Nailisi took matters into her own hands and chided Erbai. Saleen only nodded his head in agreement with what Nailisi said.
Erbai wanted to cry, but no tears would come. Saleen said, “Jola, Su, keep this a secret.”
Eleanor recovered from her meditation. Saleen and her exchanged glances. Eleanor then said, “If I were to leak this out, may I never receive my ancestors’ acknowledgement and may my soul be buried in the seventh abyss!”
Seeing how Eleanor made such a vow that was considered the most vicious thing that an elf could swear on, Jola immediately said, “My Lord, if I were to leak out even half a word, may I turn into a woman!”
Saleen smiled. Jola’s vow was not a joke. Nailisi had the full capability to turn him into a woman and could even make him give birth. For a man as chauvinistic as him, this was even worse than going to hell.
Su was stunned for a moment before saying, “My Lord, I am willing to leave my clan and become your most loyal bodyguard.”
Saleen was stunned in return. Just as he was about to refuse his offer, Su already took out a half-sword and plunged it directly into his left arm. There was no blood, instead the wound split open and a small creature flew out. Without any hesitation, Su grabbed the creature in his hand and squashed it into a bloody mess.
Once this was done, Su’s wound was already patching up and blood finally flowed.
Su’s face was pale. He explained to Saleen, “This is the soul-delivery beast of my clan. If I die, it will teleport back to the holy land of my clan with everything that has ever happened to me in my life. Nothing will be a secret at that point in time.”
“Why are you doing this?” Seeing how Su had destroyed his clan’s spiritual creature, Saleen knew that Su had no wish to turn back anymore. That spiritual creature was his only chance of going home. Now that he has ruined it with his own hands, there was no way he could go back to subcontinent plane, unless Saleen was able to reach grade-12.
Su hesitated before saying, “I want to become stronger. The subcontinent plane may seem like a dangerous place, but it has actually already achieved balance. On the other hand, the mainland dimension, is also called the glory dimension. It is still growing. I must know there is no more turning back in order for me to break through my psychological barrier and really settle down here.”
“It is a saying of the subcontinent plane. The humans on the subcontinent plane supposedly came from Myers Mainland in the beginning as well. Clans with very long histories have all passed down all sorts of legends about the mainland dimension. Although the humans in the mainland dimension are weak, the dimension is still growing. It is the only one that is doing so. It is where humans originated from.”
Su was incoherent, but Saleen understood most of it. The humans of the subcontinent plane no longer had any chance to advance, but the humans on the Myers Mainland dimension were just about to welcome the second era of glory. This was also predicted in the arcane literature. At that time when Saleen read it, he thought that humans just could not accept their failures and were looking for excuses. Now, it seemed that the Myers Mainland had been simmering for a while now and the time for a breakthrough was about to come.
If humans could get rid of the Lord of Glory’s religion and stop any Gods from leeching off this dimension anymore, they might just have a chance of going back to those glory days.
“My Lord, the Myers Mainland belongs to humans. No matter what, it must never…,” Su did not continue. A tint of strange colors flashed across Saleen’s eyes.
Were past glories so important to humans? Even a human from the subcontinent plane took pride in them.
If the devils’ armies were to come knocking on the doors of the Myers Mainland, the strong humans would still find a way, but the average person would easily become the demons’ food. Demons were just like any other creature; they feared the strong and preyed on the weak. To the demons, if you were weak, then it would not matter even if you were related to the strong.
The demons would find it easier to accept if only the strong ones were left instead. Long ago, the demon dimension was also a force to be reckoned with in the war between humans and Gods. Demons had been used to humans being strong, so if one was weak, the demons would not even treat you as a human.
Simply said, the demons did not judge one by bloodline, but by abilities. Saleen was acknowledged and followed by the four demons only because he possessed the badge capable of killing a supreme demon and his formidable crystal finger. Without these abilities, Cuisi and the rest would have thought of ways and means to get out of the bond without any punishment. They might even have killed him off.
Now, Cuisi and the rest were focused on how to help Saleen get stronger so that he could lead everyone to conquer this dimension.
Saleen felt a bit helpless when he thought about the outcome the demons were working towards. He was still too weak and he could only rely on his clan’s badge. Every time he used the badge, he would have to wait for another half a year before he was able to use it again. The amount of waiting time would have been longer if not for the Goddess’ necklace which contained twenty-four lightning dragon hatchlings that provided him with electrical energy.
Neither demons nor humans of the subcontinent plane could forget the glories of the past.
Saleen could never empathize because of his background. Even if he were to become a grand mage, deep down he was still the same orphan that had no one to depend on. Even the warmth that Jason had given to him had never changed that aspect of him.
When a person’s only goal was to survive, there was simply no room for ambitions nor for glory.
