Chapter 15 – Magic Card Advertisement

The best place in Dong Wei Commercial District to see magic card billboards is at the “Golden Avenue”.

Golden Avenue is one of the oldest street within Dong Wei Commercial District, it has existed since the foundation of Dong Wei City, and now Golden Avenue has become the commercial center of the city. There is a great number of multistory buildings in Golden Avenue, streams of people move back and forth the different stores, almost all of the top business have their shops on this area. This is the appropriate place if you want to observe magic cards.

Here, no matter how small a store is, it will have a magic card advertisement, especially at night, magic cards will display beautiful lights which look as if taken from a fairy tale world. The street at night is loved by both tourists and locals.

However, when Chen Mu thought about it, this was his first time on Golden Avenue.

One of the local signs within Golden Avenue forbids access to the homeless and beggars. And after that period of his life, Chen Mu has been obsessed in his studies, so he has never made time to go window shopping.

So many people!

That was the first feeling Chen Mu got from Golden Avenue, the crowd of people milling around, he must be careful while walking, otherwise it’s very easy to hit others. This made him a little uncomfortable.

But soon his attention was grabbed by the different magic card advertisements of the stores.

Plentiful bosom, slender waist and round hips, bright red lips and white teeth, a seductive expression showing in her eyes. Most of the advertisement billboards showed images of beautiful women, which made Chen Mu feel somewhat puzzled. These outstanding beauties would stand there with an inviting posture, showing some cleavage making it extremely tempting to look at.

He even saw many people passing next to these illusions of beauties, their hands intentionally or otherwise would pass through the illusory beauty’s chest.

Chen Mu was speechless. Was this popular now?

He kept walking straight ahead while contemplating those beautiful magic card advertisements. Soon Chen Mu realized that the larger the business their magic card advertisement would be more sophisticated and creative.

For example, the magic card advertisement he is looking at now, released a very large illusion almost two stories tall.

Chen Mu stood at the doorway of the building staring foolishly at the illusion released on the billboard, almost forgetting himself.

Gazing downwards through the city’s night sky, stand a great number of skyscrapers and tall buildings illuminated by brilliant lights.

A grave and stern looking man dressed in black stands atop of a tall building, indifferently gazing into the distance.

Seated in a dark corner of the street, one seemingly blind man raises his head as if observing the sky.

In a room illuminated by the moonlight, stands a woman dressed in skintight brown leather, her hands upon the movie card while gently cleaning it, suddenly raises her head.

Faces, young or mature, beautiful or ugly, one by one are constantly shown.

At that moment the music suddenly becomes tense, looking from above, a shadow jumps from one building to the other, his movement very skilled and agile. The expression on his face is very imposing, at that moment the drumbeat gets even more intense making people’s heart suddenly clench.

More and more people are running in the same direction.

?!

Chen Mu had never heard that kind of beast roar, such a deep feral howl. As if in response to the deafening roar, the sound of identical monstrous beast shake the heaven, assaulting the senses.

Outside of the city, everywhere beasts flood crazily directly towards the common people.

The people tried to run faster if even a little.

Eventually, both sides collide into each other!

A blazing dragon, the cold edge of a moon shaped blade, a dazzling meteor shower……

At this moment they emerge from the space one after the other as an indefinite complex light and dark color variations that makes a person to be dazzled. Intense collisions, stirring up countless shining stars to illuminate the night. A battle so intense that it was suffocating.

The blazing dragon surrounded by men in black clothes all around, its every attack possessing an immeasurable power, sometimes accompanied by the sound of explosions, it was looking like a god of war.

The woman wearing tight brown leather deftly dodges the attacks from the wild beasts, at the same time unceasingly drawing a moon shaped blade with both her hands, every strike will end with incomparable elegance.

A blind man holding a bamboo cane, moving back and forth among the group of beasts just like a specter, every time the cane knocks gently on the ground leaving behind hundreds of light dots, knocking on the ground once again the light dots fly towards the beasts piercing through them, leaving a trail of lights on the middle of the dark sky, just like a meteor shower.

……

There is no doubt that this battle is the ultimate victory for mankind, finally a close up of these heroes hands and a card measuring instrument, the logo of the store – a two star card store.

Such an amazing display!

Chen Mu can’t help but be amazed. He can see that the level of the magic card billboard isn’t very high, only two stars. However its contents are extremely rich, the characters and the buildings within the illusion are exceedingly realistic. The most remarkable aspect is its visual effects during that very intense battle.

