Chapter 43: Reborn
Han Shuo whizzed all the way back and suddenly detected that Gene hadn’t gone to bed yet when he returned to the campground. He was sitting outside his tent instead, bored to death.
“Eh, Bryan. Have you seen Fanny or Lisa?” Gene immediately stood up and asked when he heard Han Shuo’s footsteps.
Nodding, Han Shuo said faintly, “I did. Master Fanny and Lisa will be back shortly. Master Gene, why haven’t you gone to sleep yet?”
“Oh, because Clark suddenly left for some business. He asked me to give Fanny his apologies. Hah, that Clark left without giving a reason. How baffling.”
Han Shuo’s thoughts raced after hearing Gene’s words, and he immediately understood that Clark must have left abruptly because he knew that he would be unable to explain his actions for bumping into and angering Fanny and Lisa at the pool.
“I see. Master Gene, I still need to collect a few things from nearby. When Master Fanny and Lisa return, please tell them that I’ll return at daybreak.” Han Shuo quickly headed south after he’d spoken, not paying attention to whether Gene had agreed to pass along his message or not. He vanished without a trace in the blink of an eye.
Although Han Shuo’s body wasn’t stiff and drained of energy, he was still feeling the effects of the Python’s tail whip. His body was truly injured, and he knew that Fanny and Lisa were bound to nag him for a while when they returned. This way, he’d be unable to use his magical yuan to repair his body. He therefore decided to temporarily avoid the situation and wait until morning. Their tempers would mostly be mollified by then, and there shouldn’t be anything major by that time.
There was a towering tree to the south with a thick branch heavily forested with twigs and leaves about ten meters from the ground. Han Shuo sat down Indian style and was deep in concentration, coalescing the magical yuan to repeatedly strengthen his body.
Time flew by unknowingly, and the slight aches in Han Shuo’s body faded away beneath the circulation of the magical yuan. Every inch of skin, flesh, tendon, and bone in his body felt like it was filled with surging strength.
Han Shuo had sank into the passive demonic mental state when a faint sliver of pain started emanating from his mind and gradually spread throughout his entire body. A sudden onslaught of pain accompanied it, as an agony ten times stronger than that pain roared to life and caused Han Shuo to immediately cry out.
Explosive pilipala sounds rang out from within his body accompanying his pain-filled roars. Faint, murky strands of air started rising from Han Shuo’s pores along with these sounds, and layers of ripples swam along the surface of his body, as if someone had thrown a rock into water. When his pores had finished emitting the murky air and harmful matter within his body, a misty cloud of black splendor faintly surrounded his body.
This situation sustained for who-knew-how-long. Han Shuo only felt the pain all over his body suddenly vanished without a trace, and he dropped down from the ten meter high branch with a sharp crack. His body was scarily agile and nimble.
Success! He had finally successfully broken through the first demonic “solid” realm. From now on, his body had been reborn. Whether it was strength, pliability, or toughness, his body now far outstripped that of ordinary people. After surpassing the most basic “solid” realm, Han Shuo’s effort in future training would be halved, but would be double in effectiveness.
A sudden thought struck him and his magical yuan circulated freely, meeting no obstructions. Not only could it effortlessly travel throughout his four limbs, chest, and stomach, but the magical yuan could also easily circulate to his head. Han Shuo glanced at his naked skin and saw that not even a single scar remained from his previously scar covered body. His skin and flesh were clean and supple, and he could clearly feel that his height had increased another one or two centimeters when he moved his body.
He lifted his head to look at the sky and saw that it was still deep night. Han Shuo was reveling in the joy of new life in the moment as he continuously circulated the magical yuan all over his body, excitedly feeling out every inch of change.
Suddenly, Han Shuo’s mind raced as he remembered the handbag and jade box he carried around with him. Last time he’d used the bizarre object within the jade box to mediate and train his mental strength, he had almost had all his mental strength sucked away instead. It was only when the magical yuan had flowed into his brain that he had found a way out of danger and emerged with great rewards instead.
Now that he had broken through the “solid” realm, Han Shuo could freely deploy the magical yuan at his will and command it to flow to any part of his body, including the most difficult to reach part, his brain. Recalling the enormous rewards that he’d gained previously, Han Shuo found it hard to repress the desires in his heart. He immediately sat down, crossing his legs, and took out the bag he always kept on him.
