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12 Not again!

It had been two days since they had settled down in the cave they had found in the forest. The cave was situated on a small hill, hidden buy the thick canopy of trees. At a first glance it just looked like a pile of rocks with no opening clearly visible. But actually, Helial had moved some smaller rocks in front of the entrance, to prevent other people from spotting the cave. It would have been difficult to find them, if not downright impossible.

If he had had his old Stats, Helial could have moved one big boulder, instead of many small rocks, but now his Strength was almost at the same level as Lumia's.

During those two days they had tried to develop a Breathing Technique suitable for his sister. Helial had used his Mana to inspect Lumia's Meridians and had found out that they were suited for a kind of calm and meek Mana. While the Mana that flowed in his body seethed and whirled, the Mana in Lumia's body was far more stable and placid. Lumia is well suited for a Class of Supportive Magic, I think. With Meridians like these ones, she wouldn't be able to learn Offensive Skills. It would only turn in against her. She should learn some Support Skills…

Helial's original plan was to teach his sister the Mana Pistol Skill, but the feeble body of Lumia could not possibly resist the mount of stress that Helial had to bear every time he used the Skill. Unfortunately, aside from the basic Skills to condense, flow and reflow Mana, Helial didn't know any other Skills. But they still needed to protect themselves against potential attackers, so they had to sort it out somehow.

Helial had found the most suitable Meridians for the kind of Mana that flowed through Lumia and tried to help her flow her Mana in the right way.

The girl's forehead was covered in tiny beads of sweat. Learning a Breathing Technique from scratch was no piece of cake. But if she managed to do it, she would have one more weapon to protect herself with. A Breathing Technique is the factor the influences most the absorption an flowing of Mana. Without a good Breathing Technique, it would have been almost impossible to condense a good Mana Seed.

Actually, one of the reasons why White or high-level Mana Seeds were so rare was a lack of powerful Breathing Techniques. Many of the stronger ones had gotten lost during the centuries and only the Congregation still possessed a good amount of quality Breathing Techniques. Aside from Breathing Techniques, one of the most important factors in the Condensation of a Mana Seed was without any doubts the control that one person had over their own Mana. Helial was able to Condense the legendary White Mana Seed exactly because of this: he had an extraordinary control over Mana.

Some people are born with tremendous talents, others with iron willpower. Since a young age, Helial had always been an exceptional child, but what had made him even stronger and more determined was being abandoned by his brother. If he hadn't experienced that horror, he probably would never have been able to achieve such success.

Talent never goes far without the right amount of determination.

Lumia's small hands, joined to form a seal that facilitated the Mana flow, were trembling uncontrollably. She looked exhausted. During those two days, apart from eating and sleeping, they had solely worked on her Breathing Technique. After all, Helial possessed no pre-made Skill, so they had to create one. It was not going to be at all easy.

After a couple of hours, Lumia's face seemed to relax, as if she was not experiencing pain anymore.

You created the Skill Roar of the Earth!

Passive Skill:

Roar of the Earth

Lv: 1

Grade: Red

Helps to flow Mana inside the body.

This Skill is suited for someone at peace with their body.

Exp: 0%

Helial noticed that Lumia had finally managed to develop a Breathing Technique.

"Lumia, what grade is this Skill?" Helial was curious.

"Here it says 'Grade Red'", whispered Lumia, still amazed by the radical change that the Mana in her body had undergone. While before it was difficult and almost painful to flow the Mana through her body, now it was incessantly flowing through her Meridians without opposing any resistance. This was going to let her swiftly increase the Mana reserve

"Grade Red..." Helial was speechless, he too had a Grade Red Breathing Technique. But he had obtained it from a Stroll. This could only mean one thing: that ten-year-old girl had a stronger Breathing Technique than he did! Damn it!

"Now you can start training with this Technique. In the next few days you can start condensing a Mana Seed. While you train, I fill find a quiet spot. If you tried to Condense a Seed right here, the energy would probably attract too many Goblins. I'll see what I can find," Helial smiled to her and then started fishing out of his Inventory all the bread and water he had.

"If something should happen to me, you stay here. Don't come looking for me, I will be back every 12 hours to check on you. Don't worry", he told his sister. It was time to find a safe spot. The cave wasn't very big and the energy waves would probably reach some Goblin and give them away.

They also needed to hunt some game. Helial had a knife with him and could get some meat, if only he could find an animal to kill. In the woods there were not many animals left, the army had scared away most of them.

Skill Activated:

Perception

He had to move carefully. He must not run into a marching platoon of Goblins. He started walking in the opposite to the way that led to Floralivory City. That way the risk of running into enemies would be lower.

I could look for a cave, but if Lumia condensed too powerful a Seed, probably the ceiling would cave on us… thought Helial. I should go as close to the mountains as possible, is I find some rocky areas, I could have more chances to find a place… a cliff would have been perfect, that way the energy could have been released only vertically. But if Lumia were to condense a White Seed, the walls of rock could come crumbling down. But no, it couldn't be that easy to condense one. I was just lucky. From what Vidio told me, no one in the Nation has been able to condense a White Seed.

He remembered very well when seven years earlier he condensed his Mana Seed. Half of the forest had been burned to the ground and the guards of Floralivory City had come to inspect the crime scene. That apocalyptic event had been considered just a natural disaster. No one could recognize the aftermath of the Condensation of a White Mana Seed anymore.

Helial recalled the catastrophic mess he had brought about, with those lightning falling down from the sky and shivered at the thought that could happen again. This time though it would have caused the collapse of a rocky cliff and the inevitable demise of himself and Lumia. If the girl had managed to Condense a White Seed they would both have died crushed by rocks. But they had no choice. A cave would have compressed the energy, doubling the risk. The special rooms in the Mana Congregation designated to the Condensation of Seeds were made of specific materials that prevented a potentially exceedingly talented student from making the building collapse.

Helial sighed, remembering that he didn't own a White Mana Seed anymore, but a Black one. That Curse was ruining his life. He took out Curse of the Demon from the Inventory to check it. For some unfathomable reason, Helial had a bad feeling.

He stared at that black blade. All the other colors in the world looked washed out, as if oppressed by the mere presence of the weapon. The darkness of the Longsword seemed to want to swallow his soul. It was fascinating and terrifying at the same time. Seen from afar, its height and adorned hilt and guard, it really seemed a unique, formidable sword. But for Helial it was none of this. It was just true to its name: a Curse.

Helial sighed and was about to put it back in the Inventory. That weapon made him uneasy and he had a bad feeling about all that.

What the fuck… Helial didn't have time to finish swearing that the sword suddenly shone of black light!

"SHIT, NO NOT AGAIN", he screamed, throwing the sword to the ground and running away from it. When he turned around though, he saw something unusual. No ray had hit him this time. The light had gone out.

"Something's not right", he whispered. "I bet it's not over."

He couldn't leave the sword there, he had to take it back. If he ever found an expert in removing Curses, probably they would need to examine the Longsword. He couldn't feel any energy emanating from the weapon, everything seemed quiet. He approached slowly. Nothing seemed amiss. The only weird thing was that Curse of the Demon had sunk in the ground…

"What the fuck?", swore Helial, kneeling down to get a better look at what was happening. The Longsword had sunk a couple of inches into the grass.
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