The ‘Blooming Orchid’ Secret Technique that Di had wanted to teach me required me to have a Dryadic or Treant Bloodline. Hua Mei had her ‘Vicious Maw’ ability, which could only be practiced by people who were related to sharks. However, since most Humans on Genesis didn’t have any special Bloodlines, obviously the majority of Secret Techniques were designed for ‘normals’.
All the Martial Skills that an octopus-woman like Queen Jiang practiced mostly required tentacles, so there wasn’t much that she could teach me. The magic though, there were loads of things that were super-useful. For example, being able to remove the salt from ocean water! I mean, for fuck’s sake, it was no wonder that the Hua Jiang Navy was so powerful. It was only a low-end, Worldly Ranked Daoist Art called ‘Desalination Aria’. Basically, you just sing a few verses, while channeling your Qi into the liquid. In the early stages, it wasn’t that amazing, but later on, you could remove the impurities from even the most polluted and toxic water and on a massive scale.
Then there was the ‘Aqua Infusion’ spell, which was even more ridiculous. It was a mid-ranked Worldly Daoist Art where a person could transform Water Qi into actual physical water, within their own body. Unfortunately, it was much more difficult and had a far smaller scale. However, in the advanced stages of the technique, it was possible for one mage to keep an army of thousands fully hydrated in the middle of a goddamn desert! As for ‘food’, as long as I was near or in the ocean, I didn’t really need to worry about that too much. Besides, it was far easier to survive without eating, than drinking.
That jade slip contained plenty of other magical techniques as well, but most of them were related to combat and required massive amounts of mana. It was stuff like ‘Water Trident’, ‘Aqua Blade’, and ‘Whirlpool Incantation’. They were all fancy and seemed awesome to look at, but totally inefficient. Why would I waste my energy trying to learn such useless skills? It would be way easier to just use real weapons to kill people.
Of course, the reason that flashy and ridiculous spells were popular was because they were not only difficult, but also weren’t very lethal. If you were in a tournament and not a death match, the goal was usually to look impressive while defeating your opponent. During the early stages of Water Trident, you use Elemental Water Qi to form into an illusory polearm. When you penetrate the other person’s body, their meridians might get damaged and their Dantian could potentially explode… In most cases however, it would merely make the person cough up some blood and suffer some minor injuries.
Anyway, although it seemed like forever, I was still sitting in that meeting room when I opened my eyes again. I casually tossed the jade slip into my Extradimensional Pouch and said “Thanks, I really do appreciate all the effort you put into this… So, what’s the plan now? Do you want me to raise some sea creatures or go to war?”
Jiang chuckled, then she wore a sinister grin as she told me “Both! That pussy Gentle Di probably tried to brainwash you into being a pacifist already, but I’m your master now! The Martial Dao is one of violence and bloodshed! Hahaha~! You’re a little young though… Well, you shouldn’t be in too much danger aboard the warship Titanic Fury. It’s not the biggest ship in the fleet, but it’s certainly one of the strongest. Your status is a bit special, so you won’t be under Captain Hua Li’s command… You are a Shaman after all. Even if you weren’t my personal disciple, you still wouldn’t be swabbing the deck or performing mundane tasks!”
I smirked, asking “That’s fine with me but… What about Mei? Is she going to stay in the palace or come with me?”
“Hah~! I knew you would become attached to her! Don’t worry Little Ares, I won’t separate the two of you… Besides, Hua Mei still has work to do. The two of you will have your own cabin on the Titanic Fury, which should be no less impressive than the captain’s quarters. War is Hell for the weak, yet also Heaven for the strong… The Southern Islands may suffer at first, but we will seize this opportunity and forge ourselves in the blood of any invaders that try to fuck with us!” The old woman was cackling like a lunatic for a while after that.
Once our little meeting was over with, Mei and I were escorted by a group of five peak-level Apprentice palace guards to the Barracks. It was similar to the Residential District, but the rooms weren’t quite as fancy. However, it was also much bigger and instead of going down, their elevators went all the way up to the surface.
