Theldon Continent – The Under Cave, West of the Var Family Gem Mine
Dale and Jerah passed quietly through the cave wilderness, approaching the locale where the huge impact they felt had originated. They had passed by several hundreds of different cave systems coming out of the Northern End. On the way, Dale kept turning around, feeling like someone was following them, but he couldn’t detect anything. After a while, he put it out of his mind, and focused on riding his lizard mount.
Soon, Dale managed to regain his new prowess riding his mount, and became quite bored, looking around at his surroundings. He began recalling the lessons Instructor Lem had taught him, regarding his Time Art. Dale also remembered the Godly 108 Arts technique he had obtained, though only the initial steps.Dragon God’s Overwhelming Aura Art was quite a mouthful he thought, wondering who named it. When Dale had been studying, he had memorized the two steps that had been left in the manual. He reviewed them now, deciding to start practice.
Dale only had two of the steps available to him. The first one described a way to focus his energy that would allow him to imitate a dragon's. He mentally repeated it.
Dragon God’s Overwhelming Aura Art ------------------
1st Layer – Dragon Sea – This layer is the most important layer to a practitioner of the Dragon God’s Overwhelming Aura Art.
In this layer a practitioner will begin creating what is known as a Dragon Sea.
A Dragon Sea is a pool of extremely pure Aura that has been purified by focusing and refining, over and over. Dragon Seas are extremely uncommon in anything except a Dragon. By using a manmade Dragon Sea, a human can imitate the Majesty and Power inherent in a Dragon’s Aura without having to expend any energy.
To create a Dragon Sea the practitioner must fuse their will into energy garnered by their Core. The resulting energy will slowly be transformed into pure Aura. This Aura must then be fused back into ones Core, and the process must be repeated again, several hundred or even thousand times. Eventually, the energy in one’s Core will form a natural sea of Aura that has been purified to the extreme.
A practitioner must successfully form a Dragon Sea before they can move on to the next layer.
Dale mentally reread the scroll, double-checking himself. It was very intriguing. Dale had never heard of this “Dragon Sea” and thought that it seemed worthy of being one of the Godly 108 Arts. To be able to use a Dragon’s Aura would be a huge boost in his power. Dale eagerly dived in to the first step.
Dale closed his eyes, still maintaining his Perfect Balance mode. Dale had found that he could manipulate the energy in his Core to use Aura instead of Time, and still use his Perfect Balance mode. For some reason, it no longer placed a great deal of strain on him, and he could maintain it almost indefinitely.
Dale delved into his Core, sensing the large pool of energy his Steel Core had. He had constantly been cultivating, absorbing his natural energy into his Core over the past day. He knew it would take a long time before he could form his Silver Core and he intended to use every advantage he had.
Dale’s mind flashed to the bag of Monster Cores he had placed in the ceiling of his room, hidden from sight. He couldn’t wait to begin absorbing energy for the first time. Dale had never personally absorbed energy from a Monster Core, and was unsure how the process worked. He knew the basics from his teachings, but he had no practical experience. As his mind mulled these thoughts over, Dale began to infuse his will into the energy in his Core.
Now, infusing ones will is not as simple or easy as it sounds. Dale has to focus all of his being into creating Aura, pouring the energy in his Core into it. After a few moments, Dale felt the Aura form, a small pool of power in his body.
Aura is unique from other types of energy. Aura is similar to the energy in one's Core in that it is a small pool of power a practitioner can draw from. However, the uses for Aura are very different than the uses of Core Energy.
A practitioner could manipulate Aura to blast forth in waves, knocking weak willed enemies unconscious. One could wrap Aura around one’s body, enhancing and creating a sense of majesty around one's self, emanating power, as well as giving enormous defensive properties that could be of aid. Aura could also be used to make otherwise weak blows gain enormous mass, causing even a slow moving punch to cause a massive impact.
Some creatures are even born with innate Aura Seas, like Dragons, and can draw from these naturally, like Dale drew from his Core. These Aura Seas would naturally regenerate, unlike the Aura humans created from using their Core energy. However, thanks to the technique Dale had found, he could now start forming his own Aura Sea.
As Dale focused his mind on forming his Aura, he remembered the pool of power he had felt so long ago, when he had driven the Azure Ice Dragon away. When Dale tried to sense that power now, he couldn’t. It was as if it had disappeared. He mentally shrugged, more concerned with absorbing the Aura he was purifying back into his Core.
After an hour of concentration and focus, Dale had managed to completely transform a large party of the energy in his Core into Aura. He then began fusing the Aura back into his Core like the manual had said to.
Dale began to sweat, breathing deep breaths as he and Jerah continued on their way. After about 30 minutes, Dale had managed to completely fuse the Aura he had made into his Core. Dale relaxed, wiping the sweat off his brow.
Dale delved in, feeling the energies in his Core. He sensed his partially depleted Core energy, a good portion having been used to make Aura. Dale stretched his mind, using his Perfect Balance to feel his Core out.
