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Thread: Earth's Core

  1. #21
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    Jan 2015


    Since this weekend is free comic book day I'm up to make an effort and release two chapters this week.
    On the other hand, since I'm not sure if anyone read the story, I also don't want to make that effort for nothing.
    So, releasing one chapter per week is something that I'll whether people read the story or not. But, if someone does want me to release two chapters this week then comment so I'll know.

  2. #22
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    Feb 2015


    I have been reading the story since the first chapter, so I would love for an another chapter

  3. #23
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    Jan 2015


    Quote Originally Posted by fyqko View Post
    I have been reading the story since the first chapter, so I would love for an another chapter
    Then as promised... I'll release two chapters, and since the last one was a good week for me (in terms of writing, I mean) I'll release them a day early.

  4. #24
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    Mar 2007


    Take heart Lonahora. Ur story seems good although this sub forum can be disappointing.

    Have you tried Royalroad? There are much more fans here.

    Here is more traditional although things looked like it is going to change.

  5. #25
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    Jan 2015


    Quote Originally Posted by Avidfan View Post
    Take heart Lonahora. Ur story seems good although this sub forum can be disappointing.

    Have you tried Royalroad? There are much more fans here.

    Here is more traditional although things looked like it is going to change.
    Thanks to the reminder with RoyalRoad! Since they stopped translating LMC I took a break from checking their site...

    Although it seems dead, I really like this forum. That's why it's the only place I offered a double release.
    Now, I hope that in time other users will find the passion to do what you, me and a few others are doing!

  6. #26
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    Jan 2015


    Book 1 – Earth’s Core

    Chapter 14 – Celebrations, Protests, Departure And Graduation

    Day after day, week after week, Zax invested every free moment of his time in training whether in the Inner Spirit formation or meditation.

    In the first week he trained only twice, at Sunday and Wednesday, in the Inner Spirit formation. Each training session was like the first one he had after Zetsa modified the formation. He sat on the white mattress cross-legged, chanted the words that activate the formation and after couple of hours woke up with barely enough time and energy to get back home at an appropriate hour.

    The rest of the week Zax reserved for meditation. The results of two sessions in the Inner Spirit formation were substantial. Zax’s consciousness was overflowing with the small icy grains. Thankfully, after Zetsa helped him to dismantle and merge the leftover grains from his first sessions, Zax became much more experienced with the process and his soul slightly evolved to be capable to handle the great amount of grains.

    The following month Zetsa did not tested Zax and on the contrary, allowed him the peace of mind to train without interruptions from her side. Just like she predicted, after advancing to the intermediate phase of level G and obtaining an acute awareness to the existence of the Inner Spirit formation’s fragments, the icy grains, Zax’s advancement was brilliant – partly because of his natural affinity to the requirements of soul refining techniques and was training in one of the most astute among them, regardless of its class, a high level illusionary formation.

    After one month, the length of time Zax had to tackle the frost illusion and the passage of time outside of the formation have slightly equalized. None the less, each session in the Inner Spirit formation ended as usual for Zax. His body slowly froze until it eventually fell apart to many pieces and then a surge of warm energy defrosted his frozen parts and brought him back from the illusion, completely exhausted.

    On the contrary, meditation gradually turned out to be a lot nimble as Zax repetitively practiced it in any given moment he was not bound by prior commitments. Even sleep time became a chance for Zax to continue meditating after Zetsa taught him how to perform the basic technique of Somnolence Meditation.

    As Zax’s soul got stronger the true benefits in his daily life, which were the consequences of merging with all the blue white dust, began to show. In school, during classes of which Zax had zero interest in, the sharpening of the soul also sharpened his mind and so even by not paying attention intentionally or day dreaming out of boredom he was able to grasp and interpreted the meaning of sounds and sights around him. Furthermore, subjects Zax had hard time understanding suddenly turn out to be clearer and more logical.

    In the company of his teachers, friends, and parents and in general, all the people around him, Zax attitude underwent a significant change as well. From a rather timid, selective and secluded boy he grew to be more composed, poised and confident.

    June twenty seven to June twenty nine, year 5784.

    Zetsa volunteered as the representative Guardian of cave twenty five’s participants in this year Great Earth’s Core Pursuit. The following day, June twenty eight, with her Tal, Take Edomachi, joining her group of ten year olds, they set off to where the grand pursuit will take place this year. In a week or so she will lead back more than five thousand incompetent, F level beginner phase Mist Users.

    June thirty, year 5784.

    After two months of training arrived the date for the Half Year celebrations.

    Every cave in Kingdom Earth celebrated in its own way. Cave twenty five was a middle class cave with no governor and so the conducts of its Management Office required to first passing through the administration of El-Eden’s capitol cave, cave fourteen, along with other middle or lower class caves.

    Being an agricultural cave which lacked a governorship and relied on a Management Office who was managed by the domestic population, the funds of cave twenty five were quite limited even in the national finest time of the year.

    However, having no support from the Management Office did not mean that the people could not spend money from their own pockets to celebrate in unity just one day of the year. Much like how siblings will spend together their own saving to buy a toy that their parents will not, the closeness of the inhabitants of cave twenty five was as if they were all one big family, especially during the national Half Year celebrations.

    Zax spent the day of the Half Year celebrations with Serah, Dane and other kids from their school. Since it was a holyday, school was close and in the morning till the afternoon, all kids helped clean and decorate the urban area, where the celebrations took place, with ornaments they made in school. The grown up of cave twenty five contributed according to what each of them could do. Some raised all kinds of stalls, food, games, resting and so on… Those who were shop owners lowered their prices to nearly a loss for the needed materials and supplies. Others who owned farms were gracious and shared tons of their crops. All in all, it was a full half day of cooperation for all ages and backgrounds in cave twenty five.

    The celebrations began at seven o’clock. The cave’s Nightly Cover formation was activated early for the holyday and with the appearance of the mesmerizing bright white dots on the enormous veil of blue darkness the temperatures also dropped significantly. In the stead of the Sun Stones’ heat, large lanterns were placed in the streets and with subtle light created a warm atmosphere.

    The traditional clothing of the Half Year celebrations was plain white tunics, but today people wore tunics of different colors, shades and patterns.

    Zax wore a green tunic with patterns of leaves. For the first hour of the evening he, his family and many others joined in several gatherings around small bonfires. Each family carried their personal word of thanks to Nature whether in the form of a letter, a certain item, a prayer or whatever they saw fit to throw into the flames with their gratitude. Afterwards, Zax met with his friends and until the next day, when the Nightly Cover formation reactivated around eight o’clock in the morning because of the holyday, they played around in the numerous stalls, ate all sort of delicacies, danced to the many songs and joyous music and fell asleep together at Dane’s place which was the closest when they started to feel tired – from there they, obviously, called each child’s parents.

    A day later and a three day before the expedition of expert Mist Users led by Mortimer Dauch’s departed to the world above the ground, turmoil and agitation caused disarray among the citizens of Kingdom Earth.

    The people were divided into three groups. One that backed the expedition, one that was against it and one that was natural with its opinion. Day before the departure the group that stimulated chaos and anxieties in every major cave, by exhausting their right of free speech in various phrasings, was the group that opposed the expedition, RFSF, Remembering For Safe Future.

    In order not to desecrate the Half Year celebrations they patiently waited to after the holyday before they took action. They began by pleading the people of Kingdom Earth to not forget the catastrophic world that made their ancestors flee to below the ground. They frightened the people with the notions of beings, far worse than the beasts, who might roam this world now and whatever could happen if they become conscious of the existence of Kingdom Earth. They turned to the families of the expedition’s members and alarmed them to the low survivability of their loved ones and their capacity to return anything but alive. They even went as far as questioning the aptitudes of the Supreme Rulers when dealing with such risks and undermined the great revelation of the Supreme Rulers’ whereabouts during the year 4950 until the end of the Dark Century. All of these and more were the verbal method the RFSF used to gain sympathy for their cause.

    The messages of the RFSF were sponsored by many high class families. They were broadcasted in almost every possible Screen’s channel in every household in Kingdom Earth. Their messages reached all the Callers and other communication devices either in the form of text messages, videos or in-game banners... Yes! Their messages had no age restriction and in the view of the RFSF every soul had the right to know the consequences that will befall, not just their kingdom but the whole of New Earth, if the expedition will proceed as planned.

    Meanwhile, the group that supported the expedition consisted of unorganized, overhyped, overconfidence citizens of Kingdom Earth who were merely exited to learn, since nothing of the Supreme Rulers’ experience was shared with the public, the state of the world their ancestors came from and hear of, maybe in the future see with their own eyes, its fabled beauty.

    The day of departure the expedition team left unhindered by the RFSF since the location of the tunnel which the first man and the first beast discovered to New Earth was located on the beasts’ territory and reaching it on its own was an arduous and dangerous task.

    As it stated in partial quotes of the agreement between two species: “Humanity may not lead an army to the beasts’ territory… The beasts’ claws will remain on their side of New Earth… Apart from the designated period, individuals from humanity’s territory may set foot across the borders at the expense of their own safety and may not influence the rulers of either side…”

    Basically, humans can test their skills against the beasts or venture to their territory, but regardless of their position in humanity’s territory or their actions in the beasts’ territory, the rulers of the beasts and humanity will not intervened.

    Of course, the RFSF with its financial assistance could higher high level Mist Users to follow after the expedition team. But will those Mist Users dare block the way of other experts and Mortimer Dauch, the son of Supreme Ruler Ariel Dauch? Very unlikely, to say the least.

    First, in the beasts’ territory humanity’s rules did not apply, which make it safe to say that the beasts’ territory was the idle place to solve conflicts between equal level Mist Users that were only solvable by one party’s death, that is if the two parties were first able to ward off the dangers of the beasts’ territory if not use them to their benefits.

    Second, the party in question was led by Mortimer Dauch. Mortimer Dauch was an expert, A level Mist User, Mist Lord, with great improvement record. In the age of twenty five he broke through the Core Breaker’s level to the Mist Master’s level and twenty years later crossed to the Mist Lord’s level. Despite his age of seventy three years, Mortimer Dauch still looked in his prime and with a long way to go and for the last twenty eight years practiced in the different techniques of the Mist Lord’s level. Currently it was impossible to guess to what phase he had reached and to try and discover was a fool errand.

    Other than Mortimer Dauch, the rest of the ten members of the expedition team were no pushovers either. Each and every one of them was a seasoned A level Mist User with impressive battle record against all the beasts they he or she faced off and they all also were familiar with each other for many, many years.

    To suddenly arrange an identical team of Mist Users was something that even if the RFSF had years they could not dream of doing. And so, at the end, the members of the RFSF could only stand by and hope that their fears were senseless paranoia while the expedition team left.

    August thirty one, year 5784.

    Last day of school.

    Being the last day of pre Core School, a magnificent graduation ceremony was held for the class of third grade. The school rented a decent compound for the ceremony and invited by adorned letters the families of all the graduating students.

    As the families began to gather inside the compound and the ceremony was about the start, the guests sat on white folding chairs in front a giant stage, the students sat on benches to the side of the stage and the teachers sat on white folding chairs in two lines on the stage, near a table with a batch of graduation certificates on it.

    The school’s principal climbed the stairs to the stage nimbly and took her place behind a wooden lectern in the front center of the stage.

    Given that middle class pre Core Schools, like the one Zax and his friends attended to, were fairly common, most of them had no official name and were referred to, for reasons of simplicity, by those related to them such as teachers, students, parents… with the neighborhood’s name they were located at before the noun “School”, the heads of these educational institutions were the only ones to call them by their numeric names.

    “I, Mirta Du Alk Mar, welcome you parents, students and teachers to the graduation ceremony of school 531, class 22”. The overdressed school principal, Mrs. Mar, was a tall slim sixty something woman. She gained her position due to her decades of experience in the education system and her statues as a D level Mist User, Earth’s Core Holder. Fusing her mist energy with the sound of her voice she was able to speak loud and strong yet with a hint of pleasantry.

    “Each year, in this recurring date, we, the humble faculty of school 531, say our farewell to the students and families that have been with us for a memorable three years.

    Students, you have joined us merely three years ago, at September first, in the year 5781. Shy and hesitant of your new surroundings, you stepped into the place that sought to instill in you the basic ethics of today’s society, to enhance your knowledge in a variety of subjects that will help you to get a hold of your own Path, and at the very end of our road together, prepare and nature you toward the biggest step in your lives, participating in the Great Earth’s Core Pursuit.

    Today, in your final day as third graders, you leave us with aching hearts yet bursting with pride. You have addressed us as “Teachers” and “Seniors in life” in the past three years, and we thus far acknowledged you as “Students” and “Juniors in life”. After today, when each of you will receive his and her graduation certificate, we will no longer refer to you in such manner, nor will you identify us as your mentors. From today onwards you will keep growing most of all under the constant supervision of you friends and families. But there would be others like us whom you met at the beginning, the middle and even at the end of a particular brief route on your Path. Those others will cross their paths with yours, and when the time comes you will eventually say farewell to them, too. And from teachers and seniors, we and they will become something else, friends or elders that have taught you the expertise to recognize, walk on and first relay on yourself when you will realize your Path”.

    As principal Mar finished speech, the audience of parents, students and teachers applauded. When the sound of clapping hands faded, principal Mar, with an air of contentment surging out of her, smilingly announced. “Without farther ado, let us start granting the graduation certificates!”
    Last edited by Lonahora; 06-06-15 at 01:46 PM.

  7. #27
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    Jan 2015


    Book 1 – Earth’s Core

    Chapter 15 – The Young Mist Users Conference

    Thirty one days of vacation in the month of August were given to every boy and girl as a respite between the school year which ended and the next school year which followed.

    After the graduation ceremony Zax got back home with his parents, already planning to spend the whole month at his big sister’s place, training in the Inner Spirit formation.

    To his great disappointment, Zax’s parents had a different idea in the matter of how he should spend these precious vacation days. There was no chance that they would have let him shut himself in for a whole month. Regardless to the kind of training that he practiced, the support the he received from their eldest daughter and the unique attributes that even they could see in him… As adults and parents to the boy, in their opinion it would have been unhealthy and irresponsible to let a nine years old engage in a closed doors training for the length of thirty one days. If by training in Zetsa’s methods his soul will be refined, then by having a proper child’s life his social values will improve and his personality will blossom to those of a decorous member of society.

    And so Laylen and Marco struck a deal with their son. Zax will be allowed to train everyday up to ten hours, which was the equivalent of a long school day. The remaining fourteen hours of a day he will have to devote to reading, at least one hour of the day. Another two hours to catch up with his friends, better if he will go meet them. At least an hour in the company of his parents, which will be in the late evening, after the both of them will get back from work. And the rest of what was left of the day he will spend sleeping, or in Zax’s case, performing a Somnolence Meditation.

    August fourteen, year 5784.

    A few days back Zax received an invite from Serah to join her on a trip to cave nineteen along with her mom and two others of their friends. The main destination of the trip was to the Young Mist Users Conference that was held annually in either cave nineteen in El-Eden, cave one hundred and seventy one in Tongguo or cave four hundred and ninety nine in Shitou.

    The Young Mist Users Conference was a prestigious event that was meant for the high end of Kingdom Earth’s coreless population to attend. Generally, high class children who were about to enroll to the first year of a post Core School would come and have the chance to present themselves in front of the scouts of great schools, receive guidance while having the opportunity to sample cold and hot Martial weapons, obtain pointers and advices from visiting experts, watch demonstrations of advanced techniques and even participate in mock battles with professional fighters from the Earth’s Core’s showdowns competitions, which were advertised by the Strong Arm League.

    Naturally, such a big event was something that middle class families, such as Zax’s, his friends’ or any other family from cave twenty five , could not afford to buy the tickets to and provide their children this exclusive opportunity. But as it turned out, sometimes luck can very well make up for lack of money.

    Three days ago, cave twenty four, restaurant Fourchettes Et Couteaux.

    “Jinka! Where is Jinka?!” A short bearded man in a purple suit entered the restaurant, passing the reception desk as if it was not there and headed to the restaurant’s kitchen. “Jinka?” he called as he entered the scorching kitchen.

    “Here, owner Mitchello”. Being the sous chef of Fourchettes Et Couteaux, Jinka, along with the rest of the restaurant’s staff was accustomed to owner Mitchello frequent surprised visits, as well his gauche manner. Nonetheless, owner Mitchello was a cheerful man with a successful business and a capable staff; therefore it was a habit of his to treat his workers during their birthdays or personal special occasions.

    Jinka was currently diligently preparing a duck as the main dish of a three course meal. In her job, there were very few things that could make her drop her knife, being addressed by owner Mitchello was indeed among them.

    “Chef…” Abandoning the dish was still wasteful and Jinka had to bother the first person that could actually determine her every action in this kitchen. A young woman, Fourchettes Et Couteaux’s chef, sighing for the fourth time since the appearance of her boss, replaced Jinka.

    “Thank you, Alinor”. Owner Mitchello thanked from afar. Knowing how bleak his chef’s temperament can get when the wheels of her gourmet machinery are interrupted, he waited for Jinka to come to him.

    “How can I help you, sir?”

    “Not much, not much at all”. Owner Mitchello laughed. “Let’s talk here for a moment”. He entered the chef’s office and closed the door behind Jinka.

    “Can it be kept for later, sir? It is the rush hour of the restaurant…” Jinka pleaded. In all her years working in Fourchettes Et Couteaux she was called only two or three times to talk privately with the owner, all for different reasons, sometimes for small matters, other times for subjects related to her job. If now was one of those “small matters” times, for the sake of a smooth work day, she would rather tend to the meals that she has to prepare.

    “Is your daughter and husband, well, Jinka?” Owner Mitchello waved off her appeal and probed.

    “They are, sir, our Serah graduated this July from her post Core School”.

    “I thought so. This is for your fillette, then”. Owner Mitchello took out from pocket in his pants an orange envelope with a golden red seal. “My grandchildren are too young and Alinor’s twins also a few years off”.

    “This?” Jinka rubbed her hands in her apron and received the envelope with gratitude. She did not pondered over what was in the envelope. Owner Mitchello, a high class individual such as him, was known to be a generous man. If he questioned her about her family and claimed to consider her daughter’s age in advance, who can imagine how beneficial his intention could be for her.

    “Open it later. I may see you there. If that happens then introduce your fillette to this grandpa as thanks”. Owner Mitchello gestured for Jinka to leave first the chef’s office and snatched an unguarded dessert plate before leaving himself.

    Only when she arrived home Jinka opened the envelope, and along with a short introduction were four child tickets and one adult pass to the Young Mist Users Conference.

    August fourteen, year 5784.

    The group of five rode for two and a half hours and exchanged four buses before they arrived to the marvelous, top class, cave nineteen. Due to the low population of Kingdom Earth, cave nineteen of El-Eden was a huge underground resort with countless attractions. The biggest event of the year, the Young Mist Users Conference, was a hosted in enormous the Lutlua compound.

    The group of five supervised by Jinka counted, besides the one adult, Zax, Serah, Dane and Anet. The four minors were in shock from the moment they crossed tunnel forty six to cave nineteen. It was not the first rich cave they visited, but the caves in New Earth were so big that a person could spend a life time in the one cave he was born and never venture outside.

