A Sorcerer’s Journey - Chapter 4
Chapter 4: The Beauty Clam
The governor had prepared a sumptuous dinner feast for the Sorcerer and the six students who had been chosen to learn sorcery. The six students were Lafite, the governor's daughter, Chris and Nina Hank, Wade, the son of Moon Restaurant's owner, Sam, the toll keeper at the entrance of the governor's house, and Glenn.
On the table were toasted pork, mutton, beef and other types of meats that Glenn couldn't discern, and there were a variety of dipping sauces - chocolate, ginger-cream cheese and blackberry jam... almost 70 sorts of dishes and sauces.
'This is incredible! To be having dinner with the governor, the most influential man of Bi Seer City,' Glenn thought, 'although it is only because of the Sorcerer.'
’’Glenn,’’ said the Sorcerer.
’’Master!’’ Glenn replied respectfully as he put down the knife and fork in his hands.
’’Use your particular talent. In the test, your mental strength was rated at 12 points. Having a mental strength of more than 10 points means that you could foresee your talent when you put your hand on the crystal ball. What you experienced in your 'dream' during the contact with the ball had something to do with your talent, and that talent is crucial for you to become a sorcerer,’’ the Sorcerer explained in a hoarse voice.
’’Thank you, Master. I will strive to make the most of my talent,’’ Glenn responded subconsciously, even though he had no idea what the Sorcerer meant by saying that he was talented.
The Sorcerer then turned to Lafite and Wade. ’’The mental strength you two obtained in the test was less than ten points, which should have disqualified you from learning sorcery, but mental strength is something that can be gained. What matters the most in the world of sorcerers, rather than talent, is wisdom, and the determinant factor to wisdom is knowledge.’’
’’Thank you, Master. We will work hard at sorcery learning,’’ Lafite and Wade replied in chorus.
’’Master! It must have been a tough ride. Now relax and try this shellfish I found at the South Frontier Sea. It is called the Beauty Clam, because its meat is actually a living beautiful girl. It's quite precious and very hard to find,’’ the governor said to the Sorcerer in a servile way.
The governor then waved his hand, and seven young and gorgeous-looking maidens served plates of the Beauty Clams to the Sorcerer, the governor, and the six students, respectively.
'Precious? In what way?' Although Glenn had been used to the extravagant gala feasts, he was still intrigued.
’’The Beauty Clams? I had some when I was on a business travel at the South Frontier Sea. It was 120 years ago. Do you have any idea what they really are?’’ the Sorcerer asked.
’’I do have no idea. Please illuminate us, Master,’’ replied the governor.
’’The Beauty Clams were human beings. Their tribe was hunted down by other stronger tribes who lived in adjacent regions. Most of the tribe members were female, and thus having little defense against their enemies. All the males of the tribe were captured and slaughtered while the women escaped the massacre by turning themselves into shellfish and are what many call the Beauty Clams,’’ the Sorcerer elucidated with enthusiasm to the people at the table.
’’What a story.’’ Everybody was too shocked to comment except for the governor.
Not used to enjoying such a strange creature, Glenn didn't try at it. Instead, he watched quietly how the governor had pleased him with the clams.
’’Bang! Bang!’’ The governor tapped twice on the clam's shell with his index finger.
At the time, Glenn was able to get a closer look at the jewelry on the governor's fingers. There were seven rings, gold or jade ones, on his fat fingers.
A few seconds later, the clam opened itself slowly.
Glenn's eyes dilated on seeing the scene. A pretty and denuded girl was lying asleep in the shell. Her body was so supple that it felt as if there were no bones in her to support it. As the shell got widely opened, she woke up and yawned, looking around in curiosity.
The governor lifted her up to his drooling mouth. The beauty abruptly realized the danger she was in and screeched as she scrambled to break free.
Disregarding the screaming, the governor sucked the beauty mightily into his mouth.
’’Wonderful. What a treat.’’ The governor snorted as he threw the shell into the trash. The beauty could still be heard shrieking in his belly.
The Sorcerer and Lafite enjoyed the Beauty Clams, too.
Glenn and the rest of the students followed and tapped the shell of the clams. Their eyes were fixated on the beauties nestling in their hands, and they were still unwilling to eat a living human.
