Shi Mu threw on some clothing and sat down by his desk. He felt for the holy stone that had been carefully stored in his shirt and took it out give it a closer look. The stone had been warmed to his body temperature, making it subtly glow. Fascinated by the mellow luster, Shi Mu bent his head and just stared at it for a few minutes.
After a while, he forced himself to put away the stone and refocused his attention on his practice of the Great Sutra of Magical Charms. With the slips against his forehead, a complex formula immediately emerged in his mind, made up of twelve magic characters. He gave the formula some thought, then, redirecting his eyes to the stone, muttered to himself, “Magic and Martial arts! One has to choose between the two or specialize in one while taking the other as a secondary major. In other cases, a warrior may turn to magic if he is stuck in a bottleneck in his martial art progress or vice versa. But I’m different from most disciples. I’ve got the Moon-Swallowing Art to help me absorb heavenly energy! Therefore, I can enhance my strength and practice martial arts at the same time. Compared with those aggressive magician arts, formula arts suit me better! Now, to successfully create a Body-Lifting Charm!”
Actually, this blue holy stone in his hand was a rare wind element stone, and the formula Shi Mu had just learned was one of the same element, so the two would be a good match. The stone was given to him, as a reward for his conscientious work, by an older disciple, who had asked him to make dozens of paper charms. But considering the relative scarcity of wind stones, Shi Mu had to exchange one of his water stones for this wind stone. Thinking about his mild loss, he felt a pain in his heart. It’s all right, I can’t sense the wind element, so I’ve got to borrow a power from this little stone, he comforted himself. He then took out a small bottle of ink and a pad of magic paper from his shirt (TL: what an “all-embracing” shirt!). The ink was dark red, giving off an unpleasant smell, similar to rotten fish, but it’s beautiful twinkle somewhat mitigated the disagreeable odor. The paper was deep blue, more exquisitely made than ordinary magic paper, and definitely of a higher quality. This set of paper and ink had cost Shi Mu a large sum of silver, but he had to get it. Naturally, the more complex and powerful a formula is the higher quality of base materials it needs. It is said that formulas of high grade need a kind of ink extracted from very rare animals’ blood. Correspondingly, the magic paper is also made from such animals’ hides, and must undergo some special processes before one is able to put it to use. But formulas of high grade were far beyond Shi Mu’s current ability, so the deep blue magic paper would suffice for a long time to come.
Shi Mu laid the stuff neatly on his desk, took some deep breaths, then picked up the brush. He steeped the brush in the ink and shut his eyes. After spending a few minutes recalling the formula, he opened his eyes.
A shocking scene took place!
Shi Mu’s pupils were now dilated to twice its original size. More surprisingly, they had turned to a golden color! At this moment, in his eyes the piece of paper, which was, in fact, the size of his palm, was magnified to the size of an entire desk, and the fine texture of the paper, which eluded naked eyes, was now was as clear as day to him, with the finest grains as enlarged as earthworms!
This eyesight mutation began from his practice of the Art of Accumulating Spirit Power, which he started half a year ago when his eyesight was enhanced greatly. He did not pay much attention to it at first, but when he reached the second stage, he found his eyesight had elevated to an even higher level, with his pupils turning to a golden color as long as he instilled spirit power into them. This mutation had not only boosted his eyesight, but also conferred him an unusual ability: he could turn his eyes into a pair of magnifiers whenever he wanted to, and could magnify the particular article he chose to observe closely.
When he first found it, he was surprised and worried, but once he made use of this ability, to draw paper charms, he felt just like a fish which had gotten into the water again. The reason why is, basically speaking, the success of a paper charm is determined, mainly, by the accuracy of the drawing: whether the magic characters have been written correctly, whether they are put in the right positions, and whether the magic patterns have been drawn strictly according to the authoritative book. Imagine the paper charm is a vast sea, then each character is not a ‘lonely island’, but should be connected to other characters - ‘islands’, and their relative position should be as accurate as two islands already specified on a map. The smallest deviation could lead a ship onto a reef. Crash! A voyage ends tragically. But with Shi Mu’s superhuman eyesight, each character, each position, and each pattern, can be drawn with utmost accuracy, far surpassing ordinary Adepts’ works. ( Of course, each Adept has a different area where he specializes in, and different elements-sensation, so their comprehension of various formulas will also be tinged with their own character.) This way, Shi Mu can copy an unlimited number of any charms he wants to, and, though the advanced and high-level formulas were still challenging to him, charms of low levels could be mass-produced with an almost 100% possibility of success! Compared with other Adepts, who can only make a successful paper charm one out of ten times or even dozens of times, Shi Mu is like a charm making machine! This is also why he has made a great fortune during the past half year.
Shi Mu continued to draw his charm. He fixed his eyes on the paper, took a long breath, then, with one hand grasping the holy stone and the other holding the brush, he began to write with the blood red ink at an incredibly slow speed, some twenty or even thirty times slower than normal writing speed. It was as if he was embroidering the pattern and characters, with his extraordinary eyes inspecting every stroke on the paper.
Eventually, he finished the first character, which had taken him an hour! His forehead was now covered with a sheen of sweat, but he did not notice. By the same token, he finished the second, the third....The magic characters of this Body-Lifting Charm soon filled the paper at a well-controlled speed, while Shi Mu had been sweating profusely, his shirt plastered to his back.
Another fifteen minutes passed, as he was fully concentrated on the ninth character. All of a sudden, without warning, the character sparkled! He intuitively sensed something ominous, but, before he could do something, the ninth character turned into a ball of blue light! The next moment, the whole half finished charm was burned into ashes amid glaring light!
Shi Mu frowned, putting the brush down with an expressionless face.
This experience was not new to him. For the past six months, the same thing had happened countless times - especially for charms he drew for the first time.
He paused on the spot, standing, and slightly closed his eyes, trying to recall every detail of the process, but still could not find the point where things went wrong. Despondently, he returned to his bed and began to contemplate.
After a short while, as he reopened his eyes, a trace of enlightenment could be seen, and his face showed that he had discovered the reason.
He eagerly sprang from his bed, strode to the desk, and grabbed another piece of magic paper. After some brief thought, he began to draw for a second time. This time, he slightly raised his speed, and the strokes that had made him pause previously were now drawn fluently. The islands seemed to communicate, the overall view of the sea pictured clearly. A mysterious formula was formed.
[Translator's Note]: Dear readers, how do you like today's chapter? Do you want a pair of eyes like Shi Mu's? Sometimes things look much more beautiful in a blur, right? Will do some shopping tomorrow (I'm going to move to a bigger house, and part of the reason is to leave this place full of sad memories), so shall look for some new furniture. But Will try to do at least two chapter! Please be expectant! Good Night!
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