    All five stood at the entrance of Lutlua compound, surrounding them was a sea of young and old who also were attending the conference.

    “This guys look from a rich school…” Dane pointed at a group of twelve kids, seven boys and five girls, seemingly their age. They all wore impressive uniforms, a fashionable white blouse under a blue jacket. The boys wore blue linen trousers and the girls wore short blue skirts.

    “Look at them…”

    “Look at them…”

    Serah and Anet said simultaneously and stared with sparkling eyes on another group, not too far away, of nine girls wearing stylish uniforms in different shades of garish red.

    “So many rich people…” Zax also had to admit. There is a difference between a strong soul and maturity. Zax soul training only slightly affected his personality. Therefore, he, too, was captivated by the exalted bearing of the so many people who were streaming into the compound.

    “Enough, enough, enough!” Jinka repeated herself three times and pushed the four children to the compound’s entrance. “You four acting rudely in the presence of strangers. Imagine what they think! Do you want them to criticize you? Come on, some already looking at us standing aimlessly, let’s go inside”.

    In cave nineteen the Lutlua compound inhabited one of the biggest areas. A row of five buildings, each ten stories tall, approximately eighty meters in height. The length of each building was nearly one hundred and fifty meters and the width was almost twice that size. As grand as the Young Mist Users Conference is, it still was an exclusive event with limited number of invites and so only occupied a fraction of the Lutlua compound.

    The conference was held on the first five floors of building number one. The first floor was arranged as the reception of the event, after entering guests exchanged their tickets for golden red badges. Afterward, they could wonder around, view in the huge Screens, which were hung on the walls, the event’s program for every floor. Enjoy the delicious food of a luxury catering. Have a close look at the big names as they arrived – some even had the audacity to stop them for autographs and such… which with accordance to their profession and status were supposed to take part in the big event.

    The second and third floors were divided to lectures and viewing halls, along with imposing booths for esteem post Core Schools and Qi examination area.

    The fourth floor had display booths of prestige manufacturers that revealed that day their new high class Martial clothes lines and hot and cold weapons. The weapons booths’ operators provided whoever checked their merchandise a chance to try them according to the event’s guidelines. As long as the manufactures brought at least a C level Mist User to oversee the free trials, even children were allowed to have a go at any weapon that was to their liking.

    Lastly there was the fifth floor of the event. The fifth floor had most of the commotion for two reasons. First, in it, eight fighting rings, twenty five meters long and wide, were arranged in four rows. Second, the rest of the fifth floor had a designed press area that ordinary visitors, the likes of Jinka and the four children, could not enter.

    Jinka allowed the group of children to walk around without her as long as they remained in the same floor. Quickly though, the differences of interest between children and adult made the condition a tad difficult.

    On the first floor, as a proud sous chef in a respected restaurant and as a cook in general, Jinka marveled from the quality of dishes and meticulous arrangements the catering invested. She probed and sampled a bit of everything and even took the liberty to discuss with the nearby chefs on the methods that they have used.

    On the other side of the spectrum, Zax, Serah, Dane and Anet were satisfied right after they ate their fill and then some. The four kids were more occupied with when they will be able to go to the upper floors.

    When they finally arrived to the second floor, things preceded quite the same. The moment post Core Schools scouts approached Jinka to peak her interest with the program for fourth graders of the schools they represents, the curious mother was following to the parent’s seat like a moth to the flame. It is not like she deluded herself thinking this is the chance for her to find the perfect school to Serah. Financially even the cheapest school in the Young Mist Users Conference was way too expansive to a middle class household. But still, she used the opportunity to learn about the different scholarships her daughter could try to get, since enrollment and switching schools were available until a month after the Great Earth’s Core Pursuit.

    It was then, on the second floor, that Jinka could not take the nagging, of mostly Serah’s for obvious reasons, that she gave the kids some pocket money for the snacks and souvenirs that were sold on all five flours and agreed to let them go wherever they want and meet her four hours later near the rings at the fifth floor, when the preliminaries for the exhibition fights will start. In case of an emergency Jinka instructed them to call her through the reception’s Caller that each floor had.

    The group of kids swept through all the second and third floors, mainly because Serah and Anet wanted to see the flamboyant girls’ uniform of every school. Dane complained at the beginning but covered his mouth after the two girls glared at him. Zax was milder and for knowing better than his friend decided to bear with it.

    “No way!” Serah protested. The group was over with the third floor and were prepared to check out the stuff everyone were looking for, the new Martial uniforms none of them would probably have the chance to buy or measure outside the Young Mist Users Conference and the hot and cold weapons that even they, a bunch of children, can try, here in the event.

    Unfortunately for them, the fourth floor was packed with visitors. Any piece of clothing, any type of weaponry had lines of visitors waiting to try them. Even the food stalls and gift shops were crowded with overbearing customers.

    Zax and Dane did not respond to Serah’s remark or were stupid enough to accuse her and Anet for getting late to the fourth floor. “What do you want to do now?” Dance looked at the two girls. It was silently agreed by him and Zax, since it was Serah’s mom that supplied the tickets and that Anet was closer to her than the two of them, that they should follow whatever the two girls want to do first.

    Neither Serah nor Anet had an idea where will be the least bad place to start, which made all the voice on par.

    “Is anyone still hungry or want to buy or try something here and willing to wait the long lines?” Zax asked. Although he showed less, he was still Earth’s Core Freak. Only now, as a result of refining his soul, he seemed the most cool headed in the group which also affected the frequency his detestable nickname was used.

    Serah, Dane and Anet shook their heads. None of them felt like waiting in the long lines.

    “Then how about we’ll head to the fifth floor and save good seats for the fights? If there won’t be anything else to do there, we can go down to the lower floors…” Zax suggested because he read on one of the programs that were distributed that all the blue audience’s seats could be personally assigned by waving the visitor’s badge over the Screens at the bottom of the folding seats and therefore could be saved. The only exceptions were the reserved green seats at the first rows.

    “Okay”. They all settled and left to call an elevator.

    There were barely any people on the fifth floor. In the press area just a few news crews set their equipment instead of covering the other floors of the big event. The last two parts of the events were the fights and then the main interviews, and like the audience’s seats that surrounded the eight rings, it was also first come first served in the press area.

    Around the rings were enough people to save nearly all the first and second rows of seats. After about ten minutes Dane managed to find twelve unsaved seats in a second row, around rings seven. He and the other three quickly assigned themselves four seats.

    “I wish the chairs in class were comfy as these seats!” Dane leaned back and raised his feet to the air. If he stayed long enough he could fall asleep and wake up to the roars of the crowd when the fights will start.

    “It doesn’t matter now. We graduated”. Anet pointed out, yet still felt like trying her seat prior to the fights and fantasize.

    “So in our new school”. Dane proclaimed with close eyes.

    “Keep dreaming”. Zax pulled him off the seat. “Come on, let’s see the rest of the floor. Some guy over there practicing on ring one”. The moment that thirty something tall man leaped onto the rings, Zax’s was eager to know if he is one of the participants.

    Almost all the people on the fifth floor gathered to see the intense warm up of the man that picked Zax’s interest. The man was shirtless with bulking muscles, an impressive expert to the untrained eyes and inexperienced viewers. He moved from one side of the ring to the other with one step, and jumped to the floor ceiling with a second before he landed and continued the exercise with kicking and punching, though never used his mist energy. No doubt the man was capable for much more and only the confinement of the ring’s size limited his performance.

    Through the murmurs of the growing crowd, Zax and anyone else who was clueless for the identity of the man could learn that his name was Chapel Doloris and a Top phase, D level Mist User. His nickname, people said, was an ancient one, Clergyman, since whenever he was about to win a fight he began to reshape his mist energy to cover all of his body like a cloak and then stared at his opponent with an expression of absolution, that was his signature at any successful fight.

    “You!” Clergyman suddenly shouted at one of the viewers, a fat middle aged man with shiny ring on every finger who stood beside a boy who looked like a smaller version of his.

  8. #28
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    Jan 2015


    Book 1 – Earth’s Core
    Chapter 16 – Invitation For A Fight

    Clergyman raised an inviting hand toward the fat middle age man and smiled. “You look like a good proficient fellow”. It was hard to say if he was mocking the man or recognize something in him, which to everyone else but the fat man seemed very unlikely.

    “Haha… See, son, among all the people here, it is your father that a professional fighter deemed a worthy opponent”. The fat man told to the boy beside him who also shared a proud smile of been the son of the only man Clergyman called forward.

    “Mr. Clergyman, my name his Dodo Korseski”. Mr. Korseski climbed sluggishly onto the ring and took a fighting stance. “Please instruct me to the best of your ability”. He felt the need to say it out of delusional courtesy.

    To the side of Zax and Anet people began to murmur once again.

    “That Clergyman, is he out to embarrass a member of the Korseski family?” Some woman said.

    “Look at him, is he not a F level Mist User? How can he be so impudent?”

    “Does it matter? I’m sure Clergyman knows what he is doing”.

    “Fat imbecile…”

    The audience was divided to either those who resented Dodo Korseski actions and manner, those who assume that Clergyman’s invite was part of the event and others will be called next for a chance to stand in the same ring with a professional fighter and those who did not think much and just wanted to see what will happen.

    “Here I come”. Clergyman announced and made his first move.

    This time, the audience could clearly see that Clergyman moved a bit slower compared to when he exercised alone, and right then the meaning behind his invite was confirmed. On the ring, however, Mr. Korseski could not discern any changes in Clergyman’s movement speed. In his mind he was half confident in his abilities. Being a member of the Korseski family he had trained, once in a while, in high level Martial techniques, so even if his level as a Mist User was lower he believed that he could handle receiving a few strikes or even land one or two himself.

    As it was already predicted, Clergyman held himself back to not cause the smallest of injuries on his impotent opponent. He still gave one hell of a show before stopping declaring the fight over and raising the left hand of Mr. Korseski.

    Mr. Korseski got down from the ring, sweating yet smiling from ear to ear like a child who met and had an even match with his greatest hero.

    “You were awesome, father!” Getting praised by his son, Mr. Korseski’s ego rose steeply and the two left laughing to celebrate with a rich meal.

    Obviously, to any coreless child the simplest fight between the lowest Mist Users will seem like something out of their dreams. That reason was why Zax was satisfied with mid beginner, E level, showdowns. Clergyman, incidentally, was fighting in the advance beginner, D level, showdowns and was a breakthrough away from the early expert, C level, showdowns league.

    “Haha! Who else has the guts to step onto the ring with me? I see some tough people in the crowd, even children”. For a single moment Clergyman locked eye contact with every child that surrounded the ring and smiled as if it was just between the two of them. The saying was true, a man who can fight can win the match, but a man who can perform can win the heart of the audience.

    The first line of people was then formed in the fifth floor, too fast and too pushy for Zax, Serah, Dane and Anet to react in time for a decent place in the line. So they decided to watch a few fight and then go back to the lower floors since they already assigned seats for themselves and there was nothing much to do right now in the fifth floor.


    The four halted just when they were about to enter the elevator. “Dane, your badge is beeping”. Serah informed him. “What have you done to it?”

    “Nothing”. Dane answered puzzled.

    “Did you break it?” Zax asked.

    “No! I kept it in my pocket all the time!”

    “Maybe when you played on the seat…” Anet said.

    “I didn’t break it!” Dane felt annoyed and offended from the attitude of his friends.

    “Let me see it”. He handed Serah the badge and tried to look together with her for the cause of the beeping, but right then they stopped.

    “What did you do?” Anet asked Serah.


    “Then why did the beeping stopped?”

    “Maybe a technical error?”

    “Whatever, it stopped. Order the elevator again and let’s go”. Zax said. If it was a temporary technical error then they could do nothing about it, so dwelling over it also was meaningless.


    “Again?” Serah turned around to Dane, but this time the beeping came from the badge.

    “You four, stop playing with your badges!” A cameraman from the press area yelled at them.

    “We didn’t do anything”. Anet defended.

    “Get away from the elevators if you already saved a seat”. The cameraman both scolded and explained. “If you’ll get close to an elevator after you assigned yourselves seats the badges will start beeping and if you’ll enter the elevator your seats allocation will be deleted”.

    Listening to the cameraman, Serah stepped away from the opened elevator like a cat who realized a danger behind him. She reached as far as a few steps before the badge stopped beeping. “It’s true…” She said, excitedly - more from the sudden movement.

    This small revelation also made them understand why there were so few people in the fifth floor compared to the others. There were still three hours for the real event of the fifth floor to start, apart from it there was basically anything interesting else to do except waiting in the line to ring one…

    “What should he do?” Anet asked. Since they arrived to the fifth floor the number of people increased although there was couple of hours before the fights. It appeared that other people were aware or starting to become aware to the limited number of good seats and so were willing to grab good ones head of time at the expense of being stuck on the fifth floor.

    “I don’t want to lose our seats”. Serah and Dane said in one voice.

    Zax felt the same, but while they were deciding the new arrivals seized the second and more than half of the third rows of seats before extending the line to ring one. At that point, Clergyman started to accept two or three opponents simultaneously and not more only because the small size of the ring.

    “The fourth floor is the only one with cool stuff, but if we go back there and the lines will still be over packed we will be giving our seats for nothing”. Zax said and then made a suggestion. “Let’s vote it. Those who want to go back to the fourth floor raise a hand. If three choose to either stay or go then the fourth will have to follow, but if it will be a draw we’ll split up”.

    Serah, Dane and Anet nodded.

    “Who wants to stay here?” Zax asked and raised his hand. Dane and Anet did the same and Serah, whose opinion was torn, raised her hand last to make it unanimously.

    “Let’s get in line”. Smiling, Zax offered and sprang to ring one. He did not show it, but he actually really wanted to stand on the same ring with a professional fighter.

    An hour later it was finally their turn. Clergyman spared and adjusted himself to more than ninety people by now, yet still was laughing with not a drop of sweat on his face. He even permitted the four kids and six more that stood in line to fight him together.

    The ten children exchanged glances of hello but were tense and without planning scattered immediately around Clergyman. Zax communicated only with his friends as well. He and Dane stood side by side and Serah and Anet behind them.

    All four were still nine years old whom interest was not fully genderized yet. At that age boys remained children and girls were slowly growing self conscious.

    Three children came kicking and screaming at Clergyman. The pro fighter moved only as fast as they did but with greater affinity efficiency, avowing their strikes, picking them up and removing them from the ring.

    “Don’t turn your back to me!” Another child called all seriously, but apparently could back up her words. Before the mouths of everyone watching the fight gaped, steams started to appear and cover the young girl’s hands.

    “This girl is capable of using her Qi!” People were astonished.

    “Does anyone know her name?”

    “Probably a genius or from a great family…”

    “Over there, that’s Habul Majid! See how he looks at the girl, she’s probably his daughter, Masela Majid”.

    The crowd soon figured the background of the girls and who she was and began to act as if her use of Qi was natural.

    Clergyman, who listened to the crowd while playing around, glanced at Mr. Majid and bowed his head toward him in a way only the brown bearded man could notice. A light passed inside the eyes of Mr. Majid and an approval was granted.

    Clergyman turned to Masela, jumped above and landed behind her back and with a slight push, made her staggered to her father’s hands has the both of them chuckled. With the difference in strength he could effortlessly counter her Qi based attack with physical strength alone, but instead chose to give the little girl face and not spoil the confidence she had in her skills, especially not in front of the frightening man who now hold her.

    Masela pouted as she looked at the ring. A loss of balance was the reason for her defeat and she did not accept that.

    Since between the moments that Masela shouted at Clergyman and he pushed her off the ring just a few seconds passed, she, along with the crowd were surprised to hear someone repeats her words…

    “No! Don’t turn your back to me!” The one shouting this time was Zax. When he saw Masela using her Qi he was momentarily flabbergasted and when he returned to himself, Clergyman was already in the air and Masela’s face was looking up with amazement. Right then he formed his tactic.

    Defeating Clergyman was out of the question. Even if he used the same amount of strength as the person who was coming at him, his technique was too superior and he was far more experienced at a whole different level of ring battles. So Zax came up with the tiniest thing that he could do to just make an impression.

    He ran toward Clergyman in the same fashion as Masela, raising his hands forward but with no steams forming around them.

    The adults who watched him all smirked. To them Zax looked like a simple minded boy who is so terrified that he tries to mimic the girl before him without comprehending the vast gap between them. Masela, on the other hand, got annoyed when she saw Zax repeats her moves and thought that the crowd laughed at her, too, when she performed them.

    To entertain the kid Clergyman gave Zax the same chance to attack him from behind. He waited till Zax was close to hit him and, again, flipped back in the air above him. For that moment Zax waited! As soon as Clergyman’s legs left the ground Zax also flipped in the air, lower than Clergyman, and shot his foot right to his face.

    Clergyman saw the trajectory of the kick about to hit his nose and was in a dilemma. On one hand, he used the same speed as Zax, which only now made him realize that the physical state of the boy below him was even better than the daughter of Habul Majid, and raising his speed would mean that he could not dodge from a surprise attack of a coreless kid. On the other hand, as a result of a reflex his perception, which he also limited, already spotted the boy’s coming attack and found a way to evade it without raising his physical performances.

    As his body turned in the air, Clergyman shot his head and back backwards to raise the speed of the flip and land first, all with the same level of capabilities of Zax if not with lower ones. Startled, Zax could only feel the air blowing from Clergyman’s nose and then his face disappeared. When he landed a foot was stuck between his legs and his body was thrown from the ring and was caught by none other than Habul Majid.

    The crowd began to clap, initially they felt like doing so because of the surprise kick, but then they thought that it was all calculated by Clergyman, lastly there was the respectable Mr. Majid who did not let the boy fall on his face. Thus, in their eyes Zax remained a simple boy, Clergyman a virtuous professional fighter and Mr. Majid, The Savior Of The Fallen Ones...

    Losing the fight, Zax stared blankly at Mr. Majid. The air around the brown bearded man was heavy and emitted a sense he could not fathom. It was not imposing in any way, just big, big like the whole building they were staying at if not bigger. It was similar to when Mist Users projected their mist energy yet worlds apart. The closest thing that he could compare to that feeling was how he felt when he was near his big sister in her serious mode.

    Touching the floor with his shoes Zax returned to himself and instantly bowed. “Thank you”. He was grateful that Mr. Majid did not let him fall. But Mr. Majid’s attention already was toward the ring and the few that were left beside Clergyman. Only the girl in Mr. Majid’s hands glared accusingly at Zax, though the boy also was more interested in the fights and so missed the contempt.

    In the span of half a minute Clergyman once again remained the only one in the ring as the new challengers climb in. The fights continued for ten minutes as some, as they lost, got back to the end of the lines and others gradually gave up for their own reasons. The most obvious one was that those in high positions and class were not eager to lose face and being toyed with by a professional fighter. After forty five minutes only children waited in line, among them Zax and his friends and Masela Majid, and at a point they even tried to attack together or form a plan of attack as the adults just stood there, watched and discussed cheerily.

    A hour and a half later there were barely any children with the energy to keep “fighting” with Clergyman. Five minutes later Zax and Masela were the only when ones who were still determined to hit Clergyman at least once. Serah, Dane and Anet, however, choose to buy snacks and munch on them in their seats while watching from afar and giggling at the constant stupid attempts of their friend.

