Chapter 142 – Runic Badge
After the ritual’s ending, Zuo Qiu Ming allotted Ye Wei and Lu Feng each a badge.
“Finally, I am a Runemaster…” Ye Wei tightly grasped the badge, whispered to himself ecstatically.
When Green Moon City learned that Ye Wei had become a Runemaster, the three biggest martial families, and the City Lord now realized how much respect was due to Ye Wei. Upon meeting him, they would have to bow, and anything else required to honor a Runemaster.
“Ye Wei, do you have time to talk?”
Zuo Qiu Ming patted Ye Wei’s shoulder; he welcomed the newly qualified Runemaster with a soft, amicable smile. He desired to speak about the Seven New Runes.
If Ye decided to enlist as a part of the Seven New Runes, authorities in the whole Qing state would have to treat him decorously. As well, he would be bestowed with countless privileges. These incentives were very persuasive, and Ye Wei didn’t even need any encouragement from Mister Zuo.
“Mister Zuo, you don’t even have to ask, I will gratefully oblige!” Ye Wei elatedly smiled as he replied and nodded politely. Then thought to himself, ‘you, an official from the Runemaster Union’s Ning City branch, clearly want to befriend me… Why would I say no?’
“Hahaha! Little boy, you surely present yourself well! Follow me to the second floor please.” Zuo Qiu Ming led Ye Wei out of the side hall towards the staircase. Lu Feng was completely forgotten about; they even left without acknowledging him by not saying goodbye.
Zuo Qiu Ming had sensed the change between Ye Wei and Lu Feng. He understood with Ye Wei being a Runemaster and at the same standing as Lu Feng, the equanimity between them before was erased, now they were enemies. Nonetheless, he instantly chose to affiliate himself with Ye Wei. Lu Feng was good, but not extraordinary; this young boy would one day become an influential figure.
Lu Feng stood all alone in the grand but empty hall. As Ye Wei and Zuo Qiu Ming walked away, his eyes vengefully glared at them. Hate was growing in his heart; revenge was brewing. For now, Lu Feng could only grudgeful glare at the new superstar, his new enemy.
“Very well, Ye Wei, just you wait!” Lu Feng‘s hand trembled. He squeezed the badge tightly as his eyes widened. He flicked his sleeve, impatiently turned, and angrily strode out, each step echoing in the vastness with no one to hear them.
Zuo Qiu Ming led Ye Wei into an elegant sitting room upstairs and sat down.
“So, Ye Wei, it seems you and Lu Feng don’t get along well, am I correct?” Zuo Qiu Ming poured Ye Wei a cup of tea while casually questioning him.
“Yes, you are right.” Ye Wei acknowledged. He thought about Lu Feng’s scheme three years ago, and how he pulled some strings, used the Du family, a general who worked for the City Lord, and a merchant guild’s president to attempt taking over the Ye family’s land. ‘He would have killed us all if it wasn’t for Master Yi…’
“Lu Feng and his master Mu Kun are people you shouldn’t worry about.” Zuo Qiu Ming frowned as he saw Ye Wei growing agitated, but he continued in a wary tone, “however his mother is from a big family, who have influence all across Qing state. I think he came to take the entrance exam mainly for recognition from his mother’s family. Now, that he is a two-star Runemaster, I am pretty sure he will have no problem getting approved and will soon become a part of the Lu family.”
“On the other hand, if the Lu family does not like you then you might be in trouble. They are one of the four biggest martial families in Qing state. Furthermore, multiple returned prime Warriors minister them. Most important, though, they are related to one of the royal families. This is the worst part.” Zuo Qiu Ming looked at Ye Wei and tried to sound as collected as he could, “my advice for you, boy, is to avoid direct conflict with him. Don’t give him and them any reasons to start fights with your family. You have limitless potential; but, only when you have reached a certain status, which is made from connections, then can you sort out your dispute with him! This is my advice for you Ye Wei; I hope you will heed it.”
Working as an official in the Ning City branch had broadened Zuo Qiu Ming’s understanding on the political games the influential and powerful played to get what they wanted. Idealism had no chance in the cut-throat arena of the royals. Zuo Qiu Ming told his opinions as a whole without leaving out any details. He truly hoped the best for Ye Wei and wanted him to do well, but as well remain good.
“Thank you for your sincere advice, Zuo Qiu Ming. I appreciate your kindness.” Ye Wei recognized Zuo Qiu Ming’s sympathetic intentions, and he nodded gratefully.
‘So, for now, I don’t have to worry about Lu Feng, as long as I don’t cross the Lu family, they wouldn’t be so trusting to support their new addition yet…’ although now a three-star Runemaster, Ye Wei humbly understood he was not ready to take on the Lu’s.
“That’s not all I wanted to say. If you are listed as one of the Seven New Runes, even the Lu family won’t be able to touch you!” Zuo Qiu Ming mirthfully smiled, switching the topic to what he truly wanted to speak about.
“Qing State’s Seven New Runes?!” Master Yi had mentioned about them before. So, Ye Wei knew what Zuo Qiu Ming was talking about.
Every state was responsible for protecting their young talents within the sovereignty. The God’s Seven and the Seven New Runes were much more than just titles; they were created so the state and the Runemaster Union could send forces to where the fourteen youngsters were located to keep an eye on them. Humanity could not afford to lose any talented future leaders.
