Chapter 67: The Book of Thoth: It begins with the Fool
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Will stared at Zhen Shi with genuine confusion and asked quizzically, "Huh? Weren't you suffering from a severe case of constipation just now?"

Zhen Shi almost fainted sideways at this embarrassing answer, 'How the hell did these idiots arrive at such a strange conclusion?'

But looking around, he noted that while many people were looking at him, not a single one was actually staring at the [Book of Thoth] in his hands.

Zhen Shi instantly realized that he was probably the only one who could see his book. And in the next instant, he realized how ridiculous he must've looked if everyone had just seen him straining in a great effort for no reason.

'Fuck! It definitely could've been mistaken to be a severe case of constipation!'

But he couldn't waste too much time trying to clear his name, especially when he needed to help Myne. As such, he spoke out while thickening his skin, "Oh no... I believe you have misunderstood! That-- that was a special technique to... find a way to help Myne! Yes, that's it!" and made up a half-assed excuse.

Having spent enough time on this wasteful endeavor, Zhen Shi proceeded to ignore the crowd and left them to their thoughts.

He began to contemplate how to open the [Book of Thoth].

However, despite his 'perfect' excuse, the majority of the crowd including Vivienne didn't believe his words at all. His words were obviously made up on the spot and Vivienne was confident that he had not used any type of 'special technique'.

Nevertheless, she had faith in Zhen Shi and figured that he had his reasons for acting as he had, and so remained silent with a slight smile.

But while the majority didn't believe him, there were a few that did. Will O'Dale who had been 'saved' by Zhen Shi on multiple occasions had complete faith in his savior.

Then the rest would be the audience of his 'divine music'. Initially, they had found it unbelievable that a divine musician of his caliber would do something as appalling as trying to relieve himself in public. And now learning that it was a special technique, they had believed his words.

Either way, all of them completely forgot about Zhen Shi's constipation when the battle up in the sky reached a new crescendo.

Crack! Crack!

More and more pitch-black storm clouds gathered in the sky with the thrum of thunder and ominous flashes of lightning.

As the lightning raged amidst the storm clouds, carnage ensued on the Island. The trees were writhing and flailing, their groans of pain carried away by merciless gusts of wind. The wind screamed like a banshee, uprooting weeds and shrubs in a fit of ever-consuming rage.

But Myne was actually within the very center of this terrifying mass of lightning!

His figure would disappear and reappear in bursts of cool blue flame as he continued to absorb the lightning into the formation marks on his skin. But his bare skin was riddled with popped veins and burnt marks...

However, while Myne was risking his life to fight, Lord Turnbull was completely safe within the surge of pitch-black defensive qi. 

While Lord Turnbull was pleased with gaining the upper hand, the fact that he was unable to defeat a few 'juniors' while using the Sovereign tier island formation was rather embarrassing. As such, he roared with anger and forcibly activated the next level of the formation.

Pu!

Lord Turnbull coughed up some blood due to the backlash and fell onto his knees.

Nevertheless, his bloodied mouth cracked into a grin as the mass of storm clouds gathered together and reared up like a cobra readying itself for an attack.

Instantly, it spat out an immense torrent of lightning at Myne who was preoccupied with defending against the mass of lightning strikes.

This was a very fast and sudden attack launched from point-blank range. Even so, Myne who was being empowered by his formation magic should've been able to react to it easily. But the size of the lightning torrent was simply too large, making it impossible for Myne to leave its range fast enough.

Immediately realizing this fact, Myne completely gave up on trying to dodge and flicked his hand to manifest a bright silver-grey aether similar to that of the sea fortress...

At the same time, the torrent of lightning seared through the sky like burning venom before crashing onto Myne's body.

Boom!

A small explosion rang out as the formation marks on Myne's body flared up in a burst of white light and fought desperately against the lightning strike. Even though the amount of lighting was simply massive, the mysterious formation on his body continued to hold on...

The white formation marks seemed to hold an intrinsic impenetrable nature; that allowed it to absorb the lightning aether even without Myne's control. Nevertheless, the sheer volume of lightning was simply too much for the formation to handle. As such--

Pu!

Myne coughed blood himself as he crashed onto the ground in a cloud of dust.

The dust cleared slowly to reveal Myne's heavily wounded and burned body. The formation marks on his skin had faded by quite a bit as well.

