Chapter 3 – Red Boar School
Calron stepped into the simple wooden carriage and sat across from the older man, as one of the soldiers sat next him while the remaining one sat ahead in the driver’s seat.
“What is your name, boy?”
The robed man brusquely asked Calron.
The older man had dark coppery skin as if he had stayed out in the sun most of his life, but it was his piercing dark green eyes that evoked fear in others. The cold aura emitting from him shook Calron’s heart, but he forced himself to retain his calm expression.
Seeing no reason to refuse or be hostile from beginning, Calron simply answered.
“Nice to meet you meet you, Calron. I’m Warrick, a ninth rank earth elementalist of the Spiritual stage.”
Warrick tried to sound polite but the coldness still remained in his tone. He knew that if he could influence this boy who had yet to mature, then he could use him to hunt magical beasts on his own. The greed of the elemental cores was too great for any person, regardless of their cultivation or power.
Calron simply nodded at the older man’s introduction, but he didn’t say another word.
Seeing the boy’s attitude towards him, Warrick couldn’t help but frown.
What’s with this kid, even though he’s a weak lightning elementalist, he still dares to disrespect me? However, Warrick did not say those words, as he still wanted to use Calron in the future.
“Do you know where we are going, Calron? The city Lord has ordered me to take you to the Red Boar School to train your cultivation for two years. The Red Boar School is one of the middle-tier schools of Vernia, and their founder was a famous fire elementalist in the Royal Army. You should be grateful to the Lord for giving you such an opportunity to be one of their outer disciples.”
Calron again only nodded at this new piece of information.
He knew that the Lord only wanted to use him, and to do that Calron had to cultivate to reach a higher rank otherwise even first rank Spiritual stage beasts could kill him with just a scratch.
For the next few moments, only the sound of the carriage could be heard.
This brat! A trash like him is even allowed to step foot into Red Boar school, and yet he shows no reaction. Just wait boy, once I get my use out of you, I’ll whip you for your insolence.
Warrick couldn’t help but inwardly fume as his thoughts raged on, but he maintained the outward aloof cold expression on his face.
After a full fifteen minutes, the carriage had finally stopped.
The soldier sitting next to Calron stepped out first, followed by Warrick and then Calron. In front of them was a courtyard full of young people between the ages of eight and twelve, as well as some older youths.
“Those grey robes indicate that they are all the outer disciples of the school.”
Warwick pointed out as he stood next to Calron.
An elderly hunched man in a black robe stood in the center of the courtyard, as he addressed all the grey robed disciples. Calron could not hear the words, so he stopped paying attention to them and instead focused on the surroundings.
The school was quite large, as his entire village alone could fit into just one of the school’s garden.
The gate had the insignia of a red headed boar and was what Calron assumed was the symbol of the school. Calron could also see a range of buildings that spread around the area, along with a few smaller batches of huts, which he guessed were the living quarters for the disciples.
Just then, it appeared as if the black robed elderly had finished talking to the disciples as he calmly walked around the courtyard.
The old man suddenly noticed Warrick, and smiled as if he was expecting him.
He calmly started to walk towards Calron’s direction. Although the old man had a slight hunch in his back, he walked without any difficulty and his movements almost seemed as if the old man was slicing through the air currents. He only had a few white wisps of hair around his head, as the rest of his head was completely bald.
The old man’s wrinkles crinkled around his eyes, and his lips slightly curved upwards as he continued to walk forwards.
It was obvious the black robed man knew that Warrick was coming, due to the lack of surprise on his face and his furtive glances at Calron indicating that he knew very well why this child was here.
Warrick slightly bowed to the elderly man as he finally reached them, and Calron guessed this old man probably had a much higher cultivation than Warrick otherwise this cold snob would not be so respectful towards another person.
“Welcome, welcome my friends! Warrick, I trust this is the young man who was sponsored by Lord Regis?”
The old man questioned Warrick even though he knew the answer.
“Yes Elder, he’s the lightning elementalist that Lord Regis wants to cultivate. He has already awakened so he can begin his cultivation immediately.”
Warwick respectfully replied to the Elder.
The Elder nodded and then turned to look at Calron as started to examine him. Calron looked back at the old man, and for the first time he didn’t see any sort of contempt in someone’s eyes when they looked at him.
As a family of servants and furthermore a family with a lightning elementalist, people generally looked at Calron either with pity or disdain, knowing that in the future the boy was destined to be weak no matter what. Seeing none of these reactions from the Elder, Calron was a bit taken back and the Elder seemed to guess what went through Calron’s mind based on his reaction, as he very well knew the life of a lightning elementalist.
“Boy, what is your name?”
The Elder asked gently.
Calron timidly replied.
