Chapter 39 - Engraving Preparations
"That's fine, I have already gone over the fundamentals of war songs with Ao Li Quan Ya. Tomorrow I must take a trip to Da Luo Si 1; if you have any issues, go and find Priest Hanni (Hàn ní)."
Tuo Ma Si nodded his head. The shrine wished for his presence, though he did not know what it was for.
"Ya Se, I heard that you are going on a trial by fire. Let me tag along," Ao Li Quan Ya requested after Tuo Ma Si had left, tugging at Ya Se's sleeve.
"Ah, no, that can't do; you're a young lady who has been sheltered and are part of the nobility. If you suddenly died, wouldn't my life also be in peril?"
Zou Liang shook his head like a rattle-drum.
"Heng, are you my friend or not!"
"Of course I am, but I still need to consider the situation," Zou Liang merrily replied; this damsel was too inexperienced to win an argument against him.
Speaking like this would be like loosening the reins before getting a better grasp of them.
It was a pity, but Ao Li Quan Ya was not so easy to deal with. Her enchanting, watery eyes seemed to pierce deep into Zou Liang's heart, her body slightly leaning against him whilst a faint fragrance wafted through the air.
"Junior Brother, Senior Sister only has this little request: take me to gain some experience, okay?"
Ao Li Quan Ya asked in a tender and delicate voice, seriously making Zou Liang's bones sore 2. However, Zou Liang was not going to be a good person right now and restrained himself to gain even greater benefits.
"Call me Big Brother for me to hear," Zou Liang stated indifferently.
Ao Li Quan Ya's face dropped; this bad person seemed as though he wanted to take advantage of her! "I'm your senior sister!"
"Aiya, Esteemed Senior Sister, Junior Brother has too little courage; how can I disobey Master's commands? All of my living needs are bestowed by the master, the master is like my father, ah."
Zou Liang recounted with the serious expression of a Bi Er, his face full of sincerity and honesty.
Ao Li Quan Ya angrily stamped her foot and exclaimed, "Big Brother!"
Though the accent was not quite right, each of Zou Liang's hairs felt very comfortable; teasing this stunner every so often was a pleasure in his life.
"Good girl. Taking you would not be impossible, but you must strictly listen to what I say," Zou Liang said merrily.
Ao Li Quan Ya rolled her eyes before displaying an extremely sweet smile. "Of course that's a given." 'Wait until we're outside and you see my power!'
Zou Liang secretly laughed and headed out. To cross the high mountains you use a bird, to cross the raging ocean you use a fish; not everything could be achieved with the same method.
Who cared what her status was? Zou Liang didn't mind it; he was someone that promoted equality amongst everyone. 3
"First, accompany Big Brother to eat and tell me about war songs," Zou Liang suggested, courteously referring to himself as Big Brother.
Ao Li Quan Ya clenched her teeth in anger; she'd been trying to take advantage of him but had instead lured a wolf into her house.
Seeing Zou Liang's joking expression, Ao Li Quan Ya immediately changed into a smile. If she-a future War Song Priestess-wanted to achieve great things, then she needed to know how to endure.
The so-called war song was in fact a way of utilising Beast Spirit Power, except instead of Attack, Defence, Speed, and Agility, there was another attribute called Virtue, increased by helmets. One use was to harmonise the attributes together, while another was to release it as a war song that resonated with the mind.
It could not only raise morale but also weaken enemies.
Ao Li Quan Ya explained in great delight; this little damsel really liked to show off, especially when Ya Se was listening with matchless concentration. It left her with a feeling of accomplishment.
The same concepts entering Zou Liang's ears were translated to a different system. To put it simply, war songs were a type of stimulation for the Beast Spirit and a type of suppression for Demon Beasts' Beast Spirit. It was similar to the people of ancient times when they used war drums and bugle horns, only that the effects of a war song were greater, especially noticeable in group battles.
Under most circumstances it was hard to understand and even harder to use Virtue, but for Zou Liang it was very simple: it was a matter of fluctuating the mind. It was pretty much the same as how he had howled at Ou Nisi Te to wake him up.
Ao Li Quan Ya was pleased. All Bi Er were known to be tone deaf, so seeing Ya Se's look of deep thought she immediately knew that he would be incapable. Compared to this person who thought he was multifaceted and strong in everything, Ao Li Quan Ya with her angelic voice had the utmost confidence in herself. The war songs that were extremely hard for others came very easily for her, which was the reason she didn't wish to only be a lively and talkative Spirit Priest.
