Chapter 8:

Chapter 8 – Going inside a spatial rift

Crystal Evolution

The next morning Kieran headed to the Aegis Alliance headquarters in Ozryn. Before leaving home, his father had advised him on expeditions through the rift and survival equipment which he stored in his aurora collar.

Arriving in front of the alliance headquarters, he admired this seven-story building. Each stone was immaculate white, and an immense shield with white wings was above the entrance. This building represented the glory of the Aegis Alliance.

After waking up from his astonishment, he entered the building before approaching the rift management office.

"Good morning, sir. How can I help you?"

"Good morning. I want an authorization to go on an expedition through a rift."

"Of course, please choose a rift that suits you."

A holographic screen appeared in front of him, displaying several rift locations scattered around Ozryn, along with information about those rifts.

The rifts that had appeared were all different, but apart from some special rifts, they all had three points in common.

One of them was a cultivation level limitation to cross these rifts. The rifts were divided into several ranks, like the cultivators. A Silver rank could never enter an Iron rift, their existence would be pushed back the moment they tried to cross a rift with a level lower than theirs, but if a person goes to the next rank inside a rift, this one would not be ejected from the rift.

It wasn't the world on the other side of the rifts that rejected their existence. It was just the passage that connected the worlds together, but even if a person couldn't cross a rift to enter a world because of his level of cultivation, it was possible to find several rifts with different levels that could lead to the same world, it was only the limitation imposed on a rift due to the environment around it lacking crystal essence to form a passage stable enough to accommodate more powerful existences within it that prevents them from crossing it.

The second was that as long as someone crosses a rift, he could no longer come back through this rift for a period of 15 days. The scientists found that the energy emitted when crossing a rift remains inside the bodies, which obstructs a return through the same rift. The energy disappeared after 15 days, it was one of the reasons which made the rift so dangerous.

The third common point was related to the second. Most human technology could not cross the rift without being destroyed by spatial energy. Only technology created from materials recovered from crystal beasts and certain technology resistant to spatial energy or equipped with spatial items like the aurora collars with their spatial gem could cross space rifts without being destroyed.

Unfortunately for the Aegis Alliance, a small spatial gem was not enough to cross any technologies. The prices to cross such technologies were exorbitant. Only the richest of the alliance would try such a method to pass weapons that would not necessarily be more useful than the abilities of the cultivator.

To counteract this, the Aegis Alliance had trained many scientists across the alliance to reform all of their technology with crystal beast materials, but the process was extremely long. According to information from a famous theorist, the process would take another 50,000 years before all the technology of the Aegis Alliance was fully reformed.

Kieran inspected all the rifts he could see. In all, there were 36 rifts inside Ozryn, 20 of Iron Rank, 11 of Bronze Rank, 4 of Silver Rank, and 1 of Gold Rank.

"I would like authorization for the Iron Rank 42 802 rift, please."

He wasted no time searching through the rifts. He had already researched Ozryn's rifts the day before and knew which one was most appropriate for him right now.

"Of course, before giving you access, you must complete these documents."

He glanced at the screen that had appeared. It was contracts that stipulated that whatever happened on the other side of the rifts, the Aegis Alliance would not be responsible for any. On the other hand, no tax was to be paid either to enter or to exit the rifts. Each material found was the property of whoever obtained it, and the Aegis Alliance was ready to buy any material that cultivators wanted to sell.

After accepting all the documents, Kieran received his authorization.

He left the alliance building before using a high-speed magnetic train to head northeast of Ozryn to find his chosen rift.

A huge tear 5 meters high and 3 meters wide spread out in front of him like the gaping mouth of a gigantic beast ready to swallow him at any moment.

All around him, several cultivators are waiting in line to cross the rift. Some merchants approach them to try to do business by selling their items.

Several merchants tried approaching him, but he didn't bother negotiating with them. He already had everything he needed, and above all, he didn't have the money to be able to buy anything.

The rifts were well guarded. Each person had to pass the strict control of the Aegis Alliance before being able to enter the rifts. It was a way to prevent criminals from escaping through them.

Although the Aegis Alliance is at 'peace' within their territory, many human groups seek to destroy the order they had established, not to mention that certain hostile races try to infiltrate inside many cities by any means they can find.

Kieran waited his turn for more than an hour before showing his authorization to the guards. Seeing that everything was in order, he was authorized to cross.

He was anxiously looking at this tear in space in front of him. It was the first time he had gone through a rift. Listening to stories and experiencing it personally was totally different.

Moving slowly inside, his vision becomes blurred before he no longer has any spatial perception. He no longer knows where the top or the bottom is or even if he is still moving forward.

Everything went back to normal a few seconds later. He was standing in the middle of a city. Just standing there, he could feel his body absorbing the crystal essence that filled the air. The crystal essence he could feel around him was several times higher than the one inside Ozryn.

Looking around, he could see several infrastructures. The Aegis Alliance had built refuges across the rifts with several infrastructures installed so that all cultivator and alliance members could live comfortably during their stay through the rifts, gradually becoming as large as small towns.

Members of the alliance had been placed through the rifts to protect these refuges and prevent the crystal beasts from crossing the rifts to invade the Aegis Alliance.

In the distance, Kieran could see thick walls 5 meters high surrounding the whole refuge. Examining all around him, he could see several cultivators who were preparing to go on an expedition. Looking up, he found two suns in the sky. Compared to the one he could see in the sky of Ostrion, these two emitted a red light, giving this planet a strange feeling.

He stood stunned at the sight for a few seconds when he shook his head strongly.

'Wake up, Kieran. You're not here on vacation.'

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