Chapter 360 – Star Map
Shang only nodded.
The jester put his hammer away and lifted his two hands.
Two books appeared in his hands.
First, he looked at his left hand.
“Something that significantly increases the base strength of about 90% of warriors,” he said.
Then, he looked at his right hand.
“Something that makes creating your own Path far easier and faster,” he said.
Shang hesitated for a bit.
“Am I among those 90%?” he asked.
“No, but your Teacher Mervin is,” the jester said with a grin.
Shang took a deep breath.
He felt indebted to Teacher Mervin. After all, he had just spent five years training with Shang.
Shang really wanted to help Teacher Mervin.
However, the lesson Shang had learned came to his mind again, and he remembered why he had cried after Teacher Mervin left.
Right now, Shang had an opportunity to repay Teacher Mervin, but he also had the opportunity to help himself.
This choice really was cruel.
‘I’m already indebted to Teacher Mervin. Am I supposed to throw this opportunity away?’
Shang really didn’t feel great about that thought.
It took over two minutes for Shang to make his choice.
“I choose the True Path option.”
The jester only grinned and handed the book over to Shang.
“Don’t forget to bring this knowledge to the world. You are here to help all the warriors, not only yourself,” the jester said.
And then, he vanished.
And Shang was alone again.
Shang’s finger touched Sword.
‘Well, not completely alone.’
Shang stood up and opened the book the God had left behind.
It didn’t take long for him to finish the entire book. Just like with the ranged attack, the concepts inside the book were not incredibly complex but far outside the norm and very unusual.
Shang would have never even thought of such a method to utilize his mind and Mana.
After Shang finished the book, he had already fully learned the concepts. Usually, it would have taken him months to apply this knowledge, but these books directly implanted the knowledge in his head.
Shang sat down and closed his eyes.
Then, he moved his Mana around and began to chant to himself as he gathered different concepts and memories.
Like he had done this thousands of times before, Shang suddenly saw an image in his mind.
There were two stars in a night sky.
One was below, and the other was above.
Between the two stars were white, differently shaped things that looked like shards of glass.
Some of them were round and thick. Others were thin and long.
In a way, it looked like a long, white line had been smashed into pieces.
However, even if one used all the shards, the white line would look very crooked and unpleasant. The line would be thicker in some places and would make curves in others.
But they would create a path.
Shang already knew what all of this symbolized.
‘Every shard is something I have full control over. It represents my knowledge, my skill, and my mastery over this subject.’
Someone that would look at this image for the first time would have no idea what shard represented what, but the book had made Shang into a master regarding this technique.
Shang looked at the biggest shard.
It was a gigantic square, nearly as wide as 30% of the distance between the two stars.
‘That’s everything that Teacher Mervin has taught me in the last five years.’
‘I think this represents the Path Teacher Mervin is trying to build.’
Shang imagined the square extending towards the other star.
It would be a powerful, strong, and wide Path.
Then, Shang looked at the smaller shards and focused on the ones related to the Dean.
In all this cluster of shards, Shang hadn’t noticed that the things he had learned from the Dean also fit onto a path.
It was a sine wave.
It started at the bottom star, curved to the left, curved to the right, passed the middle, went further right, curved to the left, and ended up at the upper star.
It was a uniform Path.
His Path would be longer than Teacher Mervin’s Path, but it wouldn’t be nearly as wide.
In terms of area, Teacher Mervin’s Path was probably thrice of the Dean’s Path.
Shang imagined some other patterns.
A spinning Path.
A zigzagging Path.
A narrowing spear.
There were innumerable ways one line could look like.
Then, Shang looked back at the shards he was able to see.
He could create a Path with them, but the path would be incongruent, horrible, and unstable. It would be like someone was welding stuff together that didn’t belong together.
Shang looked at the square that represented Teacher Mervin’s teachings.
If all of his shards were thrown together, this shard alone would take up half of the combined area.
Teacher Mervin’s lesson was invaluable for Shang.
The things Teacher Mervin had taught him didn’t increase Shang’s power by much while fighting Mages, but Teacher Mervin also couldn’t teach these things to Shang.
He could only give Shang a big part of his knowledge regarding fighting warriors.
‘Even after five years, I only barely understand 20% of the things Teacher Mervin knows.’
For the next two hours, Shang continued inspecting the different shards he owned and analyzed what part of his knowledge they represented.
Some people might believe that this was a bit underwhelming for a 30-point reward.
Yet, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
This was a visual representation of the very thing all warriors wanted to achieve.
As long as they had a shape in mind that conformed to their unlocked shards, they could find out what they were missing.
For example, Shang knew that the mastery over his Affinity represented different shards that went in five different directions.
Some of them weren’t even leading to the star Shang was aiming toward.
Right now, Shang’s vision was essentially zoomed in on the place between these two stars, but if he zoomed out, he could see many different stars all around the lower star.
The lower star wasn’t actually on the bottom but in the very center of a vast map of stars.
However, only one star interested Shang, which was why he was only focusing on it.
The other stars represented other weapons, other fighting styles, other Affinities, and some other things.
Just by watching this picture, Shang could learn so much about the things he knew and the things he didn’t know.
Instead of blindly having to train and finding some inspirational spark, Shang could watch his progress and adapt his training.
Sure enough, if this technique was available to all the warriors, the number of True Path Stage warriors would increase very quickly.
After several hours, Shang finally deactivated the image, and his consciousness returned.
“Sure enough, the Star Map is worth the 30 points,” he said to himself.
Shang took a deep breath and stood up.
Then, he took hold of Sword.
“Are you ready to return to the real world after five years?” he asked.
“It doesn’t matter where I am,” Sword answered. “As long as I am by your side.”
Shang only smiled.
And then, he vanished from his inner world.