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299 Antique Stone Garden

    Somewhere in The State of Avalon.

    The green, lavish hills around the once might and erect buildings of Mahayana Dhayana Monastery were the only signs that the monastery was established here.

    Now, there were no more tall infrastructures nor architectural wonders in the 150 sq. miles. Everywhere there was just debris of past remains of the mighty structure that once existed here.

    A passerby might be forgiven for mistaking the site as remains of some ancient civilization. Sadly, what no one believes would be that just two months ago, everything was different.

    There used to be courtyards with children praying around. Separate rooms for prayers and residence. Then there was the dorm formed from a technology of a foreign world.

    Two months ago, when Akshobhya invaded Zed's consciousness, he never expected his involvement would result in the ruins of the monastery. At the end of their battle, Kiba transferred his powers through a satellite that was linked to Akshobhya. The powers were corrosive and radioactive in nature. They not only affected Akshobhya but devoured the entire monastery. Only after a few days, the decaying force died on its own, but by that time, everything has suffered a vicissitude of time.

    Presently, hundreds of people - mutants and normal humans- unaffiliated with the monastery were studying the ruins. Every single one of them was clad in a hazmat suit that could handle any radioactive force.

    These people have divided themselves into nine excavation teams to check each area of the ruins. They were continuously working to find any valuable item that has survived the onslaught of decaying force.

    Hundreds of balloon lights were lighting the area while helicopters hovered above the area. Mutants with abilities related to earth element worked around the clock along with geological experts. Omnius beasts were further helping in the cause.

    In the middle of the ruins, there were many camp-like structures. Some of them were for the rest of the excavation teams while a few were for the monks of the monastery. After the disaster, most of the monks were transferred to another location. A few have died after they were infected with the corrosive force but most were not infected and lived.

    In one such camp, the monk named Asahi sat upon a chair.

    He was once the second-in-command but now that Akshobhya was in a state between living and death, Ashai was forced to take command of the declining monastery.

    Akshobhya was now being treated by the best doctors in the State of Avalon but he showed no sign of recovery. His entire body was a home of innumerable diseases and he could barely open his eyes. Every hour or so, he would have a panic attack that would make his bowels lose and he would shake like a dying fish.

    Asahi felt pity for Akshobhya but he could do nothing to help. He knew his friend would find death as a relief but the higher-ups from Dharma Chakra wouldn't allow enthusia.

    Asahi sighed and looked in front of him where other monks from the monastery were sitting.

    "Do we have any good news?" Asahi asked.

    "There are no traces of the spare crystal cubes and platform nor any records of the designs of the space satellite," An elderly monk informed Asahi. "We assume their fate was the same as the Source Seeking crystal platform and the cubes linked to Reverend Akshobhya."

    Ashai grimly nodded his head. The source seeking and destruction technology used by Akshobya was retrieved from the meteorites.

    As per the records of the world government, this technology was used by the royalty of the Celestial Elysian Plane to ensure absolute control and prevent any rebellions. The royalty would have drops of blood from every concubine, prince, subject vassals, and noble families.

    The blood contained the source of essence which can even be used to find a descendant through telepathic means and destroy. This gave iron-clad dominance to the royalty of the now destroyed supreme world.

    "We even have lost the fifty children who were personal disciples of Reverend Akshobhya," The elderly monk continued. "As you know, their psyches were merged with great Akshobhya during that day..."

    "No need to speak any further," Ashai stopped him from continuing.

    A psychic hunter could fuse with the psyches of others to temporarily boost his own psychic powers. But the aftereffects would be dangerous for those who fused with the Psychic Hunter. The brain of others would not be able to handle the burden from fusing with a powerful psychic. As a result, those people would become mentally retarded. Find authorized novels in Webnovel,faster updates, better experience,Please click www.webnovel.com  for visiting.

    The monastery used the young monks for this purpose. It was something of a dirty secret that monastery never wanted anyone to know. This was the reason why Kiba called Akshobhya a pedophile during their battle.

