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348 One of a Kind Part 3 of 3

    Two minutes after those fateful words were spoken, the testing area was no more.

    Clouds filled with water and static electricity which moved around thanks to the powerful winds that devastated everything that stood in front of their path. Hurricanes made out of flamable gases which fueled the flames that surrounded them, hailstorms which hid pebbles and metallic ores which dropped from the ground like bullets, and even leaves as sharp as knives, which by being carried by the wind, threatened to slice open anything that did not have the intelligence to not stay in their path.

    These attacks came all at once, greatly shocking the onlookers. The attacks were not only a hundred times more brutal than before, but combined into terrifying combos that would make it extremely hard for anybody to counter it.

    While nobody could see what was happening inside the area that was being devastated by the seven ancient elementals, the spectators could see that the attacks were failing to hit as they were supposed to. The storms were forced into following paths that would force them to clash against one another, and lose enough pace and power for Roley to continue defending himself.

    Minuscule gusts of air were sent in the direction of each and every small pebble, ore, and hail, which by dashing in his direction at full speed, would compress the air enough to cause it to glow, and catch on fire. In the end, the objects disintegrated before they could reach his body.

    Roley had taken this idea from when he had witnessed an asteroid enter a planet's atmosphere. He wasn't a studious of wind essence at the time, but now that he had a perfect comprehension of it, he knew what the mechanics of what would cause for a meteor to vaporize were.

    The razor sharp leaves were gently deviated in the direction of the flaming hurricane, which would burn them off completely in moments.

    Roley had always been a pensive person. He would always think before speaking, and would always try to find the best method of solving a problem whenever he ended up facing one. However, after meeting Daniel, he had come to realize that the latter did not need his intellect to thrive and do the right thing.

    While Roley hadn't taken this as a bad thing, it had motivated him to become a person to which Daniel and the rest of his friends could rely on, and the only way he had found how, was to trust in Daniel's judgement, and simply become as powerful and reliable as possible.

    This change had caused him to go beyond his original pensive character, and instead, had become a calculative individual. His morale hadn't changed, nor had his personal relationships. What had changed, was that when he knew that something of importance would happen in the immediate future, he would do everything possible to be prepared for each eventuality.

    This way of thinking had not only helped him in his preparation for the test, but had also allowed him to realize something extremely important. Something nobody else had noticed so far, and that hadn't been mentioned in the very least.

    That realization came in the form of a question.. Why did the class of white-robed cultivators exist?

    This question had buzzed in his head for the whole travel towards the city, but only after the second day of testing, had he made progress in answering it.

    By logic, if a cultivator showed a perfect comprehension and affinity to multiple elements, they should simply be allowed to choose which one they preferred, or if the rules of the factions were strict, a decision should have been made for them. However, what was the reason to test these cultivators with multiple tests?

    In order to show affinity, one would require to be fully focused on the attack that was coming his way. However, by attacking him in seven different ways at the same time, they had made it impossible for Roley to fully focus on a single essence.

    The elementals themselves were aware of this, and that was proven by the fact that they had changed the rules of the test, and allowed him to use any means necessary to protect himself. So if the highest potential of affinity was not what they were looking for, what was it?

    This question would forever remain nothing but a question, unless he managed to achieve whatever the true purpose of this test was. So, while the other white-robed cultivators were tested, he began to plan how to defend himself against any possible combination, direction, or concept of the elemental essences.

    After a few long minutes spent attacking Roley unceasingly, the elementals came to the conclusion that, no matter how they attacked him, in order to make him fail, they could only use two methods. To increase their powers beyond Roley's abilities, or to wait for him to run out of immortal essence.

    However, their goal was not to defeat Roley, but instead, to observe him. And from the way these seven ancient elementals were smiling while he panted on stage in between pools of water, clumps of dirt, and metallic shards, it was clear that he had succeeded.

    The spectators looked at what had just happened on stage with horror, but then, after seeing that Roley was safe and sound, they began to realize the magnitude of talent that he possessed when compared to anybody else.

    Usually, when this event ended, the students in white-robes that passed the test for more than one element, would be sorted into the category that better suited their affinity, but this was not the case for Roley, which had shown an even amount of affinity to all seven of the elemental essences.

    After the testing, the elementals would usually pick the inheritors which had passed the test, and bring them into their territories.. but this time, everything was different. This time, a powerful gust of wind surrounded Roley's body, before shooting in the distance with a speed that no one but the ancient elementals were able to notice, and that so fast, that had even caused for Roley to fall unconscious.

