Rhapsody of the Soul

edited September 2015 in Original Stories
Book 1: Saif, Chapter 0: The Fall

Flames were scorching the sky. A loud, ear-splitting sound pierced through the heavens as if the sky was breaking into two as the earth rumbled and stirred.


*CRACK*


Dozens of bolts of white lightning smashed violently against the buildings of the city, razing rows of homes and obliterating all the people in the line of fire. All of the attacks were heading towards the lavish castle that peered over the rest of the city.


Deathly, pitiful screams were ringing throughout; some of the cries in anguish and others in utter confusion.


Absolute chaos. Those were the only words capable of explaining the current situation.


“Fight Back! Do not fear! If we die tonight, we die valiantly!” A white-haired man of large stature appeared in front of the castle. His crimson eyes blazed with passion and ferocity. He was clad in jade-red armor that covered his whole being. He unsheathed a long, curved, single sided blade and raised it into the sky. The sword’s blade was a jade white and its hilt was a similarly scintillating white that was embroidered with golden birds. The blade’s splendor radiated and shone across the battlefield.


“Ura!”


Thousands of soldiers were shouting behind him, all fashioned with similar blades.


“Skree!”
“Kaw!”


“Roar!”


Suddenly, tens of thousands of enemy soldiers descended from the sky. They were of all sorts of races; humans appeared to make up the minority. The sheer number of forces caused the enemy’s army to resemble locusts descending upon a large harvest.


The two forces met in the middle of the air and began to strike at each other with all of their might.


Fierce sword slashes met elemental blasts of all types of elements, causing damage to every building in the area. Dozens of soldiers on either side fell with every passing second.


Though the red-armored forces gallantly attacked the enemy, it was indeed like a harvest for the enemy. It was a harvest of blood.


“Do not retreat! Stay your ground! The ene--kuh!” As he spoke, the large, white-haired man was viciously stabbed through from several different directions with large staves.


“Damn you!” The white-haired man savagely struggled to release himself, but only opened more wounds.


“Morteza! This is where you die!” A cold, murderous gaze fell upon the white-haired man. A man with purple eyes and purple armor gently stepped onto the ground where the white-haired man lay.


The purple-eyed man raised his long staff and intensely smashed it down towards Morteza. Morteza retaliated by swinging his blade frenziedly at the purple-eyed man.


Suddenly, Morteza channeled his core energy and exploded out with a fiery strike. His blade was engulfed in bright white flames and seared across the sky. Morteza’s blade smoothly sliced through the purple-eyed man’s staff and directly slashed through the purple-eyed man’s head.


“Curse you Morteza!” The purple-eyed man screamed in agony as his body was engulfed in the white flame.


At this moment, five other enemies surrounded Morteza. Enormous blasts of different energies were sent out at Morteza. Though Morteza accepted his death, it did not come. He slowly opened his eyes to see the back of another man covered in jade-red armor.


“Commander! Please flee while we make time for you!” The young man turned his head around, showing his desperate expression.


A small squadron of fourteen men were currently surrounding the white-haired man, fending off the foes that were incessantly smashing down towards Morteza.


Two other men quickly moved to the side of Morteza and removed the staves that impaled him and lifted him up on their shoulders.


“Quick! Take me to the castle!” The white-haired man splurted out a large mouthful of blood.


The two next to him nodded and moved hastily towards the castle. They were extremely fast, and disappeared in the blink of an eye.


“Roar!”


The purple-eyed man raged on while watching the white-haired man escape.


-----


The three armored men abruptly burst through the castle doors. The two soldiers slowly laid down the white-haired man on the floor.


“Morteza!”


A slender, gorgeous, red-haired woman appeared as soon as the three armored men entered the hall.


“A...Anshi...you’re safe…” Morteza coughed out blood violently


“Morteza, what’s going on? Wh--”


“Is it a boy or a girl?”


“What?”


“I do not have time. Is it a boy, or is it a girl?”


“I--”


“Just tell me.” Morteza gazed solemnly at Anshi while grasping her arm.


“It’s a boy.” Anshi stared back, tears welling up in her eyes.


“...I see.” Morteza loosened his grip and once again lay on the floor. He then held his hand out and waited in silence.


The blade that Morteza was wielding on the battlefield swiftly struck through the castle wall and landed where his hand was. It then disappeared.


“Listen closely. His name will be Saif. Take my necklace. Ensure that it becomes Saif’s. Escape from the castle with him...Devon should be waiting for you.” Morteza feebly removed his necklace and placed it on the palm of Anshi’s hand.


“I love you.”


“I love you too.”


Anshi stood up and ran towards her chamber. Tears dropped rapidly as she fled the scene.



-----



“Matriarch, it is essential that I allow you to escape. Please, you must follow me into the secret tunnels of the castle.”


An average looking man of the height of approximately 1.6m appeared from the darkness of the corner of Anshi’s chamber. He had a scruffy brown beard and equally disheveled hair.


Anshi was currently on her bed, her expression filled with stupor. Behind her, an infant was wailing out of alarm and agitation. Though it was late at night, loud explosions were booming rapidly.


“Matriarch, I know you are in distress, but please. If not for anything else, at least for the sake of your newborn son.”


Anshi quickly shook her head and stood up.


“Devon...listen closely.”


Devon looked over at Anshi with resolute eyes.


“Promise me this. Leave me behind and do not wait for me. Take Saif and escape alone. Raise him as your own. Let him know of the glory of the Cheon Clan.” Anshi placed Morteza’s necklace in Devon’s hand, returning his gaze with one that was just as strong willed.


Devon tightly gripped his fists and his facial muscles moved subtly.


“Yes Matriarch.”



After Devon agreed, Anshi lifted up her son and cradled him. She whispered in his ear, kissed his forehead, and handed him over to Devon.


“Take him and leave quickly. The other clans will arrive soon.”


Devon held Saif and lifted a hatch that appeared on the ground. After he jumped into the hatch, the hatch shut and sealed itself again before disappearing from the floor.


“Search the rooms! Exterminate the Cheon Clan! Look for the Matriarch!”


“Ouuu!”

Loud shouts boomed from inside the castle as blood curdling screams filled the air.


Anshi closed her eyes slowly and grasped the sword the was by her side. Though it did not radiate with as much presence as Morteza’s, it exuded a feeling of oppression. Its handle and sheath were jet black, and as she unsheathed the blade, a deathly aura wafted in the air of the room. The blade of the sword was equally dark and seemed to consume the light of the room.


Anshi slowly exhaled and set down her sword in front of her.


“I will meet you soon my love.”



Darkness enveloped the room, blocking out the light of the scarlet moon.


Comments

  • Looks good.
  • edited July 2015
    Book 1: Saif, Chapter 1: The Soul - Pt. 1



    The sun slowly began to peek over the hills as the birds cawed and the clouds unceasingly strolled along the horizon. It was the first morning of summer in Porv a small village located in the Major Northern Province Shal’Nava of the Continent of Afruence.



    Porv was a humble farming town that generated its revenue from selling its crops to merchants and the government--producing just enough to pay for the monthly taxes. Porv, amongst several other towns and villages in the Shal’Navan province, was unknown to most people. Consequently, all of the townspeople knew each other and a sense of familiarity and camaraderie would be built between the townspeople. Days would pass by without any particularly notable incidents; this would result in an aura of peace and tranquility to envelope the village.



    Porv was essentially a large expanse of farmland and greenery. Its crops swayed gently to the rhythm of the wind as the sun continued to rise quietly in the east. Despite being just another typically poor village, Porv’s land was lush and fertile. This allowed the elderly to get by without straining themselves to their deaths. Surrounding Porv’s southern side was a dense forest that seemingly went on for miles. Trees of all kinds grew there which allowed for a continual stockpile of wood every year. Preparations for the winter in Porv were comparatively not as difficult as in many other small villages. Often times the citizens would aid each other. As a result, nobody would pass away.



    Deep within the forest, a silhouette of a young boy could be seen drawing water into two buckets. The silhouette appeared to be of the ages 5 or 6, but it was hard to tell from a distance. Eventually, the boy stood up from his crouched position, gently lifting the wooden rod that had the two buckets attached to each end.



    The boy was not particularly tall for his age, but was well built. He also had light-peach colored skin that glistened due to the water that he used to wash his face. His hair was a beautiful bright snow white shade that stood out in the middle of the forest, while his eyes were a bright scarlet shade that emanated the warmth of a calm flame. Purely based on appearances, the boy could be described as attractive and elegant. He had an aura of serenity and confidence, while also seeming extremely intelligent.



    After lifting the wooden rod and positioning it on his trapezii, he began walking back towards Porv.



    “Devon, I have brought the water!”

    “Un. Saif, come back outside after you store the water.”



    A brown haired man turned around to face Saif. Whether one judged by his size or visage, he appeared rather average. He wore an unkempt beard that was neither long nor short. His clothes were so tattered and torn that they seemed like rags. Unlike most of the other Porv citizens, he was a shoemaker. He was, unfortunately, not very proficient at making shoes. This resulted in poor business and frequent nights without food. Roughly six years ago, he appeared at the village gate holding Saif in his arms. The villagers recognized him as a caring father that was unfortunately too ill to ever properly care for Saif. Regardless of others’ opinions, however, Devon made a daily effort to provide for Saif.



    Devon and Saif’s home was not very large. It had one room and there were no particular decorations which made the room seem rather bland. There was only a small table in the center and two windows facing the front of the house. Other than the table, the only other noticeable thing was a small glass vase on top of the table. The vase contained a few forsythias that were evidently nearing their end.



    Saif placed the water bin on the floor near the door and walked back outside.



