By nightfall, all of the slimes and non-slimes had gathered in the central square of the Slime Kingdom. There used to be a big boulder with the Millennium Peach Tree on top of it, but Viola had destroyed it. A temporary stage was set up in its place. The Slime Kingdom was full of buildings made of shining stone, making the place as bright as day.
Everyone sat at the tables surrounding the stage. The tables had all kinds of food and beverages laid out on top. No matter what dishes Sila tried, they all tasted amazing. There were more than ten different kinds of grilled meat, each with their own distinct flavor, and they all went well with the slime race’s special dipping sauce. As for the beverages, they seemed to be fruit juices that Sila had never seen before. He tried a blue drink and found that its taste was a mix between a watermelon and a cantaloupe.
Chatting and laughter rang out with no signs of stopping. Meanwhile, the same old orange slime ascended the stage. Glancing around, he found that no one was interested in his presence.
“Ladies and gentlemen, please kindly give me some of your attention, ya,” the orange slime tried to shout, but his voice was like a drop of water in an ocean.
Sila was about to stand up and tell everyone to pay attention to the stage, but Poluk—who was sitting next to him—laid a hand on his shoulder as he said, “Just watch.”
Despite feeling doubtful, Sila obediently remained seated and observed Orangey (Sila personally gave the orange slime a name since he had yet to see another slime with the same color).
The small slime tried to gently divert everyone’s attention to him two more times, but his attempts ended in vain. Being certain that no one would obediently listen, he cladded himself with psychic power reinforcement.
Racial Skill — Slime’s Roar.
“EVERYBODY, LISTEN HERE!!!“ Orangey’s shout reverberated like thunder, making all of the slimes flinch. Considering his small body, it was totally unexpected that he could make such a loud noise.
Sila hadn’t prepared for it, so he felt his ears hurt for a while.
After the thunderous roar, the silence that Orangey desired finally came, although it was coupled with the combined gazes of everyone present, making him feel slightly embarrassed.
Orangey coughed once to clear his nervousness before his lips began to move, yet no sound came from them. Curious, Sila circulated qi to his ears to strengthen his hearing sense, but it didn’t work. Orangey’s speech lasted for a minute yet Sila did not hear a single word. The unusual silence caused him to feel restless. It wasn’t until Orangey said “Begins Now!!!“ that the sound of the wind, forest, and insects returned.
Clap, Clap, Clap.
The Slime King applauded while the rest of the slimes remained silent. No one could tell if they were too shocked or simply lacked the hands to clap.
Poluk said in a loud voice, “It seemed your speech was remarkable. Still, did you forget that your Slime’s Roar will make people around you become deaf temporarily?”
Orangey was at a loss for words. That meant no one had heard his speech. In order to become the perfect host of this celebration party, he had even prepared a script in advance and rehearsed a hundred times.
It was a pity. His speech just now was perfect. Still, it would be strange and not magical anymore if he had to repeat it again. In the end, he left the stage dejectedly while saying, “Err... in any case, welcome the first one, ya.”
A red slime, with a single horn coming out of its forehead, hopped onto the stage and showed its fire-breathing skill. Seeing the scene, Sila was surprised. He knew slimes could change their magic elements but he had never known they could breathe flames.
He turned to ask the Slime King who sat beside him, “What was that just now, sir?”
The Slime King placed an empty glass on the table. “That’s our racial ability that was sealed—Way of Slimes.”
“Way of Slimes?” Come to think of it, Sila recalled that his skill, Way of Slime, was sealed after he accomplished the quest.
“Mn. Actually, in the unsealed state, every slime originally had only one skill, Heart of Slime, which could be promoted to Way of Slime. In a sense, you can say that we slimes only have one skill while other races have four—including the ultimate skill of the strongest member.”
Sila opened his system window and checked his skill list. “I have Formless Soldier, Moon Reflecting Mirror, and Orbiting Cosmos though.”
The Slime King didn’t find it surprising. “That’s because our race has the ability to teach our own Way of Slimes to others, though the learner has to meet some criteria in order to learn them. Understand? The skills you have are Poluk, Viola, Divine’s Way of Slimes. Your previous Way of Slime, the one with the ability to alter your power, belongs to me. I could lend it to you only until the quest completion. My power shares the same foundation as the Marvelous Bible, my family’s heirloom. According to my family’s regulations, I can’t have an outsider inherit it. You will have to find your own Way of Slime from now on.”
“My own Way of Slime?”
“It may be difficult. Way of Slime is something born from within. It can be influenced by experience, profound arts, things that you have a strong impression or anything. It’s mainly about understanding yourself. For example, my older brother—Hu Xian—was originally a slime, yet his Way of Slime was Chaos Devourer—the ability to gain strength from creatures he ate. As he continued consuming, his existence mutated to keep up with his ever-increasing strength. In the end, he became a complete dragon. Actually, Way of Slime is like what players call Rhythm, though the result of the skill is more obvious. You can call it slime-styled Rhythm.”
