Book 9 – Eruption
Chapter 8 – Commencing The Operation
In the third level’s hour of the Incarnation Scouring formation soul’s trial, an additional child like creature appeared atop the white cloud.
The might of the third level was equivalent to a Peak Core Master with endless soul energy. To keep his facade, Zax had to relinquish the black sphere he used in the previous two levels and come up with an actual defensive soul formation.
Of the remaining one hundred and fifty seven contenders, around fifty were eliminated.
In the fourth level’s hour not a cloud, but a storm emerged in the sea of consciousness of every contenders, and atop the array of white clouds was a legion of the child like creature. Individually they were not as strong as in the second and third levels, but as a large unit even a typical Beginner first level Martial Mortal would find it straining to resist them.
When the fourth hour came to a close, sixty six contenders got eliminated, remaining forty one.
“Everyone, please congratulate the forty one brave participants who will accompany us to the third trial day of the Elite Tryouts!” Armin enthusiastically called for the crowd’s applause.
The number of eliminations for the second trial day was undefined since it was already estimated that between fifty and forty contenders will pass, an ideal amount to proceed with to the third trial day, and there were no planning to initiate the fifth level of the Incarnation Scouring formation.
The crowd rose to their feet, exploding with the cheers they kept inside in the duration of the enlightening trial.
“Everyone, please thank his grace, Archbishop Silternja, for the erection and preservation of the Incarnation Scouring formation!”
“Thank you, your grace!”
“Thank you, Archbishop Silternja!”
Even some of the members of the church who were first level Martial Mortals had profited from the trial, and so could not restrain the tears flowing down their eyes when they express gratitude to their Archbishop, without him the would have lost on a great opportunity.
Armin finished with a prayer to The Almighty, following with inviting the forty one contenders to the Grand Abode, until the third trial the day after tomorrow.
Zax, naturally, accepted the invitation, and as he headed to the largest structure in all of Onzengvas city, he skimmed the group of contenders that remained.
‘Neyrar passed’. He was not surprised. In fact, he had the feeling that this compatriot had much hidden beneath his sleeves. ‘Bogon somehow managed’. The Dry Shell Tortoise’s expertise was in bodily cultivation. In terms of soul, he had to strive several times harder than others, just so he could manage his enhanced physique. ‘Bin Bin, that girl Benni and Nirik Je also made it’. Hason and Shila forfeited at the fifth and seventh minutes of the fourth level. ‘These two are from Kingdom Earth… besides Neyrar they are the only ones to pass’. He remembered their faces from the Martial competition, but did not pay attention to their names. ‘Luminous Church has seven members still in the tryouts’. It was not unexpected if they even had been drilled in the testing methods of the tryouts. ‘They passed, too’. Sioul and Els, the two other underdogs… if one will bother to look at Sister Mafita’s face; he or she will find satisfaction reflecting back from her black eyes.
“His grace Archbishop Silternja was really impressed by your performance and sees you all as honorary members of the church, if not official members”. Sister Juliet said with a proud smile for being Archbishop Silternja’s messenger. “Therefore he would like to host you yet again in his Grand Abode, this time in the fourth floor, so you could immerse yourselves more in the splendor of the church”.
Zax, as well as the other twenty nine contenders, including those of the church, who accepted the invitation were led to their new and grander chambers.
‘I don’t feel comfortable with senior Gid’s date of commencing the operation… the cleansing day may sound optimal, but the church will probably change its conduct and I can’t predict the changes in its security. Tomorrow night’. Zax lay on his bed, disregarding the holy scriptures on the cabinet beside it and the overall religious atmosphere that was instilled in the chamber, just from being part of the Grand Abode. ’Tonight I’ll wonder on the floor, pretend to be interested in the church’s formation portraits’. The fourth floor had unique formation portraits that worked like Screens, enabled to view recordings of pivotal congregation in the church’s history. ‘If I won’t locate a timely passage to the fifth floor, then I’ll just make a go for it. I’m also not sure what level of attention will be on us after the third trial…’ He decided.
There were several hours before dinner. He closed his eyes, concentrating on one topic in his mind.
‘The dark devours and the light birth…?’
After dinner Zax refused Bogon, and a few other contenders who were not part of the church, to insight exchange. The third trial was of Martial art and his path was with the dark maneuvers, a road he could only rely on himself to formulate, and he also had plans for the late evening.
There were four stairways from the fourth to the fifth floor. Zax walked across them all as he examined the formation portraits and acted as if he contemplated over some of them.
‘The stairways aren’t guarded by formation, but every time I walked by one of them, I feel a pair of eyes watching me’.
Since members of the church, of all ranks, walked up and down often through all the storeys of the Grand Abode using identification measures would have been cumbersome on the daily operation. Furthermore, though members that work in the above floors were kidnapped in the past, there never was the event of someone infiltrating the abode. Still, Archbishop Silternja could not take the risk of a contender, even if by ludicrous mistake, climbing to the fifth or above floors, so he ordered for surveillance to be stationed at every stairway.
