Chapter 8: You can’t judge a book by its cover


“This… Mister Qi…”


Shen Tang wanted to say something but hesitated.


Qi Shan looked up, indifferently saying: “If you have something to say, just say it.
I don't like people who beat about the bush”.


“Then I will say it directly—Mister Qi, if it’s okay… can I follow you for a few days?” Shen Tang looked a bit embarrassed, “I know my identity as an escapee can cause trouble.
I shouldn't bother you, but I’m a stranger in an unfamiliar land.
Honestly, I don’t know what to do…”


Qi Shan could flexibly use wenxin.
This was a nice chance for a free extracurricular tutorial class.
If she didn’t use it, wouldn't she just wrong herself?

It was a rare chance, and if missed, it would be difficult to get it again.


If she could understand the wenxin more, in the future she would blend better into this unfamiliar world.


Shen Tang thoroughly used her young age and difficult situation to appear like a weak person, in an attempt to win his sympathy. 


However, Qi Shan didn't show any pity at all.


He only looked on with interest at the lowered head of this pitifully looking, innocent young master.


A newbie who doesn't know much about control of the Wenxin, yet dares to face the third-grade Zanniao, and still doesn’t fall behind.
How can he be a little dog in dire straits?

He was clearly a young wolfhound with sharp teeth and piercing eyes!


Even though he was still young, once he gained confidence, he would become an oppressive existence.


Acting weak?


This could fool other people, but not him.


Qi Shanlian lowered his eyelids and started to fiddle with the dark cyan-coloured wenxin seal on his waist.


He pondered for a good while and then said: “Actually, it’s not out of the question, but—in the next village we have to part ways, otherwise you will regret it”.


Shen Tang was astonished and asked him: “Regret? Why?”


Qi Shen pointed at the sword at his waist, asking in reply: “Guess.
Is this sword just a decoration or a handy weapon?”


Shen Tang “…”


Qi Shen smiled: “Young master, don't think that someone who helps you out once is a good person.
I have much more troubles than you, an escapee.
It’s not only me.
Later if you see someone who dares to walk outside alone, no matter if he is wearing the Wenxin seal or the Wudan Tiger tally, be more vigilant”.


Shen Tang blinked and muttered quietly, but Qi Shen still heard it.


“… Mister Qi seems to think I’m too simple”.


Qi Shan sneered in his mind.


This young master indeed wasn’t simple, but Shen Tang’s request also wasn’t too excessive. 


She only asked to follow him.
Anyway, he already helped her once, so why not help again.
He should do things thoroughly and make a personal connection.


Two people built a bonfire in the lee.


Qi Shan rested with a sword between his hands.
He hadn't drifted off yet and heard the rumbling of Shen Tang's belly.


He opened his eyes to look at the latter.
Shen Tang covered her belly and awkwardly laughed: “I walked 7 to 8 hours with cangue on and only had one soured pancake to eat.
Because of that, I made this graceless sound… I disturbed your sleep…”


Shen Tang’s belly was endlessly making noises.
He couldn’t pretend that he didn’t hear it.


So he took off the sack with water and a bag with dry food at his waist and then handed them over.


“First, eat something”.


Shen Tang wasn’t polite.


“Thank you very much”.


As the slightly cool and soft rice slid into her throat and rolled into her stomach, her intense hunger was slightly relieved.


Despite starving, she only ate half and didn’t move the other portion.


Qi Shan was surprised, but didn’t say anything. 


Because of this incident, he wasn’t sleepy.
He took out a scroll made from a tanned animal leather from his bag.
He started reading under the dim light of the bonfire.


Shen Tang vaguely saw two characters “Magic words” on the top of the scroll and became curious.
She looked on as if she has seen the most interesting thing in the world.


Qi Shan, under her curious, expecting eyes, wasn’t able to concentrate.


He lightly sighed: “Curious?”


Shen Tang embraced her knees and embarrassingly smiled: “Yeah, curious! Wenxin is really mystical.
Can you teach me?”


Qi Shan said: “You’re really impolite”.


