Profound Cosmos

edited November 2017 in Original Stories
Right now I'm thinking about writing a story called 'Profound Cosmos'. I hope that it will all go well. The Wuxiaworld crew has inspired everything that I write. Although I can't promise that the ideas would start out original it will get better over time! 

Profound Cosmos

Synopsis

The tale of the life of Darius Stone-Chaser. We follow Darius as he grows to understand the wonders of cultivation and who he really is.

My Note

If you ever have any suggestions I would be open to them. Although I might not implement them, I will certainly keep you guessing what would happen next. If you also feel that a chapter needs some editing I would also try and make everything as good as I can possibly. I can't guarantee constant updates, but I am sure that this story would continue for some time. Since I don't know where I want to take Darius with pin-point accuracy, there might end up being some changes to the synopsis, but I will notify you in the latest chapter if the synopsis does change.

Chapter 1


Chapter 1- The Lonely Child

As the sun shone down brightly, the village of the Stone-Chaser clan was quiet. Very few people were awake, but those that were went by their business quietly. In the country of Highvale, the Stone-Chaser clan held no prestige. They were a small clan that no-one had ever heard of, but they were still a clan nonetheless. As the sun bathed the houses of the clan, the village slowly became more and more populated. Slowly, all the people in the clan had woken up. There were children running through the streets, while their parents talked to each other. Some of the children were listening intently as an elder told them about the outside world and told them about cultivation. All of the children’s blood was boiling and they wished to start cultivating, so they asked the elder. The elder’s name was Golden-Shield, although that wasn’t his name, he took it up when he started cultivating, so that was what everyone called him.

Elder Golden-Shield shouted out to the children,” Come back here tomorrow to start training! For now, you can go off and do whatever you want, but come here at the same time tomorrow.” After he said that, all the children had run off and played by themselves. But there was one child that was still there, so Elder Golden-Shield asked him,” Darius, what is wrong? Why don’t you go off to play?”

Darius replied,” Even if I go to play, the other kids wouldn’t let me join in their games.” When he heard that, Elder Golden-Shield felt sorry for the boy, as he had lost his parents at a young age and the other children wouldn’t let him into their friend groups, so he was usually with the elder that was assigned to be with them during the day. Although the other children didn’t accept him, the grown-ups in the clan saw that he was extremely bright and had lots of potential, so they all seemed to like him, but that caused him to drift further away from the other children his age. Darius was six years old, but he had lived his whole life without a parent and was living by himself, except for the carer that was there with him at all times.

The carer’s name was Lucy Stone-Chaser, as she was from the clan and to Darius, she was the closest thing he had to a mother. Since she was with him at almost all times, their relationship was something similar to a mother, son relationship, except that Darius called her Elder Sister Lucy, so their relationship was even closer. When Elder Golden-Shield looked at Darius, he wondered how he could have gotten to where he was without his parents, as they were the most influential in his life.

After thinking about what to do, Elder Golden-Shield said,” Why don’t we start your training now?”

Darius said yes while jumping up and down with excitement. Seeing that, Elder Golden-Shield laughed as he saw that the child was still a six-year-old with his childish side, so at least he still had his childhood. Getting up, Elder Golden-Shield told Darius to assume a horse stance and he showed him the correct footing and positioning. He then told him the reasoning behind this. While he was explaining this, Darius’s eyes were glittering, as he listened. When he stood in a horse stance, Elder Golden-Shield tapped his stomach, but because of his cultivation, he made Darius stumble and fall over.

Elder Golden-Shield then said,” Your horse stance was too weak. If you want to go far in your cultivation path, you would be beaten down, but you would have to get back up and rush back towards your goal with more determination! If you can't withstand this training, then there is no point for you to even start cultivating!” Hearing that, Darius nodded his head and stood back up and stood in a horse stance. When Elder Golden-Shield hit him down again, Darius got up again and this process was repeated for a few hours, before Darius wasn’t able to stand up from exhaustion.

When Elder Golden-Shield saw this, he was worried that he had gone too far, but when he saw Darius sleeping peacefully, he realised that he was perfectly fine, but his body was too tired. Seeing that they spent half a day in one go, Elder Golden-Shield was surprised at Darius’s resilience, when he was so young, he figured that most of the older children wouldn’t be able to do so for so long. Looking at the boy’s sleeping figure, the elder thought about himself at the same age and he saw that Darius was much more mature, composed and determined than he ever was. Sighing, Elder Golden-Shield wondered how far Darius would reach if he continued to grow.

When Darius woke up, he saw that he was in bed. His room was completely bare, with only his bed and wardrobe in the room. Most of the kids his age received the full love of their parents and their rooms were covered with multiple toys and different things that they wanted, but Dason only had the bare necessities. When Darius got up, he assumed a horse stance, but Darius had to be quiet about it, as it was the middle of the night and everyone was asleep.

While he was doing the horse stance, Darius wanted to put some weight on him, but he wasn’t able to find anything that he could carry that would weigh a decent amount. When he saw that, Darius didn’t let it bother him and he continued to keep the horse stance. Seeing that Elder Golden-Shield wasn’t there to push him off balance, he felt his muscles start to burn after a few minutes, but he held on and after an hour, Darius felt that his muscles couldn’t hold up anymore, but he continued regardless. Only after two hours did Darius fall down, exhausted. Although he didn’t fall asleep, his leg muscles seemed to not be able to hold up any amount of weight, so he had to crawl back onto his bed.

After lying there for several hours, Darius found that he had the strength to get up again, so he went into a horse stance again and after four hours, he fell to the ground, unable to keep himself up. When he got back into his bed, he fell asleep immediately. When the sun rose, Lucy was going to wake him up, but when she saw him in a deep sleep, she decided to let him wake up on his own. After a few hours, Darius woke up and when he saw the sun shining in his room, he jumped out of bed and ran into the living room, where he saw Lucy. He then asked her,” Why didn’t you wake me up at the usual time! Elder Golden-Shield said that he would be teaching us about cultivation today, I don’t want to be late!”

Sighing, Lucy said,” If you told me about this before, I would have woken you up, but when you came home, you were fast asleep, so you didn’t tell me. I'm sorry for not getting you up at the normal time though. But in the future, please tell me if you are going to do something the next day. Now, go to your cultivation training.” Running out of the house, Darius felt very excited, as he wanted to show Elder Golden-Shield his progress in the horse stance, as he hadn’t only practiced how long he could stand in a horse stance, but also his stability.

When he arrived at the field near where he was yesterday, he saw that the children were crowding around Elder Golden-Shield. When the elder saw Darius, he said to the children,” Everyone, stand in four straight lines in front of me.” Once they were in four straight lines, Elder Golden-Shield saw that they were all to close, so he said,” Stand a bit further apart, so, when you put your arms out, you won’t touch anyone.” When they did that, Darius saw that their lines had become over three times the size.

Seeing that Elder Golden-Shield had gone into a horse stance, Darius was the first to catch on and went into a horse stance as well. When all of the children were in a horse stance, Elder Golden-Shield stayed in a horse stance while saying,” For now, we will have a competition of who can stand in the stance for the longest.” After he finished saying that, several of the people from the older side of the group let out a groan. Hearing that, Darius looked at them and he saw that they were 10 or 11 years old, yet they still didn’t want to do the activities.

Because of that, Darius looked down on them slightly, but not enough for him to think badly of them, as that wasn’t who he was. After a few hours, all of the children around Darius had fallen down long ago and a majority of the older children had also fallen down and there were only a dozen children left standing up. When Elder Golden-Shield saw, that Darius was still standing up, he was pleasantly surprised, as he saw that Darius’s strength was nothing close to this yesterday, so that would have meant that he practiced when he got home.

Smiling, Elder Golden-Shield said,” If there are more than two people standing up after 15 minutes, I will place a one kilo weight on each of you, so we will be able to continue with the training faster.” When he said that, Darius was extremely happy, as he had shown that he was one of the stronger children in the group, but he wasn’t someone that would rest with being second, so he continued in a horse stance. After fifteen minutes, had passed, a weight was placed on Darius, but he still continued like that.

After another half hour, Darius saw that there was only one other person standing up! Seeing that, Darius saw that the other child was around 12, the oldest in the group! Elder Golden-Shield saw that one of the youngest and the oldest were facing off, he knew that this wouldn’t be the last time that this would happen, but this was the first and it was very impressive for Darius. After another half hour, the both Darius and the other child looked like they had almost reached their limit, but their sheer determination kept them going on. Soon another hour passed and both the children were almost falling over, while half of the children were shouting Darius’s name, while the others were shouting the other child’s name. The other child was the son of one of the elders that was a higher rank that Elder Golden-Shield, so he knew that the child had had a privileged upbringing and if he lost he would make Darius’s life miserable, but he also knew that if he won, his standing with others his age would skyrocket and he would be everyone’s friends!

Seeing that, Elder Golden-Shield knew that he would have to let the whole thing play out, as both children wouldn’t want the competition to be cut short. After another ten minutes, the child, whose name was Kevin, fell down, while Darius stayed up! When the younger children saw that, they all sprang up and cheered, while the other side of the camp was disappointed, while Kevin was fuming, as he had lost to a six-year-old! He was double Darius’s age, yet he still lost! This was a complete disgrace to him and he was thinking that Elder Golden-Shield had made Darius win because he was interfering, but Elder Golden-Shield was one of his favourite elders, so that thought was quickly dispelled.

When Elder Golden-Shield saw that most of the day was up, he said to the other children,” Tomorrow, we will start the full training, so be punctual! It is almost dinner time, so you should go back to your houses now. See you all tomorrow.” After he said that, Elder Golden-Shield ushered the children off. Standing in the middle of the field, he sat down and started to cultivate. Unknown to him, Darius was watching him. When he saw Elder Golden-Shield sit down and start to cultivate, he was able to see how to cultivate. Although he wasn’t able to cultivate the world’s energy yet, Darius still wanted to do it anyway. Running home, Darius played the image of Elder Golden-Shield cultivating in his head over and over, until it was embedded into his brain. When he arrived at his house, he wanted to cultivate with all of his will. 

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  • edited June 2017

    Chapter 2


     Running into the house, Darius shouted out to Lucy,” I'm going to be in my room if you need me.” Since he was in a rush to cultivate, Darius wasn’t bothered to talk to Lucy, as all he wanted to do was cultivate. In his room, Darius sat down like Elder Golden-Shield and tried acting the same way as him, but after a while, Darius found that he was out of breath and wasn’t able to continue like so. To Darius, he was feeling breathless, but what he didn’t know was that he was using all of his energy to circulate it around his body and starting to open some of his meridians. To him, his breathlessness was because he was tired, but it was actually because his energy had been exhausted from him trying to circulate energy.

    Because his body had reached a certain strength, there was a certain amount of energy in him, but he would need to get a breathing technique to be able to cultivate any sort of energy. But Darius didn’t know any of that, so, when he caught his breath, Darius started to cultivate again and shortly after, he was in a state of breathlessness again. Since there was no energy for Darius to cultivate, his body was trying to suck in energy from the surrounding air, but that was very slow, so Darius ran out of energy very quickly.

    But because of that, Darius had managed to start opening his pores, so that they would absorb energy from the air, even when he wasn’t trying to. The path that Darius was taking was a very dangerous one, as if he overexerted himself, he might become a cripple, but Darius was especially smart and he knew that something bad would happen if he continued to cultivate when he was feeling breathless. If Darius managed to successfully open all of his meridians, then, when he reached Energy Opening, his cultivation speed would be incredible. This would be because all of his pores had been completely opened and all of his meridians would be almost completely pure.

    Darius continued to cultivate for an hour, until he felt that he had reached his limit. Although anyone was able to do this, not many people were sensible enough to stop cultivating when they felt breathless and when they felt that they had reached their limit, they would still continue, but that didn’t know that, although Energy was beneficial to their body, it could still destroy them. Luckily for Darius, he felt that if he continued he would face an extreme danger and might not survive, so he stopped. Although someone might put it down to a childish thought, but it was more than that.

    When Lucy saw, that Darius was walking around the house she called out to him,” Darius, what did you do with Elder Golden-Shield today?”

     Running over, Darius said,” We were doing a horse stance competition!”

    “Oh, what was the competition?”

    “We had to stand in a horse stance for as long as possible!”

    “Who won the competition?”

    “I won! It was me and Kevin at the end, but I won!”

    “Wow, you won the competition! You are so strong aren’t you. One day, you will be like Elder Golden-Shield, teaching other kids about cultivation.”

    “Yeah… I want to be like that one day.”

    That conversation made Darius think about his future. Darius had heard rumours about cultivators flattening mountains with a single punch and picking up whole kingdoms and throwing them. In his mind, Darius pictured himself flattening a mountain with a punch and flying around. He also imagined himself surrounded by his friends as he embarked upon the great path of cultivation. Although personal strength was great, how would it be possible to succeed in anything without friends. Although he was only six years old, he still understood that principle.

    After he had told Lucy about what happened, he saw that there was food on the table, so he ran over to it and he started eating it. When she saw, Darius wolfing down food, Lucy wondered if he was going through a growth spurt, or he had used too much energy from the practice. Although Darius was eating a lot, he didn’t even feel hungry, but, because he was opening his pores, he was able to convert food directly into energy, so he was able to eat a lot. After he ate, Darius felt tired, so he jumped straight into bed and fell asleep.

    While he was asleep, Darius’s pores were constantly absorbing energy and it was slowly opening his meridians even more. As his meridians were opening, Darius’s body was becoming much stronger, as the energy was tempering both his meridians and body, but it wasn’t to the point where it would awake Darius. If he was awake, Darius might have felt a slight tingle, but that was all. Since he was six, Darius was asleep for around twelve hours before he woke up.

    Besides feeling overly energetic, Darius didn’t feel anything else, even though his body was incomparably stronger than before. After he ate breakfast, Darius found that there was still some time until he had to go to the field to train. Going back into his room, Darius started to cultivate. While Darius was sleeping, the energy also did accumulate, but, Darius managed to use it all in half an hour! While he was cultivating, Darius felt some pain, but he knew that there wasn’t a problem with that.

    When he felt out of breath, Darius got his breath back and ran to the field. While Darius was running, he found that he was running much faster than before. Within a few seconds, Darius was able to reach the field. When he was running, he caught the attention of a few people, since they were cultivating and they knew that Darius had managed to break through to the Third layer of Body Training! The first three layers of Body Training had to do with the development of muscles, but the next three layers had to do with the strength of the actual body. If someone had strong muscles, they were able to attack and dodge, but if their body wasn’t strong enough, it wouldn’t be able to facilitate stronger muscles and wasn’t able to take any hits from their opponents.

    When Darius managed to get to the field, he saw that there were only a few people there. Elder Golden-Shield also stood there, but when he saw Darius running, he was greatly shocked by Darius’s speed, as it exceeded the Third Layer of Body Training, but he only felt that Darius’s body was at the Third Layer! Seeing that, Elder Golden-Shield knew that he would have to tell the children to do something, while he gave special attention to Darius. Although that might make others think that he favoured Darius, he knew that it was necessary for Darius to continue to grow.

    Although his strength had increased by a lot, Darius didn’t know anything about cultivation levels and what they meant, but he did know that a strong body was able to hold more energy, so that was the reason why they needed to strengthen their bodies before they could start cultivating. When everyone else had arrived, Elder Golden-Shield told them to get into the same formation that they were in the other day, but he told Darius to stand off to the side, for special training, as he was able to win the horse stance competition. With his vision, Elder Golden-Shield knew that Darius was able to stay in a horse stance for over two days, so he said that anyone that was able to stand in a horse stance for over two days while carrying three kilograms would be able to replace Darius’s position.

    By saying that, Elder Golden-Shield was able to give the children a goal and also to justify himself for giving special treatment for Darius. Elder Golden-Shield then punched out in front of the children and told them to see if they could recreate his punch and that he would come back in half an hour to see who was able to accurately recreate the punch. Walking over to Darius, he said to him,” Darius, there are ten layers to your current cultivation level. I will give you a book about it later, but you have managed to pass through the first three layers. From this 4th layer to the 6th layer, you will have to focus on strengthening your body. I will set several tasks for you to do over the next week. These tasks would help you to strengthen your body. You won’t have to come to the field every day, but you will have to be doing these tasks whenever you can. You got that?”

    “YES!”

    “Good, the first task that I want you to do, is to tie a log around your waist and drag it until you aren’t able to anymore. By dragging the log, you will be able to strengthen your muscles to their maximum, so when you do other exercises, you will be strengthening your body, not your muscles.”

    Nodding, Darius asked,” Where will I find a log of wood?”

    Laughing Elder Golden-Shield replied,” You will cut it down of course!”

    “Can I have an axe now, so I will be able to cut it down and start straight away?”

    “Sure, come with me, I still have a few more minutes before I check out the other children’s punches.”

    Darius followed after Elder Golden-Shield and after a minute, they arrived at a small shack. Elder Golden-Shield then took an axe out of it and gave it to Darius. He then said,” There is a forest a bit north of here, you can cut down a tree and drag it back here, that will be your training. Tomorrow, you will go cut down another tree and drag it here as well. Not only would this help you improve your strength, but also get some wood for winter.” Although many people were cultivators and their bodies wouldn’t feel the heat, many people were also normal people and would need to have something to warm them up.

    Just before Elder Golden-Shield left, he said,” Oh here is the book I was talking about before. Catch.” Elder Golden-Shield threw a book at Darius as he walked off. Catching the book, Darius saw that it was called ‘Mortal Cultivation Levels and their Full Descriptions’. Seeing that, Darius realised that even when he was born, he still had a cultivation level. Seeing that, Darius ran home and put it away, before he ran to the north, to find the forest.

    After he ran for several minutes, Darius saw that he still wasn’t able to see the forest, so he wondered if he was going in the wrong direction, but when he saw that he was still heading north, he realised that he was in the right direction, so he continued running. After a few more minutes, Darius found that he was able to see the forest. As he continued to run, Darius was able to reach the forest in a few seconds. Seeing that, Darius looked around for a decent sized tree. After walking for a bit, he found a good tree. Swinging the axe, Darius found that he was only able to make a small wedge in the tree. The tree was double the width of Darius, so a finger-sized wedge was nothing. Swinging the axe again, Darius found that he would have to only cut a bit more than half the tree to make it fall over.

    After swinging the axe a few more times, Darius was able to fell the tree. Seeing the tree had fallen over, Darius realised that he didn’t have anything to tie it around his waist! Seeing that, Darius looked around and he saw that there was nothing he was able to tie around his waist. After walking around for a bit, Darius heard a growling coming from behind him. Turning around, Darius found that there was an animal there. The animal looked a lion. Seeing that, Darius became nervous, as he didn’t know how to fight properly. Although he was scared, Darius stood his ground.

    When Darius saw, the lion charging at him, he did the sensible thing and dived away. Seeing that the lion’s momentum made it continue charging, Darius rushed at it and with the axe in his hand, swung downwards. Blood spurted out from the lion, as it’s hide was penetrated by the axe. Looking at the gash, Darius saw that it was smaller than the wedge he created in the tree! Seeing that, Darius was shocked, as that meant that the lion’s hide was stronger than a tree!

  • edited June 2017

    Chapter 3

     

    Chapter 3

    Enraged by its wound, the lion tried to kick at Darius, but he jumped out of its range. Filled with confidence, Darius rushed in again to attack, but he was met with a roar and the full body weight of the lion. Seeing that, Darius swiped upwards with his axe. With a thud, the axe managed to embed itself into the lion. Seeing that, Darius knew that he had done some serious damage, as he wasn’t able to see any of the axe from outside the lion’s body. Seeing that, Darius found that he was under the lion. Seeing that, he panicked and punched at the lion, as he was trapped under its weight.

    When the lion felt the punch on its stomach, it let out a growl, but it didn’t do anything, as the axe was making it lose a massive amount of blood. Looking around, Darius found that his axe was right above his head. Seeing that, Darius maneuverer, so that he was able to grab his axe. Pulling, Darius found that he was able to dislodge the axe a bit, but, he received a constant gush of blood all over his face. Seeing that, Darius pulled at his axe and then punched right on the wound caused by the axe. Feeling that the lion let out a yelp and its body moved up slightly. This allowed, Darius to pull out the axe even more, causing the lion to lose blood at a faster rate.

    Still trapped under the lion, Darius felt its heartbeat. The heartbeat was currently going at an incredible rate, as it was trying to get more blood, to replace the blood that it lost. Taking one more pull, Darius managed to remove a majority of the axe from the lion. Seeing that, Darius moved the axe slightly, causing the lion to squirm in pain. Since Darius was under it, the lion wasn’t able to do much, as if it moved, it would cause it to lose blood at an even faster rate. Kicking the axe with all of his might, Darius was able to embed the axe in another part of the lion. After he kicked the axe, Darius pushed the lion with all of his might and rolled out from under the lion.

    When he rolled out from under the lion, it fell back where it was, but since Darius wasn’t there anymore, the axe was pushed into its hide even more! Yowling in pain, the lion’s cries slowly became softer and softer until they stopped altogether. Seeing that, Darius walked over to the lion. Getting a strong branch, he prodded the lion and when he confirmed that it was dead, he rolled it over and took out his axe. Some more blood spurted out, but it wasn’t too much. Looking at the scene before him, Darius realised that he was drenched in blood. Seeing that, he realised that there was a river nearby.

    Running to it, Darius jumped in the crystal-clear river. When he jumped in, the water became a light tinge of red! After a few more minutes, the water became blood-red, but Darius saw that he had become clean. Seeing that, he ran back to the lion. Looking at the lion, he remembered that he was looking for something that he could tie to his waist, so that he would be able to carry the log. Looking back at the lion, Darius realised that he could use the lion’s skin as a rope! Using the axe, Darius took away a few bloodied strips of the lion’s skin. Tying one end to a branch of the felled tree, he tied the other end to his waist. Starting to walk, Darius realised that the tree wasn’t going straight, so he got another strip of skin and tied it to a branch on the other side of the tree. After doing that, Darius realised that it would be a waste to leave the lion behind, so he got another strip of skin and tied it to one of the lion’s legs.

    Trudging back to the village, Darius started to run, but he found that he was running at the same speed he would have jogged before he started training. Seeing that, Darius knew that, although it seemed not worth it, he would have more gains by doing so. After an hour and a half, Darius was able to see the village’s shadow on the horizon. Continuing to run, Darius found that his muscles were staring to fail him, but he knew that he would just have to run a bit more until he managed to reach the village. Continuing to run, Darius slowed down at a visible rate, until he was barely able to continue on. But Darius continued. Seeing the village barely 100m in front of him, Darius was filled with an indominable will and seemed to be filled with a new vigour. Reaching the village, Darius still continued to run until he reached the field. When he was at the field, Darius saw that lion’s skin hadn’t even torn or ripped at all!

    Seeing that, Darius knew that the skin was quite strong, so he was relieved that the effort to bring the tiger back was worth it. Untying the strips of skin, Darius realised that the area where he tied the skin was dyed completely red! Seeing that, Darius knew that this was the shirt he would wear when he was training. Lying down, Darius felt completely exhausted. While he was dragging the tree, Darius didn’t know that he was absorbing energy at an accelerated rate, causing his body to become stronger at a much faster rate. While he was lying down, Elder Golden-Shield walked over to him and said,” Good job, you managed to bring back a whole tree in a day! You also managed to fight and kill a One Star beast! That is amazing! Even though you are only at the Third Layer! Goog, good, good!” Saying good three times, Elder Golden-Shield was truly amazed, as knew how hard it was to kill a beast that was the same cultivation as you, with a good weapon, let alone an axe that was meant to cut down trees.

    Looking at the lion, Elder Golden-Shield’s eyes widened, as he realised that this lion looking creature was actually a Golden Striped Tiger! A Golden Striped Tiger was one of the overlord races of the forest near the village. Usually, they were the kings of their level, but since Darius was able to kill it without too much of a problem, Elder Golden-Shield reckoned that he would be able to fight on par with an Energy Opening cultivator! Seeing that, Elder Golden-Shield was truly shocked, as he knew how terrifying someone with the ability to jump cultivation levels. Looking at the boy lying down, he knew that one day, a monstrous genius would rise from their clan. To their clan, Elder Golden-Shield didn’t know if it would be a blessing or a calamity for a genius to rise from their clan. As they were small and had no backing.

    Sighing, he said,” If all goes well, you will be able to pass through this part of the training in a few days. Now get up, if you want to rest go and sleep in your bed, not here, on the floor.” Hearing that, Darius groaned slightly, as he slowly got up and Elder Golden-Shield laughed, saying,” It’s as if, you’re an old man, trying to get up!” Laughing, Darius stood up straight and said,” Thank you for the book and telling me about all of this! Without it, I would never have had the chance to do any of this properly!”

    Hearing that coming from Darius’s mouth, Elder Golden-Shield said,” Don’t thank me! It is my job to get you guys to cultivate. So, I'm just doing my job, so I don’t deserve any thanks! Now go off to your house.” Nodding, Darius ran off. Entering his house, he shouted,” I'm home!” When Lucy heard that, she said,” Your dinner is ready, I just finished making it, so it is hot. Come here now, don’t go to your room!” Hearing that, Darius sighed, as he wanted to go to his room to cultivate.

    Walking into the dining room, Darius sat down at the table and started eating. While he was eating, Lucy said,” I heard that you went to the forest, cut down a tree, killed a Golden Striped Tiger and then dragged them both back to the village.”

    Swallowing his food, Darius mumbled,” Mhm.”

    “Don’t try to talk while you’re eating, it’s not a nice sight, nor will you be able to talk properly!”

    “Okay, okay, don’t kill me because I talked with food in my mouth!”

    Laughing both of them ended their ‘argument’ there. Finishing his food, Darius said,” I’m going to my room now.” Walking into his room, Darius used all of his spare time to cultivate. If Darius was able to look into his Dantian and meridians, he would be able to see that the meridians in his legs had opened completely. Because of that, his pores had also opened completely, causing his leg’s strengthening to increase majorly, as they would be able to receive energy straight from his pores, before it goes through his body. Since he wasn’t able to feel that, Darius continued to cultivate, but he felt that he had managed to break through to something, but he wasn’t sure.

    When he went to sleep, Darius continued to cultivate, but there wasn’t much progress made, as the clearing of the meridians got harder as time progressed. When he woke up the next morning, Darius cultivated and he used up all the energy he had stored over-night. When he got up, Darius ate his breakfast and immediately took the strips of Golden Striped Tiger’s skin and ran over to the forest. While he was running, Darius realised that he would have a lot of time left over if nothing went wrong, so he ran back and brought the book which Elder Golden-Shield had given him.

    When Darius had run over to the forest, he looked around for a tree thicker that the one that he had cut down last time. After a few minutes, Darius realised that there weren’t any appropriate trees in the area, so he ran into a deeper part of the forest. The deeper he got, the thicker the trees became, until he stopped in one section, as he saw that if he ran any deeper, when he cut a tree down, there wouldn’t be any way for it to fall down onto the ground. Walking around, Darius found the thickest tree he could find and took out his axe. Looking at it a bit closer, Darius realised that it would be more appropriate to call it a hatchet, but he knew that there wasn’t much of a difference between the two.

    Hacking away at the tree, Darius found that it was much thicker and dense than the tree he had cut down the day before. Although he much stronger than the day before, the tree was much harder to cut down than the one before and if he tried to cut it down the day before, then he wouldn’t have been able to actually cut into it. Hacking at the tree again, Darius managed to fell it. Tying the tree to his waist, Darius realised that manoeuvring the tree out of the forest would be quite a task. Walking forwards, Darius found that he had to stop every 5 metres because the tree was stuck on a group of trees. It Darius over two hours to get out of the forest. While he was walking out, Darius was faced with some weaker beasts, so he just threw the axe at them, and that solved the problem.

    When he managed to get out of the forest, Darius started to run. Running towards the village, Darius found that his legs seemed to have an endless amount of energy, so when he was near the village, his legs weren’t even tired! Seeing that, Darius went to the field and put the tree down. Darius then realised that his arms were much too weak, so he tried to pick up the tree, but he found that he wasn’t able to budge it. After a few more hours, Darius found that he was able to life the tree up from the ground, but the end of the tree was still dragging on the ground. While Darius was doing this, all the other children were doing exercises that Elder Golden-Shield told them to do.

    After that, Darius decided to chop up the tree into smaller parts. Picking up the axe, Darius saw that Elder Golden-Shield was looking at the tree. When Elder Golden-Shield saw, that Darius was looking at him he said,” This tree has very good wood. This tree is an Ironwood Tree. The wood is as hard as iron, so it is incredibly hard to cut! But, still, you managed to cut it down nonetheless! Nothing in this world can stand in front of you without being cut down!” Although that was a simple phrase, it seemed to kick something off in Darius!

    When Darius heard that, he felt something rise up in him. After a second, he felt as if he had managed to understand something, but Darius couldn’t figure out what it was. Shaking his head, Darius picked up the axe and said,” In the future, I will be the pride of our clan!” Swinging his axe down, Darius found that there seemed to be a profoundness in it that wasn’t there before. When the axe hit the tree trunk, there was a cutting sound and Darius found that he managed to cut through the tree and his axe was stuck in the ground! When Elder Golden-Shield saw Darius’s axe swing, he saw that there were many profound truths in it. Although he was almost at the Core Traversing stage, he still couldn’t understand the cut, but Darius seemed to cut down like it was a normal strike!

    After a second of being in a daze, Elder Golden-Shield realised that it had a law imbued into it! Taking a closer look at it, Elder Golden-Shield realised that he couldn’t understand the axe strike, but from the aura he was feeling from it, he had a feeling that had an imperial aura in it! Seeing that, Elder Golden-Shield was shocked, as there were some people that were born with an imperial aura, but they were mostly from imperial clans, yet Darius had managed to form an imperial strike, yet he was born into a small incompetent clan, this was as if the heavens were telling them that Darius would reach great heights! After a second, Elder Golden-Shield wondered why it awakened just then and also why he wasn’t releasing an imperial aura, yet he was able to impose his imperial aura on his axe strike! 

  • Chapter 4

    Spoiler:

    Chapter 4

    Meanwhile, Darius was unaware with what Elder Golden-Shield was thinking, but he was just as surprised, as he managed to cut the whole tree through in one strike and still managed to get his axe imbedded into the ground! Although he felt something awakening in him before, he never thought that it would have this effect.

    Darius thought,” What awakened in me? Why do I suddenly have this strength! What is this!” Being six years old, Darius was utterly confused and shocked, and so, his thoughts were in turmoil. Looking at Elder Golden-Shield, Darius realised that he was in as much shock as Darius. Seeing that, Darius realised that what was happening to him was something that others would know about. Seeing that, Darius walked over to Elder Golden-Shield and asked him,” What happened to me?”

    Waking from his daze Elder Golden-Shield laughed and replied,” What happened to you could be the greatest luck or your worst nightmare. You awakened an Imperial Aura! Although you don’t emanate an imperial aura, over time, that will come about, but whenever you do anything else, you will have the aura of an Emperor! Just now, you let out an imperial aura when you swung the axe, causing the wood to be cut in a single swing! With this Imperial Aura, you will be unparalleled in your cultivation level!” Although Elder Golden-Shield said that, he also thought that, even without the aura, he would be unrivalled in his cultivation level, as his combat strength was simply monstrous!

    Hearing that, Darius blood started to boil, as he saw that he had the aura of an Emperor. Seeing that, Darius asked,” What uses does it have?”

    “The Imperial Aura can be used to make whatever you do have an imperial aura, it can also be used to let out an imperial aura, supressing all things. When you achieve a certain mastery over it, you will be able to control the aura and form certain things from it, for example a sword! It could also be used to make techniques stronger! There are infinite uses for the imperial aura, but what limits you is your imagination!” After he said that, Darius felt his Imperial aura rising up again. When he felt that, Darius realised that it was stored somewhere in his body! Seeing that, Darius knew that once he reached Energy Opening, he would be able to cultivate the Imperial Aura, but Darius figured that calling it Imperial Energy was more suitable, as the energy would be able to create the aura!

    Sighing, Darius went back to cutting the tree. Swinging the axe again, Darius saw that it had the same profoundness, but with his new understanding, Darius saw that it seemed to have formed a small film around the axe head. Seeing that, Darius saw that when the wood came into contact with the film, it cut through the wood like butter! Seeing that, Darius saw that, even if he had strength, technique was what really mattered in the end. Realising that, Darius knew that once he reached Energy Opening, he would be able to get some martial techniques!

    Filled with a passion to cultivate, Darius asked,” Elder Golden-Shield, when I break through to the 6th layer, what would I have to do?”

    Slightly surprised, Elder Golden-Shield replied,” From the 6-9th layers, you would have to use a breathing technique to open your meridians. The tenth layer requires you to open your Dantian. For the Energy Opening, you will get a cultivation method. This method would allow you to gain energy faster than with the breathing technique. This cultivation method would allow the world’s energy to become accustomed to you first. The Energy Opening stage is the same as assimilating with energy. But all of that is described in detail in the book I gave you. What level are you at now?”

    “I'm at the 5th layer!”

    “What, already! In one day, you managed to break through one layer! Such speed is almost unheard of! Anyways, go and read the book I gave you!”

    Nodding, Darius sat down on one of the logs he cut. Taking out the book, Darius started reading it. While Darius was reading the book, he became completely unaware of the outside world and after what seemed like several minutes, Darius managed to finish the book, but when he looked at the sky, he saw that it was starting to become dark. Seeing that, Darius ran home.  In the book, there was a detailed description of all the cultivation levels until the Core Traversing stage. Darius learnt that after the Energy Opening stage, there was the Energy Pooling, Foundation Creation, Pillar Rising and Core Formation. Energy Pooling was when a cultivator’s energy reached a point, where it became a liquid and formed a pool in the Dantian. The larger the pool, the further they would progress.

    Foundation Creation required a cultivator to use their energy pool to form a foundation. The larger the foundation, the further they would progress. Although the energy pool sizes were usually the same size, the sizes of the foundations would vary greatly. The reason for this depends on what happens to the cultivator. For example, if a cultivator had a stronger body than another, he foundation would be larger, if they both experienced the same circumstances. Since Darius had the Imperial Energy, he would be able to create a foundation that would be incomparably solid and large! Adding on the fact that all of his pores had opened, his meridians would be as clear as crystal and his body was extremely strong, then the quality and size of his foundation would vastly outstrip many others.

    After Foundation Creation, is Pillar Rising. Pillar Rising is when Pillars would form from the foundation. The size and quality of the foundation and the size and quality of the pillar directly correspond. At the first layer, one pillar would for, the second would form at the second layer and so on. Once all ten pillars formed, then the Core Formation would come about. Usually, all the pillars would be pointing into the centre of the foundation. The focal point, where all the pillars pointed, was where the core would start forming. The first layer required, Darius to make energy flow to where the core was going to be formed, so as the second one and so on, until all of them were flowing energy into the centre of the foundation. Since the book wasn’t about the Core Traversing stage, it didn’t say how to break through to the Core Traversing stage, but Darius knew that it would be hard, as the book did say that a majority of people were stuck at the Mortal Stage for their whole life!

    The book also said that when someone was at the beginning of the Mortal stage, their lifespan would be around 80-90 years, but as they increased their cultivation their lifespan would increase. Someone at the peak of the Mortal stage would have a 200-230-year lifespan! Even if someone wasn’t bothered to cultivate, they would try and reach the peak of the Mortal Stage, so that they would live longer. When someone broke through to the Core Traversing stage, then their lifespan would increase to 1000 years! Just that alone was enough to make many people try and break through, but the amount of strength increase was something that someone would search for their whole life!

    Seeing that, Darius knew that he would have to reach that one day. Filled with hope, Darius knew that once he finished the Body Training stage, he would be able to shoot up in strength massively! When he arrived at his house, Darius saw that Lucy wasn’t in the house when he entered it. Seeing that, Darius realised that something must have been off, as Lucy was always there, either taking care of the house or taking care of him! Walking around the house, Darius found that there was a sign of a struggle in the kitchen. Seeing that, Darius looked around and he saw that there was a note left there. Picking it up, Darius saw that it read,” If you don’t resign your position as the top student, you will never see Lucy again!” Seeing that, Darius was shocked, as he never thought that someone would go to this extent, just because they wanted special treatment.

    As Darius was looking at the note, Lucy was tied up in the attic of a house somewhere in the town. Since Darius didn’t know where she was, he knew that he must fight back in some way, but he also didn’t know who did this to him, so the only thing he could do was sit down and contemplate. While he was contemplating, Darius felt something happen to his Imperial Aura. Feeling that, Darius opened his eyes. After a second, Darius found that his Imperial Aura had activated. Looking at the crime scene, Darius saw that his Imperial Aura gave him an outline of what happened! Seeing that, Darius knew that he would be able to find Lucy and whoever kidnapped her! Seeing that, Darius got up and followed the trail that was shown by his Imperial Aura.

    After a few minutes, Darius managed to find the house that his Lucy seemed to be in a house in front of him. Seeing that, Darius tried to the door, but he saw that it was locked, so he looked closely at the surroundings of the house. After a bit, Darius saw that the houses around it were easily scaled, so he jumped up onto one of the houses. Running on top of the building, Darius saw that there was a window that he was able to run into! Jumping through the window, it shattered and everyone in the building was alerted. Seeing that, Darius quickly ran out of the room and hid in another room. When he saw two people go into the room, Darius slipped into the room where Lucy was being held, as they had left the door open. Hiding in a corner, Darius saw that everyone present was either at the peak of the Body Training stage, or early Energy Opening! Looking around the room, Darius saw that there were three people and including the other two, there were five people guarding the building.

