Chapter 71: The Major Arcanum
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Unaware of the misunderstanding left behind in Elder Hao Lei's imagination, Zhen Shi calmly walked inside, with the pavilion door closing behind him. 

Turning to Myne, Vivienne, and William, he spoke out, "That battle brought some strange after-effects, so I'm going to be cultivating a bit to see what happened." 

Myne nodded seriously, "Go right ahead, bro. I can only imagine what would've been required to activate such terrifying power. We'll do some cultivating as well and keep you company." 

William and Vivienne expressed their serious agreement with nods of their own. 

Zhen Shi smiled in reply, as he walked closer to the central garden of the pavilion and sat down cross-legged on the floor. 

Although the binding with the {Book of Thoth} had provided him with some knowledge on it and all the currently activated Arcanum Cards, he could sense that it was incomplete.

Until he looked inside the book, he himself didn't know the actual abilities of either of them.

There were even some unexplained problems that he was worried about.

For instance, the moment Zhen Shi bound the {Book of Thoth} he had sensed that his class had automatically shifted over to {Mage} from {Archer}! This meant that as long as he kept using the Book, he was no longer capable of using his weapon intent...

Be it his Supreme Archery Talent or the Book of Thoth, Zhen Shi didn't want to give up on either of them. 

Intent on solving this problem, Zhen Shi focused on the floating red leather-bound book inside his dantian and tried to call it out. 

Rustle!

With a slight shiver of approval, the {Book of Thoth} disappeared from his dantian and reappeared in his hand. 

Zhen Shi was elated by his abrupt success but instead of opening the book, he looked around the pavilion curiously. 

Myne and Vivienne had their eyes closed presumably continuing their cultivation. However, Will O'Dale wasn't cultivating and impatiently looking around the pavilion.

Noticing that Zhen Shi was looking around as well, William turned to him with an almost relieved smile and gave a friendly wave. 

Zhen Shi raised an eyebrow in surprise, 'Ehh? Could this fellow be unable to cultivate? He couldn't be one of those unlucky fellows who can't stay still in one place... right?' 

Shaking his head with an amused smile, Zhen Shi returned Will's wave and turned his attention back to the book of in his hands, much to the bored Will's disappointment.

However, seeing his sworn brother working so hard, Will O'Dale was able to force himself to engage in a bit of cultivation. 

Either way, considering the reactions from the others, Zhen Shi concluded that just like before the Book of Thoth was still only visible to him. 

Having gained the answer to that question, Zhen Shi flipped over the cover of the book revealing the first page. 

Thrum!

Instantly, a confusing blur of golden letters and words appeared, almost floating and moving throughout the open page. Zhen Shi couldn't make head or tail out of anything. 

However, as he continued to watch patiently, the letters slowly settled down forming into a few paragraphs, "The Book of Thoth was conceptualized by Scholar God Thoth, and implemented by Mage God Heka. The crux of its power lies in the ability to practice the Cosmos Tier magic, [Major Arcanum]! If perfectly mastered, it can instantly raise any lesser godling to a level that is on par with the elusive Pantheon Leaders! 

However, every heaven-shaking ability has its own limits! If the practitioner does not possess a Mage Class, then they can only dream of practicing this magic! If you're a Warrior, you might as well just throw the book away!" 

Reading these few paragraphs, Zhen Shi felt a cold sweat run through his back. For the first time, he was truly glad that he had activated the {Mage} class along with his {Archery Class}. 

Having read this, Zhen Shi carefully examined his (pseudo)soul on the dantian planet and the Book of Thoth in his hands. He could actually sense a small thread of qi connecting the Book of Thoth with his {Mage} class.

It appeared that this class was the only reason he could have used the [Major Arcanum}!

Initially, he had been of the opinion that gaining the Mage class had been useless, but that simple action seemed to have saved his poor life!

Had he not activated this class back then, the Book of Thoth could only have been useful as a divine paperweight! 

However, this still posed a grave problem... Zhen Shi was next to useless in the Mage class as he would no longer be able to wield the power of intent.

