Page 1 of 16 1234567891011 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 304

Thread: Earth's Core

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Posts
    308

    Default Earth's Core

    Not Fan Fiction, but my own story.
    To get some background about me, you can check out my website: http://www.lonahora.com/
    I'll publish new chapters there and in this thread.




    Book 1 – Earth's Core

    Chapter 1 – Under The Surface Of The Earth



    “O Earth, O Earth, how long, how many?

    Set me free, O Earth, O Earth, Let nothing remain.

    Others came and gone, O Earth, why me?

    O Earth, cast me away, cast me away”.


    For the last thousands of years, since Nature’s rules began to change and humanity’s place at the top of the food chain as diminished, human beings, along with other creatures who couldn’t handle the change has moved away from the surface of the Earth to a few kilometers beneath it.

    Back then, 5775 years ago, it was thanks to a joint effort of human and beast that allow the discovery of the network of tunnels and giant caves underneath the Earth. Soon after, the surviving people, nearly eight hundred million in number and around 100 million different kinds of beasts who couldn’t handle life on the surface of the earth, had immigrated underground and lived in separation of species since then.

    Underground, exploration of the tunnels and caves has continued nonstop until 3705 years after the mass immigration and Nature’s new rules has completely been set, and there was barely new stuff that humanity or beasts could discover anymore.

    To sum up the results of 2070 years of exploration in one word will be “Miraculous”. Although Nature, as some may say, turned its back on humanity and beasts, it sure has proven that for one drastic change within it that can be considered as unfavorable, another that is just as extreme and can be considered the opposite will take place.

    How it is interpreted in relation to the network of tunnels and caves? Firstly, the majority of caves were big enough to host a city of millions of people, each, and some of the key point tunnels were hundreds of meters high and wide. Not to mention that this network covered nearly half of the planet! In many caves and tunnels even rich greenery and deep and wide clear water lakes were discovered. And yet, the most significant discovery came in the shape of bulky stone which was a special type of crystal that seemed to grow only inside this vast network of tunnels and giant caves.

    These crystals gained the name “Sun Stones” and became no less valuable than holy items and Heaven’s miracles to both humanity and beasts. The initial reason for this was the light radiating from the first discovered crystals which seemed to mimic the sun’s light rays, but didn’t have the negative effects of overexposure. The Sun Stone crystals that mostly grew at the ceilings of the tunnels and caves were high in number and also differ in sizes. The biggest discovered were around a few meters in diameter and the smallest around the size of a child’s nail. Just to give an idea to how bright the Sun Stone crystals are, a crystal with a diameter of ten centimeters could light up a small hall and literally turn night to day. In the following years humanity will find a way to harvest the Sun Stones’ energy, at the same time solving the clean energy problem.

    A few decades after sharing the complete report regarding the exploration of the underground, humanity and beasts at most finished their adaptation process to their new life, the boundaries between species were agreed upon and drawn on the rough maps describing the network of tunnels and giant caves areas – then were already called “New Earth’s maps”, and the New Erath’s calendar was set officially starting in the last day of immigration. That was the start of the 3001 year.

    Year 3997. Near humanity’s one of most populated colonies, the Taltalon colony after its founding father and mother, established a couple hundred meters from the end of the tunnel that marked the border between species, a stream of earthquakes coming from the beasts’ side shocked the colonists to their bones. The first few hours no one dared to live his home, but when it became unbearable anymore, some brave and stupid ones decided to check the source for the earthquakes.

    What they saw froze them on their feet. Although they didn’t know what to expect, underground earthquakes in New Erath were rare but not that surprising since usually had natural reasons, their faces were dumbfounded.

    Two unseen before or heard of beasts, less than ten meters from humanity territory, were in a standoff. The bigger of the two was a horse like creature, almost six meters tall with red mane and eyes and brown hair. The other, the human spectators could only categorize as a type of fox only because the shape of its body and head. From the tip of its two tails to the edge of its nose to its sharp nails, all of it was completely yellow in color and its size in length two and a half meters long.

    Only when the two beasts began to move again, some of the man watching seemed to understand both the cause of the earthquake and its reason. The two beasts were fighting over some kind of an earth stone.

    The earth stone was beneath the horse’s torso and whenever the eager fox tried to snatch it or bite the horse’s legs, the horse would try to kick its head only to miss and strike the ground in disdain. Hence, the cause and reason for the earthquakes.

    Afraid for their life, the best that some of the viewers could do to escape was crawl on their knees, while those who didn’t turn their back, been too intrigued with the scene before them, gave up on trying to stand and set on the ground, believing that no matter what kind of beasts these two really are, they will respect the boundaries between two species.

    The two fought for another hour before the horse finally gave up keeping the earth stone for itself. The fox let out a satisfied purr when it saw the horse steps back, although that purr only last a second since faster than any of the fox’s movement during their fight, the horse kicked the stone, breaking its earthly cover and sending from it to the human’s territory a round shiny object. The fox fur immediately stood on its back in resentment. Right away it was about to cross over the border and then stopped when the horse neighed aloud before returning to the deepest parts of the beasts’ territory.

    The fox’s eyes were fixed on the direction the object flew at and then rested on the frightened humans. Knowing the rules it relaxed its tense tails and ears and turned around without looking back.

    Jumping on their feet and running as if possessed by the spirits of the two beasts, any of the human spectators who saw clearly how the feud ended tried to get first to where the shiny object as landed. They arrived to the wheat fields before the first line of cabins in the colony. All panting yet still moving nonstop, speculating the value of the shiny object and eager to find it.

    They even ignored the calls of the people who gathered outside since the firsts that returned on their knees arrived and spread what they saw.

    “There!” A deep voice called and everyone, those who searched and those stood with confused facial expressions, ran to see what the forty something man as found.

    Not sure if he should touch it, the man only let his voice attract everyone and then stood the closest to the object as everyone gathered. On the ground, in the size of a grown man fist was a sphere, brown and shining like mud with a smooth surface. When the eyes surrounding the sphere came even closer, reflected from the inside they saw light brown mist.

    “Well… take it, Erdar, you found it”. One man tried to push the first to discover the sphere to also be the first to touch it. In truth that man also wanted the sphere, if it will turn out to be nothing more than a gemstone, then its owner will become the richest man in the colony. The reason that this man still pushed Erdar to take the sphere was its place of origin. Since he was one of those who saw the fight till the very end, he assumed, like everyone else that’s been there or heard and believed the story about the two never seen before creatures, that anything that unfamiliar might not be safe.

    Knowing that if he will refuse to take the strange sphere he will instantly lose his right for it, Erdar, who is not very rich and his closest relative is his father which has not many years to live anyway, decided to bet on his life. His hand hesitantly hovered above the sphere and then, thinking about the fox’s face and how it was willing to fight to the death with the horse just to get it, his five fingers formed a claw and snatched the sphere to his chest.

    One second to ten second to a full one minute all gazes rested on Erdar while his eyes remained close, pending for something, hoping that nothing will happen. And then “I struck it rich!” Erdar screamed in his heart. “Unbelievable! Unbelievable!” his eyes opened as everyone finally realized that thunder won’t strike today.

    To make the analogy clear, when water from above the ground seep into the earth and wet the small Sun Stones at the ceilings of the tunnels and caves, a scenario that repeats itself every few years, dozens of the smallest Sun Stones crystals begin to explode in a manner that sounds like the ancient thunder storms. Even ray of light that replace the all might lightning occur in those time and causes small fires. That is the only down size of living in New Earth. And even though no one could find out why only waters from above cause this reaction to the Sun Stones while the water from the clear water lakes had no effect on the crystals whatsoever, they all become accustomed to these events and learned how to deal with the fires quite fast by mainly using their irrigation systems.

    “Haha! Everyone, today drinks are on me!” Erdar announced and made his way through the crowd of envy eyes. Bitter, everyone followed him to his favorite tavern in the colony since with a bottle of ale even the poorest man could feel rich for a day.

    “Salony, feast your eyes. Today I, Erdar, will quench the thirst of my fellow men and women”. Erdar called loudly at the barkeep that numbered with the few that stayed at their place of work or homes during the earthquake.

    “And how are you planning of doing it when just yesterday you avoided a discussion with me about your two months old tab?” Salony ignored Erdar’s jolly mood.

    “Listen to him, Salony”, a few men stepped in. “that lucky bastard found a gemstone from the beasts’ side!”

    “A gemstone?!” Salony in a flash changed his attitude toward Erdar. “Then it should be my finest bottle for my dear costumer and friend of over ten years!”

    “Haha, Salony, I like how nice you have become. Fine, pour your best drink three times to every empty cup, I will pay for it gladly and also close my tab today”.

    Hearing Erdar’s order everyone cheered before he could change his mind, afraid of the saying that when a poor man turns rich so fast his judgment also turn very fickle.

    “I sure would like to see for myself the gemstone that you found, of course, only if you don’t mind”. Salony said to Erdar while purring him the forth cup.

    “Why not”. Erdar agreed and reached into his coat inner pocket. “Empty?” Erdar didn’t dare to say aloud. “No, it’s got to be there”. He checked the next pocket and the other three on the right side of his coat, but he couldn’t find the brown gemstone.

    “Thief!” In an act of desperation Erdar suddenly shouted. Until the moment his left hand struck Salony’s back to harry up with his drink, it didn’t left the pocket where he safeguard the gemstone, and now it was empty and because his head was so high near the surface he didn’t know who might have snatched it and so refrained from pointing fingers. “Thief! Thief! Who dared to steal my gemstone?” He could only continue shouting.

    In the blink of an eye, inside the tavern, a commotion erupted. The good people of the Taltalon colony who joined a free drink, Salony, the owner and barkeep of the tavern and above everyone else, Erdar, began to blame one another. From shouting, to cursing to eventually throwing fists, the lost gemstone made the peaceful colonists mad. Most got angered for the act of theft – an unforgiveable crime in any of the human colonies. Some, for just knowing the gemstone disappeared, even though it wasn’t theirs. One, because he already poured two rounds of, apparently, free drinks. Others, because they didn’t receive their promised third.

    “You! You, Erdar! You and your lies!” Salony snapped, stepped over the counter and threw a punch that landed on Erdar’s nose.

    Blood spurted from Erdar’s nose, but when he was about to curse and fight back, “Bowaa!” he felt like his inside spilling out from his mouth. Seeing the great amount of blood coming out from first, Erdar’s mouth, then his eyes and ears until finally his body fell on the tavern’s floor, shacking like it’s about to burst, everyone jumped back and the commotion subsided.

    “Poison! The thief also used poison. Hurry, someone call doctor Ernis!” One man shouted and immediately someone ran out. By that time Erdar stopped moving. Everything, every part of his body was too painful. He could no longer taste or smell the puddle of blood he fell on. Last thing he saw was the color red, all red.

    “I’m dying. I’m really going to die. Why all I see is black…?” At death’s door a strange serenity took hold of Erdar. “Rich or dead, rich or dead. I brought it upon myself. But who could believe that it will be because an act of theft. Very unlike of anyone that I know…” He discussed with himself as the white light approached. “What’s that? What’s happing” A sudden burning sensation from his stomach spread all over his body.

    “Where is he?! Get me to-” Old doctor Ernis and two young paramedics arrived together with the man who went to call them. The moment doctor Ernis saw Erdar’s poor state his mouth shut. “We need to hurry”, he opened again and gave orders. “Forget everything and just place him properly on the stretcher. Oh, how could such thing have happened in our colony?!”

    Without anyone’s knowledge, time began to move differently between Erdar and the men and women around him. By the time doctor Ernis and the two paramedics reached Erdar’s side, a certain event has already taken place inside the seemed to be dying man.

    The color of the white light Eldar first thought to be the gate to the afterlife slowly turned dimmer and dimmer. The emerging fire in his abdomen was so hot that his soul mistook its heat for intense coldness. “Hell, I’m going to the third hell!” Eldar screamed in his mind, his soul fought the urge to give up and accept his fate, for he knew that after the unavoidable cold fire gates of the third hell all will pass, judgment will be given and incarnation will follow.

    “Bang!” Doctor Ernis and the two paramedics flew on the surrounding people who all had faces full of astonishment. Erdar could finally feel his voice coming out of his throat, his ears became sharp, he heard the beating hearts around him, his nose smelled the vegetable fields at the other side of the colony and his eyes saw through the smallest of cracks on the tavern’s wooden floor as his body stood on all four.

    “Whaaa! It’s good, great, amazing”. Erdar had no words to describe how he felt. He raised his right hand and saw small brown mist particles coming out of it and getting back in again and again. He closed his eyes and for the first time in his life sensed not just his body, but also every molecule that made it. His mind sunk deeper in concentration and then he noticed it right beneath his navel, the gemstone! It was much smaller than when he held it, and there were many cracks on it and more forming at a slow pace. From every crack more and more mist got out, passing through his internal parts, leaving his body through the skin and getting back in . It was an endless cycle of “Heaven!”

    The people in the tavern all looked with jaws dropped. In a manner of a few minutes, on the forty something man’s bald head black hair plume started growing, his torn and broken from hard work skin became as smooth as a baby’s bottom and when he opened his once gray and foggy eyes a bright spark reflected back at them and they looked much sharper.

    “Erdar, don’t move. Let me look at you”. Doctor Ernis was so bewildered after witnessing the extraordinary phenomenon. He couldn’t care less if he or his two young pupils got injured when Erdar woke up and unconsciously hit them. He rudely grabbed Erdar’s chin and examined his eyes, opened his mouth, checked for fever but the man was as healthy as an ox, even better, he looked twenty years younger!

    “A miracle, an undeniably miracle!” Doctor Ernis determined and moved away to take, yet again, a further look at Erdar.

    “Haha, old Ernis, wrong, wrong”. Erdar jumped nimbly on his feet and stretched. Doctor Ernis didn’t know how to respond the so sure and confident Erdar. Having nothing to say he just stood and listened together with everybody else. “It’s that gemstone I found, it’s that, I tell you all. Sorry for all the mess and blaming, nobody stole my gemstone, haha…” He had the nerve to laugh it out, but who could prevent from laughing a man who a moment ago was as good as dead and now full of life like a new born baby.

    “You son of-” Salony barged, “All of it a hoax! How many of you were in it, ah?!” he waved his hand in the air. Hearing the word “gemstone” he remembered all the ale he wasted, and seeing the broken stools and tables his hands clenched into fists. In pure rage Salony shot a straight punch to hit Erdar’s nose again.

    “Slow”. Unlike last time, Erdar couldn’t help but be marveled at how slow Salony was. With a nudge of his head he escaped the fist’s trajectory and with a step to the side he struck at Salony’s back to put him in his place.

    Receiving Erdar’s blow, a sound of shattering bones was heard. Salony’s spine twisted unnaturally and his internals burst. The barkeeper and owner of the tavern fell to the floor dead.

    Soon after, the rumors about a gemstone that grants superhuman powers spread like wildfire within humanity’s territory.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Posts
    308

    Default

    Book 1 – Earth’s Core
    Chapter 2 – Two Beasts


    Year 4097, a hundred years after humanity first discovered the existence of what they named “Earth’s Core”, a hundred years of extreme searching without a method to follow by, finding and learning the small number of Earth’s Cores that were found within their borders, the hundred years with the highest records of theft and assassinations since the move to New Earth, ninety-eight years after the first human to possess the power of an Earth’s Core was murdered, the full report of the Earth’s Core’s research were published to the general public.

    The first thing to amaze all avid readers was the report’s opening phrase, which was a quote of its lead researcher: “The Earth’s Core is mysterious”. Many were stuck on these first words. A hundred years of research and the end results starts with the word “Mysterious”, “How could that be?” many asked puzzled. The only ones who were not surprised and didn’t pay much attention to the opening phrase were those who knew how difficult it was, and still is, to find the Earth’s Cores.

    Continuing was a comparison of the Earth’s Core to the common Sun Stone. After digging an Earth’s Core and removing its earthly cover a various earth tones small sphere, eight to fourteen centimeter in diameter, will be all that’s left. The surface of the sphere will be tougher than a diamond and smoother than a pearl. Much like the six centimeter in diameter Sun Stones and larger, there are no known methods of harming the Earth’s Core with external forces, making it the hardest substance of any size known to man. Microscopic examination on the light brown mist inside the Earth’s Core represented a breakthrough that allowed a higher understanding for why Nature supply the Earth’s Core and Sun Stone, crystals of the same family as it appeared, such a hard surface. They were meant to contain extreme forces!

    First was the Sun Stone, its brightness made it easy to find and so it was thought to be more common. In it a sun like energy is contained, also able to project healthy rays of radiation that in the last thousands years helped human’s cells evolve to a stage where most diseases do not affect them.

    Second was the Earth’s Core. Growing inside the earth it was clearly harder to find than the Sun Stone. Furthermore, of fear from Nature’s respond, humanity had to hold back from turning New Earth upside down when searching for Earth’s Cores. Eventually only a handful of Earth’s Cores were mined within humanity’s borders. Speaking about the mist inside the Earth’s Core, the one word all the researched agreed upon unanimously was “Peculiar”. Access to the mist is possible only when one become attached to the Earth’s core in his or her possession. The Earth’s Core would enter the owner’s body and settle itself in the infinite space of the lower dantian, a few centimeters below the navel. There, if done properly by meditating, the holder of the Earth’s Core will contact the mist inside the Earth’s Core and use it to break the now to be describe as “Shell”. The more cracks appears on the shell the more mist can leave it. The mist will then go through the Earth’s Core holder’s body and strengthen its internals, then go past the bones, skin and hair and make them stronger and flexible as well, and end up entering the body again. The cycle will continue for twelve times until the mist will settle in the dantian and repeat the process, the same number of times, for each new crack the will appear on the Earth’s Core, but with greater amount of mist. There are also speculations that the Earth's Core will also increase its holder's life span.
    “CAUTION!” The word was emphasized and a warning followed, explaining that if one avoids meditating early after the Earth’s Core enters the body and instead, at some point in time, the dantian will suffer shocks the shell will break on its own and the first cycle of mist leaving and entering the body will start, accompanied by unimaginable pain to every part of the body and a great loss of blood.

    The one before last part of the Earth’s Core’s report was the most astonishing. When the number of cracks on the shell will reach a certain amount, the shell would then crumble and will merge with the mist, increasing its volume and purity two folds, also changing its color from the previews dark brown to bright white. After This breakthrough, the holder of the now complete energy form of the Earth’s Core, which now shall receive the title “Core Breaker”, for further advancement, will have to continue practicing by cultivating the mist energy through meditation.
    Finally the last part of the report stirred the heart of every human who read it for good or for bad.

    “CAUTION!” For the moment, within our, humanity territory, the act of mining Earth’s Cores has been unanimously declared as illegal by the United Governments of New Earth. Therefore, a severe sentence will be given to anyone caught handling Earth’s Cores without the consent of the UGNE.

    Reading that last part many understood at once. The UGNE didn’t forbid entering the beasts’ territory and mine there. And because the interaction with the beasts was limited to only two cases since the move to New Earth, one being when the two sides met and agreed upon their boundaries, second was the event that took place a hundred years ago near the Taltalon colony which less than fourteen people were present at and after some time its matter waned out of growing disbelief, no one knew how the beasts evolved over time apart from the heads of the UGNE.

    Thus, just like the rush for gold millenniums ago, began the rush for Earth’s Cores. As if forgetting or just ignoring the initial agreement between two species, herds of humans invaded the beasts’ territory using old age technology as firearms for protection, simply because since moving and adapting to New Earth the number of advancement in any field reduced to a handful in every hundreds of years - experts claimed it was because of the fear to anger Nature since the assumption that humans brought upon Nature’s decision to change its rules thousands of years ago couldn’t be completely denied.

    Strong men and strong women entered beasts’ caves like a wave that topple anything on its way. Within two weeks hundreds of beasts were driven from their nests and burrows in the caves that marked the outer parts of the beasts’ territory as trees were cut down and heavy power tools that were charged by Sun Stones’ radiation shattered the earth. The results, which made humanity thrilled, were tens of Earth’s Cores in just a few months. On the other hand, the senseless destruction led to thousands of beasts to lose their homes and the deaths of at least a hundred who tried to protect their own.

    After the UGNE has officially grabbed control over the quest for the Earth’s Cores it announced it as just a research expedition, to cast the worries of those that didn’t support entering the beasts’ territory. A year has passed, the UGNE possessed now, roughly, five hundred Earth’s Cores and under it served thirty to forty Earth’s Cores holders. Over this past year, although the number of casualties increased on both sides, humanity had the upper hand since from the beginning their numbers overpowered the beasts’ ten to one, and by now almost half of the outer caves of the beast’s territory were annexed. Humanity seemed to be on the rise, no longer after just Earth’s Cores but also every natural resource they could get their hands on, even a market for the different kinds of beasts that were killed was opened, encouraging people to continue the massacre.

    In the middle of the second year, a sudden death of over ten thousand men and women in a single night brought the expedition to a halt. The UGNE sent a unit of seven of its Earth’s Core holders, one of which was a Core Breaker, to the place where all its workers died. There, according to the report of the only two that got back, they encountered three beasts; one was an over three meters tall horse with red mane and black scales, second was white feathers blue eyes eagle with wingspan of over ten meters and the third was a one meter tall, more than half a meter wide, green ape with a crown of yellow feathers growing from its third eye.

    The three beasts launched a surprise attack, killing instantly two of the seven members of the unit. A third one was saved by the Core Breaker, who then started fighting with the green ape which seemed to be his equal. The remaining four members paired and went to fight the other two beasts. All side fought equally for a while, but then changed for the worse. The five members of the unit were caught in a formation that the three beasts have set. Forcing the Core Breaker to take the full blow of the formation slowed him down enough for the black scales horse and the green ape to perform a joint attack and kill two more members of the unit. Realizing his chances for survival are slim, the Core Breaker, which was the unit’s leader, commanded the remaining two to escape and inform the UGNE of what has happened.

    When the invasion began the UGNE stood back and waited to see how the beasts would react. When nothing happened they decided to act, partly because they wanted to heighten the progress of the Earth’s Cores’ search by organizing and leading the different parties properly. Hearing the full report, the heads of the UGNE were not moved greatly by the appearance of the three beasts, only that they encountered them too early to their estimation. That is, in the outer parts of the beasts’ territory.

    They have long suspected that the beasts were aware of the Earth’s Core’s existence long before humanity. As to why they never used their power to take over all of New Earth even though their territory was smaller than that of humanity’s, the UGNE believed that it was because of the beasts’ nature. No matter how they evolved they are not humans.

