Chapter 22: Earn Some Spending Money
Time flew. Half a month had passed by in a blink of an eye.
This half of a month was one of the the most relaxing periods of time that Han Shuo had ever had. The cleaning duties that had originally belonged to him were taken care of by Borg and Carey. And because Han Shuo’s back was injured, Fanny didn’t come looking for him to conduct more research.
Han Shuo learned from Jeff that even Fitch had gone in again to give the adept mage qualification trials another go. Therefore, this major enemy was temporarily not a threat.
Ever since Han Shuo’s shameless confession of love at the bottom of the trap, Lisa’s attitude towards Han Shuo had undergone a drastic change. Not only did she not pick on Han Shuo anymore, but she often protected him, forbidding other students to practice necromancy magic on him.
Given the situation, apart from eating, sleeping, drinking and showering, Han Shuo spent all the rest of his free time on practicing magic and studying “The Foundations of Necromancy” and “The Descriptions of Dark Creatures”.
To be honest, the injuries on Han Shuo’s back had long since healed, thanks to him practicing magic. There wasn’t even a scar left anymore.
The current Han Shuo had grown another two centimeters, and was now 170 cm. Thanks to practicing magic and sufficient nutrition from rations, his previous weak-beyond-belief body had started to slowly firm up and increase in strength. There were even muscles forming on his chest and arms.
Unbeknownst to anyone else, Han Shuo’s body and strength had slowly changed without anyone knowing. He had also progressed to the crucial point of training for the “Mystical Glacial Spellfire”. When Han Shuo circulated his magical yuan, he could proceed according to the spell’s instructions, and bring his magical yuan to the palms of his hands.
Whenever Han Shuo started up the “Mystical Glacial Spellfire” and circulated his magical yuan to his left and right palm, he could feel that the center of his palms respectively turn glacially cold and searingly hot. The surface of his skin would be tinged faint purple and red, causing the center of his hands to look quite odd.
Han Shuo didn’t dare do anything rash with the weird jade box in the meantime. He was deathly afraid that last time’s situation would happen again. He was temporarily unwilling to take that kind of risk again before he got a handle on what the round ball was and it’s purpose.
Thanks to studying “The Descriptions of Dark Creatures” over the past two weeks, Han Shuo had a much clearer understanding of the particulars of summoning specific dark creatures. He also understood how to communicate with them, and how to send them back to the other dimension.
However, even though the incantation for sending a summoned dark creature back to the other dimension was recorded in “The Description of Dark Creatures”, and Han Shuo believed that he was absolutely capable of doing so with his current level of mental strength, he didn’t dare take action. This was because he wasn’t sure if he could summon the little skeleton again if he sent it back to the other dimension.
The black skeleton with seven bone spurs was the result of Han Shuo’s painstaking refinement according to the methods of refining a demonic treasure. Not only was it superior in all aspects to ordinary skeletons, but it had a scary immunity to light magic.
Han Shuo had spent his days and nights with the little skeleton during this time. It had also helped Han Shuo greatly, causing Han Shuo to grow attached to it. He was worried that if he sent it to the other dimension, he would lose it forever if he was unable to summon it next time.
It was because of this concern that although Han Shuo was confident he would be able to send it back to the other dimension, he still hesitated to do so. He’d rather have the little skeleton live under his bed, resolutely keeping it even when that meant running the risk of discovery by others.
The little black skeleton was lazily lying in a wooden bucket, its bones as black as ink and glowing with a faint haze. In the past two weeks, Han Shuo had often injected magical yuan into the bucket, continuing to refine it according to the Magical Yin Concentration Matrix.
Under Han Shuo’s continual refinement, the little skeleton’s body became more and more agile and strong. Its bone dagger was actually even stronger than ordinary knives and swords. Han Shuo had once experimented with a piece of broken bone, and discovered that the broken bone had been immediately cut in half when the bone dagger had sliced down.
As the little skeleton underwent changes, so did Han Shuo benefit from training in the solid realm. His body also received a mysterious makeover.
The only thing was, Han Shuo had still been unable to breakthrough this demonic realm level. He carefully went through old fart Chu Cang Lan’s memories, adding some of his reflections on what had happened recently, and came to one conclusion — if he wanted to quickly reach perfection in the solid realm, “breaking things” was the most effective and efficient way.
Whenever Han Shuo had been severely beaten, or suffered injuries on his body, his body would quickly repair itself through magic training. And everytime after recovery, his body would be more stronger than before. His skin and bones would be more resilient. It was only after damage and injury that his progress in the solid realm would pick up.
