Chapter 154 - Five Elements Mountains (4)

To me, Aura was a form of energy that was difficult to use in so many ways. The magic might disperse or explode, and you need a strong Consciousness to maintain it. You have to use a mental power that you can’t even see, and it’s almost impossible for me to understand how it works. From watching Leonhardt and Valdebich use Aura, I knew it could be done…but I just shook my head.

Yeon-woo didn’t know much about Aura since his brother hadn’t been able to comprehend it, and he’d only noted down the basics of the concept in the diary. His brother had picked up the Perfect Adaptability trait easily, and even though he was from Earth, he could grasp what things were made up of. As a result, he handled mana well and became the person in Arthia who controlled magic best, even to the point of learning the most difficult types of magic.

The skill Sky Wings that had gotten him the nickname “Heaven Wing” was something he’d created from that profound magic. Jeong-woo managed to approach magic in a pure way and use it freely, but this was the very reason that he struggled with Aura.

Aura also used magic, but it used up energy, as well. Jeong-woo also had difficulty understanding Consciousness. When Yeon-woo had started learning Mugong, he hadn’t even thought about attempting Aura. His Mugong was already lacking, and he had too many other weapons to focus on. As his skills grew in proficiency, he wasn’t sure that he had time to invest in developing Aura. Also, he thought that it would be difficult for his Magic Circuit, which used pure magic, to create Aura.

However, it now looked like he had no choice but to give it a try. He’d already forced his body to get used to his Magic Circuit using Cores, and he had to figure out a way to develop Aura. As Shanon and Hanryeong said, he would have to reach the level of master before he could even think of tackling the Yin Sword.

He thought of himself as fortunate to have a chance to train on the twentieth floor with two outstanding teachers. Even though he hadn’t become a ranker, Shanon was a master. And there was Hanryeong, the martial artist who fought with nine swords and was strong enough to make the Sword God step back. Hanryeong’s level hovered between expert and arhat.

Furthermore, the two had different approaches to martial arts. Shanon had led others in martial arts, while Hanryeong had been fighting battles since he was young and was like an Apostle of martial arts. Yeon-woo planned to combine their teachings with the Eight Extreme Fists that he’d already learned. ‘I might be able to learn Aura.’

Since Yeon-woo was used to Mugong, he figured he had a better chance of learning than Jeong-woo. He gripped Carshina’s Dagger. The only thing left to do now was to train. 

***

Aura is something you learn after developing sixth sense.

‘Only after developing sixth sense?’

Yes, sixth sense engages your entire Consciousness, Aura lets you activate that and change it to something tangible.

Yeon-woo felt like he understood a bit more after Shanon’s explanation. Since he’d already gained sixth sense, and he could see everything with Extrasensory Perception, he felt like he was slowly comprehending Aura.

Hanryeong added, It changes something formless to something tangible, so you need to balance it with magic power that’s also strong.

Yeon-woo didn’t worry too much about condensing magic power, since his magic power was already beyond comparison. The Draconic species weren’t powerful for no reason. There was only one thing left. ‘What’s Consciousness?’

Unfortunately Shanon and Hanryeong had different answers to that question.

It’s will to become stronger.

It’s the resolve to win.

Shanon said that martial arts was a fight with oneself. A process of making yourself sharper like a blade. However, Hanryeong believed that no matter how you pretended otherwise, a sword’s purpose was to hurt someone. Whenever you picked one up, you had to think of defeating your opponent.  

Yeon-woo knew that both of them had a point, and so he had to consider which type of Consciousness suited him best. He quickly came to an answer: ‘The strength to break everything in your way.’

Yeon-woo thought it would be a good idea to make a destructive Aura. To him, Consciousness wasn’t something he needed to improve himself or defeat someone. He just saw it as a means of survival: without it, he would be killed.

As soon as he found his direction, Yeon-woo started practicing right away. Fortunately, he didn’t struggle too much, thanks to Extrasensory Perception. ‘The Eight Extreme Fists is something that turns eight kinds of powers into eight forms. It has to be fast.’

Yeon-woo used the training area of his residence. Every day, as soon as he opened his eyes, he picked up his sword and swung it faster than the eye could follow. He also realized that he wouldn’t fully comprehend the Eight Writings of Divination of the Eight Extreme Fists just through practice alone. It was like constructing a building—he needed to do everything in the right order, step by step—and so he applied his thinking abilities as well.

As time passed, the form grew clearer, and his mistakes began to disappear.

Focus your thoughts onto the tip of your blade.

You must release your Consciousness. If you can harness your Consciousness well, you can come up with all kinds of attacks using Aura and your magic power.

