With the flames gone, Jambati finally felt everything come back to normal. If this had continued for a while, he would have died from the extreme heat. What kind of power was that? That could not possibly be the man's soul armos.
In the Second Dimension, there were only two kinds of soul armos; beast-type and weapon-type. While the beast-type included all kinds of beasts and creatures, the weapon-type soul armos included all kinds of weapons and artifacts.
Sometimes, a weapon-type soul armos could have an elemental property, for example, a flaming sword or a spear capable of summoning wind. However, no soul armos took the form of an element in its purest form. This was why it made no sense to Jambati that Inferno had been able to summon flames from nowhere.
Inferno bowed to Verrin and then, just like he had appeared, he vanished. As a member of the Four-Element Diamond Shield, Inferno was responsible for guarding Verrin's front. Anyone who dared harm Verrin or speak ill of him to his face would have to deal with Inferno first. It was for this honour of being Verrin's front guard that Inferno was called the first element.
Apart from the shape of the diamond that Verrin's guards took when it came to protecting him, they were also called the elements because of their mystic ability of summoning elemental powers to destroy their enemies. Their respective names showed what kind of element they could summon. Inferno had the ability to summon flames and hence, was named Inferno.
In the Second Dimension, the power of the soul armos was not the only power people had. There were several mystic powers which have been developed for several thousands of years. These mystic powers were trump cards used in addition to the soul armos during battle.
Some of these mystic powers were innate while others were acquired by learning. Examples of innate mystic powers were the innate essence attribute and the soul beast connection; the ability to communicate with soul beasts. Innate mystic powers were inherited through birth, and thus, certain mystic powers were only found within certain families.
On the other hand, acquired mystic powers were learned. This type of mystic powers were created by talented people at various times in history. Many powerful families and clans grew their power by developing many mystic powers for themselves. Thus, acquired mystic powers of great clans were more of mystic arts made up of several mystic powers. Some of these mystic arts included the Mystical Combat Art of the Yugaki-Haniki Clan and the Ancient Mystical Weaponry Art of the Agnorah Clan.
The power of flames Inferno had just summoned was under one of these mystic arts known as Sight of the Harmonic Universe. Mastery over this ability could give someone the ability to plunge their enemies into chaos simply by looking at them. In Inferno's case, he had the ability to summon a mighty inferno that could consume everything he saw as an enemy. This specific power under the Sight of the Harmonic Universe that involved summoning a mighty inferno was known as Netherworld.
But of course, Sight of the Harmonic Universe was more of a psychological warfare than a physical one. So although Jambati's senses could perceive the flames around him, in actual fact, the flames were not there. This was why Verrin could sit within the fire and not be harmed. But just because Sight of the Harmonic Universe was not physical did not mean one could underestimate it. The more powerful a person's essence was, the more powerful the mystic art. Thus, even other indigo users would have a hard time against Inferno's Netherworld.
A cold shudder ran through Jambati's spine and he almost fainted from fear. Inferno was an indigo user? The first time the man had appeared, Jambati had been too paralyzed by fear to realise it, but now, it was all too clear. Before Inferno had disappeared, his eyes had turned indigo and Jambati had seen a faint indigo light surrounding him.
Jambati had always thought that Verrin was the only indigo user in the society. Who would have thought that there was another monster in their midst. For him, a green user, to go against an indigo user, he really must be tired of living.
Jambati was still feeling too weak to get back up to his feet. He had just had a close encounter with death and that had weakened his entire state of mind. His last bit of strength completely disappeared when he saw the golden-masked man slowly approaching him with calculated steps.
The closer Verrin got, the more Jambati trembled in fear. Although Verrin was not in a hurry, there was something about the way he moved that struck fear in the depths of Jambati's heart.
Soon, Verrin was standing over Jambati's trembling form. Slowly he took of his golden mask, revealing the face of a middle-aged man. There was a a thick scar running across half of Verrin's face. And yet, that was not the first thing a person would notice about Verrin's face. Instead, it was his eyes. They were burning with maddening rage, and for a moment, Jambati almost thought he would simply die if he looked at the man for too long.
