The Gemstone Chronicles – Chapter 2

The Next Day

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Birds started to tweet, animals began to prowl, and the leave shifted. The forest gradually came alive, welcoming the dawning morning light. This forest, formally known as the Crysalis Deep Forest, lay in the center of the kingdom of Morn. Morn is a Kingdom, on the continent of Chel, the smallest continent of the seven continents. It was ruled by a powerful Cultivator King, and was famous for its legendarily powerful Cultivator army, known as "Legion."

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Towards the outskirts of this large forest lay a small thatch hut.

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“DALLLLLLE!” a faded but still loud voice yelled out, shaking dust off the roof of this hut.

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“Yes grandpa! I’m all prepared!” Dale said, scratching at a bruise on his shoulder. He had snuck out again last night, visiting some of his favorite Attribute Beasts. There was a rather large Fire Lion he got in a scuffle with last night, and it had managed to leave a few bruises on him.

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The Attribute Beasts Dale regularly played with couldn't be considered true Attribute Beasts, because they had yet to form their own Monster Core. However, they had some small control of the elements, and could endanger a regular human. Thankfully, Dale was far from a normal human. The beasts could bruise him, but little more. Thanks to these animals, Dale had developed a rudimentary fighting style for himself, one he was quite proud of.

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“Good! Let’s be off!” The elderly man came out of the hut, dressed in an expensive set of leather garments. He looked the part of a rich merchant, or a guard, tempered by age. He closed the wooden hut's door behind him, carrying a large bag of supplies on his shoulders. As he hefted the bag, a silver glow lightly covered him. He turned around, leading down the trail, Dale in tow.

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The duo set off from the hut, walking along a well-worn path through the rugged forestlands. Animals could be heard in the woods, crawling and creeping along, but strangely, none of them got anywhere near Dale or the old man. Dale thought it was a bit odd, as whenever he went out, he almost always ran into something. He looked at his grandpa, noting the silver aura he gave off. He wondered if that aura was keeping animals away.

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“Grandpa, am I talented?” Dale asked, curious. “Do you think I have a Lords Bloodline? Is my innate strength high?”

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Dale worried that he wouldn’t be strong, and would let him down. Dale knew he was stronger then average children. Dales grandpa had taken him into town several times. When he did, Dale sometimes went to play with the other children running around. The kids no longer let him play catch when they played, however, because they said he "threw too hard." In his opinion, he was barely throwing at all, and was surprised with how lightly they threw the leather ball. Dale much preferred playing with the forest cats over other children.

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The elderly man glanced at Dale for a moment “You should be rather strong, compared to average,” He shrugged, “after all, those poor animals you train with are no match for you.”

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Dale looked guiltily at the old man. He didn’t think his grandpa had noticed, when he ran off to play with the forests Attribute Beasts. “I didn’t mean to do it behind your back! I just played with them a bit, it was fun!” He said, nervously. His grandpa had gotten mad at him before, when he ran off into the forest alone. He had taken pains to keep his trips to the forest secret, ever since then.

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“Hah! Playing with Attribute Monsters for fun at the age of 5..” sighed the old man, shaking his head.

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They passed several miles like this, with Dale playfully asking questions, and the elderly man answering him. The sun slowly traveled through the sky as they walked along, carefree. Eventually, they came to a point where the trees thinned out, and the growls and cries of animals had faded.

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“How much longer till we get there, grandpa?” asked Dale. He had been impatiently waiting to go to town for several weeks now. They hadn’t visited in nearly a month, and Dale was eager to eat something other then plain meat and berries.

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“We’ve been through this way before,” said the old man, “You tell me.”

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Dale squirmed around, avoiding the question.

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Suddenly, a loud cry rang out from the sky. A roar, powerful, with a domineering aura blasted forth, shaking the trees in the forest. Instantly, every animal in the forest ceased moving, and quieted.

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In the sky flew a dark blue colored winged lizard, covered in an icy aura. It had a massive body, with wings two or three times it’s size, and a large azure gemstone on its forehead. It must have been nearly 30 ft (10M) long.

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“A Dragon!” the old man exclaimed! “and an Ice attribute Dragon as well! Do not move or make any noises, Dale!” He hurriedly glanced at the child, his eyes tightening.

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He need not have worried; Dale didn’t move an inch, mainly because he couldn’t move an inch. The Dragon gave off an enormous amount of pressure as it flew by, causing all those feeling it to be overwhelmed. Dale, who hadn’t even cultivated to the most basic level yet, didn’t stand a chance, and couldn’t move at all. Eventually, the pressure faded as the Dragon flew past them, towards the north.

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“Grandpa! What’s a dragon doing here??” exclaimed Dale. He had never seen a Dragon before, and was very excited. He had read all about Dragons in his books. One of the few things that hadn't bored him, he knew that all Dragons were extremely powerful, and that a fully grown Dragon was equal to a Gem Core Cultivator in strength.

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“I’m not sure, but it can’t be a good sign.” the old man said, with a worried glance. His eyes followed the silhouette of the Drake as it flew away.

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After taking a moment for them to fully recover, the two continued their journey, and about 30 minutes later, arrived on the outskirts of Neldor, a small sized city, or a large sized town.

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