Darkness in the Heavens – Chapter 3

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Chapter 3

 

Authors Notes==================

I hope you enjoy my work 🙂 If you would like to support my writing so I continue, feel free to become one of my Patreons.

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The elderly man looked at Dale in consternation for a moment before the light of understanding dawned on him, as he made some connection about why Dale wouldn’t know where he was.

“Well,” The old man said, gesturing to the area around them, “You’re currently on the Great Lake Island, one of the middling sized islands in the Great Inner Sea.”

“The Great Inner Sea?” Dale questioned, taking in the information. He desperately needed information on where he was, and he paid close attention as the elder continued.

The old man nodded. He gave Dale a short smile as he continued.

“The Great Inner Sea. It separates the three Continental Islands that float above the Void. The island of Jex to the west, the island of Lleyta to the south, and the island of Bolivar to the east. In the center is a last Continental Island, Heaven’s Gateway.” The old man gestured with his arms as he spoke, a scholarly air appearing around him.

“The Great Lake Island is one of the ten Islands controlled by the Emblazoned Wing Sect, a powerful Sect from the land of Jex. We’re currently just a few miles south of Rayman Village, where I now live. This is the outer edge of the Great Lake Island.” The old man paused then, looking at Dale.

“Does that answer your question, youngling?” A twinkle lit up his eyes as he spoke.

“Yes, thank you.” Dale said, rapidly processing the information. It was good enough that he knew his surroundings, even if he didn’t recognize them.

They talked for a few more minutes, with Dale asking questions and the old man responding. As they spoke, the old man began to pilot the boat up the river way, to the north. He set his fishing rod down and picked up a small black oar. Whenever he bent over to row, the boat would fly forward effortlessly. Dale was again confused at how the man did this. From his body strength alone, the scholar before him was clearly not a cultivator.

Dale learned that the island they were on, the Great Lake Island, was indeed as the scholarly figure said. In the Great Inner Sea, it was considered a Mid-Sized Island. It spanned almost a hundred miles, and had several villages dotted all around it. In the center of the island was a majestic city, known as the Great Lake City. This city was easily ten times the size of the various villages dotting the land, and acted as the headquarters for the Emblazoned Wing Sect on this island area. A powerful City Lord ruled the city, as well as the rest of the island, a figure known as City Lord Yang.

The Great Lake Island, and indeed many of the islands in the Great Inner Sea, was ruled by a powerful Sect. Several dozen Sects controlled large tracts of islands and land in the Great Inner Sea, claiming power out here in the archipelago of islands instead of on the mainland of the Three Continental Islands. This was because of the extremely mighty powers that ruled the Continental Islands. According to this old man, three extremely powerful Sects ruled the Continental Island of Jex, while two extremely powerful kingdoms ruled the Continental Island of Lleyta. The Continental Island of Bolivar was ruled by a Profound Beast King that was quite reclusive, and didn’t engage in battles outside of Bolivar. The last major power that existed was the famed Donden Merchant Company.

Dale shook his head as he ran through all the information, focusing on only what was pertinent to him now. He had landed in the territory of the Emblazoned Wing Sect. What he needed to assess right now was how powerful he was in comparison to his surroundings, and to figure out if he was in any danger.

As he began to solidify his plans, Dale took a moment to take a step back and look at the big picture.

Right now, he had one goal, and one goal only.

He must become strong.

Only by becoming strong can he seize what was rightfully his, take what was taken from him, and gain his revenge.

Thus, he decided that every action he took from now on would be focused on gaining strength.

He continued to talk to the old man for a while longer.

“Right, by the way…” The scholarly elder said as he continued to paddle them forward, interrupting Dale. Dale had offered to help, but the kindly elder refused, citing his aid in fighting off those Lifish.

“Do you have a place to stay? From what you say, you aren’t from around here, and arrived here unexpectedly. My house is large enough for a dozen, and I live there alone. You’re welcome to stay for a while.”

=========

In the blink of an eye, a week had passed. Dale had started living in the scholar Gregor Shen’s home. Scholar Shen, as Dale called him, apparently originated from one of the powerful Kingdoms on the continent of Lleyta to the south. He was circumspect about his origins when Dale asked, and he never found out why he was here in the middle of the Great Inner Sea.

Scholar Shen lived on his own in the Rayman village, a regular sized village that housed around four thousand people. The village was small, but close knit. It was run by a group of elders that made decisions based on the majority. The majority of men in the village were hunters, going out to hunt for food for the village in the dozens of miles of forest. Rayman village was the only village within fifteen miles of this southern portion of the island. The forests around them were densely populated with monstrous beasts, and many of the hunters doubled as Beast Hunters, cultivators that hunted down the beasts for food or the natural resources on their bodies.

The monstrous beasts of this world, Dale learned, were different then the monstrous beasts on his previous world. In his previous world, monstrous beasts were powerful because of their natural strength. Most monstrous beasts, however, lacked the ability to cultivate, and could only rely on their physical strength. Their powerful bodies

In this strange new world, however, monstrous beasts were completely different. The chief difference lay in potential.

Almost every monstrous beast on this world had the ability to cultivate. Now, this didn’t mean all monstrous beasts actually did cultivate, or were extremely powerful, or were even intelligent. Only the strongest of beasts had intelligence, and even they took time to cultivate.

However, the majority of beasts were able to cultivate.

From this, Dale also learned a fact that shook him to his core.

The people of this world didn’t just follow a single cultivation style. Instead, various seniors from the Sects and Kingdoms over the hundreds of thousands of years that this world had existed had accumulated different cultivation styles. There were literally dozens, some said hundreds, of different cultivation styles present on this world. It could be said that simply by walking around a major city, one would run into a hundred people cultivating a different style.

