Star Gate

Chapter 353: Compensation Package (II)
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Chapter 353: Compensation Package (II)

“We’ve built an unattributed energy room over the years,” Mu Lin continued his tour. “And one of mysterious power stones. They’re both incredible sites that help martial masters swiftly improve. Enhancing the body is still a top-class choice before Dominator!

“Those below Dominator can go to the cultivation room of unattributed mysterious power. Those above Dominator can go to the one of mysterious power stones.”

“Are the Silver Moon Guards this lavish?” Li Hao raised an eyebrow. “You guys don’t have that many stones, do you?”

“True, we don’t have many, but they can be replenished by mysterious power. Having the stones as a conduit for the martial master leads to very decent effects.”

Li Hao nodded. “Is this all?” All this was fine and dandy, but he felt that they hadn’t touched upon the key point!

What was the key point?

Aura!

Indeed. Over one hundred out of a thousand people in the Guards had comprehended the aura, there must be something here that facilitated martial masters grasping it!

A light shone from Mu Lin’s eyes as he looked at Li Hao. “Is ole brother Li not satisfied?”

“What about the aura?” Li Hao cut straight to the chase, uninterested in talking about things in a roundabout way. “One tenth of your people are half step Dominators. Are they all geniuses to so easily grasp the aura? My teacher said that comprehending the aura is the hardest step in martial dao. Martial masters would not have declined if it could’ve been done easily. If we were all Dominators when the supernatural domain rose, there would’ve been no need to fear supernaturals.”

Mu Lin nodded. As he expected, this fellow identified the heart of things with a single look. “We do indeed have treasures that help martial masters sense the aura, but... they’re rare opportunities.”

Li Hao laughed and pointed at the martial masters. “There’s a hundred here who know the aura and possibly several hundred more who made the attempt. How rare are these opportunities?”

Not at all!

Mu Lin had no appropriate response and had to pretend he didn’t hear anything. “What do you think the aura is?”

It was Li Hao’s turn to hesitate. “There are many kinds of aura,” he said after a long moment.

No shit! However, Mu Lin quickly realized that the young man wasn’t spouting bullshit.

“Based on my experience, there are three kinds of aura! The first is an eruption of one’s own emotions, mood, and feelings. This kind of aura is closest to the self and comes from the inner heart. I call that the self’s aura!

“The second type of aura results from cultivating martial dao to its extreme. For instance, training a secret art to its utmost means I can follow the steps of seniors that came before me and try to fathom their path. If I’d continued to train the Five Styles, I might have eventually grasped the aura of the Five Styles. This is the aura that a secret art inherently possesses. I call that martial aura!

“The third kind is very rare... You might witness an incredible sword slash, blade stroke, or spear jab when powerhouses fight. You might sense some aura or intent left behind by predecessors and seek to imitate or copy it. That process gives rise to your own aura, the kind I call heaven aura!

“It’s hard to say which of the three is the strongest, but I think there’s least potential in the second. The first has great potential, but not necessarily great strength. The third might have greater strength, but it’s hard to discuss its potential...”

Mu Lin stopped still in his tracks and stared at the young man.

“I thought you were just strong,” he finally sighed after a long while. “But your description of the aura makes me feel that the Five Styles discipline is truly extraordinary! The division of the auras into three types... Even I might not be able to delineate them so clearly.”

Very few people would go to the effort of drawing such conclusions. Martial masters comprehended one type of aura, so what was the point of such detailed categorization?

Yet, Li Hao had outlined three types because he’d experienced all of them. The fire tiger aura was a self aura—it was an eruption of his own emotions. The earth sword aura had come from his own reflections and imitation after witnessing Liu Long’s Nine Forged Force and his teacher’s actions. It was a heaven aura, but it wasn’t as strong as the other one he grasped—the sword stroke he’d seen. He’d intuited the sword aura from that move. The overview of the sword outline was stronger!

These were the auras that Li Hao had grasped at the moment. What he wanted to comprehend next—the water aura—was a martial aura. He wanted to reach the best he could in the Nine Forged Force and then try to fathom its aura through a secret art. Such was the martial aura.

The aura of invincibility that ancient tomes spoke of counted as a self aura. It was an explosion of one’s emotions and accumulation of momentum. One was undefeated after countless battles and an internal blossoming of confidence made one impossible to defeat.

Yuan Shuo hadn’t taught Li Hao these concepts; the young man summarized them by himself. Perhaps he hadn’t seen too much of the world due to his young age, but others may not have encountered what he’d already seen.

He Yong said that every three and blade of grass in Silver Moon might contain the auras of premier powerhouses. In that case, Li Hao guessed that the Silver Moon Guards might have some treasures that contained the auras of ancient powerhouses!

The young man had seen such things before as well. The two characters of Battle Heaven were a kind of treasure, but they were too sophisticated for Li Hao to glean anything. The one who’d written them all those years ago was too strong.