    The thing that bothered the UGNE the most was the loss of the Core Breaker. A being such as him in their forces was rare. Backed to a corner the UGNE reevaluated every man and woman in its forces and depleted its stack of Earth’s Core by creating an army of Earth’s Cores holders. In addition to the new army, the UGNE offered an Earth’s Core to any new recruit that will be found fit to receive one and promised, to pump up those that did not or will not receive, that if they will achieve their goal, in the future every man woman and child will be able to possess an Earth’s Core for a nominal fee.

    For twenty seven full years the UGNE halted its advancement in the beasts’ territory, recreating its army with the power of Earth’s Cores. For all this time there was no retaliation coming from the beasts and so the UGNE acted with caution as it continued to mine Earth’s Cores. As the new army was near perfection it numbered ten million soldiers, Hundred thousand of which were Earth’s Core holders and less than a thousand were Core Breakers.
    War broke in the underground word, New Earth. As humanity led with greater numbers, the beasts led with superior bodies and much more years of experience utilizing the Earth’s Core’s power. Not to mention that any of the Core Breaker level beasts demonstrated intelligence equal to that of humans.

    The war went on for centuries. Sometimes humanity pushed back, sometimes the beasts, but the battle ground never left the first two-thirds of the beasts’ outer territory, the humans could not advance any further and the beasts never tried to cross the border of two species.

    800 years of war. The UGNE had to, for the first time, pull back its forces on its own and passed the beasts’ side a request for a cease fire, hoping that it will accept it. After so many years of war its forces numbered three million soldiers, twenty thousand Earth’s Core holders and three hundred Core Breakers, while the beasts remained resilient as ever. A response didn’t arrive, but the beast ceased their attacks on the human. After seven days, two figures entered the UGNE’s army camp, camp three seventy-two, and sparked a furor, mainly because one of them was fifty meters long and they both came from above without anyone noticing. The two were lizard type beasts, the bigger one looked like a green scales dragon with purple mane, two silver horns and green eyes, the other one was humanoid, around two meters tall with crimson scales covering its body and two silver horns come out from the sides of its lizard head.

    The humanoid lizard jump down from the wingless back of the dragon. Without opening its mouth it passed a telepathic demand to all the presence soldiers. “Bring here your leaders”.

    Feeling the two’s unfathomable auras, only one soldier, a late phase Earth’s Core holder, could keep his senses straight as the rest of the troops fell down to the ground, clenching uncontrollably in fear. Panting for breath, that middle age soldier opened his mouth. “Please wait”, he sounded like he was begging and set off running to the main camp.

    Running in his top speed, it would not be an exaggeration to say that not just his life but also all of humanity’s depends on it - which was in this case probably more than just a saying. Don, the middle age soldier, reached to the main camp, camp zero zero one, which was located at the border of two species in the western caves, after twelve hours of running. Without stating the purpose of his arrival he passed the camp’s gourds, scanned the surroundings with his aura and hurried to where he felt were the gathering forces, the army’s Three Generals.
    The Three Generals served in the UGNE since the creation of the Earth’s Core army. All three came from different backgrounds; one was the son of a great colony leader, second was the daughter of a UGNE’s official and third was the son of a widow who remarried with a farmer. The three got to know each other during their battles and became closer by changing points in their training. Eventually they toast for brotherhood and sisterhood, becoming not just for one another, but also the whole UGNE’s army’s pillars of support.

    Having nothing to do but wait for orders after the last one for a cease fire has been given; the Three General spent their time in the company of one another. Two of the generals engaged in a game of chess while the third was busy writing a scroll when Don barged into their tent. Feeling the cold gaze of Third General, Don immediately bowed. “Lieutenant Colonel Don Hakate stands, forgive this one for his rudeness, Three Generals. A great deal has happened in my camp, camp three seventy-two, and so I rushed here indiscriminate”.

    “Speak”. Second General played her move on the chess board and said.

    “Yes, Second General. Half a day ago two mighty lizard type beasts, one dragon, one humanoid entered our northeastern camp and demanded a session with its leaders”.

    “Oh…” Second General commented, impressed and returned to the game as Third General finished his move.
    Don continued. “Since our camp’s first and second commanders were not present, I was the next highest ranked soldier. I’m ashamed to say that even I, a late phase Earth’s Core holder, could not measure the opponent’s strength and as a result lost my cool…”

    “You seem to be doing pretty well in our presence”. Third General said.

    “Stop teasing him”. Second General snapped. “Big brother is writing a new scroll. Let’s hurry up and listen to the boy’s story and be done with it without further interruptions to big brother”.

    “Right, big sister. I should apologize to big brother later”. Third General said sincerely, yet still smiled. It was always funny to see his big sister disguises her maternal instinct towards young soldiers with excuses. He turned to Don, “So you felt the need to inform us three… How did the two beasts react?”

    “I asked of them to wait. They didn’t respond but I sensed their approval. That is all”.

    “Okay, there is no need for you to go back. Rest here and keep what you told us to yourself”. For the first time First General laid down his brush and joined the conversation.

    “Yes, Three Generals”. Don bowed and left the tent.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Posts
    308

    Default

    Book 1 – Earth’s Core
    Chapter 3 – The Next 849 Years – Part 1

    An hour after Don left the Three Generals’ tent. “Big brother…” Second General and Third General said unanimously.
    “Be on your gourd”. First General respond.

    The Three Generals left their camp an hour ago and were already on the outskirts of camp three seventy-two. The short time it took them to reach the camp is a testimony to their unrivaled power in the UGNE’s army. Sensing the two beasts’ immense aura all Three Generals become tense, it was like a vast mountain and far more than they expected.

    In a few steps the Three Generals stood before the two beasts. “Please forgive us for the delay. Welcome to our three seventy-two camp”. First Generals greeted the beasts. To his left stood Third General and to his right Second General.

    The humanoid beast nodded its head. “Gratitude for seeing us. My name is Raroma and this is my kin, Raroken. The two of us are the leaders of the Silverhorned tribe, one of the five tribes entrusted with the outer territory”. Raroma’s voice echoed in the Three Generals’ heads.

    The Three Generals nodded in respect. “We three are the commanding generals of the UGNE, humanity’s full force”. Second General’s entire figure embedded with her aura was like a mighty ice storm, clearly the sight of the unconscious soldiers laying around infuriated her.

    Neither Raroma nor Raroken seemed to be affected by Second General show of power. “The purpose of our visit is a proposal to humankind”. Although Raroma talked to all Three Generals, his attention was fixed on First General whom he felt was slightly stronger than the other two, yet still not a threat toward him or Raroken.

    “A proposal? Now, after all these years…” Third General showed a grin. “Is it a letter of surrender?” He tried to loosen up his big brother and big sister, even if by pissing them off with his attitude. They will get annoyed and then breathe out their tension, as always. As obvious as it was to him from the beginning that he is the weakest among all five, in terms of quick thinking he was not inferior to his big brother and in most games of chess that they played he was the winner.

    As Third General predicted, although the effect was more apparent on Second General, her aura turned to a warm breeze and was drawn back without her even responding to his , what could be considered “Childish” in this situation, enquiry.

    “Hahaha…” Raroma laughed. “Indeed, you might as well just call it that”. This time even Third General couldn’t hide his surprise. “You wonder why?” He asked rhetorically.

    “If you don’t care to explain”, First General said. “Our war is hundreds of years old and in the first place it was humans who started it. Currently it is no secret that our forces are the ones that being pushed back, what sort of benefit you will earn by surrendering?”
    “Does it matter? As long as you will comply with our demands and give humanity’s word to forever honor them the war can be over as soon as this very moment, of course, only if you are truly authorities to make such decisions”.

    “Since when the surrendering side gives demands to-”

    “Since it is unquestionably the stronger side”. Raroma interrupted Second General and said indefinitely. “Beside, these demands without a doubt will benefit your side for more than ours”.

    Being unable to argue with Raroma’s first statement, Third General replied. “Is that so… then please, tell us your demands”.
    “Very well, first, humanity should fall back from the two-thirds of our outer territory the war as being going at. Second, you will no longer mine Earth’s Cores outside of the offered zone, what you do in your territory is none of our business. These are our demands”.

    ”We fought for hundreds of years and now you want it to be for nothing? It’s too much… elaborate on what you meant by ‘offered zone’, I’m guessing that it’s that benefit you mentioned”. First General said.

    “Indeed, and that offered zone was a notion of good will and an idea of my kin, Raroken, therefore refer to it with respect!” Raroma’s scales showed a hint of blue within their crimson cover. “Sorry, I know”. He suddenly turned and told Raroken, still sharing the telepathic link with the Three Generals.

    “The offered zones are ten of our outer territory caves for three months of every year. All ten considered as fields of Earth’s Cores and since that was the purpose of your war all along, there are no reasons you should not be satisfied”.

    “How many Earth’s we will able to mine from these ten fields?” Third General hurried to ask to obstruct any further comments from First General.

    “The earth supply too many to count every year, but in truth less than ten presents are quality Earth’s Cores. Granted you will have only three months a year to mine, how many is depends on you”.

    “Is that all?” Third General wanted to confirm.

    “It is”.

    “How long are you willing to wait for an answer?”

    “One more day”.

    “Then we shall meet here again tomorrow at the same time”. Third General closed the session and all that was left from the Three Generals were three afterimages.

    A few kilometers from camp three seventy-two. “The bubble will be set in a moment, Gid”. Two of the Three Generals sat in a small underground cave they dug with their hands. Inside the cave First General moved his hands so fast a regular person would have probably only seen green flashes of his long military sleeves. He manipulated his aura into different shapes and when he released the complete form a bubble, three meter in diameter, surrounded him and the other two generals. “It is safe to speak”. He let them know and sat down.

    “Impressive as always, big brother Ariel. Thank you for not rushing back to the UGNE’s headquarters, big sister Trey”. On their way back Third General, Gid, asked First General, Ariel and Second General, Trey for a short stop. At first they were reluctant; passing the beasts’ offer through long term communication was out of the question, if someone will leech onto their wave that would be troublesome, and to reach the UGNE’s headquarters they needed at least seven hours at their top speed, and their younger brother knew that as well. Knowing him, they allowed him ten minutes before they set off again.

    “What’s on your mind, Gid?” Trey asked. “You know how slow the heads with their decisions making. If we waste time, we will have to challenge our limits when we get back to camp three seventy-two”.

    “Then why should we?” Gid’s tone has changed to serious.

    “What do you mean?” Trey’s brows touched each other. Although her father passed away long ago she still did not want to sully his name as a UGNE’s official.

    “I don’t mean to offend, big sister, but you more than me and big brother should know that the UGNE is no longer qualified to lead humanity”.

    “It is not our place-” Ariel tried to say.

    “Was it ever our place to fight a war we did not ask for when the actual people behind it has never stepped on the battlefield?! Is it now our place to lead soldiers to a losing war?! Tell me big brother, big sister, do you think that we could take these two beasts with our formation?”

    “Gid…!” Both Ariel and Trey could not say anything. Fifty years ago it finally happened, they crossed the Core Breaker’s peak to a new level, and it was their one and only secret kept from the rest of humanity and more importantly, the UGNE.

    Mist Master, they gave the new level a fitting name. Their previews auras more than multiplied in size and became denser. Their color too changed from the dark white of the Core Breaker’s top to bright silver. It was thanks to Ariel’s special developed technique that they were able to conceal these changes. In all of humanity these three were at the top, and when they received the order to cease-fire they were delighted. Killing beasts that could not even put up a challenge to them was tasteless. When reading Don’s restless, late phase Earth’s Core holder, aura they were not sure about the two beasts’ power level, on the other hand, when meeting them face to face, Raroma and Raroken were two entities they did not expect to encounter. At the very least both of them were at the late phase of the Mist Master level.

    After a long silence Gid continued. “Maybe if they are not together we can exchange our lives for a mortal wound to one of them, but what will it produce? The loss of humanity’s greatest powers? Us losing one another? Is this a fair exchange?”

    “It won’t come to it”. Trey grabbed Gid’s arm.

    “How certain are you? 820 years ago the UGNE lost a few Earth’s Core holders and Core Breaker to three beasts. Do you remember what it did next? It created the Earth’s Core army and remodeled it for hundreds of years by sending its soldiers to war and learning from their deaths while depleting half of humanity's resources to keep the army going. What do you think will happen if the UGNE will challenge beasts like Raroma and Raroken? You heard them; they are merely two beasts that lead the same tribe, one out of five tribes that are entrusted over the beasts’ outer territory. I was skeptical even when our armies were pushed back, but now I’m certain, if the UGNE will look to renew the war humanity will receive a crushing blow”.

    “That is only true if the UGNE won’t accept the beasts’ offer. The war as being going for so long and a week ago the first cease fire was established. We cannot guess the UGNE’s next step but can give them some perspective”. Ariel said.

    “And if they’ll make the wrong choice?” Trey asked agitated.

    “We will take over, big sister”.

    “The UGNE has two Core Breaker units”. Trey sighed and said half convinced.

    “They too, will have to make the right choice”. Ariel said and got up.

    In the underground network of tunnels and giant caves, humanity’s territory covers five hundred and thirty nine caves, and the beasts’ territory covers three hundred and seventeen caves. The ten most centered caves represents humanity’s headquarters, Ten Lances Of Fate they are called and numbered. The First Lance Of Fate is the cave surrounded by the other nine and where the actual headquarters’ buildings are located.

    At the last floor of a forty-storey building was the UGNE’S conference hall. On each of the hundred black leather seats sat either a thirty to ninety years old man or woman. In front each man and women was a wooden table, on it were a glass of water, a bowl with a variety of fruits, a microphone and a gold name tag. All seats were directed to a square stage; four meters wide and long, and seven men and three women, forty to seventy years old, who set on ten red leather high seats in front of a black wood table with the same tributes. These one hundred and ten have been living in private rooms inside the forty-storey building since their decision to cease fire.

    “Honorable one hundred and ten leaders of the United Governments of New Earth, entering are the respectable First General Ariel Dauch, respectable Second General Trey Zoearth and respectable Third General Gid Chu Takeda”. A twenty something man that entered the conference hall wearing a black suit stood on the square stage and announced.

    From the one hundred and ten seats some claps could be heard as two men and one woman in green military uniforms approached the stage from the hall’s entrance. Before the Three Generals took the stage the announcer stepped down from it.

    “Three Generals, we, the United Governments of New Earth, thank you for your hard work”. An old woman, wearing a black and blue gown, seated on one of the red leather seats opened.

    The Three Generals bowed in unity. “Hundred and ten leaders, we stand here today before you with urgent matters to discuss”. First General said calmly, while some of the UGNE’s leaders raised an eyebrow. Although these Three Generals were much older and powerful than any of them, none believed that against their UGNE even the Three Generals will dare come with such a statement. It was not their place.

    “We have gathered here because we were informed that you Three Generals have arrived today with a message”. A man wearing a pinstripe suit said.

    “And that message is the matter we would like to discuss with you about”. Third General answered and the bald man frowned.

    “We would not advice you on military matters, have you lost fate in us because we ordered a cease fire?” The old woman in the black and blue gown directed her question to Second General. Even though this old lady possessed an Earth’s Core she did not spend a day in her life training, she was able to read the air around the Three Generals only with the help of her intuition.

    “Instead of advice you will order us your desires without being concerned with how we will implement them”. Third General snapped and behind him the one hundred began to murmur. “The order to cease fire was the smartest decision the United Governments of New Earth has made since it was established!” After going so far some of the leaders let their voices rise.

    “How dare him?!”

    “A mere general…”

    “To question us!”

    “Quiet!” Seated on one of the red leather seats, a big bearded man in a brownish suit slammed the palm of his hand on the black wood table and the hall fell silent. “Three Generals, please tell us the message”.

    “The beasts seek to end the war”. Third General summarized in order to see what kind of reaction these one hundred and ten will give.

    “Specify”. The bearded man immediately said.

    “Crafty old man”. Third General thought to himself and revealed the whole chain of events.

    “So storng…” Some said aloud.

    “At least as strong as us three”. Second General answered.

    “Not enough time”. Two men seated on the red leather seats said at once.

    “If we won’t give them an answer in a few hours the offer will expire”. Third General reminded.

    “Still…” One of the two said.

    “We should put that to a vote”. Someone from the black leather seats proposed.

    As far as the voting system of the UGNE goes, black leather seats count for one vote and red leather seats count for ten votes. A decision must have a majority of ninety percent of the votes.

    “It won’t do, every decision must follow a twenty-four hours of careful thinking and understanding of the subject in all its aspects. We still don’t have the time”. In truth, these twenty-four hours are spent on forming alliances for mutual or personal benefits.

    “You have hundreds of years of sitting on the side lines and watching this war. I would say that should suffice”. Third General tried to provoke the men and women around him and sure enough the hall became restless.

    “We will decide now!” The bearded man once again silenced the hall. He looked in resentment on Third General, for him to push them so far! “Everyone, take ten minute to think and decide, afterward we will vote by a show of hands. Nagasta, be prepared for the count”. The bearded man told the young man that stood beside the stage.

    Ten minute later. All seven men and three women that sat on the red leather seats stood up. A woman in a red suite instructed. “We will now vote over the beasts’ proposal. First vote will be For. Second vote will be Against. The matter will be decided on a majority of ninety percent. All undecided votes will be counted as For”. The last part was agreed by all ten and had two objectives, to comply with what all ten believed the Three Generals' opinion, and to pass a silent message to all one hundred: “We ten are Against”.

    “All rise for the voting”. Nagasta asked. “Those who are For the beast’s proposal, please show up your hands”. He then started counting. “Those who are Against the Beasts’ proposal, please show up your hands”. He counted again. “Thank you, everyone. You may now sit”. He turned back toward the ten sitting on the red leather seats. “One hundred and ten hands were raised and counted for the votes. No need to proceed for the undecided vote”. Nagasta confirmed.

    Beside him, on the stage, the Three Generals already knew the results. Compared to Nagasta’s, a late phase Earth’s Core holder, their senses were above and beyond.

    “Tell us what has been decided”. The bearded man said with a hint of a smile.

    “Ninety six percent Against, four percent For”. The four votes were merely a display. Third General let out a heavy sigh. “Ladies and gentlemen of the United Governments of New Earth, you are all relieved from your duty”. His sharp gaze made the bearded man choke.

    “A coup?” Some of the ten called in question.

    “First General, Second General, are you really supporting Third General’s behavior?” The old woman in the black and blue gown asked.

    “We do”. They both answered.

    “Can’t you understand?! By accepting the beasts’ proposal we will be throwing everything we fought for, every drop of blood that our soldiers shed through all this years! The cease fire was meant to reassess our current progress, not to reevaluate the purpose of this war. Do you know why the beasts didn’t attack during the cease fire? Because they are not humans. Even with high intelligence they still show the restraint of a wild animal in front of a weaker enemy that won’t give up a piece of the prey. They are frightened of our ability to adapt, and aware that it will make us stronger in the future”. Veins popped up on the bald head of the bearded man, his face was tomato red and in the conference hall applauded.

    “Pass our decision to the beasts and return to your posts, Three Generals”. The bearded man looked down from his high seat. “Nagasta, accompany them out”.

    “Yes, sir. Respectable Three Generals, please-”

    “Everything you fought for?” Third General said in a low voice and his aura lashed out. Nagasta, who was the closest to him, apart from the other two generals, jumped back trembling with fear he never felt before, the fear of being close to death.

    “Striking Spear, Diamond Shield!” The woman in the red suit called in shock.

    Instantly, two groups of ten men and women appeared between the stage and the owners of the red leather seats. One group’s uniforms were blue and the other were purple, all twenty hid their faces behind black masks with no features.

    “Be reasonable, Ariel, Trey, Gid, you were our most loyal soldiers for so many years. Just wait a few more, the war will be won and all of humanity will rip the benefits of the entire New Earth! You will be heroes! And if then you will want to retire from the army and join us, I can guarantee that three red leather seats and three black wood tables will be waiting for you!” The bald bearded old man tried to persuade one last time.

    “We have made up our minds”. Third General walked forward slowly. First General and Second General, for what they will need to do, blackened their hearts. They will not betray their little brother or let him carry the burden alone.

    “You will take on twenty Core Breakers?!” Beads of sweat slid from the forehead of the man in the pinstripe suit.

    No longer acknowledging his title as Third General, a faint smile appeared on Gid Chu Takeda’s face.
    Last edited by Lonahora; 05-17-15 at 04:10 AM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Posts
    308

    Default

    Book 1 – Earth’s Core
    Chapter 4 – The Next 849 Years – Part 2

    Year 4925, seventy-five years before the new millennia, three humans made a blood oath for peace with two beasts, each side representing its own species.

    “Your prediction was right, Raroken”. On the back of the giant dragon beast, Raroken, sat Raroma crossed arms. The two headed back to their tribe. “The three had the smell of other humans’ blood when they arrived; apparently there were disputes over the offer…”

    “Human beings always the same, yet once in a while there are exceptions. In the near future mankind will experience turbulences and their numbers will decrease even more, then I predict that these three will take over and mend the wounds”.

    “Indeed, it will be for the best if humanity grows stronger”.

    “Being fickle and self-destructive and at the same time desire everything and have the ability to force the surroundings to adapt to them is a trait only humans have. How long it will take I cannot say, a thousand years? Ten thousand years? Eventually they will open a path for us…”

    “For the Blue Sky”. Raroma said and gazed up, imagining the beyond of the tunnel’s ceiling and the bright Sun Stones that garnish it.

    “For the Blue Sky”. Raroken agreed.

    As the news about the deaths of the UGNE’s one hundred and ten leaders by the Three Generals’ hands had spread across humanity’s territories two factions began to form. One faction supported the reestablishment of the United Governments of New Earth and was founded by high rankers of the late UGNE, which were the leaders of the remaining two hundred and two colonized caves – out of the five hundred and twelve caves within humanity’s territory, two hundred were nature reserves. The second faction was much smaller but also much stronger since its leaders were the former Three Generals, now Supreme Rulers. They did not force any one to join their faction or threatened war with the other faction. The Supreme Rulers declared the one hundred and ten caves of the former UGNE’s leaders as their own territory, following them were most of the army’s commanders and even the Striking Spear and Diamond Shield units, which if going back a few days to the date of the coup, submitted easily to the Three Generals’ force and ideals and were the first to join the Supreme Rulers’ ranks. As for the one hundred and ten caves’ residents, they cared little if not at all about the former UGNE, the low tier more than anyone was tired of the long war. And when the word got out that the Supreme Generals singed a treaty with the beast that will permit over the next decade to every human of any age and gender in their territory to possess an Earth’s Core without paying the nominal fee that the UGNE still stuck to in their promises, people immigrated in waves to the Supreme Rulers’ territory, now known as the new world within New Earth, Kingdom Earth.