There! He mentally exclaimed, excitedly. In a small corner of his Core, he found a small pool of Aura. Hardly big enough to be called a sea, and much smaller than the amount he had formed, but it was still there!
Dale left it alone, finally relaxing. He smiled happily to himself, glad to be making progress. While it may not have been a very large achievement, it was still something he could work on, and build up over time. He went back to focusing on his riding.
Jerah, in the meantime, had been completely taken up in sensing the earth and had ignored Dale as he practiced. Jerah’s eyes traveled to and fro, feeling the cave ground and looking for the source of the impact they had sensed.
After riding for nearly two hours, they began to notice slight changes in the scenery. Several cave entrances had collapsed, and the walls and floor contained small cracks. Dale and Jerah exchanged glances, continuing forward. Jerah had an excited gleam in his eyes, eager to find the potential Gem mine.
About 15 minutes later, they arrived on a massive hole in the side of the Northern End. Huge cracks covered the floor, making it look like they were in a dry surface dessert. Dale and Jerah looked around in awe.
The huge hole they were standing near was shaped like a giant globe. Inside the globe was nothing but air. The outer edges of the globe, however, were faintly glowing, giving off a very dark hue. When Jerah noticed this, he nearly fell off of his lizard mount in shock.
Jerah dashed forward, ignoring Dale as he ran towards one side of the giant globe-like hole. He ran his hands over the black material that coated the hole, his eyes shining.
Dale hopped off his mount and joined him, asking,
“What’s up? This doesn’t look like a gem mine to me.” Dale glanced around, observing the giant hole. The hole was huge, at least 100 meters across.
“Oh it’s not! It’s much much better!” Jerah burst into laughter, a huge smile covering his face.
“This is pure Onyx!” Jerah said, his eyes delighted, “The rarest substance on our planet, Onyx can be combined with certain monster cores to make the sharpest weapons and the hardest armor in the entire world! This entire globe is worth more than the entire City-State of Delica!” Jerah was practically dancing, so happy with his discovery.
Dale’s jaw dropped, staring at the huge pitfall of wealth. He began looking around nervously, worried someone might attack them and try to steal the wealth for themselves.
Jerah went on, talking about the new mine.
“Onyx can only be created by compacting regular earth. However, the force necessary to create Onyx is so high, no one alive is able to do it, and only natural disasters like whatever hit this place are able to. To have found such a massive supply is surely a gift from the heavens..” Jerah started cataloguing the size of the hole, writing down all the information he could on a small piece of parchment he slipped out of his lizard mount’s saddlebags.
Dale waited with a patient look on his face, watching the surroundings.
Theldon Continent – The Under Cave, West of the Var Family Gem Mine, 50 Miles from Dale
Desmond Claire smashed his foot on the ground, crushing several stones beneath him. Desmond was in a terrible mood, having lost sight of the targets he was chasing. Ever since the Var family had found a Gem mine, his Claire family had lost a large amount of influence. They were no longer the sole supplier of valuable gems, and because of this, their influence waned.
Desmond ground his teeth in anger, recalling how cheerful the scion of Var had been when he had started following him. It had been a perfect opportunity to kill the child. However, how was Desmond to know that they would race away at a break neck pace, leaving his sight before he could catch up? Desmond’s eyes raged.
Desmond was a Gold Core expert as well as a powerful member of the Claire family, one of the six most powerful families in the City-State of Delica. He was accompanied by four separate Silver Commanders, all of them geared to do battle. He had been planning on killing some of the guards at the Var Gem mine and causing trouble, disrupting some of the Var Family’s plans. However, he had spotted Jerah as he left, recognizing him, and followed in pursuit. Killing one of their descendants was easily worth more then a few guards, Desmond had decided.
Desmond had originally planned on letting the brat leave the general area before killing him, to avoid detection by the powerful Black Gold Commander in the Gem mine. Unfortunately, the brat left too quickly, and had managed to escape. Desmond smashed a few more cracks in the ground, irritated beyond words. His subordinates behind him shuffled quietly, waiting to hear their next orders.
Suddenly, a figure appeared in the distance, walking directly towards Desmond and his crew. The figure was completely naked, and appeared to be an old man with a long white beard. Desmond stretched out his senses, checking to see the old man’s cultivation level and to discern if he was a threat.
The elderly man, however, clearly had no cultivation at all and was mortal. Desmond detected nothing out of the ordinary, except for a few odd pieces of rock. The old man continued walking, apparently intent on moving right through where Desmond stood, his eyes facing downward as if in deep thought. A few clumps of some type of black rock were visible, tangled in his beard, giving off a grey hue.
Desmond smiled, a vicious smirk on his face as the elderly man approached. He was already in a bad mood, and it looked like some old fool had arrived to help soothe his anger. His Golden Aura poured forth as he walked directly towards the old man, rage coating his eyes.
The elderly man looked up from his walking, as if suddenly noticing him, and began to smile…