The sky was grey with billowing clouds roiling steadily across it.
Thunder crackled and a blinding flash of lightning streaked down from the sky, without making any noticeable sound.
Qiang Liang, a demigod, held an axe and stood upon a gigantic serpent's head, which had been beheaded just now , and was stunned as he gazed at the sky. He saw, hovering over the horizon, a wriggling purple serpent tail, which almost covered the entire vault of the sky.
The serpent was so huge that he couldn't discern its head, and it blocked the entire skyline.
Hiding the sky and covering the earth, the serpent's body was often submerged in dark grey clouds. Lightning occasionally struck the serpent's body, and created a horrible atmosphere; which made the giant, Meng Ming, grimace in pain and shiver unceasingly.
"This crazy bitch has gone mad again, who enraged her this time?!"
While Meng Ming cursed, a mottled, ancient round cauldron slowly descended from the heavens and floated in the air; with a sudden bang, thunder and endless lightning surged out from the cauldron. Soon, the sky returned to normal, and the huge serpent also vanished into thin air.
[TL note: Cauldron: Many cultures, including the ancient people of China and Greece, used cauldrons as ornaments, trophies, sacrificial altars, cooking vessels or tripods, and decorative ceramic pottery.]
Dark clouds amassed in the sky, torrents of rain lashed onto the earth, and the air was filled with cool mist and showers of water.
A brightly lit crystal pyramid made of glass, illuminated the dark night sky. Dozens of armed men wearing raincoats surrounded the pyramid, and kept a vigilant watch over the place.
Suddenly, the raindrops started to splash rhythmically on the ground, like the beating of a heart. The rain droplets gradually rose more than a foot high from the ground; and the rainfall weaved into dozens of water ropes, silently wrapping around the armed men's necks.
The water ropes swung violently and broke their necks, taking their lives instantly. A dim silhouette suddenly emerged from the fog and walked towards the pyramid gate, step by step. Every step closer to the gate, the hazy stature became clearer and at last turned into a transparent man of water, who stood in front of the pyramid gate.
In a flash, the water man slightly shook his body, transforming into a real person. The figure was tall, slim, dressed in a bright, black armour, and had a handsome physique. He was Qing Long.
Numerous water drops condensed into water ropes, which were wriggling like snakes, and drilled into the pyramid, cutting off all security equipment lines like sharp knives. A large electrical fire emerged from the pyramid; only the lighting system was left intact.
Forcing the three-foot-thick crystal gate open, Qing Long slowly walked into an exhibition hall.
More than a hundred crystal exhibition tables were placed in a circle, under the brilliant lights of the hall. Cross-legged skeletons were positioned on each of those tables; and notably, the exhibition case in the centre, made of bulletproof glass, held a multicolored, translucent round cauldron, the size of human head. A totem of a dragon and phoenix was embossed on its surface.
Qing Long moved closer and quietly observed the cross-legged skeletons.
These skeletons had a similar structure to that of humans; however, the bones of their entire body had a dark golden colour, and were translucent like glass. If they stood up straight, their height might have reached more than two meters. More astonishingly, in addition to the two dark eye sockets on either side of their face, there was a third eye socket located in the middle of their eyebrows, which was slightly larger than the other two.
"Three-eyed people?" Qing Long pulled out a dagger and knocked the skeleton with it.
The skeleton gave off sparks when it was knocked by the dagger, which had been made from a special alloy and was forged at a level comparable to diamonds. Unexpectedly, the dagger failed to leave even a single mark on the skeleton. Qing Long's expression became serious. Humanoid skeletons which were harder than diamonds must be extremely valuable, he thought.
"This time, I came by myself...hmm, worthy." Qing Long turned around and walked up to the exhibition case in the centre;he chuckled and said, "Hey, if you don't show up, I may just take these treasures and leave..."
