On the Yuanzhi Continent, everybody believed that the source of power originated from all living things. Hence, as long as something was created by or as a result of nature, then that object had a spirit.
And there was a portion of humanity whose bodies contained a type of mysterious power, called the ‘Bridge of Nature’. Its meaning was very simple, and it meant that one could construct a bridge to allow a person to communicate with some form of nature.
Fire, rock, numemon (TL: I still don’t even know), wolves, the Twelve-Winged Golden-Eyed Dragon King, and even humans themselves… as long as they were a form of nature, then communication could be established.
And after successfully establishing communication, this person would be able to summon this form of nature as their ‘faith totem’, from then on capable of utilizing this form of nature as a means of protecting themselves or even defeating their enemies.
It was just like Tom. Just then, the totem pillar’s strange display signified that his body possessed the ‘Bridge of Rock’. As such, he would naturally be able to communicate with the rocks of nature and summon a ‘rock totem’.
In other words, Tom had the opportunity to become a ‘rock totem master’.
Please take note that he only ‘had a chance’. The fact that he possessed a ‘Bridge of Nature’ didn’t mean that Tom was guaranteed to become a formidable totem master. In fact, the way of totems was full of difficulties upon difficulties, and the vast majority of those who possessed ‘Bridges of Nature’ wouldn’t become mighty totem masters even throughout their whole lives.
However, just merely possessing a ‘Bridge of Nature’ was sufficient for Tom to join the army.
Jiang Nan simultaneously ran and listened to the discussions of the wizened and experienced slaves a bit. At this moment, what he hadn’t predicted was that he was, from the very last, the eighth person to finally reach the finish line.
(TL: I’m assuming of the first 2,000 people, so he’s 1,992nd place.)
Right at this moment, the officer abruptly let out a fierce roar, as if a powerful enemy had invaded the threshing floor!
Jiang Nan was momentarily startled, and even thought that he was the person who had committed some kind of offense. However, after one or two seconds, he realized that the soldiers weren’t targeting him.
It turned out that at another totem pillar not far away, a slave had already finished running and was currently getting tested by the totem pillar.
And that twelve-meter totem pillar already displayed the form of his totem, which was unexpectedly… a thick cluster of skulls!
All the slaves were terrified into shock.
“Calm down, calm down…”
Jiang Nan’s eyes revealed a genuinely excited light because he was an anatomy specialist who associated with dead bodies! Seeing those skulls, he wasn’t frightened, nor was he dazed, but rather was as delighted as though he had met an old friend!
A number of soldiers charged over and seized the slave whose form of totem was a skull. The officer yelled, “Investigate thoroughly! Whoever is related to this slave by blood, seize the respective three generations!”
Why was this?
Jiang Nan’s head grew foggy, and during this strange event while the soldiers were busy capturing those people, Tom took the chance to stealthily slip away while carrying his new army uniform and flaunted it: “Rodi, hurry, hurry up and look at my new army uniform.”
Jiang Nan’s eyes swept over the uniform disinterestedly, then directed his gaze back to that slave, “Tom, has that person committed a crime?”
“He’s committed one, and an unpardonable and disastrous sin at that!”
Tom caressed his new uniform gleefully, then asked Rodi: “Do you know of the continent’s three ‘death declarations’? Those three that have to do with human corpses!”
Any person who dissects and studies a corpse will be regarded as revolting against nature, kill three generations!”
Any clan who produces a clans member that dissects corpses will be regarded as revolting against nature, kill the whole clan!
Any nation that shelters a person or clan that dissects corpses will be regarded as revolting against nature, kill the whole nation!
These three death declarations made Jiang Nan feel as though a fishbone was stuck in his throat, as if a blade was pointed at his back! Even if that was a dream, he would’ve woken up filled with indignance, how could he not know?
“Truthfully, the goal of these three death declarations is only one, which is… to prevent the appearance of ‘ghost totems’!”
“Right, ghost totems!”
Tom had just learned this from the words of the other soldiers, and brought it out to flaunt at this moment without a hint of shame. He answered: “All living things have spirits, so naturally, all living things can be summoned as one’s faith totem, and ghosts are no exception!”
