The Portal of Wonderland is a web novel completed by Wang Yu, 忘语.
This webnovel is presently Ongoing.
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Chapter 397: True King, False King
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
s.h.i.+ Mu examined the scene hidden behind the stone door, his eyes slightly twitching at the side.
This humanoid… thing had its four limbs nailed on the cross with green nails in a way that had completely stopped the man from moving at all. Blood streamed down in trails from the cross as it dripped and soaked the altar that supported it.
The grey figure in the middle of the trio seemed to be quite perturbed by the sight as well, although he managed to calm down soon enough.
“To be able to… trespa.s.s here… Who… are you people…” A weak but no less regal voice suddenly boomed and echoed around the room.
The grey figure seemed to have jumped, and even s.h.i.+ Mu was shocked as his eyes quickly darted around the secret room until they finally landed back on the cross.
“Y-you’re still alive!”
The grey figure too instantly found the source of that voice, boring his eyes through the grotesque mess nailed on the cross.
The head of the battered body suddenly moved, lifting its eyeless face up with great difficulty as it “gazed” at where the grey figure was standing.
Though safely concealed in the shadows this whole time, s.h.i.+ Mu’s face nonetheless showed an expression of dread, for the body seemed to have looked at where he was hiding.
“A man from Dark Moon Cult… with two half-zombified barbarians… who are either elders of their tribe or chiefs themselves. Cough! And it seems… another fellow who has followed the party…” The body emitted what sounded like a string of soft chuckles. “It hasn’t been… so lively in this room for a while…”
Upon hearing these words, the grey figure immediately spun, his hand raised, and a dozen thick grey poles suddenly appeared in the air without much s.p.a.ce between them before they hurtled towards where s.h.i.+ Mu was hiding.
A rain of bony poles pierced the corner outside the stone door, instantly turning the area into rubble. A human silhouette leaped out from the flying debris into the secret room, landing gracefully at the side. It was none other than s.h.i.+ Mu.
A thought raced through s.h.i.+ Mu’s mind and he pulled the green cloak away from his body, exposing himself.
The grey figure looked quite shocked at how s.h.i.+ Mu was able to dodge his attack. He inspected this unwelcome tagalong before asking, “And who would this gentleman be? What is your reason for following this lowly one here?”
s.h.i.+ Mu was still in disguise—the snake-headed, half-transformed demon appearance. He did not answer the grey figure’s question, only letting out a knowing chuckle.
“No matter, I don’t care what your answer is. Kill him!” the grey figure growled before pointing his finger right at s.h.i.+ Mu.
The two zombies at his side were like two strikes of lightning as they hurled themselves at s.h.i.+ Mu, their thick aura of death was.h.i.+ng toward him like a deluge.
s.h.i.+ Mu’s eyes narrowed. These two zombies had proven themselves to possess Earth-rank powers, so he should know better than to underestimate them.
The middle-aged barbarian zombie was slightly faster than the other, reaching s.h.i.+ Mu first with his five fingers spread apart as he tried to catch s.h.i.+ Mu in a claw-like maneuver.
His fingers conjured tenebrous winds as they struck, along with a thick putrid stench.
s.h.i.+ Mu’s feet tapped the ground lightly and stepped several yards to the side, dodging the middle-aged barbarian’s attack.
s.h.i.+ Mu had not even begun to stabilize his footing before the other square-jawed zombie grabbed s.h.i.+ Mu from behind. The zombie’s fingers made a metallic sound as his nails extended and flashed with a green aura. Rays of light shot out from each of the zombie’s nails, completely entrapping s.h.i.+ Mu.
By this time, the middle-aged zombie had caught up to them.
s.h.i.+ Mu’s eyes sank. He raised his left hand and the glove disappeared instantly, baring his scorched-black hand.
With a loud boom, his left hand emitted a blinding red light that transformed into burning flames. Infernal heat flared around the area, warping the atmospheric air close to the fire.
s.h.i.+ Mu gave a low roar and delivered a punch.
