Chapter 7: The signature of wenxin


 

The youngster extended his right hand to Shen Tang, his palm facing upwards.

 

Shen Tang didn’t understand.
She hesitated a bit before also extending her right hand.
She tilted her head in doubt. 

 

“Like this?”

 

Youngster coldly watched her, his expression complicated, as if asking her “What do you think?”. 

 

As a result, Shen Tang pulled back her hand as if she had been electrocuted.

 

“Concentrate the qi in the middle of your palm”. 

 

After the youth saw that Shen Tang was still confused, he had no choice but to specify.
He thought that he said it clearly enough, but Shen Tang didn’t even know what “qi” was.

 

After seeing that Shen Tang didn’t move for a long time, he could only say: “When you just used magic words, did you not notice something traveling along your meridians and out of your dantian? This is exactly “qi”.
Now, try to move it from your dantian and condense it in the hollow of your palm.
Can you do that?”

 

Magic words do not always succeed, things like this require practice.

 

This young master before his eyes could use the power of wenxin to compete against 3rd-grade Zanniao.
The impact of his magic words was big.
He shouldn’t be completely clueless about this. 

 

The youth said it clearly.
Shen Tang started to carefully recall the mysterious feeling from before.

 

Qi, Dantian, magic words, wenxin…

 

After a long time, she vaguely grabbed onto something and guided it slowly in the direction of her palm. 

 

Finally – 

 

One lump of the colourless qi gradually formed.
First, it was the size of a pea, and then it grew to the size of a child's fist.
It floated one inch above the hollow of her palm. 

 

Shen Tang raised her head to look at the youth, she asked him: “Mister, is it “qi”? This is really magical… which grade am I?”


 

After the appearance of the qi, the young man lowered his eyes slightly.
Half of his face was covered by shadows, so his expression wasn’t clear, but Shen Tang was sure that his eyes had fallen on the palm of her hand.
She felt that the atmosphere wasn’t right, so she inquired again.

 

The youngster only then came back to his senses and responded: “Then you refine and condense the mass of 'qi', just like me”.

 

When saying, on his extended right hand quickly appeared a cyan-coloured mass of revolving qi.
At first, it looked like a thin mist, but two breaths later it changed to a densely clustered jelly-like dark cyan mass.
In the end, under the gaze of Shen Tang, it transformed into the oddly shaped dark cyan seal the size of an infant's fist. 

 

Noticing the curiosity of Shen Tang, the youth voluntarily gave her the seal.

 

The seal looked exquisite.
With “lower 6-grade” engraving in seal script* on the side, and “Qi clan Yuanliang” engraved on the bottom with the same handwriting.

 

“Are you called Qi Yuanliang?”

 

If this was a name, then the lower 6-grade should be the grade of his wenxin. 

 

The youngster was displeased: “Surname Qi, name Shan, courtesy name Yuanliang”.

(His name sounds like “Pray for a good name and a good character”)

 

He said while staring into Shen Tang’s eyes.

 

After seeing her clear gaze, without the slightest contempt for a lower-grade wenxin, he became slightly pleased.
His expression wasn’t so estranged anymore.

 

Shen Tang customarily said: “Indeed a good name”. 

 

Had “Shan”, and “Liang”, seemed like a name for a good person. 

 

Qi Shan fell silent.

 

Shen Tang returned the seal. 

 

“I roughly know what to do now”.

 

After learning the method that Qu Shan demonstrated, she rotated the mass of qi and compressed it together.
The mass of qi gradually changed from colorless to a milky-white jelly-like substance, and then to a transparent crystal-like small object. 


 

Only then, did Shen Tang put away her “qi” and hastily looked at the sides of a seal.

 

As result – 

 

“Why, why there are no words?”

 

“No words?”

He said so, but Qi Shan didn’t seem surprised.
It seemed like he expected it. 

 

Shen Tang handed him her seal, doubting: “Indeed, there are no writings on the side.
There is only text at the bottom”.

 

On the bottom was an engraving in a flamboyant and wild style in seal script – 

 

“Shen clan Youli” (Youli – young pear)

 

“Shen… You…li? You really are not from the Gong clan”.
Because the seal was transparent, he had to focus to recognize the words.
Qi Shan slightly narrowed his eyes, looking at the words at the bottom and commenting “However, small master, your name is rather excessively delicate…” 

 

At first, he thought that this was a girl's name.

