I felt a cold wind blowing at my back. Before I was able to feel surprised, I had a feeling of Deja-Vu.
From where do I have this familiar feeling? I got transported into this world only 10 days ago… Is it a feeling from Earth?
[You’re already scared, kid? If so, then turn around and go back. Cowards and weaklings are not welcomed here.]
I felt a vein bulging for a second.
“Afraid of what? I’m only searching for a quiet place to stay in and do my training. If this place is yours, then I’ll like to have a word with you.”
I rarely get angry, but for some reason, the ridicule I got from this old man really got on my nerves. I wanted to show him what domineering really means. After I got in front of the cave, a white mist covered the whole place.
What is this? Is not mana nor chi… and I feel like I’ve seen this before…?
[Kid, you’ve seen the spirits before? Then that’ll make my explanation simpler.]
I suddenly hear that elderly voice again.
Spirits? Ah right! I remember being able to see them when I was young. But how can I see them now?
I was a little bit confused. When I was young, I had the ability to see the unseen and hear the unheard, because nobody else was able to see all of the flashes and moving shadows, I made the mistake to fear them and wish they would disappear. After not even a week, I lost almost all the memories I had about it together with the ability to see or hear them.
Never thought that I would regret my decision a few years later…
I sighed at my own foolishness from before.
[It is because of the mana around, I can materialize myself in front of the living, making you able to see and hear me.]
The mist formed a whirlwind then a white ghastly orb appeared, levitating in front of me.
“…Is this your soul?”
I was dumbfounded, what was he thinking by showing me his soul? A normal human might not know but showing your soul to a necromancer means becoming his puppet. He might be able to take control over it and absorb it or make it into his own until the necromancer’s dies… This was a truly idiotic thing to do.
If I were a necromancer you’d be screwed by now, old man…
Even other mages would be able to do such a thing, but they would never go against the laws of nature. Necromancers were dark mages who used spells that defied the laws of the universe, like – bringing the dead to life without their accord, eating and absorbing the living’s life-energy and sometimes even making the souls their puppets, bringing forth the element of Death and corrupting the mana around with it, and so on. Necromancers were, in the strongest sense of the word, « The Lawbreakers », hated by every living being in the world.
The orb shone and then the mist formed an illusionary image of an elder with a long, white coat with golden lines. The elder had a long white beard and hair, with a strong body of well-toned muscles. His eyes were deep and all-seeing, while his image was divine like an emperor of the Heaven.
[Indeed this is my soul, or rather said, it’s me. My body broke down 2000 years ago, while my soul stood behind; not going to the cycle of rebirth. I wanted to impart my knowledge about this world to someone who is willing to create a school and teach the people how to find their own true DAO. Moreover, do not worry about me… I’m strong enough that even in this form, I can easily defeat a grandmaster.]
I looked at him, not knowing what to say.
Establish a school? Find other people’s DAO? Grandmaster?! What is that? Are they like those old dudes from movies that teach their disciples epic martial arts?
My head was in chaos and I felt dizzy. I barely understood what the old spirit was saying. As if knowing what I was thinking, the old ghost continued.
[If you want knowledge of this world, I’ll be able to give it to you, but you’ll have to let me see what is in your heart to know if your wish to teach others is true and if you have the strength to resist your own inner demons. Do you accept the challenge?]
I glared at the ghost in front of me for two full minutes without saying anything. Whether the idea of letting him in my heart was good or not…
No, of course, it’s a bad idea. Letting someone inside your heart can alter your mentality and character, but what made me rethink was his white, shiny soul. From what I know from my grandmother’s books, the white soul represents the most evolved human-soul and with that shine, it must be of the third grade, no even less…
From that one book, I learned that even souls were separated into something called « Spiritual Ranks ». The soul is materializing first as a simple grain of dust, then to a rock, plant, and so on, climbing up the steps of evolution until it reaches the most powerful entity in the universe called « God ». What is differentiating the two? It’s knowledge and spiritual power that came after an incredible amount of years, experimenting and understanding the laws of the universe created by the All-Father. One of the biggest forms of evolution for a spirit is the human soul. This one is ranked in three forms with every form having another 3 steps, the first form is the « Red Soul ». After Red, there is « Blue Soul ». After Blue, there is « White Soul » which is also the highest rank of a human being.
“Alright, I’ll take your test. I really need this place and your information might be exactly what I need. I’m ready.”
White Souls had reached enlightenment about the rules of the universe. They have incredible soul-power but once they make a mistake in front of the universal law, they’ll be harshly punished. Here the idiom, ‘the higher they are, the harder the fall’ is especially valid. One wrong move and they might fall from Heaven to Hell in less than a millisecond. This is what one would call the « Stupid Karma ».
[You are right, I can’t give in to my own demons or I might fall into the abyss. I am surprised you know all of this, I’m really looking forward to seeing what kind of being you are.]
… Is he perhaps reading my mind?
I felt like he was answering my thoughts for a while now. He got closer and when we were only 1 meter apart, he abruptly stopped. He looked at me with shocked eyes. He examined me for a good 10 minutes, then he sighed.
[… How laughable. I wanted you to be my disciple… But with such gifts from Heavens, shouldn’t you be my master?]
The elder said with a wry smile. He felt a little bit bitter for wanting to be my master.
I asked stupidly.
