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WORLD AT WAR

AERI'S WAR FOR MASTERY

 

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Among the very particular things you must know before setting off to follow the path of an Apprentice of Intent; one who cultivates power, the art of seeing and mastery of the will, is exactly what makes a warrior.

 

The Way of the Warrior

A warrior thinks of his death when things become unclear. 

His ultimate weapon is the power of decision, as a master of his choices, executing them at his best, living strategically. 

Prepared for battle, gear carefully selected, every struggle is a warrior's last battle on earth.

 

'We are luminous beings,' that much you've heard. But it doesn't end here. There are ally and enemy forces in this world, and all can be turned. In order to conquer each of these forces a fearsome battle must be fought. When you least expect it, with or without your knowledge, you will be facing that which you thought your ally in one last stand. Enemies turned to allies, allies to enemies, to be defied and defeated only by those who will it, those who fight on and yet see.

 

The ultimate goal of an Apprentice of Intent is to become a Lord of Knowledge. For that, one must develop unbending intent, and as a warrior, challenge and defeat one's four natural enemies: Fear, Clarity, Power, and Old Age. 

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STORY INDEX

 

Origins I: Dreaming

Origins II: Forces

Origins III: Planning

Origins IV: Restart

The Messenger

The Trials

The First Enemy

The Rematch

Meeting The Master

 

 

______________________________

EPIC QUEST LIST

 

Woken by unseen forces, Aeri plots to bring about a revolution in the old ways and build a new world; she shall soon be known as:

"The Light Bringer" . . .

 

Beginning her journey as an apprentice, the first task given to her is to make contact with fellow newbies, seasoned warriors, and elders; set a line of communication and always take notes of progress and details of undertakings. It is through the ups and downs of each battle that one can improve tactics and scale them for winning the war.

:positive: Below are the areas that must be covered to come out a victor in the war for mastery. It is a long list, I warn ye.

 

Specifics for each quest can be seen in my Character Page, they will be updated as they come up for pursuit.

Tales of major battles in the War for Mastery will be posted in this very thread. Whereas minor battles, result summaries and upgrades will be posted in my Battle Log

 

Spoiler

 

Ritual

  • Morning & Closure routine
  • Ensure progress weekly & monthly
  • Map my budget & finances
  • Save money 

Physical

  • Develop excellent cardio endurance
  • Easily lift my own weight 
  • Achieve efficient core muscle strength and stability
  • Increase full body power
  • Achieve OP body constitution

Mental

  • Master learning; learn anything in a month
  • Master research & formal publishing
  • Develop impressive storytelling skills
  • Master business development
  • Excel at rational thinking
  • Master functional model building and systems integration

Career

  • Have a known website / blog
  • Write a bestseller
  • Develop a thriving community in my field
  • Develop a successful business
  • Successfully implement a system I've built after research
  • Start a research foundation

Flow

  • Flow through music: song making
  • Flow through music: dancing
  • Flow through painting
  • Play board games

Adventure

  • First travel near hometown
  • Travel in my country
  • Travel in my continent
  • Travel to Europe
  • Travel to Asia
  • Travel to Asia--again

Courage

  • Speak in public
  • Coach and support a kid
  • Fly i.e. skydive
  • Be social

Gratitude

  • Mentor lowbies
  • Provide community advice
  • Volunteer
  • Coach the coaches
  • Give back to mentors
  • Earn awards

Freedom

  • Become mobile with business affairs
  • Become mobile with work and research
  • Be able to travel regularly
  • Have comfortable finances
  • Know people everywhere
  • Be able to take time off with little consequence

Master

  • Start a school or become part of the leadership of a revolutionary one
  • Run a coaching network
  • Have presence in all of the world's continents
  • Build my dream house
  • Officially implement my system

Legacy

  • Have valid scientific proof of my theory
  • Have a registered system, patent and/or rights
  • Receive a major award
  • Write another bestseller
  • Write the book of my life

 

Lord of Knowledge

 

Magic

  • Cultivate power through water, food & words
  • Cultivate power by practicing the Druidic arts of Meditation, Tai Chi, Qi Gong, and feel nature.
  • Cultivate power through Not-Doings (doings opposite common doings)
  •  Master in the Art of Seeing
  • Master of Intent