    Zax came from one side and Masela from another. The two did not have a plan. During the time on the ring Zax realized the negative mixed feelings Masela had for him. He did not know her so he did not judge and did not care for her reasons and therefore quietly consent to her decision to keep distance from each other. They ran, jumped, slid, kicked, punched and gave their all time after time after time to no avail. Clergyman blocked, evaded, deceived and sent them out of the ring while the two incessantly returned. When there was no line for them to wait Clergyman had to admit that even he in their age did not have so much vigor, but happily concurred to exhaust theirs.

    There were twenty minutes left before the appointed time of the preliminaries for the official exhibition fights. Masela was heavily panting and so was Zax. The steams of Qi covering her hands were flickering in and out of her body. She cursed and ground her teeth and wished to have Clergyman between them.

    “Daddy, I’ll hate you if you interfere!” Masela barked without looking at her father. Mr. Majid’s face suddenly distorted and Clergyman, who noticed, briefly lost his cool. But then Mr. Majid, still with unpleasant look, turned to him and lowered his head meekly, mostly affirming Clergyman to not interrupt and let his daughter do as she wants.

    Loosening her muscles, straightening her posture and slowly bending her knees with the palms of her hands steadily grasping at the abdomen. Masela released a series of breaths in a growing pace.

    “Haa…” A faint sound of her delicate child voice left her mouth. To Zax, the one closest to her, all sounds for a brief milo second disappeared and when they returned a gashing force, eruption of Qi steams, emerged from every pore in her body. Bewildered, Zax was pushed back by the explosive force.

    Not a one step back and Masela and Clergyman vanished from his field of vision. Spotting the surge of Qi, the crowd’s eyes lit up and cries of astonishment were heard. Anyone below F level Mist User, that is, every coreless kid, lost sight of two from the three figures that stood on the ring. Gradually coming to it, all they could see was the one Zax and two silhouettes flashing around him. The adult, though, were all Mist Users and ranged from F level Earth’s Core Holders to E level E Earth’s Core Holders with the exception of the one… All saw clearly and with outmost yearning the remarkable little Masela going over her limits, pushing the mighty Clergyman.
    Last edited by Lonahora; 05-16-15 at 03:02 PM.

  9. #29
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2015


    Book 1 – Earth’s Core

    Chapter 17 – Teacher In Life And Martial Law

    Zax’s temperament seethed like boiling water. From the first time they got back to the ring to now, this troubled girl has finally done it! Putting a show and blasting him away without a hint of carefulness brought immense desire to show her who is the better one.

    “Her Qi is so strong”, Zax admitted to himself. “But Take’s no weaker”. In that he was certain.

    Just who was Take for Zax? No less than an older brother figure! And who was his Mor? None other than his big sister! Granted, ever since they made acquaintances Zax saw Take train strictly in accordance with to the guiding principles of the current stage that he tackled in the Radical Fiery Icy Provocation Qi refining technique and with barely any fuss like the one Masela just made. But, was this all?  Far from it! From what which Zetsa enabled Zax to learn he could fully understand. That which Zetsa passed to her Tal was an advanced Qi refining technique that even she was a long way from mastering.

    Did that brown skin girl trained in the same level technique? Even if she did Zax was confident with his evaluation and comparison of her to Take and so the conclusion came clear. “Take is superior to this brash girl, and so could I be!”

    As the two silhouettes kept moving in speed too high for the naked eye to perceive accurately, Zax just stood there unshaken in the edge of the ring like an unmovable steel pillar. In terms of Qi, Zax never trained in any particular Qi refining technique and never could sense it on his own. For the first time in a fight Zax decided to rely on the force that he did trained.

    How did one perceive the Qi or mist energy of the opponent? As a tool meant to enhance external capabilities of the body. In the early stages, which even Mist Users struggle to surpass, the Qi or mist energy can form a layer which raises a few levels the user's physicality and even the five senses. In other words, provide stronger external attacks and defense.

    Zax could not use his Qi and was nearly a year far from attaining mist energy. What Zax had was an extraordinary strong soul!

    Closing his eyes Zax sank into the depths of his consciousness. Confronting the blur that was his soul, Zax used his intent to tap into its power. A chilly light passed through his eyes when he opened them again and a serene smile indicated his satisfaction. Where there disadvantages for him to worry about? Certainly. Did he worry? Not one bit.

    Similar to the one support factor of Qi and mist energy, not all utilizations of the soul’s energy depleted it. To make it simple to understand, just like to contain a great amount of Qi and, more commonly, mist energy can the energies indefinitely improve the physical structure of the body by the natural refining of the mist energy or by certain techniques… The benefits of soul training, to better sustain its growth, can and will naturally improve the outer and inner mind in addition to greatly influence not five but six senses.

    From the F level of Mist Users, one became capable of dividing the perception of the outer and inner mind. The purpose of the outer mind is for daily use. Since the world move at a specific pace, one cannot always heighten the senses otherwise time would stand still. On the contrary, the purpose of the inner mind is to constantly be in maximum performances. Generally it may sound straining, but once a person becomes a Mist User the roles of the outer and inner mind emerged as second nature.

    Zax’s soul had not reached that of a F level Mist User, which is why he had to borrow more of its energy to push himself close enough just like Masela forced herself a burst of power, only his change was not visible by none experts.

    “Now I see you”. Zax thought. He did not simply “saw” them as the words implied. His utilization of the soul was two levels higher than Masela’s best and Clergyman’s current outer mind. As Zax saw them they were no better than hyperactive snails, which were still snails.

    “Ninety nine tile, forty two tile, seventh tile, eleventh tile, tenth tile…” Wherever Masela and Clergyman stepped, Zax outer mind already was there. The ring had one hundred tiles and by reading their smallest gestures Zax could predict where they will stop, for how long and to which direction they will turn next.

    Undeniably Zax’s mind was a head of them, but there was one problem. Zax’s advantage was only in his wide and fast perception. In terms of body movement, as highly talented as he was compared to the other kids in his pre Core School, now, the other kid had the support of Qi which put Zax’s physical condition in Masela and Clergyman’s view point at the same place as he put their mind…

    “I’ll wait. Clergyman ignore me, his eyes always shift to the man who caught me and that girl”. He followed closely the action of the professional fighter first and then observed the girl who kept retaliating. “She exhausting herself too quickly, so stubborn... Her speed is slowing down, seventeen seconds!”

    Since Masela released her Qi in an explosive force virtually two minutes passed. The depleting Qi has put her in a tight position, just a bit more and her life will be at risk. Clergyman faced an even bigger crisis… If anything will happen to this little girl because he pushed her too much he was sure that a calamity befall him right after. “Losing my life as a result of a fight with a coreless kid!” At long last beads of sweat began to dirty his face. “It is your daughter’s life on the line, Mr. Majid, hurry up and permit me to end the fight!” His eyes screamed but Mr. Majid remained indifferent to his pleading.

    “Just one more second”. Zax’s waiting period came to an end. He made his move.

    Masela attempted to dodge but it was a faint, she panicked for a second, lost her footing and stumbled back.

    Clergyman could not raise his performances without letting some of the spectators and of course, Mr. Majid, notice the minuscule changes. He could not disgrace himself and so instead chose to act sneakily. He leaped forward to shorten the distance between him and Masela as much as possible and at the right moment, when it will be too intimate for others to notice, lock eyes and use a little hostile intent to frighten the fighting spirit out of the inexperienced girl in hope that her father, as well, will not be able to discover when they are up so close.

    “Don’t blame me”. Clergyman meant for Masela. The gap between them was less than a meter and if not for her losing her footing Masela could have been more than just helpless.

    “Eh?!” Suddenly Masela felt him. Zax made one step forward and was right behind her fleeting and slipping figure. The two were on a collision course.

    “Not good!” Initially Clergyman counted on her moving two more steps back, so his body was already in motion to get closer. Now not only did he see the outcome of the collision, he also was about to be part of it. “The Young Masela Majid will definitely get badly hurt!” Unintentionally he succumbed to her Young Lady status.

    This was all caused by a careless boy, a careless boy whom he ignored! Clergyman used the momentum of the leap to change his former initiative from a dash forward to a high jump. Masela’s shoulders were in his grip range. He grabbed and lifted her to his chest as his body turned like a screw a hair length from Zax’s head before hitting the ring’s surface.

    The sounds of the fifth floor fell silent after the crash sound of Clergyman’s gigantic figure with the ring’s surface. Zax was the only one standing, the first one to stand alone in ring one.


    Dozens of clapping pairs of hands and cheers came from all around the ring. The disbanded crowd gathered again and praised the quick thinking, the stealth, the technique, and the execution.

    “How benevolence!”

    “Such talent!”

    “Remarkable! Remarkable in every way!”

    “Masela Majid, this is she is ten years old. Her Qi manipulation and the closing burst of power… Are there any in the three schools that can rival her?”

    “My son goes to one of the three schools. Unfortunately his progress is meager compare to Mr. Majid’s daughter”.

    “Have you seen Clergyman’s instantaneous deviation? He lowered his performances to fight equally with the Young Masela Majid, not relaying on his mist energy at all during the fight he managed to avert endangering her and the other boy with reduced physical capabilities”.

    “That took me by surprise as well. I think Mr. Majid was also ready to act and save his daughter”.

    “If it was some other pro fighter, he would have most likely needed to step in, haha…”

    “Shame that boy had to interfere…”

    “Innocence is bliss! Truly lucky he didn’t get hurt”.

    “Child’s innocence…”

    The crowd laughed.

    Zax did not paid attention to the crowd’s biased criticism. He heard what they said but their words held no meaning, no insight to what really happened. There was one thing he did want to do, but suspected that it might be childish or less cool than when it played in his head.

    “If you are down, does that mean that I win?” He tried it anyway, imagining himself asking Clergyman with a naive look and then stepping down from the ring with a victorious smile, as if he did not know the answer from the start. “Dumb! Stupid! Can’t believe I ever thought these lines are cool!”

    After so many month of soul training he was not the same juvenile kid. He was more calculated, more aware to the importance of proper demeanor and less interested in showing off or receiving the approvals of those he did not know or had very little to none impact on his life.

    It was the same in the cases of his friends, too. In the past months he learned to open up to those who were courteous to him and not take seriously those who still referred to him by his stupid nickname. Ensuing, his circle of friends significantly expanded. But it was not the end of it. Over time, as he continued to grow mentally, he also developed an interpretation of the meaning of true friends and who he should categorize as such.

    It began when he started to pay heed to the collective number of kids in his age that were around him. How many of them did he know? Do conversations, laughing together and playing at recess makes them close to him like Serah, Dane and the few others who were by his side since early childhood? With whom he would rather walk back from school? Did Many were truly good as or better than the Few?

    Every question that popped up in his mind, after some thinking, provided a solution and clarity.

    Most and foremost, friends were a good thing that one should not limit. The downside was, many friends usually mean “a lot of people that you get along with”, and that is how Zax began to realize the place in his heart of the new kids he befriended. There were two kinds of people he categorized as “Friends” and that was only because of lack of better term. In reality, those who had an effect on him were the ones which he actually never pondered about, and those were the valuable true friends his heart acknowledged and sought their approval.

    The mock fights with Clergyman as came to an end. The professional fighter expressed his desire to get some rest before the real fights and with Mr. Majid subtle nod he sent Masela to her father.

    “You, too, should get off the ring”. Clergyman told Zax with an indifferent tone. If it was not for the boy, the fight, which he considered to be only with Masela Majid, would have ended much smoothly.

    “I thank my teacher in life and Martial law”. Zax unexpectedly bowed toward Clergyman, the only one who respectfully did and who treated the fights as personal lessons.

    Clergyman blinked in surprise, but before a moment had passed he nodded his head in acceptance to Zax’s gesture, and saw the boy getting down from the ring.

    “Here…” Serah offered Zax the bottle of grape juice that she bought.

    Meeting up with his friends, the burden of excessive consumption of soul energy began to affect his state of mind. If Masela’s body received the feedback of her bursting Qi, than in Zax’s case it was his mind that suffered.

    Zax drank the grape juice while leaning back on his assigned seat and fell asleep without saying a word to his consoling friends. In Zax current state even if he wanted to he could not perform Somnolence Meditation. He was too weakened and had a throbbing headache; therefore he let his consciousness to drifts freely while his soul slowly recuperated.

    “Get up, punk”, a voice penetrated Zax’s sound sleep. “I said, GET UP!” After the second time the voice screamed a hit to his face followed.

    “Who?” Zax awakened hazy and confused. He blinked couple of time, the headache has passed, but his cheek was burning.

    “Move! Don’t touch him!”

    “****ing jerks! There to hit someone while he is asleep!”

    “These seats are ours; we have been saving them in the fifth floor for hours!”

    The first to speak was Serah, her voice was full of anger and she may have spit while talking. Dane was the second voice Zax’s recognized. When his temper got the better of him, which happened rarely, He tended to succumb to cursing those who offended him or his friends. The third one was Anet, from her voice Zax could tell that she was crying. The three expressed different behaviors. Serah and Dane seemed to address the same person while Anet spoke to another, a bit farther away.

    Zax rubbed his cheek and saw a kid in green and silver school uniforms grabbing his shoulder with a smug on his face.

    “Don’t blame me, kid. I tried to wake you up, but you slept like the dead”. The blond blue eyes kid structure was bigger than Zax’s and with one hand not only did he cover all of his neck and half of his left cheek, he also continuously tapped them. “What? Still sleepy?” The blond kid frowned and raised his right hand for another slapping wake up call.

    “Their uniforms…” Zax’s scanned the group of seven kids that appeared while he was sleeping. “That’s the badge of Molten Core!” He actually was taken aback.

    Molten Core, also known as one of the best three Martial schools in Kingdom Earth. It was located in Tongguo. The school’s symbol was a melting Earth’s Core which emphasized the future prospects of its students, becoming Core Breakers. The school’s uniforms consisted from two colors, green and silver, in different shades. Much like the changes in the shades of a Mist User’s aura, darker shades uniforms meant higher grade students.

    By the look of it, the seven kids were at the same age as Zax and his friends. After all, the Young Mist Users Conference was partly intended to children who were about to enroll to the first year of a post Core School.

    “Dugo!” The boy Anet was speaking to warned Dugo, the blond blue eyes kid, but was too late.

    Turning his attention to the boy who probably was the one that struck him when he slept, a furious glint shone from Zax’s eyes. Barely twenty minutes had passed since he exited the ring and although he gained enough rest for his soul to recover its energy; it still did not completely settle down from the shock.

    To Zax’s impression, Dugo’s hand was moving hundred times slower than Masela’s and Clergyman’s, and there was not much of a force behind it. He grabbed Dugo’s hand, twisted it and kicked him in the stomach from his seat.

    Dugo caved to the floor while holding his stomach and restrained himself from vomiting.

    “You’ll pay for it!” Two of the five kids who blocked Serah and Dane yelled and approached Zax.

    “They are using Qi…” Zax saw the air around the fists of the two kids distorting almost indiscriminately. “They are weaker than the girl from before”. He dodged the two’s strikes by reading their movement. It was like taking a walk since the two could only cover and strengthen their fists, the rest of their physical capabilities remained as those of a regular nine or ten years old.

    “Don’t bully my friends!” Zax was about to hit the two from the back when the boy who warned Dugo intervened again.

    “Service people should be more docile”. The red hair black eyes boy appeared before Zax in a flash and commented. He threw a concentrated Qi punch that Zax could not evade. Zax raised his arms to block and felt his bones shaking.

    “Show them, Turan!” A girl from the Molten Core’s group said enthusiastically.

    “Hrr...” Zax uttered in pain, yet he somehow managed to keep a tough mien.

    “Bastard! We have event badges just like you- Urr…”

    “Dane!” Serah shouted.

    Dane fell to his knees. In a single moment Turan’s body flickered to his side and a punch landed in his stomach.

    Every person on the fifth floor was aware of the quarrel, especially the present Mist Users. They easily detected the reason for the quarrel. Although most of them were of different status than Zax and his friends, they all remembered the lucky boy that ruined the fight between Masela and Clergyman and when the fight ended saw were he headed… four good seats which he and his friends saved earlier.

    Each of the high status event’s guests identified the unjust and provoking act of the Molten Core’s group. It was not like they did not think of it themselves. But for people of their status to act that way will be nothing but shameful. Even those whom arrived late and suffered the nagging of their children for better seats, had to hold in the urge of confronting the, too obviously, low status four kids.

    Now that someone did confront Zax and his friends, no one sought to interfere and help them, even those who felt sorry for them for mainly one reason. If the group of kids with the uniforms of Molten Core had someone powerful behind them, then harassing them could result in disastrous consequences.

  10. #30
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2015


    Book 1 – Earth’s Core
    Chapter 18 – Crossing To The Advanced Phase Of Level G

    “Don’t look at me like this”. Turan smiled disdainfully at Serah and rightfully so. Who was he? What kind of statues and background did he have? Does a simple girl have the right to utter a word of objection against him?

    Without a doubt he, and right next to him, his band of little friends, was a self observed little brat. Being at the top ten of his grade last year and receiving the conformation of passing the entire requirements to enroll to the post Core program of fourth grade in Molten Core, intensified Turan’s arrogant attitude toward anyone he deemed below him, especially kids in his age who could not use their Qi.

    “Hmm… I have an idea”, Turan’s eyes shone brightly and as if shared a mental message with his friends, the other six, including Dugo who just got up, smiled and moved to his side. “My dad says “Good things come to better people”, and I always followed and believed in his words. So here is a proposal to see which of us is the Better with the right for these Good seats. Agree right now and I tell you the proposal or give up the seats, what do you say?”

    Serah and Anet helped Dane up quietly and right after seeing how formidable Turan is, Zax also remained silence. They were the ones who waited bound for hours at the fifth floor, unable leave it just so that they will have good seats during the official exhibition fights. Agreeing to Turan’s sly offer without knowing what it is, none of them believed that even if their side will turn out to be the winner the arrestment from the other side will stop.

    “Fine, fine, we agree if it’ll be a fair proposal. You are seven while we are just four…” Dane took his friends by surprise. As the one who was hurt the most they expected him to not search any more troubles. Little did they know how frustrated Dane was. He did not care about being a great Mist User or being one at all, so being counted as strong was not his virtue. But he could not stand it when someone disrespected him or his friends. At the begging he was not more than a foul mouth boy, but after getting punched he wanted to shame the group of condescending shit eaters in their own game.

    “It will be fair, don’t concern yourself about this. If you’re agreeing does that mean you three also agree?” Turan asked and shifted his devious gaze to Zax, Serah and Anet.

    “We should not… Serah he’s scaring me”. Anet softly began to shade tears and avert he face from the Molten Core’s group. From her three companions, she was closest to Serah. The two were good friends in class and outside of it. Her friendship with Zax and Dane was only a recent development due to Serah’s encouragement to join and get to know them when she was with them. In a state of helplessness, the person she was familiar with the best was definitely Serah, and so only in her she could confide growing her fears.

    “Dane isn’t stupid; he just likes to act goofy”. Serah celebrated her tenth birthday at the beginning of the month. She was a ten years old trying to support another ten years old in a situation she herself was not confident about. She swallowed her anxiety for the sake of her friend and trusted Dane and Zax to make the decisions for them. “When he wants to he can be very reliable, Zax, also”.

