Even though this old Demon looked to be ancient beyond belief, Azalon couldn’t feel a sliver of Spirit Energy from his body at all. But he could feel a boundless pressure from this old man and Azalon sensed that this old Demon had a cultivation base that was very deep and profound.
But when he looked around, he could see that not one of the many people that were present took this old Demon seriously. Not even Mark or Leora. In fact there were some students who were disdainfully looking at him, and some were even hostile, but there was not even a hint of change in the old Demon’s expression or aura.
Mark produced three crystal like stones, Spirit Stones, from his pouch tied at the waist and tossed it on the ground in front of the old man, like he was tossing a penny to a roadside beggar.
Spirit Stones are formed by nature when there were certain conditions met in that location. The first condition was that there should be a thick concentration of Spirit Energy and Spirit Essences, but there should also be certain materials and minerals that would absorb this abundant Spirit Energies and Essences, storing them within over time. Such stones are called Spirit Stones and they were also divided into grades as well.
The ones Mark tossed were low grade Spirit Stones that would have the lowest concentration of Spirit Energy and lowest purity as well.
Azalon stared with amazement when the old Demon extended a bony and wrinkled hand and took those low grade Spirit Stones and put it somewhere inside his tattered robes. It was only then that Azalon saw a pair of silver manacles on his wrists. The silver manacles were slim and exquisitely carved and it was covered entirely with runes that Azalon couldn’t even count the number of them. But the cold aura that was being emitted by those silver manacles made Azalon’s expression change.
It was because the moment he came closer to the old Demon and felt the aura from those silver manacles, he could feel the drop of blood in his Soul Root throb violently! The blood and the Spirit Energies in his body roiled and rushed wildly as a feeling of ruthlessness and baseless anger flooded his mind. His eyes became slightly bloodshot as he took a step towards the old Demon, his hand extending towards the throat of the old Demon.
How dare he? How dare this pathetic low life get captured? How dare he get caught and be treated as this gatekeeper and a guard? This low life, if he submits, he should be submitting to me! His life and fate should be mine and mine alone to control! Put him out of his misery! I am going to put him out of his misery!!!
Azalon could only hear the whispers in his mind and he almost succumbed to them. It didn’t matter that the old Demon in front of him was infinitely more powerful than him, or that he had been captured and reduced to this pathetic state. There was only a mixture of anger and pity that were swirling in his mind, pushing and demanding him to end his life so that he can be free of his misery and cool his anger of this low life that didn’t submit to him.
LILY, Raka and Merup yelled loudly in his mind and a cool and powerful Spiritual Sense circulated from the third eye throughout his mind, making him come out of that irrational state.
He shivered slightly and immediately backed up a few feet from the old Demon. He broke out in cold sweat but his eyes never stopped observing the old Demon, as what happened just now gave him quite a scare.
“Let’s go. We will be going to the Heaven’s Grotto. I heard a rumor that there is a Class 5 Spirit Beast somewhere in there and some of the students even caught a glimpse of it. If we can hunt it, we will have a considerable reward of the Spirit Points.” Mark said and dragged Azalon and Leora towards the teleportation formation.
Azalon turned his head towards the old Demon but his clouded eyes stayed the same when the three of them went towards the large formation.
The teleportation formation was formed by a set of twelve large pillars that towered over them. Even Mark, who looked like a giant beside Azalon and Leora, looked like a kid in front of these pillars. The twelve pillars were arranged to form two hexagons, concentrically arranged over a large area. Each pillar was covered with countless tiny runes that were wriggling on the surface like worms and radiating a frightening amount of Spirit Energy.
They stood in the center of the formation and the twelve pillars flashed brightly, the three of them disappeared.
Afterwards, the pillars went back to their previous state, recuperating the spent Spirit Energy for the next teleportation.
It was at this point that the ancient old man’s clouded eyes became clear and they shone like two brilliant stars. His entire demeanor changed and he was like a dragon that was waking up from its slumber.
Violent waves of demonic energy rolled out of him and the silver manacles on his hand vibrated intensely, emitting a shrill buzzing sound, the runes on them pulsing madly to constrain the energy. They managed to suppress most of it, but the remaining energy was still tyrannical beyond compare as it spread out like waves with the old Demon at the center.
