A person open his eyes like he was being awakened from a long dream. He looks groggy and unfocused before his eyes shone with brilliance once again.
He coughed a few times, feeling the backlash of ending his training early. But it is worth it.
This person was inside a cave. He was always closing his eyes to the matters of the world, almost looking to merge with the world itself, unfettered by anything.
But today, that person open his eyes. The cave was protected by enchantment and ancient writings of otherworldly origins.
But when that person open his eyes, the cave shook and the enchantment in place crack.
The man got up and was about to move outside the cave when he remembered something very important.
He looked toward an altar. On top of that altar is an urn. Inside the urn is a wisp of a slightly silvery lightning.
The person said
‘Master’ the wisp glows brighter
‘I ask for a leave’
The wisp glows brighter and dims at a certain moment. The person nodded. Somehow, they are communicating.
Bowing his head, that person come out of the cave. Outside the cave, was a scenery of impossible and extraordinary scape
That person saw timelines, worlds entangled together by a string, and images of many possible future and choices.
This person was in a sealed dimension
This person stood on the air like he was being suspended by some invisible road.
Then without looking back, he runs forward as energy gather blew his feet moving him in a speed almost equal to light as he puncture through this weird dimension, creating a portal and went out to appear on Earth Prime.
Without even looking left and right, this person darted straight to…..Poland.
MEANWHILE AT THE SAME TIME
Evening clouds floats, light wind blows. A person look over the distance on top of the peak of the world
The figure seems lonesome and aura of death and gloom surrounded him.
That person eyes could see people dancing on the village below, as firework blooms in the middle of the day.
His eyes could even see a hundred kilometers away… and he could see the billowing clouds and see the winds, see the people.
Nothing escape his gaze.
A person is standing on top of the peak of mountain in Poland. This is a mountain that has never been here before.
With the changing geography, borders are redrawn and nationality is the thing of the past. For this man, he couldn’t care less.
His hand behind his back, his eyes closed, his hood opened showing the flawless handsome face this man possesses.
He was closing his eyes letting the cold harsh winds hit his body.
‘Hah’ he sighed
His black robe fluttered by the wind, energy spirals around him, and ripples of vibration in the air resonated each time he breathes.
He then opened his eyes, his eyes looking over the entire world, overseeing the world. That was the feeling one would feel if one matched eyes with this man.
As a snowflakes fell upon his brows, he was reminded of that woman.
That visage of her, that image of her as she sacrifices her life force for him, that feeling he felt when she embraced him….how could he deny the feeling that is blooming inside his heart.
He sighed again as the snowflakes melt from his eyebrows, melted by the energy given off by him.
Yet, his heart also yearns for another. The story of his and Katarina everlasting romance has spread wide across lands.
As he think of that woman, he felt conflicted.
‘At least, you have heard me utter love. But she didn’t. Regrets….can it be undone?’ he asked himself
‘When the wind of springs came, could we all look at each other with a smile in our faces?’ he asked himself.
The wind blows and the snowflakes keep falling. Only the sound of nature responded. He smiles bitterly, shaking his head.
His eyes open, as a glint of determination appears. Waving his hand, the winds changed direction as he also dissipate his chaotic thought for this moment
But the wind blows again, and the thoughts lingered. So, he sighed deeply. Tired and frustrated at himself.
Today he wanted to form another Disk.
Precisely because of that he wanted to calm his heart. He look at the white cloud flying being steered by the wind, but his heart is still conflicted.
Even if he smell the most pleasant fragrance, he doubt it will calm his chaotic heart.
He thought by taking a walk on top of the nearby mountain, his heart could be calmed. But he is still thinking.
And by thinking, his heart get chaotic.
Because the feeling he has could not be solved by thinking it out. Because what his mind and his heart is telling him is two different things.
Since, even now, looking at the white clouds, feeling the wind, does nothing he sighed. So, he walk down the mountain path instead of flying.
With each steps, he tries to blow away the hazy mist in his heart. The cold wind blows as his steps remains the same.
