Chapter 25: The Wasted Blood of the Stone Monkey
Translator: Novel Saga Editor: Maggie
The blood drop disappeared in a flash.
A moment later, the wooden bowl trembled briefly. A whooshing sound was heard as a small puff of white fog emanated from inside the bowl. After swirling for a while, the white fog became quite dense. Eventually, it took the shape of a small monkey, whose body was curled up. The monkey's eyes seemed to be tightly shut, and the figure appeared as vivid as if it were a living thing. However, white lines were faintly visible on the surface of its body, which could only be a bad sign.
"Why, it's not even on the list. It is only the blood of the stone monkey, which is the most worthless out of all the other wasted bloods. I truly squandered my time coming here! I'll go now, please excuse me," the straw hat man declared his disappointment with a stern face. This he did after he had observed the small white monkey and the lines on its surface closely.
He waved one arm to disperse the white fog. Then, taking back his wooden bowl, he nodded goodbye to the two instructors and left the hall. Throughout this time, he didn't once look at Shi Mu.
Both the instructors' faces fell when they saw this, and Shi Mu sensed from their looks that something undesirable had transpired.
"One more thing. If I were you, I'd stop dreaming about the enrolment test to Kai Yuan Martial Arts School. With your waste blood, you'll only be a fruitless seed," the straw hat man stated from the gate in a stony voice, and said no more after that.
"The wasted blood of the stone monkey? Master Li, what did he mean by that? Did he mean that I haven't inspired my blood or that the already inspired blood was useless?" Shi Mu turned his head to seek an answer from Li Cang Hai, blinking his eyes.
"Well, let me think of how to explain this," Li Cang Hai murmured subconsciously, his face sullen.
"I'll tell you the truth... Shi Mu, you don't have good luck. You have inspired your blood, but the blood was the wasted blood of the stone monkey. It would've been better to not inspire it! There are certainly some blood warriors who can make amazing progress with inspired blood at a much faster speed than ordinary warriors'.
"But there are also some who end up inspiring a useless or let's say a counterproductive blood. This blood becomes an obstacle, creating more difficulty in the future, which is why it's called a wasted blood. The one that you have inspired is the most widely known one. It can make one's skin rather thick and enhance one's strength greatly at the Martial Disciple level. However, once one acquires Qi-sensing, the blood will obstruct the passages through which the energy circulates. This will ensure that the gathering speed of one's real Qi will not even be equal to an ordinary man's. Now that I've explained it to you fully, it's up to you to decide your future path," said Instructor Min.
A little while later, only Shi Mu and Li Cang Hai remained in the hall. Shi Mu's heart had sunk after hearing instructor Min's words.
"Shi Mu, you can quit the enrolment test now. As far as I know, all those who have been known to have wasted blood have not been enrolled in any martial arts school. After all, schools want Martial Disciples who are capable of becoming Hou Tian Warriors, or even Xian Tian Warriors. A Martial Disciple who is unable to reach the next level is worthless to the schools," Li Cang Hai said, sensing that Shi Mu still had a gleam of hope, and thus trying to shatter his hopes by telling him to face the reality.
"To tell you the truth, I am quite disappointed myself. I had thought that I would be able to cultivate a powerful warrior out of you. Never once had I expected this result. I should have known this much earlier, because only those with the blood of the stone monkey have such brutal force to accomplish the 'Stone-Breaking' Fists in a few months."
He said his last words with obvious regret.
"Are you saying that it is impossible for me to be a powerful warrior in any way?" Shi Mu gritted his teeth and asked the question, repressing the coldness and depression in his heart firmly. He knew that this was the last time he would get an answer to this question.
"When you will start learning a certain technique of the Hou Tian level, you'll find the gathering speed of your real Qi to be much lower than the others. It won't even come close to half of the average speed. It is then that you'll taste real despair. As your former instructor, I'll give you my last piece of advice. Regard it as just a dream, the thing about being a powerful warrior. Go back home and lead the life of an ordinary person. Yes, you can't come to Liu Feng club anymore. Although we teach students in return for money, we won't teach someone with wasted blood even if we are paid. If we do, we'll be reduced to a laughingstock for the other clubs," Li Cang Hai said, his face expressionless, and his voice stony. After a pat on Shi Mu's shoulder, he also turned and left the hall.
Shi Mu was frozen to the ground. After a while, he slowly walked to the nearest chair and sat down, completely dumbstruck.
"Ha ha...ha. Yesterday I was the top Martial Disciple in the city, and today I have become the wasted blood of the stone monkey. That's hilarious...ha ha..." Shi Mu's wild laughter rang in the hall, breaking the silence.
Li Cang Hai was still not far from the hall. His expression changed slightly when he heard the laughter behind him, but walked on without any hesitation.
After some time, Shi Mu left Feng Liu club for his suburban manor. He seemed to be calm and composed.
*Several days later.*
The news that the 'blood tide' had begun, and that the blood messengers had been seen in Feng City soon circulated through the city. The fact that they had found three blood Martial Disciples created a stir among the city's clans and gangs.
