Shao Xuan had passed the point where both landmasses were closest to each other. They travelled ahead, leaving the coasts behind them as the waters expanded. Shao Xuan had never been here before.
They travelled continuously from night to day. Although Chacha was tired, he could still fly. Many giant mountain eagles flew continuously for long periods of time when heading to Eagle Mountain, this was not Chacha’s first long flight either.
But Shao Xuan could already sense Chacha’s exhaustion. If all they could see was just an endless ocean, how long could Chacha hold on? Where was their saviour?
The approaching winds grew colder and colder, white dots started to appear on the blue ocean surface. They were not animals, just floating icebergs.
As they continued on, more and more white icebergs appeared. In the beginning, they only saw small ones bobbing up and down the waves but soon after, they saw icebergs as large as hills floating on the surface with the occasional seabird or sea beast living in the area resting on top.
Shao Xuan let Chacha rest on an iceberg and wolfed down some sea beast he hunted, then they continued on their journey.
The sea beasts continued to chase relentlessly, the distance between both closing in when Shao Xuan and Chacha rested.
The totemic flame in his mind was flickering in the direction they flew.
Still straight ahead?
In his field of vision, more and more white patches appeared. Soon, it seemed like the entire surface was frozen.
No, it’s a patch of ice covered in snow!
The winds were bone-chilling but refreshing to the initially exhausted Chacha and Shao Xuan.
Giant mountain eagles were not afraid of the cold, they must pass through the icy plains on the mountain peak every time they visited Eagle Mountain. This place was as cold as Eagle Mountain but also huge. All he saw was endless ice!
An iceberg of one kilometre tall towered chillingly before them while the waters were covered in a thick layer of ice. The vast ice shelf extended as far as the eye could see, even giant beast hordes could travel on the ice without a problem.
The strange white and blue icebergs, cliff-like ice shelves and the endless world of ice and snow looked like a place no man had ever been before.
There was nothing alive here, time seemed to be frozen. No one knew how this place came about. How old was the ice?
Chacha landed on the ice shelf and Shao Xuan dismounted onto the white ice. The ice shelf was a hundred metres above the water surface, when he landed, he had a fully unobstructed view of everything until the horizon. He could see that this ice shelf extended right until it joined with the land.
He continued forward until a snowy mountain range. Most of the mountains here were made of ice and snow, but the ground was very solid beneath his feet. It was only when one stood at the edge to look into the ocean when you realised you were very high up.
Letting Chacha rest aside, Shao Xuan walked inland alone.
People who first arrive here might not be able to distinguish between land and the ice shelf but everything was clear with Shao Xuan’s special vision.
The ice shelf extended through a large area. He walked for a long time before finally arriving at the edge of land. Through the naked eye, it looked exactly the same as the ice shelf because it was also covered in snow.
A few hundred metres away from Shao Xuan was a blue stream flowing from a cracked gigantic iceberg. Floating ice of various sizes flowed down the stream, the deep blue water in contrast with the white snow making this place even more mysterious.
He continued forward.
The sound of a large crashing wave could be heard, then many more noises.
Shao Xuan did not need to turn back to know that Yi Xiang’s undead sea beasts had arrived.
The dead beasts swam up through the stream, then climbed the edges up the ice shelf. Their sharp claws made a crackling sound as they scaled up the walls.
The sound of flapping wings and animals landing on the ice mixed together like a sudden hailstorm.
These unnamed seabirds swarmed over like an incoming storm cloud.
The flock of birds dispersed to reveal a man in a sand-yellow cloak. The exposed hand holding a necklace of wooden ornaments was dry and frail, just a skin wrapped around bones.
Behind the cloaked man were gigantic sea beasts who had climbed up the vertical ice walls somehow. These sea beasts meant to live in warm waters did not feel the cold at all. They stomped their giant claws on the ice.
The shelf started to crack when a few sea beasts climbed up, large sections with the beasts clinging onto them fell back into the water and shattered into floating icebergs. On the other hand, the fallen beasts merely continued climbing up again. They did this repeatedly no matter how many times they fell, like tireless machines.