The wolf howls in the distance and the roars of beast could be heard not far away, but with each steps he taken, the sound fade away as the beast dissipated.
The mountaintop was full of monsters.
Yet, none emerge to attack this black robe man.
Instead each time he steps his foot into the snow filled land, the subtle energy emission from his footsteps alerted any monster in the vicinity.
The aura he emitted kills anything…and everything. The snow where he steps, returns to nothingness after he pass.
These beast, these human eaters, tucked their tails, spreads their wings and disperse, trying to go as far as they can.
Why does these kind of monster fear the man?
Death aura ripples from each footsteps, startling life and jolted it to stop, the clouds turns colors and the earth recede.
Those who were late will die with a single glance from this black robe man. The aura he emitted was akin a Destruction God that descend upon the mortal realm.
There is only one person in this entire world that had these kind of characteristic and such a terrifying presence.
He is the Prince of Darkness, Azief.
He got down from the mountain path and continues his walk along the forest.
The sun goes up, and through the woods he walked. And as he walked, he reflected. With all of that has happened.
And what will happened. He needs to be stronger. He did not think too much of his assassination attempt.
What is important for him right now is to assess the situations and strengthen himself and save Katarina.
The cold wind seeps into his body, dissipated almost instantly by the very involuntary emission of energy.
‘Disk Formation.’ He muttered.
It is one of the stages of cultivation in Jade Empire. But this stages is unique compared to the other stages of cultivation.
What does cultivation in Jade Empire means? Is it cultivating food? No. Is it cultivating the energy surrounding them?
Not entirely true. Is it cultivating the energy inside them?
That is not it either.
It is cultivating the heart. It is cultivating the mind. Those two quality must be cultivated first. And only then one could harness the power of Earth and Heaven.
What does Earth and Heaven means? Does the Earth refer to the place where your feet stepping upon?
Does the Heavens means the skies atop one head?
It could be interpreted like that. Or it could be interpreted by other meanings. Where one step their foot, that is their earth, the skies they saw as they look up that is their Heaven.
It could also be interpreted like that.
But what has this got to with Disk Formation. It has to do everything with Disk Formation. There is a reason why Disk Formation is unique in the stages of cultivation.
It is because one could opted out of it and directly enters Divine Comprehension. Why this is possible?
Because of the fact that Seed Formation sow Laws. Divine Comprehension stage is comprehending the Laws.
One could even say Disk Formation is unrelated to Seed Formation.
Seed Formation purpose is to turns Laws into Seed so that when one reaches Divine Comprehension one could ponder over the Seed of Laws inside their consciousness.
But how does one opted out from being a Disk Formation leveler?
The path of Disk Formation in the conventional way was for one to create nine Disk and reach to Divine Comprehension.
One could even forcefully enter Divine Comprehension early if one desires if a person stuck too long at the Disk Formation stages.
But one could skip that stage entirely by not taking that step forward straight to Divine Comprehension by forcefully blooming one of the Seeds in one consciousness.
But then if such method is accessible why does other people like Raymond, like Oreki, like Hikigaya did not skip that stage and directly enter Divine Comprehension.
Why Azief himself did not enter Divine Comprehension
Because Disk Formation form energy.
All kinds. And all is a lot. Only an idiot would skipped it. One could studied it alter when one reach past the Divine Comprehension but who could guarantee they would pass the Divine Comprehension.
But one has to understand the energy they sought to form. These are the Disk that will be formed.
Azief was not as frozen in the Mountain of Everlasting Love as the whole world believes him to be.
Instead he was forming his Disk even in his condition.
The kind of tenacity, the will and determination he possesses was like a fire for him inside that cold mountain.
When that fire burns him, it brings him knowledge. Like Prometheus bringing fire for humankind, the same could be said about the Fire from Jade Palace.
For one moment, in his baptism of fire, his eyes oversee the entire Universe, boundless wisdom passed through his mind
Like being awoken from a dream, Azief saw the vastness of the Universe and the entangling of myriads of energy that could be formed.
The limit is your own limited understanding of the Universe. The energy that could be formed is from the very essence of creations that made the Universe.