Ally

  • Courage
  • Wisdom a.k.a Clarity
  • Power
  • Energy
  • Love
  • Charisma

Warrior

  • Awareness
  • Will
  • Battle
  • Gear

Four-Horsemen

  • Fear
  • Clarity
  • Power
  • Old Age

 

 

For bearing with the long scroll, thank you,

 

- Aeri

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Apprentice of Intent .  Lvl X Druidu Bronze IV

Epic Quest | Battle Log | Current Challenge

' Who has the time to stall reaching hus highest potential? Death tells me "I'm a fickle thing, and I see you." ' •Aerisand

Link to post

___________ Origins I: Dreaming __________

 

Picture an ordinary day, where someone goes through the motions of an assigned schedule, ends the day with no thoughts of anything greater--zero ambition, and wakes up the next day only to do the same.
If anyone told Aeri such a life was her immediate future, she'd make a jump for another dimension.
 
Little Aeri had grown up knowing there had to be more. 
She had learned about others who dreamt and saw they were strong enough to live the dream. Unfortunately, every day the girl's true self was pushed back in, while she was still bound to abide by the Law of Everyone-Should, which included "academic box-in", "social standards", and "line walking". So after some time, dreams turned into secrets.
However, it would all be different now.
Now that she was free to roam unexplored territories and 
make her own path.
_____________________________________
  • Like 1

Apprentice of Intent .  Lvl X Druidu Bronze IV

Epic Quest | Battle Log | Current Challenge

' Who has the time to stall reaching hus highest potential? Death tells me "I'm a fickle thing, and I see you." ' •Aerisand

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_____________ Origins II: Forces ___________
 
She went out of her room and dropped on the couch, overhearing the news channel from somewhere next door. 

"Ahh, this won't do," she sighed. "There must be a way to fight evil itself, instead of merely doing away with copies. We should at least be actively fighting it."  

 

Aeri was more than aware about the shadows that lurked in every corner, waiting to strike. Shadows had taken more than one friend, either by making them one of them or drawing them near death and marking them for future hunts.

"I'll just have to train until my bones become blocks of iron. It should be possible to juggle 3 or 4 training styles in the week."

 

She would just have to, she promised herself.

 

"Aeri? I thought you were still reading."
Her mom said surprised, while solving the 897th cause for illness, at 8PM.
 
Her mother was quite a role model for almost any brain or fellow doctor, and was highly skilled in maneuvering time; although that didn't make her immune to anything except mediocrity. All in all, she was still only human, much like everyone else Aeri knew and ever cared about. 
 
Every time Aeri remembered this, she shivered, and tried to come up with quick fixes or preventive measures. No matter how much she wanted to let go of the thought, it became her main concern. And thus, her life felt empty every day; every day in which she knew she wasn't doing something to join the battle.
 
Worried now, Aeri left the room to inquire on the whereabouts of her old friends, she hadn't seen them in a long time. They shared a story that had brought them closer through the bad times. After asking around and searching for online trails, this time again, there were no news of them anywhere. 
 
"Anything could've happened," thought Aeri. "This is precisely why I need to be prepared."
She wanted to make sure they'd be safe, and not just them; everyone deserved a chance. Just the idea of shadows lurking everywhere in the world gave her the creeps.
 
"It's set. I'll join a few dojos tomorrow. There might also be some sort of performance assessment."
  Talking to herself, Aeri turned on the PC and instantly logged into AE (a.k.a. AlterEye).
 
A famous game from a few years back, that once was the long lost paradise for many. It was but recently that balance was compromised and the fun from facing each other in war disappeared. This was the one place where she felt things made sense.
 
Aeri's usual ways had transformed while there. Similar to the brief transformation she'd had after a rough batch in life, in AE she learned to teamfight, to keep fighting and reap the benefits, to constantly make profit through every means available, and to learn from the most experienced players when possible. After getting to higher levels, she found a place in an experienced team and would go to war alongside them, learning to work as a unit, reading each others movements near perfect.  
 
Simply spending time casually in the game was pleasant. And wars were where she would forget about the outer world, engaging the senses in strategy. After some time, Aeri had become an elite player. Sadly, with balance lost and no goals worth pursuing, there was no fun left in the game for her. 
 
These days, most games were a dead end. To be sought for in real life, all that was left for anyone after such an experience, was joining a major force.
 
