Chapter 43: Viola's Trial
After practicing changing color in sequence for a long time, Sila was finally able to get a hang of it. Sila now realized that Poluk had given him so many hints. Changing elements uses the same concept as changing attributes of the body with Formless Soldier. He needed to swiftly change the color by concentrating power at once instead of accumulating power to do so bit by bit.
It is like Qi Reinforcement in a sense that speed plays a more important role than power.
"I can do it. I can do it." Sila smiled at his own success.
A mere second was needed for the current Sila to change his element. To complete the element cycle by sequence, only 5-6 seconds were required. Although it was tiring, he could somehow use it in actual combat now.
Viola slowly walked toward him. Seeing so, Sila was quick to greet her.
"Rest for a moment. Afterward, I will conduct the trial." Viola declared.
Sila nodded then sat down to recover his magic points.
"I'm ready," Sila said after he had checked that his magic points had reached the maximum.
"Okay. The trial shall start now. You have to change into all elements in a sequential manner," ordered Viola.
As he had practiced for so long, Sila was very confident. His body changed into six colors respectively within five seconds without fail.
Viola nodded. "Very good. You are quite skilled."
"So, I've passed the trial, haven't I, Master?" Sila smiled back at Viola's comment.
Viola shook her head. There was no smile on her face. "No! Next is the actual trial."
Sila was shocked. Prior to this, Master Viola had told him that to complete her trial, he only had to successfully complete the element sequence. He didn't understand why there was another trial waiting for him.
"Wait, Master, why is there another trial?" Sila questioned.
"That's because you have spent too much time practicing. Do you know how much time has passed?"
"One day, I think?" Sila replied hesitantly.
Back then, he remembered that Viola had said he would take the trial tomorrow. As Viola didn't appear, he couldn't know how much time had passed. This place was always bright without night time, worsening his perception of time.
"Wrong! Including today, you have spent seven days practicing. That's why the trial has to be harder!" Viola declared.
Sila frowned. His perception of time might have become worse. But he felt like it wasn't possible for that much time to have passed. He believed that it has only been two or three days at most.
"Does Master misunderstand something? Seven days is too long. I think that…"
"Silence! Are you telling that I'm in the wrong? Should I give you a failing grade?" Viola said.
Sila shut his mouth. Using the trial to threaten him like this, he had no choice but to give up.
"What kind of the trial do I have to pass this time?" asked Sila.
Viola smiled. "Your changing elements could be used for showing off, but in real combat, it's still lacking. Your opponent wouldn't be kind and wait for you to change your element at ease. You need to be keen and change your element at the right moment."
Sila nodded. Viola's reasoning was well spot on.
"In this actual trial, I will jump to bump into you every three seconds. Within half a minute, if you can successfully defend against my bump at least eight times, you will get a passing grade." Viola smiled.
"Is that all, Master?" Sila wondered. This trial sounded too easy to be true.
"Yes. By the way, my attack will be an elemental one. You need to change into the advantageous element to be considered successful in your defense. Otherwise, you will be deemed as failing even if you can block me neatly. Do you understand?" Viola said.
"I understand," Sila replied. He still thought that Viola was hiding something.
"We will now begin. Don't worry. I won't bump into you with too much force. The objective of this trial is to test whether you can choose your element keenly. Although, if you do it incorrectly, there will of course be some minor painfulness."
Sila got goosebumps. How much pain is considered 'minor' in Viola's dictionary?
Sila stood confronting Viola. Both of them still didn't change their element. Viola could change her element freely at her will but Sila couldn't. Sila realized that he would be in a disadvantageous position if he changed his element first, as Viola could change hers accordingly.
"First time is to warm up. Wind!" With Viola's sentence, her body turned green and she jumped towards Sila. He then quickly changed his element to ice.
In this contest of changing elements, Sila who was defending had the upper hand since he could change his body into any element in the first attempt. The problem would be the following ones since he had no time to change his element back to normal.
Once their bodies collided, nothing happened. Viola jumped backward.
"Very good. Earth!" Viola jumped at him again. Sila needed only a brief moment to change his element to wind to parry her.
"Next is, lightning!" Viola jumped forward again. Sila was calm and defended against her by changing his body into earth element.
'This is easier than I thought. I have succeeded three times so far.' Sila thought.
Viola grinned. "Next, water!"
Sila didn't pay much attention. He changed his element to lightning. But as soon as Viola approached, he was shocked.
Even though she said she would use a water elemental attack, her actual current element was fire.
Sila lost his focus, cancelling his change in element. He was bumped by Viola and he felt hot as if he was burned.
"Argh! Hot!!" shouted Sila.
"Fufu. What's wrong? Do I need to always tell you the truth? Ice!" Viola jumped at him with fire element again.
Sila strengthened his focus. He didn't pay attention to what Viola was saying anymore. He blocked her attack by changing his element to water.
"Don't be too easy to fall into a trap. Ice!" This time Viola's words matched her actual element. Sila defended using fire.
His worry grew. Sometimes Violatold the truth, sometimes she lied. It caused Sila to become confused.
"Next. Lightning!" Viola changed to wind. Although Sila was still worrying, he tried his best to ignore her words. His focus was entirely on the color on her body. He succeeded in blocking once again.
"Haha. Next is also lightning!" Viola's element changed to fire. Sila was quick to change his to water. However, before they collided, Viola changed to lightning at the last moment.
