I'm also on the camp of silent reader, I even never commented on other novels, but I'm commenting now just to show support and thanks for you to translate this wonderful novel. Curiously though, why do you put the novel here in the forum, instead the usual post of Wuxiaworld? Though sometimes I read discussions in NU LCD forum (and I don't join at discord), I like it better to read the discussions from comments that was attached at the end of each chapter. And I think most reader are more comfortable to do that too. As for the novel itself, it has matured enough to let Silla become full-fledged protagonist. Before he was a ball of emotional revenge, but now he really does have likeable personality. The other thing is Silla is quite unique, since he approach the game as true martial artist, not gamer, unlike most of the novels. But, also unlike most of the wuxia novels, Silla didn't get munchkined over the time. In fact, Silla get resetted couple of times in terms of ability or equipments.However, the novels never feels like getting backward. The plot is still progressing (nice that the author reveals about Silla's teacher in the middle, not dragging it to the last chapter), the character development is still also progressing. This what makes me come back and want to read more.
Chapter 153: Teacher MoraAfter he removed the brain scanner from his head, Sila pushed himself up from the bed and headed for the bathroom. He washed his face and brushed his teeth before heading downstairs.“Oh? Sila, you are up early. Come. Let’s have breakfast together,” Rashane called out as he greeted Sila.Looking ahead, Sila saw that there were four people sitting around the dining table; they were Rashane, Doctor Panhathai, Varee, and lastly, Vata.Rashane was brightly smiling from ear to ear. Vata bowed her head slightly to greet Sila. As it turned out, the matter that Vata was in a hurry to take care of in Beginning Town was to log out and reunite with her family.“Sila, you look restless, what is going on?” asked Varee.“Um... Teacher Mora sent me a message. He told me to return to the dojo immediately.”Rashane stood up. “In that case, I will drive you there.”Sila politely declined his offer. “You don't need to worry, Uncle, I can go there myself.”Panhathai offered as well. “Let me drive you there.”“You really don’t have to. I can call a taxi. Please pardon me.” Sila took out his smartphone. The smartphones of this era were very easy to use; even an analog person like Sila could figure out how to use it pretty quickly. He pressed the ‘Call Driver’ button, and the smartphone immediately called over the nearest taxi without a passenger to his location. As such, even though Sila had said he would make a call, all he really did was press a button.“I will send Sila off at the entrance. Please continue without me for a while.”
As Varee finished speaking, she followed Sila outside and stood next to him looking at the street.“Even though my home is far away from the central block, it connected to the main road, so it will take only five minutes or so before the taxi arrives,” Varee said.“Oh... Um... I see,” replied Sila. His mind drifted away; he was concerned about his teacher and the dojo.“Is everything okay in the game? I heard that Big Sister Vata troubled you.”“No, I’m okay, she didn’t cause me any problems,” said Sila. His eyes still looked into the distance, praying for the taxi to come soon.“Big Sister Vata usually hangs out with her friends, only hunting monsters, so she is unaware of many things. Therefore...”Sila gave Varee an annoyed look. “I said I’m okay. Miss Vata didn’t do anything wrong.”“...Yes, thank you,” Varee mumbled. It didn’t sound like her.“Oh, the taxi is coming. Thanks for sending me off.” Sila waved his hand to the yellow taxi. Suddenly, Varee grabbed onto his wrist, causing Sila to turned his head back.“Big Sister Vata came back to the house for the first time after she met you. I don’t know what you said to her. But, I truly, truly... thank you.” It was rare for Varee to show him her delicate side, so Sila was in a daze.The sound of the horn could be heard, so Varee released his wrist. Sila looked at the taxi once before shifting his gaze back to her.“I didn’t do anything. Miss Vata wanted to come back herself. All I did was give her a slight push.”“Anyway, thank you,” said Varee. She walked back into her house while Sila entered the taxi.The taxi driver asked, “Where would you like to go, sir?”Pressing on the smartphone, Sila showed a certain GPS location to the driver. He had registered the location of his dojo into his smartphone the last time he went there.The driver took a glance at the location before inputting the location into the car’s system. Soon, a map was displayed on the screen, and the taxi followed the route.
***Arriving at the destination, the yellow car left Sila in front of the Flaming Cloud dojo; the dojo which he currently owned. It looked exactly the same as the last time he visited, except it was a lot cleaner.Walking up the stone steps that led to the dojo, Sila encountered his teacher sweeping the leaves in the front yard. He quickly approached his teacher and put his palms together to greet him.“Good morning, Teacher.”“Sila, you arrived earlier than I thought. It was only two hours ago that I sent you a message.”“I just happened to be free, so I logged out immediately, sir.” Sila walked over to his teacher. “Let me be the one to clean it, Teacher. It’s my duty.”Mora waved his hand. “No need. I’m the one taking care of the dojo right now.”“But, it used to be my duty...” Sila paused as Mora asked him to with a gesture.“Anyway, now that you have arrived, this is not the time to sweep leaves. Let’s enter. I have something to discuss with you.”The calm and casual environment of the dojo caused Sila to forget that his teacher had summoned him with urgency. Mora leaned the broom against the wall and proceeded to the inner part of the dojo, while Sila tailed behind. Both of them removed their shoes and entered the room. Mora sat down in a kneeling position with his legs beneath him while Sila sat down across from him in the same style.“No need to be that serious. I will explain everything later on the way. You are here early so we have some spare time. Let me hear what you have been up to after you began playing the game.”Sila was curious about where they would go, but he knew his teacher the most; if his teacher said he would explain on the way, he would only explain on the way, not here. That aside, he was surprised that his teacher wanted to know about his past experiences. In the past, his teacher usually didn’t show interest in his personal matters, to the point that he sometimes felt that his teacher was cold to him. Nevertheless, deep down, Sila knew that his teacher did care about him, though he was still surprised that his teacher asked him to tell the story directly.Sila explained everything that had happened after he entered the game. He didn’t keep any secrets from Mora. If Sila had to pick someone in his life who he could confide in and absolutely trust, that person was undoubtedly Mora.Heedfully, Mora listened to everything he told. He sometimes asked Sila about some unclear matters and seemed to be especially interested in Kiryu’s message. At long last, he fell into silence after hearing Sila tell him about his idea of wanting to try using a sword.“Teacher?” It took Sila more than two hours to tell Mora everything he had experienced in the game. Even though it was a long time, he was glad that he could spend time with Mora. He was willing to continue spending time with his teacher even if he had to sit in his current position all day.“...Nothing. First, show me Tiger Dragon Qi.”“I will. But it will be weaker than in the game...” muttered Sila.“I’m aware. Try circulating it throughout your body.”Closing his eyes, Sila corrected his sitting posture, changing to sit cross-legged. Tiger Dragon Qi slowly circulated throughout his body. Once he was done, he opened his eyes. The power he could feel from the qi was only a tenth of what he felt in the game.“Not bad. Keep practicing it. In the beginning, I was worried about your inner force, but it’s okay now. This qi art is even superior to our dojo’s Flaming Cloud Qi.”“Our dojo also has a qi art? This is the first time I’ve heard about this.”“We do. However, Flaming Cloud Qi is a qi that is as hot as a flame and as shapeless as a cloud. If your understanding of inner force is lacking and your body is not strong enough, it will be dangerous for you to cultivate it. I planned to teach you the art over the next four or five years, but not anymore. Teaching you right now will be more than just fine.”Listening quietly, Sila felt like his teacher was more open to him. In the past, Mora didn’t even tell him about the name of the dojo.“Unfortunately, Flaming Cloud Qi is very dangerous and cannot be transmitted from one person to another. You need to learn and cultivate it yourself. This is what you’ll do: continue practicing Tiger Dragon Qi until its level reaches 100. This will protect you from qi deviation. When that is done, practice Flaming Cloud Qi. I will send the art to your system window.”“Is that possible?”“Sure, why not? It might be a qi art, but it’s just a book with illustrations. If you go to main cities like Grea City, Zhongsuyuan City, or Alkedia City, you will even get to see magazines from our world being sold there.”Even though he had been to Grea City, Sila had never visited a bookstore or a news stand.“There is no problem with your inner force. Next is your martial arts. What do you intend to do about them?”Sila scratched his head. Being asked suddenly like this, he wasn’t sure how to answer.“Twelve Celestial-Traveling-Steps, Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws, and Nine Sun-Melting-Fists are all great martial arts. I plan to continue practicing them, Teacher.”Mora furrowed his brows. The expression of dissatisfaction was clearly shown on his face. “If that’s really your plan, I have to say that I’m very disappointed in you. Sila, do know why I have never taught you any martial moves?”Realizing that his answer was wrong, Sila felt ashamed. “I don’t know, Teacher.”“Other dojos teach their disciples martial moves so that they become martial artists. This is the traditional method; it’s easy to see the progress. On the other hand, I taught you the way of martial artists without teaching you any moves. With this method, you won’t be limiting yourself to fixed movements. You are like a pond that is ready to absorb everything you learn. But, just now, you chose to create a box to limit your thinking. That is why I said I was disappointed.”“Does that mean... I don’t need to bother practicing martial arts?”“That’s also an incorrect answer. If you focus too much on qi and neglect martial arts, you will be like an infant with herculean strength; no matter how strong you are, you can’t take down an ordinary adult.”“Eh? Practicing is wrong, yet not practicing is also wrong. What should I do, then, teacher?”“You need to develop your own martial art. The tenet of our Flaming Cloud dojo is ‘Understand the box to think outside the box.’ There will be no art more suitable for you than the art you create yourself. You should continue to polish your Weapon Subduing Fist. Don’t be so inclined toward other arts.”This time, it was Sila's turn to furrow his brows. “But, can my art become superior to those three arts? Each of them is an exceptional art.”“You are too naive, Sila. The true form of a martial art is something only the true successor learns. Do you think that Vichien and Sanon have taught you everything about their arts? Even if you continue to practice them, there will be no way for you to utilize Twelve Celestial-Traveling-Steps as skillfully as Sangdao or use Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws as cleverly as Kawin does. Even Nine Sun-Melting-Fists still has some content that I didn’t write down in the book.”“They haven’t taught me everything about the arts? What do you mean, Teacher?” Sila wondered. Sanon was one case, but what did it mean that even Wu Ming (who Mora called Vichien) and Mora hadn’t taught him everything about their arts?“Twelve Celestial-Traveling-Steps will show its full potential when used in tandem with Star Ocean Sword Art. These two arts were designed with the intention to be used together. Not to mention Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws. You don’t know its secret martial moves that can bring out the most of its power. In addition, you don’t know its special breathing technique.”Sila gaped. This meant, all this time that he thought he was very close to mastering the three arts, he couldn’t have been further from the truth. He wasn’t close to mastering even a single one of them.“What about Nine Sun-Melting-Fists, Teacher?” Sila wistfully asked.“The most important features of Nine Sun-Melting-Fists are finger strength and acupuncture points. The illustrations in the book are small so you can’t see the finger movements really well, right? That’s why I said you are still far from perfecting the art. As for the acupuncture points, you need to know that there are three-hundred-and-sixty-five acupuncture points in the human body, and among them, there are forty-eight that are vital. You must build up finger strength and train to use your fingers with great precision, then, remember the positions of all the acupuncture points. For the record, the position of acupuncture points in each person can vary slightly based on their figure, muscle, and fat. For this, you need to accumulate experience so you can accurately pinpoint the location of anyone’s acupuncture points.”“W-Why does it sound so hard, Teacher?”“I never told you it would be easy, though I’m absolutely sure you can pull it off. You have built up your finger strength since childhood, so the first hurdle is already cleared. As for the knowledge of acupuncture points, I will send it to you together with the Flaming Cloud Qi book.“Next is what I’m worried about the most: your way of thinking. Do not think that it’s just a negligible matter. Based on your story, if not for your luck and your quick wit, you would have died at least a dozen times. Your way of thinking won’t just endanger yourself but also those around you.”Mora’s statement reminded Sila of Bow. He wondered what would happen to her life. Will she be able to wake up? Will she be able to play around like other children?“Well, I have no one to blame but myself. For me to teach you the way of a martial artist, I had to cut you from typical sets of ideals and beliefs, so it’s not strange that you lack social skills. For us to fix your way of thinking, it will be hard, but not impossible.”“We can fix that?” wondered Sila. Was his teacher so capable to the point that even his habits and way of thinking could be fixed?“I guess so. Sila, oftentimes in battles, you always imagine yourself as others, right?”“Yes, sir. When I don’t know which action to take, I often imagine what others would do in my situation.”“Just do that even when you’re not fighting. Try to imagine yourself as others and interact with people like you think they would. Give yourself enough time, and you will develop your own way of thinking. How about it? When we put it this way, it’s like practicing arts, don’t you think?”“Exactly, Teacher! It sounds easier for me to do that.”This was something that Montra had done his best to prevent from happening. He had tried to stop Mora from meeting Sila since Mora was the one who could accelerate Sila’s growth; not only regarding martial arts but also his way of thinking. He never thought that, despite his careful planning, in the end Sila ended up meeting Mora with the help of his own father.“Lastly...” Mora continued when Sila was summarizing all of the advice his teacher had given.“Is there still more, Teacher? Qi, martial arts, my way of thinking, and... Oh! About the sword, right, Teacher?” Sila guessed based on the expression Mora had shown him when he told Mora about his desire to learn how to use a sword.“Correct. But, before that, let me ask you first. Why does it need to be a sword?”“Why does it need to be a sword?... If you put it like that, I must say I really don’t know, Teacher. I have tried using some weapons, but the sword is the only weapon that I... I can’t explain, Teacher. I just get the feeling that my weapon of choice must only be a sword.”Mora fell into silence. “Must only be a sword... Is it?”Sila also kept his mouth shut as he knew Mora was about to continue.“Firstly, let me tell you that Montra must have deliberately left that sword in your hands. He indirectly made you aware of the advantage of wielding a weapon. And once you understood it, he gave you a sword. You must be thinking that it’s your own decision to learn how to use a sword, but, in fact, it’s the decision Montra made for you.”“For what purpose, Teacher?”“For wasting your time. His goal is to win the war, so he will do anything to hinder you, his direct competitor, from growing stronger. He is fully aware that our dojo doesn’t possess a weapon art. With only a short span of time before the war event’s scheduled beginning, you can’t possibly learn to properly use a sword, even when taking your outstanding speed of growth into consideration. Ask yourself. Between continuing to polish your bare hand techniques that are just a few steps below Montra’s, and starting to practice your sword art from scratch, which do you think will make you stronger?”“Um... I...” Sila knew the answer to that question already. He just couldn’t imagine that Montra had planned that far ahead.“I will ask you again. Give me your honest answer. Even knowing that, are you still interested in learning how to use a sword?”Pondering for a moment, Sila recalled his feeling when he learned martial arts. He really loved practicing martial arts; it made him feel like there were many ways in which he could improve. Nevertheless, no feeling was similar to when he touched a sword for the first time. At that time, the sword wasn’t just a weapon, it was a fundamental part of his life that had always been missing. It was an inexplicable, mysterious feeling that Sila couldn’t put into words.“Yes, Teacher. Even knowing that, I still want to learn how to use a sword.”Staring into the depth of his disciple's eyes, Mora stood up.“Wait here.” Then, he left.Feeling regretful, Sila was sure that his answer disappointed Mora. Even though his teacher attempted to warn him, he still stubbornly wanted to try a sword.After a short while, Mora came back and placed two things in front of Sila. One was covered by an oilcloth, and the other was an old brown book that looked quite weathered.“From now on, they are yours... No, to be exact, they were yours from the very beginning. I was just safeguarding them.”Unwrapping the oilcloth, Sila discovered a long, double-edged sword within. It was an ordinary-looking sword with a standard ratio, and though it looked plain, Sila felt that it was, in fact, far from ordinary. His mind became calmer once he touched its hilt.As Sila held the sword, Mora explained, “I won’t prohibit you from learning how to use a sword, but the sword Montra gave you doesn’t suit you. Remember the shape, appearance, size, and weight of this sword, then find a similar one to use in the game.”Sila picked up the book nearby. It turned out to be a book containing a sword art. The title of the book was Heaven's Decree Sword Art.“Heaven’s Decree Sword Art was designed to be used with the Sila Sword. Although the sword looks ordinary, it’s the ultimate sword, second to none.”
T/N: Sila Sword a.k.a. Stone Sword.
“Sila Sword? What a coincidence. Its name and mine are alike,” Sila said half-jokingly.“It’s actually you who was named after it,” Montra indifferently said.Sila was about to ask his teacher what that meant, but there was a knock on the front door of their dojo. Turning his head, he saw a man in a suit standing in front of the already-opened door.“Mister Mora. The car has arrived, sir.”“Let’s go,” replied Mora, and the man in a suit bowed at him before walking away.
Mora said to Sila, “I will keep this sword for you. As for the book, I will scan it and send it to you in the game.”After he went to store the sword in his room, Mora returned to Sila. Together they left the dojo and approached the limousine waiting outside. As the man from before spotted them, he put on a cap and opened the door for them.“Don’t forget what I said, Sila. If you do what I told you, even Montra won’t be your match.”“But, Teacher, you told me to do many things; Completing my own martial art, training qi, studying acupuncture points, and learning the sword art. I’m afraid that I can’t do all of them with what time I have left. I will probably let you down.”Mora showed him a gentle smile while stroking Sila’s head. “That’s the main reason why I told you to meet me today. Get in. I will explain on the way.”Both of them entered the luxury car and the driver sat down in his seat.Realizing that his teacher could find a solution for every problem, even the ones which Sila deemed impossible, Sila began to think that maybe his teacher was more amazing than he had ever imagined.
Sinless said:Thank you for your kind feedback.Actually, I would love to post the translation on the main page, not in the forum, too. However, Thai novel is new to them and I will have to prove to them first that this novel deserves a spot in the Wuxiaworld's main page.Anyway, I understand that people like to read the discussions from comments that were attached at the end of each chapter since I am the same. Therefore, if the chapter reaches 200 and the novel still not getting promoted to the main page, I think I will try creating the new site myself, ...maybe.
I wonder is there any other metrics that you need to achieve?
Well, I'm curious as well. I did ask the Wuxiaworld team and they seemed to be unsure too. Maybe they were reluctant to include the novel of a different country aside from CN and KR. Anyway, I believe that if the number of audiences is high enough, they will consider it.
Chapter 157: A Favor from the Slime KingAt the moment, Sila was sitting alone at the bottom of the Cliff of Heroes. After he had died countless times, he finally had a chance to rest. Divine didn’t plan to put him through constant training as he pointed out that Sila deserved a moment of rest to train his mind and review what he had learned.Tomorrow was the last day he could practice the art under Divine’s training. Now he could catch a glimpse of Death Bridge’s martial moves. Better yet, his ability to sense danger was being honed and enhanced.On the first day, Divine kept on using martial moves without relying much on inner force. It took Sila over half of the day before he could understand a part of Death Bridge. It was an art that focused on speed and precision. Its moves primarily concentrated around fatally damaging bones, joints, and internal organs by breaking, twisting, and yanking. They were both dangerous and lethal.On the second day, Divine got more serious and started to rely more on his inner force, represented by his psychic power in the game. Divine explained to him that Death Bridge was a kind of art that borrowed the opponent’s strength to work against them. As this concept shared a similarity with Monster Soul’s Worlds Crossing Bridge and the last part of the Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws Book, Sila could get the hang of it in no time.Divine also told him that it was usual for profound arts to share similarities when people mastered them, especially for the arts that were categorized as the same kind. With this advice, coupled with the fact that Divine didn’t hold back in a spar, Sila was finally enlightened about the use of the last part of Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws Book, and tried to adapt it for himself.While he was recalling the experiences he had gained over the past two days, a black mist was being emitted from his right hand. Today also marked the second day he had practiced using psychic power. For the record, the first day was complete chaos. Not only had it corroded his hand like it was acid water, but the pain was so great that it broke his concentration. It took him some time, along with Divine’s advice, to calm it down. Now, he was trying to get used to it.Based on Divine’s explanation, psychic power represented the true nature of a person. Nevertheless, possessing a destructive psychic power didn’t mean you were a bad person. It was natural that people had both good and bad sides. No matter how righteous one was, there would still be evil in their mind, and vice versa. If one could accept this fact, one’s psychic power would eventually approve of oneself.Aside from that, Sila had successfully sealed his right arm and the Black Dragon Sword. He did it using one of the skills he had gotten as a reward for conquering the Android Kingdom. With his repeated usage of the Seal and Unseal skills on the Right Arm of the Sealed One, both soon reached the maximum level. With his right arm being completely sealed, the metal arm returned to being his original arm with its flesh and blood. Finally, he could walk around without being the center of attention. As a side note, when he sealed the right arm, he found that Strengthened Bones was sealed as well, enabling him to train using his genuine body.As a bonus, at long last, he had finally sealed the Couple Ring of Commitment on his left ring finger. It took him a long time to reach this day.Meanwhile, Sila’s left hand turned a page in a book. His eyes intently read the words displayed. Yesterday, Mora had sent him the books he had promised. There were three of them as followed: Flaming Cloud Qi Scroll, Five Elements Scroll, and Heaven’s Decree Book.Sila was currently reading the Heaven’s Decree Book. Although his teacher had suggested he only practice it after he had succeeded in inventing his personal profound art, Mora didn’t forbid him from reading it, so his action shouldn’t be counted as disobedience.Flaming Cloud Qi was a high-tier qi art, but it was still a step behind Tiger Dragon Qi. The main difference between the arts was the circulation method. Tiger Dragon Qi started at the underbelly position while Flaming Cloud Qi started at the heart position. It took Sila only a short time to feel the power within his heart after circulating his inner force. The reason for this speed of learning must be because he didn’t have to build up inner force from scratch. After all, he had Tiger Dragon Qi as a base. Since these two qi arts shared many similarities, he could use either of them without a problem.As for the Five Elements Scroll, it explained the concept of the Five Elements: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water. The system of Five Elements was used for describing interactions and relationships between phenomena such as Feng Shui, internal organs, and acupoints. The doctrine of Five Elements described two cycles: a strengthening or creation cycle, and a weakening or destruction cycle.During his first attempt at reading it, there were many things that he didn’t understand. However, that changed after he had read the book for Heaven’s Decree. At the very least, it helped him realize the connection between Teacher Mora and his father.As it turned out, the two of them had invented their personal profound arts together.Flaming Cloud Qi Art might be an inheritance passed down from generation to generation, but Sila was confident that Nine Sun-Melting-Fists was an art that his teacher had invented on his own.The contents of the Heaven’s Decree Book was separated into three parts. The first part was the art of Profound Qi Circulation. It wasn’t a qi art, but rather his father’s explanation of the principle behind the flow of qi. The second part was about the sword styles, which Sila was now trying his best to comprehend. Lastly, the final part contained Pumin’s life experiences. Teachings, warnings, combat techniques, philosophies, and survival strategies were all written down in the form of a diary. It was by far the messiest part of the book.The thing that piqued Sila’s interest right now was Profound Qi Circulation Art. Witnessing only this part of his father’s work, Sila realized that it was no exaggeration to hail his father as a Prodigy.
