Shao Xuan had been watching Yi Qi and Yi Cong from beginning to end. After sitting down, Shao Xuan recalled them in detail.
Divination was quite similar to a shaman’s chanting. Take knot divination for an example, every knot, even down to the detail of the knot, was the same as a line of chant but not every person would be able to replicate it. That was because a shaman’s chant and a knot reading, or other divination methods, all required totemic power.
Totemic power was a kind of power from the fire seed. A fire seed did not just consist of totemic power, there were other kinds like the power of inheritance, etc.
A shaman’s chant requires a unique type of power of inheritance, while divination requires another type.
The Yi family used a power unique to their lineage, part of the Yi family seed. Shao Xuan, on the other hand, used the other kind of power in his body unrelated to the Flaming Horn’s fire seed. This special power allowed Shao Xuan to bypass the repulsion from foreign fire seeds, as well as perform tasks impossible to the average human- just like performing Yi knot divination or turning rocks into water moon stones. These were all because of this unique power.
Right now, Shao Xuan planned to try again to see if he could enter the dimension they say he couldn’t see. The Yi family battle should be interesting, he was curious how they fought and who would appear. At this point, Shao Xuan still had not met the main founder of Rock Hill City- the Yi Xiang they called ‘The Unlucky One’.
It did not matter how old Yi Xiang was one thousand years ago. After a millennium, the other main founder, Mu Han, was already dead. The Yi family members who forced Yi Xiang to leave were no longer alive either, yet here he was, still tormenting the Yi family. Right now, he finally could act upon the King City Yi family. Their ancestors are gone, but these descendants are still around, no? One thousand years isn’t too late for revenge.
Yi Si once told Shao Xuan that if ‘The Unlucky One’ decided to truly attack the Yi family, he would be doing so with the objective of exterminating the entire clan. He would not show mercy.
Shao Xuan wanted to see for himself how powerful this Yi Xiang was. It was too bad regular people could not watch.
Clearing his mind, Shoa Xuan held the straw rope in his hand and recalled the actions that Yi Cong and Yi Qi took, repeating them in his mind, remembering every detail, every finger, every grain of sand clear in his mind. A pair of hands appeared in his consciousness.
When Shao Xuan received the inheritance of the knot divination skill from the Thousand Year Leaf, he had learned the language of knots from this pair of hands.
At this moment, the two hands were holding a straw rope. As Shao Xuan looped his memory of Yi Qi’s movements, the pair of hands started to move.
The rope twisted quickly between their fingers. Shao Xuan watched them with full attention but the knotting process was too complicated and could not catch up. That was why he stopped knotting his own rope and focused on memorising each knot.
They were more complicated than the knots he usually made, partially because the hands were too fast. The first knot was finished within a breath’s moment.
When the first knot was complete, something like a burning chant scripture appeared in Shao Xuan’s consciousness. The text burned orange-red flames with white bottoms, similar to the Yi family’s fire seed clouds. When the pair of hands disappeared in his mind, the burning text disappeared too.
He slowly recalled the hands’ movements and started to meddle with his own rope.Although he did not know which member of the Yi family created that knot divination vision, it was just incredible!
Those hands were like a translator translating the language of jades, sand and tray into knots!
As he recalled the hands, he slowed down to analyse every part and tie the knot on his own. The rope in his fingers slowly knotted, though much slowly than the hands in his subconscious.
He made a minor mistake in one of the details and the knotting failed. Nothing happened to the rope in his hands. It was not because divination was not possible here but due to the mistake. It was similar to the situation he was in when he first started learning.
Snapping the messy, knotted rope in two, he pulled out a new piece of rope to practise. Recalling the pair of hands once again, he followed suit.
Another accident. As long as one of the procedures was wrong, the knot would not be complete.
Looping Yi Cong and Yi Qi’s actions in his mind, then watching the two hands, he slowed down the memories to imitate them.
Yep, this is it!
Shao Xuan raised his eyebrows slightly when the last step was complete. He felt a ‘boom’ in his mind like a sudden cool breeze activating his neurons, which were now buzzing with excitement. Opening his eyes to look at the rope in his hands, he noticed a strange knot. He could also feel a slight change in his surroundings in the presence of this knot, like there were invisible ripples.
There was a light snap as the rope in his hand broke and the knot disintegrated. His head was pounding, probably due to overexertion. He needed rest.
He studied the two sections of rope, unsure if it was due to some sudden interruption because the knot disintegrated after formation. Thank goodness he brought extra rope. Due to the possibility of needing readings on this journey, Shao Xuan had prepared extra rope. A length of hunting rope could be separated into ten thinner ropes used for divination. The braiding process was extremely complicated and time-consuming but this made the rope more sturdy and convenient for separation.
TRacking did not use up too much rope but if Shao Xuan wanted to experiment infiltrating the other dimension the Yi family implied, he would need much more.
REcalling the knots, he repeated the same procedures. One success was just an accident, pure luck. Only repeated success was true mastery. He must not rely on luck for these things because he might not be able to replicate it again when needed, in turn missing out on a lot of insights.
The successful knot was deeply etched into his mind. Shao Xuan was still tying slowly the second time he succeeded, though the process was much smoother.
Then he succeeded a third time, a fourth time…
When he made five consecutively successful knots, he put down this practice to focus on the second knot. The pair of hands made many knots.
Knot-making required a lot of energy. Shao Xuan rested for a while before starting again.
The second knot was even more complicated. When he succeeded, he broke out of his conscious mind impatiently, feeling his vision blackout for a moment. This exhaustion reminded him of the first time he learned knot divination. He rested and drank some water to catch his breath.
Watching a Yi family battle was no simple affair. Without this experience, he never would have known how difficult it was! Previously, Yi Qi and Yi Cong had done every step accurately and in order, also in sync without any hesitation or disruption in rhythm.
“This is difficult, it’s no wonder why they’re one of the six aristocratic families in King City.” The Yi family, also what used to be the Yi tribe, was a large tribe. These tribes must have had their reasons for growing so strong.
Taking a deep breath and feeling re-energized, Shao Xuan proceeded to attempt the third knot.
In his consciousness, the pair of hands had made a total of eight knots. This meant that not only did Shao Xuan have to replicate all eight knots, but he must also make them consecutively without a too long of a pause in between or the rope would disintegrate.
“A difficult task indeed.”
Was Shao Xuan in a hurry? Of course he was. He must learn all eight knots before the battle ended, or being able to see into another dimension would be useless.
However, these things must not be rushed. Chances of errors increased the more impatient he became. He must remain calm.
Every knot was more complicated than the previous one. The first knot was easiest, then as he proceeded, the number of failures rose. At least he had some knotting experience from before but they were quite different from these specific ones.
I need to take advantage of this momentum to practise more!
When he had finally completed all eight knots, two days had passed since he first started.
Two days, eight knots. Shao Xuan even sacrificed sleep for this. He felt like he had just gone through a famine, feeling utterly exhausted and drenched in sweat. Beads of sweat dripped from his forehead.
Heaving a long sigh, he ate some dried food haphazardly, then went hunting. When he returned after his meal, he felt like a new person.
He looked at Yi Cong and Yi Qi’s side. The eight slaves were still guarding around them both, while Yi Cong and Yi Qi remained like stone statues in the same position from two days ago.