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Chapter 258: Lifeless Atmosphere

    Chapter 258: Lifeless Atmosphere

    Translator: Novel Saga  Editor: Novel Saga

    One month later...

    There was a swamp that stretched far into the distance. In fact, it extended as far as the eye could see. The surrounding area was a puddle of muddy water. Thick white bones and skeletons could be seen everywhere in this dirty water... as if there should've been some beasts around. A whiff of the pungent odor was also lingering in the air.

    A large expanse of greenness could also be seen around apart from the muddy water. But, a greater part of them were moss and other marshy plants.

    However, this vast-stretched greenness wasn't the surface of the land. In fact, a person would fall into a deathtrap and get swallowed by the swamp if he walked on it in a careless manner. And then, he would eventually become a skeleton like others.

    A mass of white Qi clouds flew over from afar under the dusky sky. It was approaching in an unhurried manner.

    A person's dark silhouette stood on that Qi cloud.

    This person was Shi Mu.

    But then, the Qi cloud started to dissipate at a very fast speed. Consequently, Shi Mu began to decline in a slow manner.

    Shi Mu fell on a piece of marshy land that was covered with bushes.

    The texture of the soil was harder here because this place had been laden with bushes for a long time.

    Shi Mu sized up the surrounding area for a moment. Then, he retracted his gaze.

    According to his map... this place was the border of Xixia Country.

    But, this region was perennially shrouded in a curtain of deathly and depressing aura for some reason. This rendered Shi Mu with a kind of uncomfortable feeling.

    He had been wandering in this marshland for the last five or six days. He had also noticed that the sky here had always been dull and overcast.

    In addition, Shi Mu had always felt the strong presence of Yin Qi in the atmosphere when he was flying in the air.

    This kind of cloudy environment was very unfavorable for Shi Mu. It was because Cai was unable to see very clearly from the sky.

    The swamp was very similar everywhere. Therefore, Shi Mu hadn't been able to get out of this region up until now.

    "Shi Tou, I have come to the western side to have a look. This place seems to have a village," Cai's voice resounded in Shi Mu's mind.

    "Well, be on your guard. I've been feeling a bit strange since we've got here," Shi Mu responded with his mind.

    "Don't worry!" the parrot replied.

    Then, a tiny shadow ascended even higher in the distant sky, and quickly disappeared into the layer of grey clouds.

    Shi Mu found a seemingly small village under Cai's guidance nearly an hour later.

    The entire village had only one main street. This street extended from east to west. And, either side of the street was mostly occupied with some thatched huts.

    Shi Mu stood outside the village, and his eyebrows were slightly creased.

    The village was too peaceful... so much so that not even a sound had been heard so far.

    Shi Mu again gazed up towards the sky. This should've been noontime, but there wasn't a house in the village with smoke curling-up from the kitchen.

    He couldn't help but become a bit more vigilant. Then, he slowly walked forward to enter the village.

    But, he was taken aback when he saw the scene inside. The entire village was shrouded in an atmosphere of lifelessness.

    Shi Mu had roughly walked a thousand or more feet after stepping through the village's entrance by the time he found the corpses of three villagers - two men and a woman.

    He went forward and took a closer look. These people seemed to have died three or four days back. Their wounds had turned black... And, it seemed as if they were curled-up in the gray-colored Yin Qi.

    Shi Mu immediately turned around, and started to walk towards the exit of the village.

    Suddenly, two gray claw-shadows were shot from a nearby thatched hut.

    A rustling sound of movement also resounded in the village as this happened.

    Shi Mu pointed his right hand, and a golden light rushed out of his body. Then, it turned into a gigantic golden sword that was almost the size of a door.

    A golden flame flared up on the surface of the golden sword. Then, the sword flashed as it met the two grey claw-shadows.

    "Chi!" a light sound was heard.

    The golden flame set those gray claw-shadows on fire, and burned them to nothingness in an instant.

    But, the momentum of the golden sword didn't reduce as it appeared over the thatched cottage. Then, the sword hacked down like a bolt of lightning.

    A scorching airwave reached before the arrival of the sword.

    "Boom" a loud rumbling sound resounded.

    The thatched hut collapsed with a loud rumble amid the radiating sparks. Then, a zombie's silhouette appeared before Shi Mu's eyes. Its whole body was covered with a layer of green hair.

    The zombie brandished its claws and dozens of grey claw-shadows dashed out to welcome the huge golden sword.

