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> Where are you?
<Allan River> Just go up to the private section of the Pavilion and you’ll receive a prompt normally. I’m with Flavia and Nyx in their guild’s section right now. Apparently, you can allow friends you have added to switch to their filter dimension whenever they want.
> Got it. I’ll be there in a moment.
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Rakna closed the chat and headed to the staircase after entering the Pavilion. Evelyn was following him closely whilst looking around with a curious gaze.
“You’ve never been here before?” He asked when he noticed her conduct.
“I haven’t. I turned eighteen shortly before I was forced to seal myself.”
“Right, Kaelith did mention something about that. Descendants are only considered Hosts when they turn eighteen, right?”
She nodded. “Yes. On top of that, my parents didn’t want me to involve myself too much with the inner workings of the System before my coming of age so I never visited the Pavilion before.”
“I see,” Rakna said as they were halfway up the stairs. “Before going in; here.” He mentally issued a friend invitation to Evelyn who readily accepted it.
When he stepped on the last stair, a missive appeared in front of him.
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You have three friends currently inside the private section. They have allowed you to join them.
Specification: Allan River, Flavia Jeina, and Nyx Nocta Regysnite – Wiccan Guild Section
Do you wish to join them?
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“Yes,” he muttered and the next thing he knew, he was standing in a lounge identical to the one he was already used to see. The only difference being that it was vastly more populated.
“Wow, it’s full of women,” Evelyn couldn’t help but notice that detail while Rakna’s expression twitched when several pairs of eyes were suddenly directed at him when she spoke. He saw them lock onto his ears and tails.
‘Not again…’ He grumbled internally and as he was considering making his escape, someone saved him from his predicament.
“Ara? What a coincidence. I never expected to see you here,” a sultry voice said and he looked to his right where he saw Vera walking toward him. “Did you have a change of heart and decide to join our Guild?”
“No,” he dryly replied. “And don’t you accept only women anyway?”
“I sure wouldn’t mind making an exception for you,” the elven witch said with a smirk and looked at Evelyn. “And you are? I don’t think I have seen you during the Tutorial stage.”
“Evelyn Malcanthet. She’s a half-succubus Phantom,” Rakna answered for her.
“Oh? How interesting,” Vera commented with a smile. “Young lady, are you affiliated to a Guild?”
Evelyn blinked at her question and glanced at Rakna for a confirmation. He simply nodded at her and she responded honestly, “No, I am not.”
“Would you like to join the Wiccan then?”
Rakna snorted. “You take every chance, don’t you?”
“Of course,” she admitted shamelessly. “A Cambion, a half-succubus at that, is a perfect addition to our guild. So, what do you think?”
“I’m not sure… Can’t I join your guild instead?” Evelyn asked the person who she was pretty much bound to as long as he kept that scarf with him.
“I’m afraid that’s not an option. The Throne of Glory would never accept a new member so soon after their last recruitment,” Vera said and Rakna confirmed her words with a nod.
“In that case… I don’t see why not. My mother used to say that I should take the opportunity to join a good guild whenever I could,” Evelyn said and the elf grinned.
“Perfect! I’m making a killing lately,” she chuckled and invited the succubus to her guild. “What are your magic affinities by the way?”
“Well, I’m not really sure…” Evelyn trailed.
“Hm? What do you mean?”
“I… need a reawakening. I first awakened my magic when I was twelve but I’m not sure if I have the same affinities now as I had then.”
“A reawakening, huh?” Vela muttered.
“Is that a bad thing?” Rakna inquired and she shook her head.
“Well, yes and no. Sometimes reawakening can do wonders. You might get new affinities or even stronger or rarer ones but it could also go the opposite way. Hm, what about your Path?”
Vera stiffened then turned her back to them to hide her fist pump. “Yes! I’m so goddamn lucky! Suck it, Karin!” She half-whispered, half-shouted while cursing someone unknown to them. They had no idea to react to her outburst. Ultimately though, she cleared her throat and faced them again with a composed expression.
“Sorry, about that. I got a bit too excited. I made a bet with a colleague last year on who would get the most talented recruits.”
Rakna raised an eyebrow. “I take it that you’re winning?”
“You bet I am,” she said proudly. “So, what are you doing here, little wolf?”
“I came to meet up with my group. They should be here.”
“Ah yes, those lovely geniuses, of course,” Vera said, reminding herself of the incredible talents she had recruited. “Well, in that case, how about I bring your friend to the awakening room while you go see them?”
Rakna nodded. “I’m fine with that,” he said and took off Sonata before giving it to Evelyn. “Take it with you. The awakening room shouldn’t be too far but I don’t want to risk anything with the heap of dimensions there is in the Pavilion. Don’t lose it, and certainly don’t let anyone else touch it; like a certain elf for example,” he deadpanned while unceremoniously pointing at Vera.
“Hey! I wouldn’t just snatch someone else’s item. Though it does look interesting…”
“No,” Rakna said before she could ask and Evelyn grabbed the scarf with a smile. She wrapped it around her neck and quietly enjoyed its warmth.
“Fine, fine,” Vera waved her hand dismissively and grabbed the succubus’ hand. “All right, let’s get a move on! I want to see what kind of magic you’ll get. You don’t see a Phantom Cambion every day, after all,” she uttered while dragging her to the awakening room.