During the week Zou Liang was incomparably busy; in the morning he was training, and in the afternoon he would experiment with his Engraving technique. Theory was one thing, but technique needed to be practiced to gain proficiency, especially since Ou Nisi Te's small amount of Spirit Power was not to be wasted. At night he would listen to Teacher Ao Li Quan Ya on war songs, though in reality he only wanted to admire this little beauty. Her pleased look, her angry look, her cute look, all were equally beautiful, bringing colour to this world without the aid of computers. How could movies compare? They were all clouds, slag, and sometimes Zou Liang would be in his own delusions thinking about how Ao Li Quan Ya's popularity would shoot through the heavens if she had been in his own world.
Tuo Ma Si indeed had business, and while he had initially planned on returning within a week, the letters said that he would have to stay in the province for quite a while.
Tuo Mai Si didn't have too many requests for Zou Liang and had even given him a high degree of freedom that Zou Liang was very thankful for. Even though Tuo Ma Si had his own plans, he didn't have to face Heaven's punishment and Earth's destruction 4 in order to nurture Zou Liang; he reckoned that this Head Priest was already very good to him, and Zou Liang was the grateful type of person that when given a foot would offer a mile. Though the Head Priest was worried that he would go to the Spirit Engraving Masters Guild, this was unnecessary since Zou Liang was a petty person. When he was poor he had been driven away like a dog and developed a grudge, and although his ability was not yet enough to get revenge, the wheels of fortune turn for each person. Sooner or later he would meet face to face with the Engraving Masters Guild, and at that time he would not be so polite.
Though Zou Liang diligently practiced for five days using no small amount of Demon Beast Beast Spirit, he felt neither pain nor reluctance in his heart 5. Seeing this, the face of the Priest delivering the Beast Spirit had changed; this beginner student had already used tens of bottles and was clearly a wastrel. The only thing keeping him from stopping the deliveries altogether was that Zou Liang was the Head Priest's disciple, though of course this could not escape Zou Liang's eyes.
Although the number of Engraving Priests was few, in the eyes of others there had never been a wastrel like this, and from these rumors other Engraving Priests had already developed their own opinions as well. When Tuo Ma Si came back, they would act to wash his eyes out 6.
Bi Er tribe Engraving Priests were rare, but just being a rarity was not enough to make a living.
Zou Liang had thick skin, however, and completely pretended as though he had never seen any of this, proceeding with his own plan. Early one morning he called Ou Nisi Te over.
"Come, come and show me a move using all of your strength."
Zou Liang opened both his hands and prepared himself in a defensive stance; he wanted to test the progress of Ou Nisi Te's Clasping Avalanche.
Ou Nisi Te scratched his head before preparing a stance. With a howl, he charged forth, hong......
Zou Liang received Ou Nisi Te's attack and slid back five steps. Ou Nisi Te knew that his older brother had his ways, but he did not think that he would so relaxed.
"Big Brother, did I practice wrong?"
"Nothing's wrong, it's even better than I thought," Zou Liang stated, his wrists a bit sore; with Ou Nisi Te being so fierce, the Clasping Avalanche suited him even more. To instinctively learn the timing was good, too, as it was more realistic than Ou Nisi Te trying to comprehend this with his head. "This morning's training is cancelled. Make sure you rest up as I'm going to create your shield for you."
Ou Nisi Te's eyeballs emitted a golden light. "Is my Beast Spirit enough?"
"It's enough." Ou Nisi Te's Beast Spirit was only at eight points and creating a shield would cost approximately five points, however a normal plain grade Engraving Master would need at least ten points during the creation to deal with the wear and tear. If it was a bronze grade Engraving Master, they would be able to control the wear and tear by two points, and if it was a silver grade Engraving Master they would need even less. But unless one was from a large family tribe, they could only dream about hiring a silver grade Engraving Master just to create plain grade gear.
If Zou Liang said it was enough, then Ou Nisi Te would believe it was enough.
If people have forgotten, this is the city that Suo Luo Si hails from ↩
Sorry I can't explain this myself; I have no clue, either. ↩
It actually says he does care which is a bit strange. ↩
Didn't have to destroy himself for him ↩
Chinese means weak in the hands and pain in the heart. ↩
Chinese actually says to help him apply eye drops. ↩