Chapter 303 “Naturally Strong” (part 1)
Despite the old man’s voice growing weaker by the moment, Blue Ocean didn’t seem to have the slightest intention of resting. Slowly sitting down, he first recoups his breath before making a weak smile at Du Wei: “Duke, aside from inviting you here today to be a witness, I also like to ask you to listen to some details regarding the Snowy Mountain.”
“Why?” Du Wei frowned.
“It’s because … Duke, aren’t you interested in the Snowy Mountain? Speaking of it, I fear the matter is somehow related to you too.” His voice became ever so weak.
Instead of being surprised, Du Wei’s heart became calmer now that he’s heard this. At least he wasn’t called here to be secretly killed.
That grey robe servant who led him here had long been knocked out by Blue Ocean prior to the battle with the Shaman King, so in this small building right now, there’s only Du Wei and the old scholar still awake looking at each other….
“For many, many years now, the great Snowy Mountain has been regarded as the holy land and guardian deities of the grassland in the eyes of the prairie people. No matter where the shamans of the Snowy Mountain walked, they would be looked at with awe and respect. What’s more, the Shaman King’s status is universally recognized among the prairie people as the personification of the gods themselves in the secular world!”
Bitterly chuckling, Blue Ocean smiled wryly: “But, when it comes to the origin of the Snowy Mountain Sect itself, no one knows for certain of where we came from. And the strangest part is… Duke, don’t you find it odd that the people of the grassland look so different from those up on the Snowy Mountain? The people in the grassland usually have flat noses with brown eyes and brown skin, meanwhile the majority of the people in the Roland Empire have high noses with blue eyes and white skin. If we must compare similarities, you can even say the residence of the Snowy Mountain with their high nose and deep eye sockets resembles more closely to those from the Roland Empire. Isn’t that strange? The guardian deities of the prairie grassland look more like foreigners than the indigenous locals.
As the most mysterious and mystical place on the grassland, the martial art and magic we practice up in the Snowy Mountain is also vastly different from those used by the locals. Regarding this difference, not even the residence living up there knows why, nor does the records saved over the millenniums give enough details to this mystery. It’s as if everything just suddenly happened all of a sudden from ancient times, like the lineage of the Snowy Mountain just popped out of existence. How did the Snowy Mountain Sect come to be, why did they settle up on the Snowy Mountain, and what sort of people were the earliest settlers, none of that is recorded in the old history texts. But in my personal opinion, this is just speculation though… we of the Snowy Mountain aren’t actually guardians of the prairie people and that the natives of the grassland are in fact the true indigenous residence of that region. What we know of the current Snowy Mountain Sect is in fact foreigners that later migrated up to the Snowy Mountain from a far-off land.”
Speaking up to here, Blue Ocean’s face became a little strange when Du Wei interrupted the old man: “Migrated later on? You mean the exiled races?”
Blue Ocean’s eye lit up: “Hmm, so you also know about the exiled races. These tales and legends passed down from ancient times are unfortunately mostly incomplete so I don’t know much either. However, you can say that’s a possible theory. Whether or not the first settlers of the Snowy Mountain are in fact one of those banished races is up for debate, but I do know that after so many years down the road, the blood running through the veins in the people up there are without a doubt genuine denizens of the Roland Continent. There are naturally some shamans specializing in roaming the secular world, but that doesn’t mean other shamans wouldn’t on occasion come down from the mountain. During those periods, if the shaman in question finds a good seedling with good posture and talent, the shaman would bring the child back with them for cultivation. It’s just that once selected, the child’s memory would be wiped clean using special means only known by the Snowy Mountain! This is to keep the Snowy Mountain’s independence from outside forces!”
Du Wei nods in acknowledgement.
“My original name is not called Blue Ocean. ‘Blue Ocean’s Moon’ is my real name.” He sighs and speaks in a whispering tone: “My name was given to me by my teacher. Looking at it from my appearance, I should’ve been a citizen of the Roland Empire but was later brought to the mountain by a wandering shaman.”
Hearing this, Du Wei hurries to ask: “Blue Ocean… Umm, Mr. Blue Ocean’s Moon, is there not some sort of inheritance up there in the Snowy Mountain?”
Du Wei smiles: “According to what I know, there are female disciples up there so wouldn’t some of the couples in the mountain produce some kind of offspring? That way around, wouldn’t they rather focus on their own descendants instead of selecting some unrelated person from below? Like you for example. As a child, you wouldn’t understand the pain of being taken away from home, but your parents do. Having one’s child ripped away from them must’ve been a sad turn of events! Such a practice is really contemptible to me.”