    Kiba was shameless without any morals but even he had his own bottom lines. There were things which he would not do. Akshobhya has tried to come as sagely and kind being when Kiba mentioned the children whose lives he was ruining to boost bis own powers.

    Even before launching his finishing strike, Kiba knew the lives of the young monks were already ruined. Death would be a relief so he used his psychic link with Akshobhya to numb their consciousness. Now, after two months, they died with as low pain as humanly possible.

    "Recruit more students," Asahi instructed the elderly monk. "We will need more workforce to get the monastery to its former glory."

    "It shall be done," The elderly monk replied.

    Just then, the cloth door of the camp opened and a middle-aged man entered followed by two men in white suits.

    The middle-aged man was donned in a white holy robe that radiated an aura of divinity and pureness. He has long dark hair falling on his shoulder in the form of braids. On his forehead, there was a mark created by a mixture of vermillion clay and sandalwood paste.

    The mark was actually, two vertical lines which were connected at the bottom, forming a simple U shape, with an additional crimson vertical inside the U shape.

    On his bare arms, there were marks made of golden sandalwood in the shape of dharma chakra.

    As soon as he entered, everyone in the camp rose to their feet and bowed.

    "Swami Santana," Asahi's voice was filled with respect and awe. "Long live the Dharma."

    Santana gave a slight nod and everyone in the camp relaxed.

    "Please forgive us but so far we were unable to discover the culprit responsible for Akshobhya's present state," Asahi informed in a polite tone. "As I informed you before, I entered his consciousness but it was corroded and decayed just like his body. There was only one memory left intact in his consciousness and nothing else."

    The memory showed a part of the conversation between Akshobhya and Kurtis. The memory was short, abrupt and rather felt useless. But Asahi has a gut feeling it carried a secret to Akshobhya's present state.

    "And Kurtis from House of Hestia is still refusing to disclose details on what task he wanted Akshobhya wanted to carry out," Asahi stopped. He was hoping the reverend figure would apply pressure on Kurtis to share information.

    Sure, House of Hestia was the strongest faction in the World Government but asking for some information was no arm twisting. House of Hestia should have no problem if echelons of Dharma Chakra requested and gave some benefit in return.

    "Kurtis has paid a Dharma Chakra coin and as such, he is protected by the sacred laws of Dharma," Swami Santana replied without emotions. "The laws won't change for our convenience."

    "I understand," Asahi bitterly nodded.

    "Akshobhya was a treasured soldier of Cause of Dharma," Swami Santana's eyes flashed with holy light. "He might be at fault with his greedy nature but those responsible for his condition won't be spared, no matter what."

    ***

    The Fair, Desolate Blood Forest.

    The one responsible for Akshobhya's state was having a good time in the market while chatting with Leela. From a candy stall nearby, he purchased a hawthorn candy stick. He offered her one but she refused so he only took one.

    "What does Dharma means?" Kiba asked while eating candy ball.

    "It is difficult to explain," Leela answered. "Its meaning varies from person to person. For me, Dharma is far too rich, complex, and refined to explain using words of humans."

    "Oh," Kiba thought for a moment.

    Claudia has informed him that Dharma was not restricted to just religion. Even before the era of evolution, Dharma was a common occurrence in many religions, not just to one religion or one society. It even was mentioned in archaic texts retrieved from meteorites that were remains of Celestial Elysium Plane.

    The simple meaning was cosmic law - the rules that created the universe from chaos. But obviously, it meant more than that depending on the person, society, and world.

    "What does it mean for Dharma Chakra?" Kiba asked.

    Leela didn't answer and looked at him.

    "I'm sorry," Kiba scratched the back of his head awkwardly. "I became too curious and asked what I'm not entitled to."

    He inwardly sighed and thought he was pushing his luck too much. There was no way she would fully trust him or believe everything he has said.

