Chapter 57 - Soul Magician
"I will keep it in mind." Shi Mu dared not say anything more and replied politely when he heard Auntie Dream's words. Then, cautiously, he tucked the jade slip of light red into his pocket.
"Well, you can leave now." Untie Dream seemed quite pleased with his reply and reminded him to leave in a mild voice. After speaking, her voice died away and a hush fell over the room.
Shi Mu was starting to wonder if he should ask how to leave when the translucent cube rippled again and white beams of light fell toward Shi Mu and showered on his body. A bright light blinded his eyes, and when he could finally see again, he found himself back in the small room of the General Sutras House. He took a minute to calm down before he started to look around for Uncle Ju. Not finding him, he did not hurry to leave the room, but started to examine the silver patterns and mysterious characters on the ground. He moved carefully so as not to make a sound.
Though he could understand none of them, because of what happened before, he guessed these patterns and characters must be related to his entering the Bloodline Sutras House, and the way could only be opened by Uncle Ju's yellow paper charm. Thinking of this, he took out the yellow charm which was given by Ye Hongyao, the Red Herb of the Ethereal Phoenix Sect, earlier to help him find the Black Tortoise messenger. He had spent some time studying the charm after he left the Red Herb. The paper charm, though seeming to only a long piece of paper, covered with some strange figures and characters that formed an odd pattern, it had some amazing effects, beyond his understanding. For instance, the Red Herb had healed his broken arms in a blink of an eye with two health-restoring charms, and Uncle Ju had used a charm to send him to the Bloodline Sutras House. Shi Mu wanted to know more about these amazing charms! So, almost unconsciously, Shi Mu memorized the patterns and characters on the Red Herb's and Uncle Ju's charms, though they had only in front of his eyes for a split second. Now, comparing them in his mind, he found that the charm Uncle Ju used to transmit him to the Bloodline Sutras House was somewhat more complex than the messenger charm held in his hand; but neither beat the health-restoring charms in sheer delicateness. However, the charms did share some similarity in their patterns and characters. This discovery delighted Shi Mu considerably.
After considering this for a while, he tucked his charm into his shirt and left the chamber, walking towards the room containing books on techniques.
Once he had arrived in the room, the voice of Uncle Ju resounded. "Young lad, you must have some good results staying there for so long?"
The mountain of flesh was resting behind the table, his hands at his back. The parrot turned its head and tried to say something to Shi Mu, but it hesitated for a while, not say anything. Apparently the presence of the fat man created an inconvenience.
"Thank you for your concern, Uncle Ju, I did find something: the Art of the Strong Ape" .Shi Mu walked towards him as he replied, not concealing his result.
"Well, that's fine... Wait, why have you chosen this art? Didn't Auntie Dream warn you?" The fat man was pleased with Shi Mu honesty, at first, but soon he registered what Shi Mu had said and gave him an astonished look, his voice raising in pitch.
"Yes, Auntie Dream did tell me all that should be known about this art." Shi Mu the told the fat man what Auntie Dream had said..
"I never woulda thought you are such a tough little guy, but I wonder how far you can go. Heh, so you have six Black Fire Tokens left, so you can go and choose a technique." The fat man gave Shi Mu an encouraging look and then waved his hand before he directed his attention to the huge parrot, as if forgetting Shi Mu's presence.
Shi Mu made a brief reply and rose his head, then looked at the left bookcase. After hesitating for a moment, he finally went to the shelf in the middle row.
A moment later, Shi Mu returned to the fat man with a thick bundle of bamboo slips.
"You sure about choosing this Art of the Heavenly Elephant? I must remind you that, despite it's low difficulty, this art requires a lot of pills. It's OK to practice two arts of cultivation together, and you do have some predecessors in our sect who practiced two cultivation arts simultaneously, but I'm sure you know sometimes things don't go as you wish. You can't digest too much food in a meal. After all, cultivation is important, but techniques will save your life in a real fight." The fat man stared at the slips and then at Shi Mu, thinking that the lad must have gone out of his mind.
"Thanks to Uncle Ju's remind ,but my mind is set." Shi Mu bowed to the fat man and passed the last six Black Fire Tokens to him.
The fat man said no more. He took out a white jade slip and put it and the bamboo slips on his forehead, murmuring an incantation.
In a moment, the work was done. He gave the jade slip to Shi Mu and, with some more words of warning, indicated Shi Mu to leave.
"Is Uncle Ju a magician?" Shi Mu took the white jade slip and asked casually.
"Heh, I never thought you had such good eyesight. Of course, I'm a magician of the Spirit Grade, a rare Soul Magician, otherwise how could I have summoned this rubbish bird from the other world!" The fat man was quite proud, at first, but then he glared angrily at his parrot, which was stealing glances at him, and decided to poke it with a stick to vent his anger.
"Master, please don't. Ouch!"The giant parrot cried and begged his pardon.
Seeing the fat man's angry face, Shi Mu knew he should stop asking questions. With Uncle Ju's warnings in mind, Shi Mu bid him goodbye and went downstairs.
When he left the General Sutras House it was already noon, so he hastened his steps and hurried to his stone house. As soon as he returned to his room, he ate something quickly, then sat on his bed with crossed legs. The he took out the two jade slips, in his pocket, and started reading them. He planned to memorize then in three days. With his time dwindling, he would not waste a minute.