Chapter 15 – Defying the Heavens
“I broke into the third rank?”
Calron’s mind was in complete shambles as he realized that he actually skipped a rank in his cultivation. This was something that shouldn't be possible.
One must understand that Calron’s own mother was only a second rank cultivator of the Spiritual stage, while his father was at the fourth rank. Currently, at the age of eight, Calron had already surpassed his mother and was probably even physically stronger than his father.
Calron tightly clenched his fists and faintly felt the new power thrum through his muscles and bones. After his transformation due to the Blood Legacy, Calron’s physical strength was already on par with a third rank elementalist and with the aid of his purer liquid essence, his current attack potential was on a completely different level.
Within his age group, almost no other child would be a match for Calron’s strength, and even the geniuses of large clans and renown schools would be hard-pressed to find an advantage against Calron in terms of simple brute strength.
However, when it came to the battle strength of his essence, Calron would still be at a disadvantage with his golden lightning. Things might be different if he could use the Azure Lightning, but he was still too weak to use its violent power. The Voice had previously said that Calron would only be able to slightly control the Azure Lightning once he reached the peak of the Spiritual stage.
Mm, good, very good. Looks like we can finally begin training in the second stage of the Thunder-Bird technique. Get some rest and we will begin early tomorrow morning.
The Voice mumbled as if it was already preparing to fall asleep.
“Teacher! You still haven’t told me why I suddenly broke into the third rank rather than the second rank?”
Calron frantically yelled when he saw that the Voice was slowly withdrawing.
Although Calron was ecstatic about this new development, he still did not understand how or why it happened. Any normal cultivator would have to first break into the second rank, then into the third rank, and continue following that chain.
However, Calron had completely broken that chain and directly broken into the third rank.
No matter how one would look at it, this breakthrough should have been impossible.
Damn pesky kid! Don’t you know that it’s time for me to sleep right now? Where is your respect for your elders? Don-
Sensing that the boy was tearing up, the Voice abruptly stopped mid-sentence. Although it knew that Calron was probably just playing him and using his cuteness to get his way, the Voice still succumbed to his student’s childish charms.
Sigh… Alright, brat. Tell me what the state of the essence is around you?
“The essence is like air, it’s light and flows around you!”
Calron enthusiastically answered.
Correct! When you cultivate the essence and absorb it into your body, it’s in the form of gas. Even when you refine it, it will only become a purer form of a gaseous essence, but it will still remain a gas in the end. What the Azure Lightning aided you with, is that it converted all the gaseous lightning essence directly into pure liquid essence!
Calron recalled the moment when the golden-azure drops were forming inside his core. He still had not tried channeling the liquid essence yet, but from the aura it was currently giving off at the moment, Calron was sure that its power would not be weak.
“When a cultivator tries to break into the Vajra stage, he will have to convert all his essence into a liquid form before letting it merge with his body. This is the reason why most cultivators are unable to step into the Vajra stage, as refining and condensing that gaseous essence into a liquid was very difficult.”
The Voice calmly stated to his young student.
“Wait, so every time I experience a breakthrough, I will advance an extra rank?”
Calron enthusiastically asked with a childish happiness on his face.
Rascal, you think the heavens are so unfair in their treatment? For every miraculous advantage you get, there will always be an equal drawback to it! You only broke directly into the third rank because your core had undergone a tremendous qualitative change. Your next breakthrough will be into the fourth rank and not the fifth. Furthermore, since your core already contains liquid essence for every future advancement you face, you will have to gather a monstrous amount of essence to even have a chance of breaking through.
Calron’s face immediately fell when he heard his Teacher’s words. He understood that although it might not be difficult to advance to the third rank, what about trying to advance to eighth rank or even the Vajra stage? The amount of essence required to break into those stages would be simply shocking.
Other elementalists had their own methods of gathering the required essence: fire elementalists could go to a desert to safely absorb purer fire essence, water elementalist could go to the sea, or in the case of a wind elementalist a high mountain. But, what about a lightning elementalist?
Places like the desert, lakes, or mountains were relatively safe and cultivators could easily absorb the essence from the environment. A desert will have naturally stored heat under the soil, thus large amounts of pure fire essence could be absorbed pretty easily.