    “But what if it’ll be something indecent?”

    “Anet…” Serah was not sure what to say.

    “It won’t be anything like this. And if it will, we’ll give up”. Dane rashly answered and looked and Turan for confirmation, hoping that if he looked down on them so much he will not stoop low to hurt them.

    “Oy, I’m giving you a chance here to earn something a poor bunch like you should not have from the start. How long are you gonna make me wait?” Turan did not care for the other side uneasiness. He was a ten years old and they were of the same age. When someone is of the same height as you, it is easier to see eye to eye and if the two sides are in conflict, especially in the case of children, sympathy is out of sight.

    “I agree. Serah, Anet, me and Dane won’t let them bully you”. Zax said firmly.

    “The bastard who took me by surprise thinks that he can take on Turan”. Dugo snorted.

    “Shut up!” Turan turned and screamed at his minion. The idiot just revealed his intentions.

    “You want us to fight you?” Serah asked, perplexed.

    Turan shrugged. “I’ll be nice and let all four of you fight me, if you want. Make me submit and the seats are yours, otherwise scram and save yourselves from a beating”.

    “He can use Qi…” Anet was shaking. Everyone knew the difference between someone that can control his or her Qi to someone who does not. Remerging back to how powerless Zax compared to Masela not so long ago was a good indication to how much they can get hurt by fighting with Turan.

    “Zax…?” Both Serah and Dane looked at him at a loss. Their friend was tough, tougher than any coreless kid in cave twenty five. But if a fight with a capable Qi user such as Turan were to happen, even he, most likely, will not stand a chance.

    “I’ll fight you one on one”. Zax stepped forward. He was furious at Turan and furious at his minions. He unwillingly recalled the time he was first called “Earth’s Core Freak” and a premature thirst of blood gushed from his heart to his brain.

    Currently, part of the recoil of pushing it to the realm of outer and inner mind left a lingering residue around Zax’s soul, similar to the small fragments of the Inner Spirit formation.

    To call Zax “lucky” will be too much of an understatement. Ninety percent of the time in which a person goes above his or her limit will cause dire repercussions. Masela, for example, was part of the majority. After she used her Qi in such a reckless manner she now suffered from a violent withdrawal. The remnants of her Qi were beyond her control, they flocked to her lower dantian and each channel they went through, painfully, temporarily shrunk. Best case scenario she will not be able to utilize her Qi for a week or so and will have to receive treatments for pain relief.

    The residues Zax dealt with, on the other hand, were blessings in the form of broken shells that gathered around his soul and engulfed it time and time again, forming a transparent layer which nurtured his soul when he slept and even after.

    Zax was in top shape for a fight and his soul was brimming with newfound energy!

    “Haha… Good, you have balls!” Dugo laughed.

    “Don’t be disgusting, Dugo, and there is no need to speak with these kids if they already agreed”. One of the three girls from the Molten Core’s group commented. “Let Turan Ram show them his amazing strength”. The girl referred to Turan with the honorific title “Ram” after his name which meaning was “Exalted” and purpose to emphasize her of admiration toward him.

    “A one versus one fight. Good”. Turan approved. “We can’t fight here, though. Come after me, now”. Receiving compliments from his minions and the chance to show off his strength boosted Turan’s ego by several levels.

    “We can’t leave the floor”. Zax stated when Turan led them to the door before the building stairwell.

    “You think that I don’t know that or trying to deceive you?” Turan complained. “We can’t fight here. They are getting ready to the fights. We’ll fight in the stairwell’s corridor. Don’t go down the stairs and you won’t have any problems, besides, are you hearing beeping?” Turan opened the large door with a bit of Qi to increase his power and closed it when the last person entered the corridor.

    “I give you one minute to prepare and then be ready to feel sorry for ever excepting this agreement. Oh, and if you, guys, interfere I will beat mercilessly”. Turan’s temperament suddenly conveyed ruthlessness and a real intention to cause harm, as if the true nature of Molten Core’s one of the top ten of third grade finally revealed itself.

    “Zax, you can still renounce the fight. These kids are from one of the three big schools. All of them can use Qi…” Anet tried to sway his mind. She had the least confidence in him. She did not want to see a friend getting hurt, or do something that will make the other side more hostile.

    “Shh… Anet, let Zax decide”.

    “But I can’t stay here… Let’s just give them our seats!” She burst into tears.

    “Might be the right thing to do. Okay, for your crying sake here is a new offer”, Turan pointed at Anet and then gestured at the stairs. “One of my friends will go to your seats and in thirty seconds you will go down a few stairs, when your badge will stop beeping my friend will assign your seat and return the confirm it to us, and then we’ll allow you to leave without getting beaten up. Or, you can stay and be the next victim after your friend”.

    “You said one on one” Dane protested.

    “Yes. First this one, then her, then you and then her”. Turan said with the order of Zax first, Anet second, Dane third and Serah fourth. “Loser boy, loser girl, loser boy, loser girl. This is the order of one on one”. Behind Turan the three girls covered their mouth as they giggled and the four boys blatantly laughed.

    “Fine, I’ll give you my seat”. Anet was straightforwardly too fragile heart. Even at the ring against Clergyman, in an activity designed to be an amusement, she left after the first attempt.

    “Excellent choice. See, am I not a good guy? ”

    “You don’t have to”, up till now Zax thought the Serah’s words were enough to calm Anet, at this moment, for the first time, he also tried to convince her.

    “I’m sorry…” Anet meekly answered.

    One minute later Turan allowed Anet to leave, after the girl he sent came back with a smile on her face, and was ready to start the fight with Zax.

    “Stay near the door. If his friends will try to escape beat them and forcefully take their seats”. Turan gave his last command before the fight and an outburst of Qi was released from beneath his legs.

    “I’ll start with sufficient use of soul energy to see his movement in a speed that I can evade”. Zax prepared himself. He could not be the first to drain his energy.

    “He is coming!” Zax saw Turan lift himself from the floor with a jump. His legs were the only body’s parts his Qi covered.

    Too be precise, Turan’s Qi, much like every other living being, flowed all over inside his body at any given time. To better describe how it behaved when Turan leapt toward Zax will be sufficed to say that most of it, or a great amount, simply accumulated in his legs.

    “Too fast!” Zax promptly determined and prepared himself to receive the blow.

    It was either turning his head with the blow to lessen the impact or trying to force a standstill by turning his head against it.

    Zax clenched his teeth and chose the latter. Turan punch was exposed, that is, was not covered by his Qi and although he came at him in a speed that his whole body could not match, moving just the head was quite another matter. With the speed of his head turning Zax was no slower than Turan, and with the toughness of his jaw he even held a slight advantage over the exposed fingers that formed the fist of a kid in his age.



    After the first blow Turan’s left hand moved by a reflex to hit Zax’s face. Only when the second blow landed he noticed the pain in his right hand fingers, and then the pain in his left hand fingers.

    Since Zax’s perception was higher he saw the second blow coming and realized that Turan was not aware of the first encounter’s consequences. He was did not waste the opportunity and strained his neck’s muscles to collide with Turan’s left hand with greater force than before.

    Feeling both of his hands numb and then a surge of penetrating pain in his fingers startled Turan. He retreated while looking at his hand without being able to understand what had happened. “How tough is his face?” He pondered and looked at Zax. The looser boy who could not use his Qi actually stood there with an unyielding expression. “Did he not feel anything?”

    “Why did you stop?” A kid from behind Turan, one of his minions, asked.

    Not sure how to answer, Turan shifted most of his Qi to his hands and left just enough on his legs to remain slightly faster than Zax.

    With a WUSH sound of his hands shooting, Turan attacked Zax once more.




    Zax barely kept up with Turan. He no longer tried to counter. The steaming air around Turan’s hands and the drop of his body’s speed indicated that he changed his strategy.

    “Did I make him fight me seriously?” The fast fists coming at him carried more than increase in speed, they were covered by a layer of Qi and moved in an intimidating rhythm. The thought of receiving one blow pushed Zax to his physical capabilities, luckily, they were more than decent for a boy of his age and by going all out with his soul he was able to assess and keep four steps ahead of Turan.

    As one in frustration waved his arms and punched through the air, the other started to feel a sense of ecstasy. They were going at it for five minutes, five whole minute in which Zax had to execute swift maneuvers relaying on his physicality. Sweat poured down on his body like water, but the feeling was not that bad. Instead of being distracted by the extreme strain on his body, Zax was more immersed with his soul and the strange phenomenon that it went through and generated the sensation of euphoria.

    “That’s it!” Zax had a revelation. “The Advanced phase of level G!”

    Somehow, after exhausting himself and surpassing his limits against Clergyman, nurturing his soul with the residues and then commencing in a much malicious fight against Turan, where he could not afford taking one blow, Zax breached the boundaries between the Intermediate phase of level G to the Advanced phase.

    “Hahahahaha!” Zax could not stop laughing in his mind. The feeling he had was intoxicating, far above what he expected. In comparison to before, the limits he crossed to get closer to the realm of outer and inner mind were now his basic capabilities and by forcing himself at this point he might be able to enter the Top phase of level G and scratch the bottleneck he had to cross to reach the anticipated level, the first level of a Mist User, the Beginner phase of level F!

    “What’s that?” Zax discovered something strange, or rather incredible. As he withdrew the soul energy he no longer needed, the flow of energy was smoother than before and a lot easier to handle. Like a stream that was set in motion to any direction he willed it and could extend outside of his consciousness. The only setback was, the farther he extended the soul energy from his consciousness to the rest of his body, the harder it was to control it. Similar to a thin stream turning into a tyrannical river.

    “How about you stop dancing and see if your face can block my fists again?” Turan provoked Zax. He did not know how come he could not land one blow on him even though he clearly was the faster one and it infuriated him!

    The rest of the Molten Core’s group were also in a state of disbelief. Who was Turan to them? One of the top ten of their grade? Any of them could tell if Zax had used Qi to enhance his speed, yet he definitely did not. How come, then, he could keep up with someone none of them, Qi users, could?

    “Uwhaa…” Serah and Dane watched in amazement at their friend. It has been nearly a year since they last saw him in a fight. “Was he then so agile and strong like now?” They were not aware of Zax’s rigorous training; therefore they could not have been sure.

    “So weird…” Despite the situation, Zax’s attention was entirely concentrated on the streams of soul energy he experimented on. He wondered what kind of effect the energy will have on his muscles, but it seemed to be pointless. No matter how much he accumulated to one area, it ended up staying the same.


    Turan as finally managed to make contact with his right fist, hitting Zax’s left shoulder. The pain was excruciating, so much that Zax pulled back unsteadily.

    “And here is…” Turan momentarily froze in place, as if he was out for a split second. “Ah… Hope it’s broken”. As he came back to and saw Zax’s grabbing his left arm, his nasty way of conduct resumed.

    “Do the right, Turan!”

    “Teach him a lesson, Turan Ram”

    Turan’s minions cheered.

    “Got to move, move, move!” Zax pressed his body to evade. A single moment in which he stopped to catch his breath and the built up fatigue almost brought him to his knees. His first priority was to not get hit again!

    “Something happened to him after he hit me, what was that?” Zax felt that he missed something and so replayed in his mind the last seven seconds. “Could it be?” An idea came to him and a desire to execute followed. “But it will suck…” Failure would cost him the fight, but there was no other way for him to win, either.

    Changing the pattern of his movement, Zax attempted to suck the overconfidence Turan to his pace. “Now!” Zax evaded a punch and stepped forward, centimeters from Turan’s chest.

    “Fool!” Turan smirked and sent a left hook. Zax raised his right arm to block and defend his head, while moving his sore left hand like a whip toward the right arm of the unsuspicious Turan.


    A disturbing sound was heard from Zax’s right arm, the sound of breaking bone. Ignoring the miserable shape he was in, Zax sent a stream of concentrated soul energy from the palm of his left hand, inside Turan’s body, to his consciousness, where his soul resided.

  11. #31
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    Jan 2015


    Added glossary, if anyone interested!

  12. #32
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    Jan 2015


    Book 1 – Earth’s Core
    Chapter 19 – Silver Lining

    From smiling to heavily panting. Turan turned pale and his body fell on the floor, motionless.

    Zax released a bated breath. He succeeded. His experiment was affective! Previously, when Turan punched his left shoulder, he might have unintentionally sent the soul energy that dwelled in his arm through Turan’s fist. If that was the case, then it was comprehensible that the alien energy did not carry a malicious intent and its effect was meager and only stopped Turan for a short second without causing any harm.

    This time, however, Zax deliberately aimed his soul energy as a form of attack against Turan’ soul. It did not go easy, though, for the third time in one day Zax had to reach his limits and that was only to manipulate a tiny stream of energy to the palm of his hand. Just when the energy left his body and entered Turan’s, Zax could feel a relief. It was then carried solely by its objective and, for that reason also, was out of his control.

    The stream of energy struck the defenseless blur that was Turan’s soul and a shockwave spread across his consciousness. The pain was beyond what a ten years old boy could comprehend. One moment he had a clear sight on his opponent, the other a veil of nothingness engulfed his very existence.

    In terms of soul’s power, Turan was inferior to Zax without a doubt. His Qi level was approximately at the Advance phase of level H, which meant that his soul was at least at that level, as well, but since it was due to Qi training and not soul training it would have been too absurd if he could match Zax who specifically and almost relentlessly indulged only in the latter.

    “Turan Ram!” Before any of the juvenile spectators could fully express their confusion and disbelief a hasty voice burst through the door that lead to the fifth floor from the stairwell and a middle age man with brown short air and in a purple suit suddenly appeared next to Turan.

    The man was in a frenzied frame of mind. He touched Turan’s head and for a few seconds did nothing but being by his side.

    “Sir, Em Ram, yes, the stairwell of the fifth floor. Yes, little Turan Ram’s condition has stabilized”. The man talked to a hidden Caller and stood up with Turan lying in his arms. “Stay where you are”. His stern voice resonated as far as the last kid from the Molten Core’s group and where Serah and Dane stood at. It possessed a binding pressure which none of them could refute, a force that forbade them to move to save their lives.

    Zax, who was the closest to the man in the purple suit, suffered the most. After the fight concluded he could not disregard the physical and mental fatigue anymore. Even the seats were no longer on his mind. In spite of this, the pressure from the strange man was too overwhelming, too much to even forget the pain in his arms, as if the man knew how strong Zax’s soul was and so consumed a little bit more force to compel him to the command.

    Less than two minutes had passed before another, red hair black eyes, man entered the stairwell.

    “Em Ram…” The man in the purple suit approached Em and presented Turan to him.

    Em examined the unconscious boy. His finger tapped in nervousness against his leg as he stood stiffly. “Mishe, take him back and let him properly rest. Don’t leave his side again”. Em clenched his hand and moved aside for Mishe to leave.

    “Turan’s schoolmates, I’ve heard from my son’s guard. He allowed you to play around and my son ended up gravely wounded. Tell me in detail how did it happen?”

    No more bound by the pressure that Mishe gave off, the six kids of the Molten Core’s group and Zax, Serah and Dane all felt like a great weight was lifted off their shoulders. The two groups were now gathered on different sides of the stairwell in silence until Em permitted his son’s friends the right to speak.

    “Mr. Martinez”, one of the boys stepped forward and spoke in a trembling tone.

    Em Martinez, father of Turan Martinez, was the only reason the rest of them could stumble upon the chance of coming to the Young Mist Users Conference. To say that he was an influential man would serve as an understatement.

    “It all started when we arrived to the fifth floor and searched for proper seats to watch the exhibition fights…” The boy opened and did not dare to miss a single thing. He told it exactly how it was, not even daring to contemplate the thought of lying or misleading Mr. Martinez.

    “Is that so. All for a second row seats…” Mr. Martinez’s gaze turned to Zax’s group, packed with disdain and the veins on his forehead became visible. “Why O why did such an accursed thing had to happen to my boy?” He spoke aloud but to himself with reddish eyes.

    Mr. Martinez surveyed Serah and Dane and then focused on Zax. The three did not know how to conduct themselves in front of Mr. Martinez. The boy from the Molten Core’s group spoke the whole truth, what else could be said to prove that the fault was not on their side?

    “You are standing too far”. Mr. Martinez gritted his teeth as he spoke to Zax, in other words commanding him to come closer. As one could have seen, Mr. Martinez restrained himself with all his might, in any other place his voice would have echoed hundreds of meters, but in the Young Mist Users Conference he had the common sense to subdue the urge and not cause a scene.

    Sensing the ominous aura that Mr. Martinez straggled to keep inside, Zax realized that he must obey the red hair man just as much as Serah and Dane were paralyzed and unable protest.

    Mr. Martinez stared at Zax as if he was some kind of a prey that he was supposed to tear apart before devouring.

    “Great great uncle”, Mr. Martinez uttered. In less than the time it takes to blink, a black eyes old man in a red robe and completely bald appeared between Mr. Martinez and Zax.

    “What’s the matter, Em?” The old man, reading the atmosphere in the stairwell, inquired his great great nephew.

    “A few minutes ago Turan and this boy here had a fight”. Mr. Martinez spoke to the man in the red robe as if he was the boy from his son’s group when he explained what happened to him.

    “Oh… This young fellow?” Expressionless, the old man already deduced what were the results. But even if Turan lost, he still pondered why his great great nephew seemed to be on the verge of mentally collapsing.

    “These children over there are my son’s friends. According to their explanation and Turan’s guard’s, Mishe, report, this boy is not from their school and neither a Qi user”.

    “Not a Qi user? Then, how did he defeat little Turan?” The old man bewildered and paid a closer attention to Zax. Right then his brows touched each other and his mouth tightened as if he bit something sour. “The boy’s soul is extremely strong for a coreless child… He did so like that…!”

    “Then you understand?” Mr. Martinez rage slipped out and a little blood dripped from the side of his mouth. “He struck Turan’s soul, great great uncle, my son’s soul! You understand, do you? In what kind of condition my son is in… The setback that it will cause him… He already was accepted for the post Core program of his school…” The more he vented the more blood dripped out from Mr. Martinez’s mouth. For what Zax did to his boy he hated him from the bottom of his heart!

    “I understand, I understand, Em. It is indeed a severe case…” The old man tried to ease his great great nephew before his temper rebound against him. “Tell me how I can make it right for little Turan and you”.

    “Great great uncle, I would not have asked you if I thought that I had self control remained…  Death will be too lenient, great geat uncle, I want you to torment this low being”.

    “My, my, Em If that’s what you want I’ll will do this favor, head of our family, but you’ll still have to remember that you had me deal with a child purely out of your temper and not because of little Turan’s condition”. The old man directed his voice in a manner that only Mr. Martinez could hear it. “In addition, I’m not sure how much in such a short time you have investigated of the boy’s background. Clearly there is an expert behind him, otherwise how could the soul of any coreless child reach such a terrifying level at such a young age?”

    “Doesn’t matter. If you are worried about it, then that, too, can be taken care of by our family resource”.

    “Quite so, quite so, haha…” The old men laughed.

    Seeing the old man laughed, the group of kids on either side had a small hope that now the suffocating tension will wear off. On the contrary to what they thought, though, some might have called that moment “The calm before the storm”.

