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A/N: nearly 200 total followers! I did not think I'd reach this point so quickly, thanks to all of you for your support. :)

This is somewhat of a prologue to the training chapters. 

Enjoy!

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The golden haired beauty was sensually eating a few strawberries when her butler entered the room. At first glance you would say that the butler came straight from out of a magazine, as his looks were good enough to make women fall for him in droves.

"Milady, Akhuath has come to see you."

The golden haired beauty turned around and let out a surprised "Oh? I ~wonder~ what he wants. Please bring him in."

The butler quickly turned around and went back to let Akhuath in. Isis stood up and walked to the throne that was seated in the middle of the room. Her white dress with the low cut clung tightly to her, unable to hide her luscious body. She had only just taken a seat on the throne when a furious masked man with long messy black hair stampeded into the room. "ISIS! YOU HAVE GONE TOO FAR!"

"Akhuath, whatever may you be talking about?" Isis said with an innocent look on her face.

"You know full well what we are talking about! You said you weren't going to participate this time!"

"Oh, that's it? At first I wasn't planning to join but when you brought in all your champions how could I not send a few myself?" Isis smiled sweetly at Akhuath, which only caused his fury to grow.

"YOU..." Akhuath started but was immediately cut off by Isis, who now had a somewhat angry expression on her face.

"Dear Akhuath. Are you trying to tell me what I can and can not do? As I see it this game is open for all of us?"

Akhuath's expression turned even uglier to behold. What Isis had said held truth. He had not expected that Isis would still send her champions after she had already said she wouldn't. Normally he wouldn't care if Isis joined or not but the last million years she had picked up too many promising talents, almost stealing all of them away from the other gods.

"Seeing as you are silent, I guess you understand your foolishness now. Now... BEGONE." Isis said as she used some power to blow Akhuath out of her manor.

"Milady, is this okay? What if he gathers an army of his champions to kill yours one by one?" The butler said in a worried tone.

"It matters not. My champions aren't so weak as to be able to be hunted down. And if they are well... then they have proven to not be worthy of my support. Now then... bring me my cloak. I wish to go visit my dear Zaran."

"Yes milady." The butler said as he went to get her cloak.

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Zaran was making his way towards the western gate as he heard his sister call for him

"ZARAN WAIT UP!" Sylphie came running for him but when she neared she found herself unable to get closer to Zaran. "Eh?" She exclaimed while looking around with a surprised expression. Irina came running shortly after, clearly exhausted.

"Kirin, let them near." Zaran quickly said.

Kirin let out a cute bark and removed the effect of her aura from Irina and Sylphie. 

Sylphie's gaze quickly shifted towards Kirin. "Who's this?"

"Her name is Kirin" Zaran said "Go say hi to them Kirin." 

Kirin slowly walked up to Sylphie and Irina and allowed the girls to pet her. She was still on her guard for the both of them, but she felt that Zaran trusted the girls so naturally she couldn't disobey him. 

"Hey Cindarrah wake up." 

"Muuh... whyyyyy" Cindarrah moaned as she slowly woke up. 

"I would like to introduce you to my sister." 

"Oh... oh! Auntie?" Cindarrah was instantly awake and looked around for Zaran's sister. "Where? Where?!?" 

"It's the Valkyrie..." 

Cindarrah jumped forward and landed straight on Kirin's back and happily smiled at the two girls. 

"Eek!" both of the girls yelled in surprise before composing themselves again. 

"Hi auntie! Hi friend of auntie!" Cindarrah cutely said to the two girls causing the both of them to feel bad from being scared of her. 

"Hi Cindarrah, my name is Sylphie!"

"Mine's Irina, pleased to meet you!"

The girls started chatting with Cindarrah for a little while. In the meantime Kirin quickly ran back to Zaran and quietly stood guard next to him. When they were done chatting Cindarrah crawled on top of Zaran's head again.
 
"See you later auntie and Irina!" Cindarrah said as she instantly doze off again.

"Geez... how much can one sleep." Zaran muttered. 

"Sooooo Zaran... Where were you going off to?" Irina asked.

"Oh, just going to a secluded training area since everyone in the city would just bug me about the s-rank skill or about these two." he said while pointing towards Kirin and Cindarrah. 

Irina frowned. Sylphie and her had run over to ask Zaran to come level with them but they also knew Zaran would need to work far harder on his stats than other races. Thus she quickly decided to refrain from asking him to come level with them. "Ah... how long do you think you'll be training for?" 

