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Chapter 376: Testing

    Chapter 376: Testing

    Translator: Novel Saga  Editor: Novel Saga

    "Is it possible that Zhong Xiu separated herself from the Chamber of Commerce in secret?" the beautiful woman contemplated.

    "She has just been promoted to a higher position, and has been made the special envoy to the Demon race by the Chamber of Commerce. Judging from the reaction she showed at that time... I can say that she was delighted from the bottom of her heart. And, that expression wasn't fake either. In addition, she had entered into a 50-year contract with the Chamber of Commerce. Moreover, the Chamber of Commerce has neither exercised control over her freedom... nor have we treated her unfairly. So, she shouldn't have any reason to take this step... There might be some other matters she has kept secret from us," Wang Rui Kun pondered a moment before he said.

    "It doesn't matter what you say. The fact is that she has disappeared. Uncle, you might as well investigate about it so that you can see where she is now," the beautiful woman said.

    Wang Rui Kun listened to her words, and nodded in agreement. Then, he flipped his hand, and a white jade plate appeared. He then pointed his other hand on the surface of the plate, and the plate showed a little tremor in response. Then, a circle of small magic characters lit up and condensed into a white luminous ball on the surface of that plate.

    Wang Rui Kun closed his eyes, and poured his spirit sense into the luminous ball. And, his brows wrinkled upwards the next moment. Also, a hint of amazement gradually crawled across his face.

    "Uncle, what's the matter?" the beautiful woman asked.

    "It's indeed a strange thing! The wisp of spirit this woman left in the Chamber of Commerce hasn't dispersed yet. This explains that she's still alive. However, she doesn't seem to be on the Western Continent anymore..." Wang Rui Kun said at a slow pace.

    "She isn't on the Western Continent... Has she returned to the Eastern Continent? But, it's impossible since only a few days have passed since we last saw her!" the beautiful woman looked shocked as she said.

    "I can roughly locate the position of those people who have signed a contract with the association. And, I do that through the strand of spirit they leave in the contract. So, it doesn't matter whether they are on the Western continent or the Eastern continent. Even the deceased people are no exception. However, the current situation is somewhat unusual. It seems as if Zhong Xiu has disappeared off the face of the earth..." Wang Rui Kun said.

    "Disappeared? How is it possible?!" the beautiful woman said.

    Wang Rui Kun didn't speak anything in return. But, his brows locked into a tight frown... It seemed as if he had sunk into deep contemplation.

    "Uncle, what do you think about the present situation? Her disappearance can be considered a small issue. But, going on the diplomatic mission to the Demon race can't be delayed." The beautiful woman said.

    "It's still too early to determine what actually happened to her. So, we must not make this matter public right now. Meanwhile, I'll send some people to check various places in the city where Zhong Xiu stopped over so far. Then, there's matter of the seat for this diplomatic mission... But, I'll report it to the President since this issue needs further consideration," Wang Rui Kun said.

    ...

    There was a small and secluded valley outside the Rising Sun City. It was a hundred or more miles away in the northwest direction.

    The valley was surrounded by mountains on three sides. In addition, a stream meandered out through the valley. The stream was spring water that was left behind from the nearby mountains. In addition, some tall and slender water plants grew in the limpid water of the stream. They were swaying up and down along with the undulating water.

    Suddenly, a blue ray of light descended from the clouds, and landed in this mountain valley. The silhouette of a tall person could be seen therein - it was Shi Mu.

    He swept his gaze around a few times.

    "Relax, this place is so remote that not even the Heavenly Wu Chamber of Commerce can come here looking for you," Cai said; he stood on Shi Mu's shoulder.

    Shi Mu nodded and found a place near the stream to sit down. Then, he took off his conical bamboo hat, and held the stream's water in his hands to wash his face.

    He gazed at the inverted reflection of his bare head in the limpid water, and thought of something. It couldn't be said what he just thought, but he looked distracted for a while.

    Cai noticed that Shi Mu didn't speak anything for a while. But, he still didn't bother him since he knew that Shi Mu was already in a foul mood. So, he spread his wings and flew up in the air. Then, he started to hover around the valley.

    Shi Mu retained his silence for a long while. Meanwhile, he looked for a rock by the side of the stream and sat down on it.

    He had been mulling over some matters throughout this journey. Those matters were related to the strange occurrence in Zhong Xiu's body.