Meanwhile, the news that a messenger had visited Liu Feng club and found Shi Mu to be of the wasted blood also began to spread out.
This astonished many, but also left some overjoyed.
*In the manor of the Jin Family, inside a small hall.*
Auntie Zhen was questioning a man who seemed to be in his fifties, and extremely austere.
"Big Brother, I just heard that you have given out all the ten newly obtained Qi Ling pills, and the one which should have been Shi Mu's was given to Jin Tian?"
"Yes, I did give Shi Mu's pill to my nephew. Seventh Sister, I was just looking-out for you. Listen, here is a ten thousand liang silver-note offered by the fifth Brother. Give the money to Shi Mu," the austere man answered Aunt Zhen's query unhurriedly, and passed her a silver note. He was the current leader of the Jin Clan.
"He dared to buy a Qi Ling pill with a single note? Big brother, do you really think Shi Mu is a fool?" Aunt Zhen said as she put the note aside with a single hand, raging with laughter.
"Ha ha. Even if he wasn't a fool earlier, he definitely is one now. It's not as easy for us, the Jin Family, to buy Qi Ling pills as if we were blowing off dust. Why then should we waste it on a worthless fool?" the austere man answered coldly. He didn't care the least about Aunt Zhen's protest, but had now withdrawn his hand.
"Even if he is a worthless fool, I have made him a promise. I will never go back on my word. I'll go to see father and let him be the judge," Aunt Zhen retorted without the least intention of giving up.
"Going to our father? Seventh Sister, let me tell you the truth. Father was the one who ordered this," the leader of the Jin Clan casually stated.
"What? Father ordered this?" Aunt Zhen's expression changed.
"Remember, you are a Jin, not a Shi. Your husband was married into our family. One pill doesn't really matter that much, but your actions will make us a laughing stock in front of the other clans. Seventh Sister, please think about your own daughter, Yu Huan. Since the 'blood tide' has begun, messengers from the three sects will definitely come here. I'm trying in every way to contact them. This may be an excellent opportunity for Yu Huan," leader of the Jin Clan finally eased up a little as he started talking about the talented girl.
"Hmph, I will not disobey father's order. As for Yu Huan, Big brother please mind your own business and rest assured," Aunt Zhen said. Her expression changed several times, and eventually she stomped her foot, turning to leave.
"Hold on, take the note with you," the leader shouted out.
"This little sum of money? I can pay it myself. Just take it back to the Fifth Brother," Aunt Zhen said as she went out of the hall in an instant, without turning her head even once.
At the door of the hall, Yu Huan was waiting for her mother. As soon as she saw her, she came up and asked, "Mother, what happened? How did the conversation go between you and Big Uncle? Can we have the pill back for my brother?"
"I'm afraid not. Your paternal grandfather had made the order, which is why there's nothing more that I can do. But I'll tell Butler Cheng to send Shi Mu thirty thousand liang of silver," Aunt Zhen answered with a sigh.
"Mother, grandfather was so unfair!" Yu Huan was very displeased at the outcome.
"It's hard to say whether your grandfather and Big Uncle are right or wrong this time. To give a Qi Ling pill to a hopeless Martial Disciple will definitely bring shame to the Jin Clan. It's my fault this time, for I have failed to fulfil my promise," Aunt Zhen was very regretful, but had no alternative.
In the backyard of Tian Wang Temple, Feng Li and Gao Yuan stood gaping at each other. They were listening to a well-informed person relate the news that had stirred up the city; the man made money by selling information.
After a while, Feng Li waved him off.
"It's quite unexpected to hear that Shi Mu should have the stone monkey's blood! That explains why he managed to beat all the other Martial Disciples of his level. Do you remember when we asked him to be our gang's leader? He didn't even deserve that!" Gao Yuan said with a grin, beginning to gloat over Shi Mu's fate.
"Exactly! I never thought Brother Shi could have useless blood. It's a shame. That strength would have come in handy while practicing martial arts, even for an ordinary man. Now we will have to find a new protector," unlike Gao Yuan, Feng Li lamented over the loss of a powerful guardian.
"This Shi Mu is just trash! I had thought of challenging him at that time!" Zhong Dong said as he twitched his mouth after reading a note.
He was in the Fei Hong club. He tore the note to pieces and continued to exercise his newly learned fist art.
He could have challenged Shi Mu's 'Stone-Breaking' Fists if he had accomplished this fist art.
In the secret room of the Wu manor, wild laughter roared.
"The inspired blood was the wasted blood of the stone monkey! Brilliant! Now the Jin Family won't even look at that bastard. Father, I want someone to make him a cripple," Wu Hua laughed wildly, with the pale man sitting next to him.
"No problem. Since he's a wasted bastard, we needn't fear him now. Your Big Uncle and I have just come to know of this, and we must use this chance well in order to obtain the ugly girl's blood. Just wait for a bit longer. Your third uncle will personally go and bring the girl back, so that you can avenge yourself," the pale man answered without thinking, watching Wu Hua fondly.
"Great! I'll go with third uncle. I want to witness Shi Mu's legs being broken with my own eyes," the proud young man laughed with glee.