"I imagined a dragon arm," Xue Wei said while frowning. "I saw something, but I can't recall what it was." He shook his head.
"A dragon arm?" Lan mused for a bit of time, but then he shook his head. "Don't worry about it," he said after a bit of consideration.
"I will show you what a dragon arm looks like," he said, and a book suddenly appeared out of nowhere.
It was clear that Lan had a storage treasure of some kind, and Xue Wei was curious about what it was.
Seeing his curious demeanor, Lan chuckled, but he did not explain anything. Instead, he opened the book on a certain page where there was an azure dragon.
"Azure dragons," he introduced, "are the kings of dragons, a type of beast that one has to respect for their strength and also upright behavior."
"A Primordial Beast can have an upright behavior?" Xue Wei asked curiously, and Lan smirked. "Just because they are beasts does not make them that much different from humans."
"They kept us as livestock and slaves for centuries, so I would not consider that upright behavior," Xue Wei frowned, but Lan just laughed at him again, something Xue Wei had gotten very used to over the past few days.
"They are as upright as humans," Lan snickered. "Don't you use Diviners to enslave beasts now? Don't you eat Fierce and Primordial Beast meat whenever you get the chance? Use their silk and hide to make clothes, their bones and cores to make weapons, lights, and other necessities?"
Xue Wei suddenly gasped. He had never thought about it like this before; what the beasts had done to the humans, the humans were now doing to the beasts.
"This needs some consideration," Xue Wei said with a thoughtful expression. He had always thought their cause had been righteous in his mind when he wanted to become a Primordial Beast Hunter, but these beasts were in fact also just forced to act the way they did by their nature.
"It won't change anything," Xue Wei finally sighed. "I am a human, so obviously I should side with the humans, protect them, and defeat as many Primordial Beasts as possible. The only thing is that I will now be more realistic about them. I cannot hate something that just follows their nature like this, since I am not different from them."
Lan nodded his head in praise at how easily Xue Wei accepted the mentality of the beasts, but he said nothing more and handed the book to Xue Wei.
"Look at this dragon and tell me what exactly it looks like," Lan ordered and Xue Wei nodded his head.
"It looks like a dragon. Dragons have many shapes such as turtles and fish, but the majority of them are snake-like with four legs, two front legs, and two hind legs."
Xue Wei said what he had read about dragons in books, but then he looked at the picture. There was a snake-like dragon.
"Azure scales," Xue Wei was deep in thought, and as he thought about the front legs, or arms, of an azure dragon, azure scales started to sprout from his skin, coming from within the skin and breaking through, layering themselves all over his lower arms and fingers.
His fingers also changed, as claws emerged on the fingertips in lieu of simple nails, becoming thicker and merging into only three claws.
His arms grew in size, and Xue Wei could feel how he became much stronger than before. The Qi that flowed through his veins became denser, purer, and seemed to completely change its nature, while the physical strength alone rose to double or triple of what it had been before, and this was only after transforming his arms!
Xue Wei stared in shock at his arms. It had been so simple to transform them; it was as if it came naturally to him to switch to the dragon arms.
"This is because of your Azure Dragon Scripture," Lan praised. "Although it should not be very difficult, you are quite skilled to be able to do it as fast as you did."
Xue Wei felt a hint of pride in his heart and was very satisfied with his accomplishments.
"You know, you have to be careful and only use this in life.and.death situations," Lan warned him. "Although many would assume that you are just a Wayfarer or cultivating some sort of beastly scripture, some will notice it as being dragon arms, and then you might be captured for the sake of stealing your scripture. It is very rare and incredibly powerful after all."
Xue Wei nodded his head after musing over Lan’s advice. It was true that he was not unique when it came to being capable of transforming part of his body into that of a Primordial Beast, but the ability of being able to completely transform into an Azure Dragon had to be kept a secret.
"Well, don't look that troubled," Lan grinned. "Here in the Genius Camp, even if you only rely on your Shattering Mountain Palm, your Azure Light Finger, your Forbidden Rush, and your Sacrificial Stab, you are still above the others."
"You have not fought anyone since you became an Earth Warrior, so we do not know how strong you are compared to the other geniuses, but don't forget that you just broke through to the Earth Warrior rank."
"You have the ability to unlock the Heritage Ring once more, and then you will be able to get your hands on new techniques."
"Do you want to open your heritage ring now, or do you want to wait until tomorrow and we do it early in the morning, and look through the skills available and pick a few to train?"
Xue Wei contemplated and then looked at Lan. "Let us do it now," he said, incapable of hiding the eagerness in his voice and the excitement in his eyes.
"Okay," Lan agreed. He, too, was slightly curious about what exactly this Xiao Lei, the leading figure of Heping Kingdom, had left behind for his nephew.
Xue Wei took a deep breath and moved slightly to settle into the position in which he was sitting.
He then reverted his arms to human arms with but a single thought, and then he looked at the ring on his hand.
