Nine Paths Of Asura Chapter 44

44 Learning To Walk
Mei's instruction was incredibly ruthless and unyielding. Despite the motions being variable based on circumstance, and unique to each situation, she specifically instructed on key points mercilessly. Over and over he was made to practice certain patterns and certain ways to prevent these patterns from being noticed. It was a pattern... but without form, a formless pattern!

"Never let an opponent figure out what you want to do, before you do it. Any sort of pattern must be erased! Similarly, a complete lack of a pattern is naturally a pattern this too must be avoided! Only then will you truly achieve formlessness and move in such a way that no one can predict your path. This will allow you freedom, the most possible safe moves! If your enemy is wary and doesn't know what you will do, he will hesitate and your options will increase. Only then can you maximize your options and walk in the midst of many despite being just one."

On and on Mei lectured, and Lineir listened carefully. The degree of difficulty of this kind of training was not like the basic stroke and footwork training of before. Before, it was enough to build muscle, and through repetition gain some semblance of the correct movement.

"Kiddo, what will you do when your enemies turn the battlefield into an ocean of fire and magma, where every step is a possible path to the hells? How can you be ready to deal with such an extreme situation if you have never encountered such a thing before? The answer is, you must have the feeling! By building up the feeling of how to move, even in unfamiliar situations, you will intuitively know what to do. You have an advantage here, your madness ability naturally gives you a critical edge, but you cannot simply rely on this innate ability. You must also have experience, now move faster, feel more!"

And so on Mei forced Lineir to walk in strange and unfamiliar ways, to go out of his path randomly, and to sometimes repeat the same movement unnaturally several times, all for the sake of creating form without motion. Lineir asked once, as a joke, when this training would be complete, and Mei simply retorted,

"It's always as complete as you want it to be. If you feel like you are unpredictable, that your opponents could not possibly fathom your movements, then you are free to stop. However, if you think there is even a fraction of a percent of a chance that they could eventually predict where you will go and how you will get there, then you can only analyze more, and increase your sense of feeling. Even when you walk in a straight line, I want you to be analyzing how you could make the enemy think you are not!"

Presently, Lineir ended up entering another field of golems. They were only about a quarter larger than the last ones, it seemed the rate of growth was slowing, but instead there were significantly more obsidian ones! There were now four obsidian ones, and five silver ones! Additionally, there was one blue golem which Lineir had never seen before! Wary of the new enemies, Lineir approached slowly, carefully staying out of their range.

"Mmm, Mei is it worth fighting them? At my new level, I feel much less threatened. However, those four obsidian golems are pretty annoying being resistant to electricity, and as for the blue one, I have no idea. But if one seventh tier core could advance me a realm, even if these golems all also only contained seventh tier cores I would still gain greatly correct?" Lineir was excited. The idea of breaking through realms so quickly was simply unfair to the Heavens and all the other regular practitioners who spent their lives cultivating.

"Disciple, let me clear your head right now. While you may have easily crossed the Gathering Storm Stage, the Raging Storm Stage is different. The Gathering Storm Stage has very little actual technical difference from the Rising Storm Stage. The only real difference is the power level of the cultivator. However, now that you have entered the Raging Storm Stage, not only will your requirements for elemental energy to break through grow greatly, the technical requirements will vastly increase! Simply put, not only would seventh tier cores not greatly increase your level, they would not do much at all if you do not raise the level of internal spin in your Second Heart! You actually cannot devour too many cores, you will in fact be better off spitting out the cores if you need to use the Three Headed Hydra's devour ability. Otherwise, if you do not have sufficient spin in your Second Heart, the extra energy will cause your inner elements to go out of control and go wild, tearing itself apart! You will lose all your cultivation, and possibly become a cripple. Thus I can only warn you once again, do not think you can simply keep skipping realms without properly cultivating!"

Mei was adamant on this. While there were some special techniques which could traverse realms consistently and at great speed, the devour ability was not one of them. All it provided was an instant absorption of power, if used in excess, without a proper foundation it was not only worthless, it was detrimental! However, Mei did not stop Lineir from fighting the golems.

