(AN.: Warning, there's gonna be a big ol' dump… of info in this chapter. Sorry, but I try to keep it in a digestible format, and not dump everything on you all.)
In a dimly lit room, three figures could be seen standing in front of a desk. They were tall, much taller than your average human. The largest of them all, was robust, giant-like, more than a head taller, towering over the two females to his left. He was Milo, the warrior that greeted Spencer a while ago. He was looking helplessly at the much smaller, humanoid, long platinum-haired man in front of him.
Next to them, the two females, Shaya and Cassa were giving stern, harsh stares to the giant, who did his best to avoid their stares.
"Milo, why did you bring Spencer to that room?! You know that is forbidden! Only the top rankers have access to it, Spencer just barely stepped into the first stage!" Shaya threw the lecture with an agitated voice.
"Yes, try to use that small brain of your sometimes, you big loaf!" Cassa joined in.
Scratching the back of his head, Milo laughed out loudly trying to cover his embarrassment.
"Come on girls, it's not that big of a deal. You said that he was invited here by the Elder personally! Besides, we all seen how quickly he defeated that fiery idiot and his group!"
"Argh!" Shaya groaned in frustration at his words. "Be responsible for once! Honestly… You still act like a child, despite being ranked third…"
Hearing Shaya's words, Spencer looked at the big giant with surprise.
"You are rank 3?" He asked, interrupting them.
Turning towards Spencer, Milo's expression morphed from embarrassment to a wry smile.
"I guess, that's still the official standing…" He glanced at Shaya as he continued. "But I think Shaya here is stronger than me. After all, he has a higher foundation already, his at the peak of stage five, about to breakthrough!"
"Huh? What does that mean?" Spencer turned towards the girls and asked. So far, besides scanning his FE level, they haven't explained a thing.
Hearing the question, Shaya faced towards Spencer, planting his face in his right palm, and let out a tired, loud sigh.
"Yeah, I was planning to, but after the scanning, we were interrupted and…" She halted her speech at this point, and took in another loud gasp of air, only to slowly exhale it in the next second. With that, she seemed to calm down enough to continue.
"It doesn't matter, you are right. I guess we should go over from the very beginning."
She turned her head at Milo and asked.
"Are you staying with us, or...?"
Not bothering to give it too much thought, Milo smiled and nodded.
"I will stay with Spencer! He seems like a cool guy! Besides, I don't really remember this stuff, so it couldn't hurt to listen to you two."
With that said, he walked next to Spencer and plopped down to the ground.
Seeing the giant taking his place, Shaya could only sigh once again exasperatedly. She glanced over to Cassa who, just like her, looked extremely tired already.
Looking back at the two students, Shaya coughed once and began the lecture.
"We are at Fashacalli, the 'natural' residents of this planet as you phrased it before Spencer. The energy we cultivate, what we call Fasha, is the lifeforce of our people, the core of our existence and power. Everyone borns with the seed of this energy, but cannot use it until they step into a certain age, and manage to tap into this and began to channel their first strands of energy within their bodies, opening up the paths. This is called the Awakening."
She stopped for a moment, giving Spencer enough time to digest the information and ask if he needed to.
Just as he expected, he looked at the girls and voiced his question.
"Is this Awakening the moment when you all qualify as warriors of your people, as in when you are considered adults?" Thinking that this was similar to akin to the Earthen rituals that would mark the beginning of your adult life, he spoke up.
A faint rosy hue appeared on both girls' faces upon hearing the question. Cassa was the first to spoke up with a much higher, embarrassed tone.
"N-no! T-that's not it! W-w-what are you s-saying?!"
Exhaling once more to calm herself down, Shaya chimed in.
"You are half-right there Spencer. The Awakening is an important, key moment in our lives, but not all awakened can step into the path of the warrior, as they will have too little Fasha Energy coursing through their bodies to begin their journey through the Foundation Realm. Still, in a sense, I would say it is the moment when you are considered as an Adult."
"S-Shaya!" The embarrassed Cassa looked at her friend with a much darker tint of red over her face.
"Ahahaha, I remember my Awakening!" Milo laughed out with a loud guffaw. "I almost destroyed our home in the process! Pops��� was so furious!"
"What happened during your awakening?" Turning towards the big giant, Spencer inquired. The more he learned about these people, the more interested he became. This energy was so mysterious, so special… If he could bring it back to his people, and teach them…
"Well…" Milo revealed a thoughtful look as he reminisced about the event. "You know, when you do it for the first time, it can be rather violent… you just have to let it out you know? Well… for me, I felt this weird tingling feeling inside me, like if some wild, raging sea wanted to erupt…"
"Let me guess… You exploded, destroying most of your home in the process. Did you hurt your family?" Spencer smiled, guessing the obvious outcome.
"Nah, nobody got hurt. But yeah our home had to be completely rebuilt. It wasn't cheap, so dad wasn't too happy!"
"Milo was already bigger than most of us, and he had great potential. Unfortunately, or in his case, I guess luckily, he doesn't have any affinity, so there weren't any casualties."
"Affinity?" Spencer perked up at mentioning this. "Is that like something similar to that guy's… Basir's power?"
"Yes, he has an affinity towards Fire. His energy can be considered rare." Cassa answered the question, as she managed to calm down in the meantime.
"I guess we can discuss affinities and end with the three stages of cultivation…" Shaya added. Coughing once she continued the lecture.
"Every once in a while during the awakening, the energy will not be neutral but will have a connection with one of the four basic pillars of nature, fire, water, earth, or wind. This connection will also have an effect on their life and personality as well. You could see this in Basir's case. He had a fire affinity, giving him the ability to manipulate and use fire to enhance his attacks and be resistant to it in the meantime. At higher levels of cultivation, he could even create constructs, objects, or anything you could think of. Their mastery over manipulation of the natural phenomena that they are close with is incredible."
"I see. What about the other three?" Spencer inquired.
"Let's see... People with water affinities can be considered gentler, kinder, calmer than their fiery counterparts. They could also use their natural connection to enhance their abilities, and also to manipulate said element. They usually end up as the healers of our people.
People born with Earth affinity, as you can guess, will be able to manipulate the element, forming all kinds of things. They are mostly known for their ability to create a hardened shell around themselves, being the perfect elite guardians of our people."
She paused for a moment, looking at the two students. As expected, Milo's attention was already wandering elsewhere, playing with a booger on his finger and laughing loudly at his shenanigans, while Spencer was focusing on her with apt attention.
His fierce, piercing gaze was too much to meet directly, causing Shaya to avert his attention looking at Cassa.
Cassa, thinking that she was asking her to continue, spoke up loudly.
"As for the guys and girls with connection to Air, they are super fast. At high stages of cultivation, they are also the guys that can zap you with lightning. They are the scary guys that's for sure. Luckily they are rarer than the other three."
She stopped after her brief explanation, looking back to Shaya giving the "speaker" role back to her.
Shaya did not continue immediately, however, but gave time for Spencer to digest all of what he had heard.
After a while, as a question formed inside him, Spencer looked at Shaya with an inquiring gaze. He didn't immediately speak up, he seemed to be struggling with something.
Noticing his expression Shaya was the first to ask.
"Yes, Spencer? Is there something on your mind?"
"Yes… about the Elder. What affinity does he have? It was definitely not the four you explained. Are there others?"
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