Worst of all, he knew next to nothing about using actual magic spells. 

Just when he was at a loss of what to do, that was when he remembered his combined dual-class, {Arcane Archer}! 

Calling upon the System for help, Zhen Shi went over the description of this class once more. 

Ding! 

{Arcane Archer}: 10% Boost to Archery. However, the user will be incapable of Ordinary Magic.

Zhen Shi raised a curious eyebrow,'Ordinary Magic? Hmm, but [Major Arcanum] isn't ordinary magic now is it?'

Calming the excitement rising in himself, Zhen Shi carefully combined his {Archer} class with the {Mage} class with his eyes observing the qi thread leading to the Book of Thoth. 

Weng! 

Instantly, the combined class {Arcane Archer} was formed and the qi thread remained intact!

Although he succeeded, Zhen Shi wasn't too quick to celebrate.

He carefully tested the connection with the Book of Thoth and his ability to switch Arcanum Cards... everything was perfect.

He proceeded to wave a finger in mid-air testing his ability to utilize weapon intent. Almost immediately, a weak strand of bow intent appeared under his finger... everything was perfect.

With the {Arcane Archer} class, Zhen Shi was now more than capable of wielding the power of both the Archery intent and the Major Arcanum magic! 

There was only the small drawback of losing a 5% boost to his archery, which in his opinion was negligible. 

Back then when he examined his {Arcane Archer} class, he had been confused by the sentence 'the user will be incapable of ordinary magic'.

But now, it made perfect sense! He definitely couldn't use ordinary magic, but he could use the [Major Arcanum]! It was almost as if this class was custom built for him! 

Even the problem of revealing the rare {Arcane Archer} class to the public had been resolved with his new ability to completely hide away his aura. 

Perfectly hiding his cultivation and aura had been a passive ability granted by "The Fool" arcanum card.

On that note, having finished reading the introduction, Zhen Shi flipped the page of the {Book of Thoth}. 

Huala! 

Instantly, a few pages were flipped of their own volition and came to an abrupt stop.

Turning his eyes towards the newly revealed pages, the first thing that grabbed Zhen Shi's attention was a bright and colorful picture covering the entirety of the left page. 

It was a picture of a young man walking, with his head raised towards the sky. His eyes carried a deep, nostalgic look as he observed the sky... or something more.

He was dressed in colorful but tattered rags along with a pair of dilapidated socks on his feet. On his right shoulder was a bindle; a long stick with one end tied to a small bundle of his few belongings, and on his left hand was a white rose. 

If it wasn't for the unusual presence of the white rose and the deep look in his eyes, at first sight, he could've been mistaken for a beggar or a vagabond. 

With his head raised towards the sky, the young man's eyes were not upon the path before him. Rather unfortunately he had reached the edge of a cliff and was unknowingly about to walk off the precipice. 

However, there was hope, for a pure white dog raised on its hind legs seemed to be barking out to warn him. 

Around this image was a white border containing the number 0 and the two words, "The Fool."

Seeing the sight of an absent-minded fellow about to walk off a cliff, Zhen Shi could only snort derisively and mutter under his breath, "A true fool, indeed! How stupid could he be to fall off a cliff?"

However, almost as soon as he did so, Zhen Shi's mouth began to twitch haphazardly.

Why?

This was because he realized that he himself had died by falling off a cliff in his previous life! Even if he had been pushed by a tractor, the basic result was astoundingly similar...

*Cough* 

"Aiya! I was mistaken! What a mesmerizing fellow! His appearance is quite breathtaking! Considering the wise look in his eyes, I'm sure that he is a powerful expert who knows where he is walking!" 

Ignoring this self-insulting situation, Zhen Shi fell into thought, 'But the fact that I died in a similar way is truly coincidental...'

Shaking his head free of those irrelevant thoughts, Zhen Shi turned his eyes to the page on the right. 

This page only contained a few words forming three paragraphs. 

