“Ahem,” Noah coughed. “What level of fate is your card, son? Do you know your evolutionary recipe?”

“Ah?” Jed scratched his head. He didn’t know how to say this without sounding like a lunatic. Did anyone else—literally, anybody else—evolve simply by revolving a few times and saving that energy? What was more (or, really, in a way, what was less) was that his Card was a Two of Spades, a level so low that one couldn’t go any lower.

And then there was his own level, which remembered to already be Two of Spades merely by Manifesting. No doubt the Spirit energy used for Manifestation spilled over into him, too.

“What’s wrong?” Noah felt that he’d been confused more times today than in the past year.

“Heh,” Jed kept on scratching his head. A few hairs started to dislodge from his scalp. “Nothing, Father. It’s just a little . . . difficult to explain. How about you teach me a Revolution technique first?”

Noah’s eyes lit up. Of course! This was his moment! No good parents would ever not feel excited about teaching their children their first Revolution techniques. Except maybe the rich ones, when the nannies did all the work. But that wasn’t the point. The point was, now was his time!

“Yes. Here! Father’s coming!” Noah shouted, then ran out of Jed’s room. Into the kitchen, under the sink. He kept his family technique (the only written copy, too) under the sink near all the table- and stove-cleaning C-Cards. He believed it was safe. And so it was. At least so far.

Back in the room, Jed waited, talking to Amelia.

[Are you sure I just need to think about transferring all the energy Revolving through me towards the secondary world?]

[Yes, for fifth time, yes. Just think about it, and it’ll happen.]

[No need to move it anywhere? Just start Revolving at any point of the body and then no need to end the cycle at my palm? Is it really that easy?]

[Yes. This is the only advantage you have for now. Other people have to start a Revolution at a certain point where their Cards are Manifested so that they’ll be restricted by choice of technique. You’re not. You could take up the trashiest one out there that starts at your hoo-ha and you’d be fine!]

Starting at my hoo-ha. . . . Jed still hadn’t quite got it when Noah went striding—no, sprinting—nay, flashing—back into the room.

The father looked into his son’s eyes, suddenly extremely serious. “Son!”

“Yes, Father.” Jed stood a little straighter, knowing the importance of this passage. It was a ceremony that happened all the time, from a father or mother to a son, or from a guardian to a ward (if the ward were lucky). The Bond of Manifestation. This was the second (unofficial) part of Manifestation Day. After all the ups and downs and after the Cards were confirmed and reconfirmed and extra-confirmed, and in some families, after the stats were recorded and the tears had finished flowing, the ceremony of familial bond started.

And it wasn’t anything complicated. Just a simple acknowledgement of “mum!” or “dad!” to “son!” or “daughter!” or “child!,” and then the passing of a book. Of course, owning a technique book meant that the family was at least somewhat well-to-do or that, at some point, somebody in the lineage had gone to the military and been honourably discharged.

Technique books in the current universe were special. They were half-material, half-Cards-made. The half-material part was apparent—it was always a paperback, material hardbacks a luxury few could afford—while the half—Cards part meant something special. Namely, by some special techniques that only Card scientists and the Corporation knew, that when the technique book was opened, after two people had voluntarily acknowledged each other, the book would then give off a light into the receiver’s glabella. After this, the technique would be understood.

This was only the case for familial techniques, of course. For the techniques sold by the Corporation as well as those of federal-level universities and of the Federation at large, the transference worked differently, known only to the parties involved, sometimes even with a contract-type Card being utilised for safety measures.

This also meant that, for private owners of such books, sometimes this ceremony, which could be between any two people, could confirm or deepen the bonds between lovers or between brothers and sisters.

Noah passed Jed the book, and Jed took it in hand, both of them solemn.

Then Jed felt something shoot in between his eyebrows, and then his vision darkened.

Suddenly, he found himself somewhere else, almost like the white secondary world of his Card. Only this world was more like a grey square, and he could see where it ended and began. The greyish wall, though, was similar to his own Manifested System, where he could see golden letters.

The letters looked strange. A mix between the mystery of a concept-type Card and the succinct clarity of the Universal language. It seemed familiar and yet not, faraway and yet close. For a second he could not understand just what he was looking at.

Then it became clear when his eyes focused. Clearer, perhaps, because he thought about his [Eyes of the Seer].

It was a network of points in a hologram body. And there was Spirit energy outside that was coming in, starting from the left elbow, going through the left shoulder, up the temples, into the brain, revolving and revolving through all of the body until it passed through the left armpit, then into the left bicep, down into the hand, through the palm, and back to the crook of the left arm.

A little of the Spirit energy then leaked out, but more of it stayed within the body. Jed had the illusion that some of the cells that the Spirit energy had passed through had been destroyed and restructured, the resulting leftover energy being expelled—evaporated almost—as it mixed and left with the outgoing wisp of Spirit energy.

So it was like this, not those stories about how old-age cultivators would feel grimy all over, and not that unpleasant odour that they said would make people puke on smell. Hah! Jed suddenly thought, the knowledge deposited somewhere in his memories of listening to some scare-tactics class gossip.

He could see himself doing that, and, unbeknownst to him, his body did just that in his room. Sat down as the picture sat. Drew the Spirit energy in the same way it was drawn in the hologram. The Spirit energy went through the same path, the same destruction of cells, and finally the same reconstruction.

Huh? Something smelled weird. . . .

F—for real? He was jolted out of this miraculous scene by that smell. It was bloody grimy! What of the supposed catharsis of unabsorbed energy? What in the world went wrong?! Did I have to take a shower again? And what would happen to these new clothes?!

[Hahahaha, the leftover energy went into the System, you idiot. Serves you right for forgetting about me! No destroyed cells’ clean-up for you! Go shower!] Amelia seemed on cloud nine.


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About the author


Bio: Boy from Sydney-Hanoi. Been all over the place and all over the men, too. Settled down now. Hopefully back to writing as a passion.

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