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The secret technique of Dale’s master. Dale never found out how his master learned the technique, the only answer he got was that a mysterious figure had helped teach him it.
Regardless, the secret power his master gifted to Dale was the power of Will. This was the last gift his master gave him before Dale was forced to leave his master behind, as his old world was torn apart by spatial tears and frozen in time, locked in to a red locket Dale wore around his neck.
Every living being is born with a Soul. From beast to human, from angel to demon, from god to devil. No matter what type of lifeform was born, it would invariably have a Soul. This was a law that could not be broken by any mortal or immortal.
Thus, every being has a Soul. Tied with this Soul is that lifeform’s purpose in life. Their intent, their goals, their dreams. The Soul is the spark of life in a creature, what gives intelligence and foresight. Without a Soul, a being is nothing more than a lifeless husk, devoid of emotion or life.
And it was here, in the essence of one’s intangible Soul, between the boundaries of nothingness and life, here existed the power of Will.
Will was an incredible force, one that allowed Dale to shape the very essence of reality itself. It was an energy that was directly related to the strength of Dale’s Soul. The stronger his Soul, the stronger his Will.
This power was completely unlike cultivation energy, or anything of the sort. This power wasn’t something that could be stored, nor was it something that could be actively trained. One could use Will to affect the energy of the world and manipulate it. Will could be used to enhance or power techniques that normally required Core energy, it could act as a sort of substitute.
Will could also, however, do many things cultivation energy could not.
By using Will, one could affect the fabric of reality itself. One could bend the laws of physics, directly change the makeup of one’s body, and more. The power of Will had incredible abilities that seemed limitless, and the only real downside was the difficulty in using one’s Will and in training one’s Will.
If Dale’s master hadn’t guided and taught Dale how to awaken his Will, Dale never would have awoken it. Dale knew he had a very high level of comprehension in terms of martial arts. This was something he prided himself on. His painfully slow progress in cultivation notwithstanding, Dale knew that in terms of skill he was among the very top of his age in martial arts.
However, even with Dale’s unusually strong comprehensive powers, the strangeness and power found in Will was something Dale never would have discovered on his own.
Dale had been taught to consciously, and physically, activate his underlying determination and focus. He had to tangibly Will something to happen for him to use his Will energy. It was a very mysterious concept, but one that now felt natural to Dale.
Thus, when Dale realized the two pronged lightning bolt was moving at a speed much too quick for him to dodge, he did the only thing he could do and activated his Will.
Dale’s Soul landscape trembled for a brief second, the flickering white light and radiance dimming. Then, with a smooth motion, the soft white radiance seemed to flow together as one.
Immediately, Dale felt a powerful sense of authority. He felt the powerful feeling he always did when he grasped onto his Will, feeling as if his own small Will gave him the power to modify creation itself. He compared the feeling to what it must be like to be an all powerful God.
Dale Willed both of his hands to become tougher. Instantly, the skin of his body, specifically the skin on his hands, began to change. A mysterious energy filled them, energy that seemed almost like the natural energy of the world around. This energy was incredibly strong, but also felt dormant, as if it wasn’t fully under Dale’s control.
Dale’s hands and the skin on them grew extraordinarily tough. Dale felt them solidify, further toughening the already powerful defenses his Divine Ability, Titanic Transformation gave him, as well as his body’s natural toughness. In terms of defensive power, his body had jumped up another level. It would be difficult now for Dale to hurt himself, let alone for someone else to injure him.
In the same breath that he Willed his hands to become tougher, Dale tried two other techniques, deciding to test his Will.
In his old world, Dale’s Will had been sufficient to allow him to teleport, bending the spatial laws of reality around him to allow him to instantaneously affect himself. He had to have a complete understanding of the world around him to activate it, something he had accomplished through the use of his Perfect Balance normally. Dale had only recently managed to activate the technique without requiring his Perfect Balance, something he attributed to his recent cultivation increase. After all, when one’s cultivation grew, one’s Soul would naturally grow with it, becoming stronger.
This was through a complicated, but at the same time simple technique known as the Perfect Step.
