Chapter 306 – Isolated Barbarian
The Mage looked at Shang with narrowed eyes, but Shang only calmly looked back.
Shang had already thought of a persona he would adapt in this foreign kingdom.
Just now, the best way to disguise himself had been acting as a wild barbarian that didn’t belong to any power, village, or city. That would give him an excuse not to know much about the Grandmountain Kingdom and for being alone in the wilderness.
But that also meant that Shang had to act the part.
Because of that, Shang decided to adopt a stupider version of teacher Mervin.
Mervin was the righteous teacher of swordsmanship in the warrior’s academy. He didn’t speak much, but when he did, his words were wise.
Shang essentially channeled a younger and more isolated version of him.
Taciturn, introverted, honest.
“Who are you? Why are you here?” the Mage asked with narrowed eyes.
“My name is unimportant,” Shang said slowly. “Names are only important when there are others to speak them.”
“And this is my home.”
“I’ll ask again. Please leave,” he said slowly.
The Mage looked deeply into Shang’s eye.
“And if I don’t?” she asked.
Shang looked at her for a second, and then…
He continued swinging his sword.
“This is why I don’t want to live amongst you,” Shang said as he swung another time.
“You enter my home.”
“I ask you to leave.”
“You threaten me.”
“All this boasting and needless aggression.”
“We have no conflict.”
“I don’t want to hurt you.”
“Why do you want to hurt me?”
Shang said each of these short sentences between each swing, not looking at the Mage.
Shang swung once more.
And once more.
And one more time.
The Mage realized that Shang wasn’t saying anything else, and she became enraged.
She extended her hand toward Shang and spoke some short words.
Shang was suddenly thrown at one of the walls of the cave.
Several of Shang’s bones broke.
However, when he looked back at the Mage, his expression hadn’t changed.
“Pointless violence,” Shang said as he stood up.
“For what reason?”
“What do you have to gain from attacking me?” Shang asked.
“Do you covet my wealth? I don’t have wealth.”
“Killing me won’t make you more powerful.”
“Beasts kill to become more powerful.”
“You Mages kill for nothing.”
“I retreat. You follow.”
“What more do you want?”
After that, Shang became silent again.
Shang only spoke in short and simple sentences. However, his sentences were very direct and honest.
The Mage looked with an infuriated expression at Shang.
“Why did you contact the Skythunder Kingdom?” she asked with power in her voice.
“Politics,” Shang said without a change in his voice.
“They all are the same thing.”
“A group of humans working for a Mage.”
After that, Shang remained silent for a second as he looked at the enraged Mage.
“I see no difference.”
“All powers, organizations, Kingdoms, or whatever are the same to me.”
“I am not interested in furthering the greed of a powerful Mage.”
Shang became silent again as he looked at the Mage.
“Stop lying!” the Mage shouted as power gathered around her being. “Speak the truth or die!”
Shang calmly looked into the Mage’s eyes.
“Deceit, dishonesty, skepticism.”
“Why deceive others?”
“If you gain something by deceiving others, you are not worthy of what you gained.”
“Is it so difficult to believe me?”
Shang was thrown against the wall again, and this time, his injuries were even more severe.
“You dare?!” the Mage shouted in fury. “You learned the Beast Unity but say you do not want to help the very people that allowed you to become this strong in the first place?!”
Shang righted himself and continued looking at the Mage with the same expression without saying anything.
For some reason, Shang’s expression made the Mage explode in anger.
“Us Mages invest so much into the continued development of techniques so that you may become more powerful!” she shouted as she pointed at Shang.
“You consume the fruits of our labor but refuse to offer your power in return! You parasite talk about these grandstanding ideals of peace and harmony, but you benefit from the very things the people you despise have created!”
“You sit isolated in the wilderness after accepting the investment we gave you! You learn our techniques, consume our resources, learn from our teachers, and now you say you don’t owe us and that we are the aggressors for wanting what is rightfully ours?!” the Mage shouted in fury.
Shang slowly stood up and looked at the Mage with the same expression.
“Do you honestly believe what you are saying?” Shang asked calmly.
The Mage only got even angrier. “You don’t even have a counterargument! Instead of addressing the faults in your ideology I just highlighted, you just deflect!”
Shang silently looked into the Mage’s eyes for two seconds.
“Spoken words are unimportant.”
“The only important things are what I believe and what you believe.”
“I’ll ask again.”
“Do you honestly believe your own words?” Shang asked calmly.
For some reason, the Mage got even angrier, and she gritted her teeth in fury.
Shang was thrown against the wall again, and he received severe injuries.
A second later, several chains appeared in her hands, and they immediately wrapped around Shang’s hands.
As soon as they touched Shang’s arms, they began to burn until they fused with Shang’s arms.
Shang only looked at the Mage with the same expression as always, except for one difference.
The disappointment and pain in his remaining eye had increased.
For some reason, Shang’s expression enraged the Mage, and she violently pulled him forward. “Grab your weapon!” she ordered. “You’re going to need it where you’re going!”
Shang only looked into her eyes.
“Take it or die!” she threatened with an aggressive voice.
Shang hesitated for a second but eventually lifted his sword.
Then, the Mage yanked on the chain and pulled Shang forward.
“You refused to repay your debt. As repayment, you will fight on the frontlines until your debt is repaid.”
Shang only released a disappointed sigh.
He didn’t answer and only followed.
Deep inside, the High Mage’s emotions were riled up.
She wasn’t someone that got angry quickly, but this time, she had been riled up by a weak barbarian!
For a long time, she tried to find an answer as to why she had gotten so incredibly angry.
And as the Mage tried to come to an answer, Shang’s mind finally relaxed, but he didn’t let it show.
‘Holy shit!’ he thought. ‘I only said profound-sounding bullshit!’
‘I just said whatever teacher Mervin would say!’
‘But it worked!’
‘Usually, someone of her power would never get so angry at someone as comparatively weak as me!’
‘This means that I said some words that touched something in her. There are probably some doubts inside her that she hasn’t come to terms with. Maybe she believes that whatever the Grandmountain Kingdom is doing is right, but deep inside, she has doubts?’
‘Honestly, I have no idea. I don’t even know how the Grandmountain Kingdom operates.’
‘But hey, look at that. I just speak bullshit, and I managed to eliminate any doubt of me being the spy.’
‘Instead of thinking about me being the spy, she will be infuriated while thinking of me.’
‘A spy would never try to anger or infuriate the person investigating their identity.’
‘Well, I guess Teacher Mervin’s sermons were useful for something.’