Book II – Bandit, Chapter 17 – Opening Destiny’s Path

— South Ward, Eastern Region of Dark Forest,

Two weeks after rescuing Aiken Moon, the trio of heroes and two young beasts sat in a clearing less than 100 meters from the cave Aiken mentioned before. For the last week, Jodye had been teaching the fundamentals of Saint cultivation, that he had only recently learned from the treasure sword, Autumn Saver. Autumn Saver passed Jodye a Worldly Saint Scripture39Worldly Saint ScriptureSaint Path mental cultivation method for refining and reproducing true worldly essence. called the Azure World Epoch on their first meeting. The week prior they had a follow-up conversation.

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“You want… to teach Dessa how to use astral might?” asked Autumn Saver “This fits…with my intentions… Study the Azure World Epoch… If you can use Azure World essence force like her, it will be easier…”

“I am technically half a member of the ancient Titan clan. One day I will visit that place. She will be my personal war division’s first recruit,” replied Jodye Trill matter-of-factly, “It will take such a long time to find more soldiers amongst the hero race though since they have to start training early. Tch.”

“There is… another way,” replied Autumn Saver, “Sky Flames… if used properly… can remodel the body to absorb… astral forces. However, they are hard to obtain.”

“Oh yeah?” Jodye’s eyes brightened, his inherited knowledge kicking in, “That’s right! The pure yang power of a sky flame should make it more than possible under the proper circumstances. So there was also this route…”

“Please… help Dessa recover her origin energy. It is… imperative. Before… they… find… me.” the voice Autumn Saver was growing weaker, but his tone was very grave. “She is… too weak. Help her, my… friend.”

“I will naturally not allow any harm to befall Dessa in my presence. However, who is it that will find you?” asked Jodye Trill.

“If you can use… astral essence… I can teach you… how to use a type of fate curse,” replied Autumn Saver, seemingly ignoring Jodye’s question. How selfish. Merely, Jodye was too shocked to quip! Fate curse? Wasn’t this sword supposed to be a Godly Armament? Feeling the change in Jodye’s emotions, Autumn Saver continued, “Even as a sacred treasure… I still have access to much of my previous master’s… heritage.”
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After speaking to Autumn Saver a second time, Jodye’s mind was once again given the gift of new knowledge before his divine sense was tossed out of the treasure sword’s mental space like old news. After that, Jodye seriously taught Dessa Chimes, and at the same time trained himself.

A Saint’s essence cultivation was different from Sage’s origin cultivation on a fundamental level. While they both trained their bodies to use heavenly energy, those with origin energy usually were born with it. Saints are not born with true worldly essence, they must prepare their bodies to produce it. The first realm of saint essence cultivation is called the Fledgling Saint realm. The rookie warriors who have just begun to temper their bodies with true essence as a medium to utilize force start at the Force Foundation rank.

To enter the Force Foundation rank, it was necessary to refine and temper the skin and muscles with true essence, creating pathways for it to enter the body. This was similar to the first stage of the Titanic Rage Law4Lawthe rules and principles that create, govern, and maintain the energies of the universe. When laws come into harmony they form different systems naturally, with as many functions as the laws in harmony. For laws to enter a state of harmony, they must be compatible and have a proper conduit such as a star, or anything with its own unique Origin source law. With a good enough conduit it is possible to make incompatible laws reach a state of harmony, but in such a scenario there is a high chance of the force turning cancerous. The condensation of law energy produces what is known as Force or Qi... Jodye realized that this was the most fundamental step in utilizing any sky force. Dessa was a sage body, so she had the advantage of origin force already being present in her skin and muscles. Thanks to this, it would be far easier to refine another sky force.

Jodye, on the other hand, had not only that same advantage, but he had also tempered his skin and muscles with astral might as an infant. He was also frequently baptized in the flames of nirvana, courtesy of Sylvester’s Sky Fall Flame43Sky Fall Flamethe nirvanic flame of Sylvester Tricko, inherited from his mother who is an Infinity Black Phoenix. This nirvana flame has perfect yin and yang harmony and is fused with Sylvester's soul.. The pain of which was torturous! He was absolutely sure that true essence wouldn’t be nearly as difficult to refine.