One of such forces was 'The Order of Intent,' with its members strong and united, a vast amount of knowledge, and regular battles of incredible might. You could learn to handle magical power, or even learn to see beyond imposed realities; the possibilities were amazing, but the best was their leveling system. That is, if you could actually contact them, and then hope to be accepted.
 
"One can only dream..."
________________________________

 

Apprentice of Intent .  Lvl X Druidu Bronze IV

Epic Quest | Battle Log | Current Challenge

' Who has the time to stall reaching hus highest potential? Death tells me "I'm a fickle thing, and I see you." ' •Aerisand

Link to post

__________ Origins III: Planning ___________

 

To be able to contact an organization like the 'The Order of Intent,' would take having a high and honorable reputation, founded on past deeds. If she gained such a rep, it would definitely first have to be used for keeping the family safe, or for finding her old friends. Once used, if someone wanted to use rep for any other endeavors, they had to earn more. Earning enough rep was never a matter of a set amount, it depended on the parties involved, it was almost like piling grains of sand for making a heap.

 

In order to truly immerse herself in training, Aeri decided to plan everything that would need to be taken care of if she was to become stronger. She roughly outlined and sketched page after page, and just as she was moving on to fill in the details, a thought came up.

 

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"Could I do this better if I shared it? Only recently heard online communities are useful for getting practical advice..."
 
Maybe then someone would lend her a hand for joining the good dojos, if at least one of them, she thought.
Aeri began searching online for a decent community. Mid search she went through a couple articles on a winner's lifestyle (the sort of thing she couldn't help but read), one took her to the next and as she scrolled down to finish the article, on the suggested links read the magic words:
 
'How to Level Up Your Life'
 
An article that touched certain key points in leveling systems and pointed to certain online forums. She'd inadvertently found the perfect community for her to post in. 
 
Aeri went, created a user and wrote the briefest post she could manage, giving a glimpse of who she was, who she meant to be, and mentioned her concern for joining the best dojos around.
She chose to make it under an unknown nickname, afraid it wouldn't be taken seriously if anyone found out about her identity. Once Aeri finished the post she went to bed. She'd find out the next day if there'd been any replies, and would go looking for a place to train first thing in the morning anyway.
As soon as she entered the land of dreams,
a stream of information began to form in the cyberspace.

__________________________

Apprentice of Intent .  Lvl X Druidu Bronze IV

Epic Quest | Battle Log | Current Challenge

' Who has the time to stall reaching hus highest potential? Death tells me "I'm a fickle thing, and I see you." ' •Aerisand

Link to post

___________ Origins IV: Restart ___________

 

"Who would seriously work on becoming the ultimate weapon against evil?"


"Not judging but, isn't that overreaching?"

 

At first, people thought Aeri's post was some sort of roleplaying. They saw an endless list of goals, and it didn't entirely make sense for them to pair it with the story. And truly, it was uncommon for anyone to publicly state such a bold purpose.

 
"Maybe it's a joke."


"Oh, let it be."

 

Still, others were curious enough to look at it. Somehow it seemed to have been thoroughly thought through. They had no idea it was only a summary...

 

"It could be doable. Sounds less crazy once you go through the details."

 

"Yeah, if you think about it, seems like it's a legit course of action."

 

By then, those who had a real interest in the matter showed up; people involved in organizations, crime fighting groups, even psychologists. As soon as they finished reading the post, they knew it was real. The author was serious about her quest, and was looking for training advice. 

As the pile of comments grew, exposure on Aeri's request increased as well, making the odds higher for anyone with similar goals to read it.

 

Meanwhile, sheep schemed in the back of Aeri's mind as she slept. 

"Kung Fu three times a week. Ninjutsu twice a week. Gym..."

 

 

Few hours later in the early morning, one more person takes a look at Aeri's words, takes out a cellphone and sends a message.
"I have something the master might be interested in. Let's meet. Usual place, 6 AM."

 

As soon as she woke up, Aeri went to check her post just in case there was anything useful. Surprised by it having a lot more than a couple views, she saw there were two comments with ample suggestions, with the description of different factors involved in each option. Open hours, trainers' skill, prices, etc.
"Such a complete reply..." She was pleased and brightened up. Rushed to tell mother her plans for training, sharing a big smile.

 

However, happiness didn't last long. After having started to train with the basic fitness program, which was to be followed by a refresher of specific martial arts techniques she'd already practiced in the past, there was that discomfort in the knee again. Nothing had happened in the first few days of training, but here it was again as if 3 years of healing hadn't been enough.
"How am I supposed to do anything if I can't use my legs properly... I'm not even doing the advanced training yet."

