Book 9 – Eruption, Chapter 39 – Cannon For A Gunslinger

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There are three aspects to a human, soul, body and Qi or mist. The purpose of the soul is to log life’s experiences and shelter the most fundamental part of a human, the spirit.

The spirit is also known as the Self of a person. It is sealed inside the soul, unable to physically come out, but it can emit a portion of itself past the barrier encompassing it. That portion is its consciousness, awareness. Awareness that control the three aspects, awareness that comes to be when a cultivator manifest himself or herself in their sea of consciousness, awareness that is like a separate piece of the spirit and when it pulled back, willingly or as a defensive response mostly due to a trauma, until being sent out by the spirit again, it either enters a slumber or strenuously influence the spirit, typically to easily review the annals of the soul.

There is also one more case relating to the awareness spirit… situations when the awareness unable to cross the barrier of the soul and, opposite from the spirit, locked outside.

Zax is an example of such case. In the past, as his soul got stronger, he could more freely make one of the spirit and its awareness. However, at some point something changed and he grew remote of the concept of returning to the spirit. He did not notice it and was even more unruffled by this issue since he lacked the need for joining his spirit.

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Thus, when strode onto the new path he somewhat perceived, he was oblivious to his spirit’s reaction.

‘What is it?’ A voice echoed in a void of darkness and blackness.

‘Where is it?’ It did not sound from a mouth, but every direction.

‘What am I doing here?’ A trace of loss was slowly becoming distinct.

‘I am… Zax’. Himself he remembered, but everything else was dulled by the surrounding.

Forgetting about his closed doors training, attempt for comprehending new path, the loved ones waiting for him, enemies he must face, Zax’s awareness indolently drifted in the void, not caring for answers.

Sometimes he was sinking deeper into the state of idleness, other times a glint flickered in his eyes, that could not be seen or found in the void, and for a brief moment an aimless effort was exuded.

Overall it was peaceful and it remained like this day in day out.

BOOM!

BOOM!

BOOM!

Loud banging rang in his sea of consciousness, yet the land, sky and sea of his Inner Panorama maintain a placid state.

BOOM!

BOOM!

BOOM!

Ceaselessly and rhythmically they repeated.

BOOM!

BOOM!

BOOM!

As time passed they continued in the same loudness but growing, sort of emotional, intensity.

From the first day of training, the moment it placed a shady palm on the soul and shivered; Zax’s spirit clenched its fist and punched and punched and punched.

Its awareness was gone, but the happening etched to the soul and various experiences on his cultivation path aroused something imperceptible that initially was embryotic, like the black buds he discovered when he reached the state of Warood Meditation and his Inner Panorama appeared, and metamorphosed along the Inner Panorama after every comprehended bottleneck of insight.

Now, as his awareness was pacing on the thin line of success and above the abyss of failure, his spirit, driven by something that through the years fostered in it, restlessly beat the soul for him to awake up, while desiring to this time partake the journey along its awareness on the new path.

‘What’s… this noise?’

‘Who is it?’

‘Who…? What…? Where…?’

The wondering in the void was carefree and as far as he was concerned could go on forever. He had the sense that regardless how long it would last, everything could and should wait and that it was reasonable thinking.

It stopped being contenting and even became displeasing with every annoying interruption that reverberated louder than his sluggish thoughts.

‘Enough’.

‘I… Zax… want it to stop’.

‘But… how?’

‘Where it comes from…?’

‘How do I get to it…?’

‘Where am I?’

The more he was disturbed, the more brilliant and frequent the glint of effort in his invisible eyes was and the cohesive his thoughts returned to be.

It was gradual, but in the void it was hard to determine whether a breath or an eon passed. Eventually, something shone and illuminated the blindness of the void, a speck of light.

‘The sixth spark of light!’ The instant he realized a crack appeared on the vista of the void.

‘The last bottlenecked of insight!’ He fully perceived and the cracks began to spread. Nevertheless, he did not seek to approach it, much less comprehend.

‘The path beyond the blockade!’ This was his original aim and he staked his all on striding it. The sixth bottleneck of insight was a welcomed byproduct, but should he digress for it, he had the feeling that he will lose everything.

BANG!

He could not tell if it belong to the ongoing bashing that provoked him or the shattering of the void.

‘Dark, black!’ Two words resonated and fused with his very essence, all three aspects and without his knowing, his impatient spirit, too.

The fragments of the void rained as everything, including his naked manifested self, resumed to be in his Inner Panorama. Wherever they touched, the land, sky or sea, they merged. Meanwhile, a black glow has floated prominently in between everything, the sixth bottleneck of insight.

As for Zax? He also floated, unmoved or reactive. When he uttered the two words “Dark” and “Black” he fell into profound contemplation. Not too fast or slow, as his three aspects and spirit continuously transformed, he was digging deeper to an epitome understanding of the dark attribute.

“Let us in, Anet, I’m begging you!” Laylen pleaded with Marco beside her and little mob of Zax’s close family members and friends.