In fact, he was 100% correct!

After the Force Foundation rank came the Revolving Force rank! In this rank, the heart, lungs, kidney, and liver get refined with true essence. After this came the True Saint realm! Jodye could currently slaughter experts at the first rank of the True Saint realm, but the experts of the following rank were still more than he could handle.

Saints record their cultivation methods in worldly scriptures. There were various levels of these scriptures, with the weakest that Jodye knew of being the worldly man scriptures. After the man class, the next class was earth, after earth came there was air, and after air came there was heaven. Finally, after heaven came, there was the Saint. The Azure World Epoch was a Worldly Saint Scripture! This was the best of the best, how could Jodye not understand this? This was an opportunity that could only be given and not asked for.

The Azure World Epoch had five verses. Each verse had three stanzas. Semi-transparent azure fate runes that look like little crystals glittered all over Jodye’s skin as he tempered his flesh and muscles with true essence ascetically. The chant of the first verse of chapter one created fate runes that infused into the skin and muscles, summoning the true heart of the Azure Legend star directly from the void into the body.

This was Jodye’s second time learning any type of incantation. The first was taught to him by his mother before the young wolf celebration disaster. Although this was likely different from a magic incantation, he felt it shouldn’t vary that much. However, what Jodye didn’t know that this form of crystal-like runes glittering all over his skin was the sign of perfect completion of the first stanza!

In fact, Jodye was currently almost able to completely recite the second stanza of Azure World Epoch’s first verse. It only took him 2 days to master the first stanza of the Azure World Epoch’s first verse, stunning Dessa Chimes who was obsessed with him and utterly shocking Autumn Saver who had underestimated him.

‘What kind of… comprehension speed is this?’

Not even Autumn Saver’s original master, the legendary immortal sage Autumn Rose, was able to master the first stanza of verse one in two days! It was an impossible feat, but Jodye had done it! Two days later, he had entered the Fledgling Saint realm! This was an entire week and a half faster than it took Dessa Chimes, whom Autumn Saver thought had heaven-defying talent. Not even the usual nag Aiken Moon could hide his shock and praise. Actually, after learning of the deeds of Mr. Jupiter and the calamity of the Chimes Estate from Dessa, Aiken now had a deep-rooted respect for Jodye from the bottom of his heart.

Unbridled!

Brave!

Witty!

This was how true man should be! What a hero.

Under Jodye’s encouragement, and upon realizing he was becoming more and more of a burden, Aiken Moon also decided to practice saint cultivation with Dessa. Aiken proved to indeed be a wealthy noble’s son, as his body had been purified by heavenly energies while he experienced his sage awakening. It only took him a week to reach major completion of verse one’s first stanza, and Aiken was close to entering the Fledgling Saint realm!

Unknown to Jodye himself, this level of grooming was actually the case for him as well. Merely, he had long taken it for granted because his parents had always kept so many secrets from him. He had no clue how much effort went into nurturing his body while he was experiencing his awakening. Jodye realized that there were far too many things that he didn’t know about his family.

Then again, how old was the current Jodye Trill? It wasn’t strange that his main soul’s childish mind was still rather ignorant, in spite of his host soul’s collected experiences. At this moment, Jodye was again chanting the first verse of the Azure World Epoch, as true essence shined within making his skin look translucent. As Jodye chanted, azure fate runes flew out of his mouth with an ancient fate melody radiating from them. The runes would melt into his skin as soon as they formed.

The moment he finally completed the last word of the second stanza for the first time, his eyes suddenly turned blank!
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His mind consciousness was dragged into the void through a familiar light passage, and the next thing Jodye Trill knew, he was currently standing on top of a 200-meter large golden platform with a runic diagram shining in the white atmosphere. That light was illuminating this zone. There was a dense fog surrounding the voided space, and behind this fog colorful light explosions could be seen in the distance. It was as if they were deep inside an enormous magical cloud.

Looking at the diagram, Jodye felt it looked incomparably clearer than before and seemed to be a picture of the cycle of birth and demise of a cosmos. It resembled primal chaos right before the big bang. He suddenly realized that somehow he had returned to the Platform of Destiny!