The lock-jawed zombie’s fingers shattered, digit by digit, from the impact of s.h.i.+ Mu’s blow.
Then, in a flash of red, s.h.i.+ Mu’s fist appeared a few inches away from the zombie smas.h.i.+ng it down onto his face.
The zombie let out a terrifying howl as he withdrew his arms and crossed them in front of him. Grey light shone out of his body.
The zombie was like a single stalk of wheat being blown away as s.h.i.+ Mu’s punch landed. The zombie flew backward and smashed onto the wall of the secret room, forming a huge hole in the wall.
s.h.i.+ Mu turned toward the other middle-aged barbarian sprinting towards him and raised his blazing left hand.
The grey figure, stunned, raised his hand and the middle-aged zombie immediately stopped in his tracks.
From the hole on the wall, the square-jawed zombie struggled to crawl out. His arms had been twisted in a completely unnatural position such that white bones protruded of the open wounds.
As the grey figure turned to look, a corner of his eyes twitched.
The two zombies possessed Earth-rank powers. They were nigh indestructible, rivaling even the best advanced-rank Spiritual Tools, yet his arm was destroyed with just one hit.
“Ho ho ho, Sect Fellow Liu, isn’t it a little too much to strike fatal blows at an acquaintance? All he did was follow you out of curiosity.”
Red lights shone from s.h.i.+ Mu’s body before encasing themselves around him. Within a couple of minutes, the lights vanished and s.h.i.+ Mu’s original appearance was reveales. At the same time, the flames on his left hand had dissipated too. He looked a little pale but the color in his face soon returned to normal.
He had only triggered a little of the power his left hand wielded, which was why his Real Qi wasn’t completely exhausted. If he hadn’t pulled his punches, the square-jawed zombie would have already been smashed into smithereens.
“It’s… it’s you, s.h.i.+ Mu!”
The grey figure gave a cry of surprise before lapsing into silence. He took off his grey robe to reveal an adolescent with shoulder-length crimson hair adorning an incredibly handsome face with a crescent-shaped birthmark on his forehead. It was Liu An.
“Why did you follow this lowly one here, Brother s.h.i.+?” Liu An asked.
“No, this s.h.i.+ did not come here because he was following Brother Liu; this meeting was purely coincidental. Of course, there wouldn’t be any answer if Brother Liu asks for the real reason why this lowly one has come here,” s.h.i.+ Mu replied. “This lowly one wagers that Brother Liu An did not come to the forbidden place of the Demon Race for sightseeing out of morbid curiosity either.”
A glint flashed in Liu An’s eyes, but he did not answer.
It was then when the secret room quaked. Golden runes on the floor flashed with dazzling light.
The door that had been forcefully hacked open by Liu An suddenly snapped shut as row after row of glyphs surfaced on the door that nailed the door shut tight.
The walls of the secret room similarly revealed rows of golden runes spreading to all sides until they covered every inch of the room. In a flash, the entire room was like a gilded cage trapping them in.
s.h.i.+ Mu and Liu An were aghast as they looked at their surroundings in terror.
“Oh great, you two ignorant brats had a scuffle and now you’ve triggered the trap placed on this room. There’s no hope for leaving here now,” the grotesque humanoid mess on the cross cackled.
s.h.i.+ Mu and Liu An’s expressions s.h.i.+fted.
s.h.i.+ Mu opened his mouth wide and the Golden Pound Sword shot out from it before transforming into a ten yard-long golden broadsword.
He performed a handsign and the broadsword split into ten before slicing down on the stone door.
Boom! Boom! Boom! A barrage of m.u.f.fled rumbles echoed as dazzling golden lights covered the stone door on every inch.
A few moments pa.s.sed before the golden light from the swords’ attack subsided. The door emanated an aura of gold, and not a single scratch was left on it.
s.h.i.+ Mu’s face fell as he called the Golden Pound Sword back with a flip of the wrist.
Liu An also looked quite uneasy.
s.h.i.+ Mu turned to the grotesque body on the cross and cupped his hands before his chest in salutation. “May I know who is this elder we are speaking to?”