While others focused on the latent power and the amount of inner force, thinking that qi circulation was just a means to an end, his father held the process of qi circulation in higher regard. In Pumin’s opinion, a few amounts of simple qi that one could use with masterful cleverness -- by being able to regenerate it in no time and having no waste in utilization -- was even more dangerous than any powerful qi.Thus, Pumin didn’t invest his time in learning qi arts; he only depended on the inner force that his body built up naturally. Even so, when he was twenty-seven years old and his inner force was still lacking, he was already hailed as the Sword Prodigy. The secret for that was revealed to Sila; it lied in Pumin’s mastery over qi circulation.The concept of Profound Qi Circulation Art was strongly based on the principle of Five Elements and also shared a unique relationship with Nine Sun-Melting-Fists’ acupoints knowledge; Profound Qi Circulation Art focused on the creation and strengthening cycle, while the knowledge of acupoints focused on the destruction and weakening cycle.Attacking the opponent’s acupoints mainly emphasized on weakening their ability to utilize inner force. On the other hand, Profound Qi Circulation Art’s sole purpose was to make it easier for the practitioner to utilize inner force. The two concepts were polar opposites of each other, but they both originated from the knowledge held within the Five Elements Scroll.To practice Profound Qi Circulation Art, one must start the qi circulation in the lungs, which is an organ of the Metal Element. When a human breathes in, the energy will be collected in the lungs, and then transmitted from the lungs to the kidneys, which represented the Water Element. Water nourishes Wood, so the energy will then enter the liver before being sent to the heart, which represented the Fire Element. The Fire energy will flow into the spleen, an organ of the Earth Element. The cycle is completed when the Earth energy returns back to the lungs. This was the basic method of Profound Qi Circulation Art.The apex of the art is to strengthen the energy by depending on the knowledge of human physiology, enhancing the utilization of qi circulation. For example, the energy in the liver can infiltrate the spleen, while the spleen can absorb both nourishment and water so it can help control the amount of water in kidneys. At the same time, the water in the kidneys can calm the heat in the heart while said heat can keep the air within the lungs at a moderate level. Concurrently, the air in the lungs flows to the liver to maintain balance.Profound Qi Circulation Art only had benefits without any downsides, so Sila was interested in learning it.Looking at his right hand, he found that his psychic power was listening to him than before. Well, it only applied when his mind was calm. Sila wasn’t sure he would be able to properly use it in actual combat yet.Sila tried to clad his right hand with psychic power while cladding his left hand with qi. However, both powers rejected each other and brought Sila tremendous pain. He had no choice but to deactivate them. It was disheartening that he couldn’t even use them both simultaneously while Zero could fuse his together.“I was told that qi, magic, and psychic power originated from the same thing. Why can’t I combine or even use them together?”Sila muttered to himself, but someone heard him and gave him an answer. As soon as he sensed the other being’s presence, he immediately turned his head with vigilance.“The first reason is because they cannot be easily merged. But the most important reason is that you are exerting your power the wrong way.”“Your Majesty!!” Sila exclaimed in surprise. He hurriedly got up and bowed.“You have my praise. You must have become a lot stronger to be able to sense my presence that fast.”“How is Bow, sir?” Sila didn’t bother with the compliment. He was more concerned about Bow.“Thanks to you, Bow’s physical condition has gotten a lot better. She just woke up from the coma, but she is disoriented due to the time gap between reality and Monster Soul. It will take some time before she fully recovers,” The Slime King said with a smile on his face.Listening to the good news, Sila also smiled. “I’m glad to hear that. I was very worried.”“Mn. Bow told me about you. It seems you lost an important item to save Bow, didn’t you? I’m very thankful for that.”“It’s just an in-game material, sir. It’s not that I’m bothered by losing it.”“As her father, you can’t possibly imagine how important Bow is to me. I would personally like to return the favor, but there are a lot of limitations since I’m an Independent NPC.”“No need for that, sir. Looking after Bow was originally my responsibility.”“As I can tell that you said those words with sincerity, I appreciate your help even more. At first, I planned to teach you my personal profound art, but I changed my mind. Think of it as a favor from me.”Honestly speaking, Sila didn’t wish for a reward or anything, but he was curious about the meaning behind the Slime King’s words.“Um... It’s not that I’m protesting your decision or anything, sir, but how does not teaching me your profound art count as doing me a favor?”“Hahaha. You really should consider it a favor. I can see that your combat style is similar to mine. Watching you practice is like watching my younger self. If I were to teach you my profound art, although you would become stronger in a short time, it would affect your growth in the long run. Your growth will stagnate as what you will be using is my art that adjusted to suit you instead of your original art. Don’t let my art hinder your growth, Sila. You can already do this much despite your age. In the next few years, even I won’t be a match for you.”Listening to such a high evaluation, Sila was embarrassed. He scratched his head as he replied, “You overpraise me, Your Majesty. There is no way my art will be greater than yours.”“That’s the risk you need to take. In the future, your personal art can be either better or worse than mine. However, if you learn my art, it might limit your imagination, and you will have no way to surpass me. The fact that I won’t teach you is proof that I wish you well.”“I see. Thank you very much, sir.”“Haha. Even if I don’t teach you my art, I can still give you pieces of advice. For example, I can tell that you were exerting your power incorrectly.”“Incorrectly? I always use my power this way though. Is there a different method?”“There is. It’s uncommon knowledge that is not well known. Lucky for you, I’m included in those who know and will impart this knowledge to you.“If I have to explain it, in short, there are two ways to utilize qi: External and Internal. The method that you have been using is External; releasing qi from within to cloak your body. It’s a norm for most people, but it’s not suitable for you.”“How is it not, sir?”“Let me tell you first that the way to utilize inner force is like the concept of the dominant hand. Right-handed people are the most common, so most inventions are designed to be used with the right hand. The same can be said about qi arts. External Utilizers are more common, thus most qi arts are suitable for people with that trait. However, as far as I see it, you are born with the Internal trait. To put it simply, it’s like you are using a golf club designed for right-handed despite the fact you’re left-handed.”“Sir? But I’m right-handed.”“It’s just a metaphor. I didn’t mean it literally. It implies that all the arts you are using were designed for External Utilizers while you are an Internal Utilizer.”“Eh? What does it mean by internal utilization, then?” Sila started to feel worried. He had learned the method of utilizing inner force from both the Tiger Dragon Qi Book and the Flaming Cloud Qi Scroll; if this method turned out to be incompatible with him, he would be at a loss.“Keeping the inner force within your body. The more you make your inner force reside within you, the more power you can exert. It’s different from External Utilizers, who can exert more power the more they cloak inner force around their body.”“Which one is better, sir?”“It’s equal, depending on each person. Within the Slime Kingdom, Poluk, Divine, and I are External Utilizers. Only Viola is an Internal Utilizer. If you want to learn more about it, I suggest you go ask her.”Suddenly, a certain thought formed in Sila’s mind. He quickly opened the Heaven’s Decree Book and reread the first part about Profound Qi Circulation Art. Though it didn’t literally contain any contents regarding External or Internal Utilizers, one of the descriptions in the book clearly talked about keeping the inner force within the body without letting it seep outside, which fitted the Slime King’s explanation.“Is there something wrong?” the Slime King asked as he saw Sila was deep in thought.“No, sir. It’s just that my father seemed to be an Internal Utilizer too.”“It’s not that strange. Though it’s not always true, there are many instances where a parent and their child shared the same utilization trait.”Putting all of the books into his system window, Sila decided that the first thing he would do after finishing his training under Divine’s guidance was comprehending Profound Qi Circulation Art.“Thank you very much, Your Majesty.”“No problem.” The Slime King went back to where he came from. “Another piece of advice for you: though it’s true that qi, magic, and psychic power originated from the same thing, they all have their unique characteristics. What you did just now was like trying to mix oil with water; although both are liquid substances, they won’t fuse together.”“What should I do, then?”At that time, Divine came. “Oh, Your Majesty. Are you coming for a visit? Or are you interested in teaching Sila with me so that he can take revenge on the person who bullied Bow?”The Slime King declined. “Nah, I won’t bother and don’t plan to meddle in a kid’s affair. By the way, Divine, can I leave the Slime Kingdom in your hands while I’m gone?”“Of course, Your Majesty.”The Slime King nodded. “As for the answer to your question, Sila, you just need to know how to fuse water with oil; it uses the same principle.” As he finished speaking, he left, leaving Sila with a new puzzle.Looking at the spot where the Slime King stood moments ago, Divine said to Sila, “It’s rare for His Majesty to give anyone advice, Sila. Remember his words well. Now, today is the last day, so I will give it my all from the start, alright?”Nodding, Sila took a stance to prepare for the incoming attack. For today, he just had to do what he could against Divine. As for other matters, he would just think about them another time.
Chapter 158: Triple Sky and Yin Yang
In a secret training room within the headquarter of the Heavenly Dragon Guild...
Grunts could be heard as Kawin and Revin sparred in the corner of the room. Throughout the past week, Revin had gained a better understanding of the word ‘offensive,’ and his fighting style was being honed and evolved. Since Kawin had a near perfect defense, Revin had to become more skilled at being offensive. His usual direct attack style had grown, adapting more versatile moves as well as some trickery.
Kawin had improved his fighting style as well. Before, his fighting style was pure defense, wearing down his enemy and counter-attacking when he saw an opening. However, because of his matches against Revin, he had been honing his Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws to be slightly more offensive; there was an offensive aspect to his defending, while his attacks were hidden within his defensive movements.
Meanwhile, Montra was sitting inside a sphere Ramiel had created. The sphere increased the health regeneration of anyone inside it. Ramiel had been maintaining it for a week without a single break.
Three kinds of inner forces were circulating within Montra’s body. Each of them belonged to Revin, Kawin, and Montra respectively. The three of them had trained and grown up together in the same dojo, so their inner forces resembled each other. As such, Montra could borrow and control their powers without much difficulty.
The largest obstacle was Sila’s inner force within his body. The inner force had a unique circulation method unknown to him, so it continued to harm Montra without giving him a chance to control it. Worse off, his Martial Radiance had fused into it preventing him from exerting its power.
The worst part of this event was that Montra felt pain.
A feeling that he always hoped would one day return to him. Ironically, it chose the most inopportune time to come back.
Montra had a hypothesis that the reason for his lack of pain was due to the power of his Martial Radiance Art. After a certain accident, the ability should’ve been created within his body, though he wasn’t able to make use of it until a couple of years ago. This power helped him amplify his ability and inner force, while at the same time, seizing away his sense of pain to the point he almost lost his sense of touch.
However, it was now being offset by Sila’s qi and finally lost its effect.
Sila’s qi was the biggest threat to Montra. Since it had a unique qi circulation method that he didn’t know, Montra used his indomitable willpower and transcendent perseverance to endure pain beyond what humans could normally handle, and circulated three flows of inner force to forcefully guide Sila’s qi and the power of Martial Radiance to various points on his body. As a result of forcefully trying to circulate it, the energy severely damaged his internal organs and veins, though Montra relied on the healing power of Ramiel’s spell to prevent himself from dying.
Nevertheless, the torturous sensation he was experiencing was surreal. He felt like someone had stabbed his body with numerous knives, took them out, healed him, then repeated the process. If his mind wasn’t strong enough, he would have already gone insane. What he was experiencing was a certain kind of qi deviation caused by incorrectly circulating inner force.
The only things preventing Montra from losing consciousness were his conviction and stubbornness. His firm belief that only the person who tries his best by overcoming difficulties with effort is suitable for the mighty reward, not someone who does nothing but wait for others to feed and bless them with fortune.
Such a person is unworthy.
Whether it was Montra’s conviction, persistence, determination, talent, or anything. At long last, his efforts had paid off.
Once Sila’s Tiger Dragon Qi and the power of Martial Radiance Art had circulated throughout his body in a certain sequence and the three flows of inner force had constantly been put under pressure, all three inner energies made a breakthrough and drove the foreign powers into his dantian, before scattering to three different acupoints in his body.
The sound of an explosion suddenly went off. Revin and Kawin stopped their battle and rushed to where Montra was under the smokescreen.
“Montra!! Oi! Are you okay?!” Revin shouted while the worried Kawin tried to look through the smoke.
The first to appear from the smokescreen was Ramiel, who looked worn out. “Cough. Me being an angel doesn’t mean my magic power is limitless, Master.”
The smoke dispersed, showing Montra who was standing upright with his back straight like a deity on the cloud. The energy that radiated from him was both venerable and mighty. He waved his hand, gesturing Ramiel to get some rest.
“Did you succeed?” asked Kawin, to which Montra nodded. Both his friends decided to not bother Montra for a while since they knew that Montra needed some time to think.
Circulating inner force throughout his body, Montra perceived three flows of power within his body. The three of them were independent to each other but could still work together flawlessly. He realized that he could circulate three sets of inner force at the same time.
Inspecting his own body, Montra found that the power of his Martial Radiance Art was gone, along with Sila’s qi. As it turned out, he had pushed the three inner forces into making a breakthrough by eliminating the foreign powers. As a result, all three inner forces merged into one and evolved a step higher. Better yet, his newly acquired power didn’t have a downside like Martial Radiance Art.
“Hey, you’ve been silent for too long. How about it? Did you create a new power like you intended? Can we use it too?” asked Revin.
“You can. However, I need two days to study it first. When I finish, I will transmit it to you and teach you its circulation method.”
“Ouch, two more days? We have waited for a week already. Can you show us now? I’m bored sparring against Kawin.”
Montra shook his head. “Please wait for two more days, Revin. I still don’t understand it due to its complexity. Based on what I can tell, the power is simple, yet can be complicated to use. Please wait until I truly understand its ability so that you can make use of it immediately when I transmit it to you.”
“But won’t it be faster if we study it together?” proposed Kawin.
“Right? Right? Three heads are better than one. Sometimes, Even Montra’s big head needs to rely on my middle-sized head and Kawin’s small-sized head.”
Kawin frowned. “Did you just imply that I’m stupid?”
“Haha. Even with me telling you clearly, you still need to ask. Would you say you’re smart, then?” Revin laughed.
“Stop, you two. Don’t fight, okay? We’ll do as both of you suggested. Time is short. It will be faster with the three of us working together.”
The person who seemed to be the most energetic was Revin. “Hahaha. A new power that was invented by the Magic Emperor Montra. I want to try it already. Hopefully, it will be superior to Martial Radiance Art.”
“It’s indeed superior. Martial Radiance Art enabled me to exert twice my base power, while this energy can increase our base power by three folds.”
Revin grinned, while Kawin furrowed his brows. “Is there a downside?”
“As far as I know, at least for now, there isn’t one. This new energy is birthed from the combination of our three inner forces. It has a unique trait in that there are three starting points of circulation. If we bring out the energy from each of them simultaneously, we can exert three-times the power. Another way is we choose to use one in a battle, keep one in reserve, and use one for regenerating inner force. This could allow us to fight continuously without ever running out of power.”
“Wow, the more I hear about it, the more I want to try.”
Montra ignored Revin who was always joking around. “I am going to transmit this energy to both of you and explain the circulation method. Revin, I want you to exert most of its power in one go. I would like to know if there is a limit to unleashing the powers from all three points simultaneously. Meanwhile, Kawin, I want you to do what I just told; keep exerting the power from one point and use the others to regenerate the loss. It’s an experiment to see if there is a flaw in my theory. As for me, after I transmit the power to you two, I will need time to rest. I will do that while taking care of a guild matter. When we are all finished, we will share our findings.”
“By a guild matter, you must mean...?”
Montra nodded. “Yes. We have wasted a week’s worth of time and the production of Cloudy Pearl is already finished. It’s time for us to put the plan into motion, otherwise, we will miss our best chance.”
“By the way, Montra, do you have a name for the new power we will be using?” asked Revin, to which Kawin nodded, showing that he was curious as well.
Montra nodded. “The sky is a peak, a summit, a place where nothing can be above it, and we all belong to the Sky Dragon dojo. Facing against just a single sky, already no one can stand a chance. With us three working together, we unite and become three skies. As such, this power shall be called Triple Sky Energy.”
An entire day has passed since Sila started trying to merge his qi with his psychic power. After he had finished training under Divine, he went to Viola to ask her about Divine Raiment and internal utilization of inner force, though, for the latter topic, she didn’t give any new information to Sila; all she did was repeat what the Slime King had told him.
Well, at the very least, Sila had gained new information about Divine Raiment and finally got to understand the advice the Slime King had given.
Qi, magic, and psychic power were one and the same, though they possessed different redeeming qualities, thus, can be divided into three. To merge them together, a connector is required. In Sila’s case, for him to merge qi and psychic power, magic was needed, and the only magic ability he possessed was Divine Raiment.
White aura enveloped Sila’s entire body, and the shrouding power became fainter and fainter as he absorbed it into his body. He was planning to use it as a bridge between qi and psychic power.
All things great and small in the world possess a polar opposite; be it yin and yang, male and female, or light and darkness. Similarly, his qi and psychic power were also the polar opposites of each other. His qi had Tiger Dragon Qi as a base and was supplemented by Flaming Cloud Qi. Both qi represented what Sila called restorative and generating attributes; possessing the power of enhancement and strengthening.
As for his psychic power, it was Dark Psychic Corrosion. Based on what Divine had told him, this psychic power had been with him since the moment he was born. As such, even though he had just started practicing it, the power was equal in power to his qi. In fact, it was so powerful he couldn’t completely control it. His psychic power represented what Sila called hindering and overwhelming attributes; possessing the power of corroding and degradation. It was a power that should be used on an enemy rather than oneself.
Restoring and hindering were also classified as polar opposites in the principle of Yin and Yang.
While Divine Raiment was fully active, Sila exerted his qi on the left side of his body while unleashing Dark Psychic Corrosion from the right side. Neither power lashed out at the other due to Divine Raiment acting as a barrier.
Sila didn’t dare to rejoice, afraid of losing even the tiniest bit of concentration. Slowly taking deep breaths using his knowledge of the Profound Qi Circulation Art, he gently pulled out the smallest portion of each power to connect them. This first step could be said to be the most difficult; if he made even the slightest mistake and didn’t pull out exactly equal amounts of both powers, the result would be gravely harmful.
Slowly but surely, Sila maintained the state of duality and coexisting between qi and psychic power. He merged them together and gradually sank both powers into his body before circulating them at a very slow pace. The semi-combined energy respectively traveled from his lungs to his kidneys, liver, heart, and spleen, then looped back into his lungs.
Once a lap of circulation was completed, both powers seemed to have less resistance toward each other. However, Sila still didn’t dare to be complacent. If he rushed it, everything he had done might be in vain.
For the record, compared to Montra, Sila was using an entirely different method of breakthrough. What Montra did was taking a shortcut: torturing one’s body to make oneself became stronger. In the past, this method would be called a dark art. As for Sila, his method was a standard one. Unlike his usual, torturous experiences of making himself stronger, this time, Sila relied on a firm, standard method of comprehending his own power using his mind.
Though, in the end, be it a dark art or a standard method, there wouldn’t be too much of a difference in skills. What truly made them different was the user and how they utilized the acquired power.
Normally, when Sila was meditating, he would enter a subconscious state; the time would flow without him realizing how much time passed. However, he was using Divine Raiment at the moment and his concentration was kept at its peak. He could feel every passing second. By the time the circulation entered the sixth lap, an hour had passed, and his mind was dead tired, but he couldn’t stop; all he could do was maintain the speed of circulation.
Another five hours passed, and Sila felt very tormented; the burden wasn’t on his body but on his mind and his concentration; he felt like he was threading a string through the eye of a needle over and over again for five hours straight. Despite his body still being in top condition, his concentration was strained and could be broken at any moment.
The only things that prevented Sila’s mind from reaching a mental breakdown were his strong sense of not wanting to lose and his strive for strength. Teacher Mora always taught him that what made people strong wasn’t their power but their mind; an uncontrollable strength could be called nothing but madness that brought harm to the user and those around them. Imagining Montra taking the position of Wulin Lord and using his right and power as he pleased, Sila’s feeling of not wanting to lose strengthened. At the very least, he didn’t want to be defeated by that kind of person.
He had to quickly become stronger. Now that Montra had set his eyes on Sila as a direct enemy, if Montra were to become the Wulin Lord, with his position and authority, he would be able to drive him, his teacher, and his dojo into the ground. Therefore, Sila only had one choice; to become stronger than Montra and block off his path.
Both powers within his body traveled at a faster speed. With every circulation, they were gradually merging into each other. The more times Sila circulated, the quicker each lap became, and the more the powers fused together.
At long last, his efforts paid off. Sila slowly opened his eyes; they gleamed with a mysterious light while not even a speck of energy was emitted from his body.
The system notification went off.
You have achieved a certain condition. All of your powers have fused together and become one. As a result, the skills Dark Psychic Corrosion, Tiger Dragon Qi, and Flaming Cloud Qi have been deleted.
You have achieved a certain condition. The level of Shapeless Qi has risen to 100 (Maximum).
You have obtained a new kind of energy. Since there is no information about it in the database, you have been given the right to name it yourself and can change the name anytime using the system window. Additionally, the system cannot assess your degree of mastery over it, so its level will be set at Transcendent Rank.
You have been enlightened about the Essence of Qi: Fusion. All energy resources have been combined into Special Points.
Opening his right palm, newfound energy flew to his hand, though it wasn’t visible because it was concentrated within his body. Sila forced the power within his hand to surface, and a thumb-sized ball of energy emerged. It rolled around according to his will.
It was similar to psychic power, but it wasn’t psychic power. At the same time, it was similar to qi, yet wasn’t qi.
He opened his system window and looked at the new energy bar, Special Points, only to find that its current maximum value was 500,000.
Flicking his finger, Sila sent the ball of energy flying into a boulder. Upon impact, a small explosion occurred. The big boulder was replaced by multiple small rocks once the dust dispersed.
“That’s a relief.”