    Looking at the people in the building, Darius saw that he had overlooked one of them! Looking at the person, he realised that it was Kevin! Seeing that, Darius wondered just how much of an egomaniac he was. Listening in, he heard them slandering him and Lucy, so he burst out of his hiding place and punched at one of the nearest people. Sadly, for that person, they were only a peak Body Training stage, so they were sent flying by the punch and ended up unconscious. When everyone else saw this, they were all shock for a second, giving Darius enough time to dispatch an Energy Opening cultivator! Seeing that, Darius saw that there was only one person left in the room, but just at the moment, everyone snapped out of their shock and the other Energy Opening cultivator rushed at him. Seeing this, Darius knew that he would be able to win, but when the other two cultivators came into the room, he knew that he was at a disadvantage!

    Hurriedly, Darius sent out a punch and he found that his Imperial Aura was imbued in the punch! Seeing that, Darius thought of the cultivator as good as dead, but he didn’t want to kill anyone from his own clan, let alone one of his generation! Pulling his punch, Darius managed to badly injure the person, putting him into unconsciousness. Dodging the other cultivators’ attacks, Darius saw that one of them was going towards Lucy. Seeing that, Darius rushed towards the cultivator and sent a punch at him. When the cultivator saw, Darius coming towards him, he rushed towards Lucy, but he ended up being blasted away by Darius’s punch. Seeing that, the other cultivator wondered how powerful Darius was to be able to dispatch an Energy Opening cultivator with a single punch!

    Looking at Darius, the remaining cultivator saw that Darius had a cold glint in his eyes. Seeing that, the cultivator felt a shiver run down his spine, but in that time, he was sent flying by Darius. Without knowing what happened, the cultivator was knocked unconscious. Seeing that, Darius walked towards Kevin. Because of his Imperial Aura, he let off an overbearing aura. When Kevin felt this aura, he almost immediately collapsed. Seeing that, Darius mocked him in his heart, as he knew that Kevin must have been so weak, even though he was the son of a high ranking elder and Darius was just a nobody in the clan!

    Laughing, Darius said,” When you kidnapped my sister, did you think that this would happen? Did you think that I would track you down and destroy your petty plans! Just for the top spot in the training, you went as far as kidnapping my elder sister! Where did you get this gall from? Although you are the son of a high-ranking elder, not even he can save you from what you deserve! If you still have any dignity, tell me a good reason why you kidnapped my sister, so that I may spare you from what is to come!”

    After Darius’ speech, Kevin had nothing to say, but, slowly, an ominous smile filled his face, as he said,” What was that, you say that not even my father can save me from what I deserve? What do you say now!” Turning around, Darius saw that a man with striking resemblance to Kevin stood behind him. Seeing that, Darius realised that he let off an aura that was beyond the Mortal Realm! Seeing that, Darius felt massively suppressed, but he pushed his Imperial Aura to its full.  Although he wasn’t able to control the aura properly, he was still able to regulate it. 

  • Chapter 5


    Chapter 5
    Looking at the elder before him, a Darius felt a smile creep onto his face as he said,” Respected elder, your son has greatly offended me. If his offense goes out to the rest of the clan, what do you think would happen to your face, as a great elder? If anything happens to slip out of this junior’s mouth, you will be ruined!”
    Laughing, the elder said,” All the more reason to cut ends here!”
    When he said that, the elder let out an unrestrained aura, that seemed to be able to suppress all, but Darius was able to reduce it with his Imperial Aura, but Lucy and Kevin weren’t too well off, as they were both on one knee in front of this aura. When the elder saw this, he said,” Oh looks like someone is worthy of his words, but do you think that I, Elder Iron-Fist am unable to defeat a junior like you?”
    Seeing that Elder Iron-Fist was about to attack him, Darius said,” Where is your dignity? A senior like you attacking a junior that hasn’t even entered a double-digit age!”
    Snorting, Elder Iron-Fist continued his punch. Seeing that, Darius found that he was unable to move out of the way of the elder’s fist, so he decided to meet it with his own fist. Concentrating all of the Imperial Aura onto his fist, Darius felt it heat up, as if it was about to explode, but he dismissed the pain. When the fist met the elder’s fist, there was a loud bang and the surrounding area all turned white, while the house that they were in almost completely exploded, but the area that they were standing on directly was still there.
    Opening his eyes, Darius found that he was still alive! Seeing that, Darius looked around and he saw that he had flown over thirty metres from the house. Looking at the remains of the house, Darius saw that Elder Iron-Fist was standing up and had found Darius. Looking down at his hand, Darius found that it was a complete wreck and there was a mass of mangled flesh and some bone showing. Looking back at the elder, Darius saw that he wasn’t in a much better state, as his clothes were completely tattered and there was a smattering of blood on his clothes as well. Seeing that, Darius knew that he was in no state to continue to fight.

    Looking at the elder, he saw that, even if the elder died, he would dispatch of the dirt that was Darius. Seeing that, Darius realised that there was no way that he would be able to fight back. Sighing, Darius resigned himself to his fate, however unwilling his Imperial Aura was. Seeing that, Darius let his instincts take over. Just before he was about to be shattered into pieces, Darius managed to enter a special state and dodged the punch. As the elder sent several more punches at Darius, he still dodged the punches, but they were getting closer to being hit every time.
    Another punch was sent at Darius, but this punch seemed to have some profoundness in it. In his state, Darius dodged, but was clipped on the shoulder and was sent flying. If it wasn’t for his energy tempering his body, all that would have been left of him would have been a mangled mess. Being sent flying, Darius found that he was awakened from his semi-awake state, but he still had the same feeling of that. Looking at the incoming elder, Darius felt that time had slowed down. Seeing that, Darius saw the elder punch at him, but it seemed to be moving in slow motion.
    Trying to dodge, Darius found that his movement had also seemed to be slowed down. The punch managed to hit Darius in the chest and he saw sent flying again. That punch managed to break several of Darius’ ribs. Spitting out blood, Darius hit the floor with a thud, but he still got up again. When the elder saw that Darius had gotten up again, he had an amused look on his face, but he still went over to Darius and sent several punches at Darius. Although he dodged all of the punches, Darius felt the energy of the punch enter him, causing him to receive injuries, even though he wasn’t being attacked!
    Seeing that, Darius knew that he would have to somehow end the fight quickly if he didn’t want to be crippled for the rest of his life. Seeing that, Darius dodged the next few punches and slowly gathered Imperial Energy in his uninjured hand. After a few more rounds of dodging, Darius felt that his hand was no longer able to contain the energy. Dodging a few more punches, Darius felt like there was an opening in Elder Iron-Fist’s defences. Seeing that, Darius sent a punch at him. When Darius’ fist connected with him, Darius felt that something broke in both him and Elder Iron-Fist. Seeing that, Darius saw that he managed to send the elder flipping backwards several tens of metres before he stopped himself. Seeing that, Darius had a smug look on his face. Seeing that look, Elder Iron-Fist was utterly enraged by Darius!
    Seeing that, Darius knew that the elder would use his finishing move, to make sure that Darius would die from this final blow. Seeing that, Darius closed his eyes and waited for what was to come. After a few seconds, Darius thought,” What is happening, why haven’t I died yet?” Opening his eyes, Darius saw that there was someone stopping Elder Iron-Fist! Seeing that, Darius realised that he was so prepared to die that he didn’t know what to do. Falling down, Darius fell unconscious, as the torture that his body was going through was something that normal people couldn’t understand.
    When Darius fell unconscious, Elder Iron-Fist said,” Elder Golden-Shield, why did you stop me from kill the brat?! I had the perfect opportunity to do so, but you stopped me! Justify to me why you think you had the authority to do so!”
    Snorting, Elder Golden-Shield said,” Darius didn’t kill or mortally wound anyone, yet you think that you have the authority of life and death of him! As a matter of fact, it was your son that was in the wrong! He is the one that kidnapped Lucy and then Darius went to get her back, but Kevin and his group of friends stopped him! If anything, I should be justified to kill your son, but luckily for you, Darius was lenient and didn’t hurt him!”
    Because of the massive energy waves that Elder Iron-Fist let off, a major crowd had formed, so when they heard Elder Golden-Shield’s response, they looked back at the house and they saw that Lucy was still tied up, while Kevin was cowering in a corner, as his father would have killed him by accident if he wasn’t careful! Some of them nodded in agreement, while others were too scared to offend Elder Iron-Fist. Although Elder Golden-Shield had strong defences, he was no match for Elder Iron-Fist. But because Elder Golden-Shield was an elder, he didn’t dare to kill him, as then the Supreme elder would imprison him in the dungeons for several hundred years, after his cultivation was crippled!
    Looking at the crowd around him, Elder Iron-Fist knew that he had suffered a defeat, but he was the scheming kind and would strike at Darius and Elder Golden-Shield from the darkness. Walking off, the crowd parted for him and when he was gone, the area burst into conversation, most of them forgetting about Darius, who was lying on the floor, unconscious! Scooping him up, Elder Golden-Shield walked away and the crowd parted for him as well. Untying Lucy, he picked her up as well and ran all the way back to their house. When he arrived, he put Lucy down, but he rushed into Darius’ room and placed him on his bed gingerly.
    Looking at him, Elder Golden-Shield realised that he was undergoing a serious transformation and he would end up at the peak of Body Training when he woke up, so he knew that it was only natural to see a slight pained expression on his face. Seeing that, Elder Golden-Shield wondered how shocking it would be to others to know that a Body Training cultivators had actually injured a Core Traversing cultivator! Jumping whole stages was something that was unprecedented, but injuring someone from a whole realm above him was something that was not heard of, even if they had the Imperial Aura!
    Sighing, Elder Golden-Shield knew that if he was faced with Darius’ all out strike he would be able to come out barely alive if he was lucky, but someone that was at the Core Traversing Realm was something that couldn’t be compared to the Mortal Realm. Looking around the room, he found that it was surprisingly bare. If he entered another six-year-old’s room he would see that it had countless toys and many other things in the room, but Darius simply had his clothes and bed. Seeing that, he knew that Darius had a resolute heart and would be able to achieve great heights in cultivation. Walking to Lucy he said,” How are you holding up?”
    Sighing, Lucy replied,” I think I'm fine now, but I'm more worried about Darius.”
    “Darius is fine, just give him some time and then he will be able to recover from his injuries and will become much stronger! His cultivation would me slightly inferior to yours then!”
    Lucy was at the 5th layer of Energy Opening, so when she was faced with around four Energy Opening cultivators, there was nothing she was able to do, so that she would be able to escape, but when she saw Darius come charging in, she was shocked, as she never thought that he would be able to defeat all of the people in the room and then injure Elder Iron-Fist! Even if she was at the peak of the Mortal Realm, she knew that she wouldn’t be able to achieve such a feat!
    Nodding, she was relieved to know that Darius would be fine after some time and that he would become even stronger! Seeing that, she realised that once he reached the Energy Opening stage, then he would be able to seriously injure Elder Iron-Fist with his all-out attack! Sitting down, she said,” Thank you for saving Darius and I, if it weren’t for you, Darius would have died and I don’t even know what would have happened to me! If you ever need something, just come over and we will do our best to provide!”
    Laughing, Elder Golden-Shield said,” In the future, when Darius is stronger than me, it will be great to be able to call upon favours! Ha, ha, ha. I’ll take my leave now. Goodbye!”
    “Goodbye!” Waving, Lucy sent Elder Golden-Shield off. When he left, she immediately went to Darius’ room to check up on him. When she entered his room, she felt a pressure weighing down on her! Feeling that, she realised that this was the same power that he used to injure Elder Iron-Fist, but much weaker, as it was something that he emanated unconsciously! Walking closer to Darius, Lucy felt that the pressure weighed down on her more and when she was right next to him, she was forced to sit down! Seeing that, she wondered how powerful it would be if he was deliberately supressing her with this aura! Just the thought of it made a shiver go down Lucy’s spine.
    Taking a closer look at Darius, she realised that he was in some pain, but it didn’t seem to be much, but she didn’t think much of it, as it was nothing to be concerned about. Sitting on his bed, Lucy thought about the times that they have had together, but she never thought that one day Darius would come and rescue her when she was in need! Sighing, she stood up and found that Darius’ suppression field seemed to have stopped completely. Seeing that, Lucy walked into her room and fell asleep on her bed.
    Waking up the next morning, she saw that Elder Golden-Shield was standing at their door. Seeing that, she hurriedly got up and opened to door to him. Opening the door, she welcomed him in. Looking around, Elder Golden-Shield said,” There was a meeting for the elders this morning. This happened because of what Elder Iron-Fist did. Although some of the other elders sided with Elder Iron-Fist, most of them sided with me, causing Elder Iron-Fist to be stripped of his power! Now, I believe that he might come for revenge, as when he was leaving the hall, he laughed like a maniac, muttering to himself that he will make us all regret it. When I heard that, the first thing I did after the meeting was adjourned, was come here. For the next few days, I will be staying here. I hope that you won’t mind this intrusion.”
    After a second, Lucy managed to understand what was said and she responded,” Its fine, you can stay, it is also for our own safety, so don’t worry about it. Make yourself at home, there is a room empty over here.” As she guided him into her house, she heard some noises coming from Darius’ room. When both of them heard that, they ran into the room. When they entered the room, they were met with what they hoped had happened the least! Elder Iron-Fist was standing over Darius’ bed, slowly chocking him in the most excruciating way possible. Seeing that, Lucy screamed, but when she saw that Darius was still breathing, she became much calmer, but she was still worried.
    When Elder Iron-Fist heard Lucy’s scream, he turned his head and he saw that Elder Golden-Shield was also there. Knowing that there would be some trouble with them, he jumped out of the window and seemed to disappear without a trace. Looking out the window, Elder Golden-Shield said,” We are going to need some more protection on the house, but we will have to ask the Clan Head and he might not like that. But, that also gives Iron-Fist time to attack Darius, so I guess that you will have to go and I have to stay with Darius. I suggest going now, as Iron-Fist wouldn’t think to come back so quickly.”

    After he said that, Lucy went off to the Clan Head. After she managed to reach the town centre, Lucy saw that the Clan Head was walking around. Relieved by this stroke of luck, she ran over to him and said,” Honourable Clan Head, Iron-Fist attacked Darius just then! I'm not trying to sound demanding, but we will need some sort of protection to be able to stop Iron-Fist in the future!”

  • edited July 2017

    Chapter 6

    Sorry for this formatting, but whenever I post something it all seems to bunch up. 

    Sighing, the Clan Head said,” I won’t be able to do that right now, but I should be able to get around to doing it in around an hour, so for that time, you will have to protect Darius from any attacks… Or you could bring him to live in my house, so there wouldn’t be any need for all of that and he will be under the protection of my house and me! That’s the perfect solution, but he would have to be transported by you to the clan villa. It is almost a given that Iron-Fist will attack you while you are travelling, but all you have to do is fend him off and I can give you several people at the peak of the Mortal Stage, so the trip would be much easier. I will give you this card, if you show this card to the front guard of my villa, you will be given the command of three Peak Mortal realm cultivators under my command. Go now, make haste!”
    Hearing that, Lucy took the card and ran to the villa. When she arrived at the villa, Lucy showed the card to one of the guards. When the guard saw that card, he looked at Lucy again and then said some things to his partner, who then went into the gate and Lucy stood there for a minute before he came back. Although it was only a minute, to Lucy, it felt like an eternity! When she saw, the guard coming back, Lucy’s eyes were filled with hope and when she saw the three people behind the guard, she was overjoyed!
    When the cultivators saw Lucy, they said,” I'm Star-Render, this is Water-Sovereign and Tree-Shaper, we are at your service.”
    Seeing that, Lucy said,” Follow me, I will show you what we have to do.”
    After she said that, she started running towards the house and the cultivators followed her. Seeing that, Lucy ran at full speed, but she found that the cultivators were able to keep up with ease and might even be suppressing their speed, as they needed to follow her, so that they would be able to find the house. When they arrived at the house, Lucy saw that nothing had happened while she was out. Running into the house, she shouted out,” Elder Golden-Shield, Daoist Star-Render, Water-Sovereign and Tree-Shaper are here to escort Darius to the Clan Villa!”
    When Elder Golden-Shield heard that, he was surprised that they were going to the Clan Villa, but he guessed that the Clan Head wanted to get on the good side of Darius, so that in the future, they would be friends, not enemies. Seeing that, Elder Golden-Shield picked up Darius and got onto the carriage in front of their house. Although running would be faster, using a carriage would be much easier to defend and allow everyone to fight at their full capacity. When Elder Golden-Shield looked at the three other cultivators, he realised that they must have been central guards, as their strength was even more than his and he didn’t dare to underestimate their combat power, as they would be able to each rival a Core Traversing cultivator, but faced with a crazed Iron-Fist, even the three of them might not be enough for them to push him off.
    Sighing, Elder Golden-Shield told Daoist Water-Sovereign to guide the horse. Sitting in the carriage with Lucy, Darius, Daoist Star-Render and Daoist Tree-Shaper, Elder Golden-Shield felt that even if three Iron-Fists came, they would be able to repel him, but since there was only one, they would be able to kill him easily. As they set off, the atmosphere in the carriage was so tense that Lucy felt that she almost had it pressing down on her! Feeling that, she said,” Don’t worry! With a force like this, not even a middle Core Traversing would be willing to come against us!”
    When the others in the carriage heard her words, they all seemed to relax a bit, but there was an underlying tense feeling. Seeing that the atmosphere became much better, Lucy looked at the sleeping Darius and realised that, although he was a great talent, he might have also been a tribulation to the clan and those around him, as if he became stronger, he wouldn’t get there by bowing his head to every person that walks by. Looking at the boy that she thought of as a little brother, she was truly thankful that she had been able to take care of him for these past few years, but she knew that this would end now, as he was going to live with the Clan Head and she knew that she wouldn’t be able to get him back, as the Clan Head was obviously trying to draw Darius in.
    Knowing that put a weight on Lucy’s heart, as she didn’t want to part with Darius, but she also knew that it would benefit him a lot more than if he stayed with her. Running the situation over in her head a few times, she realised that she might be able to still care for Darius, as she knew that he wouldn’t want to part with her, so if she asked him and he said yes, she might be able to stay. When Lucy thought that up, she had a feeling of butterflies in her stomach, but that feeling was cut short when the carriage suddenly started shaking!
    Seeing that, everyone became tense and after a second, the shaking stopped, followed by Water-Sovereign saying,” Iron-Fist is here, get ready!” When everyone heard that, they all jumped out, but Lucy stayed in the carriage with Darius, as she knew that she wouldn’t be able to help that much, so she may as well stay with Darius, in case something happened. When the others jumped out, the carriage started shaking again, but it was cut short, as someone must have forced Iron-Fist to stop attacking.
    When Elder Golden-Shield jumped out he shouted,” Iron-Fist! Why must you do this! You could have lived a normal life, but you would rather go down this suicidal path and try to kill Darius! Why is that so? Did you ever stop to think about Kevin and how he must feel to know that his only remaining family member had gone mad with rage? If you stop now, you will be able to get away without losing anything and might even get the chance to become an elder in the future! There are many paths out of this, so why must you go down the path of destruction?”
    After he said that, Iron-Fist stopped and seemed to be considering Elder Golden-Shield’s options, but he screamed out,” I will not be a man if I don’t kill all of you! There never was any way for me to get out of this peacefully ever since my son kidnapped Lucy! All of you DIE!”
    When he said die, Iron-Fist sent out a punch that seemed to be able to consume all. Seeing that, everyone met it with their own punches, but only Star-Render was able to keep his footing, while the others took a few steps back. When Iron-Fist saw that, he knew that he would be in a bad situation if he dragged the fight out for too long and didn’t use all of his power in all of his attacks. When he sent out another punch, Star-Render frowned a bit before taking out a sword and slashed multiple times. Seeing that, the others also punched at Iron-Fist.
    Looking at the barrage of attacks coming at him, Iron-Fist decided that he would die with everyone here, so he jumped at the attacks with no regard for his life. Seeing that the sword attacks were some trouble, Iron-Fist dodged to the best of his abilities, but he found that he wasn’t able to dodge the attacks completely and ended up with it hitting his leg and almost cutting it in half! Seeing that, Iron-Fist knew that it was a problem and dodged the other strikes while closing in the gap between the carriage and him.
    When the carriage was within twenty metres, Iron-Fist found that the four people were blocking his way. Seeing that, he punched out with no regard to his life and he ended up with several wounds, but he was able to come right in front of one of the cultivators. When the cultivator saw that Iron-Fist was in front of him, he panicked and sent out several strikes in disorder, which were all dodged with ease and sent the cultivator flying with a punch.
    When Water-Sovereign saw the punch, he shouted out,” Tree-Shaper! … You bastard, how dare you hurt my Martial Brother!” Enraged, Water-Sovereign went all out and was in a similar state to Iron-Fist except that he was much weaker, but luckily, he had the support of Star-Render and Golden-Shield. If it weren’t for the two of them, Water-Sovereign would have been torn up quite a while ago, but it ended up that he managed to severely wound Iron-Fist, but that wasn’t without him sustaining several tens of wounds either. Seeing Water-Sovereign returning to them, the others were overjoyed as then they wouldn’t have to worry about them losing another member of their team. As they fought, Elder Golden-Shield found that they were slowly coming further and further away from the carriage. Seeing that, he didn’t know if it was a good thing, as he knew that Iron-Fist would be faster than him, so if he ever decided to make a run for Darius, they might not be able to stop him.
    Continuing to fight, after several minutes, everyone saw that Iron-Fist was starting to weaken, but on their side, they were all relatively low on energy and wouldn’t be able to last much longer either. Seeing that, they knew that they must force Iron-Fist to run, or they wouldn’t be able to hold on for much longer. Seeing that, they knew that it would be extremely hard, as he had the conviction that he would have to kill them all or die trying and wouldn’t willingly retreat. While they were fighting, Elder Golden-Shield was constantly trying to see if it was possible for them to force him to retreat.
    After thinking for some time, Elder Golden-Shield saw that they might have some hope to win if Tree-Shaper was here, but since he wasn’t there, there wasn’t much they would be able to do. Looking at his comrades, Elder Golden-Shield realised that they would have some trump cards in and they would use them when they needed, but he also knew that Iron-Fist also had something up his sleeve that would be able to sweep them off their feet.
    Seeing that, Elder Golden-Shield realised that they were in a stalemate, as their energy was running out, but Iron-Fist was becoming weaker with every passing moment and was also using quite an excessive amount of energy. Meanwhile, inside the carriage, Lucy was feeling the fluctuations of energy and was quite worried about all the others outside, but she knew that they should be able to win. When she heard Water-Sovereign shouting, Tree-Shaper’s name, she was very worried, but when the energy fluctuations continued like normal, she knew that they fight had resumed to its normal. As the battle progressed, she could feel the energy fluctuations from both sides decreasing rapidly and they seemed to be decreasing at the same rate! Seeing that, she was quite worried, as she knew that if both sides had almost no energy left, the last stand of a Core Traversing cultivator would still be terrifying!
    After a few more minutes, Lucy became even more scared, as she felt all the fluctuations stop, but after a few more seconds, she felt them flare up again. Seeing that, she was relieved but she knew that something was wrong, as she felt that Iron-Fist’s fluctuations had become much stronger than before! Seeing that, she knew that the others were in trouble, but she knew that there was no way for her to help. Seeing that, she knew that, even if Iron-Fist managed to kill the others, there would be no way for him to have enough strength to attack, or let alone kill Darius, as Iron-Fist wasn’t able to hurt him when he was awake!
    Outside of the carriage, things were going as what Lucy thought. Although their energy fluctuations had died down, Iron-Fist had used some art to become much stronger than before, but they knew that he wouldn’t be able to survive over 5 minutes in that state. Seeing that, Elder Golden-Shield looked back at Iron-Fist and what he saw horrified him. Although he was at odds with Iron-Fist, he never expected for him to relinquish his humanity! The Iron-Fist that was in front of them now was something that couldn’t be considered a human anymore. Iron-Fist had transformed into a demon. This demon looked like a hellhound, but it had a more humanoid figure, but, it was still a demon nonetheless!
  • edited July 2017
    First I'll have to thank everyone for reading my novel until now. Because of all these views I have decided to upload another chapter very quickly. I'll also have to thank Epocan for helping me edit this chapter and I would appreciate it if you checked out his book "A Crack in the Sky". http://forum.wuxiaworld.com/discussion/8381/a-crack-in-the-sky#latest this is the link for Wuxiaworld, but he might update the latest chapters here-->  https://crackinthesky.quora.com/
    Once again thank you everyone.

    Chapter 7


    Chapter 7
    As the hellhound like creature rushed towards them, Elder Golden-Shield felt a disgust grow in him that he had never felt before as he watched Elder Iron-Fist charge towards them. In the Highvale, demons were beings that were the nightmare of everyone, as in the ancient times, Highvale fought against them to be able to keep their land and every few hundred years, there would be a wave of demons, but they were nowhere near as many demons as the war from ancient times. When the others saw that Iron-Fist had turned into a demon, they were all appalled, as they knew that Iron-Fist was willing to sacrifice his humanity, so that he would be able to kill them. If he turned into some other beast, they wouldn’t have the same reaction, but there seemed to be a hate for demons embedded into their blood.

    When they saw Iron-Fist turned into a demon, something seemed to awaken in them and they saw that their strength seemed to be replenished. Seeing that they realised that there was something in them that was against demons, causing them to become stronger, so that they would be able to defeat the demon. Seeing that, they all rushed forwards, but for some reason, Elder Golden-Shield felt that he was unable to move. When Elder Golden-Shield saw that, he realised that the demon must have used some sort of restriction on him, making him unable to move for some time. Although it might have been only for several seconds, being unable to move for a few seconds was something that would be fatal, even if they were fighting in a group, but luckily for Elder Golden-Shield, Water-Sovereign and Star-Render were very capable and Elder Golden-Shield was able to survive, although he was narrowly missed by a punch.

    When he was able to move, Elder Golden-Fist realised that Iron-Fist was letting off an insanely strong demonic aura, causing his abilities to be greatly suppressed. After a few seconds of fighting with the demon, Star-Render felt that Iron-Fist’s fighting capability was increasing, whereas their fighting ability was decreasing! Seeing that, he knew that as the battle progressed, once Iron-Fist reached the end of the five minutes, he would be comparable to a peak Core Traversing cultivator! That alone was something that none of the people here knew that they would be able to withstand. Late Core Traversing cultivators were already experts, but a peak Core Traversing expert would be something that only their Patriarch would be able to match up with.

    Seeing a miniature demon flying at him, Star-Render realised that the demon in front of them must have been a pretty high-ranking one, as it was using countless techniques. Although the techniques were relatively weak, the amount of them was simply overwhelming. Although they were able to dodge most of the techniques, the more powerful techniques were harder to shake off, causing them to crash into other techniques, or the technique smashed into them, causing them to weaken greatly. Although there were many techniques, it still was three on one, so every once in awhile, the demon would be injured quite a lot. After a few minutes of doing this, the demon realised that if this continued, it would be doomed, so it let everything loose.

     When the demon went all out, Water-Sovereign realised that, although there were three of them, there was no way for them to survive this onslaught for more than a minute, as before, he felt the pressure, but now, he knew that there would be no way out for him. Seeing that, he realised that, although he was at the peak of the Mortal realm, there still was quite a way until he was equal to a Core Traversing cultivator, as the Core itself was something that would allow a cultivator to become incomparably stronger. Seeing that, Water-Sovereign roared and rushed into the onslaught of techniques. Dodging a few techniques, Water-Sovereign felt as if he couldn’t be touched, but after a few seconds, he was smashed in the stomach by a technique and was blasted into several other techniques. Getting back up, Water-Sovereign attacked at the techniques as well and he found that he was able to dodge most of the techniques. For the ones he couldn’t dodge, he would blast them apart. Although this wasn’t the most optimal way of doing things, it was the most effective.

     Seeing that he was able to get through most of the techniques without a problem, Water-Sovereign thought that he would be able to survive, but when he saw the next wave of techniques, he realised that there was no way that he would be able to survive unless a miracle happened. While dodging a few techniques, Water-Sovereign was hit by a technique from behind, and was sent flying with a trail of blood flowing out of his mouth. When he was hit, Water-Sovereign thought,” This is how I'm going to go out, fighting a demon. At least this is honourable.” When he hit the floor, Water-Sovereign was still conscious, but so severely injured that he wasn’t able to move at all! Seeing that, Water-Sovereign realised that if he made too much of a show that he was alive, the demon might come over and kill him. Although the pain was almost unbearable, Water-Sovereign stayed still and made it seem as if he was dead. When the others saw that happen, they knew that Water-Sovereign would be able to survive that fall, but when they saw that his energy seemed to have stopped, they realised that the power of a demon was something that they couldn’t underestimate.

     Although they knew that Water-Sovereign wouldn’t die, they knew that he wouldn’t be able to continue fighting. Dodging the attacks, they felt the demon getting constantly stronger! Feeling that, Elder Golden-Shield realised that even if he could withstand these attacks, he wouldn’t be able to withstand them later on. Thinking this, Elder Golden-Shield realised that if they could injure the demon, then they would be able to make it so that it would die before it reached its maximum power. Running forwards, Elder Golden-Shield realised that, even if he managed to get close to the demon, there was no way that he would have enough energy to attack him. Dodging the attacks, Elder Golden-Shield felt that he would be able to become much stronger if he managed to survive this. Continuing to dodge, Elder Golden-Shield saw a break in the attacks and rushed forwards. Rushing forwards, he saw that the Demon seemed to be recovering as it had used too much of its demonic energy. Attacking with all of his might, Elder Golden-Shield fell back, so that he would be able to survive the next barrage of attacks.

    When the attack hit the Demon, there was a massive bang and he saw that he was able to send it flying back. Seeing that, he knew that, although it looked like he had seriously injured it, the Demon was barely injured, as demons were renowned for their amazingly strong bodies. Using the time, he had, Elder Golden-Shield spread out his energy and he saw that Tree-Shaper was still alive! He could see what Tree-Shaper was trying to do, so he retracted his energy and sent several more attacks in the Demon’s way. Seeing the figure of the Demon being sent flying away, Star-Render knew that he would have some time of respite. Fending off the remaining attacks, he sat down and started to recover some of his energy. Although there wasn’t much time, it was better than nothing, as he had used too much energy when he was trying not to get hit after he saw what happened to Water-Sovereign. Seeing that the Demon still hadn’t come back after a few seconds, Star-Render realised that something was wrong. Standing up, Star-Render walked over to the carriage and when he arrived there, he felt the Demon’s presence in the area. Star-Render spread out his energy and he realised that the Demon was trying to sneak up on the carriage.

     Although the Demon was no longer Iron-Fist, it still had his memories and when it realised that it wouldn’t be able to kill its opponents, it wanted to do what Iron-Fist was trying to do before he let himself become overcome by a demon. Seeing that, Star-Render called Elder Golden-Shield over and they both charged at the Demon. When the Demon realise that he had been discovered, it attacked with all of its might, even using some of its life force, so that it would be able to either kill one of its opponents or the person inside of the carriage. Seeing that, Elder Golden-Shield made an energy shield. This move was why Elder Golden-Shield was called this, as when he formed the shield, he had managed to comprehend something for the Gold element and the energy became tinted Gold. When the attacks hit the shield, most of the attack was blocked, but Star-Render destroyed the rest of the attack. Seeing that its attack failed, the Demon knew that it only had half a minute left to live, so it used all of its life force in its last attack.

     When Elder Golden-Shield and Star-Render saw the attack, both of their faces fell, as they knew that they wouldn’t be able to defend against the attack no matter what they did, so, unless a miracle happened, Lucy and Darius had no chance of surviving. Seeing that, Elder Golden-Shield made a Golden-Shield formed a shield and Star-Render used his Star Rending technique. Both of these seemed to have a brilliance, but faced with the attack, there defence seemed to be nothing. When the attack hit the shield, it stopped for half a second, but it then continued, as if nothing had happened, but when it met Star-Render’s attack, the attack seemed to dissipate a bit, but it still continued nonetheless. Seeing that the attack was about to hit the carriage, Elder Golden-Shield shouted,” No, if you dare to hurt Darius and Lucy I won’t leave you with a complete corpse!” Although he said that, there was no reaction from the Demon, as when it died, Lucy and Darius would have also died.

    When the attack was about to hit the carriage, there suddenly was a brilliant flash and the attack dimmed by quite a bit, but it still continued on. When the attack hit the carriage, Elder Golden-Shield knew that Tree-Shaper had tried to stop the attack, but there was nothing else that he could do. If someone looked closely, they would be able to see that a tear had formed on Elder Golden-Shield’s eyes, but it quickly disappeared. Seeing that there was no way for Darius or Lucy to survive, Elder Golden-Shield realised that this was why there were so little amounts of geniuses coming from small clans.

    Although he had killed his fair amount of people, the death of one that was close to him was devastating. Elder Golden-Shield felt depressed, and turned towards the Demon. Seeing that all that was left of it was a burnt husk, Elder Golden-Shield knew that there was no way for him to vent his anger. Turning around, Elder Golden-Shield fell down and he looked at what was left of the carriage. Looking at it, he knew that there was no way for Darius to be able to survive that blast. Sighing deeply, Elder Golden-Shield felt like there was an energy fluctuation coming from it.

    Seeing that, he remembered that Water-Sovereign was still alive! Feeling the energy, Elder Golden-Shield got up and ran into the carriage. Looking around the wreckage, he saw that there was a bubble of water surrounding two figures. Seeing that, Elder Golden-Shield walked over to it and picked the bubble up. Looking inside it, he saw that Lucy and Darius were perfectly fine, except that Lucy was quite shaken. Seeing that they were fine, Elder Golden-Shield was extremely relieved and he felt something go out of him. When that something went out of him, he was many times stronger. Feeling that, he looked into his Dantian and he saw that he had managed to form his core! The pressure had managed to make him break through.

    Breaking through to the Core Traversing Realm was something that all cultivators wanted, but to do so, you would need amazing luck and a good talent. But when Elder Golden-Shield managed to breakthrough, it was because a massive weight came off his heart. Seeing that he managed to breakthrough to the Core Traversing, Elder Golden-Shield knew that he would be able to become a much higher ranking elder. Just that was enough to make him delighted, but what made him even happier, was that Darius was alive!
  • edited July 2017

    Chapter 8

    Another chapter! Yay! I have managed to blast through these past few chapters, but don't expect chapters to be released this often normally.

    Chapter 8

    Opening his eyes, Darius saw that he wasn’t in his house. Looking around, he saw that wherever he was, the person that owned the place must be very rich, as the bed alone would be worth a fortune. Rubbing his eyes, Darius remembered that when he fell unconscious, he was fighting Elder Iron-Fist, but he used too much of his Imperial Aura, so he fell unconscious. Remembering that, he tried to jump out of bed, but he found that he was too weak to do so and he fidgeted a bit, but nothing else happened.

    Seeing that, he realised that his body was especially weak since he had overdrawn it. Closing his eyes, Darius realised that once his body recovered, he would have reached the 9th layer of Body Training! No matter how long he had been asleep for, this increase in strength was something that most people could only wish for, as Darius had done almost nothing for it. Sighing, Darius started to wonder where he was and what had happened to Elder Iron-Fist, Lucy and Elder Golden-Shield after he had fallen unconscious.

    Trying to cultivate, Darius realised that, all he needed to do was push a bit and he would be able to reach Energy Opening, but he wanted to make sure that his Body Training had reached its absolute peak before he continued on, as he knew that the body was the true foundation for cultivation, so Body Training wasn’t something that he should rush through, but something that he should pass through carefully, to make sure that he would be able to have the most perfect cultivation base. Seeing that, Darius knew that once he recovered his strength, he would be able to reach the perfection that he wanted.

    Although he had these thoughts, Darius didn’t know exactly what extent he would be able to reach, so that he would have a perfect Body training cultivation. If he was able to do so, then he would be taking a path that would usually be one that a cultivator from a high-ranking clan and not someone from a backwater clan. But since Darius had opened all his pores, he would be able to reach a perfect Body Training level much easier than anyone else, as these pores would allow energy to flow directly into his body, causing his body to become much stronger.

    After a few minutes, Darius saw Lucy walk into the room. Seeing her, he said,” Lucy, how long have I been asleep for?”

    Jumping because she didn’t think that Darius would be awake, Lucy said,” You have been asleep for two weeks! But since you’re awake, don’t try and move because your body is too weak to do anything yet, but after a week your body should be back to normal.”
    “What happened after I fell unconscious?”

    “After you fell unconscious, Elder Golden-Shield stopped Iron-Fist.” As Lucy told Darius of what happened, he told himself that he must thank Tree-Shaper, Water-Sovereign and Star-Render for guarding him, as even though he was a complete stranger, they still protected him. While Lucy was telling him everything that had happened, Elder Golden-Shield had found out that Darius was awake and he told Water-Sovereign, Star-Render, Tree-Shaper and the Clan Chief about it, so when Lucy finished her narration, they all entered Darius’ room. Seeing all them, he asked Lucy who everyone was, besides Elder Golden-Shield and the Clan Chief as he had seen them before.

    When Lucy told him who they were, he said,” Seniors, thank you for protecting me and Lucy with your life. If there is any way for me to repay you in the future, just ask me and I will comply if it is within my power.”

    Laughing, Star-Render replied,” If anything, you should be thanking the Clan Chief, as it was our job to protect you!”

    Hearing that it was pushed on him, the Clan Chief said,” If anything, in the future I will be able to say that one of my clan members is a supreme expert, that it enough for me to be able to be satisfied.”

    Seeing that the Clan Chief didn’t want a favour, Darius sighed to himself. He then said,” Elder Golden-Shield good job in break through to the Core Traversing Realm! Now you should broaden your horizons to the whole world.”

    Scratching his head, Elder Golden-Shield said,” My allegiance is with the clan, so I plan to protect the clan with my power and in the future, if I manage to reach greater heights, I might be able to become a protector of the clan. I have no need to go out to the whole world, since my time for great improvement has gone by, if I go out there, I will end up being surpassed and left behind, so staying here and protecting the clan would be my best bet.”