The side door of the hall opened, and a team of warriors came in through the door. They were wearing long, black trench coats and their bodies were wrapped in flames, lightning, hurricanes, and other odd supernatural visions. Walking in the front was a blonde haired young girl with green eyes, she was slim and pretty. Held in her hands was an oddly shaped jade sword.
"Mr Qing Long, we've heard so much about you." The girl walked towards Qing Long, slightly bowed to him and continued, "In the past few years, more than a hundred of our people have died by your hands, including three of my former Secret Service directors. However, what's inconceivable is, this is the first time that we get to see you in person."
"Ayaya, I'm not that handsome!" Qing Long teased the young girl; at the same time, he pressed his right hand onto the bulletproof glass case, and shattered it into pieces with his palm muscles.
"Oh God!" People who were standing behind the girl exclaimed aloud, and unconsciously took a step back. They had heard about Qing Long, who came from the Eastern country of Hua Xia, and was known as the strongest man in the world. However, they never thought that Qing Long would be so powerful!
They had done tests a few days ago and confirmed that even tank guns could not break the case. Did Qing Long just shattered it bare-handedly? This was beyond their imaginations - was it even possible for a humans to be this strong?
Qing Long held the three-legged cauldron with both of his hands, which gave an extremely pleasant feeling. Holding the cauldron, Qing Long felt like he was holding the entire universe.
Qing long carefully put the cauldron into his bag, which was tied around his waist, and said, "These treasures are taken from Liang Zhu City, the ancient city of my country. I have to bring them back. According to our rules, the strongest man gets to make the decision. You won't disagree that I reclaim our treasures, will you?"
The smiling girl looked at Qing Long and said with a soft voice, "Mr Qing Long, you might want to know some of our research results...about these mysterious treasures. You may not guess it, but according to our survey, we found that the soil layer, where these treasures were buried, have at least a hundred thousand years of history."
Qing Long subconsciously touched his bag. Thousands of years old antiques? Human history was still in its nascent stage, wasn't it? Was it even possible for those ancient people to create such a beautiful and exquisite treasure with such an inexplicable power hidden in it?
The girl turned over her hand, and revealed the jade sword she had been holding the whole time.
The jade sword was three feet long and a palm-size wide, carved out of a single piece of jade. Near the hilt, was an odd totem with an erected tower; scarlet eyes floated above the tower, seemingly evil and cold.
"We have tested that this jade sword is made of Hetian white jade, the material was Hetian white jade indeed. As we all know, white jade is a type of nephrite, which is very delicate." The young girl smiled, "However, whether natural diamonds or our laboratory's hardest special alloy, this sword can cut them as easily as cutting a piece of tofu."
The young girl brandished the sword, smiled and continued, "I split a strategic bomber with this sword earlier; across a distance of two kilometres, with my strength, I could split a strategic bomber. Mr Qing Long, I truly can't imagine what would happen if this sword was held in your hands."
Qing Long's complexion drastically changed, he didn't take the girl and her people serious at all, they were just a bunch of cannon fodder to him. But, if this sword was as powerful as she said, this may not be that easy.
"So this is a trap, then?" Qing Long asked. In the meanwhile, he twisted his neck and soothed the joints in his body.
"We've always wanted to have an opportunity to negotiate face to face, with you." The girl said with a charming smile on her face, "In the past few years, you have caused us too much damage. We hope that you will be able to join us. If so, you can have my position or even my superior's position, you only need to ask."
"Of course, in exchange, we hope that we could have your loyalty and your creation, the [Mantra Dan with Nine Secret Words]!" The girl's breath became disordered when she spoke the last few words.
[Nine Secret Words] was a powerful magic spell. It could develop the human body's potential and associate it with the vast and mysterious power of the universe.
The [Mantra Dan with Nine Secret Words] was Qing Long's original magic spell, based on the [Nine Secret Words]. This spell enabled Qing Long to control earth, water, fire, and wind, communicate with the netherworld, travel to anywhere in the world within a moment, and also made him the world's most powerful human being.