When we emerged from that enormous glass tube, we weren’t in the middle of the ocean like I had anticipated. Instead, we were in a huge fortress, near a yellow beach. It was a tropical paradise called Hua Qiang Island and the largest military base in all the Southern Islands.
I kind of expected to see a bunch of battles and chaos right away, but everything looked so peaceful. Those five trident wielding men were each around six feet tall and wearing bronze Spartan-ish armor. It was a beautiful, sunny day and hot… really fucking hot. It’s a good thing that I was wearing sandals, because the streets would have scalded the shit out of my feet.
Although I said ‘fortress’, that place was more like a castle-city. The style of the architecture was interesting… Instead of stone, it seemed like almost everything was made out of coral. Yeah, it was colorful and weird in a lot of ways, but it was still pretty cool.
“Woah~! Levi, look! It’s so pretty~!” Xiaotong was floating around outside my body and marveling at all of the shiny buildings. There was a restaurant that was just a giant purple conch shell. We also saw a huge silver statue of a sexy octopus woman. We could see even more stores than that mall in Hua Jiang Palace.
Mei giggled, “Shouldn’t we go buy some stuff? It’s probably going to be a long time before we can shop like this again… Besides, I still have all those Contribution Tokens that I haven’t used yet!”
“Yeah, we’re going to war and I don’t even have any weapons… Actually, neither do you!” We had a total of sixteen-hundred CP. That may seem like a lot at first glance, but Rank-F shit was super expensive.
‘The Bubbling Cauldron’ was the first place we visited. It was an Alchemy shop made out of reflective blue bricks. There were only three stories and the first floor had all the most basic Unranked and Rank-G drugs. The problem with medicine is that the more you use, the less of an effect it has on you. After getting my skin ripped off and regrown so many times, that massage oil became totally useless.
Fortunately, I hadn’t taken many oral medications yet and stronger balms did exist. Everything that had ‘Ranks’ or ‘Stages’ also had ‘Levels’. We immediately went over to the stairs in the middle of the large and wide building and walked up to the second floor. Those five guards kept following us around the entire time, so people in the store were staring at us and gossiping obnoxiously.
Without air-conditioning, they wouldn’t be able to keep the various pills and ingredients on display. In fact, most of the glass cases had extra refrigeration systems. Of course, there were also living Herbs and certain Fire Element medicines that required special containers that prevented them from cooling off. Each floor had Alchemy rooms as well, where the temperature was pretty high, because there were dozens of labs where people were concocting elixirs and potions.
Obviously the raw materials were way cheaper than the finished products, but well, I had enough bullshit on my plate already. I wasn’t about to try and become an Alchemist just to save a few bucks. Hell, I would have ended up spending way more money in order to reach the point where I could even make simple Rank-G stuff.
“Hey Levi, come here for a second!” I walked over to where Mei was standing and saw her staring down at a display case with bottles of pills inside. There were labels and prices, which I could somewhat read. Yes, after spending nearly a year in that world, I had finally started to grasp their mysterious written language! Their numbers were ‘mostly’ Chinese characters, while the letters… Okay, there were actually a bunch of different alphabets, one of which was English.
Supposedly, once upon a time, there were lots of languages all over Genesis. Every country spoke and wrote in a different way, so communication between nations was rather difficult. However, over the eons, there were several occasions where a single Empire or Supreme Sect unify the whole damn world. They would force everyone to start speaking and writing in their universal language for a while, but once they fell into ruins, it was chaos again.
Who the fuck knows how many times that kind of nonsense repeated itself before the current era? When I got there, everyone mainly spoke ‘English’, though they often used words that I didn’t recognize like ‘Dantian’, ‘Houtian’, ‘Xiantian’ and most people I met so far had Chinese names. Yet no one thought it was weird when a ‘Joe’, ‘Ashley’ or ‘Michael’ popped up.