    “Devon, you called for me?” Saif approached Devon, who was sitting outside in the middle of the field directly behind their house.



    “Saif, you are now six years old. From today onwards, we will be doing things differently.” Devon opened his eyes and stared at Saif.



    “Differently? How so?” Saif was puzzled.



    “Though I have been making you study and exercise every day, we will incorporate two new segments into your education.”



    “I will be training you in various ways. I will teach you about the ways of the Soul, the body, and the mind. In a week, we will begin traveling to help people in need. You will become a being that is greater than a Soul Master. A Soul Doctor.”



    Saif intently listened to Devon, slightly gulping at the sound of Devon’s words. Soul Masters were famous beings that roamed the world. However, Devon was currently claiming that Saif could become something that was even greater than a Soul Master.



    “Soul Masters are indeed the noblest of occupations. Soul Masters are one with the elements and the soul. They have extraordinary power and all seek the pinnacle of the cultivation of Soul Energy.”



    “However, I am not merely a Soul Master. I am a Soul Doctor. Soul Doctors are extremely rare beings. To even become a regular doctor, there are exceedingly tremendous requirements. Professional doctors require years of training, education, and the necessary tools to operate on others. Due to the lack of widespread education, resources, and people willing to become doctors, there are naturally very few.”



    “Soul Doctors are those who apply their Soul Mastery to medical practices. They must not only understand the Soul to an extreme degree, but they must also understand the details of medical practices. Because of the intensive requirements of their job, Soul Doctors are the rarest people on the planet.”



    Saif’s eyes virtually shined at the sound of Devon’s words. As a young child, he was easily captivated by the prospect of success that being a Soul Doctor entailed. In the Afruencean continent, power generated respect. He stared intently at Devon, absorbing information like a freshly wrung sponge that was dipped into a bucket of water.



    “Devon, what is a soul?”



    Devon slightly smiled at Saif’s keen gaze and curiosity, and quickly replied. “The Soul is a unique defining essence of all living things. Plants, people, or other animals are all included and thus all have souls. The soul’s energy can be harnessed and used as power as well as be gathered and concentrated to improve one’s physical and elemental capabilities. The soul’s color is determined by the nature of the particular soul. The color will also show the Elemental Soul Affinity that the soul’s owner has. In addition, no one soul is completely alike and therefore they can be used as identifiers. Souls are concentrated in one’s core.”



    Devon pointed to a point directly at the stomach; above the navel and below the chest.



    “This is where your core is located. The most vital parts of the body are the brain, the heart, and the core. Destruction of any of these three parts will be the end of any Soul Master. These parts are the most important to protect. Like these parts, the anatomy of the body is very important to know. This is why I will also teach you of the body, how to treat wounds, and perform surgery.”



    “What about becoming a Soul Master?” Saif resolutely listened to Devon.



    “Becoming a Soul Master is based on two things. Your Soul Affinity, and the cultivation of your Soul Energy. Soul Affinity is a natural born affinity with certain types of Soul Masteries. It determines what a being will have the easiest time mastering and feel natural with. Very few people in the history have rare cases of Composite Soul Affinity, which is a combinatorial and coexistent state of the soul where a person can learn multiple types of Soul Masteries. However, Composite Soul Affinity can often be dissonant, leading to one Soul Affinity to overpower the other. This is dangerous and can either destroy the user’s soul or cause the user to never be able to cultivate in the path of the weaker Soul Affinity ever again. Retaining an equal balance is very difficult and requires one to be extremely talented.”



    “There are ten ranks that determine one’s Soul Affinity to an element. The higher the level of affinity, the easier it will be to increase one’s cultivation in that path. The ranks are as follows: None, Very Low, Low, Capable, Bright, High, Superior, Very Superior, Exceptionally Gifted, and Profoundly Gifted.”



    “Remember, Soul Affinity is only one’s talent. Even if your Soul Affinity is not incredible, it is still possible to become a Soul Master through hard work and effort. The most important thing is determination and perseverance, okay?” Devon shot a quick glance at Saif.



    “Yes Devon!”



    “Good.”

  • edited July 2015

    Book 1: Saif, Chapter 1: The Soul - Pt. 2


    Devon at this moment stood up and walked over to a pile of logs that were gathered on the floor. Surrounding the logs were a few stones.


    “Soul Energy is the essence of the soul. To increase your rank as a Soul Master, you must increase the concentration of the Soul Energy in your core. Soul Energy can be cultivated through the absorption of any of the elemental energies of the world. An increase in Soul Energy rank will increase one’s potency of skills as well as their life expectancy.”


    “For now, I will just tell you what you need to know. In our world, there are seven major steps in the path of the Soul Master. The ranks of cultivation are as follows: Soul Apprentice, Soul Academic, Soul Veteran, Soul Adept, Soul Master, Soul Grandmaster, Soul Sage. These major ranks all have ten lesser ranks in between. For example, a 5th rank Soul Grandmaster would be stronger than a 3rd rank Soul Grandmaster.”


    “Due to my Soul Affinity for fire, I study in the path of Fire Soul Mastery. When one has attained a certain level of finesse in the laws of an element, they are capable of manipulating it.”


    Devon spread out his hand and revealed a small, red flame that burned above his hand. The flame turned into the image of a galloping horse, then into a serpent slithering, and then into a bird that flew in a circle.


    Saif was slack-jawed, staring in awe at the precision and beauty of the flame.


    Devon then positioned his hand towards the logs and burst out with a blast of fire that nearly singed the hairs on Saif’s head. A huge flame erupted from Devon’s hand and lit all of the logs on fire.


    “This is just a simple showing of something I could do. When mortals reach the pinnacle of Soul Energy concentration, they are capable of ascending to the higher planes. Transcendentals are beings that are rare on our corporeal plane, but they can descend down and remain here. This is why you should never offend anyone. You never know who may be an extreme expert.”


    “Yes Devon. I will make sure to never offend any strangers.”


    Pleased, Devon nodded his head.


    “Today I will teach you how to cultivate your Soul. The first step to doing so is to determine your Elemental Soul Affinity. Without proper equipment, I cannot determine the rank of your Soul Affinity. However, I can still discover what Elemental Soul Affinity you have.”


    Saif eagerly stared up at Devon, awaiting further instruction.


    Devon took out a small metal cup that had water inside. He gently placed it on the floor in front of them. “When I tell you to, reach out and concentrate your body’s energy into your hands. I will be able to determine what sort of Elemental Soul Affinity you have based on the reaction of the water.”


    Saif nodded, quickly grasping the cup. Devon reached out and grabbed Saif’s shoulder. Saif felt his concentration and energy quickly rising as a comfortable sensation penetrated his bones from his right shoulder.


    “Now release your energy into the cup.”


    The water in the cup trembled slightly, then began to vibrate. After about a minute of waiting, the water in the cup began to float into the air. Though shocked, Saif continued to channel his energy on the water.


    The water that was now floating in a spherical shape in the air vibrated faster than it had in the cup and began to evaporate. Steam rose into the air from the water until the water was completely gone.


    Saif then looked up at Devon, wondering what the result had been.


    Devon was currently smiling widely and pat Saif’s head. “Good, good!”


    “What is it?”


    Devon sat once again in front of Saif. “Do you recall when I talked about Composite Soul Affinity?”


    “Yes Devon. Composite Soul Affinity is a combinatorial and coexistent state of the soul where a person can learn multiple types of Soul Masteries.”


    “Yes. Composite Soul Affinity is a very powerful thing for Soul Masters to have. You appear to have a Composite Soul Affinity for Air Soul Mastery and Fire Soul Mastery. Though I cannot determine what level of Soul Affinity you have at the moment, this can already be regarded as a very good thing.” Devon continued to smile at Saif.


    “Now listen here. The first step of a Soul Master is to understand how to cultivate your Soul Energy. One can cultivate Soul Energy by absorbing the elemental energies of the world, but how can one exactly do that?”


    Perplexed, Saif could only look back at Devon without responding.


    “It is admittedly easier for some than others. Those with Air or Earth Soul Affinity can simply glean Soul Energy whenever they are around the air or on the ground. You will be able to do so in that manner as an Air Soul Master. However, for Fire Soul Masters, we must collect Fire Soul Energy from fire itself! We can extract Soul Energy from heat of any kind. The hotter it is, the better.”


    “After establishing proper prerequisites, you can begin cultivating. I will teach you the breathing technique of our Cheon Clan.”


    Saif was immediately roused and excited. Devon rarely spoke of their clan or its teachings.


    “The first technique of our clan is the legendary Cheon Breathing Technique. After nearing a heat source, face it. Come here and do it with me as I explain it to you.” Devon beckoned at Saif to sit next to him.


    Saif walked over, sat down, and continued to listen.


    “After sitting, cross your legs and keep your arms parallel to your legs. Touch your middle finger together with your thumb to create a cycle within your hands. Close your eyes and slowly breathe in through your nose for four seconds. Hold that breath for seven seconds, and then release through your mouth for eight seconds. During this process, concentrate on the feeling of the air entering your core and circulating around. Imagine a massive ball of energy, and continue to condense that ball in your core. This is the cycle of the Cheon Breathing Technique. Focus entirely on this.”


    “The natural energy of the world will bestow upon you Soul Energy. This will act as the impetus of your growth.”


    Saif sat steadily, repeating all of the steps that Devon had said to him.


    As he absorbed the energy of the flame, the insides of his body were beginning to change.


    In his core, a small, yellow spark shined and violently shook as Soul Energy entered his system. It began to vibrate and clash with the Soul Energy that continued to pour into his core. The spark then began to suck all of the Soul Energy up like a vacuum, eating away at all of the Soul Energy that entered his body.