And when he decided to form his Disk, not even the Heavens could stop him, nor could an Ice Mountain suppress him.
When Azief created his Disk inside the Ice Mountains, all clouds in the world gathered. And all truly means all.
White clouds from the skies gathered above the Ice Mountain, making the whole stratosphere naked.
Lightning rampages through the skies, thunder shooting about striking anything that dares flies approaching the clouds.
The skies were at war.
The waves of the sea rage, creating large tidal waves destroying seashores. The earth trembles and mountains shakes.
Rain and storms plagued the world
At the time many of the influential people believes it was a natural disaster.
Only some believes it has something to do with the Ice Mountain. But after a year of inactivity one would also forget.
At that time, Azief was forming his first Disk. The seed which was created in his consciousness disperse like during his Energy Disperse Stage.
This time the seed inside the black hole inside Azief consciousness meld into his consciousness. The energy it gave off was heaven defying.
Azief possess a powerful constitution and a powerful energy that defies the order of things. He, himself was a taboo.
An existence unpermitted by the Laws of the Universe. He should have been strike down by the starry skies.
But the Fire came down. And the Fire washed him over.
And when the Fire washed him over, even though he was unpermitted to exist, because of the fire, he gained approval of the Will of the Universe.
What is the Will of The Universe?
Azief knows it exist. But he didn’t know what it is. Because that question was not for him to know.
Not to mention, he is unworthy to know.
So because he do not know and unworthy to know, he did not concern himself with the Will of Universe.
He did what he had to do to become stronger. That is the only thing that matters for him during his baptism.
The energy he gave off when his seed meld bound each other, entangled together in a seemingly chaotic way but was still in a way, interconnected.
‘Ssss’ Azief eyes perked up as his thought strayed for a while as he heard the sound. It sounds like the wind.
If not for Azief powerful Divine Sense he might also been fooled.
So, he walked again.
Azief walked through the forest as he stopped for a while. He heard the sound again. He closes his eyes for a while before he smirk.
He shakes his head.
Then he continues walking.
He senses something and know it. But he did not say anything.
He treated it like it does not exist. He continues reflecting on himself remembering his first experience breaking through to Disk Formation.
When the energy melds inside his consciousness, like a thunderclap exploding inside Azief mind, the suction of previous energy was unleashed.
That energy, that overwhelmingly powerful energy that could summon the clouds, commands the thunders and causes the earth to tremble slowly compacts into a giant spherical orb inside Azief consciousness.
The Sea he created was sucked into it, his Life vitality was sucked into it. Everything he is, everything he was, everything inside his consciousness was sucked into that orb.
Then for a moment that lasted for an eternity, it stabilizes.
It was at that time, the clouds disperse returning to their positions, the earth stops trembling, the mountains immovable, the thunders silence itself.
For the spectators that were able to saw the weird phenomena they quickly shares it with their friends.
They all thought it was something like a portal opening or a portent of disaster. Some believes it to be an omen of dark days ahead.
Some believes a treasure was being born by the energy of the world.
Many speculation but none could guess it was Azief forming his seed that cause such weird natural phenomena to happen.
Inside his consciousness when the orb stabilizes all the energy, a world was created inside Azief mind.
It was a true world.
It was like was seeing the formation of a planet inside his mind. A brightly shining core appears entangled by the energy he possessed.
It floated inside the darkness of his mind. Then this core radiated life and form a world. The energy collided and binding each other.
Some disperse, some bonded.
Energy filled this world, dense and thick energy sank to the center, while the lighter energy created the stabilizing factor inside Azief inner world.
It was then he created his first Disk.
The first Disk was he created was of course the most accessible energy near him. It was the Worldly Disk.
Worldly Disk is formed from the World Energy. Now, Azief could truly manipulate the energy surrounding him on Earth.
In extreme cases he could truly use the worldly energy to destroy someone by taxing his own stamina and vitality.
It takes him one year to absorb all enough worldly energy and refines it until it is completely molded into a Disk.
One could form the Disk anywhere they wanted. But usually it could only be formed on the outside.
