Chapter 7 – Discution Between Brothers

A week passed quickly. During this period, each student progressed at their own pace. Apart from crystal essence control, lessons on how to contain the appearance of illusory seeds outside of one’s body, lessons on survival through the rifts as well as lectures on the anatomy of certain crystal beasts, had been taught to newly awakened students.


In the corner of a training room at Ozryn Academy, a student and a giant wolf were facing each other for several seconds when suddenly the wolf leaped towards the student, its giant claws quickly pointing toward him. The student crossed his arms in front of his chest to stop the blow when scales covered his arms, managing to take the full blow without being pushed back.


A smile appeared on Thomas’s face for a moment when he saw a tail coming towards him from the corner of his eye, sweeping his legs and causing him to stumble to the ground.


He rolled on the ground, trying to get up as quickly as he could to be greeted by another pair of claws that pointed at him. He used all his strength in his legs to dodge the attack before giving a punch to the wolf’s head.


Kieran backed away quickly before shaking his head to collect himself.


“You and your damn scales! You’re too tough.”


“You and your weird moves! Since when does a wolf use his tail to attack?!”


Without saying another word, the two threw themselves once again on each other, arriving in front of Thomas. Kieran again gave a blow with his claws when Thomas dodged again, and he was about to give him a blow to the head, Kieran canceled his giant transformation ability, instantly losing 1m50 in height. He easily dodged the incoming fist before reactivating his ability and throwing himself on Thomas, making him fall to the ground. He put his front legs on him before exerting all his strength, blocking him on the spot.


Kieran had learned this trick during his training with Thomas through the week. He could cancel the giant’s transformation to change his size and dodge an attack.


Thomas did his best to resist this enormous strength while his scales began to crack one after the other until they could no longer bear it.


“I give up. You win this round. Let me breathe.”


Returning to his human form, Kieran looked at him with a smile.


“Another victory for me!”


“How can you be so happy to win against me? You have two crystal seeds. It’s normal for you to win in a match.”


“I may have two crystal seeds but I have to cultivate both while you only cultivate one. Your abilities improve faster than mine. Besides, without a crystal core, my crystal seeds make slow progress.”


A golden halo appeared in Kieran’s right eye before he inspected his two crystal seeds which had their roots growing slightly over the past week.


[ Kieran Arvost]
[Crystal Seed Status (1):
Name: Wolf Transformation
Refinement Rate: 1.0188/100]
[Crystal Seed Status (2):
Name: Giant Transformation
Refinement Rate: 1.0179/100]
[Crystal Essence: 2.0367]


‘Sigh, without any resources, it will take me years to become a powerful cultivator at this rate.’


“Once the maximum crystal essence is reached in your crystal trees, you will always have twice the crystal essence of anyone in your rank, it’s really a cheat!”


“Maybe, but the effort that I have to provide is also double the others in my rank. If I progress at this rate, I can do nothing when the competition starts. Those who come from rich families will surely already be at the Bronze rank by then.”


“We have no choice. Cultivation resources are expensive, and going into rifts is dangerous.”


‘Rifts… If I want to progress faster, the only way is to cross one.’


Kieran looked around the room for a figure when he found his teacher.


“Wait for me, Thomas, I’ll be back in a moment.”


“Are you planning to ask permission to be absent from class to go to a rift?”


Kieran looked at Thomas for a moment.


“How do you know?”


“I’ve known you for years, and you’ve been complaining about your growing speed for a week. It was only a matter of time before you wanted to cross a rift.”


“Do you want to come with me?”


Thomas looked at Kieran for a moment before lowering his head.


“Sorry Kieran, I can’t come with you. I’m the only one in my family with a spiritual world, it’s still too early for me to cross a rift.”


Kieran understood Thomas’s feelings. His family must expect a lot from him. If he had an accident in a rift, it’s not just him but his whole family who would pay the price.


He gave Thomas a light tap on the shoulder.


“Don’t worry, if we both go into the rift, nothing will be left for the other expedition teams.” Kieran said with a smile on his face.


A slight smile appeared on Thomas’ face as he watched Kieran approach their teacher.


“Teacher Marsk, can I talk to you for a minute?”


Teacher Marsk examined Kieran for any wounds on his body, finding none. He nodded before following him to talk between them.


“Do you need help with your training Kieran?”