    Saif’s face reddened and sweat poured out of his pores profusely, as if it were raining. Regardless of the intensity of the changes going on in his body, Saif continued to concentrate. Devon stared in wonder at Saif, not disturbing him in any way.

    As Saif continued to converge the Soul Energy entering his body into his core, another change occurred. The spark that was in his body lit into a bright light that rapidly shined back and forth in a straight line until eventually fading away. After the spark was completely gone, only a sword-shaped soul remained. The sword was a beautifully ornate sword that had the appearance of a katana.


    On the outside, Saif’s face only continued to redden until a blast of energy erupted from his body, causing a wave of hot air to shoot out in every direction. The grass beneath him was completely scorched, the fire in front of him grew, and Devon’s pants caught on fire.


    After slightly panicking and putting out the fire on his pants, Devon stared back at Saif in awe. “As expected... what incredible talent... what fierce energy.” Devon continued to blankly stare at Saif.


    Saif continued to channel the Soul Energy around him into his core, not noticing the time pass by at all.


    From that day onwards, the Afruencean Continent would not be the same.

  • edited July 2015
    Book 1: Saif, Chapter 2: Intense Training



    Devon watched silently as waves of energy harmoniously discharged from within Saif. “This boy...it seems that the training he did to this point was not for naught. His Soul Energy concentration has already condensed to the 10th rank of the Soul Apprentice stage. If his cultivation proceeds this smoothly, his future prospects are boundless…” Devon thought to himself as Saif continued to gather Soul Energy.



    Long periods of intense concentration such as this were rare--they only occurred during breakthroughs or during the reflection of new insights.



    Devon knew that Saif could not be interrupted at this moment. Saif was in the middle of breaking through to the Soul Academic stage. After reaching the Soul Academic stage, Saif’s Soul Energy would increase in potency by two-fold.



    One last wave of energy burst out from Saif that sounded out through the valley. Slowly, Saif opened his eyes and stared out. Saif felt and indescribably warm and pleasant feeling surging through his body, as if he was one with the world. He was able to feel the slightest changes in the wind and the smallest movements of the fire in front of him.



    “How do you feel?” Devon smirked as he looked down at Saif.



    “Unlike ever before. I can feel energy flowing through my veins.” Saif clenched and unclenched his fist before throwing out a few punches.



    “I see. Good. You are experiencing your first breakthrough. This is the satisfaction only Soul Masters can understand.” Devon patted Saif’s shoulder and sat down in front of him once more.



    “Though Soul Affinity is a measurement of talent, like I said earlier, it is not a measurement of your level of power. Each and every individual must work hard to become stronger. There are five major determining factors of one’s strength. The first is Soul Energy. This is the simplest indicator of one’s strength. Most of the time, a Soul Master of higher rank will overpower a lower ranked Soul Master.”



    “The second most important determining factor of one’s strength is one’s known Martial Techniques. Martial Techniques are learnable techniques that have been established by others in the past. Martial Techniques vary in degree of difficulty and power. They are both hard to come by and even harder to create. Very few rare individuals are capable of creating their own Martial Techniques. Martial Techniques are, like Soul Energy ranks, divided into categories and ranks. For us mortals, the ranks are as follows: Apprentice Techniques, Academic Techniques, Veteran Techniques, Adept Techniques, Master Techniques, Grandmaster Techniques, Sage Techniques.”



    “The third aspect of the difference in strength of an individual is their Martial Understanding and Application. This aspect is based more on intuition and intelligence. Though one may learn Martial Techniques, some Martial Techniques are abilities that are meant to be applied to other things. IF one does not properly understand or apply said Martial Technique, the technique becomes useless.”



    “The fourth component of one’s strength is their Racial and Hereditary Traits. These traits are quirks passed down to people of the same race. Not all races or clans have these traits, but those that do are often more powerful than those that do not. Racial and Hereditary Traits are unique to the specific race or clan, which causes no one trait to be exactly like the other.”



    “The last factor in determining one’s strength is the user’s equipment. More specifically, many weapons, armors, and accessories can increase in strength as the owner uses it and cultivates with it.”



    “Our Cheon Clan is known for its sword techniques. Learning the way of the sword will also be a part of your training regimen.” Devon held out his right hand and a wooden blade appeared from thin air.



    “Whoa!” Saif took a step back in surprise.



    “You are not fit to wield a proper sword yet. You will use this until I deem you ready.” Devon handed over the sword to Saif by the handle.



    “Yes Devon.” Saif bowed to Devon as he accepted the wooden sword.



    Devon set a candle on a rock that was resting on the ground. He then flicked his fingers at the top of the candle to light it on fire.



    “Unfortunately, I am not capable of teaching you in the path of Air Soul Mastery. First, you will learn how to control fire at the most basic levels. Concentrate your Soul Energy from your core into your index finger. Visualize a small flame burning in front of your finger and exert your energy at that point.”



    Saif stuck out his finger and focused his Soul Energy to the tip of his finger. After a minute of concentration, a spark formed in front of his finger. The air directly above his finger combusted and a small red light shone faintly.



    “I did it!” Saif giddily jumped up and down. As soon as he lost focus, however, the fire dimmed and extinguished.



    “Good. However, remember to remain conscious of the flame. Think of it as your lifeline.” Devon stood up while instructing.



    “Today, you will focus on lighting the candle. Upon successfully lighting the candle, extinguish the flame and light it again. When the candle is completely melted, I will give you another candle.”



    “Yes Devon!”



    -----



    Fourteen days passed by in an instant. Saif fervently trained everyday to master the usage of his small red flame. He often did mental exercises such as alternating which finger the flame was above. After this, he would arrange the flames on his fingers to have a flame above every other finger and then move the flame to the next finger. Saif spent fourteen days gaining complete dominance and control over this small flame. In his free time, Saif would cultivate his Soul Energy.



    “Now that you’ve reached this level of mastery of your small flame, I will teach you the most basic sword slash. The overhead sword slash is a simple yet deadly strike. You withdraw the sword behind your head and slash it down. The strike aims at the opponent’s head. It is a direct and precise shot. Its only weakness is the long drawback timing and preparation phase. It is, nonetheless, very powerful.” Devon demonstrated while explaining, swiftly slashing down in front of him. He then returned Saif’s wooden sword.



    Saif concentrated and slashed down, executing the attack in a very amateur manner.



    “Regain your balance. Step forward as you strike. Transfer power from your legs into your arms and swiftly strike down. Use enough power to reach a point perpendicular to your stomach, but do not lose control. Maintain a balance and be precise and accurate.”



    Nodding his head, Saif slashed again.



    “Complete three hundred slashes.”



    “Yes Devon!”



    Saif resolutely slashed down, putting his complete attention and effort into every swing.



    -----



    Another fourteen days passed swiftly. Saif continued to train his control over his flames while mastering the overhead slash. Over the past two weeks, Devon had increased the number of slashes Saif had to complete everyday to five hundred slashes, then seven hundred, and then one thousand slashes per day. Eventually, Devon also instructed Saif to light the candle and extinguish the candle’s flame with the movement of the air from the overhead slash. This would build precision, strength, and speed all at the same time.



    The sun was directly above Saif, beating down on him. Sweat droplets streamed down Saif’s face as he inhaled. He fiercely exhaled while simultaneously stepping forward and slashing downwards. The fierce movement of the sword caused the air to shudder, effectively extinguishing the candle light.



    Saif breathed in deeply, lit the candle, and repeated this procedure.



    “Good. It’s time for you to move onto the next part of your training.” Devon opened his eyes and then arose from his seated position.



    “I will teach you the most basic offensive move of the Cheon Clan.”


  • so he will be roaming the world to heal people?
  • edited July 2015
    Book 1: Saif, Chapter 3: Blazing Foundation Technique



    “Before we start, I want you to explain to me why I am teaching you the way of the Soul Master.” Devon peered down at Saif.



    “That…”



    “Listen closely. Everyone needs to be able to protect themselves. Despite this, not everyone is capable of doing so. With strength, you can provide power to the weak, refuge for your friends, and a safe haven for your family.”



    “Additionally, you will be able to aid the wounded and ill as a Spirit Doctor. However, because you will be so important, you also need to be able to protect yourself from the greed of others in power. Many people may seek to take advantage of you. Strength will prevent this from happening.” Devon picked up the sword that was by Saif’s side.



    “The technique I will be teaching you is the Blazing Foundation Technique. The Blazing Foundation Technique is the first offensive technique of the Cheon Clan, but it is the groundwork of the techniques of the Cheon Clan. Without it, many other techniques would be useless. The Blazing Foundation Technique becomes stronger based on the power level of the user. As its name states, this ability becomes the foundation for many other Martial Techniques of the Cheon Clan.”




    Devon slowly raised the wooden sword, channeling his energy into the sword. “First, begin channeling your Soul Energy into your blade. Become one with your blade. Your blade should naturally become an extension of your arms. Upon achieving this state of harmony, apply your Soul Energy around your blade like a layer. Unleash your Soul Energy in a burst and create a fiery coat around your sword’s blade. This technique requires the highest degree of control and precision as to not burn your sword’s blade, but rather strengthen it.”



    The sword burst into flames, but oddly did not burst. If one were to observe more keenly, it would be seen that the flames were around the blade of the sword.

    “Upon activation, the Blazing Foundation Technique will enhance the capabilities of all slashes and techniques.”



    “In addition to this technique, you will learn a few new slashes. The application and situational usage of these attacking methods will be at your discretion.”



    “The new slashes you will learn are the diagonal slashes, side slash, upwards vertical slash, and forward thrust.” Devon promptly demonstrated each slash and handed the sword back to Saif.



    “Complete each slash one thousand times.”