When he opened the box, the ball that appeared like an eyeball was still as strange and sinister as he remembered. When he focused his mental strength and slowly started coalescing it into the round ball, the same thing that occured last time happened again. The ball instantly emitted a hazy light green aura, and the drop of blood inside gave one a heavy, uncomfortable feeling.
Han Shuo’s mental strength was sucked away like a whale drinking in water, and it flowed quickly into the round ball within the jade box. The pain in Han Shuo’s mind increased as his mental strength continued to be siphoned away.
Finally, just when he thought that his mind would explode, his thoughts moved and the magical yuan pooling in his lower abdomen suddenly flew up into his mind. There was a loud roaring sound in his mind as increased pain caused him to roar out loudly in pain. At the same time, his surging mental strength returned with the force of leveling mountains and draining seas, instantly filling Han Shuo’s mind.
Han Shuo abruptly sank bonelessly to the ground and panted heavily. His entire mind felt groggy and stuffy, and this condition maintained itself for a while. He slowly returned to normal and only felt that his mental strength had indeed increased significantly. Han Shuo stared involuntarily at the round ball with glee.
Suddenly, Han Shuo saw that strands of green light had started rippling through the ball. These strands of light wove together continuously, as if a pen was tracing out a drawing. A picture formed in the midst after a short while — a strange, grey castle.
Briefly revealed by the green lines, it suddenly vanished without a trace leaving only the drop of red in the center flashed continuously as it actually formed the shape of a red arrow. It froze momentarily, then pointed south.
What did this mean? What did it mean when the arrow pointed south?
Han Shuo was momentarily dumbfounded as he gazed at the spot of red in the center, lost in thought. His thoughts churned madly and finally confirmed one thing. The red arrow within the round ball had delineated a direction, like an objective to travel to.
He hesitated and gazed at the sky as his curiosity had been thoroughly piqued. He finally grabbed the jade box and quickly ventured south, in the direction that the jade box was pointing at.
Throughout this entire process, Han Shuo could feel that the further south he traveled, the more he heard sounds from large magical creatures. Dangers abounded along his way and he was quite wary. His eyes occasionally flicked to the round ball and noticed that the arrow continuously changed direction, as if pointing out the correct path for Han Shuo.
He proceeded in this way for quite a while when the red arrow in the round ball he grasped finally disappeared. The red blood-like drop reappeared, and the green light emitted from the ball became stronger. Strong magical pulses travelled out from the ball.
Han Shuo stopped, surveyed his surroundings and realized that this was a common area filled with weeds, shrubbery and towering trees. An unknown, enormous tree with twisted, entwined branches was present not too far off, and its strange shadow, illuminated by moonlight, appeared like that of a monstrous creature’s on the ground.
Han Shuo concentrated his attention and suddenly noticed something strange. In other parts of the Dark Forest, sounds from bugs would carry on no matter how quiet it was, but upon reaching this place, Han Shuo realized that this place was almost desolately quiet. There wasn’t a single insect’s call and not a hint of life to be found.
Bizarre. Han Shuo felt that the entire area was filled with a strange aura, hidden under an ordinary exterior. This aura felt familiar and friendly to Han Shuo, as if he’d long since grown used to some things, but upon thinking carefully, Han Shuo realized that he had no idea what was going on.
Just as Han Shuo was completely lost and deep in thought, the round ball within the jade box suddenly levitated into the air as the ball used the green light on the surface to draw beams of magical lines through the air. Han Shuo could feel the strong magical pulses through the air, and that they were growing stronger the more the ball’s green light shone out.
After Han Shuo had noticed, he suddenly realized that the area bathed in the green light underwent changes that made his eyes bug out and his tongue tied. The weeds and shrubs on the ground would suddenly vanish without a trace whenever the green light touched it, to change into dry, grey, and dusty earth with piles of stark, white bones piled on it.
The leafy boughed, towering trees on the side also underwent eerie changes under the green light, changing into the skeletons of monstrous, dead creatures. If Han Shuo’s memory served him right, those enormous skeletons were the legendary bone dragons, the most terrifying kind of dark creature.
Death. An empty, desolate wilderness morphed into an eternal land of death under the rays of the green light.
There was an enormous grey castle half floating in air, half buried underground. A few odd, sharp spikes encircled the castle as numerous pictures of dark creatures were carved on the castle walls.
Han Shuo looked on for a while, completely gobsmacked. He finally muttered to himself in astonishment. “This… is this the legendary cemetery of death?”