“Me? Your master? And teach you what?! I’m the empty bucket here, who needs to be filled with knowledge… Aye, anyway, are you not going to enter my heart?”
[My God, I can’t do such a thing. A higher soul can enter a lower one, but not the other way around.]
The soul said, still looking a little shocked.
[Well, the evolution of the soul is equal to the age, it seems that your soul is much older than mine. I will be unable to enter and lend you all my knowledge. Seeing how I can’t enter your soul, you’ll have to research for yourself in the cave. I wrote all I knew in my books that are deposited in the cave. There are also materials, weapons and some other treasures brought by me and an old friend which maybe are of some help for the school. However, if you don’t wish to do so… then I won’t mind it. Maybe you’ll find a better use for them.]
“Uh… huh? Wait! What were you talking about just now? My soul? Older than yours?! You are a white one of the third grade! What is after that? Gold Soul?! Those come only if they have some kind of huge mission or else they are transported to another world…”
I stopped after saying the obvious. I was truly shocked. Never in my wildest dreams had I thought of me being such a high entity. I never knew in what ranking I am placed but I didn’t even think of the white ranking, let alone the rank of Gold. I needed some time to process all of this information.
Golden Soul is the rank that one reaches after passing the « Human Form ». Such entities are separated between the classes of « God », « Arch » or « Young Creator ». As a Gold Soul, the spirit can choose his road of evolution. He can choose to become a God and travel the universe, studying and researching the unknown, fight the evil gods and other entities, or work as « Planetary Guardians » on different planets, giving support to the living beings from there to evolve and at the same time, studying the evolution of the respective living beings.
He can choose to become an Archangel and rule over other angels and learn right under the All-Father while helping the living beings to evolve at the same time. These souls evolve the fastest but have the biggest chance of making mistakes, falling in the abyss and having to lose God knows how many billions of years of researching only because of a single mistake.
On the other hand, he can become a « Young Creator » which is a spirit that creates parts of the universe; be them planets, stars, black holes, galaxies, and other territories. Creating and understanding in his own way; the creation of the All-Father. This form evolves the hardest but the chances of making a mistake are extremely low in comparison with God or Arch classes. What they all have in common, is the huge amount of knowledge and power, able to create or destroy anything and everything.
[It seems you understood, that’s good. I will be going now and I leave everything to you. May the laws of nature be with you, old but young one…]
While talking, little by little, the spirit disappeared. I looked at the elder disappear without saying a word. I felt way too tired just from this conversation. I still looked dumbfounded in space.
‘Holy crap, I’m AWESOOOOOME…’
These were the first thoughts after putting my mind in order. I walked with an arrogant grin inside the cave, feeling like an omnipotent entity.
“Ah wait. Doesn’t that makes me even more affected by Karma?”
I suddenly felt like the idea of being a high spirit can actually be more problematic.
Right before when I was about to enter the cave, a huge beast stepped foot outside, looking at me with its red eyes.
“Oy wait a second… That ghost said nothing about there being a monster, right?”
I was looking at the huge beast with a shocked expression on my face. It was a huge black gorilla, with skin like magmatic rock and eyes like the fire itself. It was an Infernal Gorilla.
“This will prove to be more challenging than the other beast.”
I felt sweat flowing down my back. The Infernal Gorilla was a Dungeon Boss of the higher levels inside the game. One needed a party of twelve people, max level of sixty with weapons of at least Heroic classed and an average AP of 1100.
The earth shook from the roar and red cracks appeared all over its body, pulsating with a red light, showing the lava that was flowing through its veins.
“S***! Not even a ‘hello’, going straight for the kill? Damn beast!”
I retreated, I wasn’t confident in killing such a monster with this level of power.
“What should I do? This is an enclosed space. All around are either huge mountains or monstrous trees.”
The Infernal Gorilla punched at me with all it got. It suddenly leaped in the air right above me, but I was fast enough to dodge with « Sliding Step ». The landing was fierce enough to raise huge broken boulders of Earth and stone. After that, I retaliated by using another « Sliding Step », this time moving toward the gorilla.
I punched with the typical punch which came together with the « Sliding Step » right in its chin, making a little crack to appear there.
“That was supposed to daze it, not enrage it! Are the skills not working accordingly?”
The Infernal Gorilla leaped again and punched right at me.
The ground shattered and even though I dodged, the shockwave was strong enough to send me crashing on the stonewall right beside the cave’s entrance. I tasted metal in my mouth at that moment. The shockwave was strong enough to damage some organs, making me spit blood.
The fact that it is painful, means that I’m still alive. The fact that I got hit, means this is not a game anymore…
I felt my blood boiling. Subconsciously, I started to spin my chakras and started the flow of my energies. I exhaled and a white mist of chi left my mouth. I took a fighting stance and focused with all I had.
The mana around me started to vibrate and the chi inside me enveloped my body. I activated the skill « Iron Body » and my skin started to shine with a metallic luster.
This is no game. No game means no rules, no rules means freedom of surpassing the limits!
I focused some more and mana orbs appeared around me.
I continued to create more until I reached 30 mana orbs, which flew around me as the Moon revolves around the Earth.
The Gorilla felt danger and could not wait any longer. It punched at me and around its fists, magma started to appear from between the cracks in its rocky hands.
“In this world, I can show my true might. I will reach out and I will surpass my limits! I will become God through my own efforts!”
“[GODLY FIST] x6, [SURA’S WRATH]!!!”