    “Yes Devon!”



    -----



    In the plains behind Saif and Devon’s house, two figures were seen standing in the distance. The sun was already setting, but loud shouts continued to ring through the valley.



    “HA!”



    Saif burst out energetically and jumped into the air performing an upwards vertical slash. His sword burned brightly, lighting up the area underneath and around him. Fiercely, he slashed downwards. The moment he landed, he spun around and performed a horizontal side slash. He then retracted his blade, slashed downwards from each diagonal, and sheathed his blade.



    “Good. Your sword training has reached a proficient level. These five months were not a waste.” Devon nodded his head approvingly.



    “From today on we will begin learning about the body in addition to training. After teaching you the basics, we will depart on a journey.”



    A hint of excitement shone in Saif’s eyes. He had been waiting for this since the day Devon told him the plans that were made for his training.



    “Let’s begin from the lower body and progress to the head…”



    -----



    The frigid December air roughly blew across Saif’s face. It was the break of dawn and he was ready to set off on his journey with Devon. Over the past six months, he garnered an even greater respect for Devon than he had had in the past. Devon taught him how to execute self-defense methods, how to continue in the path of Soul Mastery and cultivation of Soul Energy, and of the intricacies of the body.




    “Let’s set out.” Devon walked up next to Saif and grasped his shoulder.




    Saif smiled at Devon and took the first step of his journey.


  • edited July 2015
    If something is ever messed up, it's probably WW's new forum's current spacing inconsistency. For some odd reason sometimes the forum accepts 1 line as spacing, 2 lines, or even 5 lines are one line of spacing. If text is ever jumbled together, I probably have already noticed and am fixing it. Just wait like two minutes or so and refresh the page when that happens.
  • Book 1, Chapter 4: Gaining Experience



    The blistering hot sun pounded down on the forehead of a middle-aged man. The man was fairly short, appearing about 1.5m in height. He looked somewhat malnourished, had a long beard, and was bald. Both his beard and whatever hair he had left near the top of his head were white from age and stress. The man’s facial expression could only be described with one word. Frightened.



    Currently, the man was backed up against a limestone wall, nervously looking back and forth between the shrewd looking men in front of him. One was on the skinny side while the other was large and burly. The skinny man to the left had brown, curly hair and the burly man to the right had black, straight hair. The two men were intimidatingly drawing closer to the middle-aged man and were obviously trying to extort him.



    “Oi, old man you really need to watch where you step…”



    “Yeah, you geezer. My friend and I just came from Yutar! Do you understand how expensive his shoes were?”



    “I-I-I’m sorry, sirs, but I believe it was not me but why--”



    “Are you sayin’ it was me?!? Ah? That it was our fault?” The skinny man pushed the middle-aged man onto the ground and stomped on the man’s stomach in anger.



    “Pl-please mercy, sir…” The old man continued to cough up blood while repeatedly being kicked on the floor. The people all around looked horrified, but nobody stepped in to help. Instead, they all naturally backed up and continued to act normal.



    “Boring! Watch where you’re going next time.” The skinny man spat at the middle-aged man and swaggered down the road with the burly man, sticking his chest out with pride and insolence.



    For a few hours, the middle-aged man was simply left on the floor of the corner writhing in pain.



    At the entrance of the town Laraq, two figures were able to be seen entering. This was not very common considering the fact that it was not a large city or even a large town. Very few visitors would come in per day.



    Laraq had an interesting layout. The housing was almost city-like, with strands of connected homes in an organized fashion on both sides of each the roads. On the roads, many food stands were placed strategically to attract the most people possible. Despite the city-like appearance, in actuality Laraq was very small. Thus, it remained at the town status.



    “Wow, Devon look at all of the food stands!” Saif, clearly mesmerized by the sight of a larger town, tugged at Devon’s cloak.



    Devon, instead of responding, looked around. As soon as his gaze stopped, Saif also looked towards the direction Devon was staring at.



    “Come. We have a job to do.”



    Devon and Saif moved towards a middle-aged man on the floor at a corner. He was left paralyzed, unable to move from his position. As they came closer to him, he began to groan fearfully.



    “P-please I can’t anymore…” The middle-aged man had a slightly crazed look in his eyes as he tried to retreat further into the dark alley.



    “Don’t worry, we’re here to help.” Devon crouched down and grabbed the middle-aged man’s head. Devon stared deeply into the middle-aged man’s eyes as a white light flashed past his own brown eyes. He then stood up, took out a notebook, and looked towards Saif.



    “The man’s leg is harshly fractured and there are a few minor fractures on his right arm. Other than those two injuries, he is heavily bruised throughout his whole body. For bruise treatment, you will need to apply ice to the bruised areas every fifteen or so minutes for the next day or two. After this, we will need to fetch warm water and soak a cloth in it. After soaking the cloth with warm water, apply it to the wounds multiple times a day for the next few days. The pain will be better after a few days and then the bruises will fade away.” Devon ripped out a page of paper and handed it to Saif.



    “Fetch those things from the town. I already have everything necessary for the leg and the arm. Be quick.” Devon tossed Saif a bag of money for him to spend on the necessary items.



    “Yes Devon.”



    -----



    “Best fruits in Laraq! Guaranteed freshness!”


    “Sickles! Rakes! Shovels! Get your farming tools here!”


    “Beautiful clothes! Make your woman happy tonight!”



    Saif entered the marketplace and was instantly awed. Though the town was not a city, it was still marginally larger than Porv. Saif looked around at the several shops and stands while steadily making his way towards the nearest pharmacy.



    As he glanced around, he noticed a pair of men currently harassing a woman near the corner of a building. Saif frowned, obviously unhappy with the way they were pestering the woman. He promptly walked up to the pair of men.



    As he grew closer, saw noticed that they were an odd pair. One was skinny and had curly brown hair while the other was large and had straight black hair.



    “Sirs, please back away from the woman.” Saif stopped at a distance to give them time to reply.



    “Eh? Stop interrupting our fun time, kid.” The skinny man looked back for a second before once again facing the woman.



    “I will not ask again sirs. Please back away from the woman.” This time, Saif’s tone became more demanding.



    “This kid...looks like we have got to teach you a few manners, eh?” The skinny man turned around and cracked his knuckles.



    The large man also turned around, intimidatingly staring at Saif.



    While the two men were distracted, the woman slowly backed off and ran away.



    “H-Hey! Wait!” The skinny man noticed immediately but could not let Saif go unharmed. “Not only did you stop us, you even let her get away…You seriously want to die, kid?”



    The two men stepped closer towards Saif and assumed fighting stances. Unfazed, Saif drew his wooden sword and remained in a ready stance.



    “Ora!” The large man ran towards Saif. Each step he took made the ground shake.



    As the large man approached him, Saif quickly side step and performed an overhead slash that directly struck the man’s temple.



    The large man froze for a few seconds and then toppled over to the side.



    “This kid…” Shocked, the skinny man stepped back.



    Saif immediately glared at the skinny man, preventing him from moving.



    “Alright, now you’ve really got me mad kid.” The skinny man reached into his pouch and drew out a small knife. It was a crudely made knife that had evidently seen usage in the past.



    Saif’s face twitched slightly but then quickly became firm. Saif and the skinny man slowly circled each other, watching every movement the other made. No one person made the first move.



    Suddenly, Saif slashed out towards the skinny man. The skinny man dodged to the right and immediately struck out at Saif. Though in danger, Saif did not panic. He retracted his sword and twisted his body as he bent down. He performed a horizontal side slash that was directed at the skinny man’s knees while spinning.



    “Gaaah!” The skinny man immediately collapsed, grabbed his legs.



    “Treat woman well. Do not bother pursuing them as that in and of itself would be mistreatment. Perhaps you should put more time into considering a life of celibacy.



    After speaking, Saif kicked the man’s family jewels. His kick carried a force strong enough to have all of them men of the world sympathize with the skinny man, regardless of the crimes he had committed.



    Saif then withdrew his sword and continued to search for the pharmacy.



    -----



    “I’m sorry I’m late Devon.”



    “Don’t worry about it. Here, give me the items I told you to buy.”



    Saif handed over the bags that he bought and looked over to Devon.



    “But Devon, how will you treat the rest of his wounds?”



    “Pay close attention. Fractures are breaks in the continuity of the bone. Fractured bones must be set in their original place and be held there in order to heal. Some minor injuries can be set without surgery, but serious injuries like the one on his leg require surgery. In certain cases, you have to use things to hold the fracture in place such as pins, plates, or rods. Open fractures also have to be cleaned thoroughly. After setting, something must be placed against the bone to prevent the patient from moving and creating more problems for him or herself. Thus, we use a split of any hard material to prevent movement. Wrap the splint to the area that is fractured. If there is bleeding, you have to apply pressure to the wound to cease blood from flowing before you apply the splint. If able, elevate the fracture. It is also good to rehabilitate the bone as soon as possible." As Devon explained the procedure, he prepared all of his equipment and iced the patient's face.



    As the patient became more relaxed, Devon suddenly chopped the side of his neck, rendering the patient unconscious. He then brought the middle-aged man under the shade of a nearby oak tree and propped his leg on a stump.



    “Usually, normal doctors will need plenty of other equipment. However, Soul Masters are almost all capable in some way of working around this. Thus, they are able to become outstanding traveling doctors as they need less equipment at any given moment to perform the same procedures at a higher level. It’s a shame that many decide not to learn how to operate on others. The study of the body is incredibly profound and meaningful.” Devon glanced at Saif, and noticed his look of confusion.



    “Perhaps it would be better for me to just show you what I mean.”