    Since Elder Golden-Shield didn’t want to go out to the world, Darius knew that not everyone had the same ideology as him and wanted to strive for the best no matter what. Looking around, Darius then said,” What is going to happen to Kevin now?”

    Clearing his throat, the Clan Chief said,” He will be adopted by another family, so that he might be able to grow, but with the loss of his father, he might drop greatly or increase at a terrifying speed. But, if he causes any troubles, we will be able to get rid of him easily.”

    Knowing that nothing had happened to Kevin, Darius knew that in the future, if he continues to grow, he will be a great rival, but if he forms an inner demon because of the loss of his father, he will forever be stuck at Body Training. After a few seconds, Darius felt a wave of wariness come over him and he said,” My body must be too weak and I have to sleep now. Sorry for not being able to stay awake anymore, good night.”

    After he said that, Darius fell fast asleep. When he fell asleep, the Clan Chief said,” He has such a great and calculating mind at such a young age. As he grows older, he will become much smarter and sly. He will definitely be able to grow to great lengths if nothing stops him. I will keep him in my villa, as then I will be able to give him the best resources that I could so that his full potential may be unleashed.”

    Lucy then piped in,” Can I stay and serve as an older sister to him? If I go, Darius would not be happy with you, as he still only is six years old and still is emotionally driven.”

    After a few seconds of consideration, the Clan Chief said,” Well, you will be able to stay, but you will not have the same role as before, as we will have maids and other people to do the same thing, but you will be able to act as a family member.”

    “Thank you, Sir.”

    Nodding, the Clan Chief said,” You are all dismissed!”

    Exiting the room, Elder Golden-Shield looked at Darius and he knew that he would not regret throwing his lot in with him. When they were outside the room, Elder Golden-Shield turned to the Clan Chief and asked him,” Is there any Sect that he will be able to join, as he will be able to show his true potential in a sect, as our clan is too small for him, as we have a limited cultivation method and almost no techniques besides the basics! If we want him to grow, we can't be too greedy and have to let him go out into the world!”

    Hearing that, the Clan Chief said,” I know that, but I will have to ask the patriarch to get Darius a position in the sect that he was in. But first Darius would have to break through to Energy Opening, as that is the minimum requirement. Although that might not take too long, all that the Patriarch can do is give Darius enough clearance to take the entrance exam, so Darius would need to be at Energy Opening. Although he would have to wait a year, patience will pay off.”

    Hearing that, Elder Golden-Shield knew that most people attending the entrance exam must be at least 10! Seeing that, Elder Golden-Shield knew that Darius would be vastly out aged, but his combat prowess would be able to match up for that, even if he was taking the exam this year, but he knew that if Darius showed his full strength in the entrance exam, there would still be problems, as then h would have no card to show if he was pushed into a difficult situation later.

    Seeing that the Clan Chief had a point, Elder Golden-Shield nodded his head and walked away. Meanwhile, Star-Render and his group were conversing with each other. They were talking about how it was a good idea for them to protect Darius as they knew, even if they said that they didn’t want anything in return, they would still get something, but they also knew that they would be able to be friends with Darius in the future. When they went back to their houses, they all were thinking about Darius and how high he will be able to reach in the future.

    After Darius woke up, he felt that he would be able to get up again, but he knew that he still wasn’t in his peak condition. Doing some math, he figured that he had been asleep for three days. Seeing that, he knew that if he cultivated, then he would be able to recuperate even faster. Getting out of the bed, he sat on the floor and started to cultivate. While he was cultivating, Darius was careful to not break through to the Energy Opening, as then he would lose the opportunity to strengthen his body at the same rate.

    After a few hours, Darius had the feeling that his body was like a reservoir that was empty. Feeling that, he knew that if he wanted to be able to have a perfect Body Training level, then he would have to make the reservoir much bigger. Although he didn’t know how big he would have to make, it, Darius started to cultivate again. Drawing energy in, he felt that his body was becoming stronger at an alarming rate! Seeing that, he didn’t know that his pores had all been opened, so his body would be directly tempered by the energy.

    After a few more hours, Darius saw that there was lighting coming in through the curtains, so he got up and he felt that he was close to what he was at before he fell unconscious. Seeing that, Darius remembered that he had an Imperial Aura! Although he wouldn’t be able to cultivate it properly yet, he knew that he would be able to strengthen his body with it as well. But since it was the morning, Darius knew that he would be visited by the Clan Chief and Lucy at the beginning of the day, so he got back into bed and waited for them to come into his room.

    After a few minutes, Lucy came into his room, carrying breakfast. Seeing that, Darius laughed and said,” When was the last time I had breakfast in bed. You know full well that I'm able to walk around, yet you still bring me breakfast in bed!”

    Seeing that Darius was rebuking her, she retorted back,” Well, I didn’t know that you were awake, so I had to bring you breakfast in bed, it’s not like there is anything bad with having breakfast in bed is there?”
  • edited July 2017

    Chapter 9

    Sorry for this formatting, but whenever I post something it all seems to bunch up. 

    Chapter 9

    Laughing, Darius said,” I wasn’t angry at you bringing me breakfast, I was just saying that I could walk, but I still get breakfast in bed.” Seeing that he was just commenting, Lucy realised she had been stressing too much these past few days. Seeing that, she simply gave him breakfast and said,” Wow, you have recovered even faster than we expected, I don’t know how long t will take, but I know that you will be able to recover in under six days!”
    Since Lucy didn’t know that Darius was able to cultivate, she didn’t know that if his recovery rate would be faster than expected. When he finished eating, Lucy picked up the plate and walked out of the room, saying, the Clan Chief said that he would come to see you at around lunch time, so be sure to be in your room when he comes. See you later”
    “Bye.”
    When she left the room, Darius immediately pushed his Imperial Aura through his meridians. Since it was an aura at this point in time, the Imperial Aura couldn’t run out, unless there was some other aura suppressing it. Pushing it through his meridians, Darius felt a great amount of pain, but it was nothing compared to when he overdrew the Imperial Aura. As he pushed it, it would strengthen his meridians greatly and also his body. Seeing that, Darius knew that as he pushed the aura through his meridians, it was leaving a trace of it, so when he cultivated energy, it contained Imperial Energy. Seeing that, most people wouldn’t even think of using Imperial Aura that way, as the people that usually had it, also had techniques that would allow them to use their Aura in energy.
    Without knowing it, Darius had managed to infuse his Aura into his energy. Because of that, when he reaches Energy Opening, he would be able to have an extremely high level of control over his energy. That alone was terrifying, but it would also bring his energy to another whole level. In the future, if Darius managed to leave behind enough Imperial Aura, then his energy would become Imperial Aura with some energy infused, because of the amount of aura made it mostly Aura!
    Opening his eyes, Darius realised that an hour had passed, so he ate his breakfast and got up. Walking outside, he saw that there was no-one outside his room. Walking through the house, Darius realised that he wasn’t wearing his normal clothes. Seeing that, Darius knew that he would have to ask for some clothes later, but he walked through the massive house. After a few minutes, Darius saw that Elder Golden-Shield and Star-Render’s group were talking.
    When Elder Golden-Shield saw, Darius walking over, he said,” How are you feeling?”
    “I'm doing fine, but I am still very thankful that you were willing to risk your life for me, all of you!”
    Star-Render then replied,” Hehe, well it was our job so there is no need to thank us. But more importantly, now you are at the peak of Body Training, we will be able to give you the clan’s cultivation method. Although it is only the first part, we only possess the first three parts of the manual!” After he said that, Star-Render gave Darius the manual and then said,” Practice this, as it will help you break through to Energy Opening.”
    When Darius saw that he now had the technique that Elder Golden-Fist had, he was delighted, as then he would be able to cultivate with more understanding. Seeing that, Darius knew that he would have to go back to his room soon anyway, so he thanked Star-Render and made his way back to his room. In his room, Darius opened the cultivation manual. The first few pages were an introduction. Reading it, Darius saw that on the first page it read,”
    Seek the Dao!
    Find the Dao!
    Achieve the Dao!”
    Seeing that, Darius knew that this had some meaning, but he had no idea what it was. To him, those few words were unfathomable. Although he wasn’t able to understand what the words meant, Darius was able to deduce that the first clan chief had found the cultivation method somewhere, but he renamed it the Stone-Chaser Clan’s Cultivation Method. Leaving that alone, Darius read the rest of the introduction to the manual.
    Darius saw that, to cultivate the cultivation method, all that he would need was time, as over time, he would be able to increase his energy and that was all that he needed to breakthrough. Seeing that, Darius knew that time wasn’t an issue, as he was only six! Sitting in the correct position, Darius saw that, when he was cultivating, he saw that the speed at which he absorbed energy was much faster than described in the manual! Seeing that, Darius wondered if it had anything to do with the fact that he had some familiarity with the technique.
    Besides that, Darius also felt that his body was being nourished by energy a lot more than what was described in the manual, but he didn’t bother with it, as he knew that everything would be revealed in time and he would also be able to reap the benefits without having to worry about it either. Despite being a six-year-old, Darius had the temperament of a mature adult! Although it was a bit weird seeing a kid outsmart an adult in a battle of words, but it was even weirder to see him defeat enemies despite being so small.
    After an hour, Darius felt that his body had become much stronger, but he felt that he would be coming to a bottleneck soon, as the perfect level of anything was quite hard. But, Darius knew that he must stop, as the Clan Chief was coming to meet him today. Getting up, Darius saw that the Clan Chief still wasn’t there, so he walked out of his room and looked around outside and he saw that the Clan Chief was making his way towards Darius.
    Seeing that Darius stuck his head out of his room, the Clan Chief said,” Darius, I suppose that Star-Render gave you the Stone-Chaser’s cultivation Method?”
    “Yes, he did. I just finished cultivating it for a bit. Although I haven’t made it through to Energy Opening, I reckon that I will be able to do so within the next two weeks.”
    “Good, Good. Already, you managed to cultivate it! Your perception and understanding must be quite high for you to be able to do this, even though you have only had the manual for around an hour!” Saying good twice, the Clan Chief knew that he had found a hidden gem, as otherwise he wouldn’t have known that Darius had this much potential.
    The Clan Chief continued,” Anyway, I'm here to tell you that I have been given the opportunity to give one of the next generation a place in the entrance exam for Ancient Immortal Sect. The entrance exam will take place in a year. During the next year, you will be able to use every moment of it to cultivate. Since you are living in my house, I will be able to give you various cultivation resources. I will leave this here and if you need anything, inject some of your energy into it.” After he had said that, the Clan Chief left a talisman on Darius’ bed and walked out of the room, not giving Darius enough time to ask questions.
    Although he had many questions, Darius knew that they would be answered in time, so he was patient. Looking at the talisman on his bed, Darius realised that inscribing must be widely known. Darius thought that, as he knew that, as he knew that if an inscriptioner was a rare person, the Clan Chief wouldn’t casually hand out the talisman.
    Putting the talisman into his pocket, Darius sat down and started to cultivate. After a few hours, Darius found that there were minimal amounts of improvement, so he realised that he had reached a bottleneck. Seeing that, Darius got up and started to think why he was going through a bottleneck. Going through his book on the Mortal Realm, Darius carefully read the section about body training. Reading it over and over again, Darius realised that, although many beasts had a good innate constitution, human’s constitution could be considered one of the worst. Seeing that, Darius realised that he had reached the limit that his body could reach at his current cultivation. Seeing that, although Darius knew that he would be able to increase the strength of his body later, he would no longer be able to achieve a perfect Body Training. Darius also knew that he would be able to increase his strength if he waited for himself to grow older, but he knew that he didn’t have that luxury of time.
    Sighing, Darius looked through the book and he saw that a perfect way for someone to increase their constitution was to get a powerful beast’s blood and absorb it into his own bloodline. Seeing that, Darius knew that if he went out into the wild, then he would be able to encounter beasts. That would allow him to acquire the bloodline of some powerful beasts. Although the probability of him acquiring a high-quality bloodline was extremely low, he still would be able to acquire the bloodline of a beast that had a better constitution than him.
    Seeing that, Darius put some energy into the talisman and he heard the Clan Chief’s voice in his head saying,” What is it that you need?” Hearing that, Darius became slightly startled before he said in his head,” I would like to head out into the wild, so I will be able to experience the wild for what it really is and so that I will be able to gain some combat experience.” After a second, came a reply.
    “Okay then, but you must stay in the clan for the rest of the week and you must promise me that you won’t do anything that you are unable to handle!”
    “Don’t worry about me, I will make sure not to overstep my boundaries, but I will be sure to push myself. Also, could you possibly give me a map of the surroundings of our clan?”
    “A map is no problem, but it won’t be a map with a lot of detail, but just some general information, such as the name of the place and recommended cultivation level. I will get someone to bring you the map during this week.”
    After that was said, Darius felt as if something was cut off. When he felt that, Darius realised that the Clan Chief had cut off the connection. Sighing, Darius knew that he would receive the map soon, but until then he would have to cultivate, but Darius knew that there was almost no point as he would progress at an incredibly slow rate. Seeing that, Darius realised that he should try and experiment with his cultivation and see what he could do.
    Sitting down, Darius tried to arouse some energy so that he would be able to use it. After trying multiple times, Darius found that he wasn’t able to do so, but he found that he was able to make it so that it circulated around, but he saw that he wasn’t able to do anything with it other than make himself stronger, Darius knew that he would be able to use this if all else failed. Pondering, Darius wondered how he would be able to use his energy if he couldn’t actually make it do anything.
    After a few minutes, Darius saw that there wasn’t much he was able to do with his energy, so he eventually gave up. Starting to think about it again, Darius wondered what he could do without his energy. After a while, Darius realised that he would be able to learn inscribing. Even if it only was at trivial level, it would help him nonetheless. Darius knew that if he asked the Clan Chief, then he would be mostly denied, but he realised that in the book that Elder Golden-Shield gave him, there was a section on inscriptions.
  • edited July 2017

    Chapter 10

    Sorry for this formatting, but whenever I post something it all seems to bunch up. 

    Chapter 10

    Seeing that, Darius took out the book and opened it. Finding the section about inscriptions, Darius realised that there was a base inscription and all other inscriptions stemmed from it. Although it said that there was a singular base inscription, it was more like an alphabet of inscriptions and from them, all other inscriptions were derived. Seeing that, Darius studied the inscriptions very carefully. After a few hours, Darius knew that he had managed to memorise them, so he sat down and started to comprehend them.
    When he felt that he had managed to comprehend an inscription, Darius would grab a quill and some paper and draw the inscription on the paper, but most of the inscriptions he made had no effect. After a few hours of this, Darius looked back into the book and he saw that there were several simple inscriptions already in the book. Seeing that, Darius saw that there was strength increasing, speed increasing, energy increasing and shield talisman. Seeing that, Darius realised that these were the most commonly known talismans. Slowly inscribing one on the piece of paper, Darius felt that he was able to copy it quite accurately, but when he lost his focus, he found that he messed up the inscription a bit, so he had to scrap it, but he tried again and again until he was able to succeed.
    When he succeeded, Darius looked at the talisman he had created, causing him to feel some pride well up inside of him, but when he saw that it barely had any quality, Darius knew that he had a long way to go. Seeing that, Darius knew that he would have to keep on trying, until he could draw talismans to the best degree possible. Trying again and again, Darius found that his success rate had increased greatly, as now he could create a talisman every ten tries. From the hundred tries before, this was a great improvement.
    Seeing that, Darius moved on to the next talisman, as he knew that one type of talisman couldn’t do too much, but with multiple, you could reach greater lengths. Sitting down, Darius started to draw the talisman, but he found that, although he was able to draw it much better than before, he still would have to try several tens of times, before he manages to succeed. After another few hours, Darius managed to create the talisman successfully multiple times and now, he only needed to try seven times for him to succeed.
    Going on to the next talisman, Darius continued this for the rest of the day and the next until he managed to reach a good mastery of the talismans. Going back over all the talismans, Darius went over them over and over again, until he was able to succeed every time. After another day, Darius could draw each talisman in one try! With this mastery, Darius realised that although he had managed to draw the talisman in one try, he still hadn’t managed to draw a true talisman, as they were drawn using energy, so they were much more powerful, but with these, Darius was confident that he would be able to survive out in the wild, even if he faced a 7-Star beast. Darius knew that he would be able to get the beast blood very easily.
    Hearing someone knocking on his door, Darius woke up from his thinking and went over to answer it. When Darius opened the door, he saw that it was a maid carrying some food and also a package. Receiving the package, Darius thanked the maid and sat down with the food and package in front of him. Taking a bite of the food, Darius opened the package. Folding back the brown paper, Darius saw that there was a map in the package, but it seemed to be covering something else. Peeling back the map, Darius saw that there was a sword!
    Until now, Darius had been using his fists and an axe to fight, but if he had a proper weapon, then he would be able to have much more combat prowess once he became used to it. Lifting the sword, Darius felt that it was much lighter and sharper than the axe he had used before, so now, he had to use some technique to be able to attack effectively. When he realised that, Darius put the sword down and looked at the map. On the map, he saw that there were several forests around the clan, but most of them were mundane, with almost no 3 or more Star Beasts.
    Seeing that, Darius continued to search for forests or any place that had at least 5 Star Beasts. When Darius was still at the 5th layer of Body Training, he was able to injure an elder at the Core Traversing Realm! Now, that he was at the tenth layer, he would be able injure a beast at the Core Traversing Realm and escape with his life, as he was quite a lot more powerful and that wasn’t taking into consideration the talismans. Lifting his head from the map, Darius saw that his room was in a complete mess with paper all over the place. Seeing that, Darius punched out in his room and all of the papers seemed to mystically from into two piles! One pile were talismans that were created successfully and the other were ones that weren’t.
    Although it seemed to be very mystical, Darius had figured out how to use his energy a bit when he was making the talismans, so he simply directed the paper with his energy that he put in his punch. Although he was able to do that, Darius knew that there wasn’t much else he could do with his energy at this point. Although Darius thought that it was useless, he was actually refining his control over energy, as he was able to direct hundreds of papers with so little energy! If Darius knew that he was able to refine his control over the energy, he would continuously try and control things with his energy, but he didn’t know that. Picking up the sword, Darius walked over to the training ground in the villa.
    After a few minutes, Darius arrived at the training grounds. Looking around, he saw that there were several training dummies unoccupied. Walking over to one, he heard several people saying,” Oh, the poor fellow. He doesn’t know the true capabilities of those dummies.” Although he took their words to heart, Darius still walked towards the dummies and when he stood in front of the dummies, he saw that there was some energy searching him. Seeing that, Darius became even more careful and after a few seconds, he saw that the training dummy started to move. Jumping back, Darius realised that the search before was searching what level of cultivation he was at, so that he would be able to fight against something at the same level of cultivation as him.
    Dodging the next few attacks, Darius realised that the dummies were just normal training dummies, but with several complicated inscriptions on them. Seeing that, Darius knew that in the future, he would be able to create things like this to fight for him. Clearing his head, Darius slashed out at the dummy. Although Darius’ attack was extremely sudden, the dummy still dodged it very easily and sent its own counter-attack at Darius.
    Seeing that, Darius knew that the fight wouldn’t be easy, as the dummy would be able to beat a Pillar Rising cultivator into submission quite easily even if it was in its current state. Seeing that, Darius slashed out multiple times without using his Imperial Aura, as he wanted to see what he would be able to do without his Imperial Aura. Running around the training yard, the dummy and Darius fought very intensely, but in every exchange, Darius was on the back-hand, causing the other people watching the fight sigh.
    Receiving an attack on his stomach, Darius used that to stab at the dummy's’ chest and when he did so, the dummy tried to fall back, but Darius’ attack was too ruthless, causing the dummy's’ chest to be pierced and as it was trying to re-enact a human, it ended up ‘dying’! When the others in the yard saw that, they were all so shocked that they didn’t say anything for several seconds, but after that, there as a roar of applause!
    Hearing that, Darius was slightly startled, but when he realised the combat prowess of the dummy, he knew that it would be hard for anyone to beat it. When he defeated the dummy, Darius looked at it for several seconds, while absorbing some energy, so that his stomach would stop hurting. Looking at the other dummies, Darius realised that the next dummy was completely covered in dust. Seeing that, Darius knew what they were. The first dummy was to fight someone on the same level as themselves, so that they would be able to gauge themselves against the experts of the world, but the next ones were to see how much battle prowess you had.
    Although the dummies only had an increase off one stage of cultivation, their battle prowess increased by much more. Seeing that, Darius stepped towards the next dummy. When he was in front of the next dummy, he felt the energy analyse him. Waiting for it to stop, Darius rushed forwards and attacked forwards. When the dummy saw, that Darius was attacking it, the dummy stepped back and barely dodged Darius’ attack, but it was within range for its own attack. Seeing that, Darius ducked under its swipe, but the dummy had predicted that and sent a kick at Darius.
    Grabbing its leg, Darius felt his feet leave the floor. Seeing that, Darius knew that he would be able to defeat the dummy quite easily with his Imperial Aura, but he wanted to test himself first. When the dummy saw, that Darius was grabbing onto its leg, it tried to shake him off, but to no avail. Grasping the opportunity, Darius swung his sword down and severed the leg from the dummy. When the other people in the yard saw, that Darius had managed to take the upper-hand, they were all shocked, as they never thought that he would be able to do so. Since he was in the middle of fighting, Darius didn’t take any notice of the crowd, but he continued to fight with all of his might.
    Although the dummy was an attempt to make a humanoid like training equipment, the dummy still couldn’t feel pain, so besides being majorly unbalanced, the dummy was fine. When the dummy saw that it had lost a leg, Darius could feel the energy in the air rising. Seeing that, Darius knew that the dummy was trying to launch an energy attack. Seeing that, Darius rushed forwards again and slashed at the dummy's’ head, but it paid him no heed, as if it would try and take him down with it. Just as Darius was about to reach the dummy, Darius knew that the attack had been launched. Although the description of this was quite long, it only took less than a second for it to unfold before the eyes of the shocked crowd.
    When the energy attack was launched, the crowd knew that Darius wouldn’t be able to defeat the dummy, as, although he would have been able to survive the attack, there was no way for him to be able to continue fighting. When the dummy released the attack, all the dust that had settled on the ground flew up and covered where Darius was, so the crowd couldn’t see the result of the attack. But, what the crowd didn’t notice was that the dust covered the dummy as well! When the dust started to clear, they saw two figures. One of the figures was on the floor, while the other was standing up.
    After a few tense seconds, the dust cleared! When the dust cleared, they saw that Darius was the one standing up! When the crowd saw this, almost all of them rubbed their eyes, as they thought what they saw was wrong, but when they opened their eyes, they saw that Darius was still standing there, with the aura of a king! Most of the people here were either related to the Clan Chief or special guests, so they didn’t know what Imperial Aura was, as they would never encounter it in this country, so why would they need to know about it.
    When the people looked back at Darius, they wondered how they could have mistaken the small figure of Darius for the dummy. When they looked at Darius, there was a look of awe and admiration, as they weren’t able to defeat the first dummy, let alone the next one after it. After they came out of their daze, they saw that Darius was going up to the next dummy! Seeing that, they knew that Darius must not have used his full power against this dummy, as the next one was even harder to defeat.
  • edited July 2017

    Chapter 11

    Sorry for this formatting, but whenever I post something it all seems to bunch up. 

    Chapter 11

    Walking up to the next dummy, Darius felt the energy go over him again and he saw that the dummy was different than before. Now, Darius could feel the energy coming off the dummy, even though it wasn’t trying to do anything. Seeing that, Darius knew that the dummy would be much stronger than the one before, so he rushed back and let the dummy follow. Suddenly stopping, Darius slashed out multiple times. The slashes seemed to form and net and the dummy tried as it might, was unable to get out of its way and was cut in multiple places, but it was still able to move properly.
    Although the dummy protected itself with energy and stopped most of its momentum, it still was injured by Darius’ attacks. Although he wasn’t able to use energy yet, he still was this strong! Although he was strong, Darius wasn’t confident that he would be able to block several attacks from the dummy, so he dived out of the way of the incoming attacks and when he saw he was in the clear, Darius jumped at the dummy. Seeing Darius pouncing at it, the dummy took a step back and attack at the area where Darius was going to land, but Darius was able to use his control over energy to push himself forwards and he attacked the dummy. As the dummy knew that Darius was at Body Training, it never thought that Darius would be able to move in the air, so when Darius attacked it, the dummy was completely open and one of its arms was cut off.
    Seeing that, the dummy knew that its best bet now was to use its speed, so it sped off and came up behind Darius and attacked him. Seeing that, Darius dived to the side and quickly stabilized himself, so that he would be able to dodge the next attack. Realising that the dummy was going for speed, Darius realised that it was much more deadly, as now, he would barely be able to attack it, whereas when it went fifty-fifty for attack and speed, Darius was able to defeat it quite easily. Seeing that, Darius knew the power of solely practicing all-out attack or speed, but Darius also knew the danger of if someone was faster or stronger than you. Darius also knew that to be equally fast as strong, then he would have to have quite a few trump cards, as if he was faced with someone that was fully speed or strength, then he wouldn’t have a chance, as they would dominate him.
    Seeing the dummy running around him, Darius rushed forwards in one direction, but abruptly turned towards the dummy and attack it. When the dummy saw that, it jumped to the side, but because of that, its speed decreased greatly, allowing Darius to catch up and attack it. Dodging to the sides, the dummy was slowing down even more, allowing Darius to block off its path, but the dummy continued to rush forwards and attack Darius. Seeing that, Darius jumped back, so that he was able to dodge the attack, but when he landed, he found that the dummy was coming at him again. When Darius saw, the dummy coming at him again, he knew that he had lost the upper-hand, but he would be able to get it back soon.
    Bringing his sword up, the dummy didn’t expect that, so it didn’t use its full power, so when it hit the sword, the dummy was only able to hit Darius back a few metres, whereas it lost all of its momentum. Recovering, Darius realised that he had become accustomed to the sword and he was able to use it to complement himself. Rushing forwards, Darius saw that the dummy had no ideas about dodging, so he feinted his first attack and then attack at the dummy from the side. Since every attack that Darius had done until that point was a normal attack, the dummy never expected that Darius would feint attack it, so it was almost cut in half.
    Seeing that, Darius knew that he held the advantage, as he had a weapon and the dummy was using its ‘fists’. Now that he was behind the dummy, Darius turned around and blocked the incoming fist of the dummy. Although it was a dummy, having its remaining fist cut in half was not a pleasing idea, as then it wouldn’t be able to attack besides with its legs, so it sent out a gust of energy, causing Darius to be blown back, but not receive any injuries.
    While he was being blown back, Darius had a weird feeling that he would be able to control the energy that was blowing him away. Closing his eyes, Darius felt the energy around him and told it to stop. When he told it to do so, Darius was actually using his Imperial Aura to stop it, but he didn’t know nor realised that it was so. When the energy stopped, the dummy was shocked, but no-one else knew that Darius had stopped the energy. Realising that, Darius felt the energy in the air around him and told it to attack the dummy. When he thought that, all the energy seemed to form a wild storm and it rushed towards the dummy.
    Faced with the energy rushing towards it, the dummy had no way to get out of it, so it simply gave up. When it gave up, it stopped moving, but an energy came out of it that blocked the incoming energy. Seeing that, Darius saw that it was a defence mechanism that stopped the dummies from being destroyed. Seeing that, Darius realised that whoever set up the dummies must be extremely powerful, as every dummy was able to go up by a level, meaning that even if a Core Traversing cultivator came here, they would still face dummies that had a higher cultivation level than them!
    Seeing that, Darius decided that he wouldn’t face off against the other dummies as he had managed to achieve what he set out to do. Twirling the sword in his hand, Darius walked back to his room. When he was back in his room, Darius realised that he didn’t have a sheath for the sword, so he decided to make one. Since he was able to use talismans, Darius figured that he should be able to make a sheath out of paper, but he knew that it wouldn’t be a good idea.
    Taking the talisman that allowed him to contact the Clan Chief, Darius asked him for some leather, as he would be able to make a sheath for the sword. Grabbing his sword, Darius tried inscribing the shield talisman in the frame of his bed. After one try, Darius managed to make the talisman. Seeing that, Darius realised that the shield formed on the frame was much stronger than the shield when he made it on paper. When he realised that, Darius saw that what he drew it on a higher quality material, the talisman would become better, but not by too much. Seeing that, Darius knew that his sheathe would be strong enough when he put the shield talisman on it.
    After a few hours, another maid came to his door with some leather. Seeing that, Darius realised that he would have to stitch the sheath together. Seeing that, Darius also saw that there was some string with the leather. Taking the string and the leather, Darius tied the leather into the right shape of sheath. Then, taking his sword, Darius inscribed the shield talisman into it. Grabbing the, now complete sheathe, Darius hit it with his sword and he saw that there wasn’t even a mark left on the sheathe! Seeing that, Darius knew that the sheath was good. Tying it around his waist, Darius put his sword in it.
    Sitting down, Darius realised that he was able to sit down with it on without it bothering him. Starting to ponder inscriptions, Darius stayed like that until the week ended. During that time, Darius had managed to increase his knowledge in inscriptions. He also felt that he was almost able to touch upon the true meaning of inscriptions, but his cultivation suppressed him. When Darius felt that, he got up and he found that he was able to leave.
    Injecting some energy into the communication talisman, Darius told the Clan Chief he was leaving. During the time, he was cultivating, Darius also managed to find a place that suited his needs. It was also near a village. Although he was very young, Darius looked like he was around nine and quite tall at that, but if someone knew him, then they would know that Darius was actually six. Because he looked like he was nine, there would be less questions when he was travelling, as people would think that he had gone out into the world so that he would be able to temper himself.
    Walking out of the clan, Darius said goodbye to Lucy, Elder Golden-Shield, Star-Render and his group. When he was a few ten metres out of the clan, Darius ran all the way to the road that lead him to the plains where he was going. The plains where he was going was called Redfern Plains. Because of its location, Darius chose it, as it was close to a village, so if anything went wrong, he would be able to go there to get help and it wasn’t that far from his clan, so he would be able to go to and from there relatively easily.
    If, Darius had consulted the Clan Chief about where to go, he would have said to go the same plains, but for a completely different reason, as at this time of the year, the clans and sects from the surrounding area would come to these plains so that their youths would be able to temper themselves and also so that they would be able to test themselves against the youths of the other clans and sects. Even if this wasn’t taken into account, choosing the Redfern Plains was still a good choice, as all the surrounding sects and clans chose this area, as it had good amounts of beasts that the disciples would be able to defeat.
    When he was on the main road, Darius saw that there were several carriages going the same way as him, so he went up alongside one and asked,” Excuse me, are you going to the Redfern Plains?”
    The person on the horse was slightly startled, but he then responded,” Why yes, aren’t we all? It’s that time of year again!”
    Hearing that, Darius was extremely confused, as he didn’t know that all the clans went to the Redfern Plains at this time of year. He then asked the carriage driver who then gave him an explanation of the situation. When Darius heard that, he didn’t know if that was a good thing, as it might impede him from getting the beast blood. He then asked,” Can I come along with you in your carriage, as I happen to be going to the Redfern Plains as well!”
    After a few seconds of consideration, the carriage driver allowed him to ride alongside him, as he said that the carriage was too full to fit him. As they road, Darius learnt that the carriage driver’s name was Yellow-Mountain Stone-Vale. Hearing that he came from the Stone-Vale clan, Darius pictured the map in his head and he saw that the Stone-Vale clan was much stronger than the Stone-Chaser clan. Darius also suspected that they were connected in some way to each other, as both of them started with stone.
    Not thinking about it for the rest of the trip, he learnt more about the Stone-Vale clan and Yellow-Mountain also learnt about how Darius came from the Stone-Chaser clan. After a few hours, they stopped, giving Darius time to meet the youths from the clan, although most of them were friendly, some of them were hostile towards, but Darius didn’t pay them any attention and when they set off, Darius asked about the children that were hostile towards him.
    When Yellow-Mountain heard, Darius being so direct, he laughed, as he realised that Darius was still a six-year-old and even if he was a nine-year-old, he would still be so direct. Replying Yellow-Mountain said,” It’s because they are envious that you are close to me, even though you aren’t from out clan. Don’t worry about them, it might even be a good idea for you to teach them a lesson, as they are quite spoilt and a defeat might be a good lesson. Oh, but that might be a problem for you, as they are at the peak of Energy Opening…” Feeling awkward, Yellow-Mountain stopped speaking.
    When Yellow-Mountain stopped speaking, Darius said,” Don’t worry, even though I am only at the peak of Body Training, I will be able to beat them up very well, so if they ever fight against me, they will receive a good beating!” After he said that, Yellow-Mountain wondered if he was being serious, as he couldn’t tell, as being able to jump cultivation levels was extremely monstrous and barely heard of. If Darius was able to beat the youths from his clan, then he would be a massive talent and might actually come from one of the bigger sects, as it wasn’t unheard of that some candidate from a larger sect would come to select some of the brighter talents into their own sect.
    Looking back at Darius, he saw how fascinated he was at the scenery and he knew that if Darius came from one of the bogger sects, then he must be extremely good at acting and also so young still. He must also have been able to disguise his cultivation, as, if he was sent out by the larger sects, then he wouldn’t have such a meagre cultivation base. While Yellow-Mountain was thinking this, Darius was admiring the scenery and had no idea that Yellow-Mountain thought he was from one of the larger sects.
    After another hour or so, they arrived at the Redfern Plains. Seeing that, Darius got down from the horse. Although he wasn’t able to cultivate any further, he still was able to try and utilize his energy and during the trip, he successfully managed to use some energy out in the air without commanding it. With that, Darius was confident that he would be able to do what he needed and also be able to defeat any youths from the clans and sects.
    Walking around, Darius saw that there were other clans that had already arrived and they were heading towards the town near the Plains. The Stone-Vale clan was no exception and they followed as well. When they came into the town, Darius saw that their business must thrive on this event, as there were many hotels and inns where they could stay. Seeing that, Darius followed the rest of the clan into a hotel. Seeing that Yellow-Mountain paid for him, Darius realised that he had no money whatsoever! Although that wasn’t much of a problem now, he knew that he must pay Yellow-Mountain back and also having some money in the future would also be of some help.
    Knowing that he wouldn’t be able to do anything about it now, Darius didn’t worry about it. Following Yellow-Mountain, he told Darius to go into a room, so Darius went into it and he saw that it was a nice room. Although it had the bare minimum, it was what Darius was used to. Looking at the bed, Darius saw that it was a nice bed as well. But since he was by himself, Darius controlled his energy and made it go throughout his room. Because he hadn’t opened his Dantian, doing so used all of the energy in his body, but he was able to retract it into his body. Sitting down, Darius gathered some energy and put in his body, but the he spread it out, causing the energy in the air to become even richer. Seeing that, Darius continuously did so, until the energy was extremely rich. This was all in preparation for him to break through to Energy Opening, as he wanted to be sure that there was enough energy that he would be able to be able to break through completely in one go.
    Filling himself with energy, Darius stood up and walked out of his energy again, but made sure that no energy seeped out of the room. Walking into town, Darius saw some other people from the Stone-Vale clan, so he walked over to them. When he was standing behind one of them, another group of people from the Stone-Vale saw him. This group of people were the ones that were jealous of him. The leader of the group shouted out to him,” Brat! Yes, you! Who do think you are to come into our clan and start talking to Elder Yellow-Mountain like you own the place! You even called him without the elder part in front of his name! If anything, you should call us your elders! Now scram or we will beat you so bad you won’t be able to move!”
    When the group of people in front of him heard that person say that, one of them whispered to him,” Don’t worry about him, he’s Bryon. Such a hot-head, thinking he is the best in the world. If they dare to make a move against…”
    “What make you think that you are worthy for you to fight me! Such a wimp, fights with his mouth, but can't even fight!”
  • Chapter 12

    Spoiler:

    Chapter 12

    Cutting off the other person, Darius shocked everyone here, as they never thought that Darius would outright offend Bryon and not even listen to them when they were offering him help. Because of that, the other group of people thought that he was arrogant and it was a good idea to let him receive a beating. Sighing, the group of people watched as Bryon approached Darius.

    Rushing towards Darius, Bryon was completely enraged, as he never thought that some outsider would outright offend him in front of his clan! Punching at Darius, Bryon used all of his strength, as he wanted to completely humiliate Darius. Simply standing there, Darius said,” What makes you think that you are worthy to hit me!” After he said that, Darius figure flickered and he suddenly appeared behind Bryon. Punching at his back, Bryon was sent flying through the air. When Bryon hit the floor, everyone knew that Darius was only at Body Training and they all looked back at him and they saw that he still was at Body Training!

    Seeing that, the other group of people realised that Darius wasn’t being arrogant, but confident. When Bryon’s friends saw that he was sent flying, they started backing away and when Darius took a step towards them, they all started to run for their life. Laughing to himself, Darius wondered how this single act would cause him to be so terrifying. Looking around, Darius saw that the other group of people there were standing in shock. Scratching his head, Darius called out awkwardly,” Umm, hello. I'm Darius.”

    Snapping out of their shock, the others quickly introduced themselves,” I'm Ashley, this is Zack, Richard and Rachel. From the way, you defeated Bryon just then, I can only guess how strong you actually are! I hope that we can be friends!”

    Laughing, Darius said,” Well, it was his fault for picking a fight with me! I also hope that we can be friends, as I will be accompanying you while we are at the Plains.” After he said that, Darius started to walk off. Seeing that they weren’t following him, Darius walked around the town. As he was walking around, Darius saw that there were various shops around, but none of them caught Darius’ eye. Walking back to his room, Darius saw that there was something under his door.

