“Deformed Beings! Pure Cores!” Zax exclaimed. ”Senior Ariel mentioned two possible methods to obtain Pure Cores. One that I’m familiar with is scavenging from a cultivator in the midst of a breakthrough to a new realm, which isn’t easy since, to avoid trouble, no expert will advertise his place and time of breakthrough. That should be the first method senior Ariel referred to in his explanation. The second method… could it be the Deformed Beings?”
Zax quit wondering and lowered his eyes to the introduction of Deformed Beings printed in bold, red letters in the scroll, underneath the writer’s mentioning of the two dangers in Selivereb.
“The most dangerous creatures loose throughout the surface of earth, the surface of Ercas Mir and in its seas, are none other than the entities named ‘Deformed Beings’.
In the history of the planet, Deformed Beings first appeared millenniums ago, when Nature’s rules began to change. Deformed Beings were first spawned from the earth itself and forced humanity and beasts to either immigrate below the ground or face genocide.
At the time of the great immigration data related to Deformed Beings was impossible to be gathered due to the high level of risk. At the time, neither humanity, nor beasts, had practiced Martial cultivation.
The following is the entire information, gathered and compiled, about Deformed Beasts post the return of humanity to the surface of Ercas Mir, with accordance to the five powers’ rules.
External features of Deformed Beings: The entire species of Deformed Beings possess two common denominators to their external appearance. Number one, all Deformed Beings, of any size, shape or color, have an armor exoskeleton covering their vary bodies. Number two, as indication to their level of strength, Deformed Beings grow a set of scales, which may appear in all sorts of appearances, at the back of their necks.
Note: The amount of scales signifies the Martial realm the Deformed Being corresponds to!
Other than the two common denominators, Deformed Beings, which are not of the same type, may otherwise appear in all kinds of shapes and colors.
Types of Deformed Beings: Deformed Beings are similar to the different types of beasts, pre the great immigration. Their intelligence is that of a wild animal, regardless of age or level of strength. There are carnivore as well as herbivores Deformed Beings. Some Deformed Beings, even of different types, live in solidarity, while others’ primal instinct chooses to seclude them from group life.
Note: In spite of the variety of Deformed Beings across Ercas Mir, the entire species share the same aggressive behavior characteristic toward anyone who is invading their territory, be it a human, beast or other Deformed Being.
Level of risk hazard: What is most common among Deformed Beings, and the reason and source of what gave them their notorious name, is the undisputable fact that they are incapable of cultivating any of the three aspects. Nevertheless, if Nature have not compensate its crippled creation in a manner which made it so fearsome and monstrous, the great immigration would not have happened and the Martial world would not have labeled Deformed Beings as Nature’s favorite.
Nature’s favorite, Deformed Beings, are absolved from the burden of Martial cultivation and breaking through bottlenecks. In turn, their physique grows stronger, the valuable energy within their body becomes mightier and their soul turns wilder at the natural course of their growth.
As for how strong Deformed Beings can become, that is already predetermined at their birth.
The first Deformed Beings inherited the ability to breed, as humans and beasts do, from the earth of which they were spawned from. Each type of Deformed Beings, at the time, was already destined to reach at adulthood to a predetermined, unsurpassable, level of strength.
For example: At the vicinity of Selivereb, in a radius of nine kilometers from the pathway to New Earth there is one type of formidable Deformed Being whom no one dare to approach, the Black Chrome Alligator. As hatchlings the Black Chrome Alligators may not pose a threat to anyone, but in one hundred to one hundred and fifty years, when they reach adulthood, and complete the second and last green scale at the back of their neck, their level of strength corresponds to an Advanced phase third level Core Master.
Note: in Selivereb there seventeen types of Deformed Beings. The Black Chrome Alligator is the most dangerous one among them, both for they live in congregations and have the most superior path of growth, a set of two scales. Outside of Selivereb there are more powerful types of Deformed Beings with sets of three scales and level of strength that can match a fourth level Martial Mortal
Note2: Most often the strength of a Deformed Being will reach a step from the Peak of the cultivation level it corresponds to at adulthood. Rarely will the strength of a Deformed Being will rival the Peak itself. But at such rare occurrences, the overall explosive force of the Deformed Being will contend fairly with cultivators beyond its congenital limit”.
“So fierce!” Zax gawked at the scroll.
After so much reading and learning about Deformed Beings he truly started to develop a sense of vigilance toward these creature he had yet to face, who once frightened humanity and beasts into fleeing the surface of the earth, and now are a force to be reckoned with in Ercas Mir.
Only when his eyes slid to the last computer printed record regarding Deformed Beings, did he come out of the stupor and finished reading.
“Uniqueness of Deformed Beings: The specialness of Deformed Beings sprouts from their inborn gift from Nature, the lack of arduous cultivation to gain power. Deformed Beings’ valuable energy that circulate in their dantian and body, is nurtured naturally and eventually, at adulthood, forms the most desirable Pure Core”.
Thus, stated the last bold, red printed words about Deformed Beings.
Closing his eyes, Zax’s mind sunk into contemplation.
‘A third realm Pure Core… from a Deformed Being… the only possible way to obtain would be by killing three scales adult Deformed Being’. Zax’s mood became gloomy.
A three scales adult Deformed Being, according to Earth’s Records, it would be the equivalent of a cultivator near the Peak of the Martial Mortal realm!
‘Fourth level Martial Mortal…’ Zax did not know what to make of that footnote. He was unfamiliar with the structure of the Martial Mortal realm.