    Losing their subjects, afraid that soon they will also lose their caves plot, the new UGNE sent its agents to Kingdom Earth to find and recruit back every Earth’s Core holder and Core Beaker that could be bought, in the end spending as much as ninety percent of its treasury. Of course, the Supreme Rulers were aware of the new UGNE’s actions, and allowed it to happen simply because they preferred their forces to be known for their quality and not their quantity.


    Year 4950.

    Number of caves within humanity’s territory: Five hundred and twelve. Population number within humanity’s territory: Six hundred million, nine hundred fifty one thousand, one hundred and one.

    New UGNE’s number of caves: Three hundred and seventy-six. Number of nature reserves caves: One hundred and seventy-four. Number of populated caves: Two hundred and Two. Total population number: Four hundred and seventy million, one hundred thousand and eighty-eight. Total number of troops: One hundred and seventy million regular soldiers, twenty-five thousand Earth’s Core holders, five thousand Core Breakers.

    Kingdom Earth’s number of caves: One hundred and thirty-six. Number of nature reserves caves: Twenty-six. Number of populated caves: One hundred and ten. Total population number: One hundred and thirty million, seven hundred and sixty-three thousand, one hundred and one. Total number of troops: None regular soldiers, twenty thousand Earth’s Core holders (serving), twenty thousand Core Breakers (serving), three Mist Masters (Current location: unknown).


    Year 5315. The Supreme Rulers’ whereabouts has remained unknown. Kingdom Earth is governed by a council of ten surrogates, all loyal to the Supreme Rulers and at the peak of the Core Breaker level. On the sixth month of the year, around the time for the Half Year celebrations that represented people’s gratitude towards Nature for a good six months in Kingdom Earth, fifteen bombs attacks in five different colonize caves accrued all at once and created instant havoc, resulting in thousands of deaths and hundreds of injured. The council immediately dispatched an investigation team to confirm their suspicions, but before the investigation team arrived to the bombs’ scenes another nineteen attacks accrued, yet again, at the same time. The death toll rose to the tens thousands but there was one silver linings, a Core Breaker has managed to prevent a twentieth bombing that was about to take place near his residence by noticing the menace that some Earth’s Core holder’s aura radiated just as he was about to commit the bombing with an unfamiliar device. The Earth’s Core holder was brought to and investigated by the council of ten. After a few days he broke and confessed that he was sent by the UGNE and he doesn’t know how the device he was given works, only that after he got to the designated location, he was supposed to feed his aura to the device. The Earth’s Core holder finished by telling that he had to obey the UGNE, that they threatened his family, that under the surface anyone who doesn’t enlist or found unfit to serve is sent to labor camps that mine for Earth’s Cores.

    Hearing so far, the council was furious. For the last couple hundreds of years they did not meddle with the UGNE and the UGNE, in return, did not cross the border of two species to look for Earth’s Cores or asked Kingdom Earth for the right to participate in the search for Earth’s Cores that takes place every year within ten caves in the beasts’ territory, from the beginning that privilege was reserved only to the followers of the Supreme Rules. And then there was that detonation device, it was metallic and round with grams of Sun Stone inside it. Now, since humanity was divided to two factions the UGNE, for the lack of Earth’s Cores, has pursued every field of science, with the current resources available to it, that could improve its army, while Kingdom Earth advocated the proper teaching of Ariel Dauch, one of the Supreme Rulers, and others who studied Earth’s Core and the phases of its advancements, different practices to better cultivate the mist and the laws of formations.

    The council of ten did not sit idly and sent an emissary to the UGNE, they had no doubt that in a war their forces can wipeout the UGNE’s, so they waited and kept searching for planted UGNE’s agents in the kingdom. Two days later, the council’s scouts reported strange movement of the UGNE’s army, and a day later the UGNE replayed officially by deploying its army to Kingdom Earth’s territory. Leading the charge were big machinery, some type of machine guns, thousands in number, which were operated by the UGNE’s regular soldiers – mainly to mobilize and reload.

    Cautious from the unknown capabilities of the red and silver machine guns, the council responded by sending ten units of one hundred advance Earth’s Core holders. What followed was a complete massacre of the Earth’s Core holders. As soon as the ten units were detected by each machine gun’s radar, which was also able to measure the level of Mist Users – a term that formed in recent years that meant to generalize anyone who possesses the energy of an Earth’s Core regardless of his or her level – the machine gun’s computer analyzed the enemy’s path and opened a fusillade. The thousand Earth’s Core holders acted by executing the most basic move for defense and warped their bodies with a brown layer of mist energy, yet the countless rounds were too terrifying. The bullets pierced through the Earth’s Core holders’ aura and body and continued onwards to hit and ignite the agricultural farms across Kingdom Earth’s border.

    Startled by the intensity of the machine guns and raged by the loss of a thousand good men, the council of ten sent to the front lines, of what has been declared Humanity New Earth Great War, all of the Core Breakers in its corps and additional Mist Users of the same level that were not originally part of the army that enlisted for only to protect their families and homes. Eventually thirty-three thousands Core Breakers entered the battlefield. On the hand, the UGNE only had nine thousand Core Breakers to support its long rang machine gun corps.

    For sixteen months eight of the border caves held an unsightly attrition war. Each side pushed strong enough only to keep its position. Under the machine guns’ fire, even the council’s elite Core Breakers struggled. The alloy of both the guns and the bullets was a new type of an unbelievably sturdy metal. During these sixteen months a few Core Beakers dared to take these weapons lightly and as a result lost their lives gruesomely. Twenty seven intact bullets, that is, ones that were stopped midair by a Six Hands formation before they exploded and two machine guns that the council’s corps managed to grab were sent to the council’s analysts only to reach the conclusion that it is the hardest substance they ever encountered.

    One thing the council of ten held above the UGNE was the quality of Core Breaker. As a nation which encourage the practices of Mist Users and has a variety of cultivation techniques, their Core Breakers had a clear advantage. On equal grounds an average Core Breaker from Kingdom Earth could fight evenly with three UGNE’s Core Breakers, while a Core Breaker who was educated in military techniques could handle ten to fifteen UGNE’s Core Breakers. There were two reasons for the big difference; one was the absence of Mist Users experts, second was the treatment Mist Users received after the UGNE discovered the new alloy.

    On the second month of the third year, for the first time since the war began, the UGNE pulled back its forces. The council rushed to seize the opportunity and initiated a complete takeover of all the UGNE’s previews posts. The fourteen bases that were taken were rigid with smart mines, thus the UGNE’s three parts plan has started to be realized. One thousand and forty-four Core Breakers perished by the blasts and another five hundred or so were severely injured. Then, two more blows were given; sending swarms of weaponized drones for the next wave of attack, the UGNE was able to restrict the council’s Core Breakers’ techniques and formations enough to also lead them to believe that they replaced entirely their flesh and blood corps on the battle field with manmade war machines. Lastly, millions upon millions of refuges from the UGNE sought an asylum in the neighboring Kingdom Earth. Men, women and children alike attempted to cross the border to Kingdom Earth like their life depends on it, and indeed they depended on it. The UGNE used this tactic knowing that even if the commoners stormed past the border, even in this time of war, the council’s soldiers will most likely follow regulations than attack innocent people, and so the UGNE made sure to mix its Mist Users Earth’s Core holders in the great crowds and strapped thousands of regular people with small explosives.

    Kingdom Earth has fallen to one knee. Being struck three times consecutively, the council of ten has concluded that they were frivolous towards the UGNE and too confident in their Mist Users army to believe that men as finally surpassed technology. How wrong they were, no words to describe won opportunity to be said out loud. Further negligence was no longer acceptable. Once, the Supreme Rules, for the benefit of Humanity, had to make a difficult decision. The council of ten has decided to follow the same steps as their Supreme Rulers. The UGNE will once again and forever be eradicated from this world.

    The war for control over humanity’s territory has evolved to the war for extermination. Ten years. Twenty years. Hundred years. The council of ten and all of Kingdom Earth’s experts developed new methods for dealing with each appearance of new machines and currently were on the verge of winning the war.

    The UGNE lost a chunk of its support forces when seventy five percent of its Mist Users surrendered and sought refuge in Kingdom Earth, rather than die for the small change their wages has turned to after the usefulness of the machines surpassed their achievements. Furthermore, for the last eleven years the organization that once led more than half of humanity has faced a tremendous obstacle. Through all this years, Sun Stones’ energy was the fuel that ran their machines. The bigger a Sun Stone, the purer its energy and the purer the energy the more destructive force it could generate. Till now, the UGNE could extract the energy of Sun Stones up to size of fifty centimeters in diameter, and in all honesty, even that was an above and beyond operation that required utmost delicacy and maximum accuracy when the smallest mistake could led to disaster. But at this point in the war even that kind of force has been neutralized by the enemy Ten Souls formation. The UGNE’s long range A class weapon BC, “Beam Cannon”, and close range B class weapon TBD, “Thousand Blades Dancer”, when surrounded by the Ten Souls formation, that could expand to over ten kilometer in diameter, were nothing more than expensive tin cans with energy depleting in an alarming pace.

    The UGNE had only one move left, a last resort that their lead scientists estimated has twenty percent of success and as of now accomplished only in theory. Combining a Sun Stone’s energy with an Earth’s Core’s mist energy.
    To clarify, extracting the energy of either Sun Stone or Earth’s Core of any size is by no means an easy task, and one the UGNE spent years developing.

    It accrued while mining for Earth’s Cores in one of the UGNE’s fifteen labor caves. After digging to a depth of several dozen meters, a woman worker waved downward her pickaxe to break a boulder that prevented further excavation. Three centimeters into the boulder, the tip of the pickaxe hit something so hard it almost bent. That is how the UGNE discovered the black Pelar metal, named after the woman worker. Shortly after, additional tests of the Peral metal produced incredible results. The metal was as hard as the Earth’s Cores’ and Sun Stones’ shells or at least couldn’t be penetrate by any of the UGNE’s scientists’ efforts. Then the UGNE’s engineers began to experiment on ways to melt and forge the Peral metal. After a while regular forging methods were blatantly revoked and were deeming ineffective. Limited due to their meager resources, the UGNE’s engineers explored for new ways of forging, commencing with embedding the Peral metal with Mist Users’ energy, which unlike other substances had no effect on the metal, then one engineer came up with the idea of using some of the collected water that seeped from above the ground and see if the Peral metal will have the same reaction as the small Sun Stones’. Although never finding the difference between the clear water lake caves and the water from above the ground, no one could deny that the two were not precisely similar due to the latter’s effect.

    Smeared on the Peral metal, the water sizzled as if they were on a hot frying pan, permitting the engineers to a breath of relief, at last they have progress. The Core Breaker that was present asked for a second attempt at forging – that is because at that time Mist Users, especially at the Core Breaker level, could generate much more force than any machinery.

    Once he received permission, the Mist User took by hand the chunk of wet Peral metal, simply because he did not feel a temperature change. Its level of hardness remained the same, a bit discouraging the Mist User since as one at the Core Breaker level he did not want to embarrass himself a second time. Summoning his mist energy, a white aura wrapped the Mist User’s body and through his hands tried to enter the metal. An odd thing then happened, contrast to before the Mist User could have a feel of every millimeter on the Peral metal’s outer layer. Even more strange, the Peral metal began draining the Mist User’s energy into itself in a pace that could endanger his life. Realizing the sudden risk of forging the Peral metal, the Mist User severed the connection of his aura from the metal and as he released a cold breath from his mouth he noticed that the metal is no longer wet and its outer layer slightly deformed.

    Following the success of the water from above experiment, the UGNE’s engineers proceeded by creating a needle size drills with the help of the UGNE’s Core Breaker as their working hands. After many trial and errors the first Sun Stone and Earth’s Core were penetrated. The two raw energies, outside of their shell, were violent and berserk. Thankfully, their containers were made out of the Peral metal and were able to keep them from leaking. With the ability to investigate beyond the Sun Stone’s and Earth’s Core’s shells a new understanding of the two has emerged. In contact with air both energies transform to an explosive force, and in terms of raw and destructive power, a Sun Stone of the same size as an Earth’s Core is nearly a hundred times more powerful yet needs one or two formation to control, sometimes without even completely removing the shell.

    Getting back to the greatest challenge of combining the Sun Stone’s energy with the Earth’s Core’s mist energy. First trials have shown that within the same space, the two energies attract to each other. Problems started to occur when the energies successfully combined to a new energy in the shape of a smoke in red and orange, lava like color. The new energy was about fifty times more powerful than a Sun Stone’s and as a result required a sturdier container that had to meet three conditions in order to be sufficient. First, it had to be made from a lot of Peral metal and to be around seven centimeter thick, at least. Second, the Peral metal had to be entirely cleansed from impurities. Third, besides from the computer of the machine that will contain and put to use this great energy, many formations need to be made in the body of the machine to directly control the flow of the energy and keep it from losing stability.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Avidfan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    680

    Default

    Thanks Lonahora!

    I was about to ask when is the next update. I actually enjoying this story Hope to see you finish with this!

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Posts
    308

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Avidfan View Post
    Thanks Lonahora!

    I was about to ask when is the next update. I actually enjoying this story Hope to see you finish with this!
    Haha! Being the first comment you really did my day!

    My goal is to release new chapter every week. I am able to do so now because I am in between some stuff and it's going to be more difficult for me in the future, but I'll do my best.
    Last edited by Lonahora; 02-17-15 at 04:39 PM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Avidfan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    680

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lonahora View Post
    Haha! Being the first comment you really did my day!

    My goal is to release new chapter every week. I am able to do so now because I am in between some stuff and it's going to be more difficult for me in the future, but I'll do my best.
    That is really great to know! Thanks in advance

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Posts
    308

    Default

    Book 1 – Earth’s Core
    Chapter 5 – The Next 849 Years – Part 3


    It took a year for the UGNE to finally accomplish the creation of a new weapon that surpasses in fire power the Beam Cannon and in close combat maneuvers the Thousand Blades Dancer. No Core Breaker or known formations were able match up to it and with that; the UGNE pushed back Kingdom Earth’s forces with one and only drawback. The new S class weapon, suitable for long range and close range battles, “Victorious”, operated only thirteen hours before the numerous formations could no longer cope with the smoke energy’s resistance and were shattered, allowing the remaining twenty percent of the energy’s original amount to eat through its container and ran out. Nonetheless, the UGNE converted eighty percent of its caves into labor caves, nine of which held great deposits of Peral metal.

    Losing the war, there was nothing in Kingdom Earth’s power to do. Even their special unit of seventeen Mist Users at the bottleneck of the Core Breaker level was powerless against one or two Victorious. Many first died on the battlefield, and as the UGNE pushed beyond Kingdom Earth’s boundaries and took over their surrounding caves, a lot of Kingdom Earth’s citizens that refused the rule of the foreign occupation also died miserably.

    Year 5391. The UGNE subjugates the occupied caves, forty two in total, to constant search for Peral metal and Earth’s Cores. On the outskirts of conquered cave number ninety two a battle is about to commence. Led by Dani Dan, previously one of the council of ten, a group of Mist Users that formed the “Kingdom Earth Resistance”, giving everything they have got to perform altogether the “Ultimate Breaker’s Soul Defense” formation in preparation to block the incoming wave of thirty Victorious. Behind them, enslaved citizens of Kingdom Earth escaping across the broken parts of their former machine guards, close range C class weapon IWJ, “Iron Whip Jailer”, before the clash between the resistance and the Victorious reinforcements will take place.

    “Commander Dani, the ten pillars are arranged around the work camp and the tunnel entrance, the eleven men channels has been set and the rest are prepared to pure their energy to the Ultimate Breaker’s Soul Defense formation at your command”. Dan’s lieutenant, a bulky man named Rudolf Brie, spoke in a hurry. The Victorious legs were sharp like pen’s nibs; they generated so much power that the machines moved a few centimeters above the ground and were less than five kilometers away from them and from that distance their one and only red eye was already visible, scanning its targets.

    “Activate the formation”. Dan gave the order with an expressionless face. Thirteen hours, that is how long they must hold on. Currently, forty three Mist Users operate the formation, half of which are Earth’s Core holders. To his estimation they can keep the formation for nine to ten hours, but not too far from them another group of twenty Mist Users from the resistance help evacuate the rest of the captives and make sure all the IWJs were destroyed. If together, they will be able to sustain the formation for another two and a half hours, afterwards he alone will be capable to obstruct the Victorious until their energy will ran out - that is, as long no more will arrive.

    While twenty one Mist Users concentrated on the formation’s structure, twenty two raised their hands, two pairs of hands towards each channel, and released their aura. Dan sat with legs crossed and meditated. He was so close, a second? A day? A year? He could not clearly tell. Two years ago silvery particles have started to appear here and there in his mist energy, and when he released it in the form of an aura the dark white color was almost sparkling. He wished for the breakthrough now more than ever. Surpassing one’s current level is a lot harder than reaching the pick of a new one, and Dan believed that if he will train hard enough and follow the instruction left by the Supreme Rulers he could reach the late phase of the Mist Master level in twenty to thirty years after the not so far away breakthrough and attain the power to fight evenly with the Victorious.

    “Commander!” A cry for help awakened Dan from his meditative state. His eyes opened slowly, his faced turned to his lieutenant and he gasped.

    “Hold on!” Dan ordered. Six hours have passed and the Victorious managed to break one of the pillars, resulting in one unconscious Mist User and a trembling Ultimate Breaker’s Soul Defense formation. Dan had no time asking “How?” or “Why”, he had to move fast to rebuild the pillar with his mist energy while using his own physical strength to support the formation. He could have instructed to recreate the formation from scratch, but then the Victorious would have taken the chance to strike back.

    Now, the vile metallic beings already adapted to the formation’s offensive effect – countering any close range attacks with equal strength in the form of a shockwave. By charging the barrels on their two bottom arms and constantly shooting orange beams at the formation’s pillars they used energy based attack to assault from afar.

    Dan felt as though he carries the formation’s whole weight. Every time a new crack emerged on one of the other pillars he immediately increased the output of his mist energy to mend it.

    Another hour passed. Two additional pillars broke down and the formation shrank, permitting the Victorious to either go above the defensive formation to pass through the tunnel after the escapees or keep shooting until the last layer of defense around the Mist Users will fall apart. Obviously, killing the Mist Users was a top priority.

    After eight hours and forty one minutes the formation shattered to thousands of pieces like blue glass. The Victorious lowered the barrels, swung forward their upper arms, holding in each hand a double edged sword made from refine Peral metal, and surged ahead at high speed.

    “UGNE, Victorious, if this is my end my soul will not rest until your demise!” Dan cursed. “Retreat, everyone, take the injured and run!” He turned around and shouted. But then, a green silhouette elapsed through his eyes, coming from the other side of the tunnel, so fast, yet without making the slightest sound in the air. By the time he and the other Mist Users turned their heads again, the green silhouette was already about to clash with the nearest Victorious.

    “That is…” Dan at last recognized, his heart pounded and his eyes became moist. Right there, in the mere second the green silhouette and the Victorious stopped for an exchange of blows, which were counted in the thousands, Dan opened his mouth and said in awe, “Supreme Ruler Gid Chu Takeda”.

    A golden light suddenly wrapped Gid and in a flash he moved twenty meters away from the Victorious, in his hand one of its swords. A condense explosion then followed and the other Victorious circled around him.

    “Commander Dan, are my eyes deceiving me?” A fairly young Mist User asked. For him the entities known as the Supreme Rulers existed only in history books and his seniors’ tales of the past. “That one man fought with a Victorious and won so effortlessly”.
    “Maxim, he is our Supreme Ruler Gid Chu Takeda”, Dan felt the need to say the name again. The mentioning of the name for the first time filled him with vigor and the second time gave him back his fighting spirit. “He should not be referred to as ‘That man’”. He scolded with a smile.

    “Yes, commander, I apologize, Supreme Ruler”. Maxim bowed toward the not so distance figure of Supreme Ruler Gid, then continued saying with sparkling eyes. “I still cannot believe it, sir. All I saw when I turned around was the Victorious explode”.
    “I ashamed to say that even I hardly seen anything, Commander”, Rudolf joined in the conversation.

    “Indeed, even after so many years… The Supreme Rulers were always at the pick of humanity. I, myself, could barely keep up with that fight”. Dan admitted. “From what I saw, Supreme Ruler Gid forced the Victorious to stand guard. Then, during their intense exchange, he managed to get a hold of one of the Victorious’s swords and used it to finish it and escaped before the explosion accrued”.

    In truth, the sequence of events could have been described in an entirely different way. As he approached Gid simply saw an interesting blade carried by a lifeless machine with a strange energy signature, so he took the balde, familiarized with it and tested a killing blow on the closest thing around. Was there truly a fight?

    “Youngster Danny”, a gentle, feminine voice sounded from the tunnel.

    With tears streaming down his cheeks, Dan’s voice called, “Supreme Ruler Trey”, and after he saw the one behind her his feet succumbed and his knees touched the ground. “Supreme Ruler Ariel!” Dan, Rudolf and five other elderly Mist Users felt as though they were lost children; finally found by the big brother they admire who is escorted by their loving parents.

    With the return of the Supreme Rulers Kingdom Earth has quickly turned the tide against the UGNE. In fact, with their new level of power, Supreme Rulers Trey and Gid alone were enough to annihilate the UGNE in no longer than two months. Suffice to say, no one was left alive this time. The Supreme Rulers did acknowledge the value of the Peral metal, but shunned the ways the UGNE’s scientists and engineers put it to use. For that one reason and because over time the UGNE brainwashed the minds of its essential personnel, they got rid of them, too.

    Thus, seventy six years of war has ended. And from there to the present year, 5775, in the New Erath’s calendar, right after humanity was united by one sovereign rule, that of the Supreme Rulers, the rehabilitation process for the complete territory of Kingdom Earth has begun. Starting with tending the earth of many caves that were ravaged for Peral metal and Earth’s Cores and the people who were forced for hard labor and other victims of the war, to building vital structures such as hospitals, shelters, even schools for all ages to pass on the Supreme Rulers’ ideals and teachings and so on... In little than twenty years the new established society in humanity’s territory regarded the war as the “Dark Century” and with each new generation the scars of those years has faded little by little.


    Year 5775.

