Chapter 18 – Crystal Essence Claw

The next day was the beginning of the weekend. The academy being closed, Kieran continued his training with the Crystal Essence Claw technique.


Kieran’s training program was to make the crystal essence film even denser until he succeeded in solidifying them, but this part of his training didn’t go as well as the first.


Despite all his attempts, he could not solidify the crystal essence around his claws.


“Maybe I should practice on targets instead of staying locked in my room.”


Leaving his house, he headed for the Ozryn training center. It was a training center built especially for the cultivators, their installation allowing a complete training of the body and the abilities of a cultivator without needing to be concerned about the damage caused to their environment.


He arrived at the training center after several minutes. When he entered, he rented a personal training room. Once inside, he checked the many options available to him.


He found he could use humanoid training dummies of different stages and ranks.


In addition to the ranks of the crystal trees, there were different stages at each rank which were divided into four stages according to the refinement rate the crystal tree had undergone. From 0 to 40% of crystal essence refinement was called Early stage, from 40% to 70% crystal essence was called Middle stage, 70% to 90% was called Late stage, and 90% to 100% crystal essence was called Peak stage.


Continuing to check all the options, Kieran found an option that allowed a full evaluation of his body and abilities.


After choosing the evaluation option, an opening appeared on the ground. A seat filled with cables came out. Sitting on it, all the cables attached to his body automatically.


“Please activate your abilities so that the evaluation can begin.”


A voice echoed in the room, Kieran followed the instructions, and his body took the form of a lycan.


“Evaluation… Evaluation Complete. Crystal Strength Level: 87.2.”


“87.2…”


A golden halo filled with ancient inscriptions appeared in his right eye.


[ Kieran Arvost]
[Crystal Seed Status (1):
Name: Wolf Transformation
Refinement Rate: 40.34/100]
[Crystal Seed Status (2):
Name: Giant Transformation
Refinement Rate: 40.18/100]
[Crystal Essence: 80.52]


“From the information I was able to find on the aurora net, the crystal strength level at the Iron ranks is roughly between 1 and 100. The higher an evolver’s abilities, physical strength, and crystal essence are, the higher the crystal strength will be, in turn. Usually, a cultivators crystal strength score is close to their crystal essence level. I don’t know if it’s due to my lycan form, but my crystal strength level exceeds my amount of crystal essence. I wonder how much crystal strength I will have once my two crystal trees are fully refined.”


He stopped thinking about his crystal strength level and decided to choose to use a training dummy at the peak stage of the Iron rank.


Cables came out of the walls, building a humanoid made of mechanical parts. Once the last part was placed, the training dummy came to life.


Kieran could configure the movements the dummy could do and the techniques he could use. He chose all the options that could make him more powerful and more vicious in his attacks.


As soon as he had activated the dummy’s options, this one rushed on him, sending his mechanical limbs against Kieran’s frail body.


Kieran took his lycan form again, throwing himself against the dummy.


“Crystal Essence Claw!”


A dense film of crystal essence covered each of its claws, slicing through the dummy’s incoming arm. Only a shrill noise echoed in the room, Kieran’s blow left only superficial white stripes on the dummy’s arm.


A mechanical fist entered his sight, catching him off guard, the dummy’s fist slammed into his head, shaking his brain violently.


He took several steps back, his head spinning, his vision was blurry but the dummy wouldn’t stop, the options Kieran had chosen tell him to do everything against his opponent, and that is exaclty what he did.


Kieran was having trouble thinking in this state, he tried to escape the dummy, but the mechanical hand was like an omnipotent shadow, tracking his every move until it reached his chest.


The blow shook his insides, and his body was thrown against the wall of the room as he coughed up blood.


Looking up at the dummy, Kieran saw him come back to him without any delay, pressing his body against the wall, using it as support to dodge the dummy’s incoming attack.


Kieran was running around the room dodging as best he could the dummy’s attacks which had unpredictable movements, it seemed that no matter what he tried to do, it was impossible for him to escape from the dummy’s hands.


He had no choice but to try to use Crystal Essence Claw to resist the dummy attack. His claws and the mechanical fist collided countless times before he couldn’t move anymore.


The dummy stopped moving when Kieran fell to the ground exhausted, he had been fighting the training dummy for an hour now, his body had long since returned to a human form, his fingers were bleeding from the many collisions he had with the training dummy during this period.


His chest rose and fell at a rapid pace, he was panting heavily in the room.


“Damn… Why is that dummy so strong?! He’s only at the peak stage of the Iron Rank. I should at least be able to withstand his blows!”


Kieran had forgotten that he had increased the dummy’s physical prowess to the same level as that of a beast at the peak stage of Iron rank and had also allowed him to use any techniques he had in his database, allowing him to display great prowess in battle.


“At least he didn’t beat me for nothing.”


He raised his bloody hand in front of his face, a pair of claws made of crystal essence had appeared. Four of them looked ethereal, but the fifth had a solid shape resembling a real claw.


He spent the rest of the day with the training dummy, trying to master the Crystal Essence Claw technique.


By the end of the day, he had managed to form each of his claws into a solid essence crystal. While driving home, he received a call from Thomas.


“Hey, Kieran! You’re finally back!”


“I came back yesterday, but it was too late for me to join the classes.”


“I see. Did teacher Marsk message you?”


“Teacher Marsk? No, why?”


“The date for the competition between the classes of the Ozryn academy has been announced. It will take place in three days. Our class must go inside the virtual capsule room A-31.”


“Did they announce the type of rift they’re sending us to?”


“No, only the date has been released for now. We have yet to learn about the environment or the type of crystal beasts we will encounter inside. Are you coming back to class on Monday? “


Kieran paused for a moment.


‘There are three days left before the competition starts, and I haven’t told Teacher Marsk which day I will return exactly. I can take advantage of these three days to improve my control of the Crystal Essence Claw technique.’


“I will be back on the day of the competition. Until then, I will try to train as much as I can.”


“Okay, see you in three days then.”


After ending the call, Kieran went home before having dinner with his family.

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