‘I can’t use Soul Sense to determine the cultivation of the expert hiding or locate them, but the chance of them being fourth level Martial Mortals is zero and even third level Martial Mortal is too much of a stretch. The church thinks that it’s accommodating, at best, Peak Core Master who can rival weak first level Martial Mortals. The guards in the stairways are, most likely, maximum second level Martial Mortals’. In other words, a threat he could get rid of quickly. ‘No matter what, I have to assume that the instant I’m detected, the whole church is aware of my presence and its strongest experts are on the move. To avoid getting caught I’ll have to come up with a diversion’. For a fraction of second he thought that it will be a problem, but then his pupils fell down in a deep stare, as if penetration the tiles of the fourth floor to the third…
Night before the third trial day, after dinner.
Zax want up to the fourth floor of the Grand Abode, walking the direction to his chamber. His expression was hideous as usual and his heart beat regularly.
The feeling of being watched accompanied through his stairway to the fifth floor he crossed. Going past the last stairway, the placidness in his eyes changed to firm resolve.
‘Dark Titan Storm – Second Stage!’ After a year his transformation has become much swifter, a process of mere instant. Restraining the dark attribute energy fluctuation, on the other hand…
Before he could get detected, and explosion occurred in the third floor, a corner away from where the tryouts’ two prizes were exhibited.
Earlier that day Zax left a tiny, inconspicuous Dark Orb at the third floor, devising it in a manner that others will not discover unless they will purposely examine the dark attribute worldly energy in the area. The Dark Orb was meant to agitate, at a specific time, the dark attribute worldly energy in its surrounding, ensuing wild undulation that will spread and mask his transformation in the fourth floor.
‘There!’ Finding the second level Martial Mortal, concealed somewhere at the nearby stairway, was simple once Zax senses heightened along the transformation.
He was a middle aged priest before Zax’s swept with his hand and he became a headless corpse.
‘From here, right and left in the next corridor to the communication room!’ Before proceeding Zax arrived to a stairway to the sixth floor, shooting a ray of dark attribute energy up the stairs.
If the Dark Orb will not fool them, he could only hope on this attack at the sixth floor to divert the forces of the church.
The communication room was made of some sort of metal and sealed when he got to it.
“Open to me!”
Zax unleashed his utmost strength and punched the door. His greatest fear when he saw it was that it is made of a special metal, and apparently it was.
The door budged inward but still hung on the hinges.
A second fist followed and the door budged a little more, allowing him a passage.
‘It’s still hanging!’ Zax was shook. ‘I must hurry; if I’ll get stuck in this room there is no way I’ll manage to break free through the hall!’ He suspected that it was part of the vessel Luminous Church used to traverse space, who knew from what it was made of?!
The communication room had only two personal and they both were second level Core Masters. Everything happened so fast since the first explosion, neither had yet managed to fully react.
The Galactic Communicator was connected to a large computer. ‘I can’t waste time hacking it; I must disconnect it manually and leave!’ Gid Chu left him a file with all that he had to know about computing and the Galactic Communicator, but he did not assess the difficulty of forcefully opening the room’s door, much less if its walls are as durable, and Zax was not willing to bet after barely getting in.
He pulled the cords connecting the communicator to the computer, the only instance in this operation he gnashed his teeth as he performed delicately to prevent a discharge that will reset the communicator’s frequency.
Freeing the communicator, he stored it in his spatial ring and just as he exited the room his pupils constricted. Two terrifying aura tried to lock on him from somewhere in the Grand Abode. Since the structure was impervious, in and out, to Soul Sense and Sublime Soul Sense, whoever looked for the cause of the disturbance had to do so by getting a feel of the turbulent energies.
Zax shot two beams of dark attribute energy through two corridors and stamped the tiles of the fifth floor. ‘It broke!’ He shouted inwardly in delight. The formation on the floor cracked quite easily. ‘How dumb am I?!’ He exclaimed and without reservation unleashed a torrent of beams to every direction. If only selected rooms were made of the same metal as the communication room, then why not take a chance finding out which part of the structure was not and make himself an exit!
Moments after the resounding booms of Zax breaching the door of the communication room…
“Your Young Eminence, let us handle it!” Sister Beatriz along with five third level Martial Mortals chased after Stelero Mars.
“They dare make an attempt at Sister Iaura’s benevolence! Whoever it is, if it’s a participant, a member of the church or an intruder, I’ll make them regret!” His eyes were red with fury and his speed increased, moving as a streak of white light from the first to the third floor, where the wild dark energy undulation spread from.
Resigning themselves to Stelero Mars’s will, the six ceased arguing him to reconsider.
“Sister Beatriz, the young postulant… are you certain that there is someone protecting her?” A red haired priest, seemingly at his early thirties, asked. He and two others converged with Stelero Mars, Sister Beatriz and the two more Martial Mortals when they dashed to the third floor. Knowing that Sister Iaura is always together with Stelero Mars, her absence concerned the three.
“Bishop Ninient and Bishop Kristin are with her, besides Archbishop Silternja and Cardinal Northstar, we could not have left her in better hands”. Sister Beatriz was one of the three strongest third level Martial Mortals of the church. As she elaborated to the trio who joined them, her tone was strict and irrefutable. “Worry about keeping up with His Young Eminence!”