“Didn’t you say you don’t like people speaking in a roundabout way? People that are not frank?”


Qi Shan “…”


He didn't talk about teaching people then.


However, the scroll in his hands wasn’t any rare object.
On the scroll were written only the widely-known magic words that he arranged before.
It was a must-know for everyone.
If Shen Tang went to the bookstore in a slightly larger town or to the academy, she would inevitably meet with it.


Moreover, magic words were actually streams of consciousness and most of them could only be sensed and not conveyed by words.


The same magic word, some people could learn and some could try their whole life without success.


People could only master the magic words that are suitable for themselves or the ones they had comprehended.
Only then could they have perfect control over their power.


“Look for yourself” Qi Shan generously lend her the scroll, “If you don’t understand something, just ask”.


Shen Tang took it with an overwhelming curiosity.
After looking at the first line of words, she was stupefied.


Qi Shan: “Do you recognize the characters above?”


If she didn’t recognize them, he was also unable to help her, however much he would like to.


Shen Tang shook her head.


“I recognize the characters above.
I just want to ask something, ‘Quench one’s thirst by thinking of plums’ (means console oneself with illusions) is also… is it also a magic sentence?”


“Of course, don’t be fooled by the brief magic phrases of wudan and wenxin.
Its power shouldn't be underestimated.
This phrase is also one of the few that is necessary to master.
If the caster has a strong wenxin and uses it properly, it can even determine the outcome of the war at a critical moment”.


Shen Tang was dumbstruck.


“Determine… the outcome of the war?”


“Naturally, these sentences can only boost the morale of an army”.
After noticing Shen Tang’s doubtful look, he thought that Shen Tang misunderstood that the magic sentences should always be long, so he said, “Originally, these magic sentences were really long.
In a chapter Guile and Chicanery* was recorded, ‘Emperor Wu of Wei, led the army, but they couldn't find water.
The whole army was very thirsty.
Therefore, he sent an order: “There is a big plum grove in front of us, with many plums, sweet and sour, which can quench thirst.” The soldiers drooled after hearing this.
Relying on this, they finally reached the water source in front of them’.
But after polishing this, only four characters remained”.


Shen Tang gaped, she learned something new.


“And this… scattered about like stars in the sky or chess pieces on a board?” 


Qi Shan said: “To arrange the troops and fight against the enemy”.


“To cut weeds and eliminate the roots?”


“Maintaining the energy of soldiers requires considerable expenditure.
They cannot be used lightly”.


Shen Tang pointed at the scroll, asking: “To walk right into the trap?”


Qi Shan answered: “It is mostly used in arranging troops and disturbing the enemy, making them act without thinking”.


She didn’t need to ask about the rest.


After looking at Qi Shan’s densely packed notes, she realized that every magic sentence  there was used for battles.


It was no wonder that he said he is not an easy man to deal with.


After looking at these wenxin magic words, and then at the simulated military formation drawn on top of the scroll, Shen Tang came to understand that her dear friend was the kind of person who used offence as defence.
The fanatic, who squatted in the grass.
He only lacked the writing “I am LYB*” on his face.


“Mister Qi, I have one question left”.


Qi Shan believed that she was unpredictable. 


They only just get acquainted.
She said three sentences, and two of them were questions.
After ending her inquiries, he believed that she should definitely come up with another question.


But – 


After thinking of Shen Tang’s wenxin, he squinted his eyes and became a little more patient.




Shen Tang looked at the back.
She discovered that the top not only had the wenxin magic words, but also wudan magic words.


Truthfully speaking, she didn't really understand the differences between the two.


Could both of them be used for fighting?

“What’s the specific difference between wenxin and wudan?”


Qi Shan “…”


He once again doubted if Shen Tang wasn’t savage from nowhere.
All of her questions were outside his expectations.


“LYB – Legend Young Beyond, generally in the game, refers to a player who hides in a house or bushes or plays a more insidious way.

*Guile and Chicanery—A New Account of the Tales of the World, compiled by Liu Yiqing.

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