Not only do the God’s Seven and the Seven New Runes protect the youngsters from demons and beasts, if any man threatens both groups of seven, in any way, the offenders will be punished and their whole family killed.
“With your talent, definitely the Seven New Runes will enlist you without any problem!” Zuo Qiu Ming chuckled, “the regional president, strong as he is, passed the entrance exam at the age of eighteen, and you at the age sixteen. By far, you broke his record! If we can’t put you, a sixteen year old three-star Runemaster, on the list I don’t think anyone would deserve to be on it.”
“Are you sure?” Ye Wei felt relief, realizing he might not even have to worry about the Lu’s.
“Of course!” Zuo Qiu Ming earnestly stated. He wanted to reassure Ye Wei, “just fill in the form here; I will make sure the president sends your application to the headquarter as soon as possible. That way we will quickly obtain the result. It will take up to a month for the finalization of the paperwork. In the end, the headquarter will have to send the information to the holy conservatory and the Runemaster board always has something to process…”
“Understood.” Ye Wei grabbed hold of the form Zuo Qiu Ming gave him. He immediately filled it out.
“I will notify the regional president so that he will send the form out immediately. Meanwhile, please take a look at the runic badge.” Zuo Qiu Ming said while looking.
Ye Wei’s mind wandered as he watched Zuo Qiu Ming leave the room, ‘I hope it will turn out okay! Grandpa worked very hard rebuilding the family after what happened three years ago,’ the Ye family grounded and stabilized Ye Wei like a root. He was willing to do anything to make sure its safety.
“Runic badge?” Ye Wei lowered his head, looking at the badge made of mysterious material. The badge represented a Runemaster’s status, and the three stars on it meant that Ye Wei was a three-star Runemaster.
The holy conservatory made the runic badges. Their magic superseded what ordinary cultivators could understand; however, Ye Wei had seen this object before in the hands of Master Yi.
Ye Wei lifted his finger, channeled his will-force, and gently placed his finger onto the badge. A mysterious mist burst out and became a hologram of a young woman.
The young woman wore a white silk dress, wrapped in ribbons. Ye Wei almost mistook her for a fairy. Her beautiful facial features, slim figure, and the way she levitated in the air all resembled the tiny elfish creature.
“Dear Runemaster Ye Wei, hello! I bid you welcome to the Runemaster Union!” The hologram said smiling. An air of surprise shortly followed. ‘He looks young! And, already he’s a Runemaster! Impressive!’
Runemasters’ information were sent to the conservatory and confirmed during the ritual process. Moreover, it contained the top will-force signature recognition security system, allowing nobody else than only areal Runemaster to use the badge.
“Master Ye, since this is your first time using the runic badge, let me introduce you to its diverse functions.”
“First off, the amount of contribution tokens you have is registered here. You exchange the tokens for mystic arms, stances, formulas, pills and herbs. Apart from those, you can also buy blank scrolls, demon blood, demon bones, runic carriages and other rare goods. You may also buy intel and apply to use the Union’s army with this device.”
“You can get anything you need as a Runemaster from this channel if you have enough tokens. Once your order has been placed, we will ensure your order is delivered to you within twenty-four hours as long as you are on this planet,” the hologram continued.
“If you have problems or questions regarding runes and cultivation, for a price, you may list them on the jade walls where they can be answered by other union members. For a higher price, you can hire other Runemasters and even Grand-Runemasters to guide you!”
“I need to add that there are rank requirements to some of the purchases. For example, if you would like to use a squad of the union’s forces, you will have to be a ten-star Runemaster as well as having a hundred thousand tokens in your account.”
Ye Wei had seen the badge glued to Master Yi’s hands in the past, but never had he paid attention to what his master did with the device. The girl’s voice was soft and clear, which helped Ye Wei pay attention to the important information.
“There are many ways to earn contribution tokens, and I will go through the three most effective methods with you right now!”
“Method one, answer the questions listed on the jade walls which you can have access to through the device in your hand, you will be paid a reward if the information you submitted was useful.”
“Method two, submit stances you refined and created. If you are willing to contribute to the Union’s archive, the Union will pay you a handsome price for your refined stances and your creations, considering you don’t mind them being published at some point.”
“Lastly, method three, hunt wild beasts and demons. The union sells processed demon blood, beast bones, and skins…” the hologram explained to Ye Wei the information on how he should prepare the materials, and how they should be packed before he should send them to the Union.
Although the introduction was long, the shocking functions of the badge kept Ye Wei entertained.
“…and the badge can read who you are because unlike normal cultivators, Runemasters’ will-force carries a different Soul Presence that is how we identify, locate, and allow our members to talk to one another using the badge.”
Ye Wei’s was stunned. He browsed the Union’s inventory and slowly realized why all cultivators secretly wanted to become a Runemaster. A Runemaster’s position was not just the valorous duty of protecting humanity at the frontline; it also represented the rewards of such risk. The riches one could be rewarded was unprecedented.
“Runemasters cultivate, and for a Runemaster, there is nothing more important than stances and physical weapons. Specifically their Soul Weapons. They are not normal weapons nor are they mystic arms, but instead, self-customized weapons that can carry runes and stances created by yourself.”
“Mystic arms are powerful; however, they are set. They have no space for improvement and refinement Runemasters should always use the advantage of your mastery on runes and make yourself a soul weapon!”
“The information within the badge is broad and wide. We have a list of free volumes on runic information that all of our members can access. If you wish to dig deeper, you can spend some tokens to gain archive access.”