able to carve out a place where it could exist. As long as it presented a tribute of darksteel to both tribes every year, then they would be safe.
However, one year ago, the Na Tribe had been exterminated, and the balance in the region had been broken. Some of the smaller nearby tribes had already been completely swallowed by the Fire Worm Tribe. They could do what they wanted when they wanted.
The Blackmarsh Tribe with the Profound Iron Ore was the juiciest target. The Fire Worm Tribe planned on conquering the Blackmarsh Tribe and using their people as slaves in order to mine the Profound Iron Ore. The ore would be sent to the Fire Worm Tribe in order to be refined into a massive number of weapons that could lay down the future for their tribe to dominate the Southern Wilderness.
The first reason for Chi Guda to be at Blackwater Swamp was of no surprise to Lin Ming. However, the second reason left him aghast.
Besides conquering the Blackmarsh Tribe, Chi Guda also came out to search for a Vermillion Bird.
A Vermillion Bird was a Saint Beast that was only inferior to a God Beast. It also had a deep relationship with the Phoenix.
In the ancient legends of this world, there were tales of some God Beasts like the True Dragon, True Phoenix, and Golden-winged Roc.
However, a God Beast was an incomparably rare and loft existence. Let alone the Sky Spill Continent, they would be rare even within the Realm of the Gods. When that mighty elder had first created the ‘Golden Roc Shattering the Void’ movement technique, it had been after a fortuitous encounter where he had witnessed a battle between a True Dragon and a Golden-winged Roc. Afterwards, he gained some insights, and went into retreat for 60 years to study and understand the secrets through meditation.
The boundless strength of a God Beast was a difficult concept for a mortal to imagine, even the mighty elders of the Realm of the Gods were no match.
And under the God Beasts were the Saint Beasts.
For instance, beings like the Flood Dragon, Vermillion Bird, and Spirit Turtle were all Saint Beasts.
Saint Beasts were much more common than God Beasts. Still, that was only within the Realm of the Gods. In the Sky Spill Continent, a Saint Beast was an extremely singular existence.
That was why Lin Ming had been so surprised when the soldier had said that a Vermillion Bird had appeared within the Southern Wilderness. After all, the Southern Wilderness was only a very, very small place out of the entire Sky Spill Continent.
The value of a Vermillion Bird was unimaginable. Chi Guda wasn’t crazy enough to think that he could ever hope to catch it. He only wanted to look for some traces of it and collect some of its fallen flames. In the legends, Vermillion Birds liked to perch on millennia old wutong trees. After they descended, they would leave behind bits of flames. These flames were the fires of the Vermillion Bird.
Chi Guda wished to collect these Vermillion Bird flames and refine them into the eternal flame. If he were lucky, then he might even be able to find a feather of the Vermillion Bird and receive a major benefit from that.
Even Lin Ming’s heart was somewhat stirred after hearing of the Vermillion Bird flames. However, he didn’t really want them. What he really wanted was the eternal flame; that was a true Flame Essence. The flames of a Vermillion Bird, no matter how fierce, were in the end just flames.
Lin Ming rubbed his chin, “Why is there a Vermillion Bird within the Southern Wilderness? Since a Saint Beast appeared, could this be an omen from the heavens?”
Blackwater Swamp stretched for a thousand miles. The deeper one went into the swamp, the more dangerous it became.
On the other side of the swamp was the infamous Thundercrash Mountain. The highest peak of Thundercrash Mountain towered 100,000 feet high and stabbed the sky. It was said that the highest peak of Thundercrash Mountain was already higher than the clouds, so it experienced snow and rain all year round.
Five days later, the search operations within the Blackwater Swamp had been launched into full swing. The Fire Worm Tribe valued this search and took it very seriously. The military had dispatched 20,000 soldiers to aid in the search, while the Fire Worm Shaman had also sent out many masters to assist. These people were all at the Pulse Condensation Period, and there were even some who had achieved the late Pulse Condensation Period, and were just a bit worse than Chi Guda.
The search for the Vermillion Bird continued for ten days, but the end result left everyone speechless. They hadn’t even found a single bit of feather down or even a small spark. Instead, several hundred soldiers had been sacrificed within Blackwater Swamp.
Chi Guda flew into a furious rage. He hadn’t expected to find the Vermillion Bird, but they hadn’t even found a small flame. This made him feel very angry and uncomfortable. He had been counting on this to set up a great merit for himself and obtain the Shaman’s recognition. If he did, then he might become the next Fire Worm Chief. However, that possibility was now unlikely.
Chi Guda was in an awful mood. Three days later, he led his army to attack the Blackmarsh Tribe in order to vent his anger.
The Blackmarsh Tribe had altogether 40 or 50 thousand people, and their tribal army had less than 5000. Not only that, but many of those were just average militiamen. How could they defend against the 20,000 strong army of the Fire Worm Tribe?
