Chapter 318 – Deciphering the Technique
Over the next couple of days, Shang trained the gathered barbarians. Since they were now more people, Shang could create pairs. That slowed individual growth, but it allowed Shang to teach more people at once.
Shang mostly only walked around and corrected the movements of the group like an instructor.
‘To think that I actually got my own gym now,’ Shang thought as he looked at the barbarians training with each other.
From time to time, Shang also trained with Lash since he was too powerful for everyone else at the moment.
However, most of the time, Shang focused on the technique.
He was trying to devise the last component of the technique on his own.
‘By now, I’m pretty sure about how the technique works.’
‘First, the barbarian has to empty their Mana to make space for the beast’s Mana.’
‘After that, they consume a huge chunk of the beast’s Mana by consuming their heart.’
‘The beast’s Mana washes over their body unhindered and influences their bodies. It is a powerful force, but the body won’t just absorb something foreign like that. Because of that, the barbarian has to exert their body.’
‘The basic training forces the body to absorb Mana for energy and fuel. However, a lot of external Mana will also be absorbed this way, lowering the density of the beast’s Mana.’
‘But by using the specific movements, the barbarians are unknowingly fully concentrating on the Mana that’s already available inside their bodies, which is the heart of the beast.’
‘However, since the heart of the beast has to be on their level, and since a beast’s body is far stronger than the barbarian’s body, the beast has far more Mana. They have more foreign Mana in their body than their body can handle.’
‘That’s where the different cooldown periods come into play. For some reason, the beast’s Mana probably becomes dangerous or unusable after the strengthening, and the more Mana remains, the longer it takes to naturally vanish.’
‘By absorbing more during strengthening, the barbarian has to wait less time to train again.’
‘So, the end-goal would be to make the training even more efficient. The last part of the technique should reduce the cooldown period even more and increase the efficiency of training.’
‘The body is already emptied of Mana, and the body already absorbs absolutely everything it can from the beast heart by only using it as fuel. These two aspects can’t be improved.’
‘How can someone absorb more Mana than their body can take in without endangering them?’
This was the part that Shang had trouble with.
The training and efficiency just couldn’t be improved anymore.
It was already as good as it could get.
One could only fit so much liquid into a bottle.
After a couple of days of training, Shang asked the barbarians about how they could reach the Commander Stage.
That was when Shang also learned about the names of the barbarians’ Stages.
The first Stage was the Youngling Stage, and it was equivalent to the Soldier Stage for warriors.
The second Stage was the Fighter Stage, and it was equivalent to the General Stage for warriors.
And the third Stage was called the Champion Stage, and it was equivalent to the Commander Stage for warriors.
The True Path Stage didn’t exist for barbarians.
The barbarians explained to Shang how it worked to transition Stages.
And what Shang learned told him a lot about the Mages in the Grandmountain Kingdom, surprisingly.
It was impossible for a barbarian to reach a new Stage without the help of a Mage.
If a Youngling wanted to become a Fighter, they needed a Mage.
When a Youngling was ready to become a Fighter, they had to request an Ascension from the Mages.
If the Ascension were granted, the Youngling would follow a Water Adept into a strange building.
There, the Youngling would go through something horrifying.
Huge parts of their skin would be cut off and replaced by beast skin!
It was insanely painful, and a lot of barbarians died during their first Ascensions.
Of course, the barbarians could request anesthesia, but they would have to spend a couple more years in the military.
The Water Adept was responsible for keeping the Youngling alive during the Ascension.
If the Youngling managed to survive, they became a Fighter.
But things were a bit different when it came to reaching the Champion Stage.
First of all, anesthesia was mandatory.
The Mages wouldn’t do the operation without anesthesia.
There would also be far more Mages present.
Of course, due to the anesthesia, no barbarian actually knew what happened during the Ascension.
The only things they knew was that they woke up with a feeling of unfamiliarity regarding their own body and with a lot more blood and gore around them.
‘The Mages have full control over the barbarians since they are the only ones with healing capabilities. If the barbarians tried these Ascensions on their own, they would die unless they have a warrior’s body.’
‘But the Ascension process sounds very similar to the Procedure. The first Ascension is probably the replacing of the skin, and the second Ascension probably replaces the muscles and partially the blood.’
‘That also explains why the Mages haven’t been able to create a True Path Stage barbarian yet. They know that only the bones and organs are left, but how do they replace these parts without killing the barbarian? There’s only so much trauma their body can handle.’
‘The organs of the beasts are also different, and they can’t be transplanted one by one without killing the barbarian. Even more, while the muscles and skin are flexible and moldable, things aren’t as easy for the bones. On top of that, digging out every bone one by one and replacing them will definitely kill the barbarian.’
‘But if they somehow manage to do that…’
‘Wouldn’t they have simply recreated teacher’s Procedure?’
‘Sadly or luckily, the Mages aren’t from Earth, and they don’t know a human’s body as well as teacher.’
‘Even more, while they probably have some inklings as to how to transplant the organs and bones, they probably have no idea about how to replace the mind.’
‘How do you transplant a beast brain into a barbarian brain without killing the barbarian?’
‘Also, since the Ascensions are done with different beasts on different occasions, the body is already not one whole being. It’s a being made of parts of different beings.’
‘It’s obvious that the Procedure is many, many times better than the Ascensions.’
At that moment, Shang had to smirk.
‘And that probably also means that, if I were to train as a barbarian, I could probably easily reach their equivalent of the True Path Stage.’
‘Of course, I would be missing the powers that the warrior’s True Path Stage would give me.’
‘But nothing says that I can’t do both, right?’
‘Maybe this was how ancient warriors trained? They fused with beasts to increase their strength and increased their physical power even more by absorbing more beasts.’
‘The strengthening process for barbarians doesn’t take that long. A couple of hours once every two weeks is not something that takes up all of their time.’
‘For the remainder of their time, they could probably focus on the warrior path.’
‘I could see how the warriors have reached the Mages’ level.’
‘Of course, there are probably even better methods for Mages to become more powerful in the future. After all, Adepts also undergo Mana Tranquility when they become True Mages, which increases their power even more.’
‘However, there have probably also been even more methods in the past to close the gap.’
Shang excused himself from the barbarians after hearing about the Ascensions.
He was onto something!
‘Alright, so, to become a truly powerful barbarian, they eventually have to undergo the Procedure.’
‘Teacher obviously knows far better what to do than the Mages of the Grandmountain Kingdom.’
‘What were the things that teacher had to look out for during the Procedure?’
‘What did teacher do that the barbarians don’t?’
And at that moment, Shang’s right eye widened.
‘The barbarians just need a beast heart on their level, but none of them even talked about the Affinity.’
‘They probably don’t even know what an Affinity is!’
‘If the Affinity of the beast is the same as the Affinity of the barbarian, it is easier to integrate!’
‘So, that’s the full technique, huh?’
‘That’s how barbarians train!’