They sat on the cold, hard dungeon floor, neither one spoke a word. Struck by the gripping disdain of a failed plan, the just allowed the silence to prevail. V was annoyed. Although the situation was dire, she was only annoyed by the turn of events.
Due to her upbringing, she had a very strong mentality, so she still had a good head on her shoulders. Bastian was thinking, trying to come up with a plan, he had no idea what they should do, but he didn’t let that phase him.
Bastian was a scientist in his previous life. He was used to constantly trying to solve problems. Added to that is the fact that he had already accepted death in his previous life. As a result, his mind had the fortitude of two souls. It was not strange at all that he was calm.
He wasn’t afraid of death, nor was he afraid of capture. He simply wanted to enjoy his new life as much as possible.
During his moments of thinking about cultivation, Bastian had an idea.
“I can control the flakes around me, can’t I do the same around others?”
This idea came randomly, but it firmly planted itself in his mind.
Soul F and energy sensitivity played a huge part in one’s ability to absorb World Energy. Bastian had a lot of both. Not to mention he could practically see the energy itself, which he was confident should not be possible.
If he did have the ability to manipulate energy belonging to others, he would have a huge advantage. There was only one issue.
Now in the dungeon, Bastian decided to resolve it.
“V, what elemental affinities do you have? Also mention how strong they are.”
V frowned at Bastian’s question.
“What does that have to do with our current situation?”
Bastian could only control fire and water energies. He didn’t know what elemental affinities V had because she was always wearing enchanted shackles. This prevented her from cultivating any World Energy whatsoever, so it was never around her.
“Just answer my question, this is very important. If your answer is what I am hoping for, we could get out of this problem.” Bastian’s face was very serious as he spoke.
V knew him well enough to know that this was not a joke.
“I have 3 affinities. Fire, metal and earth. I have a perfect affinity for metal and an excellent affinity for both fire and earth.”
Bastian was stunned. Three elements! She had an affinity for 3 elements! This was a once in a lifetime prodigy! And they were all excellent and above.
Kingdoms would destroy each other over such a prodigy.
The inkume truly deserve their reputation.
Bastian shivered at the thought of what she would become in the future but this was good. At least there was a chance that he could control her fire energy.
Bastian calmed his mind and focused. He asked V to give him her hands. Although confused, she obliged, curious to see what he would do.
Bastian activated his e-vision. As usual no flakes were near her. Most of the fire flakes however were around Bastian.
After attempting to cultivate, Bastian realized something. Whenever he attempted to take in world energy, some invisible force would cover a flake completely. It would then carry it towards Bastian.
Bastian guessed that this was power from one’s soul, because this force gave him the same vibe as that he had experienced during the Soul Sworn ritual. That ritual was powered by the Meister’s soul so, no mana or qi was required.
Cultivators named this force Soul Force. He was curious to see if he could use his Soul Force, to place fire world energy into V’s body. Her shackles prevented her from using her own Soul Force from doing so, and helping someone cultivate using one’s own soul was unheard of. After all, World Energy was invisible. One could only wrap Soul Force around world energy that was in contact or very close to one’s own body.
It was like blindfolding one’s self, picking up a ball which had ever seen or felt, making it impossible to know its exact position, and throwing that ball at a target one has never seen before.
Another person’s body is different from other people. There is a reason why people spend years attempting to sense energy before properly cultivating. One has to guide the energy, according to the right paths, not to mention that the case like this one, the other party was not supposed to resist.
Except at that particular moment, Bastian wasn’t blind folded. He could see! Or rather he could at least see the ball. He could easily cover fire’s world energy and give it to her. The only issue was that he did not know her body.
Thus Bastian’s solution was simple. Why not just explore it with soul force?
Normally one could only use soul force to cover world energy, but of one had a soul as powerful as Bastian’s, it would be very easy to use it to make it slightly tangible and explore other people’s bodies. Bastian had been experimenting with his Soul Force for the last few months.
He had used it to explore V’s body countless times. Of course without her knowing. For this was tantamount to seeing her naked. Bastian had no qualms with this, because he told himself that it was in the pure pursuit of knowledge.
Thus he could easily guide the energy to the correct pores on her skin and bring it in. The only issue was whether or not her body would accept energy that wasn’t brought by her own soul force.
The enchanted shackles prevented her own Soul Force from leaving and operating her in her own body but would the same restriction apply to another person’s Soul Force?. Bastian told her to accept any World Energy she felt. He also told her not to resist.
V did not understand what he meant by this but she nodded anyway. Bastian started focusing really hard. This was a delicate move he had never done before. So he had to be as careful as possible.
That’s when V felt it. World energy! She could feel fire world energy entering her body!
How is this possible?
In her bewildered state V forgot the issue her body had. This issue was the reason why Ben had found her feeling weak and powerless, even though she was a cultivator.
She had been poisoned. This wasn’t any normal poison. It was a poison that flares up once it senses world energy.
It was designed to attack the soul of the host once it senses any World Energy. Once it comes into contact with World Energy, it devoured the Soul Force guiding the energy and tracing it back to the host. An attack to one’s soul was far more painful than the one to one’s own body.
