Nodding to himself, the red priest focused on the issue at hand. “Alright, the duration isn’t bad for this being only your second try and even the first successful one. What about the gain in strength? How does it compare to your usual ability?”
Shen Lei gave a hum, wondering to himself. “I definitely felt it but I’m not sure how to quantify it. Between Zhi Guan and me, there is half a smaller realm. In terms of physical strength, I think that half a level is represented quite well. As for right now, I’m closer but it doesn’t bridge the gap.”
The red priest nodded, feeling that this was to be expected. “It is a technique to support people. It can add some strength but it can’t make that much of a difference. Half a level would already be pretty good.” In fact, when it came to himself, he would be able to give somebody an advantage of about one small realm. If Luo Lin was able to give his lover an advantage equating to half a small realm on his first successful try, then no matter who his Master and his lover were, he would still poach this disciple!
He turned to Zhi Guan next, raising his brows. “What about your thoughts on the matter?”
Zhi Guan still looked happy after the previous fight. “Definitely stronger! It might have been about a fifth.”
The red priest nodded. This wasn’t a bad result. “I see. Well, what do you think?” He turned to Tong Chen, feeling that he should give the final verdict. Even though Luo Lin had copied his ability somehow, he was still a disciple of the Teng Yong Sect. Not to mention that Tong Chen had always been their leader so it seemed right to leave the final words to him.
The black warrior kept quiet for a moment, but in his heart, he already had his own guess.
The increase in strength might not have been obvious to the others, but he had noticed. After the effect ran out, the two of them had still exchanged two or three attacks and the difference had been obvious. It indeed wasn’t as much as half a small realm but that estimate of it being about a fifth of a small realm should be accurate. That kind of increase wasn’t bad, especially when managing to do that on the second try. It was impressive.
“In their early stages, abilities usually show in things that wouldn’t be perceived as an ability themselves but related matters. If your ability really is copying other abilities, then being able to replicate something or learning fast in general could indeed be an indicator.
“I think that there is a really good chance that we are on the right track. To make sure if this is an ability, there is one more test necessary though. Considering what happened before, I’m just afraid that this will not be pleasant.”
Luo Lin turned to look at him but his expression didn’t indicate what he thought of that.
Shen Lei tensed though. “The black warrior couldn’t mean that something like that night would happen to Xiao Lin again, right?” Because if that was the case, he wasn’t sure if he wanted Luo Lin to try. Was it really worth it?
Tong Chen could only sigh. “I’m afraid that there is a chance that this will indeed be the case. I’m not sure how much you know about the abilities but they usually have downsides.
“Some are not that obvious. They are more of an … indirect result of having these abilities. For example, we don’t quite fit in with everyone else because of these abilities and that makes us … outsiders.
“But the abilities also tend to come with more direct repercussions. For example, I am blind. I was born this way but it has been my theory for years that my blindness was caused by me being born with this ability as well. In the same vein, when it comes to the red priest, his ability to heal others comes at the cost of his own health. That is why he never gives out more than a vial or two of his blood at a time. It is the easiest way to heal somebody but also the one that consumes his own life the fastest.
“If your lover really has an ability, then that will have a drawback as well. Testing his ability might reveal what exactly that drawback is. It could be that it is indeed just painful to copy these abilities but we’ll have to see about that. There might also be another risk attached to it that we don’t know yet.
“Either way …” He turned to address Luo Lin again. “It is your life and you are the only one who can make this decision. So, do you want to give it a try? Or would you rather not risk it?”
Luo Lin looked at him and then turned to Shen Lei. He reached up and cupped his cheeks, looking deep into his eyes. If it was just him, he wouldn’t care much. But there was also Shen Lei in his life, as were his three martial brothers.
The situation right now was dangerous. So if he was able to do anything, then he would do it. Even if it caused him pain, even if it killed him, as long as it could keep the people important to him safe, he would risk it. He wouldn’t even hesitate. It was just …
He stretched his neck and kissed Shen Lei on the lips, trying to calm him down. “Don’t worry about me. Anyway, I don’t mind a bit of pain as long as you are at my side. Just don’t leave me. Then, I’ll be alright.”
Shen Lei couldn’t say that he was happy with this but whatever Luo Lin wondered, he would support him so, in the end, he just nodded. “I won’t leave your side. Not even for a moment.”
Luo Lin nodded and then turned to the black warrior, still staying in his lover’s arms. “I would like to give it a try.” Anyway, he wanted to see just how much he would be able to do. What were the limits of this ability? If he figured that out, then he would know just how helpful he could be to Shen Lei. That was worth it, no matter the price.