Just a moment ago, Sila was concerned about the amount of Special Points being fewer than the original resources. However, after he had tried using it, he discovered that its performance was several times higher than his old qi. It turned out that his power had become more focused on quality instead of quantity. As a result, he could control his newfound power easier than the qi points he used before.
It was due to the Profound Qi Circulation Art that Sila was studying right now. Not only could his inner force flow with greater speed, but it could also regenerate itself while being used. As expected of the art coming up by his father’s belief that a smaller amount of qi with complete mastery of circulation was superior to a tremendous amount of qi with limitations.
Nevertheless, if his father were to witness Sila’s power right now, he would be surprised. The quality of Sila’s inner force was superior even to his father’s. For the sake of comparison, in the past, Sila had to spend almost a million Qi Points to unleash the power of Genesis Punch. Now, however, only a hundred thousand Special Points were required. The main difference was that, by reducing the amount required, he could control the energy more precisely. Furthermore, by learning the Profound Qi Circulation Art, his understanding of qi circulation surpassed his old self, and even many experts. Sila was confident that, with the way he currently was, he could even exert the power of Genesis Punch in a split second, mixing it with his normal punch. Moreover, his energy constantly replenished itself, so the limit of five uses per day was solved, though he would still need time to replenish his power.
His system window was still open, waiting for Sila to name his new power.
He thought about it seriously. Since the principle of his power came from the concept of duality—the dual energies that flow and cycle, ebb and reverse, elevating each other—there was no better name for it that he could think of.
“I will name this power Yin Yang Energy.”
Beginner Town = Town of Beginnings.Beginning Building = Hall of BeginningsBeginning Island = Island of Beginnings
Chapter 159: Crisis in the Main Continent
Sila reopened his eyes after circulating Yin Yang Energy for a while. Since Divine Raiment became a part of his power, he was unable to enter the meditation state. Sila was fully aware of every passing moment while his power ran through his body, gradually strengthening his control over it. The more he circulated, the more his senses became keener. Surreal sensations enveloped his whole being. The air embracing his skin, the damp smell of the ground, the ray of light entering his vision, and the soft sound of blades of grass rubbing against each other; all of them were in harmony as if it was music created by nature herself.
It seemed the Slime King and Divine were busy handling their work, or they just didn’t want to bother Sila, as he was left completely alone under the Cliff of Heroes. This place was very peaceful, so it was suited for him to review what he ought to do.
Sila was finally getting used to Yin Yang Energy. In the beginning, he was worried about being able to understand the circulation method. Based on his experience, each qi art, no matter how it closely resembled others, had a unique circulation method. Luckily for him, the flow of Yin Yang Energy was very natural. He could just let it go free and it would automatically circulate. All he needed to do was learn from it. This fortunate event must be due to the help of Profound Qi Circulation Art.
Now, as he had promised Mora, the time for him to invent his own profound art had come. Honestly speaking, he would like to learn the sword art first. Nevertheless, he always placed Mora’s words before his own desires.
Although Mora told him to practice his barehanded art prior to the sword art, he didn’t forbid Sila to read the Heaven’s Decree Sword Art book. As a result, Sila had skimmed through the book once and found that, in his opinion, it shouldn’t be called a manual for learning a sword art. Rather, it explained how to adapt user's inner force using Profound Qi Circulation Art to bring forth eight unique styles of swordplay through five inner organs.
On the very first page, his father even expressed his idea as such: “Heaven’s Decree Sword Art is considered a complete reversal of the usual principle of swordplay. To practice this sword art, the practitioner needs to have an interest in the sword, while at the same time, shouldn’t limit themselves to the traditional way of using a sword. Rather, their idea of swordplay should be flexible. As for me, I needed to spend almost two years to remove my common sense about swordplay that I had ingrained into my body, before being able to practice this art. This was the hardest part of learning Heaven’s Decree Sword Art. Once you overcome this part, it will be quite an easy ride, until you learn the last style: Fate’s Reversal.”
Sila thought he was very fortunate that he had never practiced swordsmanship before, as a result, he didn’t need to spend time removing developed instincts regarding swordsmanship.
However, this was by no means a coincidence, as it was intentionally caused by Mora.
The first thing Mora did after he was entrusted with the Heaven’s Decree Sword Art from Pumin was read it. No, he didn’t want to imitate the art, though even if he did, Pumin wouldn’t mind. Rather, he was very curious about what kind of the art it was the Sword Prodigy traded his life for making it. As a consequence, he found a great contradiction in the art.
The practitioner needed to be interested and immersed in swordsmanship, possess quick wits, and an adaptive mind, while at the same time, be clueless about swordplay, to the point where they lack the instincts of a swordsman.
Obviously, that’s impossible. To immerse oneself in swordsmanship and use it cleverly, years of training were required. On the other hand, as they trained swordsmanship, the instincts would be ingrained into their mind and actions.
The moment Mora finished reading the Heaven’s Decree Sword Art book was the moment he decided to raise Sila to become a disciple who possessed quick wit, adaptive thinking, and keen insight, while at the same time lacking common sense regarding martial arts.
Martial moves were something people inherited from generation to generation. Some disciples even practiced martial moves without knowing why they should use them. They were a result of the teachers’ long years of experience to come up with the most efficient movements. But, it also had the downside of cutting the learning process of the disciples. They would develop a habit and common sense of martial moves, limiting their creativity. Even if they tried to adapt the art in the future, their new moves would still resemble the old ones.
On the contrary, Sila was raised in a unique environment. Despite him being the main disciple, Mora had never taught him any martial moves. Even the monthly tournament that he allowed Sila to participate in was only to let Sila try his own ideas in actual matches. It could be said that Mora had been forcing Sila to come up with his own martial moves rather than learning from ones which already existed. Therefore, it wasn’t strange that Sila reacted faster in crises than your average person; he had been raised that way.
While Sila believed wholeheartedly that he was lucky to encounter an art suitable for him, Mora had been devoting his time and his mind for more than twenty years to prepare Sila for the art. He sometimes needed to be strict, sometimes needed to act cold, and sometimes needed to bear the sight of his main disciple losing match after match. Even though he would more than love to impart his own art to Sila, he decided not to. He thought that Sila deserved to have a chance to practice the art his father had left behind.
Sila picked up a tree branch and listed all the profound arts he knew, which most, if not all of them, came after he started playing Monster Soul.
His list consisted of Twelve Celestial-Traveling-Steps (Incomplete since I lack the Star Ocean Sword Art), Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws (Incomplete since I didn’t properly learn it), Nine Sun-Melting-Fists (Incomplete since I have yet to learn the art of attacking acupoints), Evening Near the Misty Valley (Not sure if I should call it a profound art), Genesis Punch (Incomplete since its inner force utilization isn’t suitable for me), Divine Raiment (Incomplete since the power consumption is too high and isn’t suitable for my fighting style), Death Bridge (Incomplete and too dangerous, but it’s suitable for my fighting style), Profound Qi Circulation Art (Mastered), Tiger Dragon Qi (Mastered, but its inner force utilization is unsuitable for me), Flaming Cloud Qi (Mastered, but its inner force utilization is unsuitable for me), Dark Psychic Corrosion (Completed, but not proficient), Yin Yang Energy (Mastered?), and Heaven’s Decree Sword Art (Yet to practice, though its concept is interesting, might be useful for giving me an idea).
After he listed the names of all the arts, Sila frowned.
“This is... there are many arts that I am far from mastering. The arts I can confidently claim that I have mastered are only Profound Qi Circulation Art and Yin Yang Energy. Strangely enough, I mastered the arts that I just learned prior to the arts that I have been practicing for a long time.”
Sila had learned so many arts, and many of them were very profound, so he wasn’t sure if he could merge or unite them into his own. Nevertheless, he did his best. He tried performing a variety of movements and using many arts together.
More notes and doodles were added on the ground. Sila immersed himself in practicing and time slowly passed. He was still unaware of the crisis that was occurring outside the Slime Kingdom.
In Zhongsuyuan City, the Victorious Wolves Sect...
“This is bad. This is bad. This is the worst.” Hermit was continuously walking nervously in a circle, to the point that Ratri couldn’t help but be annoyed.
“Oi! Could you please sit down first? Watching you walk in circles is making me dizzy.” She was upset as Hermit had acted like this ever since he read something in his system window earlier.
“Where is the leader at a time like this? He has been training in seclusion for longer than a month. That’s too long! His work is piling up.”
“Lone Wolf always does this though.”
“That’s true. But, this time is not the same; the war event is going to start soon. We still need to start planning, encouraging members, training in groups, and fundraising. There is only one month left, I don’t know how much we can achieve.”
“Even if he was here, he will just come consult you anyway. Can’t you just do as you please?”
“Even though that is the case... he still should have come back to help, but instead he has disappeared completely.”
Ratri was reading the same article that made Hermit anxious, though she couldn’t tell what made him like this.
“I don’t know why you are so restless, Hermit, I still don’t see the problem. The Heavenly Dragon Guild just launched a new product... Mn. Although it’s true that it will be a little problematic if it’s a great item, isn’t it perfectly normal for them to sell new products to raise their fund?”
“True. Usually, our guild makes a living by selling medicines and ingredients, while the Heavenly Dragon Guild sells magic-type gear and magic scrolls. Our product lines differ from theirs, so there aren’t many conflicts between us. (As a side note, in the past, the Royal Armament Guild sold weapons and futuristic items.) However, their product this time is too strange. Have you read the details for it?”
Ratri nodded. “I have. It’s just a ring, isn’t it? Its design is quite bad though; not fashionable at all.”
“Yes, it’s a ring. This ring, to be exact.”
Surprised, Ratri asked, “Wait, you bought it?”
Hermit nodded. “It’s normal procedure; I often send our men to purchase items from other guilds to study them, and this ring is no exception.”
Interested, Ratri picked up the ring. She didn’t have any kind of inspection skill, so she planned to equip it and read its details from her system window.
“Don’t put in on!!” yelled Hermit. It caused Ratri to panic and drop the ring on the ground.
“Oi!! Could you please ask nicely? Don’t shout.”
Hermit picked up the ring and placed it on a table.
“My bad, my bad, but don’t put it on. If you want to know its details, I will just read it out loud.”
Ratri picked the ring up again with curiosity. She was intently gazing at it while playing with it in her hand and listening to Hermit’s explanation. The ring should have been made from a pearl-like material. Its appearance, which was similar to a big pearl, had a hole in the center the size of a finger, and the outer layer was reshaped to make it octagonal.
Hermit didn’t take his eyes off Ratri. He knew her temperament well. She might put it on her despite his warning.
“Cloudy Dragon Ring, grade S. When equipped, the user will obtain twice as much experience and money. Moreover, the user can be promoted to Marquis Rank without experiencing a bottleneck...”
Ratri frowned. “Isn’t its ability too great? Eh? Wait... Did you just say it’s an S-grade item?”
She was genuinely surprised. S-grade items were rare, so it was confusing that these rings could be mass-produced and sold like common accessories.
“Listen to the end first. Though it grants a user the ability to easily reach Marquis Rank, it heavily forbids the user to advance into Lord Rank, except by accomplishing a certain condition.”
Hermit sighed. “Kill a slime-race player.”
“Huh? Isn’t there only one slime-race player out there?”
A familiar voice came from the door to the room, “Sila, right? It’s unexpected that Montra can pull off this kind of trick.”
Both people turned their head simultaneously. “Leader! / Lone Wolf!”
“Hello, you two. Sorry for the long wait.”
Lone Wolf entered the room. His old elegant wuxia clothing was tattered and full of holes, though it couldn’t hide his overbearing aura.
“How long have you been back?”
“Just got back a moment ago, though I’ve been here long enough to hear someone complaining about me neglecting my work,” said Lone Wolf.
Fearing that he would run off again, Ratri approached the man and locked her arm in his. “What about your training? Have you finished?”
Lone Wolf nodded. “I will tell you about it later. Let’s talk about the previous topic first. What do you think about the ring, Hermit?”
With Lone Wolf’s intelligence, he should have already grasped the situation. Despite that, he never stopped others from expressing their opinions. That was his charisma. He was someone who always give others a chance to shine and show off their ability.
Hermit was fully aware of this and expressed his thoughts compliantly.
“Yes, leader. Montra acting this way is equal to him declaring that he finally sees Sila as a threat. Earlier, no matter how Sila expressed his enmity toward Montra, Montra never took him seriously. It implies that, at the very least, Sila has done something recently that has made Montra concerned.”
Hermit’s idea was not far off. Though, in fact, Montra wasn’t worried about Sila more than he was about the Three Elders who might extend a favorable hand to Sila. Therefore, he wanted to quickly and completely crush Sila, so that he would have a hard time recovering.
“There should be something more. This ring is too strange,” said Lone Wolf.
“I know. There is something really strange about this ring,” agreed Hermit.
Ratri was still playfully spinning the ring on the table. “What is it that makes it strange? This ring is so good.”
“You are right, it’s very good. Many players have played this game for years and a lot of them are stuck at Knight Rank. However, this ring will easily make them advance to Marquis Rank. Moreover, there is even a chance for them to reach Lord Rank in the future. As expected of an S-grade item,” said Hermit.
Lone Wolf added, “Yeah, but it’s too good to be true. Isn’t it strange that this kind of S-grade item doesn’t have a drawback?”
Their statements reminded Ratri of this. “I see why you guys said this ring was strange. It has no drawbacks despite it being an S-grade item.”
“I believe it has one. It’s just that we can’t discern it. Worse off, the Heavenly Dragon Guild can produce it in large quantities, and their prices are set at only 300 gold.”
“This price may be expensive for some players, but it isn’t too high. Furthermore, the Heavenly Dragon Guild announced that they plan to give the rings out for free to those who join their guild.”
“It sounds really suspicious,” Ratri agreed.
“In conclusion, with this single move, the Heavenly Dragon Guild will end up raking in money for the upcoming war event, having a great number of players joining their guild, of which the weakest of them would be at Marquis Rank, and players all over Monster Soul will go after their enemy, Sila, without them having to do anything. It’s natural that everyone would like to become the first Lord Rank player. Ahh, what should we do?”
A smile emerged on Lone Wolf’s face. “You’re mostly right, except for one part. You should correct yourself by saying ‘the second’ since the first Lord Rank player is me.”
“Really?” Both Hermit and Ratri exclaimed in surprise.
“Sure, Lord Rank, Level 1,000... By the way, Hermit, the Emperor Qi Pellet cannot promote me to Emperor Rank, you know? It’s a shame on its name.”
“Haha. Leader, no one has ever ascended to that rank, so how could I test it? Maybe there is some special requirement for promoting to Emperor Rank, who knows?” Hermit felt a little disappointed at his own pellet, though he felt more happy about the success of Lone Wolf.
“Lone Wolf, what should we do against this move of the Heavenly Dragon Guild?” asked Ratri.
A flash of determination shone within Lone Wolf’s eyes. “I won’t allow Montra to do whatever he wants. We will join forces with others and form an alliance to fight against his guild. Hermit, please prepare to send invitation letters to everyone.”
“Everyone? If we do that, there might be a spy...”
“Even if we only invite our allies, the Heavenly Dragon Guild will still find one way or another to stealthily infiltrate our meeting. Sending letters to everyone will also tell our enemies that we aren’t afraid of them.”
Hermit and Ratri’s bodies shook with joy. No matter how much time had passed, Lone Wolf’s character was still as honest and straightforward as before. However, what made him different from then was a strong aura that radiated from his body.
Even if they were up against ten Montras, as long as Lone Wolf was still with them, Hermit and Ratri would never fear.
Chapter 160: Nine-Styles Weapon Subduing Art
Inventing something new was truly difficult, even for someone with a lot of resources like Sila. Even though he had a strong foundation and possessed several profound arts, it still took him a week to come up with the core concept for his Weapon Subduing Fist Art.
Although, the time he took was, in fact, incredibly short. When it came to anything else, Sila might be dull and stupid, but not when martial arts were involved. Going over what he had learned, practising diligently, mimicking others, and adapting what he had seen were all things he had done since childhood.
After writing the final sentence, Sila put his pen down and closed the book in front of him. On the cover was the title “Weapon Subduing Fist: Sila”. For the record, the content within this book was vastly different from common martial art manuals, as Sila was a bad writer, writing everything that came to mind in the middle of training. As a result, this book ended up being very hard to read. The handwriting was downright ugly, the topic was not properly explained, there was no table of contents, and there were even a lot of symbols that he made up as well as many sentences that had been crossed out. No one would be able to understand this book.
Except for the writer himself, of course. Finally, Sila had finished developing the Weapon Subduing Fist Art that he envisioned, just as both he and his teacher hoped.
The full name of this art was Nine-Styles Weapon Subduing Art. Sila intended to come up with exactly nine styles in honor of Mora’s Nine Sun-Melting-Fists. Nevertheless, even though he said it was a single art that had nine styles, in fact, each style acted like an individual art. It was the result of him combining various arts together.
Sila divided the art into three parts: Lesser Styles, Middle Styles, and Greater Styles. The difficulty in terms of usage increased with every tier, going from easy to insanely difficult.
Leaving the book on the ground, Sila stood up and started demonstrating the first three styles. The first three could be used even without the implementation of inner force.
The first style was called Armament Trampling. It was derived from Twelve Celestial-Traveling-Steps combined with footwork techniques from Nine Sun-Melting-Fists, and further improved by his experience fighting against Montra.
The basic of this style was to attack while evading. Sila took several steps back and forth. Some movements were neat while some looked chaotic.
With Twelve Celestial-Traveling-Steps as its base, he had added bending down, jumping, gliding, and dragging feet into the art. Initially, he had never understood why these kinds of movement weren’t included in the art, though he finally figured out why because of something Mora had said. It turned out these kinds of movement were compensated by utilization of the Star Ocean Sword Art.
Another aspect that was included in the style was offensive moves using feet. Prior to this moment, Sila hardly relied on using his feet to attack opponents since, for him, using his feet was harder than using his hands. However, due to his last fight against Montra, he realized how important kicking was. Seeing Montra skillfully use each part of his body like a separate weapon, Sila decided to develop a kicking technique that aimed to counter the use of weapons. Most of his techniques centered around stopping the opponent’s movements and following up with his own attack, though there were some directly offensive moves. The name of this style was inspired by the idea of enabling himself to walk leisurely, even in the middle of a battlefield.
Sila stopped moving and started utilizing the second style: Bone Claws, which he derived from Death Bridge and Nine Sun-Melting-Fists.
This style emphasized speed, power, and having no mercy. No, rather than being merciless, it was a mercy to let the opponent die without having to feel pain. This style was one of the styles he could use proficiently despite having developed it from an art that he had only practiced for three days.
He suspected that it might be due to the fact that dark arts were easier to practice than ordinary ones.
Both his hands were swiftly striking an imaginary opponent. Each spot that he aimed at was a vital point and would easily result in death. Even if he couldn’t finish the opponent with a single move, he would still possess various methods to gravely injure the opponent, such as crushing their bones, or disabling them by detaching or twisting their joints.
As for the last style among the first three styles, it was called Martial Formless. It was the only style that was solely his idea without relying on others. It wasn’t derived from any arts he learned. Rather, it was developed from his imagination and self-training.
It didn’t have a fixed movement. Rather than calling it an art or a style, it was just a concept. Sila threw a simple, almost ordinary left hook forward, not too fast and not too slow, before stopping. His expression showed that he was very proud of himself.
“For this style, it seems I need to use it against a real opponent before I can be sure of its usefulness,” muttered Sila, before writing more lines into his book.
In the eyes of ordinary people, they wouldn’t see anything in particular with that previous punch. However, true experts would be intrigued. They would even compliment Sila and say that the name Martial Formless was by no means an exaggeration.
This style was birthed from his unorthodox learning process and out of the box thinking. With this concept in his head, his attack would completely defy common sense. It was a style that suited Sila the best, while at the same time, contradicted his nature the most.
It was the ultimate art of deception. Relying on masterful and clever use of inner force, a fierce punch that looked like it could break a mountain might turn out to be a weak tap upon contact. On the contrary, a slow and weak-looking punch might turn out to be almighty. When his opponent see his muscles and center-of-gravity shift, and they think that Sila is about to throw a right punch, it might instead turn out that Sila kicks them using his left leg. The more skilled the opponent, the more confused they would become.
“No problem found in the first three styles. Next are...”
The middle three styles were ones which Sila could execute but not as skillfully, since all of them were delicate styles that required time and experience. He couldn’t practice them well enough secluding himself under the cliff. In addition, from the fourth style onward, inner force was required to utilize them.
The fourth style was called Moon Perishing Yizichan. It was derived from the knowledge regarding acupoints used in Nine Sun-Melting-Fists. However, there were a lot of acupoints within a human body, and they varied from person to person. Since the time he spent learning it was too short, at the moment, Sila could only remember a handful of important ones.
T/N: Yizichan means “finger art”.
In his mind, this style would one day become the ultimate art for subduing opponents. If he mastered it, he would be able to defeat an enemy without killing them. Furthermore, he would be able to disturb the opponent’s flow of inner force to weaken them.
The obvious difference between this style and Bone Claws was that Moon Perishing Yizichan focused on damaging opponents from the inside, while Bone Claws aimed to directly injure them.
For this style, there was no fixed movement. The main point was striking at the opponents’ tiny acupoints with precision, using his fingers.
The fifth style, Stellar Wheel, was derived from the defensive techniques of Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws and the borrowing technique of Death Bridge.
Yin Yang Energy was like a revolving wheel within his body. The higher the speed of the rotation, the more powerful his body became.
Despite there being no visible change to his external appearance, the energy was spinning fiercely within his body. Sila slammed his hand into a nearby rock and it immediately cracked through the center as if pierced by a drill.
In theory, this style should be powerful when it came to both offense and defense. However, the problem was, under the cliff, Sila had no targets aside from the lifeless stones and trees for him to attack. Stellar Wheel, in Sila’s imagination, should be able to receive the opponent’s attack and return the force back to them, which he intended to try once he was outside.
The sixth style was now considered the most powerful move in Sila’s possession. The name for it was One Above All. Its name might sound arrogant, but Sila believed it wasn’t over the top. He had combined all of his strongest skills into one; be it Genesis Punch, Dragon's Fist, or Tiger's Claw, not one was left out. Even Tiger-Dragon Fusion was included.
As a result, this style became Sila’s current ultimate offensive skill. Not only could he exert its power using his fists, but he could also unleash it with his palms, feet, elbows, knees, or even forehead. Sila was quite certain that he could mix this style with other styles. If he could just weaken or stop his enemy using his other moves and then follow up with One Above All, he was confident that his opponent would not survive.