"The Fool represents the new Initiate as they stand out from the sequence of the other 21 Major Arcanum.

The Fool has not acted on the path before him yet. Will he proceed to follow the experiences contained in this path and engage in the 21 cards?

Will he stop along the way or fall back into the world?

Only those who have the true potential start anew, to reform from the formless void and the chaos, may wield the power of The Fool!"

Zhen Shi was drawn in by these words, and couldn't help but read them till the end. The moment he did, a familiar notification rang out. 

Ding!  

[Arcanum Card #0: The Fool]: The first Arcanum Card in the Major Arcanum and the basic card that the user will always return to. (Condition for activation: Possess infinite potential AND potential control over the formless chaos.) (Currently locked effect: Arcane Transmission.)

Passive Effect: This effect will completely hide the user’s cultivation and class status. Unless the user wills it, his aura will be completely non-existent! 

Zhen Shi couldn't help but be impressed with this description. He was rather intrigued by the conditions for activation.

'Hmm... Infinite Potential could very well refer to the leveling up mechanism of the system, while control over chaos, could refer to the primordial chaos base!'

If this was true that would be truly a strange coincidence, however, for the moment, these were only assumptions.

Zhen Shi put his guesses aside as he contemplated the passive effect of this Arcanum Card. He could already think up a few promising uses, not including the locked,  'Arcane transmission'...

Either way, this new knowledge about the Fool was a great relief for him. 

Initially, he had been worried about having his aura completely hidden. No matter what he did, he truly had no aura!

This could've resulted in multiple unnecessary problems, ranging from being the subject of unneeded attention from curious outsiders and even being looked down upon as a weakling...

However having read this, Zhen Shi tried to exert his cultivation and found it very easy to revert his aura to normal. He could even release the aura of an ordinary {Archer} while he left {Arcane Archer} intact. 

For all intents and purposes, he was now an ordinary Soul Formation Archer! At least, that's what he looked like from his appearance. 

If he willed it, Zhen Shi could very easily hide his aura once again! However, he also noticed that this ability seemed to have activated only after the system notification rang out... 

Having finished reading through "The Fool", Zhen Shi flipped over to the next page. 

Huala! 

Instantly, a few pages were turned by their own volition and came to an abrupt stop. 

Just like before, on the left was a bright colorful picture that immediately grabbed Zhen Shi's attention.

This depicted a wise man with an infinity symbol floating above his head. In his right hand pointing towards the sky was a glowing Wand, while his left-hand pointed towards the earth.

On a table before him, lay dormant, a Cup, a Coin, and a Sword, while the background behind him was laden with flowering trees and plants. 

Once again, around this picture was a white border containing the number 1 and the words, "The Magician." 

The page on the right, as expected, contained a few paragraphs of words. 

"The Magician stands with his right arm pointed upwards towards the Heavens, while his left arm points down towards Earth. He connects the heavenly and the earthly dimensions, acting as a bridge between the two to manifest his goals. 

The Magician is duality, he represents both truth and falsehood, wisdom, and folly, for he gives rise to both form and illusion." 

The moment Zhen Shi finished reading, another notification rang out. 

Ding! 

[Arcanum Card #1: The Magician]- Slightly enhances the user's comprehension of magic and magic-related activities allowing them to understand the intricacies and logic behind most magic a bit more easily. (Condition for activation: The Potential to hold infinite knowledge AND a formidable bond with a true incarnation of The Magician) (Currently locked effect: Illusive Reality)

Unlocked Special Abilities- {Absolute Magician} (Greatly enhances the user's comprehension of magic and magic-related activities. For ten minutes the user will gain +5 levels to Absolute Control over aether within a range 1 centimeter of his body, externally. Limited to one use per day.)

{Heaven and Earth Reversal} (Instantly relaunch any type of physically manifested mana containing magic spell towards the casting Mage! Can only be used during activation of the {Absolute Magician} special ability.)

Zhen Shi could only gawk at the abilities listed under "The Magician".

