The temple put out an announcement that plain-grade Engravings would receive fifty people every day while the Shadow Hunters' little buckler would need a prior appointment that started from the next day. Every day, they would randomly pick out three people from the hundred with the highest contribution to the Beast God to receive the Dual-Type little buckler.
Ou Nisi Te very carefully stuck the advertisement straight and upright1, which made him very pleased with himself. His big brother was his big brother, and ever since he was young he knew that his big brother was a capable man. Even though others did not believe back then, they had to believe now.
After seeing the advertisement, the crowd could only helplessly separate. Before anyone noticed, all of the guesthouses in Ye Lu Samo were filled with guests waiting for tomorrow's queue.
At this moment, people from the other cities began to pour in.
Zou Liang was helping Ma Lu-who was to jump out of the Priest position-to cultivate. The Priests had a good example that Zou Liang could use well to slowly pass on his technique, as the streamlined design and the curvature were very technical; if the angle was too great it wouldn't help, but if it was too slight it wouldn't work either. These Priests had all at least worked for eight years and were still in training, but their basic techniques were of no issue while only their comprehensive abilities were slightly subpar. Despite this being the case, they were still able to mechanically memorise it, and Zou Liang continued to guide them by hand. With this, it would be hard for them not to learn it even if they didn't want to, although their results naturally could not be compared to Zou Liang's.
The Engraving Priests were more innocent, somewhat like scholars, and people like this admired those who had strong ability. When Zou Liang was angry, he would scold them and this would at times cause some of the aged Priests to be unable to lift their heads as they continuously pleaded with Zou Liang not to be mad. This couldn't be blamed on Zou Liang, however, as these things were originally meant to be easy, yet these people kept making the same mistakes; even Zou Liang's patience had its limits.
The Engraving Priests had already subconsciously recognised Zou Liang as their leader. In this era, to learn learn someone's Engraving technique was like taking them as a master and even though Zou Liang did not say so, they had already determined this in their hearts that they would be thankful with their lives. Yet they did not say this out loud, else they would end up being a silly Engraving Priest for all of these years.
It was needless to say that the temple's situation was much better than the profiteering Spirit Engraving Masters Guild.
Teaching these people all the way to nightfall left Zou Liang with a dry tongue and mouth, and a crowd of Priests insisted on treating Zou Liang to food. In this century, except for Zou Liang there was not even a second person that would teach their techniques to others free of charge, and it was even a unique technique on top of that.
Zou Liang did not restrain himself, either; if he wished to increase his influence, he would have to have supporters, and it was doubtless that the Engraving Priests were his first strength.
To the Priests, the only thing left was bitter work, as they had been Engraving Priests for many years and this was the first time they had received this kind of opportunity. These old Priests were as excited as if they had partaken of the highest delicacy of the world2, and they vowed to make the Ye Lu Samo Theocratic Engravings famous.
Since it was unavoidable, Zou Liang accompanied these people for a big drinking feast, and of course this kind of setting could not exclude Ou Nisi Te; where there were things to eat, there was also Ou Nisi Te.
At the end it was still Zou Liang who paid the bill, though, as Zou Liang knew very well that the Priests only had enough to keep themselves warm and did not have money. Before the feast had ended he had already paid, leaving the Priests emotionally moved second to none as they set their hearts even more firmly on Ya Se.
Spending the money of others and buying the hearts of their own people, Zou Liang had minored in marketing before, even though he had been too busying skipping half the lessons or staring at the legs of beauties to pass the course.
Drinking with a bunch of Priests was naturally relaxing, and early in the morning Zou Liang and Ou Nisi Te awoke early to do their morning exercise. If they did not practice for even a day, their bodies would feel as though they were rusting away.
"Ou Nisi Te, what's happening? The outside is so noisy again, and it's only this time of the day!"
"Big Brother, I'll go out and see!"
Ou Nisi Te also felt uncomfortable. Usually, the morning was always quiet which was the most suitable for training. Why was it now like a vegetable market?
When Ou Nisi Te opened the door, however, he was frightened into a jump and quickly closed it back before the horde of people charged in. Ou Nisi Te hurriedly ran back, "Big, Big Brother, it's not good, not good. Outside, outside......"
"What is it? It can't be that there are people attacking the temple!"
"Entirely people! It's all people!"
Zou Liang laughed, as this was expected. In the past, he had once lined up early in the morning to obtain tickets for a concert, but he had fallen asleep and once he'd woken up, all of the tickets were sold out.
When Zou Liang stood on the observation tower, he also jumped in fright, as there was a long, distant line and there was more than a few people making business transactions. It was clear that only the first one hundred had the rights to participate in the selection, yet there were at least several thousand here.
