Chapter 254- Gift
On Earth, oaths are like cold drinks. They don’t have the slightest sincerity. Especially for some people, who use oaths as a means to deceive others.
But it was different here on Ark Continent. Here, no one would make oaths inadvertently. Especially to the deities they worshipped.
Zhao Hai didn’t know if there really were deities on the continent, but he was sure about one thing; Oaths could not be made without thinking. Because he discovered that, once you made an oath, your heart would have a special feeling. It was like how Xu Wan Ying, who had sworn a blood oath, really wouldn’t be able to betray him after that. Just like that, Zhao Hai felt that he now had a special connection with Wales after the latter made his oath. It was a feeling of being bound by blood that was too vivid to be his imagination.
After saying something similar to what Wales had just said, Zhao Hai took the bowl of goat blood after Wales drank half of it in one gulp. Zhao Hai was somewhat squeamish at the sight of the blood, but he felt that his blood was heating up under the effects of the oath. He didn’t think any further and just gulped it down in one go.
An indescribable stench-filled taste filled his mouth, which almost made him vomit. But he still shut his eyes and let the blood go down to his stomach completely.
He put the bowl down after the final drop was finished, but he was clenched his mouth shut, fearing that he would puke as soon as he opened his mouth.
Wales wasn’t feeling too great, but he was a lot better at this than Zhao Hai. He looked at Zhao Hai and said, “Starting from today, we are brothers.” After that, he kowtowed with Zhao Hai. The 2 of them stood up after doing it 3 times.
Wales laughed loudly, “Since you are my brother from today onwards, let’s have you look at my 6th brother. Oh right, how old are you today?”
Zhao Hai did a double take and forced himself to swallow his saliva to hold back the stench in his mouth. He replied, “I’m 18 today. You?”
Wales laughed, “It seems like I’m gonna be the older brother. I’m 20 today.”
Zhao Hai immediately said, “Big brother.” Wales laughed and slapped Zhao Hai’s shoulder. Mendez came over just then with a small dagger in his hand. This dagger was a lot better than the one from Spiel. The grip and sheath were both golden and studded with gemstones. The whole thing looked both noble and foreign.
Mendez stood in front of Zhao Hai and handed over the dagger, “Little Hai, this is my gift to you.”
Zhao Hai noticed how Mendez had changed his way of addressing him. It seemed that Mendez really was treating him as a sibling. He didn’t hold back and took the glittering dagger. He bowed to Mendez, “Thank you, 6th brother.”
Mendez laughed, “Don’t be. You’re now already my younger brother. Where’s your gift, little 7th?”
Wales smiled, “Inside the tent.” He led the way for Zhao Hai inside the tent. After that, he grabbed a horse cane from the wall and put it in Zhao Hai’s hands, “Brother, this is my gift to you.”
Zhao Hai measured the horse cane, and what he could be sure of at first was that it was an antique, since it looked very ancient. Although it had been cleaned up nicely, Zhao Hai couldn’t deny the the scars of aging on its surface.
The cane wasn’t long. Only less than a metre long, and as thick as a thumb. The grip was made of a bone from an unknown magic beast, as dark as a black jade. Yet it wasn’t cold to the touch. Instead, there was a trace of warmth. The grip had some very intricate patterns etched upon it, and they didn&rsqu
o;t seem to have been etched just to look ornate.
The cane body itself was made of tiny strands woven together. They weren’t normal threads, as Zhao Hai discovered that there were gold and silver-colored threads, as well as some black threads and threads of other colors. One thread on top of another, interwoven inside out; it made the cane heavy. Zhao Hai felt that it weighed at least several kilos in his hands. It seemed like it could be used directly as a weapon.
Where the cane and the grip met, there was a small leather strip acting as a guard. It wasn’t known which magic beast this strip had come from, and it wasn’t long. Only 10 centimetres long, and also very aged, which could be seen from its blackening. Despite that, it was still very sturdy.
Mendez and Yale were also looking at the cane while Zhao Hai was sizing it up. Their eyes held a trace of admiration.
Zhao Hai then saw their eyes. He felt weirded out by them and asked Wales, “Hey brother, what’s so special about this cane?”
Wales smiled, “This cane is a sort of a symbol of identity. It’s a treasure we the Herculean Bull Tribe happened upon, but one which no one knew how to use. In the end, it was passed down from one generation to the next. In every generation, the cane is passed down to the successor of the chieftain. Anyone who holds this cane has a certain summoning ability for all of the bull headed races. Holding this cane allows one to command 5000 of the bull headed race’s people.”
Zhao Hai then understood that it wasn’t just a cane. It was more like a commanding sigil. A cane that could command beastmen when held? This gift from Wales wasn’t cheap.
But Zhao Hai didn’t intend to return it to Wales. This wasn’t back when it was Laura and the others. He was in Beastmen Prairie right now, and he was facing beastmen. No need for formalities. If they gift you something, you just have to take it.
Yale also brought out something from his possessions just then. The item was a silver vial with very beautiful engravings. It wasn’t large, since it was only as large as Zhao Hai’s palm. For beastmen, it was simply too small.
Yale presented the vial to Zhao Hai and said, “Little Hai, this is my gift. When I was young, I had the opportunity to go to the Elven Forest once, where I got this vial. Don’t underestimate it though. Inside it is the Liquid Of Life: an especially precious thing for elves.”
Zhao Hai looked surprised at the silver vial. It wasn’t as though he’d never heard of the Liquid Of Life. On the contrary, he had heard of it more than once, because it was too famous on the continent.
