The two illusionary swords clashed, again and again, each strike bouncing lighting of Beck’s blade against Jace’s body.
The boy called upon his Essence, swiftly dashing away from his examinee, his wings vanishing shortly after.
Jace was breathing heavily, his body filled with light bruises. Each impact of his opponent’s sword released lighting to the surroundings, most of which would jolt Jace if he was anywhere in the vicinity.
At the beginning of the combat, he thought Beck’s technique was purely offensive, but, after trading blows back and forth, he got to realize it was far more than that.
Beck didn’t use a shield, at least not in this battle, because of that, each block had to be performed with his sword, allowing him to gain value with his ability both when attacking and defending.
“Are you ready to give up Fairway?”
“For the last time, no!”
They had been fighting for the better part of half an hour, his Essence was running out, he could at most summon his wings one last time. Thus far he landed no attacks on Beck, the same couldn’t be said the other way around. The adventurer didn’t injure Jace directly, but his technique was slowly wearing down the recruit.
“There is no way this is fair! Your technique makes it impossible to attack you without being damaged.”
“Skill, the proper term is the skill.” Beck pushed away some strings of black hair to clear his vision. “No skill or spell is flawless. Some can be countered, others easily avoided and the majority consumes resources from the user.”
“If you want to win a duel against another Essence user, the trick is to know how to exploit the few openings you see.” he drew out the Mirage Chamber control plate, looking at it for a moment before stashing it away. “I will give you one more chance before concluding the evaluation.”
Jace rose his sword above his head, gripping its handle with both hands. In a final effort, he charged Beck recklessly.
“You shouldn’t allow your feelings to take over the moment.” he said, lifting the lighting sword to block the rookie final push.
The swords were about to meet for one last time when Jace squeezed out every bit of his Essence, sprouting wings in an instant. In a blur the boy re-appeared behind Beck, his sword descending towards the adventurer’s back. He was doing it, finally, he could get in a solid hit.
“Sorry buddy, I have a reputation to keep.” Beck smiled.
He clenched his free hand into a fist. Drops of water appeared out of thin air around Jace, he acknowledged defeat.
“Aquatic Prison.” with those final words, Beck brought forth a Water Essence spell.
The drops of liquid zoomed in on Jace, growing in size during the way. Soon the boy found himself trapped in a giant bubble of water, choking because of the lack of air.
“Sorry about that.” Beck relaxed his hand, dismantling the spell.
“You…” Jace clung for air, breathing deeply each time. “Two Essences?! Isn’t that too much against me?”
The adventurer laughed and helped Jace up.
“I couldn’t have you injure me.” he tapped something on the Chamber plate and both swords vanished, just as every bruise and drop of water on Jace. “My reputation would fall to the ground.”
“Have I done anything worthy of mentioning at least?”
“You’ll figure that out downstairs. It’s getting late and we still need to finish the registration.”
“We don’t have all day.” the boy conceded with a nod.
Beck eyed Jace with suspicion, poking his face playfully.
“I think you are spending too much time on Aliot’s laboratory.” he laughed. “You are starting to sound like him.”
Jace was waiting on one of the multiple chairs on the first floor, it was up to Beck to finish the registration procedures, so he could relax for a bit.
His mind drifted off to the dream of the dragon and how it felt connected to his Essence. He had been having the same dream for an entire year, however, after the magic infusion and Essence awakening, the dream changed. It started to progress rather than replay the same moment repeatedly.
It felt odd yet it was a part of him; he got confused during the Vinehound test when the dream came to him while he was still awake and despite feeling like an eternity, not even a second seemed to pass in reality.
He smiled with excitement; he was an adventurer now and how his Essence worked was just one more adventure to complete, his own quest. He could always ask Aliot more about it, but for now, he wanted to go home and start packing.
Across the room, Beck was making his way to Jace’s table and the boy promptly got up.
“Is everything ok? Am I official now?”
“Sadly, no Fairway.” Beck eyed the boy, confusion filling the child’s face. “You will require this to be official.” the man laughed, bringing out a metallic card with Jace’s face in its center surrounded by some runes.
“The membership!” Jace picked it up instantly.
“There are still some things you need to do.” Beck pointed to the membership. “First you need to absorb it, bound it to you, after that your view of being an adventurer will expand a lot.”
“My mother used to say that your membership is like a new limb.”
“She is right. Now, circle your Essence around your body.”
Jace did as told, allowing the burning sensation to reach every corner of his body, this time it felt a lot more natural. He watched the membership floating into the air, slowly gaining bright. Jace was about to reach for it, but the metal card reacted first, piercing his being and disappearing in his torso.
“It went inside…”
“Feel your mind, you will find something that wasn’t there some seconds ago. Once you do, will it to activate.”
Just as Beck said, Jace found it lying on the corner of his mind. He reached for it resulting in a magical blue square greeting him. Stumbling back, he almost crashed with his chair.
“What was that? It appeared and vanished.”
“It’s your very own adventurer status, with your ranking and Essences, it also works as a way for the Association to track you around and contact you easily.”
Jace inhaled and focused on it again, bringing the magical status back.
|Name: Jace Darland Fairway||Rank: Iron||Gender: Male|
|Essences: 1/1||Age: 18|
Dragon [Shifter] [Power | Speed]
Dragon Aspect [Active] [Cost: Moderate] [Progression: 5.63%]
- Call forth an aspect of a dragon.
“So much information, it’s amazing.”
“A few. The labels with numbers what are they?”
“They are the four prominent aspects of an adventurer.” Beck began.
“Power and Speed rule your physical attributes, while Magic your ability to draw upon spells. Recovery is a bit more tricky, but can be one of the most important attributes, as the name explains it helps you recover, both physically, mentally and your Essence reserves.”
Jace allowed the status to vanish and pondered for a minute.
“I have Power and Speed beside my Essence. I assume those are the attributes that somehow go along well with it, right?”
“Correct Fairway. Not only that, but actions using your Essence will mostly rely on the attributes beside it.”
Jace pulled the magical information back to view making some sense of it before resuming the questioning.
“I think I get all of it besides one thing. How do I get more Essences?”
“To begin with the number of Essences, each person starts with can range from one to three. To get more Essences, you first need to rank up as an adventurer, the Association will then provide you the items to unlock more Essence slots, so to speak, finding new Essences is up to you.”
“Thank you, Mister Beck.” Jace bowed slightly.
“Don’t mention it, kid. Go home, spend time with your family. I want you here tomorrow morning.”
“I will join a Guild right?”
Beck nodded and turned around, vanishing with the usual light from Zone Shift.
Jace grinned, his dreams becoming a reality. He couldn’t wait to share the news with his family and promptly left the building running through Leaf Valley streets, the moon his only companion.
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Hi there, I'm Rxlr, and I am writing the web novel Path To Adventure.
I'm a university student and a passionate writer who loves to create worlds and stories, most of the time I used to do that as I fell asleep, but lately life seems to quickly be catching up and I decided to put my dreaming abilities to the test.
I'm entirely new to this and hope to share my learning and creative process with all those who support me, regardless of how they do it.
Your support is much appreciated. Thank you!