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Chapter 18

Lwanda stared deeply at the crystals. His gaze was so innocent yet so yearning. His heart bled for the bliss of discovering something new, unraveling the uncertain. He could barely contain himself.

“I wonder what kind of attack ability I’ll get from this”

Lwanda clasped the red crystal, he pondered what kind of intent he should channel to it. Unlike the eagle he didn’t spot any elemental abilities from the panther, he had no idea where to begin nor what kind of intent would suffice.

“Should I try recreating the red beam claw attack from before?

No, somehow that doesn’t feel right. Feels like I'll be using a jack hammer to paint, not what it’s meant for. Then what is it? What should I do?”

**Argh!!**

“Damn it, this is going to be harder than I thought”

Lwanda felt frustrated, the possibility of the red crystal shattering his expectations and ending up as more of an unraveled mystery like the white crystals was slowly becoming more probable.

He dreaded that thought, that wasted potential. It frightened him, but then again, he couldn’t stop smiling. It was a race, one to test prowess. Would he burst open the mysteries of his new beloved crystal or would be fall into despair from accomplishing nothing?

Which was it going to be? Lwanda couldn’t help but feel excited.

“This is how it's supposed to be, this feeling, this bliss, this tension. It wouldn’t be worth it if it didn’t exist”

Lwanda looked at the red crystal with renewed enthusiasm, he wasn’t going to lose to it, not now, not ever. He was certain of it; it was only just a matter of time.

“It's great to be all enthusiastic and all but without a clue, I'm basically grasping at straws”

“Wait!!”

Lwanda's eyes suddenly widened, his poster straightened, he’d got an idea.

“Clue... yes clue. Damn it I'm such an idiot, why didn't I think of this before”

Lwanda thought back to the incident before, the autonomous reaction of the red crystal.

“Is that what it can do? That red cloak?

but wait...”

Lwanda pondered, although it was unintentional, he’d gotten a glimpse of the crystal's power but unlike the panther it didn’t feel violent, rather it was warm and gentle.

“What am I supposed to do with that? Cuddle the monsters to death?”

“Damn it !!”

Lwanda exclaimed.

His breakthrough felt useless, in this hell hole he needed something vicious, something powerful, something to help him survive. He didn’t need a no good soft and gentle ability.

“Will this really turn out to be a burst?”

**…**

“No wait, I shouldn’t jump the gun just yet”

“Let me try it out for myself first”

Lwanda recalled the feeling he had when the red cloak enveloped him, he memorized the feeling. Grabbing hold of the red crystal he tried to recreate that feeling, channeling the intent to the crystal.

**hmm*hmm**

With a gentle hum the crystal slowly began to light up. A warm and gentle cloak slowly enveloped Lwanda.

He stood there watching, waiting for something to happen, something different, something unexpected but nothing did. All there was, was the gentle aura of the red crystal.

“Damn it, is this really all there is to it?”

Lwanda clenched his fist in anger.

**ow ow ow**

“What’s with this pressure?”

Lwanda suddenly felt an unfathomable pressure on his arm, it was like a great force was acting on his palm

“What is this?”

Lwanda said looking at his palm, it felt different, it felt strong.

“It feels weird, like I have way more grip power than I normally do.

Don’t tell me... it this the crystal’s doing”

Lwanda clenched his fists a few more times to confirm his theory, it was indeed as he suspected, the red cloak, the red crystal it wasn’t a burst after all but rather had augmenting abilities.

“I feel stronger and lighter”

Lwanda said while jumping in place, it was like his whole body had become featherlight.

“I feel like I can sprint through a marathon right now

Haha

Wait, just how much can this crystal do?”

Lwanda bent down to gather energy, he planned on testing the crystal to its extreme, find out what it was really capable of.

“Alright, I'll go in three”

One...

Two...

Thr.”

**Hmmm*hmmm*hmmmm**

As Lwanda was about to jump, the gentle crystal, suddenly turned berserk. Its usual gentle aura was gone and a viler one took over.

“Wait, what’s going on, why is it acting like this? Is it because of the jump? Is it trying to warn me? But why?”

Lwanda stood up pondering, this was the first time a crystal had actively challenged his intent. It was all new to him and with it came more questions, more mysteries to unravel.

“Are the crystal sentient?”

The thought blew Lwanda’s mind, if it was true then that would be a game changer, the possibilities alone left him feeling all giddy inside.

“But why would the crystal suddenly...wait?!!

I get it now, damn it!! It was so obvious why didn’t I think of it sooner?

My body isn't strong enough to handle the crystal’s full power, it’ll probably break a million times over before I can do that”

The realization was evident, Lwanda simply didn’t have the body strength to keep up with the enormous power and force exerted by the crystal, his bones would have probably shattered from that jump.

“Well this brings about another conundrum, just how am I supposed to solve this?”

“Solve...hmm...

it’s strange”

Lwanda seemed lost in thought, it was like his mind had drifted off.

“Come to think of it, it's rather strange. Every time I seem to hit a wall, even without me realizing it I just so happen to run into things that will prove useful in overcoming that challenge. Solving it.

In each step of my journey I've gotten exactly what I needed to push forward. The gold crystal, then the white and now the red crystal?

It's a little too good to be true, way too convenient. Something else is going on.

It feels forced... engineered, but by who? Or rather by what?

The voice?”

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Patroba Jonzz

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