"This is, of course, impossible!" Qing Long patted the bag around his waist and said with quirky laugh, "If you have ever heard about me, you should have known that I am the type to seek revenge for the slightest grievance, and I'm also famous for never betraying my ancestors!"
Qing Long's body suddenly transformed into countless sharp wind knives and dashed towards the girl. Those wind knifes soon gathered into a hazy swirl, enveloping the entire hall.
The girl shook her head and sighed helplessly, "I knew it, those damned idiot bosses insisted on spending so much effort in vain!"
With a cold laughter, the girl held out a golden roll of bamboo slips and threw it upward. Along with an earth-shaking thunder, blood-red lights emerged from the dark eyeholes of the cross-legged skeletons.
With a buzzing sound, the red lights quickly converged into a huge blood-red cage, firmly imprisoning Qing Long inside.
The light cage remained motionless as it was hit by Qing Long's wind knives; all of the wind knives shattered into pieces.
Outside, the dark clouds billowed over the eastern horizon and waves of lightning were seen, followed by the unceasing rumble of distant thunder.
On the street, innumerable screams could be heard; people looked up at the sky in fear. They saw the clouds drifting and changing forms; behind the dense clouds, there was a gigantic purple serpent slithering above.
Inside the pyramid, Qing Long fell down on his knees, blood smeared all over his body. In the light cage, ninety-nine light spears floated in the air, silently aiming towards him; in the very next second, all of those spears pierced his body.
"Damn! Does this weird stuff really have such a strong power?" The girl excitedly caught the golden bamboo slip roll, which fell down from the air and shouted hoarsely, "Qing Long, did you see that? You are the most powerful human...yet you are so vulnerable in front of us!"
"These skeletons, this bamboo slip roll, and that cauldron, they all came from the same place! They are the treasures from thousands of years ago! God, so amazing; according to the methods described on this bamboo slip roll, arranging these skeletons in certain orientations can truly release this much magnificent power!" The girl yelled hysterically.
"What...the...hell is this?" Qing Long moaned in pain and looked up.
"There are records on this bamboo slip roll which say that this is an ancient magic formation, as for the name...sorry, our linguists have yet to decipher that." The girl shrugged and said, "but these skeletons, they are called..."
Suddenly, purple lightning fell from the sky, and struck the crystal pyramid.
All of the crystal glasses were instantly destroyed by the lightning, the girl and her people were burned into ashes, and the round three-legged cauldron started to emit a faint multi-coloured light that wrapped around Qing Long's body. Qing Long roared in pain and his body twitched violently. With blood covering his entire body, he felt as though his lifeforce, the essence of his body and his soul were all being rapidly extracted by the cauldron.
The three-eyed skeletons simultaneously raised their arms and pointed at the sky, as if to cast a counterattack. The blood-red light in their pupils condensed into a huge red dragon and rushed towards the purple lightning.
The dragon vanished in the air once it collided into the purple lightning; at the same time, ninety-nine three-eyed skeletons shook fiercely and exploded into golden dust.
Qing Long was enveloped by a purple ray. He felt an inexhaustible power rush down from the sky and destroy everything in its path. The purple lightning then condensed into a human-sized lightning sphere, flashed across the air and disappeared. After a few seconds, everything subsided.
The public square and the pyramid were gone without a trace, nothing was left.
He possesses unsurpassed wisdom and extremely strong spiritual power. He created the [Mantra Dan with Nine Secret Word], based on the [Nine Secret Words]. He was known as the strongest human in the world. To retrieve the lost treasure-the round cauldron, which belonged to the ancient city of Liang Zhu-Qing Long fell into a trap and was gravely injured. After that, he was influenced by an unknown power, unexpectedly traveled through space and time, and was reborn as Ji Hao in the Fire Crow Clan.
The Southern Wasteland, a boundless primitive jungle.
Poisonous miasma spiralled around the treetops of tall, ancient trees. The miasma reflected the sunlight, creating colorful rays of light that merged into a gorgeous rainbow.