    Kingdom Earth’s number of caves: Five hundred and twelve. Number of nature reserves caves: Two hundred. Number of populated caves: One hundred and eighty-one. Total population number: One hundred million, three hundred and sixty thousand, four hundred and five. Total number of troops: Ninety thousand Earth’s Core holders (serving), fifty thousand Core Breakers (serving), three thousand Mist Masters (serving), two Mist Lords (Supreme Ruler Trey and Supreme Ruler Gid), Core Master (Supreme Ruler Ariel).
    Year 5775, January 1.

    Kingdom Earth’s population number: One hundred million, three hundred and sixty thousand, four hundred and six.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Avidfan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    680

    Default

    Thank you very much!

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Posts
    308

    Default

    Your welcome!
    This was the final chapter of the prologue.
    Next chapter will introduce the main character.

  11. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Posts
    308

    Default

    Book 1 – Earth’s Core
    Chapter 6 – Zax Zel


    The sound of the bell urged the students to get into their classrooms. It was about to be eight o’clock and tens of first graders, second graders and third graders sat in their places. It did not matter if you were the youngest five years old who just enrolled or the oldest nine years old that no one dared to mess with. All children knew that if one risked getting to class after the homeroom teacher, the whole class will be punished.

    Zax Zel lived in cave number twenty-five, a fairly big cave that was mainly populated by middle class families and Zax’s was one of them. Right now he stood behind a decorative tree on the other side of the street in front his school. Like every Sunday he arrived after the school’s gates were closed, and like every Sunday he could blame only himself.

    Then again, why should he? He is just a third grader, just a nine year old. Everybody knows that school life become significant only when you hit two-digit in age and enter the fourth grade. Plus, it’s not like he was playing around that he was late, always late… Getting back to school after the weekend is just too tiring. If others knew what he was doing they definitely won’t bother him, even the teachers won’t dare! So maybe why should not he tell them what he was doing every weekend for the last eight months? That’s it, he will tell them and they all be in awe, and if Mr. Ogler will give him troubles he will put him in his place by simply mentioning his big sister’s name. Then, no one will be punished because of him anymore and he no longer be afraid of being late.

    With little effort Zax climbed over the school gates, fast like a cat he entered the main building, avoided the old granny that volunteered for community service as the annoying hallway monitor and burst into his classroom with a mean smile on his face. “Listen to me now and listen to me good, Mr. Ogler!”

    Mr. Ogler, a skinny, fifty something years old man with a face full of stubble, stopped typing on the little keyboard on his desk and all of Zax’s forty classmates averted their eyes from the giant screen on the class’s wall.

    “Yet another Sunday you are being late, Zax…” Mr. Ogler’s chilly gaze was like sharp needles, but Zax was determined!

    “Mr. Ogler, everyone, I have a perfectly good excuse, be prepared. I, Zax Zel, have spent every weekend in the past eight months-”

    “Watching late night Earth’s Core’s showdowns, you brat”.

    Zax felt a sudden pain, his head flew backwards and he tasted blood in his mouth. “I bit my tongue…” He held back the tears. “Ouch!” He touched the center of his forehead, there was a small bump.

    “I have called your home, Zax, and Miss Zetsa explained everything to me”. Mr. Ogler stood beside Zax, rolling a small rubber ball between his fingers.

    “Big sis explained?” Zax replied, frightened.

    “Indeed. She also apologized in your name and promised that your tardiness will cease to happen. Therefore, for today you will run only twenty laps around the school”.

    “Only twenty laps!” Zax felt a sense of relief. Usually it is five times the amount. And not just Zax was happy. Since Mr. Ogler gives collective punishments, all the class will have to participate in the laps and twenty are a lot less than a hundred.

    Outside the school’s building.

    “Look at this jerk”.

    “Yeah, get us in troubles again”.

    “Earth’s Core Freak”.

    Even children as young as nine years old can hold grudge. Many among Zax’s classmates were fed up with being in the only class that run morning laps every Sunday because one student is too lazy to get up on time. Zax’s obsession over Earth’s Cores was also common knowledge. He could barely keep up in subjects such as math, history or science, but was a freaking enthusiastic in any Earth’s Core related topic.

    Apart from being the reason for their weekly morning torture, the boys in Zax’s class mostly could not stand him for being the best at any kind of sports, which made it hard to beat him up.

    The girls in Zax’s class did not have much reason to pay him attention because of his average looks, light brown hair and eyes, not the shortest but also not that tall compared to many other boys. So their evaluation of him was based by the number of times they got punished because of him.

    “Eighteen. Two more laps”. Zax was ahead of everyone in his class by far. Second place was Tania who just completed her fifteenth lap and third was Naga who ran already eleven laps. With regard to others opinion of him, Zax did not care. In his three years of pre Core School he made four to five good friends and only one of them was in his class. If the boys in his calls want to start a fight with him to get even, let them try. What girls thought of him? Who cares?

    At the moment there were only two things on his mind. “Big sis called Mr. Ogler!” And, “Was there really an Earth’s Core showdown last night?” From the two only one really mattered. “Big sis found out that I’m getting lazy in the mornings…” If he could keep this secret from her, Zax wouldn’t mind to run a thousand laps around the school.

    During lunch break, Zax sat with two of his friends, Dane and Serah.

    “Haha, Serah, Earth’s Core Freak, Zax, made your class run laps today, too”. Even his friends used Zax’s notorious nickname.

    “Can it, Dane”, Serah really was not in the mood for his taunting. “Because Mr. Ogler lowered the number to twenty laps, he compensated by making us run all of them at full speed”. She, and eighty percent of her class, had leg cramps.

    “That Mr. Ogler is too strict”. Dane was taken aback and Serah was willing to bet that any teacher with a student like Zax will lose a screw. “Anyway, I think it’s also your fault. Your apartment building is right next to Zax’s. Why don’t you try waking him up for once?”

    “Because she is Mocca Kart addict”. Zax answered while chewing on a meat ball. “She plays the midnight online races. She somehow manages to get to class seconds before Mr. Ogler every day”.

    “Better be a Mocca Kart addict than Earth’s Core Freak. I ranked tenth place in all Kingdom Earth last year”. Serah loved to point it out whenever Zax or Dane looked down on her favorite game. “In a year all of us will have an Earth’s Core and we will start learning different cultivation methods, why bother with mid beginner, E level, showdowns?”

    A tough question… Actually, Zax stopped watching the Earth’s Core showdowns eight months ago. Though he still gets excited when they are broadcast, nowadays he concentrates all of his attention on one thing that is a secret and supervised by his big sister. Now, for the second time today, he is in a troublesome position that he got into because of this secret, but knowing that his big sister had already created an excuse for him, he will not risk upsetting her by revealing the truth.

    “Because D level showdowns and above are pay per view”. It was not far from the truth. Serah and Dane knew that the two gentle souls that are Zax’s mom and dad do not promote this violence use of Earth’s Cores, so naturally they won’t pay for their son to watch them.

    At two in the afternoon the school’s bells rang, the last period was over. Before leaving for home the students of each class stood up and bowed toward their teachers. “We thank our teacher and senior in life”. They saluted collectively. Next year they will finish with: “…In life and martial law”.

    Some centuries back, the Supreme Rulers pronounced that they are going to split their consolidated regime into three factions. They did not give a special explanation as to what made them come up with such a decision, but to calm the situation created they gave an oath of loyalty to Kingdom Earth and its people. Moreover, they drank a cup of Blood Wine, a wine produced from the rare Blood Red Grapes that grow only in the deep beasts’ territory, to publicly and officially symbolize their brotherhood and sisterhood unification - a move designed to rid of the concerns for internal wars over the whole kingdom from the hearts of the common people.

    Cave twenty five was one of the one hundred and fifty caves within sovereign Ariel Dauch’s region, El-Eden. It had about a fifty thousand inhabitants and its industrial activity was primarily agricultural. Zax’s family was of the thirty five percent that chose other kinds of employment and lived in the more urban area of the cave.

    There were mostly three to five decades old three-story buildings around the urban area. They were the cheapest structures to live in since they did not have elevators, the locking mechanism in the apartments’ doors was a simple keyhole, instead of the more modern fingerprint scanner, and the buildings themselves were overcrowded with three-room apartments, two bedrooms and a living room. However, there were pros as well. Somehow, these old buildings gave the streets an air of friendliness and closeness as whole families lived next to each other, good neighbors were always there in good and bad times, on special occasions hundreds and thousands were there to celebrate together and the crime rate was very low. Without a doubt, a lovely place to live in.

    Zax rushed home straight from school, not waiting for Serah to finish packing her backpack so they could go together, as they did in first and second grade. He had no time to spare.

    “Big sis left in the morning and will be back early this time, so I got five days, more or less”. His home was the first apartment on the first floor in a three-story building. His parents were still at work so he greeted himself as he entered and shut the door behind him.

    From the two bedrooms one belonged to Zax’s parents, the other he used to share with his big sister before she moved. Clothes, Earth’s Core magazines and snacks' wrappers were all over the place. Apart from the mess, there were two beds and a desk with a dusty computer and above it a bookshelf.

    Zax threw his backpack on the corner bed. “Mom coming back late today, so she won’t check for homework”. He reassured himself.

    Zax’s mom, Laylen Zel, worked as a veterinarian. On Sundays she visited the eastern farms of cave twenty five and usually returned at night time, which is, after the cave’s Nightly Cover formation activated.

    The Nightly Cover formation was designed seventy three years ago by a Mist User named Elisha Habud and soon after was applied in all the populated caves. The formation used six Peral metal rods, two meter in height and ten centimeter width, as both the pillars and the channels of the formation. The rods were placed around the cave’s ceiling, forming a hexagon with no edges, and each of them had one protective formation engraved on it. The formation functioned just like the Sun Stone panels. During day time, approximately from five thirty in the morning till nine forty five in the evening, it was charged by Sun Stones’ radiation and at night time a veil of blue darkness filled the hexagon shape, dimmed the Sun Stones’ brightness and from the ground made it look like the mesmerizing, long forgotten, Starry Night.

    Zax’s dad, Marco Zel, on the other hand, worked in the cave’s Management Office at the Department of Water. Everyday he got back home at five o’clock and was far more lenient toward his son than his wife.
    Zax heated a premade lunch that consisted of rise with peas and carrots and roast chicken. He gobbled it up under ten minutes, washed the dishes and left to his big sister’s flat. The reason he ate at home and not at his big sister’s was because apart from a mattress, the flat was a completely empty, one room apartment in an old abandoned building at the outskirts of cave twenty five, near one of the border tunnels that separated Kingdom Earth from the beast’s territory.

    It was a run of half an hour for Zax to get from his home to his big sister’s. The busses of cave twenty five did not go there because of the proximity to the border tunnel and the closest stop would only cover a third of the way. Therefore, Zax preferred to save money and run.

    There was a mass of wild vegetation all over the place. From where Zax stood, in front of the building, he could see the immense, black and yellow, empty checkpoint of the border. The checkpoint was stationed back when the cave’s Management Office financed a project to build a new neighborhood and wanted to make sure that there will be no incidents with beasts that roamed not far from the border – not that there ever were. Eventually, due to internal disagreements the project was terminated and all that remained was an incomplete one-story building that Zax’s big sister bought for close to nothing.

    The door to the apartment was unlocked for two reasons. One, everyone in cave twenty five knew that the place belonged to the renowned Miss Zetsa Zel. Second, it was common sense to stay away from abandoned construction sites.

    In the past more than a few times beasts migrated from their territory to humanity’s. The cave’s Management Office had to request the help of the Removal Division that was stationed at cave thirty seven to drive back the beasts. It would take a day or two for the Removal Division to send two men unit of Mist Users at the Core Breaker level, and after they dealt with the situation, more often by scaring the beasts back, their report always was the same. The beasts, either at the Earth’s Core Holder level or core less, showed hostility at the beginning, but after being aware to the difference in power they cowered in fear as if they were in the presence of death. Their physique was damaged and spirit was broken. Estimated cause for crossing the border, inability to cope in the wild territory.

    Zax stood at the room’s entrance for a while. Inside the room were four walls with no windows. From the open door a bit of light that passed through the floor corridor illuminated the double size white mattress. Zax hated this room. Stepping inside it was the same as entering the mouth of a Three Colors Lion, a beast that even as a coreless cub could match F level Mist Users, which are the weakest Earth’s Core Holders.

    Zax released a bated breath, walked in and closed the door. Now there was only sheer darkness, like the belly of a Three Colors Lion. It wasn’t the darkness that Zax hated, but what comes after he sit on the mattress cross-legged and mumble the five words his big sister instructed him to say.
    Last edited by Lonahora; 03-02-15 at 05:55 PM.

  12. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Posts
    308

    Default

    Book 1 – Earth’s Core
    Chapter 7 – Zetsa’s Inner Spirit formation


    Eight months ago.

    Under the covers of his bed the small figure of eight years old Zax could be made as he lay, bitter. He was angry with his mom, angry with his dad, resentful toward Mr. Ogler, cursed half the kids in his school and hated himself. It was the outcome of a typical bad day for Zax, and he was currently grounded for fighting.

    Waiting to Dane with Serah near the school’s gate at the end of the school day, to go back home together, four third graders passed them by with bored expressions. One of the four third graders noticed Zax and a grin spread across his face.

    To not go into too many details as to why, the third grader called: “Earth’s Core Freak, how about you stop showing off at P.E. My little brother says that you annoy everyone. You are not your sister, so please just stay Earth’s Core freak, Earth’s Core Freak”.

    Not much of an insult but enough to tick off eight years old Zax. He did not mind when his friend used the stupid nickname but was sick and tired of others using it to taunt him and more than anything hated to be compared to his big sister!

    Hence, he beat up the third grader, and then he beat up the other three third graders when they intervened.

    Not too far away from the scene of the brawl, it was Mr. Ogler’s turn to be on gate duty. Having to wait for the last kid to leave school before he or she could lock it and finish another day of work was a pain to every teacher. So when Mr. Ogler heard shouts and saw Zax leaning over some kid and punching him in the face while three other kids lying on the ground, one bleeding from his nose, two grabbing their groin in pain, it did not matter who started it, just who seemed to be the victim.

    Mr. Ogler of course did not listen; he had zero tolerance for violence. He grabbed Zax by the collar of his shirt, yanked him off from the beaten kid and took him to the secretariat of the school to call his parents.

    It ended with Zax’s mom coming from work to apologize for her child behavior and pick him up from school. Later, when his father got back home from work, he only scolded his son. As lenient as he was, he did not want some angry parent to sue his family because of hospital bills. He had to deal with this kind of troubles when his daughter was young and could not afford to repeat it. Obviously, today he can use her name once and others will have to give him face. But to exploit his daughter’s name because of a kids quarrel, how could he?

    Knock! Knock! Knock!

    Pause…

    Knock! Knock! Knock!

    Pause…

    After six knocks the person behind the door lost patience and entered. “Will you ignore your sister, little Zi?” The voice that followed the young beautiful woman in said jokingly.

    To answer, Zax held tight the covers above his head and from beneath them he yelled: “Go away!”

    “Oh… So you are angry with me too?” Zetsa grabbed the other side of the blanket and pulled till Zax lost his grip and could not hide himself anymore. Zax face was red and his eyes were teary. “Mom told me that you were in a fight, again, this time hurting four boys. Is that true?” She asked in a serene voice. Her brown hair reached to the end of her neck and now fell on her face as she looked down on her brother.

    Unlike him or his parents, his big sister inherited their grandmother’s, from their father side, clear blue eyes and olive skin tone. Since he was a baby Zax loved to stare at those eyes and in return those eyes always looked at him with love.

    “Yes…” Zax slightly calmed down. Now he was a bit ashamed.

    “Do you want to tell me why, or everything that happened is as your teacher told mom?”

    “It’s not”. He allowed her to caress his face with the soft palm of her hand.

    “Then tell me”.

    So he did. And she listened until he finished, not saying anything to interrupt.

    “Amm… Zax, what you always tell me that you want to be?” Using his first name was a sign that she asked seriously.

    “A strong Mist User like you”. He replied without hesitation.

    “And on your path to becoming a strong Mist User like me, are you also planning to repeat my mistakes?” She did not ask him “Why you want to be a strong Mist User” on purpose. Growing in today society, almost every child dreams of becoming a strong Mist User. And children with strong individuals close to them tend to see them as role models, especially children like Zax with a bit of talent.

    “Big sis never made a mistake. Otherwise you would not be as powerful as you are”. Zax said decisively after thinking for a while.

    “But I did, many in your age and even when I was older”. Zetsa refrained from signing. Her younger self was not someone she loved to reminisce about. “I constantly gave troubles for mom and dad and was even thrown out of school”.

    “Everyone says that you were the most gifted person to ever been born in cave twenty five. I know how tough and great you were!”

    “Tough, yes, great, not at all, and my talent”, the talent that made Zax admire and envy her. “Made me distant from others and bored to the point of looking for fights everyday“. She straightened her back and he got up to a sitting position while the both of them kept eye contact.

    “Maybe if people noticed what was wrong with me, I would have been sent to a suitable environment for me and a lot of my wrongdoings were never to happen”. Zetsa rested for a moment. At the time Zax was already siting on her lap.

    “I changed, Zax, because of two things. The first was someone that saw me and something in me worth polishing. The other came a bit later, when I was eleven”, She smiled gently and for the first time broke eye contact only to lean forward and kiss his forehead. “That was you, my precious little Zi”.

    Zax blushed and lowered his head. For the first three years of his life he was determined to one day marry his beautiful big sister and it took him three more years to fully differentiate between love and admiration. Nonetheless, Zetsa was remarkably beautiful and Zax, an eight years old boy, who got her undivided attention whenever he needed could not be anything other than submissive when she showed him such an affection.

    “Zax”, she turned to him with an offer on her mind. “For today and until Friday you will take the punishment mom and dad gave you and tomorrow you will apologize to the children you hurt-”

    “But it wasn’t my-” Zax burst.

    “You used violence to solve a verbal conflict”. She did not let him finish.

    “So would you prefer that I’ll curse at them instead of showing that I’m tough?” Zax was upset. Fighters in the Earth’s Core’s showdowns never used verbal insults; they got their respect from the fans by fighting fist to kick. Why should he be any different?

    “Cursing is not the way to solve a verbal conflict, either, Zax”. Zetsa’s serious tone returned. The words she wanted to say were better put in a manner that Zax could not associate with the soft side she had for him. “The best way to solve a conflict is by using as little effort as possible. Ignoring the other side if their words or action cannot affect the flow of yours or your loved ones lives. Telling adults that someone is bothering you and let them handle it. You can even befriend the ones you don’t get along with and influence them to be better to you and others”.

    Zetsa said and Zax listened.

    “If I’ll ignore they will pick on someone else. If I’ll tell an adult everyone will laugh at me. And I don’t want to be their friend!” In the end, an eight years old is an eight years old. Some lessons can only be learned through harsh experiences or if someone keeps drilling them to you.

    Zetsa was prepared to Zax respond. She was his big sister and knew him well. And here was her idea; seeing as she did not want to expose him to the former solution, only one option remained.
    “I have decided. I will teach and polish you, Zax”. She put him on the bed and stood up. “You’re always asking me to train you to be strong like me. I’m not a lot at home and cannot be there every step of the way, but if you’re willing to do as I say without complaining or slacking off… Fine, I’ll agree. So? It’s a deal?”
    “Big sis will train me!” Zax was hooked the moment the word “Train” came up. His eyes sparkled and he became enthusiastic. He jumped from the bed calling. “It’s a deal, it’s a deal, it’s a deal, big sis!”
    “Of course, we will have to make an excuse for mom and dad. Let’s tell them that we are working on a brother sister bonding project. Agree?”

    “YES! YES! YES!”

    Smiling, Zetsa said. “Good. So for now you are in punishment and tomorrow you’ll apologize to the other kids and on Friday I’ll come to get you to my place and we will start your training”.

    “Ah?!” Zax was dumbfounded. What just happened?

    “Remember that we have a deal”. Zetsa overwhelmed him with her gaze before he could protest and Zax calmed down. “Do your homework or read a book, little Zi”. She suggested before she left the room.



    Today.

    “Ere’ar, Ere’ar, Lianor, She’ega, Aje”.

    Yellow patterns and diverse symbols shone brightly on the four walls, floor and ceiling of Zetsa one-room apartment, making it look as if everything is made out from gold.

    The Inner Spirit formation was unique even among the B class formations, a high level illusionary formation. To any Mist User above the level of Mist Master this formation will not pose a threat, but to anyone else below that level… from losing one’s life to becoming brain-dead and even worse, getting caught in it could mean a fatal mistake.

    The knowledge of what this formation could do to him, a nine years old boy that has not received an Earth’s Core yet, passed shivers through Zax’s spine. “Big sis truly is amazing”. He respected her more and more every time he sat on the mattress and imagined that this might be how it feels inside a Sun Stone. “I read that a Mist User needs to be a level above the formation’s to be able to alter it”. He lingered. The formation was suspended and to actually activate it, there are two additional words, two additional key words he must say. Two words that accompany a ridiculous amount of indescribable pain, and that is just the tip of an altered Inner Spirit formation!
    “Biuua..” Zax’s lips moved to slow for the word to come out right. He grabbed his knees to balance his structure and tried again. “Biur, Nephesh”.

    In this windowless room, in an instant the temperature dropped and out of nowhere a sudden cold breeze struck Zax in the face. His eyes opened wide from the shock, and the icy air felt as if it could pierce them. He closed his eyes and remained sited with his hands on the knees as things were about to get terribly agonizing.

    “I can’t hold on anymore!” Zax yelped after two minutes. He held his breath as long as he could, terrify of the pain that will follow if he let this frosty air in. But as usual, he had a limit and the pain was unavoidable.

    “Knifes, it’s like knifes and needles!” Even to an average mid-level Earth’s Core Holder it is not an easy feat to protect the soft and warm internals with the mist energy. The moment the cold air entered his body, Zax’s respiratory organs tingled, then in the span of two seconds they, the muscles, tendons, blood vessels, and nerves all completely froze. Next, the tips of his fingers become numb and started to lose its colors, one by one each finger turned pale, then blue, purple and finally black. An extreme case of frostbite that continued to spread from his hands throughout his arms. The same thing happened to his legs, stomach and eyes. Unable to move, Zax reluctantly remained aware to the slow process that was turning his body into a block of ice. He could no longer breathe. What sustained him was the sole belief in him and in his big sister.

