Chapter 11:

The best way to predict the future is to invent it

The Divine Punishment

As always, I couldn't sleep well, waking up practically every hour.Bookmark here

I could hear thundering sounds outside, but they weren't rain or lightning, since they disappeared thanks to the kamien.Bookmark here

So it had to be zombies or other beings, I just hoped they hadn't made it inside Acuro's house, being very small, it would have been destroyed in the blink of an eye.Bookmark here

"We really should talk, Tenkei Nowak." said a figure standing at the window of my room.Bookmark here

In the room I was alone, the room was relatively small, but it was enough for me.Bookmark here

"Who are you?" I asked him, not out loud, I didn't want to wake the others.Bookmark here

"My name is Dario, I'm here to offer you a deal," the man said.Bookmark here

I still couldn't get a good look at him, but he had short orange hair.Bookmark here

He didn't look like he had a kamien, no rocks were sticking out of his T-shirt.Bookmark here

"What do you want from me?"Bookmark here

"Clark... my master... actually... 'our' master... is exactly like you, Tenkei.Bookmark here

He's never had friends, he's never had good parental figures. That's exactly what led him to be the person he is today."Bookmark here

"Fuck... you're inside that group too! What are you even saying? I've already made new friends!"Bookmark here

I couldn't explain how he was in that group without owning a kamien. He must have been very strong.Bookmark here

"Tenkei, you should join us too, Clark's ambitions are divine and you will be spared."Bookmark here

"What are you saying???" I replied, this time I couldn't hold back the scream, but no one woke up anyway.Bookmark here

Maybe I was the only one having trouble sleeping.Bookmark here

I activated my kamien and readied a blast in the palm of my hand, and then approached him and hit him.Bookmark here

But when I was about to hit him, he was gone.Bookmark here

Clark must have been in pretty bad shape to force his subordinates to pick up the kamiens.Bookmark here

I canceled my technique and laughed about it for a while. I had just created a brilliant technique in a rush, I got stronger because of an enemy. It was fun enough as it was, without adding that after this mess no one had woken up, or maybe they did...Bookmark here

"Tenkei, are you okay?" asked Acuro who had just arrived in my room, "I heard some strange screams coming from here, or maybe I just imagined them." he continued.Bookmark here

"I don't know what you're talking about, Acuro," I replied.Bookmark here

I didn't want to involve him further.Bookmark here

"Well, good night then," he said.Bookmark here

"Good night."Bookmark here

"I'm getting old..." Acuro said as he walked back to his room.Bookmark here

I went back to sleep. That Dario never showed up again.Bookmark here

After a long sleep, I got up and went straight to the dining room. Everyone was waiting for me.Bookmark here

"Did you sleep well, Tenkei?" they asked me.Bookmark here

"Y-yes, I can't complain."Bookmark here

"Well, eat everything because we have an unprecedented workout ahead of us today!" said Acuro.Bookmark here

"OK!"Bookmark here

After breakfast, we headed to the usual cornfield from the previous day.Bookmark here

"Today I'm going to teach you three techniques, one for each of you. Let's start with you Tenkei, your training will be one of the longer ones, I've been thinking about this technique all night, I hope you'll make good use of it."Bookmark here

"What does it consist of?" I asked.Bookmark here

While Acuro was focusing on me, the others moved towards the trees, to practice what they had learned the day before.Bookmark here

"First, I have to teach you the bare-handed version. This technique requires the use of your kamien, it is very powerful, you will be able to use it according to your limits. I think 3 times a day is the maximum, considering your ease. But it's all to be seen, the fact is that if you try to exceed the limit of times you perform this move, you will most likely die."Bookmark here

"Ah, alright, I'll try not to overdo it. But why bare-handed first?"Bookmark here

"It's very effective even with bare hands, you can very well defeat opponents without even using the katana, but by combining it with the katana you'll be able to reach the peak of humanity, creating the sharpest blade ever seen on the face of the Earth, the Raijin. With the katana though, the limit won't be 3 times, but 2, because it requires so much more energy."Bookmark here

"Understood, again if I would exceed the limit..."Bookmark here

"Exactly."Bookmark here

"Ah, well I don't want to waste too much time, the enemies could show up at any time," I said, thinking back to what happened with Dario.Bookmark here

