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Chapter G – Wonderful battle song
The flames were raging more and more in the bonfire. The stars were twinkling in the night sky.
It seemed like the flames had been fueled by the burning passion and love of these two love-birds.
Liu Zhenhan and the fox woman were cuddling by the bonfire and gazing at the twinkling stars in the vast sky, although they could only a small section through the door frame.
“It’s like a dream.” said Liu Zhenhan.
“Yes.” The fox woman said: “This is a beautiful dream and I do not want to wake up. I hope it continues for eternity.”
“What is your name?” Liu Zhenhan pulled her closer and looked directly into her eyes. His hands were firmly but somewhat gently supporting her fragile shoulders. Her body shivered a bit in the chilly night wind which was blowing into the house through the door, but the warmth of the man she loved was enough to intoxicate her.
“I cannot always call you fox woman, right?” Liu Zhenhan felt that calling her fox woman did not sound good at all.
“My name is Helen.” The fox woman smiled and softly uttered her beautiful name.
(TL: Her Chinese name is ‘Hailun’ and its English version is ‘Helen’. I request readers to choose the one that sounds better and suggest in the comments.)
“My name is Great Officer…” Before he could proudly state his name with a salute, a pair of slender and fragrant hands covered his mouth.
“I want to call you Richard.” Helen said.
(TL: She calls him ‘Li Cha’ and English version is ‘Richard’.)
“Why?” Liu Zhenhan thought that in a blink of an eye, his name had changed.
“Because I am a ‘sacred sacrifice’ and belong to the war-god Campas. Each female, who becomes a sacrifice, belongs to the war-god and devotes herself entirely to him. During the ritual, the war-god would point out the name of female sacrifice’s consort.” Helen’s dark blue eyes that resembled a boundless ocean looked at Liu Zhenhan as if to drown his soul: “Back in the day when I became a sacrifice, the wisdom of War-God told me that my future husband’s name would be Richard.”
Liu Zhenhan’s whole body shivered, almost to the point of exaggeration.
“Richard.” Liu Zhenhan initially tried to exhibit how calm he was, but could not hide the excitement in his gestures.
“This name is a bit extravagant like the name of a powerful ruler or something, though it is pleasant to listen to.” Liu Zhenhan scratched his head, “I still do not quite understand. What is a sacred sacrifice? Who is this war-god Campas you talked about just now? How did I start speaking in your language after I listened to your song?”
“That’s the power of a sacrifice’s mysterious battle song. The wisdom of war-god can create countless miracles. Every sacrifice has a one-time ability that is called ‘wisdom initiation’. It allows us to teach our language and knowledge to others by making them listen to the song of our war-god. The song is called Beamon Battle Song.” Helen gently caressed his face and said in a mysterious manner: “I know a lot of ethnic languages but still could not understand your language, so I used my one-time ability just for you. Originally, the wisdom initiation can only be used by a sacrifice mentor for instructing an apprentice. My status is not enough to be a mentor, but I still used it. Though, I did not expect it to actually work.”
“This is so magical!” Liu Zhenhan’s eyes rolled in bewilderment.
“Tell me, Richard.” Helen’s face came very close to his big and manly face. She looked curiously into his eyes and asked, “Where do you hail from?”
“I…..” Liu Zhenhan was about to answer her question but could not bring himself to tell her where he came from. He did not know from where he should begin.
“When I first saw you, I thought that you were one of my people.” Helen said.
“What?” Liu Zhenhan was surprised at this. He thought for a second then said: “But I do not have a tail.”
“No, wait, first you listen to me. I am going to explain this to you slowly so it may take a bit long.” Helen nestled in his arms and the two plump bombs pressed against his chest, distracting him right from the beginning of the explanation.
“My hometown is situated in the beautiful Danube wilderness of Aiqin continent. From this island, we must harness a ship and go south for a month, then across a narrow strait, we would need to sail toward the west for half a month to return to my hometown.”
“You are quite knowledgeable about sea routes. Is your family involved in some kind of offshore business?” Liu Zhenhan curiously asked: “That day when I rescued you, I saw several women inside the wooden chest. They also had red hair and tails like you, but only you were alive. The other women were already…”
Tears began to well up in Helen’s eyes as her shoulders quietly twitched.
“What’s wrong?” Liu Zhenhan lovingly stroked her shoulder. There was a kind look in his eyes.
“My family is not involved in any offshore business. Those shameless human bandits had captured me and my sisters and keeping us as captives on their ship. They were preparing to traffic us into the human territory!” Helen’s beautiful eyes were now suddenly filled with grief and indignation. At this time, a cold breeze barged inside the house and stirred up her bright red hair.
“Human world? Shameless human bandits?” Liu Zhenhan’s mind was stuck on these few keywords as he tried to comprehend the whole thing.