    The so-called "counter-attack" that the mysterious woman had said that day was most probably related to Zhong Xiu's bloodline as long as Shi Mu's guess wasn't wrong. After all, he still remembered the day when they were on that barren hill. He had heard Ye Hong Yao saying that Zhong Xiu possessed third-ranked Phoenix sound bloodline. And, this was supposed to be a high-ranked bloodline.

    "Phoenix Sound, Heavenly Phoenix... Is there any connection between them?" Shi Mu muttered to himself.

    The sudden appearance of that mysterious woman was probably intended to save Zhong Xiu if her bloodline had made a counter-attack before that strange change occurred in her body... This suggested that she shouldn't have any malice against Zhong Xiu.

    Of course, he couldn't rule out the possibility that woman might have some ulterior motives.

    But, Zhong Xiu's life ought to be safe for the time being in either case.

    Shi Mu felt greatly relieved in his heart as this thought flashed across his mind.

    However, this mysterious woman seemed to possess incredible power since she was able to pass through the void without any difficulty. The vastness of her remarkable ability was simply horrifying. In fact, Shi Mu had never seen such a formidable person before.

    The fact was that Shi Mu even vaguely felt that this mysterious woman was far more powerful than Elder Wu Chen of the Transcending Heaven Immortal Cult.

    And, Zhong Xiu was carried away by this kind of a person. Shi Mu had no idea how much effort it would take if he tried to look for her.

    "Strength... I have to be stronger! Only then will I be able to retrieve Miss Xiu!" Shi Mu looked calm on the surface, but he was shouting and bellowing inwardly within the silence of his heart. Even the thoughts swirling in his mind had reached an unprecedented degree of strength.

    Shi Mu's eyes turned and fell on his left hand at this moment. He then exerted some strength through his arm, and tried to raise his coal-like left hand.

    He hadn't thought about this matter so far. But, one thing was certain... he had adapted to this strange change for some time. He eventually found that his left hand was more troublesome than he had expected. He noticed that he was barely able to lift his left hand just now even though he had applied almost seventy or eighty percent of his strength.

    Shi Mu even had a kind of an illusion that his left hand was no longer his own hand. He sometimes felt like he was a three-year-old child brandishing a sledgehammer whenever he would try to lift his left hand. So, it looked very clumsy.

    Shi Mu pondered a moment. Then, he curled his left palm into a fist, and pounded it towards the mountain wall beside him with full force.

    A "Bang" sound echoed!

    The black fist got immersed in the mountain wall straight to his elbow with ease... In fact, it seemed as if he had smashed into withered wood. And, the solid mountain wall seemed like a paper paste in front of the black fist.

    Suddenly, an idea dawned upon him. Shi Mu opened the five fingers of his left hand even though they were deeply immersed in the mountain wall. Simultaneously, he made an effort to pull his arm back.

    Chi Chi!

    It seemed for a second as if Shi Mu's five fingers were cast in a diamond. It was because they drew out five scratches in the mountain wall without feeling much resistance.

    Shi Mu looked at his left hand with a stunned look in his eyes, and remained speechless for a while.

    Shi Mu's eyes flashed after a moment. Then, he quickly turned his right hand, and took out a long green sword; it was flickering and radiating cold light. He hesitated a bit. But then, he waved his arm, and the long sword turned into a dreadful cold light and hacked at his left hand.

    However, the long sword was flicked off with a "Ping" sound... as if a blunt weapon was pounded on a hardwood.

    It couldn't even leave a mark on his coke-like left hand.

    "It's actually so firm!" Shi Mu was astounded to see this.

    The green sword wasn't a spirit tool. But, it was a high-ranked magic tool that was very popular for its sharp edge. Even so, it was unable to leave the tiniest trace on his left hand.

    Moreover, Shi Mu hardly felt anything when the green sword was hacked at his hand... let alone the feeling of pain.

    Shi Mu took a moment of consideration. Afterwards, he turned his hand and pulled out the black blade from his back.

    The black blade made a slashing blow on his left hand with a flash. But, Shi Mu had used only thirty percent of his strength this time.

    The black blade also bounced off his hand with a "Ping" sound. On the other side, Shi Mu's left hand was still in a perfectly good condition.

    Shi Mu clenched his teeth, and pounded his blade again at his left hand. He had added extra twenty percent of his strength this time!

    But, the black blade bounced back once again...

    Shi Mu's eyes gleamed, and a hint of ecstasy gushed into his eyes. He brandished the black blade once again.

    ...

    "Ping" A huge muffled sound rang out!

    It seemed as if the black blade turned into a black blade light as it hacked at Shi Mu's hand. But, there were faint rays of light on his left hand which were flickering. Consequently, the black blade shook up as if it had received a powerful jolt.

