Paragon of Destruction - Chapter 57

Published at 12th of August 2019 08:29:06 PM

Chapter 57

Arran awoke with an aching head and a sore body, still feeling the tingle of Natural Essence within him . He sighed, knowing that he should have expected a gift from Panurge to have unforeseen consequences .

The food was normal enough . Although it contained a small amount of Natural Essence, it was less potent than the food Lord Jiang had given him, and he could eat it without issue .

The wine, on the other hand, was something else entirely . Both ridiculously potent and loaded with Natural Essence, just a few sips had left him feeling intoxicated and trembling with energy, and he had soon been completely hammered .

Of course, that was not just because of the first few sips — the two bottles he had drunk afterward had not helped, either .

For an hour or two, Arran used Lord Jiang's circulation technique, until finally the soreness disappeared and he finished absorbing the last of the Natural Essence .

After that, he sat down on the hard floor and got out the three scrolls . The first one he looked at was the Realm Scroll . Already knowing what it would do, he put it aside for the moment . Instead, he looked at the two spell scrolls .

As he examined them, his attention was caught in an instant . One described a spell named Battering Force, and the other a spell named Force Shield . A quick glance at the contents confirmed that the spells would do what the names suggested, and he knew that both would be incredibly useful if he mastered them .

He put the two spell scrolls away and picked up the Force Realm Scroll again, more eagerly now that he knew some of its uses . After a deep breath, he began to study it carefully .

Less than an hour later, he finished working his way through the scroll, and it turned to ashes in his hands . This did not surprise him — by now, he was familiar with how Realm Scrolls worked .

Having finished the Realm Scroll, he now had a Force Realm . But of course, he hadn't opened it yet . Doing so would still be weeks of work, if not more, unless he took a Realm Opening Pill .

At that thought, his eyes lit up, and he realized that he finally knew how to escape .

He hurriedly took out the Realm Opening Pills he had in his void bags . With the two he had left from Master Zhao and the four from Panurge's bag, there were six in total .

That should be enough, but with a thought, he searched the treasures he had taken from the Herald's stronghold . He had looked through those when he first arrived in the cell, searching for something that might help him escape the cell . When he found nothing useful, he had left the treasures untouched, all but forgetting about them .

Now, he searched furiously, overturning the void bags with the treasures, and carefully sifting through all the items inside .

Two hours later, he had another three Realm Opening Pills, for a total of nine . That, he thought, should be more than enough .

He was about to take the pills when he was struck by a sudden thought . After he burst through the door, what would he find outside?

With Panurge's tricks, he was certain that he would not be able to simply away — there had to be something more behind the door, whether it be tricks, traps, or enemies . Yet if he took the Realm Opening Pills and used their power to break down the door, he might be left unconscious for days .

He put the pills away with a sigh, then sat down to think . He needed a plan .

For a time he sat in silence, brow furrowed as he considered his options . Just bursting through the door with the power of the Realm Opening Pills was tempting, but even with his strengthened body, he could not be certain that he would be in fighting condition afterward .

A better option was using several pills to break open his Force Realm, then learn the spells Panurge gave him . But would it be enough? Using Windblade, he was only barely able to scratch the door, and his Wind Realm had been forced open by a dozen Realm Opening Pills .

After a moment of doubt, he rejected both choices .

The first was far too dangerous, while the second might not work at all . And if it didn't, raising his power far enough to bring down the door might take years .

He thought it over, then reached a decision .

He would strengthen his body until he was confident that he could withstand multiple Realm Opening Pills without losing consciousness, and then, he would blast down the door . And during the time it took to strengthen his body, he would also study both the Force Spells and the Windblade spell .

Decision made, he set to work .

The first thing he did was to take a single Realm Opening Pill, both to open his Force Realm and to test how well he could withstand it .

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It didn't take long before he could feel the familiar pain of raw Essence flooding his body, but he closed his eyes and gritted his teeth, intent on enduring it . It was bad, but not as bad as he expected — clearly, his training in Body Refinement had paid off .

The pain finally subsided some hours later, and as it did, a grin appeared on Arran's face . He had succeeded in staying awake despite the pain, with his body still well enough to fight . Achieving the same feat with multiple pills would be more difficult, but now, he knew it was possible .

Force Realm opened, he examined the Force Essence that now flowed in his body, and he was surprised at its power . He could sense that it was different from the other types of Essence he had . Somehow, it seemed stronger, as if its power was more focused .

He tried using it, sending out a blast the way he did with Fire and Wind Essence, and the effect surpassed his expectations . If using Wind Essence was like blowing out a candle, then using Force Essence was like hitting it with a hammer .

At once, he understood just how powerful Force Essence would be once he mastered it . Yet despite his excitement, he put the thought aside . His first goal was to strengthen his body .

As he sat on the floor, he took out two bottles of Panurge's wine, putting one on the ground next to him and taking the other in his hand . He took a large swig, and instantly, he could feel the effects — intoxication and Natural Essence both flooding his body .

This time, he was prepared, and he began to use Lord Jiang's circulation technique, drawing the Natural Essence into his body while simultaneously using its power to fight off the intoxication .

By the time he drained the second bottle, nearly two hours had passed, and he was exhausted . Still, he felt some excitement as he knew it had worked — he could already feel the Natural Essence from the wine strengthening his body .

Satisfied, he went to sleep, knowing that his true training would begin the next day .

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In the months that followed, he quickly fell into a routine of alternating Body Refinement with magic practice, only pausing when he needed to sleep .

Panurge's wine made his progress in Body Refinement even faster than it had been before, and using his experience mastering the Windblade spell, he managed to gain a basic grasp of both Force spells in under two months .

The power of the spells was as astonishing as the Force Essence itself .

Using Battering Force, he was able to focus Essence to a degree that was impossible even with Windblade, giving it far more power for the same amount of Essence . Had his Wind Realm not been so monstrously strong, he might have decided to neglect his practice with Wind Essence altogether .

Where Battering Force was a devastating attack, Force Shield was at least as impressive a defense . As the name suggested, it allowed him to form a shield of Force Essence, and from what little testing he could do by himself, he was confident that it would easily stop weapons and at least some magic .

More months passed, and eventually, Arran's progress began to slow .

While he knew he could advance further, both in magic and in Body Refinement, he also knew that from now, each step would take longer than the last . Still, he persisted, even if he could feel that his time in the cell was coming to an end .

One day he awoke, and he knew that the time had come .

He still wasn't confident in his ability to face whatever lay beyond the door, but there was no use in worrying about the unknown . He had spent close to a year preparing and training, locked in the cell . If that wasn't enough, then he would die . So be it .

Setting aside his remaining doubts, he walked up to the door . Then, he took the Realm Opening Pills in his hand — five of them, each containing the condensed Essence of a Grandmaster .

He swallowed the pills at once, then gritted his teeth, waiting for the pain to come .