{Heaven and Earth Reversal} should've only been unlocked recently, but he could already imagine how greatly helpful it would've been in his fight with Lord Turnbull. 

If he could've instantly relaunched all of those Edicts, Lord Turnbull would've been in a much worse situation!

Even so, Zhen Shi still wasn't confident of killing that fellow. He couldn't help but feel that Lord Turnbull had held back some of his most formidable abilities.

Looking at the conditions for activation, Zhen Shi fell into thought, 'Hmm... Infinite Knowledge, could this refer to the Scholarly Library? But what do they mean by the formidable bond with the true incarnation of a Magician?' 

Feeling rather strange, Zhen Shi raised his head to stare at the peacefully cultivating Myne. If he were to think of a 'true Magician' with whom he had a strong bond, it was definitely only this shameless grand mage!

While he was wondering about this fact, suddenly... 

Thrum! 

A wave of qi was released from his (pseudo) soul. It appeared that he had suddenly reached the level of forming 9 formation talismans! 

Zhen Shi was awe-struck once more.

This would've taken several days at the initial rate! But it hadn't been even a single day since he set the (pseudo)soul on this task! 

However, once again, the effects of the 'enhanced comprehension' had only appeared once the system notification rang out...

It seemed that he had better pay frequent attention to the [Book of Thoth] to make sure that he didn't miss any newly unlocked abilities...

Nevertheless, Zhen Shi was greatly satisfied with the newly discovered skills and details. 

What made him most excited was his pre-existing knowledge about Tarot Cards. Commonly used in fortune-telling, the tarot cards formed a mystical cycle regarding the rises and falls of life. 

The 22 Major Arcana were the main keys to the story and held myriad influences and readings within them.

In fact, those pictures in the Book of Thoth were extremely similar to the Major Arcana Cards he had heard about. 

Unfortunately, he had never delved deep into the lore of the Tarot and his knowledge was only superficial.

Even so, the remaining 20 Arcanum Cards were already making him excited. He could try to guess some of their abilities based on their names, while some remained a complete mystery...

As Zhen Shi continued to imagine the future possibilities, he suddenly noticed that something was amiss.

'Wait a minute, this wasn't supposed to be a happy situation... Didn't I come here to find about those non-fatal repercussions? Wasn't it supposed to be a bunch of bad news?' 

Gowing increasingly worried, Zhen Shi tried to flip through the book looking for new information. 

However, in the same way, that the Book of Thoth had been when he had first gained it, the remaining pages were almost glued together.

He could only flip between the introduction, the Fool, and the Magician. 

Considering the System's general tendency to not respond, Zhen Shi had slowly fallen into the habit of finding solutions on his own. However, since the search via the book ended up useless, he directly posed the question, "System, will you tell me about those non-fatal repercussions?" 

Ding! 

Repercussions of forcibly binding the Cosmos-tier [Book of Thoth]: The amount of EXP points required to reach each preceding level has been effectively doubled. 

The amount of OP required to summon a divine boon and all related prices has been effectively doubled. 

This horrifying news was like a mountain crashing upon his mind. Zhen Shi felt his body swaying weakly as he was wreaked with an intense feeling of weakness and fatigue, his throat felt dry and parched...

He could almost sense that his soul was on the verge of leaving his body and passing on to the afterlife.

'W-Why? H-How? This is devastating news!'

Immediately sensing that something was wrong, Myne, Vivienne, and even William were spurred into action. 

"Bro!" 

"Little Brother!" 

"Aiya! My Senior Brother!" 

As they gathered around him with hints of worry on their faces, Zhen Shi sputtered mentally, 'System you liar! Are your pants on fire already? Tell me, in what world is this not fatal?'

System: (>ლ)

I don't know if you noticed, but the background of the book cover is tightly packed with CARDS... 

PS If you're unfamiliar with the appearances of the Fool and the Magician arcanum cards, images have been posted on the discord server. Link in description.

Ehhh? I'm not trying to drag you over to my discord server... Scout's honor! 

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