’’Besides its good taste, the consumption of the Beauty Clam helps purify the Element of Fire’’. Seeing the hesitating looks on the students' faces, the Sorcerer said persuasively. ’’And don't get deluded into believing their good-looking appearances. Understand the truth: these Beauty Clams are mollusks, not humans.’’
The group nodded.
After a pause, the Sorcerer proceeded, ’’There is a cost, though. Rumors have it that eating a Beauty Clam would make your aura more attractive to sea monsters and thus make you a more likely target. It is a curse.’’
Glenn considered that it would be a good chance to leave a good impression on the Sorcerer if he pulled himself together and ate a 'living human'. Therefore, he closed his eyes, jerked his head back and slid the beauty in his hand into his mouth.
Glenn didn't dare chew the soft and wriggling piece of meat in his mouth;instead, he let it slither down through his throat and into his belly. He tried his best to pretend that the clam was only food but was betrayed by his twisted face and twitching lips.
The rest of the group followed Glenn's lead and began eating. The clams' screaming voices rose and fell in the hall.
One exception was Nina Hank. She was greatly repulsed by the cruelty, and pushed the plate of clams aside. She was such a soft-hearted girl.
The following day, Glenn decided to recover his coach and leave it at Brother Six's. It had been tied to a tree near the Zi Jue Residence. Glenn could forget about the gold coins at home, but the coach had been Old Ham's property for more than a decade. To Glenn, the coach was like Old Ham and under no circumstances would he ditch it. Lafite and Wade obviously didn't understand this, and they sneered at Glenn as he rushed to get his coach.
’’You son of a bitch. How dare you come back!’’ The butler howled as he saw Glenn blustering at the entrance of the Zi Jue Residence.
It turned out that Glenn couldn't find the coach where he had tied it. He ventured a peek into the yard of the Zi Jue Residence and found that it was tied to a jujube tree in the yard. Glenn wanted to break in but had been stopped by the guards at the entrance.
Deep within the butler's heart, he had hoped that Glenn would give in and continue to work for him because, in his hurry to dismiss Glenn, he had forgotten to find a replacement. He would be held accountable if the feast wasn't perfectly prepared.
’’Mr. Butler. I will go and never come back, but please give me back my coach,’’ Glenn retorted.
The butler had thought that Glenn had come for an apology and would beg for his old job back;instead, he was just here to claim his worthless coach. The butler turned furious and yelled: ’’Get lost right now! There is no coach, and if there were, it wouldn't belong to you!’’
’’Sparta, throw the brat out!’’ He commanded to one of the guards at the front entrance. Hearing the instruction, Sparta, a large man, came over to Glenn, lifted him over his head and...
’’What is that?!’’ The massive man screamed in shock.
At that moment, a dazzling beam of black light was shooting towards the guard.
The big man relinquished his grip on Glenn immediately after he saw the black light coming at him and swiftly ducked his head to dodge it. The black light hit the pillar behind Sparta and then shattered into a mass of scary-looking black bugs. There were approximately 7,000 of them, and each of them was the size of a human nail and had wings and strong jaws.
A severe rebuke burst after the light:
’’Sorcerers are not to be humiliated!’’
’’Have mercy! Please!’’ The guard begged for his life when he was besieged by a swarm of little creatures that were poised to launch an attack at him.
It was the Sorcerer who had fired the beam of light.
He ignored the big man's plea for mercy and pointed at him while chanting some weird words (what Glenn believed was a spell or an incantation), and out of the blue, the knight turned into a piglet.
’’A piglet?’’ Glenn yelled, forgetting about his pain that had been caused by the fall.
The swarm of bugs then charged at the piglet and in a second, the large man had been completely devoured.
The butler stood stunned on seeing this dramatic scene, and his life was not going to be spared, either.
A large red tongue whizzed at the butler, rolled him up and then retracted. It was the tongue of the red-eyed frog. The frog had grown to the size of a human as it jumped high into the air, around 20 feet above the ground. The frog then stuck out his huge tongue and swallowed the butler. The frog then shrunk to its normal size and returned to the Sorcerer's hand.
’’Oh, it was the Sorcerer's frog! It enlarges itself!’’ Glenn suddenly figured out what was going on.
’’A Sorcerer is not to be humiliated,’’ Glenn murmured, ’’when I become one, I will not be bullied, then.’’
The drama having ended, Glenn brought the coach to Brother Six's and caught up with the group.