Act 2: Excommunication
[5 years ago – Etibar Aurel-Terran: Age 15]
“You demon spawn! You dare slander his Eminence Ruk! Who do you think you are?!”
In a great white hall, a booming voice echoed.
This hall was gigantic and majestic. The main entrance’s archway alone was already over ten meters in height.
In addition to the majestic size, the hall was decorated in an alien-like yet tribal manner. The roof of the hall was decorated with patterns of natural phenomenon such as storms and scenic artwork such as lakes, rivers, mountains, and forests. However, what stood out the most were the dragon-like creatures carved onto both the roof and walls.
There were also seven giant pillars containing writings in the dragon language that supported this magnificent roof.
This was the Great Hall of Pain – the central structure representing judgement among the Arun people.
At the center of this hall, there were five seats shooting up to the roof. Not only were the seats were almost four meters off the ground, the backs of the seats were so long that they almost touched the roof. In addition, each seat was a different shade of brown and decorated with carvings of dragons, forests, rivers, and stars.
Around these five seats, there were massive tables as well as hundreds of other smaller seats.
Seated on the five seats were five people, three men and two women. These people were part of the Elder Council of the Court of Arun.
The Arun people worshiped the Eclipse Dragon, Ruk.
Ruk went by many names from titles such as the Great Dragon of the Apocalypse, Shadow Divine Dragon, Supreme Dragon God, and God Dragon King to epithets such as dispenser of rain, commander of the seas, lord of the earth, and the king of wells and springs.
Under the supreme dragon god was Dalibor, the Chief Diviner of the Arun people. Dalibor was also occasionally referred to by the title “Indwano”.
A common saying among the Arun was, “What Indwano says is what God says.”
This man’s words were considered the ‘word of god.’
It was because of this man that Etibar Nu-Yuga was standing in court under accusations of blasphemy. For the religiously devout Arun, blasphemy was a major crime that warranted complete excommunication from the community.
The man who had just spoken harsh words to Etibar Nu-Yuga was Todorov, a member of the elders’ council. In addition to Todorov, the other seats of the Court of Arun were Arindin, Thow, Stoil, and Răileanu.
“Blasphemous dog!” These words even came from an elder of the court. All traces of civility had already been lost.
On the council, it seemed as if only Arindin retained a clear mind. However, his words and vote alone could not shake the entire court.
To the accusation of blasphemy, Etibar Nu-Yuga only responded with a single statement:
“It is only a god under men’s foot that requires man to speak up for him, to act for him, to defend him, and to seek vengeance on his behalf. If the great god is supreme, he does not need you to fight for him.”
“That would only ridicule his supremacy!”
However, despite how sensible he sounded, his words did little to shake the court’s opinion. This was the reality of religious extremism.
It was this event that led to a split in the Liew clan – the clan to which the Etibar family belonged to.
After all, it was only natural that some clan members did not agree with the decision to excommunicate the Etibar family from the overall Arun community.
Nevertheless, in the end, the Etibar family still had to leave the safety of the White Marsh.
In one inconspicuous room somewhere within Toro, a young man was training a kick and a punch a time. This young man was Etibar Aurel-Terran.
At first, there was nothing special about Terran’s kicks and punches but as time went on, each random blow started giving birth to flames!
“Phew, I finally mastered the Serer Fire.” Terran said as he looked at his handiwork.
The tiny training room was full of hot red-pink flames. This was the unique Serer flame, a fire so unique that it could burn through intangible concepts such as emotions and desires.
This year, Terran was already 15 years old. Not only had he grown up, but his strength had also greatly increased. In fact, he had already completed all 10 levels of forging the Mortal Body!
With his talent, it was not surprising that he qualified for the Arun’s Solid Body Casting quota. Even his father’s blasphemy case could not change this.
Although alien beings like the Arun had different biological constitutions compared to humans, they still adapted to the human martial path when living in human worlds. After the body forging stage, there were two directions that warriors in the Zika world could take:
- Transformation Stage – Some warriors chose to slowly accumulate their strength until they reached the Earth Stage. This period of accumulation was labelled the Transformation Stage. Mwana’s aunt, Jumatatu, was a warrior of this stage.
- Solid Body Casting – If a warrior reached the Apex of Mortal Body Forging before the age of 15, they could undergo Solid Body Casting. This would give them the rights to become a Crystal Warrior! However, after the suitable age, a person’s body would have already grown past the point of surviving and benefiting from Solid Body Casting.
Evidently, what determined whether a warrior could undergo Solid Body Casting and become a Crystal Warrior or go through the Transformation Stage and become a regular Earth Rank expert was the age at which they completed forging their mortal body.
Overall, there were 3 stages of casting the Solid Body.
The first stage was Gold Casting. In this stage, the fire element, light energy from the sun, and the earth element, specifically metal, were used to temper the body. After this was completed, the warrior’s body would be greatly purified granting them the ability to resist evil.
For this reason, warriors who had completed this stage were called Purity Matriarchs.
The second stage was Obsidian Casting. Earth, lava, space, or fire elements could be used in this stage. Warriors who went through obsidian casting were immune to evil energy, curses, ghost possession, corroding demon arts, witchcraft, and other evil arts. After all, obsidian is known as a weakness of evil forces.
As a result, warriors in this stage were referred to as Nocturnal Foes.
The third stage of the process was Bloodline Physique Casting. The stage involved upgrading one’s bloodline into a physique. For instance, bloodline physique casting could involve transforming a Dragon Bloodline into the Ancestral Dragon Physique.
Naturally, converting a bloodline into a physique was even more extreme than regular Bloodline Awakening. In fact, warriors at this stage would require a high level bloodline awakening pool to even complete the process.
After casting the bloodline into a physique, such a warrior would be suitable of the title: True Bloodline Warrior.
After the three stages, a warrior could finally open up the nodes in their body and finally achieve the Earth Body Realm.
Once the nodes on one’s legs were opened, you were connected to the earth. Therefore, warriors in the Earth Rank could borrow earth elemental power directly from the earth beneath their feet at any time.
They basically had an infinite supply of earth energy. This was the basis for the Earth Rank’s “Immeasurable Strength.”
At the young age of 15, Etibar Aurel-Terran underwent Solid Body Casting. And at age 16, the young man had already become an Earth Rank Crystal Warrior.
Terran’s speed of progress was rapid, almost second to none. For this reason, he was recognized as a great talent not just in the Liew clan but also in the entire Arun population. Even among the youngsters in the entire White Marsh, he was ranked at the top. A truly demonic talent!
However, even though Terran had achieved such strength at a young age, he was neither prideful nor complacent. He knew he still had a long way to go. After all, he was only a first stage Earth Rank warrior.
Within the Earth Rank, the power grades were: Regular Earth Grade, Eternal Cliff Grade, Deep Valley Grade, and Divine Mountain Grade.
In each grade, the power of the earth that a warrior could mobilize varied greatly; and their strength was measured in earth power units.
When he became an Earth Rank warrior, a man in black had approached Terran in secret.
The man only had one request, “Work for the Demon Suppression Department and you will receive an Order of Life.”
An Order of Life was a government decree that could stretch individual merit to cover entire families. This was enough to change the situation of not just the Etibar family but even the entire Liew clan within Toro’s borders.
With such an offer, how could Terran possibly refuse?