    However, the claw-shadows were defeated and dispersed as they came in contact with the golden sword. After that, the golden sword chopped the zombie into two halves.

    A mass of green smoke billowed out since the golden flame had continued to burn the wounds of that zombie even after its death.

    The trace of a satisfied look flashed through Shi Mu's eyes as he saw his scene.

    The fact was that the golden sword had begun to develop its spiritual property after being nurtured inside Shi Mu's body these days. This was the first time the sword had revealed itself before an enemy. And, the result was indeed admirable.

    Suddenly, a human skeleton dashed out of another thatched hut. It held a blade in each of its hands. It had dashed towards Shi Mu with an intention to kill him.

    Shi Mu waved his hand in a convenient manner, and two red fireballs shot out. They then flew towards the two blades respectively.

    But, the human skeleton continued to move forward without the slightest pause. Simultaneously, it wielded its bone blades since it wanted to cut off the fireballs.

    The fireballs were about to be chopped down when they suddenly drew a graceful arc in the air. Then, they bombarded the skeleton from behind with a flash of light.

    "Boom! Boom!" two explosive sounds rang out.

    The human skeleton was smashed into pieces by the impact of the huge explosion.

    Shi Mu noticed that a large number of human skeletons and zombies had bubbled-up everywhere in the village by this time. He made a rough calculation, and assessed that they should be over two-or-three hundred in number.

    Shi Mu's brows creased. Then, his lips slightly moved and a large mass of white Qi clouds emerged in the surrounding.

    However, two human skeletons appeared from a thatched hut that was behind Shi Mu. They pounced towards him from two directions - one from the left and another from the right. Each held a bone spear in its hand.

    The golden sword was flying back towards Shi Mu at this time. But then, it abruptly changed its direction and hacked towards the skeleton on the right-hand side.

    Meanwhile, Shi Mu opened his mouth and spouted a thick white Qi towards the other human skeleton. His stature also rose from the ground as this happened.

    Boom! Boom! Two loud sounds were heard.

    The two skeletons were smashed into two pieces amidst the two rays of light - one golden and the other white.

    Shi Mu stood on top of the white Qi cloud in midair. And, the golden sword was circling around him. He drifted far into the air soon.

    ...

    A few days later...

    The sky was still as dull and dusky as before. The sunlight was falling on the people's body, but it wasn't as warm as it should have been.

    Shi Mu stood on top of a small slope at the moment. There was a small town in front of him. It roughly had a scope to accommodate a thousand or more people.

    A twenty-feet-wide brook could be seen on the eastern side of this town. In addition, there was also a wide-expanse fertile land along the river. The farmland was laden with plenty of grains at this time. It seemed as if the harvest time was around the corner.

    Looking from afar... two-or-three hundred wooden or brick houses could be seen spread along the cross-shaped roads in the centre of the town. These houses seemed very ordinary. There was also a two-storey garret in the town center. The voices of the people were faintly spreading from inside. Many of houses had smoke curling up from their kitchen.

    Moreover, the entire town seemed to be enveloped in a layer of grey-colored light. But, the might of this gloomy aura didn't seem very formidable.

    In fact, this seemed like a simple protection magic formula instead.

    Shi Mu sized up the surrounding area for a moment. Then, he got ready to step in and examine the town after he had ensured that there was nothing suspicious around. But then, he heard a burst of clamorous sound at the village's entrance.

    Then, seven or eight ordinary-dressed common people arrived at the village's entrance along with a horse-drawn carriage with a flat board behind. These people seemed to be following that horse-cart.

    Then, the crowd gathered around the cart, and the clamorous sound gradually grew even louder.

    The crowd dispersed after a moment. After that, the light cover experience a burst of fluctuation, and the carriage drifted away from the town in a slow manner. Four people could be seen sitting in that horse-cart.

    Shi Mu considered for a moment, and concluded that someone should have died in this town. And, these people wanted to drag him outside the town.

    Shi Mu swept a glance over the flat board when the horse-cart passed him. And, he saw that two badly-mutilated corpses were placed in the cart.

    It seemed that they must've been bitten by some wild animal. Also, a wisp of black smoke was still lingering on the wounded area.

    This reminded Shi Mu of the village he had visited a few days ago. He let out a sigh deep since he realized that this town hadn't remained a peaceful and safe place either.

    Shi Mu's stature moved as he walked towards the small town's entrance.

