Emin nodded, and put the butterfly bottle on the microscope.
"Creating a totem is basically using silver to imitate a living creature. How to imitate? First, you need to know the creature’s biological make-up, only then can you successfully imitate it."
He pointed out his index finger, and slowly started sketching mid air.
His fingertip drew lines of silver-white light in the air, forming silver-white threads.
As the threads slowly faded and disappeared, but before the vanished completely, all the silver-white threads Emin drew each formed a tiny figure 6. All the 6’s quickly and randomly matched up, forming many inconsistent figures that looked like badges. Just like a oval insect’s egg being wrapped up in many large circles.
"This figure represents analysis. It’s used especially for analyzing any creature’s internal make-up. It can trigger the analyzing ability in your brain, in order to quickly analyze any creature. We call it the analysis tactic. It’s one of the three basic Luminarist tactics. I’ll teach it to you later."
Emin pointed at the the floating figures, and a wave of ripples spread from that spot. With a whoosh, the figures dart into the bottle, landing on the neon butterfly.
Soon, silver tattoo lines appeared on the neon butterfly’s body.
Emin explained, "Normally, analyzing a creature requires sufficient knowledge, experience, and accumulation. If you haven’t accumulated enough, your analysis tactic wouldn’t get many results. After all, this is just a quick analysis. It’s only suitable for Luminarists who are familiar with this type of creature."
Beside him, Garen nodded, looking at the butterfly in the bottle with his undivided attention.
"Now, I’m analyzing this neon butterfly’s body systems. Its life would always be dependent on some certain systems. This neon butterfly… mm… the survival system, that’s the most basic instinct. A flying system, and defense system. There are three parts. It’s made of three parts in total, that won’t be too hard."
Emin flicked his finger, and the silver tattoos on the neon butterfly instantly began to dim.
"After that, I’ll imitate the basic units of the three part systems in order. At these times, I need to have completely researched and understood creature cells. I can only proceed after knowing the root principles. I researched butterflies before, so I’ll skip this part."
Emin walked up to the long table with the unit factory, bent down and pulled out a large black box. He opened the cover, revealing blocks after blocks of pure silver bricks. All square and proper, they looked unexpectedly clean and brand new.
Emin picked up a silver brick, and drew in the air again with his other hand. Soon enough, he had carved out another figure.
This time, it was an extremely complex figure, lined up like rows of mathematical formulae, or like a passage of unknown words.
As Emin wrote his figures, the silver block in his other hand also began to slowly melt, turning to liquid like mercury and floating over his palm. It merged into a silver ball.
"This is the second basic tactic: forging. Right now, I’m forging different units for the three systems at the same time, so it’s a little more complicated. Actually, all these figures are used to move the silver, and use them to replicate the principles and scenes in my head. That’s why we also call this tactic: replicate. Anyway, it’s up to you what you want to call it."
Garen stared at his teacher’s movements closely and nodded without speaking, terrified that he would miss even the slightest movement.
The round silver ball in Emin’s hand dissolved quickly, revealing three small balls inside.
The three small balls formed a triangle and spun rapidly, as though forming a whole.
Emin pointed at the three silver balls and said, "These three things are the basic units for the three systems that
I forged. Don’t be fooled by appearances, the structure inside is actually very complicated, and completely different. What I’m going to do now is put these units into the unit factory, and then perform large scale replicating. Then I’ll assemble them to make a model of the three large systems. The assembly also requires a third basic tactic: assimilation."
Garen nodded slowly.
"Three steps in total: analyse, forge, and assimilate. You use these three tactics to control and lead, is that right? Teacher."
"That is true, it looks simple on the surface. What you need to do is replicate a creature using silver. These three tactics are the most basic of the basic, and all totems come from them. No matter how complicated the totem, it must go through these three steps." Emin put down the silver balls in his hand. "Of course, after all that is done, there’s still the final step."
"There’s still a final step?"
"Of course." Emin smiled. "After completing the three steps, the silver totem formed is just a model made out of silver. But creatures themselves require food as an energy source to support their movements. What about totems? If they want to move, they naturally require energy. And this is the last step that needs our help."
"What is it?" Garen asked.
Emin threw a unit into the unit factory, and began to adjust and replicate it as he replied,
"The last step is to provide the energy. We also call it activation."
"That’s right, this is the basis for all Luminarists. In the past, it was also called lighting. Lighting the lamps to illuminate, that is how the term Luminarists first originated," Emin explained.
"How do you light it, then?" Garen pressed on.
"That is our most pivotal talent." Emin pointed at his head. "Here. Anyone who can be a Luminarist, has a special appraisal quality. Our power is shapeless and immaterial, and it can’t influence anything other than silver. But it has the mystical effect of giving silver life."