“What… the hell?” said Jodye Trill extremely befuddled.

“Totally awesome! You did it bro, good job,” the sound of Xavier’s voice scared the s*** out of Jodye, as he swung around ready to strike!

“Who! X? Sly? How on Gaea are you two here?” asked Jodye in pleasant surprise. Both Xavier and Sylvester Tricko were right behind him, their forms the same as before their death just like himself the last time he was here. This was the form of their Source Spirits. Floating in-between them was the [Cosmos Revolving Grimoire]. Jodye was surprised to find that this time he looked exactly the same as he did on the outside, like a ten-year-old monk. Merely, he was once again wearing a tuxedo.

“We are your guardians. You would have to be completely unwilling. Otherwise, we would always follow you in situations related to the soul, such as these. This, you see, is the benefit of a heavenly grimoire,” responded Sylvester in his common cold and indifferent tone. However, he was clearing gloating. He glanced at Jodye’s appearance, before turning to his little brother, “Where are we, X?”

“Jodye knows, right?” Xavier looked to Jodye rather than answering.

“This is the Platform of Destiny. I suppose this means we’re in the void?” Jodye nodded as he stared at the giant mystical and transparent looking crystal gate.

“It’s much more than just that though, isn’t it?” Xavier stepped next to him and spoke in a solemn tone, “Go ahead and try to open it.”

Jodye Trill looked at the crystal gate and walked forward. He hadn’t noticed until now but that pressure he felt the last time he was here had seemingly disappeared. The fates had also withdrawn. It was deathly quiet. Meanwhile, Sylvester raised his right index finger, and a tiny black spiral appeared. The surrounding foggy energy was continuously being sucked into the black spiral.

After Jodye arrived at the gate, he marveled. Written across the arch at the top of the gate were a set of hieroglyphics made from trillions of Fate runes. As Jodye stared at these hieroglyphics, he got lost within them. He was slowly able to discern the hieroglyphic message translated to Destiny’s Path. However, it contained far more truth within these images than Jodye could hope to comprehend. The runes were arranged in such a complex formation that it was baffling.

Jodye tried to burn it into his memory with his divine sense. When he did so his mind shook! The black spiral around Sylvester’s finger began to absorb massive amounts of energy, as Jodye Trill’s spirit body began to glow with divine light!

Fate.

What was fate?

Could it be mere coincidence?

Jodye didn’t believe this.

Was it something beyond our control? This was naturally true. However, does it need to be controlled? Was there a difference between destiny and fate? When people die it’s always, ‘he was fated to die.’ However, when people do incredible things they would be praised as being ‘destined for greatness.’ He felt like he was still missing several vital pieces to a complex puzzle. Frustrated, he attempted to push open the crystal gate. Unfortunately, he tried to summon his strength and push it open, but it didn’t move an inch.

“If the fate laws exist in the heavens, what came first? It is, of course, the heavens themselves,” Many complex thoughts formed in Jodye’s mind rapidly. “Could it be that fate is below destiny? If the fate of a man is truly the will of the universe, then maybe he who controls destiny has its own will. A divine will! The will of destiny commands our fate! Why is there a need to control our fates? We should embrace the will of destiny and let it bring us to a new path! Become one with fate itself, and gather destiny upon me!”

Sudden enlightenment!

Jodye’s mind shook with the power of realization and as if by instinct he activated his mind’s eye and chant the Azure World Epoch! Fate runes formed continuously in front of Jodye. His eyes turned feral and [Pharaoh’s Law] appeared on his head. Jodye used his divine awareness to transform these runes into a small hand that pushed on the giant gate. The ancient sound of the fates ring out as the gate suddenly swung open, and a terrifying wind of pressure assaulted the three souls sending them flying. Jodye’s whole world was shaking as he heard a voice that was loud and scary to the max, “In. Fin. I. Ty…”

“SOUL!!”

Jodye immediately blacked out after this.
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Once he woke up again, he was sweating and covered in sticky black filth. Aiken Moon was above him staring at him nervously as if he was looking at a monster.

