Paragon Of Destruction 288 Darkness

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Trapped in the darkness, Arran had little idea of how much time pa.s.sed.

Occasionally his consciousness would fade for a while, and when it returned, he would blindly repeat Karanos's circulation technique to nourish his body. That the technique worked, he knew because his thoughts no longer grew hazy and confused — if nothing else, at least his body wasn't starving.

For a time, he had tried to count the cycles, hoping that they might give him some rough idea of the pa.s.sage of time. Yet the cycles repeated endlessly, each no different from the previous one, and he soon lost track of them.

At any rate, it didn't matter. Knowing whether it had been a year or a century would not help him escape the situation. As for what would… that, he did not know. Not yet, at least.

Though he saw no path forward, he did not despair. All he needed was to regain his senses, and if Karanos had managed to do so, then so could he. Because if there was one thing he had in abundance, it was time to find a solution.

He began by scouring his memories for anything he knew about Shadow Essence, both from his own experience and from what his teachers had taught him.

Each memory he had, he studied hundreds of times, painstakingly a.n.a.lyzing even the smallest details he could recall. From the moment Master Zhao had given him a Shadow Realm Scroll to the moment he stepped into the darkness, he dug up every shred of what he remembered.

Despite Arran's efforts, the epiphany he hoped for did not come. Studying his memories brought him some small insights into the nature of Shadow Essence, but none that could help him solve the problem directly.

But then, a thought occurred to him.

Sensing his own Shadow Essence had always been easy, even before he had begun training his Sense. Yet now, he couldn't Sense even that — which meant his body must be filled with Shadow Essence that did not belong to him. And if that was the case, then perhaps he could displace it by drawing enough of his own Shadow Essence.

He began the work immediately, using a simple technique to draw Essence from his Shadow Realm. It was a technique he had used many thousands of times since gaining his Realms, and performing it blindly was no obstacle.

He steadily continued the work until, finally, he thought he could feel something at the edge of his Sense — as if his own Shadow Essence had almost driven out enough of the foreign Essence for him to Sense it.Find authorized novels in Webnovel,faster updates, better experience,Please click for visiting.

Yet there, with success almost within reach, his progress came to a sudden halt. And although he continued his attempts to draw more Essence, there was no effect whatsoever.

By now, his mind was already beginning to grow blurry — a sign that his body needed nourishment. Had Arran been able to sigh, he would have. But there was nothing for it, and he switched to the circulation technique, draining his Essence to nourish his body.


Then, when Arran thought he'd used all the Essence his body held, he began anew, once more drawing in Essence until he could go no more. The result wasn't any different from the first time, but that didn't discourage him — increasing his ability to hold Essence would be no simple matter.

Again and again he tried, thousands of times, drawing as much Essence as he could before consuming it all to keep his body alive, all without being able to Sense even the slightest bit of it.

Arran's efforts seemed to have some small effect, and with each attempt, it felt like he was getting closer to succeeding.

Yet it was as if there was some unseen barrier stopping him from taking in enough Essence to succeed, and no matter how he tried, the final step seemed impossible.

Still, he did not relent. Even with the barrier in place, this was his best path to freeing his senses. And if he kept going long enough, perhaps the barrier would eventually fall.

He continued ceaselessly, blindly pus.h.i.+ng against the unseen barrier as he tried to draw in more Essence, ignoring the thousands of failed attempts.

But then, he felt a sudden change.

In an instant, he became aware of his body. And not just his body — his Shadow Essence, too.

He was surprised to find that his Shadow Essence was nothing like before. Where it had previously been like a thin gas, it was now dense, like a liquid.

It barely took Arran a moment to understand what had happened. In drawing more and more Essence from his Shadow Realm, he had condensed it into a different form.

Which meant he had become a Master.

He felt no shock at the realization, only mild surprise. After spending untold years locked inside his mind, his emotions had dulled to the point that he could feel no more than that.

And either way, it didn't matter — although he'd set a step toward freeing himself, there was still quite a ways to go.

Many slivers of darkness still remained in his body, which he knew to be foreign Shadow Essence. Yet he could now draw in more of his own Essence, and as he did so, the slivers were driven out.

This allowed him to finally examine the state of his body, and he found it absolutely pitiful. While he had nourished himself with Essence, he could now tell that it hadn't been enough to stop him from withering away almost completely.

Yet this wasn't the time to worry about that. A far more important matter lay ahead of him. Although he could feel his body and Sense his Essence once more, his senses still extended not even a hair beyond his skin.

He quickly tried his Shadowsight, and was disappointed but not surprised to find it didn't work. While he could expel Shadow Essence from his body, he stopped Sensing it the moment it was no longer inside of him.

Next, he tried casting some spells using Shadow Essence, but found those weren't any use, either. He could Sense the dense weaves of Essence as long as they were in contact with his body, but no more than that.

Perhaps his Shadowsight would work if he used it Shadow Essence as dense as what his body held, but there was no way to achieve that — even seeing a few paces beyond his body would require far more Essence than he could control.

If he were a Grandmaster or Archmage, an approach like that might work, but as a new Master, it was still far beyond him.

He spent some time considering his next move, but he soon realized that his only path forward was to find a way to Sense the foreign Shadow Essence — an impossible task, but one that Karanos had somehow achieved.

Arran immediately set to work once more, the thought of celebrating his small victory not even crossing his mind. Once, he would have rejoiced at becoming a Master, but now, his thoughts were consumed with the task ahead.

With his body and Essence once more fully within his control, he quickly realized that he could now study the alien Essence. While he could not Sense the Essence itself, he could identify it from the shadows it caused in his body when he withdrew his own Essence.

The realization caused a small smile to appear on his face — the first he'd felt in a very long time.

With just a few days of testing and experimenting, Arran discovered that although he could not Sense the foreign Essence, he could just barely manipulate it when it entered his body. It seemed that while it wasn't his, exactly, he had some small level of control over it.

This was the reason he was still alive, he knew. His own Essence never would have been enough to sustain his body during the long time he'd been locked inside his mind. But although he had not known it, he had consumed the foreign Essence along with his own, and that was what had kept him alive.

More study and experiments followed, and although Arran's body withered further — a sign that years had pa.s.sed — he gradually began to gain a feeling for the alien Essence as he continued to manipulate it, something that gradually began to resemble Sensing.

The progress was excruciatingly slow, but it was there. And with that knowledge, Arran stoically continued his labor.

No more sudden surprises came. It was a process that consisted merely of endless work and gradual results.

Arran steadily learned to Sense the foreign Essence within his body, the endless exposure to it sensitizing him to the point where he could recognize even the infinitesimally weak aura it gave off.

After that, his progress grew more rapid. In a matter of years, his Sense sharpened further, eventually growing strong enough for him to make out his surroundings — a small cave, as it turned out.

And within the cave, Arran found a figure.

"You were here all this time?" he asked, turning his head to Karanos.

He could see — or Sense, rather — that the figure was moving its mouth, but no sound came. It seemed that although Arran was near the end of the path, he hadn't quite reached it yet.

Paragon Of Destruction 288 Darkness

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Paragon Of Destruction 288 Darkness summary

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