Once I had returned to the Admin Room, I found Aurivy already waiting for me, sitting at the edge of my bed with her legs hanging off. She was humming happily as she looked at me. “Well, here you go!” She said, producing an information globe in her hand and tossing it towards me. “This is all of the information you’ll need on ninja techniques for your next training. I’ll work on making something a bit more detailed later, once I’ve had more time.”
Saying that, she pushed herself off from my bed with a quick hop, and jumped backwards towards the door, facing me. “I’ve got to talk with the others for a bit, so let me know when you’re ready to begin!”
Aurivy spun around in the doorway, before skipping off into the hall. I half expected Leowynn to come out as she usually did, but she simply remained quiet. When I glanced inside of my spiritual realm, I saw that she was meditating. Maybe that is a part of her training?
Either way, I glanced to the shining blue sphere that Aurivy had given me, before sitting down on my bed to study. Gripping the orb, I closed my eyes and focused on absorbing the information contained within. To my surprise, there was actually a good deal of knowledge within this little bauble. Not as much as an entire tier of knowledge, but definitely more than I had expected.
The first and most important piece of information was no doubt on the ‘hand seals’ that people used for ninja techniques. According to the information that Aurivy prepared, they were… not actually necessary. They were just the easiest and most convenient method to create the effect desired.
In order to use those more advanced ninja techniques, you had to form chakra into a rough shape of the spell components that would represent that technique. Since chakra was typically formed along the skin, this meant that it was simplest to form those symbols using one’s body. Then, when the symbol is formed, they simply hold the chakra in that shape while performing the next symbol, until it was all finished with the circle.
However… for more advanced ninjas, they were able to bypass the hand seals through their chakra control. They simply created the symbols themselves out of chakra and then merged them together. This method was more difficult to perform, but also made it harder to detect what ability was being used.
I let out a sigh of relief when I heard that, thankful that I would not need to be practicing those seals for the next eternity until I could create dozens of them a second. With my Thousand Arms, Ten Thousand Threads, I should theoretically be able to turn each thread into its own symbol.
Glancing down at my arm, I held it out in front of myself, my palm facing upwards. Blue light began to dance along my skin, before rising up in over a dozen thin threads. I briefly considered what sort of ‘spell’ I wanted to create, before imagining the most basic light spell in my mind.
Once I had done so, and the image was clear, I broke the spell down into each of its components, and assigned those components to the threads, visualizing them coming together as the spell. Typically, this would create a ball of light above my hand, but once the three symbols had formed something else happened instead. My hand itself began to glow, a white chakra coating my hand.
Okay, that will take some testing. I muttered internally. If spells did not behave quite the same way with chakra as they did with mana, I’d need to learn the ‘rules’ for the differences.
My next test was something more advanced, the second tier guided flame spell. However, I quickly learned that second tier spells like this using more than one diagram simply wouldn’t work the same. As soon as the first of the three diagrams had been completed, the spell activated. And for this one, the first was simply the target selection diagram… which caused the chakra around my arm to give off a strange feeling.
Glancing back through the information sphere, I checked to see if Aurivy had any tips on how to recreate higher tier spells. Level fifty was the benchmark for the second tier, and she was confident to get me there. That means that she had to expect me to be able to do this.
Sure enough, the information that I wanted was there. It just wasn’t what I expected. For second tier spells, rather than each one getting their own circle, they were all kept separate, contained between an outer and inner circle.
So, I once again tried the guided flame spell, this time following the information I had just learned. As soon as the modified spell had been completed, it shot forth from my hand in a blast of fire. A thin chakra string extended back towards my hand, and I felt as if I could control the fire for the brief moment it existed before it hit the wall harmlessly.
I gave a brief nod of my head, understanding this aspect of using ninja techniques now, before glancing down to resume studying. The next ‘lesson’ was one that I needed to know perhaps more than any other.
Chakra had a powerful ability to hide presences. There was a technique recorded that would allow one to lower their presence in the senses of others. When fully mastered, they could even fool a status orb, giving false information. The best part was, at its basic level it did not seem hard to learn at all, though the mastered version was far more complicated.
Closing my eyes, I quickly coated my body in chakra. Then, I simply condensed that chakra, pulling it through my body to gather at one point. Perhaps in a mystical sense this was supposed to symbolize capturing my essence and hiding it. However, what I knew was that it should allow me to choose how much of my presence I reveal… as long as I maintain the technique.
I spent at least two hours reviewing the information she had left me, and adapting it to what I knew before I sent a mental message to Aurivy. Alright… I think I’m done now. Do you have everything ready on your end?