    “You six may leave”. Mr. Martinez waved his hand at the group of kids from the Molten Core’s group and the six, without delay, rushed inside the fifth floor.

    “What-” Zax wanted to ask what about him and his friends, but before he could get to the second word the old man averted his gazed from the fleeting kids to him and a sort of pressure, much like that of the black hair man that took Turan, confiscated his ability to move in any way possible.

    “Listen, boy”, the old man opened.

    His manner of speaking and the way he looked at Zax seemed as if is he was occupied in doing the most trivial of things. He did not present any sort of emotion and therefore his following action was the only pretext for deeming him merciless.

    “Very soon you will develop a view on me, on the man beside me, on Turan and his friends and even on those two behind you”. As the man went on talking the pressure on Zax bit by bit increased. “And when everything here will end that view on us will be unpleasant to bear. You will first curse yourself for being unable to take back things you said and done. After that you will blame yourself for being weak and powerless, you will want to inflict pain while knowing that you can’t. Then, you will lash at those two who just stand there, stood there, while you went through so much pain”.

    Zax was completely exhausted, both in soul and in body, yet even if he was at his peak the force that the old man unleashed on him was something he never experienced to this degree. When his body could finally move, it was to go down on all four and feel the small fractures, which were the consequence of his fight with Turan, worsening, causing excruciating pain throughout his arms.

    “Grhaa…” Zax agonized. Nevertheless, no matter in how much suffering he was, he could not lose sense nor become unconscious to the voice of the old man. It was like he was speaking directly to his soul.

    “I’m not telling you this to divert your attention from coping with the pain. I just want you to better realize why I do what I do so afterwards you will not seek anyone to blame but yourself”. That sort of reasoning was the same as mentally torturing Zax. Then again, the tone of the old man still remained indifferent. “Let this incident be a lesson which you will never forget and a sole benefit that not many in your position get to receive”.

    Next to the old man, Mr. Martinez was utterly delighted in the slow torment his great great uncle inflected on Zax. He wanted to be the one who is directly responsible for torturing the boy who hurt his son, but was afraid of letting his rage make the punishment too swift, regardless of its end result. Therefore it was for the best to leave it in the hands of his composed great great uncle.

    “I want to ask but it’s difficult to speak under the restriction of a strong aura… You there”, the old man turned to Serah and Dane. “Are you from the same cave as this boy?”

    “Ah…” Serah and Dane were dumbfounded when they comprehended that their ability to speak returned. They coughed even though their throats were not dry.

    “Zax…” Serah said softly.

    “Simply answer my question”. The old man demanded and with a stroke of energy wave he slapped Serah.


    Zax did not notice, but Dane, who was next to her, widened his eyes in terror and worry as Serah’s cheek turned and a mouthful of blood gushed out and dirtied her lips and chin.

    “T.. Twe.. Twenty… Five”. Tears of fear ran down on Dane cheeks. He was ashamed of cooperating with the old man but more so afraid that he will hurt him, too.

    “Not in our Supreme Ruler’s region… Em, are you familiar with cave twenty five?”

    “It is not populated by high class individuals. That is the only thing I’m sure of, great great uncle”.

    “Then all the more reason for me to explain the boy his grave error…” The old man sighed. He decided to keep the pressure on Zax at its current level before he will ultimately break him. “That should be a good opportunity to the both of you as well”. He mildly told Serah and Dane.

    “In our great kingdom, Kingdom Earth, society is divided to classes. A person’s standing is measured by wealth and Martial power. The primary difference between those of the middle and low classes and those of the high class lay in how society’s rules apply to them. Really… Do they not teach these basics in schools anymore, Em?” The old man asked baffled. “Tsk, tsk…”

    “Never mind, never mind. If they can’t teach that much, then it’s better if today incompetent teachers won’t teach at all!” The old man stated. “I do hope that when you asked to pour our family’s wealth into that extravagant school that you sent little Turan to, you inspected its credibility first”.

    “Great great uncle, Turan goes to the best school in Tongguo. It was founded by none other than our Supreme Ruler…”

    “Is that so… It should not matter anyhow, the money was spent”. After sighing again the old man averted his attention back to Zax and the other two petrified children. “I must confess, in my age it is hard to stay on track. There will be no more interruption from this moment on. Though, I must compliment your endurance, boy, just now I crossed to the Beginner phase of an E level Mist User, that is, in mist energy. I can tell that you never trained your Qi and yet you are still not yielding… Shame, shame, shame”…

    “Blah… My blabbering makes Em twitchy. I’ll proceed, I’ll-”

    “Serah!” The door to the stairwell burst open. Jinka, Serah’s mom, called, shaken by the sight of her daughter. Behind her was a small figure, Anet. Her eyes were red as if she cried nonstop since leaving and when she saw the state of her friends, her child heart nearly shattered.


    The door to the stairwell slammed and the worried mom and frightened little girl were thrown on the floor screaming next to Serah and Dane.

    “Continue, great great uncle. You two, stay quiet or I’ll snap your necks…” Mr. Martinez’s aura revealed that he meant every word.

    Realizing the unfathomable threat before her, the best that Jinka could do was to tighten her hold on the three kids and scoop them into her lap protectively.

    “Keep them like that, Miss, our business will soon be concluded”. The old man affirmed for Jinka’s and the three other kids’ sake. He will not mind seeing them suffer, that he already proven, but tormenting the insignificant Zax was as low as he could allow himself to get. That sort of activity did not befit someone of his stature.

    “It has taken too long, boy, so I’ll just say this… Killing, stealing, assaulting, kidnapping and so on and so on… Crimes committed by someone of the middle or low class the person will be severely punished as law states. However, committed by someone of the high class and a great deal of leniency will be presented. Why? Wealth and Martial power. You, boy, have offended someone of the high class. It did not have to go as far as hurting Turan or denying his will, no. Simply by being an eyesore you have put yourself in a position were you justly deserve to be, under the wrath of those Better than you”.

    Finished talking, the old man raised the pressure of the mist energy to the Advance phase of an E level Mist User. At that time, Zax laid on the floor drenched with sweat, panting rapidly almost as much as Turan before he lost consciousness. The pressure pressed his body hard against the floor like gravity itself doubled and tripled.

    Although in a different manner, Zax’s breaking point was closer than it have ever been during the toughest time of his difficult soul training. Nevertheless, admitting defeat, accepting what the old man forced him to listen to or thinking that he brought it upon himself… Even for the shortest time none of these thoughts has crossed his mind.

    Thanks to this resolve, which Zax refused to give up and in truth could only preserve due to the high level of his soul, a glint of silver lining bared itself and within a place in an unquantifiable distance a spark was lit and a thin echo gradually grew stronger.




    The old man did not calculated earnestly one vital thing, the significant foundation of the boy he victimized, Zax’s extraordinary soul!

  13. #33
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    May 2015


    I'd like to say thanks to the the chapters I've read so far and the chapters I'm about to read moving forward.

    It's a real great read.

    Thank you Lonohara

  14. #34
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2015


    Quote Originally Posted by Nherzul View Post
    I'd like to say thanks to the the chapters I've read so far and the chapters I'm about to read moving forward.

    It's a real great read.

    Thank you Lonohara
    Your welcome!
    Glad you enjoyed it thus far!

  15. #35
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    Jan 2015


    Book 1 – Earth’s Core
    Chapter 20 – Qi

    At a certain point, under the suffocating pressure that the old man has put him through, Zax found sanctuary in the depths of his consciousness, in his soul. By minimizing the awareness of his soul to the rest of the body, although he was still hurting, Zax was able to subdue a substantial portion of the pain the old man inflected on him.


    Something in him that he never could perceive switched and suddenly became a new nature. When it happened the echo, which was a side effect, began to resonate as means of guidance.

    Zax heard it before, the voice, but could not figure from where or when and without realizing his vocal cords started to mimic its rhythm in his own voice. Finally he just let it wash him over together with the new sensation. Like a cup that is being filled with water, every pore, every nook and cranny in his body was brimming with unrestrained energy.


    The echo stopped abruptly and as Zax gained clarity as to what it was; his body already broke into action.

    The old man did not know if to laugh or cry. As if the output of pressure that was equal to the Advance phase of an E level Mist User was some minor nuisance, the boy he firmly educated fended it off and sprang to the air explosively.

    Mr. Martinez eyes widened, same were the eyes of Jinka. Apart from the old man, he was at the Beginner phase of a D level Mist User and she was at the Beginner phase of a F level Mist User. Both of them could feel the pressure Zax was in and knew that there is no normal child in all of Kingdom Earth that can withstand it. But when the boy unpredictably acted and let out a murderous intent the two were completely baffled.

    A tremendous amount Qi energy, an eruption of Qi steams, burst from Zax’s body. His body was mid air, high enough to be at eye level with the old man. Seeing his face so clearly, although having the picture of Masela Majid in his head for an instant, a turmoil of emotions he could not control made him savage and desiring to kill.


    Zax’s structure was struck against the floor like a mad beast, spewing blood. The old man increased the pressure, this time he did not have an indifferent glance and on the contrary, presented an irritated front.

    The old man sighed. “I didn’t say it before, but truly… Remarkable!” His sudden praise surprised, more than anyone else, his great great nephew, Mr. Martinez. “A soul attack at your age, in your current level… I was skeptic before, willing to damage your spirit to prevent future misgivings, as farfetched as it may sound”.

    The old man looked at Zax tentatively. A coreless child with such a strong soul and who was able to perceive the existence of Qi in his body, even if not in the ideal age... He now recognized the future prospects of that not even ten years old boy, and they frighteningly seemed limitless.

    Zax stopped struggling after a few seconds. It was hard to guess which factor was responsible for his breakthrough in the perception of Qi. It could have been many things… An innate talent, the presence of an expert, his big sister, in his life, a secondary effect of his soul training, his proximity to Take while he trained under the guidance of his big sister, could even be the events of one intensive day or maybe all of the above.

    Either way, the new domain of pain and ordeals under the old man supplied the definitive stimulation that he needed to achieve a breakthrough. Afterwards, the new found feeling was so invigorating that it swept all reason. A recent memory that he unconsciously summoned put him on his feet and higher and what followed was a condense Qi punch that fell through before it got to its destination.

    Now that he returned to the hard stairwell’s floor, engulfed by a veil of nothingness, Zax met the same fate as Turan.

    “Em,” the old man directed his voice to Mr. Martinez’s ears only. “The moment I’m gonna strike the decisive blow to end the boy life, take care of the Miss first and then kill the three kids”.

    “Great great uncle?” Mr. Martinez winced. He also acknowledged Zax’s potential and understood the importance of eliminating this future threat who might seek revenge on their family. Whether killing the boy or not was not a decision that they could compromise over. Killing the defenseless woman and three children, on the other hand… Looking back at the past seventeen years, since he inherited the position of the head of the family, he could not remember himself committing or initiating such heinous deed toward others whom he or the family had no animosity against.

    “Don’t you dare falter!” The old man’s bark reached every corner of the stairwell but no farther. Because of whom was he about to substitute a severe punishment with death? Was it no his great great nephew and his spoiled son who started it all?

    Killing a coreless boy… He cursed Zax, too, for revealing his true potential and at the same time felt fortunate for not missing it. The old man cursed himself, too.

    Four low class eyewitnesses. The old man could not allow that. Now, he no longer doubted over the existence of an expert behind Zax and was not keen on betting on his and the family’s capabilities with dealing with the mysterious expert who could foster such talent. Therefore, the old man reached the conclusion that no eyewitnesses, not anyone who has the slightest knowledge of what went on between this stairwell’s walls, should be allowed to live.

    He will kill Zax, for his own peace and quiet. Em will kill the other four at the same moment. Later he will order Em to use the family’s resources to deal with Turan’s friends, as well, and even the C level Mist User, Core Breaker, Mishe, which served the family for nearly three decades. That was the most potent way to get rid from any loose ends.

    Watching the rag like figure of the boy at his feet, the old man decided to at least send him off serenely. He released the pressure and the feeble body beneath him rose somewhat, indicating the expansion of the lungs as the unconscious Zax breathed freely.


    “Hahaha, very cunning, very cunning, hahaha…”

    Zax’s execution was cut short by a new guest who entered the stairwell in high spirit. The old man stared at the intruder perplexed. Just now, if he proceeded with the killing blow, his intuition told him that he would die next.

    Mr. Martinez’s intuition, in comparison to the old man’s, did not was quite as sharp. When he felt his great great uncle’s killing intent, his body charged behind Jinka instantly. He was about to kill her smoothly and then the three kids as his great great uncle instructed him. Regrettably, he was one moment too late and so could not avoid the surge of light gold mist energy, nor block it properly with his dark brown mist energy. Mr. Martinez was thrown back like a bug in a strong wind.

    “Habul Majid!” The old man cried, revealing the color of his pure silver aura for the first time, as if it could intimidate the brown bearded man.

    “Gerardo, do my eyes deceive me or are you also accepting challengers like the lads on the rings?” Mr. Majid laughed and stroked his long beard.

    “Damn you, Habul!” The old man, Gerardo Martinez, his face flushed red yet he managed to swallow his rage. How long has it been since he was last taunted? To guess one would need to count in centuries. “He broke the formation that I set”. Gerardo noticed and actually took it reasonably.

    Strictly speaking, it was not because Mr. Majid was two phases above Gerardo Martinez or past the bottleneck of the Mist Lord level that he could easily shatter Gerardo’s formation. That is because formations require more than high Martial level. Theoretically every Mist User can execute any formation in a class corresponding or bellow to his or her level. However, the higher the class of the formation the more versed the Mist User has to be in its complex foundation and structure. To fully grasp the essence of a formation could take between days to hundreds of years, depending on the class of the formation and the Mist User’s aptitude.

    Gerardo had beneath average aptitude to study formation, therefore he did not bother learning any C class formations or above, which in this particular case was the reason for as to why Mr. Majid could so effortlessly surpass his formation till it broke.

    “Haha… Mr. Majid. I planned to greet you later, how kind of you to greet me first”. Gerardo acted as if he shared a laugh with Mr. Majid.

    “Oh, but I’m not here for you, Gerardo. I’m here to gather my daughter’s young friends for the exhibition fights. You and your nephew should also hurry; these fights are really fun to watch”.

    Hearing so and realizing that he is about to lose someone who in the future might turn into a terrifying enemy, Gerardo immediately sought to sway Mr. Majid’s, the Beginner phase Mist Lord’s,  mind.

    “Will money do?” Gerardo pondered. He did not know how deep the relationship between Mr. Majid and Zax and that actually there was not any. He did know of Mr. Majid’s personality so he tried to approach from an angle that will not irritate an expert who thought little of exposing his strength in order to impose his will, nor an angle which will reveal how desperate he was. “Preposterous!” He concluded that it will be inefficient.

    “Mr. Majid”, Mr. Martinez stepped forward and bowed. “Will you be gracious and leave the boy in our hands? Of course, please do as you like with the other kids and the Miss”. He did not dare to raise his head, not while his facial expression still showed malice.

    “What are you thinking, Em”. Gerardo glared at his great great nephew. “Is the head of our family foolishly trying to deceive a Mist Lord? You should know better, Em, does a beast that hides its fangs considered herbivore?”

    “I can take the woman and those kids, but not the boy? How long are you planning to pick on coreless boy, Em Martinez?” Mr. Majid lost any hint of amusement in his tone. “Lift him gently and bring him to my hands”. He ordered.

    “Please reconsider-”

    A furious bright golden aura shot at Mr. Martinez and restricted his every movement, much like how Mishe’s aura locked the two groups of kids in their position. “The boy”. Mr. Majid voiced only these two words and pulled back his aura.

    Reluctantly, Mr. Martinez lifted Zax from the floor, but instead of handing him over to Mr. Majid he lingered. “This boy… Why come for him now, Mr. Majid? Were you not aware of his action toward my son or what I did him in return? Is your mind so warped that you enjoy watching children being tortured to the verge of death?” Mr. Martinez could care less that he, too, relished in Zax’s pain. He rationalized his perverseness by following the notion that he had the right to inflict the low class boy who harmed his son a slow death.

    “Ugh!” Mr. Martinez’s face turned and blood filled his mouth. He was slapped by his great great uncle and before a drop of blood from the mouthful that he spat could spill on Zax’s forehead, the boy was already exchanging arms from Gerardo to Mr. Majid.

    “I’d say that you just salvaged your successor life… Regrettably, that would only be from my hands”. Mr. Majid said to Gerardo incidentally.

    “?” Gerardo stared blankly at Mr. Majid, and then a terrible thought came to his head. “The expert behind this boy is Habul Majid!” As the founder of the family, Gerardo knew best its capabilities. He himself was the major force of the family; anything and anyone else were less than secondary. Apart from investing in the family’s younger generation and waiting for the cultivated seeds to sprout, the only possible way for the family to maintain its statues was by hiring experts to its services – as most high class families tended to do.

    Gerardo felt complete resent toward Mr. Majid. “Is all that has happened has been evaluated in advance to be a test for his disciple?” Gerardo, even though at a lower level as a Mist User than Habul Majid, could not accept such condescending treatment. “Don’t underestimate my family, Mr. Majid”, Gerardo refrained from making these few words sound like a warning, yet said them in a stern voice to emphasize his disposition. “Some of our young ones have an even greater talent than I had at their age. Your disciple is unquestionably exceptional, but unless you plan to disinherit your sons and daughters and instead have this boy as your heir, against my family he will still be a single person”.

    “Disciple? Heir?” Mr. Majid raised an eyebrow. “It seems that you misunderstood me… Did I not say that the boy is my daughter’s friend? Yes, a talented little friend, but nothing more than that, Gerardo”.

    “Nothing more than a friend to your daughter?” Gerardo was so stunned that he had to repeat. “Than on what grounds can you say that Em’s life is in danger? Mr. Majid, your Martial achievements are superior to mine and for that I lower my grace before you, but that boy that you insist to shield for such a stingy reason… Do you think that I will wait for him to mature if no one backing him?” His inability to act now and Mr. Majid’s overbearing behavior made Gerardo gasp.

    “That’s what I’m trying to tell you, hahaha…” Mr. Majid considered Gerardo’s disorientation to be entertaining. “Bring the children Miss, the show has already begun”. He turned to the bit suspicious, more than thankful Jinka and without hesitation she dragged Serah, Dane and Anet back to the fifth floor with a constant eye on Mr. Majid, to make sure he is following with Zax.

    “You know from which cave this fellow is from, right?” Mr. Majid turned to leave and asked Gerardo.

    “Cave twenty five, it’s under the dominion of El-Eden”.

    “Then, have you bothered asking for the boy’s name?”

    Gerardo did not ask nor instructed Em to ask for Zax’s name. After learning that cave twenty five had no known experts, he deemed farther investigation as unnecessary. Only after being told so Gerardo figured that if he had asked the boy’s name from the begging he could have acted in a more deliberate manner.

    “You were too pompous to care… The boy name is Zax Zel”.

    “His last name his “Zel”, it tells me nothing. How his last name can tell me anything about his Mor? Yes, there is no point in hiding it. As talented as the boy is, there is no way that he isn’t cultivated by someone!”

    “I didn’t try to hide the identity of his teacher, just wondered if you can make the connection yourself. It seems that the power tussles in Tongguo taking too much of your attention… How about this for a clue “Nineteen years old Mist Master””.

