‘When I give the signal, sprint toward me. Then, I’ll launch you toward the flag.’
In essence, that was the plan that Darius had shared with Lara. It wasn’t much of a plan to her, but her hands were tied in this situation. Success or defeat: there were only these two options, nothing else. She had faced a choice between either giving up and safely returning home or taking a gamble and trusting a complete stranger. Her decision had been made instantly. After all, warriors were not forged from cowardice…
Darius was constantly calculating different variables within his entire environment. His senses were hyperactive from the effects of Overdraw while his brain operated smoothly despite all this information due to Imperishable. A combination of these two along with the fact that his ability was of the highest tier, Glory, led to his frightening intuition.
According to the elder, it seemed that there came quite a few advantages with having multiple powerful abilities.
There were, in general, three things a Spritknight could do using their powers: abilities, skills, and spells. An ability was something that came naturally with the absorption of a Dantian, Indomitable, for example.
Magic was the use of spiritual energy to manipulate the laws of nature in order to create strange phenomena. An example being how the elder had soundproofed Darius’s room
A spirit skill was a technique created from honing an ability to perfection, usually in a specific method passed down through the generations. Most of the time, it required inputting some magic, creating a new effect entirely because the ability entered a new realm of power.
All of this hinged on spiritual power, an energy humans gained access to once they had a smiter and had absorbed a Dantian. It was an energy inherent to spirits, but through training, humans could also harness refined Dantians to their advantage.
Most abilities required the use of spirit energy, which had to be steadily regenerated and was finite, so abilities, spells, and spirit skills had to be used sparingly, but sometimes, unique circumstances like Darius’s would occur.
Indomitable drew more upon the body and the mind than it did spiritual energy, so it was much simpler to perpetually use for those who met the stringent physical requirements. As a Glory-level ability, it was even more demanding on the body than usual, but concurrently less demanding in terms of spiritual energy, making it incredibly suitable for Darius who was untrained in the usage of spiritual energies.
According to the old man, Darius had gained a sort of sixth sense, a powerful intuition. This was one of the side effects of having a high-quality ability that focused on the mind like Indomitable. To Darius, this was a huge advantage because it would allow him to grasp spirit skills faster!
Most spirit skills required some expertise in magic, but some relied purely on the technique and talent of the user. An example of this was Darius’s sixth sense. This was, in fact, a pseudo-spirit skill, but it still had plenty of uses, one of which Darius used right now. The elder’s words reverberated in his ears.
‘Spiritknights with a foundational ability that focus on boosting the mind like yours have an advantage in gaining usage of a skill all decent Spiritknights must have at later stages. Domains!
A Domain was a region near the user where the user had a complete understanding of the environment. It required astute awareness and the fusion of all of one’s senses.
The first step was to pick a certain radius around you in which you were confident of quickly gathering and compiling information using all your five senses. Once that was achieved, you had to anchor that distance in your mind and use it to create a radius of awareness around yourself. Anything that entered that radius must instantly be swept by all your sensory abilities and understood or else the ability will fail. This way, all actions will be futile struggles already ordained to be trapped in your net. For it to be a true Domain, you must also be capable of instantly attacking anything within that area, but at your level that’s not possible, so we will ignore that for now. Just focus on understanding your limits, and on creating your own Domain!’
Darius had managed to create a sort of pseudo-Domain during his practice in the past few hours. It was not complete because he had not properly trained it, but his progress in the skill could only be called superb. Thanks to the incredible senses and computational skills he had gained from Imperishable, Darius’s mind was a war machine built for battle. The moment he activated the ability, he would carry with him a natural disposition for battle that would normally take years to achieve.
The wolves, the vulture, and Lara had all entered his Area, so Darius knew exactly what to do next. Even though his eyes could only see what was in front of him, his other senses combined, giving him a three-hundred-and-sixty-degree field of perception within 50 meters of himself. This was his Domain!
His brain went into overdrive while he performed his calculations within a fraction of a second. Lara launched herself over the wolves, her intended target being Darius. She saw the vulture swoop down, resulting in adrenaline rushing like a tsunami through her body, but she steeled her resolve and trusted in her companion.
After noticing that Lara had started her jump, Darius directed his hammer at the muddy ground, resulting in a massive explosion against the earth.
Soil and rock flew everywhere, completely covering everyone’s field of view. The vulture, which at that time had been closest to Darius, was spooked and instantly changed its direction. After all, it could always patiently wait for the next opportunity. In an impressive arc, it swooped back into the skies, trying to understand what had happened.
The fallout from the impact was colossal; dust and debris covered everything within fifty meters of the impact point. Suspecting that Darius was plotting something, the vulture wanted a better view of what had happened, so it used its massive wings to kick up a storm. Violent winds rolled in and cleared the air, revealing a shocking scene.
Darius was on top of a wolf corpse that was barely recognizable while Lara was on the stone platform, holding the flag in her hands. The vulture was gobsmacked. How on earth had this happened? The dust had only been there for a few seconds, so how had she gotten over there so quickly?
While the vulture was still shocked, Lara furrowed her brows. “I see, so its variant ability was wind-related. How odd… but still.” Lara turned her attention toward the young man who stood among a pack of seemingly confused Direwolves. “He’s even stranger. What impressive skill.”