Blackness covered the area where the demonic energy spread and the students caught up in this darkness immediately collapsed, frothing in their mouths. The old Demon didn’t bother about what was happening around him, his eyes fixed on the spot that Azalon and the two disappeared, before he deeply bowed his head to the place where Azalon had been previously standing.
“Maheshwara!” He muttered once and he once again went back to the clouded state he was in previously. The demonic energy disappeared without a trace and everything went back to normal, except that there were now bodies of students who were unconscious and laid prone.
The moment the demonic energy spread from the old Demon, Palace Master Paul who was sitting cross legged in the white palace opened his eyes and two brilliant rays shot out from them. He was about to take action when he felt the demonic energy disappear. With a puzzled expression as to why that old Demon was riled up after such long time, he turned his head to look at the massive White Tower behind the palace. There, on the top of the White Tower was a hunched old man. He looked even older than the old Demon but the Spirit Energy roiling around his body was even stronger than the old Demon’s.
An image of an enormous serpent coiled around him as he just sat there, not at all bothering to care about the demonic aura he sensed or the fact that this was the first time in almost two thousand years after he captured the old Demon that he woke up like this.
Azalon had no way of knowing what happened as he appeared at a different place. The three of them were inside the same kind of formation of twelve pillars, though it was smaller than the one in the Academy, but it was also arranged to form the same concentric hexagons of six pillars each.
Heaven’s grotto was a place in the vast wilderness that covered most of the land and was around 1000 kms from the White Deer Academy.
This grotto was a pretty popular place among the students looking to hunt Spirit Beasts because of the massive number of them thriving in this area. Roars of Spirit Beasts continuously echoed out from the forest.
“LILY, what happened back then?” Azalon asked but it was Raka who answered.
“That is the reaction from your bloodline. It seems that whatever your bloodline is, it is even more pure and even more dangerous if it had such a reaction to that powerful of an entity.” Raka had a thoughtful expression and his golden eyes were swirling with intelligence.
“… It seems that the stupid cat is correct, Master. Currently, I can’t think of a counter measure against those emotional outbreaks as it seems something innate to your body.” LILY said.
Mark and Leora were looking around when Azalon was still in a daze because of the incident with the old Demon and his conversation with his Spirits.
Mark frowned slightly when he saw the blank expression of Azalon.
“This is the wild and any small mistake on your side will result in very large consequences. Leave all the distracting thoughts and concentrate on the hunt and you will be able to come back safely.” Mark said in a serious tone.
Years of hunting in the Black Wastelands taught him this very important lesson and now that he is back in the wilderness, his hunter instincts were resurfacing.
Azalon and Leora were not stupid enough to ignore these words and both became serious. Mark nodded his head slightly with some satisfaction after seeing their expressions.
“The Heaven’s grotto is a fairly safe place within the wilderness around the Academy. The strongest Spirit Beasts are at Class 4 and they reside very far away from this place, deep within the wilderness. But recently there are rumors that the students that came hunting had come across a Class 5 Spirit Beast but no one is sure of that. Our main task will be searching for any traces of that beast while hunting. If we really come across that Class 5 Beast, then we have to plan and kill it.” Mark cast his glance at the forest and spoke with an excited tone.
Azalon thought silently for a moment before asking. “Any information about the elemental affinity of that Spirit Beast?”
Mark shook his head. “No definite information but I heard that in the vicinity of where the students seemingly came across the tracks of this beast, there are traces of a very dense amount of Earth type Spirit Energy. But it would be better off if we don’t believe in the hearsay and decide only after confirming with our own eyes. After all, nothing is more dangerous than misinformation. Let’s go.”
Mark’s body shook before he rushed into the thick forest like a cannon ball. Leora slightly nudged Azalon before pale green colored Spirit Energy formed beneath her feet and she too followed behind Mark like she was gliding on the winds.
Azalon stopped his distracting thoughts and with a flash, he turned illusionary and followed after the two. The three of them rushed at their fastest speeds and within a few moments, they were deep into the forest and no longer visible from the teleportation formation.