    If looked logically, so far she didn't reveal any secret. Sure she told him the name of the Psychic Hunter and his monastery but that wasn't much. She wouldn't find those details any worthy of mentioning.

    Leela looked at her wristwatch and checked the time. It was a little over 4 pm.

    "It was nice meeting you," Leela lowered her hand and said. "Now, I have to take my leave and join my friends. I hope we will meet again."

    "I'm sure we will," Kiba replied with a smile. "Goodbye."

    He looked on as she turned around and left the street. She soon became a distant figure in the midst of the crowd.

    The candy stick was almost full but now it served no use. He was not in candies and he only purchased it to create an image which was no longer important.

    He threw the candy stick in a garbage box and left the street.

    ...

    Half an hour later.

    Kiba met Ashlyn outside Garrick Angel Inn.

    "Your acquaintances are exploring the market and we are going to join them," Kiba informed her. "Presently they are in Antique Stone Garden. "

    Ashlyn looked at him for a moment and then nodded her head. They both walked to their destination.

    Antique Stone Garden was not really a garden but actually a shop of grand proportions. It was even vast than the shop owned by Pythia.

    The price of every inch of land in the fair was worth in gold. But this shop didn't have to pay to rent. The reason? The shop was sponsored by Dark Stars...

    Antique Stone Garden was more like an art gallery with hundreds of stones, molten crust, and dust crunches lying around in unbreakable glass boxes.

    If the stories sold by the shop owners are to be believed, every material in the shop was acquired from the meteorites and debris that crashed on Earth in the year 1900.

    When stones and crusts were retireved from geological excavation, many of them contained special objects. Even in a small stone, it is possible to acquire a castle. Scientists believed the soil of the alien world has unique spatial properties by which they would suck big items inside. Only by breaking the stone can one find if a particular stone has some special item inside or not. It was a pure gamble.

    Antique Stone Garden hosted such foreign stones from around the globe. While people believed most stones were from the foreign world, the truth was that at least half were fake and forged to such a degree that no one could find any difference with the original.

    The patrons here have to test their luck. They could select any stone of their liking and after paying the required price, they could acquire it. The shop offered the facility to break the stone and retrieve the stored item (if any).

    Many times, people would leave empty-handed. And yet, the number of people visiting the shop never reduced. If one has plenty of luck then becoming rich or powerful was not a problem.

    The price was high for every piece of stone but for them, as long as they could get lucky even once, then it would be more than worth it.

    Everything was a matter of luck...

    The boxes containing stones and crusts were perfectly transparent and placed on metallic columns so guests could check them without any difficulty. The sensors in the store advanced enough to warn in case any mutant tried to use his/her special abilities to steal.

    Shawn, Amy, and their companions were checking the stones. Even though luck was required, there have been studies conducted to know what types of stones and crusts had more chance of having spatial powers. Texture, dimension, color, and shapes were only the fundamentals of such studies.

    "Shawn," A guy named Rickie called out. "Your family have done detailed research on these mutated stones from the foreign world. You have studied with your family in details so we are relying on you."

    "Don't worry," Shawn assured him with a smirk. "It would be a piece of cake to choose the best stones."

    Amy and others trusted him. They believed he has enough talent to back his claims.

    Almost 90% of those in The Fair won't enter the core region. The Fair was a safe zone in the forest so youngsters from powerful backgrounds would visit it after their families/organizations took enough security purpose. Amy and her group had plans and they were not restricted to The Fair or the guardian spirit village. They wanted to make it big in the core region even though it was dangerous where life could be lost in a single moment of carelessness.

    If they retrieved anything useful from this shop then it would further help them when the core region opened.

    At the same time, Kiba and Ashlyn entered the store.

    He looked around and noticed around a hundred mutants of both genders. There was a good number of handsome guys and gorgeous women. There were many of them who have just reached adulthood.

    "Perfect place," Kiba licked his lips like a predator at the sight of countless preys.Chapter 109Chapter 112.
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