Every day, there must be bread to eat. It had to be white bread and not the coarse black bread. Maybe that was what Saleen once wanted. The other things that came after were never really what Saleen truly wanted from the bottom of this heart.
“A mage exists to gain insight into the truth of this world, but I became a mage just so I need not worry about my meals every day.” Within a few seconds, many images of the past flashed across his mind.
“In the chaotic swamp, the swordmaster that begged me to bring the green dragon’s magic nucleus back to Lex…Earl Cook, who wanted to set up Aini, died protecting the palace even if he was facing countless black puppets…The silver grand swordmaster who rushed into the camp alone and died at the hands of Bain…Faerun who expended his entire life strength when facing Genesis…The wall paintings and stone tablets of Pompeii City…The grand door of Alchemy City…The raging supreme demon in Lorga City…Ismail, who never yielded…”
A dark and hidden corner of Saleen’s heart suddenly collapsed and tears flowed uncontrollably. Although these people had died, they had all left behind their own unique marks on his heart that could never be erased.
Those were the glories of pride and determination in the face of death.
Time seemed to slow down and Saleen could clearly feel that the elements around his body had almost stopped moving and transforming. His senses had never been as clear as this moment. He used his hands to catch his tears and held them in his palm.
The droplets of the tears suddenly burned and shot out from between the gaps of this fingers.
Nailisi raised her head in shock and looked at Saleen. “Master is advancing!”
Based on the hard work that Saleen had put in and his deep understanding of water-element spells, he should have advanced into a grade-6 mage long ago. His heart was weak and was not able to see the truth of this world before though.
Until today. What Su had said had finally shaken the core of his heart.
All along, Saleen has never properly considered the issue of responsibility. Although he was always trying his hardest in all that he did and for the people around him, he did not have a true purpose nor direction. If given a choice, he might have followed Sika back to Caucasus and led a life in seclusion.
“The world is about to become even more chaotic. If I continue to be lost, how can I answer to the people who are following me? How can I answer to Sika?”
The past glories of humans were always so far away and unattainable to Saleen. Only now did he realize how insignificant he was. Since he had always felt small, he had been hiding from thinking about the future.
In the future that he imagined, teacher would always be supporting him from behind. This was the thing holding Saleen back from advancing.
On the other hand, even though Su hasdheard about the huge armies that the devils were building and the God’s skin war drum that they possessed, he still chose to stay behind in Myers Mainland to realize his dream.
Jola’s eyes smiled for a split second. “Saleen has finally taken another step forward. I don’t need to leave anymore. How old is Saleen this year? Twenty? At this age, he is already a grade-6 mage. If Lex did not possess the God’s ring, Saleen would have become the world’s youngest sorcerer!”
The magic chords in Saleen’s body did not grow uncontrollably like how they did when he advanced in the past. Instead, they grew thinner and became transparent. The magic chords of a grade-6 mage could easily manipulate the elements around one’s body. Even if he did not undergo much practice, he would still be able to cast low-level spells easily without too much danger.
There was a mysterious connection between the magic chords and the elements in space. Once the magic chords evolved again and grew out of his body, Saleen would be able to control the elements as he wished. By then, he would have become a sorcerer.
Only sorcerers could cast spells while flying in mid-air because they would have complete control over the elements. Low-level and middle-level mages had to depend on the synchronization between the magic chords in their body and the elements in space before being able to cast a spell. On the other hand, sorcerers used their magic chords to control the elements directly.
In an instant, Saleen not only understood that he had advanced into a grade-6 mage, but also the path he would need to take in order to become a sorcerer.
In the opposite barrack, Lex suddenly opened her eyes from meditation. She looked in Saleen’s direction in disbelief. If her senses were accurate, Saleen had advanced!
“Has he finally grown up?” Lex felt a mixture of disappointment and joy. She was disappointed that Saleen might be able to advance into a sorcerer much faster than her now that he was a grade-6 mage. She was also happy because her only friend was no longer lost.
The threshold between grade-5 and grade-6 was without any shape or form and required the heart to become enlightened. Jason had not been able to advance at Sregl Island so he traveled to mainland and settled down in Ceylon City.
After Jason understood the path he had to take, he returned to Sregl Island. Not before long, he advanced continuously within less than ten years and became a sorcerer.
Advancing from a grade-5 mage was all about understanding oneself and not about experience. Lex also advanced to grade-6 soon after her heart was shaken by Faerun’s death.
Back in Saleen’s barrack, even Eleanor had climbed down from the bed and joined the others in surrounding Saleen. Everyone was protecting Saleen because a complicated magic symbol had materialized in front of his eyes. This symbol was gold in color and was incredibly clear. In the instant that Saleen advanced, his eye of lightning also achieved a breakthrough. He could barely feel a thing now as he was immersed in this unique spell.