Ever since his teacher left the school, the large Tasura Academy school of thought also began to crumble and fall apart, splitting into the three main divisions. The Great White Bear, the Black Panther, and The Sabertooth Tiger.
Emin actually still had a senior brother and a junior brother, both of whom lived further away. Unlike him, the two of them had long since started spreading their teachings, and now had students as well as grand-students, holding quite an influence over the local community.
They had also invited him over many times, but he rejected them each time.
As his thoughts wandered over there, Emin couldn’t help but sigh, and looked at Garen beside him.
"Your control is great, that’s the little convenience brought by Master-level precision blueprints. If you’re willing, join my school of thought, and I can help you create a White Bear core totem. Of course, once you decide on a core totem, it’ll be very troublesome later if you want to change. And this way, you’ll have to take responsibility for our school."
Garen did remember hearing about the situation of Emin’s school.
Hearing his teacher’s words, he remained silent, and did not reply immediately.
"When we get back, I’ll start teaching you the three major basic tactics. It’ll probably take a few months’ time, you can consider it carefully in that period of time." Emin knew that this was a troublesome problem as well, and didn’t force it.
Upon returning to Emin’s house, Garen first achieved a basic understanding of the information and principles regarding the first tactic, analysis.
After washing up hastily, he returned to his room on the first floor to rest.
The kerosene lamp by the head of his bed burned slowly, emitting a bright yellow light.
Garen sat by his bedside, rather casually flipping through the large book in his hand. The cover of the book said: Illustrated Encyclopedia of Creatures.
"Once you’ve settled on a core totem, you need to wait for more than five years if you want to change it. At the same time, you need a special ritual and ingredients to disassemble it. It’s very troublesome… but, with a decent core totem, you can have an automatically-reacting Totem Light that can follow you everywhere in life."
He understood the benefits of that. Totem Light that activated of its own accord was enough to match any dangers a Luminarist might face.
Without having to release their totem, they could automatically activate Totem Light to protect themselves at any time and place. This was also the reason Lumimarists could stand high above the rest, and disregard even the strongest normal person.
Because no matter how strong a regular person could get, they wouldn’t be able to break that Totem Light that looked so thin. That’s because attacks without silver would not be able to break the core Totem Light. This was a difference in quality, one that couldn’t be overcome by quantity.
"Only Luminarists with core totems can truly manifest this unbeatable nature of Luminarists, and stand at the peak of mortals." Garen murmured, hesitation in his heart.
Logically speaking, choosing the White Bear would make a good shortcut, but deep inside he also knew too well that compared to those unbelievably strong Luminarists in the future, the White Bear was pathetically weak.
"Whatever, now I’ll have to learn the three major tactics, and then accumulate the relevant knowledge. I’m not like other Luminarists, after regaining my power, I’m already standing at the peak of mortals. It’s the same as being a Master-level fighter in this world. I don’t have to rush in to decide a core totem to protect myself." Garen decided, and rolled into his bed, pulling his covers over himself to rest peacefully.
In the time that followed. Garen learned the principles and structures of basic tactics from Emin every
day, as well as how to activate his own appraisal ability.
Just as Emin said, the three major tactics weren’t hard, much less with Garen’s special physical qualities. Even regular Luminarists taking it step by step could learn them.
In that period of time, Garen’s attributes also returned to an average of 2.0 and above. Even his intelligence, his weakest point, rose to 2.0, evidently as a result of constantly using his brain.
With Garen’s undivided concentration and effort, he completely learned the three major tactics -- which were expected to take a few months to learn -- in half a month’s time, and he could use them with unnatural familiarity too. This was a great surprise to Emin, who also realized that as time went on, Garen’s ability to learn seemed to be increasing and speeding up.
Soon, he suggested letting Garen go into the underground book cellar on his own to accumulate knowledge. Those were all non-core books he had collected, mostly about basic totem construction that had become public knowledge.
The way he saw it, the thing Garen lacked now was the accumulation of knowledge, as well as a unit factory that was suitable for him and completely his own. He could create a totem for Garen, but a unit factory was different. If Garen wasn’t willing to inherit his school, then as a teacher in the future, Garen would need to create a unit factory all of his own. That involved a nearly astronomical cost…
"Now, you’ve gotten the three major tactics down. So all that’s left is to gather your own theoretical knowledge. Only with enough theories can your analysis tactic have enough information to be based on. Now, let’s go into the underground book cellar."
Emin brought Garen to the dark corner behind the stairs.
On the wall behind the stairs, there was a heavy metal door, fastened with a huge lock.