Zhen Shi and Vivienne simply had had no time to react. That attack had been too sudden and too powerful.

Nevertheless, they rushed towards the fallen Myne to make sure that he was okay. Will followed their lead with only a moment's hesitation.

But even before they could get close to help, the silver-grey qi appeared and streaked to and fro over his wounds. And as they watched, the burns and wounds were healed instantly under its miraculous effects.

Zhen Shi who had been rather worried, relaxed when he realized that Myne would be fine. However, Vivienne continued to be concerned...

Myne wiped off some residual blood from his mouth and slowly stood up while holding onto Vivienne for support.

Zhen Shi was rather intrigued by the nature of Myne's strange healing magic which seemed to be even better than his own undying flame... but remained silent considering the situation. All of them turned to Lord Turnbull and stared warily.

Unlike them, Lord Turnbull was in high spirits! Despite being slightly injured himself, he had heavily injured his opponent! Besides, the surge of defensive qi was completely undamaged!

As such, Lord Turnbull was already celebrating his definite victory while preparing the finishing attack. As the storm raged on, another terrifying mass of lightning began to gather in the sky.

With his weakened body, Myne had to struggle to stay standing up. He turned to look at Vivienne and Zhen Shi while muttering, "That bastard forcibly activated the formation to bring out the strength of a peak lesser sovereign formation!"

He heaved a sigh as he continued to speak while looking at Vivienne, "I didn't think we'd be forced this far so soon... How unfortunate to have to resort to this..." and raised his left-hand, positioning it to give a knife strike.

With a sharp qi suddenly manifesting around his raised hand, he decisively stabbed his hand into his right shoulder. Blood began to seep out of his self-inflicted wound. Despite the pain that he should've been in, his face cracked into an eerie grin. At the same time, his aura changed... as if a terrifying sleeping beast was about to awake...

Myne's entire body began to radiate with powerful killing intent as he pulled his hand out of his shoulder. Flicking off the blood in his left hand, he readied his right hand to do the same. All the while with his eerie grin growing even wider...

Zhen Shi, who had still been unable to find a solution for the Book of Thoth, was appalled at the sight of Myne grinning after self-infliction of pain, "What the heck!? Did the lightning shock Myne's brain so hard that his masochistic tendencies are starting to act up again?"

Vivienne grabbed onto Myne's raised hand and spoke out in desperation, "No! Myne, you don't need to do this! I think Zhen Shi might have a solution..."

She wasn't too sure of this, but seeing Myne trying to do this again... she couldn't help but say so.

The killing intent and eerie grin lessened as Myne turned to Zhen Shi and asked expectantly, "Bro... is this true?"

Zhen Shi heaved a sigh of relief since his initial conclusion had been incorrect and that Myne was only performing some form of special technique. B

But at the same time, he couldn't bring himself to tell Myne that he was helpless as well. He began to rack his brain trying to figure out a solution for this matter.

Fortunately, a light bulb went off in his head as he was reminded of a fact that he had overlooked!

Just in case, Zhen Shi popped over to the {Scholarly Library} and confirmed this fact.

According to what he knew from Earth, the Book of Thoth was an item that was not meant for the 'eyes' of mortals.

Since he was a mortal, the fact that he was unable to open the book made some sense. However, there were also some tales of how misfortune fell upon the mortals who read it...

So why was he unable to open the book...? Were things different in this world? Or is 'a certain something' protecting him from opening the book and getting cursed?

Either way, this meant that the only way to open the Book of Thoth would be to be a god! But that was obviously impossible to do... 

While Zhen Shi couldn't become a god anytime soon, he did have a solution to try...  and that would be using his appraisal skill! 

While he couldn't afford the astronomical OP cost to analyze a divine treasure, Zhen Shi had realized that every time he activated this skill, the nature of his right eye changed... Since the skill was literally named <Odin's Missing Eye>, it had to have been influenced by Odin's missing one!

So if he used the skill to make his right eye a 'divine eye', it was theoretically possible that he could open the book.

After all, if one of his eyes were that of a god, the phrase 'not meant for mortal eyes' would be literally inapplicable for him! 

With newfound hope, he hurriedly activated the skill. With his right eye glowing in a golden divine light, he turned to the book.

