Book II – Bandit, Chapter 30 – Freedom of the Mind

Sigma and the two youths in his embrace landed on the other side of the portal and discovered a large cave. The cave was spacious and carved beautifully into an apartment with different amenities geared towards cultivation and daily life. Different force crystals the size of a high chair and of various ranks were scattered around. The stone walls of the cave were carved flat, making this cave seem like the inside of a large house. Jodye Trill was impressed with the layout of this place, this was indeed the dwelling of a wealthy elite.

“Welcome young people, this is my third base. It is linked to my shop in Black Heart City. Outside of the cave is an illusion formation separating us from the hazardous terrain of Sky Magma Island. It’s best to stay inside, my little friends, this way, this way.” Sigma Octanis behaved as a proper host and gave Jodye and Dessa a tour of the cave. He indicated every station to them and answered Jodye’s many questions about the functionality of everything. Sigma was inwardly impressed with this kid’s inquisitive nature, this was essential if one wished to be a true sage king.

After being introduced to the main areas of the martial dwelling, Jodye Trill and Sigma Octanis performed the apprentice26apprenticeAn apprentice or student is someone who is learning something from a teacher. While the relation is sacred, and there are mutual obligations between the apprentice and the teacher, there is no commitment between them. A disciple40discipleone who accepts the knowledge of and assists in spreading the doctrines of another, taking them as a master., on the other hand, has committed himself to the master, and the art of his master. The disciple has committed to entering and mastering a secret branch of knowledge and has requested the master to accept him into the arcane path. The relationship is very sacred and the obligations are binding.ship ceremony. This was much different from the time Jodye honored his mother as his sensei by bowing to her three times in succession on his knees, and world’s apart from when T’Zhane first took on a master by performing sacred slaughter rituals and drinking a liquid that contained both their blood essence blended into one. Jodye merely had to allow Sigma to leave a spirit mark on the spiritual sea of his mind. He was completely open to this, as he would be able to erase it right away if he truly wanted too. Of course, Sigma was unaware of this.

“As the hand of my apprentice, you can be considered a half apprentice of mine.” Uncle Sigma said to Dessa Chimes with a smile on his face, as he very easily imprinted his spirit mark in her under-developed spiritual sea as well. He was indeed in a great mood! He got a good disciple and an outstanding apprentice all in one day. While he would prefer it to be the other way around, he didn’t intend on complaining one bit. After all, didn’t this apprentice come equipped with his own attendant? That meant he had landed three attendants with one move! How awesome was that? Sigma Octanis led the kids to a room as the temperature plummetted. This room was surrounded from head to toe in serenity magic crystals and pure serenity qi crystals. They were all above the C-grade!

Jodye knew the difference between a magic crystal and a force crystal was the existence of magic life force. A crystal with magic life force within could be absorbed by anyone with a magic force genesis, even if it was also a force crystal compromised of only one energy like these serenity magic crystals. Regular force crystals could just be absorbed and refined by a force genesis that is compatible. There wasn’t anything but a single path to a spatial gateway across the room. This path was the only part of the room not covered in crystal.

“That is the gate that leads back to the shop in Black Heart City. Remember, if your ever in danger head to the shop’s bottom level and travel through this portal. As long as you possess my mark, it will never be closed to you.” Uncle Sigma stood majestically with his arms crossed as he explained.

Jodye knew he was trying to look cool for them, but he didn’t mind. After all, this was a man from the vast outer space! He had technology and equipment that just didn’t exist in this world. If Jodye didn’t have the experiences of T’Zhane to guide him forward, he would have never been able to befriend such an expert, much less benefit from him like currently!

Due to situations like this, Jodye always felt quite grateful to his negligent master Jupiter Titan the T’Zhane.

“Wait… Sky Magma Island!?” Jodye Trill suddenly shouted out in pure shock. He almost let this point slip past his notice, “You mean we’re currently in the frozen lands of the North Ward!?”

“Ah, so you know of it then? Not surprising, I suppose. Most who come here only do so to visit this place at least once. Legends have it that some great lucky chance is hidden here awaiting its chosen hero,” Uncle Sigma explained indifferently.

