When she first opened her eyes, Eluraa had been extremely agitated with bloodshot eyes.
She cried and cried and cried endlessly, with bursts of seizures.
It took a really long time for her to actually take in her new reality and gain some sort of composure back.
Even then she had always been a cold and lonely child.
With great difficulty, she put away the complex thoughts in her mind and allowed herself the mercy of enjoying a normal worry-free childhood, at least a little.
Apart from the numerous hours she spent on cultivation every day, she was also interested in learning the history of this era and gain more knowledge about the world she was living in.
But, she could hardly do either of those since they were basically poor and lived in an obscure village in the middle of nowhere.
At most, she was only able to learn their local dialect, the new language used in this era.
So she pretty much did not have anything to do, except cultivating and enjoying her newfound freedom.
However, she didn't necessarily hate this situation.
Yes, more exposure, more knowledge, and more resources would be great, but they also brought with them their share of perils and dangers, which she was sure would be too much for her to handle.
And now, the worst possible scenario ended up happening after all.
Once again, she was forcefully dragged against her will and thrown into an unfamiliar situation.
This might be a minute breach of freedom, but for someone like her, who spent countless years in imprisonment, even this small strongarming tore at her heart.
With every single breath, her conscience reminded her that she was nothing more than a weak little girl, who is at the mercy of others.
Under the mask, covering half her face, Eluraa frowned, with her cold piercing eyes staring at the powerful expert chatting with her father.
To make matters worse, they even seemed to turn and look towards her several times during the conversation.
And once the expert left, Eluraa's dad seemed extremely happy, drinking another swig of alcohol.
Of course, Eluraa trusted their parents, but she also knew that they were a bit too naive for their own good.
They were just a simple family and in fact she was their most prized possession.
Eluraa sighed and approached her dad.
"Dad, what happened?", she asked with her cold and distant voice.
Her parents were already used to this nature of their precious daughter, who seemed to have forgotten the meaning of the word warmth.
"It's good news my darling. Wait, let me get your mother too."
Her dad quickly dragged her mother, who was standing a few yards behind.
He then proudly stood tall and announced so loudly, that he need not even have grabbed Eluraa's mom.
"When we land, my darling daughter will be attending the capital city's academy! You have made me really proud, my baby."
While her parents were smothering her with kisses and hugs, Eluraa's face contorted into multiple angles.
School? Was someone actually knowledgeable enough to teach her a thing or two??
Eluraa clenched her fist but decided to play along in the end.
After all, there were definitely things other than cultivation, which she had no idea about.
This was her second chance, her second lifetime.
Only a fool will let her pride cloud her judgment and let herself be weak again.
She needed to slowly and steadily build up a foundation.
And first, she needed more information about this new world.
On the ship itself, some new rumors about the entire continent being in a state of war and people getting killed and squashed like bugs were starting to spread.
It seemed that's why these rescue experts were sent to reach distant civilization centers and recruit people closer to the Empire's capital.
As it is humans were so weak, and on top of that, they couldn't afford to be so distributed!
A single monster wave might wipe out these small village settlements and it was the duty of the ruler to prevent such mishaps.
Others might be shaking with fear, on hearing about these new developments, but Eluraa's eyes only showed determination and confidence.
It was not death that she was afraid of. There were far more things worse than death.
She did not want to be a helpless and vulnerable flower vase again
This time she needed to stand at the top and bend the heavens to her will. She needed to protect her parents and herself at the least in this lifetime.
To do this, joining a formal education center, and equipping herself with more skills, did not seem to be a bad idea.
This would be her first step and her true beginning, the path to her rise in this world.
Before joining a formal educational institute, children were mandatorily tested for their affinity for mana cultivation.
The affinity of a person to absorb and integrate mana greatly varied between different individuals. The affinities ranged from violet to white.
Violet < Cyan < Blue < Green < Yellow < Orange < Red < Black < White
Most people are born with violet or cyan affinity.
They usually chose an intellectual or professional training route and trained themselves in common skills such as cooking, tailoring, blacksmithing, and scientific research.
One in a hundred are born with blue or green affinity and they are somewhat able to absorb mana, albeit with devastatingly low efficiency.
These people mainly end up training their body in martial arts for combat and providing auxiliary support.
People with yellow and orange affinity are one in thousand and have the potential to become elite strong combat experts.
They have a relatively higher affinity for mana cultivation and some are even able to tame and use magical creatures for combat.
People with red affinity are as rare as phoenix birds and they are highly respected, feared, and celebrated.
These experts have the highest known affinity for mana cultivation!
Though these were the usual landmarks, the world of cultivation was always full of exceptions and irregulars.
Only the weak were restricted by these rules and norms. The strong always managed to break out of these rigid structures and defy everything known.
But still, mana affinity determined the speed of cultivation, the ability to interact with elemental energies and the power to unleash the energy in concrete forms.
So the people with higher affinities always had this advantage over those who did not.
Moreover, this advantage was just too damn big to ignore!
For instance, the yellow affinity students had to work ten times as hard as the red affinity student, to get a fraction of the result!
Every powerful expert, including the Emperor and the different territory kings, all had read affinities, with heaven-shattering combat prowess.
And hence, it was tantamount for every student to be affinity tested before admission.