Sila frowned. He couldn’t even activate Rhythm, which was said to be a basic for elite players. The reason must be because his power was too everchanging. He had never truly mastered his power before it changed form. As such, the identity of the core of his power was faint and couldn’t be measured. This trait was the prominent point of Flaming Cloud Qi, but it worked against him when he tried to create his own Rhythm or Way of Slime.
The Slime King continued, “Normally, for you to learn another slime’s Way of Slime, you would have to approach them and complete the conditions that the chosen slime sets for learning the skill. The troublesome part is that you can only learn one skill at a time. Once the conditions are met, you will have to come back and meet the skill holder to obtain the skill before you can learn another one. However, since you have the Slime’s Record in your possession, you can ignore this process. You will acquire the skill immediately as soon as the conditions are met. The only prerequisite is that you have to witness the said skill first. In fact, this celebration party, where each slime is displaying their skill, was set up specifically for you.”
Hearing so, Sila quickly took the Slime’s Record out and found that the number of pages really increased. With each display, one more page would be added to the Record—showing the skill’s name, an illustration, its basic information, and the conditions for acquiring it. Still, the very first page remained the illustration of twin slimes with no description.
“That page is for your own Way of Slime. When you have created it, it will show up there.”
“My Way of Slime...?” Sila muttered to himself while igniting qi flame on his palm, trying to understand the characteristic of his own power. Regardless, no matter how long he stared into the pitch black flame, he got nothing.
“Those who know others are wise while those who know themselves are sages. Sila, you will have to understand yourself first,” Divine commented.
Poluk placed his glass down, looked at the Slime King, and said, “Well, even without such a skill, Flaming Cloud Qi is already one of the Five Crown Jewels. You are already so capable despite your young age. Give yourself a dozen more years and you will be undefeated under the sky like the two brothers from the Tiger Family.”
“Even we lost once, and to the same opponent at the same time as well.” The Slime King gave a dry laugh, though everyone seemed to ignore his statement, thinking that he was just being humble.
Sila, however, was more interested in something else. “What do you mean by Five Crown Jewels?”
Everyone at their table stopped talking and locked their gazes on Sila. Asava was the first to speak, asking, “Sila, don’t you know the meaning of the Five Crown Jewels?”
Sila shook his head while Viola let out a sigh. “You are a member of the underground world yet you are this oblivious? Even if Mora didn’t tell you anything, you should have at least heard the term from someone else.”
Before Sila lost any more face, Asava hurriedly explained, “The Five Crown Jewels refer to the five supreme profound arts recognized by people in the martial world, though this can change from generation to generation. They are like the topmost jewels crowned on the coronet. In the current era, no one is unaware of Most Mysterious—Marvelous Bible, Most Bizarre—Flaming Cloud Qi, Most Profound—Ocean-Surrounding Dragon Technique, Most Unfathomable—Heavenly Reservoir Qi, and Most Unequalled—Blossoming Lotus Art. They are the Five Crown Jewels of the present generation.”
Seeing that Sila was interested, Asava continued, “Most Mysterious refers to the Marvelous Bible of the Tiger Family, passed down through their bloodline only. It is the art of making the impossible possible. Most Bizarre is Flaming Cloud Qi from the Hell’s Gate Islands, representing a demon and a god coexisting in a human body. Most Profound refers to Elder Sanon’s Ocean-Surrounding Dragon Technique. Just a single display of power shook the entire martial world. Most Unfathomable is Heavenly Reservoir Qi from the Sky Tower Clan. The purest form of bottomless inner force. Lastly, Most Unequalled is Blossoming Lotus Art from the Serene Temple. Win without fighting. Dismiss enmity without taking offensive actions.”
Divine added, “That means the Flaming Cloud Qi you are using is one of the five greatest arts of the current era, Sila.”
Going over what he had just heard, Sila wondered. “Hmm? One of them belongs to the Sky Dragon Dojo?”
Everyone exchanged glances, feeling surprised that Sila was oblivious even to a certain tale. Even the youngest one here, Vlad, had heard about it.
“Such an impactful and important event... Hasn’t Mora told you?” asked Poluk.
Sila shook his head again. “He hasn’t. This is my first time hearing that the Sky Dragon Dojo has such a strong art in its possession. In this case, there is a possibility that Montra has—”
Asava interrupted, “Sila, you heard me wrong. I didn’t say the Sky Dragon Dojo has one of the five greatest arts. What I said was that one of them belonged to Elder Sanon.”
Sila was confused. “Are they different?”
Divine explained, “Yes, they are. In fact, he displayed the art only once, yet it has been considered a legendary feat ever since. The event is one of the reasons why we suspect he might be the traitor.”
The tale was an old one. Vlad had listened to it at least ten times already, so he lost interest and stared at the shows on the stage. Only Sila became attentive to the story.