Jodye Trill, “…o.o;#$&%.”

Jodye was utterly speechless. The five wards of Pangaea all corresponded to an elemental core. The elements of any particular world all originated from an elemental heart born from the star’s world core. The reason for the boundary energy separating the wards was 100% related to these elemental cores! Jodye knew from a long time ago that the existence of boundary energy meant that Pangaea must be located at the exact center of the world!

Jodye wanted to ask more questions, but before anything else could happen the portal suddenly lit up. Cassan walked through with Aiken following close behind. The current Aiken Moon had a proud look in his eyes like he was the esteemed young master of a prestigious sect.

Jodye Trill grew irritated just looking at this insufferable punk, “I see you have finally shed your tortoiseshell. Advanced Sophomore rank? Truly not bad for a brat.”

Aiken grimaced at Jodye’s words. One had to know that Jodye was around 5 years younger than Aiken, and now that Aiken recovered his cultivation he was also aware that Jodye’ excessively vibrant lifeforce was younger than his own. However, Jodye’s cultivation of sage origin was actually one sub-rank higher than Aiken. While it was true that Aiken had spent the last 3 years as a captive, he also wasn’t so strong at Jodye’s age.

However, in spite of how jealous this talented brat made him feel, he still owed the boy a lot more than he could repay. Aiken bowed low one time, then tried to wear an aloof face as he responded to Jodye, “Young lord Jupiter, I owe you my thanks once again. I truly misunderstood Mr. Cassan and master before this. Thank you for helping me see the light.”

Aiken had already changed the way he addressed Jodye, switching from ‘Mister’ to ‘young lord.’ This suggested he had accepted that Jodye was indeed much younger than himself.

Jodye Trill merely glanced at Aiken Moon and then looked away. This kid may be spineless at times and naive at all others, but he also had the true integrity a warrior elite should have hidden within his heart. This honestly made Jodye unsure of how to train him. How lucky that a solution had presented itself to him.

“Junior apprentice brother, this is a little inappropriate no?” Aiken Moon wore a smug face as he dug out a new title of ‘Junior Apprentice Brother,’ in an attempt to place himself above Jodye in conversation. However, who was Jodye Trill?

“Teacher, did you recently accept a disciple such as this?” Asked Jodye Trill without a shred of emotion. It was as if he had never met a boy named Aiken Moon.

“Hm, I seem to remember being insulted and rejected though?” Uncle Sigma pondered with his hand on his chin. “Perhaps he has chosen to worship Cassan as his master. Is this the case Cassan?”

“I wouldn’t dare, my liege,” responded Cassan as he knelt on one knee.

“How bold to speak to my apprentice in such a manner. Are you tired of your life, little boy?” Uncle Sigma’s voice had become dark and threatening, making the hairs on Aiken’s skin stand up. What was this now? Wasn’t this his lucky chance? Didn’t Cassan tell him that out of the hundreds of thousands of people who had visited his shop, Aiken was the only one who sparked his interest?

He thought he was the golden child!

He thought his supreme talent was finally being recognized!

Then once Aiken’s seal was finally released, he felt reborn. It was like he was a new man. He was ready to climb to the peak of martial arts, no matter what it took.

However, what was this?

“Um…” Aiken’s previous energy already diminished by 70%. “Mister Sigma I… I apologize for my previous outrageous behavior. I would certainly be overjoyed to honor you as my master.”

“Do you know that this child whom you constantly challenge due to the envy and insecurities within your heart has never once disparaged you in my presence?” Sigma Octanis was using a stern voice, and his presence was full of authority. He was trying to save this new disciple of his from the curse of arrogance and complacency. “The heaven sent lucky chance that I offered him was immediately deflected to you. This is before him knowing whether or not you were even so suitable! Also if you hadn’t passed Cassan’s test, I would have still taken you under my wing and reformed your foundation just based on this boy’s recommendation.

