Chapter 31 – Sight Seeing Training Part 4
“The truth is… This is the realm at which masters believe one’s truth path begins. Everything before it is merely the entering the starting line. The simplest of efforts that anyone can do. It’s at the Spirit Origin realm that one begins building their true foundation. There are even old texts that state that back when the continents were still one, before they split and the world changed people were born with their mana already having an attribute. Everyone could manipulate mana and the gods even spoke to them!”
Haru’s youthful expression of yearning and surprise was pleasant to Erith. Growing up with children taking everything for granted, it was a rare joy to have a disciple earnestly enjoying the knowledge he was passing on. ‘Children from the capital would disdainfully listen to the words of masters and merely beg and plead for special or secret techniques not caring about such trivial things… Perhaps I should be grateful to Dillan for making the choices he did and giving me such an opportunity.’
Turning a bit more pensive Erith got back to his original train of thought “An example… Would be… Hmm. If you had a fire dragon’s bloodline. Then there is huge likelihood, almost definite in fact that your mana’s characteristics would be similar to that of fire, making you innately predisposed to be able to purify and wield a fire type mana. This would allow you to create fireballs, fire based attacks and the like with mana.”
There was less surprise on Haru’s face this time around as he tried to remain neutral to the things Erith was telling him. He succeeded but only due to a slight bit of disappointment rearing its way due to his knowledge of his useless bloodline. Envy reared its ugly head in his heart as he wished for the first time in years that he’d been born with a powerful bloodline, something he hadn’t thought about in a very long time.
Instead of dwelling on these thoughts he brushed these feelings aside and focused on the information Erith was sharing and the questions he deemed would not make him come off as silly and asked away.
“What if your bloodline doesn’t seem to show any special characteristics?”
“This is usually just a rule of thumb. Those that have bloodlines with specific traits can more or less prepare for the path they will likely take.”
“What if my mana has no special characteristic?”
“That’s impossible. Everyone’s mana has some form of predisposition.” Erith lied. He didn’t miss a beat as he spoke because he’d already anticipated such a question. He couldn’t bear to tell Haru that some extremely unlucky people did in fact have no special qualities to their mana, leaving them at a drastic disadvantage to others. These people would be forced to work multiple times as hard to match the accomplishments of others. Knowing Haru’s bloodline was useless he couldn’t simply say as much on the off chance that such was the case for Haru.
Haru’s eyes sparkled at that small bit of hope. Before another question popped into his mind.
“What if a person has an innate aptitude for fire but instead practices or tries to imbue or manipulate another element of mana?” Haru’s question was quite a normal one, even the phrasing was common as those who had not stepped into the Spirit Origin realm would not truly understand what it meant to naturally have an affinity to a type of mana.
“Not impossible, but a huge waste of time. I use the words ‘characteristics’ but the truth is that is also just another guideline. People have a predisposition to a type of mana, because circulating that element comes easy as nature to them. The more aptitude and talent they have means the more affinity they have to their predisposed element. Trying to purify and condense the surrounding mana into an element not natural to one’s self is over a hundred times harder. Only a fool would waste his time doing so. If an unluckily ungifted but smart man would spend his time practicing the element he has some affinity for even if it’s not a desired element day in and day out, it would still yield far better results than a genius gifted with a powerful element practicing a different one he has no affinity for with the same efforts as the untalented man.”
Understanding quickly came to Haru. The example was quite clear, and the point made. ‘Practicing the element that comes naturally yields far better results regardless of what it is.’ Even if he himself did not understand why.
“Mana is all around us. Some beings are born naturally drawing it into their muscles, their bones, their spirit. Enhancing every bit of their body and minds. Humans are born with no such luck. It’s almost as if we repel mana from our bodies. The awakening ceremony stirs the bloodlines within us in order to give us a chance to take this mana in. Once you reach the Spirit Origin realm you’ll naturally understand what I mean. Although we use the word ‘mana’ commonly, we use it to generalize. In truth mana is myriad of things. It contains all life and every element. The further along you go in strengthening your soul the more intricate and delicate these differences will seem to you Haru.”
