I have always been a firm believer that we can always learn new things everyday.
Today I learnt something that was especially disturbing, even more disturbing than the fact that plants start to grow whenever I put my focus into cultivation.
The part where I learnt that putting in too little Energy Quarks to materialise a Technique will cause it to fizzle out is true, but the part about it exploding in your face if you use too much is completely false.
This doesn't really make sense because I actually had a Technique explode on me before, it was when I attempted to cast a Technique for the very first time actually.
Back then when I just started cultivating, I had less than no idea what I was supposed to expect, so I just poured in as much Quarks as I could just to summon forth a simple ball of fire. That just led to the air in front of me blowing up and destroying half the training field.
They told me I had gone overboard with my first attempt and instructed me to tone down my Quark circulation. I had misunderstood that as the instructors informing me of my over-usage of Quarks to cast the Technique.
Thus, I had spent every single waking moment practicing and training until I got it right, eventually getting the feel of how much Quarks is needed exactly to perfectly cast a Technique in any situation without it blowing up.
And of course, that brings me to the present.
It seems that to perfectly cast a Technique with the exact amount of Quarks is possible but only in theory.
One has to take into consideration the conversion loss of energy and the environment that one casts their Technique in might affect the amount of Elemental Quarks needed to materialise it. Without a tool as an accurate measure, it is always better for one to use more Quarks than actually required to materialise a Technique.
Because of that, I had always thought it was completely natural for someone to be able to do this and that I was the only problem student. I even attributed that to the fact that I had lost my childhood memories before, thinking it was a factor to my slow learning.
I hadn't even bothered to check how my disciples were casting their own Techniques because of that.
If only I had bothered to just glance at their Quark concentration when they cast Techniques, I might have realised this fact about Quarks sooner.
But that still doesn't explain why my first try exploded in my face.
It seems my 'struggling' back when I was still younger was entirely unnecessary. But why didn't any of my past mentors mention anything about this to me? I guess I'll have to check with Sect Master Qing later to get an answer.
In the meantime, it seems my little revelation there has stunned all of the students. Considering that it even stunned Sylphy, I suppose it was a pretty big deal after all.
Now all of them are looking at me like I'm some kind of heaven sent genius, except for Tekiteh of course. That guy just seemed to be even more pissy than before, glaring at me from time to time like I killed his whole family or something.
"Elder Gong, does that mean you were already aware of Mark's capabilities before this?" Brendan inquired.
Elder Gong nodded while stroking his beard, "I had an idea of it already, yes. I did not want to discourage any of you so I didn't want to bring that to attention.."
That was so full of crap I'm surprised he managed to say all that with a straight face. Anyway, doesn't that mean they're all discouraged now? Did you have a plan for that?
"Mark," Elder Gong turned to me. "Why don't you tell them how you achieve such a skill? I'm afraid that your display may have caused their own confidence to take a hit."
You sly old dog, pushing the responsibility to me!
"Well I guess it was all because I had a very strict teacher. Whenever I had gone over the limit, my teacher would hit me to train me. It took me years of practice to get it right."
"Years?" 'Chris with a K' tilted his head at me. "You look like you're eighteen at most, when did you actually awaken as a Practitioner?"
"Oh Er Thirteen?" I lied.
"So soon?" Chris gasped.
Well yeah, normally people will only know they have talent as a Practitioner at fifteen to sixteen years old at the earliest. But to keep the ruse up, I had to make it seem that this Mark really was a prodigy.
"Yeah, I had a tutor back at my place to start out early and I just Awoken it without meaning to one day." I explained.
"Alright," Elder Gong clapped his hands together to get our attention. "Let's not waste time anymore. Today, all of you will be improving your Quark circulation by taking part in mock combat. There's six of you so I shall do the pairing. Mark, Tekiteh, the two of you will spar together first. The rest of you will watch and take note of their actions.."
I turned to face towards the little arrogant kid just as he flashed me a smirk, it was obvious he wanted to use this 'spar' as an excuse to beat me.
Both of us stood a distance apart from each other, awaiting Elder Gong's signal to begin.
I don't think dealing with him is that hard, I'll probably just hand his ass over to him and call it a day. To this point, I still do not understand what is so special about him?
Elder Gong raised his hand into the air before dropping it quickly down to his chest level, "Begin!"
As soon as the words left his mouth, Tekiteh was already dashing towards me, his figure just a few short meters away from my position.
That action surprised me since I thought he would just stand his ground and start casting what he thinks are the best offensive Techniques on me.
I was still quick enough to recover and monitored his movements carefully, my eyes darting to his raised right hand that has electricity sparking off of it.
This confirms his specialty is probably in Lightning Quarks, a rather surprising one since it's a Combination Elemental Quark.
He stopped a few steps away before unleashing a bolt of lightning towards my direction, obviously confident that I would not be able to dodge the attack from this distance.
I was almost tempted to dodge or deflect it, but I had the sudden idea that it might be a better idea to downplay myself at this point of time.
I'm already standing out way too much with the plants growing around me and that Perfect Circulation thing anyway. If I win this as well, they might start to get suspicious.
Maybe if I show that I suck at live combat it might lower their expectations and image of me?
And so, the lightning bolt hit me right in the chest, exploding in a shower of sparks and sending me flying backwards to land on my back a short distance away.
To make it even more convincing, I let out a yell of pain and even started groaning while I curled up into a ball.
Heh, this should be convincing enough for them right? Bet they will be--
"""Mark!""" Three voices called out in unison, one feminine, one masculine and the other sounding rather old and sagely.
Sylphy, Brendan and Elder Gong crowded around me, clucking away like a mother hen would as they checked me for injuries.
Goddamnit! Can't you three read the mood?!