“Ki? The secrets of Ki? Is this the energy that we, the warriors use?” asked Leo.
“Yes indeed. Ki is the power that let’s defeat our enemies, slash through mountains and decimate armies. It’s the power that you’ve been using until now. Now that milords reached this phase, I will show you the way of harnessing that power from the world and make it your own.”
The regrets of my past life, I didn’t think that I would be able to correct them so soon, Shesmu thought. He then smiled before rectifying himself, I shouldn’t be hasty, this is but the beta. In the official release, I will definitely not repeat my past mistakes and focus fully on developing the best foundation.
“Milords, your grace holder of the golden, let us enter the main hall before continuing the explanation. I’m sure that staying in the cold here is not pleasant for you.”
“Sure, let us do so.”
Shesmu gave his confirmation and Aldrien led the way in the vicinity of the tower. Once they reached the main hall, they entered a room similar to the one they first appeared in. The same wooden floor, the same shade, and the same size.
“First of all, let’s start with Ki. What is Ki? And how do we use it? Well, to answer the first question we need to ask another question: What is energy?” Aldrien then paused for a second to make sure everyone is attentive to what he was about to say. “Energy is what drives life, movement and causes all to happen in our world. However, it exists in excess, and most of the energy in this realm is unused, left dormant in the space around us.”
“We, creatures of the light, children of Aida, and even the monsters and beasts of darkness, offspring of Mafder use this energy. In wars, in fights, in smithing, tailoring and the myriad things we do in this world. However, this pure energy, this ether that exists around us cannot be used in its raw state. If one tries to do so, most unnamable disasters will surely occur. That’s why we process it, adapt it and turn it much less berserk before consuming it. That process for us warriors gives birth to what we call ki.”
“I’m but your lowly servant, and my knowledge is but a speck. However, if you have any question, I will be sure to share what little I know with milords.”
Shesmu already knew all of what Aldrien was said or could say in terms of knowledge about Ki, so he didn’t really care. As for Leo and DepressedRyan, they understood from prior game knowledge that all of what Aldrien said was but flavor text, so they too weren’t interested They were more intrigued by knowledge that would affect their gameplay directly, not some piece of lore that they would never use.
Seeing the trio being silent, Aldrien continued his explanation.
“Milords, we talked about how the result of the processing of Ether is Ki for warriors. That processing is what we call cultivation. It’s gathering the ether and absorbing it through pores-no, points spread all over our bodies and pushing that Ki into our energy center.”
“For now, I won’t bore milords with all the details, I’m sure that you’ll know of them when the time is right. I’ll just be introducing you to a basic cultivation technique that will help you get started in the road of dominance. The technique is called the Sprouting Flower.”
Leo and DepressedRyan finally started paying attention when Aldrien talked about a new technique. Contrary to them, Shesmu was still bored out of his mind. Sprouting Flower? It’s a sin to even think about recommending that technique to anybody. You’re literally crippling new blood’s talent. Well, whatever, I can always just abolish it right after, there should be no lasting effects as long as I don’t reach the second major level.
“I will now guide milords through the steps of the technique. First, milords, please close your eyes.”
With his command, the trio sat down on the floor cross-legged and closed their eyes.
“Now, from your shoulders, heart, between your eyebrows and at the top of your belly exists the meridians. I want you to focus on those places and feel the space around you.”
Shesmu already knew all of this and understood that it was a very arduous process at first. An idea struck his mind and he decided to just rush and complete the baptism process first.
After closing his eyes, Shesmu focused one hundred and twenty-eight points in his body. From the top of his forehead to the ten meridians in each of his toes, Shesmu activated them. He willed all of those meridians to open and absorb the energy outside from outside.
Once Shesmu entered a trance, the energy surrounding him was sucked in. The ether rotated like a tornado and Shesmu was its eye. Seeing this phenomenon, Aldrien was shocked senseless. He looked at Shesmu as if he was a beast, one that he so heard about in the myths.
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“What’s this, it feels as if there is a wind going in Shesmu’s direction. No, this feels weird. It’s wind but it’s not wind, as if there is something invisible going his direction.”
“Yeah, I feel the same, Leo. I guess that this is the ether Mr. Aldrien was talking about. Plus, I can only feel this energy with specific points in my body. I have never felt anything like this before.”
DepressedRyan was about to ask the instructor to confirm or deny his claim when the latter sat down, legs crossed and closed his eyes. He immediately entered a trance.
“What’s going on here with everyone just sitting like monks and no longer responding?!”
This situation was foreign to Leo and left him dumbstruck. DepressedRyan was also surprised, but he took a more composed approach. After a few seconds of pondering, he finally concluded.
“There is nothing we can do about that. Plus, I’m sure that whatever they’re doing has to do with that Sprouting Flower technique. We should just imitate them and try to feel that ether Aldrien has been talking about. Since Shesmu entered a trance, my whole body started tickling. I think we should go with that feeling and go with the flow. Other than that, I also have no clue.”
“So, we should do just like them?”
“Yeah, we can’t do anything else anyway.”
With this, both Leo and DepressedRyan sat down cross-legged and tried to understand how to absorb energy from the world. Using the tingling feeling as a hint, both of them tried to absorb the ether through their meridians.
Everyone’s face was frowning, focusing with all their might on their own internal state. Shesmu was opening all 128 meridians in his body and absorbing as much ether as possible, while Aldrien was trying to familiarize with meridians that he had never used before in his life. Leo and DepressedRyan were trying to understand how to absorb ether through their meridians. To them, it felt as if they were trying to move their ear muscles.
Minutes turned into hours as the group of four sat cross-legged one in front of the other. It was only after four hours that Shesmu opened his eyes. At the top left of his vision, an exclamation mark stood next to the plus sign. Shesmu focused and a notification message appeared.
Congratulation on activating the cultivation system!