Blue Ocean’s complexion became a little strange as he hesitated in his reply: “There’s an iron clad rule up in the Snowy Mountain. As a member of the Snowy Mountain Sect, one cannot marry or have offspring’s, only forever fated to train and cultivate one’s mind and body! Something like relationships and feelings between male and female is strictly forbidden; otherwise the consequences will be dire.”
This ideology was greatly looked down upon by Du Wei: “This sort of cultivation is too sickly and messed up.”
“You are a magician yourself so you should understand. The majority of the mages out there will never marry or have children, spending their entire life in the research of magic and its mystique. The disciples of the Snowy Mountain Sect aren’t much different from that if you want to look at it that way.”
Getting up to this point, Blue Ocean didn’t want to contend with Du Wei on this topic and made a smile: “Duke, I’m too weak to debate with you on this so please, don’t interrupt me and let me finish my story.”
Now Du Wei didn’t know whether he should laugh or to cry…. Gotta listen to a story again?
First was the Temple’s story, then the Royal Families story, and now the Snowy Mountain Sect’s story?
“My memory before the age of eight is completely blank.” A glimmer of nostalgia passed through Blue Ocean’s eye. Slowly whispering, he continued: “Because once I entered the Snowy Mountain, all of my prior memories till then were erased! Among our group of children that year, only three of us were eventually selected and were considered to be very good and talented. And as fortune would have it, the leader at that time, the former Shaman King, selected us as his direct disciples.
Our teacher is called Gu Lanxiu, and he is the Snowy Mountain’s Shaman King. In my memories, he is a very kind person, at least in front of us disciples he were. I remember my name was also coined by him. At our first meeting, I was still very young so I only thought the scenery of the drifting snow around me was very beautiful. In front of my teacher, I was smiling the entire time, hence the ‘Moon’ word in my name. As for White River’s Sorrow, his face was very cold even from back then. Our teacher only needed one look at him to realize it. Sighing, our teacher then said ‘I fear this child will never be able to be happy in his entire lifetime’, hence the ‘Sorrow’ word in his name.”
Du Wei had long known about the former Shaman King’s name and the booklet in his possession was also written by that Gu Lanxiu fella. As such, it came as no surprise to Du Wei that Gu Lanxiu had three disciples in his lifetime. But of course, he’s not going to start running his mouth and reveal what he knew. Deliberately making a face of intrigue, Du Wei asked: “Third disciple?”
“The third disciple was a man of decisiveness and strong will, so, his name included the word ‘resolute’. The full name for the three of us went like this: Blue Ocean’s Moon, White River’s Sorrow, and Scarlet Water’s Resolute.
Blue Ocean’s Moon = the crescent moon’s reflection in the ocean looks similar to a smile, meaning this person is a happy fella.
White River’s Sorrow = what this meant is the sadness in the flowing river of spirits that will never end.
Scarlet Water’s Resolute = this is just bad naming scheme again by the author but the meaning is that the person is a man of perseverance and unyielding nature.
After giving us our names, I then remember teacher Gu Lanxiu testing the three of us separately. The first one to test was me. Teacher brought out a skull flag, a scimitar, and a book for my choosing. I did not hesitate, I chose the book right away… I don’t know, maybe it’s my nature propelling me into it. Therefore, teacher thought my character was more suited to learn about things in the books. For many years since then, I delved myself into all sorts of fields: astrology, geography of the mainland, history, medicine, and all sorts of things normally not taught in school. I fear that the library collection in the palace would pale in comparison to what I had at my disposal back then. Teacher was also a great help during my learning with his vast knowledge, answering any questions I had along the way. It can be said that what I am today is thanks to my teacher and his tutorship.
After that teacher continued with the testing, asking White River and Scarlet Water to step forward with their choices. Of the two, White River didn’t budge at all when told to, only standing there silently while Scarlet Water moved as instructed to take up the scimitar.
Then when its White River’s turn to pick, there was only the skull flag left.
The skull flag represented the shaman craft of the Snowy Mountain while the scimitar symbolizes the martial art. Since the scimitar was taken, that left White River with only the shaman craft.
But what happened next on that day left such a strong impression on me that I cannot ever forget even to this day!
