Dale looked down at the armor he wore, as well as the wounds that had mostly finished healing, checking his body over. The turtle-shell like armor was a suit of something he had acquired a while ago, something called Growth Armor. It was a unique type of armor that would grow in strength along side its user.
He stretched his arms forward, feeling the latent power inherent in his body. His muscles were sore, stretched and pulled on from the world transportation he had undergone. The World Fleeing Papers he had been forced to use as his old world crumbled had been a last resort. Transportation between realms was, Dale discovered, extremely disorienting and painful.
With a few practice swings, Dale slammed his right arm into a tree nearby. Instantly, it exploded into shards of wood, the tree directly snapping in two under the weight of his punch. The nearby ground was covered in wood scrapings, rubble from Dale’s casual attack.
“Alright, decent.” He said, feeling that his powerful body was still in top condition.
Before his home world had fallen apart, Dale had been considered a powerful warrior despite his young age of 13. In terms of pure, physical strength, no one in his age group had been his equal. This was largely in part due to the fact that Dale hadn’t been fully human. He was only, at most, half human.
Dale’s parents had passed away when he was very young. Thus, he was also unclear about his heritage. However, he knew that one of his parents had been a Titan. Titan’s were beings that were very similar to human’s appearance wise, but contained an incredible amount of latent power. They were also able to transform, their bodies condensing and turning dark black as their cell count densified. Titans were incredibly powerful beings, but also incredibly rare.
His other parent, Dale had learned, had been a human known as a Fallen Angel. Dale didn’t really know what the term meant, but knew that they were a group of powerful humans that had fought against a group of Titans back on his home world, thousands of years ago. The fact that a Titan had married a Fallen Angel was something that always confused Dale.
Dale adjusted his plate armor slightly, looking down at the large holes. The armor was called Growth Armor for a reason, and would slowly reform. However, it took time for the armor to regenerate, and he figured it would be a few days before the set healed.
After checking his armor, Dale set off and began to explore. The small parrot that had accompanied him flew off into the treeline, seemingly exploring on its own as well. Dale shook his head as he watched Cloud fly off, the adventuresome creature never really listening to him anyway.
He had arrived in some sort of forested glade. Several trees blocked his vision to the north, great large oak trees that towered high. A large flowing river swam beneath this forested area, exiting southward. Dale decided to follow the river south, moving along its creekline.
After walking for a minute, Dale saw what looked like the edge of a very steep cliff approaching. The river seemed to pour out over this cliff edge, narrowing off out of sight. Dale stopped as he approached the cliff, looking out in confusion.
Floating out past the cliff, Dale made out what appeared to be several huge clumps of rock, floating in mid air. He saw small forests and trees on several of these rocks, and trails of water running down the surface off these rocks. The water would then loop around the edge and continue running. There was nothing beneath these rocks, holding them up. Dale shook his head as he looked, unable to comprehend the fantastic sight.
Dale walked up to the edge of the cliff and looked down. His eyes opened wide in shock, in disbelief.
Instead of a steep cliff that jutted up abruptly from the ground below… Dale saw nothing.
The ground simply vanished.
There was nothing below the ground he stood on.
After seeing the other floating islands that continued off into the distance, Dale abruptly came to the realization that the island he was standing on must be like these other floating islands.
He was standing on an enormous island, one so large it held a mountain range and several forests. Yet, despite its massive size, it floated in the air, not held up by anything.
As he considered the situation, Dale took a closer look at the empty void beneath the island he stood on, gasping in wonder.
Darkness. Eternal, black, nothingness. There was a complete void of existence below this island, as if nothing below it existed. Dale felt that if he were to fall off this island, he would continue to fall forever, never stopping till the moment he died. Even then, in death, his fall would be eternal.
The water that poured out from the large river gushed over the edge of the floating island, running down its side. This water, however, stuck to the edge of the island and the underside, running down it naturally. It was as if the large river naturally flowed with the underside of this enormous floating island, and moved with it.
Dale watched several large fish and a few blurs that moved too quickly for him to clearly make out in the water move through the current and off the edge of the cliff, following the trail of the water. Despite the fact that the river was flowing upside down, the fish seemed to have no qualms about continuing. Dale craned his head as he leaned off the side of the cliff, watching the fish progress till they vanished from his view.
