Chapter 12 - Void.
Inside of Silver’s room,
Silver sat cross legged on his bed, staring unblinkingly out of his window as he contemplatedon what Akela had just told him.
“So Shiraz is not only the founder of the Divine Tiger clan but also it’s guardian deity.”
As he sat there, Silver thought about all the mysteries and secrets that surround the being known as Shiraz, one of which was the fact that Shiraz had managed to reach the [soul –compression] at the age of five.
It was common knowledge that for normal people even reaching the 10th stage could take them years at a time, but for a child of five years to reach the soul-compression stage should be impossible and was definitely unheard of.
However the biggest mystery that Silver just couldn’t understand was the “tiger eyes”.
“How did Shiraz get the [tiger eyes]and just where had Shiraz disappeared to for thousands of years while Jira was looking for him?”
Unable to understand Shiraz and tired of thinking about him, Silver decided to take a break from it all and get a bite to eat.
Silver left his room and headed for the dining hall.
However upon entering the dining hall he found his mother, Saphir sitting alone. He smiled at first in greeting,but soon realized that she was worried about something. Her face was paler than usual which made the slight pink surrounding her eyes more prominent, and she was biting her lip anxiously.
Seeing his mother like that, Silver felt his heart ache a bit so he approached and sat next to her.
Saphir looked at her son and gave him a bright smile that didn’t quite reach her eyes, then looked away and spoke,
“I heard you’re leaving today for the Central branch.” She Saphir.
Silver nodded back at his mother,
“Mm…..Father said that we’ll be leaving today to see grandfather at the Central branch!”
The moment Saphir saw Silver nod her heart sank and for an instant the worry once again appeared on her face, but she covered it up quickly with another smile.
Silver being as observant as he is, was able to notice that look of worry and concern. Instantly he began to feel both happiness and sadness.
The reason for his happiness was because he knew that his mother was worried about him and that she deeply loved him and wanted him to stay safe, something he had not experienced in his previous life.
However the reason for his sadness is slightly more complicated…
When Silver first began his training,Akela had told him not to reveal his cultivation progress to anyone, not even Saphir.
Little did he know that agreeing to that would leave his mother worried for his safety, when the time would come for him to be tested by the clan.
Realizing that Silver was also starting to feel bad Saphir signaled one of the maids to bring food for the both of them.
“You must be hungry, let’s eat!” she said enthusiastically.
As time went on both Silver and Saphir forgot about their worries and became completely enamored in each other’s company
However in the midst of all their laughter and joy, a maid entered and beckoned to Silver and said,
“Young Master, Lord Akela wishes for you to come to his study immediately!”
Silver sent the maid away and then turned to face Saphir who currently had also sobered, once again anxious.
He then leaned over to hug his mother and whispered quietly into her ear,
“Don’t worry, your son isn’t one to fall at this stage.”
Silver then turned and walked away towards his father’s study without glancing back however, had he turned back, he would have seen a teary-eyed woman smiling right back at him.
Inside of Akela’s study a black door could be seen standing in the middle of the room, while Akela stood at it’s side as if waiting for something.
Suddenly, the black door opened and from it an old man wearing an expensive looking black robe with a beautiful tiger pattern came forth. That old man was Ignus.
Akela bows respectfully to Ignus,
“I’ve already sent for Silver, he should be arriving any moment now.”
Ignus nods at Akela with satisfaction and then proceeds to sit down on Akela’s seat.
“How are things with Kaz in the Eclipse academy?” said Ignus.
Akela hesitantly replied,
“I know that you’re displeased that I’m not letting him participate in the Ceremony but he is my son and it is my decision.”
Ignuswas somewhat shocked at Akela’s tone,
“Ho! Akela have you forgotten that you are my son. Do you really think I don’t know the reason you haven’t sent for Kaz?”
Akela simply shrugged his shoulders no longer paying attention to Ignus.
“Ho! So you think that without my help you’ll be able to convince the other Elders of the Central branch to let Kaz off.”
Akela furrowing his brows glared at Ignus and said,
“He is your grandson!”
Ignus snorted coldly,
“Then simply admit that you chose Silver over Kaz to represent the Tar clan in the Tiger Hunt Ceremony.”
Akela furious at Ignus’s words banged his hand on a nearby table and smashed it,
“If you wish to interfere so much then fine I’ll play your game, I’ll send for Kaz to be brought back in order to represent us in the Ceremony.”
Ignus’s smile disappeared, he then looked at Akela whose face was now very ugly with rage.
The room was dead silent when suddenly Ignus burst into laughter,
“Hmph! It looks like you’ve also grown up in these hundred years and it also seems that you have extreme confidence in little Silver. I wonder why?”
Suddenly the door to the study opened and in walked Silver.
As he looked around the room Silver didn’t know what to ask about first.
“How is Grandpa Ignus here? Why is the furniture broken? What is that black door in the middle of the room?” thought Silver.
However rather than show his shock, Silver first bowed respectfully towards Ignus and then went to stand next to Akela, his face not showing the least bit of interest in his current surroundings.
This act from Silver surprised Ignus, after all, any normal seven year old would be filled with open curiosity and would ask many questions. In fact Ignus had been so expectant of such a reaction from him, that he had already began to prepare answers to all his questions.
“Little Silver, do you know what that black door is?” asked Ignus.
Silver looked at the black door carefully but all he could see were strange engravings on it, however refusing to back down Silver’s eyes changed into that of a tiger and as he looked closer at the black door he began to see tiny strands of pure lightning divine power moving about.