That’s a very successful magic card advertising, very appealing!

Chen Mu can guess that the price of such an advertisement must be very expensive. Although it isn’t from a very high level, it is very difficult to produce. Its contents are very rich, it’s impossible for a one star magic card to hold so much content. It contains at least five magic cards, however their seamless convergence makes it very difficult to notice.

There are some really capable people on this world! Achieving such results with a two star magic card isn’t something just anyone can do. At the very least Chen Mu is aware of how far he is from reaching that level. For him this is a chance to increase his knowledge.

The vendor from the magic card store saw something strange. The man at the door actually stood there for half an hour, he appeared to be looking at the magic card advertisement. That magic card billboard was made two years ago after spending a lot of money, it was very popular within Dong Wei City. Remembering that event, her heart is full of pride. Every day the door would be surrounded by a crowd of people in order to watch the advertisement. Also from that year, the store’s turnover began to increase at an alarming rate.

But no matter how good the ad is, after being there for over two years people lost interest on it. Gradually the people that take a look at this ad are less and less, by now almost no one. At first it was intended to advertise a specific type of magic card, which by now have become obsolete, however people would find similar magic cards with a far better effect, so it has not been replaced. The young lady is deeply moved, there is someone interested in this magic card billboard, truly a rare animal.

After a while, the strange boy has been staring at the magic billboard, the vendor thought if he remains there for too long, it will affect business, so she intends to take the initiative to approach.

“Hello, may I ask what you need to buy?”

Chen Mu woke up, recovered, he shook his head: “I do not need.” He understood the meaning of the vendor, he didn’t say anything, turned around and left.

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Ankou: This chapter took me longer than I expected, the battle scene was unexpectedly hard to translate. Considering my current speed I think I will be translating about 4 chapters per week, I will try to get a fourth chapter before Sunday, but I’m not sure if I will have time to do it. Enjoy!

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Chapter 14 – Being sentimental

From the initial strengthening exercises to the later magic card production guides, both of which in his view do not have any connection.

There has never been such a mystery on Chen Mu’s mind, he wanted to understand, to unveil all the secrets within this mysterious card, but also to find out what is the ultimate purpose of this card.

With the guide of the mysterious card, Chen Mu made rapid progress on magic card production. The knowledge in the card was an eye opener for Chen Mu. Aside from spending hours making energy cards, he was immersed in the mysterious magic card illusion most of the time.

And the rest of the time was spent observing his surroundings. The guide is theoretical knowledge, if he wants to improve also requires a lot of practical experience. Observation, is the first step. The so-called real magic, even if the concept isn’t really clear, trying to understand how it can be achieved. And to do this, it just needs long and careful observation.

That’s what is needed to make low level magic cards.

This also had serious side-effects, like when eating bread, he can’t help but stare in a daze at the bread in his hands for six or seven minutes, he regains consciousness when his stomach cramps by the hunger and so on.

Once he started to observe something, it becomes easy for him to enter some sort of trance and lose track of time. Whenever this happens, his reaction would become very slow as if isolated from his surroundings.

He visited Lei Zi once, they chatted while drinking the treasured Ching Yun water. From one drink to next Chen Mu would suddenly get quiet. Lei Zi talking to him for a long time without receiving an answer, he saw Chen Mu staring at the cup in his hands while in a trance. Lei Zi considers to frighten Chen Mu until his face gets pallid.

To become a Card Creator is necessary to spend a lot money. This is one of the main characteristics of the profession, because to learn the process to make each card requires a lot of practice. Chen Mu funds aren’t enough, he can’t spend as much as the rich kids. He had to spend more time observing, making sure to reduce the consumption when creating a magic card. Besides the first time he touched the light blue card, Chen Mu didn’t touch the production guide for the so-called “resource card” again. That would be a joke, the knowledge he obtained from the light is enough for him to study a long time.

Chen Mu didn’t want to bite off more than he can chew, so he has restrained himself.

For Chen Mu, each opportunity to make a real magic card is extremely cherished and valued, every time he would make dozens of simulations of the process and he would pay attention to every detail. Only when he thinks everything is correct, he will do it. Such a careful posture, if people saw him they wouldn’t believe he has only produced a mere 12 magic cards.

But it is proved that Chen Mu method is effective. Now the illusion released by his magic card is extremely lifelike. But he isn’t satisfied, every time he thinks about the incredible illusion produced by the mysterious card, any pride he has immediately disappears.