"The poison inside your brother has no cure. It will afflict him until he's dead. And the throne, it's never going to be yours. Don't worry, there will be no Dream Kingdom to rule." Verrin burst into a cruel laughter. Honestly, he was having great pleasure crushing Jambati's dreams.
But of course, he was not completely honest when he said there was no cure for King Ometu's poison. Verrin himself had concocted that poison from an ancient poison essence he had stumbled upon several centuries ago in a sacred tomb. The poison would kill a person slowly, sapping out their life force, and there was nothing anyone could do about it. It was no wonder even after eight years, no one had found a cure for the king.
However, only one thing could cure the king, and that was another poison essence.
In several millennia, no one had had the Innate Poison Essence. But now that the Iqamih Clan had a new clan head who had awakened their poison essence, it meant that there was one cure in the world. But of course, no one knew where the clan head was. As long as Verrin found the clan head of the Iqamih Clan first, King Ometu would never be cured. This worked to Verrin's advantage. If the clan head had not gone missing, the Elders of the Iqamih Clan would have taken the clan head to the royal palace to cure the king. Thus, it was a good thing the clan head had gone missing instead. The destruction of the Abira royal family was absolutely essential to Verrin's plan and he wasn't about to let anything disrupt it anymore.
"You are no longer welcome here. Hand over the golden coin" Verrin said.
He had been meaning to sever his partnership with the prince for sometime now. This was why he had asked Madoy to do so, but who would have known that the prince himself would be coming here to the headquarters. Now that Jambati was here, Verrin saw it as a good chance to end their partnership in person.
From the beginning, he had not intended to help Prince Jambati secure Dream Kingdom for himself. Why would he do that, when his aim had been to destroy Dream Kingdom all along?
Verrin thrust his right index finger, and a thin surge of indigo essence flew out of Verrin's finger towards Jambati's palm which was holding the golden coin. The surge of indigo essence, upon coming into contact with the coin, wrapped around it, and then carried it back to Verrin.
An evolved indigo user? Jambati thought in shock. All along, he had assumed that Verrin was only an indigo user. But it seemed he had misunderstood a lot about this man.
It may seem like there was not much of a difference between an essence in its primordial state and its evolved state, but that was far from the truth. Evolution brought about certain powerful changes to both the essence and the soul armos. For starters, when one had an evolved essence, one could transmit their essence at will and use it as firepower during battle. Essence in the primordial state could not be transmitted away from the body, and thus could only be used as a shield around the body.
Moreover, when an essence evolved, it increases its concentration level thereby making it more abundant. Even if two people are of the same essence level, say the green level, the one whose essence was in the primordial state was bound to deplete their soul energy faster than someone with an evolved essence.
In addition, once a soul armos evolved, it became even far more powerful than its primordial state. Thus, within the same essence level, an evolved essence user was in a far better position to win a fight against a primordial essence user.
Indigo users in themselves were terrifying existences in the Second Dimension. With only a single stomp of their foot, they could cause an earthquake capable of devastating an entire country. The fact that Verrin was an evolved indigo user meant that even normal indigo users would not even stand a chance against him.
It was no wonder Verrin had no fear of Inifa Haniki. Jambati gulped, realizing how extremely foolish he had been. Clearly, the Society of the Black Mamba did not lack indigo users. How could someone like him, a bastard prince, with a mere green essence, think he could grant someone like Verrin power? How naive had he been.
Verrin's eyes transformed into deep indigo while his indigo essence encircled him like indigo flames. While the primordial essence were like endless coils of light, the evolved essence was like a thick mist, which were of a deeper colour than its primordial counterpart. In a calm, but terrifying voice, Verrin said, "If I ever see you again, I will kill you. Inferno, get him out of my sight."
Inferno reappeared, and without saying a word, he grabbed Jambati by the neck, off the ground, like one would grab a feather. Then in mere seconds, they were gone.
The moment Inferno was gone, Verrin's eyes slanted in wary. He cast his gaze towards his right direction, as though peering deep into something. It had been rather faint, but after releasing his essence, he had sensed it, albeit for only a few seconds. Whoever it was must be very skilled to mask their presence like that.