    She evaluated Zax’s limits and found that he reached his first threshold when she tested him last Saturday. Per her results, she chose to remove a miniscule portion of the altered Inner Spirit formation’s restrictions to help him attain a breakthrough.

    “Big sister Zetsa, mommy, daddy…” Zax wept. He regretted ever asking his big sister to train him. He even wished he had not left his house and stayed to do his homework. But even a nine years old should think before he acts. Now, a throbbing headache was the only thing he could feel and each throb was an explosion of agony.

    Crack!

    His left arm broke apart from the shoulder.

    Crack!

    His spine collapsed like a blade of grass under a rock.

    Crack! Crack! Crack!

    Pieces of Zax’s ice cold body detached and fell on the mattress. “Hah… Hah…” His mind became blank under the severe pain. Unable to bare anymore, Zax’s determination to stay alive faded as the last “Crack!” separated his head from his neck.

    As Zax ceased to resist the formidable formation he suddenly felt it, a warm touch on his crooked chest, like the tip of a slender finger. A surge of flames scattered across his broken body from that small spot, gradually melting the frost coating all over it and restoring its proper body temperature.

    Although a few centimeters away from its appropriate place, when the thin layer of ice at the center of his forehead shed the first drop of water, Zax’s pupils began to move under the veil of his eyelids, as if he regained a second chance in life and now was trying to wake up from a bad dream.

    “Eh?” The yellow patterns and symbols of the Inner Spirit formation disappeared before Zax’s open eyes and darkness returned to the one room apartment. Feeling the softness of the mattress with his bottom, the knees under the palms of his hands, the beating heart beneath his chin, his body whole and the air still, Zax was astonished, fearful, exited, sad and many other things.

    “I failed”. After a minute of silence Zax found his center and admitted. “It’s like that first time eight months ago. No, it was far worse”. Zax’s was sure after he went through everything that happened when he activated the formation. “And big sis wasn’t here to guide me. How in the name of our lord and ruler did I survive?” While lost in thoughts, unintentionally, his right hand reached to his chest and touched the place where the wave of warmth originated. That which saved him was the only thing Zax could not remember. Even when he scratched through his shirt that small spot with his index finger until his skin began to redden the action did not arouse suspicion.

    “I wonder what time it is”. Zax decided to go outside and check since his cheap wristwatch did not have a lighting command and his parents could not afford the monthly fee of a fourth Caller.

    “No way!” Zax was flabbergasted. “How could it be?!”

    Watching from the corridor’s window, up above, the cave’s Nightly Cover formation has already been activated. To Zax’s surprise, it was around ten o’clock. His mom should be on her way home!

    Zax left the door to the apartment open and leapt from the first floor. BAM! He hit the ground and his bones were shaking. The Inner Spirit formation affected more than just his spirit, as its name suggested. The more he strained his body, the more it ached. The muscles in his legs tightened and made it impossible to run back home at even half his speed.

    “Mom will kill me if she’ll discover that I was out all day. I truly wish for big sis to be here right now to explain me what went wrong. First, I couldn’t handle at all with the formation’s assault, in spite of how much I progressed this past eight months. And when it finally was over, instead of the usual few minutes, hours have passed!” Thoughts ran through his head.

    When the apartment building was in his field of vision, Zax’s breath was shallow and he reeked of sweat. Light flickered from the living room’s window. He hoped it was his dad, Marco Zel, watching the Screen, and that his mom did not arrive yet.

    As to what exactly was the “Screen”? Basically a device that was based on the ancient Television. Like any screen in this day and age, it worked with a combination of formations and technology, charged by a tiny Sun Stone and a tinier piece of Peral metal that formed the connection, packed inside a plastic housing.

    Fortunately his dad was the only one at home. Zax found him sleeping on the sofa in his uniforms, a blue overall with the symbol of the Department of Water, twenty five drops circling the department's name.

    A cocking show played on the Screen and on the stove was a pot that delicious smell came out of it. Zax was too tired to fix himself whatever his dad made. Besides, it was past his bed time and he still had to take a shower. If his mother would come and see that he is awake, he will have to provide explanations.

    After a quick shower Zax went to bed. He lay on the mattress sorry for not seeing his mom the all day or not talking to his dad, but the risk level to his free time was too high.

  13. #13
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    81

    Default

    Thanks for posting these chapter so far, can't wait to read about our MC's adventures.

  14. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Posts
    308

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Chen Qingzhi View Post
    Thanks for posting these chapter so far, can't wait to read about our MC's adventures.
    Your welcome!
    would be glad to receive pointers!

  15. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Posts
    308

    Default

    Book 1 – Earth’s Core
    Chapter 8 – Three Types Of Children


    Waking up Zax was joyful to feel his mom’s hand on his face and hearing her voice in the morning, even though the hand slapped him and the voice shouted.

    “Wake up, honey. Your lunchbox is on the counter”. If she kissed him in the forehead and whispered softly Laylen was not his mother. That son of her would not wake up even during a Sun Stone storm, for him it will only be an excuse to skip school. “Get dress and go to school. I’ll see you at four”. She moved the curtain to allow light inside the room and pulled the covers off him before leaving for work.

    Zax’s dad left home even earlier than his mom, so he was not able to bid him good day like he wanted to.
    At the entrance to his class Zax halted before entering. “Wait!” Serah appeared running from the corner of the corridor. Behind her followed Mr. Ogler in slow steps.

    “Wait for what?” Zax thought to himself and hurried inside to his sit, leaving the door to the class open for Serah.

    “Good morning, Mr. Ogler!” All the students stood up and saluted as Mr. Ogler entered the class.

    “Good morning. You may all sit”. Mr. Ogler nodded back and the school day began.

    Ten minutes after recess, while in third period, Zax’s eyelids fell from a sudden exhaustion. He opened them and his head immediately started to spin, his vision became blurry and he felt nausea.

    “Mrs. Dukreker, Zax looks like he is about to puke”. A pigtailed girl, seated left to Zax, notified Mrs. Dukreker, a young woman at the latter half of her twenties, out fear that he might puke on her.

    The math teacher, Mrs. Dukreker, raised her gaze from the old computer’s screen on the teacher’s desk to check out Zax. “Oh my!” Mrs. Dukreker got up from her sit and approached Zax. She helped him straighten up and stand. “Anet, please accompany him to the nurse’s office”. She asked a blond hair green eyes girl that sat beside Zax.

    Since Zax did not speak much to most of the kids in his class he and Anet were quiet all the way to the nurse’s office and merely held hands as a custom to when one student helps another by a teacher’s request.

    At the nurse’s office Anet bowed slightly toward the nurse, a bald man in his thirties, and left back to class after he accepted Zax. She did tell Zax to feel well and he nodded in thanks, but he thought that she said it out of courtesy.

    “Breath in, breath out…” Nurse Elwood moved the palm of his right hand over Zax’s chest and back. Threads of brown and warm steam covered the right hand and streams of energy assessed the internal parts of Zax’s body.

    “Now take the deepest breath that you can, hold for two seconds and let everything out at once”. Nurse Elwood instructed and Zax complied.

    When Zax released the deep breath, Nurse Elwood drew back his energy. “Everything fine with your body”. By his tone he was not definitive. As a Mist User he was level E Earth’s Core Holder. Choosing the path of medicine, as a nurse and at his current level he could only practice the basic treatment techniques and so assess the state of health of anyone below the Core Breaker level. For him to not be sure of his physical diagnosis of a nine years old coreless boy could only lead to one conclusion…

    “Zax, have you practiced recently in any soul training methods?”

    Nurse Elwood had big honest brown eyes, so when he frowned, Zax felt that if he will answer with anything but the truth the eyes of this good man will also sadden.

    “Err…” Zax’s legs rubbed each other. It was a habit that was shown whenever he felt discomfort.

    Telling the truth meant revealing his and his big sister secret, which was one for a reason. Zax was not stupid. It is well known that unsupervised soul trainings can produce permanent damage to the body, not to mention the inner part of the soul, the spirit. Zetsa knew that fact and still chose to exercise this aspect of him even though she could not be by his side most of the time and Zax never lost confidence in her. Yet, if he will lie and the Inner Spirit formation is the cause to his fatigue, then what will happen if it will get worse?

    “From your file I read that your last name is ‘Zel’, am I correct?” Nurse Elwood noticed Zax’s odd facial expression and realized that something weighing on the boy because of his enquiry. He tried to approach the matter from a different angle. “’Zel’ like Miss Zetsa Zel?”

    By not responding and just staring apprehensively at him, nurse Elwood received his answer. “First, you should calm down”, his gaze softened and he laid his hand on Zax’s shoulder, using his mist energy now to massage all the muscles in Zax’s body. “If there was a substantial damage to your body or soul then we wouldn’t be sitting here talking”.

    Zax nodded as if it was a question. The warm energy relieved his body to the point that his eyelids closed again. Gradually he began to fall asleep. Nurse Elwood helped laid him down gently.

    “Forgive me, Zax, Miss Zetsa, but it is my responsibility to inform your parents”.

    Although Nurse Elwood spoke aloud, Zax could only hear the words in his mind.

    “Why soul training…? Anything else would have been much simpler…” In truth, Zax already knew the answer, but was still too immature to accept and too tired to dwell on the subject.

    In Kingdom Earth, for children under the age of ten who still did not receive an Earth’s Core, there are three martial schools, one in each faction, with special program that help to stimulate and foster the natural reservoir of Qi in the human’s body. Enrollment to these schools starts at the age of five years old and after a student reaches the age of ten and get an Earth’s Core, he or she are tested and if found qualified, advance to a top post Core Program.

    But how these schools and their prestige programs really benefit the students? Well, in quite an amazing way actually. On the path of a Mist User one would endlessly may try and err for the sake of enlightenment, and so, a little bit more than two hundred years ago the Supreme Rulers and their close colleagues came about a peculiar realization while guiding their apprentices. In summary, if a person cultivates the innate Qi of the human body to a certain level, when an Earth’s Core would then enter the lower dantian of that person, with the help of the Qi, he or she, will be able to agitate the mist inside the Earth’s Core, regardless of its quality. By doing so two things will occur, one their Qi will merge with the escaped mist, second, they will accelerate the process of shattering the Shell, therefore, attain the distinguished Mist User C level, aka Core Breakers, much faster!

    Although they are open to all classes, there are in fact only three types of children that can enroll to these schools. The first and most common are children from the upper class of Kingdom Earth. Each of the three schools would accept only a thousand students a year. Parents who want to guarantee their children’s future prospects, not to mention preserve and improve the respectable family status, are willing to pay fortunes to do so. There is no way for parents from the lower and middle class to compete with this kind of rich and mighty families, and because of this most children that enroll every year to either one of the three schools and comprise no less than ninety percent of the student body are upper class children.

    The second type of children comprises eight percent of the remaining ten percent. These are also the second most gifted children among the three types because they have a genetic advantage. Simply put, these children have at least one parent that is an A level Mist User, in other words, Mist Lord. Scientific studies have found that a child of a Mist Lord is born with what has gotten the scientific term “Seed” inside their dantian. That tiny Seed is basically a compressed Qi ball that is far superior in purity to the customary innate Qi of the human body. Some even compare the Seed to a low quality Earth’s Cores. And when an Earth’s Core enters the dantian of such children, it will right away merge with the Seed and its quality will evolve by one step. In short, children of the eight percent are the fastest to reach the advanced phase of the Core Breaker level and required to pay only ten percent of the school’s annual fee. In addition, these children are not restricted by the thousand students limit.

    The last two percent are children that have nothing in common with the above two types. No financial background or great genes, at the very least, these are not the things which count them in the third type. Using one word to describe these children would be “Prodigies”. Children between the ages of five and seven which all on their own were able perceive the existence of Qi in their bodies and control it without external help. Roughly twenty children every year, sixty in total among all three schools, sometimes even less. That is the number of prodigies in all three types. But how the immense talent of these prodigies is interpreted? Well, although slower to reach the Core Breaker level than those who possess a Seed, children of the third type have shown tremendous potency in learning vast amount of techniques from all kinds of complexities. For that reason alone, many experts wanted them as their apprentices and future heirs to their secret techniques. But that was not all, what truly made any child of the third type a far more formidable entity than any child of the other two types was their potential to break through the bottleneck of the advanced phase of the Mist User C level, Core Breaker, and reach the early phase of the Mist User B level, Mist Master, at a fairly young age. Children of the third type are entitled by an unwritten agreement to receive full scholarships in each of the three schools. Obviously, these children are also not restricted by the thousand students limit.

    Financially, Zax’s parents could not afford sending him to anyone of these three martial schools. They were just a common F level Mist Users, the lowest Earth’s Core Holders. For them to have a daughter like Zetsa was a wonder in itself. Looking back, she was defiantly qualified to enroll to any of the three schools, but when she was thrown out at the age of nine from the very same school that Zax goes to, she refused entering the system again, even after people realized her true talent.

    In comparison to his big sister, Zax was an ordinary boy, a bit more talented physically than other boys his age or a year older, that is, as long as they did not have an Earth’s Core.

    To his remaining thought before he fall asleep was one and only answer… The almost none exists, fourth type of children. To progress as a Mist User, besides cultivating the mist energy, one must refine the soul of one’s self. In Kingdom Earth roughly one or two children a year will choose the difficult path of soul training whether they have affinity for it or not. To embark on this path there are only two requirements. The first is a reliable instructor who is familiar and entirely experienced with at least one form of soul refining technique. The second is a complete and total commitment to the training regime. Not just leaps and bounds more difficult than Qi training, soul training is also extremely time sensitive! It is most beneficial for coreless children, but correspondingly compels the practitioners to achieve a certain level of spirituality before allowing Earth’s Cores to enter their lower dantian; otherwise their training will be in vain.

    Zax himself was never aware of the two requirements or how much the Inner Spirit formation will help him advance and benefit his soul. It was what his big sister, Zetsa, chose for him and for the most part, that was enough.

    Waking up, Zax no longer was in nurse Elwood’s office, rather back in his home, lying on the living room’s sofa next to his dad.

    “Honey, the little rascal has woken up”. Marco lifted his confused son and carried him to his and Laylen’s bedroom.

    Laylen sat on a chair in front of a small Screen computer and was in the midst of reading the negative effects of improper soul training. She gasped and got up when she heard her husband.

    “Mom?” Zax was startled by his mom’s sudden grip on his face and the follow up smothering hug she gave him. “Mom?” Zax asked again.

    “Do you have any idea how dangerous what you have done?!” Laylen tried to sound stern but her emotions were out of control and her eyes moist, barely holding back the tears.

    “Come, Laylen”, Marco said and passed on Zax to his wife. “We will talk in the living room”.

    Sitting on a wooden chair and his parents in front of him, a few things have become clear to Zax the first five minutes they all sat together, among them that he was in big trouble!

    The time now was past seven o’clock in the evening. Nurse Elwood called his dad after he fell asleep, and after he learned what happened, his dad had to pick him up with the department’s vehicle to bring him home.

    “Is that what you were doing when you eagerly went out every day after school?” Zax was asked rhetorically by his mom merely for her to see how he will react.

    Zax lowered his head and clenched his fists on his knees. He certainly was dishonest with his parents.

    “Stop moving your legs!” His father scolded and Zax ceased rubbing his legs. “Do you know what carelessly training your soul can result to?! There is a very well and justified reason why kids with no Earth’s Core don’t practice soul refining techniques”. Marco pointed it out as if it was something that Zax already knew, and he sure did, yet persisted to clarify anyhow in simple words. “Human beings are born with a frail body and fragile soul. Soul refining techniques are ways for us to train the core of the soul which is the Spirit. If someone approaches it casually the soul can easily shatter and if that happen nor dad nor mom, neither your big sister, not even the Supreme Rulers can save you!”

    “Why have you kept it a secret, Zax?” Laylen asked the moment Marco stopped talking.

    Why? Because that was what Zetsa decided. But how could Zax push the blame on his big sister? She had her reasons to keep it a secret between them, most likely to not worry their parents. Now that both his mom and dad know, it is no longer a secret, just a poor decision…

    “I didn’t want to worry you-”

    “You didn’t want to worry us?!” Marco snapped. “Tell me, was your big sister involved in it?”

    Marco, as is Laylen, grasped a significant insight for their son strange behavior in the past six months or so. They discussed it before he woke up and even used the home Caller to call Zetsa for farther explanation. Their main motive in this lecture was to clear some indisputable points to their son.

    “She only wanted to help me avoid more quarrels. She is smart and capable. She trained my soul so I could be stronger and better…” Zax’s voice sounded sincere. His heart pounded inside the chest. It all started because of him, his mom and dad should not be mad at Zetsa. If she will not be allowed to guide him anymore… “Please, mom, dad, I’m sorry…”

    “Wipe your nose, Zax”. Laylen brought a tissue and was about to help him clean his running nose, but Marco raised his hand to stop her. His son’s body was stiff, he needed to move a bit to release the pent up stress and then listen.

    “For us to forgive you, you must show remorse for your action and understanding of who we are to you”. Marco said. “We are not you friends or teachers. We are not your neighbors or some people who live with you. WE ARE YOU PARENTS, ZAX!” Marco stood up.

    Seeing his dad large physique of over a hundred and ninety three centimeters and hearing the heavy words purring out from his deep voice was like having an ice cold shower that made Zax docile.

    “There is no good reason to hide anything from your parents! It is not for you to decide what worries us and what does not! We are your parents and just like we always love you we also always concerned about you… It's part of our job as parents, Zax. And it’s your part to be our son and tell us everything. For you we are the two people in the whole world that you shouldn’t keep secrets from. Anything that happens in your life is for use to know. Any decision that you want to make should be supported by our advice”.

    “It’s not because that you are a child, Zax”, Laylen took over. “Even your older sister, Zetsa, as capable as she is, as you said, as strong and smart as she is… We are her parents, too. We have the same duty toward her as we have for you, and she as well must treat us with respect and acknowledge that in the whole world there is only one mom and one dad for her”.

    Zax nodded slightly. He felt ashamed for betraying his parents’ trust and aware that in this particular case he took them for granted.

    After a long time of silence Laylen looked at Marco and then turned to Zax. “That's enough for now. Go to your room and reflect about everything we said and you did”.

    Zax did not try to protest or ask about his training. When he reached the corridor and turned right to his room his father said. “Tomorrow you will come straight home after school”.

    “Yes, sir”. By his dad’s tone Zax knew that even though it was not a question, he still had to answer.

    “You will do your homework and are not allowed to leave the house even if you finish. No watching the Screen, either”.

    “Yes, sir”.

    “The same thing the following day, school, homework and rest!”

    “Yes, sir”.

    “On Thursday, after returning from school and doing your homework, you can resume your training”.

    “Yes…!”

  16. #16
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Posts
    308

    Default

    Book 1 – Earth’s Core
    Chapter 9 – Field Trip


    Wednesday, two o’clock in the afternoon.

    Zax arrived home from school, warmed a light meal and done his homework. He was still in his punishment period.

    Inside Zax’s room. Like the day before, after washing the dishes and finishing his homework Zax sat cross legged on the bed, eyes closed. There was only one form of training his parents allowed him to perform once Zetsa explained and convinced them that it will help alleviate the strain on his soul - Meditation.

    Following the guidance he received from his big sister, Zax started with some breathing exercises. With every breath he took in he concentrated more and more on the eerie sensation that gradually emerged in his head.

    In truth, reaching the deepest aspect of the human being life form was not a deed probable by nine years old children, to say nothing of nine years old coreless children. For Zax to sense his soul was thanks to his time training in the Inner Spirit formation, even if that sensation was mostly vague and still, after eight months, unfamiliar and as result a bit weird.

    Next, Zax had to recollect his last session in the Inner Spirit formation and arouse the small fragments that the Inner Spirit formation’s energy signature left on his soul.

    Inside the vast space of Zax’s consciousness, small icy grains began to appear in a spectacle that resembled the ceiling of cave twenty-five at night time, when the Nightly Cover formation is fully activated, but with fewer dots of light.

    Focusing on one small icy grain at a time, Zax dismantled the grains using an invisible force that carried his intent. As soon as he finished working on one Zax waited while the grain, which now turned into a blue white dust, merged with his soul and refined it. Each time the dust and the soul touched, Zax’s body temperature dropped significantly. This is why he had to make intervals between grains and why in the span of four hours he only managed to dismantle sixteen dots of light out of the near one hundred that surrounded the distorted blur that was his soul.

    Marco and Laylen Zel arrived home together at four o’clock, just like the day before. Due to the severity of Zax’s secret soul training, they decided for the remaining two days to present a united front in their strict approach. It was a mutual effort on their part since neither of them could look at their son’s bright brown eyes for long and not feel his or hers heart softens. To get back home at the same time, in his place of work Marco had to ask his boss an early leave for two days in a row and Laylen had to shorten her clinic open hours and accumulate her paperwork to Thursday.

    Because Zax was not allowed to watch the Screen, they went to his room to find them. There, they saw him sitting in his meditative state like a log with its roots deep in the ground. On his desk Zax left for them his finished homework to show that he did not neglect them.

    Marco and Laylen looked at each other; both were impressed with their son’s resolve and pleased with his display of maturity. Only a few months ago, if he was punished or reprimanded he would go to sulk in his room. That change of attitude was thanks to his training in the Inner Spirit formation.

    Marco and Laylen left Zax to meditate quietly.

    Couple of hours later Zax got out of his room, stretching.

    “Have you smelled dinner?” Laylen chuckled with her back to him.

    “Mom, I’m hungry…” Zax was tired. He pushed himself to move and sit next to the dining table only because he could not stand his stomach growling.

    Marco turned off the Screen and sat beside Zax. “Have you prepared your backpack for tomorrow field trip?”

    “Yes, dad, but-”

    “No buts!” Marco said angrily. “It’s the annual field trip to cave fourteen! Every year only third graders go on this trip! It’s the biggest juncture of every coreless child. You will meet an emissary of our lord and ruler; he will bestow upon everyone in your year a direct blessing from our lord”.

    “Listen to your father”, Laylen said while serving roast and mashed potatoes and mixed vegetables to Zax and Marco before joining them. “You can go train when you get back”.

    “Fine”. Zax lowered his head to his plate and started eating. It has been three days and he felt well enough to go back to his big sister’s place to renew his training. He did not care about tomorrow field trip because it will just waste his time and that “Blessing” his father mentioned are just the same few customary words every year. He will need to be lucky to return by six o’clock to be able to squeeze a little more than an hour of training before his curfew. Then again, if he will lose track of time again because of the Inner Spirit formation who knows how his parents will react!

