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The one sided exchange was two days long. When it ended, Yurnal left got up, briefly look at his son and Mernug before concentrating his gaze at Supreme Ruler Ar Yen and then leaving.
Another two days later, Elijah got up from his crossed legged sitting position and met with Supreme Ruler Ar Yen.
Yimin and Mernug were in an unconscious state, compelled by Supreme Ruler Ar Yen’s soul technique, which only affected the latter because it was enforced on him by direct contact.
“Well, was it worth it?” Supreme Ruler Ar Yen, looking hopeful.
“Not that soon. In the near future today’s actions would bear their fruits”. Elijah said languorously, still slightly under the effect of submerging in the profound insights he received and brief meditation that followed.
“Yurnal not once asked for your insights”. Supreme Ruler Ar Yen mentioned in a passing.
“I understand him”. Elijah asserted. “Someday I’ll repay him for this”.
“That would be a future we both need to aspire toward to together”. Supreme Ruler Ar Yen agreed.
Elijah exhaled and bloody vapor escaped his mouth. His countenance regained its full pale lucidity. “Before then, in the meantime, let’s move on to the next target… Mes”.
A purple scales and golden eyes snake slithered like a purple bolt of lightning through the tunnels and caves of Valgarel.
Mes, the Thousand Meters Viper, toppled trees, flattened Wild beasts and shattered boulders as it fled in distress. ‘Luckily! Luckily! Luckily Martial brother Zax insisted that I’m a troublemaker and shouldn’t refuse his Eruptive Dark Snapper!’ He was tempted to look back, but decided against anything that will distract him. ‘But these fellows were too crafty… they broke my communicator the moment they appeared! If I didn’t keep the Eruptive Dark Snapper in my venom gland, I’d not had the chance to use it’. His heartbeat thumped rapidly. ‘But I can’t believe it, if Martial brother Zax didn’t warn me in advance, I would have thought he really he really came and attacked!’
Everything happened so fast, even a first level Martial Mortal like Mes had difficulties comprehending the chain of events that just passed.
Barely a minute ago he was busy, minding his own business, attempting to shine light on his newfound understanding of the electric attribute, when out of nowhere and faster than he could perceive several things he had zero control on took place.
First a minuscule bang indicated the destruction of his communicator, and then everything turned black, followed by his instinctive defense mechanism acting, automatically flaring his venom glands and consequently activating the Eruptive Dark Snapper Zax gave him first time he ventured on his own in Ercas Mir.
The Eruptive Dark Snapper was actually a natural resource with a unique affinity to dark attribute energy, which Zax found and modified a bit. Initially it was only useful to track dark attribute’s essence in a two kilometers radius of it, but what Zax discovered was that if worldly dark attribute energy was imbued in it, it could discharge mock fluctuations with the same intensity and signature as those of the person who charged it.
Zax was not specifically looking for this odd, castanets shaped stones, therefore he only had in his collection six. Two he experimented on, one he gave Mes, another to his eldest Martial sister, Hagen; the fifth to his Master and sixth to Anet.
Afterwards, Zax disregarded the existence of the Eruptive Dark Snapper, rather than searching for more so he could give others. The reason for his neglect was the prerequisite for proper use of the snappers. First of all, when used to discharge fluctuations, they can only work for three to four times before crumbling – it varies depending on the intensity of the fluctuations imbued. Second, they could only function as a radar for dark attribute's essence or a deterrent tool. Third and most important, utilization of their second function had to be swift, otherwise they would either fail to deceive the enemy or their owner would be taken down before being able to use them.
Mes, Hagen and Kartion had their own methods for prompt activation of the snappers, in addition to sufficient level of cultivation to further heighten their perception.
Anet absorbed the Pure Core of the deceased Four Wings Stork Overlord. Her cultivation was only slightly inferior to Mes, due to being much younger. She developed her own techniques that could permit her a timely activation of her snapper.
"Oh, no!" Mes bellowed, yet before the sound of his voice faded he crashed on the ground, unconscious.
The hand that grabbed the tip of his tail, let loose and instead, a windy attribute mantel spread from the palm and enveloped the long Thousand Meters Viper. A second later, the culprit, Supreme Ruler Ar Yen, disappeared along with Mes.
"Wake him up". Elijah requested. Staring at the fainted viper, he could smell the stench of his and Supreme Ruler Ar Yen's sweat still lingering on their backs.
The surprise the Eruptive Dark Snapper gave them nearly caused them a heart attack. They were both familiar with the signature of Zax's dark attribute energy from past events, but not with its current intensity.
A flood of thoughts filled their head when they sensed the mock fluctuation and thought Zax actually showed up. To fight, escape or explain were the main ideas that came to mind and to each branched a series of different approaches.