"I'm not sure... I need to gather enough ki and mana to utilize skills. Afterwards I need to study some skills and try to learn them by myself so it might take a week... two weeks... who knows really."

"Ehhh! You will fall so far behind!?!?"

"It's okay. I can play more than both of you, so I should catch up quickly enough."

"Okay.." Sylphie and Irina both said at the same time. 

"See you later then Zaran." Irina said as she dragged Sylphie off.

Zaran grinned and continued on towards the western gate. Quickly he arrived there and went towards the woodcutting guild where he took a brief stop to talk to the trainers and eat a bit before continuing on. He didn't know how long he would need to walk for to reach the secluded training area so it was better to rest up at a familiar location than in the middle of the wilderness. 

Having rested for half an hour Zaran continued north-west wards. Two hours later he noticed a change in the environment as the forest had grown thicker and there were substantially more bushes, shrubberies and animals around. Zaran now knew what Henry meant with that he would notice when he got there. He continued onwards for another half hour before finally arriving at the waterfall.

There was a rather large clearing in front of the waterfall, with very plant life living in a fifty diameter circle around the waterfall. Immediately outside of the circle the lush forest started, making the clearing feel somewhat menacing.  Zaran noticed that the waterfall descended into a river and that the river curled into a crescent moon shape before running down in to a nearby cave. 

It was late in the evening now and Zaran still hadn't seen this peculiar fellow, nor any type of house nearby. Thinking that he would run into him sooner or later Zaran took out the ki book that he picked up and started earnestly reading it. 

A good hour later he finished it, which was quite a lot faster than he expected. After the initial few chapters Zaran could skim through the rest of them, as they didn't hold any secrets about ki that he didn't already know of. The ki in Myth Online worked similar to most of the worlds he had seen it cultivated in. In short ki was gathered in the dantian and absorbed from the outside world. While the body could also create ki on its own it was a slow and tedious process, so most people decided to absorb it. Although this meant that you had to spent a lot of effort stabilizing it, it was still far faster than creating it on your own.

Besides this there was also a mention of three levels of ki in the book. The first was the lesser ki, which every practitioner started with. While it was moderately easy to gather this type of ki, it was hard to store and an enormous amount of this type of ki was needed to use one skill. Most practitioners just kept filling their dantian with this type of ki until it was full and then forcefully suppressed it. Zaran knew this was the wrong way of going about it and that it had to be gradually purified. After purifying it for the first time you would get 'balanced ki', which still held imperfections but was now able to be stored without waste. At this stage using skills had a drastic decrease of the amount ki needed. The effort needed to absorb this ki was many times greater, so for less talented practitioners using lesser ki was still more beneficial than trying to purify it to balanced ki.

Finally there was superior ki, which was completely purified and which held no imperfections. Only a very small percentage of practitioners could purify ki to this extent and their power would multiply many times over after reaching this level. The damage of skills would drastically increase after this level, while the usage of it drastically decreased as well. The rate at which this type of ki was absorbed was very slow, causing a lot of practitioners to shy away from using skills unless absolutely necessary. 

The book didn't explain it in depth, but there was mention that after gaining balanced ki your body would automatically refill the used ki to some level. How this worked wasn't explained, thus Zaran had to figure that out by himself sooner or later, unless he found a book that touched upon it. He could guess as to how it worked but before he was sure he wouldn't easily make any assumptions. 

A few ways of absorbing ki where quickly touched upon in the books but at the first glance Zaran noticed that they were worthless. He decided that he would try the most profound of techniques he had first and if that didn't work he would go to the next and so and so forth. Only if none of the techniques that he know worked would he stoop so low as using the worthless techniques mentioned in the book. 

Along with the completion of the book another message box had popped up.

Through finishing a book and understanding the mysteries within, your intelligence and wisdom have grown!
Wisdom +5, Intelligence +5


Nightfall was slowly closing in on Zaran, causing him to quickly gather some firewood and create a pit fire in the middle of the clearing. Only after lighting the fire Zaran relaxed and quickly ate a few bread buns coated in a bit of the liquid cheese. Before acquiring the liquid cheese the bread buns tasted absolutely horrible, but now they tasted rather good. He had stored the rest of the liquid cheese in the glass container that he bought as he couldn't just cut a piece of the cheese wheel without the cheese running over all the other items in his storage ring. This caused him to be left over with the husk of the cheese wheel, which he just melted on the fire and likewise stored in the glass container.

After eating and drinking his fill, Zaran entered the lotus position and slowly started absorbing the nearby world ki. 
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NianKaraz

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