Saturday, July 25, 2015

Chapter 4: Tiangou, Heavenly Dog

The day after the three snake incident, as Sun internally called it, Sun was a bit subdued partly because he couldn't sleep last night as he helped tend to the wounded and he just couldn't help but replay the battle in his mind. If it were him alone he would have surely died, Sun resolved to get something to at least allow him to escape if in a situation like that.

Sun was so caught up in thought that he didn't even notice that the caravan had already stopped for the day.

A hand waving in front of his face startled him back to reality. "Onii-san are you okay? You were just staring into the distance the whole day!" Came Domu's worried question.

"It's nothing to worry about Domu-kun.I was just thinking some things." Sun said as he tried to stamp out his blush for being taken care of a kid.

"If you say so, are we going herb gathering again?" Domu said, he once again was getting excited.

"No, we're not. Today we're doing something else." Sun said as ideas floated in his head.

"Ano, what are we doing Sun-sama?" This time it was Talia who asked.

"Something hopefully fun." Was Sun's mysterious reply.


Upon getting to a sufficiently shaded clearing Sun took out two [Wind Vines] these vines were collected on an earlier herb gathering quest. The vines looked like regular vines if not for it's unusual color and the fact that the leaves were wide and slightly fluttering.

Devon's book had a few musings about them, more importantly was the note saying it was a decent substitute for a budding wind mage training tool. Sun the merchant that he is immediately thought of the profit however the herb itself was rare so it would be hard to sell for the price he was thinking of.

This vines could be willed to fly, carrying things like books with ease for a small duration of time depending on the will power of the user. Apparently if wind magi used it they could get a more intimate feel of their element. Willing it simply takes concentration, so like [Fire wand++] even Sun could use it.

A single vine could last indefinitely if taken care of so it was fairly long lasting resource. Sun figured that with all the help these kids have been giving him he should at least reward them.

"This is the plant [Wind Vine] since Domu-kun is a wind element mage this should help him the most but it should also help Talia-chan since Talia-chan is also a wind element warrior." Sun said.

He gave them one each and then took out another. Looking at their attentive faces Sun couldn't help but smile. "First we are going to bind it to our soul, take your vine's and stretch it gently like so." He said as he demonstrated with his own vine. "Look for the small reddish gem somewhere in the middle. When you find it press with your finger and it should cave in, don't panic it might be an unusual feeling." Sun did so, dipping his finger in. His vine shaked violently for a second or two surprising Sun and the two kids. Sun didn't expect that as it wasn't written in his book but looking at his vine he could feel it's presence like how one would feel the presence of his finger.

The vine is a symbiotic plant, it fed on the energy emitted by the soul. That may sound bad but since that energy can't be used anyway it's an acceptable trade.The thing can be used to carry your things and find water in the desert.

The kid's promptly followed, their vines only quivered unlike Sun's.

"Do you feel your vines?" Sun asked and both the kid's nod yes. "Will it to fly, It should work just by thinking of it flying I guess."  He tried to think 'Fly, Fly,Fly.' but that didn't work so he tried focusing on the vine's presence and as if it were a part of his body he willed it to move.

The leaves fluttered for less than a second then started flapping furiously taking off as a result. Zipping in around the clearing like a bird. Korua thrilled as he followed it around as if it were prey, Sun already told Korua about the vines so she won't mistake it for a monster. Only the kids knew about Korua, since the adults would be suspicious of why he a self proclaimed low rank magi have a familiar like Korua he kept her hidden. The kids found out though and ever since they did he swore them to secrecy.

The kids haven't gotten to willing the vine yet though so Sun stayed with them till they got it all the while trying to explain how he got it to move. Maybe they are too young so they have a hard time having a feel for the vine, Sun thought.


It took Talia a week to get her vine to fly, Domu soon followed and now they were playing with it more expertly than Sun himself.

It seemed that the frequency of monster attacks have increased for whatever reason they been coming the caravan's way. Even Levaria seemed to be more haggard lately as the monsters piled up. The soldiers kept harvesting the bodies so once they sell them they would get a sizable cut but if this continues they probably won't be able to sell them at all.

So far the dangerous monsters were a pair of [Venom dancer] and 5 packs of [Poun]. That makes it an average of one attack per day.

Sun asked Rayu week ago if this was normal and even the experienced caravan master was baffled by the attacks. It seems usually only two or three attacks happen per trip. That means there's something wrong. Really wrong.

Driven by this ominous feeling Sun took his studies of Devon's book further than ever. He began experimenting on various things he had access to. The most prominent of these experiments were his experiments on magic gems.

Magic gems were crystallized elemental mana. Magi break these gems using a special method, for those who can't namely the apprentices they are given a specially made ring made of Machalite which allows someone without magic to break them.

This ring sends out waves of a certain type of frequency that breaks the gem's structure. You need stabilizers else they explode violently.

Sun practiced at night where there was no one to bother him, when guards asked he tells them it's magic and they then just ignore him and the noise he makes.

Sun held a low yield gem of around 20% purity in his hands and activated the ring. The gem showed cracks but didn't explode. Sun threw it at a large rock nearby and once it collided a small explosion occurred slightly cracking the surface of the rock.

Taking note of the reaction in a small parchment with a quill, Sun began to mutter "Cracks appeared and the gem exploded at contact. Unlike experiment 16 this one didn't explode in mid air. The frequency hereafter will be called frequency 17."