 

Surgery! That's what others did to fix things like this, and it was supposed to heal in a few weeks. But that would take finding a professional who specializes in this, paying for the more expensive diagnosis, then paying for the surgery, rehab therapy, and who knows what else. 
"I don't have that kind of money, still... I refuse to stop training!"
In the end, Aeri knew she would have to give her legs a break if she wanted to avoid further injury.

 

Knowing training couldn't be the same, she felt let down by luck. Emptiness came back to linger. After four days, Aeri looked at it, accepted her situation, and got ready to move on. She'd have to work with any and all resources that were left.
"Okay. Can still move, can still think, can still breathe; that's all I really need."

 

And so, she went back to the list of suggestions. They included a program based on small progressions which eased the trainee into each of the basic exercises required to fully control the body. That was it. It might've felt like a step backwards, but actually it was a smarter way to get back in shape. She trained diligently, in order to master the skills that would surely help to achieve her goals, if at least a little. She read and studied anything that would be of use, taking notes, and trusting the path would take form over time.

 

Later one morning, Aeri is woken up with a call to her cellphone. Private number.

Not awake enough to choose to ignore it, she answers it.
"Hm.. hello?"

"You've drawn quite a bit of attention, Aeri, posting like that."
"What? Who is this?" She sat up in bed, regaining her senses.
"You do know you're in danger, don't you? We all are."
"Huh..."

 

She did know. No way to forget the shadows, but how had this person gotten her number and why did they know her name?

"We can tell you're willing to follow the light. It may only be a glint, but it's there."
"But.."
"Just listen. We know you look at yourself and you see a void. 
The void caused by actions you haven't taken, actions you know not.
You're looking for them. But you're looking in the wrong place."

"Then where."
"Words won't show you the way. You need to experience it yourself."

 

The call ended. Aeri stared into nothingness, puzzled.

That day she received an invitation, an old fashioned letter with a seal and an address, signed: 

 

The Order of Intent.

___________________________________

 

 

#end of origins

Apprentice of Intent .  Lvl X Druidu Bronze IV

Epic Quest | Battle Log | Current Challenge

' Who has the time to stall reaching hus highest potential? Death tells me "I'm a fickle thing, and I see you." ' •Aerisand

Link to post

________ The Messenger _________

 

There was no date in the letter. Aeri figured she'd have to just show up as soon as possible. If the letter was real, she didn't want to give them time to reconsider meeting her.

"Hmmm, it doesn't say 'come alone' or anything like that. But who would I bring with me, anyway?"

 She got ready to leave, checked the address in online maps which was an OK neighborhood, packed some food and told a friend to stay alert in case she called.

"Public transportation will get me close enough," she thought.

 

She got off the bus at the chosen station and walked. Once at the location, Aeri started looking for the number. There were a few large buildings around, but only one drew her attention; it looked almost the same as the others, large brick walls, dark grey gates on the side, but only this one had a stone path leading to the main entrance. That was it, number twenty three. 

The main gate had a smaller opening on the lower right corner, it opened about two minutes after she stood in front of the gate.

"Come in," said a female voice from inside the building.

The girl hesitated, took a deep breath and went in. She walked through a hallway that led to a broader room. It looked like a livingroom, very minimalistic to that.

There, a man was sitting on one of the two armchairs, he stood up the moment she saw him. Casual clothing, no distinguishing features registered in her mind.

"Hello, Aeri. I am just a messenger. You must be wondering why we've arranged to meet you."

She nodded.

 

"There has been some turmoil regarding your publicly declared intentions. People of the shadows have begun to look into your past, and soon enough your present. They're not the kind of people to wait for an excuse to attack, all they care about knowing is just how valuable you truly are to the forces allied to the light."

"You're saying they will come for me? Because of what I said?"

"I'm saying, they would've come for you eventually. And now you can expect them today, tomorrow, any time now."

"Are you going to help...?"

"No."

"..."

"You are going to."

___________________________

Apprentice of Intent .  Lvl X Druidu Bronze IV

Epic Quest | Battle Log | Current Challenge

' Who has the time to stall reaching hus highest potential? Death tells me "I'm a fickle thing, and I see you." ' •Aerisand

Link to post

___________ The Trials __________

 

A tall lady walked in, she smiled briefly and looked at the messenger.