    Picking it up, Darius saw that it wasn’t addressed from anyone. Opening the letter, he saw that it said,” Dear Darius, I saw you battle Bryon earlier today! It was extremely thrilling. I hope to meet you on top of the hill you can see from your window when the sun sets, so that you might be able to teach me.” When Darius read that, he felt that something was off in the letter, but he couldn’t put his finger. Walking to his window, Darius saw that there was a hill that he could see from his room and that the sun was going to set soon, so he walked out of the building and towards the hill. When he arrived at the hill, he saw that there wasn’t anyone there, but he saw that there still was some time until the sun set.

    Seeing that, Darius decided to wait. Sitting down, Darius waited for whoever asked him to come to appear. After a few minutes, Darius saw that the sun had gone down, but no-one had come yet. At that time, Darius started to feel like something was wrong. Standing up, Darius put up his guard and looked around suspiciously. After he found nothing, Darius remained upstanding, but he still kept his guard up in case something happened.

    After some time, the sun had completely set and darkness had covered the world. Suddenly, Darius saw some movement out of the corner of his eye. Seeing that, Darius turned towards it, but as he did that, someone jumped out at him and attacked him! Although he knew that someone was attacking him, Darius wasn’t able to react in time. The figure jumped onto Darius and put him in a choke hold. When Darius saw this, he knew that he must get out of it as fast as possible. Elbowing the person in the stomach, Darius felt their grip weaken a bit and he used that to squirm out of the headlock. Seeing that he was able to get out of the headlock, Darius became more confident that he would be able to defeat his opponent.

    Rushing back, Darius decided to not take out the sword he was given, as he wasn’t planning to kill someone any time soon, let alone someone from the clan that was hosting him. Dodging the next few strikes and counter-attacking, Darius figured that the letter that was sent to him was meant to draw him out and someone was sent out to attack him. When Darius realised that, he knew that he would be able to find out who was attacking him, but Darius had his suspicion that it had something to do with Bryon. Seeing an opening, Darius punched at his attacker, but just as his fist was about to connect, someone else came and kicked Darius away!

    Realising that he had multiple attackers, Darius knew that he was at a disadvantage. Spitting out some blood, Darius stood up and he knew that he shouldn’t let out his Imperial Aura, as he wanted to have some trump cards in case something happens. Looking around, Darius saw that there was only two people attacking him, but Darius made sure that he would never give any openings in case there was someone else attacking him from the dark.

    Sending a punch out, Darius managed to hit one of his attackers, sending them flying, giving Darius time to go in and attack his other opponent. Punching at the attacker, Darius saw a sliver flash and he was sent tumbling back. Regaining his balance, Darius realised that he would have to be much more careful, as whatever the silver flash was, it was quite powerful. Spitting out some blood, Darius realised that there was some foreign energy in his body. Seeing that, Darius realised that the people fighting him weren’t merely fighting him, but trying to severely injure him! Since Darius could roughly estimate his strength, Darius figured that the people that he was fighting were Core Formation cultivators. Although he didn’t know their age, Darius guessed that they were elders or high ranking clan members of the clan.

    Seeing that the other cultivator had come back, Darius sent out a punch, but imbued some energy into it, so there was a serious force behind it and even though the cultivators tried to dodge it, the speed of the punch increased by many times and smashed into both of them with even more strength. The cultivator that was fighting with Darius before was completely exhausted after receiving this punch and now they no longer had enough strength to stand up. Seeing that one of his attackers had fallen, Darius started to attack the other one.

    Blocking one of their strikes, Darius sent his own punch their way. After a few seconds of fighting, Darius managed to injure the person so much that they couldn’t continue on. When the other attacker had fallen down, Darius let out a sigh of relief and walked over to his attackers. Arriving at the first one, Darius saw that they were covered in some sort of smoke, obscuring their facial features, making it impossible for Darius to know who they were, but luckily for Darius, he had Imperial Energy. Using some of it, Darius uncovered their faces.

    Looking at them, Darius realised that he hadn’t seen them before and since he had seen every person in the clan before. After a few more seconds, Darius was able to deduct that the people that attacked him weren’t from the clan. When Darius realised that, he wanted to find out who attacked him, so he sent out some Imperial Aura and left it in their body. Because it was Imperial Aura, someone at Core Formation wasn’t able to detect it, so Darius knew that it would be safe to track them with this method. Looking at the unconscious bodies of the people, Darius realised that he still didn’t know what had made that silver flash.

    Searching their bodies, Darius found a ring after some time. Looking at the ring, Darius realised that it must be a treasure, so he put some energy in it and he saw that it was blocked by something from entering the ring. Seeing that, Darius tried again and this time, he saw that there was a wall in front of him. Ramming it with his energy, Darius found that the wall shook a bit, but nothing else happened. Seeing that, Darius put some Imperial Aura in it and rammed the wall with that and he found that the wall crumbled before the Aura.

    Now that the wall was gone, Darius was able to look inside the ring. Looking around, Darius saw that there was quite a bit of money on the floor, as well as a few other things that were seemingly useless, but one thing caught Darius’ eye. It was a spear! Although it looked plain, Darius was able to feel some energy being emitted from it. Seeing that, Darius took it out of the ring and he saw that he felt much stronger. Feeling this sensation, Darius swung the spear around and he saw that he was able to exhibit much more power than before! Seeing that, Darius walked over to a tree nearby and swung at it.

    When the spear hit the tree, the tree burst into splinters! Seeing that, Darius looked at the spear in his hands and he knew that he would have another trump card now. Seeing that the spear was silver, Darius knew that this was what was used before. Quickly skimming over the other items in the ring, Darius realised that the ring’s inside was much bigger than the ring itself. Darius estimated that the ring was about 30 metres squared inside. With that much space, Darius was able to hold many things in the ring. Looking around, Darius saw that no-one else saw the battle and he headed back to his room.

    The next morning, the two people that attacked Darius woke up and they saw that it was morning, so they quickly scampered off, but one of them said to the other,” That kid was extremely strong! With his meagre cultivation, he was able to defeat both of us! He was also able to steal your spatial ring and wipe your mark from it! This kid should be able to do great things in the future, it would be best if we don’t show our face to him in the future.” When they arrived at their lodging, they didn’t know that Darius was able to track them, so they thought that as long as Darius doesn’t see them, they should get away with what they did.

    A few hours after his attackers left the area, Darius woke up and he felt his Imperial Aura moving further and further away. Seeing that, Darius knew that the people that attacked him the previous night had gone back to their own rooms. Sighing, Darius started to cultivate, but he found that he wasn’t able to do anything at all, as his energy had recovered over-night. Since he had nothing else to do, Darius looked for the friends he had made the other day. Walking out of the hotel, someone shouted out,” Oh, there you are Darius, I was worried that something had happened to you!”

    Turning around, Darius saw that the person that called out to him was Rachael. Walking towards them, Darius said,” Oh, don’t worry about me, I am able to handle anything that comes my way. How are you?”

    “We are fine, tomorrow, the competition is starting, so we will all be preparing for it. Do you want to come along?”
    “Sure, why not?”
    Following them, Darius saw that they were entering a part of the town he hadn’t been to before.

  • Chapter 13

    Chapter 13

    Seeing that, Darius realised that he didn’t go this way when he was exploring the town previously because he thought that this was where a majority of the housing buildings were here, but it turned out to be completely different! In this part of the town, Darius saw that every person here was a cultivator and the lowest cultivation, besides Darius’ was Energy Opening! After looking around for a few seconds, Darius was able to see that there even were Pillar Rising cultivators here!

    Seeing that, Darius was able to see that everyone here was a youth from some power or another, but some of them were almost as strong as some of the elders of his clan! Seeing that, Darius knew the disparity between the sects and his clan! Sighing, Darius followed Racheal and her group until they stopped in front of a building. When they stopped, Darius asked,” Why did we stop here?”

    To that Zack replied,” We stopped here so we will be able to receive some energy stones so that we would be able to use it during the competition. Come, follow.”

    After he said that, Zack lead them into the building and Darius saw that there was an elderly man sitting behind a desk. Seeing them enter, the man said,” State your clan.”

    Zack and the others said,” Stone-Vale clan.”

    While Darius said,” Stone-Casher clan.”

    When the man heard Stone-Vale clan, he didn’t show any reaction, but when he heard Stone-Chaser, his expression changed completely. Upon seeing that the man’s face completely changed when he heard that Darius was from the Stone-Chaser clan, Darius realised that there was something that he didn’t know about his clan. Not knowing what it was, Darius wasn’t too bothered by it, as he knew that he wouldn’t be able to get any information regarding it.

    When the man handed out energy stones, Darius realised that in the ring he found before, there were many energy stones in it and they seemed to be slightly different to these ones. Seeing that, Darius realised that they were higher quality than the ones that he had just received. Looking at the others, Darius saw that they only received seven stones each, whereas Darius received twenty stones. Seeing that, Darius looked at the man again and he saw that he looked like he was asleep.

    Seeing that, Darius asked the others why this was so. Richard then said,” This must be because you are the only or one of few members from a clan, so they are able to give more to you.”

    Hearing that explanation, Darius nodded and Darius saw that they were going somewhere else. Following them, Darius and the others conversed while they walked. While they were walking, Bryon walked past them and when he saw that Darius was unscathed, a scowl formed on his face. Seeing that, Darius knew that he sent those attackers last night but Darius didn’t say anything, so he walked on. Seeing that Bryn had also walked on, Darius let out a sigh of relief and followed Zack and the rest.

    After walking for a bit more, Darius realised that none of them carried any weapons on them, and they didn’t seem to have one of the rings that Darius had, so he wondered how they fought, as Darius knew that at least one of them must use a weapon to fight. When Zac stopped, Darius realised that the area they were in had almost no people in it! Although they had been walking for only a few minutes, the town had become so desolate. Looking around, Darius saw that there were other people around, but they were all quite strong and alone, so Darius figured that this was the area that the lone cultivators would go to, as they weren’t as rich or influential as the clans and sects.

    Seeing that, Darius realised that there must be something of value here, as why would the lone cultivators wish to stay here if their living conditions were this bad and desolate. Looking at Zack for an explanation, Darius pondered why they were here. After a few seconds, Zack said,” If you are wondered why and where we are, this is the outskirts of the town. Although many people look down upon this area, there are many secrets that haven’t been uncovered here yet. Have you ever considered why the town was built here? With the constant threat of beasts coming to storm the town. Have you also ever considered why the beasts haven’t come to attack the town? It is because of what is buried under the town and to be more specific, under this part of the town.”

    Richard then continued,” Although you might not be able to see it, the town is built on the ruins of one of the strongest cities that existed, until there was a massive war between the city and the beasts of Redfern plains. The war extremely bitter and it ended up with both sides being destroyed. The beasts of the current Redfern Plains are the descendants of the beasts during the war and it is also the same with those of this town, but because they remember the war, there is a truce between the two and they have come to accept their differences. But, the most important this is the city under out feet. This city was the home to countless experts and when the war came, most of them died and most of them left quite a bit of a fortune to us behind, although to the it was negligible. Somewhere in this part of town, there is an entrance to the ruins, so we will enter the city and, there will still be dangers down there, but if we are smart we will be able to enter the city with no problems and we may even get some treasures! We will search for the entrance to the city and when we find it, we will go out and at the end of the day, we will go back to our lodgings. Now, let’s go!”

    Running after them, Darius saw that there were other people also searching for the entrance. Seeing that, Darius wondered why no-one ever told them where the entrance was, so they would be able to save a lot of time and enter the city easily. Darius knew that there must be some reason why all the people here didn’t know where the entrance to the city was. After searching for some time, Darius realised that it would be sundown soon, so Darius knew that it would be impossible for them to find the city and actually go inside it.

    After they searched for a bit more, Darius and the rest went back to their rooms. When Darius arrived back in his room, he sat down and started to cultivate. Although he wasn’t able to achieve much, Darius felt that he was about to burst with energy, but he knew that it would be able to achieve a perfect Body Training once he assimilated the blood into himself. Still feeling completely full, Darius felt a wave of sleepiness come over him and he fell asleep. While he was asleep, Darius’ body was becoming used to having so much energy in it and his meridians were becoming even stronger and thicker, so that they would be able to accommodate the extra energy.

    While this was happening, Darius was fast asleep and he had no clue that when he woke up the next morning, he would be even stronger than before! As the sun rose, Darius didn’t roll in his sleep, but he continued in his deep sleep. Only after several hours did Darius manage to wake up, as the reconstruction had finished and his body was in its optimal condition. Sitting up, Darius opened the curtains on the widow in his room. Looking out the window, Darius saw the sun bathing the houses with its light. Darius also saw the steady stream of people walking towards the Redfern Plains.

    Jumping out of bed, Darius ran out of his room and to the Plains. While he was running to the Plains, Darius saw that Richard and the others were walking to the Redfern Plains together, so Darius ran over to them. When Richard saw, Darius running towards them, he laughed and said,” I was worried that you wouldn’t come! Are you ready for the competition?”

    “Yes! I'm as ready as I will ever be! What about you guys?”

    They all replied,” I'm all ready to go.”

    As they walked, Darius commented that the scenery was beautiful many times, as he had never seen anything like it before, as they were walking on the Plains and there was still some effects from the massive war that made the plains seem like a mythical ground. Although the war was from times immemorial, but there was still some effects of it left over and to the extent where it still affected the land! Seeing that, Darius wondered what level those powers had reached to be able to achieve that.

    Sighing, Darius knew that it would be a long time before he reached that level. Continuing to walk along, Darius was mystified by the Plains, but soon enough, the novelty wore off and the group talked to each other about what they thought would happen in the competition. Although Richard had been in the competition before, he was too weak to be able to achieve anything, so he couldn’t say much about the competition.

    After a few minutes, Darius and the rest arrived at the area where everyone was congregating at, so they stopped as well and they sat down while they waited for someone to tell they what to do. After an hour or so, the Plains became eerily silent and everyone waited in suspense for what was about to come. After a few seconds of suspense, a loud booming voice seemed to come from all direction while saying,” Welcome to this year’s Beats Hunting Competition! The competition will be starting shortly. I wish all of you the best of luck during the competition. Now, on to the rules. The competition will go on for five days and during that time, you will have to survive by yourself out in the wild while defeating beasts. During that time, you will be allowed to kill as many beasts as you like, but you will have to keep their cores, so that we will be able to tally them up later. Although you will be allowed to injure other people during the competition, you will not be allowed to kill, cripple or seriously injure anyone. To make sure that no-one is bringing in any cores before, we will inspect you before you go into the forest. Good luck out there, the competition will start once we inspect everyone.”

    After that was said, everyone felt a wave of energy over them, but since he thought it was normal, when the energy stayed on him for several seconds, Darius didn’t think that anything was off. After a minute, the voice said,” Let the competition begin!” After the voice said that, everyone rushed toward the centre of the Plains. Although the Plains were a good place to have the competition, the central area had the strongest beasts, but that also brought its own risks. Rushing in with his friends, Darius had his first look at the magnitude of people here. Seeing them all running, Darius was absolutely shocked at what he saw.

    Some of the people were even using their energy to increase their speed, causing the scene to look even more glorious. Snapping out of his shock, Darius realised that he was still running. Looking at Richard and the rest, he saw that they were all extremely excited and hyped for the beginning of the competition, especially Richard, as he would be able to see how much he had improved over the past year! Let the games begin indeed!

  • edited August 2017
    Chapter 14

    Chapter 14

    After they ran for several minutes, Ashley asked if this was a good place to stop and Richard said that it was a good idea, so they stopped here and walked around for a bit more. After a few minutes, the group ran into a beast, but since it was one against five, the fight was quite easy. Taking its core, Darius knew that the beast was only a 4 Star beast, so its blood couldn’t help him, as he would need the blood of a high-ranking beast to be able to change his constitution, so the beast would have to be at least Rank-1 7-Starred! Although that was a difficult criteria, it wasn’t too much, considering that this was an ancient battlefield and he might find the blood of a God-Beast! Walking around, they encountered a few more beasts, but none of them were any problem, so the group went further into the Plains.

    As they got further into the Plains, they encountered beasts more frequently until it almost became unbearable, but the beasts weren’t getting any stronger, except for a few that were 6 Starred. It seemed that something was stopping them from growing any stronger! Although they didn’t know that for sure, after a few more hours of fighting against beasts, the group was almost certain that something else was happening behind the scenes.  After a few more hours of fighting beasts, the group had managed to amass eighteen 4 Star cores, fifteen 5 Star cores and three 6 Star cores! Although it might not seem like much, after less than one day’s worth of fighting, this amount was quite a lot.

    Since they had so many cores, the group decided to set up camp for the night. As they set up tents, Darius started to think about why there weren’t any 7 Starred beasts. Although the group without Darius wouldn’t be able to fight a 7 Star beast, they could still run away from it, since they would be able to delay it with their attacks and, unless they were cornered, they should be able to away before the beast noticed them. Punching at a tree, Darius felled it and dragged it to the campsite, so that they would be able to have a campfire in the night. Although they wouldn’t need the heat, having more light would be helpful and the light would keep away some of the weaker beasts.

    Sitting down, Darius realised that if he came across an Rank-2 7-Star beast, he would take its blood, but Darius wanted to have the strongest blood he could possibly get, so he decided that he would wait until he found something stronger, and if he didn’t find anything, the Rank-2 7-Star beast blood should be enough to make his constitution much better than a normal human’s. Setting up his own tent, Darius went inside it and started to meditate. He thought about why there were no other powerful beasts and where there might be other stronger beasts.

    Spending the whole night like this, Darius came to the conclusion, that there was something in the area that killed or restrained all the beasts so that they wouldn’t be able to break through from six to seven stars. If that was true, Darius dreaded meeting a beast that was 7-Starred, as that meant that it would have enough strength to resist whatever power was restraining it, or it was the power itself! Waking up the next morning, Darius was greeted by a pleasant yellow glow that permeated his tent. Rubbing his eyes, Darius peeped out of his tent and he saw that all the others were still asleep, so Darius quietly got up and walked into the forest.

    Once he was in the forest, Darius found the nearest river and stripped down to his underwear and jumped into the river. Although he was able to clean himself using energy, Darius felt that it would be much more satisfying and interesting to wash in a river. Darius also felt that there was a type of energy in the river that had a cleansing effect on his body and mind! Feeling that, Darius was surprised, but he realised that the river must be so clean and pure, it wold effect other people.

    With that cleansing effect, Darius realised that if someone was diseased or had some other ailment, if they cleaned in the water regularly enough, they would be healed and back to normal! If the water had that effect, Darius knew that he must keep some of it for the future. Since he had a spatial ring, this would be made much easier. Directly absorbing the water into the ring, Darius saw that the water had been spread all over the floor, but using a bit of energy, Darius was able to shape it into a cylinder, causing it to use up much less space.

    Getting out of the river, Darius dried himself with his energy and put his clothes back on. Walking back to the camp, Darius saw that Rachel was awake. When she saw, Darius coming, Rachel started to walk over to him as well.

    “Where have you been, I saw that your tent was empty, so I was very worried that something had happened to you!”

    “Oh, I was bathing in a lake nearby. It has great cleansing properties, so I took longer than I thought.”

    Laughing, Rachel replied,” Can you show me where it is? It would be great to know, as all of this running around in the forest has made me very grubby.”

    Running ahead, Darius said,” Follow me!”

    Running into the forest, Darius saw that there were a few beasts around, but they didn’t bother with them, as they were only 2 Star beasts. When then arrived at the river, they encountered a few beasts, but none of them possessed any threat towards Darius and Rachel.  When they arrived at the river, Rachel jumped into the river and pulled Darius in with her. Falling into the river, Darius was soaked. Splashing water at Racheal, they played like that for several minutes, until Darius felt that they had attracted some powerful beasts. Telling Rachel that, they jumped out of the river and when they got out, they realised that their clothes were completely soaked and see through!

    Since Darius was too young and innocent, when Rachel started blushing and told Darius to turn around, he was very confused, but did as she said anyway. When she allowed him to turn back around, Darius had dried his clothes as well. Running back to the camp, Darius felt that Rachel was acting quite shy. Wondering why that was, they both ran back to the camp. When they arrived back at the camp, they saw that everyone else had woken up and was taking down their tents, getting ready for the next day of hunting beasts.

    Walking over to her tent, Rachel started packing up her tent, but she thought about the river again and her face turned completely red. Unfortunately for her, Ashley saw her like this and asked,” What’s wrong? Is everything fine?”

    Coughing, Rachel replied,’ Don’t worry about me, it’s just a bit hot… Cough, cough.”

    Although Ashley knew that Rachel wasn’t telling her what was happening, she didn’t pry any further, as she knew where to stop. Packing up their tents, the group set off again. Walking through the forest, they came across a few 5 and 6 Star beasts, but they seemed to have entered an area where there was only 5 and above Star beasts. Although that worried the group, they would be able to get out of most sticky situations, unless there was a group of Rank-2 7-Star or even a Rank-3 7-Star beast. Although that was unlikely, you would always have to be ready for anything.

    While they were travelling, they encountered some other people, but when the other group saw them, they scattered as fast as they could, as if their group was death itself. Although that slightly baffled them, they realised that if you were strong enough, they could loot other’s cores, so that they wouldn’t have to do all the work. Although Darius knew that it was a ruthless method, there were some people that would use anyone and everything to succeed.

    After fighting and walking for a few hours, the group was thoroughly exhausted and they sat down to recover and rest. During the time that they were fighting beasts, they had managed to get eight more 5 Star cores and five 6 Star cores. The group managed to get most of these cores from one battle, as they were fighting a group of 5 Star beasts, but they were attacked by another group of 5 and 6 Star beasts.

    Looking around, Darius saw that everyone had a few injuries, some of them being more severe than others, but he was perfectly fine. This was partly due to the fact that he was lucky that he wasn’t sneak attacked, but also because he was strong enough to fight the beasts off without being injured. Sighing, Darius realised that if he could get a healing Talisman, that would be amazing, as then he would be able to heal the injuries of others, but Darius knew that a healing Talisman wouldn’t be simple and would require quite a few inscriptions and was far beyond his comprehension, but that didn’t stop him trying to make one.

    Although the others didn’t know that Darius was an inscriptionist, Darius was able to contemplate a healing type Talisman without any questions being asked. After half an hour, Darius felt that he had brushed on something and he started to inscribe furiously on a piece of parchment. Although the inscription was a failure, Darius got the feeling that he was very close to making something. Looking at the failed inscription in his hand, Darius saw that it was incomplete, but it still gave off some energy. Seeing that, Darius injected some of his energy into it and he felt something moving around in the Talisman, but at the very end of the process, something stopped the energy from coming out of the talisman.

    Seeing that, Darius realised that there were various components to a Talisman. Studying the failed Talisman for a bit longer, Darius was able to see several parts of a Talisman. From what Darius was able to see, there was an input, transportation, transformation and output inscription. Looking at the Talisman in his hand, Darius saw that all the parts were fine, except for the output inscription. Seeing that, Darius picked up another Talisman and started to inscribe the Talismans that he already knew. Successfully inscribing one, Darius looked at it and he saw all the parts of the Talisman.

    Inscribing another talisman, Darius saw that there were some similarities between them. He saw that the input and output inscriptions were the same, while the transportation was very similar, but different and the transformation inscriptions were completely different. Seeing that, Darius realised that the transformation of energy is the inscription language that he knew, while the input and output had something to do with formations and what is the most effective way to put in and receive energy. The transport inscription was a hybrid of the inscription language and formations, so all that Darius could do was copy the input, output and transportation inscription, but he could change the transformation inscription.

    Inscribing his healing Talisman again, Darius copied the parts that he didn’t know and he made up the healing part. Although he copied most of the parts, creating a new Talisman wasn’t easy and Darius failed it, but after several tries, Darius managed to succeed. Looking at the Talisman, Darius realised that it would be quite weak, but if he had a lot of these Talismans, then, one day, it could be a life-saving measure.

    Walking over to Richard, Darius saw that he was still recovering from his injuries, so Darius stood next to him.

    “Hey, Richard… I made this Talisman, is it okay if I tried it on you?”

    “Umm, what does it do?”

    “It is meant to be a healing Talisman, but I'm not sure how powerful it is meant to be, so I want to see how it heals.”

    “Sure.”

    Taking the Talisman, Richard stuck it to himself and circulated some energy into it. After a few seconds, Richard felt a lot better and he saw that some of his injuries had been recovered! Seeing that, Richard was overjoyed! But sadly, the Talisman had been destroyed after a few circulations of his energy.

    “Darius, do you have any more of these? If we use enough, we would be able to recover from our injuries really fast!”

    “Are you sure that there aren’t any after effects? Because if there isn’t, then this will be a priceless Talisman.”

    “Well, from what I can feel, there aren’t any after effects, so it’s all good!”

    “Well then, I’ll go make more of these Talismans, see you soon.”

  • Chapter 15

    Sorry for the late release

    Chapter 15

    After a few hours, everyone had recovered with the help of Darius’ Talismans and they all made sure to stock up on them as well, so they wouldn’t have to stop and recover for much longer. Running into the forest, all of them were full of energy and ready to kill some beasts. After a few minutes, the group encountered a beast, but with the group's newfound energy, the poor beast didn’t stand a chance. Although it was a 5 Star beast, it was instantly defeated! For the next half hour, the group was exhilarated and were destroying all the beasts before them and if they received any injuries that were too serious, the simply slapped a healing Talisman on and continued on.

    If someone saw this group, they would think that there was a tornado, ripping everything up in their path, killing all living creatures. As they killed all the beasts, they encountered a beast which was being chased by another group, but when the other group saw how ferocious they were, they fled in fear that they might come after them! When they saw that, the group started laughing and they found the scene quite comical.

    Regaining their composure, the group continued to destroy all in their path, until they came across a massive group of people. Although they were quite far away, Darius’ group could hear the chattering of the group. Seeing that, Darius’ group continued on, but when they saw the other person’s group, they were awestruck, as there were at least a hundred cultivators in the group! While they were standing there, the leader of the group came over to them. The person then said,” Look at you, country bumpkins! Mesmerised by this small group of cultivators! Would you like to join our group? All you have to do is give us all of your cores and in the end, everyone will get distributed the number of cores to how much they contributed,” when he finished saying that, he saw Darius and he then continued,” Oh, and leave the Body Training kid behind, as he won’t be able to help us at all!”

    At first, the group had some thoughts about joining the group, but when they heard him saying to leave Darius behind, they knew that they couldn’t leave him behind. Stepping forward, Zack said,” I'm sorry, but we can't leave behind the ‘Body Training kid’, but if you let him join us, we might want to join your group.”

    “It is a privilege for Mendel Jade-Eye to ask you to come into his faction! You should be on your knees begging, not giving conditions!”

    Someone shouted that out, as they were outraged that someone had declined Mendel’s request. After a few seconds, Mendel started to laugh insanely.

    “You really think that what I said was a request? It was a command! You will come to my group or die! And if you think that I'm scared of the elders, I'm not! Oh, but now you have made me angry, so get all the girls in your group to strip in front of all of these people, otherwise I will kill you all. I will give you ten seconds, so hurry up!”

    Getting them all together, Darius whispered to them,” I can hold them off for several minutes, so that should give you enough time to run away and I should be able to escape with my life as well! Once I start attacking, you start running!”

    Mendel then shouted out,” Your ten seconds is up! Start… UGH!”

    In the middle of his sentence, Darius took out his sword and imbued some Imperial Aura in it and attacked  Mendel, but not so that he would kill him. Looking at the figure of Mendel flying through the sky, everyone was shocked, but when the person that shouted out before saw that Zack and the rest were escaping he shouted out,” The Body Training kid has some sort of treasure on him that allowed him to sneak attack Mendel, if you kill him, you will be able to get his treasure! But make sure that the others don’t escape! All of you will get more cores if you manage to capture the other people!”

    Hearing the other person shouting that out, Darius and slashed at him and he ended up worse than Mendel. When the person’s friends saw that they all started to rush towards Darius and his group.  Swinging his sword constantly, Darius saw able to quell the constant waves of people. But after a few minutes, some of the people managed to break through, but Darius saw to it that they didn’t make it any further, but that made other people break through. Seeing that, Darius realised that there were more people coming towards him. Using his energy and Imperial Aura, Darius was able to push everyone back, but he was using his energy at a rare at which he wouldn’t be able to recover in a short time and soon enough, Darius was forced to run.

    Running with all of his strength, Darius realised that he would fall soon, but if he had too much of a lead, then he might be able to escape. While he was running, he was attacked a few times by his pursuers. Although the attacks didn’t hinder Darius’ ability to run, they still caused him to use quite a few healing Talismans. Although he was able to recover from his injuries, Darius still had to use up some energy to activate the Talismans, so, he wouldn’t be able to run for longer.

    After several minutes, Darius realised that soon, he wouldn’t be able to keep his speed up, so he stopped and turned around. Looking at the tens of people coming after him, Darius decided to fight. Letting out a cry, Darius took out his spear and attacked the people chasing him. Seeing that quite a few people were dispatched after that one strike, Darius sent out another one, but there wasn’t the same effect, as his pursuers dodged his strike.

    Seeing that they were all attacking at once, Darius knew that he wouldn’t stand a chance if that hit him, so Darius immediately started to run again, but when the attack was released, it seemed to be locked onto Darius’ position. Sending several spear strikes back at the attack, he saw that the attack seemed to weaken a bit, but he would need to attack dozens upon dozens of times to be able to stop the attack.

    Looping back around, Darius saw that they were preparing another combined attack! Darius knew that he might be able to survive one attack, but two, he stood no chance. Stopping suddenly, the combined attack was coming in to hit Darius. Furiously sending more attacks back, the attack weakened, but when it hit Darius, he was sent flying out and when he hit the ground again, he could make out a tree, but then everything went dark.

    During the time that Darius had fallen asleep, he woken up several times. During that time, he couldn’t make out much, but he could tell that the scenery was changing. After an unknown amount of time, Darius managed to regain consciousness and he saw that he had been washed up on a riverbed! Seeing that, Darius tried to get up, but when he tried to, he realised that he couldn’t feel any of his limbs and he could feel blood oozing down his forehead and onto his chest. Moving his head, Darius felt something become dislodged and everything started to fade again.

    But suddenly, a figure appeared in Darius’ fading vision. As he was picked up by that figure, Darius felt the blood spurting out of his neck stop, but he still lost consciousness. After some his eyes started fluttering and Darius managed to regain consciousness. Sitting up, Darius found that he was able to sit up! Looking around, Darius realised that he was in a cave. Trying to stand up, Darius found that his legs were able to hold him up, but his balance wasn’t too great, so he sat down again. Cultivating, Darius found that all the energy that he had saved up in his meridians had been used up or lost!

    After some time, Darius heard some footsteps approaching and he opened his eyes and he saw that there was another person in the cave. Calling out to them, Darius saw she looked like a mature woman, so he said,” Elder Sister, thank you for saving me! May I know your name?”

    “I'm Rosaline Earthen-Scale! Hehe, don’t worry about me saving you, I’ve saved people in worse conditions than you! How are you, can you walk?”

    “I'm fine now, but I'm a bit unsteady on my feet, but that should recover soon.”

    “Well, since I’ve healed you, your cultivation speed should increase a bit and your meridians should be stronger and when you open your Dantian, it should also be much stronger. Oh, also, when I was healing you, all of the energy in your meridians suddenly went into your body and it changed your constitution, so now you should be able to have a perfect Body Training.”

    Seeing how, this woman was able to see everything to do with his cultivation, Darius wondered what level her cultivation was at. Sending out some Imperial Aura, Darius probed her, but not in a provocative way, but as soon as he made first contact, Rosaline’s eyebrows shot up.

    “Oh, now that’s a surprise! You even have some Imperial Aura! No wonder you recovered so quickly. Hehe, I was starting to think that my healing skills had become even stronger. Even I have only seen two people with Imperial Aura, you are the third!”

    Although she was saying this very casually, Darius wasn’t able to tell what cultivation level she was at, so it seemed that she was a mortal, but Darius knew that she wasn’t. When Rosaline saw Darius’ facial expression, she was slightly amused, but she said,” Don’t even try to see my cultivation. If I tried to hide my cultivation, you wouldn’t be able to tell I was here if you didn’t see me. My cultivation is too high for you to fathom, let alone for me to tell you!”

    Feeling slightly disheartened, Darius let out a sigh and started to cultivate again. After a few minutes, Darius felt that his body wasn’t at its limit, so Darius started to move all the energy through his body and it caused Darius to feel as if lightning was coursing through his body, but he had gotten used to this feeling and he endured it. While he was doing this, Rosaline was looking on, amused. Sighing, she knew that Darius would become great one day.

    After a few hours, Darius found that the rate at which his body was strengthening was starting to slow down. Getting up, Darius knew that he would only have a few days left to the competition, so he had to go out and get some cores. Seeing that Rosaline was still walking around, he asked,” How long did it take for me to recover?”

    After thinking for a few seconds, Rosaline replied,” Around four hours. Considering the severity of your injuries, taking into consideration my healing, this speed is too insane! Although all of your pores are able to absorb energy, but that still doesn’t explain your recover speed, although you have Imperial Aura, it still doesn’t change all that much! You are just some abnormal freak!”

    When Rosaline said that, Darius was shocked, as she looked so young, yet she was at a cultivation level that Darius couldn’t comprehend! Coughing, Darius started walking around. Walking out of the cave, Darius wasn’t able to sense any beasts nearby, but he could feel their perception locking onto him. Although he was used to beast’s perception locking onto him, Darius wasn’t used to not being able to detect where the beast was at.

    After a few seconds, Darius felt a perception lock onto him and a shiver went down his spine. Feeling that, Darius became extremely worried and ran back inside. When he was inside, Darius asked,” Are we in the forbidden area of the Redfern Plains?!”

    “Well… This could be considered the forbidden area, but to me it isn’t. Considering your strength, it would be, so it wouldn’t be a good idea to go outside. On a side thought, are you participating in the Redfern Plains competition?”

    “Ahh… Yes, why?”

    “Well, can I see how many cores you have?”

    “Sure.”

    Injecting some energy into his ring, Darius brought out all the cores he had. When Darius and the group were separated, they had stored all of the cores with him, as he had a spatial ring, so Darius was carrying the all of the cores that they had hunted over two days! With that, Darius had a reasonable number of cores, but it wouldn’t be enough to win the competition. Showing Rosaline his cores, Rosaline was slightly surprised, but she wasn’t too surprised. Sighing, Rosaline then said,” Although you have a decent number of cores, this amount isn’t too much, so I can consider giving you a few.”

    After she said that, quite a few cores appeared out of nowhere. Seeing that, Darius realised that someone as powerful as her must have a spatial ring if elders at Core Formation did as well! Darius wondered if he would ever be able to reach such heights. Although he knew that he wouldn’t be able to reach that soon, he knew that he had somewhere to work towards. Darius then asked,” Do you know how many days have passed since the beginning of the competition?”

    After thinking for a second, Rosaline replied,” I believe it has been three days. So, you will be able to have some time until the competition ends. Oh, but you will have to get back. Don’t worry, I will be able to get you back to the area where you are able to hunt beasts, so that shouldn’t be a problem.” Seeing that, Darius realised that Rosaline was much stronger than he realised.

  • edited August 2017

    Chapter 16

    This chapter is to make up for the late release so enjoy.
    Spoiler:

    Chapter 16

    After several hours, Darius knew that he must go back to the competition, so that he would be able to find his friends, so that they would be able to know that he had survived and also that he might be able to reach Energy Opening! Talking to Rosaline, Darius told her that he must go back to his friends. After a few seconds, Rosaline said,” Oh well, what did I expect. Come here, I’ll send you on your way.” After she said that, Darius saw her wave her hands and suddenly, he was flying through the sky!

    Tumbling in the sky, Darius used some energy to stabilize himself, and he saw that the ground was flying past him. Looking up, Darius saw that he could see the starry sky. Seeing that there was nothing he could do, Darius waited until the gust of wind let him down, as he trusted that Rosaline was putting him out of the Forbidden Area.

    After a few minutes, Darius found that he was slowing down. As he was slowly being lowered to the ground, Darius looked around and he saw that there were several beasts in the area, but they were only 7 Star beasts. Although they might have possessed quite a bit of a threat for the old Darius, now that Darius had a perfect Body Training, they were no longer a threat, even if he didn’t use his Imperial Aura. Sighing, Darius took out his sword and slashed out with his sword using Imperial Aura and all that was left of the beasts was their cores.

    Picking up their cores, Darius remembered that Rosaline had given him some cores. Looking inside his Spatial Ring, Darius saw that there were several cores there. Picking one up, Darius probed it with his energy and he saw that it was a Rank-3 7-Star core! Probing the other cores with his energy, Darius saw that they were all around this level! Seeing that Rosaline had given these cores away so easily, Darius realised that they were simply garbage compared to what she would use!

    Putting the cores back, Darius realised that he should be able to win the competition if he hunted a few more beasts. Going hunting, Darius felt guilty using the cores, as he hadn’t gotten them of his own strength, but he had been given them. But since he had them, he would be able to show his strength to the rest of the sects, so that when he entered the Ancient Immortal Sect, he would have some fame, so people wouldn’t offend him that easily.

    As the sun was setting, Darius had a total of 25 4-Star, 23 5-Star, 8 6-Star, 3 Rank-1 7-Star and 10 Rank-3 7-Star cores. Whenever he killed a Rank-1 7-Star beast, Darius would keep its blood, so that he would be able to reconstitute his body even more when he had time. Within one day he had gotten several high-levelled cores. Since he was just outside of the forbidden zone, there were stronger beasts here, so he would be able to gain higher levelled cores faster. Setting up a tent, Darius cultivated and he soon found that it was morning again.

    At the beginning of the 4th day, there were many people hunting beasts furiously, as they didn’t know when the competition would end the next day, as it would end on the 5th day, but they weren’t told when. Several of them had formed groups, whereas many others formed massive gangs that went around slaughtering all the beasts that they met and forcibly making any cultivators they came across. Despite all of that, there were still several cultivators who were by themselves. These people were the ones that were extremely strong or simply hadn’t met any troubles.