    “Argg… I wish big sis was here!” Zax thought while being down. “Mom and dad don’t understand at all…”


    Thursday.

    “In line, everyone, in line!” Mr. Ogler instructed all the forty students in his class. The students stood in pairs and at the front Mr. Ogler waved his right hand to straighten the line they formed. “Good. Follow me to the busses and do not mingle with the other classes”.

    Zax held hands with Serah, she was his partner and the two of them had to be together all the time, accept when they go to the bathroom…

    Looking out from the bus’s window Zax’s head was clear and he was in a good mood despite might losing a day of training. It was all because the meditation he did in the past two days. The icy grains left by the Inner Spirit formation that he dismantled enriched his soul and strengthen its core, the spirit. His senses, as a result, became somewhat sharper by a small but noticeable margin as well.

    The bus drove past the fields and farms of cave twenty five and crossed tunnel seventy seven to exit the cave and enter the nature reserve, cave twenty three. From there to the next, more industrial, cave twenty, was only one road that forced the passers to encircle a vast lake. On the other hand, the sights of massive rocks spread around like tiny mountains and the great forest of cave twenty three was a spectacular sight the children of cave twenty five hardly got to see.

    “This is where my uncle works!” Serah pointed at a nearby steel welding factory. The bus was halfway through cave twenty and other children also were excited to watch from the window on the different places they passed. Some, like Serah, had family members who lived in the neighboring caves, but due to the enormous size of each cave they visited them only on special occasions.

    “Everyone, please sit in your places and quiet down!” Mr. Ogler stood between the two rows of seats and raised his voice to dispel the talks. “We are stopping for a fifteen minutes breakfast. Boys who want to go to the bathroom come to me after we find a place to sit. Girls will join Mrs. Char Lynn’s group and return immediately to our group when you are done!” Mr. Ogler instructed and the bus parked at the designated rest area, which was part of an artificial park.

    Since all the classes were next to each other, Dane, two other boys and one girl from his class joined Zax’s and Serah’s wooden table for breakfast. Zax knew the names of the three children who accompanied his friend. The fat boy was Merly and the taller one was Danka. The girl’s name was Mi. The three were pretty cool with Zax, not calling him “Earth’s Core Freak” and willing to share their snacks.

    For the most part, Zax was pretty cool with them, too. But with them still being “kids from other class”, he did not converse much in comparison to Serah and after five minutes remained silence until Mr. Ogler ordered everyone to get back into the bus.

    After another two hours the bus finally arrived to tunnel forty nine that was connected to their destination, cave fourteen.

    Tunnel forty nine, like all the other tunnels that were connected to cave fourteen, was a tall and wide slope of a few hundred meters.

    Cave fourteen was the lowest cave within sovereign Ariel Dauch’s region, El-Eden. Its ceiling, though, was as high as the ceilings of all the other caves, which together with its width made it the biggest cave in El-Eden and the capitol cave.

    Right from the entrance of cave fourteen, huge skyscrapers, botanical gardens, headquarters of multiply companies, high class restaurants and hotels… In the eyes of the students, teacher and bus drivers of cave twenty five, all of this grandeur of just the outer part of the cave was so awe-inspiring.

    As the bus continued driving, on the streets of cave fourteen the scene of the people kept changing. From the suits wearing businessman and women, high class visitors and their personal advance Mist Users guards, to the common population of cave fourteen in their lavish residential area where twenty storey buildings or more were erect with their own gardens and pools and over the top community centers, shopping malls, distinguished pre Core and post Core Schools were at every four to five blocks.

    The ride came to an end when the bus parked in front of a eighty meters tall, a two hundred and ten meters wide and a hundred and fifty meters long building. It was the Historic Centre Of New Earth.

    Maybe thousands of third grade students were arranged in different groups of many pre Core schools from all over El-Eden on the plaza of the Historic Centre of New Earth.

    The order of entry has been determined in advance. There were eight schools before Zax’s, and in his school were three third grade classes. Zax was in the middle one, B-3. After three-quarters of an hour of waiting in line, holding hands with Serah, his class finally got to enter the ostentatious eight storey building.

    Right after registering his class in the Historic Centre’s reception, Mr. Ogler led the way, following a red rope, to the first that introduced the beginning of more than five thousand years of history. To relate the time and story that each room signified, some rooms had representatives of the Historic Center to describe their history, others had varieties of art exhibitions such as sculptures, drawings, photographs, videos, enormous Screens showing short films and more… The most interesting rooms were the ones with extremely tight security. Starting with rooms that exhibited cold war weapons used by the first corps of Core Breakers, rooms with old broken parts of Victorious to one with inactive two types of reassembled Victorious. The more guarded ones were five rooms with authentic scrolls of the first formations that were kept behind an impenetrable glass cases that was fused with Peral metal's fragments. And then there was that one room that everyone waited impatiently to enter, whether it was their first time or the hundred in the Historic Centre of New Earth and regardless of their age.

    The Hall Of Earth’s Cores. A “Hall” was an exaggerated way to describe the nine meters wide, seven meters long room. It was the only room to have outside of it two heavily armed guards with two visible firearms and one sheathed sword. Inside the room there were two extra guards but as soon as Zax’s class entered The Hall Of Earth’s Cores all eyes were drawn to the one display they were all waiting enthusiastically for.

    Behind a black rope, inside a glass case with countless invisible protection formations carved on it, and on a white, silver and golden pillows laid three Earth’s Cores.

    The Earth’s Core on the white pillow was the easiest to find, a low quality Earth’s Core. The one on the silver pillow was much more difficult to find, one out of ten thousand, a medium quality Earth’s Core. The last one on the golden pillow was the near impossible to find, one out of at least a million, high quality Earth’s Core.

    The three Earth’s Cores looked the same to the untrained eyes of the students and teachers. Only Mist Users at the Mist Master level can truly appraise the density of the mist inside an Earth’s Core, which is the factor that determines its quality. It was thanks to the distinction in color of the three pillows that they all could understand how much staggering two of these treasures were and keep staring at them with lustful eyes.

    On a two meters tall, one meter wide silvery metallic plate, above the Earth’s Cores’ glass case, a description in bold black letters was engraved.

    In our world today the levels of a Mist User are as follows:

    Azure mist, Core Master - S

    Gold mist, Mist Lord - A

    Silver mist, Mist Master - B

    White mist, Core Breaker - C

    Brown mist, Earth’s Core Holder - D, E, F

    White pillow F level Earth’s Core. This standard Earth’s Core, when absorbed to the lower dantian, will advance the average person’s capabilities to those of the lowest, F level Mist User, Earth’s Core Holder.

    Silver pillow E level Earth’s Core. This rare Earth’s Core, when absorbed to the lower dantian, will match the future prospects of the average person to those of a Seed holder and advance instantly the Earth’s Core Holder’s rank to E level Mist User.

    Gold pillow D level Earth’s Core. This legendary Earth’s Core, when absorbed to the lower dantian, the future prospects of even the most lacking person will become second only to the Supreme Rulers and advance instantly the Earth’s Core Holder’s rank to D level Mist User.

    Reading what they already knew, the crowed of forty plus gasped with wishful thoughts in their minds.

    “We are moving on”. Mr. Ogler lowered his head first and addressed his students.

    The tour inside the Historic Centre of New Earth continued for another thirty minutes in a few more rooms with great exhibits and concluded in a separate building, which was the actual BIG hall of the Historic Center.

    Upon thousands of seats sat all the students and teachers, anticipating the appearance of their sovereign Supreme Ruler’s emissary. Murmurs and whispers from thousands of mouths made the hall rumble like the inside of a Ten Tusks Elephant’s stomach. Attendants of the Historic Center tried to silence the crowd to no avail, there were too many people and too much excitement.

    Clap!

    A sudden explosion distorted the air in the hall. All those present wrinkled their brows and pressed their ears with the palms of their hands.

    On the stage, in front the thousands blue color seats, a man wearing a traditional black robe suit stood. The man lowered his hands and a smile spread across his face. His voice resonated far more strongly than the clap he just did, yet was soothing to the ears and charming.

    “It is my pleasure meeting you today, third graders of year 5784 and honorable teachers. My name is Mortimer Dauch, ninth son of Supreme Rule Ariel Dauch”. The thirty something man introduced himself.

    “Supreme Rule’s son?”

    “Mortimer Dauch…”

    “Blood of our lord and ruler!”

    Once again, thousands of voices began to murmur and whisper, students, teacher and the Historic Center’s attendants alike.

    Clap!

    Mortimer Dauch struck his hands a second time and when the echo passed, peace returned to the hall.

    “Each year the class of third grade from all over El-Eden is gathered here in the Historic Center Of New Earth, much like in the Historic Center in Shitou and the Historic Center in Tongguo, to witness our history in the best manner possible and afterwards receives\ the Supreme Rule’s blessing. This tradition akin to a communal “Coming of Age” ceremony between you, the pre Earth’s Core children of our kingdom, and the kingdom itself. And so next year, when each and every one of you will earn your Earth’s Cores, you will all be supported by the martial teaching of Supreme Ruler Ariel Dauch and recognized by all of Kingdom Earth”. Mortimer took a break and smiled. There was a complete silence. Although most of them were too young to understand the full meaning behind them, everyone concentrated and internalized his words. “This year, however, I was granted the honor to bestow upon you my own ideology, way of seeing how one’s life should be, rather than my father’s, and for that reason I appear before you today”.

    While to the young students the last sentence did not mean too much, the teachers and Historic Center’s attendants were stupefied. Since before the establishment of El-Eden, the pre Earth’s Core children of Kingdom Earth were guided by the words of at least one of the Supreme Rulers. It was the pillar that supported the growth of many and the belief of all. To suddenly alter that rite, even by the blood of their Supreme Ruler, how could they, as their teachers and seniors in life, accept that on the expense of their own students?
    Last edited by Lonahora; 04-14-15 at 04:50 PM.

  17. #17
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Posts
    308

    Default

    Book 1 – Earth’s Core
    Chapter 10 – Groundbreaking Vow



    On a front seat, twenty something meters from the stage, an elderly female teacher stood up respectfully. “Young Lord, please forgive this old grandma, but what you said just now is unheard of”. The old teacher referred to herself as “Grandma” to justify her comment and to not offend the monstrous man before her.

    “Young Lord, fostering the younger generation has always been the responsibility of us, the older generation. And when the day comes, when they are a step away from attaining a body and soul enlightenment, it is the Supreme Rulers’ blessing which direct them on their path of life…” Another teacher tried to reason. Listening to him, other teachers rose from their seats, nodding and sharing the same opinion.

    For a short second the expression on Mortimer Dauch’s face showed disdain. He closed his eyes and opened them again with a smile. “Place take to your seats”. He gestured courteously.

    The teachers, which most were older or at the same age as Mortimer, felt something inside them, at the lower dantian. If not their minds, then their cores were the ones which gave recognition to Mortimer’s authority over them, and right after, they could feel it with all of their body and soul as well, how the demeanor of the young man on stage suddenly turned noble and imposing.

    “It is very true”, Mortimer started saying and lowered his head. “Each year a new generation learns up close the history of our kingdom. They then receive a sentence or two of the Martial path from the Supreme Rulers and finally try their best to earn a proper Earth’s Core and cultivate it according to how they interpreted those sentences”. Mortimer described the matter and abridged it so that the students could understand what their teachers fuss about.

    It was not a laughing matter to him either, but in recent years he began to see it as an issue that cramped the growth of the Martial path in humanity’s territory, compared to the amount of advanced experts in the beast’s territory. Since birth he followed his father’s teaching and those of the other two Supreme Rulers and at this point in his life he gained enough insight and encountered a new threshold in his training that allowed him to construct a new passageway that he believed, will raise in one level the potential of every generation that will decided to follow the Martial path.

    “To restore the calm of the respected elders, I will let you in on this…” With a wave of his hand a long black hair pin appeared between his fingers like a chopstick. The hair pin had four golden decorations of a quill pen, an arm, an eye and a circle.

    “The emissary’s token!” The teachers and the Historic Center’s attendants exclaimed in one breath.

    The emissary’s token was far more than a beautiful hair pin; it bore the insignia of Supreme Ruler Ariel Dauch. It was given to every emissary for two reasons and none was for identification process. The first reason was negligible, that is for customary purposes. The second reason, on the other hand, was to symbolize the trust between the Supreme Ruler and his emissary. When revealing the emissary’s token, others must consider the presence and words of its bearer to be equal to the Supreme Ruler’s with no complaint.

    Possessing it now did not just mean that Mortimer indeed was sent by Supreme Ruler Ariel, but also that he got his approval to inherit his duty.

    Mortimer waved his hand again and the hair pin disappeared. He had expressionless face now that everyone recognized his official position.

    “Dear sons and daughters of our esteemed kingdom”, it was about time for Mortimer to at last voice what he came here with in his heart and from this point on he will not permit any more interferences. “From a young age we are thought that a person is valued by his level of mastery over his or her Earth’s Core. The higher the rank of a Mist User, the more his or her status grows.

    ”In the distant past, pre New Earth, when human beings lived above the ground, the value of individual could never surpass that of the many. Our physical capabilities were frail and unable to evolve. We were bound by a very small portion of earthly possession and understanding.

    “More than five thousand years later, after much turbulence and internal and external struggles we were able to acquire a new way of life with many paths to choose from. Out of them, the path that enabled us to do what we could not in the past, physically and spiritually, more than any other path, was the Martial path”.

    Mortimer scanned the eyes and attention of every boy and girl in the crowd of thousands. In two steps he covered tens of meters from one side of the hall to the other, back and forward. In a second step he was back on the stage. The entire process took no more than a second, so to the eyes of the coreless children it only seemed as if they lost concentration and spaced out.

    Mortimer paused, something in the atmosphere around him changed to distant and longing. He glanced at the crowed and his eyes gave the impression that they were looking past them. “The Martial path, the path of Evolution, the path of Immortality, the path of Gods… To describe the possibilities at the end of this path… None in our Kingdom Earth, even all of New Earth, can dare to try.

    ”So then, what can we do to proceed on this path that can strengthen the body and enlighten the soul far beyond what we ever dreamed of and so far we have accomplished? In our world beneath the earth there is no tunnel leading to that answer”. Mortimer face became rigid after that declaration. “To realize the Martial path beyond our current achievements it is due time for a certain secret to be finally revealed”.

    “A secret?”

    “What the Young Lord is talking about?”

    “This is taking way too long than usual…”

    Many of the teachers and Historic Center’s attendants wondered what is going on inside Mortimer Dauch’s head. In past ceremonies each of the emissaries shared, at most, five sentences. Mortimer, in comparison, did not even seem that he got to his point.

    “The Supreme Rulers’ whereabouts during the year 4950 until the end of the Dark Century”. As the grownups in the crowed became conscious of what was said just now, Mortimer raised a hand and continued louder. “That period in time which never has been revealed to the public is here and now gonna be summarize, therefore please listen.

    “After the establishment of Kingdom Earth the Supreme Rulers realized the limitations of their environment and as a result their training was impeded in a juncture they could not overcome on their own. To reach a breakthrough one solution was venturing into the beast’s territory and facing the numerous experts they believed were there. Regrettably, back then the relationship between the beasts and Kingdom Earth was just founded and so still unstable. With the recommendation of one of the beasts’ leaders that was in contact with the Supreme Rulers, they decided to spare the chance of damaging this new relationship by what could be interpreted as a provocative show of strength.

    “The Supreme Rulers secluded themselves, pondering what to do. After indeterminate time, they have raised and agreed to the second solution. Go back to the world above the earth.

    “As they predicted, he world we, human beings, lived in the past as evolved beyond what we could ever imagine. In that world the three supreme human beings learned the truth of the Martial path. There they deciphered the Earth’s Core secrets to a degree where their accomplishments, thus far, have been greatly hollow. Beneath the legendary blue sky they encountered beings of incomprehensible might that in front of they could only cower-“

    “Young Lord, this is blasphemy!” A teacher stood up and cautioned, almost threateningly. Other teachers selected to also make a stand and got on their feet. This one was their Young Lord, but among them were their students. If Mortimer were to carry on and dare to undermine the Supreme Rulers’ in the slightest of forms, he will taint the young minds of little than ten years old children!

    “As I was saying…” Mortimer tone changed from passionate to stern in the teachers’ ears alone. A force none of them could fathom penetrated their bodies and rocked the internals till their legs gave in and they fell, leaning backwards, to the seats.

    “A world we can no longer treat as if it does not exists. For the sake of the Martial path, for the forging of the body and the enlightenment of the soul, I, Mortimer Dauch, will tell you this, dear sons and daughters of our esteemed kingdom. Dare you challenge the Martial path, do so with Peral determination! Gain your Earth’s Cores and strive for them to one day flourish under the blue sky!” Mortimer roared.

    Unexpected! Startling! Bewildering!

    Thousands of coreless children felt the words of Mortimer, an advanced Mist User on the Martial path, resonating through their bodies.

    “Hereby I vow! In two months, after the Half Year celebrations, I, Mortimer Dauch, will follow the Supreme Rulers’ steps and venture to the world outside of New Earth and when I’ll return I’ll use my new found teachings to build my own school of the Martial path and with its strength bring our kind back to the world our ancestors once lived in!”

    “Mortimer! Mortimer! Mortimer!”

    There was not one child that did not applaud.

    Above the earth and beneath the blue skies? Out of the world that confined every human for the last five thousand years? New teaching of the ultimate path, the Marital path? These were ambitious nine years old children and this was their last year in a pre Core school. Knowing their history and the different possibilities they will encounter in their near future and have to choose from was a given at this age. Hearing the oath by their Supreme Ruler’s blood and feeling his certainty they all desired to be part of it.

    Even the hearts of the teachers were swept without their knowledge. The revelation of the Supreme Rulers’ whereabouts during the darkest time of the kingdom’s history was groundbreaking as it is, and there was no chance for a noble Mist User such as Mortimer Dauch to lie. Even more so, he now gave his word to go above the earth, come back and spread his knowledge, the first piece of knowledge of their previews world in more than five thousand years. If there was a reason for Supreme Ruler Ariel to pass on his duty to his ninth son, no one doubted its unexplained circumstances anymore!

    Then and there, the closing part of the field trip has ended.


    Cave twenty five.

    At the school’s gates parents waited to pick up their tired children. A lot of parents were excited of their children’s third grade annual field trip, the time when they will receive their lord and ruler’s blessing, so many moms and dads came together to pick up their children.

    “Zax, you are coming with us”. Serah’s dad rubbed Zax’s head and pulled him over to join them.

    “Your parents called us. They said that they are stuck at work and won’t be able to pick you up, honey”. Serah’s mom grabbed Zax’s hand and they began to walk back home.

    Although Zax knew that his parents will not come, when he got off the bus, seeing all of his classmates’ parents, a small hope in his heart to not be left alone made him believe that maybe they will be able to make it.

    That hope was shattered when Troel, Serah’s dad, approached him. Luckily for Zax’s, his soul was stronger than that of the average nine years old and because of this he was also a bit more mature, enough to understand his parents, to know whose fault it was that they had to work late today and to obey Serah’s parents – plus, Jinka ,Serah’s mom, was a sous chef in a restaurant in the neighboring cave, so a delicious dinner was a sort of compensation.

    Sharing what they learned in the trip, Troel and Jinka nodded and listened to the two kids right until the part that mentioned Mortimer Dauch.

    “Both of you must have heard wrong…” Jinka said in a straight face. Are these children aware of what they are saying? She asked herself.

    “No, mom, it’s the truth”.

    “Aunty, even the teachers heard! Ask them if you don’t believe us”. Zax and Serah got offended by Troel’s and Jinka’s disbelief in their words.

    “That’s enough”. Troel snapped and looked at his wife. Both of them were confused and a bit worry. Zax and Serah were good and honest children. One was the son of their friends and the other their own daughter. But the things they repeated and claimed that were the words of Supreme Ruler Ariel’s ninth son were too absurd and exaggerated!

    “You two had a long day. For now, let’s stop discussing about the trip and first get home to eat dinner. I and Jinka were waiting you for more than an hour and we are also hungry so let’s step on it”. Troel and Jinka silently agreed, if anything unorthodox has really happened on the trip they will call Mr. Ogler the moment they will get home and clear it up with him. Besides, contrary to Zax, Serah had dark circles under her eyes, like others kids they noticed. The school and the parents emphasized the importance of this annual trip… Perhaps it was too stressful for a group of nine year olds after all?


    The Lova household, Serah’s house.

    “Go wash your hands and watch the living room’s screen until dinner is ready”. Jinka told Zax and Serah. “Honey…” Troel picked up the receiver of the house Caller and began to dial as his wife kept a constant eye contact with him, waiting for him to assure her that whatever the two children thought they have heard was just a misunderstanding.

    Getting a short intervals ringing, the Caller on the other side of Mr. Ogler was constantly busy. Troel hanged up and tried to call again several times to no avail.

    “Mom, come see”. Serah called from the living room. “Quick before it's over! You too, dad!”

    “Sweetheart, daddy on the phone”. Troel’s ear was stuck to the receiver, only paying half of his attention to Serah.

    “Troel…” Suddenly Jinka called him, using that serious tone of her that is rarely heard.

    Troel hanged up immediately and went to the living room, where his wife’s and the two children’s eyes were fixed on the Screen and the volume was high.

    The announcement was broadcast repeatedly on all the channels. A middle age man with the emissary’s token pinned to his black robe, standing before a crowd of reporters and a picture of none other than Mortimer Dauch on the upper left side of the Screen.

    “On July second, year 5784, an expedition group led by Supreme Ruler Ariel Dauch’s ninth son, Mortimer Dauch…” The announcer relayed the entire revelation of the Supreme Rulers’ whereabouts and Mortimer’s vow that just a few hours ago the entire class of third grade of El-Eden received in their annual field trip, to the whole of Kingdom Earth.
    Last edited by Lonahora; 04-04-15 at 01:45 PM.

  18. #18
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Posts
    308

    Default

    Book 1 – Earth’s Core
    Chapter 11 – Training In The Manor Of Cave Twenty Five



    Staring at the living room’s Screen, Zax and Serah had two huge, proud, childish grins. They did tell the truth and now Troel and Jinka have to believe them.

    In contrast to the two children, Troel and Jinka completely ignored the notion of their daughter and her friend lying. The two adult listened to every word of the announcer and followed each of the reporters’ questions that were answered or overlooked.

    They did not laugh or were excited. By when the announcement broadcast the third time since they began to watch it, Jinka was holding hands with her husband. Both of them were sweating and seemed to contain great pressure inside their every bone.