“The Aiqin continent is home to a variety of race such as Beastman tribe, the human race, the dwarf race, the spirit race and so on. And the human race is the wisest among all. The human race’s development has also been the most rapid in comparison to the other races. The Beastman tribe used to be the most prosperous on the Aiqin continent, but in the War of Mount Hyjal that happened 1000 years ago, the Beastman tribe was defeated by the human-allied forces and my tribe had to retreat into the vast Danube wilderness. The Beastman tribe has been living there since then.”
“Beastman tribe?” Liu Zhenhan remained silent for a moment then said, “Helen, you are not trying to say that in your hometown, all your companions and relatives are actually different types of beasts that have evolved into people, are you?”
“Yes.” Helen proudly said: “I am proud of my people.”
Liu Zhenhan had difficulty in swallowing his saliva. He suddenly forgot how to talk, his tongue was tingling with numbness and he felt as if his brain had turned into a boiled paste of meat, thinking, what the hell did she just say?
“Is this really so baffling?” Helen raised her eyebrow when she saw the funny look on Liu Zhenhan’s face, “In fact, long back in the past, even human race used to be a part of Beastman tribe and were called Monkey people. But they gradually evolved and have now started believing in a heretical cult. They brag about being descendants of some god and no longer acknowledge their past relations with Beamon Beastman tribe. After the war of Mount Hyjal, our Beamon Beastman Kingdom faced a crushing defeat at the hands of human race, and this fact was submerged in the river of time. Majority of human beings and beastmen do not know about this secret.”
“Ha-ha.” Liu Zhenhan smiled but did not laugh out loud. He was literally shouting in his heart; Mr. Darwin once again made a solid appearance with his evolution theory.
“But how do you know this secret? It seems like confidential stuff.” Liu Zhenhan could not help but wonder.
“I am the embodiment of war-god Campas’ wisdom that had been bestowed upon Beamon Beastman Kingdom since ancient times. I enjoy the glory and honor of war-god as his sacred sacrifice! The scared sacrifices are highly respected and revered in the Beastman tribe – The unknown secrets and confidential information are handed down to the most faithful servants of war-god Campas via oral tradition.”
“I see.” This reminded him of those foreign missionary women in white hat who once visited his hometown.
“I belong to the Fox clan, one of the five aristocratic clans of Beamon Beastman Kingdom. And my clan is able to attain such a status because war-god Campas has given us an outstanding talent – wisdom. At the same time, Fox clan is recognized as a clan of people who are said to possess wisdom comparable to the notrious wisdom of that dangerous human race. Most beastmen possess only strong bodies but lack enough wisdom to deal with sinister human race, but Fox clan is an exception to that.” Helen continued.
“I wonder, if pigs managed to evolve into people, what would they look like and will they also gain wisdom.” Liu Zhenhan thought and laughed.
“Beastman tribe comprises of great and honorable warriors who bravely fight in the name of mighty Campas with our most formidable enemies on the frontlines; But are not capable of handling financial statistics, census, bargain trade etc. All these matters are handled by the genius members of the Fox clan. We possess keen natural intuition when it comes to numbers and money, coupled with excellent eloquence and clever mind. We have become a clan of talented individuals who excel at handling internal affairs.” Helen smiled and further explained.
“Indeed, good steel must be used wisely on the knife edge.” Liu Zhenhan nodded with satisfaction.
“The wisdom of war-god gave another good ability to the Fox clan, the ability to become a sacred sacrifice. After becoming the servants of war-god Campas, my clan is able to call upon the might of the war-god to pave the path of glory and success for the Beastman tribe. The sacred sacrifices can use mysterious battle songs to give various kinds of blessings to the soldiers of Beamon such as ‘Bloodthirsty’, ‘Violent’, ‘Stone skin’ and several other auxiliary battle skills. These skills have over time become an integral part of the beastmen army’s battle strategies. Meanwhile, sacred sacrifices can actually challenge the power of the human magicians by using the summoning technique bestowed upon them by the great Campas. Using this technique, the sacrifices can take in magical beasts as pets. Although the power of magical beasts is not necessarily enough to deal with human magicians, it is still possible to use magical beasts to block powerful magic attacks and escape should not be an issue in that case. Even more unusual is the fact that a sacrifice’s mysterious battle song can actually interrupt magic invocation by interfering with the recitation of magic, thus impeding a magician.”
“Magicians? Magical beasts?” Liu Zhenhan seemed puzzled.
“Your Fruit is also a magical beast. It can produce an inborn gas that invokes freezing magic. Richard, you did not even know such an obvious thing?” Helen smiled through her eyes as if looking at an idiot.
“What the….?” Liu Zhenhan’s mouth opened wide and did not close up for a while.
“Are you telling this wolf skin also belongs to a magical beast?” Liu Zhenhan patted the wolf skin on Helen’s body and hastily asked.
“This is the skin of a ferocious wind type magical wolf. It should have been able to spit wind blades from its mouth. And judging from the skin, it definitely belongs to a healthy adult. Oh yes, I never asked, how did you hunt such a ferocious beast?”Helen gently touched his pitiful nose and asked: “Did you receive this wound while fighting that magical wolf?”