The youngest of us three, White River, picked up the skull flag and then turned to Scarlet Water to demand the scimitar too! As a child, Scarlet Water would of course not be willing with his young temperament. So, without hesitation, White River sent a punch right into Scarlet Water’s face and made him cry, snatching the scimitar away in the process. Watching this unfold on the sideline, our teacher only sighed and then asked White River a single word, why?
White River then answered our teacher, ‘if I must learn then I must learn them all, otherwise how am I supposed to surpass teacher in the future?’
To think an answer like that can come out of a child that barely graduated from their mother’s milk. It’s truly shocking.
At the beginning both me and Scarlet Water didn’t like him very much because White River was simply too proud of himself. But later on, the facts proved he did have the ability to be arrogant and proud.
In reality, teacher never intended to only teach us one thing when he tested us, it was merely to examine our characteristic nature. When it came to actually learning, there were no limits. Shamanism, martial art, knowledge, we were taught them all without exception or bias.
It’s just that White River’s outstanding talent became apparent very soon, overshadowing every one of us! Whether it’s geography, astronomy, history, and other miscellaneous things, he would be able to learn it very fast… far faster than I and my junior can handle. Unfortunately, he never held any interest in those things so often after learning it, he would not continue the study in that subject. In the end, he will only ‘know’ without ever truly understanding the field.
In addition to his outstanding academic abilities, he also had amazing talent when it came to martial art and shamanism! For a single shaman spell, I and Scarlet Water would need over a month or two to be able to use it, but White River, he only needed a demonstration to be able to use it after a few days of practice.
You know about the Ice Dou Qi we of the Snowy Mountain Sect like to use? I feel ashamed just bringing that up. I needed three years to master the basics while my junior needed two years, that’s already considered very fast by normal standard. But White River, he… he only needed three months to raise his mastery to a level equivalent to a fourth rank swordsman!!
This speed made even our teacher Gu Lanxiu fearfully surprised because never in history did our Snowy Mountain Sect come out with someone so gifted!
That’s why I would say White River is a person fated to be strong!
Indeed, he is a person at the epitome of arrogance and pride.
We continued our trainings without incident until we were twenty years of age. In that year, our teacher came to us and gave each of us an evaluation. He said that if I, Blue Ocean, were to live in the outside world, whether it be academic knowledge or the tacticians of a ruler, none will be able to surpass my hand. Unfortunately, I am part of the Snowy Mountain Sect so my talents would never have the chance to showcase itself. But teacher’s meaning… it wasn’t to pity me, rather it was his way of indirectly telling me he wishes for me to take over the post of being the next Shaman King.
As the Shaman King, one is forever doomed to stay atop of the Snowy Mountain during their entire lifetime with no chance to ever enter the secular world. Even if White River’s skill become more earth-shattering or heaven turning, it’s pointless if he has no use for it while staying atop of the mountain forever. That’s where I came in. Teacher felt my mind and heart was peaceful, a perfect fit for someone that must stay in one place forever.
And as for my junior, Scarlet Water, his shaman craft is the worst among us three with his martial talent second only to White River. During the sparring matches, I wouldn’t stand a chance against White River while Scarlet Water can endure for a brief period before being defeated. As his name implies, Scarlet Water is a resolute person who wouldn’t give up so easily. To make up for the shame White River gave him when we were young, Scarlet Water practiced day and night, year on end, all in order to reclaim the shame of that punch. His talent may not be as gifted as White River, but Scarlet Water’s mastery of the Ice Dou Qi did eventually reach a very high level, proving his perseverance had paid off.
Teachers also said that if Scarlet Water had left the Snowy Mountain and entered the secular world, he would without a doubt become an unparalleled master of a generation.
And when it came to White River himself, teacher didn’t get even get a chance to give an evaluation because White River asked a question first.
At that time, he said, ‘The three of us are indeed gifted, there’s no doubt about this fact, otherwise teacher you wouldn’t have taken us as you apprentice.
But…. what point is there if we can’t leave the Snowy Mountain? God slaying magic, demon destroying techniques, heaven sundering power, what significance is there to all this when we are stuck like this? Since we are forever doomed to stay in one place, is there supposed to be a difference if we learn or not learn?
Our teacher couldn’t answer that question and White River didn’t press for an answer either, he only smiled while our teacher left the assessment alone.
But when the next day came around after that question, White River announced a shocking decision! The decision left all of us thinking he’s simply too arrogant and too proud despite his amazing talents.
Because, he said that he will no longer continue his cultivation of the Ice Dou Qi!!
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