Depending on Profound Qi Circulation Art, Sila’s power was constantly regenerating. Even after utilizing all those actions, he still had remaining energy to spare. Nevertheless, the biggest problem he found was with the last three styles’ energy consumption.
In theory, the last three styles weren’t difficult to execute. Each of them were severe, dangerous, and could be used in various situations. Sila believed that just one of them was too much for anyone to cope with. The problem was the energy consumption of the last three styles was insanely enormous, which was logical. Even though Sila’s growth was extraordinary, these styles were too strong for his current inner force capacity. He would need more time and practice to be able to use them in the future.
Exhaling, Sila inspected his body and found that his energy had been fully replenished. His eyelids opened and his eyes under them glowed with mysterious light as if they belonged to an evil spirit. His body floated slightly from the ground as if the concept of gravity no longer work on him.
The seventh style, Lone Soul, enhanced Sila’s speed to surpass his limit, even greater than Zero’s. Moreover, speed wasn’t the only prominent point of Lone Soul. This style was derived from Divine Raiment, elevating his concentration and causing everything around him to become slower. Every detail, despite how small it was, couldn’t escape his eyes and profound sense. Sila’s body flashed once and a big boulder near him disintegrated into dust.
Sila collapsed on the ground. His body was soaked with sweat and fatigue overcame him. He quickly sat cross-legged and focused his mind to regenerate his power.
“Sadly, I can only maintain that state for a minute. It’s a lot shorter than Divine Raiment. Isn’t there a method that will allow me to maintain it for a longer time?”
Regretfully, the truth was as he had expected. There was no shortcut to building up inner force. Considering his age, possessing his current power was already deemed as outstanding.
Sila dismissed false hope and concentrated. Today was the last day he decided to stay in the Slime Kingdom. Now was the time to review all of his styles before going out to try them in real battles. The next destination in his mind right now was the Desert of Death.
Most of his power had regenerated. Though, Sila still sat motionlessly on the ground. The reason for that was because the eighth style didn’t require any movements.
The eighth style was called Psychic Crush. When he named this move, he was too lazy to come up with a cool name, so he simply mimicked the name of his newly acquired skill from the Right Arm of the Sealed One. The principle of this style was an ingenious utilization of energy, sending his power through objects.
Sila tried sending his energy through the ground and damaging a tree three meters away from where he sat. After a moment, a crack began to spread across the width of the tree, and the upper half started tilting. Based on the result, it seemed the power was quite weak. The body of the tree gradually fell to the ground.
If he managed to master this style, it would be very amazing. He wouldn’t even need to lift a finger to attack an enemy, and it would be an invisible attack that they wouldn't notice until it was too late. Well, there were a number of problems. First, the further the target, the harder it would be to control his power. Second, the energy consumption wasn't worth it, considering the small amount of damage. Lastly, it took him a great deal of concentration to send his power through objects without damaging them in the process. Regardless, it was still one of his ultimate moves.
Anyway, in practical combat, the current him should be able to attack the opponent without moving a muscle. For example, he could place his palm on someone and attack them directly, with no further movements required. If there was no distance between him and the target, it became easy for him to send his power to attack them. Thinking about it, this style was the only one among the last three styles that Sila thought he could put into use in real battles.
The last style was called Fist of Reversal. The name of this style was related to Heaven’s Decree Sword Art. As he had yet to practice the sword art, this style was something he couldn’t execute yet. It only existed as an idea for future reference.
Mainly, this style was inspired by the eighth sword style of Heaven’s Decree: Fate’s Reversal. Nevertheless, there was a big difference in executing a move through hands compared to a sword. As such, he would need more time to adapt it before he dared to call it his own profound art.
Overall, Heaven’s Decree Sword Art relied on keen usage of inner force with great delicacy and skillful technique. However, Pumin was well aware that sometimes great strength was required to subdue an opponent. As a result, he invented the last sword style, Fate’s Reversal, in accordance with this fact. The principle behind this move was short and simple.
It was an attack that was so strong, it could change what was almost a loss into a victory, turning the tables in an instant with a single move.
The concept was simple, but the way of utilizing inner force in order to execute this skill was very difficult and complex. Upon reading over the description about it time and time again, Sila couldn’t comprehend even half of it. As expected of a move that his father marked as a very difficult step in mastering his sword art.
Sila prepared to unleash the power of Fist of Reversal. All of the fingers on his right hand connected and pointed toward the sky. The ground trembled slightly before it suddenly stopped. As for Sila, his power was completely spent and he was on the verge of falling unconscious. His face smacked into the ground, his tongue sending him the weird taste of soil. His stamina dropped to the bottom, and he could barely move his fingers.
“Cough. No doubt about it. Unless I can comprehend Fate’s Reversal, I won’t be able to use Fist of Reversal.”
He heard the sound of footsteps as they approached him. His inner sense told him that Divine was coming, though he couldn’t move to give the man his respect due to his fatigue.
“I noticed the cliff trembling, so I came to take a look. Are you practicing? That pose looks very funny.”
Divine couldn’t help but show a smile, noticing Sila’s current posture; he was sitting cross-legged, but his upper body bent down and kissed the ground, while both his hands were laid sprawled across it. This was the funniest training pose he had ever seen.
Sila’s face reddened with embarrassment. He quickly circulated his energy to regain sufficient strength to push himself upright, although barely.
“M-Mister Divine, do you have business with me?”
“Oh, nothing. I just came to tell you that Poluk has come back.”
“I see.” Sila nodded.
Divine seemed to not want to disturb him, so he left without further delay.
“It’s time for me to get out of here as well. Hopefully, the bounty on my head will be tempting enough that other players come and give me a chance to practice my art. I don’t want to be the first to pick a fight.”
Once he felt like he could move, Sila stood up. However, upon taking three steps, his body stumbled and collapsed, and he experienced the weird, salty taste of soil again.
“Puh!” Sila spat the taste of soil out of his mouth. “First things first, I need to properly stand up.”
Chapter 161: The Sleeping Beauty
A flash of light appeared and faded away in the middle of Lost Grea City. If this had happened a month ago, people would turn their head to see who the incoming player was. However, presently, someone entering Lost Grea City was no longer a rare sight.
Sila walked out from the light and looked around, feeling surprised.
Lost Grea City had changed a lot within a single week. No, to be accurate, Lost Grea City hadn’t changed at all. What had changed was the number of players within the city. In fact, considering the enormous size of the city, the current number of people was far from crowded. However, for Sila who had seen Lost Grea City when it was truly empty, it became too crowded to be true.
Wandering around the city, Sila wanted to find a sword and new hidden weapons to use. He had used various kinds of hidden weapons, mainly shuriken and kunai, and sometimes metal balls, flash bombs, or smoke bombs depending on the situation.
His feet led him to the largest weapon shop in the city. Even though he wasn’t as knowledgeable about this city as Bluebird, he had already memorized all the important buildings, such as the weapons shop, hotel, and restaurants.
Even though Sila was currently clueless about the existence of the Cloudy Dragon Ring, he could still safely walk within the city. The reason for this was that the Cloudy Dragon Ring had yet to become a popular item, as many people were still reluctant to purchase it. It also helped that the city’s law clearly stated that enemies of the slime race would become the enemy of all android units.
It was perfectly normal for ordinary players to keep a low profile and not cause problems within a kingdom ruled by an NPC. Unlike ones conquered by players, NPC kingdoms often enforced strict laws. If they disobeyed the laws within the city, worst case scenario was being banned from entering the kingdom.
During his walk, Sila noticed something he hadn’t experienced for a long time; he was no longer the center of attention.
At first, Sila was worried if his futuristic wuxia clothing would be too eye-catching. However, it turned out that most players visiting this city wore the same kind of clothing as him, though with different designs.
This kind of clothing was one of the most popular products sold in Lost Grea City: fabric armor. Its defensive ability and durability were as sturdy as mid-tier armor while being lightweight and enabling nimble movements. Furthermore, the customer could design it to their preference. It easily began to trend and was becoming more and more popular on the Main Continent. It could be said that Sila was a trendsetter regarding this gear.
An electronic voice rang out as soon as Sila opened the door of the weapon shop. Visiting the shops located in Lost Grea City was like entering a special dimension. Despite the size of the building being relatively small, the interior was as spacious as a warehouse. There were some players walking inside.
There was an old saying that men don’t like to ask for directions. However, Sila had experienced having a difficult time searching for the item he wanted. Thus, he decided to ask for assistance.
“Excuse me. I’m looking for a sword and some throwing weapons.”
The android at the counter near the entrance replied to him with an electronic voice.
[Greetings, Governor. Welcome to the weapon shop...]
“Shhh. Lower your voice, please. I don’t want others to know that.”
[My apologies, sir. What kind of weapons are you looking for?]
“A sword and some throwing weapons.”
[What kind of sword are you looking for? Ancient style? Modern style? Eastern? Western? What length and weight do you prefer? Also, what is your budget?]
Sila scratched his head. He had no knowledge about swords. What he knew was that he wanted a sword that closely resembled the Sila Sword.
“A western style, I guess. The length is about... this. As for the weight, I don’t know. I would need to try holding it to be able to tell you.”
[As for throwing weapons, our shop sells only modern kinds, sir. They are easy to use, effective, but can be quite expensive.]
Feeling disappointed, Sila had tried various kinds of hidden weapons and was quite proficient at using them. However, his level of attainment of the hidden weapon art meant it was capable of working against ordinary people, but useless against a skilled expert like Kawin. As such, he wanted to train himself with only a single kind of hidden weapon and master it. The one he aimed to polish his skill on was a small metal rod, though he didn’t know what it was called. He had only used it when sparring with the nameless elder.
“Anyway, do you happen to know what a small metal rod about six inches in length is called?”
[It is called suntetsu, or kakushibo, sir. It’s a small stick made of metal. It is commonly used by ninjas, though it isn’t as popular as the shuriken or kunai due to its inferior versatility in application and the fact that it isn’t threatening if it doesn’t hit vital points. Its prominent point is its small size, making it hard for enemies to spot. It often comes in a black color to make it even harder to be seen. In conclusion, it’s a concealed weapon that requires technique and precision to show its effectiveness.]
“Suntetsu...” Sila kept it in his mind. “Is it available for sale?”
[Unfortunately, we don’t sell it. If you want different kinds of hidden throwing weapons, please visit the row F-3. As for the swords, please take a look at the row C-8, sir.]
[When you finish choosing your weapons, please check out at any of the counters located near the exit, sir.]
Keeping that in mind, Sila nodded and walked away. For the record, most players, including Sila, wondered what would happen if they went past the exit without checking out at the counter. However, recalling the sight of numerous androids wandering around in the city, no one ever dared to try.
Sila walked toward the row labeled C while thinking about his previous conversation with the android.
‘My Disguise didn’t work on the NPC, unlike what I expected. Is it because psychic-type is my secondary energy type?’
The second skill that Sila had chosen was Disguise, inspired by Yardpirun. Actually, this skill had a concept of level. The higher the level, the more effective it would become, and once the skill level reached maximum, the user would gain a secondary ability. Sila was fully aware of this fact since his Hidden Weapon Firing used a similar concept. At first, he could only bring out small items from his inventory. However, upon reaching level 100, he could bring anything out regardless of the size, which was extremely useful.
Unfortunately, the Disguise skill that he had received as a reward came as a special skill, though the Seal skill that he obtained didn’t have such a problem.
After consulting with Bluebird, they got a theory that Disguise was a high-tier skill, unlike Seal. As Sila was wielding two types of energy, with the psychic type being a supplementary one, this fact affected his ability to obtain psychic-type skills.
Without a concept of skill level, special skills had a good point in that less time was needed for players to polish the skill. However, the downside was that it couldn’t be improved to its absolute limit. Bluebird told Sila that Yardpirun’s Disguise could deceive even NPCs and monsters; she could even disguise herself as one of their kin to be on friendly terms with them. Unfortunately for Sila, while he could deceive players, he couldn’t deceive NPCs, and his Disguise was also unlikely to work on monsters.
‘Unfortunately, it seems my plan to disguise myself as a dragon to approach Raidola ended up being in vain. I need to come up with another plan.’
Sila selected this skill, hoping to freely walk into the Dragon Domain and get the dragon with a preemptive strike. He had planned to kill it with the first hit.
Arriving at the destination, Sila stopped and took a look at the various kinds of swords on the shelves. His knowledge regarding swords was lacking, so he took some of them to swing back and forth.
After trying some of them, he found a single one that was fit well in his hand. It was a B-grade Standard Metal Sword. Even though it was quite ordinary, it was still above the rest. Normally, weapons that could be found in other weapon shops only ranged from F to C grade.
‘I haven’t tried using a sword in a real battle before. Is strengthening a sword with energy harder than strengthening a hidden weapon?’
Sila held the sword vertically and clad it with his Yin Yang Energy. However, the sword soon trembled and then broke into fragments.
“Eh?! Why?” Sila was shocked. He didn’t do anything different from what he usually did with hidden weapons.
Curious, Sila did the same with other swords. This time, though, he slowed down the process of energy reinforcement. However, the result was the same. All the swords immediately broke upon taking in his power.
Sila sat down cross-legged out of habit, trying to figure out the cause. He thought for a long time before opening his system window to check his skill list. Finally, he found the culprit. It was a skill he obtained from unlocking the third stage of the Right Arm of the Sealed One.
Special Skill: Weapon Crush
You can reinforce psychic power into your attack and get a boost in attack power. With this skill, your psychic power will have an easier time destroying weapons.
“So that was the reason.”
The answer was obvious to him. Since he was holding a weapon without equipping it, he not only couldn’t exert abilities that required a weapon to be equipped, but the system also didn’t consider the weapon as his. As a result, it regarded his action to strengthen the weapon as a form of attack, resulting in him breaking it.
“What about hidden weapons? Will the result be the same for them?”
Sila was worried. Ever since he gained his Yin Yang Energy, he had yet to try cladding a hidden weapon with it. If the result was negative, it would be devastating for him. Without energy reinforcement, the attack power of a hidden weapon would be too low.
‘What bad luck. Will there be a time when I can gain a new skill without a disadvantage attached to it?’
Since his system window was still left open, he spotted a new message inside his inbox. In fact, it was sent to him three days ago. The details of the message was an invitation from the Victorious Wolves Sect for him to attend a gathering that would be held in Zhongsuyuan City tomorrow.
“What a coincidence.”
By coincidence, Sila meant it was coincidental that he stumbled onto the message before it was too late. It was also a coincidence that Zhongsuyuan City was a stop along the way to his destination.
For the record, soon after Sila had logged back into the game, he used his A+ system window to search for information about the Desert of Death.
[Desert of Death]
The Desert of Death is the nickname of the place called Bistem Desert, a desert located in the westernmost part of the continent. The territory may look small on the map, but it is actually a vast special dimension. Every person visiting this place will be granted death from Anubis, the Death God who has the body of a man and the head of a jackal.
Anubis is the sole monster living in the vast Desert of Death, since it is the land of death itself. Legend has it that only someone who conquers death can come out of this place alive.
Presently, Bistem Desert is the most dangerous place in Monster Soul. No one wants to go there.
“I can join this gathering first before going to the Desert of Death.”
Reading the message, Sila planned to participate in the gathering. An alliance to oppose the Heavenly Dragon Guild would become a future asset that would help obstruct Montra from winning the second war event. He alone might not be able to win against Montra and the entire Heavenly Dragon Guild, but the story might be different if he had allies on his side.
His sole objective was to prevent Montra from winning. He didn’t need to become the victor.
Since this shop didn’t have the sword he wanted anymore, Sila went to pick up some bombs and paid at the counter. Unfortunately for him, he needed to pay a total of 1,650 gold and 32,000 silver as it included the several swords that he had broken.
Walking toward the Android Palace, Sila was blaming himself for his own recklessness. Actually, there were a lot of low-tier swords for him to test his move on in his treasure room in the mansion; he could go and try it there. However, without Julia, Sebastian, or Bow, Sila didn’t see the point of going to the mansion. Even Bluebird had complained that he didn’t like the mansion without Julia, as it was inconvenient and he needed to do everything himself.
Sila couldn’t help but smile. The reason he purchased the Chamber of Secrets was to be alone. However, when the time actually arrived, he didn’t want to be alone in that place. Thinking about the mansion, he missed Bow. He wanted to know how she was doing.
There were no androids that obstructed him from entering the palace, and he could casually stroll through the halls. He walked through several rooms before finding Orpheus, who was sitting on his throne.
“Oh, Sila. Nice timing. Follow me.” The Android King stood up and led Sila somewhere else.
Sila obediently followed him. “What happened, sir?”
“Your Julia is about to complete. Let’s go see my new creation.”
“Julis isn’t an object, sir.”
“You can call her whatever you want, but don’t forget that I’m the one who gave her life. Let’s hurry--” The Android King stopped speaking as he noticed something.
‘Even though I’m not using my top speed, this kid can follow me with ease. Moreover, it looks like he isn’t using any power at all.’
Sila’s power was utilized inside his body, so it became harder for others to detect. The Android King couldn’t help but be amazed at Sila’s extraordinary growth in a short amount of time.
The two of them walked quickly and finally arrived at a room that Sila thought looked like a laboratory. When he went inside, he could see a massive test tube. Within the test tube was Julia, still wearing her maid outfit, who was asleep. She looked quite peaceful and beautiful. Her body was flashing with a soft blue light.
“She will be completed in a few seconds. I’m really excited.”
Sila looked at her face while the frequency of the flashing light became more rapid. In the end, her body gave off a final, brilliant blue light to the point where both Sila and Orpheus needed to block their eyes.
Once the blue light faded, Julia opened her eyes. They were dark blue like a deep ocean.
Chapter 162: Adding a Rumor
Julia’s dark blue eyes sparkled like they were precious gems. The glass on the human tube slid open, and she stepped down from it to touch the ground.
“Greetings, Mister Sila and Your Majesty.”
Sila was about to greet her back, but the Android King got the first word.
“How are you feeling? Are there any abnormalities in your movements? If you feel like something is out of place, even if only by a little, don’t hesitate to tell me.”
“I feel… life force, sir. It’s a new sensation for me. I also feel the air, the ground, the gravity...”
The Android King cut her words short. “Those must be due to you having a physical body for the first time. Back to the life force, tell me more.”
Julia shook her head. “Even if you ask, I don’t think I can put it into words, sir.”
Rubbing his chin, the Android King said, “Mn. That might be natural. The power of the Ocean Heart Aquamarine is ‘Life’, so it isn’t weird for you to feel it.”
Sila interrupted. “Excuse me, I have been wondering for a long time. What are the Gems of Catastrophe? How do their powers work?”
“As you might already know, the phrase Gems of Catastrophe refers to the existence of twelve gems, all of them S-Grade items. Some gems can unleash their powers directly, like the Eternal Onyx, while some require a medium or a specific procedure to trigger their abilities. Each of them possesses otherworldly might, but that isn’t what makes them so dangerous that they are called the Gems of Catastrophe.”
“What is it, then?”
“It’s their conceptual abilities. Each of the Gems of Catastrophe possesses a single conceptual ability that can be interpreted in many ways. Usually, S-grade items are very powerful but have severe downsides. However, the abilities of the Gems of Catastrophe are ambiguous; only a single word can be used to describe each of them.”
“Is being ambiguous better?”
“In their cases, it’s indeed better. Whatever you want from the gem, you can make it happen as long as you can interpret the result to suit its word and the effect is within the extent that the system can accept. Well, it also depends on the holder’s creativity.”
“Is Mechanical God's Protection the same?”
“Correct. Its power relies on your interpretation of the word ‘Evolve’. The same applies to Julia. Her power depends on how she interprets the word ‘Life’.”
Julia opened her palm, and on it appeared a flower that sprouted and started to blossom. “Like this, sir?”
“That’s okay for a start. By the way, what kind of weapon do you prefer, Julia?”
Julia shook her head. “I have never used a weapon before, sir. I’m a maid.”
Sila expressed his opinion. “Julia doesn’t need a weapon, I think. I don’t intend for her to fight anyone.”
The Android King waved his hand. “Your mindset is too shallow. Does the fact that you don’t want to fight anyone mean others will not pick a fight with you? Being able to protect your own life is the basic of living in Monster Soul.”
Sila shut his mouth. The Android King was completely right about that. He couldn’t argue.
Rubbing his chin for a second time, the Android King mumbled to himself, “No experience using weapons, so starting with a melee weapon is a no go. It will take a long time for her to use it properly. A long range one will be safer...”
Julia and Sila left the Android King to think and began a conservation between themselves.
“Mister Sila, may I ask where Mister Head Butler and Lady Bow are?”
Sila’s eyes showed sadness once he was reminded of Bow.
“Mister Sebastian is wandering around like usual. As for Bow... She already returned to her home.”
“Returned to her home? You mean the Slime Kingdom, Master?”
Sila showed a dry smile. “Something like that. What about you, Julia? There is no problem with your body, right?”
Julia tried moving her arms and legs. “It feels somehow weird to have a physical body, Master, but I guess I will get used to it eventually. May I also ask how long I slept for? Is the mansion fine and has been taking care of?”
“How long...? I think it’s been around two or three weeks. As for the mansion, I didn’t go back there, so I don’t know. Maybe Sebastian took care of it while you were out.”
Julia closed her eyes for a brief moment before reopening them again. “My apologies. I forgot that I am still connected to the mansion. I just checked the state of the mansion and found that it’s fine, Master.”
The Android King clapped his hands. “I see! If it’s you, you might be able to use that properly. No, it will be your perfect match.”
As he said, the Android King opened his system window to search for a certain item and pulled it out.
“My 403rd creation, Trickstar. Try holding it.”
Taking the item from Orpheus’s hand, Julia noticed that it was a silver handgun. For Sila, this was the first time he saw a gun in Monster Soul. Well, he also just had a chance to see futuristic laser spears for the first time in Lost Grea City as well. It seemed the technology in this kingdom was more advanced compared to the rest.
Julia held the gun with her right hand. Sila didn’t know anything about handguns except for the fact that they are mid-to-long-range weapons Many people think that guns are easy to use, but, in reality, they require a moderate level of training.
Unlike most short-range weapons that can be used instantly, to fire a bullet, one needs to lift the gun up, aim the muzzle at the target, and pull the trigger, totaling in three steps. As a result, it wouldn’t be effective at a distance as the opponent could run away, while it takes too long to complete the motions when the opponent is in close proximity. Still, it also depends on practicing. Some people can fire a bullet faster than brandishing a sword.
“This gun is...?” Julia exclaimed as she read the description of the gun in her hand.