The teacher couldn’t think of anything other than this, Kieran’s body wasn’t hurt. He could only come to him to ask for some advice.


“No, teacher, I would like permission to be away from class for a while.”


“Why do you want to be absent during this training period? Are you having problems Kieran?”


“No, I want to request a time off so I can go on a rift expedition.”


The teacherraised an eyebrow at that request.


“Are your parents okay with that?”


“I don’t have their permission yet, but I plan to ask them at the end of class. I want permission for an absence now so I can leave tomorrow morning.”


Teacher Marsk was lost in his thoughts. Kieran was a serious student. He kept an eye on him since the beginning of the training. He was one of the students who always gave his all during exercise. After spending several minutes thinking about the pros and cons, he decided to accept.


“I will authorize your absence as long as you have the agreement of your parents. Try to return before the beginning of the competition.”


“Thank you, Teacher. I’ll do my best!”


At the end of the class, he returned home to discuss with his parents. Without any surprise, his mother was against the idea that he goes into a spatial rift.


“You can’t go into a rift. You’ve only awakened your abilities a week ago, it’s too dangerous!”


“I wouldn’t go into dangerous areas, and I wouldn’t overestimate myself either.”


“No, I refuse! You’re still just a child!”


At that moment, his father looked him in the eye.


“Why do you want to go into a rift?”


“I want to train, and I also want to obtain some crystals core to cultivate. Staying here without a crystals core will cause me to wait years before breakthrough the ranks.”


Seeing the resolve in his son’s eyes, Davis hesitated momentarily before giving up trying to convince him.


“Don’t do anything rash when you’re in the rift. If you can, try to find a reliable team to hunt with.”


“Davis! You can’t let him go!”


“Sophia, he’s growing up. We won’t be able to protect him all this life. He has to make his own choices.”


His mother started to cry while hugging his father. Seeing his mother in such a state tore his heart out, but he had no other choice if he wanted to become stronger. To advance on the path of cultivation, one could not stick to staying safe from all danger.


***


Back in his chamber, he accessed the aurora net. One hour passed, during which Kieran had searched for everything that could help him, all the rifts around Ozryn and their surroundings, all the crystal beasts he would find on the other side of these rifts, the location of their crystal core inside their body and anything that could help me during his time inside the rift.


As he sifted through any information that might be useful to him, the door to his chamber slowly opened.


Ryan stood at the door, staring at him momentarily before opening his mouth.


“I saw Mom. She told me you were planning to cross a rift.”


“That’s right. Do you want to come with me?” answered Kieran while nodding.


“Are you kidding me? You want me, an E grade, to come with you? Why are you even going to a rift? Are you stupid? You haven’t listened in class how dangerous the rift can be?”


“Even if I’m not as smart as you, Ryan, I know that rift can be dangerous, but if we want to follow the cultivation path, we can’t stay hidden forever.”


“Following the paths of cultivation? It’s easy for you to say! You have a double awakening, and each of your crystal seeds is grade D! Don’t compare me to you, who got all the luck of this family!”


Kieran frowned at his brother’s outburst of anger.


“A rank is only a rank. You, who are first in the academy’s theoretical exams, should know it better than the others. Our paths are not fixed. It’s not because you have awakened a grade E crystal seed that you can’t make any progress on the path of cultivation.”


“It’s just bullshit that the alliance says to give hope to the weak who can’t afford it! You know it as well as I do, Kieran, with a grade E crystal seed, I could only reach Bronze rank in my whole life!! Even you who have grade D crystal seeds will only be able to reach the Gold Rank!”


Kieran started to get angry when he saw tears in the corners of his brother’s eyes. The threatening words that were going to come out of his mouth due to his anger were extinguished in an instant.


“I won’t stop at Gold rank!”


“What?!”


A look of surprise appeared on Ryan’s face as Kieran continued his words.


“I will not stop at Gold rank. Rather than accept an unfair life, I prefer to fight it. I want to become stronger, to be able to explore the Aegis Alliance and the universe freely, not to remain enchained to this city or even this planet all my life.”


Ryan was about to retort when he looked Kieran in the eye, seeing in them only absolute trust, no doubt, no fear could be seen in it.


“Do what you want.” Ryan said before leaving.


“You may have given up after seeing the grade of your crystal seed, but I won’t give up on you. I will find a way to improve your crystal seed.”

Kieran whispered as he stared at Ryan’s back as he walked away.

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