 

Shen Tang “…”

 

She already gave up, explaining that she was a girl. 

 

Since the people in this world tacitly agreed that if you have wenxin then you must be a man, even if she appeared suddenly and wanted to explain it to them, their conviction just didn't benefit her.
Just let them misunderstand for a moment until she understands why she has wenxin or has enough strength, as to avoid being considered a heretic and die.

 

“Mister Qi, I’m Shen Tang”.

 

“The fallen leaves of Pear (Tang Li) are as red as rouge, and the fragrant buckwheat flowers are as white as snow”*.
Qi exposed a slight smile, saying, “it is also a nice name”.

 

Shen Tang “…”

 

She really wanted to say her name was “Shen Tang”, and Youli was just a random pseudonym, without any special meaning.


 

But he thought differently and even showed off his knowledge.
She didn’t want to damp his enthusiasm, and could only accept the praise.
At this moment, the thing she cared about the most was the grade of her wenxin.

 

“Mister Qi, what is the grade of my wenxin?”

 

Who knew he would ask instead: “Which one do you want?”

 

Shen Tang: “What do you mean?”

 

Qi Shan suddenly changed the topic. 

 

“Unlike the 20-grades of wudan, wenxin only had 9-grades.
Upper 1st grade, upper-middle 2nd grade, upper-low 3rd grade, in this order up to 9th grade low.
Wudan can be upgraded after a period of practice, so the ones with an innate talent can even become the highest-rank Chehou.
However, the rank of wenxin cannot be changed.
My wenxin is a 6-grade middle-low, it falls short of the best but is better than the worst.
Then, what grade do you want to be?”

 

Shen Tang was stunned: “This… is it up to me?”

 

Qi Shan said: “If it was a bystander, naturally no.
However, you met me, I can help you this one time”.

 

Shen Tang was baffled.

 

Intuition told her, Qi Shan's words carried an implicit meaning. 

 

But he didn’t explain it more and only lightly hinted: “Young child walking with a lot of money in the city, really is not a good thing”.

 

Shen Tang unconsciously tensed.

 

What is this wenxin? Why is it unexpectedly so serious?

It seems that even after getting this transmigration benefit, you could still attract unwanted attention and end up getting killed.

 

Shen Tang controlled her curiosity that could kill a cat and didn’t inquire more, only asked: “What grade can I pretend to be?”

 

Qi Shan was “6th-grade middle-low” wenxin, and wenxin couldn’t be changed, from birth it stayed the same.
In this way, he certainly couldn't help people to modify their grade of wenxin, so he could only disguise others' wenxin.

 

This being the case – 


 

Shen Tang probed: “Then—the highest 1st-grade is okay?”

 

Qi Shan nearly laughed, because of her question. 

 

“The highest 1st-grade, belongs to the sages.
It is nearly nonexistent.
Only the princes holding the national seal can have it.
Are you looking for death?”

 

Shen Tang dropped her gaze to the seal in her hand. 

 

“Then, to be on the safe side, I will pretend to be the 9th-grade low”.

 

“9th-grade low? Oh, you are actually smart”.

 

On the side of the seal “9th-grade low” 4 characters in seal script appeared.
Shen Tang played with this transparent seal.
She didn’t know what to do with it. 

 

“How to withdraw this thing?”

 

“Why would you want to do that? This is your identity proof.
Even if it is “9th-grade low” wenxin, it is still better than being an ordinary man”.

 

In this chaotic era where one person can have two nationalities, the lives of ordinary people didn’t mean anything, not to mention that Shen Tang was still considered an escapee.

 

The words on her ear were engraved using a special method.
It could only be cut off otherwise, it would stay forever.

 

But if she had a wenxin seal with her and used decoration to hide the engraving on her ear, even if the ordinary guard saw it, he still wouldn't dare to inspect it.
It was equivalent to safety insurance. 

 

It was precisely the seal with a signature.

 

*Seal script—is an ancient style of writing Chinese characters that was common throughout the latter half of the 1st millennium BC.
It evolved organically out of the Zhou dynasty bronze script.

 

* Village Walk” by Wang Yucheng 

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