"Actually kiddo, go for it. The number of cores you will require to completely traverse this realm is insanely high, even if you were to consume seventh tier or higher cores. So it's fine if you eat a few now. Besides, you need to condense some rain in your Second Heart, that is the hallmark of the Raging Storm Stage, and a major advantage. Also, this is a fine opportunity to test your ability to avoid predictive movements. These golems act very much on instinct and themselves are quite predictable. Thus they are the perfect opponent to figure out how to outwit. Wander amongst them and destroy them without getting caught!"

Immediately, Lineir charged in, he already knew how these golems thought, the only thing left was to see if his body could outwit them! Weaving in and out, Lineir moved at an incredibly high speed. He essentially abandoned stealth for speed, yet he did not completely go all out. Rather, it was like he was opening himself, if something wanted to come, it could, but it would not stop Lineir! Dipping in and out, he actually made it more than three fourths of the way through undetected, when finally the routes of the golems made them impossible to avoid. However, Lineir had planned for this, the two to discover him were two of the ordinary silvery golems! As they locked on to him, he charged straight between them, and whirled in a circle while still sliding forward with every step.


Tap Tap

Clang! Clang!

His sword cut both their legs, and instantly they froze as lightning locked them down.

"Surge!" He straightened from his wild spin and continued to half walk, half run his way through. After making it through to the other side, he complained,

"Darn it Mei, these guys aren't even enough to pose a real threat to me, I can't enter the madness state and devour their cores!" Mei, however, quickly gave Lineir another task,

"You dare act as if you've accomplished something, go through this golem field ten more times first! You are still way too predictable!"

Down below amidst the lower levels, the various Patriarchs of the greater sects were all having extreme troubles going up the Pillar.

"What is this restrictive formation, so powerful, it feels as if my Second Heart weighs a thousand pounds!" The Patriarchs and elders were not flying, instead they were walking like ordinary mortals, and they sluggishly fought golems, attracting more and more. They didn't look much better at this point than their disciples they had left behind.

"The higher we go, the worse it gets, the oppressive aura here is as if the Heaven's themselves were pressing down on us!"

Patriarch Goldive had had enough. He was fed up with this slow progress.

"Enough, every sect must have come to the same conclusion, we must use our Sect Treasures to advance, all elders, activate your hidden treasures, we will be the ones to the top!"

Instantly, the glows of hundreds of artifacts were lit up all across the lower levels of the pillars, and the speed of Patriarch Goldive and the elders greatly increased. Running past the golems rather than fighting them, they kept going up at a frightening speed. However, this speed came at great cost to all the great sects which were relying on treasures to advance. To use the last resorts of their sects, if they didn't gain something in return then their sects would have truly lost out this time.

Back up a few levels where Lineir was, he was almost about ten percent of the way up the visible portion. His speed had greatly increased after entering the Rising Storm Stage, and he was now fast enough to stun golems and evade them! In this way, his progress was simply incomparably fast to before, the work of weeks of backtracking now took days! A fraction of the time for the same distance! He was beginning to feel that things were going smoothly. In the back of his mind though, he still couldn't shake a feeling of pressure. But he certainly did not feel as pressured as the elders below, rather he positively flew around, madly dashing from point to point following Mei's specific instructions. He had been doing this for a long time now, and his mind had begun to think in strange ways. If anyone were to see him, they would be confused. His motions were very efficient, he covered distances with minimal effort, yet he would sometimes take odd paths which no one would expect at the strangest times. It would baffle even the most experienced fighters. He was becoming unpredictable.

Lineir had just finished navigating a huge field of over fifty golems! Not a single one had locked on to him, and he had walked through them as one might walk through a field of tall grass. His passage was indistinguishable from the passage of the wind, it was very hard to make out any discernible pattern in his actions. He simply walked. However, as he let a breath slip out, and was about to continue on his way, a noise which made him start for the first time in days came.


The shriek of that dragon was much weaker than before, and not very close, but he still paled and quickly ran away.

"She's still following me! Give me a break, I didn't do anything!"
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