    Shi Mu's face revealed a look of exultation as he saw this scene. He had applied his full strength to launch this blow. Perhaps, even an Earth-ranked primary stage martial warrior wouldn't be able to receive this blow head-on. But, his coke-like left hand not only received it... it was completely intact after that.

    He looked at his scorched-black left hand, and thought that the hardness of his left hand had far exceeded the level of a spirit tool. Even a spirit tool wasn't necessarily as indestructible as his hand was.

    In fact, the word "tenacious" wasn't even sufficient to describe his left hand.

    Shi Mu again exerted some force through his left arm, and his left hand inserted itself in the wall with ease. Then, his palm made a little effort to grab something.

    The mountain wall was easily grabbed by his bare hand, and stones got crushed into fine powder.

    Shi Mu's eyes flashed. He again waved his hand, and a black stone appeared in the palm of his left hand. It was exuding a faint green radiance.

    His left hand exerted some strength, and the black ore was crushed directly to a fine powder with a "Ka-cha" sound.

    A gleam of happiness emerged on Shi Mu's face in response. It was a blackish-green gold ore. It was best suited for making magic tools. The degree of its hardness was considered far above a piece of iron. But, it still got easily crushed to pieces; and that also without much effort.

    Shi Mu's eyebrows twitched upwards. He again turned his hand again, and an infant's fist-sized ore appeared in his hand. It was a purplish-golden ore which was considered a high-ranked ore. It had been recently captured by Hou Sai Lei at the auction. It was said to be the best material for refining spirit tools. It could enhance the degree of a spirit tool's hardness by a big margin if it was mixed into it.

    Such a small piece of ore was worth more than 10,000 spirit stones. It was indeed a very expensive thing.

    However, Shi Mu was currently in a state of excitement. Moreover, he wanted to test the unique abilities of his left hand. So, he naturally wouldn't care about anything at the moment.

    Shi Mu's left hand made an effort to grasp the stone. However, the purplish-golden ore didn't shatter into pieces like the other stones. On the contrary, it flowed out of the gaps of his fingers... as if it was a soft mud.

    Shi Mu looked at it in a foolish manner. But then, his face got suffused with an ecstatic look.

    He was somewhat depressed in the beginning when he had noticed this oddly change in his left hand. But, he had now realized that his hand had somehow obtained such a great amount of power. And, this kind of strength was even beyond his expectations. So, it was a pleasant surprise to him.

    Shi Mu gave a long and loud shout. Simultaneously, he waved his left palm in which he held the black blade in a somewhat clumsy manner. He had poured all strength this time to hack at the mountain wall.

    A loud rumbling sound burst out of the mountain wall as soon as the black palm shadows flashed. Also, a huge mark of the blade appeared in the wall, and large rocks started to sprinkle down like rain.

    Resultantly, the greater part of the mountain wall collapsed in a matter of few breaths.

    Cai was not far on the mountain wall at this moment. He was in the state of drowsiness when he saw this situation and almost jumped out of his skin in shock. But then, he turned his body, and closed his eyes like before once he had taken a look at Shi Mu.

    In the valley... Shi Mu looked at his left hand, and restrained the hint of gladness that his face had at the moment.

    He had almost comprehended the strength of his left hand by now.

    He felt like an overwhelming frightening power was sealed up in his left hand. It could be said that this mysterious power was roughly twenty or thirty times greater than his original strength.

    The only matter of concern was the unusual weight of his left palm. It did possess great strength, but it was too uncoordinated with his body. Shi Mu was barely able to control it even though he had used the astonishing strength of the Art of Breeding Strong Evil Ape's sixth stage. On top of that, it still involved strenuous effort as before.

    Shi Mu's left hand wouldn't be a big help for him if he would try to fight with an enemy in this condition. On the contrary, it would become a burden on him.

    "Oh, that's right, Nine Revolutions Mysterious Art!" He suddenly remembered the golden page of the book that was in his mind.

    All kinds of matters were in a complete mess after Zhong Xiu's disappearance. This was the reason why the matter of the golden page had also slipped from his memory.

    Judging from his previous dream... it seemed that the condition of his left hand ought to have some connection with the Nine Revolutions Mysterious Art. Therefore, Shi Mu thought that he should begin with the Nine Revolutions Mysterious Art if he wanted to find the means of resolution.

    He immediately infused his spirit sense into his mind as he thought of this possibility, and realized that the golden page was still in his mind.

    He was delighted when he found this. He then directed his spirit sense into the golden page.
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