What is Mana?
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Vulen ran to his closet and put on his uniform as quickly as he could. After picking up his Id off the nightstand he ran out of the door and headed towards his class, but he stopped midway.

' I don't know where the class is!"

He sprinted back to his room to find the course syllabus that James had left before leaving and sprinted back in the direction of his class.

' Room A-3 should be coming up on the right side.'

As soon as his class was in sight, he saw the door slowly shut. He mustered all the energy he could in his fatigued body a dashed ahead. Both of his hands stopped the door midway.

" You're late for class. You'll be missing today's lesson. If everyone else can make it on time, you can too," said a stern masculine voice.

The two got into a battle of strength with Vulen pushing with all his might and Alton using only the tip of his index finger which caused the class to laugh.

" Please let me in! I've never gotten up so early. I'm not even from here!"

Vulen's arms shook as his feet slid on the ground. Though he was the weakest in the tribe, he never thought that someone could withstand his entire force without budging. The door suddenly got heavier and Vulen could no longer withstand the pressure. In an act of desperation, Vulen stuck his hand in the quickly closing door crack. The students grimaced and gasped at the sound of Vulen's broken bones. Alton couldn't help but open the door after witnessing Vulen's arm turn into a human snake. Vulen caught his first glimpse of Alton and could tell the older man was strong and experienced. Alton had olive skin, a medium but built body, and slicked-back gray hair with wrinkles around his eyes, showing his age. The presence the man gave off was strong. At least as strong or stronger than Riggard.He had deep black eyes and his gray mustache was neatly groomed. Every movement Alton made was stern with his hands held behind his back. Though Alton bared a smile, Vulen could sense the danger behind the facade.

As the classroom door opened, all noise and chatter ceased. Everyone's eyes shifted to the idiot whose arm got snapped for being late for class. When the figure walked in the door, they could only ask themselves, who let their little brother come to this school? Though Vulen was handsome, his stature and pre-puberty face made him look a bit childish. Still, they all had the same thought. A red elf with entirely gray eyes? No one had ever seen one. Vulen already knew what everyone was thinking, but he could tell their gazes were from curiosity and not hatred or disgust.

The classroom is an auditorium with four long singular seats spanning from the windows to the other side of the wall. As Vulen made his way to an empty seat by the large window, he heard someone whispering.

" Psst...Pssst.. Vulen. It's me, Edward."

Edward waved at Vulen who returned his kindness with a wave, but he was surprised by the sudden commotion it caused. No one understood why the weird elf was so friendly with the Edward Sullivan. Now that everyone was in their seats, Alton stood in front of the black podium in front of the large chalkboard that had his name written on it.

" Since that debacle is finished, it's time we introduced ourselves. Starting from the first row, everyone states their names and origin. I'll start. I am Alton Abbott. I hail from Abbott's royal family. Known for our black lightning element. The class erupted in whispers and excitement. They were going to be trained in mana by one of the strongest families in Aflair!

One by one, each student introduced themselves. To Vulen's surprise, the majority of the students were from royal or aristocratic families. Still, Vulen could barely pay attention as he held back tears from the pain his right arm was in, but gritted his teeth and bore the agony, not willing to show weakness to his peers. Though he left his tribe, their principles never left his heart. He was determined to be the strongest.

Soon it was Edwards's turn, who garnered the attention of every student present. He stood proud and arrogant, with his chest puffed out.

" I am Edward Sullivan, from the Sullivan Royal family. Direct descendants of the vampire god Drac. The strongest family in all of Agrar," he said in a firm tone. His charisma and pride charmed the women around him while the men looked at him with admiration. The Sullivan family was the most respected in all of Agrar due to their martial prowess. The Sullivan's fought in countless battles to protect Agrar, to be more specific, Aflair. It wasn't far-fetched to say that because of the Sullivan family's strength, Aflair had survived this long.

It didn't take long for it to be the fourth-row turn where Vulen sat nervously. He didn't come from a prestigious background. He couldn't throw around his tribe's name. They barely accepted him and he was the weakest member, but he was going to represent them proudly. No matter the suffering, they are his family. It was now his turn. Vulen took a deep breath and stood with his balled left fist across his heart. His eyes were unwavering and shoulders high.