He then put away his tiger eyes andnodded towards Ignus,
“Ho! Little Silver it looks you and I are very alike. You don’t like to be underestimated, eh. Very well tell me what you think it is and if you come close I’ll give you a reward I promised you.”
Silver eyes sparkled,
“This old guy really likes to mess with people, father was probably the one who smashed the table and I bet this old man was the cause.”
Silver then turned to look at Akela,
“Father, could that black door perhaps be a part of Grandpa Ignus’s divine core.”
The room went silent for a few minutes, then suddenly Akela grinned while occasionally glancing at Ignus who was so surprised his jaw haddropped slightly,
“Yes little Silver, that black door is called a [high-class void] but how did you figure it out.” Said Akela as he ruffled Silver’s hair.
Silver simply pointed at Akela and said,
“You showed me!”
Ignus quickly recovered from his surprise and then proceeded to glare at Akela,
“I knew that it was impossible for a child to figure out the secret of the [void] just by looking at it.”
Akela chuckled slightly and looked at Silver lovingly,
“Stop messing with your Grandpa and explain properly how you knew about the [void].”
Silver replied with a small smile on his lips,
“Everytime you were giving something to me you would simply flick your sleeve and it would appear, so after thinking about it for a while and failing to come up with an answer, I used the enhanced eyesight of the tiger eyes to look closely and what I saw was exactly the same type of pure divine power that is found only in the divine core. So I came to the conclusion that it must be a part of your divine core.”
Every single word that came out of Silver’s mouth were like tiny bombs exploding in Ignus’s mind, only after Silver finished talking did Ignus now understand why Akela valued him so much.
“Good.Good! Little Silver you came close but you failed when you compared me to Akela.”
Seemingly ignoring Ignus,Akela proceeded to explain to Silver the secrets of the [void],
“Listen closely little Silver, the first thing you need to know about the void is that it isn’t a technique but rather it is something that is created when someone fuses his soul and his attribute. The space left after the fusion is the [void], which most cultivators use as a safe that no one can get into but the user.”
Silver had already guessed as much but what he didn’t understand was the black door,
“Exactly what is the black door?” asked Silver.
Akela opened his mouth to respond but was rudely interrupted by Ignus who was furious that Akela and Silver were ignoring him,
“The black door is something that someone who is still at the [soul-compression] stage cannot accomplish and quite frankly has no right to speak about!”
Akela was about to retaliate with his own remarks when Ignus suddenly stood up and walked towards Silver,
“The reward I promised you will be given to you when we reach the Central branch, now then I believe we should leave.”
Without giving Silver and Akela time to say anything Ignus had already opened the black door and was preparing to leave.
Not wanting to get left behind, Akela grabbed hold of Silver’s hand and headed into the door and as soon as they did the black door disappeared from the study.
Inside the black door there was only complete darkness, Silver couldn’t see anything no matter how much he strained his eyes.
However just as he was about to begin panicking, he felt a force pull him across the darkness at extreme speed, Silver tried to fight it but was unable to do anything to the resist the strong force.
Suddenly in the distance Silver saw a bright light, he also noticed that the invisible force was coming from the same location as the bright light.
In an instant he was pulled into the light, however due to the brightness of the light he closed his eyes in an attempt to adjust to it.
After Silver’s eyes adjusted to his surroundings, he opened them only to find that he was in a giant hall that seems to be part of a mansion or villa of sorts.
He then looked around to find both Ignus and Akela chatting in the distance,
“Hmph! Just because he ignored you for a bit, you actually made him stay in the [void] longer. You do realize that he is just a child.” Said Akela.
“I don’t care what you think but I won’t let him grow up looking down on me. I’m only doing this because you have failed to teach him to respect his Elders!”
Noticing that Silver had arrived Akela went up to him and said,
“Forget about your grandfather, come look at this.” Said Akela as he led Silver to the balcony.
As he stepped onto the balcony Silver saw an enormous mountain stretching up, up, up its’s peak obscured by clouds. Behind it another mountain rose and anotherand another until Silver lost count, after he had adjusted to the scale of the place he was in, Silver noted that among all the lush greenery that was growing there were large traditional buildings with beautifully curved roofs cluttered about the closer mountains, in fact they too were in part of the this mountain estate. It was breathtaking.
Ignus then called Silver,
“Here! This is your reward.” Said Ignus as he threw Silver a gold badge that had a lightning bolt on it.
“That badge will allow you to go anywhere within the Central and will also allow you to order guards and maids around with my authority. Now that the reward matter is settled you should go rest, there’s going to be a feast tonight where all high-ranking members of the five branches will attend.
This maid will lead you to your room.”
Silver then followed the maid to his to his room and on his way through the hall he saw a painting of a man who resembled Shiraz completely except for the fact that he had red hair.
“This must be Shiraz’s son, Tar!” thought Silver.
When they reached Silver’s room the maid bowed and left while Silver entered the room.
The room itself was neither small nor large, with a bed placed to one corner of the room and large windows running along two perpendicular walls. The furniture was also minimal with only a small desk, chair and small chest of draws. Nothing too extravagant, but of the highest quality.
However the thing that caught Silver’s eye was that on his bed there was a set of clothing that looked both expensive and extremely beautiful.
It was a white Changshan with a tiger pattern on it.
Silver carefully put away the beautiful clothing, jumped on his bed and slept.