He’d also felt some things from his ancestor’s sword stroke. While it wasn’t a tangible treasure, other people might be able to grasp some sword aura from it if they saw it. They wouldn’t necessarily sense the same as Li Hao either.

......

Mu Lin’s emotions were a bit complicated at the moment. I’m not worried about you being strong, but of you having a clear understanding of martial dao while being strong. It won’t be easy to keep you down then.

“I wasn’t at liberty to explain before.” The man decided to come clean. “But based on your depiction... You’re right, the Guards do have some treasures that contain heaven auras. It’s some traces resulting from the fights of ancient powerhouses—some sword marks, blade traces, and others. They endure through the passage of time and help us more easily understand the aura.

“There are also some broken weapons found in the ruins that contain bits of will. Those help us comprehend the aura as well.”

“What about origin weapons?” Li Hao thought rapidly. If broken weapons could do the deed, why didn’t anyone try utilizing origin weapons to grasp the aura? Even He Yong had only told him to try and sense Hou Xiaochen’s aura. Well, he’d also said that some origin weapons might have aura lingering in them after they were unsealed.

This time, Mu Lin laughed. It’s good that there’s certain things you don’t know.

“Origin weapons are also left behind by ancient powerhouses, but they tend to be whole and complete. It’s been so long that most of them have lost the traces of their former owners.

“When a blade breaks, we can still observe the point of breakage countless years later to determine how it was broken. The same traits do not exist in origin weapons. How are we to glean anything from a complete blade that looks brand new?”

What he said made sense and also didn’t make sense to the young man.

“Doesn’t that make origin weapons less than broken weapons?” Li Hao frowned.

“No!” Mu Lin refuted. “Origin weapons are divided into two as well. The first is the situation I just mentioned—reawakening after falling inert. The second is a sealed origin weapon! They’re not inert, but sealed away. Once this kind is unsealed, it might immediately erupt with the will and aura of its past owner. It’s best to give this kind a wide berth and not try to comprehend anything from it. You’ll probably die!

“It’s what some powerhouses seek out though, and even try to unseal, because they wish to sense that momentary explosion of ancient powerhouse strength. This kind is exceedingly rare as there aren’t many sealed weapons in the world.”

Li Hao thought of Stellaris, the weapons of the eight families, and the sword that he’d given the Night Watchers in return for a Nova level blood pearl—the one he’d passed off as the sword of the Lis.

“Do the Guards have a lot of these treasures?” Multiple thoughts flew through Li Hao’s mind.

“Not that many, and there’s another problem associated with them—storage is very difficult!” Mu Lin said with a sigh. “Some treasures perform adequately when you use them the first time, but the will inside mostly dissipates after the second use. They can be used a third or fourth time, but are ineffective beyond that! There are very few treasures who are continuously effective. We only have two or three of those, the boss looks after them himself. I don’t have the right to handle them.”

Li Hao nodded, finally understanding why there were so many people who knew the aura here.

“And these treasures are all from the ruins?”

“Yes.” Mu Lin nodded. “Almost all of them are, but some were also seized from pirates. There are many pirates in the North Sea and these guys sometimes dredge up treasures from the sea. Though these items aren’t from ruins, they also contain special effects.”

“Are the pirates strong?”

“There’s strong and weak ones. They’re not one faction and there’s a lot of them. The North Sea cuts through the central north and flows past more than a dozen provinces. Groups on a smaller scale only have a couple dozen people, ones on a larger scale are much bigger. There’s a very strong one comprised of tens of thousands, and more than half are supernaturals!”

Li Hao jerked with surprise. So many? How was that possible??

“Where do they get so many supernaturals from?”

“The war in the central region has made it impossible for many supernaturals to continue their livelihoods, or they may have enemies, or their families are broken, or they’re wanted for their crimes... The three great organizations were previously strict on who they accepted. They didn’t want the weak or those with poor potential. The mid-sized organizations have limited ability and can’t support so many supernaturals. That forced these people to become bandits, either in the mountains or the sea!”

Li Hao frowned. Pirates...

“So what do they do to survive?”

“Banditry! There are many merchant companies that cross the sea. These pirates have also once targeted a city, come ashore, swiftly ambushed it, or even razed the city to the ground. They come and go like the wind and it’s very difficult to capture them once they return to sea. Thus, pirates are a huge headache for the northern and central provinces along the coast. freew𝚎bn𝐨𝘃𝐞𝗹.𝗰𝚘𝗺

“The Silver Moon Guards are tasked with cleaning up the pirates near the Moon Sea. There aren’t that many of them as we aren’t a prosperous province and the bigger pirate factions don’t think much of us.

“Additionally, there’s a lot of mysterious power in the deep blue and treasures, so there are plenty of powerhouses on the open waters.”

Li Hao nodded. He’d never heard of nautical threats before. The Guards must be quite strong as they’d eliminated all of the pirates that came ashore. That made sense as if the Guards couldn’t even handle pirates, then Hou Xiaochen’s efforts all these years were wasted. It wasn’t the entire North Sea, just the bay that was the Moon Sea.

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