Hikigaya has one on each eye. Raymond formed his Disk below both of his feet. When one activated their Disk, their Disk will appears in a translucent image like a halo ring.
But Azief was different.
Since his circumstances is different so does the way he form his Disk.
He forms his Disk inside his inner world. When that Disk appears inside his Inner World, that first Disk spins and rotates and turn into a sun inside the Inner World.
It shines upon the dark Inner World, bringing light and bringing life. Then a few days after that, he started absorbing new energy to form his Second Disk.
The Universal Energy.
The fact was that he sense the Universal Energy when he was being burned. The fact he could sense it means he can absorb it.
So, he absorb the Universal energy by absorbing it from the sun, and from the moon. So, his Second Disk was formed.
The Universal Disk.
With such energy inside his body Azief could manipulate the stars, the moon to supply him with energy when his energy runs out.
When he has drained all the worldly energy he could absorb the energy of the moon, the sun, and the stars.
That took him only six month.
By now, he could no longer be classified humans. Just by absorbing energy he would never go hungry or tired as long as the energy exist.
When the Universal Disk was created inside Azief consciousness that Disk spins before it disperse inside Azief Inner World, turning into the moon and stars filling the inner world with gravity.
Azief then understand that this two energy was the basic energy one could form.
Since it is always around them.
Azief also quickly grasp that everyone that reach Disk Formation could fly.
When the gravity set in in Azief inner world, Azief felt the Law of Gravity. And his body becoming even lighter.
Usually in the world, only a few people who have the ability to fly. But when one reaches Disk Formation, everyone could fly unless one block the Space with magic or brute power.
With his body slowly recovering, his absorbing power increases.
Azief was frozen yet frozen as he is, he still make people wary even though only few people believe he is truly alive.
Azief had a hard time then. He wanted the world to believe that he is incapable. He wanted to draw out the mouse and serpent lying in the dark.
That is one of his concern. And he could hear from the occasional people conversation that approach the mountains about the hardship of his companions.
But that was the result he did not like.
He could break the mountain after he formed his First Disk and helped his friend yet he did not do that.
Because he could not leave Katarina to suffer the severe backlash. Thus, he could not leave the Ice Mountain.
So, Spain kept getting hit with mysterious phenomena.
People like Hirate, like the head of the Merchant Association, Boris, and some other people who hides in the darkness believes the mysterious phenomena that keeps happening in Spain has something to do with the ice mountain.
But since they have no evidence they do nothing. Azief on the other hand by the time two years passed have formed his Second Disk.
The Worldly Disk.
The Universal Disk.
Both were refined to 100 percent completion. It was then he understand what that runes Alsurt gave him.
When he understand it, he finally understand what Alsurt gave him could not be calculated by some meager type of profit.
Now that he understand, he was feeling even more grateful to that Jotnar.
The snows keep falling in Spain, and as years passed by the desire for Azief to be stronger did not diminished.
Instead it burns even hotter.
So, he uses the rune.
Azief absorbed the rune and he could feel an ancient and a very old energy slowly meld and mold inside Azief consciousness
He formed his third Disk almost immediately.
The Ancient Rune Disk.
This time he did not have to absorb the runic energy. What is the Runic energy?
Fundamentally, runes are Word.
Words that contains magic. If it is magic and some form of energy where is it most abundant? The Eight Realms.
But Alsurt by giving him the rune, saves Azief time. The moment he absorb it, his Disk forms completely without flaws and without crack.
Inside Azief inner world, symbols floated amongst the stars.
This symbol then embedded itself into the stars, the moon, the sun and then Space and Time itself.
It becomes a part of the Inner World, merging with it silently and stealthily.
And this take only the time for one to blink for him to form the Disk.
Two years and three Disk.
Now, that he could harness the powers of Divine Rune even his word has power behind it.
For people with weak will, his voice and his orders could compel people to follow it.
And one could even be persuaded to kill themselves with an order. Runes are words. And words have power.
This is what Alsurt taught him. When you name something, you give it meaning. And when you give something a meaning, it gives that meaning, power.