Dale couldn’t wrap his head around it. It should be impossible for anything to be floating up here. Yet, somehow, these islands existed. It didn’t make sense. He shook his head as he stepped back from the cliff, his wonder at the world around him increasing.
A loud pattering noise made Dale twist around, looking behind him. He immediately went on guard, prepared to withdraw the giant claymore he wore on his back, an ancient sword named Aarsasho. He released his grip after a moment, curiosity entering his eyes.
From the long, wide river that cut through the forest he had just exited, a series of loud clacking noises and a man’s yells broke through the air. Splashes of water and the sounds of a fight rang out as someone engaged something else.
Dale stepped forward, curious to see what his first encounter in this world would be like. He was still disoriented from the transportation here, but was rapidly getting use to his new location. From a young age, he had always been forced to adapt to situations that were beyond his control. Experiences like that, as well as the hellish training he went through with his master, made Dale’s mind much stronger then the average for his age.
With a great leap, Dale jumped into the forest. As he ran towards the source of the noise, Dale tapped into a large Core of energy inside him.
In the world Dale had previously lived in, the strongest of warriors were all cultivators, people that stored energy in their body and transformed into powerful fighters. This stored energy would gradually condense, and grow stronger and stronger as time went on.
In terms of power, regular people might be able to punch out with the force of a hundred pounds. Someone with a strong Core, however, could unleash blows in excess of a thousand, ten thousand, even a hundred thousand pounds. Incredible power and strength, these were the two traits valued in Dale’s previous world.
A golden light suffused Dale as he tapped into the Gold Core in his body, raw energy flowing into him. His Core was gold colored due to the level his cultivation had reached, around the middle rank of his world’s cultivation. He would need to reach the Black Gold Core, the Gem Core, and lastly the Gem Crown level if he wanted to reach the peak of power.
However, for a thirteen year old to have reached the Gold Core level, he was truly out of the ordinary.
Dale dashed through the last of the forested area along side the river and entered into a sort of small pond glade. The water stretched out for roughly a hundred meters in a large circle, spreading peaceful ripples.
The center of this small pond, however, was anything but peaceful.
Large waves splashed in the air as a series of small figures slammed into a blackish wooden boat. The boat itself was rather small, only ten feet long and a few feet wide. On top of the rocking boat was an elderly looking man wearing a long, straw hat. He wielded a reddish grey fishing rod in his hand, and was currently beating off several large dark blue fish.
As he took a closer look, Dale realized these fish creatures weren’t quite fish. They were more like part fish part wild beast! They had the head of some type of lizard or dragon, combined with the tail and body of an agile fish. Roughly a dozen of these creatures were harassing the old man and his boat, seeking to sink it.
The old man let out a loud yell as he swung his fishing pole downward in smooth, graceful sweeps. Dale’s eyes twitched as he walked, unable to fully understand the man’s movements.
Immediately, several of the fish were knocked backwards, flying several meters back through the air. However, after the attack, the old man seemed shaken, and the remaining fish closed in on him, preparing to sink the boat and attack the man directly.
With a quiet grunt, Dale grasped onto the energy inherent in his Core and used it to strengthen his already powerful body. With that said, he launched himself forward, cutting through the air like a knife through paper.
Dale didn’t perform any special techniques or Martial Arts as he jumped forward, just using the latent strength in his body and the energy in his core. Yet, the force of his jump actually cracked the earth he had been standing on, damaging the ground.
A second later, Dale slammed down onto the water, creating a large wave that shook the pond. Both the old man and the fish that were attacking stopped and turned, assessing Dale.
Before either of them could make any movements, however, Dale arrived at where the boat was and attacked. He let loose several casual slaps. Each slap he aimed directly at one of the attacking fish creatures, his movements precise and accurate.
Every single fish was instantly blown away. Whether they were monstrous beasts or simple creatures, none of them were able to take even a single blow from Dale. Several large splashes crashed down on the pond already in turmoil as the remaining fish landed after Dale’s slap and fled in terror, the power Dale displayed too frightening.
As he considered his slaps, however, Dale frowned, looking at his hand in confusion.
In his previous world, Dale had practiced a Martial Art called the Fallen Time Knights Art, one that allowed him to use the energy inherent in his Core to manipulate Time Energy.