    Meanwhile, while the other students and teachers were occupied with observing this odd event, the ancient elementals had disappeared, leaving the inheritors behind, and the teachers in a state of confusion. The only ones who did not appear to be shocked, were the dean, and the woman in red clothes.

    -----

    When Roley woke up, he was into a dark room. The walls of this room were made out of thick rectangular stones. At the highest point of three of these four walls, were windows from which moonlight came in.

    The moonlight of elementi was very faint, and the reason for that, were the many rings composed of small pieces of ice and rock that orbited the planet, and prevented the light from bouncing back and forth from the planet to the moon properly. That was the reason why the nights in Elementi were extremely dark, with exception made for a period of fifty-nine of the seven thousand days-long yearly cycles of the planet, when the moon's position would allow it to shine freely, and without objects that could hinder its splendor.

    When Roley stood up, he quickly noticed that he was lying over a bed made out of soft dirt, above which soft leaves were laid out carefully, making it extremely comfortable. He was also quick to find the door present in the middle of the only wall that lacked windows.

    This door was made of pure gold, and by the way it had been left ajar, it did not appear to be locked.

    After realizing that he wasn't a prisoner, Roley took a deep breath, and after approaching the door, he opened it slowly. What appeared in front of him, was a dark corridor.

    The moment he stepped through the door, a series of small flames which floated two meters above the ground appeared in rapid sequence, stopping about thirthy meters later, where the light of the last of these flames showed a door identical to the one from which Roley had just gone through.

    However, contrary to what one would expect, this corridor was not a simple corridor that lead to one room to another. The entire wall on Roley's left was engraved with images made out of lines of goldeen ore that came out of the perfectly cut stone in an extremely unnatural way.

    It did not take long for Roley to realize what these images were. They were a story, and this story started with a planet where only primitive elementals lived. No humans, no beasts.. Just sprites of nature that walked the planet peacefully.

    Most of these sprites were sedentary, and would usually stay in the places where they had been born, but not all of them were the same. Many of them had decided to travel the peaceful world, and by doing so, they had been able to discover new and different concepts of the elements, which had allowed them to evolve into smarter beings.

    Unfortunately, becoming smarter had been a double-edged sword.

    Their intelligence had put them in the radar of the newly formed universal government, as well as the factions that had been just submitted by it. Factions which had an extremely high interest in the relics that had birthed them.. A resource which they had long started to pillage around the universe before they could even come in contact with the native elementals of this planet.

    Thankfully, the unstable nature of the universal government had allowed them to join their cause without the need of a bloodbath. That decision had also caused two different changes in their culture. They  knowledge had become possession of the universal government, while at the same time, they had obtained the ability to study nature from an external perspective. One of a human.. One that allowed humans to have a different relationship with mana than the elementals had.

    After that, the presence of humans became more and more frequent in the history reported by these images, and most of them displayed how the studies of the elementals had allowed them to create a race of half elementals.

    That was where the story should have ended.

    However, there were two more images after that. One, which depicted seven spheres placed in circle, each containing the symbol of a different element, and surrounded by smaller and yet identical spheres. What was interesting was that these seven spheres were shown as if they were leagues above any other.

    The final depiction, was the silhouette of a man. However, this silhoette did not show any human connotations, and appeared like an empty shadow. His body was split into numerous segments, and each limb, was filled in with the depiction of a different element.

    Inside the head was an upside down tree, which represented the lightning element. In the right arm were raging flames that seemed to move towards the chest, as if trying to reach the left arm, which contained massive waves and rain that acted similarly. Where the heart should have been, was a cyclone, which symbolized the the wind that turned the water colder and more agitated, and fed the fire infinitely. In place of the stomach, was the depiction of a massive tree surrounded by nature, while each leg had depictions of straight parallel and perpendicular lines which represented metal, and rocks, pebbles, and anything related to earth essence. In the empty spaces in between these depictions, was a pattern that symbolized a power that did not belong to the elemental essences, however, Roley was unable to tell what that power could have been.

    Roley observed this last image for what felt like hours, until finally, the door at the end of the corridor was opened, and left ajar.

    Before moving towards the door, Roley once again looked at the silhouette, and after memorizing it, he reached the door, and gently pushed it open.

    What appeared behind it, was a massive hall with seven chairs placed in a semi-circle around a small platform. Each of the seats were occupied by one of the ancient elementals who had tested the students..
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