“Ho ho ho, I’m none other than the Azure Ape King,” the body replied with a twinge of self-depreciation, although the last few words managed to sound dignified—as though it was spoken by one who had once ruled the world.
s.h.i.+ Mu and Liu An were immediately stunned.
“Impossible—the Azure Ape King himself is conducting the Form a.s.suming Ceremony at the Heaven Ascending Peak! Why are you lying to us?” Liu An growled.
“That one? Ha, he’s a joke. He’s nothing more than an impostor!” the body suddenly rocked violently as it bellowed in fury.
“Impostor?!” s.h.i.+ Mu was confused.
“I don’t think this man is lying. He’s emitting a demonic scent as we speak, so he’s likely of the Demon Race. From the looks of it, he must’ve had his fur and skin completely flayed. I’ve heard of such a technique before. By taking off a demon’s skin, one can a.s.sume their ident.i.ty by removing their skin and wearing it. The effect is so realistic that even peers of the same rank wouldn’t be able to detect anything,” Liu An mumbled. The words rang in s.h.i.+ Mu’s ears.
s.h.i.+ Mu looked at him, but he said nothing.
“Look, Brother s.h.i.+, we are not enemies. Now that we’re smack-dab in the middle of the Demon Race’s forbidden ground, every step we make courts danger. The slightest carelessness on our part, and we suffer in ways we may not even be able to imagine. If we work together, however… We may actually prevail. What say you?” Liu An asked.
s.h.i.+ Mu thought quietly on his words before giving a very, very small nod.
A flash of joy crossed Liu An’s gaze, but he hid it soon enough.
“If you really were the Azure Ape King, sir, then who would the impostor be?” Liu An asked.
“Who else could it be? It’s that b.l.o.o.d.y old priest, Huang Long!” the body blared with malice after a short silence.
“Huang… Long?” Questions flashed in s.h.i.+ Mu’s eyes. He had never heard of this man before.
“Huang Long?! It can’t be… the second-in-command of the Transcending Heaven Immortal Cult?!” Liu An blurted, his brows furrowing as his eyes widened.
“Who else other than that wretch?!” the body replied, his voice br.i.m.m.i.n.g with hatred.
s.h.i.+ Mu’s eyebrows creased slightly as he stared at Liu An.
“Brother s.h.i.+ is from the eastern peninsula of the Dong Zhou Continent, so it’s a given that you may not know who Huang Long may be. He was the second-in-command of the Transcending Heaven Immortal Cult. He vanished around three hundred years ago so not many know of him today. According to rumor, this Huang Long is even more powerful than Wu Chen himself,” Liu An explained.
s.h.i.+ Mu did not mask his shock upon hearing his words.
“You two brats have activated the trap formation in this room, and once that b.a.s.t.a.r.d Huang Long returns to see someone sneaking in, the two of you are as good as gone. If you want to avert that fate, though… Let me free and I’ll help you out of this heap,” the grotesque mess of a body said.
s.h.i.+ Mu and Liu An looked at each other in surprise.
“it’s not like I can’t free you from your bondage, but I need you to tell me: is the treasure of the Dark Moon Cult, the Fallen Angel Desk, hidden here on Heaven Ascension Peak?” Liu An’s eyes flashed as he asked.
“Fallen Angel Desk, huh? So you’re here for that… That’s right! The treasure is hidden right in the secret vault within Heaven Ascension Peak. Free me and I’ll take you to that vault. You can take whatever you like there. There’s also a secret transporting formation in the vault that can send the three of us out of the vault safely,” the body muttered a bit under his breath before finally replying.
Liu An brightened up as soon as he heard this confirmation. He nodded without hesitation.
“Now quickly! There’s no telling when Huang Long will return!” the body cried.
Liu An was just about to say something when he seemed to have remembered something else as he turned to s.h.i.+ Mu.
s.h.i.+ Mu had been standing there scanning the room aimlessly, his thoughts unfathomable.
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