"No wonder Luminarists use silver as their materials…" Garen instantly understood.
"It’s actually very easy to activate something, but according to the difference in our appraisal, the strength of the totems activated will also differ."
"And how is my appraisal power?" Garen asked with slight anticipation.
"Unfortunately, your appraisal is very normal… Back then, at your home, I checked for you on the sly." Emin shrugged and said bluntly. "In other words, the totems you light will not be given any special extra effect."
Garen thought as much. Vanderman’s appraisal was very average too, so it would be hard for his son to be Prodigy-level.
"Those Prodigy-level Luminarists, are there totems really strong?"
"I saw one peak Prodigy-level Luminarist’s totem, it was an owl used for support. This prodigy’s appraisal ability was to give totems three time the power the original had." Emin reminisced slightly, "That owl was half a person tall, and it had terrifying power. It could actually fight on even ground with a lion totem, and eventually defeated the lion totem. It tore the lion into shreds."
"An owl defeating a lion, huh…?" Garen could also imagine this strange scene, and felt a little melancholy inside.
"Alright, enough about that. You are far from Prodigy-level now. But your advantage is with precision blueprints. A strong precision blueprint ability is enough to give the totems you forge impressive stability. Master-level precision blueprints would also have a great impact on high-level precision blueprints and fixing totems. With your skill, if you expand it well, you can accept jobs from some Prodigy-level Luminarists, and help them to make unactivated totems and reap some rewards. Of course, the precondition is that you must be able to completely analyze the principles." Emin continued to console him.
"I can still do that?" Garen’s eyes lit up, and he nodded solemnly.
"First, I’ll explain the principles of analyzing tactics…" Emin didn’t waste a moment, and immediately started to explain the details to Garen.
The teacher and student gathered in the lab, and a whole day passed in a moment. Other than eating, drinking and answering Nature’s call, they basically did not leave the lab.
With Emin’s careful teaching, Garen also began to slowly understand some basic Luminarist knowledge and secrets.
Luminarists usually did not write any books. They tended to teach their own knowledge verbally just like this, in order to prevent their knowledge and inheritance from leaking out to others. Every Luminarist could be called a biochemist. Their appraisal talent was their research tool.
In four days, as the neon butterfly totem slowly took shape, Garen witnessed the whole process of forming a totem step by step. From analysis to assimilation, each step was further divided into many smaller steps, exceptionally intricate and detailed. The final assimilation was especially hard. With his teacher’s tutelage, he used a Master-level precision blueprint and, step by step, put the units into groups, and then put the groups into units, systems. In the end, they had utterly formed a complete butterfly totem.
At last, it was time for the final activation.
Garen stood quietly in front of a small table, looking at the silver neon butterfly totem on it.
The totem was silent and dull, without a trace of life. It looked just like an intricate silver model, gorgeous and graceful.
Garen looked at Emin on his right, and the latter nodded slightly at him.
"I’ll start now."
Garen pointed his index finger, and pressed the surface of the neon butterfly lightly.
"Kandas vieira (Ten Thousand Mammoths Traction)… Silversa (May the Silver be ever-luminescent, the end is rebirth) …"
As he chanted lightly, a pale silver halo of light rose slowly behind him.
"Hildaves (where I am)... Runsa (there is life)."
As soon as Garen’s voice stopped, the room descended into silence.
The two of them look at the silver totem quietly, and disappointment flashed in both their eyes.
Did they fail?
The same thought appeared in both their minds.
Garen also understood that if the first activation didn’t work, that meant his appraisal quality may not even be average-level. It could only be the lowest level.
"It’s okay, if you don’t succeed this time there’s always next time." Emin consoled him from the side. "With just the Master-level precision blueprint ability, your abilities from now on will be guaranteed."
"That’s all I can do." Garen nodded, feeling slightly helpless. The silver halo behind him slowly scattered.
"Let’s go in to eat."
One followed after the other, as the two men left the lab.
At the very end, Garen looked at the butterfly totem on the table once more, and sighed imperceptibly. He began closing the door behind him.
Suddenly there was a small noise from behind him.
Garen’s whole body jolted.
In an instant, silver light erupted from behind him. Countless rays of blinding silver light shot out of the room, making his back shine like a sea of silver.
Just behind him, the silver butterfly on the table began to flap its wings slowly. It struggled a bit, and then leapt off the table, slowly taking flight.
Garen tilted his face to look at the butterfly, a hint of excitement and a hint of joy in his heart. He stretched out his index finger, and the butterfly landed on it.
"Congratulations." Emin looked over from where he was standing by the stairs, with a similar expression of joy and relief.