By then two years has passed him by as he could by then free himself. If he went out he could dominate the world as he used to.
Now, he would even be more unstoppable after finishing the baptism of fire.
But he still did not.
He waited. But who does he wait for? Is it Sofia? No. He waited for Katarina. He could not repay what Katarina done for him with just mere words.
But he know one day he will pay Katarina back
He could break free.
But by breaking free, Katarina will suffer a heavy injury the moment the mountain is shattered. Katarina did not only seals herself and him that day.
She seals time and Space around her with it. By doing so, it preserved Azief life and at the same time saving her life.
That stunt she did, overtaxes her entire body and burns all of her longevity.
It was unconsciously done because of her desperate desire to save him.
Azief, from the day he woke up inside the ice mountain, has been feeding Katarina with his Life Energy.
With his life energy as abundant as the vastness of the skies, he felt not one ounce of hesitation to share it with Katarina.
After a month of stabilizing his Disk, he finally check the energy that enter his body when he was burned by the Purifying Fire.
What Azief found was a tattoo. Azief did not understand it when he saw it. But when he touches it the meaning made itself abundantly clear.
It was a character for Immortality in Jade Empire scripts.
It was a goodwill of the Jade emperor. Azief did not know what he did to gain such favor but he is not one to decline what is good for him.
He then without hesitation absorb the immortality character. The moment he absorbed it another Disk was formed.
The Celestial Disk.
The energy the Jade Emperor bestowed upon him was the Celestial Energy, the energy that is present in all Three thousand worlds of the Jade Empire.
So, right now, in only two and half a year he possesses four Disk, surpassing even Hikigaya records of three Disk.
One might even say he could take it easy now. But he could not. Because he is determined to once again pursue the pinnacle of Perfection.
He will create Thirteen Disk and summons the Supremacy Stairway.
This was the information that appears inside his mind when he passed the Purifying Fire.
If he perseveres and did not take the short way, persisting in forming Thirteen Disk he would be qualified to step on the Supremacy Stairway
There is thirty three steps on the Supremacy Stairway.
When one create Thirteen Disk, one could merge it to open the portal to the Supreme Dimension where the Supremacy Stairway is located.
It is called the Supreme Dimension because thirty three Supreme Beings created the dimension and each steps were forged by each one of the Supreme Beings will.
This means Azief will not be the only in the vast Universe that will be able to enter. Other people might also be able to enter.
There is another information about the Supremacy Stairway he was bestowed with. To climb Ten Steps of the Supremacy Stairway symbolizes Mortal.
Mortal of Supreme Dimension are capable to lord all over Mortals of other Realm. Ten steps alone are good and one could exit the Dimension with head up held high.
To climb twenty steps symbolizes Immortal. Thus, one would be titled Supreme Immortal.
To climb thirty steps symbolizes the Heavens. Thus, one would be titled Supreme than the Heavens.
In the Universe only a few beings was qualified to be spoken with this kind of appellation
And to walk the last three steps symbolizes the Three Steps to Perfection of Divinity. By walking this last three steps, one would have a chance to become a True Divinity in the future.
As Azief finished pondering all of this matter, he stopped his steps.
The wind stops around him as energy fluctuates and ripples of energy ripples from him as the focal center.
He look up at the skies and release a sigh. Then with a slightly smooth tone of voice, he said gently
‘Won’t you come out now? It’s not good letting your brother in the dark.’ For a while there is no silence before the sound of branches being stepped upon could be heard.
A person appears from behind a large tree. He was wearing a purple tight attire that covered his body.
Azief immediately knows his hunch was correct.
‘You have returned. I would have search you if I still could not sense you. It is good now that you seek me first’
The person nodded and shot back
‘You too, brother. I know you would have not died. You’re not that easy to kill’ Azief chuckles a bit.
‘You know me best. Walk with me’ He then immediately said.
That person shakes his head. The pace of the conversation immediately went to Azief.
But that person also know Azief best.
That person suddenly appeared beside Azief in an instant. Azief was not shocked with this display of speed as he calmly resume his walk.