“You’re connected to Sila’s treasure room, right? Therefore, this gun will be the best weapon for you. In addition, Trickstar is a weapon that relies on techniques rather than raw power. It can compensate for your inability to use qi, magic, and psychic power.”
Sila wasn’t interested in the conversation at first, but he was startled when he heard Orpheus’ last line.
“What? She can’t use them?”
The Android King sighed. “It’s not strange at all. Let me ask you something. What kind of existence do you think Julia is?”
“Julia is Julia, isn’t she?”
“I meant, what exactly is she? A monster? A pet?”
“Oh? It’s not that hard, is it? She is an AI; artificial intelligence.”
“That only means she is controlled by AI. It’s not about her being.”
“If Mister Orpheus puts it that way, I don’t think I can give you an answer, sir.”
“I will answer it for you. Julia is the same as the Mechanical God's Protection; she is an item, an ego item that is controlled by an AI and possesses a life force.”
“Correct. So, she is the same as other items. She can’t collect experience points, has no health points, and is unable to use qi, magic, and psychic power. She can’t be healed by healing spells, and normal potions won’t work on her. And, if you are not careful, she can be broken.”
“Isn’t that very dangerous? By having no health points, doesn’t that mean she can be killed in one shot?”
“That’s not it. Think of her as a sword. If you use it to block an attack that is not too powerful, it won’t be broken, right? It’s the same. Most items are designed to have a moderate level of durability depending on their kinds and grades.”
“It seems you purchased an expensive item maintenance room in your dimension. Other players tend to ignore it due to its price, but it’s good for you. If Julia takes a lot of damage, you can bring her there to repair her.”
The Android King’s words reminded Sila of the room. He indeed purchased it at Burapha’s recommendation. It’s unexpected that it could be used for this purpose.
Turning his head to Julia, Sila asked, “How about it Julia? Do you like the gun?”
Julia tossed the gun between her hands and pointed the muzzle at nowhere in particular. Her pose and actions looked like she was a professional marksman rather than an amateur.
The Android King was surprised. “Oh, I forgot that you are an AI with the ability to understand items and know how to proficiently use them. Should I change your weapon?”
“This gun is good enough, sir. Based on my calculations, even if I use other weapons, I will only understand the basics and won’t be able to use the more advanced techniques regardless of my proficiency. I also can’t use energy reinforcement; if I fight a skilled opponent, I will be at a disadvantage. Whereas, Trickstar will make up for those shortcomings.”
She pointed the muzzle toward a wall, and the sound of gunshots rang two times in succession. There were two holes, each the size of a coin, in the wall. Even Sila would have a difficult time reacting to her bullets.
“Trickstar, a gun-type S-grade item. The user can use their own health points or items to fire a bullet. The more health points used, the more power it can display. Although I don’t have health points, I can compensate for that with the ability of the Ocean Heart Aquamarine, and use my life force for bullets instead.
“If an item is used as a bullet, the gun will transform into a rifle. I can utilize it creatively by using a potion as a bullet to heal an ally or using cursed items to shoot an enemy.
“As each bullet gives a different result, it will be very tricky for opponents to cope against its attack. This is the reason why Trickstar is its name.”
“Or, you can call it the 403rd creation of Orpheus. It’s good that you like it. Take good care of it. Be warned that its price isn’t cheap.”
Sila was shocked. “Eh? Won’t you give it to her for free?”
“Do you see me as a charitable organization? The reason I granted life to Julia was because I wanted to try doing it myself, and most of the materials came from you. However, my 403rd creation is different. It’s one of my proud masterpieces. The cost of it is 200,000 gold. Well, your income is quite stable, isn’t it? I see that your friends have started a business to transport players to this kingdom. Just go out and advertise Lost Grea’s weapons and you will increase the profits we rake in, including your share. It won’t take you too long to pay it off.”
Sila understood that much. Only, the last time he checked, his debt had lowered to 25,302 gold and it would be cleared soon, so he was hesitating as this would increase it again. Nevertheless, looking at Julia, he sighed.
“That’s fine. I will think of it as Julia’s birthday present.”
“Thank you, Mister Customer. That settles it. You may exit now. I’m going to produce my 2,540th creation.” The Android King snapped his finger, and the system informed Sila that his debt increased.
“You seem to have a lot of creations, Mister Orpheus.”
“Well, not all of them are decent, but I think of every failure as a step to success. So, I give all of my creations a number.”
Sila was reminded of his failure to acquire a sword.
“Mister Orpheus, do you happen to be free to produce a weapon for me? For example... a sword?”
“Hm? What kind of sword do you prefer? Tell me. If you’re lucky and I have one, I will sell it to you for the discounted price.”
Sila described the appearance and details of the Sila Sword, including drawing a picture of it. Orpheus was a specialist, so it took him only a short while before he understood what Sila wanted. However, his expression obviously changed.
“Is there something wrong?”
“Sila Sword... Where did you see it?”
Sila was about to reply honestly, but it struck him that Mora had told him to keep it a secret. Being aware that he was bad at lying, Sila decided to tell Orpheus a half-truth, distorting some facts. Fortunately, it made his story sound more plausible.
“I saw a man holding it when he met my teacher. I think the sword looked simple but unique, so I want to have one too. Is its name Sila Sword? Unexpectedly, its name is the same as mine.” Afraid that Orpheus might feel doubtful about its name, Sila mentioned it first.
“It should be a coincidence. Can you tell me the appearance of that man?” Since Sila was the first to bring the topic about its name up, Orpheus wasn’t curious about it.
Sila had never met Pumin, his father, but he had his suspicions that Orpheus must know something about his father. At the very least, Orpheus knew about the sword’s name even though not many people should have known about it.
“I didn’t see his face, sir. He covered himself in a black long coat and a hood. When my teacher saw him, he ordered me to wait outside... By the way, why do you ask, sir?”
Orpheus fell into his own thought. “Nothing in particular. It’s just that the sword was the last sword produced by the man who taught Zeref and I. Despite its look, it deserves to be called the pinnacle of all swords. The materials for making it were ordinary and conventional, but just by seeing it you can tell it is the ultimate sword, made by the ultimate craftsman. That’s why its name is Sila Sword.”
Listening silently, Sila just learned that Orpheus’ teacher was the one to make the Sila Sword for his father.
“The Sila Sword belonged to the Sword Prodigy who disappeared twenty or so years ago. Naturally, the sword went missing with him. Maybe the person you saw was his descendant, or even Pumin himself. Even though most rumors stated that he had died, no one ever saw his corpse. In addition, there’s some rumor that Pumin didn’t truly die, but only secluded himself to come up with a new peerless sword art.”
Listening to Orpheus’ explanation, Sila somehow felt awkward. Indeed, his father had died, but the rumor was also right about him inventing a new sword art.
“About the sword, I’m afraid I can’t make it for you. I have a policy to not imitate my teacher’s creations. Also, my craftsmanship ability isn’t up to its standard. Even if I make it, it will just a replica, not a genuine one.”
It was the first time Sila saw Orpheus act modestly. Since he couldn’t do anything about it, Sila and Julia excused themselves and left.
When he was alone, Orpheus opened his system window.
“Sila doesn’t use a sword, and didn’t seem to be lying. It seems I need to do some research. The return of the Sword Prodigy isn’t some trivial matter.”
As a person, Pumin wasn’t too good nor too bad. He was a kind man who had a fearless personality. Although he helped many people while adventuring, he didn’t care about how he did it, and also acted however he pleased. As a result, he had as many enemies as he did friends.
As a renowned weaponsmith, Orpheus was a man with a high degree of influence. For someone like him to dig into Pumin’s topic, it inevitably caused the martial world to enter a state of chaos. In the short future, there would be rumors about the return of the Sword Prodigy, and that would greatly affect the Wulin Masters Association.
Chapter 163: Zhongsuyuan’s Celebrity
Exiting the palace, Sila arrived in the residential zone. Now that he had nothing left to do in Lost Grea City, his next destination would be the gathering party in Zhongsuyuan City. After that, he would head toward the Desert of Death like he had originally intended.
Sila went to the branch building of the Blue Pigeon Guild, followed closely by Julia. Somehow feeling awkward, Sila expanded Yin Yang Energy to detect Julia’s presence. It turned out that he could feel her physical body, but not her power. It was as if Julia was a mere pebble on the side of the street.
Sila stopped his feet and turned around.
“Am I walking too fast, Julia? Why are you walking behind me?”
“That’s not it, Master. As a maid, it’s proper for me to walk behind my master.”
“You don’t have to be so serious about it, Julia. Somehow, I don’t like someone walking behind me. It’s not that I’m suspicious of you, I just feel... awkward. Sorry about my strange habit.”
“Roger, Master. I will remember that fighters don’t like people walking behind them. Please excuse me to walk beside you, Master.”
“Sure, you can,” replied Sila, though he wondered whether it was normal for a maid to ask for her master’s permission even for this kind of a trivial matter.
Julia came forward to walk by Sila’s side, though she was still slightly behind him. Sila sighed. In fact, he didn’t have that kind of habit, but he just wanted Julia to relax more. Well, he shouldn’t be too forceful. His teacher once taught him that intimacy and trust had to be earned, and it took time to receive them.
Entering the Blue Pigeon building where Bluebird was stationed, Sila didn’t intend to visit Bluebird or anything. He just wanted to use the guild’s teleportation service. If memory served him right, the Blue Pigeon’s teleportation business could be used to travel between three cities; Lost Grea City, Grea City, and Zhongsuyuan City.
Actually, the Victorious Wolves Sect had joined forces with the Mountain Thieves League to provide transportation services from various important cities to Zhongsuyuan City by special horse carriages. However, there was no such horse carriage drop-off station in Lost Grea City. Even if there was, Sila wouldn’t use it, as the distance between Grea City and Zhongsuyuan City took at least two and a half days to traverse by carriage. Furthermore, as the time for the gathering was tomorrow, the last group of carriages had already departed.
Walking through the door, Sila’s profound sense detected all lives within the building, including a faint presence near the bar. Sila went and sat beside an empty chair.
“Hello, Miss Yardpirun. Is Bluebird not here?”
On the empty chair, a woman with white hair appeared out of thin air. “Did you know for certain that I was right here?”
“Kind of. I could feel your faint presence.”
As he was able to detect Yardpirun’s presence, even though it was faint, Sila regained his confidence. It was way better compared to before when he couldn’t feel her existence at all unless she allowed it.
Sadly, it was Yardpirun’s turn to lose her confidence. She was using her Mind Concealment to erase her presence. Even though she didn’t do her best as she wasn’t in a fight, she was quite certain about her ability. Sila couldn’t detect her at all a week ago, so it was questionable how he could manage to do it in such a short amount of time.
‘In just a single week, how could his ability grow so fast?’ She thought, but didn’t let it show on her face. She replied to Sila’s question normally.
“Bluebird is currently in Zhongsuyuan City. Do you have business with him?”
“Ah, no, I don’t. Actually, I want to use your transportation service to go to other cities. Can I go to Zhongsuyuan City?”
“You can. I guess you’re going to participate in the gathering party.”
“Yes, I am, so I would like to bother you.”
“No problem. Please wait for a moment.”
Yardpirun opened her system window and sent a message.
“I will have someone accompany you there.”
Sila nodded. And, ten seconds later, a woman approached them. She wore white female wuxia clothing and had a long pigtail.
“Hello, Boss.” The woman greeted Yardpirun while taking a side glance at Sila, wondering why her boss revealed her presence for this man.
“White Swan, you don’t need to go to Zhongsuyuan City this evening. Let’s change it to right now, and please bring Mister Sila with you.”
“Mister Sila, she is White Swan, our guild’s representative in the gathering tomorrow.”
“Eh? It’s not Bluebird?”
“No, for an important event like this, I wouldn’t dare to send Bluebird as the guild’s representative. He has a different duty, reporting on the overall situation within the city.”
Hearing her reason, Sila understood her feelings in no time. At the same time, he pitied Bluebird for having no one to trust him as a newshawk.
“Can we go now?”
“Sure, please follow me.” White Swan said goodbye to her boss and left the building, followed closely by Sila.
Exiting the building, Sila saw Julia waiting for him outside.
“Eh? Julia? Why are you here? Why didn’t you go inside with me?”
“I wasn’t granted permission by Master.”
It turned out that Julia didn’t follow him inside. Sila was used to being alone, and Julia was a quiet person, so he easily forgot about her.
Sila scratched his head. He didn’t understand Julia’s thought process, though he thought it would be too much for her to have to ask for his permission to do everything.
“Let’s do it this way, then. I give your permission to do everything. You can just ask me when you’re unsure about something specifically. If there is something I don’t want you to do, I will personally tell you that it’s banned. Is that fine?”
White Swan gave a weird look to the woman in front of her. Even though costumes were sold in every city, it was her first time seeing someone in a maid outfit walking in broad daylight.
“Oh, Julia, this is Miss White Swan. Miss White Swan, she is Julia.”
As Sila and White Swan weren’t close to each other, after Julia and White Swan greeted one another, the three of them didn’t talk while walking to the next building.
Inside the building, which the Blue Pigeon Guild also rented from the system, there were ten glass capsules with their doors open.
“What are they?” asked Sila.
“This building is the teleportation building that our guild is renting from the system. We will go inside the capsule and choose the destination.”
Julia, who was an expert regarding items and system-related matters, also added:
“This kind of building can be rented from the system, Master. By inserting the Invitation Card of the destination kingdom, players can travel to designated kingdom instantly. The good point about it is that many players can teleport at once, unlike using the Invitation Card directly. If Master interested, I can contact Mister Chris to install this building in your mansion, though there will be installation and monthly fees.”
“That sounds convenient. Is it expensive?”
“The installation fee is 25,000 gold and the monthly fee is 100 gold, Master.”
“Mn, in that case, let’s leave it alone for now. It’s not that necessary for us anyway.”
While Sila was talking to Julia, White Swan listened quietly without interrupting. She wasn’t Sila’s acquaintance, so she used this chance to learn about him.
‘Is this person Player Sila who has been involved in many big scoops? He doesn’t stand out as I thought he would. His level of power also seems negligible. Either he is as good as Boss at power concealment or he is just ordinary. Well, he just started this game recently, so there is no way his ability can be compared to Boss’. Still, he won in Colossia City’s battle tournament, so he can’t be weak. In the end, does that mean he became stronger in such a short period of time? And what about the mansion? Is he rich?’
For the record, Yardpirun didn’t tell White Swan that their guild got the Invitation Card to Lost Grea City from Sila; she only told her that she got it from Bluebird. At the moment, no one except for Sila himself, Bluebird, Burapha, and Yardpirun was aware of the influence Sila had over Lost Grea City. It was Yardpirun’s move to gain trust from Sila, while also indirectly telling Sila to keep her secret as well.
White Swan waited for Sila to enter one of the capsules before entering another one herself.
The door of the capsule closed as soon as Sila went inside. After that, a message appeared on the LCD screen in front of him.
[Please select your destination. 1) Zhongsuyuan City. 2) Grea City.]
Sila pressed the number one, and his body was immediately teleported from Lost Grea City.
Emerging in front of a similar building, Sila looked at it and realized that it was a teleportation building like the one in Lost Grea. However, this one was located in Zhongsuyuan City.
It was Sila’s first time witnessing the scenery of Zhongsuyuan City, the city known as the Qi Kingdom. The size of this city was not inferior to Grea City’s, though the environment was livelier. Instead of the somber atmosphere in Grea City which was full of machines and had the vibe of an industrial city, Zhongsuyuan City was full of pine trees. The air was quite dry as the city was not far from the desert, and a lot of leaves from the trees could be seen scattered around on the streets, forming several brown carpets.
There were many people walking in the street, though Sila wasn’t sure if it had to do with the gathering party. Anyway, even though the number of people was a lot, the city didn’t look so crowded since the main street of the city was very wide, at least wider than fifteen meters.
Sila felt like he became the center of attention. However, taking a better look, he realized people were looking behind him, at Julia. There didn’t seem to be many instances of a woman wearing a maid outfit without a special event taking place.
Among those people, a particular man wearing a white mask approached Sila.
“So you came, Big Brother.”
“Burapha? Why are you wearing a mask?”
“There are many people here, Big Brother. If I remove the mask, it’s highly likely that I will be chased down, and that will be troublesome for me. There you go, I also bought one for you.” Burapha handed another white mask to Sila, which he received.
Bluebird came over to the two as well.
“Wear it, Sila. Your enemies are all over the place at the moment; both the old and new ones.”
Donning the mask, Sila asked, “Isn’t it more suspicious? Wearing a mask like this.”
Bluebird waved his hand. “Although it’s quite suspicious, it’s still better than showing your face. Now, so many players are flocking to Zhongsuyuan City. Some are here to participate in the gathering party, while some are here to look for their enemies. By wearing the mask, it just implies that you are avoiding your enemies. Some people besides you and Burapha are also wearing it. Of course, you might be inspected by some groups, but if you are not the one they are looking for, they will leave. You just have to use Disguise and fake your voice.”
Sila thought to himself: what if they attack him without inspecting first? However, Bluebird seemed to be able to read his mind.
“And you don’t need to worry about them bringing you harm without inspecting you first. Presently, Zhongsuyuan City is full of experts, including hidden powerhouses with no affiliations. No one would want to earn more enemies. It’s certain that they will try to inspect you first before using violence.”
Burapha walked to chat with White Swan, while Bluebird pulled Sila away from them. Once he secured some distance from them, Bluebird gave a sly smile.
“Hehe, no. I just spotted some juicy gossip. I will be having fun teasing Swan in the future~”
Sila wasn’t interested in Bluebird’s nonsense. He asked, “How could you two find me so fast?”
“Mn. About that, I used Psychic Bird Dance to scatter my birds all over Zhongsuyuan City. Moreover, when you arrived, Burapha and I just happened to be sitting in a nearby restaurant.”
Observing the area, Sila really spotted several tailorbirds here and there. In his opinion, if something strange were to happen in Zhongsuyuan City, it was clear as day that Bluebird would be the first to notice it.
“What about Burapha? I heard that he planned to go to the north, didn’t he?”
“Yeah, he did. He already departed, but he returned when he got the invitation to the gathering party, which makes sense. For Belacia City, he can go there anytime he wants.”
Burapha returned to them by himself and joined the conversation, which prompted Bluebird to ask a question.
“Hm? Where is White Swan?”
“She still has work to do. It’s usual for someone with a high position in a guild to be busy,” replied Burapha while glancing at Bluebird.
“Oh? I’m constantly working too, you know? I’m very worried that something bad might happen during such an important gathering. That’s why I’m stressed and can’t do other work. I have to put my focus on resting so that I will be ready to cope with any changes that may happen,” Bluebird explained with a tired expression, which Sila and Burapha were too fed up with to give a response.
“Greetings, Mister Bluebird and Mister Burapha.” Julia greeted the two.
“Whoa?! Julia? You startled me.” Bluebird shuddered. “Even with a physical body, you still act the same as usual.”
With one of his eyes being closed, Burapha paid attention to his psychic sense rather than his eyes, so he had just noticed Julia standing in his blind spot.
“Hello, Julia. Long time no see.”
“Indeed, sir. However, Mister Bluebird visited the mansion quite often, so I met him frequently.”
Before being verbally abused even more, Bluebird quickly changed the topic.
“Let’s stop with the useless chatter. Did you forget that we are here to bring Sila to Zhongsuyuan City’s celebrity?”
“Ah, right. Big Brother Sila, there is someone who I’m sure you won’t expect to be this city’s celebrity.”
Sila frowned. “Do I know them?”
“Sure, you do. But I bet you will be surprised to know that this person is here. I was the same when I heard for the first time.”
Bluebird nodded. “Me too. I didn’t believe it at first. That’s why I traveled here to see for myself.”
The more he heard, the more skeptical Sila became. “So, who exactly is this person?”
Bluebird and Burapha replied almost simultaneously, “Sebastian!!”
Chapter 164: Two Dear Friends
“Excuse me. I think you said the wrong name. Did you just mention Sebastian?” Sila asked for confirmation.
“It’s not wrong, Big Bro. Mister Sebastian is really famous here. If you ask ten people, at least eight of them will know him.”
“Eh? do you mean someone else who shares the same name?”
Bluebird cut to the chase. “It’s not someone else. He is that Sebastian. I will explain to you along the way, about what he is doing here.”
Four of them walked along the main street. For the record, their group was quite eye-catching, with two of the four people wearing masks as well as Sila’s clothing looking rather expensive and extraordinary. Yet, the strangest sight was still Julia in a maid outfit.
Their destination was the exchange market of Zhongsuyuan City, the biggest marketplace in Monster Soul where players used a barter system for purchasing and selling goods and services. This market was one of Zhongsuyuan City’s three major markets, consisting of the exchange market, the wuxia market where qi-type gear and medicine were sold, and the eccentric market where you could find many strange items, including weird ingredients, loot boxes, as well as items that hadn’t been identified yet.
Looking around, Sila observed the vast size of the market in the city. There were many people crying out, trying to attract the attention of people walking by so they would check their wares. It was a chaotic and lively market.
“Didn’t we just go past another market?” asked Sila.
“Oh, Big Brother Sila still doesn't know that Zhongsuyuan City is a city of trading. In addition to the three major markets, there are many smaller markets. On top of that, people often set up stalls on the sides of streets. Especially during events that attract lots of people, like right now, you can see stalls on the sides of every street.”
“I see. By the way, you still haven’t told me what Sebastian is doing here.”
“He set up a shop for exchanging items.”
“A shop? What kind of shop?” Sila had a hard time imagining Sebastian as a merchant setting up a shop.
“He wouldn’t be famous if he opened an ordinary shop. The shop that Mister Sebastian manages is a bartering shop where players can purchase or sell rare ingredients obtained from around Zhongsuyuan City, especially those that dropped from monsters in the desert; like Giant Desert Worm, Flame Salamander, Desert Dragon, and Stone Crab. Each of them is hard to defeat, but the more troublesome aspect about hunting them is they tend to flee and are good at concealing themselves in the sand. As Mister Sebastian sells these kinds of items in large quantities, it took no time for people to become interested in his shop. Furthermore, his shop sells Skull Grass, which is an item that possesses a rather high medicinal property. He also sells various kinds of strange potions that have never been seen before. Even though their prices are quite high, they are in high demand.”
“So, in the end, his shop sells rare ingredients and rare potions?”
