Fighting God Chapter 28: Breakthroughs
Over the rest of the week, Aldred decided to continue training. He needed to be as strong as possible before he reached the Demon Forests. Who knew what would happen when he arrived. What if he suffered from hostility instead of hospitality? He needed to be able to defend himself if the time comes.
He thought over the fights he had experienced over the few days that had passed…his fight with Ralph…his fight with the bandits. He used a few moves that felt unique…but what should he name them? For instance, the move he used to dive into the ground…should he call it ‘Mole Drill’…nah…. He was never good at naming things. So, he asked Skaal for advice.
“Hey Skaal, how should I name the move I used to dig underground?”
“Hmm…how about Mole Drill?”
“Haha, I’m guessing you don’t have a good naming sense either right?”
“What are you mulling over?” Julia asked as she walked over. It’s been a day and Julia had already reached Novice 2nd Stage. Her leveling speed is monstrously fast.
“You remember that move I did when I dug into the ground? We’re trying to decide on a name for it but our naming abilities aren’t so good.”
“Hmm…you said your technique was based off of observing moles right? Why not just name your moves based on that? Like digging through the earth can be…um…something like Tunnel…I guess. Haha, my naming sense isn’t good either. I’m sorry.”
“No, don’t be. Why don’t we just call it Tunnel? Yea, Tunnel it is. Thanks.”
“R-really? No problem.”
“So how’s your training doing?”
“Pretty good. I’m on the verge of breaking through to Novice 3rd Stage.”
“Hmm? Ah…I know, I’m going.” Julia said as she walked away.
“We really gonna call it Tunnel?” Skaal asked as soon as he saw Julia out of sight.
“You want to call it Mole Drill?”
“Okay, let’s continue.”
The two continued thinking of names for the moves Aldred did. Regular strikes didn’t warrant any names, but the spear-like move Aldred did when he dug out an enemy’s heart was subsequently named as ‘Drilling Spear’. Over the few days left, he continued to train in his cultivation and in his fist technique. During his training, he managed to breakthrough once more to the Core Condensing 2nd Stage. Now that he was able to generate his own Earth Qi and cultivate in it, he was able to train faster than when he had to absorb Qi from the earth.
As for his fist technique, he was able to have some success in creating and perfecting three new skills. The first skill was called Fury of the Berserker Mole. It involved a continuous barrage of fierce slashes. The power of each slash was huge but the cost of stamina was great as well. In addition, the second skill was called Mirage. It involved dodging and moving at an incredible speed that caused afterimages of himself. He can use this skill to attack and both his afterimage and himself would do damage. This skill was made possible once he reached Core Condensing 2nd Stage when his speed and strength increased significantly. But, like Fury of the Berserker Mole, this skill required a lot of stamina. Aldred reasoned that he would only be able to use these moves sparingly. Once he reach the next stage, however, he will be able to increase his stamina usage efficiency. Finally, the last skill was called Mole’s Bite. Unlike the previous two skills, this skill did not require a lot of stamina. In addition, unlike Fury of the Berserker Mole, this move can be used without Weapon Form. This skill was inspired by the way a mole used its teeth to tear chunks of flesh off of its opponents. Aldred forms his hand so that his fingers are bent. Using Mole’s Bite, he would dig his ‘teeth’ into his enemies and tear off chunks of flesh.
While Aldred was training and creating new skills, Skaal also started cultivating the Earth God Cultivation Technique. With his initial affinity to Earth, he was able to quickly acquire large success in this cultivation. Skaal was finally able to regain his lost level and even broke through to the next tier – Adult Tier 9. Julia, too, was also training quickly. However, it was the last day but Julia was still stuck at Novice 5th Stage…she was at a bottleneck.
“It seems you could not reach your end of our deal.” Aldred spoke.
“Wait…there’s still time left. The day hasn’t ended yet!” Julia frantically replied.
“Fine…let’s wait till the day’s end. If at that time you still haven’t broken through to the Apprentice Stage, you will have to stay here.”
“Just one more stage…just one more stage! Why can’t I break through?!” Julia anxiously muttered, her face intense with concentration, as she walked away.
Julia continued to train and stress and groan in failure. What was she doing wrong? She was doing so well the first five stages…but going from Novice to Apprentice was like heaven and hell…the difference was tremendous. Doubt began to creep into her heart. Doubt was a serious and dangerous predator that have ended the lives of many. Julia had heard of many people who could not breakthrough to the Apprentice Stage because of such doubt…could she become one of them? Julia continued to meditate and train. Sweat poured relentlessly down her body and pooled on the ground below. She did not sleep all night. She was so focused on her breakthrough that she did not pay attention to the passing of time.
Suddenly, a brightness blinded Julia as it crept through the window – startling Julia out of her training. She gasped when she looked outside. “Oh no! It’s morning! B-but I haven’t broken through yet! NO!”
“Julia. It’s me. Have you broken through?” Aldred asked.
“N-no….” Julia said disconsolately.
“Then, this is goodbye. I’ll tell Lila of your situation. I’m sure she will take care of you.”
“Wait…no!” Julia opened the door to her room and saw Aldred’s distant back. “Stop…please wait!”
Aldred stopped. He did not turn around. He just looked ahead. “Goodbye.”
Seeing Aldred leave, Julia tried to say something but doubt and hesitation forced her words back. She struggled with her inner self until finally…with the last of her courage, she shouted towards Aldred. “Wait! Come back!”
With her shout let out, she was able to break through her wall of doubt and with her doubt broken, her bottleneck followed. Through an explosion of mana, she broke through to the Apprentice Stage. Aldred, sensing Julia’s success, turned towards her with a smile. His next words brought unbelievable joy to Julia.
“What are you standing there for? Let’s go.”