"We're ready for her."

 

"What for...?" Aeri nervously looked at them. They looked back at her with a kind face. 

"Are you not interested in joining The Order?," asked the messenger.

"Of course..."

"Then go with her."

 

They walked out of the room and through another hallway, doors everywhere. The lady opened one of the doors to the right and signaled Aeri to go in. It was an office this time, full of warm colors.

"Good afternoon. You can call me Portia. Sit down." The door closed and Aeri pulled a chair closer and sat down in front of the desk after shaking hands with her. "Naturally, it won't be so simple to join The Order of Intent. We usually pick someone with a much higher reputation but, know that we apply the same standards for everyone," Portia explained. "There is a test you must pass in order to prove worthy of joining."

"What is the test?"

"It has two parts. First you must forge a sword for your own use, giving it your all, a sword made of willpower. It shall prove handy for the second part. Next, you must defeat your enemy with that sword, but the enemy itself is not what's most challenging; it is the darkness that surrounds it."

 

Aeri accepted the challenge.

 

She was given some tools and taken to the room across the hall. After a few hours of hammering, sweat and constant affirmations, the sword was finished. It wasn't perfect, to be honest, it was rather rough on the edges and kind of heavy for someone with guinea pig biceps. But she thought there was nothing more to be done, and went back across the hall to let Portia know it was done.

Portia closely examined the sword. "You had some confidence after getting started... Ah, there it is, this part with peak performance. Then something happened... All these rough bits, careless technique and then barely any energy... But see this, this right here. Looks like you took a second wind and poured your heart into it by the end. Hmm..."

Aeri couldn't quite stay still while waiting for the result.

"Could be better. Even so, let's see how you fare against your enemy with this sword."  

 

Aeri cheerfully celebrated in her mind, "Yes!!! Now's my chance!"

To make matters fair, the next trial would take place

in five days.

____________________________

From my 1st challenge: Aeri Forges The Mighty Sword

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Apprentice of Intent .  Lvl X Druidu Bronze IV

Epic Quest | Battle Log | Current Challenge

' Who has the time to stall reaching hus highest potential? Death tells me "I'm a fickle thing, and I see you." ' •Aerisand

Link to post

___________ The First Enemy __________

 

Five days passed, looking over her shoulder expecting to be found. It was time to take the second trial. Aeri went back to the building, reported to Portia and was taken to the door of a different room, the one at the very end of the hallway. 
"This is where you'll find your enemy. It will be pitch black once the door closes."
After taking several deep breaths, Aeri stated "I am ready."

 

Meanwhile, in a different building, in a different room, looking out the window, two figures were talking.

"Do you really think she'll have what it takes?"

"Nobody does, until they do."

"You told her there was a glint."

"In this age, such a belief is rare unless brought to light."

"Then why do we help them believe but make them risk their lives, if there's no certainty that they're capable of making it through?"

"To start a fire, someone has to smash the rock. But only the right kind will light up."

"Smash? Are we sure we're on the right side? ..."

. . .

 

 

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The door swung open and as she stepped in, it closed behind her. 
Pitch black. 
Holding on to the sword with both hands, Aeri made an effort to drag it and walked forward, becoming disoriented.

"Damn, what a waste of time." It would be a few minutes before she'd be able to tell where the door was, couldn't afford to walk any further without greater risk.  
She then began to throw the sword around, keeping her mind focused on the task as best she could and breathing a little faster than usual, she somehow managed to strain each and every muscle involved. Such beginner skills!
No enemy revealed itself just yet so she decided to take whatever time she had to practice. 

 

With an increasingly stronger grip but barely enough energy, she swung the sword over and over again. If anyone could see, they'd see her timing truly sucked; it was as if the sword was going one way and Aeri was going another.


Later, her tummy began to rumble.

"Crap... The food..." Caught in her own thoughts, she'd neglected to pack even a small snack! 
A now flinching girl walked back to the door and curled into a ball, clutching her sorry stomach. She only went back to practice after the pain shifted to the background.

 

Then, minutes went by and Aeri kept working on form. Carelessly minding her own business even though she had no idea when the enemy would attack, time became something of an infinite measure.

 

During these ever expanding minutes, the sword never grew lighter and this was scaring the hell out of her. A bit later, a crushing hunger took over, immobilizing her yet again; when all of a sudden and with the worst timing, a coldness filled the air. If it could've gotten any darker in there, it was now. Her enemy was near.