Emi handed the keys over to Garen, and then turned to walk away. He left, as though to discuss something with the little girl Nicole.
Garen held the large palm-sized key, and inserted it lightly into the keyhole. A turn.
With a clack, the large lock bounced open.
Garen pushed the metal door with all his strength. It was pitch black inside.
He walked in, and used a match to light the oil lamp on the wall.
It was strange. In an instant, a row of oil lamps lit up all along the walls of the underground room, forming a bright yellow row of lights.
The first oil lamp seemed to be a trigger, lighting all the oil lamps in the underground cellar at once.
The whole cellar lit up at once.
Garen closed the door behind him, observing the whole cellar quietly.
It was about as big as a futsal court, lined with bookshelves made of black stone. There were a few books scattered here and there.
There was a reading desk and chair next to the shelves, and there were sheafs of loose white paper meant for writing on the desk.
Garen followed the slope downwards, and felt a draft flowing in the book cellar. He walked to the first bookshelf on the furthest left, and glanced at the corner of the shelf. There was a black label stuck there, white words on a black base: Tactic research’.
He looked at the shelf. There were only two thin handbooks. They didn’t even have covers, and were all white.
Shaking his head, Garen walked to the second shelf.
The label said: ‘Creature composition encyclopedias’.
There were quite a few books on this shelf, of various sizes and thicknesses, filling up most half of the shelf. The largest book had pages half a meter wide, and was wrapped in very thick leather. It was like a black shield, leaning by the bottom of the bookshelf.
Garen glanced at the cover of this book: Tasura’s Creatures Illustrated.
He continued on to the third shelf.
The label said: Basic school theories.
There was only one book on this shelf. It was extremely thick, and had a leather-bound cover. It said on top: History of Totem Development.
And then, the fourth and fifth shelves had the same name: ‘Theories and Practical’.
The books there were also all about the Lumminarists’ journeys, experiences, journals and so on.
Garen casually pulled down a book and flipped through it. Each of these books were actually written in unique symbols and words. They were all encoded, and each of them differently. There were thirty-two books in total and in twenty-eight separate coded languages. Unless you knew the key to these, there was no way to read it at all. Only a few journals from recent years weren’t encoded, and these seemed to be talking about other Luminarists.
Garen had no choice but to replace all the books he couldn’t read to their shelves.
Most of the remaining shelves were about the same, including that black leather book that looked like a shield, Tasura’s Creatures Illustrated. This was encoded too, so he could only more or less see the pictures inside, and didn’t understand any of the rest.
He could only read one bookshelf.
It was the second one: ‘Creature composition encyclopedias’.
In this period of time, Emin had taught him his unique keyword, which was just enough to decode most of the books on this shelf.
Garen pulled a book off the shelf. ‘Entomology’, by Emin Kreso… and followed by a long line of names.
He flipped open this book, his brain translating its contents through rapid decoding.
This manner of decoding and translating took a long time, equivalent to the time taken to read two books. And it wasn’t easy either.
Garen slowly translated the words one by one, and the read them together.
The time ticked by. A few hours had passed, but he had only gone through half of the book.
Garen closed his eyes. They were feeling rather sore, so he rested them a bit. And then he continued reading.
His attributes had all reached extremely high levels. Faced with an intelligence of more than 2.0, almost anything he saw could be instantly understood and stored in his brain.
In the meanwhile, Emin did come down to check on him. Upon finding Garen wholly focused on his reading and studies, he went out again, feeling comforted.
That first day, Garen didn’t even finish reading that book on Entology. The book started out simple, but got more complicated as it went, and the more creatures it introduced the more complicated and intricate their systems got. There were also more things for him to remember.
On the second day, Garen continued to read and learn in the cellar. And then the third day, during which he finally finished reading the whole Entomology.
Sitting on the chair, Garen watched the light red skills attribute on his attribute pane shift a little. Light red symbols appeared, and he immediately understood what the symbols meant.
"Requirement to fully comprehend Entomology: Intelligence 1.4 (fulfilled)."
As soon as the symbols appeared, Garen felt the parts where he had been a bit blur about when reading instantly become extremely clear. Any secret parts he hadn’t understood fully before, he also comprehended in an instant.
"The first book…" He let out a long breath, glancing at the few remaining books on the shelf. This included zoology, ornithology, marine biology, microbiology and many other types. There were even more specialized books with details among them, such as ‘Composition of Butterfly-type Insects’.
Garen began to go through the books one by one, day after day, staying in the cellar.
Slowly, the books on the shelf about creature compositions began to lessen, and he piled all the books he had read on the desk.