“So… let’s begin.” Shaar touched his face and did not react much. He was privately a little excited as this was his first time experiencing casting magic on himself, though it should not be much different.
Tatara stripped off all his clothing and put all the stuff he stole from the dead magician in front of him. First, he opened a bottle and took out a special brush, dipping it into a kind of powder that Shaar did not recognise. Tatara then started to draw magical runes on himself, especially on the chest where his heart was.
These runes were drawn exactly as the symbols of the Life Spell on the lambskin paper.
This process took Tatara almost two hours. He was dripping in sweat but maintained an expression of utmost focus, ensuring that every stroke was exactly as required. In the end, he tossed the brush aside and heaved a long sigh.
His entire body was covered in black symbols by the time he finished. Shaar enquired about them, to which Tatara replied that this was a special powder made from ground bones plus a special magical medicine added within. It was something death spirit magicians used. Since the Life Spell was modified from death magic, this powder must be the basis of cultivation.
Then, Tatara lifted the lambskin high up with both hands, a sincere expression on his face. He sat naked with the lambskin above his head and started to chant the incantation recorded on the lambskin.
He was chanting in the magician’s Magic language, with fluctuating intonations and strange pitches. Shaar did not understand at all but as Tatara continued, the magician’s expression grew nervous. Very soon, a thin cloud of steam rose from his face but Tatara was obviously utterly exhausted. He strained as he chanted, forehead dripping with sweat, and colour drained from his face.
Finally, the black runes on his body started to glow faintly. They were very dim though, even flickering at times but Tatara seemed to look more relieved.
Very soon, the runes started to flow and ripple like they were alive on his bony torso, then slowly faded into his skin and disappeared!
His eyes suddenly shone so bright it shocked Shaar!
“He has succeeded in merging with the runes,” exclaimed Dora in his mind. “This fellow is very lucky. His capabilities are so weak that he barely scrapes by the minimum requirement for cultivating the Life Spell.”
Due to the presence of another person, Shaar did not speak to Dora. He merely grunted, then heard Dora reply, “The next step will be the most crucial… he must make a decision!”
“A decision?” Shaar could not help but ask. Luckily, Tatara was fully focused on his work and did not notice Shaar ‘talking to himself’.
“Yes,” smirked Dora. “He must make a decision for himself. How much of his life force is he willing to cut out to begin the earliest steps of cultivation?”
Just at this moment, Tatara’s face filled with pain and hesitation, he seemed to be in a dilemma. He was drenched in sweat but in a strained voice, started chanting…
The notes were very strange and Shaar did not understand it but Dora gasped suddenly in his mind, “Oh my goodness! Your servant is absolutely insane!”
Dora was still in shock when she finally blurted, “He chose to give up half his life force!!”
Even Shaar was shocked.
Was Tatara THAT desperate for power?!
Half his life force! That was the equivalent of half his life!
When Tatara finished chanting, the last symbol on his chest disappeared and he started to trembled. He quickly grabbed a dagger placed in front of him, then a sense of hopelessness flashed in his eyes…
He personally cut off the last finger on his left hand with the dagger! A cloud of black mist encircled the finger… very soon, the blood and flesh on it melted, leaving behind a white bone.
Tatara watched anxiously, his eyes fixated on the bit of white bone…
Soon, the white bone split, first into two sections… three sections…
Then the splitting stopped.
When he saw the bone that only divided itself into three sections, a huge disappointment and sorrow washed over his face. However, he gritted his teeth, took a deep breath, then continued chanting.
The three bones floated mid-air and arrived before him, quickly changing colours. One turned red, another black and the last turned green…
When Tatara chanted the last note, he was in a state of extreme fatigue. He leaned forward slightly, then collapsed on the ground, his hand clutching the three sections of his finger bone tightly.
The magician struggled twice, then forced himself up into a sitting position once more. The three bones remained in his palm, but his face was filled with grief.
“Poor guy…” Dora sighed in Shaar’s mind. “He is very determined, and that is admirable, but his own body and life force are too weak. Even though he sacrificed half his life force, the total power from it is still too weak so he could only reach the first level of the Life Spell… that means he only received three Life Spells. The red bone is foresight, black is life-robbing and green represents life-healing.”
Shaar sighed too. Poor Tatara, he had made such a huge sacrifice…