" I don't hail from a royal family, but I am  Vulen, of the Grave Violet elves. Known for our  Lupine flower. The strongest tribe of the  Lunenmore Woods. I am going to be stronger than all of you and crush all who oppose my law."

The classroom turned dead silent, with Vulen still standing tall after his speech. Everyone was in disbelief. The smallest person in the entire class had just threatened a room full of royals and aristocrats. Edward looked at him with a wide smile with both thumbs up. Some looked at him in disbelief. Others paid him no mind, but there were a few who could see a warrior in his demeanor. The few commoners in the class looked at him proudly. They didn't have the guts to be that confident in the face of immense power, but someone like them did. Vulen didn't know, but he'd just made enemies and friends.

Alton studied the standing elf.

' A few of his mana pores are open and he has a large amount of unrefined mana in his body. Whoever his teacher was, did a horrible job.'

Now that the introductions were over, Alton wrote, "Mana?" on the chalkboard behind the podium and faced the class.

" Can someone tell me what mana is?"

Twenty hands shot up. Alton picked Edward who was whispering " Pick me. Pick me."

" Okay, Edward. What is mana."

" Mana is the aethereal energy the universe provides. Every living thing has a mana core and veins which are used to absorb mana by using breathing or meditation techniques that draw mana from the planet and make it into their own. When enough mana is stored, the user mana core will split which increases the power of the wielder. Mana grants those who wield its extraordinary abilities and can extend the user's life span by hundreds of years."

" It's a little simplistic, but that's the gist of it. What is the price of using mana?"

Alton said as he pointed to Jennie, the voluptuous satyr woman beside Vulen whose eyes scanned her body as soon as she stood. Jennie's smooth tanned skin gave her an exotic look to go along with her shoulder-length black hair, diamond-shaped head, and golden eyes. The lower half of her body was all horse except her ass which stuck out of her black skirt. Her breasts stretched the buttons on her shirt to their absolute limit. She was drenched in gold piercings and neck jewelry.

" The price of using mana would be the strain it causes on the body because we use our bodies as a medium to wield it. Since mana can be contained, you can run out of it, which would leave you defenseless versus an opponent." Her voice sounded like heaven in Vulen's ears. He couldn't help but compare her to Abina since she was the only girl he'd harbored true feelings for.

"That is correct, Jeenie. The journey of cultivating mana can be the best experience you've ever had or the worst you've ever felt. The difference in experience between mana users with wealth and those who don't is night and day. In this course, you'll be learning the four basic principles of mana: sorbeo,contineo,exsolvo, and Unicas Scientia. I'll demonstrate using someone who has been using mana techniques without proper guidance. Vulen, come up here."

Vulen was confused. ' I've been using mana techniques? Is that what Tanyl taught me?' He made his way to the front of the classroom and stood beside Alton.

" Vulen has been using a mana absorption technique even though ninety-nine percent of his mana nodes are closed. He still has a lot of raw mana in his body but it's all unusable since he hasn't created a mana core to absorb it and send it through his mana veins. I'm going to open his mana nodes and he's going to demonstrate how to absorb mana; which is the first technique, sorbeo. Are you ready?

Vulen nodded and tried his best to sit in the full Lotus position with a broken arm. Alton placed his hand close to Vulen's back. Vulen felt a scorching hot presence enter his body.

' It feels like something warm is pushing against me.'

Suddenly, he felt something pop inside him which caused him to jump slightly, but Alton sternly told him not to move, but then Vulen felt it. A raging energy in his body begging to be released. A clear aura erupted from his body to Alton's surprise, was abnormally strong for a beginner. The students watched in awe as the warm energy encompassed half the room. Vulen could feel himself slowly becoming weak and losing consciousness. His surroundings began fading to black, but  Alton woke him immediately.

" Don't fall asleep now, use your meditation technique or you'll pass out."

Those words ignited something inside Vulen. He could hear Elnora's voice saying, 'If you fail here, kill yourself' and ' Show no weakness to those around you.'

Vulen repeated those words in his head. Over and over again. He began to slowly inhale. He could feel a ball of energy forming in the center of his body. Suddenly, the ball turned into a black hole and sucked the remaining mana out of the room. Energy returned to his body as he opened his eyes and looked at the smiling old man.

' This kid has potential.'

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