    Although the Redfern Plains were relatively safe, there were several people who had overstepped their boundaries, or come across some evil cultivators and had lost their lives. Although this happens every year, the numbers of dead had peaked this year. This could simply be because there were more youths that didn’t have any experience in the outside world, but the elders that were supervising were sure that this wasn’t the case. As they spread their energy throughout the Plains, they saw that there were no powerful beasts roaming the outer area, so they realised that there must be a group that has killed many people.

    “You little bastard! How dare you hurt this lord! I almost died because of that!”

    “Boss, come let us find that brat and let’s kill him!!”

    “Hehe, if he could do this to me, he should be able to kill you with a flick of his finger! If you go out and try to kill him, you would be seeking death! But if we ever cross paths with that brat again, run as fast as we can, also don’t search for his friends, as that would spell our ruin!”

    As the 4th day started, Mendel Jade-Eye had recovered from his injuries after extensive treatment. Despite the fact that Darius had suffered much worse injuries than him, Mendel didn’t want to offend someone with that much power again, as he himself had felt the repercussions. Despite having an army of hundreds of cultivators, he had almost been mortally injured by some brat in the Body Training level! If word about this got out, his reputation would be destroyed. Although he had his finger over all of the cultivators that were currently in his gang, he wouldn’t be able to recruit many more other cultivators if word got out.

    Even though he had complete authority over the people in his gang, it was out of terror, so they started to spread word that Mendel had almost been killed by a kid who couldn’t cultivate yet! Although this sullied Mendel’s name, there were several of people who thought that Mendel was equivalent to a god and started to spread the word that Mendel had killed every person that had ever offended him, so how could some random kid come and almost kill him.

    Although this might seem like it would take days to happen, this all happened within an hour of most people waking up and as time went on, the rumours became even more exaggerated until it came to the point where it was no longer feasible. As the gang got up, there were two clear factions, one that sided against Mendel, whereas the other were his devout followers. As they went out to hunt, their was great friction between the two factions. Soon enough, the situation came down to the point where some of the members of each faction would ‘accidentally’ mess up, leaving some of the people from the other faction with serious injuries!

    When Mendel saw all of this, he was appalled, but he realised that he couldn’t do anything about it, as half of his gang had almost no faith in himself and if he protected any side, he would end up losing half of his gang! After some more time, the first casualty occurred! Not soon after, another person was ‘accidentally’ killed and soon enough, both sides weren’t even trying to hide what they were doing and Mendel felt that if this didn’t stop soon enough, everything would fall through and he would end up without any gang at all.

    Releasing his energy, Mendel shouted out,” All of you stop! This has gone far enough! Now, if you don’t want to die stop fighting each other and start fighting against the beasts! If I see anyone mess around, I will deduct some cores from them!”

    “Oh, so you have finally recovered after being almost killed by some random kid! Why should we listen to you, if a random kid could almost kill you, anyone here would be able to easily kill you!” A person in the crowd had enough courage to say this and when the others around him heard him, they all shouted to agree.

    “What are you saying! If you can go find that brat and bring his head back, only then would we listen to that nonsense!” Someone from Mendel’s devote followers shouted this out and all the followers yelled in agreement.

    “Are you saying that you don’t think that we can defeat a single kid that hasn’t even reached Energy Opening yet?! Come brother’s this insult is something that we can't bear to accept!” Yelling this, all the people who opposed Mendel rushed out and started to attack Mendel’s supporters with all of their might and soon enough some people started to die! As the fighting went on, the sound attracted many beasts, but they were kept at bay by the massive amounts of energy being released!

    After a few minutes of a stalemate, Mendel’s supporters were starting to be pushed back. Seeing that, Mendel knew that he would have to join his supporters if he wanted to keep some of his gang. Joining in on this fray, Mendel started to attack furiously and soon enough he was taking lives with almost each blow! As his eyes reddened, Mendel stopped feeling bad about killing each person and he was taking lives as if they were nothing.

    Fuelled by this fervour, Mendel didn’t notice that most of his supporters had stopped fighting as they started at him as if he was a demon! He didn’t notice the fear and terror in his victim's’ eyes as he killed them and when they turned tail to run, he chased after them, emitting a bloody aura that almost paralysed all the people fleeing him. Killing them one by one, Mendel started to laugh, making his devilish aura even more terrifying. Killing one person after another, Mendel realised that all the people that were running away from him were gone!

    Looking around him, Mendel saw that there were many people. Looking closely at them, he realised that they were dead! Lifting his head, he saw that there were several people that were alive and when he looked at them, they didn’t dare to meet his gaze and some people collapsed. When that happened, Mendel realised what he had just done! He had killed hundreds of cultivators without any remorse or regard for life! Falling to his knees, Mendel looked at the puddle of blood under his feet and saw what he looked like.

    He was covered in blood, with blood-red eyes, making himself look as if he was a demon that had come to kill all living things in the world. Feeling everything go dark, Mendel collapsed into the pool of blood, unconscious. Even though he had fallen unconscious, all the people that were left alive didn’t move for several minutes and when they did, most of them simply fell down and started to crawl away, as their legs weren’t working after witnessing the slaughter that had just happened.

    As they were crawling, they didn’t dare to look back, as if they thought that Mendel would kill them if they looked at him. Even his best friends that started this gang with him were crawling away as well. Although this might sound comical, seeing several tens of people crawling along the ground, but the looks on their faces was enough to give people nightmares for several nights. If they were seasoned veterans, then they would have become used to this sort of slaughter, but since they were tender youths that had never experienced slaughter, they were mentally disturbed and probably wouldn’t recover.

    As the 4th day was coming to an end, there were quite a few people who were still hunting beasts with all of their strength, despite being ravaged with sleep fatigue. There were some people who didn’t bother killing any more beasts, as they thought that they had enough cores or because they knew that there was no hope for them to become in the top ten.  Although these were few in number, quite a few people weren’t too worried about their placings, as they only came to have some experience or to see how much they had improved and not to make a name for themselves.

    As the sun finished setting, all the people participating in the competition felt a massive wave of energy come through and they were all terrified, as they thought that some beast had broken through and would be able to kill them easily, so most people set up camp and didn’t move from where they were, or they tried to get as far away from where the energy was coming from.

    At the dawn of the 5th day of the competition, one of the supervising elders went into the plains and using his energy he said,” The competition will end at midday! At midday, we will bring you all back to the town and from there we will explain what to do.” As those words boomed through the Plains, they filled the cultivators with vigour and they all started to hunt beasts, even the people that were part of Mendel’s gang felt some vigour, but not enough to wipe away what had happened the previous day.

    Filled with vigour, the cultivators forgot about what had happened the previous night and they killed beasts with all their might and soon, there were corpses littered everywhere and people were killing all the beasts that they could and there were some people that were ambushing other cultivators to gain their cores as well, but they never went and killed them.

    As there were several hundred people killing beasts with all their might, the total number of beasts in the outer section was lowered by quite a bit and soon people were scouring the area to find beasts, but no-one was dumb enough to enter the forbidden area and hunt beasts. As they killed all the beasts, midday was approaching and they became even more frenzied and killed every beast they saw and would even resort to stealing other people’s cores!

    Just before midday, the competition had reached its zenith and everyone was doing everything they could to get as many cores as they could. When midday finally came, everyone felt a tugging force and they realised that this was how the elder was taking them back. Letting the force tug them, the cultivators realised that they were pulled above the plains and beasts and they were all brought back to the town and placed down neatly.

    “Now that everyone is here we want everyone to come and we will inspect their cores and you will be given a score and after that you will be sent back and after everyone has been checked, you everyone will be told who is in the top ten. If you have a cultivation level of Core Expansion or above, please step up and get the number of cores checked.” After the elder had said that, around twenty people stepped up and they had their cores checked and then they checked everyone from Core Expansion and so on.

    After a few hours, some people were getting restless, but most people were cultivating by themselves, whereas Darius was trying to find Ashley, Zack, Richard and Rachel. As he searched through the crowds, Darius was extremely worried, as he couldn’t find a trace of them and he also realised that he couldn’t see any of Mendel’s gang and all the people that he saw were covered in blood and looked like monsters that belonged in nightmares. This made him even more worried, as he thought that they might have been caught and ended up in whatever happened to Mendel’s gang.

    Since he didn’t see Mendel with the rest of his gang, Darius wondered what they must have come across, without knowing what had really happened. As he walked around, Darius saw many people in many different states, some of them were battered and dishevelled, while others seemed like they hadn’t been out in the wild for five days. As the cultivation groups were called up, Darius saw that it was getting closer to when Richard could go up and get his cores counted. Realising that, Darius knew that he would have to give back the cores that they had gotten together.

    Sending out what little energy he had, Darius was able to see many people and within them, there were 4 familiar auras! He had found them! Running over to them, Darius saw that they were all sitting together, talking about something, but he wasn’t sure what they were talking about. When they saw Darius, Ashley shouted out,” Speak of the devil, here he is!”

    Getting up, they walked over to him and they asked Darius what had happened after they were separated. Telling them what had happened, they were all shocked and when Darius gave them back their cores, they didn’t know whether to accept it or not, as he had many cores, but it might not be enough to win, but after thinking it through, they decided to accept the cores, but mainly because of Darius’ constant coaxing.

    After a few minutes, it was time for Richard to go up, Darius was shocked to see that Ashley also went up! Seeing that, he realised that they must have had some pretty good luck, as he was able to feel that all their auras were different, but not so much that he wasn’t able to recognise them! Since this group was quite large, they waited around an hour before the next group was called up, Foundation Creation. In this group, there were even more people and Zack and Rachel went up in this one. After another hour or so, the next group was called up and Zack and the rest were all shocked to see that Darius still hadn’t gone up, as they had seen his power before and saw that he was easily able to defeat many of the people here.

  • Chapter 17

    This one is a shorter chapter, but it is probably the first proper cliffhanger! I also managed to fix the formatting issue! Yay!
    Spoiler:

    Chapter 17


    After another hour or so, the person called up everyone that had a cultivation of Energy Opening and below to go up, so that they would be able to get their cores checked. Going up, Darius saw that there were around 20 other people going up as well. Standing at the end of the line, Darius waited for his turn to get checked. The rest of the group wasn’t that exciting, as they all had low cultivation and therefore had very little cores, but when it came to Darius, there was a silence that cut through the atmosphere when he brought out his cores.

    Normally, someone that brought out large amounts of cores wouldn’t receive that much attention, but since Darius was part of the Energy Opening and below group, no-one expected him to be able to get many cores and if he did get any, it would mainly be out of luck, but when he started to bring out 4-Star cores, everyone was shocked. After some time, Darius stopped taking out 4-Star cores, so everyone let out sigh of relief. But suddenly, Darius started to take out more cores! Taking out one core after another, Darius shocked the crowd even more, as the cores he was taking out were 5-Starred! For a normal person, they might be able to defeat a beast that was one cultivation level above themselves, so when he was taking out cores that were at least two cultivation levels above himself, everyone was shocked and when they saw that he showed almost no sign of stopping they couldn’t help but think that had outside help, as it would be impossible for someone that weak to be able to defeat such high levelled beasts.

    Normally, a person who was able to defeat beasts that were at least two levels higher than then were privileged young masters of one clan or another, but none of them had never heard or seen Darius, so they were very skeptical that he managed to get these cores through proper means and some even suspected cheating! Despite that, everyone still looked in awe as Darius stopped taking out cores and everyone held their breath in anticipation as they expected Darius to start taking out more cores.


    Luckily for them, Darius didn't disappoint and he started to take out 6-Star cores. Although everyone was hopeful that Darius would take out more cores, they all still gasped, as they were only hopeful as they didn't expect him to actually take out more cores. Although the amount of cores he was taking out was starting to slow down, he still took out more than two digits worth of cores, so they were all extremely surprised, as facing a 6-Star beast was something that happened only once or twice for them, yet Darius was able to come across quite a few.


    Feeling his hands become slightly tired from taking out core after core, Darius shook them and he found that he had finished taking out all of his 6-Star cores, so he went onto his Rank-1 7-Star cores! If everyone was shocked before, now they were gobsmacked, as even if he had someone helping him, coming across a Rank-1 7-Star beast was something that just didn't happen, unless you were suicidal and decided to go into the forbidden region and they didn't and couldn't believe that Darius would actually go into the forbidden region and risk dying, just to get some cores. After taking out all of his Rank-1 7-Star cores, Darius had managed to get the attention of all the people in the area, as the energy that the cores let out was quite a lot and there were around 100 cores in total here, with 40 of them being above 5-Stars!


    Feeling that there were only a few cores left, Darius took out both of his Rank-2 7-Star cores and he felt the silence become even more penetrating as everyone was completely focused on the core and all the overseeing elders were completely shocked as well, as even they would have a hard time finding two Rank-2 7-Star beasts without entering the forbidden region. Although they felt that someone had gone into the forbidden region for some time, they felt it disappear as well, so they knew that he couldn’t have gone into the forbidden region.


    Since Darius had gone into the forbidden region, the elders were able to detect it, but when Rosaline came into contact with him, his aura was hidden, as Rosaline had a much higher cultivation. Because of that, they thought that whoever had gone into the forbidden region had died, as their aura had also weakened, so it was even more plausible. Even if they knew that Darius had gone into the forbidden region, they would still be shocked, as they never expected that he would be able to kill Rank-2 7-Star beasts!

    “Do you take us for idiots! You must have smuggled those cores in!”

    “There is no way for you to be able to have that many cores and such high-levelled ones at that as well!” Several cries of Darius cheating rang out as he was considering whether he should use the Rank-3 7-Star cores as well. Paying no heed to the cries, Darius said,” That is all the cores I have gotten from the competition.”

    “Like we would believe that!” Hearing that Darius was saying that he had gotten all of his cores from the competition, the people shouted this out and Darius saw that it was starting to get into the elder’s head, so he replied,” If you don't believe that I collected those cores during the competition, then fight me!” Since those people didn't believe Darius, he knew that the most effective way to get rid of their doubts was to fight them, so that they would be able to understand that he was strong enough. This would also make the elder believe that Darius managed to get eh cores through legitimate means.


    After several seconds, Darius saw that no-one was going to fight him, so he started to walk back to where he was sitting before, but someone blocked his path. “Hmph, so you think that you are really powerful, getting all these cores! Do you dare to challenge me, Hart Jade-Eye to a fight?” Hart blocked Darius’ path, but when Darius looked at him, he saw that he was Core Expansion! Hart was jealous of Darius, as he had more cores than him and he wasn’t able to accept it, so he asked Darius to challenge him. Just when Darius was about to accept the challenge he realised that he was from the Jade-Eye clan, like Mendel and he started to laugh.

    “What do you find funny you little brat?!” Enraged by Darius laughing at him, Hart’s face went under a drastic change, as he realised that he wasn’t able to intimidate Darius at all.

    “If you are so desperate to fight, then come at me!” Accepting the challenge, a low gasp went over the crowd as they realised that Darius was actually going to fight someone that was at least 4 levels of cultivation higher than him!


    Feeling a wave of energy go over him, Darius realised that the elder made a barrier cover them, so that they wouldn't effect the people outside of it. Drawing his sword, Darius was sure not to be confident, as he knew that once he did so, he would let his guard down and he ran towards Hart. Exchanging a few blows, Hart was confident that he would be able to win, but he never expected that Darius wasn't using all of his strength. Although Darius was at a disadvantage now, he was still fine, except that he was sweating quite a lot.


    “Ha, all of that bravado, but you only amount to this much!” Filled with arrogance, Hart started to mock Darius, but just as he did so, he felt Darius’ arua increase with explosive power. Stabbing at Darius, Hart found that he was unable to hit Darius and just as he was about to attack again, Darius disappeared from his vision. Feeling a sense of crisis coming from behind his head, Hart tried to duck, but he ducked too slowly and he felt a sword embed into his skull. Although it had not broken through the skull, it was still stuck in his head and it was close enough to his brain for him to be extremely worried. Although the sword had stopped, Hart knew that Darius would be able to kill him easily, but he didn't want to.


    “Have mercy, have mercy!” Dropping his sword, Hart surrendered. Taking his sword out from Hart’s head, Darius turned around and started to walk off.

    BANG!
    As he was walking away, something hit him on the back of the head and sent him flying away. Flying like a kite with a broken string, Darius landed after flying through the air for several seconds. After he landed, everyone looked back to where he was standing before and they saw someone with striking resemblance to Hart, but much older.


    When he landed, Darius knew that his situation wasn't good at all, so he took out some healing talismans and slapped them on him and tried to heal his injuries, but he found that he was only able to stop the bleeding, but not close the wounds. Struggling to stand up, Darius saw that person was standing there and he realised that he must be Hart’s father. The dark expression on his face told Darius all that he needed to know. This man would be quite high-ranking in the Jade-Eye clan and couldn't stand the fact that his son had been humiliated in front of the crowd.

    “You little brat! You are not worthy of even looking at my son, let alone defeating him, so come here and sacrifice yourself to pay for what you have done!”


    Feeling an oppressive might come over him, Darius knew that even his Imperial Aura couldn't save him now.


  • Chapter 18

    Spoiler:

    Chapter 18

    Crumbling under the pressure, Darius felt as if his whole body was falling apart, but something was keeping him together. Slowly, he could feel that his body was getting more accustomed to the pressure, but it didn't reduce the pressure at all. Using his Imperial Aura, Darius tried to reduce the pressure, but he found that he wasn't able to at all and he felt the wounds on his head start to bleed even more than before. Trying to look up, Darius caught a glimpse of Hart’s father walking towards him, but after that, he wasn't able to look up and felt the pressure increase even more!

    “Good, good, it seems that you are worthy of looking upon my son, as you are able to withstand ten percent of my aura! But you would still have to sacrifice yourself!”


    Feeling the pressure increase even more, Darius knew that he was in trouble, as he wouldn't be able to hold out for too much longer. Feeling a few bones starting to break, Darius started to use his Imperial Aura to try and heal. As he started to do so, Darius felt that he wasn't healing, but rather he was able to adjust to the pressure much more! Although this might not seem like much, it was a new discovery about the Imperial Aura. When he discovered he had Imperial Aura in him, Darius wasn't sure what he was able to do with it and until now, all he knew was that it was a stronger type of energy, but now he was able to find out that it allowed him to adapt or adjust to environments at a much faster rate. Although he wasn't sure about how extreme the environments he would be able to adapt to would be, but now he knew more about the Imperial Aura!


    Constantly circulating his Imperial Aura around his body, Darius felt the pressure around him weaken, but he realised that it didn't weaken, but his body had become stronger and the pressure felt even less on him. Although he had broken through to Energy Opening, that didn't stop Darius’ body from getting stronger, especially when something as abnormal as Imperial Aura was involved. Struggling, Darius managed to stand up and incurred the wrath of Hart’s father even more as he increased the pressure to his maximum and you could see the veins on his forehead popping up, and they seemed to start wriggling. Feeling the pressure increase even more, Darius was forced back down and he could feel his blood vessels popping and he felt as if the sky was pushing down on him.

    “How thick is your skin?! To be supress a someone of the junior generation to this extent!”

    As a booming voice rang out, Darius felt the pressure he was under disappear. Standing up, Darius felt very dizzy, but he still looked around and he found the person who saved him. Although he wasn't the elder was governing the core counting, this person wore the same type of robes.


    The robes were white with blue hemming, but otherwise plain. This made this person seem like an Immortal as he descended from the sky. He let off an aura that made him seem unapproachable while also seeming welcoming to Darius. Bowing deeply, Darius said,” This junior thanks senior for saving me.” Although he wasn't born into an influential family, Darius still knew that whenever someone saved him, he should express gratitude, even more so if it was someone younger or older than him. As the man in the sky descended, he started to laugh ass he said,” There is nothing to thank me for, all I was doing was upholding the honour of the older generation.”


    As the man walked over to Darius, he wondered how there could be a child like him in such a desolate part of the continent. Normally people were born with higher aptitudes for cultivation in places where the natural energy was higher in density, but Darius was born with such a high aptitude in a place with barely no energy and could be considered a wasteland for cultivation. Looking at all the other participants of the competition, he saw that they were all the same as wastes outside of here, but in this wasteland, they were considered talented! Although they must be quite talented to be able to reach the Core stage, they were still very pitiful, as most people at that age in outside of this area would have easily been able to defeat them, even if they had just started to cultivate.


    When he was coming over here, he thought that it would be a waste of time, as most of the people had no talent and that made it very boring, as there were no exciting dark horses and no amazing techniques that dazzled the audience, but this time round, he had found one gem under all the dirt and when he saw that someone was trying to kill him, this he was very lenient in stopping him, but he didn't want to make the child think that he was some sort of monster, so he couldn't do much, but he had secretly put some energy in the man’s body, so that he would die within a few weeks.


    “Boy, what is your name?” Suddenly, the man asked Darius what his name was and Darius realised that he had not told him his name.

    “It’s Darius. Senior, may I know you’re respected name?”  

    “You can call me Elder Arrow-Heart.” When the supervising elder heard that this person’s name was Elder Arrow-Heart, there was clear shock in his eyes, but they quickly cleared up and he continued to count the other people’s cores. Although the change in his eyes was small and extremely brief, some people still saw it and when they looked at Elder Arrow-Heart, it was in another light, as the elder counting the cores was quite famous through most large sects and clans in the area and if even he was shocked to hear this person’s name, that must mean that he would be a legendary figure.


    “If you want to come with me, come back here in 4 years. If someone won’t let you come, just show the this.” Handing Darius a token, Elder Arrow-Heart told him this. After that, he gave Hart’ father another look before flying off again. As he was flying away, everyone was looking at his receding figure, they wondered when and if they would be able to do that one day. After he had gone, most people turned and looked at Darius with envy, as they wished to be able to go with an expert like that. Even if he wanted to use them to experiment with their bodies, they would still be willing to go and serve him.


    Seeing that Elder Arrow-Heart was leaving, Darius sighed softly in his heart, as he knew that he would be leaving for far away and he might not see his family for a very long time. Although he had prepared himself for this, he was still a six-year-old and when he left he  would only be ten, so he didn't have the mental strength to be able to leave his clan for too long. After Elder Arrow-Heart left, many people started to talk quietly within themselves and Darius saw that Hart’s father was extremely frightened, as Elder Arrow-Heart was able to restrict his aura so easily, he would definitely be able to kill him with the flick of his finger.


    Walking back over to Ashley and the others, Darius saw that they were completely shocked by the appearance of Elder Arrow-Heart and when they saw Darius approaching, they went over to him and started to ask questions about Elder Arrow-Heart, but most of them were whether they were related or the like.


    As the sun was setting, most people were starting to depart, as they still had to make the long trek back home. As the Stone-Vale clan was about to leave, they were collecting their things and they dumped it all in their caravans. Jumping into them, they were all crowded around one child. They were all telling him about interesting events that had happened in their clan and he was getting to know them more and more.

    “Hey, hey! All of you, can you give Darius a rest and the rest of us as well!”

    While they were filled with excitement, others weren’t and all they wanted was a good sleep. As they rode off into the sunset, a man high up in the sky sighed, turned around and sped off into the distance.


  • Thanks for the chap.  B)
  • Thanks for the support Bertbert! o:)
  • Chapter 19

    Spoiler:

    Chapter 19

    As the sun rose over the village, there was a bustle of noise as the houses were bathed with a golden-white light. As the children ran through the streets, many people started to go out and work. Some of them were as simple as woodcutters, while others were part of the governing body of the village. In the Clan Chief’s manor, most people were talking about the phenomenon that had happened the previous night.


    The previous night, there was a large boom and suddenly, the sky light up and there seemed to be the image of an ocean in the sky as they all looked at the sky. Although most people didn't know what that meant, some of the higher ranking elders knew that it meant that someone with a very high talent had managed to break through to Energy Pooling. As they thought through all of the possible candidates, they came to realise that the only person that it could have been was Darius! Although it was barely 2 months since he had come back from the Redfern Plain Competition.


    They didn't know when he broke through to Energy Opening, but they knew that sometime during the Competition he broke through, but even if he broke through as soon as he left the clan, it was amazing that he was able to break through to Energy Pooling in such a short amount of time. But just as they were thinking this that night, the phenomenon in the sky changed. It changed from an ocean in the sky to a whirlpool that sucked in all the energy and left people with weaker cultivation pale faced and all the animals and beasts in the region all started to howl and roar, causing lots of noise and made many people witness what was happening.


    Because of all the energy that the whirlpool created, Darius’ foundation in the Energy Pooling Stage was extremely solid and he would be able to cultivate with no worries about its stability in this stage. As he sat cross-legged on the floor, Darius was bringing in energy from the surrounding air through all of the pores in his body. Bringing all the energy into his Dantian, Darius condensed it all into a drop of energy. This process took around ten minutes and Darius started it all over again and he was able to feel that he would need at least a few thousand or even ten thousand of these drops to be able to get past the initial stage of this cultivation.


    For most people, this would take them quite a long time, as it would take then 30-60 minutes to be able to complete a cycle, but for Darius, since the speed at which he absorbed energy was greatly increased, it was much shorter. As he drew in more energy, Darius wondered how long this would take, as he knew that he would have to have a much higher cultivation base if he wanted to impress Elder Arrow-Heart.


    During the past few months, Darius had been cultivating using the cores that Rosaline had given him! This had allowed him to break through much faster and it had also given Darius a taste of what the truly fortune young masters of a rich clan would experience. Taking out one of the cores, Darius started to move the energy from the core and he found that he was able to create ten drops in around three minutes!


    Darius continued to cultivate like this until the core ran out and only then did he get up and decide to tell the others about Elder Arrow-Heart. Walking out of his room, Darius found that everyone in the courtyard stopped their conversations for a second when Darius came out, but they started again when they realised he was looking at them. Although they all started their conversations again, they were speaking much quieter and were constantly looking back at Darius. Walking a bit faster out of the courtyard, Darius felt extremely awkward and looked around, but he didn't see anyone that could tell him where the Clan Chief was.


    Walking through the mansion, Darius saw that it was extremely lavish with gold outlining most things and if that wasn't the case, then it was outlined by some other precious metals or some type of gem. As he walked through the halls, Darius saw that many people were looking at him once he passed them. He found this very embarrassing and as he searched for one of his friends or the Clan Chief, Darius realised that if he became powerful, people would start paying attention to him, so he would have to get used to it.


    After  few more minutes of Darius searching, he managed to find the Clan Chief. “Clan Chief, I have something to tell you.”

    “What is it Darius, do you need something?”

    “No, no, nothing like that, it is something much more important! A mysterious expert decided that he would take me to his sect as a disciple!”

    “What! What is the name of this expert?!”
    “He said to call him Elder Arrow-Heart, so…”

    “Hmm, I don’t think I have ever heard of him! He could simply be a lone cultivator and could be trying to lead you astray! What makes you think he is reliable?”
    “He said to show you this token if there were any problems.” When Darius took out the token that Elder Arrow-Heart gave him, the Clan Chief’s face changed greatly. From a look of suspicion to a look of great joy, the Clan Chief realised that this was a great opportunity.


    With a serious look on his face, the Clan Chief asked,” Darius, do you know what this is?”

    “A token?”

    “Yes, but it is something much more important. This token shows me that the power that it comes from is a 3 Star power! Our clan in a 1 Star power and the Ancient Immortal Sect is a 2 Star power, so that shows that the power that this sect has. From what I sense, the Ancient Immortal Sect is also a direct subordinate of this sect. I’ll have to ask about this then. Also when did he say for you to come?”

    “Elder Arrow-Heart said to come in 4 years, so it isn’t too soon.”

    “4 years, okay then, is that all you wanted to tell me?”

    “Yes.”
    “Go cultivate or train then, I’m sure that Elder Arrow-Heart has high expectations of you.”


    As the Clan Chief turned and left, Darius realised that he would be thrust into the outside world once he enter the sect. Although he didn't even know its name, he was sure that he wouldn't be held back by that place and he would be able to excel and become much stronger. Going back to his room, Darius decided to continue to cultivate. Since Darius had decided to cultivate using the cores for a whole two months, he only had six of the cores left and one of them had half of its energy already used, since Darius used it before.


    Over the next few months, Darius used up all the energy in the rest of the cores, but he had almost managed to break through to Foundation Creation. Since he used up all of his cores, his cultivation was much slower, but he still managed to break through to Foundation Creation within three months. Right after he broke through, Darius remembered that his birthday was coming around soon.


    When it came to his birthday, there was a massive celebration and Darius received some cores, so that he would be able to use them while cultivating. He also received a sword and a spear that were quite good quality, so Darius knew that he would be able to use them as well, as they were better than his current sword. After his celebration was over, Darius immediately went back and started to cultivate.


    Darius cultivated for quite some time, but he came out frequently and fought against the dummy’s, so that he would be able to have some experience fighting and also to consolidate some of the thoughts he had while cultivating. He also had another birthday and he received some more cores and Darius was now eight. After half a year, Darius managed to break through to Pillar Rising and Darius saw some changes to his foundation. Now there were small horn like structures coming out of his foundation and all the energy in his body seemed to go towards them and when it entered the horns, the energy was absorbed and the pillars grew tiny amounts.


    After a few more months, the horns were starting to look more like pillars and since the pillars were slightly curved, Darius felt that he would have to ‘grow’ the pillars until they were connected or until they were almost connected.


    As another birthday passed, Darius felt that he was getting even closer to completing the Pillar Rising Stage. After another month, Darius felt that he would only need a few more months before he completed Pillar Rising. When Darius finally managed to break through, he realised that there was a small area in between where all the pillars met and he knew that it was perfectly sized for a core!


    More time passed as Darius was cultivating and he saw that there was a small core slowly appearing where he thought it would appear. As his birthday was coming around again, Darius realised that the time when Elder Arrow-Heart said he would come was approaching very fast and there were only a few more months until he had to leave. Getting up, Darius decided to spend the rest of the time with his family and he wanted to make some memories to cherish and remember while he was in the sect.


    During the past few months, the Clan Chief had managed to get the name of the sect that Darius was joining. It was the Heavenly Decree Sect. Although they might not know about it, as they were a small clan in the middle of nowhere, the sect was supposed to be very famous in the outside world. But Darius didn't really understand how powerful the sect could be, as he had never experienced how far someone’s cultivation could reach. Although he had felt Elder Arrow-Heart’s aura, it wasn't directed at him, so he wasn't able to understand how powerful he really was.


    A birthday passed and Darius had finally turned ten. He had spent quite a bit of time with the other members of his clan and he was starting to think of some of them as family. Lucy, Elder Golden-Shield, the Clan Chief, Water-Sovereign, Star-Render and Tree-Shaper; he felt like they were his family and he had come to know them much more over the short time he had spent with them. As he spent more time with his clan, Darius came to understand the love of a family, even though he had none. When it was time to leave, Darius was extremely sad to leave them all. Even though it was mostly just Elder Golden-Shield, Lucy, the Clan Chief, Water-Sovereign, Star-Render and Tree-Shaper Darius felt a real connection to them and they were like family to him. As he packed up his stuff, Darius set out onto the road and entered the next phase of his life.

  • Chapter 20

    Spoiler:

    Chapter 20

    As the sun set on the Highvale country, there was a young boy that looked barely ten as he walked by himself along the road. On his back, he carried a small sack on his back and if you looked closely you could see the shape of a spear in the sack. Around his waist there was a belt that held a sword, but it was concealed for the most part by his cloak. As the wind ruffled his light brown hair, you could see that the boy’s face was quite handsome, but what caught people’s eye the most were his bright green eyes that made everyone think that someone took an emerald and placed it in his eyes. As he walked, his back wasn’t slumped like someone who had walked with heavy burdens, but he walked with his head high and with a large bouncing stride, full of vitality. He walked with the air of a ruler, but not the arrogance. He made others think that he was royalty, but he would come over and talk to them as they passed.


    Since he looked like he was around ten years old, many people wondered why he was walking by himself as the sun was setting. His clothes weren’t ragged and he didn't look like he was kicked out of his clan or sect, so they all wondered why he was walking by himself. Although some clans like to send their younger generation out to experience the world, they would usually leave an elder with them, or at least give them a carriage to ride in, so that they would be able to get to wherever they needed to go quickly and without all of these questions being raised. Some people were confused at why a ten-year-old boy would be walking by himself, but some other people had the opposite in mind. As the observed him, they felt that he was a mortal or had only just started to cultivate and when they saw that the clothes he wore were decent and the size of the sack on his back was quite large, they knew that the boy must be pretty rich, so they would have quite a big haul if they managed to steal from him.


    To them, he was just a big, fat sheep, ready to be butchered, but to Darius, these people were the fat sheep. He had disguised his cultivation, so anyone below the Core Traversing Realm would think that he was a mortal who had barely started to cultivate and since most people were below the Core Traversing Realm, unless they came from some larger clan, Darius was sure that his disguise would be enough to make people think he was harmless. As he walked along, darius realised that many people were wondering why he was walking by himself and was getting many side-long glances from people riding in carriages as they went past, as most people didn't walk, as the distances were too far.


    Feeling several malicious gazes on his back, Darius let out a soft sigh, as he knew that he would have to fight some people now. A majority of his trip had gone well so far and some kind people even offered Darius a ride… until someone came and raided their carriage. Although they fought off the offenders, they thought that it was Darius who had caused it, so they sent him off. That cut his journey down by at least half a day, so Darius wasn't in any rush to get to the Redfern Plains, as he knew that once he was there, there would be some people that wished to deal with him. Although it had been almost four years, Darius was sure that the Jade-Eye Clan wouldn't forget what had happened at the competition that year and Darius was sure that they would be there at the competition every year, waiting for him.


    As he walked there, Darius realised that once he reached there, the Redfern Competition would be coming to its close and when Elder Arrow-Heart came, there would be many people there as well, so there was a chance that Elder Arrow-Heart might bring some of them along as well. Although that made him slightly bitter in his heart, Darius didn't let it bother him, as he knew that he wasn't the only talented person in the world.


    While he walked along, Darius found that the scenery was pleasant. During this time of year, the trees were shedding their leaves, leaving piles of golden leaves along the sides of the road and the rest of the leaves on the trees were becoming golden. With the sun setting in the background, the golden light showered the trees and it made it seem like they were made of gold. Absorbing this scenery into his memory, Darius continued on, at a slightly faster pace. As he walked along the side of the road, Darius found that there was a group of people following him. Although there were only two on the road following him, there were several others watching out for people that might come by and also some that weren't on the road and hidden in bushes.


    Darius continued on as if he didn't notice anything, but he could feel that they were going to make their move soon. “Hello, I’m Carl, this is Robert. What is your name?” As two middle-aged men came up beside him, they introduced themselves to Darius.

    “I’m Darius Stone-Chaser, nice to meet you.”

    “Nice to meet you too. We come from the Iron-Streak clan, would you want to come with us, as travelling alone can be very dangerous.”

    Faced with this wonderful acting, Darius wondered if his instincts were wrong, but in his heart, he knew that this was all a clever plot to get him to trust them. Putting on an innocent face, Darius said,” Sure, where are you going?”

    “We are going to Crystal City, what about you?”

    “Me, I’m going to the Redfern Plains.”

    “ The Redfern Plains? Isn’t it a bit late, as the competition would have started by the time you get there. Right?”

    “Yeah, I plan on getting there on the last day to be able to see how strong the other people in this generation are.” Darius didn't say that he was going to be accepted as a disciple by Elder Arrow-Heart, as then they would be scared off, as they still thought that Darius was a mortal that had just started to cultivate.

    “Well, it is always good to broaden your horizons.” As they were talking, Darius noticed that Robert wasn't talking at all and he was just nodding when necessary. Although he wasn't talking, Darius noticed that he was very tense, ready to jump into motion whenever he needed to.


    “Darius, come this way. There is some amazing scenery down this way. It looks great, so you won’t regret it.” After some time walking together, another path appeared, but it wasn't well worn, so when Carl asked Darius to go down it with them, he knew that they were planning to rob him. Nodding his head, Darius followed them as they walked along.

    “So, what’s the view like?” Asking what it looked like, Darius wanted to see how well they planned out the ambush.

    “Umm, well it’s really great. You can see the whole of Highvale from there… Well it seems like the whole of Highvale. But since the sun is going down, we won’t be able to see the sun over it, but it would still look pretty cool. There is also a nice refreshing wind there as well.” With such a thorough answer, Darius knew that they must have done this countless times, to be able describe it like that.

    “How long will it take to get there?” Darius asked this with a frown on his face, as the road was pretty low down, so why and how would they be able to see the whole of Highvale from it.

    “Ahh, I’d say it’ll take… 5 more minutes, so it isn’t too far.”

    Hearing that answer, Darius thought that it sounded quite genuine, so there might actually be a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.


    After a few more minutes, Darius heard some rustling in the bushes beside him and he instantly pretended to panic.

    “Umm, Carl, are there any beasts nearby? Because I heard some rustling in the bushes nearby.”

    “No, no don’t worry. No beast would come too close to the road. It’s fine, don’t worry.”

    “If you say so.” Although what Carl said was true, Darius knew that what was rustling wasn't a beast at all, but a person!


    As soon as they left that person behind, Darius felt something stab into his back. “Drop your sack and put your hands in the air! NOW!” Slowly taking his sack off his back, Darius quickly drew his sword and slashed at his attacker. Backing up, Darius brought all of them into his field of view, Carl, Robert and his attacker were all in front of him. Looking at his attacker, Darius saw that he had managed to cut their leg, so they were unable to move around as nimbly. Since all of his attackers had lower cultivations than him, Darius was able to use his energy to suppress them.


    Crushing them with his energy, Darius realised that this is what Hart’s father was doing to him at the competition. Although he had his own reasons, Darius knew that he was in the right and Hart was in the wrong for that conflict. “That was very well planned out. First you had me meet these two, then you tried to gain my trust, but that didn't work that well. Then you brought me off to this isolated area so that you could rob me and no-one would know any better and I would wake up several hours later with serious head injuries, completely broke. Although it was very well planned, you didn't take into the consideration that I was much stronger than all of you.”