The illusion of a one or two star magic card can’t be compared to the illusion released by a high level card, and this he is aware of. The difference isn’t about the aspects between light and dark shapes like before, it’s the difference between real body and a virtual one. And this is not within the scope of his capabilities.

Since he can’t work in that, he will work on increasing the degree of realism.

He is going to make a magic card advertisement for Uncle Hua’s shop.

The thought of Uncle Hua weighs heavy on his mind. He sees the worsening condition of Uncle Hua’s body, his cough getting stronger and his complexion diminishing with each day. During this time Chen Mu goes to the shop more often, sometimes he would help Uncle Hua to clean up the shop a bit, and have a conversation. But Chen Mu has always been clumsy with words, so most of the time it would be Uncle Hua speaking and he listening.

Chen Mu has always wanted to give Uncle Hua a magic card advertisement. The perfect billboard? No flaws, but he doesn’t have the capabilities, he felt his strength isn’t enough, which is one of the reasons for him to progress quickly during this period.

But with the progress he has made so far he felt it is time, deep in his heart he is concerned about Uncle Hua’s condition. So he has decided. Another important reason is that not long ago he had a breakthrough on his dynamic magic card production. Which had been troubling him for quite a long time.

For a magic card to release a moving illusion needs to be composed by multiple circular shapes which is harder compared with the single circular shape within the structure of a static magic card. It is known within the card creating circle that the difficulty of dynamic magic card is much higher than a static magic card. This point is the most intuitive approach when considering the price, the price of a dynamic magic card billboard is three times higher than the static one.

How to make the illusion move smoothly and look natural is one of the most difficult tests for beginners.

For example, to release the illusion of a waterfall with a magic card, many beginners make the illusion like 煮熟的银丝挂面 (TN: I can’t figure out a way to translate this, but basically it means that beginners make something really simple which barely resembles the original concept, if someone has a good idea for this part please leave at the comments). But for it to be truly realistic, it needs many details, the flowing stream of water with waves of ripples to then fold, splashes of water flooding through the sky, air filled by the mist, and so on. Experienced Card Creators and many Masters must complete all these, as well as those specialized in the production of lower level dynamic magic cards.

In the card industry, there are some very well-known words – details determine the final outcome.

Chen Mu is very patient, this and his childhood experiences have a considerable relationship, as a homeless child if he wasn’t patient enough to get food would not be an easy task. And for him to become a “master” within the homeless sector, proves that he is patient to a shocking degree.

No matter how long the observation, he won’t get bored.

His progress is very fast, enough for him to become a little surprised, even to suspect he is quite talented as a Card Creator.

The eagle flies swiftly moving through the wind stream while facing the sun at dusk……

(TN: 鹰飞兔走,风动水流,朝阳晚夕…… I tried to make sense of that, if someone knows the right translation leave at the comments)

From the dynamic magic card it isn’t the most vivid or exceptional, this isn’t the one he like the most, but the one with busy pedestrians, cats and dogs wandering through the night…… These scenes from his childhood are deeply branded into his mind, he can display them almost without effort, which has become part of his precious wealth.

Today, he intends to make Uncle Hua an advertisement magic card. However, because it is the first time creating a magic card advertisement he has no experience, so he intends to walk through the streets and see what other people billboards look like.

Chapter 13 – What is this card?

Chen Mu did not expect Lei Zi to be capable of joining a Movie Card production company, but also feels relieved, the way this guy does things has always been flexible and he also has a glib tongue. He’s a screenwriter or something, Chen Mu doesn’t know, but he is confident of Lei Zi’s ability.

“Why are you dressed like that?” Chen Mu looked at Lei Zi from top to bottom and asked somewhat puzzled.

Lei Zi smiled and said in a boasting tone: “I’m now regarded as a person in the art business and this is one of the most popular styles in the circle.”

He leaned his head closer to Chen Mu and whispered: “I have no other choice, dressed like this I’m embarrassed to greet other people.”

“How are you doing?” Lei Zi asked Chen Mu.

“Same as always.” Chen Mu felt that his life was not any different from the past.

“All right, I can’t talk with you, I’m on my way to the company. Come to my house sometime, I still have three bottles of Ching Yun water.” Meet in a hurry, respectively, also in a hurry.

Ching Yun water is a type of wine Chen Mu and Lei Zi are very fond of, the taste is very light. This is an expensive wine, the bottles at Lei Zi home were bought by his parents and he has kept them until now. He will only take them out when Chen Mu comes.

