Book 5 – Horns, Chapter 23 – Third Form

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Eight days. Eight days of a strenuous search for specks of insight within the black world inside the violet stone.

‘Nothing’. Zax heaved a long, agitated breath. His eyes opened and the one which he wanted to see has yet appeared before his eyes.

“Are you counting the seconds inside? It should be exactly four days since last you removed your awareness from the violet stone”. Laivien was lying in her usual place in her pavilion.

Zax scowled instead of answering. Four days ago was the first time he halted his training. It was also four days since he began training after returning from Kingdom Earth.

He awakened from the meditative state of his inner mind, in which he ceaselessly created small combination of the many fragments he managed to appreciate, and from the meditative state of his outer mind, wherein he got closer and closer to understanding the Intermediate phase of the Soul Binding formation.

Zax could only raise his head and look at Laivien with imploring eyes.

“Huhuhu, fine, fine, little Zax, I will ask big brother if you are permitted to go to Kingdom Earth again”. Laivien both felt for the young teen and found his cub like expression charming as well as amusing. She agreed to help his a second time, despite knowing her brother thoughts and the imminent refusal, simply because Zax down mood during this session of training was not due to its length of eight days, but the fact that Kartius did not give him an expiration date.

Touching the violet stone with her chin, the reach of Laivien’s soul sense crossed caves, like that of the Sublime Soul Sense of a third realm expert. Zax knew about this trick of the violet stone, and that with this trick Laivien was able to observe and converses with everyone in the Essene Cave and the adjacent cave of Grandmaster Kartion. It was only a shame that unknowingly why, the violet stone rejected Zax’s attempt of using this function.

Raising her neck, Laivien opened her eyes and glanced at Zax apologetically.

“Not yet”. She quoted Kartius’s response. ‘He probably want you to make another advancement, not necessarily a breakthrough, but something, little Zax‘. The latter part she did not say outloud of fear that Zax will then work himself out to the point of sabotaging his training or worse, harming himself.

“Thank you”. Zax said in a low voice. Now that his relationship with Anet sprouted into the next stage it was difficult to just shove it to a temporary small space in his sea of consciousness. Nevertheless, after couple of moments Zax collected himself, like he did four days ago when Laivien passed his Master refusal, and put aside his desires to see his family and friends, at the very least, for another four days.

“Mm? Aren’t you resuming his training?” As Zax kept sitting crossed legs, Laivien was a bit surprised that with the knowledge that the training session is still ongoing he did not immediately place his hand on the violet stone.

“Not yet”. Zax smiled as he answered with the exact words she just used to deliver his Master’s reply. “My advancement in the Soul Binding formation yielded fruits these past four days. Though I’m not confident in completing the entirety of the Intermediate phase, I have a hunch, which if confirmed to be right, it won’t be long before I’ll reach the Intermediate phase of the Intermediate of the Soul Binding formation. Before resuming my training, I want to affirm fast with my inner mind the hunch”. Zax explained.

Ending the conversation on this note, Zax closed his eyes and delved into his sea of consciousness.

After eight days of trial and error, inside Zax’s sea of consciousness were now, including the original one, eleven Soul Binding formations. The pale emerald formations remained fixed to their position and emitted a virtually the same dim radiance, far from the blur that was Zax’s soul.

The hunch which Zax thought that will help him advance his accomplishments with the Soul Binding formations was based on a fundamental component in the creation process of the formation, it placement in the sea of consciousness.

It was a faint feeling that gave him the hunch about the placement of the formation. The idea was that in the right place in his sea of consciousness, it would be a hundred times easier to erect the formation, in addition to making it more refine, consequently, stronger. And then, only after completing one Soul Binding formation in the right place, it could be placed wherever in the sea of consciousness before creating another one.

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The problem was that the space of the sea of consciousness was infinite. Finding the right spot inside of it was practically impossible. Furthermore, erecting each formation took Zax hours and was very, very tasking! Thus, Zax did not intend to erect countless formation until he will find the “sweet spot”, no. What Zax wanted was to see if his subliminal mind gathered anything from him studying the scripture of the Soul Binding formation. It was a bet, but the time it could save Zax was either negligible or very considerable.

Entering the state of Adraak Meditation, the reason Zax did so without the help of the violet stone, was because he was too used to focusing in it on the spiritual knowledge that was related to the entity that was connected to the Black Core, and thought that by reverting to a rudimentary method of meditation he would be capable to concentrate with more ease on unrelated pieces of spiritual knowledge.

‘There is something!’ Zax was excited to sense new pieces of spiritual knowledge and that it was not demanding at all to separate them from the spiritual knowledge of the entity.

In a short time, a number of pieces of spiritual knowledge, gathered from the scripture of the Soul Binding formation, appeared before Zax as greenish dots.

‘Carefully’. Zax cautiously said to himself before he got to inspect and appreciate the greenish dots. Those greenish dots were not at all the same to the spiritual knowledge of the entity. However much that Zax’s subliminal mind was able to gather from the scripture of the Soul Binding formation, none of these pieces carried to the profundity that the pieces of the entity carried and Zax noticed it right away.