“A few days ago I encountered a fat rabbit and it shot a water arrow that wounded my arm. So that means those fat rabbits are also magical beasts?” Liu Zhenhan shunted her hands and asked while dodging her question altogether.
“That should be a water type magical rabbit. They generally do not take the initiative to attack. They are herbivores and mild in nature. I would say they are like your Fruit and can use magic attacks but only a limited number of times. After displaying magic a number of times, their bodies may not be able to sustain the intensity of magic overuse and the over-exhaustion can lead to death. However, a magical wolf is not the same. It is a much powerful offense type magical beast and as long as its body’s conditions permit, it can administer countless magic attacks one after another.”
“*!” Liu Zhenhan yelled out, “No wonder! I knew that there were some disadvantages related to Fruit’s ice trick that made it extremely tired each time it used the trick! The same happens with honeybees, even they can die by over using their stings.”
“I have to say, this analogy is very appropriate.” Helen covered her mouth with her hand and tried to hide her cute smile.
“My Fruit is fierce, right? How would you rank it among magical beasts?” Liu Zhenhan asked.
“Fruit’s full name is ‘Frost and Snow Picchu beast’. In my hometown, you will see several species of magical beasts in the southern flooded forest. Picchu beasts are just an ordinary kind of omnivorous beasts. From the vision of a sacred sacrifice, we need to team up with our magical pets in order to fight. So, a magical wolf is a better choice as fighter pet.”
“Are you serious?” Liu Zhenhan felt a little frustrated and didn’t seem convinced, “Fruit killed that magical wolf so easily then how can you say that my Fruit is not good enough?”
Fruit drilled its way into the arms of Liu Zhenhan. Its big ears moved as its small sparkling eyes ‘Gulugulu’ stared at Helen.
“Picchu beast has a rather famous nickname, is called ‘the beast of doom’. They are very intelligent and enjoy being close to some of the tall creatures, but surely bring misfortune with them without exception.” Helen maliciously looked at Fruit and it immediately buried its head in Liu Zhenhan’s arms. Its whole body was trembling while its big ears drooped.
“Bad luck is bad luck! It comes whenever it feels like.” Liu Zhenhan gently caressed Fruit’s fur, “I have already faced bigger misfortune before I came to this damned place, but the first friend I found here is this adorable little thing. I choose Fruit’s cuteness over getting scared of some damn unforeseen misfortune.”
“I love this part about you!” Helen threw herself into his arms.
“What were you saying about those human magicians? Are they fearful like these magical beasts and discharge wind blade or ice ball? You sacred sacrifices are not like them?”
“Human race is the most intelligent of the races and human magicians can certainly launch magic like magical beast, however, they must recite magical incantation in order to invoke a magic, in addition they also need to throw a number of special-made spices. And, they can also use magic scrolls to summon corresponding magic stored in them.”
“Goddamn it, so cumbersome.”
“He-he” Helen’s eyes blinked mischievously, “Yes, their magic is much more powerful than the magic displayed by the magical beasts.”
“How much? Give me a rough estimate.” Liu Zhenhan suddenly found himself missing his dear M20 recoilless rifle.
“Some human magicians can be outrageously powerful. They can summon meteorites and burn an entire city to ashes. They can summon ice giants and also use several different type of disaster related magic.”
“Gudu.” Liu Zhenhan swallowed his saliva and imagined an atomic explosion and the resulting mushroom cloud from it.
“But thankfully, such dreadful magicians are extremely rare and appear once in a thousand years.” Helen’s charming face was suddenly shrouded in a color of sadness, “If such monstrous human magicians were more back then, then our Beamon Beastman Kingdom may not exist today and would have been destroyed 1000 years ago.”
“You mean to say that in the war of Mount Hyjal one thousand years ago, your ancestors had been defeated by human magicians?” Liu Zhenhan asked.
“Yes, humans magicians displayed Armageddon forces and even the strongest beastmen were either burned to ashes in the sea of fire or were chopped to pieces by the wind blades. Our tribe’s pride was thoroughly smashed by those human magicians.” Helen as if immersed in the unbearable memories of past.
“When the entire Beastman tribe was in panic and had fallen into despair, ready to greet the approaching death, my Fox clan’s sacred sacrifices stood up bravely and used their lives and dignity to save the lives of our citizens. Our courage and brave initiative gave rise to a slim chance of survival and motivated our soldiers to do their best.” Helen said: “I forgot to mention that not everyone can become a sacred sacrifice because most races in Beastman tribe face the very basic challenge of not having flexible brains, therefore, they cannot fully understand the intention of the war-god. So even with the help of wisdom initiation, they cannot become a sacred sacrifice. Even with the wisdom of Campas, a large number of clansmen from my Fox clan are also unable to become sacred sacrifices. The production rate of a sacred sacrifice is 1/1000 in the Fox clan.”