In the instant that Dale arrived to repel the fish, he had tried to use the energy in his Core like he always did, using it to manipulate Time around him. This was his signature technique, something he combined with his extraordinarily powerful body to make him a powerful fighter. Dale was confident in his strength, being one of the strongest of his generation in his previous world. That combined with his two Heritage Powers and the secret Martial Art his master personally taught him, Dale had been undefeated in his age group.
However, when he tried to perform the same technique here, that of affecting Time, he ran into a barrier. His Core energy worked perfectly well, flowing through him as usual. However, when he tried to manipulate the Time in his vicinity, the energy was rebounded, his efforts producing nothing.
It wasn’t that his technique was failing. If anything, his technique was perfect. The only thing Dale could determine was that the Time energy in the environment here was much more rigid and powerful, and much harder for him to manipulate. It wasn’t impossible, but he felt like it would take a much greater understanding.
He decided to put some effort into testing his powers and the world around him later. For right now, he focused on the present.
“Sir, are you alright?” Dale asked, his voice cracking slightly. Despite not being a full human, he was still 13, and not yet fully grown.
“Dasljgh Javha Va?” The old man responded, speaking a language Dale found unintelligible. Dale looked at him in confusion and shrugged, not understanding.
“Dasljgh, Taras Sutra?” The old man spoke again, looking at Dale gratefully. Dale was currently standing on the water, using his Core energy to help him balance. It was a useful skill he had learned when going through his Master’s merciless teaching.
Dale shrugged again.
“I don’t understand what you’re saying, sorry.” Dale pointed to his mouth and mimed shaking his head, trying to convey his point. The old man watched and nodded, suddenly picking up his fishing rod and motioning for Dale to sit in the boat.
Dale complied, deciding to take this opportunity to learn what he could. He remained on his guard, however, remembering the teachings of his master. Trust was something earned, not given.
The old man rapidly went through several languages, some sounding weird and mysterious, others sounding rough and guttural, all trying to communicate with Dale.
After a few tries, however, the man spoke a language that triggered unexpected memories in Dale’s mind.
The language the man spoke was rough and powerful, crude but at the same time graceful. The words were harsh and jagged, as if even they refused to bend knee.
The moment the elderly man began speaking this language, Dale’s mind exploded in thought.
Dale was half-Titan. This meant that his father or mother, he wasn’t sure which, had been a Titan, a creature that wasn’t human. Titans were a unique species, creatures that contained both incredible power and incredible abilities. It was very hard for a Titan to conceive a child, thus their offspring were very limited.
However, when a Titan had a child, they would pass down something called a Heritage Power. In the case of Titans, it was a mix of abilities, chief of them being increased regeneration, powerful strength, and the ability to transform into something called a Titanic Transformation. Dale could only partially transform, and had yet to fully master his Titan side. It was for this reason that Dale’s natural body was so incredibly strong.
However, besides the strength he gained from his Titan side, he also gained several Inherited Memories. These memories were passed down throughout generations of Titans, and contained the wisdom and tactics of his ancient elders. While Dale didn’t have a full understanding of his memories either, they did allow him to master the Ancient Language that Titans spoke, one called High Common.
“Oh?” The elderly man said, continuing to speak in the guttural but powerful language.
“You speak High Common?”
Dale clutched his head for a moment before nodding, reorganizing his thoughts as he automatically translated what the man said.
“What a rare talent!” The elderly man said, his wizened eyes shining. Dale looked at the man again as he spoke, seeming him in a new light. Instead of just an elderly fisherman, the gaunt elder seemed to have an aura of knowledge and poise. Despite his humble surroundings, he acted like he was a king at court. He had a small white goatee on his chin that accented his strong jaw, and gave him a powerful appearance, despite his lack of any type of Energy emanations. Dale adjusted his opinion of him, a bit unsure how the man had fought against those fish creatures earlier. The man was clearly not a Martial Cultivator.
“Well, first I must thank you! Those Lifish can be troublesome in packs, and I’ve never been particularly powerful hohoho!” The elderly man then stared at Dale curiously.
“So what then are you doing here, on the Great Lake Island? I doubt anyone else here can speak High Common, it’s not exactly a commonly spoken language.”
Dale eyed the old man and responded,
“Uh, well, sir. I’m not exactly sure where here is…”
“Where am I?”