“Yet, you walk in here and choose to swagger in front of the one who offered you what you have currently taken pride in. Do you have no shame, boy? Perhaps I was too rash in my decision after all. An apprentice alone will have to suffice.”

“Master please!” Aiken Moon who was long shaken by Sigma’s words dropped to his knees and kowtowed heavily. That was right! Mr. Jupiter had helped him at every turn, he had never once abandoned him or let him suffer! Yet, all Aiken had done was speak out against him and search for ways to shine brighter than the halo this Jupiter emitted.

Thinking up to here, Aiken felt profoundly disappointed in himself once his thoughts cleared. How had it come to this? In reality, he marked this Mr. Jupiter as an enemy in his heart the moment he saw how Dessa treated him. Ultimately, this was the fault of his own jealous and petty heart. Aiken’s head hung low as he spoke humbly, “Master I was wrong!”

“It is not I whom you have wronged, child,” sighed Sigma Octanis. At least this child was not truly arrogant. He quickly accepted the truth once it was given to him.

“Mr. Jupiter, I was wrong! I’ve been vicious and ungrateful to you, my thrice times savior. I deserve death, and yet you only offer me life! You only set me up for success! I am ashamed…” As Aiken Moon neared the end of his words, he lowered his head in true shame. Witnessing this, Jodye felt his hidden anger dissipate like smoke in the air.

He placed a hand on Aiken’s shoulder and then helped him up, “As long as you know what you should do from now on.”

“Yes!” Aiken Moon pinched his finger, and a drop of blood rose into the sky and fused into the void. Cassan hurriedly closed the portal leading back to the South. Nine terrifying cracks of thunder sounded from outside the cave, causing Dessa to pale a bit. Aiken Moon called out in a voice dripping with confidence an resolution. “I, Aiken Morpheus Moon, swear to the will of the heavens that I will never betray Mr. Jupiter or his interests for as long as we both live. I swear to honor uncle Sigma as my master from this day forward!”

Once the sound of Aiken’s voice faded, nine more resounding claps of thunder sounded through this section of the world. Jodye Trill and Sigma Octanis were equally dumbfounded. Heavenly oaths were agreements between the will of an individual and the will of the universe. There was no way to lie to the will of the world with your own will because our intentions originated from the universe itself. If you did lie, then the heavens would smite you down with the chaotic thunderbolts of punishment!

Only allowed on

Therefore, what Aiken had done was rather extreme. His remorse could be clearly felt.

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“Sigh…” Uncle Sigma finally recovered from his shock after a few breaths. The inhabitants of this world simply didn’t value their lives enough. What would Aiken do if one day he was plotting against by one of these two characters? His ending could be imagined, “I never expected you to go so far. Come, my disciple, let us complete the ceremony.”

Just like that, after a master-disciple ceremony was carried out, Aiken officially became the first disciple of Sigma Octanis, the Heavenly Star Commander! Aiken glanced at Dessa Chimes and had a complicated feeling in his heart. For the first time in this life, he realized how much matters of the heart were able to cloud one’s judgment! Mr. Jupiter was a child younger than himself, romance clearly wasn’t anywhere near the little monsters thoughts. Aiken still felt incredibly stupid when he thought about it.

At that moment he was able to free himself of his obsession with Dessa. He instead adopted an obsession for more strength! The strength to never be plotted on again. He would never let his will be enslaved by others without fighting with his life on the line!

Aiken’s eyes became fierce and determined as he looked into the eyes of this girl he had liked tremendously for the last couple of years.

He realized he was more grateful to her than infatuated. She was his only light in a world full of darkness. How could she not be blindingly bright? However, with so much light in his life now, Aiken discovered that the light Dessa possessed was no longer quite as blinding. This was in spite of Dessa’s light still being more prominent and brighter than the rest.

His true feelings weren’t as deep as he had thought, but they existed all the same. Only time would tell the outcome.

Jodye Trill paid close attention to the shift in Aiken’s face and vibrations. He secretly nodded to himself in relief. Aiken Moon was now totally free in mind and body. Soon, he could start his plan to give Dessa her freedom as well!

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