4 The Effects of Meditation

    Meditation was a process every single acolyte would go through. It was simple: focusing your mind on absorbing the elemental particles which suits you in the environment, based on your affinities. The higher your affinity with the said elements, the more benefits you would get from meditation.

    This is why there are such huge disparities in growth rate, especially between acolytes from adept family who inherited part of their ancestors' improved affinities. Drodosis had average talent, and it was truthfully in the top 20% of the tower's acolyte talent rank according to his biochip's estimate, but it was only because the vast majority of his competitors were coming from average noble families, with no backing and low talent.

    However, upon meditating for the first time since acquiring his biochip, Drodosis was shocked.

    Before, he had to use 100% of his mind to focus, and he was barely able to last for one hour! Yet...not only did he manage to last 6 hours in a row, he was also free to do other things in the meantime! His biochip allowed him to be meditating on automatic mode! Although the effects were not as great as when he was doing it himself, it allowed him to optimize the absorption, and his overall daily gain.

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    Indeed, similarly to eating three normal meals a day was better than just eating a huge feast per day, it was better to slowly absorb elemental particles at a slow yet regular pace, instead of gulfing huge amounts all at once.

    [Beep! Host's cultivation speed has increased by 130% with the automatic mode! Host is expected to earn an increment in spirit in six days.]

    Drodosis had an idea. What if he combined his breathing technique with meditation? He had previously bought a breathing technique from a poor lad coming from a knight family, desperate enough to trade his family secret for magic crystals. Drodosis, taking advantage of this opportunity, had thus acquired something he would have never been able to get his hands on otherwise. Breathing techniques allowed practitioners to stress one's cells, and force their evolution with internal energy. Of course, since most people have yet to awaken internal energy, only with a breathing technique coming from generations of trials and errors, would you yield results.

    And, surprisingly, not only could he do both at the same time - meditating and cultivating his cells -, there was additional benefits.

    'Alpha, how many evolution points are required to break through the knight realm?'

    [Beep! 789 evolution points are required!]

    It actually reduced the price for his breakthrough! Drodosis knew that it meant that he would become closer to a breakthrough himself. Of course, repeating this process over and over, he would still need months before actually breaking through, but...he had already waited for 13 years before awakening his biochip. If he needed a few months to break through, it was insignificant. In fact, it was absolutely amazing, considering that the records of the youngest knight to breakthrough were actually unbroken for a long time, with the record holder being 16 years old at the time.

    Drodosis' changes didn't go unnoticed within the tower. As days passed, Drodosis didn't stop at Jean, the half-orc. The beginner acolytes who were scornful towards him, those who scammed him on the market floor, and more importantly, those who stole from him...Drodosis engaged in numerous duels. Fights were tough, but his biochip allowed him to guess the spells' trajectory and his physique enabled him to dodge most of the enemy spells. After a little bit of research and simulations, he didn't even have to show his trump card - the water orb spell - and his fortune was growing.

    "Hi, young master, will you command the same as usual?", a maid asked Drodosis with huge respects.

    Drodosis was sitting in his usual seat, which he reserved every day, for the past 14 days. He followed his biochip's suggestions of eating nutritious food. Combined with the effects of meditation and breathing techniques, his attributes were rising at a pace never seen before. Even geniuses would find it hard to believe.

    "Yes, please!", Drodosis answered in a gentle yet authoritative voice.

    A few minutes later, a huge feast composed of scrambled abyssal sea fish eggs, forest boar meat and fiend blood, seasoned with some magical spices, made the meal look like a disaster, and absolutely disgusting from the outside. However, every single ingredient, which would be truly poisoning if eaten raw, was actually a delight in your mouth, fulfilling the wishes of every single taste buds you had! Drodosis took even more delight in hearing the biochip's notification.

    [Beep! Nutritious food ingested! Expected gains: +0.1 Physique and strength after digesting, +0.2 agility.]

    This method was expansive, as each meal cost him one magic crystal on average. However, it was also the fastest way to improve his foundations, and more importantly, his agility. He knew that balanced attributes were the key to greatness. Unbalanced attributes would create bad habits of relying on one particular stat to win duels, instead of using every single asset the human body provided. This is why Drodosis was hell bent in improving agility. Physique and strength could easily be increased by working out his cardio and practicing his breathing technique respectively. As for spirit, meditation sufficed. But...training didn't really increase his agility, so it didn't meet the growth rate of his other stats. If this situation went on, then he would have speed as his weakness. This is why eating in this restaurant was a huge opportunity for him, albeit costly.

