Chapter 266 “Harboring evil intentions” (part one)
This disciple of Blue Ocean’s actually took the initiative to mention Snowy Mountain, for this, Du Wei got on the alert. Though that may be the case, Philip doesn’t look anything like someone trying to hide something.
Maybe…… Despite Blue Ocean being a member of the Snowy Mountain, a regular student like Philip was clueless to the whole situation.
Thinking it over for a moment, Du Wei asked, “What do you mean?”
“The prairie natives have always regarded the people of Snowy Mountain as absolute beings. To them, the Shaman King cannot be disobeyed.” Philip slowly explains: “From what I’ve perceived thus far, this Hamuye did not bring with him any shamans…… My lord, did you forget the confession from that captured female assassin?”
Causing such a big commotion from the assassination attempt back in Watt City and how Du Wei captured the girl, Philip would obviously hear about it.
Then under Du Wei’s persecution, Aoi – female assassin – finally caved in and coughed up all that she knows in her confession letters. As Du Wei’s trusted aid, Philip would also be privileged to read the content.
Now that Philip mentioned it, Du Wei’s mind began to work in the right direction. Sharing a glance with each other, both men began to chuckle in a strange fashion.
It’s true that the Snowy Mountain was indeed a mysterious place. Not only are they capable of cultivating shamans with powers equal to the wizards of the Empire, every member are firmly worshipped by the locals. If there were one difference between the Temple of Light and the Snowy Mountain, it would be that the highest authority of the Empire remains in royal hands.
At the very least, the royal family of the Empire was still capable of putting up a stand against the Temple of Light while the Prairie King had to kneel before the Shaman King.
According to Aoi’s statement, the highest authority up on the Snowy Mountain naturally falls into the Shaman King’s hand. To be recognized as the next generation Shaman King, the individual must be appointed by its predecessor. This rule had no exception and has been carried out for generations past, meaning ‘White River’s Sorrow’ also had to go through this process.
Though the current Shaman king reached his status by usurping his master’s throne, everyone greatly respected this person, according to Aoi’s claim that is. Aoi may have painted her master in a bright light, it’s no secret in her confession that a great battle ensued between master and disciple. What was surprising though was that after ‘White River’s Sorrow’ defeated his master, the former Shaman King did something completely out of expectation and shocked everyone. Not only did the author of that booklet Du Wei found in Watt City leave the Snowy Mountain, the former Shaman King also left behind a letter stating he approves his disciple and openly admits ‘White River’s Sorrow’ as the new Shaman King!
This move was definitely strange by any standard, yet it was precisely because of this that it worked out so well. Matched with his extraordinary strength and rebellious nature, ‘White River’s Sorrow’ was able to win over everyone’s heart and firmly control his seat as the new Shaman King.
Aside from this, there are many more strange rules atop of the Snowy Mountain that scared the daylights out of Du Wei. The problem though was that Aoi wrote the information down completely based on her thought pattern, thus making the whole confession letter disorganized and messy to read.
Firstly, the most mysterious thing on the Snowy Mountain was of course Shamanism – a power capable of standing up to the Empire’s magic system. In Aoi’s statement, Shamans have a very different take in their learning system compared to the Empire’s wizard system: they value the exchange of knowledge!
Comparable to Du Wei’s little achievement last year where he created the so called “spirit of sharing” back in the magic academy, Snowy Mountain had long pursued this route before anyone else did.
Likewise, the Snowy Mountain also had a precise and clear divide in their division of labor. Divided into three layers, the lowest being the “into the world” layer. Out of the two hundred or so Shamans living atop of the Snowy Mountain, a hundred or so belonged to this “into the world” layer. Their job comprises mainly of traveling into the outside world to spread their belief, cure diseases, teach locals new knowledge, regulate tribal disputes, and to recruit new members. Most importantly though, these shamans are forbidden from accepting gifts from those whom they help, making them worshipped like gods wherever they go. On a side note, unlike the Wizards of the Empire, Shamans don’t just focus on shamanism; they also know medicine, astronomy, geography, mathematics and many more….. But there are things they don’t do and that was interfering in politics! Whether it was a change on the throne or war with foreign powers, every shaman aren’t allowed to reach out unless specified by the Shaman King.
After Du Wei learned of Blue Ocean’s identity, he immediately matched this famed scholar with these so called “into the world” shamans.
Unbeknownst to Du Wei, he’s absolutely correct. Blue Ocean wasn’t just a member of this group; he’s the leader of it back when this famed scholar was still living in the grassland.
Aside from the “Into the world” layer, the next level up was called the “Scripture Gathering” layer and their job shocked Du Wei down to the bones. The number of shamans inside this layer was around seventy to eighty people and these people almost never leaves the Snowy Mountain, or in many cases, they never do! According to Aoi’s description and Du Wei’s view, this strange group of people was no different from the scientific researchers back in his previous world. Other than researching new and old shamanistic spells, these lunatics practically never gets involved with anything else, regardless of the situation in the outside world.
