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The round, twenty centimeters thick metallic door trembled. Moment later it calmed and opened sideways into the walls.
The interior of the room four by four meters room was humid, devoid of any object and with small glittering, blue paddles on the floor.
The person knocking grimaced when the strong scent of sweat assaulted the nostrils and ceased breathing.
“Junior brother, our Mor is calling for you”. A crisp voice said from outside.
“You knocked me out of my meditation session, senior sister. Our Mor will not mind waiting to spare me the risk of a backlash”. A tall, handsome man exited the room. He tied his long black hair in a ponytail as his vibrant green eyes looked attentively at the senior sister waiting for him, reading her gorgeous black expression for nothing but her thoughts, specifically those who brought her to interrupt him.
“If I had knocked gently, you wouldn’t have answered. Besides, I was ordered to call you, not asked”. Talhera hurled a yellow towel on Neyrar. “Icy attribute’s essence is mixed with your sweat. You can’t waste it by spraying it with your aura”.
Neyrar rubbed the towel. It was clearly made of special fabric to not get torn easily by someone below the third Core Master level and be able to absorb attribute’s essences.
“You broke through?! Did you…?!” Talhera suddenly paled, about to say more but the words stuck in her throat.
“Only to the Peak of the second realm. I’m still not there, yet”.
Heaving in relief, the black, enchanting luster returned to Talhera’s face. “Good. I can’t imagine how angry the General would be if you dared to breakthrough before achieving that. Even Elijah Mor warned that he will commit suicide if you’ll disappoint him”.
“Stop, stop!” Neyrar frowned, threw the towel back, put back on his Mist Concealment Jewel and cupped his ears. “If I’ll hear those premature allegations again, the General can go ahead and blow a fuse and Elijah Mor declare to the entire world that his Tal is unfilial”.
“Okay, okay, I’m sorry, geez!” Talhera apologized, knowing his outburst was her fault, a product of the interruption to his meditation. The regular Neyrar would have been stoic even under the duress of a three scales Deformed Being.
They left the small compound, saying goodbye to the old, tanned, scarred soldier on the rocking chair in the entrance. The solider donned a golden tank top with a four colors “Golden Desert Fort” badge, sandy military pants and boots.
He smiled back at the pair and returned to what occupied him, which seemed like rearranging grains of sand.
Golden tank top, four colors badge, those were two of the three distinguishing marks of the Golden Desert Fort’s Lieutenant Generals, fourth level Martial Mortals!
“This senior has been keeping watch for you ever since you entered the Four Seasons Room. In all previous occasions there were third level Martial Mortals guards”. Talhera whispered and felt a tinge of jealousy.
After his performance in the Elite Tryouts, General Beking was gratified with how he thinned Luminous Church’s goods seeds; she rewarded him with entry to the most precious cultivation ground of the Golden Desert Fort, the Four Seasons Room. In total he had ten months that he could divide up to ten sessions.
“I don’t know what Elijah Mor wants from us, but I feel like it has something to do with the recent change in the atmosphere around the high ranks”.
Elijah’s residence was in a well kept district in one of Golden Desert Fort’s most populated cities, Gurgimash City, near the border with the Northern Icecaps.
It was a military city and of its tens of thousands families, at least one member in each family had enlisted.
In this time of the year, a light coat of snow covered the rectangle buildings and streets. People drove and walked on their dealings in winter’s attire and red noses, yet neither the cold nor the snow obstacle could freeze their ingrained feistiness and liveliness. In fact, winter was the most bustling time of the year in Gurgimash City, for that is when blood constantly boiled.
Neyrar and Talhera arrived to the city gates in a Golden Desert Fort aircraft and landed it half a kilometer far from the city. They could fly the aircraft all the way to Elijah’s residence, but decided against the idea. The people of Gurgimash City tend to congregate and cheer whenever Golden Desert Fort’s vehicle entered the city, for most times the arrivals were either their returning sons and daughters or messengers with propaganda news.
There were three luxuriant districts in Gurgimash City and Elijah lived in the most verdant one. His house was a triangle shaped pillar fifty meters tall, like a stretched pyramid. Encompassing it were nine hundred square meters of lavish gardens and mini forests. With such lush residence it stood for reason that only a handful of families could accommodate the district.
“Sir, Miss, Owner is waiting for you in the Observation Gallery”. An old maid greeted and guided the pair in.
“How are you, Nuris?” Neyrar asked.
The old maid amiably smiled. “My dear Neyrar, I’ve been doing well alongside Owner. Five months ago my nephew, my younger sister’s second, left New Earth and visited me. I was very glad to see him all grown up”.
“I’m happy for you, Nuris”.
The pair followed Nuris, climbing a spiral stone staircase that was wrapped around a support beam from the ground floor to the tenth and last storey of the stretched pyramid. From the first to fourth floor every storey had four rooms. From the fifth to eighth the number reduced to three. The ninth had two rooms and the tenth only one, the Observation Gallery.