“Very well. Let’s be off then, young Calron”
With that, the Elder started walking away and Calron hesitantly walked behind him. The old man had not even looked back at Warrick or even wished him a farewell. This only seemed to further infuriate Warrick, but he just clenched his fists, and rode back in the carriage with the two soldiers quietly following him.
After walking away from the courtyard, the Elder took Calron towards a large building while providing him with a few details on the nearby building. The massive building in front of them was called the Foundation Building, where the outer disciples gathered to receive a spiritual pill every week and receive training in Martial Arts.
Although elementalists did not have to practice Martial Arts for cultivating, a true expert in the continent of Agatha would always practice at least one form of Martial Art, as it provided a greater destructive power when combined with the elemental essence.
So every aspiring school in the world would have mandatory Martial Art training for the young cultivators, as which school would want to be known for having weak disciples?
“Since this is your first week, I’ll let you have your first spiritual pill now and I’ll teach you how to cultivate your elemental essence. Spiritual pills are not necessary for cultivation, and sometimes it might affect your foundation if you consume too many of them, so try not to depend on them. It seems that you’ve just recently awakened, so you need to learn the proper methods to cultivate, understood?”
The Elder instructed Calron while still walking towards the Foundation building.
“I understand, Elder”
Calron immediately responded. He decided to be a bit more respectful towards this old man, as he did not look down upon him, and Calron would repay any good will with his sincere respect.
They finally entered the Foundation building and right at the center, was a small shack, which was being maintained by a middle-aged woman who looked to be in her late thirties with just the hint of grey on her hair.
“A spiritual pill for the lad, Gretha”
The Elder said while indicating Calron to his side. Without hesitation, Gretha took out a green pill from a small jar handed it to the Elder.
The old man thanked her, and then started walking towards a room on the corner of the building. Calron nodded towards the woman and followed the Elder, while the woman went back to her work wondering who the boy was.
Obviously she did not dare ask the Elder. Although the Elder was kind to everyone around him, it still did not change the domineering power he had at his disposal. The absolute requirement for being an Elder of the Red Boar School was that the person must at least be in the first rank of the Vajra stage!
Calron entered the room behind the Elder and sat down on the place indicated by the old man, who then followed to sit in front of Calron in a meditative pose.
“I’m going to now teach you the proper way to cultivate your essence. First, sit in a meditative position with your hands forming a teardrop shape with just your fingertips touching. Place both hands near your navel, and start breathing in a three step variation, with the first breath deep, then exhale quickly, and finally take in another deep breath.”
A green glow emitted from the Elder’s entire body rather than just the wisps of essence, and Calron finally knew why Warrick was so respectful to this old man. The Elder actually had the cultivation of a Vajra stage expert!
Only in the Vajra stage does the body fuse with the essence, so the essence would emit from the entire body rather than a few wisps swirling around. The Elder suddenly stopped and gestured for Calron to imitate his movements.
Calron took the meditative pose as well and started to construct his hands in the same shape as the Elder, as he started the three step breathing technique.
However, after the third breath, there was still no sign of his essence gathering around his body.
“Draw your essence towards your core every time you breathe in, as this will direct it from your surroundings and into your body. Try again.”
Elder explained calmly.
Although this three step breathing appeared to be simple, but combining the sequence of breaths with the circulation of essence, it was simply too difficult to comprehend on the first try.
Furthermore, the hand gestures had to be extremely precise in order to direct the essence, or else it would just gather around the body but not be absorbed inside the core.
Calron immediately started again, but this time he drew in his essence each time he breathed in.
Faint trickles of golden essence slowly coalesced around him as he felt the light brushes of the essence against his skin. It was a pleasant and warm touch, as the essence was slowly being absorbed by Calron and each time it entered his skin, small bolts of lightning would softly crackle at that place.
The Elder abruptly drew in a sharp breath, as even his calm exterior could not contain his surprise.
He had just wanted to show Calron the procedure for cultivating, so the boy could practice until he perfected his forms and then finally start to absorb the essence, but this kid copied his hand gestures almost perfectly!
The boy’s control over his own essence at this stage was simply too extraordinary for an eight year old.
It would normally take a few weeks till a child could actually start ingesting essence from his surroundings.
“Now take the spiritual pill and cultivate again.”
The Elder said, as he came out of his daze and handed out the green pill to Calron.
Calron instantly swallowed it and started the cultivation process again.
Just after a few seconds, the essence gathered around Calron again, but this time the golden wisps were slightly thicker than before. The Elder patiently waited, as he knew it would take about half an hour for Calron to absorb all the essence.
If this boy had awakened to any other element besides lightning, then he would have definitely been a genius! However, with his lightning element, his future was sadly restricted to the Spiritual stage.
Such a pity.
The Elder inwardly thought as he shook his head in regret.
The Elder suddenly looked towards Calron.