    “Nineteen years… You mean to say he is her Tal?!” Recalling a shocking event from not too long ago actually mage Gerardo stumbled backwards.

    “Hahaha… Still so blockheaded, Hahaha… Messing around with your kind is indeed more amusing than watching brats fight. Remember her name, Gerardo, she kept a low profile but it can’t be that you’ve forgotten her name”.

    Recollecting every detail from the announcement which shook all of Kingdom Earth two years ago, Gerardo closed his black eyes and opened them right after with a glint of disbelief in them.

    In the passage of time, experts have learned different techniques to enchant their long term memory. Ultimately, the technique that was picked as the most excellent turned out to be the most basic one. It was an innate ability of the outer and inner mind. Much like their original function, in this instance, early memories were managed by the outer mind and distant memories were managed by the inner mind. To evaluate what can be considered as an early memory or distant memory or how much details each type of memory could supply, was relative to the Mist User’s level. The stronger the soul the more capable the outer and inner mind could be, and if one had to remember a memory that was not located in the outer mind all he or she had to do was easily locate it in the inner mind.

    “Zetsa Zel! She is blood relative of the boy…!” Gerardo murmured, but Mr. Majid took it as a question.

    “According to my sources she is his big sister”.

    “A nineteen years old Mist Master…” Gerardo grabbed his bald chin and surveyed his mind for a way to take control of the situation which continued to aggravate. After thinking on something he raised his head in defiance. “If she had reached the Mist Lord level I’m sure the whole kingdom would have known by now. No, she only made it to the Mist Master level two years ago, even someone like her must be still struggling at the Beginner phase of the Mist Master level, at worst the Intermediate phase.  And if so, then what would be the problem? My centuries of accumulated experience can topple her talent!”

    “That might be so, but will you dare trying? No one knows her current Martial abilities. Do you think brats like her are the same as you and I? Do you think that if everything about her is quiet at the moment it’s because the Super Experts treat her as irrelevant? That lass is a monster, and monsters should not be shackled”.

    “You classify her as a “Monster”? Aren’t you exaggerating right now? Mist Master at the age of nineteen… She is not the first, second, third, nor the youngest! If she is a monster then my family is grooming a herd of monsters!” Gerardo exclaimed defensively.

    “Yes, there are monsters everywhere today…” As he said so, Mr. Majid glanced at Zax and left the stairwell. “Even monsters among monsters”.

  16. #36
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    Jan 2015


    Book 2 – Black Core

    Chapter 1 – Overview

    When Zax woke up the Young Mist Users Conference was already over. Actually, it ended two days ago and Zax’s whereabouts were currently in his house, lying on his bed.

    The sequence of events after the encounter with the Martinez’s family members went on the following way… For obvious reasons, when Mr. Majid returned to the fifth floor with Zax and met with Jinka, neither she nor the other three kids felt eager to watch the exhibition fights. The four of them were utterly exhausted mentally and physically.

    Taking into account the condition of the four, when they expressed their desire to leave Mr. Majid ordered his own driver to take them back to their homes at cave twenty five, that, of course, after he assured all of them that Zax do not require any special treatment but rest and time to heal. He did recommended, before they left, that Zax should receive something called “Three Ways To Heaven” therapy, but did not elaborate what sort of treatment it was, simply asked Jinka to pass his counsel to Zax’s family – in hindsight, he most likely intended it to get to the expert in the family, Zax’s big sister, Zetsa Zel.

    Zax got up slowly from his bed. Even though he rested for two days, his soul was the only thing which entirely healed after this time fiasco. His body, in comparison, was sore all over and his Qi channels, which were already miserably small much like any child who never trained in Qi refining techniques, shrunk even more to the point that he nearly forgotten the newfound contact that he established with this aspect of the human body.

    “You really should learn how to pick your battles, Zax”. Zetsa sat in a meditative pose, approximately one meter from Zax, but until she opened her mouth and spoken her presence was undetectable.

    “Big sis?” Zax ably fended the surprise. Somewhat, he felt contented with himself without knowing why. The reason that he did not dwell about was, in fact, deeply repressed in his mind. His recent escape from death.

    When his soul first perceived Gerardo’s intention, as a means to tolerate and defend itself it shrouded its core, the spirit, from the noxious killing intent. This spontaneous effect, similarly to the soul energy manipulation, was not within the capabilities of someone at Zax’s level, or perhaps talent? In addition, this was just a temporary effect that meant to hold for an unknown period of time and eventually compel Zax to deal with the pent up pressure, hopefully, after attaining a better insight of his soul rather than advancing its level.

    “Have you heard me?!” Zetsa burst involuntarily. “Jinka returned here with your friends two day ago, and guess what, you were also with them, carried like a bag of potatoes! Do you think that mom and dad cared for an explanation before imagining the worst?”

    “What? Two days? Have Serah and Dane told you exactly what happened? It wasn’t my fault!” Zax talked back angrily.

    “Would it matter if you were dead?!” Zetsa replied instantly and the two stared at each other unbending. “Come here and sit down in the same position”. She changed her tone to the one she used with Take and lately with Zax, too. She radiated the bearing of a Mor. “Tell me your side of what happened”.

    Submissively, Zax obeyed and began to explain in detail his part, above and under the surface... The look on Zetsa’s face did not change from beginning to end, but inwardly she felt as if struck by lightning twice during Zax’s description. Although there were no thunder and lightning storms in New Earth, the old sayings still applied to the local phenomenon of light rays… Lightning did struck today and twice at the same place.

    Zetsa’s heart wavered when Zax’s started telling her how he could suddenly sense his Qi, but a bit earlier even more when he told her about how he first nearly reached the realm of outer and inner mind then later tried and succeeded to attack Turan’s soul.

    Before, when Jinka told her and their parents the part about the Qi that she saw in her own eyes and the part about the soul attack that she heard from the two men of the Martinez family, Zetsa reacted only to calm her parents and promise them that everything will be fine and that she is familiar with the Three Ways To Heaven therapy. Afterwards, Marco and Laylen, knowing that if Zetsa said so things will be alright, changed their initial distress to sheer excitement for their son’s unparalleled achievements and the benefits that they can supply in his future!

    Zax quieted down as there was nothing more to say that he could remember and reading his big sister’s serious expression, was impossible for him, so he waited with anticipation for her response.

    “Ahmm… I’ve also investigated the case and apparently neither side twisted the truth to their favor”. Zetsa said in a low voice.

    “Did you expect me to lie?” Zax frowned.

    “Of course not, it’s just that the Martinez family really do not seem afraid of the consequences of this incident”.

    “Then go beat them up. I’m too weak, but you can hurt them like they hurt me and my friends!”

    Zax was not the type to ask for help, but he was consumed with hatred toward any of the three figures that he met who belonged to the Martinez family. Unexpectedly, Gerardo was not the one he hated the most, rather the most insignificant of the three, Turan, the one who made Anet fear so much with the threat that he will cause her pain unless she will give up her seat. In the end, that was what she did, and then she left them.

    Although it turned out later that Anet left to bring Jinka, by then Zax was not in a state of mind to distinguish anyone existence apart from Gerardo. Ultimately, Zax will learn the truth behind Anet’s actions, but that will not be from Zetsa.

    “Stop spouting nonsense, Zax!” Zetsa rebuked. “Have I not thought you better than this? Say that I’ll take revenge, what will happen then? When adults fall into conflict it’s not the same as kids’ quarrel. There are many things involve that determined which side will suffer less. There are no winners, remember. Even if my Martial powers are stronger than anyone in the Martinez family, they are a high class family with a wide web of influence. When they’ll see that they can’t hurt me, do guess what they’ll do next?” It was not another lesson that she simply tried to install in him. When she will tell him her decision, Zetsa wanted Zax’s comprehension to be right there with her.

    “Well… Have you come up with an answer?”

    “They’ll hurt others…” Zax said softly.

    “Yes! Right now, the child that you nearly killed – that’s what you almost did and we’ll talk about that later, he and his parents hold great animosity towards you. The father is the head of the Martinez family, a valued high class family in Tongguo. If he and I were impulsive like two kids, he would have hired experts to take get revenge for what you did to his son, and I... I would have done something awful in return”.

    When Zetsa saw that Zax attentively listened she proceeded. “If they won’t be able to hurt me directly, they will look for people who are close to me and through them indirectly hurt me. Mom and dad first, other family members, friends, neighbors. They won’t shy from seeking people related to you, either. Jinka, Serah, Dane, Anet… They saw them in the Young Mist Users Conference, right…?”

    Zetsa paused and looked at Zax straight in the eye. “Your big sister is strong, stronger than I let most people know”. She sounded as if she revealed a personal secret. Zax sensed a tingle in his heart, rarely his big sister showed weakness in front of him. The handful of times that it happened never caused the atmosphere to darken like now.

    “Do you want me to kill those who hurt you?” She asked out of the blue. Her eyes emitted a cold and sinister sensation that reached Zax soul. Right then, he knew that if he will say “Yes”, his big sister will certainly abide.

    “N… no…” Zax’s voice trembled. Something inside him was suddenly afraid of the idea to take life, to lose life, to be beside this big sister of his with the willingness to murder in her eyes. He steadied himself and repeated. “NO!”

    In compliant with his response, Zetsa closed her eyes. What seemed like a second to Zax was infinite time of domineering battle to subdue her raging murderous craving that she held up till this moment. When Zetsa opened her eyes again, the same warm glint that brightened her face whenever she looked at him emerged. “Continue to grow well, little Zi”. She smiled and rubbed Zax’s head.

    “Big sis… What shall we do?” Zax’s temperament regressed to that of a docile nine years old boy.

    “Don’t be mistaken, your big sister care for you more than anyone else in the world, therefore this matter has already been solved long before we started this talk”.

    “Ah! How?!” Zax’s asked flabbergasted.

    “Don’t’ concern yourself with knowing. You gave me too much trouble. I’m not gonna answer that one, just understand that your big sister is almighty”. Zetsa raised her head and mocked with a smile. She wanted to distract Zax by annoying him and readily change the subject. “Here…” she tossed a round colorful object to Zax’s gaping mouth and grabbed his head to close his jaw before he could retort.

    The round object was at the size of a baby’s clenched hand and had a rough surface which tasted terribly bitter but because Zetsa forced Zax’s mouth shut he could not spit it. Zax grabbed his big sister’s hands and tried to push her away but the difference in strength between a talented coreless child and a talented level B Mist Master was the same as the never forgotten heaven and the ever surrounding earth.

    “Ignore the taste, little Zi, this pill will help you to get back into full shape”. Zetsa said. With one hand she pulled Zax to her bosom and with the other she covered his mouth.

    Unable to move or open his mouth, Zax stopped fighting and listened to his big sister. After all, Zax was not like any other coreless kid, his soul was at the Advanced phase of level G, for that he was slightly more mature than other kids in his age and had an eccentric quick mind.

    “Good boy… This Three Ways To Heaven therapy pill cost me a few favors, little Zi, you know that I don’t work. See, I meant that when I said that I care for you, you should appreciate your big sister more, little Zi…”

    Zax rolled his eyes as the Three Ways To Heaven therapy pill slowly melted in his mouth and a strange gas that formed spread throughout his body, his dantian and his consciousness. Somewhere along the way of Zetsa explanation the strict Mor totally vanished and the overly loving big sister with a little brother complex rubbed her cheek against his head.

    After half an hour Zetsa asked. “Are you still feeling the gas?”

    Her hand was still covering Zax’s mouth so the only way for him to answer was by nodding his head.

    “Splendid. Now listen closely, Zax, for seven days from now you are prohibited from training or execute yourself in any from or way. The Three Ways To Heaven therapy takes about a week to achieve its full effect. If you’ll hinder it by training, more than half of its healing properties will dispersed. Understand?”

    Zax nodded again, yet his eyes shown with inconvenience.

    “Avert this obstinate gaze. You are in vacation till the end of the month, go play with your friends. You have progressed so well, if you’ll become aloof because of training I’ll get mad…”

    Zax lowered his head, not feeling like nodding again he let out an unintelligible voice. “Mmaay…”

    “Good. Let’s talk now about the fights that you had, the soul attack and perception of Qi”.

    Zetsa deliberately did not query about the forced attempt to reach the realm of outer and inner mind, it will naturally manifest when his soul will reach the beginner phase of a level F Mist User. Besides, she already heard about it, including the soul attack and display of Qi when she went to see that man... Now she wanted to hear it from Zax’s perspective.

    She sat Zax down in front of her but before she phrased the next sentence she casually remembered three promising words, “leaps and bounds”. Those were the words she used to describe him his improvement pace in the near future not too long ago. Reminiscing, the memory resurfaced on its own and caused Zetsa to smile and sigh silently.

    “Let’s start with the Qi. What was it like when you first sensed it?”

    “Mmm…” Zax Pondered. He was at a frantic state of mind, constantly bashed by Gerardo Martinez’s Mist and the dominating pressure that oozed out of him. To survive he had to rely solely on his control over the awareness of his soul to gourd him from the agonizing pain like a cocoon. Therefore he did not remember much. “I just recall it feeling natural. Now also, but you said not to train… Can I show you just a little-”

    “No! Don’t make any use of your soul or Qi and don’t strain your body for a week as I said. And don’t ask again, just listen!” Zetsa reverted to her strict mien and when she finished lecturing she softened again. “If you say that it felt natural then it’s all I wanted to be sure of. Now tell me about the soul attack”.

    Zax nodded and opened excitedly. “That was even more amazing! It was difficult controlling it, really difficult! It happened during the fight with that Turan kid. I suddenly felt that the soul energy moved according to my whim much smoothly than ever before and could extend to wherever that I wanted in my body and even out of it, thought this was the difficult part. Did I cross to the Advanced phase of level G, big sis? I think so. I definitely feel that apart from better control, my soul also became a lot stronger!” The effects of the spontaneous progress were abundant, nothing like before, more than just sharpening the senses and Zax was ecstatic.

    “Let me see, but you are probably right. Just by looking at you I can tell that your soul is not the same as last time I examined it”. Zetsa said and by making eye contact with Zax she infiltrated his consciousness with the power of her own soul, extending it as he defined, there she assessed the transformations in the black space and the distorted blur as best as she could without a proper soul testing technique before retreating out.

    “It seems that you are no longer at the Intermediate phase of level G. By the look of things you are quite near the Top phase, maybe after a month of training…” Zetsa confirmed, though the last part she said loud enough only for herself to hear for two reasons. One, she did not want to goad Zax when a moment ago she forbade him to train. Second, she could not be a hundred percent sure without a soul testing technique. Beyond that, Zetsa also confirmed her assumption… “There aren’t many examples, but the breakthrough to the Advanced phase increased his internal sensitivity to the point of perceiving his Qi”.

    “Then how many can my soul withstand now?” Zax leaned forward with a devilish smile.

    “Withstand what?”

    “Waves, big sis, if you test me now can I go past twenty?”

    “Oh… I can’t tell for certain without testing you, but above twenty waves might be possible. However, little Zi, this technique of testing, the Soul Pressure formation, lost its effectiveness”.

    “Why? By me reaching the Advanced phase?”

    “That has nothing to do with it. Typically this sort of soul testing is sufficient up to the top phase of D level Earths’ Core Holder. The reason is the bottleneck of the Core Breaker’s level. When a Mist User can perceive the Core Breaker’s bottleneck the soul starts to go through some profound changes. When the process is over it promotes the foundation of the soul, making it more radiant and bestows the Mist User unfathomable clarity in comparison to the former level“.

    “One of the gains is the ability to extend soul energy outside of the consciousness to perform a soul attack. From that point on, to determine the level of a soul, a more precise techniques than the Soul Pressure formation are necessary. Simply put, since you are able to execute a soul attack, even though you are at the Advanced phase of level G, testing your soul with the Soul Pressure formation will provide inaccurate results”.

    “If it’s something possible only at the Core Breaker’s level how come I can extend my soul? And does big sis know other technique to test my soul?”

    “Of that I have no clue”. Zetsa answered in all honesty to the first question. She tried to associate Zax’s abnormal feat with his training in the Inner Spirit formation, but even if he had perfect affinity to the principal behind the Inner Spirit formation and soul refining techniques in general it still seemed farfetched that a boy, not even at the lowest Earth’s Core Holder’s level, could possibly perform a soul attack. “In regard to other soul testing technique… There is another one that I’m familiar with, but let’s put it aside for a moment. More importantly, we haven’t got to you nearly killing a boy for a stupid seat!” Getting to the subject, Zetsa switched to her serious tone and release a baleful silver aura.

    “T… That…!” Zax stuttered and his heart missed a beat.

    After a variety of colorful reprimands, needless to say Zax learned his lesson and would never attempt a soul attack for a second row seat. EVER!

    Cave eleven, a day ago.

    Within a private villa at the southern high edge of cave eleven, two figures faced each other. They were in the villa’s dojo as one of the two was seating with folded hands on a rook with flat surface and the other straightened up after a slight bow.

    “This is a meditation room, my dear. Etiquette should be reserved to formal occasions. I’ll not address you with the same courtesy; otherwise I would have met you in a more suitable place”. Habul Majid, the owner of the private villa, was wearing a gray robe and was surrounded by a light golden glow.

    “You saved my little brother, Habul Ram, how can I not be courteous?” Zetsa Zel stood with a look of gratitude toward Mr. Majid.

    Mr. Majid sighed. The lass was more imposing and stubborn than even his youngest and only daughter, Masela. She even called him “Habul Ram”, which was out of respect for him saving her little brother and his friends and had nothing to do with his superior Martial accomplishments. “Maybe monsters can only recognize other monsters?” In his age of more than three hundred years there were not many mysteries left in this world for him to solve, he believed. Among the few that he still could not figure, the mindset of those with great talent still mystified him.

    “How is he, Zax?” Mr. Majid accepted Zetsa’s way of conduct, yet he also stuck to his.

    “Thanks to Habul Ram’s counsel he will briefly recover”.

    “You are exaggerating. I kept an eye on the boy since he entered the ring, apart from my Masela, of all the other children who were present, he was the only one exceptional”.

    “The ring?” Zetsa seemed confused.

    “They did not tell you? Most likely not. The Miss was not in the fifth floor during the fight and the children must have forgotten after the unfortunate encounter…” Mr. Majid gestured for Zetsa to seat on a similar rock four meters away. “Try it. I got this Hot Rock from an outer cave in the beast’s territory. Its volcanic attributes helps with cultivations and quite soothing, but only Mist Master or above can handle its high temperature. If you noticed, the dojo’s flooring is also unique-”

    “Misty Wood…” Zetsa displayed her knowledge out of discomfort. He little brother was recuperating in home and she has yet to perceive the full picture of the day before.

    Misty Wood? The kind of wood that can only be found in the outer beasts’ territory and can concentrate all the heat around it to a single point… That and the Hot Rock she saw countless of them, quarries and whole forests.

    “Very keen eye”. Mr. Majid praised but was not surprised. Many Mist Users, when reaching to the Mist Master level, seek to overcome the challenges of the beasts’ territory. Many even see it as a personal initiation rite, and those who prevail discover the immense benefits of life and death tryouts.