“The important thing is that he sells them cheaper than the market price, causing the competition to become fiercer. Obviously, since his shop has a barter system, he accepts trading his items on display for common items. Though the customer needs to trade a large number of common items for them, it’s still a good deal for them to get their hands on those rare ingredients. Just so you know, Mister Sebastian’s shop opens and closes at whatever time he wants. Despite that, when it’s closed, people are always standing in line, waiting for him to open his shop.”
“Will he make a profit that way?”
Burapha replied almost instantly, “I also think the same. Personally, I believe that Mister Sebastian plans to hoard some kinds of items. If that’s really the case, he will make a profit when he sells them back at the right time. Well, what I’m curious about is that the items he accepts for trades can easily be found. Even if he sells them back, people won’t buy them for a high price. Anyway, although I’m wondering about his decisions, it will be rude of me to ask what his plan is.”
Julia inserted her opinion, “Based on my inspection, there is no unusual movement in Master’s treasure room, sirs. We can imply that Mister Head Butler keeps the items he got from trading somewhere else, or he uses them all.”
To be honest, for Sila, he didn’t mind what kinds of action Sebastian did in his free time. However, he couldn’t deny that he was curious about what Sebastian was doing. He hoped that Sebastian wouldn’t do something dangerous behind his back.
The four of them walked deeper into the market zone. The deeper they went, the livelier the market became. Finally, they arrived at their destination. It was a relatively large shop compared to the rest.
Looking upward, Sila noticed that the sign in front of the shop was an empty sign with no words engraved on it. He also sensed gazes from many groups of people looking at the shop.
Burapha gently poked Sila. “Big Brother, you noticed them too, right?”
“Who are they?”
“Trading is a competitive business, Big Brother. When you open a successful shop, there will be many eyes watching you closely. These people are likely to be Mister Sebastian’s competitors who are seeking to obtain his business secret or weaknesses. They might even resort to using violence if they get a chance.”
“Won’t it become a problem?”
“For now, they can only observe. During Mister Sebastian’s first week of doing business, there was a time when his shop was disturbed by other players. However, he taught them a lesson and even went to their shops to cause havoc. As a result, they all died, and all of their products on display were taken away by Mister Sebastian as compensation.”
Sila frowned. “He even went to ruin their shops? Wasn’t that excessive?”
Bluebird was the one to answer this question. “That’s not it, Sila. If you only lectured those kinds of people, they would continue to annoy you. On the other hand, if Sebastian reacts strongly, it sets a good example. Ever since then, no one has dared to provoke him.”
Looking at the long queue, Sila sighed. “There are a lot of people. How can we go in?”
“We are not a customer and are his acquaintances. How about we enter through the back door?”
Everyone agreed and took a detour to look for a back door, which they easily found.
There was no doorknob, so Bluebird tapped on the door. It shook and all of them were pulled inside by a mysterious force.
Nearby, there were two players looking at the situation and talking to each other.
“Oi. Who were those four? They were pulled inside by that mechanical door.”
“Dunno. All I know is that two hours from now, they will reappear at the rebirth point of the city. I have never seen anyone enter that door and return alive. It’s said that the door is directly connected to Hell.”
“They must be new around here to not know that.”
Both of them quit paying attention to the fate of the four people being pulled into the shop. They yawned and resumed their boring duty of watching the shop from a distance.
“This is a sweatshop!! I can’t take it anymore!”
A sharp voice echoed throughout the room. Looking closely, it was clear to everyone inside the room that the owner of the voice wasn’t a human, but a monster who had the upper body of a woman and the lower body of a snake. Hundreds, no, thousands of live venomous snakes could be spotted in place of her hair. She would look downright scary if not for a bandage covering half of her hair, and the fact that she was busy stirring a pot in front of her. Her face was drenched in sweat.
“Your task is still decent, Franz. Look at me. I have to remove my bones over and over again. I’m going to starve to death if I don’t get to eat something.”
The one who argued with her was a blood-red skeleton knight. Again, he would be super scary if not for the fact that only his upper part of his body remained intact. In his hand was a bone he detached from his own body, which he dropped it into the pot that Franz was stirring. Meanwhile, a new bone grew from nothing to replace the detached one, though it seemed that the regeneration couldn’t keep up with the detachment at all.
“Grrr!! What about you removing your bones, Asura? I’m also forced to donate my venomous blood continuously. I’m running out!”
At the end of her sentence, black blood dripped from her fingernails, falling into the pot. Soon, a blueish smoke emerged from the liquid. It was glowing, temporary illuminating the interior of the shop.
For the record, this was a brewing room located at the back of Sebastian’s shop. Inside, there was a giant pot at the center of the room where a gorgon and a red skeleton knight with half of his body missing were making a potion. On the floor around them were many small pots that were being filled with liquid from the giant pot, and being brewed diligently by hundreds of white skeletons and big snakes. Some of them had to throw ingredients into the pots at the right time, some stirred, while some scooped the finished contents into bottles. It was the sight of a medium-size workshop full of labor.
The gorgon let out a complaint yet again. “Despite working this hard, all I get to eat is the same old soup. Although it fills my stomach, it’s the only thing I’ve gotten to eat for three weeks straight. I’m fed up with it!”
The red skeleton knight argued back, “At least you still get something to eat. What about me? I got nothing. Ah... my bones will become brittle at this rate.”
“What nonsense are you spewing? Your undead race doesn’t need to eat to survive, does it?”
“We don’t... but I need nutrients! My bones look rather pale lately, see?”
“I don’t fucking care. By the way, how long do we have to make these damn potions for?! Do we have to make them until the day we die?!”
Asura yelled, “I have no clue either! In my case, that bastard Sebastian asked me to pay him back for helping me. He said I only need to work until his master’s debt is cleared. Unfortunately, I forgot to ask him how much debt his master is in. Don’t tell me he cheated me? Who on earth would be in that much debt?”
“Your case was better than mine. For me, I lost in a gambling match against him. I planned to ignore my obligation at first, but I’m bound with the soul contract he lured me into signing before the gambling started. My underlings are currently looking for a loophole in the contract at the moment so that I can use it to my advantage. I don’t plan to work like this for the rest of my life!”
“I believe Sebastian must have cheated us. He is the type of guy who pulls a straight face even when lying. How about we gang up on and kill him?”
“I have no problem with killing him, but what will we do after he dies? Remember the last time? I could barely escape while thousands of my underlings died. Considering that, I better stick with my plan to look for a loophole in the contract.”
“What does the contract say?”
“Mainly, it’s about me having to unconditionally work my ass off as a slave to provide his master money to use as he pleases.”
“Why did you even sign that rubbish? Don’t you know how sly he is? The condition is clearly unfair. He knew you are a gambling addict and took advantage of that.”
“Damn. I just didn’t think I would lose.”
“Now that you mention it, I still don’t know what kind of gambling match you played against him.”
“A poison-drinking game, the game that I personally came up with to play with travelers for killing time. It’s a game where there are two bowls of liquid on the table. In one bowl, it contains a deadly poison that will instantly kill you upon taking a sip. As for the other bowl, it contains a perfect antidote that can cure and grant the consumer a temporary resistance to all poisons. Both liquids inside the bowls are identical; colorless and odorless. No one can tell them apart... Oh, except for me.”
“So you cheated him.”
“It's not cheating if you don't get caught!! The rule is simple. Each side takes a bowl and drinks it. If you drink and die, you lose. You also lose if you don’t drink. I’m always the victor of this game since I won’t die from drinking poison. In the case of no one dying, it will be counted as me winning the game.”
“I confirm my statement. You cheated him. How did you even lose though?”
“That bastard asked to drink first and let me drink last, which is not unusual. He might suspect that I can tell the bowls apart. Most of the people I play this game with also choose to pick first. Well, I didn’t care. As I told you, in the case of a tie, it’s still my win.”
“Yeah, I still can’t see how you lost.”
“Grrr!! That bastard poured one bowl’s liquid into the other bowland drank it all, then said ‘I already drank mine, and you are left with nothing to drink. Since you don’t drink, you lose.’ It stupefied me. What he said was right though; he drank one, and I didn’t drink. I’m so mad at him to this very day!”
As their conversation continued, four streaks of lights emerged within the room; they were Sila, Bluebird, Burapha, and Julia who were pulled inside. Any movements inside the room came to a stop.
“Hello? May I ask where Mister Sebastian is?” It was Sila who broke the silence.
Bluebird pulled his sleeve. “Oi, aren’t you scared? We are in the middle of the swarm of monsters, you know?”
As for Burapha, he readied his lance. “I think we need to prepare for a battle.”
“Calm down, guys. This is Sebastian’s shop, isn’t it? These people should be his friends. See? They are working.”
Compared to others, Sila had spent a lot of time with monsters. After his encounter with Rex and the Single-Horned Dragons, he realized that all monster species had their own kind of friendliness. The other reason for his calmness was the strange actions of the monsters in the room. At the very least, they didn’t initiate a fight as soon as they appeared.
Well, the actual reason for their strange behavior was that they were too tired to fight. They had been working non-stop twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, without being allowed to take any breaks. Even though two of them were mighty Lord Rank monsters, they were too lazy to take action, especially when the players didn’t attack them first.
“Who are you guys?” asked Asura.
Thinking that she had the lowest position in the group, Julia stepped forward and offered introductions. “This venerable one is Mister Sila, the master of Mister Head Butler, who you two might know as Sebastian. May we ask for Mister Sebastian’s whereabouts? Mister Sila urgently needs to meet him.”
Sila thought it was too formal. However, he remembered that he allowed Julia to do anything out of her own free will, so he didn’t want to criticize her action.
Franz slithered over to Asura and they began to whisper. As Sila saw them consulting in secret, he decided not to intrude their privacy by eavesdropping.
“Hey, hey. This kid is Sebastian’s master. What should we do?”
“What can we do? Just go and call Sebastian over. But first, let me ask this kid how much debt he has. He looks naive and tactless, so hopefully, he will tell me the truth,” Asura whispered back.
“Shhh. I have a better plan. Our contracts are about us working to pay Sebastian’s master, right? What if he doesn’t have a master?”
“What if? We don’t have to work, then. Oh, a good plan. So, should we just kill him here and now?”
“Easy, man. This brat is Sebastian’s master so he must be skilled one way or another. If we take action and he doesn’t die, when Sebastian finds out, our workload will surely skyrocket.”
“What should we do, then? Let me tell you that I don’t want to work anymore. All of my bones are already too pale.”
“You don’t need to do anything. Let me take care of him myself,” whispered Franz.
The gorgon turned around and gave the four her brightest smile. Four bowls containing a transparent soup floated in the air, giving off a pleasant aroma.
“Oh, so you are the master of Sebastian, our dear friend. Thank you for coming to visit us. You must be tired from traveling, so please take a seat first and enjoy this soup. I will let my underlings go and inform Sebastian of your arrival while you take your well-deserved rest. Asura, please prepare some seats for our venerable guests.”
Asura snapped his finger once, and four of the unfortunate white skeletons were bent by psychic power into chairs, before being carried by giant snakes and placed in front of the four guests.
Half-unwillingly, the four of them sat down, and the bowls with exceptional aromas was rather forcefully put into their hands.
“In your hand is a signature soup from our shop! Please drink it while it’s still warm. I especially and personally made them just for all of you.” Urging them to drink, Franz’s eyes were fixated on all of their hands, which were slowly getting closer to their mouths.
Chapter 165: Seven-Form Serum
The seats prepared for them were surprisingly comfortable, despite their appearance. If it wasn’t for a groaning sound coming from beneath them, Bluebird would be less creeped out.
Franz stared at them intently without blinking their eyes. A bowl with warm liquid was lifted up by Sila and brought closer to his mouth, which wasn’t covered by his mask.
However, Sila suddenly stopped and put the bowl down while taking off his mask.
“Ah, please excuse my rudeness. I still haven’t introduced myself yet. My name is Sila.”
Franz was upset and hastily introduced herself, “I’m Franz, and this guy is Asura. We are Sebastian’s acquaintances.”
“From my right, they are Bluebird, Burapha, and Julia.”
Sila lifted the bowl up again. “The smell of this soup is mouth-watering. May I ask what kind of soup it is?” He took a sniff. The scent easily stimulated his appetite.
“It is Nine Hel— cough... I mean He— Nine Heavens. It a soup made from brewing nine types of first-rate herbs for nine days straight. The pot can only be opened at night to absorb moonlight. The nine herbs blend their taste together to create a superior taste that, upon drinking, will make you feel as if you have been reborn nine times over. Getting a chance to drink it once is considered a great fortune.”
Actually, the liquid in the bowls was Nine Hells. Upon drinking, the consumer would feel extremely tortuous pain and eventually die. Not only that, when the consumer came back to life, they would get suffer from a different poison. This repeated eight times until they had experienced all nine types of poison. It was one of Franz’s bizarre creations.
“Ohhh! Such a rare and delicious food like this, there is no way I will miss my chance to taste it!” Just listening to the explanation, Bluebird was almost drooling. He was the first one ready to swallow it.
‘Damn! I made a mistake. If this brat eats first and writhes on the ground, the others won’t eat.’ Franz sent her gaze toward Asura, asking him to do something via eye contact.
Realizing that he was suddenly asked for help, Asura panicked. He wasn’t sure what he should do. In a spur of the moment, he threw a bone in his hand toward Bluebird.
“Kill!! ...Oh, I mean, my hand accidentally slipped!!” Even though he said that, the bone he threw was clad in psychic power reinforcement. In a moment of crisis, Bluebird was aware that he couldn’t dodge the bone in time, so he quickly transformed himself into a tailorbird. As a result, the bone missed its target, and the bowl in Bluebird’s hand fell to the floor.
“What the—?! Why did you attack me?” Bluebird was upset. Meanwhile, everybody’s eyes fell onto Asura.
Asura paused for a while, before starting to explain, “...I-I’m too tired. I worked so much so that my hands are numb. Sorry, Little Bro, for losing my grip on the bone and letting it fly toward you.”
“Just now, I think I heard you said ‘Kill’,” said Burapha.
Franz stared at Asura, cursing him in her mind for his stupidity. How could he fail to kill a mere human? Even worse, who on earth shouts at a target before making a move to kill them?
“I think I heard ‘Kill’ too,” said Sila, while lowering the bowl.
Seeing how bad the situation had become, Franz quickly gave out an excuse.
“That’s not it, everyone. ‘Kill’ what? Asura just has a habit of exclaiming something like ‘Kya’ like ‘Kyaa! It fell,’ when he is startled, right, right?” Franz said while looking at Asura, her eyes filled with qi. It was the gaze of a venomous snake looking at its prey.
‘Oi! Can’t you come up with a better excuse?!’ Asura complained inwardly. Though, if this was required for Sila to drink the poisonous soup, he could do at least this much.
Turning his head to Sila, Asura swallowed his own pride. He gritted his teeth and said, “Ri— Right. When I am panicking, I always exclaim like ‘Kyaa! I'm shocked!’ or something like that...”
The room fell into silence. It was the first time Bluebird heard that even Lord Rank monsters can make such lady-like noises. Feeling interested, he planned to collect more information on the topic. Who knows? Maybe he could write this fact in a fun-fact column of a newspaper. This kind of topic was currently nonexistent in Monster Soul, so it might become a big hit.
Since it was a matter of taste and personality, even though he was as curious about it as Bluebird was, Sila decided not to pursue the matter. “By the way, when will Mister Sebastian come?”
“I already sent my underling to call him. He is quite busy so it will take some time before he can get here. Just chill out and drink a bowl of warm soup while waiting for him.”
Sila began to lift his bowl up again. In the meantime, Burapha was more interested in Sebastian’s shop and finally gave in to his curiosity.
He asked, “Excuse me for asking this, but I’m really interested in what you are doing. May I ask you to explain to me what is in each pot?”
Yet again, Sila lowered his bowl. It was at this moment that Franz was filled with the urge to drop everything else and kill this group of people at any cost. She could barely control the urge and cool her head.
‘Can’t they just shut up and obediently drink the poison?’
Asura sent his gaze to Franz. He was telling her that, in his opinion, if they didn’t tell the group about their potions, Sebastian’s master wouldn’t drink the poison.
Franz gave them her warm smile and said, “Oh, how keen of you, Little Brother! Since you are all our dear guests, of course, we can tell you. Our shop’s main products are potions. In the main pot Asura and I take care of, we are brewing a concentrated liquid called Seven-Form Serum. It’s a concentrated liquid that can only be produced by using medium-grade ingredients combined with the bone of a high-level undead monster like Asura and the poisonous blood of a high-level venomous snake like me.
“Seven-Form Serum is a valuable but difficult to utilize chemical substance. Sometimes it's a deadly poison, and at other times it's the ultimate healing potion. It constantly transforms itself into seven forms, yet always looking the same. Only I can discern what form it currently has. What we are doing is, when it's in a certain form, we scoop some of it out and blend it with specific ingredients to change its state of matter. This way, we can make seven kinds of pellets from it. Then, we will liquify the pellets and dilute them in seven smaller pots to mass produce a weaker version of it, which is what these pots are for.”
Burapha couldn’t help but be amazed. “Wow. That’s cool. Thanks to you, I have learned a lot.”
“Sure, who do you think I am? No one can use poison as skillfully as I do.” Franz straightened her back, feeling proud of herself.
“What kind of potions are you selling?” Burapha asked with attention. Maybe he could negotiate with Sebastian and export the potions to other cities.
“Let me talk about the pellets first. They are King’s Core, Snow Crystal, Purgatory Pellet, Royal Blood, Queen’s Tear, Stardrop, and Venom’s Heart. What you are seeing in the small pots is the diluted version that Sebastian ordered us to store in pretty bottles and sell for a high price. It’s profitable since the other ingredients are not too rare. The rarest are Asura’s bones and my blood.”
Burapha smashed his fist into the palm. “I see! The reason why Mister Sebastian accepts trading common items for his potions is to use them to reproduce the potions. With this method, he saves a lot of time by not having to go out and hunt for those ingredients.”
Bluebird interrupted. “What about Skull Grass? It’s a rare ingredient with a high medicinal property. I heard that it can be used to produce various kinds of high-grade potions. It’s one of the best-selling products of this shop that is always sold out no matter how much you sell. I wonder where you can find it in large quantities.”
Sila, who had lifted his bowl halfway to his mouth, lowered it down again to pay attention to the conversation. Upon seeing that, Franz suppressed her anger by counting to ten in her mind, before slowly explaining.
“You are all curious about so many things, it seems. Little Brother, Skull Grass is not that hard to find. Just look at the ceiling.”
Everyone looked up simultaneously and saw several patches of grass growing from the ceiling. Each blade of grass had black dots on it that looked like tiny skulls.
“Skull Grass only grows in a place that has the right moisture and humidity, as well as fumes from brewed poison; it’s not a grass that grows in nature. By its own, it isn’t that useful. Though if you carry them in a large quantity, they will repel the weakest kinds of venom from bugs and beasts. Its main usefulness lies in the fact that it can be blended with many kinds of potions to strengthen their properties. Normally, I would pluck them all out, since if they drop into the pot, they will affect the Seven-Form Serumin a negative way. However, that stingy Sebastian said that it could be sold to humans at a high price, so he ordered us to keep it.”
“Amazing. I’m in awe and wonder what each pellet you mentioned can do. As far as I know, Miss Franz is the most knowledgeable expert regarding this topic. I can even say that you are the best in this field. If you are fine with it, could you please share with us a bit more of your knowledge?” Sila politely asked.
It is said that even a whale dances when praised. For Franz, aside from her underlings, she only had proper conversations with Sebastian and Asura who were her equal and they were good at different things. When she encountered humans, they would always fear her, and each side would rarely talk. Therefore, this was the first time she received sincere gratitude.
Franz slightly blushed. “Ahem. Is that so? Well, if it’s just a bit...”
Thinking that they had wasted a lot of time already, Asura secretly poked Franz. However, the present Franz no longer minded him.
For Burapha, this kind of topic was his favorite from the beginning. For Julia, she didn’t possess information about items that were directly produced by humans or monsters, so she paid attention to collect more data. For Bluebird, as a newshawk, it’s natural that he was open to learning new kind of information. Since everyone was so eager to listen to her like this, Franz couldn’t help but feel proud. In fact, she was so happy that she forgot how she was trying to feed Sila poison.
“Mn. The diluted version is as you can guess, they are B-grade, weaker versions of the pellets for the sake of selling to ordinary people. For the record, Seven-Form Serum is an S-grade item. Its effect far surpasses those seven pellets. Though, as I said, its ever-changing attribute makes it difficult for even medicinal experts to use it. Thus, the most useful ones are the seven pellets, which are A-grade items.”
“King’s Core can temporary amplify your power for a short period of time. However, you must be careful when consuming it since the power that surges from within might cause your body to explode. The diluted version of it that we are selling is called Strength Potion.
“As for Snow Crystal, you can consume a fraction of it to cool your body or break it into dust to sprinkle on something you want to freeze. Be warned that you have to protect your hand with hot-attribute power when handling it, otherwise your hand will be frozen. The liquid version of it is Freezing Potion. People normally buy it to preserve food, stop burns, or add ice elemental power to their weapon for a short time.
“Next, Purgatory Pellet, it’s the opposite of Snow Crystal. When handling it, you need to protect your hand with cold-attribute power. It’s flammable and will be ignited when coming into contact with a solid object. The liquid version is Flame Liquid. As its name implies, it’s a flammable liquid. People tend to use it as a throwing weapon.
“Royal Blood is an abrupt health-recovery pellet. Take it with great caution since overconsumption will let you end up with too much blood gushing out of your body. When diluted, we will get a normal high-grade health-recovering potion.”
“Queen’s Tear can regenerate your qi, magic, and psychic power upon consuming. I don’t recommend you take it as it is, though, since it regenerates all of three types of energy simultaneously. I doubt your body can handle its explosive regeneration power, so you will probably explode. It can be diluted to produce either qi-recovering, magic-recovering, or psychic-recovery potions. However, Sebastian told us to only produce the psychic-recovering kind. His reason is that there are many magic-recovering items in the market already, and he didn’t want to seize customers from the local businesses by making qi-recovering potions.
“Then, there is Stardrop, or you can refer it as a Food Pellet. Its taste is horrible, but you can last at least a month when consuming it. However, that means your stomach capacity need to be able to take a month’s worth of food inside. My recommendation is, for humans like you, you should only drink the liquid version called Food Potion. Not only is it safer, but Sebastian also seasons it, so its taste is decent. One bottle can replace a single meal. Sebastian told us that it sells quite well.