    As soon as he said this, he stuck out his index finger and waited as the air began to converge around his index finger. The air circled around his finger so quickly that it made a high pitched buzzing sound. At this point, the air was rotating around Devon’s finger so quickly that it seemed like a saw. Devon steadily sliced open the side of the patient’s left leg and rearranged the bone to once again be aligned. He then changed the air around his finger to be a drill and drilled a hole into the two separate sections of his femur. Afterward, he placed a small metallic plate on top of the separated area and screwed both ends in place. Devon then sealed the wound and sewed it back together.



    “You’ll get practice later. For now, you should understand the general idea.” Devon stood up and began removing the dirt on his pants.



    Saif stared in awe at Devon. He had never seen anyone complete something with such finesse--especially something as difficult as performing surgery.



    “What are you doing? Do you want the patient to wake up in misery? Don’t forget to periodically ice him!”



    “Y-Yes Devon!”



    Startled, Saif took up the cloth and wrapped the ice. He then pressed it on the man’s face once more.



    Devon and Saif continued to nurse the middle-aged man back to health for the next few days. Finally, on the sixth day, Devon gathered his belongings and prepared to leave.



    “Come. We have plenty other places to visit. Next on our list is Calan, then Mitha, Neyvar, Talas, Shamir, Gando, and several other towns.”



    “Yes Devon!” Saif smiled at Devon as he scurried along behind him.

  • edited July 2015

    Book 1, Chapter 5: Shari - Pt. 1



    Of all of the buildings in Parvitia, its orphanage undoubtedly had the worst time, regardless of the time of the year. This year had been particularly harsh; last winter’s fierce winds had now become an uninhibited pounding of summer heat. However, as if without a single care for the scalding heat, Shari continued to dutifully complete her deliveries to aid the orphanage.



    Shari was a bright young girl that was now approaching seven years of age. Her long, black, voluminous hair flowed beautifully in the wind against her smooth, white skin. She had a small face that was shaped like a goose egg and had a small body like most of the other children her age. Her dark brown eyes complimented the rest of her cute appearance and gave off a warm feeling. She had a delightfully adorable appearance. But even if one ignored appearances, Shari was still a wonderful child. She was considerate and gentle; this caused her to be held dear in almost all of the hearts of the Parvitian townspeople.



    Shari made deliveries through the town to gather funds for the younger children of the orphanage. This helped the day to day struggle of keeping all the kids fed. Granted, the townsfolk were all aware of Shari’s circumstances and would occasionally help her by giving her small gifts, donations, and tips. The townspeople adored Shari so much that they would sometimes regard her visits as signs of good luck that would motivate them to work harder. She almost was an idol of the town.



    Unfortunately, Shari was mute. It was a disability she had from birth. This resulted in a segregation from her and the other children around her age. The other children regarded her as cursed or forsaken by God, as did a few of the adults in Parvitia. Though it was true that many of the townspeople did indeed love Shari, she was still, like all people, scorned by a few.



    The mistreatment that she received from the other children would, in some cases, extend to extreme levels of bullying. At this exact moment, one of those cases were beginning to occur.



    “Hey guys! Look who it is!” A large, roundish boy of the age of eight appeared in front of Shari’s path with two other children behind him.



    The two children were standing adjacently behind the round child. The one on the left was skinny, pale, had brown hair, and large eyes. The one on the left looked extremely similar to the one on the right, but had a more prominent nose and smaller eyes. The seemingly identical children appeared to be around the age of seven.



    Upon seeing the arrival of these three children, Shari was only able to frown in response.



    “What’s wrong? Speak up if you want to say something!”


    “Yeah, haha!”


    “Hehe.”



    The three children would make one snide comment after another, each giggling a little after finishing their remarks, as if proud at their own wit.


    “Why can’t you talk? Have you ever even talked to your mommy? Oh wait, I forgot that you’re an orphan! I guess your mommy never let you talk to her in the first place!”

    “Yeah, haha!”


    “Hehe. Your mommy didn’t love you so she left you here.”



    The children continued to sneer at Shari. The fat child, the large-eyed twin, and the big nosed twin all continued to say one thought before snickering to themselves.


    “...”


    Shari’s hands gripped the basket she held so tightly that they became whiter than paper. It was not the first time the three harassed her during her deliveries, nor did she think that it would be the last.


    Shari stepped aside and began walking around the three because of their refusal to move. However, if it would have been so easy, Shari would have done so in the beginning.


    The three children swiftly stood in front of her, blocking her from continuing forward. As Shari stepped back to turn around, the pudgy child kicked her stomach. Shari fell over while holding her stomach in pain as tears streamed down her face. Despite all of the pain she received, she still desperately held the basket to not spill the contents.


    “Hah! You can’t even make a sound while crying!” The fat child spat at Shari while looking down at her. The other two children surrounded her with the fat child, forming a triangular formation.

    One by one, the children would take their turns hitting Shari a few times and then retreating to a safe distance. Shari, instead of fighting back, continued to protect the basket. Their punches and kicks seemed endless. Finally, the fat child picked up a decently sized stone and threw it at Shari. It landed directly on Shari’s leg, leaving a large bruise.


    “Hey! What are you doing!”


    Suddenly, a loud, angered voice came from the south. Though nobody was in sight, the three children were startled and began to run away.


    From the direction of the shout, a short silhouette appeared on the horizon. It was a boy with short white hair that was fashioned to the right. His face was shaped very well and his large red eyes were mystifying. In short, he could only be described as attractive for his age. If not for the boy’s fierce gaze and earlier cantankerous shout, he could have perhaps been mistaken for a very beautiful young girl.


    Shari, faced with such a boy running towards her, was utterly startled. It was as if an angel had descended and saved her from the three ugly bullies. She tried to muster the strength to stand, but could not and thus remained seated.


    The boy, upon arriving in front of Shari, knelt down and wiped away her tears.


    Truly, a knight in shining armor had come to Shari’s rescue.


    “Are you alright? Don’t get up, you’re hurt. Those brats...doing this to a cute girl like you…” The boy looked at her with genuine, innocent concern.


    Shari’s face turned red as an apple as she looked downwards.


    “Eh? What’s going on? Is everything alright?” A somewhat short man with brown hair now stood behind Saif.


    “Yes Devon. Some older kids were bullying this younger sister. I only sped up to stop them.”

    “I see.”


    “Oh, I’m so sorry. Here you are.” Saif reached into his bag and pulled out a handkerchief that he used to wipe away the blood on Shari’s leg and face. He then covered it in ice that he had in his bag. He also brought out a medicinal herb and applied it on the wound on Shari’s leg. Afterwards, he placed the iced cloth on the wound.


    “Keep this on the wound. Remember to take it off every now and then if it gets too cold, okay?” The boy brightly smiled at Shari, causing her to feel embarrassed. Before waiting for a response, however, the boy and the so-called Devon left to go into the town. In a few breaths of time, the pair was already out of sight. They had come and gone like the wind.


    “...”


    Shari did not know what to make of what had just occurred. After a moment of bewilderment, Shari remembered that she was in the middle of a delivery. She then stood up and limped down the road.

  • Sorry, Akaruhi, the editor is pretty bad dealing with spacing. I'm looking for alternatives. The biggest problem here is that there are not many. And the most modern editor, is only compatible with Vanilla 2.3 I think (it's yet to be released). I grabed the Quotes thing from 2.3 and adapted it, but to do the same with the editor is going to be quite complicated.
  • Yeah, I understand. It's not much of a problem. Honestly, you just have to put around five minutes or so of extra time to fix all of the spacing inconsistencies. I don't mind it so much. I just said so so that readers would understand.
  • edited July 2015

    Book 1, Chapter 5: Shari - Pt. 2



    The town hall of Parvitia was large when compared to the other buildings in Parvitia. It was, nevertheless, still fairly small. The walls were a plain beige shade and nothing, in particular, was eye catching. From the outside, the always welcoming smell of manure and soil wafted in through the few open windows of the hall.



    “Hello sir. We’re here to see whether there are any injured citizens that are in need of assistance.” Saif’s cute head appeared from below as he grabbed onto the countertop. He wore a large smile that could captivate anyone.



    The old manager of the town hall wore a brown leather jacket over a gray cloth and similarly shaded pants. He had no hair on his head, but still had a short white beard. The only distinction between him and the other villagers was his shabby leather jacket.



    “Oh, hello there! Is this your son, sir? He’s quite well-mannered.” The manager smiled back at Saif tenderly; the wrinkles that appeared on his face displayed the vicissitudes of life.



    “Yes.”


    “Ah, I see…” Devon’s straightforward attitude caused the warm atmosphere to slightly freeze.



    “Now that I think about it…I heard that Matilda, the old lady at the end of the road near the entrance of our town, collapsed the other day. Is there anything else--”



    “No, that’s fine. Thank you.” Devon turned around and began walking towards the entrance. Saif then hurriedly thanked the old manager and scurried after Devon’s trail.



    “Not quite as well-mannered as his son. ironic.” The old manager snorted and went back to reading the book that was on his desk.



    The two traced their steps back to a small house near the entrance of Parvitia. To the left of the house was a small wheat farm that looked like it had only been halfway tilled.



    “Old lady Matilda must have injured herself while doing farm work… possibly a herniated disc…” Devon quietly muttered to himself while scratching his chin.



    At his side, Saif attentively listened as if there was the guide to becoming rich being spoken in front of him.



    The small house looked like most of the other houses in Parvitia. Its walls were a beige color and were obviously worn. The roof was made of some type of straw, but most likely had some type of wood the support it from underneath. Judging by its size, the house most likely only had one or two rooms in total.



    “Excuse us,” Saif yelled out as he pushed open the door.