The moment he asked this, electricity crackled from the purple man body.
The lightning crackled and spirals around his waist like an everlasting coiling snakes going in rotation motion.
There is no other person that has this kind of characteristic other than the Purple Speedster Will.
The brothers has finally reunited. Other people would have asked Will to elaborate. Who what? But Azief understood.
Just by looking at Will demeanor and feeling his anger, Azief knows what Will is asking about. Azief pats Will back and said
‘Calm down. I still don’t know.’ Will creased his eyebrows as he walk in pace with Azief.
The question was “Who”. The answer was “I still don’t know.”
Then what it is that they are talking about.
They are talking about Azief assassination attempt. It is why Will seems angry.
They walk through the woods, listening to the sounds of the forest, as the clouds atop of them with its carefree attitude passing by, snow drifting gently to the ground.
It was an idyllic scenery. Then Azief said
‘Do not worry. We will pay back anything that is owe to us. The pain and the suffering, we pay it back double.’
As both of them walked down, they both could see the village nearby. It was the village Azief is staying right now.
Right under the very noses of the World Government. Then Azief stop walking. So, Will also stop walking
Then Azief look towards Will and ask him a question
‘Now, I believe you have a lucky encounter? Tell me your story’ And Will only smiles before saying
‘It is going to be a long story’ Azief then immediately reply
‘That is my favorite kind of story’ and Azief smirked. Will then nodded as he open his story with this line.
‘My story begins at a Temple….
On the highest city walls, a naked woman look upon the destruction of the world. That woman wanted to cry but there is no longer any tears for her to wash away.
The world was burning.
Fire from the heavens, fire from the Earth, fire from the four directions. The people screamed, and the Heavens weeps.
From the skies it rains fire, as the girl watched everything turns to ashes. Everything she loves. Everything she hold dear.
She saw people suffering. Seeing them despairing. The screams melded into a terrifying melody.
The girl hug herself like she could feel all the pain, her finger dug deep into her flesh, blood dripping from her wound
The Gods rages and so the world burns. Seven Gods clashes in the skies, the moon, sun, stars all are misaligned
Continent was taken down, the world climates changed, the globe tilting off its axis, and the darkness seems that it would last for an age
So, the woman, she sings…….as everything burns.
And she was awakened from her dreams.
Erika opens her eyes as she realizes she was sweating all over her body. She sigh. The more time passes, the clearer she could see, but the grimmer the future she saw.
She muttered. But then she muttered something.
‘The future is changing. Slowly the future is heading off to a different path.’
The reason why Erika felt disconcerted, sometimes in her dreams, she would saw Eight Gods clashing off against each other.
Sometimes, she saw only six.
Like the future is changing somehow.
‘Someone…is messing with Time and Space.’
That is the only explanation she could think off. As she wipes her sweat, she knows what she should focus on right now.
‘Loki’ she whisper that name. For some odd reason, Erika believes she would understand if she is able to meet Loki face to face.
‘I will find you.’ She said before she lying down once again, on her bed, trying to sleep, trying to dream again.
No matter how painful the dreams or the future she saw, she would not be deterred.
Because she somehow knew….this was her destiny. And it is her duty to walk to the end of her path…no matter how painful.
Ok, it opens with the reunited pair of sworn brothers. And what or who in the urn? And why Will is calling it master?
Azief and Will is surely planning to do something big. Katarina did not have screen time this time.
And the Oracle Erika has enter the scene. Is it the Time Crisis Arc already? Not really. But who knows. If Erika actions will expedite the timeline event. There is still the Partition of the World Arc.
You can expect the WG and RA will make moves in this arc. And Azief, like always while he put these petty schemes in his mind his eyes have always look far to his goals.
More power and more strength.
And Loki still didn’t show how he intend to deal with Morgana. He promises Morgana that he has a plan regarding her actions.
And remember his word toward Morgana in the last arc. Return to Origin. Think simply. I will not put too many hints about that.
And that is it for this week chapter. Hope you like it. Donate or leave a comment to show your support