Remember this is an original novel written by Addis of ExR. This is not a translation.
Kai was staring at four Beast Cores on the desk in front of him as he nibbled his bottom lip with a furrowed brow. For the last eight days, Kai had been doing nothing other than receiving tutelage from Sitross about beast cores.
Although beast cores were rare, only about one out of every one hundred beasts had one, a very rare percentage of them were high grade. But, there was a vast difference between a peak high grade and a low tier low grade beast core. Sitross continued to test Kai on the subtle differences within the tiers. To Kai, pinpointing exactly which Element the core was was as easy as eating.
The elements in his own core flared and danced happily when they came into contact with a beast core that was their same Element. It wasn’t like he was finding the answer, but was being given one. It was almost as if he was cheating compared to how others appraised beast cores.
According to Sitross, Kai was learning faster than anyone he had ever taught before. Although this was good for Kai, because it would earn him money faster, he still felt a little bad, as if he was using Sitross. In the mansion next to the Moonflower, was where Kai’s new room was located. Moonflower was what Sitross had named his business hoping that it would bloom just like a flower under the moonlight.
There were only six days left until the day of the exam, and while Kai was not particularly worried, mainly because he had no idea what was going to happen, he was still told to practice various ways of controlling his elements. Due to his old age, Sitross had collected hundred upon thousands of different Elemental training techniques and after taking in Kai, he had taught several of them to him after his beast core training was over.
With each of the cores in front of him finally identified, Kai looked out the window behind him, watching the three moons slowly rise into the sky. Breathing in deeply, Kai closed his eyes as he bathed in the light from those three orbs. This was one of the techniques that Sitross had passed down to Kai.
This technique used the light of the moons to strengthen the elements within his core. Kai felt as if this was the best technique for him to use since his own care had begun as moons. Once all those moons had combined, they had become that glittering, clear sun like marble. The technique he had been given used the same concept of merging all of the moonlight to strengthen it and turn it into a sun. Although this would be a very long process, Kai was positive that he would be able to do it.
WIth this technique there were six levels. Level one gathered the moonlight, level two merged it into one’s element, level three boosted the element with even more power, level five began to morph the elements into a higher element and level six had never been reached before, so not many knew what it was capable of doing. Currently, just like with his elements, Kai was gathering the light of the moon.
Sighing, Kai opened his eyes and looked out the window once more.
Every once in a while, Kai felt like he was on the verge of remembering something, but nothing ever became clear. Like a fractured glass, it would never be perfect again. This depressed Kai, but knowing he could do nothing about his amnesia, he had decided to try to find his place within this city, a place that he could call his own.
Standing up to return to his room, Kai lightly touched the strongest beast core on the desk. Slowly, he sent his elements into it and pulled some of the beast cores magic out with it. It was a miniscule amount, so little that no one would ever be able to tell that some was missing. But Kai had discovered that when he stole this power from the cores, he could merge it into his body. It wasn’t merging it into his core, but literally merging it with his bones, muscles, and blood. If anyone else knew that he was doing this, they would become shocked.
To take Elements and strengthen ones body with it was unheard of. Elements were to strengthen your core and overall cultivation. This method, unbeknownst to Kai, was what the Dire Beasts used to become stronger. Combining both the methods of the beasts and intelligent beings, it was something no one had ever thought of trying to do before.
However, Kai was special. His core helped fuse the beast core’s elements into his bones by taking it into itself before releasing it as a powerful stream into the very marrow of his being. Exhausted from all his mental energy being consumed, Kai drowsily made his way to his bedroom before collapsing on his bed face down. Soon soft, even breathing could be heard from him as he entered a deep slumber.
Six days later, Sitross stood in front of Kai was a pleased smile on his face. This young man before him with his oddly colored eyes and eye catching hair had once again surprised him. Five days ago he had gone to look for Kai to teach him more about Beast cores only to find him in a deep sleep. Know that the boy had been asleep for a long period of time before this, the only thing he was worried about was that the boy would not wake up in time for the testing.
After five days of sleep, Kai had woken up to find that his Elements had consolidated and he had reached the middle Vortex realm. Even his bones had felt stronger upon awakening.
Sitross had been the first to notice the increase of strength and was rather proud for the boy. WIth this, there was no more guessing whether he would pass the exam for the Academy, he was a shoo in.
Glancing over the boy in front of him, Sitross gave a wide smile on his old face, asking, “Are you ready?”
Creases formed in between Kai’s brows. “I don’t really know what to expect, so I can’t say yes.”
“You’ll do fine,” Sitross encouraged, his hand steady on his can and his eyes bright. “You’ve nothing to worry about.”