    Going through their plan, Darius saw that all of his attackers were afraid and had some fear in their eyes, as they were still being suppressed by Darius’ energy. Walking over to the person that had tried to sneak attack him, Darius asked,” So, what is your name? And I suppose that you don’t come from the Iron-Streak clan either, do you all?”

    “Hehe, well all you can do is take our word for it.”

    Smiling brightly, Darius responded to the smart comment,” Do you not know your circumstances?” After he said that, Darius used some of his Imperial Aura to crush down on them even more and Carl cried out in pain.

    “If you don’t feel like answering my questions, then you can’t hope that this pressure will lessen.”


    Slowly increasing the amount of Imperial Aura, Darius didn't consider what he was doing was wrong, as he wasn't planning on actually killing them, he only wanted to know their real names, so that he would be able to be cautious if he met them in the future, as they knew his name.

    “Please stop, please, I’ll tell you our names and what clan we come from. Please release us from this pressure.”


    After almost half a minute, the man that had first attacked him broke under the pressure. Stopping using his Imperial Aura, Darius still restricted their movements, but he didn't make them feel any pain. “I am Derick, Carl is called Bradley and Robert is called Joe. We come from the Snow-Scar clan.”

    “How do I know that you are telling the truth? You already lied to me once.”

    Considering for a second, Derick then said,” Well, you will have to believe me then, as there is nothing I have that can prove anything that I just said.”


    Hearing how upfront Derick was being, Darius realised that he was probably telling the truth, but he knew that he couldn't let them off so easily and he smiled slyly and said,” Well, to prove what you said is true isn’t too hard. All you have to do is give me some of your treasures.” By saying this, Darius flipped their roles. Going from the one that was being robbed to the one that was robbing, Darius took all of this into his stride and stood there, smiling as the brothers that attacked him stood with their mouths agape and disbelief in their eyes. Although they thought that Darius might cripple them, they never expected that he would be so sly to actually steal from them as well.


    But, they couldn't say anything, as if Darius hadn’t stopped them from stealing from him, he would be in the same situation, so they grudgingly took out some money and some gems and gave them to Darius. As they were taking out the gems and money, Darius saw that they took it from a bag that would have been completely full with similar items.

    “Well, if you give me the  bag where this came from, then I might consider believing your story.”

    With such plain extortion, the brothers wondered how Darius managed to get such thick skin at such a young age, but they still took out the bag and gave it to Darius and when they did so, they found that Darius had disappeared from their sight.


  • Chapter 21

    Spoiler:

    Chapter 21

    Bang!

    The corpse of a beast collapsed to the floor. Surrounding it were several youths who were covered in wounds and some of them were coughing up blood as the beast died. One of the youths walked over to the corpse and cut it open. They took the core out of the beast and held it up for the others to see.


    The scene was quite gruesome, as fresh blood was dripping off the core and onto the youth’s clothes, which were already covered in blood. As the youth held the core in their hands, the core started to release a shocking amount of energy that was similar to a Rank 2 Core Expansion expert’s energy.
    “We did it! We managed to kill a Rank 2 7-Star beast! Finally!”

    “I never thought we would be able to do it…”

    Several shouts rang out when the core started to release its energy. Most of the youths here had quite high cultivation, averaging on Pillar Rising. Totalling in 12, their achievement of killing a Rank 2 7-Star beast was great for them, but they knew that they were still far from achieving what Darius had 4 years ago.


    Just the thought of him made these youths shiver in fear, as they wondered how someone like him would be able to appear. Being only at Energy Opening, yet being able to kill Rank 2 7-Star beasts by himself. They had managed to kill a Rank 2 7-Star beast with twelve people and yet they still couldn't help but wonder how they managed to come out alive. Between all of its powerful attacks to its vast energy, it seemed to outclass them in everything, but they had the numbers which, in end allowed them to win.


    As the youths left the area, a sigh could be heard, but there was no-one in sight. After a few seconds, a figure appeared beside the corpse of the Rank 2 7-Star beast.

    “Hmm, they did well, considering where we are, but couldn't they have kept the corpse in better condition. But why did Arrow-Heart make me come here?!” The person picked up the corpse, but they suddenly flickered and disappeared.


    When Darius arrived at the Redfern Plains, there were few people in sight. Most of the people here were the ones that chose to exit by their own will. The rest of the people would be the relatives or friends of people in the competition. Thinking back four years, Darius let out a sigh, as he wondered if there were people waiting for him today. As he looked around, Darius realised that most people were absorbed in their own conversations and no-one had noticed that he had come. This was partly due to him hiding his cultivation, as when someone saw a Core Formation cultivator, some heads would turn, but if they saw that it was a ten-year-old child, they would be astonished and since Darius didn't want to attract any attention, he knew that wouldn’t be a good thing.


    Sitting down by himself, Darius noticed that there were several people that were searching the crowd while trying to act inconspicuous. Although they were doing so quite well, that didn't slip past Darius eyes. He reckoned that those people were from the Jade-Eye clan, or at least people who were helping the Jade-Eye clan, for one reason or another. Despite all of that, Darius wasn't too worried, as he had changed a lot in the past four years. He had matured quite a lot and he had gone through a slight change in his aura, so that even if Hart’s father came, he might not recognise that it was Darius while sweeping over the crowd, let alone people that had never seen him before.


    Lying down, Darius closed his eyes and rested while he waited for Elder Arrow-Heart to come. Although he was resting, Darius had spread out his energy, so that he would be able to sense when someone was coming up to him. But since there were quite a few Core cultivators here, Darius couldn't be too intrusive. Lying there, Darius was also cultivating, so he wasn't wasting his time.


    While Darius was resting, all the people taking part in the Redfern Plains competition were fighting for their lives against all kinds of beasts. Since it was the last day of the competition most of the competitors were fighting with all of their might to get as many cores as possible, as before, winning the Redfern Competition gave you the prestige of winning it, but after Darius won the competition four years ago, that changed their view of the competition. If they won the competition they had a chance to be able to catch the attention of a mysterious expert who might take them in as a disciple.


    Because of this, all the people who were part of the competition were filled with a bloodlust that they could sate by killing beasts. Many of them were frenzied as they killed beasts and some of them were robbing others for their cores, as they wanted to be able to win the competition, as it gave them the chance to go out to the world. As the sun moved across the sky, everyone was in a frenzied state as they tried to kill as many beasts as possible and as they tried to come first.  


    As the sun was setting, Darius finally got up and he saw that there were a lot more people around now. Most of the people that were here before Darius were now lying down like him and talking to others, as standing up and talking for half a day was quite tiring, even if they were cultivators. As Darius got up, he looked around and he saw that the people that were looking over the crowd to look for him were still there, and there seemed to be even more of them! Although he was much shorter than the other people here, Darius knew that made him stand out even more, as the people searching for him were able to sweep the crowd with their energy and since they had the same or higher cultivation that Darius, it was quite hard for him to hide.


    Also due to the fact that they were searching for a ten-year-old, it made him much more likely to be found, but since there were a few others that were around his age, Darius knew that they wouldn’t actually come over to him. Also taking into account that Darius was at Energy Opening four years ago, almost no-one would consider Darius to be at Core Forming. As he snuck through the crowds, Darius felt some energy sweep over him, but since he was at Core Forming, Darius was able to manipulate it slightly with the help of is Imperial Aura and he changed what he would look to the people searching, so that they wouldn’t think that it was Darius.


    While he was doing that, Darius sent out his energy, so that he would be able to sense whether Elder Arrow-Heart had come already. But if Elder Arrow-Heart wanted to hide himself, there was no way for Darius to be able to detect him, even if he was standing right in front of him. As his energy spread out, Darius found that there were many more people participating in this year’s Redfern Competition than the year he took part in it. As he searched the Redfern Plains, Darius was surprised to see that there were quite a few Core Forming cultivators all together. Darius sensed that there were twelve people in the group, but at least four of them were at Core Forming!


    Although this might sound small, this was quite a large number, as usually there would only be around 2 or 3 Core Forming cultivators each year. These youths were the cream of the crop, as they were able to reach Core Forming in such a short time. As everyone that participated had to be under 16, being able to reach Core Forming in Highvale was something to be celebrated. Since the elders of the Stone-Chaser clan were at Core Forming at the least, one could tell what strength they held in the Highvale Country.


    As he scanned over the rest of the competitors, Darius found a few other Core Forming cultivators, but there were no other groups like the one he had found before. Soon after, Darius had managed to scan quite a lot of the Redfern Plains, but he found that he had too little energy to search too far, but he still had not found a trace of Elder Arrow-Heart. Sitting back down, Darius started to cultivate while he waited for Elder Arrow-Heart.


    As he cultivated, the core in his Dantian started to grow larger and larger, but he also realised that his foundation was becoming translucent. Although that might not seem like too much of a problem, this is what stopped most people from progressing. As you formed your core, your foundation started to disappear. If your foundation disappeared, then how could you continue to cultivate, so even if you did manage to completely form your core, if your foundation wasn't there, there was a chance every time you used energy, that your core would explode and kill you! Unless you had some treasure that allowed you to use an artificial foundation, then there was almost no way for you to be able to cultivate a core without a foundation.


    When Darius found that happening, he knew that he must find a way to stop it from disappearing. For each person, the way that they could stop their foundation from disappearing was different. For Elder Golden-Shield, he managed to get rid of lots of stress and worry and freed up his heart, so that allowed him to stop his foundation from disappearing and therefore break through. If there was one set way to stop your foundation from disappearing, then entering Core Traversing would be much easier, but since everyone was different, it was much harder.


    For some people, to stop their foundation from disappearing, they had to do something simple, but for those that had a stronger and more stable foundation, it was much harder, so that caused many talented people to be stuck at Core Forming their whole lives. Some people might simply have to go to sleep and their foundation would become whole again, but for others, they might need to absorb the core of a 9 Star beast. But the scariest part was that no-one would know what they have to do until they actually do it, so there was no way to tell how and when they would be able to break through.


    But there were some exceptions, anyone that cultivated a method that allowed them to predict the future would be able to see what some people had to do and also, if someone was incredibly talented, their foundation wouldn’t disappear at all, or in tiny amounts. Although this could happen, it was incredibly rare. If someone managed to prophesy what you need to do to stop your foundation from disappearing, there was a high chance that the heavens would smite them, so no-one was willing to do that sort of work and having a talent so high that their foundation didn't start disappearing was even rarer than someone that was willing to go against the heavens for someone else and they were almost never seen.


    When realised the situation he was in, Darius knew that he would be able to cultivate until his foundation was almost gone, but it was still there, barely. Although this might seem dangerous, there wasn't any real danger, if Darius didn't go over the top and was able to regulate how much he cultivated, as if the foundation had not disappeared, then it was still there, supporting Darius’ pillars and core. As he continued to cultivate, Darius felt the sunlight becoming weaker on him and he could also feel more people filling up the area and soon after, he felt that all of the competitors were being swept here, so he stopped cultivating and waited for Elder Arrow-Heart to come.

  • Chapter 22

    This chapter is early, as I will not be able to post it on Monday. There is also a high chance that I will not be able to post a chapter next week, but I will try to make it up, sorry.
    Spoiler:

    Chapter 22

    “Hmm, this group of youths aren’t that bad, there are actually quite a few Core Forming cultivators, but they are a bit too old, so they can’t come along… Oh, there is a good one!” As a figure stood behind everyone and surveyed the situation, he noticed that there were quite a few talented individuals within the group of people, but none of them matched up to his master’s requirements and he had not seen the child that his master had given the insignia, but he continued to search.


    “Where would he be, where would he be, where would he be? He must be here, if he isn’t then I wasted ten days coming here! Oh is tha- nope. Nope, nope, nope, nope, nope. Come on, how hard is it to find a ten-year-old in a group of adults?!” Since he couldn't find Darius in the group of participants, the person searched the crowd for Darius, but since there was a lot of people in the crowd and since he also didn't want to attract too much attention he couldn’t blatantly use his energy to search everywhere, so the process was becoming much harder than he thought it would be and eventually he felt like giving up.


    “Oh, I finally found him. I can’t believe he was there the whole time! Right in front of me, I can’t believe it!” When the person had finally found Darius, he was almost kicking himself, as Darius was right in front of him the whole time! Luckily, no-one knew who he was looking for, so he wouldn’t be laughed at. As he walked over to Darius, he noticed that he was cultivating and when he saw his cultivation, he was shocked, as four years ago he was at Energy Opening, but now he was at Core Forming and not just the initial stage either.


    “Darius.” Calling out to him the person sat next to him.

    “Eld- wait, who are you?” Expecting to see Elder Arrow-Heart, Darius had to stop himself from saying his name, but when he saw that it was some other person,  he was greatly surprised and he wanted to know how they knew his name.

    “Wow, so cold. I’m one of Elder Arrow-Heart’s disciples. He sent me to collect you.”

    “How can I trust you?”

    “With this perhaps?” Taking out a token like the one that Elder Arrow-Heart gave him, the person proved his identity to Darius.


    When he saw the token, Darius knew that this person wasn't someone from the Jade-Eye clan, so he let out a sigh of relief.

    “So what can I address you as?”

    “You can call me Senior Apprentice-Brother Iago. As you can now be considered my junior apprentice-brother.” From this brief encounter, Darius knew that his Senior Apprentice-Brother was a nice person and he was happy that he was able to be his Junior Apprentice-Brother. As they talked, Darius came to realised that Iago held quite a high standing in the sect as many people looked up to him.


    “Let us see who wins the competition before heading off, is that fine with you?” When Iago saw that the competitors were showing how many cores they had to the elders, he wanted to stay and watch the results. As they watched the cores being brought up, Darius saw that there were a few Rank 2 7-Star cores being brought up, but there was only one per person, so they were nowhere near what Darius had done and when he saw who was bringing them up, he realised that they were from the group with 4 Core Forming cultivators, so how could they match Darius?


    After everyone had gone up and had their cores counted, Darius stood up and when he did so, Darius realised that he had managed to catch Hart’s father’s attention. When Hart’s father saw him, he was filled with a rage that wouldn't subside until he killed Darius, so he charged over at Darius while shouting,” You little brat, I’ll avenge my son with this.”


    While he was running towards him, Darius took out his sword and got ready to fight.

    “Junior Apprentice-Brother, let me protect you against this shameless fool.” After he said that, Iago stepped in front of Darius and said,” Where is your face? Someone from the generation above actually dares to charge and attack a junior with a lower cultivation base?! I, as his Senior Apprentice Brother will not allow you to touch a single one of his hairs. Now die!”


    Punching out in front of him Iago sent out a seemingly simple fist, but Darius could feel the destructive energy coming from it and he felt that Iago was much more powerful than he looked, as he was able to make such a terrifying fist with a simple punch. As Hart’s father saw this fist coming towards him, he knew that he wouldn’t stand a chance if he took this head on, but when he was starting to dodge, he realised that he had started to dodge far too late and he would be hit by the fist no matter what he did, so he tried to move his body so that he was hit in a non-vital part, but when the fist hit him, the energy imbued in it spread out through his body and it suddenly erupted, causing his body to explode, showering the crowd with bits of his flesh and internal organs.


    As all of this happened, Darius was extremely shocked, as he had never seen a dead body before, let alone something as gruesome as this. Despite the fact that he had killed many beasts, it couldn’t compare to actually witnessing something like this. If it was a beast, it would have been fine, but since it was another human, it gave Darius some serious shock. As he stood there dumbfounded, Iago had shown the other side of him. The ruthless, savage side that could kill without hesitation.


    After standing in a daze for several seconds, Darius woke up and there was a flash of fear in his eyes, but it quickly disappeared and he regained his composure, but he seemed to be holding himself in a slightly more profound way. Looking over at Iago, Darius felt something ignite in his heart, as he was filled with an urge to become like that. Being able to be friendly and kin, but ruthless when it came down to it. When everyone else woke up out of their daze, someone shouted out,” Isn’t that Darius Stone-Chaser, the one from four years ago?!”

    “How could that be Darius, four years ago, he was at Energy Opening, how could he be at Core Forming now?” When some people heard that, they were filled with disbelief and one of them responded.

    “But, isn’t that one of Elder Arrow-Heart’s disciples and he just called him his Junior Apprentice-Brother?” But some of the others knew who Darius was with and called this out.


    As the people argued, Darius stood there calmly until one of the youths competing in the Redfern Competition said to him,” Darius, I challenge you to a fight!”

    “Are we fighting here?”

    “What, do you dare to fight?”

    When that youth shouted that out, Darius was a bit taken back, but when he asked if Darius dared to fight, he knew that this youth was arrogant and prideful. Stepping forward, Darius said,” Why would I dare not to fight against you?!” The person that was challenging him was the winner of this year’s Redfern Competition.

    “Oh if you want to fight, then let us raise the stakes. If I win you have to give me the token you were given by Elder Arrow-Heart. How about that?”

    “What point is there in it if you have nothing to lose, how about you give me all of your treasures if you lose, that’s fair enough now isn’t it?”

    “Sure, come at me!”


    After this exchange, the youth took out his sword and pointed it at Darius while waiting for him to attack. This made Darius laugh when he saw the arrogance, yet cowardice in this youth. He was pointing his sword at Darius, yet he stood there and didn't dare to attack. Stepping forward, Darius suddenly turned into a blur as he charged towards the youth. When the youth saw Darius turning into a blur, he hurriedly brought his sword up, to try and block Darius’ attack, but as soon as he did so, he felt something jab into his neck.  


    Pushing the spear into the youth’s neck, Darius felt that the youth was just too weak, since they were at the same cultivation level. “So, where are all of your treasures?”

    “He-here, take them.” The youth took out a pouch and threw it in front of him. Using some energy, Darius picked it up and he inspected the contents, but what surprised him greatly was that he couldn't inspect what was inside the pouch without opening it. Opening it up, Darius was even more shocked, as the space inside the pouch was much, much larger that the outside. Darius guessed that it was at least eight times larger! This was much larger than his ring’s space!


    Although the things inside the pouch weren’t exceptionally valuable, the bag itself was a treasure. Trying to put his ring inside the pouch, Darius found that he couldn’t, but he found that he could put the pouch inside the ring. This confused Darius slightly, but he didn't worry too much about it and he took everything out of his ring and put it inside his pouch, which was inside his ring. This was much more effective, as he was able to hold much more in his ring now and if he managed to get more of these pouches, then he would be able to carry them without too much trouble. Darius then asked,” Can we go to the sect now?”

    “Sure, let’s go.”

    Suddenly, there was a bright flash and a massive flamingo appeared. Startled by its appearance, Darius stood there and when Iago saw this, he laughed lightly and said,” This is a Mutated Wind Flamingo. It can carry both of us without a problem and it will be able to fly the whole way as well at a very fast speed, hop on.” Jumping onto the flamingo, Darius the bird quickly flew up into the air and Darius was able see the whole of Highvale Country! As he peered over the side of the flamingo, Darius was able to see Highvale and some of the places next to it.

    “Oh, you see this area, it is called the Forgotten Country, this is the Earthen Country…” As they were flying along, Iago called out the names of most of the countries they flew over and Darius managed to create a map in his mind of quite a few countries. While they were flying, they came to a place called the Great Western Desert. The total size of the desert was more than thirty Highvale Countries combined!


    This meant that they spent quite a lot of time flying over it and since there wasn't any new countries to talk about, Iago started to tell Darius about several things within the sect.

    “In out sect, there are several halls. There is the: Decree Hall, Heavens Hall, Discipline Hall, Inscription Hall, Beast Hall and Managing Hall. The Decree Hall is the strongest hall and it deals with the training of the sect’s disciples. The Heavens Hall is the second strongest and it controls almost all of the techniques and cultivation methods in the sect. The Discipline Hall deals with the rules of the sect and punishment. The Inscription Hall deals with all of the weapons, pills, talismans and cultivation resources in general within the sect, this is the hall that we are part of. The Beast Hall is in charge of hunting, capturing and taming all of the beasts used by our sect and this Flamingo is a good example of what they do. The Managing Hall is the weakest, but that doesn’t mean it has authority. It deals with the accounting and management of the whole sect, including the meetings with the other sects. Although that is a general breakdown of all the major powers in the sect, there are some disciple made powers. These are called Factions and aren’t officially groups, but it is how the disciples within a hall manage themselves. When we get to the sect, I will show you around and since we are the personal disciples of an Elder we get slightly better treatment. We have slightly larger living spaces, more cultivation resources and we can choose stronger weapons than others. We are also given a higher allowance of Treasure Points. Treasure Points can be exchanged for cultivation methods, weapons, pills, talismans and cultivation resources and are basically the currency within the sect. We are given 100 every month, but that is barely enough to get a decent technique, so you can complete certain requests for Treasure Points. These requests could be anything from refining a sword to bringing back the core of a Rank 9 12-Star beast. For any disciples in the Decree Hall, you will get double the amount of Treasure Points from beating Golems and you will spend half as much if you use a battle formation. For the disciples of the Heavens Hall, it costs half as much to buy techniques. For the Discipline Hall, the disciples get double the amount of Treasure Points from killing someone on the wanted list. We would get double the amount of Treasure Points for making pills, talismans or weapons. Disciples from the Beast Hall would get double the amount of Treasure Points from killing beasts, capturing or taming them. And disciples from the Managing Hall will get Treasure Points depending on what they do and how well they do it.”  

  • Cant wait to read the next chap... thanks for this wonderful chap keep up the good work bro!
  • Chapter 23

    Two chapters today, to make up for the chapter missed last week, enjoy!
    Spoiler:

    Chapter 23

    After Iago finished explaining this he let out a breath and started to gasp for air. Seeing that, Darius started to laugh, but he had gained a new insight into the sect and how it worked, but he still wasn't completely sure how it would work, as he had never heard of or seen how a sect worked. As they passed over the desert, they saw some massive beasts and Darius couldn't help but shiver when he felt the energy that they released, even from so far away. As he looked in awe at these beasts, Iago sighed in his heart and he remembered back to when he was like that. When he had first come to the Heavenly Decree Sect, Iago had been just like Darius, except much he had a much higher cultivation, but from what he had gathered, his actual strength should have been similar to Darius’.


    As the sun was setting, Darius finally saw some grass in the distance and he shouted out, but he realise that he was getting a bit too excited and he covered his mouth with his hand. Seeing that, Iago got out of his nostalgia and started to laugh uncontrollably and caused Darius to join him as they laughed for a minute before going into a coughing fit. When they finally recovered, Iago started to call out the names of more countries and now he was giving some information about them. Because of that, Darius thought that they were close to the sect now.


    When the moon was high in the sky, Darius had finally fallen asleep, as he had been highly alert for the past few days and all of the pressure had caught up with him and he was fast asleep and it made Iago shake his head as he considered the dangers darius had to go through at such a young age. As he guided the Flamingo through the skies, Iago wondered how many other disciples his master had brought in. As Darius slept peacefully, Darius was also cultivating in his sleep, so he was able to make his core much larger and when he woke up, he was feeling very refreshed.


    Feeling the wind whipping through through his hair, Darius remembered that he was flying to the Heavenly Decree Sect with Iago. Looking around, Darius saw that there was snow everywhere and he realised that they must have travelled very far in the time he was asleep, since in he fell asleep shortly after they left the Great Western Desert. Iago had not been simply sitting there the whole time and right now, he was indulged in cultivation, so Darius decided to follow suite and cultivate as well. As he cultivated, Darius saw that his core was becoming larger and larger, but his foundation was also becoming more and more translucent and soon enough, Darius could almost see through it.


    As he was cultivating, Darius started to think about what he would do in the future and since he was going to be part of the Inscription Hall of the sect, he realised that he had inscribed anything since he had reached Energy Opening. Looking inside his pouch, Darius took out the Healing Talismans he had created before, but since he was at Core Forming, if he tried to put any energy into it, then the talisman would be destroyed and he might receive backlash from it. Seeing that, Darius knew that since he had opened his Dantian, then there would be a much better way of creating Talismans, but he didn't know it, so he had no way to improve his Talismans.


    Seeing that he had no way of improving his Inscription skills, Darius also realised that he had not cultivated his Imperial Aura at all since Energy Opening either! Since his Imperial Aura was his trump card, Darius knew that it would be a problem if it became too weak, so he had to cultivate it as well, but he didn't have a method for that either, but from what he understood about it, he should be able to cultivate it like his normal energy, except using some Imperial Aura to change the energy into Imperial Aura.


    As the Imperial Aura surged through his meridians, Darius felt it fitting to call it Imperial Energy. If someone saw Darius cultivating his Imperial Aura, they would feel as if they were facing an ancient king with the authority to rule all things and have an urge to bow down and worship him, but since the only other person nearby was Iago, there was no chance of that happening, but since they were flying on a living being, the Flamingo felt the urge to kneel, but since it was flying, it was impossible, so it let out a cry of submission to Darius.


    Hearing that cry, both Darius and Iago were startled, as neither of the thought that it was possible. Since Iago didn't know of Imperial Aura, he didn't think it was possible for a beast to willingly submit to someone with less strength or cultivation than them. Opening his eyes, Iago saw that Darius was still deep in cultivation, but he had the sudden urge to submit to him. In his heart, Iago wondered what type of cultivation method Darius had to even make him want to submit to him. But since Darius was still cultivating, this train of thought was fruitless and he went back to cultivating when he checked that everything was normal with the Flamingo.


    After Iago started to cultivate, Darius opened his eyes and he felt some kind of connection to the Flamingo and he sensed that if he wanted the Flamingo to do something, he would be able to tell it to do almost anything, unless it was something outrageous like destroying its cultivation. Seeing that, Darius didn't want to mess with anything, as he knew that Iago had set everything so that they would be able to get to the sect as fast as possible, so he started to cultivate again and he was still cultivating his Imperial Aura.


    As the Imperial Aura travelled through his meridians, it seemed to want to rush out, causing it to push the walls of his meridians, making them larger and in turn allowing more Imperial Aura in. Although the amount it pushed the walls was insignificant, it added up over time. As more and more Imperial Aura gathered in his Dantian, Darius found that it was in a gaseous state that spread out across his Dantian, but very sparsely. As more Imperial Aura entered his Dantian, Darius found that it spread out across his Dantian, but it made the Aura become slightly thicker.


    Although this seemed insignificant to Darius, he was creating Imperial Aura by simply processing energy with his Imperial Aura! This was something that no-one else could do, as everyone’s Imperial Aura was different and they all possessed some different traits, while some stayed the same. As he was creating more and more Imperial Aura, Darius didn't think that it was strange, as his Dantian filled up with Imperial Aura and soon enough, Darius felt that he wasn't able to have any more Imperial Aura in his Dantian, so he tried to compact it all.


    After several attempts, Darius found that he needed something to pull everything in from. As he continued to experiment, Darius found that if he used his Core, he was able to in pull some of the Imperial Aura, but it quickly used up energy, so he could only do so for a few seconds if he didn't want to exhaust himself. Bringing in some energy, Darius replenished his energy, he then brought some Imperial Aura into his meridians and pulled some of the Imperial Aura towards his core and while it was slightly compacted, Darius brought the rest of the Imperial Aura into his Dantian.


    Looking at his core, he saw that there was some liquefied Imperial Aura surrounding it. Seeing that, Darius wondered why it stayed there and then he realised that the core was letting off a faint attraction that caused the Imperial Liquid to stay there. Seeing that, Darius also felt all the energy in the air around him slowly start moving towards him. This attraction could have been negated by someone if they were cultivating and since Iago was cultivating right next to him, he couldn’t get any energy from this method, but he was still able to gain the energy from the air in front of him, as they were flying through the sky at a high speed, and all the energy that touched him was absorbed instantly as all of his pores had opened and now that there was a force of attraction coming from his core, Darius was able to absorb all of the energy that came in contact with him!


    As he continued liquefying his Imperial Aura, Darius found that the attraction coming from his Core had become much stronger and the liquid closest to the Core was showing signs of becoming a solid. Although his Core was resting on the Pillars in his Dantian, the liquid Imperial Aura seemed to disregard its existence and passed through it. Faced with this phenomenon, Darius wondered why this was happening, as anything that happened in his Dantian was of utmost importance to him, so he needed to know why and how his Imperial Aura could go through his Pillars.


    After thinking it through, Darius realised that when his foundation was becoming translucent it was also fading out of existence and it had reached the point where things could go through it. But, despite that, his core was still resting on top of it. Slowly the Imperial Aura turned into liquid that was covering his core and that also seemed to enter a semi-solid state, but it was unable to, since Darius’ core could still continue growing much larger. And since there was much more liquid around the Core, then the attraction power of the Core must have been much larger, so the energy in the air was moving towards him much quicker than before, but it was still extremely slow and would only work if effectively if he fell asleep or spent a lot of time in place.


    While he was filling his Dantian up with Imperial Aura, Darius felt the Flamingo lurch suddenly and he felt that they had changed directions. Opening his eyes, Darius had to shut them immediately, as the wind was smashing against his eyes and they had teared up, so he covered his eyes in energy and opened them again and he saw that they were hurtling towards the ground. Although he panicked at first, when he saw how composed and uncaring Iago looked, Darius realised that nothing was wrong and they must be getting close to the sect now.


    Letting out a sigh of relief, Darius thought about going back into cultivation, but he knew that it would benefit him if he knew the lands near his sect. When Iago saw that Darius was peering over the side of the Flamingo, he smiled ruefully and said,” This is the Decree Kingdom, it was created by the same expert that created the Decree Hall in sect. Over there is the Heavens Kingdom which was created by the expert that started to Heavens Hall. Although there are more Halls now, there are no other kingdoms created from those experts. This has secured the Decree and Heavens Hall in the top two spots, as they would receive the top talents and some resources from their respective kingdoms and all of the king’s heirs go to their respective halls as well, so the people of both kingdoms respect the sect as well. Although this is quite good for the sect, this causes the Heavens and Decree Halls to be overbearing and arrogant, so it causes some serious tension. Keep this in mind when I show you the sect. Also, how do you fare with Inscriptions?”

    “Well, I can create Talismans at a superficial level, but nothing more.”

    “Can you show me something that you created?”

    “Umm, will this do?” Taking out one of the Healing Talismans, Darius showed it to Iago.

    “Do you even know what you created?” After inspecting the Talisman, Iago asked Darius this.

    “A Healing Talisman?”

    “Yes, but it is more. This talisman could lead to so many paths in the future and this is something similar to our Healing Talismans, but with less potency, but no backlash!”


    Hearing all of this, Darius was shocked, as this was something he created in a rush while he was trying to find a fast and effective way of healing during the Redfern Competition, but it turned out to be something this spectacular! Looking at the talisman in his hand, Darius wondered what he could create if he knew a proper Inscribing Technique. Suddenly, Darius felt that they had levelled and he could also feel what he had in his stomach start rising up, but it quickly settled down. Since he was only ten, Darius let out a little shout.

    “What, did you like that,I can do it again if you want.”

    “Yes please!”

    Bringing the Flamingo high into the sky again, Iago sent it hurtling down at breakneck speeds and when they were just about to hit the ground, he reared up and Darius felt a thrill that he never had felt before, but he knew that he had to control himself, as he was about to enter a big sect, so he had to make first appearances count.


    Slowly, Darius could see the imposing view of several large towers coming into his view and from far away, they seemed to let off an imposing and ancient aura. Being awed by them, Darius was completely shocked when he felt the energy coming off of them. It made him tremble in fear, but suddenly, he felt the token he kept with him shine with a light and he could no longer feel the energy coming from the towers.


    As the Flamingo flew a bit more, Darius was gobsmacked to see that there was a massive drop and suddenly, a sprawling city appeared within his view. Within this city, there was a seemingly endless bustle of people, as they went about their business, but what shocked him even more was that after they passed over the city, there was an endless plain that lay there and on the plain, there were a few houses, but there were much larger pavilions on the plains as well and as Darius looked over the plains, he saw that there were multiple mountains and on top of the mountains, there were multiple pavilions.


    Standing up, Darius turned around in a full circle as he looked over the sect and he thought to himself,” This is a great new chapter in my life.”



    Chapter 24

    Spoiler:

    Chapter 24

    As the Flamingo lowered down to the ground, Darius saw that there were a few grain-like figures on the ground as as the came lower and lower, Darius saw that these were actually people. Since the area they were in was so vast, Darius didn't notice that they were so high up. As they continued to go further down, Darius saw that all of them were around 14 or 15 and they were all at least at Core Expansion! This was the same as Elder level in his clan, so this showed the difference between a 3 Star and 1 Star power. If the normal disciples were at this level, then Darius could only imagine how powerful a 4 Star power would be.


    When they descended from the Flamingo, Darius saw that there were a few other that were only a year older than him, but there was no-one else his age here, so he could only go over to the group of eleven-year-olds.

    “Elder Brother Iago, I’ll go and see if I can make some friends.”

    “Sure, it will be for the best if you do that.”

    Walking over to them, they formed a tight circle and started to talk amongst themselves. Seeing that, Darius could only stand there helplessly, but he saw that there was a group of 14-year-olds coming towards him.


    Although this intimidated, Darius slightly, he swallowed his fear and walked over to them. As he was only ten, a four year age gap was quite large, but with his intellect, he was able to fill that gap quite effortlessly.

    “Oooh, so cuuuuuuuuuuute!” As he was walking over, one of the girls from the group ran over to him and started to pinch his cheeks.

    “Hey, hey Charlotte, calm down. You’re going to tear his cheeks off calm down!”

    When she was pinching his cheeks, another person from their group told her to regulate herself, so that Darius could still have cheeks

    “But make sure to let me pinch his cheeks later!”

    But they continued on to say this! Feeling how sore his cheeks were already, Darius knew that he couldn't stand it anymore and said,” Just because my cheeks have some fat on them doesn’t mean they have to be pinched!” Despite the fact that his looks had matured, there still was some fat lingering on him, causing his cheeks to be ‘pinchable’.

    “Oh, sorry, I was just filled with the urge to pinch them because they looked so… pinchable!”


    Although she said she was sorry, Darius saw that she was constantly looking at his cheeks and he was afraid that she would lose control of herself and try to pinch his cheeks. As they talked, Darius learnt the names of several people in the group. There was Charlotte and her brother Elliot, who was the person that stopped Charlotte from tearing Darius’ cheeks off. They came from the Free-Spear clan, but Darius didn't know where or what that clan was. There also was Olivia World-Breaking and Elwood Mystic-Mind. They seemed to be one group within their age, but there was another group, which consisted of Zephyr Wind-Scale, Dalton Dark-Fang, Snow Pearl-Eyes and Thalia Void-Palm. These two groups seemed to have some friction between them, but it didn't seem like something major.


    As Darius talked to them, Darius came to realise that Charlotte was the most talented of them all, as she was at Rank 5 of Core Expansion, while all the others were at Rank 3 or 4 Core Expansion. Despite how laid back and unintelligent she acted, Charlotte was actually the person with the most potential and the highest cultivation within the group. This shock Darius, as he never expected Charlotte to be able to cultivate earnestly, so that she would have a higher cultivation base than the others.


    After some time, Darius saw that Zephyr Wind-Scale and Snow Pearl-Eyes were coming over to them. Seeing that, Charlotte, Olivia, Elliot and Elwood all tensed up a bit and Darius could feel the atmosphere seemingly thicken. As they came over, Zephyr said,” Oh, wow! You’re strength is actually so low that you would accept someone that hasn’t even broken through to Core Traversing into your group! Ha, trash like you don't deserve to be here! Scram!”


    Taking out two short-swords, Zephyr charged at Darius, startling everyone and only when he reached Darius did they jump into action, but it was too late, he was already readying to attack. As he stabbed his swords forwards, there was a large explosion of energy that came from the tip of one of his swords, covering Darius and Zephyr in a cloud of dust infused with energy, making it impossible for anyone else to look into.

    “Now that we have dealt with the trash, let us dispose of the rest!”

    After Zephyr attacked Darius, Snow said this and her friends joined her and were standing there, ready to attack the rest.

    “And what makes you think that you are worthy to do so?”

    Just as they were about to start attacking, a voice boomed out from inside the cloud of dust. This shocked them, as if someone wanted to say something from inside of that cloud of energy and dust, they would need to use energy that was stronger than what was infused into the dust. This startled them all, as they didn't expect Darius to have a stronger energy than someone who was past the middle stages of Core Expansion! Since they expected Zephyr to be able to get rid of Darius within a few seconds, they were a bit confused at why there was no-one coming out of the dust, but when they heard this, they were even more confused, as they still thought that Zephyr was the one speaking, as it was simply inconceivable to them that Darius had won the fight between them, as they had never heard or seen someone who was able to beat a Core Traversing expert while still being a mortal!


    As the cloud settled, Darius was standing there and beneath his foot was Zephyr! This shocked everyone, but what was even more shocking was that Zephyr was all trussed up as well. If someone wanted to kill someone, it was usually easier than capturing them, as they couldn't hurt them as much if they wanted to keep them alive, so capturing someone required much more strength than them. This shows that Darius was overwhelmingly powerful when compared to Zephyr, to the point where he could capture him while he was still awake. This was a massive blow to Zephyr’s group, as they had attacked this group with the reasoning that Darius was too weak to start attacking them, but since he defeated the strongest person in their group, what right did they have to attack them?


    “If you think that I am too weak, then are you? If I am trash, then what are you? If I am not worthy of being in this sect, then what does that make you?! How about this, KNEEL!!” While saying this, Darius was emitting some energy, but he suddenly burst out with energy that made him seem like an omnipotent being to the others, causing them to kneel down in front of Charlotte, Elliot, Olivia and Elwood.


    As this commotion played out, it attracted the attention of many people and the people that were nearby could feel the stifling pressure that Darius exerted, but those that were further away only saw that Darius was at Core Forming, so when they saw the others kneeling down in front of him, they thought that they were extremely weak, as they were able to defeat a Core Forming cultivator with a wave of their hand, so they couldn’t understand how Darius would be able to defeat them unless they were exceptionally weak.