“The natural form of a ‘faith totem’ that has something to do with death is called a ‘ghost totem’!
Then Tom said mysteriously: “And this ‘ghost totem’ is the continent’s greatest taboo! Once a person is identified as ‘having relations with a ghost totem’, then he and his family will be thoroughly destroyed!”
Jiang Nan seemed to understand, “Then, the true meaning of those three death declarations is…”
“The true meaning of these three death declarations is basically that any person dissecting a corpse will be seen as trying to cultivate a ‘ghost totem’, or that they are associated with ‘ghost totems’, so they and their whole family must die!”
Calm down, calm down…
Jiang Nan was irritated to the point of wanting to curse someone, but the model person inside told him that he should calm down, calm down, and calm down even more!
Fine then. So the Yuanzhi Continent originally prohibited the act of dissecting human bodies, and furthermore prohibited any kind of close contact with dead corpses!
Once he came into close contact with any dead corpse, then he as well as Auntie Alisa would be classified as people ‘associated with ghost totems’ and would die!
Jiang Nan suddenly thought up an outrageous idea, and if it was possible… could he make this world a bit happier?
Of course, this was only a thought, and it immediately dissipated in a flash. To Jiang Nan who was a slave, this kind of idea was simply an impractical and unattainable, extravagant hope.
After calming down, he asked: “Why? Why must those who are associated with ‘ghost totems’ die?”
“This… don’t you know? I don’t know either! This prohibition has already existed for several thousand years already. Who knows what happened several thousand years ago?”
Tom laughed with embarrassment, then pointed at that slave whose form of totem was a skull, “In any case, that last test already proved it! This unfortunate fellow has a ‘Bridge of Ghosts’, and thus has a chance to become a ‘ghost totem master’, so he and his whole family must die!”
By this time, that slave’s whole family had already been captured. There were eighteen people, as well as three additional farm overseers who were related to him by blood.
But no matter what identity they had, the officer still waved his hand dramatically, “Execute them!”
On the threshing floor, with bows and arrows at the ready, twenty-some people were shot through to death!
“Burn those corpses without a trace! Tell Count West that his slaves have been suspected of ‘associating with ghost totems’, and warn him to be more careful next time!”
The officer coldly instructed his men, then went straight to Jiang Nan who was standing in line and gestured at him, “It’s your turn now.”
So it’s starting now?
A surge of anticipation suddenly swelled up, and although Jiang Nan had already resolved to stay behind and take care of his aunt, when the test was imminent, he surprisingly began to look forward to the result and hoped that he would also have innate totem talent!
No, no! Jiang Nan immediately dispelled that feeling of anticipation. He couldn’t have innate totem talent, or else… his poor and lonely auntie wouldn’t last for long!
According to the officer’s instructions, Jiang Nan placed his back to the totem pillar.
Nearly right at the same moment, the totem pillar began to emit dark smoke, and dark clouds started to roil about in a mysterious and imposing manner!
On the sidelines, Tom roared madly in excitement, “Rodi, don’t you know? When my innate talent was being tested, it was also like this! You possess innate totem talent, you definitely possess innate totem talent!”
Actually possess innate totem talent?!
Jiang Nan’s heart went cold as if he was already seeing the events that would unfold: the Lord Officer would assimilate him into the army, as if reeling in a potential fighter, and bring him to the big city. And Auntie Alisa… would be left all alone, only able to lie on that flat cart and wail, awaiting her death!
Damn it, why do I have innate totem talent?!
Jiang Nan lifted his head to take a look at exactly what this damnable innate talent was!
And right at this moment, that dark smoke already condensed into a ring, and faintly revealed something ghastly white.
From his perspective as well as from the viewpoint of his specialty, only Jiang Nan himself was able to see clearly and tell that this ghastly white object was unexpectedly… a bone!
More accurately, it was the skeletal remains of a skull.
Skeletal remains that symbolized a ‘Bridge of Ghosts’!
Don’t tell me I also have a Bridge of Ghosts? Don’t tell me, I also have the chance to become a ghost totem master?!
A corpse dripping with blood appeared in his vision, and Jiang Nan’s heart slammed within his chest. Don’t tell me, me and Auntie… also have to die here?!