“Even if I did fail,” Kai pondered, “you’d still let me work here, right?” What if he did fail? What would he be able to do in a place where he couldn’t even remember where he came from. He still remembered Clan Lord Hidel mentioning that he smelled like a beastkin, but what had that meant? He had once asked Faylor what it felt like to transform into a powerful animal.
The older man had jokingly responded with, ‘It feels like your skin is on fire and will melt to the ground. Everything in you has a calling for something more and inside of you,’ he had thumped his chest, near his heart. ‘Everything condenses and screams for freedom, Once the freedom is touched, the world changes and your beast form is let out.’
‘Do you think I will ever have a beast form?’ He had asked Faylor.
‘I do not know, boy. We don’t even know what species you are. You smell like crystal clear spring water, unaffected by all. But, every once in a while, I feel like I am being bathed in the scent of cinnamon coming from you.; He shook his head, ‘Only time will tell, boy. Only then will you know.’
Laughter echoed throughout the hall, bringin Kai back to the present time, “If you fail,” Sitross was saying, “I will teach you everything I know.”
Reassured, Kai let out a breath before whispering, “But I have a feeling I won’t fail.”
Sitross nodded, patting Kai on the back. “Confidence like that is good, but don’t let it cloud your judgement. Every year the tests are different, so even I cannot tell you what to expect.”
Curious about the tests for the first time, Kai asked, “What was it last year?”
“An easy test that tested fortitude, intelligence and over all aptitude. I only fear that this year will have a strength test.”
“I..” Kai looked at his arms, they were a thin, pale white. He looked like he could be blown over by a strong wind. Seeing Kai look at his own non existent muscles with a frown, Sitross chuckled.
“Do not worry, even in a test of strength, you may surprise yourself.” Sitross was more sure of Kai passing than even the boy himself. While Kai was new to cultivation, SItross was ancient. His eyes glanced over Kai and, to him, it was like looking at a lit candle in the dark, there was a bright halo that never left his skin. Due to being an elf, Sitross was more sensitive to the Elements than most other species and he knew this light was from how many Elements gathered around Kai.
If Sitross could see the Elements, he knew that those who were watching the exam would notice as well. Like he had said, there was absolutely no reason to worry about anything. If the worst thing possible happened, Sitross could always go to the Headmaster of the Academy himself and have to boy reevaluated. SItross did not tell this to the boy, as he did not want him to slack off.
Nodding while smiling, Sitross led Kai outside his mansion where they began their way towards the test grounds for the Academy’s exam.
Along the way, Kai noticed that the usually calm streets were so full of people that he could barely walk through. Every step he took would cause a shoulder or an arm that belonged to someone else to bump into him. Frowning at the touch of others, Kai slowly scooted closer to Sitross. The old man was like a bulldozer as he made his way through the crowd. It was as if he had a barrier around him that made others wary enough to avoid a certain vicinity between him and them.
At last, the two made it to Bright Moon Academy. Having walked passed the giant building once before, Kai was still surprised by it’s towering presence. The building itself was over thirty stories while the area around it could fit legions upon legions of soldiers within it’s gates. The test, however, was conducted in a special arena to the side of the Academy. At the very front of the gate there stood over ten lines of people as they registered for the exam. Each applicant was given a corresponding number for their information before being told to enter the arena.
When Kai lined up, Sitross clapped him once more on the shoulder before slowly making his way to the front of the line where he spoke a few words to the administrator, and handed him something before he went into the arena. Kai noticed the administrator glanced at him once before focusing on the person in front of him once more.
Over two hundred people later, it was Kai’s turn. The administrator looked at him with stern eyes, seemed to nod slightly before handing over a number, no questions asked. Confused, Kai gave the man a look.
Chuckling, the administrator said, “Lord Sitross filled out your entry form before he went in. I do not need anything else from you. Good luck.”
Eyebrows raising further up his forehead, Kai turned towards the arena and slowly walked forward. If Sitross had already filled out his paperwork then why had he left him to wait in line before entering by himself? Was it a test or something?
Kai thought this and sighed. But, once he stepped foot into the actual arena, he understood exactly why Sitross had done what he had. Thousands of people swarmed the lower part of the arena. There was hardly any standing room left, they were packed like sardines.
Sitross had wanted Kai to know that he wasn’t the only one with hopes of entering Bright Moon Academy, that there would be people on the same level as him. If he had been allowed to skip the lines out front, he would have been singled out. The main thing Kai needed to do was to blend in.
Breathing in to calm himself, Kai closed his eyes and felt around with his Elements. Eyes snapping open, he whipped his head to the front and watched as a lithe man with golden hair slowly made his way to the podium before the thousands of hopefuls.
“Cian,” was the name that escaped his lips.