    The inside of the house was very similar to the outer appearance of the house. It had no particular components that made it stand out from other homes. The walls were the same shade as the outer walls and the floor seemed to be made of elm wood. The entrance of the house led to a single room.



    There was a single bed in the room that had an old lady lying in it. Currently, a small girl was seated in front of the bed, writing on a paper.



    “Ah!” Saif pointed in shock. The same girl he had encountered this morning was inside the room.



    The girl raised her head and her eyes widened in response.



    She then looked back and forth between old lady Matilda and the pair at the entrance of the room.



    “Are you two perhaps the pair that helped little Shari?” Matilda raised her head and looked towards Saif and Devon.



    Devon slightly nodded his head.



    “Yes... but we were here for other circumstances. We heard you collapsed the other day. Can you give us some more details about the injury?”



    “Ah, yes... the other..”



    As Devon questioned Matilda, Saif walked over to Shari and sat beside her.



    “Are your injuries better?”


    “...”


    “My name is Saif, and that is my father, Devon. We’re roaming doctors.”


    “...”


    “You’re really lucky that we came to Parvitia in time, haha. Those darn brats thinking they can do whatever they want…”


    “...”


    “You don’t say much, do you? Hehe, that’s okay.”


    “...”



    As Devon continued to inquire about the events that lead up to the injury, Saif continued to babble on and on about things of little importance. Though Shari was quiet, Saif enjoyed speaking to a child for the first time in months.



    “Saif, work.”


    “Yes Devon.”



    At Devon’s command, Saif abruptly stood up in the middle of his sentence and walked over obediently to Devon’s side. Devon laid down his bag and brought a chair over to the side of Old lady Matilda’s bed. Saif attentively stood at his side awaiting orders.



    “Saif, I want you to apply the curative sense scan on her lower back and analyze the type of symptoms the patient has.”



    “If you would roll over onto your stomach, miss.” Saif rolled up his sleeves and put gloves on his hands.



    As soon as Old lady Matilda rolled over, Saif placed his hands on her lower back.



    A dim, green light shone on Old lady Matilda’s back that was being generated from Saif’s hands. Steadily, the light grew darker until it completely ceased glowing. Devon stood up and examined Old lady Matilda himself immediately afterwards.



    “Old lady Matilda does not have a case of pinched nerve pain, but rather has genuine disc pain.” Saif looked towards Devon.



    “Good. Continue the treatment.” Devon sat back down on his chair.



    Saif was learning at an alarming rate. Very soon, there would not be much more to teach him in theory. Saif would only at that point become better by gaining experience on his own.



    Three hours later, Saif’s treatment finished. He was drenched in sweat but looked extremely satisfied.



    “Hmm. Very good Saif.” Devon nodded his head in an approving manner and packed their things.



    “Sirs, I have not even had the time to thank you yet. Are you truly leaving so soon?” Old lady Matilda looked over at Saif and Devon in shock and reverence. Though her treatment was relatively fast, it had not only completely healed her lower back pain, but they also did not demand anything in return.



    As Old lady Matilda said this, Shari’s ears perked and she, too, looked over at the door. A slight look of regret and sadness filled her eyes.



    “Yes. We are very busy and, unfortunately, have to be on our way.”



    “W-Wait! Kind sirs, may I ask of you one more favor?” Old lady Matilda quickly rose to her feet, grabbed the railing of the bed, and crawled towards the pair that were leaving.



    “Old lady Matilda!” Saif quickly knelt down and lifted her up.



    “You cannot endanger yourself like this. Though you are now recovered, it is still unwise to move so abruptly. Please, tell us what you want. If it is within my power, I will strive to complete your task.” Saif looked at Old lady Matilda with resolute eyes.



    “Well, you see, this little girl here, Shari, is unfortunately without parents and does not belong in this small town. She deserves to see more. To experience more. I want her to truly blossom and live.” Old lady Matilda looked at Devon and Saif with imploring eyes.



    “This…” Saif was speechless. Not knowing how to respond, he simply looked at Devon.



    “Sigh… Old lady Matilda, are you completely aware of what you are asking of me?” Devon looked at Matilda with annoyance.



    “W-Well… Yes. Though I am aware of the costs and irritation this request may bring, I still must ask the two of you. Please…” Old lady Matilda looked downwards with a dismal expression.



    Devon quickly scanned Shari with his eyes. “Girl… Do you wish to come?”



    Shari roughly shook her head in response. Her eyes were so bright that they were almost blinding. She then quickly stood up and grabbed her only belongings.



    “I see… then I suppose we will have to make a trip to the orphanage.” Devon sighed to himself and lifted his bags once again.



    “T-Thank you, sir! Your gracious deeds will not be forgotten by the heavens!” Old lady Matilda showered praise onto Devon as he walked away.



    “The heavens do not look at me with grace. They stare down at me in pity.” Devon trudged off into the distance with two children fervently following behind him.



    An airy scent of daffodils passed with the breeze as the group of three walked out of sight.

  • edited July 2015
    Book 1, Chapter 6: Tyrant of Gando



    A group of three people was walking on a sullen road. Though it was lightly snowing, the snow had yet to settle onto the surface of the ground.



    “Shari, are you hungry? We could look for some food if you are.” Saif peered over Devon’s side to look at Shari.



    Shari opened her mouth, eyes wide, and exaggeratedly shook her head to decline.



    “Oh...I see.” Saif looked forward and continued walking.



    “Shari you know--”



    “Saif, you do realize Shari is mute, yes?” Devon sternly looked down at Saif.



    “W-Well, yes I did, but I hoped that she might be able to respond.”



    Sighing, Devon replied, “Foolish boy. It is not a personal choice. She was born with a defect in her vocal cords. They are thoroughly crushed. Unfortunately, I cannot heal her. I do not have the capabilities of healing her internal organs.



    “Oh. I’m sorry Shari.” Saif sadly looked down at the floor.



    Shari shook her head in alarm, considerately trying to cheer up Saif.



    “We’re approaching Gando. We’ll take shelter there for the incoming storm and leave in a few days.” Devon pointed over at a distant town that was coming into their view.



    “There, we will determine Shari’s Soul Affinity.”


    “What?” Saif looked at Devon slack-jawed. He did not think that Shari was capable of becoming a Soul Master.



    Equally shocked, Shari gulped down her saliva and stared at Devon, awaiting an explanation.



    “Hahaha. Kid, did you truly think I would bring you along because I magnanimously decided to pay for your expenses and raise you? There is no such fairness in the world. From the moment I saw you, I could sense your potential as a Soul Master.” Devon laughed loudly as he trudged forward.



    Shari, upon hearing this, nearly fainted. She was, as an orphan and mute, predetermined by society to be useless and incompetent. Many attributed her disabilities to lack of intelligence or to God’s retribution on an unfaithful sinner.



    Shari shook her head and excitedly followed after Devon. Anyone that looked at Shari at this moment could tell that her expression was infinitely brighter than it had been a few minutes ago.



    -----



    Gando was on the smaller side of towns. It did not have walls and was roughly organized. The low population did indeed cause the villagers to know each other, but a hostile aura could be sensed from outside the town. An unpleasant air hung in the town, portraying the citizen’s discontentedness. Evidently, they did not like those that were in power.



    “Hmm. Well, for now, let’s seek lodging in the town.” Devon scratched his beard and continued into the town.



    Shari and Saif both looked at each other and unwillingly entered.


    After a few minutes of searching, Saif discovered a small hotel near the eastern part of the town. The group promptly entered.



    “Hello sir. I was wondering whether there was any available lodging for the night.” Saif looked over the counter at the hotel manager.



    “There is, but I suggest you leave.” The hotel manager quickly glanced at the group of three before going back to filing his nails.



    “Is there a problem?” Devon asked sternly.



    “Look, I was looking out for you three. If you insist on staying, feel free to. You will, however, have to visit the current chieftain and submit to him.”



    “Oh?” Devon quizzically looked at the hotel manager. “And why would we have to do that?”



    “The current chieftain, Blaire, usurped the chief’s position a few months ago. He tyrannically rules over us and continues to sanction unruly taxes and swaggers around town doing whatever he pleases. He takes girls he fancies, brings slaves into the market to make more money, and abuses the general public.” The hotel manager’s eyes slightly twitched as he angrily reflected on the past few months.



    Saif frowned and began pondering.



    “But sir, why do you let him do as he pleases? In the absolute worst case scenario, why don’t you just leave?”



    “Well, there are a few reasons. First off, he is extremely powerful. He is a registered 5th rank Soul Veteran. Because we are so far away, the Shal’Navan government has yet to respond to the citizens’ pleas. In addition, he has a legion under his command that consists of twenty men. The force he leads in and of itself is enough to scare us citizens from revolting. Though he does abuse his power, for the most part, we are still alive and well. Despite this, he has threatened death to any citizens who considering leaving or mutiny.” The hotel manager slightly sighed.



    “I see. Hmm. Well, first I would like to rent one room with three beds.” Devon nonchalantly replied.



    The hotel manager was startled for a moment, but then reverted to his previous cold state.



    “Do what you want. The cost will be fifty copper coins a night.”



    Devon left a single silver coin on the counter and walked into the room at the right. Saif bowed at the hotel manager and walked over to Devon. Shari also followed.



    When the three entered the room, Devon shut the door. He then took out a small cup and filled it with water that was available in the room. The room was not particularly special. It had plain walls, three beds, and a table in the center. Though not large, it provided the necessities.



    “Before we get started, I’ll have to explain everything about Soul Mastery that I have taught Saif to you, Shari.” Devon walked over to the table and placed the cup on the center of the table.



    “The Soul…”



    -----



    After several hours, Devon was finally done lecturing.



    “Shari, come over to this cup.” Devon beckoned at Shari.