    This was the first town he had come across which still had people in it ever since he had set foot in the Ancient Xixia Country. So, he decided to walk inside and scout out some necessary information.

    Shi Mu had hardly walked a few steps when his heart thumped. He felt that something wasn't right here.

    "Boom!" a loud rumbling sound rang out.

    Then, the ground behind his left side burst open, and layers of gravels scattered in all directions as a result. After that, a white-haired zombie sprang out and pounced straight towards the horse-drawn carriage.

    A thin and weak young man sat beside the driver of the horse-cart. A black wooden stick appeared in his hand when he saw the zombie.

    Then, he waved it in a gentle manner, and a grey-colored Qi darted out from his stick. The Qi experienced a burst of fluctuation in the air. Then, it changed into a bone-white shield, and stood in front of white-haired zombie.

    "Ping!" a dull thumping sound was heard.

    It seemed as if the zombie had crashed into a thick wall. Its body abruptly stopped, and then it fell to the ground.

    The horse-cart had also stopped by this time. The other three men also rushed out of the cart and stormed towards the zombie to besiege it. Each man grasped a sword in his hand, and their swords were curled-up in a mass of cold light.

    The zombie's body was very firm, and it-itself possessed immense strength. So, the three men didn't dare to bump into it despite the fact that they had surrounded it.

    But, the weak young man on the cart continued to brandish his magic wand to emit gray lights in a constant manner. And, the movements of the white-haired zombie would become extremely slow every time it would touch the grey light.

    The other three people finally seized their opportunity and mounted an attack in a fierce manner. The zombie was soon scarred. And, its head was eventually cut down by a tall young man's blade. Then, the soul flame in its eyes also dissipated.

    After that, the three men retracted their weapons. They were about to return to the carriage when three strange sounds spread from ground again.

    Then, three white-haired zombies sprang out of the ground, and galloped towards the three men at an extremely fast speed.

    The three people could either jump into a fight or retreat. But, each chose to deal with a white-haired zombie respectively.

    The thin young man continued to release the gray light in a relentless manner in order to slow down those zombies down. However, the three men soon fell into a disadvantageous position.

    Suddenly, three red fireballs darted out with a flash of red light. And, each fireball pounced towards a zombie.

    The three white-haired zombies moved as they saw this. Then, they brandished their claws, and shot out claw-shadows that sealed-up the direction of the advancing fireballs.

    But, the three red fireballs seemed as if they were subjected to some kind of a control. They suddenly took a sharp turn in the air, and bombarded on the heads of those zombies from behind.

    "Bang" three consecutive explosions rang out in the air.

    The heads of the three zombies were burned to ashes in an instant. But, their bodies remained standing in place for a moment. Then, they tumbled to the ground with a loud sound.

    The weak young man heaved a sigh of relief as he saw the situation. Then, he walked over to Shi Mu along with the other three men.

    Shi Mu had already evaluated the strength of these people when they were occupied in a battle with these zombies. He had noticed that the thin youth was a magician apprentice, while the other three were ordinary martial warriors.

    The four people expressed gratitude to Shi Mu. After that, they returned to their horse-cart, and went outside the small town.

    Shi Mu turned around and looked toward the village's entrance. And, he realized that a twenty-year-old long-faced young man stood there. His face beamed with a hint of happiness as he came forward to greet Shi Mu.

    "I'm Tian Song. Your Excellency is presumably the Elder of the Dark Moon Cult who has been invited by our town's Chief. Elder, please come with me," the long-faced youth spoke-up with deep veneration as a part of the ritual.

    Shi Mu was dumbfounded by his words. But, the long-faced man didn't wait for his reply. Instead, he turned around towards the road in front.

    Shi Mu glanced at the man's back, and received the formidable aura of the Xian Tian realm that was lingering around him. After that, he followed him in a silent manner and walked into the village.

    They quickly arrived in front of a two-storey garret that was situated at the center of the town. Tian Song then stepped forward and knocked on the door...

    Some time later... Shi Mu was seated in a living room. Also, a cup of freshly brewed tea was placed on the table in front of him.

    A dark-skinned old man walked in from the side door of the living room after some time.

    "This old man is the Town Chief of White Feng Town. I'm called Wang Ying. I'm glad to see Senior Mu here. By the way, this is the first time that I have come across such a formidable and proficient person like Senior Mu in this remote and desolate town. We are truly graced to see you," The dark-skinned old man smiled.

    The old man didn't take the seat of honor. Instead, he sat opposite to Shi Mu.
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