"Good, then let's get going."Bookmark here

"..."Bookmark here

"You need to focus the energy through the fingers forming a sort of blade, repeat this many times, until it's sharp enough to cut through this boulder with electricity alone. Be careful not to produce too many sparks, or you might hurt yourself."Bookmark here

"But it's too big..."Bookmark here

"Listen to me carefully, Tenkei, if you want to reach the ceiling of human strength you have to be able to do this, you are the only one who can, Evan and Emmy's kamiens are weaker than yours, although it doesn't look like it, electricity is the finest."Bookmark here

"Okay..." his speech was a bit boring, but it made sense.Bookmark here

I tried to do as he told me, concentrating the energy on each finger separately, it was very difficult, so far I had done it with a single flow, except the night before, but the technique I had created was very confusing and random, the "lightning" that was created, was all swirling and of different length. They would never come to be similar to the ones I needed to apply to this technique.Bookmark here

As I made several attempts, Acuro-sensei moved over to Evan, saying:Bookmark here

"Evan, your workout will be slightly shorter than Tenkei's, but you'll have to work hard too, remember though, that I'm going to challenge you tonight, all at once."Bookmark here

"Alright," replied Evan, who was ready to train.Bookmark here

"Evan, leave the chainsaw alone for today, you'll have to use that one in special cases, as the fuel inside can always run out. So I'm going to teach you some bare-knuckle techniques too."Bookmark here

"Sure, you're right."Bookmark here

"I need to make sure of one thing first, are you sure you can't get burned?"Bookmark here

"Y-yes, I've already tried it, the burns don't cause me pain or heat my skin. I'm immune."Bookmark here

"Well, then, as a first step, I ask you to concentrate all the energy flow in your two arms so that they form two separate flames. That shouldn't be too difficult."Bookmark here

"Yes, okay, but how do you know all these things?"Bookmark here

"My teacher was Japanese, he taught me all about the culture and how in the past there were two gods, Izanagi and Izanami. Obviously, though, I don't believe in any gods, but of one thing I am certain: your powers are not something human. I learned all these techniques from the myths he told me, they were really interesting but all fake. Thanks to this meteor coincidence though, I can finally teach you something."Bookmark here

"Well let's gloss over it, I'm going to try it now," said Evan.Bookmark here

"Yeah, you're right, well go for it."Bookmark here

As I continued to practice and repeatedly try to cut through the huge rock the master had brought me, Evan ran the flow of energy to his two arms with ease, making from the elbow down, each arm a sort of flaming flashlight.Bookmark here

"Good, now I want you to try and control some fireballs while they're in the air, do you think you'll be able to do that?"Bookmark here

"While they're in the air? I don't know, I'd have to try it."Bookmark here

"Try it and work on it, in the meantime, I'm going to move to Emmy."Bookmark here

"Alright, Master Acuro."Bookmark here

"Come on...but why did you all start calling me master?" he said smiling, he was very happy to be able to teach us what he had studied for a lifetime.Bookmark here

He moved over to Emmy, unfortunately, her kamien was the weakest of ours.Bookmark here

"Emmy, I'm sorry but the wind has a very weak affinity compared to the other elements, so you will be the one who will have to work the hardest, to catch up with the others, but your training won't be that long, because without you knowing I already started training you yesterday."Bookmark here

"What? Yesterday?" replied Emmy.Bookmark here

"Yes, yesterday, without knowing it, you were using the wind to negate the friction in the punches you threw and the parries, greatly reducing the fatigue."Bookmark here

"Wow, I didn't realize that."Bookmark here

"It's because the wind is invisible, compared to the other elements of your friends. Now let's get started though, I'll tell you what you'll need to do to catch up."Bookmark here

"Y-yeah."Bookmark here

Emmy, from how she was before (disappointed) became all of a sudden very happy, knowing that in less time she would have become strong, thanks to the training of the day before.Bookmark here

"Emmy, you will not have great fighting skills with the wind kamien. But you will have great movement skills."Bookmark here