The girl held her breath for a moment and swung the sword forward at a snail's pace. Failing to hit anything, she knew it was over for her. However, for some strange reason the mysterious being seemed to have disappeared. 

 

The coldness was gone, but Aeri could tell she'd been hit from the sharp pain on her right arm.
She stood there, confused and somewhat tired, realizing what had just happened.

 

It's back. 

 

The enemy attacks. Aeri is thrown around furiously; from wall to wall, upwards, downwards. Damage is severe.

A second of respite, and she has issues finding balance.

The enemy approaches again, the girl takes ages to hit; using an average but well-aimed strike this time, squeaking nervously on contact.

 

Due to having lacked the initiative to scout for water, she's left on the floor, dangerously dehydrated. Yet, Aeri can somehow feel the energy flowing within. Who would have known the enemy was merely playing with her... 

 

uH2kuJv.jpg


A freezing chill went down Aeri's spine. She knew what was coming.
Darkness gathering, swirls of power were directed to her.

 » Hit!

 » Evade

 » Hit!


As scared as she was, she retaliated.

 » Strike!

 » Strike!

 » Miss


Attempting to cautiously step back, she was forced to swing the sword early, led mostly by inertia.
The enemy lunged forward, (If one would say it could lunge).
Aeri grabbed the sword and partly cut the thing. The wound was practically inexistent.  


Unfortunately with the faintest glimmer, this little person could tell nothing apart just yet.


 » Critical Hit!


Untimely, occasionally effective, rather foggy and only slightly energized Aeri, almost didn't make it. In the end, it was too much for her to bear and as her lifeforce came closer to none, she was quickly snatched out of the room!

 

____________________________

From my 2nd challenge: Aeri Trains the Sword: Aim

  • Like 1

Apprentice of Intent .  Lvl X Druidu Bronze IV

Epic Quest | Battle Log | Current Challenge

' Who has the time to stall reaching hus highest potential? Death tells me "I'm a fickle thing, and I see you." ' •Aerisand

Link to post

_______________ The Rematch ________________

 

Blink, blink. A familiar face.

"You have failed the test. For now, we will allow you to recover in our facilities."

And back to the land of dreams...

 

Aeri found herself in bed, as she slowly regained her senses. It was night time and she could still feel the pressure from having to fight in the dark, as if it'd just happened. 

Not much could be seen, she knew it wasn't home, not yet. Denial would be so easy it was tempting, it hurt to know she had failed. But what she knew was something had to be done. "There has to be something that'll give me a second chance," she thought.

She did feel a little better than whenever she'd briefly opened her eyes before but this wasn't enough. 

"I have to become a resourceful person after all. And I must find a way to learn what I was meant to do in the trials."

 

Right then, it dawned on her. During whatever time she had left for recovering, Aeri would practice as if she'd been challenged again.

She would practice in her mind feeling every motion, every force, over and over until it was so clear, so accurate, and so specific that it became real. All while gathering the energy to see it through.

 

The sword of willpower must be reforged, for it was lacking.

First learning to see the target is essential for aiming; direction cannot be rightfully commanded without clarity

 

3ea04e47ac7a007e9373c5c2290f1086.jpg

 

Mental preparations proved difficult to deal with; while Aeri tried to appear unconscious, she overheard some of the doctors and staff discussing it was almost time to send her off. She would have two weeks to be ready. Then it'd all depend on her ability to place herself in the position of challenging the enemy in darkness again.

 

It was a bit easier to spot what went on with her own mind now that she had all this time for herself, and a pattern emerged. Even though she was lying in bed, it seemed her energy stayed low, motivation wouldn't last long enough to gain momentum in this mental training of hers. She wasn't getting enough sleep either. Talk about wasted bed time; her mind would anxiously jump from worry to anger to worry.

 

Plenty of the demons in her mind remained undefeated, but that wouldn't stop her. Digging deep within herself, day by day, Aeri began to find joy in her own identity. Visualization of training took the lead, and filled every hour.  

Then the time came. There was word of her transfer and needed procedures. She did feel a lot better.

 

Blink, blink. Bright lights. Covers off, feet on the cold floor. And breathe.

 

 

It had been about three weeks, she had moved but not much. Aeri got up and went looking for Portia. Found the messenger instead. 