Thus, Dale went through the technique and tried to activate it, his first plan being to teleport away out of the path of the lightning strike.
However, when he went to activate his Will for the technique, Dale realized two things.
First, the laws binding this world were truly too restrictive. As he slammed his Will against the air around him, trying to bend it to his Will, he felt his Will rebound as if slapped away effortlessly. This world was much more restrictive then his previous world, to an incredible degree.
The second thing he determined was that the attack in front of him was indeed natural energy. Dale had sent forth a tendril of his Will, trying to figure out what it was in the split second before it reached him.
Will energy was similar to cultivation energy in that it could be manipulated and used to inspect things. Dale was intimately familiar with anything in the presence of his Will. However, Will energy was completely invisible and intangible, while cultivation energy could usually be sensed and detected.
What the tendril of Will energy Dale had sent collided with the lightning prong, Dale instantly felt his Will snap back, pushed away. The natural energy in this bolt of lightning was extremely strong, and not something he could manipulate. There seemed to be some sort of force controlling the bolt, something Dale also was unable to understand.
Since Dale’s first technique, his Perfect Step, failed due to the extremely binding laws of this world, Dale tried something else.
Instead of dodging the lightning attack, he faced directly towards it. With the knowledge that this attack was formed from natural energy, Dale raised his Will enhanced hands and punched forward.
In the instant that the bolt of lightning was about to strike him, Dale pierced his right leg deep in the ground. He also used his Will to change his skin to become more lightning resistant. He felt the changes instantly take place, his Will moving at the speed of thought.
And, without a pause, Dale’s fist slammed into the two-pronged bolt of lightning, colliding with the first prong. He brought his other arm forward to collide with the second prong, an explosion of light and energy shuttering through the air.
Instantly, Dale felt waves of pain crash through him. Electricity, pure and simple lightning, ran up and down his body flooding into his system. Dale felt the outer layer of his skin burn, sparks flying up and down as the bolt slammed into him. He felt the natural energy inherent in the blue lightning try to overwhelm him, crashing down like a great god on high smashing against the earth.
However, Dale’s defenses, in that brief instant, managed to barely hold on. The lightning strike was extremely strong, and wasn’t something Dale could stop for more than a second, not at his current level. However, thanks to his Titanic Transformation combined with his Will enhancements, Dale’s body was just strong enough to endure the attack for a brief moment, letting him live.
In that moment, the lightning slammed into Dale and travelled along his body. It moved at an incredible speed, and rammed through his armor easily. Dale felt his Growth Armor tingle slightly as the lightning passed through it.
As the lightning ran through him, it naturally flooded down to his legs as well. At this point, Dale’s body was being racked by pain, the sensations the lightning strike slammed against him overwhelming. Despite his toughened skin, Dale was not insusceptible to pain and had to bear the brunt of the attack personally.
Dale’s right leg, however, had pierced into the ground just a moment earlier. When the lightning energy ran down it, trying to eradicate Dale where he stood, it naturally began to flow into the earth. Dale’s body was extremely robust, and when combined with his titan transformation and Will enhanced defenses, it became so tough his skin transformed into a natural conductor. The lightning naturally flowed down him, and though his defense wasn’t perfect, it was enough to last a moment.
Thus, Dale’s body conducted the lightning, and, with his right leg, transmitted it directly into the earth.
Dale felt the ground beneath him explode into rubble as the lightning energy exited his body. An enormous explosion shook the earth as the natural lightning energy came into contact with its environmental enemy, the earth. The two forces collided and instantly separated, the lightning directly exploding the earth. Sparks of natural lightning crashed against the rocks of the earth in a chaotic fury, clashing like only the forces of nature could.
Dale found himself once again flung through the air, the explosion sending him flying several dozen feet. His eyes saw stars as he sailed in the air, his mind befuddled. Dale slammed down hard onto the ground, landing in a confused mess.
The world around him had suddenly gotten quiet. Dale looked around in confusion, feeling as if his hold of the situation had slipped a great deal. He was alive, however, and that was all that mattered. A dull throbbing sound pounded in his ears as he looked around slowly.