Drifting above was a floating island with a circumference of several hundred miles. Dozens of white-dragon-like waterfalls roared out from the edges of the island. A hurricane blew across, dispersing the waterfalls into a cloud of mist. Dozens of rainbows were dancing around in the mist, complementing the colorful miasma circling around the treetops.
Ji Hao was standing on the edge of the island, gazing down at the vast Southern Wasteland jungle.
A breeze ruffled Ji Hao's hair. He had a determined and delicate face, and a pair of deep, mysterious eyes that shone brightly. Whenever Ji Hao focused his gaze on a certain area, nine dark purple and golden spell symbols would suddenly appear around the pupils of his eyes. Although it seemed dignified and mysterious, it made others feel uncomfortable to directly look at them.
A simple leather skirt was wrapped around his waist. Two sharp eyebrows struck out from his temple; his nose stood tall and straight, and his lips were angular and broad. From time to time, the corners of his mouth would form a faint mocking smile. This handsome and attractive young man, Ji Hao, didn't seem to take anything to heart.
Ji Hao looked like a pine which was firmly rooted beneath the rocks; no matter how fierce the wind and the rain were or how heavy the thunder and lightning roared, he would seemingly stay immovable and indestructible like a mountain.
A gigantic crow with a wingspan of more than thirty feet stood beside Ji Hao. Its red pupils seemed to be faintly ablaze. The crow turned its head, looking around every now and then.
"Mr Crow, we're just taking a stroll. Relax." Ji Hao patted one of his talons and said, "Later, we will get you a serpent to fill your stomach, then we will go to the Black Wind Valley. Let's see if we can find some 'Wind Dragon Plant' for Abba."
The crow cawed a few times then intimately rubbed Ji Hao's head with his sharp beak.
Ji Hao raised his head and stretched his arms. He yawned and said, "Comfortable, so comfortable. No need to stay with those old grandpas and study grass...tree bark...snake teeth...or poison sacs...so nice!
"Hey, are there really people who do not fear death? Don't these stinky snakes know that this jungle belongs to us, the Fire Crow Clan? This is the Fire Crow Clan's territory!" said Ji Hao. He looked around, then suddenly widened his eyes and pointed down at the jungle.
A group of topless, sturdy two-meter tall men with scars carved all over their bodies were swaggering around in the jungle. They were carrying a variety of hunted prey on their shoulders. Ji Hao looked carefully, there were tigers, leopards and bears; each of them were tens of feet tall like a small mountain of meat.
"Bastards! This is the Fire Crow Clan's hunting grounds. Those animals are ours! These animals, even the smallest one can feed a kid for a whole year. If you have them skinned and cleaned, you could even trade for three young women with those furs!"
Ji Hao shouted out. He opened his arms, interlocked his fingers together, and casted a spell. Suddenly, the waterfall closest to him rumbled and no longer flowed straight down; a mysterious power tilted the waterfall thirty degrees towards those men in the jungle.
Those Black Water Serpent Clan warriors were happily walking in the jungle, while the waterfall transformed into a heavy downpour and fell onto their heads. They saw the waterfall, laughed out loud, and opened their mouths as they headed up to drink the chilly and sweet water pouring down from the sky.
The man who walked in the front had a ten-foot long Single-Horned Serpent coiled around his waist, which swayed its body leisurely. The sudden bath seemed to make it feel incomparably joyful. The Single-Horned Serpent is the Black Water Serpent Clan's special battle beast. Only elite warriors had the qualifications to have a Horned Serpent as a contracted fighting beast, helping them with killing in battles.
From the torrential rain, the water droplets suddenly turned into lines that slowly formed into transparent water ropes which abruptly wrapped around the men's necks silently.
"Enemies...a sneak attack!" roared the leader, his voice full of fear.
Had they just been attacked by a water-type Maguspriest?