“Elijah Mor!” Neyrar and Talhera bowed in sync toward an exceptionally handsome white man with piercing eyes and pitch black short hair.
He was alone in the room, sitting on a stool, drawing on a three by two meters canvas, with his blood as it freshly leaked from his wrist and slid to his index finger.
On the walls of the dark room were all kinds of similar blood drawn painting and their red shade was the sole source of illumination.
Neyrar and Talhera were rarely allowed to the Observation Gallery and so whenever they got permission from their Mor to enter, once they started to inspect the paintings they instantly became captivated.
Elijah clapped his hands and the snapping sound awakened his Tals from their enlightening fascination.
“Talhera, Neyrar, what have you seen?” Elijah already finished his new drawing and the blood marks on his arms receded back to his veins.
“Mor, I saw a bouquet of different flowers, but they were all rubicund”. Talhera as the senior Tal was the first to speak.
“That’s the refinement outline for the Scarlet Armor’s Third Inflammation. Setting aside understanding of the attribute, by reaching this stage you’d be slightly more able than a third level Martial Mortal, two phases stronger if you utilize your blood aptly”. Elijah shifted his cordial gaze to his second Tal.
“Mor, I saw your villa in New Earth and your pyramid abode in Ercas Mir. They, too, were rubicund”.
“That’s the refinement outline of my Scarlet Armor’s Fourth Inflammation. Again, eliminating understanding of the attribute, a slightly more than comparable stage to the fourth Martial Mortal level and two phases stronger by the correct usage of blood”.
“Your outline, Mor?” Both Neyrar and Talhera took note of every one of their Mor’s words and so were struck by the same confusion.
“There is limit to how much attribute understanding can be overlooked. Eventually, it’s the deceiving influence in the cultivation of the third realm, regardless of what aspect you are focusing on. And it is more crucial from the middle position of the third realm, the third Martial Mortal level for Mist Users and Third Inflammation of bodily refinement. See for example yourself, Neyrar. Ever since you comprehended the fourth bottleneck of insight your understanding of the fiery attribute increased rapidly, even to the point that a typical Beginner phase second level Martial Mortal is no longer a threat to you”.
Neyrar and Talhera nodded. They were aware of the significance of understanding one own attribute. Only by mastering the attribute and reaching the Mortal Enlightenment state can a cultivator induce his or her Evolutionary Ascension.
“The Scarlet Armor’s Fourth Inflammation is different than the preceding Inflammations in the sense that it isn’t as static. Some properties are the same, but the fundamentals depend on the practitioner’s personal attainments in the understanding of the attribute”. As Elijah patiently narrated he pointed on his paintings, for the first time helping his Tals see the hidden path of his blood.
Time passed… an hour, a day… five days.
Neyrar and Talhera blinked their eyes to wakefulness with pristine understanding to their attributes, blood paths and Mor’s recent accomplishment.
“Congratulations, Elijah Mor!” Talhera ran to hug him.
“Congratulations, Elijah Mor!” Neyrar smiled and with his best repressed the tears.
“Thank you, my children, but without General Beking’s support, perhaps not in a century would I have created the First Inflammation, much less reached the Fourth Inflammation”.
The Five Inflammations were the initial concept for the Scarlet Armor’s third realm bodily refinement technique. Thanks to the Golden Desert Fort’s accumulation data on bodily refinement technique from beyond Ercas Mir and unique resources fit for bodily cultivators, Elija was struck by a spark of inspiration that practically created a miracle.
In ten years he devised the refinement techniques of the Second and Third Inflammations. Just a bit over half a decade later, today, he apparently not only devised the Fourth Inflammation, but also broke through to it.
“Yurnal preceded me with his Infinite Transformations Altering Body’s third realm refinement technique and is stronger than me by an iota, but while he concentrates on the entire physique, I dwell on a single piece of it. Blood is the foundation and mine is denser than his”.
General Beking was on the same mind, which is why she personally invited him to the Golden Desert Fort when she learned about him.
“Elijah Mor, you would not have summoned us to flaunt or hastened senior sister Talhera to call me in the midst of closed door sessions for a lesson, even as profound as you just gave us”. Neyrar stated.
“I wasn’t busy like junior brother, but I had to rush all the way from Ercas Mir. The pathway’s formation was in construction. I nearly couldn’t get out”. Talhera mentioned.
“The pathway’s formation collapsed?!” Neyrar was stunned. “What happened?” He joined the Godly Desert Fort, but New Earth was his home. For the pathway’s formation to be under construction could only be if it was improved or if someone broke it!
“The formation was attacked”. Elijah replied before Talhera, not that she knew the facts of what happened.
“It doesn’t matter. It was dealt with by Zax Zel. No one was harmed in New Earth or Rising City”. Elijah was not fond of Zax, so he strictly hinted his Tals to drop the subject. “You asked why I summoned you. I received orders from the General. Make your preparations; the Golden Desert Fort is departing for another Star in the Milky Way Plain”.
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