    “Then, Habul Ram, please, may we…”

    “Very well, very well”, Mr. Majid was also a sharp observer and could tell that the lass before him had little to zero interest in his peculiar meditation room. He proceeded by telling her of Zax and Masela fight with Clergyman. How the boy, her little brother, aroused his curiosity. He even shamelessly told her how he watched from the side when Zax faced Turan’s and then Gerardo’s assaults, though he noted that he did not interfered simply because “With every push the boy astonishingly demonstrated a new level of proficiency”.

    Learning what happened from seemingly a neutral source, Zetsa assumed that only two things were needed for her to conclude this incident, none of which depended on her.

    The first was to wait a few hours for the assimilation of material which forms the Three Ways To Heaven therapy pill. It was done by a renowned pills maker in Shitou. To have the pill ready as soon as possible Zetsa had to pay a hefty price.

    The second was Mr. Majid’s consent to be the mediator between Zetsa and the founder of the Martinez family, Gerardo Martinez, since Zetsa was not convinced that she will be able to reach an agreement with the head for the family, Em Martinez.

    “I already interfered, so of course I won’t mind. Besides, I would rather deepen my bounds with you and young Zax, haha…” Mr. Majid laughed.

    “You flatter me too much, Habul Ram”. Zetsa bowed.

    “Not at all, hahaha…” Mr. Majid got up from the Hot Rock, escorted Zetsa out of the dojo and slickly moved to a more pressing subject. “A lass like you would be a perfect match for my fifth son, he is strong and smart and fairly good looking, what do you say, Miss Zetsa”, he said so less than half comically more than half earnestly as he held her hands. They left the dojo and right now he escorted her as the master of the house, so etiquette was both customary and obligatory. “I offer my fifth son because my eldest four already married and frankly too old. My fifth son, however, is in his thirties. Currently my great grandson acts as the head of the Majid family, but if you will agree to tie the knot with my fifth son I won’t mind letting you take over”.

    Zetsa was momentarily shocked. “I can’t marry a person that I’ve never met”. She said hurriedly and apologetically. “And I’m preoccupied with my training to start a relationship…” In all honesty that was too abrupt. Zetsa had a troubled look on her face. “Will Habul Ram take back his consent to be the mediator?” The thought circled in her mind.

    “No need to answer now, my dear, training and cultivation should take first priority to any Mist User on the Martial path”. Mr. Majid reassured her.

    “Thank you for understanding”. Zetsa bowed for the last time. “Then I take my leave”.

    Mr. Majid responded with a smile as the two parted, repeating to himself solemnly. “Such a terrifying lass… In the future a calamity is likely to befall upon your family, Gerardo. At that time, I trust you will follow your own lesson and blame only yourself”. He chuckled.

    Zetsa had another destination before getting back home, cave four hundred and seventy in Shitou. “When Zax wakes up we will have much to talk about”.
    Last edited by Lonahora; 06-11-15 at 12:10 PM.

  17. #37
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    Book 2 – Black Core

    Chapter 2 – Amends

    August seventeen, year 5784. Cave twenty four.

    Several days after the Young Mist Users Conference Jinka returned to work with a heavy heart. The past few days were hard to bear. Informing Troel about what happened and the other kids’ parents, not being there when the kids under her care needed her, when her own daughter, Serah, was assaulted had made her feel guilty and shameful, unqualified as a mother or an adult.

    None of the kids’ parents, when learning of the incident and that the one addressing it is Miss Zetsa, had harbored resentment nor blamed Jinka of what happened. On the contrary, all of them were very sympathetic and tried to empathize. When Jinka kept lowering her head and apologizing some of them even attempted to pass it on by concentrating on the part of the glass that was half full, uttering stuff like… “He is fine” or “She came back safe and sound. Let’s trust in Miss Zetsa”.

    Jinka heard it all and could do nothing but nod. Just like her daughter was the core in that group of little kids, she had similar relationship with their parents. What they all agreed about was taking their children for a physical inspection and monitoring them themselves for a few days to make sure that psychological damage has not been done before deciding if to take them to a child therapist or not.

    Eventually, apart from one, neither of the children suffered any serious physical injury. Serah herself only had a broken tooth. Mentally was a little harder to determine, but with regard to their daughter, after two days Jinka and Troel safely validated that Serah was fine. Her concern for her friends and more than anyone else, Zax, made them rediscover their little girl’s assertive personality.

    Jinka stirred the soup of the evening's menu, unaware of the burning smell until it was scorching in her nose.

    “Jinka!” Alinor, the chef of Fourchettes Et Couteaux, rebuked.

    “Ah…?!” Jinka was thrown off balance, her stirring hands was shaking and her eyes tearing up. “I’m sorry”. Jinka said in a trembling voice.

    “Concentrate on your servings!” Alinor barked at the kitchen’s staff that diverted stupefied looks at their sous chef. Hastily, sound of cutting knifes, meat grinding, ovens opening up and closing, pans falling and rising from the stoves and so on… brought back to initial livelihood of a hard working kitchen.

    “Come with me to the back, Jinka. Dutseka, see if you can save the soup, otherwise tell the waiters to take it down from the menu”. Alinor instructed, then turned and exited first through the door to the alley beyond the kitchen. “Spill it, Jinka, what happened to you today? Since morning you are moving around the kitchen as if you are being possessed. I assumed that it’s related to the two days off that you’ve asked for… I didn’t ask in case it’s a personal matter, but this is the evening rush! I can’t let this go on, you know!”

    “I’m very sorry, chef, I… I…” Jinka could not hold the frustration inside her anymore. The pressure accumulated in the past few days broke out. She lost her footing, fell on her knees and sobbed and sobbed.

    “No, no, no, what happened to you Jinka?!” Alinor grabbed and lifted Jinka to her embrace.

    One lived in cave twenty four, the other in cave twenty five. They met each other only at work and rarely got together afterwards with the other kitchen’s staff. Nevertheless, they knew each other for a long time, so even if there was not deep amity between them they still could not avert their emotions when the other was in a time of crisis.

    After ten minutes Jinka raised her head, her eyes were red and her fists were clenching Alinor’s chef coat. She opened her mouth and finally felt willing to let somebody in on the agony she had repressed and thought that she was accountable for.

    “Oh, Jinka… You should not torment yourself over it. The differences in classes are inequitable. There was nothing which you could have done. Blaming yourself will only make you pointlessly drown in sorrow. Jinka, will you listen to my proposal?”

    Although she lived in cave twenty four, Alinor was from the upper middle class. Like the parents of Serah’ friends, she, too, could empathize with Jinka. Furthermore, as the chef of a modest restaurant she was invited, sometimes as a guest, sometimes to cater, to numerous events and so met many of the high class’s faces.

    They, Alinor, Jinka, all the people who were close to them were simple people with simple ambitions, simple way of life. To them the saying “Those who do not march on the Martial path would forever be counted among the powerless” did not intend to undermine their confidence or be unfair, much like them it was the simple truth of this day and age and the powerless had to cope.

    Anyone below the high class or with insufficient Martial achievements was considered “Powerless”, which were more than seventy five percent of Kingdom Earth’s population.

    Alinor could not scheme a grandiose plan to alleviate Jinka’s trauma which was created by the two men of the Martinez family, but she could help her in another way, toward those who truly mattered to Jinka and shared the difficulties of the incident she told her about.

    August nineteen, year 5784. Cave twenty four.

    Fourchettes Et Couteaux closed early for a private occasion. Per Alinor’s instruction Jinka invited Zax, Dane, Anet and their parents to a compensatory evening in Fourchettes Et Couteaux in the pretense that the owner of the restaurant, Mitchello, want to express his deepest regrets for what happened in the Young Mist Users Conference, because he was the one who urged Jinka to take the tickets to the event and most definitely go.

    Of course, Alison took care of everything on owner Mitchello’s end. When the easy going man learned from her about the incident she even had to threaten him to not come so Jinka will not lose face in front of her guests by associating with the person responsible for alluring her to what concluded as a terribly unforgettable day.

    Zax, Serah, Dane and Anet sat at a small round table. Their parents were not so far away, at a relative distance so each side will have its own privacy.

    The four children were served all kinds of delicacies as appetizers. Fourchettes Et Couteaux did not have children’s menu, so to compensate whatever the kids wanted, as long as the ingredients were in the pantry, Alinor cocked and served with her own touch to take the dish a step farther.

    From afar the adults were conversing delightedly. Oppositely, their kids played with their forks or spoons or the food on the table. Since the Young Mist Users Conference they did not see or talk to each other. Their inability to help each other set up an invisible barrier around their friendship and the words to break it seemed feeble.

    “I’m… I’m ordering a giant cheese cake with chocolate topping and all the ice cream’s flavors that they have!” Dane jumped up on his sit declaring and was the first to disrupt the silence.

    A cheerful waiter that heard Dane approached their table. “A fine choice, young sir”, he complimented Dane who embarrassedly returned to his sit. “Did anyone else also decided?” He asked Zex, Serah and Anet.

    “Spaghetti with meat balls”. Anet said in a low voice.

    “I want the Chocolate Castle”. Serah, who was familiar with some of the restaurant’s deserts, knew what she wanted from the start but wait for someone else to order first. She ended up being the third one to order, though, only two seconds after Anet.

    “Young sir?” The waiter asked Zax.

    “I’m not hungry”. Zax responded indignantly.

    “You can call me whenever you wants, young sir, just don’t filled up from the appetizers. It will truly be a shame”. The waiter smilingly said and headed to the kitchen with the three orders.

    “Why didn’t you order?” Dane asked Zax. He, Serah and Anet noticed Zax’s attitude from the beginning of the evening. Knowing what he has been through, they were unsure of how to talk to him, how to say that they are sorry.

    “Cause I don’t”. Zax casted a quick look at Anet and shifted it right away.

    Before the quiet could set in again, Dane turned to Serah. “How are you?” He asked, remembering how Gerardo made her spit mouthful of blood when he interrogated them.

    “I’m fine now. It only hurt a little bit”. Serah answered. She did not want to mention the broken tooth even though it was already fixed. “Are… Are you, guys, okay?”

    “Okay? Why are you asking about everyone when I was the only one who got hurt, what happened to you?” Zax asked mildly irritated. He was conscious when Em and the old man allowed the group of kids from Molten Core to leave the stairwell yet forbade Serah and Dane to do the same. When Serah got hurt he could not recognize anyone anymore, apart from the old man, but afterwards, at home, the thought crossed his mind that his friends perhaps also been through something bad when he was out of it.

    “You did not see?” Dane asked and started reciting.

    All the while that the three were talking Anet was the quietest one. She spotted how Zax looked at her and how leaned to the right, the opposite side of her, when she asked for spaghetti. For some reason that made her feel like a bone was stuck in her throat. Was it because she gave up her seat? Because she was against fighting with the other group of kids? “Is he… Is he upset with me?”

    “She got back with aunty!”

    Suddenly with a “BUMP!” on the table Anet lifted her head in surprise and saw Zax looking at her. His light brown eyes were clear from the initial aggression and were stun just as hers.

    As if a sea of regret overwhelmed him, Zax recollected the sounds, the sights, even the smell of blood in the stairwell, all of those things that the outer mind of a Mist User might lose track from but the inner mind will record instinctively… His mind was not at that level yet, but he was close, and it happened just a few days ago so remembering under a sudden circumstance was feasible.

    “Anet…” Zax felt that he mistreated her, that he mistreated Serah and Dane, too. If it were not for his excessive self confidence neither of them would have been hurt. Tears began to dirty his face, two salty streams that following them he lost total control of his emotions, sat down and buried his head on his knees.

    The group of parents that watched from afar since the BUMP on the table stopped themselves from getting up to comfort the poor kid. Marco and Laylen restrained themselves with aching hearts. The pleasant waiter, too, waited patiently holding a tray of refreshments.

    Anyone who was not part of the small table just watched as the other three children gathered closely around their crying friend, crouching beside him, softly caressing his head and back, shading their pent up tears and grief while hugging him till all that remained was an unbreakable one loving bond.
    Last edited by Lonahora; 06-12-15 at 07:19 AM.

  18. #38
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    Check out the poll in my website in regards to future releases.

  19. #39
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    Book 2 – Black Core

    Chapter 3 – E Level Mist User, Take Edomachi.

    One day remained to the restricting one week without any sort of training that Zetsa imposed on Zax. Thankfully, today Zax had things on his mind.

    Zax, Zetsa, Marco and Laylen were sited in a long black luxury vehicle which was the property of cave twenty four’s governor, Xingze Edomachi. The four of them were invited to the governor’s manor in cave twenty four to a boisterous celebration in the name of Take Edomachi.

    As it so happened, in less than two months, a short passage of time after the Great Earth’s Core Pursuit, Take Edomachi succeeded in advancing from the intermediate phase of a F level Mist User, to the beginner phase of an E level Mist User.

    This great accomplishment was possible due to two factors. The first one was the high quality F level Earth’s Core that Take managed to find with the help of his Mor in the Great Earth’s Core Pursuit. The second was his diligent training in the Radical Fiery Icy Provocation Qi refining technique.

    Zax excitedly watched outside from the vehicle’s window as it drove up to the governor’s manor. He had not met Take since the last time Zetsa took him to be present in their training session. Take was his first friend closest to him in age that attained an Earth’s Core and Zax could not wait to see how powerful he had become – mainly because any Mist User on the Martial path, regardless of his or her level, was a glamorous entity in the eyes of coreless children.

    Zax knew from Take that his father impels him toward the direction of the Martial path, which he also interested in, otherwise how could he convince Zetsa to spend her time cultivating him?

    When they got out of the vehicle Zax noticed that his parents were tense. There were quite a few vehicles parking at the manor’s grounds and at the entrance to the manor, its owner and his wife accepted their esteem guests.

    “Miss Zetsa!” Governor Edomachi abandoned the reception of his guests over to the old maid and the white suit bodyguard and with his wife and hands spread wide open in the air rushed to welcome his son’s Mor and her family.

    “Xingze, Slovet, please meet my parents, Marco and Laylen Zel”. Zetsa made an introduction. She did not mention Zax because the Edomachi duo already knew him.

    At the time, Marco and Laylen, who never were in contact with high class personnel or even came close to the property of someone of the high class, were oblivious to how they should conduct themselves so that they will not embarrass themselves or their amazing daughter.

    “Oh, Hahaha…” Governor Edomachi laughed coarsely, he was in such a good mood that when he saw Zetsa, the one responsible for his son’s abundant fortune, that he lost all traces of restraint and almost skipped his way to hold the hands of this extraordinary beautiful young woman. “Hahaha, you do me and my wife the honor, Mist Zetsa! It’s pleasure to meet you Marco Ram, Laylen Ram, young master Zax!”

    “Marco Ram, Laylen Ram, forgive my husband’s boisterous manners. Take’s advancement brought extreme joy to all of us”. Mrs. Edomachi was more reserved than her husband.

    “Marco Ram”? “Laylen Ram”? Both Marco and Laylen were speechless. Who could ever imagine that they will be referred to with such an honorary title? And by someone of higher statues than theirs, nonetheless!

    “You treat us too well, Mr. Edomachi, Mrs. Edomachi”. Marco turned to them in an orthodox manner. To even gesture back the honorary title was beyond his and his wife capacity.

    “Marco Ram, I’ll lose face, I’ll lose face, hahaha… Your daughter refers to me and my wife by our first names only and you do so as if we are strangers. Nonsenses! I can’t accept such treatment. My name is Xingze and my wife’s is Slovet. Please, you and your wife may use them however you like”. Governor Edomachi was a D level Mist User and in his current temperament he was very oppressive. He walked with Marco under his arm as if they were old friends while Mrs. Edomachi accompanied Zetsa, Laylen and Zax to the manor.

    “Big sis, why governor Edomachi refers to mom and dad with “Ram”, to you with “Miss” and to me with “Master”? Why each of us get a different title?” Zax whispered.

    “That’s because, like mom and dad, I also more used to the orthodox manner. High class people, on the other hand, will use whichever they feel appropriate to the person in front of them. At first Xingze referred to me with “Ram” too, but it felt uncomfortable so I made him settle for “Miss”. To you he refers with “Master” because that’s how most high class children are referred to by adults who acknowledge them”.

    Many of the guests knew or heard about one another even before arriving to the Edomachi’s estate. Being members of the highest tier of population in Kingdom Earth, through their various connections, they obtained the guests list of the event to assert those who will come for numerous reasons, such as knowing from whom they should be aware of or for whom they should exploit this opportunity to start a formal relationship with.

    When the distinguished guests watched from the side as their host ignored them in favor of other guests who seemed to have miserably simple appearance and were unknown to them, they felt deeply insulted. Then again, as Governor Edomachi together with his wife passed the rest of their guests with the Zel family, no one dared to make a fuss and admit his or her degradation.

    The tables in the great dining hall were set with all kinds of drinks and delicacies. Zax and his family sat beside the Edomachi family. Governor Edomachi was in the center of the table, Take to his right and Mrs. Edomachi to his left. To Take’s right sat his Mor, Zetsa, and next to her were Laylen, Marco and Zax. Governor Edomachi raised a glass in honor of his son and then called for the performers to begin and the maids to arrive with the main courses of the celebration.

    Following the performance and the feast, the guests that wanted to put their own show and publicly express their compliments and blessings, rather than hand over their gifts to the serving staff that was stationed to accept them, stepped forward in front of their host, his wife and their son.

    To be honest, the line was not that long. Although an E level Mist Users at the age of ten years old did not appear very frequently, commonly, in Kingdom Earth every few decades many were born that surpassed the older generations, though the reason behind this occurrence was the improvement in Qi\Mist and soul refining techniques. What was one more lucky child that had his parents to probably waste part of their wealth to acquire such technique? In a few years’ time others will be born anyway and more high level techniques will be available to the public.

    Now, if the boy in question would have achieved his current level by sheer talent that would have been something else entirely!

    Zax and Take sneaked out of the designated guests’ room that was prepared to accommodate and keep entertaining the guests after the feast.

    “Can you believe how many presents I received?!” Take boasted. Rubbing Zax’s head that was shorter than his in ten centimeters or so, he said. “You can help me unwrapped them later and take those you’ll fancy”. Take truly meant it for couple of reasons. First, as the son of a cave governor the material things that he lacked in his life could be counted on one hand. Second, how can he be parsimonious toward his dear Mor’s little borther? Third, being still a child he might have not fully comprehended his emotions for Zax, however, if one looked from the side the only impression that he or she will perceive from Take’s manner will be that of a caring older brother.

    “That will be awesome!” Zax replied. Being immersed in training most of the time did not repress his childish desires completely. If one of the presents contained a mechanical pet, a new generation Caller, a premium account card of the popular online game Mocca Kart that he could show off to Serah – presumably until he will realize that he does not care about it and give it to her – or maybe even a low grade Martial technique…! For the last one his aspiration most certainly overreached, nevertheless, any of the other previous three would surly more than satisfy Zax.

    “Say, Take, did you become an E level Mist User because of big sis’s Qi refining technique?” Zax probed.

    “Hmm”, Take nodded. “But me and Zetsa Mor call it now “Radical Fiery Icy Provocation MIST refining technique” since all my Qi converted to mist energy. If I wasn’t training in it, then it would have taken me at least a year to break through the bottleneck of an E level Earth’s Core Holder”.