Withdrawing a single thread of Qi from his pearl-like dantian, Xue Wei guided it through his meridians towards his hands, where he made it leave his body and enter the ring on his finger.
As soon as he did that, the tent shone with an azure light and holograms of five different abilities appeared in front of him.
"Arcane Fist, a profound martial technique which allows the user to punch in an elusive, mysterious manner that seems to make their fist vanish. Sometimes, it produces extra fist imprints, and other times it vanishes from sight. Very hard to block. Can only be used in close-quarters combat."
"Seed of Mirage, a profound martial technique that allows you to grow a spectral seed made of Qi. Each seed takes three breaths of time to grow, and when they have fully grown, they become a clone which can attack on its own with a strength depending on how much Qi has been inserted into the seed. The clone knows all attacks that the owner controls."
"Heart of Fire, a profound martial technique that allows you to burn one drop of heart blood essence. Increases one's strength threefold for a period of thirty breaths of time. After the duration of the drop of heart blood essence ends, one will instantly feel fatigued and seriously injured."
Xue Wei paused and looked at Lan. "What is heart blood essence?" he asked curiously.
"Everyone has three types of blood; there is the ordinary blood which you will spill randomly when injured, then there is the essence blood which is very hard to restore and increase, and finally is the heart blood essence." Lan began explaining.
"If you use some of your blood essence, it will restore itself over time, but if you use heart blood essence, you will need to use outside help in the shape of medicinal plants to restore it."
"The heart blood is very precious, but if the question is about dying or using a drop of heart blood, then use the heart blood!" Lan specified.
"Using your blood essence can boost your strength for a very short amount of time, or increase the power of a specific attack if you merge the essence blood into the Qi and then launch said attack."
"Using blood essence will make you tired and exhausted, but your blood essence will restore itself if you leave it be for long enough. Your heart blood essence is, unfortunately, much more difficult to restore."
"I know of a few medicinal plants that can help, but they are far beyond your reach right now."
"So this Heart of Fire is another life-saving ability," Xue Wei mused as he nodded his head. "It would be a great ability to learn, but it is not the most important one of them for now, so let us see what else this ring’s got."
"Mind Infestation, a superior martial technique that allows the user to invade and penetrate the mind of one's opponent. Superior ranked ability but has the potential to reach profound-stage levels of power if the user has a strong soul. The ability depends fully on the user's soul to succeed."
"Kick of Forgotten Kings, a profound martial technique that allows the user to be imbued with the might of the forgotten kings and unleash their strength in a powerful kick. Can only be used in close quarters combat."
Xue Wei had read the final one of the abilities out loud as his eyes glistened with excitement. All five of these techniques sounded amazing!
"So now that we have looked at them, which one would you like to begin with?" Lan asked, his eyes not displaying any of his innermost emotions. Xue Wei was left guessing as to whether or not he was impressed with the quality of the abilities he had been given.
"I don't know," Xue Wei said seriously as he looked at the five abilities once more. "I think that the most beneficial one, for now, would be the Seed of Mirage," he said thoughtfully.
"I already have a palm attack, and while the Shattering Mountain Palm is only a superior martial technique, it is without a doubt still better than what most cultivators here in the Kingdom of Heping has access to."
"Because of this, I would postpone learning the Arcane Fist for now." Xue Wei concluded.
"Then we have the Heart of Fire. While it is a very promising life-saving ability, I would rather rely on my transformed arms for now since I have already mastered that."
"Mind Infestation is very interesting," Xue Wei continued, "but I have no clue as to how strong my soul is, and since it completely depends on the strength of one's soul, it might be better to focus on those I know will for sure strengthen me."
"Finally, we have the Kick of Forgotten Kings. That one is also very interesting," he concluded. "I currently have no kicking arts, and thus it could prove to be very useful, but for now something about the Seed of Mirage calls me."
"So, I understand that you want to focus on the Seed of Mirage first, followed by the Kick of Forgotten Kings?" Lan asked, and Xue Wei hesitated for a moment, thinking about the pros and cons of both before he nodded his head.
"Great!" Lan exclaimed happily, and Xue Wei felt a calm descend upon him. He had decided which skills to focus on first, and now he had a full nine layers through the Earth Warrior stage of time to perfect these five abilities. It should be possible.
"I already taught you everything about the Forbidden Rush, the Shattering Mountain Palm, and the Azure Light Finger, so from tomorrow onwards I will drill you in the Seed of Mirage until you perfect that one too!"Previous Chapter Next Chapter
I would like to announce that book 1 of Condemning the Heavens has gone live on Amazon. If you have some time, please go and leave an honest review of the book, and if you are able to, please consider buying it to support me!
If you like the story, please considering becoming a patron, I have up to 10 chapters ahead of schedule and these chapters include merchandise and other goodies that are being sent out every month.
Teasers are back!
Betareader: Soultorrent & Norwegian Viking