‘The insights inside this pieces… if I’ll try to appreciate them, they will forever remain vague to me and will most likely hinder future achievement with the Soul Binding formation’. Zax was clear on it quite well.

Skimming between the pieces, Zax avoided from being impetuous, while doing the minimal appreciation of the greenish dots. In the course of this delicate meditation, Zax discovered two things.

The first was that in the future, or more accurately, the further he will get with the Soul Binding formation, the less he would be able to rely on his subliminal mind to do half the work for him. This was factual toward any formation or technique he will learn in the future, and only if the disparity between his soul capabilities and the difficulty of the technique or formation will be large, would he be able to exploit them with his subliminal mind without concern and voraciously.

The second thing was Zax discover was more of a reminder that appreciating spiritual knowledge in regular Adraak Meditation and with the violet stone was still, two different things.

Inside the violet stone, Zax’s senses were much more acute and the overall impression was corporal. But in regular, rudimental meditation exited a greater sense of transcendent.

‘The right location to erect the Soul Binding formation surprisingly should be approximately the same distance from my soul as the total length of the piled formation’. To reach this conclusion while not invoking harm to his future development of the formation, Zax appreciated the greenish dots superficiality, deciphering an ounce, stealing a glance from over eighty pieces of spiritual knowledge, not daring to dwell an instance longer on even one of them. ‘With that I can let my outer mind experiment and return to finding specks of insight in the violet stone’.

‘Eh?’ As Zax curbed the spiritual knowledge of the Soul Binding formation and summoned back the spiritual knowledge of the entity, cool sensation spread in his sea of consciousness, a fleeting moment of lucidity he never before had, regardless of how or with what he meditated.

‘Could it be?!’ A strong reaction to the exalting sensation illuminated and a vibration echoed from Zax’s soul. ‘The boundary of the Adraak Meditatio-’ He was not certain, but before he could finish the question, another cool and fleeting sensation of lucidity sparked in his sea of consciousness, and another vibration echoed from his soul, and again and again, nonstop, everything kept reoccurring.

Zax tried to leave the meditative state, to see if the sensations and vibrations were really conjured from it. Indeed they were. Zax could not bring himself to lose the tiniest amount of concentration without feeling the sensation growing dull and his soul calming down.

‘The next phase of meditation…’ In the three years he was training under his Master, Zax actually learnt from him about the third form of meditation.

Warood Meditation, this is the name of the state that surpasses the state of Somnolence Meditation and Adraak Meditation. In essence, the state of Warood Meditation emerges when a cultivator exhibits profound understanding of the subliminal mind and the state of Adraak Meditation. Then, when mental concentration is sustained and somnolence is at its minimum, the new level of perception that appears is “Warood Meditation”.

If truth be told, Zax did not have a thorough grasp on all the spiritual knowledge in his subliminal mind, nor the state of Adraak Meditation. According to his Master even for the greatest experts who invest their life in the most obscure, soul cultivation, reaching the third form of meditation can take tens of years to figuring the subliminal mind. However, with Zax’s unique soul those decades were boiled down to a mere few years of Adraak Meditation in order from him to become all too familiar with this instinctual characteristic of the human mind, and without him knowing he touched the limit of the second form of meditation and was a premeditated step away from the third form, Warood Meditation.

‘Submerge!’ Zax solemnly commanded himself. He knew that this was an opportunity he cannot miss, one that he was not supposed to be able to reach yet, but miraculously did. Whatever he did to start it, he could not be sure that he can replicate his actions, which initially were kept to bear minimum so in the future it would not cause him troubles with the Soul Binding formation.

Little by little, the minor and brief sensations reproduced faster and faster, augmenting through every corner of Zax’s sea of consciousness. And the vibrations that echoed from the soul over and over like waves, suddenly receded, assimilating into a monstrosity, a tsunami, a single vibe.

BOOM!

The blackness of Zax’s sea of consciousness shattered like glass, glittering fragments that crumbled into shreds, then sparkling silvery sand, then vanished.

Everything settled.

Outside of Zax’s body a long breath was released and silvery mist flouted out for minutes.

Next to Zax, Laivien noticed the weird event and her brows wrinkled. “Have you had a breakthrough, little Zax?” Her question met deaf ears, but as it so happened, she did not think that he will answer. Still, she also never heard of silver mist accompany a breakthrough while coming from the mouth, or any body’s part for that matter.

Before assuming anything about Zax’s condition, Laivien rested her chin on the violet stone, amplified her Soul Sense to the level of Sublime Soul Sense and intrude into Zax’s sea of consciousness.

Within the state of Warood Meditation.

Before perceiving his sea of consciousness with his mind eye, a wonderful feeling washed Zax as if he was baptized.

SNIF!

SNIF!

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A sweet, intoxicating fragrance suddenly sprout dominated the new state he had yet to fully perceive.

‘That scent!’ Zax whispered and relished.

Two small, horizontal lines appeared in his sea of consciousness, one above the other.

CRACK!

A loud, uniform sound reverberated and the two lines slowly expanded to the shape of narrow eyes. Both eyes had a hint of brown in them, one, however, was dark and gorgeous, while the other was light and juvenile.

‘Bottleneck of insight’. One voice said softly.

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