"Where is she?"

 

He looked unsurprised, and glanced at the hallway. Apparently this was the same hallway she remembered, she just hadn't been at this end, all there was to it was taking a left turn by the room where the enemy had been. Aeri thought it made sense, for when things go left...  

Portia's open door gave her goosebumps, did she somehow know?
"What have you to say?"
In a broken voice, Aeri blurted "I'm ready," as if history were to repeat itself.

 

ceCmNnb.jpg 

 

The door closed behind her for the second time. 
Pitch black. 
The sword felt as heavy as ever, but she lifted it with a loud growl. She decided to waste as little time as possible and kept her back to the wall, feeling the floor with her feet as she stepped sideways, looking for food. Once she found something and ate it, she also decided to save her energy. She'd spiral in, looking for every resource she could. Survival was paramount. 

 

A coldness filled the air. The enemy inched forward.

A freezing chill went down Aeri's spine, and yet...

 » Strike!

 » Strike!

 » Critical Hit!


She had dragged on as hard as she could and struck first, managing a single critical hit. Then the expected swirls were thrown at her.

 » Evade

 » Hit!

 » Evade


Owch, but that dodge went a little better. 
Aeri held on to the sword and thrust forward, letting out a mean war cry. Darkness seemed to be fading away, but she couldn't find the enemy. Where was it?

 

 » Critical Hit!


Aeri landed another critical on the invisible thing. She could see her own hands in a sort of shimmer, stared for a moment, then darkness faded completely. 

 

7DUbq0B.jpg 

 

The door swung open and there was Portia, raised eyebrows and smiling. It seemed like it hadn't been that much of a problem after all.

"How did that happen? What did I do?"

"You fought your fear and something within you brought in the light. What were you feeling?"

"..."

"You know, besides the same old fear?"

"... Joy."

 

____________________________________

From challenges: 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th.

Apprentice of Intent .  Lvl X Druidu Bronze IV

Epic Quest | Battle Log | Current Challenge

' Who has the time to stall reaching hus highest potential? Death tells me "I'm a fickle thing, and I see you." ' •Aerisand

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_______________ Meeting The Master ________________

 

Sporting a super wide smile, Aeri knew she'd gotten into The Order Of Intent. 

"You'll be assigned a mentor to guide you in the journey towards becoming a Master of Intent." 

"Of course." She couldn't wait! 

"Things will have to be very different for you from now on. Society has a very particular perspective on how the world works and what matters, it doesn't mean all of it is wrong, but, their sources of power aren't what we seek. And you'll find darkness has an easier time spreading among those who follow their rules."

"Will we be going against society?"

"Not exactly. I'll let your mentor explain the basics to you." 

"Hm, ok."

"All you need to know right now, is that change is going your way. Keep an open mind. First steps are key for long term improvement." And like that, Portia sent her home, letting her know she'd meet the Master in a few days.

 

 

Back at the building, she'd been left in a different room, looking at the ceiling and waiting for the door to open. Once it did open, a man came in. He walked like he was weightless, treading lightly and confident. Not as tall as Portia, and yet there was something about his presence that made him appear more powerful. 

"Hello, my name is Martell. I'll be your mentor in The Order. I am considered to be one of the Masters of Intent."

"Hi. You don't consider yourself one?"

"After continuous and careful practice of our principles, one can only go through the motions, wait and see; rinse and repeat. Becoming a Master of Intent isn't the end of the line, it is but a moment in time."

 

The Master paced from side to side, in a relaxed manner. Aeri was fidgeting. 

"Let me tell you about our world. Every living thing has its own way to perceive this world, as humans we have our own filters: our senses, our brains, our words. It is our words that make up the world in front of us, giving it meaning. It is the knowledge we've passed on from generation to generation that paints the rules. Some of it is buried deep inside our minds, but it can be acknowledged and even changed."

"Hm..."

"This is the basis for magic. This is the basis for evolution and change."

 

Martell paused and slowly exhaled.

"Among the very particular things you must know before setting off to follow the path of an Apprentice of Intent, is exactly what makes a warrior."

 

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The Way of the Warrior

 

A warrior thinks of his death when things become unclear. 

His ultimate weapon is the power of decision, as a master of his choices, executing them at his best, living strategically. 

Prepared for battle, gear carefully selected, every struggle is a warrior's last battle on earth.

