The Gemstone Chronicles – Chapter 9

Dale and Feng were currently waiting at the Eastern gate of Cordanna. This gate was a massive apparatus, over 40 feet in height and over 8 feet thick. It could easily stop a marauding army in its tracks. It was painted white, with overlays of gold spread around in artistic designs. Several guards stood, holding the entrance of the city safe. The guards wore dark red vests, with dark colored leather pants as well. Several of them gave off Iron or Steel hues. There was only a small city guard force, less than 5,000 guards, guarding the city. The main force of Cordanna was the legendary army, Legion. Only a thousand cultivators strong, each member of this force was a Silver Core powerhouse or stronger. Legion alone could repel any invading force.

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Motion could be seen at the front of the gate, as guards interacted with the Expedition Force on the outside. Suddenly, the Force pushed past the guards, walking down the center of the road. The crowd split around them, like a crowd of minnows in front of a shark.

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There were roughly 20 men in this Expedition Force. To be exact, this was the 102nd Expedition Force. To become a member of an Expedition Force, one had to be, at a minimum, at the Steel Metal Core stage. The 20 men gave off a strong aura, walking pridefully down the center. The man in front had a golden glow about him, and was carrying a small chest in his hands. He was tall, roughly 6 and a half feet in height, with dark black hair, and golden eyes. He had a small beard that matched his hair, and a very happy look in his eyes.

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“That’s Count Charles!” exclaimed the students. “But I thought he was just a Silver Core cultivator? How come he has a Gold Aura?”

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“He must have broken through to the Gold Core metal layer!” Feng yelled.

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“Wow!” “No way!” “That’s awesome!” the students talked among themselves.

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As the force walked past, you could see a ripple effect as the news spread. The Kingdom of Morn had gained another Gold layer powerhouse.

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The Count walked proudly past the group and continued on the main street, up towards the castle. Feng stared back at him with longing eyes.

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“I can’t wait Dale! When we turn 10, we can finally start cultivating. I’m going to be the most powerful warrior out there!” Feng declared.

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“Well, you do have a Fire Gods Bloodline, so you should have no trouble cultivating up to the Gold Aura level.” Dale replied.

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Indeed, people born with Lords Bloodlines have, at the least, always cultivated to the Gold Metal Core level. It was unheard of to be weaker than this with a Bloodline. Feng shrugged happily. Several of the nearby students overheard their conversation and looked at Feng with awe. One of them walked up.

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“Do you really have a Lords Bloodline?” said a short student. He had golden white hair and ruddy red eyes, with a bit of an arrogant look in them. He was staring at Feng.

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“Yep!” Feng declared, proudly. The fact that Feng had a Lord’s Bloodline was not well known. Feng had decided on his own that he wanted to maintain a low profile till he became strong. While having a Lords Bloodline was very advantageous, he was still quite weak at the moment, and just a child. Till the day he became massively strong, he decided to not tell too many people his secret.

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However, Feng has never been the best at keeping secrets, Dale knew, recalling the various punishments they received when Feng bragged about the pranks they pulled.

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“Wow! That’s pretty awesome! My name is Charles. Charles DeMonge, son of Lord Gern DeMonge, a Silver Lord. What’s yours?” the youth said arrogantly.

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“Feng, Feng Constantine, nice to meetcha.” Feng replied. They shook hands.

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Dale began to introduce himself as well, “Hi! My name is Dal-“

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The youth gave him a vicious look, “I’m not talking to you. Please don’t interrupt me.” He turned back to Feng. “The protection of an official Lord is worth a great deal, in this Kingdom. If you ever need help, come talk to me.” He walked off.

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Dale stared at him, a bit put off. Feng shrugged saying, “Well, some people are like that. Don’t let it bother you. If they knew what level your innate strength was, they’d treat you the same too.”

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The duo turned around and walked back towards the Main School, talking about the Expedition Force and wondering what was in the small chest.

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“What element are you going to train in?” asked Feng, “I’m obviously going to train in Fire Arts when I form my core. Have you decided yet?”

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Dale looked at Feng furtively, “I’m planning on training in two or three Arts. I’m interested in a bunch, but I’m not sure which I’ll train. It's a tough decision, ya know?”

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To explain a little, Arts are, more or less, martial techniques. All martial arts are based in one type of power or another. All the powers together are Fire, Ice, Sky, Earth, Time, Aura, Life, and Space. Martial Arts gave a way for people to manipulate these elements and combine them into powerful attacks. Most cultivators would choose a single Art to train in, and as they grow, branch out and take up one or two more Arts. To train in two or more Arts at a young age, while not unheard of, was very uncommon. Think of it as trying two languages at once. Difficult, but not impossible.

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Feng stared at him, “Two Arts? Dale, you have to be one of the laziest boys I know, since when did you get the motivation to train more than one Art?”

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Dale responded, “Ever since that Dragon attack, I can’t help but want to be strong. Being able to defend myself is a must, I cannot stand the feeling that others have power over me. Also, you need strength to conquer the world!" he finished, a childish smile on his face.

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Feng nodded, understanding. It had been 3 years since the attack, but it had left a deep impression on both of the boys.

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They made their way back to the academy. After passing through the gates, they arrived at their dorm, and went back to their rooms to continue to cultivate eagerly awaiting the day they too joined the ranks of the elites.

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