Just finishing up! She eagerly responded. A few moments later, I heard gentle footsteps running down the hall towards my room, before she entered with the same flourish she left. “And done! Okay, so you ready to hear what type of training you’ll be doing this time?” She asked with a wide grin.
When I gave a silent nod, she waved a hand, producing a piece of paper. “This is your hitlist. You have until Tubrock and Ryone finish their fortifications to complete it.” I blinked in surprise as Aurivy handed me a list of eleven names. “Your mission is to assassinate each person on this list using only your normal levels. Of course, you can still use the Keeper stats for your health. But everything else remains sealed.”
I took the piece of paper, looking over it with my brows furrowed. “And… who are these people?” Aside from the merkin and the daeva, there was one member of every major race in the world.
“These are scum.” Aurivy said, her voice suddenly going uncharacteristically cold. “I asked everyone to give me the most vile, despicable person of their race for this assignment. And then I went through and found one for the heroc as well. Well, naturally Irena is excluded, because you can’t be a ninja as a spirit.”
“Anyways, the people on that list are tyrants, butchers, people who even the gods would rather have dead. We just don’t do anything about them because to do so would often strike more fear into the masses in the long run. For instance… this one.” Aurivy looked at the list, before pointing out the name listed for the halflings.
“Bryant Fairfellow. Arguably the worst halfling to have ever been born. I’ve debated creating an extra incarnation just to get rid of him, and was actually thinking about sending Relan in if she got close enough.”
Just as I was starting to wonder just how bad a halfling could get for even Aurivy to view him this coldly, she continued explaining. “He has earned a title through the system, though he keeps it hidden. Heartstealer. He enjoys luring travelers into his abode, paralyzing them with drugs, and then ripping out their hearts while they still breathe.”
“Nobody but the gods know about his crimes, though. To the public, he is an upstanding mayor of a prominent city. He even destroys the evidence after he has had his ‘fun’.” Finishing her explanation, Aurivy took a deep breath, before putting on her usual smile. “Mind taking care of him for me?”
I couldn’t help but feel a chill when I heard her describe this ‘target’, and glanced towards the list again. Everyone in that list should be just as bad… or, even worse, given the halflings’ typical carefree nature. “What levels are they?”
Aurivy nodded her head, closing her eyes as if she had expected the question. “Everyone on that list is at least level two hundred and fifty. Even compared to the weakest of them all, you fall eighty levels short with your normal power. Furthermore, their levels are typically more specialized than your own, and they have a lot more combat experience.”
“Logically speaking, there is no way for you to win in a frontal confrontation with any of them, so long as you play by the rules. That is why this is training for your ninja class. Your goal is to kill them before they even register you as a threat. Silent assassinations, and then leaving for your next target.”
Aurivy pointed one hand towards the list before backing up again. “That list has the targets ranked in order of difficulty, from lowest to highest. The one at the top of the list, the centaur Jagen Fral, can often be found roaming alone. Whereas the one at the bottom, the kitsune King Lairant, is always surrounded by guards when he leaves his castle.”
I gave a brief nod as I heard that. If they were of equal or lower level than me, then this wouldn’t be ‘Aurivy’ level training… Those restrictions that she put in place would no doubt help my growth, but also vastly increased the difficulty for me. If I could use my full power, using the new suppression technique I just learned, it would no doubt be a simple matter to kill all eleven of them in a single day.
“I’ll do it.” I said with a sigh, glancing towards the first name on the list. “Any other rules I should know for this ‘training exercise’?”
“Just the obvious.” Aurivy shrugged, her smile growing wider. “Your race selection should be restricted to the people who would normally be capable of appearing in the area you are targeting. You won’t be using the World Host, as you simply don’t have enough points to spend, and that would create even more bodies. Whenever you descend, the relevant deity, or myself in the case of the heroc, will give you a brief introduction to your target.”
“Oh, and just to let you know.” Aurivy tilted her head as she seemed to think about something. “You’ll also be training the Assassin class at the same time for this. If everything goes as planned… you should hit level thirty in that class by the time you finish killing all eleven, depending on how quickly you take them out.”
“So, according to the plan… in the next four days, your training regime is expecting to get me a seventy level boost…” I clarified, making sure to be very clear on this. Even Tsubaki, who was no doubt one of the greatest ninja talents in the world, had only grown sixty-three levels since the cap was removed… and that was over a course of nearly six years.
“Well, it does help that you are fighting people far more powerful than yourself, and that you have nearly no training in those two classes, but… yup!” She nodded her head sharply as she said that.