31 Intensive Training Part 2

    "As if.." Commented Niri bitterly in a low voice.

    Daniel ignored her completely, and instead kept eating his meal quietly. He had to go back to the training ground soon, as his spiritual training with the old alchemist was about to start.


    Training ground. 15:00

    When Daniel reached the training ground, he noticed the old alchemist sitting quietly on a stone bench. He had his eyes closed, and the only thing that made him look different from a statue, was his chest, which inflated and deflated slowly.

    Many had noticed the old alchemist, but differently from the old master-at-arms, nobody tried to show off their abilities to him. He was, after all, a spiritual cultivator. Nothing he could teach was of interest to them.

    The few of them who did approach him, did it to convey greetings from their group's leaders and prominent figures.

    When Daniel approached the old alchemist, the curiosity within the observing group of people, grew once more. They were aware of Daniel's talent in martial cultivation, and also about his lack of background. They really wanted to know what someone like Daniel could possibly want from a figure like the vice leader of Golden Cauldron.

    Their questions were answered the very next moment.

    The old alchemist opened his eyes the moment Daniel came near him. He smiled widely and said "Ready to start the training?"

    Sounds of jaws figuratively hitting the ground could be heard in the air.

    "I am" Responded Daniel convincingly. "What will you teach me?"

    The old alchemist suddenly started to giggle, then said "'Aerial Walk', 'Spiritual Shield' and 'Mana Sensing'.. Hehe" He then started to laugh once again.

    Once more, Daniel had guessed right. It seemed that the master's objective was not only to teach him powerful arts and magics, but also to show him how to defend against the opposite kind of cultivator.

    For example, the martial arts that the old master-at-arms had decided to teach him, were all motion skills that could allow a martial cultivator to approach a mage, and engage him in close combat. Similarly, the old alchemist had decided to teach skills that would allow Daniel to avoid close combat, and keep himself distant from his enemy.

    'Aerial Walk' was a skill that allowed a mage to spread his spiritual essence through the air, and change its composition in order to allow him to walk on it. This skill required the mastery of wind and water, and was considered an extremely advanced skill.

    'Spiritual Shield', as the name implied, was a skill that would allow one to create a non-elemental shield made purely of their spiritual essence. The purer the essence, and the higher the control, the more resistant the shield. This shield was most useful against magical attacks, but could also be used to strengthen elemental shields and increase their defensive abilities against physical attacks.

    Lastly, 'Mana Sensing' was a scouting skill that allowed a mage to sense the changes within the natural mana in a specific area. Therefore adding an additional layer of protection against sneak attacks or incoming ranged attacks.

    "Good, what do we start with?" Asked Daniel.

    The old alchemist got up on his feet, and looked at Daniel, then said "Mana Sensing."

    Mana sensing was a field type ability. Which was similar to the sixth rank of martial cultivation known as "Surrounding Awareness". Both these abilities granted a layer of awareness of one's surroundings, but in different ways.

    While Surrounding Awareness was a cultivation stage in which one's senses were so refined, that their awareness was heightened to an inhuman level, 'Mana Sensing' was simply a way of feeling the natural mana in the surroundings, and perceive the movements through the changes within it.

    If one were to compare them, 'Mana Sensing' would be extremely similar to the Yellow-striped Caiman's way of hunting. While the Surrounding Awareness stage, allowed a martial cultivator to hear, smell and see, making it much more effective than 'Mana Sensing'.

    Of course, one was a cultivation stage, while the other was a simple trick amongst spiritual cultivators. The two methods couldn't be compared.

    "Close your eyes, and start to feel the mana. Mana is everywhere, around your body, in the air, inside the plants, into the earth.. Feel the mana in the sun rays. Then, try to find the abnormalities in the patterns." Explained the old alchemist patiently.

    Daniel followed the old man's instructions, and started to sense the mana in the surroundings.

    At first, he only felt darkness. But as he managed to connect his spirit with the surrounding mana, he started to feel the solid earth essence under his feet.. The feeble essence of the grass, quietly waving above the ground. The rapid wind essence, transported by impetuous gusts of wind. And finally, the still and immovable sun essence, shining over the other types of essence like a gentle mother.

    Daniel studied their patterns over and over again, trying to get familiar with how they behaved. Then, all of a sudden, a small amount of earth essence started to raise from the ground, and merge together, creating a nail sized mass of earth essence. The earth essence floated quietly, until, it dashed through the wind essence and went towards Daniel at high speed.

    Instinctively, Daniel raised his hand and used it to shield himself from the small clamp of earth essence.


    A small rock had hit Daniel's palm.

    "AMAZING!" Shouted the old alchemist.

    One had to know, that when practicing this skill, at first one would only sense shadows of the various essences. The clarity would increase as a mage became more familiar with that specific type of essence, or after raising their rank through spiritual cultivation.

    What Daniel could see wasn't just shadows. He could differentiate between types of essences and react relatively fast.