    “Just a year? I read online that to the average Mist User who trains in mist refining techniques it could take around three years to advance from the F level to the E level!” Zax was astonished at Take’s remark. Little did he know that Take obtained a high quality F level Earth’s Core in the Great Earth’s Core Pursuit with the help of his big sister. Yet that was a secret Zetsa forbade Take to reveal to anyone. At most he could tell his doting father that he was lucky at the Great Earth’s Core Pursuit.

    Take’s chattering caused him to a slip of the tongue. To fix his mistake he puffed out his chest and gave Zax a noogie. “You presume this older brother of yours is the same as a mere average Mist User?!”

    Even though the age gap between them was less than a year, a coreless child, no matter how talented and cultivated, frankly had no chance against a Mist User of the same age. “Sorry, I’m sorry, Take!” As much as a noogie can be painful and annoying, it did not feel like Take was bullying him. Rather, that Zax had it coming for underestimating “this older brother”.

    One thing that should be noted is if Zax would have used a soul attack to repel Take, its effectiveness would have been nearly identical to how it affected Turan. The reason was that E level Mist Users could not utilize their soul energy for offence or defense, so even if Take’s soul was two levels higher than Zax’s, at best he could only withstand the impact of Zax’s soul attack at the price of becoming bedridden for about a month. Then again, Zax learned his lesson of how much dangerous soul attacks are and how inexperience he was in implementing them. Even as a joke we would not use a soul attack on a friend, nor an enemy that he could avoid in every other possible way. That being said, there was still one more day before he could train or use his soul or Qi.

    “Good, don’t forget how spectacular I am! Hahaha…” Take’s laugher was akin to his father.

    The two wandered around the manor, playing jokes on each other, checking once in a while on Zax’s parents or if the other guests already left so it will not be rude to open up the presents. Zax did not mention anything of his experience in the Young Mist Users Conference. He reconciled with his friends a few days back when they and their parents were invited to a dinner at Fourchettes Et Couteaux. Reminiscing the past when he was at peace with himself would have thrown him into gloomy state of mind.

    Take told Zax about his own experience in the Great Earth’s Core Pursuit in a nutshell since it was not a guarded secret or anything and much about the event can be found online.

    “They send you off together with tens of thousands of kids to search for an Earth’s Core in a cave that throughout the year is part of the beasts’ territory. Listen to my advice, Zax, and maybe you, too, will be fortunate. When they’ll tell you to enter the cave, follow the Guardians who go to patrol at the far end of the cave. In past years, and this is something you can’t even read about, all the decent to high quality Earth’s Cores were found a few kilometers from the tunnel to the unsafe zone. Obviously, you should not venture close to that tunnel no matter what!

    “If Zetsa Mor will accompany you to the to the Great Earth’s Core Pursuit, that will be good. As a Mist User at the level of a Mist Master she can asset for you the value of an Earth’s Core. If she won’t go with you, then it’s best if you keep to yourself and stay away from the other Guardians. Some of them, I’ve heard, will even steal a high quality Earth’s Core if they’ll know that some kid found one…”

    Zax attentively listened to Take’s pointers and warning. In January the new date of the next Great Earth’s Core Pursuit will be decided. By then he will already be in fourth grade, reach the age of ten and eligible to take part in the Great Earth’s Core Pursuit. When the time comes, any kind of information that he could obtain in advance would be beneficial.

    “Good luck on your chosen path, master Take”.

    “Do your parents well, son”.

    “You have a marvelous ahead of you, Take Edomachi”.

    “Promising, promising, hehehe…”

    The visitors gradually began to leave. Each of them Take had to greet, bow and thank for coming to his celebration and their presents.

    When the Nightly Cover formation covered the cave’s ceiling with sparkling dots of light only Zax and his family remained in the governor manor and a few members of the extended Edomachi family. Governor Edomachi thanked Zetsa, Marco and Laylen for joining today and sharing this blessed time of his, his wife and son. Afterwards he excused himself to privately talk with his kin.

    Zetsa, Marco, Laylen and Slovet sat around a small table with cups of green tea in their hands while the two boys opened the presents.

    The hour was late and the middle class parents sensed some time ago that they should also leave, but Mrs. Edomachi insisted that they should join her for a small talk. “During the party I had to indulge in dull conversations”. She sighed heavily. “Please, Miss Zetsa and I often sit and talk with each other. Our conversations always so fascinating, and even at times when she doesn’t have something new to impart, her opinions of the various topics I bring up are wittily thought provoking”. A subtle smile spread across Mrs. Edomachi’s rosy cheeks. “It will be a nice change of pace to halt and get to know the people who raised this young woman”.

    Faced with Mrs. Edomachi’s cordial appeal Marco and Laylen felt compelled to respect the wishes of their charming hostess. In a way, this was an opportunity for them as well to learn about their daughter from someone else point of view who knew her intimately.

    Zax and Take uncovered very many gifts from the small pile that was placed at the center of the room. There were expensive mechanical toys, most were of great figures of the Martial world, few were of known horrific beasts and fewer were the Pet type. The pair was disappointed that they did not find any books of Martial techniques. It appeared that the guests either saw Take as a child or did not want to contribute to the cultivation of a future potential of another family. What the two boys were unaware of was that three guests did gifted Take with books of Martial techniques. There were three in total, one book from each of the three guests. Two of them were a present from two families that had close relations with the Edomachi family, and the third one was from the extended Edomachi family. The three books were not placed among the other presents and were handed discreetly to governor Edomachi by those who brought them.

    Initially Take had thought of sharing half of his gifts with Zax. The amount which he received was too much for one boy to indulge with. Moreover, all his free time was devoted for training to establish his footing on the Martial path.

    Marco and Laylen, in contrast, accepted Take’s generosity but opposed to him giving away his presents to their son. They did not explain their decision, either. Fortunately, the boys did not argue and showed a substantial understanding maturity.

    Mrs. Edomachi was also prepared to rebuke her son if necessary. If the presents are not to his linking they will donate them, as they have done in the past.

    The stay at the governor manor concluded late at night. Zax ended up with two of Take’s presents, a mechanical pet modeled after a cub blue scales fox which had blue shining scales on its back and hind leg and blue fur on the rest of its body. It had four ears, three eyes and was about twenty centimeters long, fourteen centimeters tall. The other present was a Mocca Kart’s premium account card. Take received around seven so convincing Zax’s parents and his mom was not difficult, in addition, Zetsa intervened for his support.

    The Zel family left the way they came, in the governor’s black luxury vehicle.

  20. #40
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    Jan 2015


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    Book 2 – Black Core

    Chapter 4 – Birthday At Grandpa’s And Grandma’s Farm

    August thirty one, year 5784. Last vacation day.

    After much consideration, Marco and Laylen Zel arrived to the conclusion that it will be better to wait to after the Great Earth’s Core Pursuit before enrolling Zax to a post Core School.

    For the past month they weighed the pros and cons of sending their young boy to a post Core School right after his vacation. It was a dilemma of many parents in Kingdom Earth.

    The fourth grade was unique. Unlike any other grade, although still legally obliged to enroll, enrollment to fourth grade was allowed to be postponed until January. Then, when the date to the next Great Earth’s Core Pursuit is revealed to the public and is not later than the following June, enrollment can be postponed until then.

    The reason of this leniency was the various changes that children go through after absorbing an Earth’s Core... When registering to a new school year, especially at post Core Schools, switching schools is not permitted throughout the year. In the fourth grade children are mostly being prepared to the Great Earth’s Core Pursuit. During this event, the potential of many children to embark on the Martial path is easier to assess when they are participating in the last stage of the event. Therein lies the problem, if by chance a child shows great promise in the evaluation method, his or her name will then be entered to a special registration list that mostly high tier Martial schools, high class families, successful organizations and such… dare to spend vast amount of their money for its yearly subscription. If a child’s future prospects are determined as “above average”, but the child already enrolled to a post Core School and the school finds out the results of its student in the evaluation method, it might not let go so easily from this “raw gem” and try anything to preserve it, resulting in even harming the potential of the child by rough and rush polishing.

    Marco and Laylen made their decision by having faith in the potential of their son. He was milder than their older daughter, Zetsa, and they put a lot of effort not to make the same mistakes with him, but by doing so they overlooked and missed his uniqueness up until they learned of his extraordinary accomplishments in the Young Mist Users Conference.

    For the time being Marco and Laylen gave their consent to the intense training regime that Zetsa formulated to Zax.

    December thirty one, year 5784.

    Zax sat on the white mattress in his big sister’s one-room apartment. The yellow patterns and diverse symbols of the activated Inner Spirit formation covered the four walls, floor and ceiling with blinding light. Nearly five hours have passed since Zax began his training. A layer of frost covered him, giving the impression of an ice statue.

    Hot cloud of steam came out of Zax’s mouth as he breathed steadily. The temperature lowered again and the breeze, which struck like a cluster of throwing knives, pierced through the outermost layer of his skin as it passed.

    Zax released another cloud of steam and waited patiently. It was still too early. The temperature was not cold enough and the wind was too weak.

    Five hours were a long time to spend in the Inner Spirit formation, but Zax was not worried that the time outside of it will elapse as fast as it happened a few times in the past. Presently, the formation restrictions remained at the same level that they had been before he reached the Advanced phase of level G and by now he already properly crossed to the Top phase. With his ability to cope with the formation’s current level strengthening, though the effect of the training was reduced, the gap between the outside world and the inner world was shrinking.

    An additional benefit of keeping the restrictions on the formation was the longest time Zax spent in the Inner Spirit formations the more insights he attained. For instance, when he first started training after crossing to the Advanced phase of level G, Zax realized that the body that froze and shattered every time he trained was a manifestation of his soul. Grasping this discovery, Zax began to experiment, using his soul energy while training in the formation as if it was Qi or Mist energy. By doing so he found out that it is ten times simpler to perform a soul defense than a soul attack, which in turn made it possible for him to drag his training for hours on.

    Now, whether a coreless boy at the Top phase of level G should be able to perform either soul defense or a soul attack was another matter entirely that Zetsa, after having the conversation with Zax about what happened in the Young Mist Users Conference, made sure he will not reveal before she will obtain a clear understanding of how he managed to execute this wonder.

    The low temperature finally began to affect Zax’s efforts to endure with the soul defense. “Qi is useless…” Zax gritted his teeth. He attempted before to have his Qi energy as an additional support against the formation’s extreme cold but it ended up being unproductive. The formation severed the connection between the body and soul. The fists that he clenched, the teeth that he gritted the breath that his lungs released, just like the cold and the wind, they were all an illusion. Hence, the Inner Spirit formation’s categorization as an illusionary formation.


    After seven hours and thirty nine minutes Zax’s neck cracked and his head fell to his lap. Following a warm slender touch at the center of his chest, a gushing river of lava spread across the broken fragments of Zax’s body. A short while later Zax opened his eyes, facing once again the windowless, dark one-room apartment.

    While circulating his breathing, Zax took out from a bag besides the white mattress a flask of green tea and drank half of it. Next, he left the room to check the time in his wristwatch. It was four o’clock in the afternoon. He started training in six o’clock in the morning and only ten hours have passed, which showed his improvement.

    “Tomorrow is my birthday”. His parents discussed this with him couple of time during this month. Tenth birthday had great importance in Kingdom Earth, in a way it was what many adults considered for the younger generation as the coming of age ceremony.

    “I won’t be able to train…” He pondered if he should go back to sleep at home or at his big sister’s place as he done so already since the beginning of the new school year. “Got to train, got to train. The bottleneck to the next level, a Mist User’s level is so close!” He made up his mind. Zax closed the door and went to the white mattress. Sitting and closing his eyes he started a Somnolence Meditation.

    January one, year 5785.

    “What should I do, grandpa Ger?”

    Being unable to train to his heart's content, Zax helped his two grandpas and two grandmas to set up the birthday decoration. It was weird, papering your own birthday. Usually loved ones were solely responsible for this job, but since Zax did not go to school his mom sent him to help and also spend some time with his grandparents.

    “Nothing, Zaxy, Laylen sent you hear because we rarely see you this days. Let your grandpas arrange everything. Sit on a chair and tell us how have you been doing?”

    Their whereabouts were at Marco’s parents’ farm. Grandpa Ger and his wife, Ney, had an agricultural farm. They grew all kinds of vegetables, fruits and beneficial plants. Because they lived pretty far, even if in the same cave, Zax visited them once a week or so, however, since the new school year has started it somewhat stretched to a visit or two in a month.

    Narrating aloud his daily routine, Zax for a time stayed in the barn with grandpa Ger and grandpa Shi Chin, Laylen’s father, and for a time went to the kitchen to taste the food and refreshments his grandmas were making.

    At three o’clock everything was ready, but there were still four hours before the birthday party supposed to begin, so Zax and all of his grandparents sat together outside for a while and after grandma Ney packed a bag of sandwiches and cold drinks they traveled through the pastures to see the cattle and sheep, some of the livestock which humanity brought to New Earth and managed to restrict their evolution in contrast to those they labeled as “Beasts” and had a separate territory in New Earth.

    “Heavens, Zaxy! Is that Qi?” Grandma Shi Oh, Laylen’s mother, almost lost her footing and fell backward.

    “My life, Zaxy! No wonder you and Zizi are sister and brother!” Granpa Shi Chin helped caught his wife. He had the same startled look as the other three elders and could barely believe his eyes. Is own coreless grandson could utilize his Qi!

    “Hahaha… Zaxy, unlike Zizi who had a strong soul and could use her Qi at an even younger age you are a bit behind, hahaha…” Grandpa Ger lifted his juvenile grandson and stroked his hair. “Don’t mind it. I bet there isn’t one boy or girl in all of cave twenty five that can use their Qi, hahaha… Ain't it proof that you are my blood! Marco, my son, you have pleased me not once but twice, hahaha…” Granpa Ger laughed to his heart’s content. In his speech he might have discriminated his other children and grandchildren, but as the only D level Mist User in the family, the most advanced Mist User in the whole family by far, he was extremely overjoyed with his grandchildren who had high accomplishments in such a young age.

    “Grandpa Ger, I also have a strong soul”. Zax frowned.

    “Defiantly”, grandpa Ger confirmed. “I didn’t mean to offend you, but Zizi was simply a cute little freak since she was born. Shame none of us paid her more attention…” He sighed.

    “That is enough, Ger, don’t repeat what you said when the others will come”. Grandma Ney snatched Zax from her husband muscular arms. “Zaxy, you have impressed all of us. It doesn’t matter if you have a strong soul or not”.

    “That is completely correct, sweetheart”. Grandma Shi Oh and Grandma Ney cheered Zax together.

    “Listen to your grandmas”. Grandpa Shi Chin told Zax after he calmed down.

    In regards to their grandson’s Qi, they all were surprised when steams suddenly burst out of Zax’s hand and the annoying calf, that tried to bite the blade of grass he waved around, frighteningly ran back to his mother.

    With respect to Zax’s soul, apart from his parents and nurse Elwood, no one knew that Zax was training in a soul refining techniques under the guidance of his big sister, Zizi…

    “Let us head back”. Grandpa Shi Chin held his wife hand and together with grandma Ney, who let Zax down, they change the topic.

    “Our grandson Valv proposed to his girlfriend… Isn’t it about time?”

    “The lad is in his thirties, how long could he prolong it after five years of a relationship?”

    “Don’t dilly dally, Zaxy. You have shown us something incredible, but remember that you still have a long road ahead of you, if you want to become a strong Mist User like your grandpa Ger!” Grandpa Ger boasted.

    “I want to become a strong Mist User like big sis, a Mist Master”. Zax proclaimed.

    “Hahaha, you sure have guts. How about first you surpass your grandpa and then talk about Zizi?”

    “Grandpa Ger”, Zax quietly thought to himself for a moment before calling. “High five!” mischievous grin was hidden beneath his sweet childish face.

    “Hahaha… Give me a strong one, Zaxy”. Grandpa Ger raised his hand.


    “Where is your grandpa, Zaxy?” Grandma Ney asked when Zax appeared by her side after a short run.

    “He said that he is tired, his bones hurting again and we can go ahead first, grandma Ney”.

    “Oh… acting all tough when he is your oldest grandparent”. Grandma Ney shook her head.

    “Poor Grandpa Ger”. Zax agreed.

    At seven o’clock the guests that arrived first offered to help with the food preparation. The adults, mainly, once handing over the presents, sorted out a place for the fire and the meat since a lavish barbecue was the main course meal of the birthday party.

    The children who were cousins, school mates, neighbors of Zax or simply followed their parents who were friends with the Zel family, played outside in the fields or around the house and barns.

    This occasion was celebrated in fundamentally different manner than a high class celebration like the one that was held a few months ago at the Edomachi’s estate in cave twenty four. For obvious there were not any maids, servants or guards. Not a special room for just the presents with two attendants. No hired performers to entertain everyone. A low class and middle class events such as birthdays were celebrated in moderation.

    Saying that, lower class events have their own benefits, too, that are basically the opposites of high class events. For example, what determined the quality and importance of a high class event are three things, the status of the host and guests, the cause for the event and how much money has been invested in it. Where in a lower class event there is only one factor to determine its quality, without ever mentioning its importance, which is the spirit of the people.

    High class events are not about the celebration, but about the pretense, flaunting, forming constructive relationships and to gain better reputation in the eyes of one’s peers. Honest display of solidarity had nothing to do with high class events.

    Lower class events were a different case. Wealth and prestige were redundant in the eyes of the common people. In their daily lives all they strived for was enough for themselves and loved ones to live a frugal life. To them, days of celebrations were a break from the repetitiveness, an opportunity to rejoice at another's fortune as if it was theirs.

    By nine o’clock Marco and Laylen have received more than four hundred guests. Safe to say that without the consideration of everyone who arrived and thought to bring additional food for the celebration, the barbecue would have ended earlier in the evening. Luckily, the people of cave twenty five, at least, were used to no just enjoy a party, but making sure that it will keep going for a long long time. What started with good meat on a giant metallic grill, evolved to a lush banquet.

    Occasionally, when Zax was having fun with his friends and young family members in the fields, around the long dining tables, circling the huge fire (from a safe distance)… his grandpa Ger would toss him furtive glances full of astonishment while rubbing his head at the same time.

    When Zetsa greeted her grandpa she noticed his out of character behavior, thinking that old age beginning to affect the elderly. She did not want to insult the prideful man that was her grandfather by acting rashly and offering to replace him at the barbecue work.

    “Thank you, Zizi”. Grandpa Ger took the beer battle Zetsa offered him. From hours of work around the fire his clothes were drenched with sweat. The temperatures he cocked the meat with were nothing to laugh at. Millenniums ago, a human who would have tried to approach this kind of heat wearing regular garments could suffer life threatening burns. Granted, back in those days the meat was not that durable to cock.

    Drinking the whole bottle of ice cold beer, Grandpa Ger, refreshed, turned to his caring granddaughter with a puzzled expression on his face. “That Zaxy…” His eyes surveyed this granddaughter of his, who was known as the most talented child to inherit the “Zel” surname.

    Grandpa Ger turned his gaze from Zetsa to the meat and flames. “A soul attack… soul attack… a coreless boy… soul… attack…” he murmured unintelligibly, nodding his head sideways with pale complexion.

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