    An expedition to the environment, the world, that over five thousand years ago nearly destroyed humanity… How could they as simple Mist Users, middle class citizens of Kingdom Earth and most of all parents to a nine years old innocent little girl, not imagine with much more clarity the risks to their society rather than the benefits?

    “See, dad, isn’t it amazing?” Serah boasted. “Seeing the blue skies, mom, I also want it!”
    “Me too, aunty, uncle. One day for sure!” The pair of children could not sustain their exhilaration.

    “Serah, go to your room with Zax. Arrange the bed for him in case he’ll stay the night here and play there until dinner is ready”. Troel’s voice echoed with vibrations that forced the two children on their feet and without protest, obey.

    The rest of the evening passed quietly. Serah used the lower layer of her bed to open a second bed for Zax to sleep on and brought some covers from her parents’ bedroom. Afterwards and again, after they finished a mute dinner, they played some Mocca Kart races and when Zax was tired of losing and hearing Serah’s boasting they talked about their day, Mortimer Dauch, the added new goals they set for themselves and the blue skies until they fell asleep.

    Zax woke up early in the morning, around five o’clock. Today was Friday and the school was close until Sunday morning, so he got off the bed without making a sound, picked up his schoolbag and prepared to go home. As it turned out, yesterday he lost his last day of training before his big sister returns and because of that he woke up upset.

    The only one awake beside him was Troel, getting ready for work. In a low voice he greeted Zax “Good morning” and waved his head for him to go sit near the dining table. He had dark circles under the eyes, apparently he could not shake off the anxiety of last night announcement. Troel did not ask Zax why he also woke up early since his appearance explained this to him. If he wanted to go home early it is his right, the boy lived five minutes of walk from them, but he will not let him go on an empty stomach. Troel served him a meal of fried eggs and sausage, a small loaf of raisins bread and orange juice and left for work after he half instructed half asked Zax quietly to stay until seven and then wake up Jinka so she could lock the door behind him and get ready to work herself.


    As a result of the Nightly Cover formation, the morning air was cool and refreshing. Zax returned home and was ready to head out to his big sister’s apartment in hope that he will be able to squeeze couple of training hours before she arrives, but as he entered his room he got startled.

    “Zetsa!” He jumped cheerfully on his big sister’s back that laid on his bed, sleeping.

    “Little Zi,” Zetsa grabbed Zax’s head and rubbed it forcefully. “You brat! Jumping joyfully on your big sister after giving her so much trouble this past week”. She turned over and pinched his cheeks.

    “I’w sowry, I’w sowry”. Zax cried and sounded unintelligible. Whenever he tried to pull her hands and failed she pinched a little harder.

    She finally released him. “You know, I got back late at night, wanting to surprise you, but then mom told me you went and slept at some other girl’s home”. Zetsa teased.
    “Stupid! Serah is my friend!” Zax frowned.

    “Ok, ok, haha… How about this, although I’m back early, I have some other prior commitments to deal with today. You can either come with me or do something else. I prefer that you’ll go my place to train and wait for me, but I’ll let you choose”.
    “I want to go with you!” Zax said firmly.

    “Haha, I knew it. It’s still early so you can play or watch the Screen until we’ll head out”. Zeta laughed. “Take also will be happy to see you after so long”.


    Cave twenty four.

    There were three tunnels connecting to cave twenty five. Tunnel seventy seven was connected to the nature reserve, cave twenty three. Tunnel seventy eight was one of the border tunnels between humanity’s territory and the beast’s. And tunnel seventy six was connected to the neighboring cave twenty four.

    Having recognition from high level people does not mean having money. Although she has the Mist User’s qualifications for a well-paid jobs, Zetsa would rather to occupy herself in private training sessions than work. Therefore her possessions can be counted on one hand, her apartment, the mattress in her apartment, a few sets of clothes gifted from her mother and the Sun K-79 bike that she drives Zax on its back seat whenever he comes with her to cave twenty four.

    Cave twenty four had a slightly higher quality of Life than cave twenty five and most of its residents were high class families. Entering through tunnel seventy six the cave seemed like a huge wide hill. At the top of it was the manor of the cave’s governor, a level beneath it were suburban neighborhoods and at the lowest and widest level was the shining urban area where Jinka worked as a sous chef in one of the restaurants there.

    Zetsa’s and Zax’s destination was the governor’s manor.

    A private vehicle was luxury only those of the high class could allow themselves. A Sun K-79 was a luxury only a high level Mist Users could save enough in a short time and affords to own, furthermore, only high level Mist Users could gain the license to drive in any cave in the region they lived in.

    Numerous eyes stared with admiration at the flashing beam of red light that was Zetsa’s Sun K-79 bike as she sped up to the governor’s manor. Holding her waist and leaning back, Zax felt the extreme wind hitting his face and blowing his hair and enjoyed every moment of it. He did not need to worry about a helmet because he could count on his big sister’s reflexes in case he will lose his grip and he definitely did not need to worry about her having an accident.

    The governor’s manor was a two stories building. Every storey was seven meters tall; its width was around eighty meters and its length the same. A fertile garden surrounded the manor and at the only entrance in stood two black suits guards which Zetsa paid no attention to as she drove in and parked near the manor’s doors.

    “Pleasure to have you again, Miss Zetsa”. Even before Zetsa cut the engine a middle age man wearing elegant attire stepped outside, accompanied by an old maid in a long dress and a red hair bodyguard in a white suit.

    “I hope that you don’t mind, Xingze, my little brother wanted to see Take so I brought him as well”. Zetsa pushed Zax forward to present himself.

    “Please forgive my intrusion, governor Edomachi”. Zax bowed.

    “Haha, Master Zax, you are a year younger than Take yet, unlike him, polite and know how to address your elders”. Governor Edomachi laughed and clapped his hands. In truth, the only reason he addressed Zax as “Master Zax” was because of Zetsa’s level as a Mist User and her relations with him, otherwise he would not have bat an eyelash at the boy.

    “Don’t praise him too much, Xingze, he acts like that just because he's embarrassed. Take far more respected toward me than my little brother”. Zetsa joked and Zax’s face reddened.

    “And others far more respected toward me than my son, Miss Zetsa”. Governor Edomachi kept smiling and gestured with his hands for them to come inside the manor.

    For their master, Edomachi Xingze, to be so generous and tell jokes when a young woman of lower status that could be at best his illegitimate daughter calls him by his first name was a rare sight for the old maid and the white suit bodyguard that accrued only when Zetsa visited.

    Inside the manor governor Edomachi indulged in a small talk with Zetsa while leading the away with his escort behind him and Zax following left to Zetsa. The Edomachi family was rich and productive. Gold, silver, works of art and valuable antiques furnished their manor while large number of servants and maids answered their every command and trained guards kept their and theirs safety.

    Mrs. Edomachi received Zetsa and Zax as they entered the greenhouse governor Edomachi brought them to. She was sitting on wicker chair, beside a glass table with a pitcher of iced tea on it, enjoying the aroma and colors of the garden and the company of a young boy, her son, Take Edomachi, as he read her with his sweet voice from a poetry book.

    “How very lovely to see you again, Miss Zetsa”. Mrs. Edomachi’s smile was pleasant. She grabbed Zetsa’s hands and held them close to her chest. She was filled with gratitude toward that young woman in front of her who fostered her son.
    “Thank you for having me, Slovet”.

    “Zetsa Mor!” The handsome Take called happily and closed the poetry book after he marked the last page he read. “You brought Zax too”. He jumped from the wicker chair and laid his arm on Zax’s neck.

    Take referred to Zetsa with the honorific title “Mor” after her first name because she was his Martial teacher and he was her Martial student, which sometimes made the nonconformist Zetsa address him with the apprentice title “Tal” after his first name. But his relationship with Zax was entirely different. To Take, which was an only child, Zax was like a little brother that he would see only when his Mor arrive to teach him.

    “Zax, whenever you are here my Take gets to experience the sentiment of an older brother. Please do come more often”. Mrs. Edomachi requested of Zax and then walked over to her husband.

    “We won’t disturb you any farther, Miss Zetsa”. Governor Edomachi took his wife’s hand and turned to live as Zetsa nodded toward him and his Mrs. Edomachi and continued with the two boys to the training hall.

    The training hall was an extension of the manor. Its floor was made of wooden planks and its ceiling was in the shape of a domed. Some of the weapons hanged on the walls were made from Peral metal but most were made of lesser steel. Generally it did not matter since Take was a long way from any form of combat training.

    Standing in front of Take, Zax to the side, Zetsa stared at her Tal and ordered. “Unleash”.

    Immediately Take took his stance, legs bent, hands lowering from his head till his arms straightened. Take dispersed deep breaths slowly till gradually a thin energy signature that only he and Zetsa could sense began to appear and an invisible pressure distorted the air around him.

    “Hang on to it”. Zetsa instructed even though beads of sweat already formed on Take’s face.

    “Amazing!” From the side Zax watched enviously. The type of training he yearned for the most was being performed right in front of his eyes. “Why big sis won’t train me in a Qi awareness and Qi refining technique?” Bitterly he said in his head.

    “Come here, Zax, I want to see the results of your meditation”. Zetsa took him to a faraway corner of the hall to not distract Take and the both of them sat down. “You have done just as I told mom to pass you, right? Briefly describe me the process you went through”.

    “Yes, I was able to train in the Inner Spirit formation for only one day this week”. Zax answered embarrassedly. “Thereafter mom and dad found out and you know the rest… but I did meditate. After the intense session in the Inner Spirit formation, for the first time, the formation left some sort of fragments, like icy grains, that surrounded, I think, my soul.

    “In the first day of meditation, since the icy grains were foreign yet carried the same energy signature as the Inner Spirit formation I decided to tamper with one of them. I wasn’t able to do much apart from dismantling the icy grain, but afterwards it turned into a blue white dust that was absorbed into my soul and felt like it made it a little bit stronger. That’s about all I did in Tuesday and Wednesday. Yesterday, because of the field trip, I had no time to meditate so there are a few tens of icy grains remaining around my soul”.

    “Hmm… That’s explaining the glimmer in your eyes”. Zetsa deduced in a small voice. Of course, that “Glimmer” she mentioned was a side effect only an expert Mist User can perceive. “You progressed well in such a short time as eight months”. Zetsa half complimented half said it as a fact.

    In accordance to the training schedule that she made for Zax and kept to herself, after last week modification to the Inner Spirit formation, it had to take to him at least a month before he could trap fragments of the formation. Now her little brother claims that after one week, were he trained just once, there are tens of fragment circulating his soul…

    “I chose right”. She confirmed to herself.

    Knowing that he had done well, a big smile spread across Zax’s face.

    “Just this once I’ll allow you to keep that snotty smile”. Zetsa raised a finger as to show that she really mean it. Zax’s has not even made yet his first step on the Martial path. Any type of advancement he may have done is nothing to be proud of at this stage, merely an insight to what might be his future growth. “Enter your meditative state and work on the fragment until your soul will absorb all of them. In the mean time I’ll go instruct Take”.

    Zetsa’s strict attitude made her seem like a different person than the one Zax was most familiar with. Unlike when she was angry at him, the way she spoke and the look in her eyes at matters related to Martial instruction gave off a feeling of distant between them. At times like this he saw her not as his beloved sister or the person he looked up to, but his unofficial Mor, and as she ordered, so he did.


    Take was unaware of Zetsa’s presence standing less than a meter before him. His hands were burning red and white steam rose from them. He concentrated his Qi brutally to the center of each hand, as if he started a fire inside his body that threatened the existence of his Qi to either escape to the palms of his hands or burn away.

    To be precise, it was the intent of his subconscious that controlled the flow of his Qi and after a few minutes that he was left by his Mor to execute that certain Qi refining technique that she taught him, Take hands felt like they were holding a blazing steel sphere while the rest of his body was glacial.

    Zetsa channeled her mist energy to her hands and in a flash the pure silver aura of an intermediate Mist Master covered them like tight gloves. She grabbed Take’s hands and supported his effort with the Radical Fiery Icy Provocation Qi refining technique that her Master taught her.

    As Zetsa’s younger brother and Take’s training companion every once in a while, Zax also was well versed in the training method behind the Radical Fiery Icy Provocation’s exercise. In its essence the Radical Fiery Icy Provocation is a four stages Qi refining technique. From the begging the first stage, Fiery Icy, is quite arduous, require immense patience while the practitioner meditate and learn to control the body’s temperature.

    During these more than five thousand years, even without an Earth’s Core, the human‘s body underwent minimal changes that strengthened its base, thanks to a prolong exposure to the Sun Stones’ radiation. Today, a coreless person body’s temperature could go as high as sixty five degrees Celsius and as low as minus thirty degrees Celsius before the body starts to shut down.

    To the average coreless person, it can take weeks or months of training before completing the first stage which by the end of it the practitioner should be able to raise or lower on a whim the body’s temperature to the two extremes. An average Earth’s Core Holder, on the other hand, can master this stage in about one to four weeks. In the end it all depends on the Martial talent of the practitioner.

    The second stage, Fifteen Long Bridges, of the Radical Fiery Icy Provocation Qi refining technique acting as a bridge between the first and the third stage, therefore it is the quickest stage to master. After gaining control over the body’s temperature a practitioner will almost effortlessly be able to tap to the natural reservoir of Qi in the human’s body. To practice the second stage the practitioner must follow and repeat day and night fifteen body movements until he or she can execute them fluently. The purpose of this stage is to master control over the movement of and form of the Qi. Since a practitioner cannot stop once starting the second stage until completing it, otherwise it might backlash and the internals will suffer, to the coreless person a week will suffice to master this stage and to an Earth’s Core holder two to three days will be more than enough.

    The third stage, also known as the Fiery Icy Qi Unification, for most practitioners is the trickiest. Simply put, as its name suggest, in this stage the practitioner must unify the essence of hot and cold with his or her Qi. The third stage is also divided into three phases; in the first phase the practitioner must convey the characteristic of heat to the Qi, in the second phase the practitioner must convey the characteristic of cold to the Qi and in the third phase the practitioner must unify the two opposites within his or he Qi – by doing so, raising the quality of the Qi more than tenfold!

  19. #19
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Posts
    308

    Default

    Book 1 – Earth’s Core
    Chapter 12 – A Doting Parent’s Request


    Before talking about how long it takes to a practitioner to master the third stage of the Radical Fiery Icy Provocation Qi refining technique, a word of warning must be said. From the four stages of this lurid technique, the third phase of the third stage is the most dangerous! Roughly one out of a one hundred thousand practitioners will have the natural affinity to practice and not suffer the disastrous consequences of this technique.

    So how long it takes to master the third stage? Regardless of the practitioner’s Martial talent, the period of time it takes to complete this stage is bluntly unknown. Even the prodigy Zetsa could not avoid being among the remaining ninety nine thousand nine hundred and ninety nine who lack the natural affinity. The results were she being stuck at the last phase of the third stage for more than eight years, and the only thing that made her exceptional in her group was her unique dexterity in handling the chaotic mist energy that will settle down once she will advance to the fourth stage.

    Lastly there is the fourth stage of the Radical Fiery Icy Provocation Qi refining technique, The Endless Path Of Fire And Ice. Once reaching this stage the sole aim of a practitioner is to the convert the properties of either hot or cold to his or her mist energy\aura, then enrich and intensify them.

    At that point, there are countless methods of training and the Martial path is never ending. But that was something that Zax was still too immature to comprehend.

    The Radical Fiery Icy Provocation Qi refining technique is a top tier as well as extremely rigorous among the Qi refining techniques, therefore one that should not be exercised recklessly and without an expert instructor which at least reached the fourth stage.

    Zetsa, with all due respect to the great talent that she is, being in the last phase of the third stage could not be considered an “Expert” in the Radical Fiery Icy Provocation Qi refining technique. Yet, there were two reasons that made her confident enough to teach Take this technique. The first was her control over the chaotic mist energy which allowed her to interfere in case Take’s Qi will backlash forcefully against his Qi channels. The second was Take’s lack of talent in the Martial way that he could only make up by practicing a high level technique.

    Holding Take’s hands Zetsa helped him balance his body’s temperature. That was the little help that she could provide him whenever he was about to exhaust himself. Supporting him sooner could have hindered his attempt to convey the characteristic of heat to the Qi and waiting too long could have resulted with Take too tired to continue for four to five days.

    Take unconsciously held tightly his Mor’s hands. What followed was as if the two extremes that were pushing against each other inside of him have suddenly settled, and an undefined harmony was created. Rather than “Support”, what Zetsa provided her Tal was simply a break from his taxing training for as long as they would hold hands. The moment she would let go, Take’s endeavor to pass the first phase would resume until he will succeed or halt for this session. If he will choose the latter, a small backlash to his Qi channels will occur and for the next three days Take will be bedbound. On the bright side, his Qi channels will be tempered a bit by the characteristic of heat, so in his next training session he will be able to hold on longer on his own.

    Allowing Take to resume his training, Zetsa returned to Zax. His outward appearance seemed like an ice statue of a young monk, cool and serene. His skin was pale blue and emitted cold steam.

    “Surprisingly he is doing better than he claimed”. Zetsa thought to herself, impressed. “Another hour or two will be his outmost limit, though. I will let him keep going and assist him dismantling the rest of the grains so tomorrow he could have another go at the Inner Spirit formation with me by his side. I will use this chance to also check the protection formation I implanted in his body. It must have taken a great tool afterwards…”

    After the first hour of which Zetsa kept a watchful eye on her little brother and Tal, she was visited by governor Edomachi. Knowing how secretive an expert can be with his or her teaching, the governor came alone, carrying a small folding table, two folding chairs and apologetic stare.

    “Will you please join me, Miss Zetsa?” Governor Edomachi revealed a Jade Wine bottle and two cups out of his breast pocket.

    Hiding her frown, Zetsa nodded and sat on one chair, while Governor Edomachi opened the table and sat on the other, purring first cup to Miss Zetsa.

    “I’m sure that you are aware of my Martial achievements”. Governor Edomachi said.

    “You recently made a breakthrough, congratulations, Xingze, a D level Earth’s Core Holder”. Zetsa raised her cup and with a “CLING” the both of them drank.

    “Many thanks”. Governor Edomachi lowered his head and purred the second cup. He knew quite well that in front of Miss Zetsa, a B level Mist Master, there was nothing for him to bluster about and he did not mind. “But I would rather thank you for the great improvements you have made with my son. Honestly, my boy being able to materialize his Qi… Thank you, Miss Zetsa, thank you, thank you!” He rushed to salute her but Zetsa nimbly placed her hand over his cup.

    “Xingze, there are three parties involve in your son improvements. I, who follows our contract, Take, that doesn’t neglect his exercises and make up his lack of talent with great determination and effort, and You, who first approached me and convinced me to take your boy as my Tal. Thank me once by words and that should be enough. You have already fulfilled your part of the contract and then some”. Zetsa drank first and purred the third cup herself for both of them.

    Neither a smile nor a word of agreement, Governor Edomachi washed his throat with the wine quietly. Three parties were indeed involved, but one overshadowed the other two in an unparalleled way. As wealthy as his family was, as high as he sat himself in his position of a Cave Governor, Xingze Edomachi still could not afford enrolling his son to El-Eden’s top Martial school. There were other Martial pre Core schools, as well, that could have help Take cultivate his Qi, which were the second most common choice for high class families. But due to Take lack of talent he would have most likely graduated them with nearly zero results, and these schools were not cheap either.

    His approach to Zetsa was a bet he had nothing lose at. A famous name that, as luck had it, resided a tunnel away. Even convincing her was not the trouble that he expected, merely a thirty months contract that was nearing its end and a payment that he already cleared.

    “Miss Zetsa”, Governor Edomachi turned his cup after the fourth cup.

    Recognizing his tone, Zetsa did not follow the same gesture but kept her cup empty. It was about time for Xingze to say his true motive for coming over.

    “In a few months, this year Great Earth’s Core Pursuit will take place, after which Take will relinquish the term “Qi” for “Mist Energy” and he will be officially recognized as an F level Mist User”. Governor Edomachi stated. “Shortly after, thanks to his training, he will be able to break through to the next level and become an E level Mist User. If he will achieve that before the age of twelve, his future prospects will surpass even mine”.

    “An E level Earth’s Core Holder at such a young age will probably manage to become a Core Breaker by the age of forty”. Zetsa commended.

    “That will surely advance our family name, Core Breaker…”

    For a short few minutes the two watched Take, engulfed with his Qi around his drenched hands.

    “Miss Zetsa”, Governor Edomachi clenched his fists, his own dark brown mist energy covering them, he looked at his son. “I beg of you to agree… Two and a half months from now is the date for the Great Earth’s Core Pursuit. I ask of you as the father of your Tal and as a man who holds you in great esteem, agree to go as the representative Guardian of cave twenty five and take with you my son. Even if it’s a long shot, a hopeless longing, I beg of you the fair chance for Take to pursue a high quality Earth’s Core and to protect him from illegal obstructs…”

    “Xingze…” Zetsa was lost for words. Usually when a cave does not have a native Mist Master at the Core Breaker level, or have one who is unwilling, the cave’s Management Office will hire the essential Mist User from the Core Breakers Guild of Kingdom Earth – the process is the same whether in El-Eden, Shitou or Tongguo. Old high class families, however, tend to hire Mist Masters for unimaginable sums to volunteer as Guardians for the Great Earth’s Core Pursuit and help their progeny in finding quality Earth’s Cores.

    Legally these families are allowed to hire the services of outside Mist Users and volunteer them to the Great Earth’s Core Pursuit as long as these Mist Users are at least C level Core Breakers, since regardless of their reason to volunteer, they are obligated to the same responsibilities as the official Guardians – Guardians that are hired by or part of a cave’s Management Office – and in case of peril to the young participants they must protect them without discrimination or personal preference.

    The problem is when a participant finds an Earth’s Core that seems to have the qualifications of an acceptable Earth’s Core for these volunteered Mist Users’ benefactors. They might act quickly and snatch it before anyone, especially the participant who found it, can notice. These cases are hard to handle mostly because no one wants to slander a Mist Master for a child’s word and the fact the more the often the complaint received after the Great Earth’s Core Pursuit is over for that child and from the start he or she could never evaluate the “vanished” Earth’s Core…

    “Miss Zetsa, I heard that even among the F level Earth’s Cores, E level Earth’s Cores and D level Earth’s Cores there are variations noticeable only by Mist Users at the Mist Master level. Take doesn’t need much, even a proper F level Earth’s Core will do him right. He can find it on his own, but please be there to watch over him!” For his son’s sake, for the family’s future, Governor Edomachi was willing to grovel if needed.