When he thought through this point, Han Shuo gave an involuntary ironic smile. This kind of magic training was death by masochism! But since he had started on this path, he had to find a way to quickly breakthrough the solid realm in order to gain more strength and power.
On this day, Han Shuo’s figure appeared at the doors of the martial arts school of the Babylon Academy of Magic and Force.
After a few days of gathering information, Han Shuo understood that a place for cultivating warriors and knights existed within this school. However, the warriors and knights were trained separately. The ranks of the warrior students were mostly filled with commoners Their training mostly consisted of practicing their fighting aura and being instilled with notions of loyalty to their liege.
The students within the school of knights mostly came from noble families, and was a training field for the powerful families and military forces, as well as the royal sons of the empire. These students hailed from uncommon origins and had varying degrees of influence within their families. Not only did they practice their fighting aura, but they were also here to learn the manners and graces of the nobility, strategies of war and art of command.
These students absorbed a variety of knowledge within the school of knights, all for the purpose of obtaining a good opportunity in the future, whether in their family or within the empire. The families of these knight students were all rather wealthy, and on the path of becoming a senior knight, did not bat an eye spending money to hire a few commoners for use in practicing battle and martial arts techniques.
A few commoners who felt they possessed tough bodies would take the pummeling in return for money and rich rewards. Even a few warrior students would become willing human targets in return for money.
However, it wasn’t an easy task to earn this money. Knight students would sometimes miscalculate and even beat a few human targets to death. But because this was a mutually agreed, both sides willing transaction that the knight students had paid for, no one cared if the human targets were beaten to death. They were asking for it, after all.
Han Shuo had come here to become one of the human targets. But he wasn’t in it for the money, he wanted to temper his body in order to breakthrough the solid realm.
Numerous human targets stood within a spacious lobby. Each was strong and fit, all wearing the grubby clothing of poor commoners. Han Shuo concentrated his attention for a moment and discovered some warrior students mixed into the crowd. Some had been drawn in by the academy’s reputation, and some were students from the warrior school.
“You’re an errand boy for the academy. But your body isn’t very strong, and you’re not a warrior. You’re asking for death coming here. Little fellow, let me advise you to avoid pursuing this pay, otherwise you could really be beaten to death!” A thin old man said to Han Shuo as he looked over from the doors at the front of the lobby.
Old man Jeff was fifty some years old, and in the same occupation as Han Shuo. He wore an errand boy’s clothes and was in charge of registering the human targets. He had some misgivings about the frailty of Han Shuo’s body and so tried to persuade Han Shuo out of kindness.
“No worries, Mister Jeff please register me. I’d like to try!” Han Shuo looked at Jeff and spoke sincerely.
“Since you insist, I’ll register you. Ai. Do you think this is easy money? If you really are beaten to death, don’t blame me for not warning you!” Upon seeing Han Shuo was still insistent after a few attempts, and that others behind in the line were impatiently calling out, Jeff gave up trying to convince Han Shuo and agreed, putting down “Bryan” in the register.
A few other human targets looked at him oddly when Han Shuo walked in through the doors. The eyes of most were filled with disdain, and the kindhearted few wore expressions of pity and regret, even trying to convince Han Shuo not to try.
Although Han Shuo’s body was a bit stronger than before due to practicing magic, he was still quite a ways off from the burly men whose arms were thicker than his thighs. Bryan had been all skin and bones like a skinny monkey, and Han Shuo was only marginally stronger in comparison.
“Listen to me, leave while you still can, otherwise you’ll surely be beaten to death.” As Han Shuo took in his surroundings, a thin, twenty some year old youth walked over to Han Shuo and tried to persuade him.
This youth wore the clothes of a warrior student. Even though his body didn’t look too well built either, he was undoubtedly much stronger than those who looked strong on the outside, but hadn’t practiced any martial arts techniques simply because he was a warrior student.
“Thank you, I want to try!” Han Shuo flashed a friendly smile and spoke lightly as he nodded at the youth.
“I’m called Cal, and I come here often to earn some extra money. Even though I’m a sergeant knight, I’ve still suffered serious injuries before. I’ve seen too many who were beaten to death because they wanted to earn some money, so I hope you can take my advice. Leave while you still can, otherwise you’ll truly regret it!” Cal looked at Han Shuo with sincerity, dissuading Han Shuo with a face of genuity.
Han Shou smiled and shook his head, “I’m called Bryan. Very nice to meet you Cal. I’m grateful for your good intentions, but I must try.”
Cal gave an involuntary sigh upon seeing Han Shuo’s determination, and shook his head without saying anything. Cal’s gaze however, was full of pity, as if he felt that Han Shuo was surely dead without a doubt.