You have stopped bleeding
Helial was running at breathtaking speed through the forest. He had been looking for his sister for already two hours without results. His body could not endure it anymore. Luckily, thanks to the Mana Reflowing Skill he had managed to completely heal his wounds.
You are feeling tired, your Stamina is down 10%.
Your muscles are hurting for running too much.
You lose 50 HP.
He started to feel tired. He had no idea where his sister could be. The woods were extremely large.
What if she has gone back? No, that's unlikely. Lumia is too stubborn. Shit, I have to find her.
Helial could see the trails of smoke in the distance getting closer and closer. In less than ten hours, the main body of the army would be there. Probably the vanguard would reach them even sooner. It was only a matter of hours before hordes of Goblin started invading those lands. For some reason the Capital hadn't sent any reinforcement yet. Why there were no guards around? Could it be possible that none of the leaders of the Nation of Fiercelake knew nothing of the attack?
"LUMIA!" he yelled desperately.
He kept searching for her for two more hours. Nothing. The smoke was already dangerously near. They were advancing far quicker that he had envisaged. After all, he had no experience of battles and fighting.
"Damn old fart, why didn't you teach me to fight? What am I, a fucking Monk or Cleric?" swore Helial, through gritted teeth. He felt utterly helpless. Vidio had never taught him any self-defense. Helial had never held a weapon in his entire life and, for a while, he would have to make do with that useless Longsword.
He was stepping angrily on the dried leaves. He had to stop. Small beads of sweat clung to his forehead and his clothes were drenched. Nothing, there was no trace of Lumia. He had kept his eyes on the ground, looking for traces, but he had found nothing. He leaned on a tree, trying to get his strength back. Suddenly, he got an idea.
The Mana power flows through your body and heals minor wounds.
Mana Energy purifies your body.
Detox power 2%
Cost: 30 Mana/Sec
Mana Reflowing gains 0,5% Exp.
He felt a refreshing flow of energy in his Meridians. Mana Reflowing had a soothing effect even on tiredness. He stayed in that state for half an hour.
He glanced at the Mana bar. There was almost none left. The combined use of Perception and Mana Reflowing had almost drained it.
I can't run out of Mana now. Damn it. What do I do now?
Helial was about to panic. It was the first time he found himself in such a desperate situation. He couldn't keep his cool like he should have. His usually clear and collected mind was now a chaotic mess. He had to find his sister at all costs, but the stress was hindering him.
Simple solutions, simple solutions, he thought.
He stood up and took a step. He had had an idea. The only Skill he possessed that could quickly recover Mana was Mana Concentration.
Mana Concentration was a Skill that allowed to regenerate Mana faster, while the Breathing Techniques were used to store it in the Soul and increase the overall amount of Mana. Mana Concentration too could store in the Soul, but with much lower efficiency than a common Breathing Technique.
That Skill was his only hope to not end up bone dry. But he needed to get moving to find his sister. What could he do?
Easy: he would have to use it while moving. Master Vidio had explained to him that it was impossible and that only a handful of people could Concentrate Mana while doing everyday activities. How could he manage to do it, a green young boy, and all of this while he was using other Skills and looking for his sister?
"Let's try it", he said taking the first step forward.
First, he checked his Passive.
Helps the Mana flow in the body towards the Soul and through the Meridians
You use Natural Mana to fill your body with Mana Energy.
Effects vary according to the Skill's level and the user's conditions.
He took a couple of unsure steps, while absorbing Mana and using the Perception Skill.
You use Natural Mana to fill your body with Mana Energy.
He kept trying for ten minutes, all the time while using Perception, trying to detect his sister's familiar Aura. The corners of his mouth were bloody. He was putting his body under a lot of stress. He was probably on the brink of a collapse.
You lost 206 HP.
After ten more minutes, Helial was seized by panic. He really had to hurry. He had opened his eyes for the split of a second and realized that the plumes of smokes had already reached the village. The situation was going from bad to worse.
Helial closed his eyes again. This time he took a deep breath and tried to focus all his attention on guiding the Mana, moving and finding his sister. He could feel the energy flow through his Meridians. In all the previous attempts, he had tried to move his body focusing on the Mana Seed, without taking into consideration the Mana flow.