‘Keeping in mind that a Deformed Being at adulthood reach a step from the Peak of the Martial realm it’s equivalent to, then the structure of the Martial Mortal realm should either be comprised by five levels or four levels…’ Zax speculated, but without a legit confirmation he was not a hundred percent sure of his hypothesis.
Looking back at the scroll, the only part still remaining for his eyes to explore was a rough sketch of Ercas Mir’s continents and oceans.
The oceans of Ercas Mir were not listed in any of the scroll’s records. The sketch also did have their names, but Zax could still see that on the new map of once planet Earth, there were still five oceans encircling the two continents and seventy three small islands of the world.
The only part on the sketched map really detailed was the lower part of the Western Continent, Selivereb. And there, too, there was not much to note, other than couple of marks that indicated the places probably visited by Kingdom Earth’s expedition groups, such as several of the beast’s tribes, human’s villages, clans and cities.
Even though the thirty seconds before the scroll self destroyed were almost up, Zax rolled, placed it in front of him and peacefully waited to be certain nothing will remain of it.
Finally the appointed time arrived and an orange flame burst from the scroll, lightening the cavern and completely eradicating the copy No. 18/22 of Earth’s Records to nothingness.
Zax surveyed the scorched earth, both with his eyes and Soul Sense. In a mere seconds the orange flame been extinguished and the whole ordeal was over.
Zax also finished occupying himself with the Blue Stone at his hand.
“It’s about time”. He told himself outloud and without hesitation proceeded to begin his true aim that brought him to the cavern.
Closing his eyes and steading his breath, Zax delved into his sea of consciousness, manifesting nakedly atop his Inner Panorama.
Looking above his head, there was it, the spark of light containing the fifth bottleneck of insight.
Reaching it, getting closer and closer, four of Zax’s senses slowly turned numb, while the peculiar effect on the one specific sense has started to influence his perception.
A melodic tune, so pleasant, so vibrant.
It drowned Zax, immersed him in ethereal serenity.
The all so familiar, yet always feels as if happens for the very first time, process has fully commenced.
Blood oozed from Zax’s ears. It began with one drop after six days of nearly unconsciously trying to comprehend the fifth bottleneck of insight and as time continued to move on, as days turned to weeks and weeks to months, the one drop transformed into a scarlet stream. All the while, on Zax steady face was but a smile of utter jubilation.
An eruption of wild fluctuations burst from Zax’s sea of consciousness, their origin… Zax’s soul.
Seven month into comprehending the fifth bottleneck of insight, with the influence of the dark attribute, Zax’s soul at last began to tackle the bottleneck to the second realm!
Unbeknown to Zax, his soul, which was erected tall and almost lucid at the center of his Inner Panorama, exude every ounce of its energy, filling the sea of consciousness with grayish fug.
A pulse reverberated within the grayish fug like a thunder in stormy clouds, yet Zax, immersed in the compression of the fifth bottleneck, was still oblivious to the event unfolding in his sea of consciousness.
Zax’s soul converted its entire self to soul energy; gradually it broke down, like a crumbling tower of sand.
When there was not a lot to be left, what remained was a spherical black membrane of black attribute, imprinted by the signature of the dispersed soul, protecting the fragile spirit.
It should be noted, if Zax was aware of his imminent breakthrough, he would have noticed that the advancement of his soul to the second realm is quite unusual; not exactly like the process his Master described him.
The variable responsible for the oddity was, precisely, the dark attribute.
When the soul dispersed to a fug in a cultivator’s sea of consciousness at the time of breaking through the second realm, an attribute less soul will not completely vanish, but will leave some of itself to protect the spirit. That is the first type of soul breaking through the second realm that may occur.
The second type was what Kartius prepared Zax, yet not exactly happened.
If an attribute is present inside the soul, the shade of the fug that will encompass the sea of consciousness will be comprised by a mix of white and the attribute’s hue and the protective membrane of the spirit will be half made by the attribute and leftovers of the soul.
Contrary to Kartius expectations for the second type of breakthrough to occur, it seems that he was wrong.
While the first part was correct and the shade of the fug in Zax’s sea of consciousness is a mix of white and black, the second part was inaccurate. The membrane was solely made of the dark attribute and all that was left from the soul was an imprint.
As for the question of which type of breakthrough is the most preferable… honestly, when Zax asked his Master this question, Kartius said that it is not definitive, or rather that he and his big brother, as well as many others, had yet to figure it out, because be it the first type or the second type, after breaking through there are no signs of greater benefits to either type.
Getting back to the unheard of third type breakthrough…
The grayish fug swirled and rumbled. It converged around the black membrane, but, as if alive avoided touching it.
Soon, the space that it consumed inside Zax’s sea of consciousness became smaller and smaller, clearing the expanse to what was to come.
Sparkling blackness hit the black membrane and smeared it.
A second sparkling blackness, a second drop of liquid soul energy.
Much like how mist energy liquefies at the time of the second realm’s breakthrough, consecutively sparkling drops of blackness rained down on the black membrane as the soul reformed around it anew.
The final drop has fallen.
At the center of the Inner Panorama, the new soul has taken a new shape of a clear black sphere.
The bleeding in Zax’s ears had stopped. He opened up his eyes, no longer smiling.
“It’s over?!” Zax was surprised; he had yet to notice his soul breakthrough. What amazed him that in only been seven month, and despite this short passage of time he thoroughly comprehended the fifth bottleneck of insight!