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[Vol 1] Chapter 13: Strengthening the Soul

Staring at the four dead bodies before him, Willard had a look of disapproval. He originally intended to live a low profile life while he was staying at Marquis city, but now that seemed not to be the case. Willard immediately gathered the corpse of the dead guards and proceeded to drag them one by one to the nearby forest. After carrying each body one by one, he set all the bodies ablaze. He sneakily rushed to the inn he had booked a room while making sure he wasn’t followed. This entire endeavour had taken Willard over 3 hours to conclude. Willards biggest fear was that someone might have witnessed his actions and tailed him to his current residence.

Upon getting to his room, Willard saw Baya sitting crossed legged and meditating at the corner of the room. Ripples of natural energy were emanating from Baya’s direction, with Baya being the center of it all. “Interesting,” Willard said out loud, which caused Baya to wake up from his previous meditative state. “What do we do now?” Baya immediately asked Willard. Ever since he left the restaurant, Baya had been bothered with the preceding set of actions both him and Willard would have to take. By association, they had both offended some major powers at Marquis city. “Don’t think about it too much. We just have to lay low for a while.” Willard responded with a confident smile. “More importantly, do you know why you haven’t been able to improve much with your training?” Willard asked Baya somewhat condescendingly.

Baya was a little startled with Willard’s question, but went on to respond; “No, I have no idea. Do you know?” Baya had been stuck at the peak of the 8th level of natural energy for over 5 years, and has been searching for varieties of ways to improve and break through the levels of natural energy. That was the primary reason Baya chose to swear an oath of fealty to Willard. Willard staring at Baya’s longing faced, could not help but giggle a bit. “Let me explain a little bit.” Willard said while making his way to his bed. “For any being born to this world to grow, they need to be nourished by the natural energies of the world.” Willard said while gazing at the roof. He returned his gaze back to Baya and continued.

“The food, water, sun and everything we use to survive in this world can be described as a form of natural energy.”

“We also use this energy in pursuit of immortality, and here on this mortal world it is referred to as cultivation.”

“Your body draws the natural energy of the world, and your soul converts this energy to help nourish your own body.”

“The problem you face, as you might already be guessing, is that of your soul.”

“To put things bluntly, your soul is not strong enough. You convert such a miniscule amount each time you cultivate, and if things continue this way, it would be impossible for you to breakthrough the 10th level of natural energy.”

Baya hearing Willards explanation was shocked. This was the first time he had heard about the souls part in one’s cultivation. Although this information cannot be said to new to this mortal world, but it wasn’t wide spread either. Major tribes and kingdoms knew about the soul’s role in cultivation, and some had even developed ways to improve the strength of the soul. However, this news was a major setback for Baya who had been hoping to get a relatively easy fix for his cultivation woes.

“Is there a way for me to increase the strength of my soul?” Baya asked in a hopeful manner. Willard seeing the look on Baya’s face was unmoved, or rather wasn’t sympathetic to his plight.

“I know of several ways to improve one’s soul, but I can guarantee you it won’t be easy for you.” Willard responded with a mischievous smile on his face. Although Baya was subservient to Willard, Willard still wasn’t going to do things for Baya for free. From the moment of his birth to this particular time, Willard had never built what could be considered a good relationship with anyone.

“The first and simplest way to improve the strength of your soul is to find an element fruit and consume it.” Baya listened as Willard was speaking. Elemental fruits were one of the top treasures of the mortal world. They were too few in numbers and highly sort after by various powerful experts. Consuming an elemental fruit meant that one could pretty much skip the natural energy level and go straight to the elemental level. Such miraculous treasures were not easily seen, not to talk of even being sold. Willard mentioning this option was paramount to not saying anything because it was virtually impossible for Baya to go find this treasure on his own.

“The second method to improve the strength of your soul is to temper it through life and death situations.” This was the most realistic and dangerous way to improve the strength of one’s soul. One would have to go through life altering experiences where the chances of survival is not guaranteed. How many experts choose the path of a lone adventurer, and how many live to tell their tales. It was one of the most dangerous paths for warriors, as they would have to face the world on their own. If they were lucky, they would find good companions to travel with, if not they would have to face their challenges alone. While adventuring, people grow and gain enlightenment much faster. Their soul, body and mind grow at a much faster pace than cultivating at the comfort of their homes.

“The last method I can think of, is to practice a set of soul training techniques.” Hearing those words, Baya blossomed into a smile. The first two options were either impossible or just too dangerous. He was hoping for a less dangerous option, and as he heard ‘soul training techniques’ he became joyful. If he could acquire such techniques, then all his work would have been worth it.

“How can I acquire a soul training technique?” Baya immediately asked. He was anxious and hopeful that Willard would have such a technique. After all, who else except a former God would be qualified to have such an amazing technique at his or her disposal.

“Well that’s simple,” Willard responded with a smile on his face. “I am in possession of such a technique.” Baya couldn’t hold back his delight, he had finally found the answers to what he had been searching for. Then all of a sudden, Baya came back to his senses. He was after all dealing with Willard, the former god of destruction. How was it going to be a simple affair?

“What do you require of me, master?” Baya intelligently replied. He wanted to flatter Willard, but at the same time, he knew that wasn’t all it took to convince the person in front of him.


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