“Lastly, Venom’s Heart. It’s a high-grade antidote that can cure almost every kind of poison. You can rub it on external wounds to cancel the poison that lingers on it, or eat it to clear poison from your body internal system. However, don’t eat it when you are not heavily poisoned, otherwise, you are guaranteed to die. Its liquid version is called Cleanse Antidote, which can be used in the same way; drink it directly or pour on external wounds. It may not be able to heal you from high-grade poisons though. Well, the good point about it is you won’t die even if you drink it on a whim.”
Finally, the explanation ended, and everyone clapped their hands in admiration. Franz couldn’t help but scratch her head, full of venomous snakes, out of her embarrassment.
“My, my. It’s good that you are already getting along. How about it, everyone? Do you like my shop?” Sebastian’s voice rang out from the stairs behind the two monsters.
Asura gave a threatening glare at Franz while whispering.
“How do you like it, you flattery-seeking gambling addict? It’s your fault that we are too late.”
Recalling their original objective, Franz shocked.
“Did you send your servant to get him? I didn’t send out any of my underlings.”
Sebastian approached everyone. “I happened to hear Asura’s shout so I came to take a look. It’s just that I saw Franz giving you all an explanation of our shop’s products, so I didn’t interrupt. It’s good that everyone gets along well. It saves me having to introduce you to each other.”
Asura and Franz looked at each other. It turned out that Sebastian already arrived here a while ago, but he just didn’t make his presence known. Both of them were in a bad mood for being outwitted once again.
“There is nothing interesting in the back of my shop, sirs. Instead of being here, how about we go to the best Chinese restaurant in Zhongsuyuan City? Have any of you already eaten there? Please allow me to treat you all in celebration of my master’s first visit to my shop.”
Just hearing about it made the single blue tailorbird in the room salivate. “Oh, such a blessing moment for my mouth. Let’s go now. I’m already looking forward to the food.”
“I’m glad to hear that, sir. Please wait for me outside for a minute. I still have to make some preparations.”
Sila looked at Asura and Franz. “In that case, how about you two join us as well? I still want to learn more things about you. It’s a good chance that we can get to know more about each other.”
Sebastian hurriedly opposed the idea, “That shouldn’t do, sir. There is a lot of work, a mountainload, left for the two of them to do. The number of customers of our shop has skyrocketed recently.”
As the phrase ‘a lot of work’ was spoken, the two monsters got goosebumps.
“Can’t you let them take a break for at least a day? Or do you have financial difficulties? If that’s the case, let me be the one to treat them. It’s just a single meal anyway.”
Sebastian paused for a moment. “...That’s not it, sir. My money is yours anyway. Well, if you truly want it, I think it’s fine to let the two of them join us.”
The two monsters gave a meaningful look at each other. Did they hear incorrectly? To think that Sebastian would go along with the request of someone else...
Franz got a new idea and whispered to Asura’s ear. “I got a new plan. How about we lick Sebastian’s master to gain his favor and ask him to free us from Sebastian’s contracts?”
“I don’t have a tongue, so I don’t think I can lick him. Can I let you handle that task? Just having a break is enough for me. I will do my best to prolong this valuable break time.”
“Let’s go outside, then.” Everyone stood up and placed their bowls onto the chair. Burapha was the first to go outside. He said he would go ahead and take care of the reservation, along with Bluebird who said he would place some orders in advance so that they wouldn’t have to wait too long for the food to be served.
“Ah, look at my bad manners.”
Meanwhile, Sila lifted his bowl up and drank the soup before going outside. Looking at her master’s example, Julia stopped for a second to drink it as well before following Sila, leaving the three Lord Rank monsters behind in the room.
Sebastian looked at the bewildered expression on Franz’ face and smirked. He snickered at her while taking his time to close the shop, leaving the confused Asura and Franz to wonder why the Nine Hells didn’t work on those two humans.
Chapter 166: Joining Forces Against the Wrongdoers
Sila and Julia waited for Sebastian and his friends in front of his shop. A few minutes later, Sebastian exited the shop and announced the temporary closure of his shop. Obviously, there were voices of dissatisfaction, though they weren’t to the point of openly cursing at him. It seemed they were all fully aware that only regret awaited them if they got on Sebastian’s bad side. Many of them left, but there were still a few of them who decided to wait since it was only a temporary close.
Sebastian approached Sila, accompanied by two people unfamiliar to him. It took him no time to realize that the first person was Franz in human form. She had the same facial features with long white hair done up in a ponytail.. She was wearing a silk Chinese dress, and gave off the vibe of a prideful lady. As for the other one, Asura, he was a bald dark-skinned man with his body being so thin to the point that his skeleton outline was visible. His eye sockets were quite large as if he didn’t get any sleep for years. He wore shabby metal armor that was patched with pieces of fabric, and had a ruby red short sword by his waist.
The trio joined Sila and Julia, and they began to walk along the street.
Sebastian was the first to talk. “Congratulations, Miss Head Maid, on gaining a physical body.”
“It’s thanks to Master’s kindness. I slept for a long time during the process. So, once again, please grant me your hospitality.”
“The same applies to me.”
Sila already got used to being the center of attention. Even though he was wearing a mask, the fact that he was walking alongside a maid and a butler was undoubtedly striking to the eyes. The five of them continued walking and finally arrived at the best Chinese restaurant in Zhongsuyuan City, named Sunny Pine Tree Restaurant.
Burapha was waiting for their arrival in front of the restaurant. Upon seeing them, he led them upstairs to the reserved room. Once they entered the room, the first scene they saw was the sight of Bluebird enjoying various dishes in front of him. For the record, even though it was called a reserved room, it wasn’t that private. Only a thin partition was set up to separate them from the public area.
“Oh, everyone has come? Come in, come in. The food here is really delicious, comparable to Julia’s cooking,” Bluebird said.
All of them sat down around the table that was covered by various types of Chinese dishes. Julia began to constantly spoon food onto Sila’s plate, resulting in him having to put a stop to her action eventually. Meanwhile, Sebastian sat idly without touching any of the food. As for Franz, she slowly ate the food in a ladylike manner while taking a side glance at Sila from time to time. Asura didn’t seem to care about the food and only drank sake, while Burapha summoned Lala and they both ate the food at a normal pace. Bluebird, on the other hand, was eating very quickly and making quite a mess.
At some point, Sila broke the silence. “Is the food not suited to your tastes? Some of you don’t seem to enjoy it.”
Bluebird was the first to reply, even though his mouth was full of chicken meat. “Eh? No, it’s superb. Since Julia went to sleep, I haven’t gotten any chances to eat this grade of food. The guild only pays me enough to eat two bowls of cheap noodles per meal.”
Sila moved his glance to point his attention to someone else. Asura had already lowered his guard against Sila, so he began to answer.
“I can’t eat normal food. I can only consume liquids, and this sake is quite delicious. I won’t complain over a free meal anyway.”
“As for a delicate lady like me, this is already a lot. The food is very delicious. Thank you, young master, for your treat.”
Sebastian and Asura shared the same thought in their mind: You two-faced poisonous snake!
Sila somehow felt strange. From what he witnessed in Sebastian’s shop, he didn’t think that Franz had such a well-behaved personality.
“That’s good to hear. And here I was worried that you all didn’t like the food.”
Suddenly, Sebastian stood up and prepared to leave. “Mister Sila, I have a matter to take care of...”
Sila lifted his hand up to stop him. “If it’s about the group of people gathering downstairs, please don’t bother. We don’t know if they are here to pick a fight with us.”
Everyone in the room was surprised that Sila could sense the group as well. Sebastian, Asura, and Franz noticed the malice and killing intent of the people down below thanks to their monster instincts. It’s also natural for Bluebird to notice their arrivals from the tailorbirds spread throughout the city. As for Burapha, he possessed Psychic Eyes that surpassed normal vision. They all didn’t expect that Sila, who didn’t seem to expand his sphere of qi out, was able to sense the people below.
Though, in fact, Sila was constantly utilizing his power from inside. His energy didn’t leak out at all, so people would have a hard time sensing his power and instead thought that he was rather unprepared. Even Asura and Franz who had looked at him in slight contempt had to look at him again in a new light.
Soon, a man walked upstairs, following by a group of six players. Then, there was a commotion downstairs and the sound of footsteps running out of the restaurant.
The man and his team approached the partition in front of the room where Sila and his friends were eating.
“Please excuse my rudeness, everyone in the room. I just happen to have something to ask you.” The sound of a young man rang out.
Sebastian looked at Sila to ask for his opinion, to which Sila nodded. Thus, Sebastian slid the partition open.
The person who spoke just now was probably the blue-haired young man in a silver knight uniform who stood at the front. Behind him was a group of six people whose strengths didn’t seem to be ordinary.
Sila seemed to have been appointed as the spokesperson for his team. Since the opposing party had yet to be impolite, he decided not to be rude to them in return.
“Do you have any business with us?”
“It’s nothing much, ladies and gentlemen. We just have a trivial request to ask of you.”
“Please state your request. If I can help you, I will do it.”
“It’s not difficult, I just need the two of you to remove your masks. If you are not the one we are looking for, we will peacefully leave.”
“Who is it that you are looking for?”
“He is Venom, the Poison Master, sir. I received a report that Venom has infiltrated Zhongsuyuan City. This person is the public enemy of everyone. We need to get rid of him.”
The last time Sila met Venom was in Colossia City’s Tournament. Afterward, he heard Venom had declared to the world that he would seek revenge against Sila. However, the Royal Armament Guild collapsed soon after, so he didn’t have any backup and had to flee from the ones who chased after his life all over Monster Soul. It was a story in the past which Sila almost forgot all about.
Unexpectedly, there was someone else in the room who showed a peculiar reaction. That person was Franz. The fact that a mere human was hailed as the Poison Master irritated her. This title was like a slap to her face, implying that she was inferior to a human.
Modestly, Sila replied, “Neither of us is Venom, I guarantee you. It seems you guys are in the wrong place.”
“Whether we are in the wrong place or not, we will confirm it with our own eyes. All we need is for you two gentlemen to remove your masks.”
“Both of us wear a mask because we don’t want everyone else to see our faces. We have our circumstances. How can we be sure that you guys are not our enemies?”
“The fact that you don’t remove your mask means you are a suspect. It proves that you are wrongdoers, being dishonest to us. If you two don’t remove your masks, we will have no choice but to join forces and use violence under the name of justice.”
Bluebird swallowed a piece of meat into his throat before stating his opinion, “Venom is skilled at disguising using his earth magic. Even if my friends remove their masks, you still can’t be certain if they are Venom or not. What you are doing is pointless.”
“You have a point, young master. In that case, I guess we will have no choice but to use a more reliable method. Let me just check the names of you two when you die. There will be no lie in the names that the system announces.”
The young man replied politely, but the meaning behind his words meant their peaceful conversation had come to an end.
“What if neither of us is Venom? How do you plan to take responsibility?”
“It’s fine to kill a wrong person. But it’s wrong to not kill a suspicious person. If it turns out that you are not Venom, I will personally come to visit you at the rebirth point to give you my apologies.”
“I don’t think apologizing is enough to atone for you killing us though.”
The young man gave them a faint smile. “Sorry, sir, but that’s already the best that I can do for you. We don’t have time to spend compensating everyone we kill. You should already be grateful that I will apologize.”
“I won’t just sit still and obediently accept my death, you know?” Sila said coldly.
“I understand. I will do my best to not let you suffer too much.”
The young man clapped his hands twice, and twenty more people bolted upstairs. They took their stances neatly and orderly, showing that they were a group of professionals.
“It’s not too late to change your mind. Just remove your masks and surrender only the lives of you two. If you do that, your friends won’t have to die with you.”
The reputations of Sila and Burapha were well known. If they just removed their masks and let the group of the young man in silver knight armor investigate a bit, they might be able to avoid the conflict. However, this method only worked if the opposing party really sought Venom and would not tell anyone about this. If they revealed their identities, the fact that Sila and Burapha were in the city would no longer be a secret. Afterward, it was possible that their enemies would come to know this information, gather, and search for them. Considering this, removing their masks was never an option.
And, since the opposing party came to them with hostility, Sila didn’t want to yield to their request anyway.
Sebastian stepped forward. “My name is Sebastian, and I’m quite famous in this area. You can confirm my statement with any of the locals. I can assure you that neither of these two is the man you seek, and I guarantee that you will regret becoming our enemies.”
One of the young man’s subordinates came forth and whispered some words to him. The young man nodded once, and his subordinate stepped back.
Meanwhile, Asura was almost choking on his sake. “So Sebastian can be kind to others?”
Sebastian turned his head to reply, “I won’t be if this place is somewhere else. I am opening a business here, so I want people to respect me, not fear me. I will be in a bad spot if my customers are too afraid of me to come to my shop.”
“Hey, you can’t just let them leave. I want to know who the hell is the Poison Master they are talking about,” argued Franz.
The trio began to talk among themselves and were no longer interested in the young man and his people. Admittedly, Sila recognized that the young man in front of him was good at keeping his cool, unlike his subordinates who started to show ruthless expressions, wanting to take action at any moment.
“Your name won’t work on me, Mister Sebastian. This matter is far more important than your trivial business. It will be in your best interests to not meddle in our conversation. Whether your shop stays or disappears is for me to decide. All I need to do is lift up my hand.”
Sebastian smirked. “Is that so? You only need to lift up your hand? Mn. Humans really are creatures that shed no tears until seeing the coffin. I even offered a way out but you still declined my kindness. It’s a pity. Death is in front of you, yet you are still unaware of it.”
Although Sebastian was famous, he had never showed his skills in public. Most of the rumors about him only came from a handful of victims spreading his ruthlessness to the masses. Therefore, it’s unavoidable that someone might not believe the rumors.
“No need to intimidate us. Your ability is only a rumor. This kind of thing is easy to fabricate.”
“Have you ever heard the proverb: there is no smoke without fire?”
“I suppose it’s a small bonfire that creates an unusually large amount of smoke, then.”
“Ah, I admit that you are quite skilled with words. Hopefully, you are as skilled with your sword as you are with your tongue.”
Killing intent was emitted from the people behind the young man. Yet, Sila was still perfectly calm. He was reviewing his Weapon Subduing Art in his head.
At that moment, Julia stood up and volunteered, “Master, please let me take care of this matter.”
“I think we better fight together, Julia. This is your first battle so I think you should start by targeting the weak ones. I recommend those guys in the rear or the ones that try to flee. I also want to try my new moves so I will handle those in the front. Miss Franz and Mister Asura are our guests, so I won’t force or forbid you to take action. Please feel free to do anything. What about you, Sebastian?”
“Ah, about that, since my respected master wants to have some exercise, I won’t take action to avoid being in your way.”
“Likewise, I won’t do anything,” Bluebird quickly declared.
“Let me fight too, Big Brother. I want to try fighting against a group of enemies. Furthermore, I don’t like their attitudes.”
Asura lifted a cup of sake up and poured it into his mouth. “Against them? I won’t take action so I don’t bring shame to my reputation.”
As for Franz, she only gently picked up food with her chopsticks. “Just leave one or two of them alive for me to question.”
The group outside was getting annoyed, as Sila’s group was casually thinking of them as small fries. Some of them even started to yell. However, the young man who was the leader gestured his hand to make them stop.
“These people are only trying to infuriate us. Don’t fall for their provocations. Just stick to what we have practiced. Keep our calm and no one can oppose our combined forces.”
Recalling the content in Pumin’s book, Sila remembered that Pumin had encountered a similar situation. Since Mora told him to imitate how others reacted to certain situations in order to improve his social skill, Sila decided that, for now, he would imitate Pumin.
Although he had never met his own father, the book recorded several events from his adventures. The more Sila read, the more he learned about his father’s personality. Sometimes, he could even imagine Pumin’s face. Imitating his own father also gave him a sense that he was becoming closer to his parents.
“Infuriating is an action only used by the weak. Against insects like you, there is no need for me to do something so pointless like that. You slandering me as I’m taunting you is, in fact, your ridiculous attempt to infuriate me. As expected of you pieces of trash, thinking that you are so superior to others.”
Listening to Sila’s remark, Bluebird, Burapha, and even Sebastian felt strange. It was their first time hearing Sila insult other people. His words were too vicious even against the enemy. For his comrades to think that way, it's not necessary to describe the opposing side. The young man’s attempt to suppress their anger ended up in vain as they snapped. The fight could break out at any moment now.
Sila stood up and slowly walked toward them. Likewise, Burapha summoned his lance and tightened his grip on it while following Sila. Meanwhile, Sebastian stepped back, leaving only Sila, Burapha, and Julia to fight.
“Now that I think about it, you have yet to hear my name. Allow me to introduce myself, so that you might change your mind and get on your knees, begging for your death. My name is...”
Sila cut in, “No need to tell me. I don’t care. When you die, the system will inform me anyway.”
Readying his sword, the young man signaled the start of the battle. Sila and Burapha dashed forward. This moment marked Sila’s first chance to use his Nine-Styles Weapon Subduing Art against real enemies.
Chapter 167: First Time Exhibiting the New Art
As the best restaurant in town, the area on the second floor was considerably large. After clearing all the tables and chairs and arranging them to block the exit, the space left was perfect to set up their battle formation and gang up on their enemies. Moreover, they still had more comrades waiting outside of the restaurant. Even if Sila’s team decided to break through the window, they wouldn’t be able to escape.
Malevolent psychic power filled the room. The first thing that Sila was able to tell was the fact that these players were all psychic types. It was also highly likely that they trained together, chosen their energy type together, and might even come from the same dojo in reality. It was at this moment that Sila was reminded of the Wulin Masters Association.
Sanon had told him Montra relied on his successor position to recruit many groups of martial artists to fight for him. It was Montra’s secret forces coming from several dojos in the real world. The time they spent inside the game was short, so they might not be able to fight against veteran players. However, with financial aid and support from the Heavenly Dragon Guild, and each group coming from the same dojo, it would take no time for Montra to acquire a large number of high-quality soldiers.
To make matters worse, these armies didn’t even have to be dispatched under the name of the Heavenly Dragon Guild. They could act as mysterious groups of players, secretly working under Montra.
Realizing this, Sila quickly became aware that Montra was indeed an intelligent person. Sila suspected that this plan was just one of the many trump cards Montra prepared for the war event. Sila might not have figured it out if wasn’t for Sanon explicitly telling him. He was confident that, except for him, others would still not be aware of these mysterious groups. At most, there were only rumors about them.
He also noticed that all of the enemies were using similar swords; a Western longsword with a considerably thick blade. This fact asserted Sila’s suspicions—the opponents weren’t amateurs but true swordsmen who practiced swordsmanship in real life.
Sila decided to warn Burapha. “Be careful. These guys are not ordinary.”
“Neither am I, Big Brother.” Burapha spun his lance, and waves of energy emitted from the tip of the lance in several layers. It was Sila’s first time witnessing Burapha’s art. Seeing his friend full of confidence, Sila realized that he was worrying too much.
“Auror Formation!! First Unit takes the left, Second Unit takes the right, and the rest stick to the original plan,” The young leader shouted. He was Sila’s first target. Though, for the sake of interrogation, Sila didn’t plan to kill him yet. However, where the young man issuing commands from required Sila to break through the front line.
“It seems I need to step up my gear,” muttered Sila. He dashed forward, showing no fear of his opponents’ blades.
“You are seeking death!!” The players in the front shouted.
The first three styles of Weapon Subduing Art were most suitable against a large group of enemies as they didn’t require too much energy to utilize. The middle three styles required more energy to use, so they were best in a one-on-one fight or against a small group of enemies. As for the last three styles, they were profound and flexible, so they could be used in almost any kind of situation, though the power consumption was simply too high.
The first style that Sila chose to depend on was the most fundamental style; Armament Trampling. Both of his feet moved at high speed. Sometimes he stepped to the left, while sometimes he stepped to the right. He closed the distance to the opponents at the front in an instant.
Dozens of swords aimed at him, ready to cut him into pieces. Sila jumped high enough that his feet were at eye level, before throwing several kicks using both feet. All of his kicks connected with the sides of the blades, without a single one hitting the sharp edges. This was Sila’s own martial move, which he called Subduing Kick.
For the people at the receiving end of the kicks, Sila’s kicks were too heavy, and their hands were almost broken. The swordsmen loosened the grip on their swords, and a gap was shown amidst the dangerous field full of blades. Without hesitation, Sila landed himself on the shoulder of one of the men and increased his weight, pressing the man to kneel down.
The Auror Formation wasn’t so simple. When one part of it was damaged, the other parts would replace that position and continue the duty. The remaining swordsmen continued their moves, while the injured ones stepped back to let their comrades replace their positions.
The change of position had yet to finish, but Sila refused to let the most injured one go. Swords were a mid-range weapon, so with Sila keeping his distance at melee range, his opponent couldn’t make any efficient attacks. Naturally, his opponent tried to shake him off, but it was to no avail. Sila followed him closely and didn’t let him break free.
However, the problem was solved in no time. Many players stabbed their swords at Sila’s back. Finally, they managed to separate Sila from Burapha. Now, the single big encirclement became two.
Secretly, Sila’s hand moved toward the enemies’ blind spot, and a second later, the image that one of the swordsmen in front of him was seeing turned upside down, together with a cracking sound. Like a marionette doll with severed strings, his body fell to the floor, his head rotated around, and his eyes wide open.
Seeing such a terrifying sight, the opposing party paused for a brief moment. The dead body turned into light and disappeared three seconds later, but the sense of terror still lingered in their memory. They all began to realize that Sila was a dangerous person.
Finally, Sila had started using his second style, Bone Claws. When utilizing this style, he had to show no mercy. Hesitation and sympathy would only result in the opponent suffering, and that would be cruel for them. Killing opponents without hesitation was, actually, a way to show kindness. That was what Divine had taught Sila.
Slamming his palm against the table, Sebastian exclaimed, “Splendid! ...How marvelous!”
Bluebird ceased his hand, holding a chicken drumstick. “That’s... Isn’t that too brutal? That man’s head was snapped in such a terrifying manner.”
Meanwhile, Franz and Asura thoughts were the same: As expected of Sebastian’s master, to use such a sadistic method to kill enemies.
To be honest, Sila was quite shocked too. That was his first time using Bone Claws against a real opponent. In his sparring match against Divine, he always tried his best but his attacks never worked, so he didn’t think he should hold back. It also surprised him how effective this style was.
“Guys! Don’t be afraid of him. Let’s hack him into thousands of pieces to avenge our comrade!”
As their morale raised from the yell, the barrage of attacks continued.
Seeing through that these players were not so strong—although their slashes had high attack power, they weren’t enough to threaten him—Sila clad his Mechanical God’s Protection with Yin Yang Energy, and the symbol on the back of his armor began to spin.