Along with his form, he also focused on moving his sword according to Hanryeong’s and Shanon’s advice as well—faster and faster.

Soon, he began to lose the ability to tell the difference between the things happening in his Consciousness and the outside world. Without rest, his body began to wither away, and magic couldn’t keep fatigue away like it normally did.

His body grew heavy, and his heart rate increased. Yeon-woo felt his brain overheat for the first time since his Dragon Body had awakened. However, that was also a sign of how much his senses had gathered, as well. He also couldn’t track how much magic power he released.   

Yeon-woo wondered if he were finally reaching the boundaries of Consciousness. When his mind began to shrivel away and he felt like he was on the verge of collapse, he suddenly had the sensation that he was being absorbed by his sword. It was as though his mind and the sword had merged.

Boom! There was a huge explosion. Yeon-woo snapped to awareness to see a path in front of him that he’d never seen before. The trees on either side had been bent aside. Yeon-woo felt it clearly; it was his condensed Consciousness. He’d managed to combine all the basics, and it finally made something clear to him: Dancheon. 

It was the first of the Eight Writings of Divination. Although it wasn’t as impressive as when the Martial King had split the sun, it was still an amazing feat considering it was his first attempt. 

‘I found a fragment.’ He still didn’t really know too much about Aura yet, but he thought he was starting to see the way.

[You have acquired a fragment of the Eight Writings of Divination of the Eight Extreme Fists. You have learned a way to control your Consciousness.]

[‘Eight Extreme Fists’ skill proficiency has dramatically increased. 62.1%]

***

[You have learned a way to separate your mind from the outside world.]

[You have earned the trait ‘Ascetic’.]

....

[You have learned to overcome the time difference between the outside world and the world inside your mind.]

[Your efforts to train without rest as an ascetic have been acknowledged.]

[You have achieved an accomplishment that isn’t easily achieved. Additional karma will be rewarded.]

[You have acquired 5,000 karma.]

[You have acquired an additional 3,000 karma.]

[As an additional reward, ‘Combat Will’ will now evolve. A new skill is being rewarded in consideration of your skills and attributes.]

[The trait ‘Ascetic’ is influencing this process.]

[The superior skill ‘Time Difference’ has been created.]

In the blink of an eye, three months passed, although Yeon-woo would never have noticed if Hanryeong and Shanon hadn’t told him. He was working hard to finish the Eight Writings of Divination, and he’d occasionally placed himself in danger when his mind and physical body existed in different times.

Now, he had his results: a new numbered skill. 

[Time Difference]
[Number 75]
[Proficiency: 0.0%]
[Description: A skill influenced by your trait ‘Ascetic’. Your thinking abilities and assessment of situations are speeded up.]
[*Thinking Acceleration
You have the ability to escape from the frame of time and move freely. As proficiency increases, available time for thinking increases.]
[*Organized Calculation
[You have the ability to make several calculations at once. As proficiency increases, the number of calculations you can do at the same time increases.]

Time Difference was a new skill that could only be created by the mastery of Combat Will, which meant that was as though he could slow time almost to a stop to give him a chance to think something over. It didn’t mean that he had unlimited time, but things were now more efficient.

However, this meant that the gap between his mind and the outside world would become greater, and the aftereffects would be more severe. Thankfully, Yeon-woo’s Dragon Body was strong enough to handle it. 

Yeon-woo successfully learned three of the Eight Writing Divinations, organizing the Eight Extreme Fists in the process. The separate between each stop had almost dissolved.

[You have almost reached the level of ‘master’. The skill ‘Eight Extreme Fists’ has been changed to ‘Eight Extreme Swords’.]

[‘Eight Extreme Swords’ skill proficiency has increased. 71.2%]

Yeon-woo finally had five numbered skills: Bathory’s Vampiric Sword, Holy Fire, Fire Rain, Extrasensory Perception, and Time Difference. Even though he wasn’t officially a ranker, he had already achieved a great deal. However, it wasn’t enough.

Although he had a fragment of Aura, he still hadn’t grasped it. He could condense his magic power and manage it with his Consciousness, but he struggled to maintain its form. Shanon and Hanryeong told him that he would have to only focus on Aura to overcome this.

Another month passed.

[Congratulations! You have reached the level of ‘master’. You have achieved a great feat. Additional karma will be provided.]

[You have acquired 3,000 karma.]

[As an additional reward, your strength has increased by 10 points.]

[Your dexterity has increased by 8 points.]

....

[You have learned Aura, but it is still incomplete. Practice Aura to gain a higher understanding.]

A light flowed and trembled along Carshina’s Dagger, looking as though it would disappear any moment. However, it maintained its form. Yeon-woo had finally created an Aura blade, the most basic Aura technique.

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