It seemed the ring's frequency can be altered with careful control. Having a lot of incredible effects that was worth the 30 low yield gems he wasted on the experiments. Each of the gems were around only a few coppers anyway. The results he was getting though if it were to be sold may get him more than enough compensation, besides that thought Sun consoled himself that this information may save his life just yet.

"Moving on we're going to try erratic waves." He said chewing a bit on his quill as he thought about how the gem would react. A mental nudge from Korua warned him that someone was approaching so he quickly hid the evidence of his experiments.

"You're slacking less lately." Levaria said. "You even noticed me arrive." She mused.

"Please go away I am in the middle of training." Sun said still giving of his indifferent voice.

Levaria walked to the rock he was targeting earlier.

"Impressive for a beginner." She observed the thin cracks in the stone. It was made by a small explosion. She could do as well with just a punch but then again she was [Rank A]. Sun, she figured would be around [Rank C].

"The soldiers asked me to tell you that they are requesting you to help when the monsters attack. I told them no." Levaria said conversationally.

Sun frowned, he was thankful that she declined but what was her reason?

"I just don't want you to die uselessly is all, don't think anymore of it." As per her usual actions she left abruptly.

Sun shook his head. What a weird person he thought.

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"Onii-chan I found a rare one!" Domu said handing him a grass like plant.

"Ho! This is [Everspring] are there more?" It was a strong healing reagent for potions so naturally Sun got excited.

Sadly Domu shook his head no. Sun shrugged as he took the herb and stored it.

Suddenly the ground shook. was it an earthquake?

Sun's blood ran cold when a soldier called out "ENEMY!" Was it an earth monster or was Levaria doing something reckless?

"Go to the caravan both of you!" Sun ushered the two kids towards the caravan.

"Go kickass onii-san!" Domu said with a thumbs up while Talia just said, "Be careful Sun-sama.", before going.

Sun shook his head at the kids as he whistled for his [Poun] who was likely startled  by that earthquake as well.

The ground shook again was there already a battle going on? Levaria would be going all out based on these earthquakes.

He mounted his [Poun] and sped towards the signal.

" Hrk!!?" Sun forgot to breathe at the sight of the monstrosity before him.

A kilometer away and it was still visible. This thing, this monster was the size of a small mountain.

It was a large brown dog-like creature, with two horns protruding from it's head. It's fur was long and wavy but as if defying gravity it didn't fall down instead it floated as if being held up by a continuous wave of air. Limbs as big as trunks of trees and a head as large as a house the terrifying creature was something that could probably kill someone just by breathing too near.

It wasn't attacking anything though or moving at all it looked to be waiting for something.

Sun beckoned his [Poun] to go, it didn't seem to want to but since Sun insisted firmly it yielded to it's masters orders.

When he was about an eighth of the way, it seemed that Levaria had arrived as well. She stood before the thing but her stance wasn't hostile.

She said something but Sun was still far enough not to hear her.

What really got Sun to almost have a heart attack was the fact that the monster replied!

"Foolish girl, This Tiangou will humour you. Fight me and if you impress me enough then this Tiangou will let your caravan pass! Disappoint me, and Tiangou will smite all humans in this desert." Came the deep voice from the beast. The mere sound of the monster's speech shattered the soldier's confidence and some even fell down as if reality slapped them. Sun wouldn't fault them.

Even Sun's heart fell into despair.[Rank S], the monster was ranked at the topmost tier.Towering over everything above the earth and below the heavens.Only Monsters that grew to [Rank S] were capable of speech.

[Tiangou] had the power to wipe the entire desert into a crater on a whim.  Even Sun imagined that even an absurd existence like Levaria still is decades,if not centuries too early to challenge this godlike monster. Sun realized now why all the monsters were in a frenzy if Tiangou was near all the weaker monsters would naturally panic.

Sun shook his head; no if it's Levaria she'll definitely impress Tiangou he thought desperately.
Sun took a moment to think what he could do to avert this disaster? Can he just hope helplessly that Levaria could impress Tiangou. Levaria certainly is skilled but what standards did the Tiangou expect?

A plan came to mind after a bit of thinking, it was risky, it was reckless. There's less than 10% chance it could work, his mind whispered. The number 4% was more accurate.
He made the [Poun] hide behind a large rock formation to prepare. He'll take 4% chance of winning over giving up.
He thought of the faces of Rayu, Talia-san, Domu-kun, the hopeful children and their families, even Levaria. Thinking about it even Devon will get caught up in this mess.
He resolved himself, if the Tiangou can talk then he can be made to understand and if he could be made to understand then he can be manipulated. If he can be manipulated then Sun had confidence in his ability to do it, if there was anything Sun was proud of it was his negotiation skills. He had never failed before, then again he never had stakes quite this big.

Sun watched from his hidden place to determine the Tiangou's personality,hopefully he could analyze the target before it was too late.

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"Very well noble Tiangou, a deal has struck. I will battle you to your heart's content." Levaria's voice echoed throughout the desert. The other soldiers wisely backed up to a safe distance, knowing that their presence would only be detrimental to the coming battle.

Levaria drew her sword and prepared shield. With a deep breath she charged.

-------------------------------------> Next Chapter

1 comment:

  1. Really nice story. Nice pace. Thank you for translating.