As he stood, Dale’s grasp of his Will slipped. Dale slipped with it, almost falling to the floor. The last remaining Will energy in his body drained away as he stumbled, looking down at his arms.
Both of his hands were bloody messes. The veins all along his hands and arms leaked blood, and his fingers twitched, the skin around them burnt black. His hands were ripped and torn all the way to his shoulders, muscle and bone showing. Dale didn’t feel any pain from his badly wounded hands, however, and felt a general sense of numbness.
While Dale had managed to block the brunt of the lightning attack and send it flowing into the ground, the attack alone was much too powerful for him to actually bear. His hands and arms were badly burned, and the rest of his body wounded. His mind had also taken a mental blow. This was the worst injury he had ever taken when he was going all out. The disparity in power between Dale and this attackers was enormous.
Despite using his trump card, his all powerful Will, Dale had only managed to block and redirect the attack while being injured. He shuddered to think at what the raw destructive power in the natural lightning would have done to him if he had tried to block it with his body alone.
Dale looked back at where he had been standing before, noting that he had been blasted outside of the property where Scholar Shen lived. He was nearly a hundred meters away from Scholar Shen’s home, having been knocked away twice now. First by the explosion of earth and ice, and secondly by that two pronged lightning strike.
In the spot where he had been originally standing, before the lightning strike attack, only a large, black crater remained. Smoke and sparks of electricity rose off this crater, and shards of earth and rock littered the ground nearby.
“Oh? Looks like he survived.”
As the smoke cleared, the area obscured by the remnants of the two-pronged lightning attack, the two brown suited cultivators stared at Dale curiously. The one with a number seven inscribed on his head spoke first, staring at Dale curiously.
“How fascinating. Your cultivation level can barely be considered at the 1 Star Rank, yet you managed to survive one of my attacks. Huh.”
“Hmph. Senior brother, it is nothing. Look at his hands, his body. He is badly injured. To survive a single one of your attacks, it can already said to be impressive enough. He won’t last one of mine now.” The man with a seven retorted, stepping forward towards Dale, a small smile on his face. Dale felt a tangible sense of danger arise from the man, and dully stared back. As he was right now, he was completely unable to dodge. He was still in shock from the previous attack.
Dale watched with shaking eyes as the second cultivator gathered natural lightning around himself, feeling the dangerous feeling rise. He struggled to get a hold of himself and react, a sense of hopelessness falling on him.
Before either of them, Dale or the lightning cultivator, could react, however, an enormous spear of earth slammed into the ground that separated Dale and the cultivators.
Scholar Shen’s voice came down like a mountain crashing upon the earth. The peaceful, kind tone had disappeared, replaced by a voice that was incomparably dominant. His soft, kind tone had vanished into a deep and powerful timbre, that of the earth itself. The air shook as he spoke, his words power itself.
Dale looked up and gaped, staring at the impossible image of Scholar Shen. The kindly scholar had been replaced by a figure covered in deadly looking black armor. Green and black light radiated off Scholar Shen in waves, the air around him trembling. Spears of earth floated in the air near the Scholar, and a feeling of incredible, barely suppressed rage and power filled the man. In the man’s arms was the body of a woman.
With a snort, the now ferocious looking scholar threw the body of the woman towards the two brown suited cultivators, disdain filling him. The brown suited cultivators took a step back, staring at the scholar in fear. When they recognized the body of the woman he tossed, however, looks of terror appeared on their faces.
Immediately, one of the brown suited, elegant looking men jumped up and grabbed the body, bowing sharply towards Scholar Shen. The two cultivators then turned tail and fled, lightning forming around them as they accelerated. Abruptly, an enormous bolt of lightning struck down, and the fleeing cultivators vanished, nowhere to be seen.
The pillar of earth supporting Scholar Shen slowly sank down, the energy holding it up fleeing. The several earthen spears that floated in the air fell to the ground as well, following the Scholar down. Dale watched this all, his mind in a stupor as the serious injuries he had suffered crashed down.
The last thing Dale saw before he fell unconscious was the forbidding figure of the black armored Scholar stepping forward towards him…