Terrible birds and beasts gathered in the mountain range. Feiyun naturally tried his best to avoid them and took a longer path.
He saw many reclusive sects during the trip, prosperous with tens of thousands of members. Of course, he saw many reduced to ruins too.
As time passed, fewer sects stood on the way, replaced by more pristine thickets and towering mountains.
Ordinary people couldn’t get through this area. Eventually, he saw trees that have grown for thousands of years and were hundreds of meters high. They looked like heavenly umbrellas with branches home to the great birds.
They were closer and closer to Ancient Jiang Prefecture.
Due to the xenophobic nature of its inhabitants, not even the great sects wanted to expand here. This resulted in desolation.
“Screech!” A bird with twenty-meter long wings howled. It had black feathers and iron break, spewing the stench of blood.
It soared down towards Feiyun’s scaled tiger, treating it as food.
Feiyun was cultivating on the beast’s back and felt this incoming pressure. His weapon essence flew out and turned into a long spear, directly piercing the bird’s stomach. It flew around inside and devastated the bird’s innards before flying back out.
The great bird fell into a deep mountain stream nearby.
“Raa!” Birds of the same size suddenly rushed out of the thicket and blotted out the sun, full of aggression.
The tiger became intimidated while issuing nervous roars.
Feiyun stood up, looking quite cool. Each spear thrust of his could take down a bird. He danced around in the sky and stirred a rain of blood and feathers. It didn’t take long before he killed a hundred or so.
“Raaa!” He floated in the air and let out the cries of ten thousand beasts.
The area suddenly became quiet. Several more powerful birds backed off after hearing this roar.
The Myriad Beast Physique had this intimidating effect.
“This is only the back part of Heaven’s Equal. Once we get into Endless Land in Jiang, stronger beasts will show up. I heard there is an ape taller than thirty meters there with dragon-like claws. It severed the arm of a Paramount Giant with a single slash. Someone else spotted a red fish as big as a mountain with two big wings, looking like a Kun in the legends.” Bai Ruxue spoke with a serious tone.
“That’s only a Kun’s descendant. The real thing has wings spanning for 90,000 miles. Nevertheless, it should still be able to swallow an Enlightened Being, definitely a lord in these forests.” Feiyun said.
He ordered the tiger to pull back its wings and land on the ground.
This place had numerous powerful monsters. Flying in the sky made one a living target facing numerous assaults. Going on the ground was safer, albeit slower.
They saw many nests and lairs across three mountains. Inside were human and animal skeletons. These beasts were strong enough to kill weaker cultivators and drag them back to their nest.
The trees were tall enough to blot out the sun. The atmosphere was moist with layers of leaves on the ground. Inside were squiring insects and unknown creatures.
A normal human would die within one hour of being inside this thicket.
“The people of Ancient Jiang are born with amazing physical strength. Heretical cultivators and slave traders sometimes capture them and sell for a high price. Some treat them as animals, making them pull carriages or fight beasts for entertainment, resulting in deaths in the ring. Outsiders don’t treat them as humans, only slaves. This is why some tribes of Jiang are very xenophobic. The stronger ones are actually cannibals. Only the caravan traders are really spared.” She elaborated.
Making money required courage, and the traders traveling through Jiang had plenty. They needed to watch out for the locals on top of the various monsters. Of course, the profits were handsome as well.
Trading cheap rock salt to the Jiang could net them furs valued at a thousand gold coins. Or, a bundle of cloth could fetch medicinal grass costing 100,000 coins somewhere else.
Feiyun said: “Humans require mutual respect to co-exist. No one can handle being treated like an animal. If they think the Jiang are animals, the Jiang will really act like animals against them.”
Feiyun was also viewed as an outsider since he was a half-demon. Others have called him a “beast”, “devil”, “demonspawn”...
Why should he respect those who don’t respect him?
Ruxue’s beautiful voice answered: “After we leave this area, there will be a camp of the martial army. They guard Jiang Pass, one must get through it to get to the Jiang Prefecture.”
They spent four days through this thicket before seeing people and the sun again.
Jiang Pass was built during the first generation of Jin. In the beginning, it was meant to prevent slave trading since that would result in conflicts and chaos. However, people began bribing the commanders here so the rules became lax. The army eventually stopped interfering with the slave trade.
As time passed, they became vigilant towards the Jiang and were meant to stop civil unrest and rebellions.
Of course, the Jiang could co-exist with ordinary humans during a time of peace. One could see Jiang members selling furs and medicine in this area, bartering with cultivators.
This pass was massive with city walls spanning for hundreds of miles, almost like a black mountain range.
As one came closer, they could sense the majestic aura of the pass. After entering, there were no soldiers in sight, only shops set up among the wilderness. Well-dressed young masters and powerful experts were looking to buy things from the large tribe members.
They were selling rare furs, stones, and horns as big as a water basin. Medicines and various weapons could be found as well.
The cultivators’ shops consisted of big containers of salt, cloth, treasures…
These shops were very simple. Even the best one only had a few wooden stands. No one wanted to set up an actual building in this place.
It was evening once the tiger-riding duo made it into the pass.
Many Jiangs were gathering up their items since it was late. They put the merchandise on their large qilin bulls’ back and left.
The human cultivators were also putting away their own stuff to leave.
The crowded area became desolate in just one hour. Not even a straw mat was left on the ground.
Feiyun jumped down from his tiger and asked an old man in a blue robe: “Uncle, may I ask why everyone is leaving in a hurry?”
The old man was cautious towards this stranger but after seeing Feiyun’s appearance and youthfulness on top of having a beautiful companion, he became less vigilant. The guy didn’t look like an evil heretic: “No one dares to stay here after dark because beasts or a tribe of giants might attack.”
Feiyun nodded. He had heard about the death of Grand Wisdom Master Jing Feng. The Heavenly Witchcraft Goddess has become the ruler of the Heaven Worship Tribe.
This resulted in great instability. The three main tribes had nonstop battles that could spread to the pass.
Moreover, the beasts in this area were strong enough to attack the gate as well, especially during nighttime when they became more active.
This was the reason why this rather large city had no buildings and shops. What was the point if they could be trampled and destroyed in one night?
“These traders can’t all leave so soon after making the long journey, right?” Feiyun asked.
The old man replied: “They are staying at an inn named Spirit Domain two hundred miles away and will return again tomorrow to set up shops.”
“The beasts don’t attack that place?”
The old man looked at Feiyun with a look of surprise: “Young man, this is your first time here?”
“No wonder why you don’t know about Spirit Domain. In a radius of 18,000 miles, this inn is the safest yet most dangerous place. As long as one keeps their head down and pay a little fee, the sirs working at the inn will let you have a place to sleep.” The old man has finished putting his items on two bulls.
Feiyun smiled in response: “Why are you calling inn workers sir?”
“Let me tell you something, when a half-step Giant sees the inn matron’s dog, they’ll have to call it sir too.” The old man explained with good intention: “It’s best if you stay humble at the inn, or this safe haven will become your place of death.”
The night grew darker. The cold gales at night sounded like the roars of the beasts in the mountain.
Feiyun acknowledged the man’s advice before jumping back on the tiger, following him towards the inn two hundred miles away.Previous Chapter Next Chapter