But to sneakily attack enemies with a torrential rain was one of the Black Water Serpent Clan's specialties. In the Southern Wasteland, the Black Water Serpent Clan's archenemy was the Fire Crow Clan who were experts at fire spells. They had never heard of a Fire Crow Clan Magus warrior who could cast a water spell.
Ji Hao changed his hand gesture. The water ropes shook violently and sent the men flying. One after another, they heavily smashed onto the trees and fainted.
Only the leader struggled to stand as he ripped apart the water rope from his neck, and tore it into countless water droplets. A water-tank-sized pit appeared on the tree trunk behind him, clearly showing just how strong his body was.
"The coward who only dares to use sneak attacks, show your face!" The man flung out a long spear and growled angrily.
The Single-Horned Serpent uncoiled itself from the man's waist, nimbly moved around in the heavy rain, and spat out cold black smoke intermittently from time to time.
"Mr Crow! Go!" Ji Hao hopped onto the crow's back. The gigantic crow opened its wings and let out a sharp caw, rushing down towards the furious man.
The floating island was a few miles above the ground. The crow diving at lightning speed reached the forest within the span of a few breaths.
Once the Black Water Serpent Clan's warrior saw the crow coming, his face twisted in fear that hardly looked like a human's. He screamed out, "Fire Crow! Fire Crow! The Holy Land's protector!"
The Fire Crow swiped downwards with his talon. The black, steel-like talon gently struck the man's body, exploding into a cloud of dense bloody mist and splashing everywhere. The Single-Horned Serpent turned around in fear and tried to flee but the Fire Crow opened his beak towards the serpent and spewed out a lava-like, red flame.
The Single-Horned Serpent hissed loudly as it was burnt into a wisp of smoke. Several ancient trees were also set ablaze by the fire, making it look like torches.
After that, the Fire Crow spread out his wings and landed on a branch, which then proudly cawed towards the sky.
Ji Hao patted the Fire Crow's head and leapt down into the woods. Not far away, there was an enormous tree with vines coiling around it. Ji Hao neatly selected several hundred-year-old "Dragon Vines" and weaved them into a rope. He then tied up the fainted men and all the hunted animals together with them.
"Let's bring them back first. Mr Crow, let's go!"
Ji Hao hopped onto the Fire Crow's back again, then whistled sharply. The Fire Crow picked up the captives and animals, flapped its wings, and flew south. With a few flaps, the crow flew high into the sky. Its jet-black plumage started emitting a faint, fiery light. The crow transformed into a stream of flames and flew far into the distance, soon disappearing afterwards.
About an hour later, a majestic mountain blocked their way. On the mountaintop, thousands of mulberry trees stood tall.
Tens of huge bird nests could be seen on the treetops. Hundreds of colossal crows, much bigger than the Fire Crow under Ji Hao's feet, were hovering around those trees.
They were still a few hundred miles away from the mountain when a stream of flames shot towards them. A three-meter-tall muscular man stood on the flames and growled loudly at Ji Hao, "Hao! You snuck away again? How old do you think you are? You're just a little kid! Aren't you afraid of being snatched away by a large bird?"
Pausing for a second, afterwards seeing the captives and hunted animals in the Fire Crow's talons, the brawny man laughed out loud and waved his fists, "You really are our big brother Ji Xia's son! Just where did you catch these stinky snakes? Now we're going to have enough mining slaves for the mines at the back of the mountain!"
He hesitated for a second, and frowned as he continued, "You should go back first. Brother Ji Xia's distant cousin came...and he brought his people...this guy... is not amiable at all, I'm afraid he has not come with any good intentions..."
Ji Hao's facial expression changed. He tapped the Fire Crow's head. The crow then sped up and headed towards the deep valley below the massive mountain.
 Spell Symbols: These marks are unique symbols which contain mysterious power, usually connecting to certain magic, and will appear under the Magus's will.
 In mysterious Eastern culture, Magi and Maguspriests usually cast their magic spells by interlocking their fingers together in certain motions while chanting.