Chapter 86 – Intruder
Bursts of sunlight seeped through the gaps within the trees, and illuminated the entire forest with its rich radiance. The shadows of the tree leaves reflected onto ground, creating a beautiful array of shadows and light.
Only the faint sounds of a bird singing, or an occasional cry of a beast could be heard, but it was clear that they were all quite far away from this specific location.
Calron groaned, when he felt the sun rays pierce through his eyelids, effectively waking him up from his slumber.
Feeling the small lump of warmth on his chest, Calron gently moved Avi’s paws away from his neck, and slowly stood up.
We should be able to reach the beast city by this evening.
Calron inwardly thought, as he lazily stretched his body.
Feeling refreshed and energized, Calron walked a few feet away from the sleeping pup, and sat down in a meditative pose. It had been quite a while since Calron cultivated his essence, and he was curious about the changes within his elemental core after his breakthrough into the Vajra stage.
Calron deeply exhaled, and began absorbing the lightning essence from his surroundings.
Thin tendrils of golden essence began to spiral above Calron, and slowly trickled into his skin. The wisps of essence moved at an agonizingly slow pace, causing Calron to widen his eyes in surprise.
“Huh, what is going on?”
Calron muttered with worry in his voice, as he sensed that the essence seemed to almost refuse to enter his body. Only a fraction of the essence appeared to be absorbed into his core, while the rest simply floated around on top of his skin.
“Looks like cultivating just anywhere will not help you much more.”
Ezkael calmly stated, as he materialized on a tree above Calron.
“Teacher, what do you mean?”
Calron asked with a frown on his face.
“Once you advanced to the Vajra stage, the lightning essence within your old core merged with your muscles and bones, causing lightning to be a part of your very body. Keep in mind, that your body absorbed the purest liquefied form of essence, so now, if you try to absorb a weaker and more impure form of essence from the surroundings, your body will simply reject it.”
Ezkael explained, as the dark smoke around his body slashed through the fruit stalk.
“Does that mean, I will be no longer be able to cultivate out in the open?”
Calron muttered as he willed a bolt of lightning to flicker across his hand.
“Not necessarily… but it will take countless days for you to advance into the second rank of the Vajra stage by cultivating with that method. However, there is another way in which you can cultivate quite effectively and overcome this problem.”
Ezkael replied in an amused tone, as he threw the pear-shaped fruit down at Calron.
“What is it?”
Calron nonchalantly caught the fruit in his hand, while raising his eyebrow in suspicion as he detected the trace of mirth in his Teacher’s voice.
Calron had been getting so used to his Teacher materialising around him, that he stopped noticing the small changes occurring with Ezkael’s smoky body, as his Teacher had just physically thrown an object with his illusory hand.
“Simple… you just have to absorb bolts of lightning again.”
Ezkael laughed out, as he drifted below onto the ground and stood next to his student.
Calron’s body involuntarily shivered as he recalled the memories of when he broke into the Vajra stage by absorbing a single bolt of lightning.
“Yeah… let’s keep that as a backup plan.”
Calron let out a nervous laugh, as he closed his eyes and began the arduous process of cultivating under this new predicament.
“Whatever you say, kid.”
Ezkael chuckled, as his body exploded in a burst of smoke and dispersed into the wind.
He knew that sooner or later, his student would come around to becoming more comfortable with nature’s lightning.
When that day arrived, Calron would realise just how deep and mysterious his connection was with the heavenly lightning.
Feeling a sloppy wetness on his face, Calron gradually opened his eyes to a small tongue slobbering all over him.
“Good morning, Avi… ”
Calron breathed while cleaning his face of beast saliva, and gently nudging the drooling puppy away from his face.
I hope this does not become a routine.
Calron thought with a slight smile, as he stood up from the ground and began walking towards the cooked carcass from last night.
Avi excitedly jumped around, as she cheerfully trailed behind the human.
“Here, eat this while I heat up the meat.”
Calron quipped, as he flung the fruit in his hand towards the little pup.
Leaping off from the ground, Avi caught the fruit within her jaws and began happily munching on it while Calron started to heat up the carcass.
Settling himself on the ground, Calron nervously looked at the busy wolf pup as he contemplated on how he would break the news to Avi.
The little beast made a curious sound while continuing to munch down on the fruit.
“We will have to go back into the air soon.”
Calron muttered as he quieted down towards the end.
The little pup abruptly dropped the fruit on the ground, and began threateningly growling at Calron while staying fixed in her place.
Shaking his head, Calron resumed trying to heat up the carcass by sending bolts of lightning into it.
Calron cried into the open sky when he felt the little pup bite into his neck.
In truth, Avi biting into his body did not really hurt Calron as his scales completely protected him. The juvenile wolf’s teeth hardly made a dent onto his body, but Calron still pretended to be hurt, as he knew that it would slightly appease Avi and let her feel like she had achieved something.
Seeing that chomping on his neck hurt the golden bird, Avi bit even deeper into the metallic scales while feeling giddy in her heart. The human had forcefully made her fly again, so she decided to take her revenge by biting down on him.
Meanwhile, Calron continued to fly across the sky while letting out an occasional screech for Avi.
Scanning through his memories, Calron deduced that they were only a few hours away from nearing the beast city’s location.
The Beast King…
Calron brooded within his mind when he remembered those piercing and powerful eyes.
“Hahaha, I see it! We are finally here, Avi!”
Calron excitedly yelled, as he sped towards the still distant form of the fortress.
Avi lazily responded with a bark, and resumed back to her nap.
She was tired from biting down on the hard metallic scales for hours, and her jaw muscles seemed to be sore from the stress.
With her paws tightly wrapped around Calron’s scales, the little pup shut her eyes and began softly snoring.
Unknown to the little beast, she was slowly adapting to flying in the sky.
“Teacher, any ideas on how we approach entering the city?”
Calron silently sent his thoughts to Ezkael.
“Hmm, we should probably sta- “
Suddenly the loud roar of a beast interrupted Ezkael just as he was about to respond.
A strange roar erupted behind him, as a massive flying figure rapidly approached Calron.