“The event took place at a yearly conference several years ago. At that time, Poluk’s teacher and the Demon God Zenga were the only remaining Island Masters of their generation. The Earthbound Reaper had a hot-headed personality, so he stormed into the meeting and demanded fair treatment for Kimon. Their argument soon escalated into a fight. Both of them possessed almighty strength and they didn’t hold back in showing their ultimate moves. The situation was very dire. If the Demon God died, the people in the association would claim justice by slaughtering Kimon’s members. On the other hand, if the Earthbound Reaper died, Kimon’s members would start a massacre in order to take revenge. Still, the level of battle was incredibly high. No one dared to interrupt as they would meet their demise the second they came into contact with any of the two’s moves.
“It was none other than Sanon, still in his twenties at the time, who intervened between the two. He bared his chest against Flaming Cloud Qi while using his back to receive Vajra Qi. Miraculously, he came out alive despite taking the two hits simultaneously, though the injuries on him were serious. Seeing that even the Demon God’s youngest disciple could achieve such a feat, Poluk’s teacher decided to withdraw. It could be said that Sanon was a hero who had successfully prevented a civil war. All the people in the conference applauded and roared in celebration.”
Sila could hardly swallow his saliva. Flaming Cloud Qi and Vajra Qi were formidable and fierce in different ways. He knew he would be incapable of replicating the feat. It was amazing, and even scary, to think that Sanon could do it when he was not that much older than Sila was right now.
“So that’s Ocean-Surrounding Dragon Technique, right?”
“That’s right. However, the tale didn’t end well like you might be thinking. The Demon God Zenga’s character was as wild as a flame. He asked Sanon what art he used to intervene previously, to which Sanon answered by saying that it was Ocean-Surrounding Dragon Technique, an art he had invented personally. Hearing this, the Demon God became enraged, scolding Sanon and saying that he was disrespectful by showing off that his strength was superior to his teacher in front of a crowd. Then, he exerted Flaming Cloud Qi to burn Sanon’s inner force and profound veins. With that being done, Sanon would forever be unable to build up inner force further than a negligible degree. He would be unable to practice high-level arts for the rest of his life. The Demon God’s anger didn’t stop there. He declared that in the future whoever uses Ocean-Surrounding Dragon Technique will be classified as public enemies, subjected to execution on the spot. Thus, there is no way Sanon would have imparted the art to others. You can be sure of that.”
Sila listened to the tale with bewilderment. “W-Why...? Why did the Demon God have to do that?”
“The Demon God’s character was quick-tempered. That was to be expected. Sila, you still don’t understand how the martial world functions. Sanon made his teacher lose face in front of people from the association. Being made crippled could be said to be a light punishment already. In any case, the Wulin Lord’s order was absolute, meaning we must all follow it without missing a single letter. The order remained without being retracted even on the day the Demon God died. Therefore, Sanon is considered someone whose hatred toward the association must be intense. People still respect him though. That is why they crowned Ocean-Surrounding Dragon Technique as one of the Five Crown Jewels despite it only being displayed once.”
“That was too cruel. I now understand why Montra would want to become the Wulin Lord. I guess he must want to cancel this order.”
“That is possible. Or, Sanon can be a traitor who aims for Montra to become the Wulin Lord and will take revenge against the association once he has acquired enough power. Don’t look at things too optimistically, Sila,” Divine warned.
“But... I heard that Mister Sanon opposes the decision to make Montra the Wulin Lord. Isn’t that right?”
Viola opened her mouth. “Sanon is a smart guy. It’s possible that he is pretending, sending a false signal.”
Poluk added, “A story from the past belongs in the past. As for the present, what that becomes will be up to the people of the new generation like you. This is your era, Sila. Use our past actions as lessons to help you decide what choices you want to make and what path you want the association to walk in the future. We all make mistakes. They are inevitable. It’s what you can learn from them that’s important. You can think of them as another heritage from the older generations.”
Sila took every lesson he learned today to heart while enjoying the shows prepared by slimes. The party continued smoothly and merrily, not counting the time when Orangey got drunk from Night Grape Juice—the specialty fruit from the Illusion Forest—and used Slime’s Roar two more times to make everyone listen to him.
Several slimes came to greet Sila one after another and offered efficient methods to acquire their Way of Slimes while thanking him for setting them free and granting them the happiness they felt today.
Sila continued listening to experiences, warnings, or even Monster Soul’s legends from the Slime King, the Slime Guardians, and Asava with excitement. He didn’t get a wink of sleep and before he knew it, the sun had risen.
Finally, the party was over. The peaceful and joyful time had eventually come to an end. Sila bid everyone farewell as he planned to join Bluebird in the Magic Kingdom like he had planned.
The night was memorable. However, it might be the last happy moment he would ever feel before the war event started. Thus, Sila tried to submerge himself into the atmosphere as much as he could. He then left the place along with the flash of teleportation. There was a high chance that visiting the Magic Kingdom would lead to difficult situations, so he went back to Belacia City first in order to make preparations, including inviting Julia, Sebastian, Lookhin, Mamon, and Clute to go with him.
If he was lucky, nothing would go wrong. However, based on his experience, Sila was aware that things never went according to plan when he was involved.
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