    If not for the biochip's notifications and suggestions, he would have never dared to spend money on 'food'. In fact, eating in this place on a daily basis probably saved him months, maybe even years, of training. Knowledge was power. As long as you had knowledge, you would get access to resources, and you would know what was good to you, and what was not. The biochip was even better, since it basically showed him graphs. Eliminating the useless training he was used to, he grew accustomed to change and follow the biochip's instructions, and his evolution met his expectations, for once.

    [Beep! Name: Drodosis Thornfield (13-years-old, 6 months).

    Beginner Acolyte

    Evolution points - 308

    HP - 21

    Strength - 6 (+2) | Agility - 5 | Physique - 6 (+2) | Spirit - 5| Magic Power - 5 | Mana - 15

    Status: Healthy.

    Perks: → Preparatory Knight Physique (+2 Strength and Physique).

    Skills:  → Acid Spear (Deals [Spirit*4] points of damage, cost 3 points of mana. Projectile's speed scaling with magic power (50 + [Magic Power] *10 m/s)).

    → Water Orb (Create a water orb around the caster, with [Spirit] layers, each one of them absorbing up to [10+Spirit] points of damage. Cost: 3 points of mana. After ten minutes, the spell is cancelled)

    Items: 11 magical crystals, sharp dagger.]

    Today was a huge opportunity for him. He had chosen a mission to complete, after paying back every single person who offended him previously, crippling the most dangerous ones, and letting go of insignificant grudges.

    It was a task suited for his current strength, one which could go terribly wrong, or astoundingly well. It was not the same as a simple patrolling mission, where he would only be required to kill a few lost demon rats.

    In the Ivory towers, missions were open to everyone, and the first one to complete it would receive the rewards, unconditionally. This is why Drodosis had an advantage. He had scanned every single resource-related mission, and decided to go on an excursion in the resource site around the tower. Although it was full of dangers, there were plenty of opportunities out there. Moreover, he didn't need to actually go to the library and waste knowledge points, since it was already in his head.

    He would go on a run, and pick up whatever he saw and appraised as valuable.

    The past 14 days was enough to increase his attributes, techniques, but also turn the scanned information into actual knowledge as he forced himself to learn in order to increase his spirit.

    As he went to the tower's exit, a mechanical voice reverberated in his ears.

    "Please show identification", a huge golem asked.

    Drodosis scanned its attributes, and was shocked lifeless:

    [Name: Ivory Tower Golem Guard. Strength - 20 | Agility - 4 | Physique - 26]

    'The world is truly big, and compared to the big shots, I'm as insignificant as a mere ant...'

    Complying to the order, he was let out in the wilderness, or the so-called wastelands, as it was nicknamed. After patrolling the tower so many times, Drodosis was used to the magical formation, or at least, it was what he was thinking. The magical formation was just a labyrinth, and he only knew one of the many ways out, and it was definitely not the shortest path.

    Taking a shortcut, he arrived in the true wastelands.

    From a distance, he could see in the north the infamous ruins which were said to be full of skeletons, liches and dangerous sand mummies, undead capable of tearing apart the strongest intermediate acolyte in melee. It was a resource point for advanced apprentices, and since they were no more than a handful in the Ivory Tower, it was a golden mine which was full of resources, yet too dangerous to harvest for him. In the East, there were miles of vegetation, forming a small forest, a shocking contrast with the sand-like dunes and mountains which seemed to go on endlessly in the horizon. In this forest, one could encounter demon rats, forest boars, lizardmen, and even special kind of insects and bugs, which were extremely lethal.

    It was full of resources, but because of these bugs, only acolytes with defensive spells could go inside it and harvest them. In the West, there was nothing but sand...and sand monsters: sand sharks, sand bears, fire horses, sand eagles and different kind of wild beastmen, all the more dangerous, such as scorpion-men, and fire antmen. The tribes were hostile to acolytes, and sometimes, they acted as bandits. It was a true wonder why Great Adept Rayleigh actually let this threat alive, especially considering that their power allowed them to take on advanced apprentices on, either with number, or through their sheer individual might. The more time passed, the stronger these tribes became. The casualties around the tower were increasing as well, yet the great adept didn't move at all.

    However, Drodosis was going south. He was looking forward to visiting the Kerrosby Oasis itself, a huge treasure trove for water-elemental apprentices. There were no outstanding threats besides magical fish species, and water elementals, beings made of water which could nullify all kind of physical attacks. Not only the concentration in water elemental particles was high in this place, there were also plenty of water treasures. And Drodosis was looking forward to one particular item: Water-elemental beads, which could be refined in jewelleries which increased magical power and mana, along with water-elemental affinity!

    Unknown to him, a shadow was following him from a distance, and its strength was surprisingly much higher than an average acolyte. He was someone who was known as a genuinely flawless assassin: the infamous intermediate acolyte Adar.
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