In Belacia, the Borderless City .
Burapha had never thought before that this place would become his second home . The players living in Belacia City loved to fight and they sincerely respected the strong . On the contrary, even though Colossia City was called the Battle City, the only battle-related activities to be found there were the tournaments regularly set up by the system . On the other hand, battles could erupt practically anywhere and anytime in Belacia City . It was the city in which battles truly never stopped occurring .
Anawin, the Medical Saint, wrapped a bandage around Burapha’s upper left arm, cast a healing spell, and tapped the man on his shoulder .
“Done . Even though I like treating people, if you plan to stop by every day, maybe you should consider staying in my clinic . ”
Burapha smiled as he rolled his sleeve down . He proceeded to the clinic’s exit . “Thank you . I will try my best not to visit you too often . ”
“All jokes aside, if you’re hurt, you have to get your body treated . Leaving a wound unattended is the same as pointlessly torturing yourself . Don’t do it . ”
Anawin’s voice reached Burapha before he left the clinic . Afterward, the Medical Saint returned his attention to his other patients . Outside, Balaz was waiting for Burapha . There were a lot of wounded players every day, so the inside of the clinic was quite cramped and chaotic . Seeing Burapha exiting, Balaz approached and greeted him .
“How about it? Shall we stop for today?”
Burapha shook his head . “No, time is short . I’m starting to get the hang of this skill . Let’s continue . ”
Balaz nodded and both of them took off . Their destination was the place Burapha had been spending all his time in after returning from the Floating Magic Kingdom . He analyzed the experiences he got from each battle, trying his hardest to polish his skills further so that he wouldn’t be a burden for anyone anymore .
Both of them took many turns, walking toward one of the unfinished buildings . Along the way, they saw many white sheets of canvas used to surround several buildings, keeping people from going inside . Giants and dwarfs were busy working on the construction .
The two walked past many monsters and went down stairs leading underground . The current Belacia City was no longer a simple city out in the open . Thanks to the Dwarf King’s city planning and tunneling, the city itself had become a large secret base with complexity rivaling a maze .
Balaz knocked the wall at a dead-end two times as a signal . Soon, the stone pile was moved away, revealing a spacious room behind . Even though they were underground, the ventilation was so good that they didn’t feel any discomfort .
Vogue, the Evil Eye King, had revived from his death some time ago . He greeted Burapha and Balaz, then pointed his finger toward an empty arena .
“This time you will have to fight Alex and Saki . ”
The Sheep King was sipping tea from his mug . Vapor from the cup clouded his pair of glasses, so he had to take them off to wipe them . His suddenly revealed eyes were like those belonging to a sheep, making it difficult to read his expression . As for the Wind King, he was dozing in midair as if he was sleeping in an invisible cradle . He yawned so hard that his eyes watered slightly .
“Whatever~ Let’s hurry . I’m bored~”
Balaz turned to look at Burapha, feeling concerned . “I think you should fight normally this time . ”
Burapha held his lance in both his hands . “For developing psychic abilities, it is faster if it is more dangerous, sir . Don’t worry . Please do it . ”
Balaz said no more words . He took out his Dark Soul Mage Staff and placed it on Burapha for five seconds as it was a condition for triggering a certain spell .
“Curse of A Hundred Souls . ”
Black mist poured out from the head of the mage staff . Burapha still found it uncomfortable even though he had seen it many times . The mist coiled around, making itself into a chain, and locked Burapha’s arms and legs . The chains then sunk into his skin, showing up as chain marks . Burapha felt his body suddenly become heavy as if a hundred souls were coiling around him and dragging him down . His stamina dropped and his muscles weakened as if he hadn’t rested for days . As his movements were constrained and suppressed, his psychic power overflowed .
Seeing the young human’s determination, Vogue the Evil Eye King couldn’t help but be amazed . While it was true that psychic power would develop better in crises, he had never seen someone be so reckless as to constantly and endlessly plunge themselves into danger to polish their strength like this .
Vogue’s eyes could see through Burapha’s physical strength that was drastically dropping .
“Same as always . ” Vogue made a hand gesture . “Burapha will put his all into defending for a full minute, then he can take a break and get himself treated . ”
Burapha repeatedly got himself into a corner . This was the only course of action that would allow him to catch up to other powerhouses who were far superior . He would no longer let himself become just a hindrance or a sidekick .
Soon, he would proudly advance to the front line of the war .
Saki and Alex were speedy attackers . Both of them mysteriously vanished as soon as the match started . Meanwhile, Burapha took deep breaths without changing his tempo . He was securing his tranquillity .