There was no suspense in this war. The Blackmarsh Tribe was completely routed and the surrendered army was captured by the Fire Worm Tribe and turned into slaves.
The elite troops of the Fire Worm Tribe rushed all the way to the chief’s quarters!
Chi Guda was riding a Crimson Blood Horse and he held a 10 foot long lance in his hands. As they rushed ahead, wherever he visited, blood would flow and heads would fly. Chi Guda enjoyed the fun of slaughtering. He was like an unstoppable force that rolled past everything. To him, killing people was just like mowing down grass.
The sound of a crash echoed out, and the door to the chief’s quarters burst open. Chi Guda pushed himself to the front and was the first to rush in. The chief’s quarters was the place where the most wealth was located, and there were also many beauties here too. It was the equivalent of a royal palace.
Fire Worm soldiers’ favorite activity was to plunder chiefs’ quarters. They brought opportunities of unlimited pleasure, and they could also fulfill their most basic lustful desires. The chief’s quarters’ ladies and concubines were once lofty beauties, but now they were all wantonly abused and humiliated.
When the Fire Worm army killed their way here, the chief’s quarters were already in ruins. There were those who had expected the Blackmarsh Tribe to be defeated, so they had fled in advance.
However, most of the ladies and concubines did not know any martial arts, so they had no way to run. Even if they escaped Blackmarsh Tribe, they would only end up dying in the belly of a vicious beast. Therefore they had no choice but to stay within the chief’s quarters. In the tribal wars, they were always the sacrificial victims. This time, nobody even took them into account.
Chi Guda sneered and issued an order, “Pass down the orders, I want everyone captured and brought to the main hall! Collect all of the wealth and inventory it, then bring it to the main hall! Left General!”
“Here!” A man stepped out.
“You will lead 5000 elite troops to pursue the Blackmarsh Tribe. As long as anyone is caught running away, if they are a man, then bury them alive, and if they are a woman, then place them into the army as whores!”
“I receive the order!” The man waved his hand, and quickly brought his own army of troops to leave the chief’s quarters.
Once the tribe was defeated, it also took courage to escape. If they were caught, then their ending would be even more miserable. The men would be buried alive, and the women would be whored out and slowly tortured to death by the soldiers of the Fire Worm Tribe.
Therefore many people would rather stay as slaves than take the risk of getting caught while escaping.
The army instantly dispersed outwards. The ruthless and cruel Fire Worm soldiers heard that they could loot the chief’s quarters and their eyes turned red; they were just like sharks that smelled blood.
Before long, the screams of men and crying of women resounded throughout the entire building.
Chi Guda grinned; he very much enjoyed this sound.
“Hurry! Go faster!”
“Your mother, stop dawdling around!”
Half an hour later, the Fire Worm soldiers marched in all the prisoners from everywhere and brought them to the main hall. The men were all wounded, and some were even badly injured. Most of the women’s clothing was in disarray, and their faces and necks were bruised black and blue.
Regardless of whether it was men or women, their faces were filled with the dying embers of desolate despair.
The Fire Worm soldiers carried large boxes full of gold, silver, and other valuables. They piled them all within the open area of the main hall. These quickly piled into a small hill.
The soldiers were collecting all the valuables, the Fire Worm army allowed them to pocket some of the money and also allowed them to touch the women. In order to maintain their nature as vicious beasts, they had to occasionally be fed meat.
“Reporting to Big Boss, we found a brother and sister at the bottom of a well. A maid confessed that they are the children of the Blackmarsh Tribe’s chief.” A soldier pushed out a pair of 16 or 17 year old boy and girl. These two were dressed in cheap, coarse clothing, and their faces were slathered with ashes as if they were dirty, just like a maid or servant that tended to fires. But once one looked carefully, they could see that the hands of these two were smooth and delicate without any callouses. They were a pair of boy and girl that had obviously never done any heavy work before.
“Good.” Chi Guda’s face suffused with a villainous smile. This pair of twins had soft and tender skin. The male could be sold to female tribal rulers as a pet. The female could be used by himself.
Chi Guda dismounted from his horse, and walked up to the pair of twins. He pointlessly punched the girl’s chin. At this moment, Chi Guda coldly snorted and grabbed onto the girl’s arm. Inside of the girl’s sleeve was an impressively hidden crossbow. Its bolts were tipped in a dark blue liquid, it was obviously toxic.
“You court death!”
Chi Guda slapped out his palm with a bit of force. There was the sound of bones cracking and a girl pitifully screaming. The girl’s face was streaming cold sweat, and she almost fainted from the pain, her right wrist had almost been completely broken by Chi Guda.
At this moment, Chi Guda’s expression changed. He suddenly and quickly leapt backwards. There was a slight ripping sound as a white shadow shot out from an astonishing angle and stabbed towards his waist. Chi Guda only felt his body go numb and his organs roil within him as he almost vomited blood.