Dale looked at his Master, astonished. He had noticed the white stripe a while ago, but he hadn’t made the connection. “What does the white stripe mean, teacher?” Dale asked, looking at his head curiously.
“This strip is what we call our Soul.” Master Lem began, glancing at Dale, “Not our eternal soul, which would pass on when we fall to eternal rest, but our Souls energy. Once you reach the Steel Core level, you can begin to cultivate your own Soul energy. These white stripes act like a storage section, allowing you to store a great deal of energy in them. I am only at the Silver Core level, yet if I release the energy I have stored in my Soul, I can slow time to an incredible 20%.”
Instructor Lem went on, “It is incredibly important that a cultivator takes great care of his Soul. The more energy you store, the longer or slower you can make time stretch.” He looked at Dale, to see if he understood. Dale nodded.
“From what I can tell, your father must have been one of our members. I can think of no other group that would have such a unique stripe in their hair.”
Dale said, “Thanks for letting me know, master. Anything about my parents would mean a lot to me, I haven’t ever really had the chance to know them.” Dale looked down, refusing to let tears overtake him. He had always held the hope that his parents were lost somewhere, looking for him. His hope now seemed a fools dream, one that could never come true.
Instructor Lem looked at him for a time, then went into his kitchen, drawing up some tea, and pouring some for himself and Dale. “Dale, I understand what you must be feeling. However, you need to focus on becoming as strong as you can. Only with great strength will you be able to have any affect on this world.”
Dale nodded, stating, “I know, master. I will become the most powerful being in this universe, and I will have my vengeance. However, I know that I’m too young now, and don’t have the strength yet.” He clenched his fists, determination overwhelming him for a moment.
“Good! That is what I mean.” Instructor Lem looked at Dale for a moment, a complicated look on his face. He wanted the best for his disciple, but he regretted the pain and sorrow Dale had to feel. The two of them continued to talk, before going there separate ways, each of them beginning their day.
Feng’s Point of View
Feng woke up, yawning as he got to his feet. The light outside was glaring, clearly well past dawn. He stretched slowly, rattling his bones as he felt the flames in his body rise. He sat down, focusing his mind on creating a small flickering flame. He shuddered as he remembered the tortures his Demon Principal Warren had put him through, to get to this point. Feng deftly manipulated the flame he had formed in the air, moving it through various shapes.
Instructor Warren had told Feng to focus on his control over flame. He said that while Feng had great power, his control was severely lacking. When Feng could successfully control a single flame to a perfect extent, the Principal said he would teach him a powerful technique. Feng concentrated, willing the flame floating in the air to form a ball. The flame resisted a slight amount, before giving in to his power. With the aid of his Fire Lord Bloodline, Fengs control of fire had rapidly increased, at an almost unbelievable rate.
Feng thought back to the recent events, especially Dales collapse and break down yesterday. When Feng had heard what had happened to Dales parents, he had been beside himself with rage. Dale was like his brother. Feng had tried imagining what it would be like if his mother had been the one to suffer what Dales had. His vision had turned red, and he almost incinerated the ground he stood on.
Feng had decided then and there, he would help Dale in his mission, to gain revenge, no matter the cost. Because, to Feng, Dales friendship and brotherhood was a bond that could not be broken. He would defend him to the last. Feng nodded, confident. The flicker of fire he held in the air suddenly exploded into exotic shapes, as Feng willed it this way and that.
Feng stood up, dampening the flame in the air. He walked out of the dorm, sneaking past Dales still broken door, and made his way towards the Principals office. Ever since he had become the Principals disciple, his name and his face had become well known, especially after the previous tournament. He tried to avoid talking to people, as he never felt comfortable with the toadying. Feng knew that people treated him differently then they treated Dale, and always felt it was unfair. Feng mentally shrugged, putting it behind him. What he couldn’t solve, he couldn’t solve. There was no use worrying over it, at least not now.
Feng arrived at the Principals office. Principal Warren was, as usual, awake and cheerful, hiding his demonic nature from others to see. Feng knew better, however, and cautiously approached. The secretary sitting nearby waved him through. Feng walked in the office, bowing his head as he did.
The Principal looked up from the desk he was sitting at, going through several different Arts, “Ahahaha! Young Feng! What brings you here? Surely not to say you have mastered your fire yet?” he said, with a curious look on his face. However, the stars covering his strong head made his curious smile seem slightly demonic. Feng thought it was quite appropriate.
“Yes sir! I have mastered controlling a flame, and am here to learn more, master!” Feng bowed again, respectfully. On the inside, he was secretly planning on how to take down the Principal in a fight.
“Hahaha! Well then! Let’s go test your skills!” The Principal led them to a training room, down the hall. It was a bit larger then the normal training rooms, and looked as if it had been made specifically for the principal. All the walls had a metallic sheen, and when the door slammed shut, no sound could be heard from the outside. Feng was not surprised.
Feng sat down, cross-legged, and began to focus. He slowly willed a flame into existence, floating in the air. He then drew it about, weaving and bobbing, changing its form and strength.
Principal Warren watched on, a neutral expression on his face. On the inside, however, he was shocked. Feng had been practicing for a very short amount of time. For him to grow this powerful, this exact in his skill, he was a monster, the Principal concluded. Possibly a demon. He shook his head ruefully, clearing his thoughts.
“Hahahahaha! Well done, brat!” The Principal said, an insufferably cheerful look on his face. Feng glared at him, which only served to send the damned demon into another fit of laughter. “It looks like I’ll actually have to start teaching you ahaha.”
The Principal looked at Feng for a moment. Feng looked back, and suddenly, a Black colored Aura, riven with streaks of Gold sprang into existence. A huge pressure crashed into Feng, driving him backwards, extinguishing the flame he had brought into the world.
“Very well! Today, then, young Feng, it’s time you learned the Flame Body Transformation!” Flames burst out, surrounding Principal Warrens figure. The heat was oppressive, warping the air itself. Warren transformed into what looked like an embodiment of heat and power. Flames covered him, licking his shouldars and blasting off him in waves. Feng looked on in awe.
There are 4 forms to cultivating the Flame Body Transformation! This technique is not like normal techniques. You must cultivate the energy in your soul, storing your power, to create a powerful physical transformation. I personally can only hold this form for perhaps 30 seconds. However, you have great potential, young Feng.” He said, gesturing at Feng. Suddenly, the flames surrounding him disappeared, and the heat dissipated. He looked tired, as the smoke drifted off of him, coloring the room a murky grey.
He went over to the side of the room, opening a safe that was set in the wall. The safe gleamed a mysterious silver, shining off of the metal surrounding it. After a moment of fiddling with the safe, he brought out a small scroll. He tossed it to Feng. Feng, scrambling to his feet, snatched the scroll from the air, carefully holding on to it like it was a great treasure.
“This technique is my ultimate form. One of the Godly 108 Arts found on the Great Arts Diagram. Treat it well, and learn. You will need this power, one day.” He smiled fondly at Feng. Principal Warren treated Feng like his own grandson, admittedly, with a bit of a tough love sentiment.
Feng nodded gratefully at him, and made as if to leave. The Principal let out a great laugh, “HahahahAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Surely you don’t think we’re done with practice for the day now?”
Feng groaned, and put the instruction manual to the side, preparing to combat whatever tortures his Master had developed for today.