Although that fire essence would not be as pure as compared to the fire essence coursing inside an active volcano, it would still be enough for breakthroughs within the Spiritual stage.
However, for a lightning elementalist where in the world would he find an environment that contained a large amount of lightning essence besides under a thunderstorm?
Lightning is a creature birthed from the heavens, and it does not burn in a single place like fire, or flow continuously around the earth like wind or water.
Lightning in nature was swift and strikes viciously without mercy. A bolt of lightning disappears almost as soon as it strikes, and its speed was second to none in this world.
Many desperate lightning cultivators have tried to absorb the lightning essence under a thunderstorm in hopes of escaping their fate, but what mortal could tame the violent energy contained within a bolt of lightning?
Only one thing followed after lightning: Death.
This was why lightning cultivators had always remained in the Spiritual stage, and none of them were able to breakthrough into the Vajra stage, because what human could possibly hope to contain and channel the lightning essence under a merciless thunderstorm?
It was madness.
Looking at your face, it seems like you understand the difficulties you will face in future. Don’t be so down, kid. The heavens may often put obstacles in your life, but who says that you cannot defy the heavens themselves?
The Voice responded as it tried to lift the spirits of its only student.
It knew that the path would be torturous for Calron in the future, but it did not have the heart to drown the hopes of this eight-year-old kid. Although it had never been done before, the Voice knew that if Calron inherited the same bloodline as his ancestors, then he just might have the potential to tame nature’s lightning.
Wiping away his tears on his shoulder, Calron sniffed a couple times before getting up from the ground.
Will you sleep with snot covering your face like that? Geez, don’t start the waterworks every time you face a difficulty. Do you want to sit down and bawl like a baby whenever you meet a stronger opponent in future? All hail Calron the Sniffle Face!
The Voice teased Calron as it knew that these childish jabs always got to the boy.
Calron might have a raging temper and an almost perfect perception of Martial Arts, but despite all that, he was still a kid.
If there was too much seriousness in Calron’s life, then his future would be lonely, and this was something that the Voice promised to never let happen.
“I wasn’t crying! All this moving on the floor just made the dust rise! That’s right, it’s dust! I definitely wasn’t crying! Stop making lies up and go to sleep! Isn’t that what old people do?”
Calron hurriedly retorted as he tried to find a good jab against his Teacher.
The Voice inwardly smiled with relief that the boy was back to normal. It was worried that with a past such as Calron’s who had lost almost everyone and everything in his life, the boy would wallow in depression and misery forever.
It was nice to see the occasional childishness in the boy, as who knew how long it would last.
The Voice whispered softly.
With the full moon illuminating the dark night, a cold and gentle wind breezed through the trees. Insects crawled around the ground while small predators hunted for an easy prey.
Just at that moment, several shadows darted across a series of huts, as they caused numerous blurs to appear in the blackness of the night. The shadows made absolutely no sound and continued towards their destination at the back of a building.
“How is the little lady?”
A cold and deep voice asked the kneeling shadows on the ground.
“She is asleep, Captain. Currently, there are four guards stationed outside her room.”
One of the kneeling men responded in a low voice.
“Any information on who killed our men that night?”
The Captain icily inquired.
“All traces of them have completely disappeared. Without the bodies, we do not know whether it was a Martial Artist, or an elementalist who killed them. However, only someone at the level of an Elder could possibly defeat peak Spiritual stage cultivators, so we are discreetly tracking the movements of all the Elders present in the school.”
After hearing the report from his subordinate, the corner of the Captain’s eye twitched. This task from his Lord was more daunting than he had expected.
The Captain was the only Vajra stage expert from their Shadow Corps here at the school, and the possibility of a conflict against several Elders at the Vajra stage was not a very comforting thought.
“Continue to observe their movements and inform me if you notice anything suspicious. However, do not engage them without my permission.”
Just as the Captain was about to turn around, he abruptly gave another command.
“On second thought, although Lord Mort said to leave the boy alone, I’m curious about who this kid is. Give me a report on him tomorrow after you gather some intel. Disperse!”
A series of faint murmurs filled the quiet night.