“A-ah! W-wait!” Evelyn couldn’t resist the elf’s superior strength and was pulled away until she left Rakna’s sight. Unfortunately for him, the second they were gone, his convenient protection against the stares was lifted and they returned full force.
He looked over his shoulder with a scowl to see a group of girls creeping in. He groaned and used Shadow Step along with Stealth, his body condition be damned, to get away from them as they literally jumped him. His body was shrouded in shadows for a second before he vanished under their eyes.
“Crap! He’s gone!”
“I wanted to touch them at least once…”
He dashed into the corridors as he heard those laments behind him and messaged Allan once more who told him that they were currently inside one of the training rooms. After finding the good one, he tried to open the door and a similar prompt to when he entered the floor popped up.
He accepted and it quickly opened the way for him. When he entered the training room, the first thing he saw was a beam of dark lightning colliding against a purple one.
He blinked in shock as the shockwave reached him. He then spotted the figures of Nyx and Flavia dashing toward each other in the air with black and white Auras around them respectively. They were both flying; the latter with her telekinesis and the former with shadow wings. They met mid-air with a shadow sword clashing against a kick clad in a sort of wind shell.
In all honesty, the sheer magical might behind their attacks was enough to even scare him. He was pretty sure that even in his werewolf form, any of those could hurt him badly. Well, that is if he continued to keep his attribute points saved up.
“Freaky, right?” A voice snapped him out of his daze. Allan was sitting on the wall next to the door in a meditative position. He seemed to be practicing his Aura which was mainly transparent with a few strands of dark blue in it.
“They’ve been at it for half an hour already. Teach said she needed to practice the martial arts her grandfather had taught her when she was young and then they started sparring. At first, it was purely physical and then… it turned into this,” he said while spreading his arms open.
Rakna snorted and went to sit with him. The girls were so focused on their fight that they hadn’t even noticed him yet.
“You said you were almost permanently injured,” Allan said with a frown as he observed him. “It looks like you’re doing pretty well to me.”
“That’s only because I was lucky enough to be able to get a skill to help me. Otherwise, you would have probably been able to take me down in one punch. Though I’m not fully recovered yet.”
“Hah, right. As if. Even if you had a leg and an arm in less, you could probably still kick my ass without a problem,” Allan retorted with a snicker. “Don’t forget that I’m one of the few people who saw you train under the old master. Heck, I saw him break your arm during one of your spars and you completely ignored it to retaliate.”
Rakna snorted as he remembered that day and it hadn’t happened just once; that would have been too easy. His old man had always taken advantage of his high resilience to pain. He would never hesitate to lash out deadly attacks to optimize his training. That was most likely one of the reasons why his instincts were so keen.
“My condition aside, what about you?” He changed the subject and Allan tilted his head to the side.
“What do you mean?”
Rakna silently pointed a finger at his face. “Your skin; it’s slightly tanned. And from what I can see from here, theirs too,” he added as his eyes flashed golden after a glance at the two women.
“How the heck can you see that from here?” Allan uttered and tried to squint his eyes but he could not even get a proper look at either Flavia or Nyx since they were moving too fast and wrapped in magic all the time.
“I have good eyes,” Rakna said blankly.
“Obviously,” the blond snorted. “But anyway, the reason for the tan… well, I guess you’ll see when you get to the Tenth Plateau,” he smirked, knowing that his friend would be curious.
Rakna huffed when he realized he wouldn’t tell him and turned back to the girls. They looked tired but at this rate, they would most likely continue for at least ten more minutes. They even drank mana potions in the middle of their spar. It seemed that neither was willing to give up first.
He sighed and decided to imitate his childhood friend as he closed his eyes. He crossed his legs and relaxed his body. He entered a state of deep meditation; something that he could do as easily as breathing. It didn’t even appear on his status since it was something that could be considered a part of himself in some way.
While in that state, he tried to stir his Soul Core a bit and made it accelerate the flow of his soul power across his body. He suddenly felt as if he could touch everything around him.
He couldn’t see, hear, smell, or touch but he knew where each of his companions was and what they were doing. He could follow Nyx and Flavia’s battle by simply imagining it instead of actually watching it. It was as if he could instinctively predict everything.
As time passed, Rakna’s mind progressively got more and more absorbed by the flow of soul power within his body. At some point, it felt like he was sleeping with unclouded awareness. But, for some reason, something was making him feel uncomfortable; like something was missing.
When he was about to ‘wake up’, he happened to inhale and something clicked inside of him. His mind abruptly became blank and when he exhaled, his spiritual organ released a burst of soul power that briefly overloaded his perception.
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Soul Core has leveled up!
Soul Core has leveled up!
Soul Core has leveled up!
Soul Core has reached its maximum level. Consumption reduction its cap of 30%.
Your body, mind, and soul have become one. You have learned Soul Breath!
Soul Breath (Lv.1): Soul Breath is a meditation-oriented skill that allows the user to merge the spiritual with the physical in between breaths.
While in a state of deep meditation, the soul of the world, the natural energy will become perceivable by the user. They will become able to predict movements a millisecond after they are initiated.
Effect: +50% Mana and Stamina Regeneration when meditating.
Note: This skill requires absolute concentration and will be canceled whenever the user is distracted by an external factor. This is a skill that can be used to replace sleep as the soul will keep the user aware while the body and mind rest.
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