Clatter—! Clatter—! Clatter—!
The sound of blades breaking continued to echo once they came into contact with Sila’s body. The defense of Mechanical God’s Protection was high and the attribute of Weapon Crush was also included. Every blade slash at him, if not strengthened properly, would shatter on the spot.
As Sila no longer needed to mind many of the swords aiming at him, he began to make a new move. He spun his wrists, preparing to initiate one of his middle styles, Stellar Wheel.
Still trying to approach the leader of the group, Sila advanced forward and struck both of his hands against the ones blocking his path. Being hit by Sila’s hands, his opponents flew and crashed into either the ceiling or the wall. A fist-shaped dent could be seen in their armor.
“Encircle him! He is a melee fighter. Just keep your distance!” The leader shouted a suggestion to his subordinates. However, understanding the solution and being able to practically put it into action were entirely different concepts. Sila could move freely inside their encirclement as if he was strolling in a garden. His speed was also extremely fast. There was no way for them to widen the distance even if they wanted to.
On Burapha’s side, his opponents were having an easier time, as he didn’t excel at fighting against a large number of enemies like Sila. The Eastern Sea Sailing Lance Art emphasized defense rather than offense. Though, once an offensive move was used, the opponent would face uninterrupted waves of energy.
Burapha depended on his layers of psychic power to defend against the opponent’s series of attacks while getting help from Julia. He only managed to kill a few of them, one at a time.
‘These guys are tough. They fight systematically; when one of them is weakened, another comes forward to take their place. How can Big Brother Sila manage to defeat them easily like they are just a bunch of side characters? Moreover, based on the system notifications, they all seem to be at Marquis Rank. How come there are a lot of Marquis Rank players making an appearance out of nowhere?’
Previously, Burapha had planned to travel to the Snow Realm, and once he re-entered the city, his focus was on White Swan and the gathering party, so he wasn’t up to date regarding the news about the Heavenly Dragon Guild’s Cloudy Dragon Ring.
Four out of ten players would successfully avoid being killed by Burapha. However, three out of those four would end up being shot by Julia instead. A small hole would appear on their foreheads before they collapsed.
For the record, Julia was trying to get used to the gun. Even though she was programmed to be an expert at utilizing items, practice was still required for her to be really good at using it.
As expected, her first few shots missed. However, once the number of her shots reached twelve, none of her shots after that ever missed their targets. It was also helpful that she was properly guarded by Burapha and could take her shots with ease.
Unlike Sila who was advancing into the enemy’s group, Burapha stood his ground and only waited for his opponents to come at him while also protecting Julia behind him. As a result, Julia could take her time to practice shooting. As a matter of fact, she had only been using her life force as bullets, and had yet to utilize Trickstar’s special ability.
Sila was like a tiger in a sheep den. Every time he made a move, there would be someone dying or getting injured. Many of his opponents began to doubt their own ability. They had always believed that they were strong. However, why was it that, when up against this man, they felt like they were just background characters whom only existed to be defeated by the main protagonist?
Unfortunately for them, not only was Sila strict on himself by always spending his time practicing alone, but all of his sparring partners were supreme experts whom Sila had to give his all in the hopes that he could inflict even the smallest injury. As a result, the degree of battle Sila experienced far surpass what they could imagine. For Sila, these insignificant players were only lackeys compared to people of Divine’s level.
Many cracking sounds continued to resound, along with people falling down with dreadful and bizarre postures. The dying ones didn’t even get a chance to scream in pain, because they didn’t feel it. Every death was abrupt and neatly done by Sila’s merciful hands. There was no pain. There was no suffering.
In the end, the leader of the group ordered his subordinates to back off and confronted Sila in a one-on-one match. It seemed he was at least an excellent leader, refusing to let his subordinates die uselessly anymore.
The amount of power that Sila could sense from this man was enormous. He was surprised because he had only secluded himself for a short period of time, but suddenly there dozens of strong people appearing before him. It didn’t make sense even when considering the backing of the Heavenly Dragon Guild. Even the most ordinary-looking swordsman in this group whom Sila had killed was as strong as Fargo before he went berserk.
Massive power was clad into the sword that the man was holding. Sila deliberately allowed himself to be slashed by it out of curiosity and could feel the impact behind the slash. His blood slightly dyed the Mechanical God’s Protection. It was the first injury Sila received in this battle. Even though it wasn’t a fatal one, it was proof that the man in front of him was quite skilled.
‘There are still a lot of hidden powerhouses in Monster Soul, so it seems. That’s unexpected.’ Sila decided to fight for real against the man. Since he couldn’t completely block the attack, there was no need for him to try defending against the attack head-on.
On the other hand, just a small bloodstain was enough for the man to confirm that his opponent didn’t have an impenetrable body. He only needed to add more power into his sword to be able to kill him.
The man furthered strengthened the sword in his hand, shouting the name of his skill.
“Rhythm of the Water-Cutting Blade.”
At the end of the sentence, Sila immediately sensed an unexplainable danger emitting from the blade. Although he still believed that if he put all of his power into strengthening Mechanical God’s Protection, it might be able to block the attack, there weren’t any reasons for him to risk his life to try it.
The power of Stellar Wheel was exhibited for the second time. Sila circulated Yin Yang Energy within him at high speed and its power covered Sila’s entire body like he was wearing a thin layer of fabric.
The blade slashed downwards quickly enough to leave behind an afterimage.
Sila stood firmly. He lifted his right hand, ready to parry the sword, while preparing his left hand to block the kick he predicted the opponent would soon throw at him.
As he thought, the man really kicked him, to which Sila countered by punching the man’s shin, completely stopping the attack while also sending the opponent’s body flying.
However, his opponent had yet to admit defeat. Even with his body rotating in mid-air thanks to Sila’s attack, he relied on centrifugal force to accelerate the slash.
Sila already intended to finish the fight, so he decided to use his most powerful attack. His eyes shone with malice as if belonging to a monster. The power of One Above All was about to be unleashed.
One Above All was a style directly developed from Kiryu’s ultimate move, Tiger-Dragon Fusion. Not only it was a blow that consisted of both the soft and hard attributes of tiger and dragon, but he further increased its power output with Genesis Punch. As a result, Sila could choose to concentrate the power behind his punch or to scatter the power into several points of contact at his will, elevating the previously simple Genesis Punch into a tricky offensive move.
Sila struck his left hand against the blade, while the opponent smiled at such a sight.
No sane person would counter the blade using a bare hand. Once he cut this hand down, he would have an easier time emerging victorious.
However, contrary to his expectations, once his sword collided with the hand, not only could the blade not penetrate Sila’s skin, but the force within the hand profoundly moved along the blade into the handle, exploding his wrist.
“Arghhh—!!” The first painful cry of the battle came out of the man’s mouth. However, Sila's attack had yet to end. His right claw struck his opponent’s shoulder, sinking through the armor as if it was melting butter. The claw reached the man’s chest. Lastly, Sila jerked the high-grade armor as if it was just a toy.
“ARGH—!!” Another painful cry rang out as what Sila sharply pulled out wasn’t only the armor but also a part of his flesh.
Cladding his fingers with a moderate level of energy, Sila stabbed both of his index fingers under the opponent’s left nipple. Soon, the man experienced unbearable heat and let out a miserable cry.
The move that Sila had done was called Flame Lotus, one of the many moves of Moon Perishing Yizichan. The points he pierced with his fingers were the acupuncture points near the human heart, an organ of the fire element. As a result, the temperature in the body would break loose and become hotter. The opponent being hit by this move would feel like they were suffering in a purgatorial flame even when there was no real flame. Considering that the pain in this game was only a tenth of the reality, Sila dared to try this move on the opponent. He didn’t think that it would still be painful enough for his opponent to cry in agony though.
Witnessing the defeat of their leader, the rest of the swordsmen retreated to the stairs. Even though their bodies were still here, their hearts had already fled. No one among them possessed the will to fight anymore.
Within the eyes were various emotions: fear, panic, shock, disbelief, and even respect. Sila went back to his seat.
“Whoever wants to leave, just leave. I’m going to resume my meal.”
The leader nodded to tell his subordinates to leave, to which they immediately complied. Then, he slowly following them, though he did not have much strength left due to his injuries, including the heat inside his body.
Burapha and Bluebird gave Sila a look. They were against Sila’s decision to let the group of opponents go. At the very least, they thought they should interrogate some of them for information. Nevertheless, Sila had already made his move.
Using Psychic Crush, Sila sent his power through the wooden floor, breaking the man’s ankles from a distance. Even though he still couldn’t properly show the power of the last three styles, for Psychic Crush, he could use it in certain situations, especially when his opponent was limping.
For the unfortunate young man, the bones that made up his ankles completely turned to dust. As he didn’t see any attacks coming at him, he hadn’t protected himself with energy reinforcement. Ultimately, his face smashed into the floor.
“Except for you. You can’t leave yet. I still have some questions to ask you.”
Now, even the trio monsters, Asura, Franz, and Sebastian, couldn’t follow Sila’s previous action. The former two quit underestimating Sila from his past behaviors, while the latter chuckled and thought to himself that his master was indeed interesting.
[Volume#6 Story of A Hundred Swords]
Chapter 168: A Mysterious Man in Late Night
“The winner may get the right to decide the fate of the loser, but I won’t submit to you. Just kill me if you want!!”
The young man let out a fierce roar. As his ankles were completely useless, he had to kneel on the floor. He pressed his left hand against what was left of the other to slow the blood loss.
“We just want to know what your objective is. Explain why you picked a fight,” Burapha spoke calmly.
“I already said that we are seeking Venom, and we will eliminate him in the name of justice.”
Bluebird scratched his head. “You talk like we are bad guys here.”
“That’s right! You evil villains!! You will be punished by divine tribulation when the time comes!”
“Oh, haha, we suddenly became evil villains.” Bluebird found the conversation funny.
Sila argued. “But you guys were unreasonable first. It’s natural that we resisted. If you dropped the matter when you still had a chance, none of that would’ve happened. It’s the same right now. You only need to answer my questions, and I will let you go.”
“Don’t pretend to be a good person, you villain. I have seen your vicious art. There is no way you are a good person.”
Burapha emitted several layers of psychic power. “Oi! You! Big Brother is already being generous to you but you still act this way. Do you want to die?!”
“I’m already a dead man in your clutch. No matter what you do to me, I won’t tell you anything!” The man yelled with determination.
The trio—Asura, Franz, and Sebastian—made eye contact before bursting into laughter.
“What are you laughing at?! Even if I have to die, I won’t give you guys any information!!”
Sebastian replied while smiling, “Ah, it’s nothing. You just reminded us of a group of people who broke into my shop. Those guys were unreasonable like you, and they even swore the same remark that they wouldn’t tell us anything.”
Asura brought his face closer to the man. “Really? Did you really mean it when you said you wouldn't tell us anything no matter what we do to you?”
The young man looked into Asura eyes and broke into a cold sweat. Those eyes looked vacant and hazy, like the eyes of someone blind, or... someone dead.
Franz also moved closer. When she was within arm’s reach, the young man could catch an aromatic scent. He could feel strength returning to his body. His temperature dropped down to normal levels, and blood stopped flowing from his wounds.
“Hey, hey, it was Sebastian’s turn last time, so this time should be my turn. The next person to not talk will be yours, Asura.”
“Oi, who gets to determine that your turn is after Sebastian’s? I asked him first, so this time should be my turn. It’s been a while since I encountered someone who won’t talk. Most of them broke their silence very easily and died too quickly.”
“Eh? But I already finished healing him. Both the external wounds and the hot qi attack from that kid.” Franz pointed at Sila.
Sila couldn’t help but ask, “You healed him? Sorry for asking, but I thought you excel at creating and using poison.”
“Poison arts and healing arts are like two sides of the same coin. Minute levels of poison can cure abnormalities, while overconsumption of medicine can also be poisonous.”
Upon hearing the conversation, the young man said, “Poison art? A-Are you Venom, the Poison Master? But... Venom is a man, isn’t he?”
Franz’s expression changed, and her eyes stared down at the young man with the ruthlessness of a vicious beast. The young man shivered and his body temperature sharply fell.
“Don’t! Lump! Me! Together! With! That! Human!” Franz spoke slowly, and the man suddenly felt like he was suffocating. The air he inhaled felt like sharp blades. It was as if knife shards entered his lungs, choking him with intense pain. He coughed out blood, and his nose started to bleed.
“Franz, easy. He will die if you keep this up. We still haven’t gotten any information,” warned Sebastian.
Franz’s expression returned to normal. She waved her hand at the man once, and the aromatic scent entered his nose again. The pain was completely gone. If not for the puddle of blood he coughed out in front of him, he would think that what just happened was only a nightmare.
“Geez. Fine. But I need to know who and where Venom is, otherwise I won’t be satisfied.” She folded her arms over her chest.
Bluebird quickly made an attempt to please her, “If it’s just that, I know quite well. I will tell you later if you want.”
Franz turned to him, looking delighted. “Really? Will you just easily tell me?”
Glancing at the man who refused to say anything, Bluebird gulped. Did she plan to alternate between torturing and healing him if he refused to reply to her question?
“Oh~ you don’t need to worry, madam. Unlike this man, I’m a talkative person with loose lips. I will tell you everything. Everything I know. Without keeping even the tiniest details.”
“In that case, I don’t care about this brat anymore. Anyone can do whatever they want to him.”
Sila thought they had wasted a lot of time already. The gathering party started tomorrow morning but he had yet to accomplish anything. Having arrived at Zhongsuyuan City, the Qi Kingdom famous for its medicine, secret scrolls, martial arts, and ancient weapons, Sila planned to at least pay a visit to a weapon shop and purchase suntetsu for himself. He also planned to request a sword from Zeref, the legendary weaponsmith who lived in the city.
“I only want to ask you one question. Are you a member of the Wulin Masters Association?”
The young man was startled. The existence and the name of the association were supposed to be a secret. How could the masked man in front of him know?
“Seeing that reaction, I think I know the answer. Farewell.” Sila stood up amidst everyone’s confusion.
Burapha had heard about the Wulin Masters Association before. At that time, Sila told him that he suspected this organization was related to the disappearance of his teacher. It had been the same for Bluebird. Upon hearing from Sila, he tried to investigate but got nothing in return. Once Sila told them that his teacher had come back, Bluebird stopped trying to find information regarding the association. He wondered why this name suddenly appeared out of nowhere again.
Sila excused himself and left, followed by Sebastian who would pay for the meal, with Julia tagging along.
“Ah? What about this brat?” Asura asked.
“How about we just kill him?” Franz replied.
“But Sebastian’s master said he would let him go, didn’t he?”
“In that case, just let him go. Easy peasy.”
While the two of them were discussing the fate of the captured enemy, Burapha rushed outside to follow Sila, thinking that Sila had kept some trouble to himself without telling anyone again. As for Bluebird, he blankly looked at the unfortunate man, then shifted his gaze to the remaining food. Feeling like it was a pity to waste all of the leftovers, he swallowed a mouthful of food, grabbed two chicken drumsticks with his right hand and a cup of sake with his left one, then ran after Burapha.
“Eaid aor aee, Euraar (Wait for me, Burapha).”
“They all left. Sebastian’s master promised to let you go, so I won’t kill you. Still, letting you go without doing anything will waste my precious turn. Let me play with you this way, then.”
Asura took a short sword out with a quick-draw sword technique. Six flashes of red light flew forward in the blink of an eye. An instant later, the sword had already returned to its scabbard, leaving the young man on the floor floundering around in pain.
“I cut all of the joints in your body without damaging a single muscle. Stay still and don’t struggle. Otherwise, the bones will stab you from the inside. I even cut you beautifully and neatly. My level of craftsmanship can’t be seen easily, you know?”
However, the man didn’t stop squirming. The more he moved his body, the more pain he felt. The bones pierced through his skin from the inside, and the shape of his body distorted, changing into something non-human with every passing moment. Blood was gushing out of his wounds. The pain was unbearable, making him wonder what was keeping him from death.
Franz approached Asura and hit him over the head. “Fool! What you did is no different from killing him. At this rate, he will lose all of his blood and die in less than a minute.”
Asura didn’t seem to be in pain despite being hit on the head. “It’s his own fault, squirming around like that. If he stayed still, he wouldn’t die.”
“It must be aching for him. How could he not squirm? Use your brain a little, will you?”
Hearing that he would get to die in the next few seconds, the young man was delighted. He wholeheartedly accepted death. Anything would be better than having to go through this torturous hell.
However, his happy moment was short.
Franz fired a pellet into the man’s mouth and down to his stomach. Vitality returned to him again, however, it came with more pain.
“You’re lucky that I’m here. I just gave this brat a special kind of health-recovering pellet. His recovery rate and five senses will temporarily rise. This way, he won’t die easily. It should be enough to prolong his life for two or three days. It’s expensive, you know? You will have to compensate me later.”
The keener senses meant the man would feel more pain than usual. He was suffering immensely, but his body refused to fall unconscious. It seemed the increase in his senses also stimulated his body.
It was at this instant that the man realized he shouldn’t have messed with this group of dangerous people.
Sila walked silently on the street, following closely by Sebastian, Julia, Franz, and Asura. Meanwhile, Burapha was leading him to Zeref’s weapon shop. As for Bluebird, he was eating chicken drumsticks while walking. His face was red from the alcohol.
“We’ve arrived. This is Uncle Zeref’s shop.” Burapha invited everyone in.
Inside, Sila found that the shop wasn’t as big as the one in Lost Grea City, though it looked bright and airy with sunlight entering through windows.
“Hello, welcome to the legendary weapon shop. What are you looking for?”
A young man with a chubby face wearing a pair of glasses came to greet them.
Burapha took his mask off and replied, “I’m Uncle Zeref’s acquaintance. My name is Burapha. May I ask if Uncle is here today?”
“Ah, Mister Burapha. Uncle Zeref told me a lot about you. My name is Tee Noi. Like you, I’m a son of his friend. I’m currently studying weaponsmithing under him. About Uncle, he isn’t here at the moment. He told me he would come back at night.”
Burapha turned to ask Sila, “What will you do, Big Brother? Do you want to come back here at a later time?”
Tee Noi hurriedly explained, “If it’s about weapons, you can just tell me to find them. Or, if you want to request making your weapon, I can write it down and pass it to Uncle later. However, please don’t get your hopes up since the war event is approaching, so there are already a lot of requests.”
After thinking about it thoroughly, Sila was afraid that, like Orpheus, Zeref would know about the Sila Sword. The fact that he was Pumin’s descendent was supposed to be a top secret. If he kept requesting people to forge a similar sword for him, it would only be a matter of time before this fact was no longer a secret. Therefore, he shouldn’t take this matter lightly and proceed with caution.
“In that case, please sell me some suntetsu.”
“Suntetsu?” Tee Noi asked back with a hint of doubt.
“Did I say something wrong?” Sila confused.
Tee Noi scratched his head and stuck his tongue out. “Hehe, sorry, Big Brother. I’m still new at this so I don’t know what a suntetsu is. Is it a type of a sword?”
As he himself only found out what a suntetsu was recently, Sila didn’t mind Tee Noi’s lack of knowledge and began to describe the appearance of a suntetsu. A few minutes later, Tee Noi understood what Sila meant and went into the back of the shop.
Bringing his chubby body back, Tee Noi placed a small box on the counter and opened it. Inside, there were several small metal sticks which fit Sila’s description.
“So, these things are called suntetsu. I always wondered what they were. How many do you want, Big Brother?”
Sila thought about it for a while. For him, a hidden weapon was a disposable item. Although it could be recollected and used again, in practical cases, Sila had never gotten the chance to recollect them. Furthermore, his mastery regarding hidden weapon was incomparable to Wu Ming and Sangdao. For those two, they were already at a realm where they could pull the used hidden weapons back tracelessly. With that logic in mind, Sila decided that the more, the better, especially since suntetsu seemed like a rarely sold item.
“A thousand of them, I guess.”
“A thousand? Um... They’re personally crafted by Uncle, so they’re kinda expensive, is that okay with you? Each of them costs 2 gold.”
“Yes, that should be fine. Please get me that many,” confirmed Sila, to which Tee Noi went to the back room again.
Asura whispered to Franz, “Sebastian’s master uses money as if it’s nothing. No wonder his debt never gets cleared. We will never be free from work at this rate. Franz, I know you are sly. You have to come up with a plan.”
Sebastian joined in. “The plan is simply working harder. How about three times the usual amount?”
“Three times?!” Franz exclaimed. However, before she got a chance to continue, Tee Noi came back with a larger wooden box, which he was struggling to carry. Witnessing the sight, Burapha went to help him.
Finding that it was heavier than he thought, Burapha sent his gaze at Bluebird, who placed his chicken bone in his mouth, rubbed his oily hand on his shirt, and joined in.
The three men placed the wooden box on the counter. “It looks small but it is super heavy,” Tee Noi complained.
Burapha looked at the box. “This should weigh more than two hundred kilograms.”
Tee Noi said, “This is just 250 of them. I can’t carry them all so I divided them up. It seems each of them weighs around a kilogram.”
Picking one of the suntetsu up, Sila found that really was the case. He laid six-inch long black metal stick flat on his palm. Both of its sides were quite sharp. As a test, Sila fired it with Hidden Weapon Firing and it stabbed into the wall, half of the whole stick inside.
“This weight is good for precision. It’s even better than the ones I used to train with. I wonder how it can be this heavy despite its size.”
Tee Noi answered the question. “I heard Uncle was one of the Weapon God’s direct disciples. Uncle’s master was the man with the ultimate art of blacksmithing, so their unusual weight might be a result of that art.”
Sila felt glad hearing those words. The probability that Zeref was skilled enough to make a sword for him increased. Meanwhile, Julia volunteered to carry the rest of suntetsu. She only needed to wave her hand for all the remaining boxes to be kept inside Sila’s treasure room.
Bluebird wondered why she didn’t do so from the beginning.
At last, everyone went their separate ways. No matter how much Bluebird wanted to go to sleep in the mansion, he had to restrain himself, as he still had a duty to watch over the city. For Burapha, he simply said he had something to take care of. As for the trio monsters, they went back to the shop.
In the middle of that night, there was the shadow of a man wearing a black cloak and a white, plain mask, standing on a branch of one of the pine trees in front of Zeref’s legendary weapon shop.
Soon, this black shadow would disturb this peaceful pine tree garden.
I finally caught up to reading this WN/LN and took me about a week to do it.I am really enjoy this so far and are you planning to translate MSO II when you are done translating MSO?