“What… happened?” asked Jodye Trill in a daze.

Aiken Moon was silent for a few seconds, before he became resolute, “You… don’t know?”

“If I knew, Aiken, would I be asking you?” chided Jodye Trill impatiently.

“Sorry, sorry. You… well, first your eye’s blanked out, and the song of the fates came from the void! I remember that song from when my little sister first went to the destiny platform! So pretty…” Aiken Moon seemed lost in a memory, so Jodye lightly coughed. “Ah! Yes, sorry. So any…pfft.”

Dessa Chimes suddenly rushed over and pushed Aiken out of the way and fell on top of Jodye in an embrace. Jodye was surprised, but Dessa smelled quite lovely, “Mr. Jupiter, you’re awake! Are you okay? How did you do that?”

Jodye Trill lifted Dessa with one hand while supporting himself off the ground with the other, and then gently tossed Dessa onto her bum, “Less of that, report to me what happened.”

Dessa Chimes stood up and dusted herself off, then crossed her arms in salute, “Yes! Young master’s cultivation level suddenly started flying through the ceiling! It scared us witless. Then, the young master’s body started glowing and pure force actually blew us both away!”

“What?!” Jodye Trill’s body sparkled with thin webs of green lightning that burned away all the sticky filth on the surface of his skin. He immediately sat down and closed his eyes. Activating mind’s eye, he checked the condition of his body. He couldn’t believe what he perceived! His skin and muscles were not only fully refined, but they were also currently full of both stored true essence and astral might! Not just that, but there was also the original energy that was naturally present! Jodye now had three different sky forces refined into his skin and muscles, making his physique incomparably tough! His body’s natural defense alone was probably already over 100 bp!

This wasn’t even the best part.

Now that Jodye Trill could store true essence, he would be able to fuse it with his astral might to create astral essence! Of course, he needed to possess divine awareness to be capable of this. It was a very complicated process. This meant that unless [Pharaoh’s Law] was active, or he upgraded his soul cultivation to the next level, he wouldn’t be able to use astral essence freely. Deep in Jodye’s origin pool, there was a transparent little crystal fragment radiating perfected nascent level pure force!

“Wah? It appears that I’ve ascended directly to the Revolving Force rank! Oh?” Jodye Trill then noticed that within his host space was a crystal gate on the far side of the cosmos. The dragon spread its wings and flew towards the gate, but it was impossible to reach.

A huge black wolf with one wing flew over and spoke indifferently, “You’ve done well, but it sucks for you that your soul is not yet powerful enough to access this strength you have earned with your own intelligence. It seems you are not trying hard enough in your soul cultivation. It is the most important of all, you know.”

“The most…?! You know what, nevermind,” Jodye didn’t have the mind to quip with this sky wolf who had never once stressed the importance of soul cultivation at the moment, “I have a nascent level pure force seed in my origin pool. What’s more, I feel as if I can use it more naturally than anything else. How is that possible if I don’t have a pure force concept? I never comprehended one.”

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“Truly?” This was actually news to Sylvester Tricko. However, he didn’t really see a problem with it, “Go figure.”

“It’s probably your bloodline right?” Xavier finally caught up on his nimbus cloud. “Didn’t you learn about perfect synchronization? Don’t forget that you’ve got our source laws in your blood.”

“What is all this about bloodlines all the time?” asked Jodye through his dragon soul.

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“You’ll figure it out once your stronger,” replied the brothers in unison. Then Xavier spoke again, “Once your soul force reaches the next level we’ll be able to use the Gate of Destiny’s Path to absorb fate essence. Your Saint cultivation will skyrocket!”

This made Jodye incredibly excited. How hard could it be to advance? All he needed was time.

Meanwhile, in the eyes of the others, Jodye Trill suddenly started laughing boisterously, causing Dessa and Aiken to look at each other with wry smiles. Why couldn’t they be like this freak, Mr. Jupiter? Noticing their expressions, Jodye laughed, “No need to worry, it is now actually quite simple for me to raise your strength.”

The two youths eyes immediately brightened in shock and anticipation.

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