    “Oh, look. Everyone is watching us. Haha, look at them. They’re trying to figure out how a Core Forming cultivator could make four cultivators that were at Core Traversing kneel to him. Oh, I think someone figured it out, you are all exceptionally weak!” Rubbing salt into their wounds, Charlotte strutted around in front of them. Now that they were being suppressed, she could vent all the anger she held towards them now, as she knew that it was impossible for them to be able to retaliate.

    “Hmph, you aren’t worth my time anymore, scram!”


    Flinging them away, Darius felt extremely satisfied as they were sent flying across the courtyard. When some others saw this, the took it as a warning and to them, it was a very effective deterrent. When Darius saw the onlookers’ reactions, he laughed to himself, but he sat down and started to cultivate while he waited for someone to tell them what they were doing. As he cultivated, Darius wasn’t trying to increase the amount of energy he had, nor was he trying to cultivate his Imperial Aura, but rather, he was searching his foundation for something that could give him a clue about how to reform it. Although there were no mysterious runes nor was there some aura surrounding the foundation, but it was extremely simple. So simple that it let off a profound feeling and the closer you looked at it, it seemed so simple, but there were so many complicated details to it.


    After some time, Darius felt his head start to hurt after contemplating his foundation, so he stopped and when he did so, he felt something that shocked him completely! As his energy spread out, Darius could feel that the energy here was much, much more compacted when compared to Highvale and he was able to absorb it at the same pace as the energy in Highvale! Since his core had some attractive power, he was able to sense that some of the energy was coming towards him at a slow pace, but it was no different from the speed at which it was coming to him when he was flying here! That meant that he would be able to cultivate much faster than when he was in Highvale! If Darius knew that before, he would have not gone into closed-door cultivation for four years, but he would have come here first, then he would have cultivated until he managed to reach Core Forming, which wouldn’t have taken too long, consider the density of the energy here!


    When he felt that, Darius knew that if he unconsciously absorbed too much energy here, he might lose his foundation, so he decided to see what would happen when he absorbed some energy from the attraction brought by his core. After a few minutes, some energy finally managed to enter his body and he found that it didn't enter his core, but was hanging there, seemingly swimming among his Imperial Aura! As he observed this part of his energy, Darius saw that it was like a fish in water and it swam around, but it never got close to the Core and it never dared to go into the Imperial Aura that was about to solidify.


    Seeing that, Darius realised that his core must have reached its maximum, so the energy didn't enter his Core, but it hung around while it waited for his foundation to come back. Seeing that, Darius also felt that the energy was becoming stronger as it stayed there and he hypothesised that after some time, the energy would be able to go further towards his Core once it became stronger. As more and more energy came into his Dantian, Darius found that all the energy was converging into one large stream of energy that ran through his Imperial Aura, but also seemed to be part of it at the same time.


    As he was doing this, more people starting to come to the courtyard and soon it had at least two hundred people in it and there had been several fights, but none of them as one-sided as Darius’. As more and more people filled the courtyard, there were more disciples of the sect that were bringing them. As the people filled up the courtyard, the disciples stayed there and watched the people in the courtyard. Although most people noticed this, not many understood why they were there, but some thought that they were still there because there was something to watch, but to what it was, they didn't know.


  • Sorry for the late chapters, but I have released two to make up for it.

    Chapter 25

    Spoiler:

    Chapter 25


    “Hehe, this batch is quite interesting, it seems that there might be a few surprises this time round!” In a cave on a mountain, an archaic voice reverberated, making anyone who heard it feel a shiver down their spine. Meanwhile, there was quite a bit of disturbance in the courtyard, as an elder had come!


    “Look, there is someone flying above us! They must be an Immortal! Oh, they are coming here, they must be an elder!” As everyone was talking quietly amongst themselves, someone shouted this out, everyone stopped talking and they all looked up and saw someone descending from the skies! To many cultivators that had passed Core Forming, they wished to become an Immortal, as it brought many benefits, two of which were an extended lifespan and the ability to fly! Although anyone that cultivated had a slightly longer lifespan, before you became an Immortal, you could live 300 years without any life extending medicines, but after becoming an Immortal, even if you had just ascended, you were able to have a lifespan of 999 years! This was a dramatic increase and being able to defy the heavens and live much longer was one of the most common reasons why someone would start cultivating.


    As the elder descended, he said,” Welcome to the Heavenly Decree Sect! First of all, I you will have to separate yourselves into your respective halls. The disciples will tell you where to go.” After he said that, several disciples started to shout out where they had to go.

    “The Heavens Hall is over here!”

    “Everyone from the Decree Hall, come here!”

    “Inscription Hall members come here!”


    As he walked over to the person who shouted out where the Inscription Hall members should go. As he parted from his friends, Darius said bye to them as he saw that they were all in different Halls! As he looked at the people that were part of the Inscription Hall, Darius saw two familiar faces. They were Zephyr and Thalia! He had no friends in the new members, but he already had enemies. Darius knew that this wasn't a good situation for him. As he stood there, Darius could see them whispering something to several different people, but it was inaudible to Darius.


    After several minutes, all the people were in their respective halls and the elder said,” Before you officially enter the sect, we will be holding a little ‘game’ to see who will be the top disciple for this decade’s batch of disciples. In this ‘game’ you will have to collect as many herbs as possible, but we will only count points for herbs that are seven or above Stars, but they have a consciousness, so they will be able to run away and even retaliate, so you will have to be careful. I will send you all out to where you will be competing later, but I will have to explain the rules first. Regarding the other disciples, you can fight each other and steal as much as you like, but you cannot cripple or kill another disciple and if you do, I will know and when I deal with you, you would wish that you were dead! Even if you have an enmity, I will not forgive you, but if you are defending against lethal force, you are allowed to cripple or kill, but if you use this as an excuse for killing someone and if they didn't use lethal force, then I will be able to know as I will be watching every grain of dust in the area where I am sending you all! Besides herbs, there also are several treasures and the like scattered around the area and whoever is strong enough can keep them! Now I will get the disciples from the sect to hand out a talisman that will bring you back here once you crush it, but you will not be able to go back once you use it, so only use it in extreme circumstances. You have three days to find as many herbs as you can. Once the three days are up, I will teleport all of you back.”


    After explaining all of that, the elder was levitating slightly above the ground, watching as the talismans were given out and when they had all been given out, energy started to gush out of him and it covered all the new disciples present and they all felt something sucking them in and suddenly, they appeared in a forest! As the looked around, they felt that the energy here was quite dense, even denser than the area they were in before, so it seemed that there was something that was emitting large amounts of energy. Although the thought of such an item made many of them drool with greed, they knew that the chance of them finding this item was next to zero and even if they found it, they would find it impossible to keep it, as everyone else would want to get it from them.


    After a few seconds of feeling their situation, everyone realised that only their hall was around them. Some of them gathered some friends and set off, while others decided to go by themselves. These people were the ones that were either confident in their strength, or simply had no-one that they could join. Darius was one of the people that decided to go alone, since he had no friends to go with. As he walked through the forest, Darius felt that he was absorbing energy automatically and it was swimming through his Imperial Aura.


    As it swam through his Imperial Aura, Darius had a slight feeling that it was becoming more and more aware of what was happening, it was not just mindlessly swimming and strengthening itself. As he felt this, Darius was filled with vigor and he started to run through the forest, until he felt that something was off. As he had walked through the forest, there would usually be the chirps of a bird, or the whistling of the wind, but now, there was none of that and it was extremely silent.


    Suddenly, he felt that he was in danger and he backflipped out of the area. If this was before he had gone into secluded cultivation, Darius would never had been able to do that, but he was able to use his energy to make his body move in almost any way that he wanted to. As soon as he dodged, some vines suddenly burst up from the ground, causing the earth to tremble and Darius was knocked back, but he quickly recovered. Seeing that, Darius spread out his Imperial Aura to try and find whatever had attacked him.


    Staying alert, Darius realised that it was a Medicine that had attacked him! Searching the area around him, Darius realised that the whole area was desolate, except for a single plant. The Medicine looked a bit like a flower with green petals that hadn’t budded yet, or a cabbage that was the size of a grown man. Approaching it, he saw that there were many vines covering the surrounding area. These vines all lead to the plant, but Darius saw that they weren’t moving, but he still paid attention to these vines and made sure not to step on any, as it may alert the plant, as Darius was sure that he had stepped on a vine when he was attacked before. As he came closer to the plant, Darius felt the density of the energy increase, as the Medicine would need a lot of energy to be able to increase in rank.


    If humans had a hard time cultivating, than monsters were considered to rebel against the heavens by cultivating, but Medicines could be turning the heavens upside-down by cultivating! For a Medicine, it would require much more energy to be able to increase in rank and it was many times harder to actually cultivate and bring energy into itself and most of the energy had gone anyway. But some Medicines were blessed, such as divine trees, that were especially made so that they could cultivate easily and accept the world’s laws and energy as if it was part of them.


    Looking at this Medicine, Darius wondered how old it must be to actually have such a high rank. This medicine was a 9 Star Medicine! A 9 Star Medicine had a cultivation that was equal to a Core Compressing expert, but since it was a Medicine, it had a much harder time to cultivate, so it was actually much stronger than a Core Compressing expert, but it also had its weaknesses. Since it was plant of some sort, it had a natural weakness to fire, but it was still quite resistant to that as well.


    As he came closer to the medicine, Darius realised that it might be resting, as he saw that it was able to move, but it chose not to. This was a perfect opportunity to deal a fatal sneak attack! Sneaking up to it, Darius started to channel some Imperial Aura into the spear he had gotten from his attackers before the Redfern Competition started. As he observed the Medicine, Darius saw that there were several places where vines were connected to the Medicine. Seeing that, Darius knew that the Medicine would use these to attack once he awoke it. Sneaking around it, Darius found a place where it seemed to be the weakest and he used all of his strength in one attack.


    Boom!

    The area around him shook once he attacked, but he felt that it wasn't from his attack, but it seemed to be coming from the Medicine! Jumping back, Darius saw that the area he was just in was barraged with vines, but they soon realised that there was no-one there and they searched the surrounding area. As the spread out to find him, Darius realised that the Medicine could detect any forms of energy, so he had to be careful not to leak any energy as he snuck around, as once he leaked any energy, the vines would instantly come and try to kill him.


    Since he couldn’t use much energy, Darius felt that the speed that he ran was simply too slow, but he knew that he couldn’t run much faster, as he would tire easily if he couldn’t use his energy. Sneaking up to it, Darius readied his spear again and he started to channel his Imperial Aura, but it attracted the attention of the Medicine, so the vines started to come back and chase him, so he quickly brought as much Imperial Aura as he could into the spear and struck at the Medicine again. Luckily for him, the Medicine couldn’t move, because if it could, then there would be almost no way for Darius to actually hit it, let alone prepare a strike and attack with all of his strength.


    As he struck out, Darius found that the vines seemed to slow down a bit when he hit it. Seeing that, Darius decided to use his energy, as he would be able to attack the Medicine more and attack more, which made it easier to dodge the vines. Ducking under a vine, Darius attacked at the Medicine again. Since he hadn’t used that much Imperial Aura in that strike, the effect of it wasn’t as obvious, but the vines still slowed down a bit more. Dodging some of the other vines, Darius saw that one was coming around to smash him down.


    Just as he was about to get out of its way, he saw that there were several other vines cutting off his escape route! Seeing that, Darius jumped out of the way of the one that was going to hit him first and then he attacked the next vine, giving him a few extra milliseconds to get into a better position to dodge the other vines. Jumping over one more vine, Darius used some energy to curl over another vine. As he was doing that, Darius saw another vine coming down at him out of the corner of his eye and grabbed onto the vine he was dodging to get out of the way of the other vine.


    Kicking off the vine, Darius managed to get quite close to the Medicine, but he found another vine sweeping across to take him out, but he used some energy to push himself down, under the vine. As he was falling, Darius channeled more energy into his spear and he thrust out with it. Smashing into the Medicine, Darius immediately ran from the area as he dodged several more swipes from the vines. As he dodged these vines, Darius noticed that there were no trees in the area and he figured that it must be because the Medicine had destroyed them all, so that there would be no obstructions when it had to fight.


    Rolling under a vine, Darius saw looked over in the direction of the Medicine and he saw that it was quite close. Madly rushing towards it, the Medicine’s state was quite a sorry one, as there were some holes in it and some of them were extremely large. Thrusting his spear at the Medicine with all the strength that he could muster, Darius felt that this strike would end the battle.

    Puchi!

    As the spear went through the Medicine, it came out the other side!


    Looking at the Medicine, Darius realised that the vines would be a rope that he could use, so he cut them off the Medicine and stored them in his pouch. As he pulled the Medicine out of the ground, Darius felt that it still had quite a few roots in the ground and he used some energy to pull it out, but he found that he still couldn’t pull it out, so he used his Imperial Aura and jumped back, only then did he managed to pull it out, but some of its roots were still stuck in the ground.


    “Hmm, what is that?”

    As he was pulling it out, Darius noticed something in the roots. It looked a bit like a ruby, but it was much darker red and it was in the shape of a sphere. Leaning closer to it, Darius reached out to pick it up.


    Chapter 26

    Spoiler:

    Chapter 26

    Digging the crystal out from the roots, the red crystal let out a glow, as if it realised that it was being dug out. When all the roots had been cleared from it, Darius inspected it and he saw that there seemed to be something squirming in it! Bringing his head closer to look at it, the crystal suddenly jumped out of his hand and at his head.


    Pulling back, Darius tried to move his head out of the way of the crystal, but it changed its path so that it was going straight for his head. When it got into his range, Darius slapped at it, but his hand simply went through it, but Darius jumped out of the way, but he realised that the crystal wouldn’t have any evil intentions, as it didn’t hurt him when he tried to hit it, so he simply stood there and let it enter his forehead.


    Once it entered his head, Darius felt a searing pain and he fell to his knees. As he was falling to his knees, the crystal shattered and it seemed to become a liquid that seeped through his body and it tempered every cell of his body, causing him to be in even more pain. It was as if he had jumped into a furnace as every part of his body was burning and he felt as if he was about to catch fire! As each of his cells were being refined, Darius’ Dantian was becoming much larger, as his body now had the capacity for it, as it was being strengthened.


    On his knees, Darius grit his teeth as he withstood the pain, as he knew that this was an amazing opportunity for him, as he could feel his body becoming much stronger. After a few minutes, Darius felt that the pain was starting to subside and soon after, it had stopped and he let out a sigh of relief as he knew that if it continued for another minute, he might not have been able to keep his sanity, as the pain was extremely intense, despite how little reaction Darius showed. .


    Getting up, Darius remembered that the Medicine was still there, half pulled out of the ground, so he went over to it and tugged at it and it was completely torn from the ground! Before, when he was trying to pull this out of the ground, he was struggling a lot, but now that he had absorbed the red crystal, Darius was able to pull it out without any effort! This meant that he had become much stronger and even if he came across someone who was at Core Expansion, he would be able to fight them head on without even using his energy, as long as they were not at the peak of Core Expansion! From simply absorbing that red crystal, Darius had managed to gain the same strength as a Core Expansion cultivator!


    Although this might seem like it was extremely unfair, a normal person would not be able to stand the pain and would go insane and the only reason why it had such a dramatic effect was because Darius had opened all of his pores and his cells were accustomed to having energy run through them, so they were able to absorb the crystal much easier. If a normal person had absorbed the crystal and if they hadn’t gone insane, then they would have only been able to have the same strength as a Pillar Rising cultivator. Although this was quite good, it was nothing close to the strength that Darius had gotten, as a normal Pillar Rising cultivator would have a strength that was nowhere near a Core Expansion cultivator.


    Shocked by his own strength, Darius was filled with the urge to test it out. Running through the forest, Darius felt the wind through his hair and saw the trees flashing by. As he ran, Darius estimated that he was running at faster speed than when he was using his energy and he would be able to run for much longer, as the crystal didn't only increase his strength, but also his reaction time, stamina and a few other aspects that were vital in using his strength, as when someone was extremely strong, how would they be able to utilize it to its maximum if they couldn't react fast enough?


    As he ran through the forest, Darius saw that there were no Medicines in the area and when he finally did find one, it was a Seven Star one, so he simply walked over to it and pulled it out of the ground, giving it no chance to resist, as this one had no way to attack, so Darius wasn’t worried about being injured, but it tried to run away, but it was not Darius’ match in any way. After a few seconds of being held in the air, the Medicine died and Darius stored it in his pouch and continued on, but what puzzled him was that he had not met anyone yet, despite how far he had run.


    But, just as he was thinking that, Darius heard a crack as a twig broke. Since his hearing was made much better, Darius was able to hear an ant’s footsteps from twenty metres away! Although he was able to hear this twig breaking, it didn’t mean that they were close to him, but it meant that they were in the general area, so he spread out his energy and he soon found the source of the noise. It was a group of people that consisted of at least 5 people.


    After a few seconds, Darius noticed that there was another group within the area he was searching! Observing them, Darius realised that they seemed to be following the first group! How they were doing it wasn’t clear to Darius, but he knew that they were following the other group. Darius made sure that his energy wouldn’t be found and followed after the other group. This was a true embodiment of a mantis stalking a cicada, unaware of the oriole behind!


    As he was following them, Darius realised that the first group was searching for Medicines, completely unaware of the other group, but they still had their guard up. After a few minutes, the first group came across a Medicine, but the other group didn't attack them, as they must be using them as workhorses and letting them go through all the trouble of finding Medicines, but once they were tired out, they would attack and steal all of their Medicines and if they had some treasures, they would steal those as well!


    When Darius realised this, he still continued to follow, but he wasn’t sure when he would act. If he acted now, he would be able to get rid of the others, but if he came in the last few moments, then he would be able to make friends with the other group, who seemed quite strong, as they defeated the Medicines without any problems. But, if he saved them at the last moment, there might be some questions raised on whether they would trust him, but if he attacked the other group now, then he would suffer the most loses and he would also not gain any credit and he would be making more enemies and no friends!


    After a few seconds of deciding, Darius knew that the best option was to save them just as they were being attacked, as the most important thing he needed right now was friends because, even if he was the strongest, if he had no friends in his year, then if he was in a bad situation, then who could he rely on? As he followed behind them, Darius also came across a few Medicines, as they were more hidden, or they were out of the other group’s scope of searching, so he fought them and picked them up, but he made sure not to disturb the area too much, so that the other group’s didn't notice.


    He fought several 7 Star Medicines, so now, he had 4 7-Star Medicines and 1 9-Star Medicine. But, since they were Medicines, Darius wasn’t sure what rank they were, but he was pretty sure that they 9-Star Medicine had just broken through, so it was in a weakened state, which was one of the reasons why Darius could defeat it so easily. Although he had not gotten any 8-Star Medicines, the first group had come across two and had managed to capture them as well.


    After an hour of trailing, the first group was settling down to rest. While they were settling down, the other group was setting up. First of all, they concealed themselves as they surrounded the other group’s camp, the second thing they did was lay take out their weapons, but surprisingly they suddenly all lay down and waited! They were waiting for the other group to enter their weakest and least aware state before they started to attack, so all they had to do now was bide their time until they thought that it was safe to attack.


    As they waited, Darius decided to try and look at his foundation for a bit more to see if he could find some clues about how he could stop his foundation from disappearing. His foundation was profoundly simple. From afar, it seemed extremely simple, but as you looked closer, you would realise that there was a lot of detail put into it, but the foundation still looked simple on the outside, but once you take all the dimensions into account and what they might mean, it becomes incredibly complex, as there could be many meanings and Darius had to sift through all of the ones that were unlikely or simply nonsense. Even after he had done all of that, there were still several ones which seemed likely and he had only gone through a few of the combinations.


    As he went through these combinations, Darius realised that this was he wrong way to do it and that there was a much better approach, but he didn't know of it yet, so all he could do was think and try to figure out what it could be. But, just as he was settling down, Darius detected movement and he stopped cultivating and he saw that the second group had started to make their move.


    Getting up, Darius saw that the first group were sitting together and were talking. They seemed to have completely put their defences down. Seeing that, Darius couldn’t help but praise the second group in their shrewdness and observation skills, as they were able to form a tight circle around the first group without them noticing and when they did start to attack, they didn’t shout loudly, but rather, they drew their weapons and stabbed at a vital point of their victim. Although this seemed like a certain death scenario, one person noticed their killing intent and when he saw the people about to stab them, he notified the rest of his group and they quickly got.


    Although they were unprepared, a cultivator should never be anywhere without their weapon. This was an unspoken rule of Jianghu as you would never know when you might be attacked and this situation was a brilliant representation of this. As they tried to get out of the way of their attackers, the first group sustained some injuries, but there was only one semi-serious injury. Despite that, the first group was in a highly disadvantageous situation, as they were not in their peak condition and the second group had one more person than them.


    As they tried to fight back, the first group found that whenever they seemed to be at an advantage, the extra person from the second group would come and tip the balance! Despite their best efforts, they were being kept on the back foot and could only defend, but whenever you were defending against a constant barrage of attacks, then you would be much more likely to slip up, especially when you’re moral wasn’t high.


    In the face of this opposition, the first group still soldiered on and fought with all of their strength and were not giving up, despite the fact that they were accumulating wounds all over their body. As they fought, Darius was debating when the best time to join would be, as he saw that the first group would be able to hold out for quite a while, so he wasn’t sure when he should join the fray. As he considered it for a few more seconds, Darius threw all caution to the wind and at first he stood there for a second, as if he was deciding which side to join before fighting off the extra person from the second group.


    Darius’ sudden appearance startled both groups, but when Darius started to fight against the second group, both of the groups were shocked, as they thought that he would wait until they had tired themselves out before attacking both of the groups, as that was the way that he would be able to make the most profit out of it.


    “Hmph, you brat. If you insist on living on the edge, then let me give you a push!” Enraged by Darius joining in, the extra person from the second group wanted to get rid of Darius as quickly as possible, as he saw that Darius was only at Core Forming, so he should be able to defeat him easily.


    “Give me a push if you can, but watch your back as you might fall in instead.” As he turned into a blur, Darius whispered this to the person, who was extremely startled, as he wasn’t able to detect where Darius had gotten, since Darius was using his Imperial Aura to stop his energy from detecting him.


  • Thanks for the wonderful chap 
  • Chapter 27

    Sorry for the late chapters, but there are two of them again. I will try getting back to my regular schedule soon.
    Spoiler:

    Chapter 27

    Slash!

    Darius appeared behind the extra person and he was holding a spear in his hands and he thrust forwards with the spear, but just as it was about to stab them, Darius’ face contorted and he was forced to jump back and the place where he was just standing had been assaulted by countless beams of light that seemed to be able to cut through anything, even the strongest of metals.


    Rushing back in, Darius knew that he must not underestimate his opponents here, as the people of Highvale were far from comparable to these people, so even though his opponent was a Rank 4 Core Expansion cultivator, Darius had to keep his guard up, as there were many schemes and hidden cards that he could employ that might be game changing, but the person that was most affected the attack wasn’t him, but one of the people that were from the first group, as he had been attacked by this same attack and he came out covered in wounds and he was the only one which had semi-serious wounds, which greatly affected his battle power and since he had the highest cultivation of his group and was also the most powerful, but with these injuries, the other group had a much bigger advantage. This clearly showed how powerful the attack was, but its major point was not its strength, but the speed at which it was deployed and how stealthy it was.


    If it wasn’t for Darius’ improved perception, he would not have noticed some miniscule fluctuations in the energy around him and he might have been injured. Although he had yet to use his energy, Darius knew that the fight might not be too easy, but it was still manageable. Rushing back in, Darius feinted a forwards stab, but then he went forward with it and since his reaction time was much better than anyone here, he was able to bring the spear almost right at his attacker’s stomach before he could react and by that time there was almost no hope for him to try to block the attack, so he could only try to injure Darius while he was still conscious, as he knew that Darius wouldn’t kill him, but he could knock him out and seriously injure him, but not to the point where he couldn’t recover.


    As Darius stabbed his opponent with his spear, Darius made sure that he didn’t injure him too much, but only knocked him out, so that he wouldn’t break the rules of the competition. After their companion fell to the floor, the people from the second group were terrified, as they thought that Darius was going to humiliate himself, but he ended up easily defeating one of the strongest people from their group!


    Turning towards them, Darius smiled at them evilly and they all turned around and ran off, as they were extremely scared, but as they were running, Darius made sure to stop them, as they still had a few Medicines on them!

    “Hehe, if you want to leave, you will have to give me all of the Medicines you have first!”

    If he wasn’t worried about offending their families, Darius would have simply taken the rings on their fingers, but since he didn't want to possibly offend some large family, he wouldn’t offend random people, but if someone offended him, no matter where they came from, he would treat them mercilessly!


    After they threw the Medicines at them, the second group ran away and as soon as they were out of sight, they wiped sweat off their brows, as they were thankful that they came across someone as kind as Darius.


    Before Darius picked the Medicines up, he looked at the people from the first group and he divided it up so that all six of them received equally as many Medicines. But, after Darius had given them these Medicines, he felt something rising up in his body.


    Keeling over, Darius felt something metallic in his mouth and then he spat out a golb of blood and immediately after, he felt a searing pain coming from his heart, but then he fell to the floor, unconscious. When the people from the first group realised that Darius had fallen over, they immediately ran over to him, as he was their benefactor, as he helped them defeat the other group and he even gave them some of the Medicines. Because of that, they respected Darius, despite his low cultivation. But, as they observed Darius, what surprised them the most was the terrifying Deathly Energy coming from the blood that Darius spat out!


    This made them assume that Darius was using some forbidden technique or pill that increased his battle power temporarily, or that he had received some serious injuries that none of them managed to see, so they took it upon themselves to try and help Darius recover.

    “Hmm, it seems that he has several internal injuries, but there seems to be some force causing him to recover at a faster pace, but since he took all of that for us, we have to pay him back in some way right now, despite how small of an act it might be!”


    “Are you sure that this is the right option Alex, I mean, he might have been following us, but when he saw another group attack us, he could have wanted to use this moment to catch both of us and profit even more, but the other group might have been much more powerful than he anticipated.”


    “That might be true Silora, but if he was wanting to steal from us, he would have had to be much stronger than that if he was seriously injured from that one person, so why would he have done that?”


    After Alex finished talking, Silora instantly questioned it, as she was being cautious, as you could never know who was your friend and enemy when it came to a competition, so she was being sensible when she asked the question, but that was easily rebutted by another person in the group, so they decided that they would help heal Darius.


    Taking out a pill, Alex fed it to Darius and the Medicinal Energy quickly dispersed through his body, but all of that was quickly absorbed and it had almost no effect on Darius’ injury. This shocked Alex and the rest of his group, as the pill wasn’t low quality, but all of its energy was absorbed almost immediately! For a normal person, when they were consciously absorbing something, they would have to take quite a bit of time to absorb all of the energy and when it was done automatically, it was even slower, but when they fed the pill to Darius it took less than a second for all of the Medicinal Energy to be absorbed!


    If it were anyone else, they would have stopped there, as the energy consumption was simply enormous, but since Darius saved them, Alex took out a few more pills, but when the rest of his group saw the pills he took out, they were shocked, as these pills were quite high quality and they represented quite a bit of his wealth.


    “Isn’t that the Mortal Rejuvenation Pill?! The pill that would allow a cultivator who had not reached Core Traversing to regrow limbs! How could you give him this pill, even if he has an injury… Wait! All of the pills in your hand are the same pill! Even if he saved us, how could you actually give him this much!” As Alex was taking out these pills, Silora shouted this out, as to them, a Mortal Rejuvenation Pill was quite expensive, but he took out 3 of them!


    In comparison, everything Darius owned would be worth slightly less, if you took the pouch out of the picture. But, when Alex fed the pill to Darius, the same thing happened! After a second of the Medicinal Energy spreading out, it was suddenly absorbed, but this time, they were able to identify that it was his body absorbing it.


    Around an hour later, there was another fight going on in the forest.


    “Zephyr, is this all that you amount to? Are you even a man?! You team up on a single person, but you don’t just stop there, you then go and try to humiliate them! Pei! Calling you a human is a compliment!”


    As a person that was sprawled on the floor spat at Zephyr, a group of people stood there, with Zephyr at the helm. The person on the floor looked quite miserable, with their clothes torn, blood all over their body and ragged hair.


    “You can only blame yourself for being too weak! Having the ability to team up is a strength and it seems to be something that you lack! Now hand over your Spatial Ring! Or do you want me to come over and take it from you?”


    “What else can I do?” Throwing his ring at Zephyr, the person summoned the last of their strength and ran as far as they could before they collapsed, but they were far from Zephyr. Inspecting the ring, Zephyr wasn’t happy, as the person’s mark on the ring was quite strong and it would take some time for him to erase it, so he put it away for the time being.


    After he put the ring away, five shadows appeared behind him. They seemed to be carrying another shadow when they appeared behind him.


    “So, what is the report?”


    “Young Master, please forgive us, we have failed! While we were fighting, another person joined and incapacitated Silent-Frost!”


    “Oh, he must be an expert, what did he look like?”


    “H-He, seemed to be around 10 and he was able to dodge Silent-Frost’s Silent Sword Barrage without being touched and he defeated Silent-Frost without using any energy and it was in a single strike!”


    “What! 10! It can’t be that brat, he was never that powerful and when he fought me, he used his energy, so there is no way that it can be him… But who else could fit that description!?” When Zephyr heard that a ten-year-old defeated one of his strongest servants, he was shocked, as he knew that Darius was powerful, but he knew that Darius wasn’t that powerful when he fought him, so he didn’t believe that it was Darius who fought Silent-Frost.


    “Hmm, did he take anything from you?”


    “...Yes, he took all of the Medicines we managed to loot from others. Even though it wasn’t ground-shaking, there still was quite a lot of Medicines and if he wanted to keep those Medicines for himself, then he might threaten Young Master in this challenge.”


    “Show me where you fought him.”


    After this exchange, the shadows seemed to melt into the ground, but they were quickly replaced by the people from the second group! As they lead the way, Zephyr and his group followed behind and they collected any Medicines that they came across, since the people from the second group couldn’t collect any Medicines, as they were running as fast as they could. This also meant that it would take much longer for them to get back, as they were not going as fast as possible and they were also stopping.


    So, if it took them an hour to get back to Zephyr, it would take them around 4 hours to get back to where they fought Darius and that was if they had not moved, which was very unlikely, so it would take longer than 4 hours.


    But, as they were travelling, they came across a few other groups and lone cultivators, of whom, they robbed them of all their valuables and continued on in the direction of where they last saw Darius, as they hoped that they would be able to find him soon.


    The main reason why Zephyr was to see if the person really was Darius, but if it wasn’t then he was there to try and entice them to join his group, so that he would be able to make the most profit from them.



    Chapter 28

    Spoiler:

    Chapter 28

    Feeding another pill to Darius, Alex was completely shocked at how much energy Darius could absorb! He had already fed 4 pills to him, but he was still able to absorb the energy as fast as when he absorbed the first pill! Although 4 pills might not sound like much, if a normal Mortal cultivator took these four pills, their cultivation would skyrocket to Core Revolving. But, their foundation would have disappeared, so it was impossible for them to advance and there was a high chance that they would explode as well, as their core would be unstable, but Darius was able to absorb these four, but the only change in him was that there was a stronger feeling of vitality coming from Darius.


    This startled the group, as Darius had lots of vitality, but he still seemed to be in pain and there seemed to be something wrong, on top of that, he showed no signs of waking. If Darius woke up, then the healing process would be much easier, as he would be able to direct the Medicinal Energy to the injury, but while he was unconscious, all the energy was being dispersed through his body.


    Looking at the one pill next to him, Alex picked it up and fed it to Darius, but all of the Medicinal Energy was absorbed just as quickly and the whole group could feel that Darius vitality had seemed to increase by a small amount. This pained Alex, as he couldn’t afford to take out any more pills, but he wanted to help Darius heal, so he racked his brains for what he could do.


    “Oh, how about using one of the Medicines that he gave us from the other group?” After a few seconds, Silora suggested that Alex should give Darius a Medicine. Although she was opposed to helping Darius heal at first, she knew that once Alex decided that he was going to do something, he made sure that he would do everything in his power to complete it and this was one of those decisions.


    Taking out one of the Medicines, Alex took off one of the leaves and fed it to Darius and something amazing happened! As soon as it touch Darius all the vital energy in the leaf disappeared and it withered, but they could all feel that the vitality in Darius had increased by a small amount, but considering it was only one leaf, it could mean that Darius could recover much faster!


    When they discovered that, Alex said,” How about we move him from here, as the people might come back as we have offended them?”


    “Sure.” A choruses of sures and yeses were said, as it was a reasonable idea. Reaching down to pick Darius up, Alex found that he could only lift Darius up for less than half a second before his arms gave out! Since he broken through to Core Traversing, Alex had never felt this sensation, as whenever he did something there was always energy imbued in it, so he would be able to lift up several hundred of kilos, but he wasn’t able to pick Darius up! This meant that there was either something stopping him from picking Darius up, or Darius’ body was incredibly strong and therefore heavy!


    “What is wrong Alex?” Noticing that Alex wasn’t following them, Silora turned around and saw that Alex was trying to pick Darius up, but for some reason, he couldn’t. Going over to his side, Silora tried to help him pick Darius up, but she found that she wasn’t able to hold him for more than half a second with Alex’s help! Channeling energy into themselves, Alex and Silora found that they were able to pick Darius up, but their energy consumption was extremely high.


    When the rest of their group saw that they were struggling, they also helped and soon enough, they were able to carry Darius without a struggle and they carried him to a safer area. But as they were carrying him, they realised that Darius was getting heavier and they had to ramp up the amount of energy they were using and by the time they put him back down, the amount of energy they were each using was equal to the amount that Alex and Silora were using when they tried to pick Darius up by themselves!


    As they put him down, they all let out a sigh of relief, and they all started to cultivate, so that they could regain all of the energy that they had lost while they were carrying Darius. If it was something that stopped them from picking Darius up, then the force it released wouldn’t slowly increase over time, so the only other reason why any of this was happening was that his body was becoming stronger at a rapid rate! As for why his body was becoming stronger they didn’t know, but Alex guessed it had something to do with why he was unconscious right now.


    Feeding him another leaf, Alex realised that Darius wasn’t injured, but this was an incredible lucky chance that would allow him to increase his bodily strength by many times, so he took off several more leaves and fed them to Darius in one go as he knew that Darius was able to handle it, but when Silora saw that Alex was feeding more than three leaves to Darius, she thought that he was trying to kill him, but she couldn’t do anything about it, as he had already put it in his mouth before she could say anything.


    She waited a few seconds, but she was utterly surprised, as nothing noticeable had happened! Normally a person would explode from taking in too much energy of any type and if the energy was raw or chaotic, it would take much less energy to overload a person and one of the most accessible raw energies were from unprocessed Medicines, which was why most people didn’t dare to absorb Medicines. This was also the reason why Alex never considered giving Darius Medicines, as he wasn’t sure if it was the right thing to do, but when Silora mentioned it, it seemed like the obvious thing to do.


    Although nothing noticeable happened, something was happening inside Darius. All of the energy that was being absorbed by him was being directly pumped into his heart, while some of it got caught up in his body and strengthened his body, but his heart was being tempered. Even though he was unconscious, to Darius, it felt like someone was ripping his heart into shreds and then stitching it back together endlessly. But as he felt that, his heart was being tempered by all of the energy and his vitality seemed to become endless, as if he could grow a new body from a single drop of blood.


    As his heart was tempered, the blood that it pumped through his body was becoming purer and therefore it was able to strengthen his body to a degree and his regenerative abilities were increasing as well!


    Although Darius’ heart was being tempered, he was receiving something that was much better. Normally, when someone’s heart or body was being tempered, they would stay awake, but when someone was receiving information forcibly, then they would be knocked unconscious. When he absorbed the crystal, Darius thought that everything had been absorbed by his body, but there was some residue left over and over time it slowly converged on his brain, but that was spread up greatly by him running around and fighting.


    After all the residue converged, some of it rushed off to his heart, while the rest entered his brain and it started to transmit a cultivation technique. Despite being unconscious, Darius was able to see everything that was being transmitted. From what he saw, Darius managed to discover that there was a cultivation technique being transmitted to him. The cultivation method was called the Profound Body Art.


    Just the name alone was quite domineering, but what shocked Darius was that it was called a Body Art! In Highvale, the most basic types of quite a few techniques could be found, but despite that, everyone knew that Body Arts were almost nonexistent in this part of the world. So when Darius discovered that a Body Art was being transferred to his brain, he was extremely shocked, but when he thought about it, it made sense. As, when he absorbed the crystal, his body was being refined and now that his heart was being tempered, so why wouldn’t the information he received be a Body Art?


    As he processed the information coming into his head, Darius learnt quite a few things that had to do with the Body Art and also body cultivation in general. The first thing he learnt was that body cultivation was divided into two parts. They were Body Refining and Vitality Strengthening. These two names described what the two parts were, but there was some more complexity to it as well. If someone solely focused on Body Refining, then it would be impossible for them to heal, as each part of their body required huge amounts of vitality to create and heal, so if their vitality was the same as a normal person, how could they heal. Whereas, if  someone solely focused on Vitality Strengthening, then they would be able to form a new body from a drop of blood, but their body itself might not be strong enough to hold all of the blood and its vitality, causing the cultivator to burn out.


    Of course, there were some amazing Arts that would allow someone to focus on one path, but they were incredibly rare and cultivating in both parts would also greatly benefit someone and could also decrease the rate at which they aged and also increased their lifespan. But, there were some drawbacks and they were that it put incredible pressure on the body and when you were refining your body or strengthening you vitality, both would be immensely painful and as you went further down the path, it would become much more painful, but this in of itself was a blessing, as it would increase their pain threshold and also increase their endurance and willpower.