The Liquid Of Life was a liquid secretion from the elves’ divine object: the Tree Of Life. The amount produced wasn’t high, but it had a very large effect.
The Liquid Of Life could restore stamina, battle aura and magic. It could even detoxify. It was an incomparably unique treasure, famous throughout the continent.
In the human lands, it was marketless and priceless, since it only existed in legends. No one had seen it and no one had bought it. If it weren’t for a witness of its usage, people would surely think of it as baseless fabrication.
Zhao Hai didn’t imagine Yale would give him a vial of that. To him, it was simply a precious thing. He bowed to Yale, “Thank you, Mr. Yale.”
Yale smiled without word, but Zhao Hai was a little embarrassed. Mendez’s gift aside, Yale and Wales’ gifts were extremely precious. If he didn’t gift them things in return, it would seriously be unacceptable to a degree.
Zhao Hai smiled as he thought of this. He tossed the 3 things gifted to him into the space and 3 spatial pouches appeared.
Zhao Hai put the 3 normal-looking pouches into their hands while smiling and said, “This is my gift to you. I hope you don’t find them dislikeable.”
The 3 of them glanced at the pouches. They neither opened them nor showed any reaction. They just tucked them away carefully.
Zhao Hai felt somewhat embarrassed about their looks. It wasn’t as if he wanted to test how they would react. If the 3 of them disliked his offerings, then even when he had just made the Beheading Blood Oath with Wales, he wouldn’t see him as a brother afterwards.
But obviously, he worried too much. Beastmen were indeed this simple. Even when Wales was such a calculative person, compared to humans, he would also be a simpleton.
In beastmen lands, relationships between brothers could not be measured with gifts. Even when you gave your brother a lot of gold, while your brother only gave you a blade of grass in return, you couldn’t be angry. Because you were brothers.
Zhao Hai scratched his head and said in embarrassment, “You all have to keep what I gave you well. Those are not ordinary pouches, but spatial pouches. Each has up to 10 cubic metres of capacity, and they don’t need any energy. Just loosen the rope of the pouch to use it.”
The 3 of them did a double take, and looked at each other. They quickly took out the pouches and opened them like they couldn’t wait for it.
An illusionary magic formation appeared on each pouch. Zhao Hai immediately explained, “Point the magic formation at the thing you want to keep, and think about it. That thing will automatically be put into the pouch. If you want to take it out, just open the pouch, think about what you want to take out, and you can bring it out.”
The 3 of them experimented for a bit, looked at their pouches with crazed grins, and then put their pouches away carefully, like they were the most precious things in their lives. They looked to be even more careful than if they were carving on eggshells.
Zhao Hai couldn’t help but laughing at them, “I’d say, you don’t need to be so careful. With that kind of quality, you can’t damage those pouches.”
Wales shot Zhao Hai a strange glance and said, “What do you know about being careful? What if they get broken?”
Zhao Hai snickered, “It’s alright if they do. I’ll just deliver some for you again.”
After Zhao Hai said that, the 3 of them stopped their movements and looked straight at Zhao Hai, who then asked with incomprehension, “What? What’s the matter?”
Wales yelled and pounced on Zhao Hai. Mendez pounced as well, while Yale wasn’t as fast as them so he just stood to the side and chuckled at the sight.
Wales sat on top of Zhao Hai while he kept on slapping him and asked, “You ask me ‘what’s the matter’? You actually dare to ask such a question, you brat? Don’t you know what’s the matter with you? Do you have a lot of spatial pouches? How come you’re not the slightest bit pained when you give them away?”
Mendez also didn’t let Zhao Hai off the hook. Like Wales, he was slapping Zhao Hai’s head around like a ball, which made Zhao Hai very dizzy.
The 2 of them stood up after a while, and Zhao Hai got up in the midst of dizziness. He looked at them with disdain, “I can’t believe you two. When I say I have a lot to give? Remember, I’m an Oddity Artist. Oddity. Artist. Understand?”
Wales did a double take, “Oddity Artist? Are you saying you are one yourself, my brother?”
Zhao Hai nodded at that.
Wales looked at Zhao Hai with a glimmer in his eyes, “Well I’ll be. Does your Oddity Art have something to do with the creation of these spatial pouches? What are you selling grains for? Just sell these instead.”
Zhao Hai looked at Wales unpleasantly, “Don’t bullshit me. I just said I’m an Oddity Artist. When did I say I can make these pouches? They were found by me in a cave, and there were only several of them. After giving them to Laura and 2 others, there are only these 3 left. My power as an Oddity Artist is the ability to turn corpses into undead creatures, and then put them into my space. Where else do you think those pouches and the grains are from?”
Wales and the 2 others nodded at Zhao Hai’s explanation. They had neither seen nor used spatial equipments before, but such an equipment wouldn’t be too great. If the storage space of each equipment were great, humans would’ve already circumvented the need to use horse-drawn wagons when fighting against beastmen by just transporting food to Iron Wall Fortress using spatial equipment instead. That way, the beastmen would not be able to break through the fortress.
There were Oddity Artists among both humans and beastmen. There were more than a few of them in beastmen lands, and likewise, they were very respected as a group. It was because their special abilities could help the beastmen tribes to a greater degree.
Wales asked Zhao Hai, “It’s great that you have such an endurance, brother. And I have to ask, can your space store argali and others of the sort?”
Zhao Hai was startled. He didn’t expect Wales to be this smart just from what Zhao Hai said himself. It was beyond his expectations.