"Ogin." Verrin called. A woman suddenly appeared on Verrin's right side. Then she bowed curtly.
This woman, was Ogin, one of the Four-Element Diamond Shield. She was Verrin's right guard, and was known as the second element.
"Grand Leader." Ogin said.
"We have an intruder in the Headquarters. You know what to do."
"Yes, Grand Leader." In a single flash, the indigo essence trailing after her, Ogin was gone.
Back outside, Shadolu had succeeded in infiltrating the Headquarters of the the Order of the Golden Basilisk.
While in Arochi Tavern, Shadolu, through his own means, had retrieved pertinent information from the one-eyed gatekeeper. It was from that information that Shadolu had learned that there was actually a bridge beneath the tavern, and that bridge was connected to the Headquarters. Just as the gatekeeper had said, Shadolu had found an intra-dimensional bridge underground. It seemed that the bridge was what had disconnected his soul perception from reaching Prince Jambati. Bridges distorted space, which was why Shadolu's soul perception had refused to work around the bridge.
As soon as Shadolu traversed through the bridge, he found himself in a large castle. The gatekeeper had warned him that the bridge would reject him, since it was designed to recognize only people with the tattoo of the golden basilisk or people carrying a special golden coin. But of course, Shadolu had not been worried about that.
He was a soul armos, not an actual person, and thus, his presence would not be recognised by the bridge. Of course, the one-eyed gatekeeper did not know that.
While in the Headquarters, Shadolu had managed to conceal his presence entirely, thus, although there was a random twelve year old boy wandering within the castle, no one paid him any attention.
As Shadolu walked around, he extended his soul perception. Shadolu's soul perception allowed him to view everything around him within a thousand meter radius. He could see and hear everything as though he was standing right there as long as there was nothing blocking his soul perception.
And since Shadolu was a soul armos linked to his master via their souls, everything he saw or heard was simultaneously seen and heard by his master, Uin. The maximum distance Shadolu could stay away from Uin was about five thousand kilometers. The fact that Shadolu had not yet disappeared back to his master meant that they were still within their distance limit. This also meant that the Headquarters was somewhere still within Dream Kingdom. Still, the farther Shadolu was away from Uin, the weaker his overall strength became. Thus, he had to be very careful while here.
With his soul perception, Shadolu could see every part of the castle with ease. Suddenly, his soul perception came across something strange. In a vast hall, there was a mighty inferno threatening to raze the entire castle to the ground. Within the flames, Jambati was screaming in pain and a man with a lot of facial hair was standing over Jambati, his eyes burning with rage.
"Sight of the Harmonic Universe." A frown formed on Shadolu's face. Why would someone like that know this mystic art? Unless… Does he have a connection to one of them? Shadolu thought.
Before Shadolu could make sense of what was happening, the flames vanished, and a golden-masked man began approaching Jambati.
Once the man got near Jambati, he took off his mask. He had a deep scar running across half of his face.
A sense of familiarity overtook Shadolu. It was not that he had seen this person before. But there was something about the person that made Shadolu feel like he knew who it was. Or was this perhaps, Master Uin's memories? Does Master Uin know him, Shadolu thought.
Suddenly, the man with the scarred face looked right in Shadolu's direction as though he had sensed Shadolu's presence. Shadolu blinked rapidly in shock. He had been careful in concealing his presence but it seemed this man had seen right through him.
Before Shadolu could do anything, he heard a a melodious voice coming from above him.
"Have you come to die, little boy?"
The twelve year old boy raised his head to see who was talking. That was fast. What kind of people was she dealing with? To think that there were people in the Second Dimension who could rival her master.
Standing in mid-air was a woman with indigo eyes and indigo essence shrouding her entire body. The woman's presence was like a warrior goddess ready to pounce on mere mortals. Of course, this woman was Ogin, the second element of the Four-Element Diamond Shield.
Had it been anyone, the woman's powerful presence would have sent them into a state of insanity. But the twelve year old boy was not just anyone. Instead of panicking, he had a sly smile on his young face.
"But in the end, you are not master's equal at all." He chuckled.
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