Chapter 25 – Source of Power
Translated by Sunyancai
“My name is Xuan.”
Shao Xuan shared his name in this life. He now could only see skeletons, so he could no longer analyse the Shaman’s facial expression. However, seeing that the Shaman’s skull hesitated at his name, as if recalling something, Shao Xuan knew that this old shaman probably did not recognize him, anyway.
After some time, the Shaman spoke again, but this time he did not ask anything else about Shao Xuan.
“Fine. Now stand with your companions.”
Shao Xuan said no more, and even though he showed no dissatisfaction on his face, he was curling his lips in his mind already. Was it true that this old shaman was too old to remember things?
“Okay, since all of you have awakened your totemic powers, and gained the strength coming along with it. So, the first thing you should master now, is how to use such strength.” the Shaman said with no hurry.
“This is a turning point in your life. After today, you will be regarded a real totemic warrior. However, this is also a fresh new beginning for all of you. You can only rely on yourselves when it comes to how far you can reach in your lives. Never be complacent, for you are the only one to decide whether you stay in the primary stage, or continue to grow and develop, just like the other excellent warriors in our tribe.”
As the Shaman was saying this, he looked at Chief Ao’s direction, as if saying that, look, your Chief is a fine example of that.
Being the Chief in the tribe, Ao’s ability was indeed outstanding, and he could best most of the warriors in the tribe. Because of the worship to strength, many newly-awakened totemic warriors would consider Ao as an idol. And this year’s newly-awakened totemic warriors were no exception.
“As totemic warriors, you should first know how to find the source of power inside your bodies.”
That was also the main reason why the Shaman kept those little warriors for tonight.
“The source of power exists in your bloodline. It is asleep when you are young, until someday when the time is right, it gradually awakenes under the summon of the flames… Now, close your eyes and clear your minds. Follow the power inside your bodies, and naturally you will see it…”
No one knew when but it became warmer inside the stone room. Everyone sat down on the ground, and closed their eyes under the Shaman’s command.
Shao Xuan did the same.
When his mind was cleared, he realized that in the sea of his consciousness there was gradually a pattern forming. It was two horns covered in flames, the totem of the tribe. Aside from that, there was also a thing in the shape of an egg, wrapping the totem inside with a dazzling white light.
In the shape of an egg…
“I saw it!” a kid could not suppress his excitement and opened his eyes.
“It’s the totem!” said another kid.
“I’ve seen it, too!”
“So did I!”
Almost all the kids claimed one after another, as if being afraid to be treated as a moron who could not see the source of power by the Shaman. None of them wanted to be considered as some stupid totemic warrior with no potential.
The Shaman looked around, and realized that most of the kids could find their sources of power, except for…
“Ah-Xuan, have you found yours?”
As the Shaman spoke, all the other kids fixed their attention on Shao Xuan.
Earlier when they were chatting with each other, they had heard from Sai that this kid named Xuan came from the orphan cave down the mountain, and he would only be ten years old after the Snow Festival. Normally, only a small number of kids in the tribe could awaken their totemic powers at such a young age, and most of them were descendants from powerful totemic warriors that lived up near the mountaintop. There was a saying spread among the tribe, that the earlier one awakened his totemic power, the more potential he would have. And hence he would have more chance than others to become a great warrior like the Chief.
Before, when winter was not over yet and they got chosen and kept by the Shaman, the youngest kid among them was the first grandson of the Chief, “Mao”.
The hunting weapon that Chief Ao usually used was a spear, which was also known as “Mao” in local language. Numerous beasts got killed by Ao’s spear, and the spear represented the countless glorious deeds of Ao, as was known to many people in the tribe. And according to the tradition passed along in the tribe, it meant a lot since Chief Ao named his first grandson the same name as the weapon he used. Obviously he had great hopes placed on this grandson.
However, apparently during this year’s sacrificial ceremony, the one in the center of the limelight was not Mao, who was considered as the one with greatest potential by the public. Instead, it was Shao Xuan, who got noticed during the middle of the ceremony like a black horse.
Mao made a sour face all the time, especially when he looked at Shao Xuan. In his eyes there were obvious traces of provocation, and he was anxious to start a fight with him.
