Chapter 2 – The forest

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 The great mages and scholars take up their staves in their pursuit of knowledge, but even the most powerful of them think before walking into the depths. Just past the borders of all civilization, human or not, lie lands of survival. The unknown is both humanity’s greatest fear and inspiration. The curiosity of what lies beyond our world is enough to drive many mad. However, we must be careful in our ventures. ‘ – The Wilds, Author unknown.

“Well, this is creepy.”

A sword at her side and a hand covered in rings her silver training armor reflected the light well. A green-lit forest spread in front of the small Aiva as she walked forward. Her crimson hair now an odd shade of orange. The trees reached high into the sky as their roots clung to the ground haphazardly, desperately clinging to the ground. Their canopy of leaves and warped branches spread shadows all along the ground, making sure the ground was kept from the sun. Yet, the barren dirt was lit as the many plants shone with almost fluorescent light. Mushrooms, flowers, and vines filled the empty spaces as they tried to survive. Many, even growing or leeching on the trees.

Aiva had been running from her watchers all evening. Hawks she calls them, annoying her to no end. Ever since she was born she had always dreamed of being a warrior. Watching her brother’s training with her father she wanted to join. Illos had actually even obliged and trained her as well nurturing her love for both. Even telling her great stories of the old eras when humanity had to fight against nature itself to survive. These small stories quickly turned into an obsession, however. Constantly training, constantly messing with magics she couldn’t control. She had no time for other things.

Math, history, morals, and etiquette all abandoned. When would she use this in the wilds fighting toe to toe with great beasts? All her teachers tried to teach her, chase her down even, but to no avail. In an effort to give her proper education they got the guards to do it. So came her long games of hiding and seek as she found new places to hide. Coming back to her current whereabouts.

“ They will never think I got in the forest!”

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‘In my entire six-year-old life I have never had a better idea! Why would they search here? I’m six, there’s no way they think I have a way to get past command. Plus, they just swept the wilds, there should be nothing but weaklings left.’

With a smirk, she moved quickly before arriving at an old tree. The warped nature of the forest led many of its plants to grow awkwardly and this tree was no exception. Growing out of the hill it bent forward, providing a natural shelter. She had been planning her escape for a while and she had even scouted out a few areas. This area was what she thought to be the best distance. Just far enough that they won’t be able to track her mana and just close enough to run back.

Sitting down she rubbed a small ring on her finger. The silver and gold plating was nothing short of the best, as you’d expect for a princess. On command, a small book appeared in front of her. The gold lettering and sophisticated art helped exemplify the greatness of the title. The technique of a Thousand Wars. The Alos kingdoms most powerful combat technique. The technique that the king himself, a sixth-grade warrior, made over his years of fighting. His ventures into the wilds and spars against the world’s greatest champions all culminated into this. A kingdom’s treasure… a pinnacle technique, was in a random corner of a forest in the hands of a six-year-old…

Every time she went to train with her father, he would pick out what technique to train in. However, they were all boring in her eyes. Just basic techniques, not elemental flavor at all. Like always she wished to get stronger, learn more, and strive for the greatness in those stories like her father! So, she stole the most powerful one she could from the training library.

When she opened the book she could only stare blankly at the word in front of her. While planning her future greatness she didn’t think that just the first sentence would stump her. ‘ One thousand steps into the sun shall send you within.’

“This sounds like someone just trying to be cool. What does this even mean? Is this an entire technique?”

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A set of intricate stances and lettering were placed under the text. Most of which she hadn’t even seen before. Nothing about the book seemed to make sense to her. The writing wasn’t even similar to the runes she had studied. No, they seemed too simple for that… Or, were they? The more she read the harder it became to understand. The letters seemed to float from the page, shifting places, coming together, and making grand symbols. The symbols made images. The images made a story. The story told the past, it told her future, it told her present. 

Her eyes continued to scan faster and faster, more and more erratic, visibly shaking until a splitting headache assaulted her. Writhing on the ground she didn’t and couldn’t even care for her surroundings as she cried out. The words still fresh in her mind, the images, the POWER. 

Golden tears spilled from her eyes as she clutched her head. A cloud and haze covered her head as she lay completely on the ground. The cries got louder until finally, they stopped, the pain stopped. Looking around she stared at the book in front of her before finally calling it back into the ring. No more. Go back. Picking herself up with shaky steps she started walking.

The path she took was relatively clear of foliage compared to the rest of the forest which meant finding her way back was easy. That, however, made it easy to find, especially after all that screaming. On the path a lizard-like monster looked up from the tracks, its prey had approached it.

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Title: World of Expertsd | Tags: Cultivation, Second Chance
Synopsis: The online game <> entered the whole world. It's a game about territorial construction and war to reconstruct alternate history. Although it's virtual, it'll change the world. Shi Hao, an ordinary freshman, decided to bravely enter <> in order to gain the approval of his beloved goddess's elder brother. He, however, accidentally got a super skill at the beginning because of a strange game-helmet.

- my thoughts:
I am very soz, I am late again.
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