The ocean is most terrifying when it is grand and calm, yet surrounds every single thing on Earth as if all things are insignificant and small .
“Rhythm of the Single-Drop Ocean . ”
In the Blue Pigeon Guild’s secret headquarters .
The Blue Pigeon Guild’s information storage room was a massive library within a special dimension . Its entrance was located in a place that no one would ever expect . There were more than a thousand books in the room, with the contents inside all of them being important pieces of intel and the guild’s main source of income . Every book was written by one of the vice-leaders or Boss herself . In any case, the contents of every book had to be confirmed and approved by Yardpirun before it could be stored in this room .
Any of the vice-leaders had the right to access the place in order to read, study, or make a copy of the information in the room . However, they had to inform Boss first about their purpose of visit and what information they sought . If such information would be used to generate revenue, they would have to pay a commission fee to the guild .
Bluebird had been in the room for several days, though naturally he was not there willingly . Rather, he was forced to do so since Yardpirun ordered him to summarize every report written by the other vice-leaders this month .
Knock, knock, knock .
The sound of someone knocking the door could be heard . Before Bluebird reacted or replied, the door was swung open . The people walking inside were the three other vice-leaders—White Swan, Noppakorn, and Rattana .
“Oh~ sorry! Are we interrupting?” White Swan asked as if she truly didn’t mean to interfere .
“Damn right you are!! What business do you have here?!” Bluebird replied without raising his head from the book in his hand .
“Boss just approved our reports, so we came to store them in the room . ”
Bluebird gritted his teeth . Normally they would have simply left the approved reports with Boss . Personally coming to visit the room implied that the three intended to witness his pathetic state of being forced to read and summarize their reports .
“Place them and get out, then!”
White Swan showed a cunning grin . “Well~ Well~ since you have to read them anyway, I might as well place them here . ”
A pile of books, with their stacked height being roughly one and a half meters, was placed on a table next to Bluebird . Their combined weight was so heavy that it caused the table to shake, almost unable to support the books .
Bluebird was agape and yelled, “Oi! The requirement is just one report per month! This many reports should be enough for the rest of your life!”
“Well~ We three just had a strong urge to finish them all within this month, right?” White Swan turned her head to ask Rattana .
“Absolutely right . I don’t know why, but various bits of news seemed to pop up a lot this month . Here you go, my reports . ”
Rattana placed her reports down . Their stacked height might only be half compared to White Swan’s, but the fonts she picked were significantly smaller .
Pissed off, Bluebird picked up a book at the top of the pile and read its title .
“Colossia City’s New Wonder: The Night Where Fireflies Compete Against Stars . New Romantic Spot in Monster Soul . ” Bluebird gnashed his teeth . “Who the hell would be interested in this bullshit?! Fireflies showed up, and you needed a report with 45 pages to cover it?! Are you taking your job seriously?! Don’t just write random piles of trash!”
Rattana showed a big smile . “But Boss said this news will become really useful . After the war event will be a period when players find this kind of news interesting . It will become a big hit at that time . ”
Noppakorn sighed . “It must be rough for you . ”
Bluebird shifted his gaze to Noppakorn . Spotting that the latter only carried one book with him, he was touched . He wiped tears from the corners of his eyes .
“You’re my true friend, pal . ”
Noppakorn tapped Bluebird on his shoulder . “That’s for sure, pal . Here you go . ” He handed Bluebird the book .
Bluebird received it with a smile spread across on his face . However, once he read the title of the book, a horrified look replaced his smile .
“D-Decoding the Ancient Language . . . P . S the attached sheet of paper is the list of reference books required to understand the context . ”
One sheet of paper flew out from the book . Looking at the long list of names, Bluebird felt a sense of emptiness .
Finally, Noppakorn showed a smile as well . “Now, now . We were here just to see this look on you, cough, I mean to encourage you . Fight on, pal!”
White Swan and Rattana chuckled . Then, Noppakorn’s report fell from Bluebird’s hand to the piles of books on the table, which finally crashed down due to excess weight . Seeing the scene, the three couldn’t hold their laughter in anymore .
“Hahaha! It’s worth all my hard work just to see your face right now! Today must be a very good day~” White Swan said in a loud voice before leaving the room, together with the other two .
Finally alone in the room, Bluebird flicked his finger and cast a spell to lock the door . His body shivered as if he was crying . However, what came next was a burst of laughter .
