Was it afraid?
Shao Xuan looked at the scorpion, then around it.
Within a ten-step radius, there was only Shao Xuan. Su Gu was more than twenty meters from here while the rest of the slaves were even farther.
And because he was far away, Su Gu did not sense any surge of energy. The first turtle he’d enslaved was merely an experiment. That turtle was not a fighting animal anyway. To Su Gu, it was only a little better than a failed experiment. This was a true success, of course he felt differently about it. Still immersed in the joy of enslaving his first fighting animal, he paid no attention to Shao Xuan.
Shao Xuan retracted the flames in his palm and observed the changes in the scorpion.
After a few moments, the scorpion opened both its pincers wide while its tail was erect in an offensive stance. It seemed to be more cautious than when he first began, staring intently towards Shao Xuan but did not come closer.
Shao Xuan suddenly recalled something Lang Ga and the rest had said when he was by the river a long time ago. He was still a pitiful child with not much to eat then.
Lang Ga and the rest were talking about the Flame when Shao Xuan was called over. He’d asked, “Why don’t beasts attack the tribe?”
They’d laughed so hard when he heard his question. Someone pointed at the peak of the mountain and said, “Because they’re afraid of fire.”
Shao Xuan knew what ‘fire’ they were talking about the Flame at the fire pit. This reminded him of that conversation.
He concentrated his energy and flames appeared in his palm once again.
The scorpion, still cautious, took a step back. It used its pincers like a shield, just like before.
Shao Xuan took a step forward.
It stepped back.
He stepped forward again, the scorpion stepped back again.
Retracting his flames, he stepped forward. While the scorpion was still guarded, it did not step back.
He wriggled his fingers, his suspicions confirmed. This scorpion was afraid of the fire in his palm. But why hadn’t this happened when Su Gu enslaved that lizard?
When Su Gu performed the enslavement, there were bright flames on his hand too. The two ferocious beasts were visibly annoyed but definitely not afraid.
Shao Xuan wanted to try again but Su Gu decided to leave so he couldn’t.
Su Gu had enslaved a fighting animal today, he had no energy left to enslave another one. He needed rest.
On the way back, Shao Xuan asked Su Gu, “Is there a difference between enslaving a fighting beast and a human?
“Fierce beasts that do not have an owner are usually a lot more powerful than other lower-level slaves. That is why we would not use any complex methods of enslavement, we use another kind.”
Su Gu explained that they enslaved beasts mostly for battles so when they performed enslavement, it was to create an awareness of the master-slave relationship in the animal. This made them more obedient while their own strengths would not be affected.
As for humans, who were better at performing tasks but much weaker in strength, slave masters not only had to provide a source of power but also spend more effort in controlling the slave. That was why the enslavement process would be more complicated.
“Will the enslaved beasts be shackled?” Shao Xuan remembered Su Gu once talked about enslavement and shackling.
“Yes but not the kind used for humans. While providing them with power, three locks are placed on the slave- three chains can be seen when the slaves use their powers. Every time one is removed, it is the equivalent of removing a blockade to their growth in power. This is the principle of enslavement!”
When he finished, Su Gu looked at Shao Xuan in delight. Like the rest of the slave masters and the people of his tribe, they had a sense of superiority.
“Can tribesmen also take slaves?” asked Shao Xuan.
“Of course not!” Su Gu thought Shao Xuan must’ve been getting greedy after watching him enslave animals. He grew more excited with every word. “You people who believe in totems cannot enslave anything at all!”
Is that so? Shao Xuan wriggled his fingers under his sleeve. He did not dwell on this topic though. “The day you enslaved that turtle, did you use the same method of beast enslavement too?”
Upon hearing the mention of the turtle, Su Gu quickly looked around, then heaved a sigh of relief when he did not see anyone. This was a dark spot in his past.
“Of course I did! You think I’d use the method of enslaving a human on an animal who can’t even think? Why would I do such a stupid thing?” Su Gu was upset.
In truth, he’d actually used the human enslaving process on the turtle. However, the more he thought of it, the more he regretted his decision and hence decided to cook the turtle. No one knew how he enslaved it anyway, so he only had to deny whenever the topic was brought up.
Shao Xuan eyed Su Gu, weary of his words but did not speak. He thought of the beetle again. Previously, he hadn’t known much about the Principle of Enslavement and was just experimenting. Looks like he’d used the human enslavement method on the beetle and not the one for fighting beasts.
When he recalled Su Gu’s words about the three chains, he checked the beetle solemnly upon returning to his room- only to realise there weren’t just three chains on the beetle, there were five!
Shao Xuan didn’t know what the two extra chains were for but guessed it must be related to the special energy in his body. Just like why he could perform enslavement when none of his tribesmen could.
Shao Xuan was an exception!
He went to ask Su Gu about unlocking the chains.
Su Gu had been observing his slaves and found two best locks. Shao Xuan was next to him.
Shao Xuan stared quietly at the blue beetle at his feet. He would not kill this wrongly-enslaved beetle like Su Gu. As he thought about the beetle’s recent changes, he wondered if he should attempt unlocking a shackle.
But he had a very limited understanding of the Principle of Enslavement. If he made a mistake, he could easily trigger an uncontrollable disaster, then what?
Just to be safe, Shao Xuan decided to wait. He would only take action when he knew more.
Right now, the beetle merely sat quietly by Shao Xuan’s feet, it did not know what its master was thinking.
It had pushed the dung ball containing the dead desert ants back into its hole yesterday. Master said it could have it but it didn’t usually eat desert ants… but it couldn’t disobey Master either so bit by bit, it ate up all the dead ants.
After its meal, it thought, Hey, that didn’t taste bad at all.