Unexpectedly Haru was smiling at him, his next words were a shock to Erith “The world is truly a wonderful place isn’t it? There is such beauty to be found and experienced… I hope to see it all one day.”
Erith felt tongue-tied but didn’t want to show it. Instead he continued his lecture “In the Spirit Origin realm we seek to understand the element we have affinity with. We seek to control it, use it, understand it. All the while drawing in, and incorporating this purified and specific type of mana into our spirit realm. Once the spirit realm is completely filled with this new type of mana, you’ve reached the bottle neck. At which point you are left waiting for enlightenment.”
“Enlightenment?” Haru voiced.
“Yes. Pretty much every left after this is dependent on enlightenment. Only once you come to a full understanding of one of the numerous principles of your element and can execute a basic application of it will you have reached the Spirit Manipulation stage. Once you do, all of your attacks will be able to utilize your element-mana. This is the stage where geniuses shine. Some people enter this stage with the most-simple and useless of concepts while others enter it with dangerous and overbearing ones! The range of this stage is massive! Understanding your element, more concepts and manipulating mana outside and inside of your body becomes the main objectives… There is truly too much difference between a genius and a straggler at this stage Haru. Reaching this stage as early as possible is of major benefit. Both to how you are viewed by others and towards your own potential not being squandered. This is the stage that will be your primary goal from now on.”
Haru was seeing stars as he considered how far he was from such a realm. “Is this the final stage of spirit power? Of what we can do with mana?”
Erith gave a curt laugh “This is the stage you are aiming for. After that there is the Spirit World stage where your mana capacity increases exponentially. The Spirit Expansion stage. Then the Spirit Domain stage, Spirit King, Spirit Sovereign. Perhaps one day in our life time I’ll be able to witness the birth of someone who can reach Spirit Transcendence.
The jovial look on Erith’s face didn’t quite reach his eyes as he thought about his last words. In truth that had once been a goal of his when he was juvenile and more naïve. Believing he could do and accomplish anything in the world he had seen too little and experienced even less. His hubris led him to believe there was nothing he could not do. A sliver of pain showed through in his smile but he shook it off. ‘The past is the past.’
Haru didn’t notice any of this as his mind let it all sink in. He couldn’t imagine there was so much that someone could accomplish with mana. That there was such a clearly paved road and that he wasn’t even considered to have begun the journey despite all the efforts of his past three years. Too many many questions flitted through his head. Any other person would have begun to feel insecure but the only thing Haru was feeling was curiosity.
After hesitating a few moments Haru finally worked himself up to ask the most pertinent question on his mind “Teacher… What realm have you reached?”
“I am at the Spirit Domain stage.”
Haru’s face showed no reaction to the words ‘That makes sense… I knew it. That world… It was his spirit realm!’
Seeing the lack of shock from his student Erith felt a sliver of annoyance once again. ‘This kid just doesn’t react like a normal person.’ But then he remembered how scared he was when he saw the dragon that he felt himself smile a little smugly. If he knew Haru was only so startled not because the beast itself had been terrifying but rather because Haru was concerned with the prestige one would need to have, in order to even purchase such a creature, he would have only felt annoyed again.
“My Spirit Domain is a Sword Domain. It is a space I can create outside of reality. A place that unlike the spirit realms within us, that can actually influence the minds of others and the world around us. Earlier I brought you into my Sword Domain.” Erith left out how Haru had all but willingly jumped in.
Haru had too many questions he wanted to ask but once again Erith cut him off. He was happy to have a disciple but it was his first time in such a position. He preferred to show rather than explain and so his eyes shimmered showing that same sword world once again in front of Haru.
Within moments Haru felt like he was being pulled into that same wondrous and incredible world of sky and swords, but unlike last time a sliver of hesitation appeared. His mind subconsciously remembering the feeling of death, but that hesitation was held back by his desire as he entered willingly once again.
The same lone figure stood in front of him, still faceless. A majestic sharp aura spread out around him making him seem like a sharp blade. Giving Haru the impression that getting remotely near him would only end with him being cut into a million pieces.