Before they knew it, Mes was gone and they absentmindedly were still waiting for Zax.
"This was a close call. If you did not destroy his communicator…" Supreme Ruler Ar Yen heaved deeply and tapped Mes's head.
"Return to your human form!" Was the first he heard when he regained conscious. The person who spoke so imposingly was a stranger to him. He did not sound angry, just strict, perhaps a tad impatient?
Mes obeyed without delay and transformed to his human form with an attire made of purple scales.
"You are the Supreme Ruler Ar Yen". He recognized. "Why did you kidnaped me?" He was irate, but composed himself.
"What's your Master's communicator's numeral signal?" Elijah cut in.
Mes was apprehensive of the unknown man's attitude. Hearing he was interested in his Master further intensified those feelings.
"What's your intentions?" He countered. "You are a Supreme Ruler", he turned back to Supreme Ruler Ar Yen. "Aren't you suppose to have a little grace? I'm willing to forget this transgression, if you'll let me go. You can visit my Master's cave properly afterwards".
"See that person?" Supreme Ruler said unexcitedly as he pointed at Yimin who was leaning on a rock unconsciously.
Mes did not get the chance to observe the surrounding. Only now he noticed the youngster and the other man beside him, in the same state.
"Who is he?" He asked.
"Yimin, the son of Sinister Chain's Second Leader Yurnal. I gather you never heard about Yimin, but the name 'Yurnal', should sound familiar".
'A bodily cultivator beast that even Master claims is stronger than him! Well, only because Master is still developing the second realm part of his bodily refinement technique'.
"My Martial brother told me Yurnal is the fourth strongest cultivator that originated from New Earth, after Supreme Ruler Ariel Dauch and His Valor Ozeyn. Third, now that His Valor Ozeyn is gone…"
"Indeed he is". Supreme Ruler Ar Yen commented. "We abducted his son so he would be disposed to have a certain civil discussion with us… He agreed and selected, for the time being, to leave his son in our care, where no harm will befall him. The same discussion we want to have with Kartion, and then have him decide whether to take you along with him when he will leave, or like Yurnal, have us release you on a later but not too far date, with Yimin and his friend there".
“I see…” Mes mused. “I’m very story, but I won’t be a pawn for you to attract my Master. You might as well go ahead and kill me”.
“You expect us to kill you for refusing to cooperate?” Elijah asked in a disproving tone.
“Our reasons for losing decorum with Yurnal and Kartion are all for the sake of New Earth, Kingdom Earth and Valgarel alike”. Supreme Ruler Ar Yen answered. “But it won’t be under the pretext of taking your life. We captured you, because of Kartion’s apprentices you were the easier to ambush and not because it was impossible for us to catch your other Martial brothers and sisters”.
“This is actually something both of us can rejoice for”. Mes said in jubilation. “Because if you laid your hands on any of my Martial brothers and sisters first, after finding out whom you are, I’d have gone to your home and poisoned your entire kin”.
“Beasts…” Elijah remarked.
“You still can, after we’ll let you go”. Laughing, Supreme Ruler Ar Yen went along with Mes’s disposition.
“You are like my Eldest Martial brother”. Mes noted. “Very… suave”.
“Raroen of the Silverhorned tribe is a remarkable fellow. Although he is my junior on the cultivation path, it’s still an honor for me to be compared to him, but probably not as much as it’d be an honor for him”. Supreme Ruler Ar Yen stopped laughing. “I guess we owe it to you to know our reasons, Mes. Are you willing to listen?”
“I’m curious”. Mes affirmed, setting jokes aside, whether they really were jokes or not.
“Senior Elijah, it’s you who convinced me…” As supreme Ruler Ar Yen saw it, this part was Elijah’s hurdle.
“Elijah? This name… You want to meet my Master? Wait, I know who you are!” Mes’s eyes brightened.
“Then I hope I’ll be able to convince you, too”. Elijah stepped forward.
‘I have to revise the third stage’. Within the upper floor of a tall, sparkling blue tower Grandmaster Kartion was sitting alone in humanoid form.
His eyes were close as his awareness delved to his Inner Panorama.
It had black patch of land, beneath black sky and surrounded by black sea. It had overall similar settings to Zax’s, but things like the shape of the land and its size, the depth of the sea and length of the sometimes roaring waves and the void in the sky were different in terms of splendor.
The Inner Panorama was a reflection of the understanding of the attribute and Zax’s understanding, due to the bottlenecks of insight he comprehended, was at the epitome with regards to the dark attribute. Kartion's soul was already in the third realm, so it was impossible for him to perceive anymore the bottlenecks of insight.
‘Formulating the Three Stages Of Hyper Physique as an attribute base technique is the correct path, but the third stage is the threshold to the third realm. My current level of understanding is insufficient to bridge the gap between realms…’
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