"Arghh!!" Sila felt like he was electrocuted. Viola played him by changing her element at the last moment.
"I already told you that it'll be lightning. Why don't you believe me? Next is wind!" Viola declared. Her element also changed to wind.
Sila could get the hang of her objective. Viola wanted him to change his element in an instant, not changing beforehand and waiting for the attack.
Therefore, Sila didn't change his element. He was waiting in water element form. He would decide which element to change to at the last moment.
As he had predicted, once Viola came closer, she changed to earth. Sila quickly changed his element. He respectively changed his element from water to fire, ice, and wind to block against her successfully at the very last moment.
Viola pulled a wry face. "This time is ice!" She shouted.
Sila panicked. Ice wins against wind. That meant, from his current wind-elemental form, based on the sequence of elements, he needed to almost complete the elemental cycle to become an element that advantageous to ice. He hadn't been able to do it in a short time. Nevertheless, he tried his best.
Once the two bodies collided, Sila who stayed in water form felt pain. He really couldn't do it in time.
"You've been hit three times already. This is the last one. If you can block me, you pass. If you can't, you fail." Viola said happily.
Sila tried to focus without caring about the freezing sensation he had felt before. He needed all of his concentration to cope with this last attack.
"The last time is, not telling you!" Viola rushed at him.
Sila focused in this heated battle. Although Viola said so, he could predict that she would use the same method to force Sila to complete the elemental cycle.
However, even though he knew it was coming, he still had no way to cope with it. He really couldn't change his elements with that much speed.
What Sila had predicted turned out to be true. Once their bodies had almost collided, Viola changed her element to the lightning.
At this moment, in Sila's mind, time seemed to have slowed down. Sila remembered what Poluk had said to him. "Our slime-race skills always have more than one way that they can be used."
Did he really have to change element in sequence based on Master Viola just teaching him so? Sila realized this right before forcing his elemental form to change two steps in reverse.
Their bodies finally collided. Sila gritted his teeth to prepare for the painfulness.
But nothing happened. Viola hopped backward.
"Very good. You only practiced for five days and you're able to change element in reverse." Viola complimented.
Sila released a sigh of relief. He had staked everything on his last-ditch effort to change element in reverse and it paid off. He felt so tired, though.
"Changing element in reverse requires ten times more energy than in sequence. Remember it well and don't do it unless it's necessary." Viola said.
"So, have I passed the trial?" Sila smiled.
"Yes. You have now passed the actual trial." Viola said.
Sila smiled again. It was really hard but he finally overcame it. Now that he thought about it, magic-type skills were indeed unsuitable for him. He only needed one day for the qi-type trial but had to spend several days for the magic-type one.
"I'm happy for you. Okay, then… prepare yourself for the actual trial - mark 2!!!" Viola shouted.
"WHAT!!?" Sila shouted back.
"Don't you see? Once you overcome the actual trial - mark 2, there will be the actual trial - Z, and then…" Viola continued her speech.
Sila listened to the tens of trials he had to overcome. "Master, doesn't this seem fishy? Why there are so many trials?"
"What? It's up to me how I want to examine your ability. I will conduct as many trials as I need to ensure that your comprehension of this skill is maximized. The current you can exert only 10% of its power." Viola said.
Sila's mouth was wide open. Slime-race skills were very complicated and had so much depth. If he needed to understand them completely, wouldn't he had to spend a year practicing?
"Normally, just completing the elemental sequence is required to pass, isn't it, Viola?" There was a man voice coming from behind.
Viola replied without turning back. "This is my trial, Divine. You have to wait for your turn."
Sila took a look at Divine, the last Slime Guardian he met. Divine's appearance wasn't a slime as Sila had anticipated. He was a white-haired handsome man, leaning his back against a wall.
"I have waited for too long. His Majesty himself sent me to observe your trial. His Majesty is concerned you played a prank in the trial." Divine said.
"His Majesty sent you here?"
"Correct. His Majesty also told me that the whole ordeal should have been finished long ago. But since this little brother still struck at the second stage, he ordered me to have a look for once." Divine said, looking at Sila.
"It's my right to decide whether this whelp passes my trial or not." Viola pouted.
"Of course, you still have the right to do so. I just want to remind you that, compared to other slimes who had come to take the trial, is this man considered inferior in changing element to them?"
Viola gave it a thought. Actually, Sila's ability to change element had reached a satisfactory level. It was just because Sila got it easy because of Poluk's advice that she felt discontented.
"Geez. Okay. I'll give him a passing grade." Viola said.
Afterward, Sila body was glowing. The system sound alerted.
Player Sila has overcome the trial of the Way of Slime (Magic Part).
Skill (F) Colorful Slime has been promoted to skill (S) Orbiting Cosmos.
Sila didn't wait. He immediately checked his new skill's description.
Racial skill: (S) Orbiting Cosmos
Magic-type skill. An art of magic manipulation. Can be used to change part of the body or its junction to become one with the element.
Decrease opponent's magic-based attack power by 20%.
Prevents user from being able to use any other magic-type skills.
Viola walked away slowly. She gave Sila one last word before she left.
"Remember these words of mine. Orbiting in the sequence is cosmos. Orbiting in reverse is also cosmos. Changing in sequence to connect to the outer universe. Changing in reverse to connect to the inner universe."
Sila couldn't understand a thing but he still tried his best to remember her words. He then politely said goodbye to Viola.