More and more sea beasts arrived on the shelf while the grey-white eyes of the bird flock watched their surroundings. The white, vast ice shelf was now conquered by a beast horde that reeked of death and it was still expanding.
In terms of physical strength, most tribesmen were stronger than the Yi family. That was why they never fought physically, always mentally or through indirect methods. For example, Yi Xiang’s favourite was through reanimated corpses.
There were many beasts living deep in the ocean with tough bones. Even the Gongjia family’s great weapons might not break these bones, plus they were advantageous in terms of body size!
They make very good reanimated corpses!
Not everyone could enslave one corpse like that. If Yi Xiang could enslave so many at the same time, one could only imagine how powerful his fire seed power was!
Flaming Horns were more powerful than other tribesmen but they were still nothing in the face of these monsters.
Even ten Flaming Horns would not be enough for a balanced fight. This was the first time Shao Xuan experienced how powerful Yi Xiang truly was. Yi Xiang did not even unleash his true powers during the battle with the Yi family but this time, Shao Xuan knew that Yi Xiang was ready to sacrifice everything he had.
Grey clouds gathered in the skies, sunlight barely peeking through the gaps. The little sunlight could not change the tense atmosphere here. Icebergs rose and fell with the waves while the sea moved listlessly, making the entire region feel strange and dangerous.
As he did not sense the entire beast horde behind him, Shao Xuan continued to walk towards the mountains.
“Shao Xuan.” A voice rang across the vast snowy lands, so hoarse it sounded like grinding desert sand. He was not speaking loudly, yet his words projected far and wide like a cold knife from the desert dragged across the ice. It was a goosebump-inducing kind of eerie.
Shao Xuan continued to walk towards the towering mountains, his footsteps stable. He did not turn around, he did not panic because of the army of undead beasts.
“Where did you get the Founder Shaman’s power?” asked Yi Xiang.
“You’re asking me? How would I know?” Shao Xuan indeed did not know why he had this power. This must be related to that egg-like rock from a long time ago. But he cannot tell Yi Xiang that.
“How powerful is the Founder Shaman’s power?” asked Yi Xiang again.
This time, Shao Xuan did not reply. He just continued forward with his eyes on the mountains. He could feel the sharpening glare on his back.
Shao Xuan knew that even the ancestral power in his bone ornaments would not defeat this army of uncountable undead beasts. They did not feel pain or fear at all. Activating his ancestral power would just be a waste of energy.
He now understood that Yi Xiang cornered him one because he was Yi Xiang’s greatest threat; two, because of his curiosity towards the Founder Shaman’s powers.
And now that he cornered Shao Xuan, what if Shao Xuan was too weak to hold off his attack and died? Then that was just his luck. This was what Yi Xiang thought.
Yi Xiang did not wait for Shao Xuan’s answer either. The finger turning his wooden beads stopped. His face was hidden from sight due to his large hooded cloak but his glare was as sharp as solid blades. He raised his other arm.
Like activated machines, the undead beast horde started moving. Their sharp claws dragged across the thick, ancient layer of ice, creating a cloud of icy mist.
Even though they were a thousand metres apart, Shao Xuan could feel the murderous intent and fury from the edge of the ice shelf, as well as the immense power within the dead carcases.
Shao Xuan still did not turn around. Slightly frowning, he looked up at the white mountains and suddenly smiled.
The totemic flames in his mind no longer flickered towards one direction, instead it burned intensely, as if waiting for something.
As he looked at the ancient mountains, Shao Xuan finally understood why when he was looking for a way to survive, the totemic flames pointed in this direction, and his gut feeling led him here too.
Although he did not know what was going on, and he was not sure if he knew how to use this opportunity, what else was there to do other than try?
“How powerful is the Founder Shaman’s power? I don’t know either!”
In that moment, Shao Xuan felt a rush of manic emotions in his brain, at the same time, he also felt numb. He did not think about the undead beasts anymore, nor think about where to go next.
The totemic power in his body exploded and totemic patterns covered his entire body. The ends of the patterns slowly turned red until they looked like flowing lava. The Flaming Horn totemic power surged within Shao Xuan as usual but there was another force rapidly strengthening, flooding through every blood vessel, every bone.