    As he read more of the information, Darius realised that the requirements for someone to cultivate this art was extremely stringent, as it required someone to have a perfect Body Training without any outside influence, as if there was any outside influence, it would stop their pores from opening and having all of your pores open was something that was a vital part of this Art. That alone was the requirement to be able to absorb the crystal, but actually receiving this was another thing entirely, as it required someone to be able to withstand the pain of tempering their heart.


    Although this might not sound that hard, the pain involved with it was described before and there was nothing that could stop the pain, but that wasn't the worst part! As the process went on, the pain increased and it wasn't a slow increase either! If, the pain at first was similar to someone ripping their heart into shreds, then the pain that Darius was feeling now was similar to his soul being refined very slowly, but painfully. But, there was one other thing that Darius dreaded and that was the fact that he was slightly less than halfway through the process! This meant that the pain would be incomparable to now once he was nearing the end of the process.


    If any normal person had to withstand this, it was equivalent to a death sentence, but Darius had a miniscule chance, but if he used his Imperial Aura, then he had a much better chance. This was also the reason why the Sect was able to put this treasure into the competition. If it was easy to acquire, then they would have given this to one of their top disciples, but because of the stringent requirements and also the pain involved, the Sect wasn’t willing to test it out on their top disciples, so they put it here since they didn’t think that anyone would pick it up, as they had done so for the past 50 years, but no-one had picked it up.


    When they first put it out, they paid special attention to it, but as time passed, they lost interest in it and there was almost no-one who was watching it and if someone was paying attention to it, they would simply be a curious junior. So, even though there was something which could sense the crystal, it had long been covered in dust, as there was no-one who had ever come close to using the crystal, but at this moment, an ancient Elder was walking in the area and he noticed that someone had taken the crystal and was greatly surprised.

    “Ho, now this is interesting!”


    As more information was brought into his head, Darius realised that some of it was locked away and no matter what he did, he couldn’t see it and he guessed that a majority of the Art was locked away. But, as he was thinking this, Darius realised that he must be coming to his senses, as he could hear several things happening, but he couldn't define what they were.


    But, as he slowly awoke, Darius realised that he was hearing shouts!

    “Zephyr to think that you have gone to such lows! You dare to gang up on a junior while he is unconscious! Only a scum would act like that, so go die!”


  • Sorry about last week, but here are the chapters to hopefully make up for it.

    Chapter 29

    Spoiler:

    Chapter 29

    As the energy in the air fluctuated, Darius knew that Zephyr must have come here and when he saw him in this state, Zephyr must have thought that it was the best time to attack him, so he wanted to attack him, but since the people from the first group were there, they stopped him, which in turn ended up in a fight. This made Darius resent Zephyr even more and also made his heart feel warm at the fact that people were looking out for him, even if they thought that the only reason they were doing this was because Darius saved them.


    As he slowly ‘woke’ up, Darius realised that all of his senses were awake, but he was still undergoing the heart tempering and the pain made it impossible for Darius to move, as the pain was simply indescribable. Darius wondered that if this pain was to simply start the Art, then how painful would it be to cultivate the Art! Spreading out his Energy, Darius was able to see the scene and what was happening.


    From what he could see, Darius noticed that Zephyr, the people from the second group besides Silent-Frost, as he still had to recover completely from his injuries, but Darius noticed four other people lurking in the back, waiting for the opportune time to strike. Seeing that, Darius wondered if they were going to attack him or the people protecting him.


    For a while, they just stood there and it seemed like they were in a stalemate, but after a few seconds, everything escalated extremely quickly and they all started to attack each other.


    “Hmph, to think that someone would be dumb enough to offend our young master!”


    Just as Alex was about to reach Zephyr, two people that were lurking behind came around and stopped him from attacking Alex.


    “To think that your cowardice and shamelessness has reached such a degree!” Enraged by the fact that he wasn’t able to attack Zephyr, Alex ruthlessly slashed out at the two people that had come to intercept him and they found that there was nothing else that they could do besides dodge, unless they wanted to be cleaved in two! As the dodged to the side, it gave Alex enough time to rush at Zephyr, who was startled at Alex’s strength, but even a bee would attack with all of its might once it was cornered!


    Stabbing at Zephyr, Alex didn’t bother to defend against the attacks coming in from the two others that had attacked him before, as he wanted to do was maim Zephyr and he couldn’t care if he was majorly injured as well, as his self righteous anger had been ignited. Because Zephyr was willing to attack Darius, whom Alex considered to be under his care, he was angry. But when Zephyr wanted to team up on them and also attack Darius, he had crossed his bottom line, as he would never let anyone touch his friends!


    When the two attacks hit him, Alex felt as if both of his arms were being ripped off, but he managed to endure it through sheer will and the knowledge that Darius would not be able to escape if he wasn’t able to fight. But, because he had been injured, Alex wasn’t able to fight to the best of his ability!


    In exchange for this, Alex had caused a gaping gash to appear in Zephyr! Since Zephyr had all of these people around him, he didn’t need to be too powerful himself, so when he was faced with Alex’s attack, there was no way that he could stop an attacked fueled by Alex’s anger. Clutching onto the wound, it seemed that Zephyr thought that he could heal it if he brought the two ends of the wound together, but that was all he could do to try to resist the pain.


    While all of this was happening, everyone was shocked and only after Zephyr shouted at them to fight did they snap out of their shock and start attacking again. This left them at a disadvantage, while Darius was frustrated, as he couldn’t help them out, despite all that they had done for him, as he didn’t think that he had done much.


    But, after watching the fight for a minute, Darius realised that he could help! He could use his energy and Imperial Aura to hinder the other group and their attacks! If he managed to do this, then he would be able to help without the other group noticing that much. For example, if someone sent out a powerful strike, Darius would send out some of his Imperial Aura to dampen and absorb most of the hit, but he did it in a way that the person that slashed out couldn’t find out, so it wouldn’t hurt the person it was meant to hit that much. Other times he was more blatant. When Zephyr was about to land a decisive blow, Darius used his Imperial Aura to disturb the energy in his body, causing him to hesitate and also release a much weaker strike, allowing the person to dodge and also land one of their own blows, while also leaving Zephyr confused at why that happened.


    Without Darius’ help, they were losing, but when Darius started to help them, the group started to push back the others a little, but whenever they felt like they were starting to win, one of the people that were behind Zephyr attacked and they morale plummeted. But, they still fought on and as the battle wore on, Darius found that the pain was increasing even more! This caused him to be unable to circulate his energy! This type of pain had gone beyond normal pain long ago and was able to stop bodily functions, as it had already stopped him from moving and now it stopped his ability to use his energy and it increased even more, it might stop him from thinking!


    Normally a person would not be able to withstand pain once it reached the point of stopping movement entirely, but for a reason that Darius couldn’t grasp, he was able to withstand it! It might have been due to the fact that he had Imperial Aura, that allowed him to adapt, but he felt that there was another reason, but he just couldn’t tell what it was. But, as the pain increased, Darius knew that it meant that the process was finishing up, but that meant that Darius couldn't help out, so the group would be back with a massive disadvantage, so Darius wanted the process to end as fast as possible.


    As soon as Darius wasn’t able to help them with his energy, Alex felt that the fight had become harder and he found that he was using much more energy now, so he wouldn’t be able to continue fighting for too long. Looking around him, Alex realised that he was in the best condition compared to the other around him, but he knew that he wouldn’t be able to help them, as he would then leave himself open to attacks if he tried to assist someone.


    Feeling completely hopeless, Alex wasn’t sure what to do. As he racked his brains for a way out of this, Alex couldn’t find a way out that kept everyone alive. As they continued to fight, Alex wondered how the other people in his group were still fighting! He alone felt completely exhausted and was only enduring with sheer willpower. But if he was feeling like that, what would his friends feel if they had a lower level of energy when compared to him!


    Slowly, Alex could feel that his reactions were becoming slower and as he fought, he was accumulating more injuries and when he snuck a glance at his group, Alex saw that they were fighting like zombies! They had seemed to have forgotten what pain was and their reactions were incredibly slow as they fought. This made Alex shiver as he realised how much they had to endure. This also made Darius feel extremely bad, as they were protecting him without regard for themselves.


    Seeing this, Darius was not sure how to respond, as they were protecting him with their all, despite knowing that it was futile anyway. Sighing in his heart, Darius himself knew that he was feeling pain himself, but he was able to endure it, as it was the only thing he could do, whereas the people that were protecting him could easily run away, but they stayed and endured for Darius!


    After a few more minutes, the first person from the group that was protecting him fell down in exhaustion and wasn’t able to get back up and this caused one more person to fall down as well. This made Darius even more worried, because Zephyr would be able to do anything to him that he wanted once the people that were protecting him fell.


    But, unfortunately, Darius knew that the people protecting him would not be able to do so forever, but there was something he could try to do. If Darius was willing, he was able to increase the speed at which his heart was tempered, but that meant that the pain was intensified by the speed that he increased it by and there was even a chance that his heart would explode.


    Despite knowing that, Darius still went ahead and increased the speed at which it went and now he felt that the pain was increasing more and he felt that his heart was about to erupt, but for some reason, it didn’t. This made Darius worry, as he thought that the pressure would build up and then he would be done for if it burst out, or if too much pressure was put on his heart later!


    A minute after this, Alex showed signs of falling and Darius wondered if he should increase the speed even more, as he knew that, at the current rate, it wouldn’t be fast enough and Zephyr would be able to attack him without him being able to do anything. But, Darius also knew that his heart would not be able to withstand the increased pressure and he could only wait nervously and hope that Alex would be able to hold on for long enough, but Darius’ hopes were dashed, as more of the group joined in to attack Alex.


    This left Darius no choice but to increase the speed at which his heart was tempered. Darius knew that if he sped it up enough, his heart would have to deal with it for a moment, but it lowered the chance of it exploding, but it would leave lasting injuries. These injuries would mean that Darius’ vitality is weakened and his heart would not be able to handle any more shock.


    While, this might not seem too severe, a injury on the heart was quite hard to heal. Although it seemed like it would heal quickly it was quite the opposite! It was one of the slowest healing parts of the body! This meant that an injury there could last for someone’s whole life. But luckily, these injuries weren’t too hard to suppress, but these suppressions could come undone at any time.


    But, as Darius increased the speed at which his heart was tempered, Darius felt something burst, but it didn’t seem like too much, but when he felt more bursts, he knew that it wasn’t good, but luckily, the tempering had ended, but Darius felt that he had yet to gain control of his body and as he saw Zephyr walking towards him, Darius was filled with dread.


    “Look at him, such a wimp, can only hide behind other people’s backs and can’t fend for himself! This kind of trash doesn’t deserve to be in this Sect, he will sully its name!” Filled with conceit, Zephyr felt like lording it over Darius, even though he thought that Darius couldn’t hear him. But contrary to his belief, Darius could hear him!



    Chapter 30

    Spoiler:

    Chapter 30


    But, although he could hear him, Darius couldn't do anything about it, so when Zephyr swung his sword down at Darius there was nothing he could do beside resign to his fate. But something amazing happened! As the blade hit his skin, the blade cut into his skin, but once it hit a bone, it stopped! This meant that Darius’ bones were harder than the sword! This alone was an amazing feat, but what was also shocking was that when Zephyr was cutting through his skin, he found it extremely hard to cut, so it meant that his skin was hardening to the point where it could almost resist the blade!


    While he was stunned by this, Darius managed to regain control of his body and he grabbed the sword. Pulling it out of himself, Darius felt it cut through the skin on his hand, but he disregarded the pain and yanked the sword from Zephyr’s grasp and slashed at Zephyr, while he was still in a daze, but luckily for him, one of his servants came out and blocked the attack with their own sword. At which Zephyr woke up and looked at Darius with a clear fear in his eyes, but that quickly disappeared as he surveyed his surroundings and saw that Darius was surrounded by his servants!


    This situation might seem unfavourable to Darius, but it was quite the opposite, as he was able to rival a Core Compressing expert if he used both his energy and bodily strength and since the people he were facing were only at the middle of Core Expansion, they were no match for Darius. So, when he saw that he was surrounded, he smiled ruefully and ran at one of the people from the group which attacked Alex before. Since they had already attacked him once, Darius wanted to make sure that they knew the consequences of offending him, even if they did it on the orders of Zephyr.


    As a spear appeared in his hands, Darius stabbed at the person’s knee with unerring accuracy and the person did not have enough time to block the strike and his knee was pierced, causing his to lose most of his mobility.

    Crack!

    But something else happened that shocked Darius, his spear started to crack! This was shocking, as it meant that Darius was too strong of the spear, so it was unable to resist this force and cracked!


    Seeing that one of their friends had fallen, the group were shocked, as they knew their team’s strength and seeing that one of their own had been dispatched in an instant, unable to retaliate, it sent shivers down their spine and they were thankful that killing was against the rules.


    As Darius took them down one by one, they did everything they could to retaliate, but it was to no avail. Without sustaining any injuries, Darius managed to get rid of all of them, except for Zephyr, who he kept for last. Walking towards him slowly, Darius tried to summon as much baleful aura as he could. Although it wasn’t much, it was enough to scare the wits out of Zephyr, who stood there terrified.


    “Don’t think that you can get away if you kill me! Even if the elders of the sect don’t hunt you down, the elders of the Kingdom will hunt you down and then there will be no escape for you!”


    Hearing that, Darius was slightly taken back, as what Zephyr just said meant that he was from one of the Kingdoms, either the Heavenly or Decree Kingdom! This was a very powerful backing. Although they would not directly go against the sect, the Kingdoms had people in high places who would be willing to help persecute Darius if he offended Zephyr too much, as he was one of their talented geniuses.  


    Although this made Darius hesitate, he still continued onwards, as he would not let that scare him. Bringing the spear to Zephyr’s face, Darius whispered into his ear,” Don’t ever think about threatening me like that again.” Imbuing some energy into the spear, Darius left a mark across his face, which would stay there for his whole life or until he came across some method to get rid of it.


    After he did that, Darius smashed him over the head with the shaft of the spear and knocked him out. Looking at him, Darius could only sigh, but something on him caught his eye. It was a spatial ring! Of course Zephyr would have had a Spatial Ring, he came from one of the kingdoms. Taking the ring from his finger, Darius tried to look inside it, but Zephyr had left its mark on it, so he was unable to look inside it.


    Using some Imperial Aura, Darius dissolved the mark and he looked inside the ring and he was surprised to see that there were two pouches inside the ring. Taking them out, Darius searched through them and saw that there were quite a few Medicines and treasures and he put the pouches in his his ring. Looking around him, Darius realised that there were people strewn all around, so he gave Zephyr his ring back, so that he wouldn’t think that there is anything wrong, unless he noticed that his mark on the ring was gone.


    Leaving the attackers be, Darius moved the people from Alex’s group with his energy until they were a safe distance away and then he tried to heal them with his energy, but he found that it was very ineffective, so he tried to think about ways to help them. After a minute, Darius realised that his blood had a lot of vitality and there was a chance that he would be able to help them heal their own vitality with his own blood.


    Pricking his finger, Darius used his energy to direct the blood in his body out of the prick and he opened Alex’s mouth first and blood sprayed into his mouth and he quickly showed signs of waking, so he moved on to the next person until they showed signs of waking and so on until all of them had show signs of waking. When he had managed to do that, Alex woke up and this startled Darius, as he thought that it would take them at least half an hour to wake up, but it had only been 15 minutes since he helped Alex.


    “I cannot thank you enough for protecting me while I was unconscious!” Bowing deeply, Darius thanked Alex, but he was quickly stopped as Alex said,” Don’t worry, it was just paying back the favour. But, how did you manage to get rid of all the others that quickly!”


    Noticing that it was still around dusk, Alex was confused, as he wondered how Darius would have been able to get rid of all the other people that were attacking them and also heal them of  most of their wounds as well! But, as he saw that Darius wasn’t willing to answer, he didn’t push it any further as he knew that everyone would have some secrets.


    “Oh yeah, I’m Alex, what is your name.” Realising that they didn’t know each other’s names, Alex asked.

    “I’m Darius.”

    As they waited for the others to wake up, they talked and Darius learnt the names of all of people in the group. There was Alex, Silora, Louise, Morgan and Spencer. They had all known each other for some time and they were lucky enough to meet up, but they were also unlucky enough to be followed by the other group. But, since they had managed to pull through, they had also gotten some benefits, as they had received some of the Medicines from the second group and Darius had also given some of the Medicines from Zephyr and the amount of Medicines he had were at least ten times more than from the other group!


    This was a very large amount, but it was no-where enough to get anywhere near winning the competition, as they knew that there would be other people like Zephyr, but with even more servants and they would also be more powerful. If someone came across a group like that and if they weren’t a freak like Darius, then there would be almost no way for them to be able to pull through.


    As Silora woke up, Darius and Alex stopped talking for a few seconds and when she came over to Alex’s side, he said,” Silora, this is Darius. Darius, this is Silora.”

    “Silora, I am beyond grateful that you protected me without regarding your own health.”

    “Well, it’s fine. You helped us when we were in need, so that makes it up.” As she said that, Silora seemed to be slightly conflicted, but she managed to say it with a smile.


    As the rest of them woke up, Darius was introduced to all of them and he learnt that Alex was the leader of the group. But, by the time all of them had woken up, it was night-time, but they knew that this was the best time to go out, as most of the Medicines needed the sun to function properly, so if they were able to find any, the Medicines would be at their weakest and some Medicines only came out at nighttime and were well hidden while the sun was up.


    But before they could do that, they had to recover from their injuries and since they were cultivators, they could use their energy to recover from their lack of sleep. But Darius didn’t need to do that, as his vitality was extremely strong and he estimated that he wouldn’t need to sleep even if he was awake for a week straight without using any energy if he didn't exert himself too much.


    Although they were cultivators, it was still a bit harder to see at night, even if they spread out their energy, as many things had adapted and grown to be able to hide in the shadows, even from energy, so they couldn’t run around, as they might have missed a Medicine if they went too fast.


    Slowly, as they swept the area, they came across some Medicines and they took them and they divided them equally among them. As they continued on, they came across a few camps of people who were sleeping and there were always a few people on guard, so they quickly snuck past them and even of there weren’t people on guard, they wouldn’t have done anything, as they were not like Zephyr.


    But, as they were searching for Medicines they were ambushed by another group!

    “Attack! Get all of their Medicines!”

    Through the silence of the night, these words cut were extremely loud and startled Darius and Alex’s group. Taking out their weapons, they were all very tense as they waited for the attack to start. But after a few seconds, nothing happened and that caused them to lower their guard a bit, but once they did, several people came rushing out of the bushes and attacked them.


    They must have seen their previous exploits, so they sent two people at Darius and Alex, but they were only Rank 3 Core Expansion cultivators, so Darius was able to easily knock them out, but Alex was not able to do so as he himself was only a Rank 4 Core Expansion cultivator and they seemed to be the elites of the group and they were especially slippery, as they seemed to melt into the darkness the moment he turned his head away, making it almost impossible for him to keep track of both people.


    But luckily for him, Darius came in and punched at the seemingly empty space behind him and sent a figure flying away, but before it could get away, Darius caught it with his energy and slammed it into the ground, so the person was knocked unconscious. This left Alex with one person, but since they were at a lower cultivation level, Alex was able to easily get rid of them, as the person had lost any distractions, so they were not able to hide in the shadows of night.


    But, after they had gotten rid of their problems, Darius and Alex saw that the rest of the group was not in a good shape, as only Silora was a Rank 3 Core Expansion cultivator, while the others were Rank 2 Core Expansion, meaning that the attackers had dominance over them in cultivation levels and they were also able to hide in the shadows, so the rest of the group were not in a good shape.


    Seeing that, Alex and Darius restricted some of the people, so the rest of the group was able to fight much easier and once they did so, Darius saw that Silora quickly started to reverse the situation in her case, but the others were still struggling a bit. Throwing his spear, Darius managed to stop one of the attackers from landing a fatal blow, allowing Morgan to take advantage of the situation and brought the initiative to his side and started to attack how he felt like. Once Darius used some energy to retrieve his spear, he swung at the area beside his waist and someone was smashed into the ground.


    “Hmph, with only this much skill, do you think that you can sneak attack me?” Walking over to the person he smashed into the ground, Darius knelt down next to them and asked this question. Grabbing them by the head, Darius tried to lift them up, but he made an amazing discovery. As he was pulling up, the person’s ‘face’ fell off.


    And beneath the mask was the person’s real face and Darius was even more shocked, as he saw that they were a woman! This shocked him, as he had always thought that it would have been a man that was willing to sneak attack someone at night, but he knew that he was wrong. Despite that shock, Darius still lifted them up and smashed them on the ground again.

    On the side, Alex sighed, as he saw that Darius was able to show no mercy at such a young age.



    Chapter 31

    Spoiler:

    Chapter 31

    But, while Darius was doing this, the rest of his group were struggling and they were finding it hard to even see their opponents, let alone hit them, so some of them had resorted to swinging randomly around them and they managed to hit their target a few times, but they had also received quite a few wounds, so some of them started to defend continuously, but by doing so, they sacrificed attacking at all.


    Although they were not receiving as many wounds, they were still being hit multiple times, so their stamina was being whittled away, so when Darius and Alex came rushing at the attackers, they were extremely relieved. As Darius sent people flying, they were shocked at his strength, as before he had never shown any of his real power, so him acting like a human hurricane was a surprise to them all.


    It seemed that Darius was trying to keep them all in the air at the same time, which was not easy, as they were all using their energy to get out of his way, but once they were knocked unconscious, then he was able to keep them up at once.


    After a minute of keeping them in the air, the people were in a very bad shape, so Darius decided to stop.

    “I was just making sure that they were all unconscious, you never know with these people, they are very crafty.” Trying to cover up his mistake, Darius came up with this flimsy excuse which made everyone laugh, as he sounded like an old geezer.


    As he walked over to them, Darius was surprised to see that they all had spatial rings on their fingers and he took them and broke the mark on them. He then distributed the Medicines in the rings, after which he gave the rings to Alex and the rest of the group. But, Darius wondered who these people could have been if they all had these rings, as only a few people that he had come across had these rings and they had all been very rich and the person who he managed to get the first pouch from was extremely rich.


    This made Darius believe that these rings and pouches were very expensive, but when he saw that all of these people each had a ring, it would either mean that they were all rich, or, where they come from, these rings are not expensive. But they did not have any pouches, so they were not as rich as some people like Zephyr, nor were they as lucky as Darius, as he had managed to find 3 of these pouches on people, but he didn’t have much in them.


    As they continued on, Darius wondered if Zephyr would be able to tell his clan what had happened, as he had been humiliated and Darius knew that he liked to save his own face, even if he had to withstand some humiliation. But, if he didn’t tell his clan what had happened, then he must make some way for him to be able to make back everything he lost, as he must have to give an account for everything that he spent.


    But, as they were sweeping the area, Darius came across an 8 Star Medicine! This type of Medicine was very hard to find, so Darius knew that they must collect it. Calling the rest of the group in, Darius told them what he had found.

    “What, an 8 Star Medicine! Do you know what rank it is?”

    “I think it is a Rank-2 8-Star Medicine! Do you think we can take it down?”

    Looking at the people around him, Darius wondered how well they would be able to function as a team, as he had not seen them showcase their full skill as a team, as they were usually against larger numbers of opponents and they had to fight alone, but now they were going against a very strong singular enemy.


    Although Darius would be able to take this Medicine very easily, he didn’t want to show his full strength and would help out on the side with the rest of the group, only acting if something went wrong. Huddling together they decided to make a plan, of which someone had to gather information on the Medicine and how it attacked. They decided that they would send Louise and Spencer to test the Medicine out.


    Once they came within ten metres of the Medicine, a small fireball was blasted at them, so they were forced to dodge and run around the Medicine, as it spewed more fireballs at them. Since the plant looked like a lily that had not bloomed, so when it blasted a fireball at them, it came out of the small gap at the tip of the leaves.


    As they observed the fight, the group realised that the Medicine could move, as each time it shot out a fireball, it shook a bit. But for some reason, something was stopping it from moving. This made them even more curious about it and they told Louise and Spencer to come back and after they did this, they all cautiously approached it.


    Surrounding it in a circle, Darius was the first one to run forwards and try to strike it, but he was forced to back up, as he was being overwhelmed by the fireballs. Normally,he would be able to get through easily, but he was deliberately restricting himself. Falling back, Darius realised that someone could be used as a distraction, as the rest ran forward and attacked the Medicine. Falling back, Darius told the rest his plan and they decided that it would be him that was the distraction. Feeling that this was an opportunity to truly fit in, he agreed and they set out with the plan.


    Rushing forward, Darius did his best to distract the Medicine while the others got in position, but with its intellect, it saw Darius as the biggest threat and didn’t bother with the others, so Darius decided to exert himself a bit more and he rushed in close and thrust at the Medicine a few times and that distracted it quite a lot, so, as it was trying to dispel his strikes, the rest of the group came rushing in and attacked with all of their might.


    This one attack allowed Darius to see the group’s true strength as a team, as it seemed that their strikes all combined into one massive attack. This attack’s power was not as simple as one plus one, but it was much more and as their attacks piled onto it, it became even more glorious. As the attack came rushing into the Medicine, Darius realised that even he would be hard pressed if such an attack hit him.


    Looking at the Medicine, Darius knew that it would not be in a good shape once the attack hit it, so he knew that this was the right time to launch a few attacks himself. Stabbing out, Darius knew that once this was over, the Medicine would be done for. Stepping back, Darius noticed that the Medicine was trying to do something urgently, but it seemed to be unsuccessful. This made Darius wondered what it was trying to do, as he considered the fact that it had something to do with the reason why it couldn’t move.


    When the attacks hit, everything seemed to move in slow motion. Darius saw the attacks pierce right through the Medicine and it was blown away, but once it was blown away the object that was keeping it in place also came out. From what Darius saw, this object was a large rock, but once it was exposed to the air, it combusted and fire was spewed everywhere! When that happened, Darius shouted out,” RUN!”


    Once he did so, Darius turned around and ran as far as he could while keeping track of the rest of his team. Although he was the closest to the Medicine, Darius was the fastest by far, so he was able to get far away from the Medicine, but Morgan was not so lucky and he was burnt, but he continued to run. But something terrifying happened! As Morgan was running, the fire that was burning on his skin seemed to multiply and soon it was covering his whole arm and then it started to spread to his whole body.


    When Alex saw that he was horrified, but he still ran over to his side and smothered the fire with his energy. But once he did so, the fire ‘jumped’ onto his energy and it was transferred to Alex. Upon seeing that, the rest of the group was scared and they didn't dare to get close, but Darius came in and he used some of his Imperial Aura to smother the flames on Morgan, as he had been burning for the longest. Once he did so, the flames tried to jump on it and they managed to spread to the Imperial Aura, but the Imperial Aura engulfed it and it caused the Imperial Aura to increase!


    Feeling that, Darius covered the rest of the fire with it and he directly brought his Imperial Aura over the fire, causing it trying to spread to his Imperial Aura, but it was engulfed. Going over to Alex, Darius covered the flames with his Imperial Aura and when he had done that, Alex looked up and he saw an awe inspiring sight. From his angle, Darius looked very heroic and because of the Imperial Aura, he had the aura of a ruler. Matched with his innocent face and his stance, he seemed like a future ruler, someone who was bound to be great in this age.


    But, that sense of greatness changed to one of a good friend, as he asked them,” Are you both okay? Are you burnt anywhere.”

    Although they were covered in flames, they had enough sense to cover their own bodies in energy, so they would not be burnt, but it was still a reasonable question, as it had caught them by surprise and this fire also had the ability to burn energy, so that meant it was not any mortal flame.


    After a few seconds, of checking their bodies, they both said that they were fine, which made Darius let out a sigh of relief, as he knew that it would be very hard to actually heal a burn made from that flame.

    “I think that I might be able to get the thing that is shooting all this fire everywhere!”

    “What, are you insane! Did you not just see what it did to us?!”

    “Well, as you saw, I have a method to go against the flames, so I believe that I will be safe in there.”


    When he considered it, Darius knew that it wasn’t a bad decision to go into the area where flames were everywhere, as he would be able to increase the amount of Imperial Aura he had, as it seemed that he had reached the maximum he could through normal means and he wondered if he pushed it hard enough, if the size of his Dantian would increase.


    “Well, as long as you are careful, then it is all good, but be sure to be careful.” Alex replied after some deliberation, much to Darius’ glee, as he knew that if Alex didn’t think that it was safe, he would not be allowed to go.

    “But, you have to come out as soon as you think that you are in any danger, you got that? Oh yeah, also get back into your peak condition before you go.”

    “Yes Alex.”


    Agreeing with that condition, Darius wondered what the object in question was. Sitting down and starting to cultivate, he tried to get back into his peak condition. But, as he was doing so, Darius inspected his body and he saw that there was a massive injury on his heart. It looked quite scary, as it seemed that it would burst at any moment, but Darius knew that it wouldn’t. But he also knew that the method he used to seal it would not last too long and it would burst very soon after the competition finished.


    Darius sighed to himself, as he knew that he would have to make a name for himself in this competition if he wanted the Sect to bother resealing his heart once it bursts, as he was quite sure that he would not be able to become strong enough to suppress before it bursts.


    Continuing to cultivate, Darius found that he was able to restore all of his energy, but by the time he had done so, Darius saw signs of daytime revealing itself. At least that is what Darius thought, but the others knew better, as it was actually the fire from the object near them! Although he didn’t know that, Darius realised that it was far too hot where he was, so he knew that the fire from the object had either increased in intensity, or it had gotten closer.



    Chapter 32

    Spoiler:

    Chapter 32

    Getting up, Darius looked around, before he ran off in the direction of the fire. As he was running, he noticed that the temperature was becoming higher and higher until it was far too hot for someone to stay in normally, but since Darius’ body was much stronger than others, he was able to resist this without any trouble at all, but he was still quite a distance from the object.


    When he was closer to the object, Darius could clearly see the fire from it and he was sweating now, as it was incredibly hot now and Darius had to robe himself in his energy, as his clothes had been burnt long ago. But, once he was able to see the flames, he felt the temperature increase greatly and he saw that the flames seemed to have gained intelligence and they were coming towards him slowly.


    Seeing that, Darius wasn’t too worried by it, as they were moving at a pace that he would be able to dodge them quite easily, but as the flames became more common, he realised that it would be very easy to get cornered by them, but he knew that his Imperial Aura would be able to save him if anything like that happened and it might be a good idea to be cornered deliberately, as the flames could increase his Imperial Aura. This was good for him, as he had reached the highest amount of Imperial Aura he had and he needed something to break through this bottleneck.



    Getting closer and closer to the object, the heat also increased greatly and soon enough, even his protective energy was being burnt by the heat alone! Once he was within reach of the object, he was already using his Imperial Aura to protect himself, but once he reached out to touch the object, Darius was shocked to feel a barrier that seemed to stop his hand. Exerting some force, the barrier broke and a shocking scene appeared before Darius’ eyes.


    When the barrier was still there, the object looked quite large and it wasn’t something that a single person could hold normally, but now the object turned into a thick rod the size of an arm! From going from an object around two metres high to something as long as an adult’s arm greatly shocked Darius, as he had seen the heat and fire that it had created! Since it was still stuck into the ground, Darius bent over to pick it up and he felt the blast into his face and once he grabbed it, his hand was being seared, despite the fact that he had his Imperial Aura protecting it and also the fact that his body was able to endure a much higher level of heat when compared to a normal person.


    This showed the heat of the object, as it was able to permeate his Imperial Aura. This was the first thing that he had encountered that could do so! But, the heat was not the only problem, the rod itself was incredibly heavy and even Darius was finding it hard to lift up! Although he could lift it up, his arms were becoming sore after a few seconds of holding it and he was forced to put it down.


    But, as he channeled his energy through his arms, Darius attracted all the flames in the area and he wasn’t sure if his Imperial Aura would be able to sustain itself if it went up against a sea of flames. Quickly stopping his energy, Darius let his Imperial Aura flow through his body and he picked up the rod, but he seemed to have subdued it as well. Darius thought this, as the heat that it radiated became much less and it also seemed to be lighter as well. Seeing this, Darius was greatly shocked, as it seemed that the rod had a conscience!


    But, as the rod seemed accepted subservience to him, Darius found that he had managed to gain a small amount of control over the flames covering the area around him! Feeling this newfound power, Darius tried directing the flames and he found that he could only direct their general direction and he could also stop them trying to attack someone.


    Jogging back to Alex and the rest of the group, he found that the heat was much less than before. Darius realised that this must be because he had become the ‘master’ of the rod. When he came near the group, Darius realised that the heat from the rod was still too much for a normal person to handle, so he covered it in his energy, so that the others would not have to bear the heat.


    But, when he came back to the area where everyone was, Darius was surprised to see that they were all awake, as the sun had just started to rise. Walking into the camp, they all looked shocked to see and Darius and there was some worry in their eyes.

    “Darius, where did you go! We thought that something had happened to you!”

    “Oh, sorry for worrying you.” Scratching his head, Darius realised that he should have said something before he left, as it could cause problems.

    “But, I managed to get this.” After he said that, Darius showed them the rod he had gotten.


    When Alex saw this rod he was surprised, as he hadn’t expected that Darius had actually gone into the fire and taken the rod and he also wasn’t sure if Darius had the ability to do so, but all of his doubts were dispelled by the fact that Darius was holding this rod. The only reason that Alex knew that this rod was the source of the flames was from the heat that it emanated. This heat made him and the others start to sweat and they didn’t realised that most of the heat had been stopped by Darius’ energy.

    “Wait, isn’t that a Heat Source Stone!”


    Just as he was putting the rod away into his ring, Silora shouted this out, which startled everyone else.

    “Oh, sorry I was just very excited! If this is a Heat Source Stone, then we have truly struck gold! According to what I know, a Heat Source Stone is a rare metal, even by cultivators standards and because of that it is considered an Earthen Metal! The Stone has ability to create heat endlessly and its quality increases over time. The lowest rank of the Heat Source Stone would be able to create a heat that an Energy Opening Cultivator would not be able to withstand, but from what I am feeling from this, I could guess that even a Core Compressing Cultivator would find it hard to resist this heat! This means that it is a top-ranking Stone! If you are able to create a treasure out of this metal, it could last you until you reach the Sky Treading Realm! But, you can’t take this out carelessly, as it  would cause people to covet it and you will have no peace.”


    After Silora finished saying this, Darius curiosity was piqued.

    “Silora, what is so special about an Earthen Metal?”

    “Hmm, so that is how it is. For any treasure or metal, there are many rankings. First of all there are Mundane weapons, which are equivalent to a simple iron sword. After that come Mortal weapons, they are like your spear which are not something that a normal mortal would use, yet they are not something a proper cultivator would use. After that is the Earth rank, which could be considered the weapons of mid to late Core Traversing cultivators and some of the better weapons can only be wielded by someone in the Sky Treading Realm. Then, there is the Heaven rank. These weapons are heirlooms of powerful clans and only someone at the Sky Treading Realm are worthy enough to wield these weapons, but even Immortal Casting cultivators would use them! But, there are weapons which exceed that and they are Legend Ranked! They are things of legends, the weapons of heroes from past eras who have looked down on the world. According to some rumours, the Heavenly Decree Sect Master owns one of these weapons and is able to sweep across the other sects because of it! But, in regards to this Heat Source Stone, if you find a good enough weaponsmith, you might be able to create flames with a sweep of the weapon and with its weight, there should be no-one below Core Shattering that it couldn’t crush!”

    “Oh, wow! That is much better than I thought it could be! Well, considering how I can’t make it into a weapon right now, i may as well use it like a hammer, destroying everything in my path!”


    When Darius said this, he shocked everyone, as they had never considered using the rod as a weapon, as it was simply too crude, but when they thought about it, the idea was quite practical although it quite shameless!

    “No, no, no, you mustn't do that, as you would be blatantly showing others that you have a very precious metal!”

    “But, what point would there be if they had no way to resist the power of it? How could they covet the Heat Source Stone if they are knocked over the head with it?”

    “You never know when someone is watching. If someone spreads the word that you have the Heat Source Stone, then people would be willing to form large groups to take it from you, so if you do use it as a weapon, you have to be sure that there is no-one else around before you use it. Or you could make everyone fear you and not have the courage to try to take it from you, but I don’t see how you can do that, considering how you are only ten!”

    “Hmph, don’t judge me just like that because I am young, when I am fighting, there should be no reason for you not to fear me!”


    Pouting because Silora didn’t think of him as scary, Darius pretended to be scary, but that only resulted in the rest of the group to crack up, laughing.

    “Am I really that unintimidating?”

    “YES!”

    Faced with everyone saying that he was simply too small and young to be taken seriously, Darius turned around and pretended to sulk.

    “Hey, hey, just because we think that you are cute doesn’t mean that you are weak.”


    Doing his best to comfort him, Spencer and Darius talked for a bit as they packed up the camp. As they were talking, Darius realised that Spencer was the oldest of all the people here and he seemed a bit like an older brother figure to the others, but he was just a little too quiet to have authority, which meant that he wasn’t the leader.  


    After they had finished packing up their camp, the sunlight was starting to illuminate the sky a bit more and there was more visibility. It was the start of the second day! The first day had brought them many surprises and they had all grown stronger over a single day!


    Meanwhile, a man wearing a Daoist robe walked into a clearing.

    “Well, it seems that someone actually defeated it in this batch, now it makes things more interesting… But this could be a blessing or calamity in a disguise. Well time will tell.”

    Just after the man walked out of the clearing, a group of youths burst into it.


    “Hmm, I thought that I sensed a strong fluctuation here.” A youth holding a strange looking ball that looked like the leader of the group said this as he scratched his head while looking at the ball.


    As they turned around and continued on, the ball seemed to become slightly opaque and it was filled with the image of an endless sky.


  • Hahahahhaa  :D
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