“Yes I’ve done it. Now to get her to cultivate and convert this energy into qi!”
Bastian was thrilled that it was working. It seemed that his idea worked.
The poison in V’s body noticed the sudden influx of World Energy and headed to the source. It attacked Bastian’s Soul Force.
V realized this too late, she was about to warn Bastian, when something strange happened. The moment the poison attacked Bastian’s Soul Force, it disappeared!
From Bastian’s point of view, some weird energy got into contact with his Soul Force. Since it looked like it was obstructing him, he simply used his Soul Force to devour it. Luckily for him, this energy actually was mostly made up of an energy similar to Soul Force. So after devouring this energy, Bastian’s own Soul Force powered up.
This is Soul Food!
Bastian had heard of certain substances that were designed to increase one’s Soul Force. These were collectively called Soul Food. Rightly so, because it felt like eating a delicious meal to him.
Bastian immediately spread out his Soul Force to search for more of this ‘Soul Food’ and he found it all over her body. He was overjoyed. He devoured all the ‘Soul Food’ he found, which practically was all over V’s body, and he did so in a matter of seconds.
That’s strange. I never noticed this weird energy in the past when I checked her body before. Why did it suddenly show up now?
This poison was of the highest tier. It would never reveal itself unless it sensed World Energy and was almost impossible to find unless one was very familiar with it.
“V I put some fire world energy into your body, start cultivating now.”
Bastian’s words brought V out of her stupor. She had no idea what just happened.
V: “Bastian, what did you do in my body?
Bastian: “Like I said I put some-
V: “I’m not talking about that!”
V’s sudden outburst surprised Bastian, it came from nowhere.
“I am talking about what your Soul Force did to the substance in my body.”
Bastian realized that she was probably referring to the ‘Soul Food’ he had found.
Maybe it’s some sort of rare substance used to increase soul power in her tribe. Soul Food is hard to come by after all. If that was true, then she was probably angry because I finished it. That would explain why she shouted!
Bastian had no idea how far off the mark he was. In an attempt to clear his own name, he quickly thought of an excuse.
“Listen V, it wasn’t my fault, the Soul Food automatically latched itself to my Soul Force. I had no choice but to eat it. It was obstructing me, so I had to eat it. Don’t worry I will definitely reimburse you in the future. I promise.”
As soon as V heard his words she was horrified. Her face became pale and had a very ugly expression to behold.
Soul Food? He thinks it is Soul Food!?
V looked at Bastian as if she was seeing a monster, and rightly so at that moment.
The poison in her system was a soul poison of the highest tier designed to attack the soul. In most cases it would kill one or at least put one in a permanent coma, making that person a vegetable. V had a very powerful soul so she could somewhat resist the poison. Although she never said it, she was always in pain. The damage the poison had done to her soul was not light.
As an Inkume, it was unbefitting for her to show weaknesses, thus she bore it quietly. Over sometime, her body lost all of its qi and World Energy, and her soul was constantly under siege from the poison. There actually was no need for the shackles.
She didn’t want to mention the poison, because she was afraid Bastian would abandon her if she did. Even though she had no cultivation, her knowledge of the human body and deadly skills were still there. As long as she was a Student or Novice, she was confident she could hold her own in a fight.
This poison was called Soul Crawler Poison. It was extremely expensive and hard to make. The antidote even more so. She had lost all hope of fixing her cultivation, so she had accepted her fate.
Yet Bastian appeared. Using the sheer power of his soul, he consumed the poison and used it to nourish his own soul. Such a concept was absurd to her. According to common sense, no soul can be that powerful.
Doesn’t that mean he is immune to virtually all soul poisons and spells?
V realized that perhaps she had stumbled against a true freak of nature. She also knew the reason why Bastian could not cultivate.
With a soul this powerful, harmonizing fire and water should be as easy as breathing… Unless he did not realize this himself?
He can devour Soul Crawler Poison but he can not harmonize energy. Even if it was fire and water, he should have been able to do it.
This was like a seeing a master swordsman who did not know how to hold a knife!
Just who is this boy?
V quickly got over her shock and told Bastian to circulate the world energy once around her body. That way, it would become qi, and she could break these shackles with ease.
Bastian was surprised that he had convinced her, despite the extreme unhappiness she had just showed her. So, eagerly, he complied.
Once World Energy was circulated once around one’s harmonizes with that individual’s body and is converted into qi or mana.
Bastian already knew her body in and out, so he did this with ease. V thought she would have to carefully guide him, but he once more surprised her. In fact, he circulated the energy better than when she had done it herself!
Doesn’t that mean he knows my own body more than me?
V eyed Bastian like a hawk. He was becoming too much of an enigma. If there was one thing assassins did not like, it was the unknown. Bastian did not know which cultivation method she had used, so he just randomly chose a path around her body. V immediately covered her body in fire qi, and burned the shackles off. She relished the feeling of having power once again. She immediately started sucking in all the World Energy she could, like an endless black hole. Bastian still had his e-vision on, so he saw this in its entirety. Now it was his turn to be astonished. He wasn’t the only freak.
For she was not an upper Student, she was actually a middle Fighter!