Chen Mu’s life began to become simple again. But in his eyes, life probably hasn’t changed. Every day he practices the “strengthening exercise”, making energy cards to maintain his livelihood, and producing magic cards while taking time to carefully observe them. Every day he makes magic cards to practice. He may not have that much money to burn, but he still has gained a lot, such as changes in light and dark portions of the object, how to make the three-dimensional illusion feeling stronger, and so, he has reached the gateway.

Everything is going well, the only thing contrary to his expectations is the “strengthening exercise”, the 18 movements takes him a full three months to complete, which consists in him practicing about four hours every day.

But it pays off.

Today, Chen Mu’s body is extremely soft, his hands, legs, waist are full of flexibility, you can make a lot of very complicated positions. This soft is not the soft appearance, but like a steel wire, soft with hard, his power also greatly increased.

He looked at himself in the mirror, his upper body muscles while not exaggerated but very well-proportioned, and if he exerts a little force his muscles get as hard as steel.

The achievements of training his body this time, greatly satisfied Chen Mu, he did not expect the eighteen movements to have such an amazing effect on his body shape. Looking at his posture in the mirror makes him think that training hard for so long is worth it. He doesn’t care about his looks, that cannot be used to get a meal. But the health is very important, and he can obviously feel that the control over his body strength is better than before. This, he felt very clearly while making energy cards, his hands are more stable and flexible. Among the eighteen moves, there are three movements that are specialized to exercise the dexterity of the fingers.

Chen Mu believes he must practice the “strengthening exercises” every day in the future.

Now he can easily finish the eighteen movements in one breath, it is time for him to re-enter the mysterious card dreamland.

Since he left the illusion last time, Chen Mu never activated the mysterious card again.

He pressed the activation button, Chen Mu is once again in the endless dark void.

Eighteen human-like images are still doing the same actions as last time.

With a bit of hope and a little curiosity, Chen Mu takes a deep breath.

His body began to move!

Chen Mu body is like a snake, his body makes incredible movements one after another, whenever he completed a movement, a human-like image faded into the darkness.

He could not be more proficient at this familiar set of “strengthening exercises”, doing them all the way, like flowing water, one by one without the slightest pause.

Finishing all eighteen movements, Chen Mu was slightly out of breath. Although he is already skilled, the energy consumption of these movements is still quite large.

What is next? Chen Mu is filled with curiosity.

The eighteen human-like images all went dark, and the long awaited changes finally appeared!

Two cards! In front of Chen Mu floated two cards, one is light blue and the other is orange. They emit light while floating in the void.

Chen Mu was not afraid considering his first experience, he was curious to try and touch one of them. He went to touch the orange card. It was shrouded in a soft and warm orange light.

As Chen Mu finger touches the orange card, it suddenly split into two cards. There was a number in each orange card, exactly one and two.

Chen Mu interest increased and his finger immediately went to touch the number on an orange card.

“One star magic card……”

The orange card is a complete one star magic card production guide, each of the steps is detailed with images. The motion on each image makes Chen Mu interpretation easier, this is a card production treasure!

If the 18 movements make him feel curious, this one star magic card guide for him it’s tantamount to priceless.

Too realistic! All details are exactly the same and the degree of realism in the image released by the magic card is staggering.

His mind is just shocked by the dazzling image, following the interpretation of the phantom “tutorial” is too interesting! He eagerly, even greedily stares at the constantly changing image. In this world, what could attract him more than this?

All along he’s been struggling by himself, he is clear about the suffering of having no one to guide him. Now that he has such an opportunity, how could he give up? He even feared that the moving image could only be seen once, if he accidentally misses something, won’t I die of regret?

The amount of information contained in a card is much more than he expected. Inside not only has a full one star magic card guide, there are many tricks to make one star magic cards. These tips make Chen Mu ecstatic, they are enough for him to take one star magic cards to a higher level.

The world really is full of love ah! Chen Mu subconsciously muttered.

When Chen Mu withdrew from the illusion of the card, his mind also felt confused.

Both orange cards have one star magic card related knowledge, and the illusion in the light blue card is also a card production guide, but these cards Chen Mu has never heard of, it’s called a resource(TN: not sure about this name) card.

Chen Mu did not know of the difference, he didn’t check the cards.

In the evening, he finally recovered. He had a question in his mind: what is the purpose of this card?

From the initial strengthening exercises to the later magic card production guides, both of which in his view do not have any connection.

There has never been such a mystery on Chen Mu’s mind, he wanted to understand, to unveil all the secrets within this mysterious card, but also to find out what is the ultimate purpose of this card.