Chapter 308 – Slavery or Vacation?
Shang was pulled to the back of the village into a small and dark cave.
“What Element are you attuned to?” one of the Mages asked with a cold tone.
“Fire,” Shang answered.
Shang lifted his arm, and a bit of fire appeared around it. The fire was very weak, and it only roughly appeared around his arm.
The Mage wasn’t surprised and pulled Shang to one side of the cave.
The two chains were put to two cyan spots on the wall, and they fused with them. Shang still had enough chain left to sit down, but he couldn’t walk further than a meter with them attached.
“If we see any damage on the chains or the ore, it will be treated as an escape attempt, and we will kill you,” one of the two Mages said.
Shang only looked at them.
“Do you understand, One-Eye?” he asked.
Shang didn’t answer.
A big stone appeared in front of Shang and shot into his chest, breaking his ribs.
“Answer!” one of the Mages demanded with a strict voice.
Shang’s expression didn’t change.
“Yes,” he said calmly. There was no rage inside his voice.
The Mage snorted, and the two of them left the cave again.
For some reason, they really hated this unaffiliated barbarian.
After the two of them left, silence returned to the cave.
Shang’s expression didn’t change, but he sat down near the wall.
‘They probably use the desperation of the barbarians to force them down a path of strengthening,’ Shang thought. ‘The abuse and disregard will foster a feeling of resistance in some of the barbarians.’
‘However, it isn’t perfect. Many other barbarians will probably get demotivated and lose all hope, hindering them from unleashing their full potential.’
Shang genuinely didn’t feel rage or humiliation right now.
Because he was confident in his current circumstance.
The more Shang fit into the barbarian role, the easier his life.
Surprisingly, the strict control the Mages had over the barbarians protected Shang’s life.
To the Mages, Shang only counted as a dog, but he was their dog.
If another dog attacked their dog, they wouldn’t mind and let them fight, but if another human attacked their dog, they would strike back.
This was their dog!
By attacking their dog, the other person was disrespecting them and indirectly attacking them!
In short, this meant that no Mage would want to kill Shang.
Additionally, even if Shang wasn’t seen as an equal, he still had value to the Mages.
This meant that Shang would only be sent to fight battles he could win.
To the Mages, barbarians were an investment.
Killing them was wasting money, and letting them get killed was also wasting money.
Shang knew that the Mages would send him into battles that he could win and in which he could cost the enemy resources.
To someone in Shang’s shoes, this was essentially a paradise.
In the Skythunder Kingdom, Shang had to constantly watch his back.
More than one Mage had already been sent after him, and the gigantic bounty on his head would send even more powerful Mages after him.
Whenever Shang wanted to fight, he would need to go into the wilderness and fight a beast, and while doing so, he needed to keep a look out for any Mage trying to kill him.
Shang only had to wait and train.
He didn’t need to search for battles.
The battles came to him.
Of course, there also were drawbacks.
Shang didn’t have access to any resources, and if the Mages found out that he had gold on him, they would probably confiscate it.
Additionally, Shang would have to essentially be a slave, and he would need to do whatever he was told to do.
‘But if a slave only gets orders to do things they want to do, is that truly so bad?’ Shang thought with a smirk.
‘They believe they have me under control, but they are actually providing the very resources I need to grow in power.’
‘The barbarians might need the techniques the Mages created to become more powerful, but I don’t need those. I know how to reach the True Path Stage roughly.’
‘The academy has taught us how to create our own techniques and how to find ways to further our own power. As long as I get my hands on the techniques barbarians use to become more powerful, I can get familiar with them and eventually extrapolate a path forward.’
‘I know roughly how Magic works, and I know very well how warriors fight and train.’
‘With these two things and with my own body and mind as experimentation materials, I can probably find a way forward.’
At the moment, Shang saw two other young men inside the cave, but he remained quiet.
‘For now, I should act like them and keep to myself. I can always ask about their techniques when I arrive near the frontlines.’
Shang closed his right eye and crossed his legs.
And then, he stopped moving.
The other two barbarians only looked around the room with boredom or fear.
Sometimes, they tried to sleep, which was quite difficult since General Stage warriors didn’t need sleep.
From time to time, they also just looked absentmindedly at the ground.
Meanwhile, Shang sat motionlessly on the ground with a closed eye. However, his Mana Sense still kept watch over his surroundings. The cave was quite dark, giving Shang a rather clear vision with his Darkness Vision.
‘Just as expected,’ he thought. ‘The other two probably don’t know how to train their Affinities. They probably don’t even know that it’s possible to train one’s Affinity.’
‘They have absolutely nothing to do, but even in this extreme boredom, they don’t start a conversation. Is this also the Mages’ doing? Have the barbarians been taught that talking with each other is bad?’
After that, nothing else of interest happened, and Shang concentrated on his Affinities.
To optimally train his Affinities, Shang would need to summon Mana externally, but that would raise some eyebrows.
However, Shang could still increase the control over his Mana inside his body.
It was kind of nice to train without any distractions.
Eventually, Shang’s mind entered a kind of trance as his Mana rhythmically moved around his body.
Days passed without Shang noticing.
More barbarians appeared in the caves and got chained to the walls.
Most barbarians had expressions of fear on their faces, but some of them had determination burn in their eyes.
And Shang only sat there.
After a week, the cave got full, but Shang didn’t notice.
A stone was thrown at Shang’s head, and Shang fell over.
After that, someone pulled on his chain to drag him forward.
Shang opened his eyes and saw that all the barbarians were standing up, and they were chained together in a row.
‘Oh, is it time to go already?’ Shang thought.
Shang saw one of the two Mages sneer at him.
Without saying anything, Shang stood up and stopped behind the last barbarian.
The Mage looked with annoyance at Shang.
It was like he had just hit a rubber wall.
He wanted to see Shang get angry or fearful, but he hadn’t shown any reaction at all.
He really didn’t like this barbarian.