It was at this moment that the silent teleportation formation flashed brightly and a group stepped out from the brilliant portal that appeared.
The group comprised of 8 people and they were all dressed in the bright uniforms of the White Deer Academy but there was an additional symbol on their shoulders, an anvil. They were the group of students that were part of the Blacksmith Hall. The one leading this group was a youngster that looked to be approaching 20 years of age with a chiseled face and strong body. His expression was calm but there was an unconcealed deep arrogance and superiority in his eyes
A brown panther that was shining with a metallic luster on its body stood beside him, gazing around proudly.
Ripples of powerful Spirit Energy emitted out from his body and by the slight lack of control of the Spirit Energy, it can be deduced that he made a recent breakthrough and has yet to solidify his cultivation base.
He cast his glance towards a smaller figure to his right side and spoke in a calm but authoritative voice. The smaller figure had a red sparrow like bird perched on his shoulder while a brown, finger thick armor was visible under his shirt. If Azalon and the group saw this figure, they would have immediately recognized him as Steven, the freshmen student with the dual Soul Spirits.
“Steven, even though you are recently accepted into the Blacksmith Hall, our Hall Master is more than satisfied with your aptitude towards the art of blacksmithing. And with your Grade Five Talent and your dual Spirits, with the Fire and Earth affinity, that could be said to be tailor-made for the Blacksmithing, it is no wonder that the Hall Master has very high expectations for you. You have to make sure to live up to those expectations or I will be the one you have to answer to!” The young man was still speaking with a calm tone but the words he spoke, along with the pressure from his cultivation base, bore more weight than a mountain on the heart of Steven.
“Yes, Senior brother Smith.” But Steven didn’t bother about the intimidating aura from the youngster and spoke with a bland tone and he was even looking around without a care for the youngster in his words.
He knew that this senior of his may seem young but he was a second year student at the Academy and a cherished disciple of the Hall Master of the Blacksmith Hall. His talents were one grade less than his, Fourth Grade. He had been in the Academy for almost 2 years and his cultivation was at the 5th Level Spirit Condensation Realm.
Smith Minosa, a descendant of the famous Minosa Family. The Minosa Family was a fairly powerful family in the Emerald Kingdom and they were a major part of the royal court. It was said that the Family Head of the Minosa Family was a Spirit Core Realm cultivator at the Soul Core Level. There were also rumors that he was already half a step into the Nascent Soul Realm and if he could breakthrough, he would become one of the powerful players of the kingdom.
One had to know that other than those god-like Spirit Sages who were the real hidden trump cards, Nascent Soul cultivators held the most power as they could be considered to be the real outside power of any family or kingdom.
But that was that and Steven could see nothing special in this Senior of his. He just spent 2 years more than him at the Academy and was still at the 5th Level of the Spirit Condensation Realm. With his dual affinity Spirits and the Fifth Grade Talent, who knows which Level he would be after 2 years, or may be even 1 year.
Smith’s facial muscles twitched slightly when he heard the reply of Steven as well as his nonchalant behavior and that shimmering rage he had been suppressing in his heart rose again. He had always been the star disciple of the Blacksmith Hall Master, until this kid came barging in with his dual spirits, a terrifying aptitude, and talent in both cultivation and blacksmithing. Even he had to admit that it may take this kid less than a year to overtake him and become the sole focus of the entire Blacksmith Hall.
He felt jealousy and unwillingness rise along with his anger and a slight killing intent surfaced in his aura. But he immediately controlled himself and didn’t let his intentions out. He knows who the Hall Master favors now and he can’t act without thinking it through.
‘But if the opportunity presents itself, maybe… ‘ Smith glanced at Steven who was still looking around with a cold look in his eyes.
“Let’s go. We have brought two of the students of the Blacksmith Hall that have the highest sensitivity to Earth Spirit Energy. The Hall Master said that there is really a powerful Spirit Beast of the Earth affinity that he could sense, but even he was not able to tell what level that Spirit Beast reached. So, for now let’s try to find the tracks of that Beast and if it is within the capabilities of the team, we will take it down. We will present it to Junior Brother as the welcome gift to the Blacksmith Hall.” Smith said and with a wave of his hand, he led the group deep into the wilderness.