The Gemstone Chronicles – Book 3 – Chapter 12

Theldon Continent – The Under Cave, Near Dale and Jerah
 
Desmond stepped forward, embracing his golden aura. Immediately, the air around him started to crackle, fire starting to vibrate in the air. His eyes turned a light shade of gold as he stepped forward, getting ready to launch himself at the old fool.

Desmond was a practitioner of the Fire Ruler’s Blade Art, and used a longsword on his back as his weapon. The blade was roughly 1 meter long, and had a long tapered edge, dyed red. He whipped out his sword, flames starting to coalesce around it. The Fire Ruler’s Blade Art focuses on using one’s Core energy to create and manipulate fire. By infusing the fire into the movement of one’s blade, one can gain enormous explosive power when one attacks, due to the friction of the blade operating against the friction of the air.

Desmond infused his full strength into his blade, ready to blast the old man who dared to ignore him into smithereens.

0.00 seconds later

Desmond dashed forward, swinging his blade. He didn’t use a movement Art and simply ran forward, propelled by his strength. He was approximately 5 meters from the old man, and closing fast. The flames around his longsword had turned a dark gold, flashing in the dim cave light. The old man didn’t react and continuing walking forward, his mind elsewhere.

0.17 seconds later

Desmond arrived next to the man, his feet crashing into the ground spreading huge cracks. He swung his blade down towards the old man, its vicious edge slicing towards his target. The old man kept walking forward, seemingly ignoring Desmond.

0.19 seconds later

Desmond’s blade was mere centimeters from the old mans head when he suddenly blurred, his body disappearing for a split moment. The elderly man instantly reappeared, half a meter from where he had been standing, continuing walking forward.

0.20 seconds later

Desmond stared blankly as his blade sliced into the ground. Immediately, a huge wave of fire sliced out, cutting a 20 meter long 3 meter deep slash into the rocky cave ground, superheating the nearby rock. Desmond turned his head, taking in the old man’s new location, his eyes turning serious. The air around Desmond changed as he fully exposed his cultivation base, the energy surrounding him thickening. Soon, he radiated a pure Gold aura, flames licking around the edges.

0.37 seconds later

Desmond moved forward using a mysterious movement Art, his legs fading into hazelike blurs as he slipped forward. He left a trail of smoke behind him, advancing towards the old man at an incredibly fast speed. The air began to quiver, rapidly heating. The old man continued ignoring Desmond, keeping a calm and steady pace onwards.

0.39 seconds later

Desmond arrived next to the old man, setting the air around him ablaze. Desmond’s eyes were completely focused on the old man, regarding him as a full on enemy. He was still unsure how the old fool had dodged, but he intended to go all out immediately, refusing to underestimate him. Instead of casually swiping his blade like he did last time, Desmond whipped his sword forward, cutting an impossibly fast line of fire in the air right at the old man’s chest.

0.41 seconds later

The old man finally turned, an annoyed look in his eyes. For a brief moment, he unleashed an incredibly tyrannical aura. The old mans upper body warped for a split moment, swelling to an incredibly massive size. For a split moment, the old man’s upper body had changed into that of a full sized Titan. His upper body had grown to an incredible 5 meters tall, the muscles on his body exploding with vigor and strength. Immediately, the old man warped back to a normal, humanoid size. However, his muscles and the concentration of power in his body had remained, gifting his human figure with a power that belonged to behemoths.

Because of the massive concentration of cells and energy inherent in his upper body, his body began to absorb energy from the environment at a rapid pace. Any type of energy that hit it was unable to penetrate the thick wall of muscles and cells, and was absorbed. The density of his muscles and skin was so high, light itself could not reflect off of him, and was absorbed. As a side effect of this, the old mans upper body appeared completely black.

In the extremely brief moment that the old man maintained this form, he turned to face Desmond and slapped out with the back of his hand, colliding with Desmond’s chest.

0.42 seconds later

Desmond felt an incredible force smash into him, throwing him through the air, breaking past the speed of sound and setting off an enormous shockwave. The powerful Gold aura surrounding him was snuffed out like it was nothing. Desmond instantly crashed over 100 meters in the air, smashing into the Northern End.

An enormous crater formed on the front of this part of the Northern End, massive cracks appearing as the cave wall was obliterated due to the extreme power behind the old mans blow. Desmond lay at the epicenter of this massive crater, a lifeless husk with his chest completely caved in. Blood spattered along the crater, more blood than it looked like a human could contain.

The old man immediately returned to his normal, unthreatening self. He continued on his meandering way, calmly walking forward in deep thought. The four Silver Core experts stood stock still in shock, terrified by the presence and extreme power inherent in the old freak.

Eventually the old monster left, freeing the Silver Core users to check on Desmond. They ran, leaping across the 100 meters in an instant, and saw what was left of Desmond.

Desmond’s body was completely caved in, his chest almost incinerated at the moment of impact. Enormous cuts and slashes covered the rest of his body, blood everywhere. His lungs, his heart, and anything that could possibly resemble a torso were gone, scattered into tiny particles of blood and gore. His head, however, was almost completely untouched. His eyes looked ahead lifelessly, a look of shock permanently fixed on his face. His head and remaining body parts were sunken into the wall several meters, lying at the center of the massive crater.