Unfortunately, Shao Xuan could only see people as skeletons, so he could not see his expression at all. As for the provocating look that Mao kept for so long, it completely went to waste as if it was a look tossed to a blind person.
At the Shaman’s question, Mao stared at Shao Xuan as well, expecting him to say no, so that Shao Xuan would definitely receive the mock from everyone in the room.
Too bad, but Shao Xuan did not fulfill their wishes.
Shao Xuan nodded at Shaman’s words, “I’ve seen it, too. It’s just the same as the totem that appeared above the fire pit.”
The Shaman was satisfied, since all the kids found their source of power. So he continued to ingrain them with knowledge about the source of the flame.
While Shao Xuan closed his eyes, and continued to look at the egg in his mind.
Since no one else mentioned something aside from the totem, so it meant that that white “egg” was only existing in Shao Xuan’s mind. Based on that shape, Shao Xuan couldn’t help but think about the odd stone that he picked up from his last life, the one that could not be scratched with a knife and could not be heated up by fire.
The more he looked at it, the more it looked like the stone from his previous life.
If it’s true, then he found the reason why he was experiencing a different process of awakening compared with the others.
Speaking of using the totemic power, the Shaman asked Mao to demonstrate for the kids.
“Give a punch without using totemic power.”
Another warrior took out a previously prepared slate under the command of the Shaman.
Mao stood out with pride. Seeing his own grandfather Ao, the Chief of the tribe looking at him with encouragement, Mao took a deep breath, made a fist, and stood in the right position. He roared as he punched against the slate in front of him with his clenched fist.
A dull thud.
The slate shook slightly.
Mao frowned a little and pulled back his fist.
Shao Xuan could nearly feel his pain, but looking at Mao’s fist, Shao Xuan noticed that he was not injured, only a red mark was left on his hand.
That was exactly the difference of the body’s strength after awakening the totemic power. From flesh to bones, every inch of one’s body got strengthened.
“Okay, now do it again, but his time with the totemic power.” the Shaman said.
Mao stopped frowning, he looked much more relaxed.
On his face, totemic patterns appeared, as he punched again.
With the same gesture and as it seemed, the same strength. It felt all the same, yet it felt completely different somehow at the same time.
The slate got punched and broke into pieces.
Those little warriors instantly got excited and they wanted to have a try for themselves. However, the Shaman did not intend to take out more slates. Instead, he asked them to do silent practice in their minds, in order to get familiar with how to use the totemic power.
After delivering the lecture, the Shaman took the men and left, for now he had to get some rest. Seeing the exhausted Shaman, Ao took another look at his red palm. Thinking it over a bit, he decided to discuss it tomorrow.
The Shaman was assisted back into his stone room. With an animal fur blanket on his body, he opened a roll of animal skin by the fire light. He told someone to make a record of today’s ritual ceremony, in which there were all detailed information about every kid. It had all things written down, like who got awakened first and who completed the awakening first.
In the animal skin roll, there was also information about Shao Xuan, including his birth and his current living situations.
Seeing that Shao Xuan kept a wolf, the Shaman searched his memory hard.
Ofcourse! No wonder he felt a sense of familiarity when he heard the name “Xuan”.
Back then, when he was walking around the mountain foot district to see how the people’s lives were, he did not expect to hear anything about “keeping and breeding”. So when he met Shao Xuan with the little wolf, he left a patterned plate so that no one in the tribe would harm the little wolf. Originally he planned to provide an extra portion of food to Xuan. However, after he got back to the mountaintop district, he was told that a certain kind of plant he had been searching for a long time was found, and a hunting team brought back one plant alive. So he devoted all his thoughts and energy to the research, and he had been working on that plant for nearly a year. Finally, he found out a way of grinding it into a herb. When the prescription was finalized, he completely forgot about the little wolf that he asked Shao Xuan to keep.
He wondered how the little wolf was now…
While at that time, Caesar, who eventually got remembered by the Shaman, was just squatting outside the orphan cave pathetically. With icy winds at night, he stared at the mountaintop, and howled.