"Ou Nisi Te, let's keep training and not disturb everyone else lining up."
Zou Liang was very happy and his firsts were also full of power while he was training, but this was only the beginning; the little buckler's influence was not only to this extent.
After Zou Liang finished his breakfast, the first lot of fortunate people to receive a normal Engraving entered. Frankly speaking, the standards of the normal Engravings of the temple compared to the Spirit Engraving Masters Guild were approximately the same and did not even fall short of them, so coming here for such Engravings was more a personal choice. But this society was one that followed the masses, and anything that was fought over would turn into a valuable commodity.
An uncountable number of people lined up, and the fifty people that were selected all felt a sensation out of the ordinary. Not only would they receive an Engraving, but it had also held a form of glory to them.
The Shadow Hunters that had entered for the little buckler were the highlight of the occasion, and the people that had lined up in the first hundred had the desire to also be selected for the drawing of lots. The Beast God would decide who had this kind of luck, although everyone had to contribute a silver to the Beast God. Of course, if they decided to give up this chance, they did not have to pay such a tax.
For a Shadow Hunter, to say nothing of one silver, even if it was a gold coin there would be people who would be willing.
If the temple underwent a public auction, no one could tell how many times the price would multiply, and these types of plans were also on Zou Liang's mind. He was not impetuous, however, as an anxious heart could not eat hot tofu3.
Zou Liang was waiting for other people to mention it, as that would be much better than the temple suggesting it themselves.
Other than a few special holidays, the Ye Lu Samo Temple had not been so lively in a long time. This kind of grand occasion had probably only occurred a hundred years ago when the Theocracy's influence reigned over the Meng Jia Empire.
Every other active large guild except for the Shadow Hunters Guild was in a mess. The other guilds were changing their mindsets, for if the temple could design new equipment specific to Shadow Hunters, then only the heavens would know whether there would be one for their own occupation.
While the temple was busy, Zou Liang also gave some pointers to the Engraving Priests regarding connection before he was free and without obligations afterwards.
The people who could make him personally make his move were the people who had contributed the most to the temple, but without more time it was impossible to confirm who that was. Tuo Ma Si had evidently left them enough time to contest in finances.
In truth, all of Ye Lu Samo's large families were preparing. Even though not every family's occupation was a Shadow Hunter, they could not resist wanting to make the temple a part of their circle of close friends. This kind of Engraving result that exceeded the general knowledge had already spread over the entire Holy Province and entered Ye Lu Samo's scene in a display of strength.
The most important point was that Tuo Ma Si had told everyone that the family with the highest contribution would have the rights to the next Engraving, but did not limit specifically who they could choose to receive it.
It seemed that to spend money to obtain such an authority was already not a financial concern. The Engraving would undoubtedly be given to the most important inheritor or given away for the sake of friendship, and both were more valuable than gold.
Ye Lu Samo winded up with large numbers while Zou Liang unrestrainedly took Ou Nisi Te to Ai Wei Er's place to attend a gathering. It was not just him, either; Ke Te, Lan Di, and the others had all also arrived. Children from influential families like theirs were already accustomed to attending gatherings like this and they took turns hosting, but it was natural that there would be a host. Since Ai Wei Er was the one who had done so the most often, it had gradually become a form of custom.
Lan Di-flushed with success-was admiring the beauties4 and was currently surrounded by a group of them. Lan Di was extremely smug while Ke Te to one side felt rather helpless; who knew that a rampant rascal like Lan Di would have such a day?
"Nuo5, the main individual has come. If you want to complain then go find him," Ai Wei Er pouted as her lips pursed tight and clenched from side to side.
At the entrance, Zou Liang and Ou Nisi Te slowly marched in. Right now, both of these two had only a small reputation; naturally, the majority of people who did not know all of the facts believed Zou Liang was simply fortunate to find a good master.
"Ya Se, you've come. I don't care what, but you have to also do something for me, as Lan Di has almost driven me insane with anger."
It was rare for Ke Te to be so pesky.
Lan Di had already cast off his numerous admirers and ran over. "Ya Se, you have come."
"How is it? Is it pleasing to use?" Zou Liang smiled.
"It can only be described with the outstanding word 'pleased', and this kid Ke Te doesn't even dare to duel me, hehehe," Lan Di said with joy and satisfaction.
Chapter 90 - Grand Occasion
I believe this is a typo. It originally says proof/certificate ↩
Hot tofu is really dangerous btw, there are some stories about people getting severe interior burns because of forcefully swallowing them. ↩
This is an ear full is a combination of two idioms means to be proud/flushed with ones' success and to walk the horse and admire the flowers (on a surface level) meaning to admire the beauties but not get to know them deeply. ↩
This is a sound that Chinese people make as if in agreement