    The old alchemist was expecting that he would have needed to hit Daniel a few times, before he would start to find the abnormalities within the essence patterns, but instead, he had felt the incoming stone right away.

    The more Daniel tried to focus on sensing the various types of essences, the more he became used to them. The ones he made the biggest progresses with were air and earth essences, as he could feel them directly against skin.

    He then started to feel the old alchemist's ki, and after pushing himself further in the distance, he felt the ki of the practicing cultivators, and even the metallic essence of their weapons.

    For the following five hours, the old alchemist kept throwing rocks, curving winds, flattening grass, shielding him from the sun rays, or even digging underground tunnels with thin water snakes. He wanted to help increase Daniel's speed in sensing and reacting to abnormalities.

    That's what this skill had been invented for. Feeling the mana in one's surrounding was an amazing experience, but if the spiritual cultivator wasn't able to sense the small metal essence which was whizzing towards him at high speed, and ended up pierced by an arrow, then he would still be a mage.. but a short lived one.

    The stages of 'Mana Sensing', like spiritual cultivation stages, were divided into Faint, Moderate, Profound and Peak.

    Daniel's mastery of 'Mana Sensing', after 5 hours of uninterrupted training, had reached the Moderate Sensing.

    His results in mastering 'Mana Sensing', if compared to 'True Motion', had been much more fruitful, and that had been because of the continuous interference of the old alchemist. From whom he received a sort of "intensive training".

    Daniel spent the rest of the day moving while using the advanced notions of 'True Motion', and by sensing his surroundings with his spirit.

    At the end of the day, he had spent almost a fourth of his remaining Karma points. He had calculated that, within 4 days, he would have run out. So even if he had agreed with the two old masters to be mentored for a whole week, he had still decided to attempt a breakthrough to the fourth rank after the fourth day of training.


    City Lord's Castle. 21:00

    Inside an impressive looking castle within the learned district, was a large and well decorated office. Inside this office, refined items of furniture could be seen decorating the room. The most impressive, was a 2x1.5 meters desk, built of an antique walnut colored wood, and a flat top made of pearly white marble.

    Behind this desk, sitting on a wooden throne, was a middle-aged man.

    This middle-aged man dressed in tidy clothes, which were unable to cover his heavily built and muscular body. His slicked-back grey hair uncovered a good looking face, sculpted by strong-mindedness and discipline.


    "Enter.." Said the middle-aged man with a low, yet powerful voice.

    A man in city guard armor with a tiger carved on the left side of his chest, entered the door. The man was fully armored, and his face couldn't be seen. In his hand, a long spear was held straight. "City Lord, a communication from the Riora's region governor." Said the guard in decisive tone, right before handing an envelope over to the middle-aged man.

    The City Lord took the envelope, and opened it, not caring about excusing the guard. The guard didn't dare to move, and stood still, in wait for orders.

    Inside the envelope, was a folded piece of paper. Once taken out and unfolded, the City Lord read the content of the letter.


    The master of the School of Everlasting Fury has requested that you personally welcome his incoming children, and convince the previous Master-at-arms to take them both in as direct students.

    Your secondary objective is to discover the reason why the Silver Alchemist has been staying with him for the past three days.


    The City Lord finished reading the letter, and then sighed deeply. He had once been a powerful cultivator, and now, after obtaining the position of City Lord, he had been stuck inside this office, only able to come out of his castle to entertain young masters of powerful schools.

    He picked up the pen from above his desk, and started to write a letter. He then folded it, put it inside an envelope, and sealed it with molten wax. He handed it over to the standing guard, and said "Deliver this letter to the old master-at-arms."


    Back to the hotel, Daniel spent his entire evening training 'True Motion' and 'Mana Sensing' without the use of his system. He had decided that he would't have spended more points on these two skills, as now that he had learned them, he could increase their mastery later in the future, when he would have had more points to spend.

    Today, Daniel had trained for 10 hours. Even more if one counted the time he had practiced by himself. Around midnight, he decided to go to sleep, in preparation for the next day of training.


    Next day, training grounds. 08:00

    Like the day before, Daniel found the old master-at-arms waiting for him. All around him, a group of young practitioners trained their own skills, trying to impress him. Unfortunately, none of them gained as much as a glimpse from the old man.

    The moment Daniel approached him, the old man rose up to his feet and after looking at him for a few seconds, he said "You have made almost no progression since our training ended yesterday.."

    That was the truth. Daniel had decided to train 'True Motion' without the use of the karmic system, and that had put his learning capabilities below those of a genius.

    The old man, of course, knew nothing about Daniel's karmic system, or the fact that he had practiced all day. What he knew was that Daniel had prodigy level talent, and that he hadn't made any progress. That had caused him to think of Daniel as lazy, and his impression within the old man's mind to lessen a bit.

    With a slightly disappointed expression, he looked at Daniel and said "You should put more effort into training.." He then turned back into his usual stoic expression, and continued "Today, i'll teach you 'Ki Rush'.
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