This time, he fell into some kind of meditative trance and he realized that every tiny movement influences the Mana course to some extent. Every little vibration perturbed the flow of that strange Energy that kept building up inside of him.
Helial took a step. He saw the Mana flow stop momentarily, and then start flowing again in his leg. He was forcing his movements, that way he was just damaging his Meridians.
Suddenly, a naughty grin appeared on Helial's face.
He began reflowing the Mana entering the Meridians, selecting those that were more active while his leg was moving. He noticed that the Mana didn't stop flowing anymore. He took a couple of steps. He felt lighter, as if he was just using one tenth of the energy to move.
The energy used to complete the muscular movements was the same that was used for the Skills: the Mana. Mana was ubiquitous in the world, the first moving cause of all existing things.
Helial had wrongly tried to force the absorption process, instead of channeling Mana through the same Meridians used when moving. In this way, he could use part of the Mana to move and the rest could be reflowed towards the Mana Seed.
He started channeling the Mana through the Meridians that looked more active when he moved. The whole process required deep concentration. It wasn't at all easy to perceive which Meridians were more suited, because every movement slightly changed the path of the energy.
Helial began moving quicker. He could not variate the movements much, so he opted to run with simple and repetitive movements.
One of your Skills evolved!
You learned a new Skill:
Communion with Mana
You are able to flow the power of Mana through the most suitable Meridians.
You can move while storing and regenerating your Mana.
MP Regeneration: 200 Mana/Sec
Skill Amplification: 3%
Physical Abilities Amplification: 1,3%
Helial was bursting with joy. The previous form of the Mana Concentration Skill didn't allow him to have specific Stats to recover points. Most of the time, it was all very random. This new Skill not only allowed him to move and regenerate Mana at the same time, but it also amplified his Skills.
Helial tightened his fists, then slowly reopened the hands. He had stopped walking to enjoy that new feeling. Now he could look for Lumia without having to stop for very long stretches of time.
Half an hour later he was still searching for her. Luckily, the Mana bar was full and it wasn't decreasing, since the Regeneration was faster than the Mana consumption.
He heard a scream coming from deep within the forest.
Shit, they're here. Shit, Helial couldn't keep his cool anymore. He didn't know what to do. But sometimes, when the situation is desperate and everything looks cloaked in shadows, a ray of light can disperse the darkness.
Perception had just detected a female Aura nearby. He immediately turned in the direction from where the energy was coming. He saw a girl with silvery hair leaning against a tree. He ran towards her as fast as he could. He didn't dare to shout, with the Goblins so dangerously near.
Two teardrops welled in his eyes. Helial was almost too fond of his sister. Since little, he had tried to protect her in every possible way, not letting any harm come to her. It was for her that Helial had decided to become stronger, but he couldn't show to the world his qualities and his improvements, so his sacrifices were of very little use: too often his sister and him had suffered the pangs of hunger.
When he was only a few steps from her, Helial dashed and hugged her tight. He had approached her very silently and his sister hadn't noticed him. He covered her mouth with a hand to not let her scream.
"Lumia, it's me. I finally found you. You shouldn't have come looking for me!" he told her, relieved. The joy of having found his sister was way bigger than the fear of the Goblins' attack. Now they could go back to the city, to hide behind the walls and the armored guards.
He felt a stinging pain in the hand, his sister had mercilessly bitten his index and middle fingers. Helial almost let out a cry of pain. Lumia had sank her teeth deep, drawing blood. As soon as she opened the mouth, Helial quickly moved his hand away from his sister's jaws, scared of getting bitten again.
"You idiot! The Goblins are coming and you go strolling in the woods without coming back!? What the hell were you thinking? Let's go, we have to run away!" those didn't sound like words that should come out of the mouth of a cute ten-year-old, who was shamelessly rebuking her older brother.
"But… Lumia, I…" Helial wanted to tell her that he had gone back to the village and when he couldn't find her he had gone back to the woods. He wanted to tell her that she should have waited for him, but before he could say any of that, his sister added: "Shut up now, the Goblins are near, we must go!"
"Alright", he sighed dejectedly. He had been hoping for a slightly warmer welcome.
They were about to leave, when Helial heard something that could barely be called a neigh. Some kind of beast was approaching.
"SHIT, they're here", whispered Helial.
Vigor increased by 1.