 

Aeri made sure to take notes, hurriedly.

"You see, normal for a warrior is different than normal for an average person. It is up to you to find a new normal, if you truly seek to be like a warrior."

"A new normal? What do you mean?"

"For example... Think of a sammurai, they woke up at 4 AM every day, active and ready to face anything. That was normal. Now, ask someone else to do the same, they will most likely struggle to even open one eye at that time, they'll have a harder time being active and don't even mention being ready for battle."

"Oh... Do I have to make such a radical change right away?" 

"It depends on what you think of as radical. You could say it's open to interpretation."  

"Just thinking about it is making me nervous. How do you deal with stress?"

"By shifting perspective; concerns aren't something to worry about, but an opportunity to improve yourself, another challenge to conquer."

 

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The second time they got in touch was a brief phone call, much like a status update. That's how it went for the next month. The Master gave her bits and pieces of wisdom. 

About multiplying her chances: "One word-- Probability will help or hinder the advantage that qualities, time and place give you."

About managing her time: "Only if most of your energy is purposely directed, will your time be well spent. Ideally, all energy must serve a purpose."

About adapting to circumstances: "Instead of being dragged, make the first move. Be like water, expect nothing and everything. Expect nothing to go as planned. Expect everything to come unexpected."

About focus: "Actually, don't focus on being productive. Follow your heart's goals, and make sure you know what you're going after; be wide awake as you take each step."

About money: "Your goals or lifestyle can benefit from it. However, you don't need money. It isn't a need; not like air, not like water. Knowing the difference matters, even if it doesn't seem to change what your actions will be."
About living in the present time: "If you want to truly be conscious of the present moment and follow the Way of the Warrior, you'll have to start asking yourself a few key questions: Is this a priority What goal is this for?  Am I doing my best?-- And finish with questions for optimizing your time, your learning, and your process."

And about Death: "You'll have to come up with your own way to remember the truth: Our death is always with us, every step of the way. It is up to each one of us to make the best of it by facing Death like a warrior as well. And that doesn't just mean to die in battle, but to face Death before it has happened. What I mean is: You can talk to your own Death."

 

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Next time they met in person was by the end of the month, they'd agreed to go get coffee for a change. Aeri was afraid she wouldn't recognize him, but that wouldn't happen. A person wasn't just a face after all.

"What do you think are the chances I'll succeed?" she asked right away.

"The amount of energy you channel divided by the amount of priorities you channel it to."

"Hmmm." That took a moment to process.

"That is... before taxes."

"..." o__o "Will I have to make some sort of sacrifice?"

"I wouldn't say sacrifice. Sacrifice is about giving up something you value, in exchange for something else."

"What then?"

"Success, as pretty much everything else, has a cost; and it is removing excess. Any number of priorities that bring it to less than 100% is excess, that is; any more than your energy can handle. You should know that a human can generally deal with no more than three at a time."

"How am I gonna deal with all this? Seems too hard..."

"Remember everything's hard at first. It's just that people often forget the steps they had to take to get to where they are. You're starting at a time when time appears to go by slower than when you were growing up, and you're also trying your best to slow it down so you can go faster; of course you'd notice the first steps."

"Okay. So, I can do it."

"Yes, you can. Plus what you consistently value and work for will build your self and your life. It's up to you how soon you want to get to be a Master of Intent."

"Gulp... ehh," she hesitated, "I overheard something about time travel on my way here. Can we try that? I bet it'd help my case."

"Not like you're picturing it."

"..." She was puzzled, and he didn't say much more before he left.

"You'll be entering a wormhole when you least expect it.  The question is: where to."

____________________________________

From my 7th challenge: Aeri Meets The Master.

Apprentice of Intent .  Lvl X Druidu Bronze IV

Epic Quest | Battle Log | Current Challenge

' Who has the time to stall reaching hus highest potential? Death tells me "I'm a fickle thing, and I see you." ' •Aerisand

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Quick update:

Found a wormhole...!  

Near enough to be seen, far enough to miss going through it before it vanishes.

Must take action.

 

Also, I mean to rewrite the quests in my Epic Quest, needs tweaking.

Apprentice of Intent .  Lvl X Druidu Bronze IV

Epic Quest | Battle Log | Current Challenge

' Who has the time to stall reaching hus highest potential? Death tells me "I'm a fickle thing, and I see you." ' •Aerisand

Link to post

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