Chapter 97: Planting the Mark
Translator: Novel Saga Editor: Novel Saga
Shi Mu quit watching the battle between the huge creatures as this thought crossed his mind. He looked around to find a creature to plant his spirit mark on.
Only a few strange worms could be seen wiggling on the ground near him. Apart from that, a few bones were scattered around. No other form of life was visible near him.
Each of these worms were as thick as a human lip. They seemed to have made their way out of the earth to devour the scattered skeletons of other creatures.
"Will I have to pick a worm to plant my mark on...?" Shi was surprised.
He looked around anxiously. Suddenly, a loud rumble was heard from ahead. The two gigantic monsters that were entangled in their fight had got separated. In fact, the three-headed hound had been sent flying.
The black bird staggered to its feet. It then turned its gaze to look at the wing that had just been torn. Its eyes blazed with fury as it issued a blood-curdling scream. Then, it stretched its mouth wide open, and spouted a massive yellow whirlwind.
Suddenly, the huge stature of the hound flew into the sky as a huge whirlwind condensed, and struck it.
The surrounding skeleton soldiers were also affected by the whirlwind. Numerous skeletons were sent flying into the sky along with sand and rolling pebbles. They were then thrown in different directions by the strong whirlwind.
Around ten skeleton soldiers crashed onto the ground near Shi Mu. Most of them smashed into pieces right away. The area around him started to flood with countless shining fragments of white bones. However, one of the skeletons didn't shatter into pieces like the others; only one of its arms was broken. Suddenly, the skeleton staggered to its feet.
Shi Mu was exhilarated to see the skeleton getting-up from the ground. His spirit dashed towards that skeleton as he started to operate the Art of Capturing Spirits. Suddenly, a pale white charm character flashed and got submerged in the skeleton's skull. It then got engraved in its mind.
The skeleton was in a tragic state as it had withstood such a terrible fall. The pea-sized green flame flickering in its eye sockets... seemed as if it was about to extinguish. The skeleton didn't resist; it accepted Shi Mu's spirit mark in a calm manner.
Shi Mu had just planted his mark when he felt that his spirit had lost its consciousness. Suddenly, his spirit disappeared with a loud rumbling sound. Then, it changed into a group of multicolored transparent light balls, and shot towards the distant place at an unimaginable speed.
The green flame flickered within the skeleton's eye sockets. The murderous aura that its body had been emitting vanished into thin air.
It stood motionless. Then, it looked towards the battle between the two skeleton armies in shock.
Suddenly, it turned around and started to walk in the opposite direction of the battlefield.
Suddenly, Shi Mu's unconscious body - sitting cross-legged on the floor of the obese man's secret room ¬- opened its eyes with a jolt. Shi Mu realized that his spirit had returned to his body.
He exhaled a long breath. He appeared exhausted due to the excessive consumption of his spirit power. However, his eyes revealed a trace of joy.
He had set foot in another space for the first time. However, he had succeeded in planting his mark. It was only a skeleton, but it was better than a worm. This achievement had surpassed his expectations.
Shi Mu started to practice the Art of Accumulating Spirit Power. Then, his exhausted spirit power began to restore.
Suddenly, the plump body of Young Master Ju - sitting opposite Shi Mu - trembled and became conscious. His chubby face glittered with exultation. It seemed that his journey had been fruitful.
"Judging from Young Master Ju's cheerful appearance... it seems that he has reaped a huge benefit... much beyond his expectations..." Shi Mu stood-up and conjectured with a smile.
"Hehe... yes... pretty good! You too seem to be in high spirits. Did you manage to plant your spirit mark in such a short span of time?" the obese man asked in a surprised tone.
"This disciple has planted his spirit mark on a human skeleton," Shi Mu calmly replied.
"Young boy, you seem to possess the talent to be a spirit grade Soul magician. Skeletons are considered as low-grade creatures in the Dead Spirit World. But still, a magician-practitioner like you shouldn't have achieved this feat." Young Master Ju touched his chin and expressed his admiration towards Shi Mu.
"Perhaps, I was lucky," Shi Mu said with a smile.
Young Master Ju smiled back. But, he didn't inquire any further. Instead, he started to collect the magic material that was spread on the floor.
The middle-level stones inserted in the indentations had lost their luster. It seemed that the spirit power inside them had been consumed.
Shi Mu was shocked.
The spirit power inside a middle-level stone was much more refined than a low-level stone. However, the spirit power of these stones had been consumed-up in only a single experiment.
Shi Mu finally understood the reason behind magic being considered to be an extremely expensive profession.
"I can tell by your expression that you want to summon that skeleton, don't you?" The obese man pondered for a moment. Then, he asked with a faint smile.
"Young master Ju can clearly see through me... Can you please impart the knowledge regarding the Summoning Technique?" Shi Mu was taken aback by the obese man's question. Then, he asked in an embarrassed tone.
The obese man nodded. Then, he left the stone room, and led Shi Mu into the entrance hall.
He asked Shi Mu to wait for him. Then, he fetched a thin booklet and a translucent porcelain bottle from a room, and handed them over to Shi Mu.
There was a pale yellow fluid inside the bottle; it was emitting bubbles. A faintly bitter smell oozed-out from the bottle, and spread in the air.
"The Art of Summoning is recorded in this booklet... And this bottle contains the Golden Lizard's venom. You must be extremely careful while using this poison. Your bones disappear if it touches your body even a little bit," Young Master Ju warned Shi Mu.
"Young Master Ju, thank you so much for your guidance." Shi Mu received the bottle carefully. Then, he opened the booklet.
The Art of Summoning was indeed recorded in it. It didn't seem to be complicated. Shi Mu was able to understand it with a little difficulty. However, several materials were required to arrange the circular pattern. Moreover, those materials were quite expensive.
Another art named 'The Art of Binding Spirits' was recorded in the last part of the booklet. Shi Mu went through it roughly, and deduced that it was the art of forming a 'contract'.
"Young Master Ju... is this 'The Art of Binding Spirits'?" Shi Mu's eyes flashed as he asked.
"'The Art of Summoning' mentioned in the booklet is about summoning creatures from a different space to our world. But... if you want to make that creature your servant... then you'll have to use 'The Art of Binding Spirits' - to make a contract with the summoned creature. Otherwise, you won't be able to beckon it once your spirit mark disappears from its body. In case you successfully make a 'spirit contract'... then you can summon it anytime. You won't have to arrange the circular pattern. You can summon it directly by the power of the 'spirit contract'. But, it'll demand a constant consumption of your spirit power if you intend to keep it by your side. The amount of consumption of your spirit power will depend on whether the creature is strong or weak. You'll be able to retain a puny creature by your side for a long time if you become a Spirit Grade Magician - just like me," the obese man explained.
"So, that's how it is..." Shi Mu understood the entire matter.
"I must remind you that creatures from other spaces are hard to tame. So, it's not easy to make a contract with them. Anyways... you can leave if you don't have any other matter to discuss. I've got something important to take care of." Young Master Ju offered his last piece of advice. Then, he asked him to leave while pointing at the door. After that, he turned around and walked inside.
Shi Mu bowed to him in obeisance, and expressed his gratitude. Then, he put-away the booklet and left.