“Go home mom, dad. Everyone, don’t make me block you by force!” Zetsa, holding Jingrow who appeared a bit older than Zax would have remembered, stood at the threshold of her brother’s home alongside Anet.

At the beginning, the commotion attracted a sum of onlookers, but very fast all those who were not related averted their gazes and went on to their business. The reason was that for the past six months it became a recurrent event.

“Today marks fifteen months since Zax announced his training”. Laylen argued. “He said that it would be a month, he promised, please Zetsa, we must check that nothing happened to your little brother!”

Since the move to Green Snow village, although on the surface she looked well, mentally Laylen grew dependent on the stable life that followed after, when all of her children stayed nearby.

She was not the only one. In the years it took them to get accustomed to their new lives in their new homes, even though they were mostly confined to the snowy mountain range, quite a few of Zax’s loved ones developed reliance on his constant presence as a sort of pillar of support in this world of experts in every turn and monsters such as Deformed Beings. Their conduct was more moderated than Laylen’s and Marco’s, however they still joined the two in increments as the allocated time Zax stated turned more distant.

Zetsa bit her lower lip and Anet restrained her trembling limbs. They, too, worried about Zax, especially since they knew the objective of his closed doors session. They debated often whether to check on him and even consult Huland, who by the way convinced them to patiently wait. Nonetheless, the waiting became harder and harder after a year passed. Laylen and Marco, who were willing to stretch the initial month gave a time limit of eleven months, in other words, not longer than a year. The duo could not bear having their son missing for so long when he gave his word to be back soon.

“Laylen!” Anet burst from the stress of confronting with whom she looked up to as a mother in law. “Zax would have already come out if his training was as simple as you think. The fact that he did not, or even alert us that it might persist beyond a month, indicates that he definitely in a crucial part of his training. If we’ll interrupt – again, we can’t cause his chamber is sealed from the inside – then we’ll put a greater risk to him!”

“Anet”, a voice stood out in the crowd. Serah stepped forward, seemingly with the intention to mediate a compromise than picking a side. “I understand what you are saying and I’m certain anyone here wish no harm to befall on Zax. That is why I approached experts from Dark Glow for help in the matter. While it’s true that all those I met bluntly refuse to meddle with Zax’s training, there were two who said that with their unique ability, should Mister Huland give the order, they will give a try to auguring Zax’s condition”.

Auguring?”

Anet and Zetsa, as well as all the listeners, were stumped. They immediately all thought if, in their opinion, things like predications and divination were legit? In Kingdom Earth they were commonplace, but only as frauds or on the Screen. However, in Ercas Mir they were introduced to the existence of Gods, which were even superior to those almighty cultivators who could fly and ruled this planet!

As most were busy reevaluating their view on anything supernatural – not as a result of mist energy usage – there were two who already made up their mind.

“Conjuring something out of nothing is impossible”. Anet, Zetsa and honestly, any cultivator with sufficient accomplishments, would have realized.

“It’s not as you say or believe, Serah”, Zetsa disputed. “Either of these two Dark Glow members will need something to act as a medium, an object with ties to the inside of Zax’s chamber or correlation to the formation he used to seal himself. Any of those options might have mild obtrusive effect, but who can assure us that the weakest undulation won’t be disastrous to Zax?”

Serah fell silent. She was not versed in the methods of cultivators. Perhaps she had to discuss the matter more thoroughly with the Dark Glow members before bringing it up for suggesting?

“What if-” The person who opened and could not finish his sentence was Dane, another one of Zax’s close childhood friends. His mouth hang opened with a comical shocked expression that nobody noticed because just then…

‘There is no need!’ A voice emerged from within the house and resonated in the heart of every human, beast and Deformed Being for kilometers upon kilometers, as if it was uttered by a deity.

There was no ill intent to it. On the contrary, all who heard it felt a surge of unexplained excitement, which they somehow could tell was not belonged to them.

No one saw the black light when it shot up to the sky and ascended till horizon line appeared round as an upside down bowl.

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A human figure revealed itself, closer to the heavens than the earth. Initially it was naked, but in a blink of an eye black tight, black boxers formed, covering its loins.

Zax looked as if he was scrutinizing the vista, but in fact he could not care less about the one step to the wondrous outer space or the slight nudge of hand which would make it seem like he is holding the entire planet.

As his perception grew heightened at an accelerating pace everything below and above reached a point of standing still. A smile began to form on his face and with each millimeter his lips stretched; his body trembled more and more violently and when the smile attained completion, Zax could not hold it in anymore and threw his limbs up and down, swiping with his arms and kicking with his legs as a thunderous laugher erupted from the center of his chest.

“PERFECT! HAHAHAHA!”

Not just his understanding. His soul, body and dantian have all perfectly reconstructed by dark attribute.

“The sixth bottle neck of insight!” His voice lowered, but the tone was beyond thrilling. “It is… It is… Dark Element! Element! Like the kind of energy Immortal capable of using! And now, even though it’s just a wisp, so am I!”

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