Instantly, the appraised label with the name [Book of Thoth] appeared. Another small label revealed the analysis price to be a whopping 5000 OP! 

However, despite using the skill, nothing new happened and he was still unable to open the book... 

Assuming that this was probably not sufficient, Zhen Shi focused his complete attention on exerting the appraisal skill. His qi began to drain at a rapid rate as his right eye flared up with a blinding golden light. 

But once again, there were no new changes... 

Having faced failure once more, Zhen Shi suddenly realized a flaw in his logic. He proceeded to close his left 'mortal' eye and only left his right 'divine' eye open.  

With his mortal eye closed, the only eye being used to look at the Book of Thoth would be non-mortal! 

And just as he did this, a familiar sound rang out followed by a familiar voice. 

Ding!

Since the user has finally realized a solution, the seal on the Divine Item: {Book of Thoth} will now be lifted. 

Zhen Shi felt like flipping a table in annoyance when he realized that it was the system that had made a fool of himself in public, 'Why the hell couldn't you just tell me? System, I get that you don't talk much as you're shy... but this just too much!' 

System: (>ლ)

Nevertheless, Zhen Shi consoled himself with the thought that the system had probably saved him from the curses that had plagued the unlucky mortals that had read the Book of Thoth and let the matter rest. 

Ding! 

{Book of Thoth}: Originally written by Thoth, an empyrean god of knowledge and writing, to explain the different fields of magic. It was later enhanced by the Mage God Heka to do much more than just 'explaining'.

Use:- Upon binding the book to oneself, it will provide access to the special class of magic, [Major Arcanum]! 

Zhen Shi was growing excited as he tried to imagine the ability of magic created by the collaboration of two gods... 

Ding!

[Major Arcanum]: A one of a kind Cosmos Tier magic that improves with the experiences and relationships of the user. At its peak, the user can gain access to a variety of abilities through 22 Arcanum Cards! 

Ding! 

Will the user bind with the {Book of Thoth}? (Warning: This might have some non-fatal repercussions)

Zhen Shi was slightly wary of these 'repercussions' but considering the current situation, he couldn't care less. Besides, there was Myne's prophecy as well...

So he replied with a simple grin, "Just do it!" 

Huala!

Instantly, the pages of the Book of Thoth began to flip at a rapid rate. At the same time, the book began to glow with a blinding white light... 

Before Zhen Shi could even realize what was going on...

Whoosh! 

The Book wrestled out of his grip and dashed towards his stomach. But the moment it collided with his body... it disappeared! 

Zhen Shi was speechless, but before he could complain about losing his newly gained treasure, he felt a flutter of aether inside his body.

Quickly making use of <Odin's Missing Eye> Zhen Shi peered into his dantian to notice the Book of Thoth was now revolving around his dantian planet. The moment he saw it, he could feel a vague connection with the book...

Suddenly a new notification popped up. 

Ding! 

[Arcanum Card #0: The Fool] unlocked and set as current. (+1 Cards available to switch)

Unseen by Zhen Shi, a tattoo slowly appeared on the left side of his chest under his shirt... it was the number 0. 

At the same time, he received a transmission of mental energy describing the abilities of those particular Arcanum Cards. He momentarily closed his eyes as he digested this new information. 

Within a few seconds, he re-opened his eyes...

With a calm gaze, his eyes passed over the sight of Lord Turnbull preparing a terrifying mass of lightning to deal a final blow... finally stopping at Myne who was still waiting for Zhen Shi's answer. 

Zhen Shi worked forwards with a calm grin. Patting Myne on the shoulder he answered, "Bro, you've done enough. I'll take the baton now," and walked forwards, past him.  

Myne was speechless, 'Where the hell did this fellow get so much confidence from? And why the hell are you acting like I'm an old fellow who can't take care of himself?! I'm the motherfucking grand mage!!' 

Myne forced himself to walk after Zhen Shi but almost collapsed out of sheer physical exhaustion. Fortunately, Vivienne caught him before he hit the floor. 

Myne could only curse his weakness and raise his head to stare at Zhen Shi's back. He hated the fact that he had to let a youngster take on the pressure alone.

But that was when he realized... 

He could no longer see through Zhen Shi; his Soul Formation cultivation, the previously obvious archer class, everything... was hidden.

Myne was utterly confused, "What the hell is going on?"

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