All of these styles had one end goal. To make one strong enough that they could survive Ascension and strive to reach the legendary Immortal Planes.

Dale’s eyes lit up when he heard about the Immortal Planes. That was where Myra had been taken, he knew, as well as where Feng had gone. Sora… He wasn’t really sure where Sora had gone, but he figured Sora would be fine. He was a tough guy.

Right now, however, Dale had to focus.

Thus, he put his mind back to the information he gained about the monstrous beasts of this world.

Instead of being called monstrous beasts, like the creatures of his last world, the beings here were called Profound Beasts, after the profound mysteries many of them were said to hide.

The Profound Beasts of this world that also cultivated had bodies that were both extremely powerful and extremely lucrative. When the energy that the beasts of this world cultivated with fused with their bodies, it naturally enriched and empowered the Profound Beast’s skin and hide. This enriched skin and hide, as well as the various spikes, claws, and teeth, were extremely powerful and very valuable to cultivators of all kinds. The organs they held often contained healing powers when refined, and the flesh itself was a delicacy. From creating powerful potions to crafting extraordinary tools or mysterious treasures, powerful beasts were treasure troves.

He also learned that Profound Beasts had what was called a Profound Core. Profound Cores, Dale learned, were required for almost all styles of cultivation in this world.

Indeed, over the past week, Dale had tried several times to meditate and cultivate. He found, however, that the energy in this world was extremely raw and powerful. He could sense the wild, fluctuating natural energy, but he couldn’t tap into it or control it just using his own Core. The energy was too rigid, and at the same time, too ferocious.

In this world, Profound Beasts were the only beings that were able to absorb the natural energy of the world and cultivate. Martial Cultivators, like Dale, were forced to hunt down Profound Beasts and use their Profound Cores for the energy they needed to cultivate.

Thus, a delicate balance had been born between human and beast. The human race was faster at cultivating, and gained strength faster. However, they could only cultivate by hunting down the Profound Cores of Profound Beasts. Profound Beasts, on the other hand, were slower at cultivating, and grew in strength at a slower degree. They could cultivate just using natural energy, however, and didn’t need to rely on Profound Cores. Humanity couldn’t afford to wipe the Profound Beasts out, and thus the balance. Despite humanity controlling two Continental Islands and two thirds of the Great Inner Sea, they didn’t pressure the third continent of Bolivar, where the Profound Beast King reigned.

Because of his failure to cultivate his Core level to any degree over the past couple days, Dale decided to set off on a hunt. He had explored the cursory area surrounding the village over the past week, but had avoided interacting with any of the villagers. He decided he would maintain a low profile till he was certain of his strength in this world.

From what he could tell, Dale felt that he was much stronger than the villagers that lived here in the village. Despite that, however, he was still rather intimidated by how powerful in general everyone was. Even the most regular villagers were cultivators, having used a Profound Beast Core once or twice in their lives to cultivate.

In terms of degree of strength, even the weakest villager was equal to a warrior at the Steel Core stage, a stage only two levels lower then Dale’s Core stage. In his previous world, while the Steel Core stage wasn’t considered strong for a cultivator, it wasn’t considered extremely weak either. One would be dozens of times stronger than the regular people, powerful in the extreme in comparison.

However, here on this new world, a person at the Steel Core stage could only be considered average, or even weak. Everyone here was a cultivator.

The strongest hunter in the village was someone named Lei Bao. The villagers here, and many of the people in this area, as well as those that lived on the Continental Island of Jex, all of them went by their last and first name. Also, for some strange reason, they said their last name first, and then their first name last. Thus, Dale mentally addressed him as Lei Bao.

Lei Bao, Dale learned from the Scholar Shen, was a Beast Hunter that cultivated the style most people in this village followed, the Boulder Heart Cultivation Technique. The Boulder Heart Cultivation Technique was a cultivation art where one absorbed energy from Profound Beast Cores through their palms. They would take this energy and then form a small pebble of power in their body. From this pebble, they would gradually add more and more energy, growing the small pebble till it formed into a giant boulder.

As the energy transmitted itself through their palms and into their body to form their “Boulder Heart,” their palms would toughen and grow stronger and stronger. At the higher levels of this cultivation art, one’s palms would have the strength to stop steel with their bare hand, or shatter stone like tofu. This, combined with the powerful support energy the “Boulder Heart” could supply, made the cultivation art quite powerful.

Lei Bao had practiced to the 4th Level of the Boulder Heart Cultivation Technique, and was the only person in the entire village to have reached such a degree of strength. Thus, he deserved his spot as the number one expert in the Rayman village.

Dale had compared his Core Energy strength with the raw energy that Lei Bao’s Boulder Heart supplied him, spying on him when he was out hunting. He found that the 4th Level of the Boulder Heart Cultivation Technique was almost roughly equal to his own Gold Core level of cultivation. In terms of raw power, he would wager that their cultivation level was roughly equal. Dale felt that his own technique might even be inferior at this level, due to the strengthening aspect Lei Bao gained in his palms.

However, cultivation was not everything.

Dale was the direct descendant of a Titan and a Fallen Angel. His body was incomparably powerful, and even if he didn’t use a single speck of energy from his cultivation Core, he could still easily trounce anyone in the village. This was also without using the special power his master had taught him, an ability he was confident no one else possessed.

Regardless, now that Dale knew he needed to hunt a Profound Beast and gain its Core to cultivate, Dale immediately set to work. His number one priority right now was gaining strength, and the only way to grow stronger was to cultivate.

Thus, Dale set off on his first hunt.

 

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ciclonzmr
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ciclonzmr
4 months 18 days ago

Thanks for the chapter.

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