Lastly and highest of the three layer are the “Raising” layer. Their job primarily involves educating new shamans after the “into the world” layer brings in the qualified children from the outside world capable of becoming shamans. The number of members in this layer may be the smallest of the three with only ten to twenty people, but that doesn’t mean they are the weakest, on the contrary, they are the so called white robed shamans similar to the white robed wizards of the empire!
However, unlike the ranking of the empire’s Wizard system, shamans of the Snowy Mountain only have a two color system: white and grey. After a certain level and with the consent of the Shaman King, a grey robed shaman will don on a white robe to indicate his status of High Shaman.
Then paramount to the three layers was the Shaman King. According to Aoi’s explanation, her master’s existence was a mystery to even their own. Though she herself was a disciple of the Shaman King, Aoi would only get to meet her “master” a few times a year. The reasoning was because out of a whole year, the Shaman King would remain in secluded cultivation at the very peak of the mountain. Unless summoned by the Shaman King himself for an audience, no one was allowed to disturb him.
To put it into perspective, even if the Prairie King himself personally made an appearance at the bottom of the Snowy Mountain to seek advice in some major decision making – like going to war with the empire – the Shaman King still won’t come in person. Instead, one of the regular shamans will transfer the message with the Red Skull Flag back up to the mountain to proceed. Likewise, if the Shaman King got any instruction to pass along to the royal court, it will be done through the Red Skull Flag.
“It can’t be that you want to impersonate as a Shaman of the Snowy Mountain?” Du Wei shakes his head like he almost couldn’t believe his own words.
Philip giggles: “It’s not my fault now is it? From the information we gathered, the connection between the royal court of the prairie and the Snowy Mountain is practically one way. As long as the Prairie King doesn’t go confirm the truth, no flaw will be found. It’s just that we don’t have a proper candidate to be the impersonator. We can ask that female assassin to help, but if she’s not willing, then it’s best to abandon the idea for risk of being caught.”
“The female Assassin … …” Du Wei thought and thought: “She will likely listen.”
The negotiation the following day was much more enjoyable because Du Wei finally managed to strike a deal with Hamuye under the table. The only problem though was that Hamuye still wouldn’t yield an inch on the compensation terms.
“Duke, I think your country is somewhat exorbitant in your terms! Eighty thousand war-horses? On your first draft, you only wrote thirty thousand!! It’s already impossible at that number, let only eighty thousand!!!”
Du Wei immediately retorted: “But Hamuye, the terms before never included the withdrawal of our troops from the grassland. We’ve already come to a concession, why couldn’t your side pay a little more?”
“Eighty thousand war horses… … That’s simply too much!” Hamuye repeatedly shakes his head: “It’s true the grassland has a lot of horses, but war-horses are different. Out of every five horses born, there might not be a single one capable of meeting the requirements of a war-horse!! I looked over the terms and I can accept the numbers for the cattle, but I absolutely cannot accept the other half!”
Du Wei’s face darkened and immediately shakes his head: “Absolutely not, I can easily get two sheep with a single good quality sword of the empire! With so many cattle, what am I going to do with them?”
Hamuye lets out a grumbling smile: “Duke…. Since were making a peace talk, then that means both state will be brothers after we sign the paper. What good will so many war-horses be when there’s no battles to be fought!”
Du Wei counterattacked: “Then why do you need so many war-horses?”
Just like that, both sides went at it all morning and eventually decided on the thirty thousand number.
Seeing Hamuye finally agreeing to his terms, Du Wei didn’t know whether to be happy in his heart or feel disturbed.
When your enemy can discard thirty thousand war-horses so easily, it makes one wonder what their true potentials are. From rumors, a single large tribe like Hamuye’s can easily amass tens of thousands of horsemen for battle. If that’s true, then some of the biggest tribes in the grassland will be able to amass over a hundred thousand horsemen for war with one calling!!
Now then, if the Prairie King mobilizes the entire grassland for war, how many horsemen will that be when there are hundreds of tribes under this king’s command?!
With the horses out of the way, the next part in the compensation will naturally be the cattle. At first Hamuye proposed ten thousand cattle in the deal but was immediately rebuked with a sneer by Du Wei. His argument: you’ve already conceded thirty thousand horses, why do you care about some measly cattle. Can it be that you value cattle more than your horses?
After a long period of back and forth, the final numbers came up to twenty thousand cattle and thirty thousand horses. In addition, Du Wei managed to add in ten thousand fine leathers outside of the deal, of course, the extra leather was for the empire and not himself, but he can’t let this Hamuye know that now can he?
Hamuye was very cooperative on Du Wei’s unreasonable demand because this Prince was well versed in the politics of the empire. If Du Wei didn’t take the initiative to make this private demand, Hamuye would find it odd and be on the alert.
Ten thousand leather, pfff….. That’s really nothing for the people of the grassland.
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