    “Listen to my instructions. After I grab your shoulder, place your hands around the cup and channel your energy. Imagine Soul Energy flowing from your core into your hands and exert your Soul Energy into the cup.”



    Devon grasped Shari’s shoulder and began awakening Shari’s dormant Soul Energy. Shari shook her head and closed her eyes and began channeling her Soul Energy.



    Saif peered over the pair’s shoulders to look at the water in the cup. The water trembled and began to darken in color. It slowly began to solidify and turned into a mushy brown substance. After a slight delay, the muddy substance started shining. The glowing mud radiated a bright light that was almost blinding.



    “You can stop.” Devon had a hint of excitement in his voice.



    Shari released her power and immediately slouched in fatigue. Shari’s exertion and awakening of Soul Energy in her body caused her to be thoroughly exhausted.



    “Haha, what would be the chances that another Composite Soul Master would appear in front of me. Shari, our meeting must have been fate.” Devon beamed at Shari.



    Shari, too, was shocked. Because Devon had lectured her for a few hours, she understood the rarity of Composite Soul Masters. Regardless of the level of Soul Affinity a Composite Soul Master had, simply having the ability to train in two or more paths in Soul Mastery made them into rare existences. Even the lowest grade Composite Soul Master was one in a million.



    “You have Soul Affinity for both Light and Earth Soul Mastery. Though I am unable to determine your exact Soul Affinity for both Masteries, this is still incredible news.”



    While Devon continued to talk to Shari, Saif started training. Not only did he want to become stronger upon discovering Shari was a Composite Soul Master, but he also was inspired by Shari’s interesting awakening.



    Devon glanced over at Saif and noticed him using the Cheon Breathing Technique to cultivate his Soul Energy. Devon proudly smiled and continued to talk to Shari.



    “The first thing you must learn is the Soul Enhancing Breathing Technique. It is the standard breathing technique of Soul Masters to cultivate their Soul Energy. After a few days of cultivating, we will leave for the capital city Fanas.” Devon sat down in front of Shari to demonstrate.



    Time quickly passed as Shari and Saif cultivated their Soul Energy.



    -----



    A dense field of energy enveloped Shari. The light that poured in through the window was attracted to Shari and seemingly entered her body. The Light Soul Energy that was coming from the sun gently invigorated Shari’s cells. The dense field of energy shuddered and burst out, signaling a breakthrough.



    “Well done. You quickly reached the 7th Soul Apprentice rank.” Devon patted Shari’s head gently.



    “Shall we go check on Saif?” Devon looked over at Shari for a response.



    Shari brightly smiled and shook her head yes. The two then exited the hotel room and walked out to the field behind the hotel. Saif was currently in front of a small fire. The Air and Fire Soul Energy was coalescing into Saif’s body, causing his veins and muscles to twitch. His body was pumping like a machine.



    As he continued to cultivate Soul Energy, his expression intensified. The field of Soul Energy around him burst and allowed for more Soul Energy to enter his system. It was quickly devoured like a vacuum.



    Saif slowly opened his eyes and breathed out to conclude his Cheon Breathing Technique.



    “Devon, Shari, were you two waiting for long?” Saif was slightly startled at the pair’s sudden appearance.



    “No, we just arrived.” Devon smiled down at Saif.



    “You are now a 9th rank Soul Academic. Your progress is fast. Shari’s is not bad as well. She started as a 3rd rank Soul Apprentice and is now already a 7th rank Soul Apprentice.” Devon nodded in approval.



    Despite Devon’s praise, Shari had a gloomy look on her face and Saif did not looked pleased either.



    “You greedy kids. The path of Soul Mastery is not easy. Shari, you have just recently begun cultivating. It is expected that Saif is much more ahead of you. Saif, the path of cultivation of Soul Energy only becomes harder the further you progress. It will not be as simple as before.” Devon sought to not only cheer the two up, but also sought to teach them at the same time.



    “Un.” Saif bowed slightly. Shari, after noticing Saif bow, also bowed respectfully.



    “Well, now that you two have completed applying all of the insights you gained from your current experiences, let us garner more experiences.” Devon suspiciously smiled.



    “Devon, what do you mean?” Saif looked at Devon with a confused look.



    “Your next task will be to defeat the rowdy group of people that have recently taken over this town. They are unsightly and ill-mannered. They do not deserve to live.” Devon snorted and replied.



    “What?” Shocked, Saif simply stared at Devon.



    “One of the most important I am able to teach you is of the enemy. Sparing the enemy is like murdering your family. Weakness and hesitation will only get you killed. Be resolute and firm like a rock.” Devon gazed into Saif’s eyes intensely.



    “Yes Devon.” Saif returned Devon’s gaze and firmly prepared himself.



    “This goes for you as well, Shari.” Devon then stared into Shari’s eyes.



    Shari nervously looked back at Devon. After a minute of contemplation, she returned the resolute gaze.



    “Good. Then let us go make a quick visit.” Devon smirked at the two little monsters that he was teaching and walked out of the hotel room.

  • edited July 2015
     Book 1, Chapter 7: Lightning Wave Reinforcement - Pt. 1


    “You idiot!” A large statured man smash a glass cup onto the floor. “Did I not tell you earlier to restock the wine? Worthless!”


    The large statured man was approximately 2 meters in height. He wore brown overalls that had a red, devilish insignia painted on the side. The man’s brown hair was roughly organized in a straight fashion. His face was currently beet red from drunkenness.


    “Yes, sir!” A timid looking man cowered away from the large man. The timid man’s arms instinctively raised in defense, as if accustomed to being hit.


    The large man smacked the timid man away in frustration.


    “Bah! Go get more wine.”


    “Y-Yes sir!” The timid man slowly stepped back but suddenly stopped.


    He slowly raised his head to look up but saw nothing.


    “Ahem.” The sound of a small child clearing his throat startled the timid man.


    A small child appearing to be about 8 years old was standing in front of the timid man. His eyes kindled gently as the wind blew against his perfectly arranged white hair.


    “Hello, sir. If you step outside I would be pleased to treat your wounds in a few moments.” The white haired child smiled at the timid man.


    “Wuh? A-Okay…” The timid man backed out of the tent in a perplexed manner.


    “Hmm?” The large man peered over from his chair at the white haired child.


    “Boy, what are you doing ordering my men?” The large man angrily grumbled.


    “Soul Master Blaire I presume?”


    Saif’s tone of voice and expression grew extremely cold, a complete reversal of what he was like to the timid man.


    “Yes, I am Blaire, Chieftain of Gando. For what reason have you come here, boy?”


    “Soul Master Blaire, for the abuse of the townspeople of Gando, the trafficking of humans, and the violation of all of the women you have taken advantage of, I hereby pronounce your death!” Saif loudly declared for everyone in the area to hear.


    “What!” Blaire quickly rose from his chair and lifted his giant axe. The great axe was just as large as Blaire himself.


    “You seek death, boy!” Blaire wildly swung his axe at Saif.


    Saif immediately responded, dodging to the right. An intense amount of pressure smashed towards his left and cracked the ground.


    “Rah!” Blaire once again swung his axe towards Saif’s head.


    Saif rolled to the left as the axe smashed against the floor and finally drew his wooden sword.


    “Blazing Foundation Technique!”


    Saif shouted in place, exuding Soul Energy in massive heaps. His wooden sword became encapsulated in flames and brightly lit up the inside of the tent.


    As Blaire picked up his axe again, Saif charged at him.


    “Foolish boy! I will no longer underestimate you.” Blaire growled out as he formed a defensive stance.


    “Seven Serpent Lightning Strike!” Blaire ran towards Saif as seven lightning serpent apparitions charged at Saif. The serpents viciously bit at Saif, ignoring everything else.


    “Shari!” Saif stepped back and loudly shouted.


    A young girl leapt in from outside of the tent. Her voluminous black hair flowed gently in the air as she gracefully landed on the ground.


    As soon as she arrived, she pushed with great force in an upwards motion.


    The ground directly in front of Saif rose up and effectively blocked Blaire.


    Though Shari did not officially learn any specific Martial Techniques, she was still able to control her Earth Soul Mastery to a basic extent.


    Blaire slammed into the wall and stopped in his tracks. Though he was stopped for a moment, he quickly shook his head and continued to charge at Saif.


    Though Blaire momentarily stopped, the seven serpents still continued to chase after Saif.


    Realizing the danger of the situation, Saif decided to first destroy the seven serpents.


    Saif struck out at the first serpent that arrived with an upwards slash and slashed downwards at the second serpent.


    “Kah!”


    The serpents that were slashed at by Saif sizzled out and dissipated like vapor.


    Saif slashed out five more times to remove the remaining serpents before confronting Blaire.


    The moment Saif destroyed the last serpent, Blaire crashed down in front of him.


    “Electric Field!” Blaire shouted and violently stomped on the ground.


    Soul Energy concentrated in Blaire’s core before shooting out in all directions. Saif reacted swiftly, but the electricity still grazed right leg.


    “Gah!”


    Saif’s leg became utterly numb. As soon as Saif landed, he collapsed. The situation quickly became dire.


    “Die.” Blaire slashed his axe at Saif’s chest with great force.

  • edited July 2015

    Book 1, Chapter 7: Lightning Wave Reinforcement - Pt. 2



    Blaire’s axe fell with hundreds of pounds of force and made contact. It directly struck a large boulder that was launched out by Shari.



    Cold sweat trickled down Saif’s forehead and back as he looked at the destructive power of the giant axe.



    It was truly an axe of impending doom. Saif understood that if he made one simple mistake, that it would be the mark of the end of his life.



    “What a pest.” Blaire slashed downwards again, only to break apart another stone.