"Ahah, the rhyme," replied Emmy.Bookmark here

While Evan and I were continuing our training, I was starting to make the first cracks in the boulder.Bookmark here

"If you use the kamien to lift and move through the air, you'll be able to float. Try it. This technique is called Susanoo, keep it in mind."Bookmark here

"Okay!"Bookmark here

Slowly she began to rise into the sky, it seemed like a miracle, she could truly equalize Reid's flight, which on the contrary was imperfect, compared to Emmy's, who could literally float.Bookmark here

"Awesome!" said Emmy.Bookmark here

"Isn't it? Now I'm going to teach you another fundamental technique, the Fujin, which is also relatively simple, but you're going to have to work hard at it now, otherwise, when you perform it in fights you're going to risk getting hurt."Bookmark here

"Okay. What does it consist of, teacher?"Bookmark here

"Position yourself in front of that tree, and repeat the martial arts techniques I taught you yesterday, but this time apply the wind to it, at a medium distance from where you strike, so don't get attached to the tree. The rest is up to you."Bookmark here

At first, she didn't seem to understand, but after a few punches and kicks, she discovered the sublimity of the technique she had just learned.Bookmark here

She could hit opponents by staying away from them, using the force of the wind on her punches, then landing even the blows that her opponent would be able to dodge.Bookmark here

"Wow," she yelled.Bookmark here

She, unlike us, had already learned her technique, all she needed to do was refine it.Bookmark here

"I did it too!" shouted Evan, "I can control the fireballs in midair, now I generated more." he continued.Bookmark here

"Great, just like that," said Acuro, "now generate more and place them behind you."Bookmark here

"Huh? Behind me? And for what reason?"Bookmark here

"You'll be able to get some cover and you won't have to worry about looking behind you anymore, generate about 8 of them and you'll be fine, then you can keep them there as shields or throw them. Just remember to never put out that fire. You make the fire, you can put it out whenever you want. But remember, the longer it stays lit, the harder you'll struggle, so use this "infinite fire" technique for this specific technique only, or you'll be dead. Learn to know your limits. This technique is called Kagu-Tsuchi."Bookmark here

*Kagu-Tsuchi and a lot of the other techniques used are referenced in other anime too, but they’re gods from Japanese mythology and not copied from other works.*Bookmark here

I, on the other hand, was still fatiguing a lot, I had only managed to make a few cracks in the boulder when...Bookmark here

"YES! I got it too!" I shouted.Bookmark here

"Great, Tenkei," Acuro said as he joined me.Bookmark here

I had split the rock in two, a perfect half. My fingers were perfectly synchronized: the perfect blade.Bookmark here

"I expected that from you. Now try the master technique, with the katana."Bookmark here

"Okay."Bookmark here

I picked up the katana, my hand all bruised and still trembling, and tried the technique from before, but using the katana, however, from how much my hand was shaking, another one came out: the one I had used the night before against Dario.Bookmark here

"T-Tenkei, but you..... No, that's not possible... how..."Bookmark here

"What is it, master? Are you talking about this technique? I discovered it a few days ago, I know it's nothing compared to the ones you teach me, sorry if I'm using it."Bookmark here

"No, you're wrong...That technique is still imperfect's the technique that every swordsman has never been able to achieve in his life..."Bookmark here

"What are you talking about?"Bookmark here

"The electricity around the blade of the katana is rotating thanks to the flow of energy applied with the kamien, and thanks to the blade technique from before, you've just reached the heights of not only humanity but the entire universe...In the myths, they say that the one who can achieve the Kitsune (the technique is called like that).... can predict the opponent's moves...thanks to the atoms it moves. If you can perfect it, you will have become the perfect being. Even legends like Sasaki Kojiro and Miyamoto Musashi never managed to get there. Congratulations Tenkei."Bookmark here

"..." I was speechless, as were my companions.Bookmark here

"There's a risk to using Kitsune though, isn't there?"Bookmark here

"More than a risk, like the other technique from before, it has a limit, a limit of once a day, then you can't even fight anymore, or you'd be risking a lot."Bookmark here

"I see. Now that we've all honed our techniques how about we start the duel like we said we would?" I proposed.Bookmark here

"YES!" they all replied together.Bookmark here

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