3 Incomplete Astral Navigation Ar

Later that day, Mr. Willion took the group to an obscure corner. There, he started chanting a strange sutra and made some complex hand seals. Suddenly, the stone floor shook, as a huge cave entrance opened.

"Well, now that you're students of the Royal Naval School, I'll tell you some things."

"Though most of your parents work as Royal Navigators, they probably never talked much about their work, right? What you all should know is that each Royal Navigator, upon entering the school, receives an ancient cultivation method."

"Such manual permits them to cultivate and train unique abilities, necessary to survive out there in the wild sea. They are very diverse, some people can refine flying swords; control to a certain extent some natural elements, like fire; someones enhances body-strength; magically cure wounds and so on!"

Then, Mr. Willion opened his palm in front of everyone, as a small dark flame surged on it. Before the kids saw the demonstration, they thought he was talking nonsense; but now the youngsters had vivid expressions, as they observed the flame.

"Some ancestors obtained these techniques through intense researches of the ancient Chinese Taoists scrolls left behind by the oriental invaders millennia ago. Those were dark times for our nation, but an unexpected strange attack at their homeland forced them to retreat and never come back again."

After he finished speaking, Mr. Willion took them downstairs; everyone was joyfully chatting, except for Merlin.

'Humm... father talked to me about this briefly some years ago. But there are no free lunches in this world...'

As Merlin had his suspicious thoughts, the group arrived at a torch-illuminated chamber. It was very modest, with just some few bookshelves. The strange thing was a small altar in the middle of the room, pained in a scarlet color on the floor.

Mr. Willion had a calm expression as he spoke:

"Kids, choose one cultivation method that suits you the best then stand at the altar in the center. Do you understand?"

"Yes, Mr. Willion!" All the kids shouted as they dashed to the bookshelves, afraid that others would pick up the best cultivation manuals.

Merlin stayed behind, gazing at his new teacher.

"Mr. Willion, can I ask you something?"

Mr. Willion looked at him, then responded:

"Sure, please ask!"

"Well, could you tell me what is that altar for?"

"Relax, it's just a formality... now go there and choose your manual!"

A bit reluctantly, Merlin walked to a nearby bookshelf. This one had nobody around it, but there was a reason. Each shelf was related to a specific type of ability: elemental control; weapon control; beast control; body reinforcement; and so on.

As for the shelf Merlin chose to have a look, its content was Undefined. There were manuals like "Plant Growing Secret Art"; "Ancient Sail Control Technique"; "Hidden Magic Tricks" and some other simple and apparently useless cultivation manuals.

However, as Merlin looked through the books and scroll, he made an unusual discovery. At the wooden structure of the shelf, he found an apparently hollow point. After inspecting it for a while, he finally managed to open the secret space.

Upon looking inside, Merlin found a pitch black book, with a strange lock on its cover.

'Want a strange book...'

As he examined his discovery, Merlin eventually used his shirt to clean the cover. When his shirt was as dark as the book, he could finally read some faded words

'Incomplete Astral Navigation Art... looks like a cool name and its related to navigation.'

After Merlin spent some time thinking about keeping the book, he decided to choose it as his cultivation method.

When everyone ended choosing their cultivation manuals, Mr. Willion instructed them in making a line to stand at the altar. Smartly, Merlin entered at the end and observed the altar.

The first kid, named Hugh, stepped onto the altar.

"Very well, now let's start the Initiation Ceremony!"

As Mr. Willion said so, he made a hand seal. Immediately, the scarlet altar lightened up. Then, a few moments later, Mr. Willion asked:

"Hugh, do you accept this cultivation manual and swear by your life to serve the nation for the rest of your lifetime, always loyal and prepared to die for the country!!?"

Then, the kid suddenly responded "yes" in a robotic manner, as a strange red tattoo formed on his chest.

Though the other kids did not observe such events, Merlin did.

'F*ck the country!! Who would want to die for such a meanless manner!!?'

In his thought, Merlin was truly revolted with such brainwashing and evil technique, but he could only stay quiet and pray that he could resist the process.

After the process was over, Hugh woke up from the robot-state and asked about the red tattoo.

"Relax, it's just a symbol of your loyalty! Next one!"

Therefore, each one of the kids passed through the evil brainwashing ritual and it was Merlin's turn now.

He slowly walked onto the scarlet altar, and Mr. Willion began the ritual. When the altar lit up, Merlin felt a strong burning sensation on his chest, as a strange force started to attack his conscious.

Some moments later, when Merlin was almost losing his battle against the strange force, he felt a strange power coming from the left part of his chest. It was his birthmark, shaped in the form of a little lion head.

The strange force intercepted the evil tattoo, cutting its effect, but luckily not erasing it. At this moment, Mr. Willion made the loyalty question. Upon finding himself in such a situation, Merlin faked out a robotic "yes", just like the other kids.

"Alright kids, for today it's all! Today, you'll go back home and say your farewells to parents and friends. From tomorrow onwards, you will all live here in the pavilion."

"Also, try out your new cultivation manuals and make sure to keep them with you!"

Therefore, Merlin rapidly exited the school and head down to the Dock District. Upon arriving at the livid dock, Merlin headed to a specific restaurant.

"Good afternoon Old Granny!!"

"Ohh... welcome Merlin!! Have you come to pick up your lunch?"

"Yes, please!"

As so, the old lady entered the humble kitchen and came out with a little brown paper sack.

"Here you go, Merlin!"

"Thank you Old Granny!!"

After getting some food, Merlin headed back to the Major Servant District. Upon arriving home, he rapidly swallowed down his meal and closed himself inside his room.

After seating down on his bed, he started to think about the mysterious power from earlier but decided to put it to the side for now.

Therefore, he took out the pitch black book from his backpack.

'How should I open it...'

After thinking for a while, Merlin searched some thin metal tools he used to fix his pocket watch and used then o open the lock.

When the cover opened, dark dust came out, as an unexpected thing appeared. In reality, the book only had about 20 "intact" pages. For the rest, they were actually empty in the middle, giving place to a strange tool and three metal orbs.

Merlin was astounded, as he picked up the strange tool together with the metal orbs. From its appearance, the gear should be a cartography tool or something like that.

Putting the items aside, Merlin began to read the pages. The text was divided into two parts: Attack Technique and Mapping Technique.

Basically, to cultivate this method, the person had to refine astral energy from the stars and other celestial bodies. As he accumulated a certain amount, he could use the energy to attack and defend himself.

As for the usage of this astral energy, it was up to him. Merlin would have to use his imagination to create cool and useful moves and attacks. The final part of the Attack Technique part said that when cultivated to the extreme, one could summon the stars of the sky to fight for him.

Maybe it was because of this carefree style that the manual was considered incomplete. As for the Mapping Technique, it detailed a very unique method to create maps and navigate through the sea.

Merlin would have to refine the sextant and the orbs. The technique was to control the orbs through the air and use the sextant to calculate and create maps. The ray of usage depended on Merlin's astral energy cultivation: the more he cultivates, the bigger the ray and easier it becomes to use the magic artifacts.

'Who said that this technique was useless!!?'

Merlin cheerfully thought as he immediately seated cross-legged on the bed and followed the specific mantra, trying to sense and refine the astral energy in his body.
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