    Stone after stone continued to be obliterated by Blaire’s axe as Saif charged his energy in the back line.



    Shari continued launching stones at Blaire to buy Saif some time.



    “Launch me up!” Saif shouted to Shari.



    Saif flew up into the air. Shari had elevated the ground beneath Saif’s feet as he jumped up to launch Saif into the air. Their coordination was not perfect, but well executed.



    As Shari incessantly barraged Blaire with stones, Saif began to descend from above.



    Saif’s sword dive was almost flawless, but unfortunately Blaire was still the higher ranked Soul Master of the two.



    “I will show you the difference between our Souls! Lightning Wave Reinforcement!” Blaire screamed out.



    Lightning surrounded Blaire’s body in a thin layer. Saif’s blazing sword met Blaire’s lightning armor causing static to flow out in a three meter radius.



    Soul Energy continued to condense at the epicenter of impact as Saif and Blaire both continued to persevere.



    It was a test of determination and strength. Blaire’s Lightning Wave Reinforcement versus Saif’s Blazing Foundation Technique.



    Waves of energy continued to flash about in the tent. Steadily, Blaire’s Lightning Wave Reinforcement began to overpower Saif’s Blazing Foundation Technique. The difference in Soul Energy was just too large.



    However, Shari would not simply stand and watch. She had already positioned herself in Blaire’s blind spot before Saif struck out at Blaire.



    Shari patiently waited for the perfect moment to strike.



    She launched a stone straight at Blaire to distract him while simultaneously running at him. As the stone neared Blaire, he swatted it away with one swing of his fist. However, this momentary distraction caused Saif to pour out more Soul Energy to try to suddenly overtake Blaire.



    Because he was distracted, Blaire did not have sufficient time to react. The clash between him and Saif began to swing in Saif’s favor.



    At the same time, Shari was still approaching Blaire. She had already prepared an earth spike that was the size of a fist.



    Shari leapt forward and aimed the spike at Blaire’s left eye. As Blaire was trying to fend off Saif’s increasing pressure, he did not notice Shari approaching from his blind spot.



    Shari savagely drilled the spike into Blaire’s right eye and kicked fiercely at Blaire’s right leg.



    Blaire howled loudly in surprise. Because Blaire’s eye had just been stabbed, he did not guard his right leg and lost balance. Blaire fell over to the right and smashed into the floor.



    The second Shari struck Blaire in his eye, Saif spiraled into the air. As soon as Blaire fell to the ground, Saif brutally slashed at Blaire’s neck. Saif’s blade cut straight through, successfully severing Blaire’s head from his body.



    Saif stood up from his crouched position and looked for Shari. Shari was obviously exhausted from using so much Soul Energy. Because she had not learned any specific Martial Techniques and was simply manipulating the earth around her, the toll on her body was great.



    Despite this, Saif, who had used Martial Techniques, was even more fatigued. After confirming Shari’s safety, Saif smiled and collapsed.



    The whole world became black.

  • edited August 2015
    Book 1, Chapter 8: Soul Space

    “Agh…” Saif rubbed his eyes with his hands. Saif’s head throbbed with pain as he attempted to get up. An odd, sharp pain continually struck out in the back of his head. In frustration, Saif just decided to ignore the pain.

    “W-Where am I?”

    Upon closer inspection, Saif noticed that he was in a room. The room was completely white. The walls, ceiling, and floor were all white. There was no obvious exit or entrance, which only served to confuse Saif even more. The thing that had drawn most of his attention, however, was in the center of the room. At the centermost point of the room, a sole sword was floating in the air. The blade was a deep crimson, as if dipped in blood. The blade was curved, slender, single-edged, and appeared to be about 70 cm in length. The hilt of the blade was a jet-black that seemed to devour the light that surrounded the sword. At the top of the hilt was a golden hand guard. The sword had an intensely murderous aura that seemed to tyrannically oppress its surroundings.

    Saif was simultaneously frightened and in awe. He had never seen such an incredible sword, nor had he ever felt such an extremely oppressive aura.

    Saif slowly stood up and began walking towards the sword.

    As he grew closer, each step he took grew heavier. The pressure he experienced became more intense by the second. It was as if someone continued to put more weight on his shoulders.

    Saif extended his arm out desperately in an attempt to grab the sword. The pressure on his fingers increased to an excruciatingly painful extent until he could no longer feel his fingers.

    “S..”


    Saif took one more step forward.

    “Sa…”

    Grimacing, Saif took yet another step forward.

    “SAI…”

    Almost on the verge of collapsing, Saif mustered enough strength to take one last step towards the sword.

    “SAIF!”

    “Huh?”

    Saif’s vision slowly regained focus. A beautiful face was currently looking straight down at him in a worried manner.

    “Sh...Shari?” Saif clumsily muttered out.

    Shari began to tear up as soon as Saif uttered her name. Tear droplets fell on Saif’s face rapidly from above. Shari quickly hugged Saif, silently crying in his arms. Saif, though startled, began to console her.

    “It’s alright. I’m fine. You’re fine. We’re here together.”

    Saif gently shut his eyes and began finding peace within himself.

    “Ahem.”

    Saif quickly looked over to the sound of the voice to find Devon looking down at the two of them awkwardly.

    Saif tapped Shari’s back to signal the end of their embrace and struggled to stand.

    After clearing his throat, Saif asked, “Devon, what’s going on? What happened?”

    “You passed out after the battle with Blaire. Though I reassured her that you were fine, Shari thought you were in danger and might have died. Or at least I think that’s what she was fretting about.”

    Devon sighed and walked over to a pot to pour out a cup of tea.

    “Have some tea. Tell me what happened when you were unconscious.” Devon sat down in front of Saif and handed him the cup.

    “When I was unconscious? Well…”

    Saif briefly thought to himself.

    “It was odd. I was in a completely white room that had neither an exit nor an entrance. There was nothing particularly strange or out of the ordinary in the room other than one thing in the center. A deep crimson sword was in the center of the room, floating in the air. Though it had a menacing aura, it did not seem dangerous to me. I tried reaching out to it but as I grew closer, the air around the sword grew heavier and it became harder and harder to draw closer to the sword. I don’t quite understand what all of that means.” Saif pondered to himself as he explained the situation.

    “I see.” Devon curiously thought to himself for a moment and then continued.

    “What you experienced is a rare occurrence for someone like you. You visited your Soul Space.”

    “Soul Space?”

    “Yes. Your Soul Space is the area in which your Soul is contained. It is an accessible room that the owner can enter if strong enough or if in certain specific dire conditions. When in the Soul Space, one experiences time flow at a tenth of the normal rate. Though able to be forcefully removed by putting the user’s body in dangerous conditions, the user will most likely choose to stay within the Soul Space unless disturbed because of the rarity of the chance to enter one’s Soul Space.”

    “Then is it a problem that I left? What does it all mean?” Saif was perplexed.

    “Not necessarily, though it may have been somewhat beneficial for you to remain in that state. It would have indeed been a hassle to protect you, though. In the end it is not necessarily a problem. It was more of an opportunity. From your description however, you should have gained something. Perhaps we’re just not capable of knowing what that is yet.”

    As Devon stood up after his explanation, Saif looked back at Shari. Shari currently had a slightly regretful expression on her face as if she had caused unnecessary trouble.

    “It’s okay, Shari. I know that you only tried to wake me up because you were worried about me.” Saif reassuringly smiled at Shari, causing her to blush and look away.

    “Well, now that the problem with Gando is cleared up, what shall we do now, Devon?” Saif curiously looked up at Devon.

    “We will head out to Fanas. I am not able to teach you or Shari in the Soul Affinities that I do not have. You will both be examined to determine both your standing amongst your peers and which school you will go to.” Devon replied.

    “School? We are going to go to school?” Saif was very interested in school. An education was hard to come by.

    Shari’s eyes also lit up in response. She beamed at Devon in happiness.

    “Yes. Specifically, you will go to a Soul Academy. Both of you will be able to hone your skills and learn in the Soul Mastery Paths that I am unable to teach you two in. That way, you will advance in the path of Soul Mastery and become stronger.”

    Strength!

    Power!

    Saif continued to grow excited. Perhaps he would be able to become an unbeatable figure in the Afruencean Continent.

    Saif looked up at the night sky and silently prayed to the stars.
  • Hi dremaer3,

    Thanks for enjoying the story. That in and of itself makes me happy. I did indeed have large plans for this, but around the time when I stopped writing was when I got into a car accident. I was on my way back from a trip to Pittsburgh (Haha, just like Ren), but was unfortunately hit on my way home.

    Though not fatal, I had to go through a few examinations and am still visiting and talking to my doctor. Though I don't think there would be anyone who would be particularly worried for me on this site, I still just want to clarify that I am fine.

    In addition to the car accident, work and school have taken a higher priority at the moment. As I am still integrating myself into my newer schedule with the new semester, I have no idea when I will resume writing. Though I hope to not delay too much, releases may come slower or take a while.

    However, I at the very least do have general plot lines, outlines, and other things already organized so the only thing I would necessarily need to do is finish writing the chapters.

    At the ABSOLUTE latest if I find that I cannot find any time WHATSOEVER (which is somewhat unlikely), I will definitely have much more time around December. Though I hope to at least get some content out before then, maybe weekly or something of the sort, that may end up happening as well.

    I'll deal with things one step at a time.

    Again, apologies for anyone who had been enjoying the story thus far, and thank you very much dremaer3 for reaching out.

    Akaruhi

    (P.S. It wasn't my fault. The other driver blatantly crashed into me and honestly said it himself that it was his fault. Insurance and everything else have already been settled so other than bodily injuries everything else is okay.)
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