The Silver commanders looked at the size of the crater in awe. They had never seen a person so singularly powerful. That old man was not human, they concluded, and had to be some type of monster. As if waking to their senses, the Silver commanders immediately fled, returning towards Delica to report to the Claire family what had happened.

The old man continued his meandering pace, eventually settling on a route that directly intersected with the City-State of Roth…

 Theldon Continent – The Under Cave, Newly Formed Onyx Crater

Dale watched as Jerah quickly noted down all the details of the newfound Onyx mine. Jerah was painstakingly copying down the size and dimension of the huge globe, as well as various other things that Dale didn’t understand. However, he trusted that Jerah knew what he was doing, and waited patiently.

Eventually, Jerah came to a close, finishing up his writing. He returned to Dale with a nearly fanatic gleam in his eyes.

“We must return to my Var family house as soon as possible! We cannot let any other family capitalize on this finding!” He said, hopping on to his lizard mount. He stuffed the small sheaf’s of paper he had taken notes on into his saddlebags before motioning for Dale to lead them away. Dale was still getting used to his new position and led his lizard mount to accelerate forward. They were soon headed back towards the City-State of Delica, cutting through the wilderness away from the Northern End to travel there directly.

Dale was curious how the lizards knew where to travel and asked Jerah. Apparently, from what Jerah said, the lizards had an extremely capable sense of taste, and were able to taste the air much like a dog would smell. With their extremely adept senses alongside their innate sense of direction, they could return back to there home from practically anywhere in the world.

Jerah and Dale rode for several hours, passing through the darkness quietly, not speaking much. Dale focused his energy and began to slowly expand his Dragon Sea while Jerah focused on how he would tell his father of his discoveries.

Eventually they arrived outside Delica’s gates. Jerah proceeded to greet the gate guards, quickly passing through. Thanks to Jerah being with him, they had no problems and were immediately allowed inside Delica. Dale and Jerah made their way through the city, proceeding towards the Var family home. However, on the way there, they encountered a familiar figure.

Jasmine D’reah was a childhood friend of Jerah’s. They had both met each other while attending classes at the prestigious Delica Noble’s Academy. Jerah, who had been a natural concerning Earth related Arts, had become natural friends with Jasmine, who was also an Earth adept. They quickly formed a fast friendship, looking out for each other over the years. The D’reah family was not one of the 6 Great Families of Delica. However, it was not weak either, and was one of the most powerful families not included in the top 6. Thanks to the D’reah family’s extensive control of a huge amount of smithies and blacksmiths, they had formed an oligopoly with two other families. This allowed them to gain a great deal of influence and power, skyrocketing them upwards in the world of Nobles.

Jasmine had bright blonde hair and sparkling blue eyes. She was very cute, having the features of someone who would eventually grow into a gorgeous beauty. However, Dale was much too young to care about girls, and her looks didn’t really affect him. Her family’s emblem was a golden bear, roaring forward. Jasmine was the third daughter of the current heir, and therefore in no pressure to rule.

Jasmine was currently shopping in the southern district of Delica. She was looking for a type of shoes that would last longer when she performed her powerful Earth related movement Art. All the shoes or slippers she currently wore would break into pieces when she moved too quickly. It was quite an annoyance, in her opinion. The usual shop she visited for any type of footwear had nothing useful, so she decided to go out on an impromptu shopping trip.

As Dale and Jerah walked by, Jasmine spotted them out of the corner of her eye. She burst out of the store she had been browsing, quickly followed by two separate guards, both spouting golden bear tabards.

“JERAH!” she exclaimed, happily running over.

Jerah turned around, a smile filling his face,

“Jasmine! Heyo!” Jasmine tackled Jerah in a hug, nearly dragging him to the ground.

When Dale and Jerah had entered the city, they had dropped their lizard mounts off at a stable near the gates, designed to pick up lizards that people had finished using. They had quickly made their way in the city, headed towards the main stalagmite where the Var family house lay when they ran into Jasmine.

Jasmine finished hugging Jerah and gave Dale a frosty look before ignoring him. She turned back to Jerah,

“Why are you walking around without any guards?” She inquired, looking around. She didn’t see anyone that looked like they would be protecting Jerah. While the City-State of Delica might not be at war with anyone, it was never wise for a noble to go about unprotected.

Jerah smiled and motioned at Dale,

“Actually, Dale is my guard, haha. He is a Steel Core commander, and I had him placed as my personal guard!”

“What?!” Jasmine stared at Jerah in shock.

“You LITERALLY just met him! What if he’s a spy sent by another family, or an assassin from another city??” Jasmine glared daggers at Dale as if she was about to attack him herself. Dale made a mental note to avoid her in the future.

Jerah shrugged nonchalantly,

“If he had wanted me dead, he could have killed me and my guards during that lizard attack. As for being a spy, have you ever heard of a 10 year old spy from anywhere?” He smiled at Dale, motioning a gesture that somehow managed to convey ‘don’t worry about her’ while also saying ‘she gets like this’ and ‘my life is a struggle’ at the same time.

Jerah immediately smiled at Jasmine, putting on his most charming look. Jasmine look at him, smiling back.

Jasmine went back to ignoring Dale, and began bombarding Jerah with questions about what he was doing and how he been. Jerah answered her, avoiding any mention of the Onyx mine, as they continued to travel towards the center of the city.

 

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