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Chapter 27: Holy dew, Holy brush and crystal
Knowing that zombies are already starting to emerge, Huo Zaiyuan realises he needs to make good use of what little time he has left to carve more talisman. Since peach wood talismans have such a formidable effect as a weapon against the undead, even managing to burn those devil ants to death, this tells him that as long as he has a talisman on his person, he doesn’t need to be afraid of these creatures.
After he returns to the house, Huo Zaiyuan fills his stomach and enters the interdimensional space once more, settling down to begin carving more peach wood talisman. In the bamboo house, Huo Tianji had left behind records about every kind of talisman and way to use them, as well as a pouch of fine carving tools. When he first discovered them, Huo Zaiyuan practised for a long period of time before he could manage to carve a complete and intact talisman. The runes pertaining to the first level, Huo Zaiyuan understands them without a doubt. However, amongst Huo Tianji’s spell notes, there is a lot he is unable to make sense of and has no idea how to begin carving them. Even if he tries to carve according to the instructions, the end result still is a dud.
Therefore, this prompted Huo Zaiyuan to ponder if those runes were of a higher level, and taking into account his low cultivation level right now, he doesn’t have enough spiritual power required to activate the higher-level runes.
Ever since breaking through the first level, besides meditation, Huo Zaiyuan managed to memorise the set of four runes which appeared in his mind that day, knowing them by heart. He also read through his ancestor’s noted regarding those runes and how to use them, thus increasing his creativity and knowledge even further.
Now, he wants to try out the newly learned spells and methods of application.
Taking out the pouch of fine carving tools, he settles down cross-legged in front of the low bamboo table, sucking in a deep breath, he commences calming his state of mind, picking up a black peach wood tile before carving the first stroke.
Who would have imagined that the moment the carving knife touch the tile, a sudden bizarre force emits from the surface of the wood. The tool clutched loosely in Huo Zaiyuan’s hand is sent flying, somersaulting a few times in the air before striking into the floor. From the quivering of the handle and the depth it sunk into, one can see how strong the force was.
This…what is this?
Huo Zaiyuan suffered a scare, but he retrieves the carving knife and tries it out a few more times. Each try results in the exact same situation, thoroughly puzzling him.
“Without the carving knife, how am I supposed to create talisman?” He murmurs in a low voice, staring at the tool with a confused expression.
It is at this moment, the silver dragon circling around his left wrist flickers, instantly causing a white jade calligraphy brush to appear in his hand. Despite not seeing it for a while, Huo Zaiyuan recognises it as his family heirloom – the Holy Dragon Bone Brush.
Staring at the brush in his hand, his gaze becomes distracted for a second, as if he just thought of something.
If he cannot use the carving knife, and the Holy Dragon Bone Brush appears in his hand, doesn’t that show if one cannot carve, then one can draw instead?
“But what in the world will I use to draw the runes? Taoists usually use rooster blood as ink for their talisman…how will I get my hands on rooster blood now? Even if someone does sell it, it probably wouldn’t be real.” If it is possible, Huo Zaiyuan would commit a major crime from frustration.
Tick Tock –
Suddenly, the sound of dripping water floats in. Fast as lightning, a drop of water he is so familiar with flies into the house from outside. It is a drop of silvery water from the Holy Nine Dragon Spring. He watches as the droplet slowly orbits him once, then heads towards the glass bottle containing the devil ant crystal currently sitting on the low table. Finally, it continues circling the bottle. Upon seeing this, Huo Zaiyuan roughly knows that the droplet is trying to express.
Searching through the house, he, at last, pulls out a piece of pottery, a small porcelain saucer. He places the crystal on the saucer only to blink as the droplet of spring water drips onto the crystal. A silver light flashes through and the crystal gradually begins to dissolve, becoming a scarlet blob with hints of silver. On the surface, it appears similar to a splash of paint.
Don’t tell me I’ve got to use this as ink?
Glancing at the white jade brush, then at the scarlet liquid, Huo Zaiyuan decides to give it a try.
 In the raws, this sound is written as though it’s the ticking of a clock. No idea what it became water dripping, but I guess it’s either a typo…?