“Hahahaha! Did you really believe that such pranks can budge me, the Great Bluebird? Watch your backs! I will have my sweet revenge later . It seems the time has come for me to use this thing . ”
Bluebird took out two cards he had gotten from the Mysterious Tailorbird Mask Man . After he had them unsealed, he found that both cards had the ability to strengthen racial skills . The cards even clearly stated that they could only be used to strengthen tailorbird-race skills . For psychic-type abilities and objects, the more limitations, the better their performance would be .
Bluebird inserted both cards into his system window . He snapped his fingers and took a deep breath .
“Psychic Bird Dance . ”
Thirty tailorbirds flew out from his ring . Bluebird looked at them, feeling pleasant . “Now try using my skills . ”
All thirty tailorbirds transformed at the same time, each turning into a Bluebird with blue skin .
“Awesome!! Let’s segregate duties . I’ll sleep, and you guys do the reports, okay?”
All of the Bluebirds nodded with solemn expressions on their faces . However, as soon as the real Bluebird laid down and closed his eyes, the rest of them almost immediately laid down and slept—exactly in the same manner as the original .
In the Mansion of Secrets, Sila’s personal bedroom .
Zarnak’s domain vibrated slightly . Its body, which had coiled around the room, started to move . The black dragon opened its eyes, waiting for its new master to exit the state of enlightenment .
For the record, it knew full well that Sila had successfully mastered the Flaming Cloud Qi’s reverse circulation and already took the first step toward learning the Nirvana Part .
Sila opened his eyes shortly after . He didn’t sense any difference in his body, only in his feelings . His gaze wandered around, observing his surroundings . However, except for Zarnak, he saw nothing .
“Zarnak . . . How long have I been circulating qi for?”
“My got-lot-of-questions master . . . I don’t know . I’m a dragon, not a clock . ”
Sila felt like he was being demeaned, but he didn’t feel the slightest bit angry . Rather, he was calmer than ever . It was as if everything had suddenly become trivial .
‘This must be the effect of the Cloud Part . My thinking processes, emotions, and experiences have been tempered and reorganized . My thoughts have never been this clear before . ’
Considering how much the Cloud Part had improved, Sila was excited to know what the Flame Part had evolved to be . He opened his palm, and the black flames were continuously burning on top of it . The flames weren’t scorching hot on his skin anymore . In fact, they were comfortably warm .
Staring deeply into the flames, Sila didn’t see them as a simple cluster of flames, but flames which consisted of numerous molecules . Apparently, the flames’ offensive and burning power, along with the rate at which they would spread, all got an excessive increase . Yet the difference between the current and the prior version wasn’t as clear as what happened to the Cloud Part .
“Is this the Nirvana Part, Zarnak?” Sila felt rather disappointed . He had expected to witness something more majestic and extraordinary .
“This is only half of Nirvana Flame, my ignorant master . The flame which you have been using until now is called Demonic Flame . Its prominent point is its spreading power . Most Demon Gods of other generations were proficient in this particular flame . Anyway, Demonic Flame is more suitable against multiple enemies than a single opponent . On the other hand, if you materialize the qi flame in the reverse manner, you will acquire a different kind of flame . ”
Sila attempted it immediately . Strangely, it was easier than he had anticipated . It was as if his body had long since become accustomed to the procedure like normal breathing . The black flames then spiraled in reverse and became dignified white flames—they were the most beautiful kind of flames Sila had ever seen . For a moment there, he even fell into a daze and forgot about his surroundings .
“This kind of flame is called Angelic Flame . It’s a similar flame to what the Demon God Zenga used . The flame burns the target and marvelously leaves no traces . The destructive power assembles in the center . The way it burns is irregular, burning from outside to inside . The burn will be so quick that the target won’t even feel the heat while so beautiful that they won’t feel a sense of danger . For both kinds of flames, only those who specialize in the Flame Part can wield either of the two . For you to be able to handle both flames, it implies that you have stepped into the realm of the Nirvana Part—the endless cycle with no start or finish—the final destination of all profound practitioners of Flaming Cloud Qi . ”
“How can I use Nirvana Flame, then?”
“It can be achieved by using both flames simultaneously . Nevertheless, I advise that you don’t attempt it here unless you find your mansion and all your friends in this dimension boring . Lastly, this is the thing you left in my care . Take it back . ”
Zarnak opened its mouth and spewed a dragon egg out . As soon as the egg touched the floor, everything scattering in the room suddenly floated up and stopped in midair . All sounds were lost as if they were absorbed into the egg . Sila jerked up, feeling as if he was just hit by a lightning strike . Soon, cracks appeared on the egg . Through these cracks burst forth intensely bright light that engulfed all, including Zarnak’s large body .