Chapter 44 - Retreat and Advance
Although Sibalu was shrewd, he hadn't considered that such a young Bi Er member would have such a cunning plot concealed.
"Ye Lu Samo Divine Engraving Technique is a good name. His Majesty the Pope wishes for each Head Priest to show their initiative and has been pressuring those rascals that have been lax with their jobs. What do you think, Tuo Ma Si?"
Sibalu was very pleased; Ya Se was truly a devout citizen that had been bathed in the Beast God's glory.
It was obvious that Tuo Ma Si thought it was well-named. It counted as giving him a sky-high meritorious service and such a name would naturally cause one to immediately think of Ye Lu Samo City and its current leader: him. 'Ye Lu Samo Divine Engraving Method' would aid him in his pursuit towards being a Red-Robed Head Priest, but taking advantage of his disciple in such a way left Tuo Ma Si with a bitter taste in his mouth 1.
"All of this was gained from Master's provisions."
In this kind of private situation, it was evident that the relationship was not as close as one normally shared by a master and disciple.
Zou Liang secretly laughed in his heart. Being courteous obviously couldn't be used to make a living-especially in a situation like this where he went far beyond the pale-but at the same time, shaking the foundations of the Spirit Engraving Masters Guild was akin to courting his own death. Since Tuo Ma Si was a powerful figure, this would only bring him benefits, and the stronger a supporter was the better they could clean up after Zou Liang after he offended people.
"Keke, Ya Se ah, since the Engraving Method takes on Ye Lu Samo Temple's name and-as you know-we need to lift the morale of the Engraving Priests, I personally hope you'll allow the inner temple to make use of this. Of course, this would only be with your permission..."
This was Sibalu's main goal. The Spirit Engraving Methods belonged to each individual, so even if Zou Liang gave away the blueprint it didn't necessarily allow others to make use of it. This was similar to the rules of the Spirit Engraving Masters Guild; when an Engraving Master created a new method, they would have to give it to the superiors to seal away and if others did not receive permission they could not use it unless they paid the maker an equal price.
This rule had been established so that the foundations could be maintained, and even the large Spirit Engraving Masters Guild did not dare to ignore it. Of course, the guild would not make an Engraving Master give up a design for free; they would often reward them with a promotion on top of a title, however the main focus was to ensure the method was not lost to time.
This was the same with the temple, and if Ya Se was the only person who knew this method, it could not be used to increase their influence. It did not matter if there was only a 30-40% chance for success as there would definitely be people willing to try; some large powers did not lack in excess Beast Spirit to use, and one extra point in an attribute was ultimately a priceless treasure.
Tuo Ma Si and Sibalu were having a headache considering this matter. Even the Shaman himself would blush at the thought of asking for this, but he was forced to act this way on the matter. The Spirit Engraving Masters Guild's strength in this area was too much and The Pope had commanded each province to show its might; even though his position was that of a Shaman, it was still a distressing matter.
Before the slightly embarrassed Sibalu had finished, Ya Se gave a very honest reply. "Elder Shizu, all of this was given by the Beast God; you can handle this however you want. If you need this disciple for anything, this disciple will carry your wishes to his grave2."
Grandmother of bears! If he gave them such benefits so often, then if they didn't shield him until he was fully grown then they must be careful not to get zapped to death by the Beast God for their negligence.
Tuo Ma Si and Sibalu looked at each other in disbelief before Sibalu gave an understanding smile, responding thoughtfully with reassurance. "Ai, if every Priest was as selfless as you, yourself, how would His Majesty The Pope be forced to make a move?
Ya Se, say what you wish your reward to be. As long as it is within my abilities, I will achieve it," Sibalu compensated. Even though he was a Shaman, to take so much advantage of his grand-disciple left him with a bitter taste in his mouth.
Ya Se scratched his head. "Elder Shizu, this disciple is currently very satisfied and only wishes to diligently improve himself, raise his Engraving technique for the glory of the temple, and topple those despicable villains of the Spirit Engraving Masters Guild."
Sibalu was stunned by Ya Se's resentment towards the Guild. To be honest, he was very worried that the Spirit Engraving Masters Guild would try to poach him as had happened in the past; many Engraving Priests could not resist the temptation of wine, s*x, avarice, and wrath 3, which the temple could not provide for.
Tuo Ma Si who was at the side recounted Ya Se's bitter experience when first seeking out education, mentioning Ao Li Quan Ya in the process. Hearing this, Sibalu unceasingly nodded his head in affirmation, "They are all good children of the Beast God."
"Ya Se, even if you do not wish for a reward, the Beast God will not allow for his children to be wronged. Since you have greatly contributed, I will personally seek His Majesty The Pope for the Beast God's Medal of Honour."
Sibalu spoke in a serious manner, causing Tuo Ma Si's heart to shake as he added with a smile, "Ya Se, hurry and thank your shizu 4."
Once Sibalu had spoken, he would do as he said; if he did not, there would be nowhere he could hide his face.
Zou Liang's heart couldn't help but whisper to him: he had run out of luck with this cheapskate and should have just decided on a pragmatic reward earlier on. It seemed that even in this place, the superiors loved giving medals of honour.
However, his face was still very sincere. "This one will comply with Shizu's plans."
"Good, good. You guys can go and continue your personal affairs." Sibalu nodded. This situation had been settled in an excessively satisfactory manner and now he needed to discuss with Tuo Ma Si what would follow this event. He had to help Tuo Ma Si win over that position and this was a golden opportunity; he himself had the status of a Shaman and his faction would need Tuo Ma Si's support for any future debates in order to be effective.
Sibalu waited for Zou Liang and Ou Nisi Te to leave before starting his discussion on political counterattack methods. Both people were Engraving Priests that had carefully researched the blueprint and now knew that this method could work.
"Tuo Ma Si, what would your success rate for this be?5"
"After I am well-versed in it, I would probably have a 40% success rate."
"En, it would probably be around 50% for me. This disciple of yours is a real genius; treasure him well." Sibalu nodded.
"Our Engraving Priest occupation has been fiercely suppressed, and because we previously couldn't beat the Spirit Engraving Masters Guild, the conclave pinned the blame on me. This time, we'll take a good look at their facial expressions."
Sibalu had not been so pleased in a long time. Though he held the position of a Shaman, he was also in charge of the Spirit Priests; since the Engraving Priests were not prominent, how could The Pope give him a pleasant expression?
Zou Liang-no longer in the room-was in a relatively pleased mood. To be the sole profiter would induce Heaven's scolding and so he had pulled the Head Priest and the Shaman aboard the same ship; this way, the attacks from the Spirit Engraving Masters Guild would never target such a small-fry like himself. Not only that, this design was merely the beginning steps, and when his Beast Spirit increased by another point he would have even more interesting things. Creativity was without limits and the Beast God Continent was still young.
After exiting the temple doors, Ao Li Quan Ya-who had been waiting outside-rushed forward. "How was it? How was it? What did Lord Sibalu say? Did he promote you?"
"No, I am still a Priest in training."
"Then what did he reward you with? How much? Is it enough to share a meal?"
Censored. Chinese also say basically can't deal with himself doing such an action. Which leaving a bitter taste in their mouth is the closest English equivalent. ↩
means to use every breath left in the body until it dies. ↩
means the four cardinal vices. ↩
I believe there is a typo here. ↩
In Chinese they use "layers" where each layer is representative of 10% ↩