    “You put me in a tough position, Xingze. If others will know about my involvement with you and our agreement, more annoying people will ask for my services. My comfortable life style will be disrupted…” Zetsa sighed. “But for Take…” She whispered and recalled. “In Master perspective the relationship between a Martial teacher and a Martial student should be that of a parent and child. Could I abandon Take if he was my child? Of course not!”

    Zetsa turned Governor Edomachi’s cup and purred their fifth cup to the brim. “For Take I will see myself joining as a Guardian in this year Great Earth’s Core Pursuit”. Zetsa raised her cup and drunk in one gulp.

    “I will be forever in debt to you, Miss Zetsa”. Governor Edomachi muttered and with one gulp drank his cup of delicious Jade Wine.

    After Zetsa and her drinking partner, Governor Edomachi, finished the whole bottle of Jade Wine, the Governor left her to continue his daily commitments. Zetsa sat for a while, enjoying the sweet and dry after taste of the wine and examined the two boys’ progress.

    On Take’s part there was nothing she could do except to remind him when to stop and rest since breaking through the first phase of the third stage of the Radical Fiery Icy Provocation Qi refining technique was something he could only do on his own.

    Zax’s exercise was quite the opposite, offered her a little bit more flexibility with what she can and cannot do for him and the question about “How it will influence him?” did not concern her that much. Zax was at the earliest of stages in regard to soul training and some interference, when done at the right moment, could help him strengthen the base of his soul and save time.

    It was either helping him it the grains or checking the protection formation that she left on him. Zetsa preferred to deal with the protection formation tomorrow at her place since even if she will interfere with Zax’s exercise and create a shock to his soul, by the next day he should feel fine and better prepared for their weekly test of his spirit.

    Much like when she supported Take, pure silver mist energy shone like almighty aura, wrapped around Zetsa’s right hand as she laid it on Zax’s head, one finger at a time and lastly the palm.

    Zax was immersed in dismantling the tens of grains which circled the distorted blur that was his soul. Each time he finished working on a grain the amount of blue white dust that formed disappeared faster and seemed less than a cold breath after ten pineapple popsicles. Dismantling the grains was physically and mentally exhausting, even if in the beginning it was easier than the previous two times. Like absorbing time, after time, after time the blue white dust was the same as working on a muscle that got tired early on during an exercise yet still should be capable of making more effort.

    How long his big sister did want him to go on? Or if he will stop before she tells him how disappointed of him she might be? Were two bothering questions that Zax pondered about whenever he thought of a break.

    ?!

    Zax’s attention shifted to a distant spark in his consciousness.

    TING!

    Another spark, close enough to hear as it set off a grain, lit his consciousness with silvery light.

    TING! TING! TING!

    One after the other the tens of grains were hit by an alien mist energy wave and burst almost in solidarity inside of Zax’s head. Before he could utter a word of surprise, the vast space of Zax’s consciousness was overflowing with blue white dust, like the scenery of the few natural reserves steams caves.

    “No! No! It’s gonna be too much!” Zax was alarmed. If so much blue white dust will merge with his soul in one shot it could freeze and shatter!

    Zax’s fears were realized as his thoughts went rampage with helplessness. As he predicted, the insane amount of blue white dust swirled around his soul as if it was in the eye of a towering cyclone. To better prepare himself, Zax spread his awareness as far as he could across the accumulating cyclone of blue white dust. He noticed that in the center streams of the blue white dust were flowing to his soul in an increasing rate. Zax did not dare to break his meditative state, if he did, then the terrifying energy of the cyclone would probably tear his soul. He had to concentrate on not fighting with the streams of blue white dust and allow his soul to sallow and merge with them as fast as it could while coping with the frost that began to cover it.

    “Silver?” Thanks for enlarging his awareness Zax was able to detect a moment sooner the silver wave that passed through his consciousness. The silver wave pressed on the cyclone from every direction, from the outside making it shrink, but from where Zax’s soul was, the eye of the cyclone, the streams of blue white dust at least doubled in size.

    “Anottther wavvve iss ccominggg!” His thoughts were freezing along with more than half of his blurred soul. The second wave did not press against the cyclone. This time it passed through it and struck Zax’s soul. In mare moments the frost began to break into blue white dust and merged with the soul.

    “Silver light, silver waves… Big sis doing something to me!” Zax figured. “She helped me dismantle all the grains and now pushing them to merge with my soul. Ok, then I won’t worry about the cold and the amount of dust and just concentrate on drawing it in faster! ” He was now resolute and with no more hesitation used his intent to increase even more the size of the streams.

    Gushing rivers of blue white dust purred over and merged with Zax’s soul, causing it a sequence of minor transformations. One hour, two hours… After six and a half hours Zax finally opened his eyes. In front of him stood a young maid, as if she waited for him the full duration of his training to finish and awake, but Zax, with a tranquil facial expression, could discern that the maid just arrived and it actually was her etiquette that made her pose as if she was always there, waiting for an order. Apart from the maid, before uttering any kind of word, Zax sensed and felt himself and his surroundings more than he ever could. His body was weak and tired, like he was stuck inside an iceberg for a thousand years and now out and gradually coming back to himself. The sense of smell, sight, sound and touch felt like that of a new born baby, from emptiness to once again, gradually, intensifying and discovering the world around them.

    “Pah...” Zax released his first breath and breathed in again. He repeated the process several times before stabilizing his breath and turning to that maid who silently waited.

    “Where is my big sister?”

    “Master Zax, if you are fit then please come after me”. The maid politely spoke and although she offered her hand to Zax he got up on his own.

  20. #20
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Posts
    308

    Default

    Book 1 – Earth’s Core
    Chapter 13 – Profound Improvement



    The young maid led Zax to the manor’s greenhouse. Two figures, Zetsa and Mrs. Edomachi, sat beside the glass table with cold drinks and sweets and had a pleasant chat. The two women, one B level Mist User, the other, E level Mist User, sensed Zax and the young maid long before they arrived and were ready to meet them.

    “Nura, offer our young guest refreshment and bring a tray of peeled fruits”. Mrs. Edomachi requested and the young maid, Nura, nodded her head obediently and left to the manor’s kitchen.

    “There is no need, Slovet”, Zetsa motioned for Zax to come closer. How pale he was made her stomach twitch. He was fine, or rather, he will be, after a long rest, she knew that quite well. She will never put him in any danger. That is why, as difficult as the demands of his training were, she already judged any threshold Zax will have to break through and knew what will be his limits. The reason that she felt anxious was simple, her beloved little brother went through a harsh exercise that exhausted his strength to the point that he could barely stand on his own two feet.

    “Here, drink the all glass”. Zetsa handed over her glass to Zax and basically forced him to drink the apple flavor cold tea to the last drop and another glass when he emptied the first.

    “We will be leaving now, Slovet”. Zetsa got up from the wicker chair.

    “But I had no time to play with Take…” Zax sulked.

    “Stop it, Zax, you got to see and train with him. And you’re in no condition to mess around, Take neither. His body is in worse shape than yours”. Zetsa explained.

    “Next time, sweetie”. Mrs. Edomachi also insisted.

    Mrs. Edomachi accompanied Zax and Zetsa to the manor’s entrance. Unlike her husband she had no desire for a constant escort nor saw the need to have one. On their way they passed Nura, who silently returned to the kitchen with the tray she carried after receiving a wave of hand from Mrs. Edomachi.

    “Farewell”. The three exchanged their goodbyes and Zetsa and Zax drove back to cave twenty five on the Sun K-79.


    Back at home, per her daughter request, Laylen made porridge for Zax and despite him claiming that his is not hungry; Zetsa ordered him to eat as much as four bowls and afterwards go to sleep.

    The next day was finally Saturday. The day before Zax and Zetsa returned home at around eight o’clock in the evening. After closing his eyes Zax fell asleep in but an instant and woke up the next day at ten o’clock in the morning, nearly fourteen hours later.

    After a light breakfast Zetsa and Zax left to her flat in the abandoned construction site that she owned. The door to the one room apartment was left open to let some light in and the white mattress was moved to the side of the room.

    Zax stood with his back to his big sister, a bit shivering. The test to see his improvement was not stress free at all since it examined the level of his soul, the most fundamental vital aspect of any being.

    “Breath freely”. Zetsa instructed, the palm of her right hand on Zax’s back. Pure silver mist energy slowly formed all over her body. To make it a test and not an assault she had to have full control over the formation she was about to execute.

    “Are you ready?” She asked to be reassured that Zax is prepared to withstand the coming impact of the formation. There was not a second time if he will flinch or misjudge his temperament before the test will instigate.

    “Yes”. Zax answered calmly.

    Without accepting his respond Zetsa’s left hand began to flash with dozens of hands signs. In less than a second a silvery character was created on the back and palm of her left hand. That was the Soul Pressure formation that she used to check her little brother’s progress almost every Saturday for the last eight months.

    Zetsa spared Zax a word of warning and struck his head with the palm of her left hand.

    Right away Zax felt immense pressure passing through his consciousness and colliding with his soul. The pressure came in the form of a tidal wave, but when it hit Zax’s soul it immediately dispersed as if it struck against the base of a formidable mountain.

    BOOM!

    Another wave of pressure followed, bigger than the first one and with greater velocity, but as it struck Zax’s soul the second wave, too, dispersed to nothingness.

    “Two strikes…” Although Zetsa spoke out Zax could not hear her.

    BOOM!

    BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!

    Zax’s soul withstood five waves of pressure with little difficulties.

    BOOM!

    “Grr…” Zax uttered while clenching his teeth. His eyes were close and he concentrated on defending his soul so he was not aware of his physical reaction.

    On Zax’s head Zetsa’s hand shone a little brighter than before. “The sixth increase in pressure rubbed his soul”. Zetsa stated to herself and her right hand on the back of Zax’s back also appeared glowing.

    BOOM!

    Beads of sweat began to form on Zax’s forehead. The seventh wave was seven times bigger and wilder than the first and its impact with the soul was almost enough to actually push it from its abode in the consciousness.

    “Here come the eighth!” Zax bewailed, yet was not ready to yield. Ten waves! Ten waves! An even, round number was his goal. He improved so much in one week! For the past two months he continually surrendered after the sixth wave and today made it to the seventh! “Three more!” His stubbornness surpassed the dread.

    BOOM!

    “Arg…!” He withstood the eighth wave, but the impact was worse than getting run over by a vehicle. By now he was panting heavily and held himself up by sheer willpower.

    “Here come the ninth”. Zetsa was biting her lips. “Still standing after eight waves…” She was the stabilizing force that managed the output of the Soul Pressure formation, to not discharge a too large level of pressure in one go, but it was up to Zax to decided when he can take no more so his soul will not suffer any harm. If she will intervene and break the connection between Zax and the formation it will create an equal shock to both Zax’s body and soul - which will make it hard to explain to their parents how come their little boy is in a coma, even though it is okay since it is only for about a week…

    BOOM!

    The size and velocity of the ninth wave were horrendous. Facing the wave, Zax’s soul was comparable to a small flame striving to survive against a strong wind. And so it happened that, although beaten, Zax’s soul indeed survived.

    “Release the pressure to my right hand, Zax. You’ve done enough. Don’t try to take the tenth wave!” Zetsa instructed in a firm tone. She allowed him to bear the eighth wave only to be certain of his improvements, which she concluded according to how the eighth wave affected him.

    Zax heard Zetsa’s voice resonating in his consciousness, yet he choose to pay no heed to it. He was so close to achieve his goal, withstanding ten waves. This ambition formed in his mind only after he took the fifth wave. It was so weak compared to last time that his aspirations doubled. Now, his soul was already in place and the damage that the ninth wave did it was superficial.

    “One more!” Zax was determined.

    BOOM!

    The tenth wave was on a fixed collision course with Zax’s soul much like the other nine.

    “Zax, don’t restrict me! Listen to me or else even if you’ll endure this wave I’ll never train you again!” Zetsa delivered her words as an ultimatum she was fully ready to hold herself up to. “Disregard me and you will regret it forever!”

    “Big sis…” Zax was stunned. At once opening a pathway to Zetsa’s mist energy to enter his consciousness, first to block the tenth wave and then to destroy the Soul Pressure formation’s character.

    “Stupid and reckless, that’s what you were, Zax!” Zetsa scolded. “You already know that having your soul move from its place could have adversely affects on your regenerative abilities. Why did you not stop?”

    Zax had no excuse, or rather he could not think of anything in that moment. When Zetsa’s mist energy and the tenth wave collided he could tell that if he insisted and accepted the tenth wave, it could utterly destroy his soul. Realizing his mistake and the ramifications that he almost suffered, Zax was in a state of a shock and panic. Alternatively, because of him losing himself momentarily Zax could not feel the worn out state of his body.

    Reading the frightened expression on her dear little brother’s face and seeing how stiff he was, Zetsa had a change of attitude. She composed herself, landed her two hands on Zax’s shoulders and pulled him to her bosom.

    Engrossed in his despair, Zax’s attention was set on his blurred soul. A pure silver energy, emitting from Zetsa, wrapped his body and then a sort of comfort began to also fold around his soul. Blood was pumping to his head, His muscles ached, his skin was dry and burned and his eyes could not open. Despite all of this Zax succumbed to deep slumber in his big sister arms, with a sense of peace in his heart.

    Zax woke up on the white mattress, all curled up. A somewhat familiar concentrated sensation on the center of his chest warmed his internals and charged them with vitality.

    Zetsa was sitting on the other side of the room in a meditative position. Her air was stuck to her cheeks and neck and her body was shiny with sweat, nevertheless she still smelled good even from afar. She got up on her feet and came to Zax’s side. “Feeling better now?”

    “Yes”. Zax rubbed his arms and starched his face. “What day it is?” He felt like he was asleep for a day or two and was not sure if he that much exhausted himself during the test and ended up resting in his big sister’s place for a few days. Zax had a basis for assuming that much. Usually he is so tired after the test, which is meant for F level Mist Users at the very least, that right after it is over, Zetsa takes him back home and he falls asleep till the next day.

    “Saturday. You rested for two hours”. Zetsa replied.

    “Two hours! But, but-” Zax was baffled.

    “What do you expect? From now on you’ll improve leaps and bounds”. Zetsa words were not meant to encourage Zax. After she evaluated his limits last week and found that he reached his first threshold, the long awaited breakthrough was no longer out of site. Until Zax will reach it he will only continue to improve and if he will truly attain it before the appointed time…

    “Nine waves!” Zax sprang to his feet and was jumping around, already forgetting the tenth he did not even have the opportunity to fail. Moreover, a compliment from his big sister was a thousand times better, so what did he have to sulk for?

    “Perfect score…” Zetsa said to herself. In fact, for any nine years old to withstand nine waves was far from perfect, it was extraordinary! But with respect to the outcomes of the test, “Perfect Score” was the appropriate term to describe Zax’s results.

    “Next week ten, okay big sis?!” Zax half proclaimed half asked the approval of his big sister.

    “Again being stupid and reckless?” Zetsa frowned and Zax calmed down, lowering his head. “You felt it yourself, right? Tell me, Zax, what was the difference between the tenth wave and the rest of the waves?” Zetsa asked with the mindset of a Mor, quizzing her Tal.

    “It was stronger-”

    “Answer in detail! Of course it was stronger. Each wave was stronger from its precursor!”

    “The pressure of each wave was ten percent higher than the last one, but the pressure of the tenth wave was fifty percent higher than the ninth’s!” Zax straightened up and hurried to say.

    “So you see”, Zetsa pointed out. “I may have control over the output of the Soul Pressure formation, but in its core, after every nine soul attacks the tenth one and the following nine will be one level higher”.

    “Then how long do I need to train to withstand the tenth wave and how much stronger did my soul became?”

    “If you will practice diligently four to five times a week in the Inner Spirit formation, maybe after a month or so you’ll be capable to face on your own the tenth wave”. Zetsa answered on the first part of the question and thought deeply how to phrase the more abstruse second part. Meanwhile, Zax tried to calculate quietly how long it will be before he could handle the tenth wave if he will practice for seven days a week.

    “To determined not just how strong you’ll need to be but also your current level, I’ll rate it in an unofficial way but will use a manner which you’ll better understand, agree?” Zetsa suggested merely for Zax to have an idea of where he is and where he should aim to reach.

    Zax nodded.

    “Did you learn what the seven levels of Mist Users are in the annual field trip?”

    “In the annual field trip?” Zax laughed inside. Would he be nicknamed “Earth’s Core FREAK” if he did not know years ago the seven levels of Mist Users? Is there any kid today above the age of five who does not know the seven levels of Mist Users?

    To not be scold again, Zax answered fully. “F, E and D are the three levels of an Earth’s Core Holder. C is the level of a Core Breaker. B is like you, Mist Master”. He said in awe. “A is Mist Lord and S is the highest level, Core Master”. He finished with a proud smile on his face.

    “That’s right. But to categorize your level, two more must be added”. Zetsa walked Zax out of the apartment and the both of them leaned on a rusty iron railing. “G and H. H, you could say, is the level of an average person who never trained in a soul refining techniques or acquired an Earth’s Core. In the past there were many people in the H level, but thanks to the regime of the Supreme Rulers every person today can own an Earth’s Core at the age of ten years old, which will then increase and rate the power of their mist energy and soul’s strength at level F. G is the level that most of those who train in soul refining techniques reach after a hectic training regimen. So far it is clear?”

    “Yes”. Zax was attentive and swallowed every word Zetsa said. “Two more levels! Then where am I? It’s been eight months…” He pondered.

    “To put it mildly, your advancement is above average. Eight months ago, when I first checked your level, you already were in the midst of moving towards level G naturally, and four days later you reached it”.

    “First time you tested me I was able to withstand three waves and second time it were five waves. What does that means? Is my soul strength comparable to level F Mist Users if I’m already able to withstand nine waves?” Zax asked excitingly.

    “That will be too much, Zax. Apart from the seven levels of Mist Users, each level also has four phases”.

    “Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced and Top…”

    “You know that as well?”

    “Everybody know the levels and phases in my class, big sis!” Zax got to the point where Zatsa’s perception of him was starting to offend.

    “Sorry, sorry, little Zi” Conversing with her little brother really changed to mood around Zetsa. Watching Zax’s remorseful, surprise, amazed, wondering and all his other different faces, who could blame her that during the explanation she reversed from a tough Mor to a big sister with a brother complex?

    Zax blew air from his nostrils.

    “You are not wrong. These are the phases of approximately each level and mosy techniques. The ‘Tops’ phase is the exceptional, though. To Earth’s Core Holders reaching the Top phase of their level is a small matter. Only after becoming a Core Breaker or a higher level expert does the fourth phase make a substantial difference. To them the fourth phase do not called ‘Top’, but ‘Peak’, to imply that one is in the summit of a Martial level”.

    The hour was mid noon and other than running water, Zatsa did not have anything edible in her apartment. A few trees down the street, around the border tunnels, grew some green, apples like, fruits named Tlipilirs, but since it was not season they were sour. Before Zax had the chance to blink three times, Zetsa leaped back and forth with four Tlipilirs in her hands and shared with him two.

    The pair was truly brother and sister, both of them pouted while enjoying the juicy sour taste of the Tlipilirs.

    “They don’t teach this in school”. Zetsa stated with stuffed face.

    “The teachers tell us not to pick fruits or veggies from the school’s garden and pots”.

    “No, dummy, they don’t teach you about the difference between ‘Top’ and ‘Peak’”.

    “They will probably next year”.

    “Not even then. There is a rationale to that, little Zi. Less than seventy percent of Kingdom Earth’s population reaches the level of Core Breaker. As a child it’s easy to say that in the future you want to be a strong Mist Users, but to actually achieve that can take tens of years. Most people just want to live an honest life…” Zetsa refrained from elaborating too much. Zax was but a nine years old boy. Even if his soul was above average it did not affect his views as a child. “To most people the Martial path requires countless sacrifices that they are not ready to make. There is no point in teaching a concept which means nothing to the one who learn it. The day you will become a Core Breaker is the day in which what I told will signify your progress on the Martial path”.

    Zetsa stopped talking to finish in two bites the second Tlipilir. Zax, on the other hand, was immersed in deep thinking and only took small bites from the Tlipilir.

    “Do you want to know now at what phase you are in, little Zi?”

    Zax nodded in respond. If his soul was not at level F, comparable to the lowest Earth’s Core Holder, he at least wanted to know how far he is from that level.

    “At the beginning of this week you were in the beginner phase of level G. Thanks to one day of training in the modified Inner Spirit formation, meditating all week and merging the dismantled grains with your soul, you have crossed to the intermediate phase”.

    “Only in the intermediate phase…” Zax remarked in disappointment.

    “Don’t disparage. You started training at the age of eight and in less than a year reached the intermediate phase. High class families have their children train from the age of two to four years old in soul refining techniques and just a small percentage of these children achieve your profound results after years of training. If I thought that you’re in that small percentage I would rather train you in Qi refining techniques like Take, but your potential is far greater than these children”.

    “Like how you were in my age?” In Zax’s opinion and many children in cave twenty five who wished to embark into the Martial path Zetsa was the ideal role model. At the age of nineteen she became a B level Mist User, Mist Master. High class families tried to recruit her with grandiose offers. Even emissaries of the Supreme Rulers approached her, yet, for her own reasons, she respectfully declined them all. Whoever had the guts to turn down an invitation from the Supreme Rulers must be unique and special!

    “If you’ll keep training properly in the Inner Spirit formation and meditate day and night, then who knows? You might be able to surpass me”. Zetsa got back to the apartment and moved the mattress to the center of the room. “That is, only if you’ll train conscientiously in the hellish training routine that I prepared for you”. Said the Mor to her Tal.

Similar Threads

  1. Five Elements Octagon...what on Earth is this stuff?
    By Ken Cheng in forum Wuxia Fiction
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 03-02-12, 06:12 PM
  2. GeForce 8800 GTX, Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 (2.4 ghz)
    By Ren Wo Xing in forum Tech Squad
    Replies: 24
    Last Post: 12-12-07, 12:39 AM
  3. heroes of earth concert 2006: wang lee hom
    By big master in forum Music
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 01-10-07, 01:28 AM
  4. Magic Sword Of Heaven And Earth - anyone knows this series.
    By PotentBlend in forum Mainland China TV Series
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 04-09-06, 04:12 PM
  5. The Quest of Heaven and Earth
    By Goofy in forum Fan Fictions
    Replies: 198
    Last Post: 02-08-03, 01:35 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •