Chapter 9:

Chapter 9 – First Kill

Crystal Evolution

Kieran was walking through a forest. He was currently using his wolf transformation to move through the trees, trying to hide his body by lowering himself close to the ground or behind the trees.

Several meters in front of him stood a crystal beast with a height of 3 meters. The crystal beast had a strange appearance. Its body resembled that of a horse with six legs, and it had a long tail of two meters resembling a blade with a bony texture.

Instead of a horse's head was a long neck at the end of which was a head that looked like a deer, its body had no fur on it. Instead, it was covered with a kind of white exoskeleton, with red blade-like bones running down the neck until they reached the abdomen of the part looking like a horse.

This crystal beast was called a Xunarian. Kieran had done several searches before choosing this rift. He easily recognized the crystal beast that stood before him.

The Xunarians was a generally weak race with very few crystal essence in their bodies, but for a beginner like Kieran, they were still a strong opponent.

The Xunarians had a strange shape, and although their head resembled that of a deer, they were, in fact, carnivorous. Their long tail served as their main weapon, allowing them to attack their victim from afar while their blade-shaped bones running down their necks could tear any prey that got too close to them.

He had been following this Xunarian for 15 minutes already. He was trying to see how he moved, even though he had read about this crystal beast's specs on the aurora net, he wasn't willing to throw himself into a fight based only on the data that others had collected.

"He can move his neck in any direction he wants, and his tail can easily split a tree in half. I'm going to have to be careful. If I manage to inflict an injury on him from the start, the rest will be much easier for me."

Kieran examines every movement the Xunarian makes, he tries to focus on a weak point that others have found before him. The body of a Xunarian had several joints between his limbs where his exoskeleton was less resistant.

He wanted to aim for the joint between the body and the tail of the Xunarian. Without his main weapon, the fight against him will be much easier.

His whole body was tense, waiting for the right moment. When the Xunarian looked away from him, he activated the giant transformation. Using all his strength on his hind legs, he rushed towards him.

In an instant, Kieran was close to the Xunarian when he quickly turned his head in his direction.

The Xunarian moved his body backward before throwing his long tail toward Kieran's head.

Kieran canceled the giant's transformation reverting to the size of a normal wolf. The tail passed far above him.

He changed his size again, swinging his claws at the base of the Xunarian's tail.

Kieran's claws ripped through his tail, and green blood spurted from the wound, flooding the ground below them.

A piercing scream escaped the Xunarian's mouth as his body shook violently. He quickly moved away from Kieran.

Without giving him a single second to recover from his injury, Kieran ran after him, the ground shaking with each of his steps. He threw himself in the air aiming at the Xunarian's head with his claws.

The blade-like bones moved oddly, twisting back and forth. One by one, the blades pointed at Kieran, wanting to stab him.

Kieran couldn't stop his fall, as the blades approached him, he tried to move the crystal essence in his body before turning his body as best he could in the air.

A familiar feeling passed through Kieran, a blue light emanated from his spiritual world, filling his body.

His claws sliced through the air, ripping the Xunarian's head off. At the same time, the Xunarian's blades dug into his shoulder. The blue light inside him held the blades back, only letting them penetrate his body a few inches before stopping them.

The Xunarian's body fell to the ground, with blood streaming from his neck.

Kieran fell back to the ground, the wound on his shoulder not looking too bad as he slowly caught his breath.

"That blue light... Was it crystal essence? Did I manage to move my crystal essence?"

He canceled his transformation, checking the wound on his shoulder and pulling a bandage from his aurora collar to stop the bleeding.

Looking down at the palm of his hand, Kieran focused his mind on his crystal seeds, more specifically on the faint blue mist swirling around them.

Recalling the feeling he had when the crystal essence moved inside him a moment ago, he tried to make the crystal essence move again.

The crystal essence within his spiritual world began to move much faster than during his training at the academy, as if it came to life, gradually, it began to move slowly until it circulated through his body.

Kieran sweat began to trickle down his forehead, he needed tremendous concentration to move the little crystal essence his spiritual world held.

After half an hour, a faint blue glow erupted from his hand, slowly tightening that hand, Kieran could feel a deep strength inside, and a smile appeared on his face.

"So that's how we use the crystal essence!"

His eyes sparkled with excitement for a moment at this discovery before his mind snapped back to reality.

"It took me half an hour just to move it to my hand, and I was completely focused on it. I couldn't use this method in the middle of a fight right now. I'll have to get used to it slowly during the next few days."

He stopped circulating his crystal essence through his hand, its blue glow quickly fading, leaving it to return to a normal state.

He looked in the direction of the Xunarian's corpse before moving closer to the head that his last attack had ripped off. With a thought, a knife appeared in his right hand.

"If I remember correctly, the Xunarian crystal cores are supposed to be in their head."

He lowered himself, knife in hand, thrusting that blade into the decapitated head in search of its crystal core. A few seconds later, a small blue stone, the size of a fingernail with green blood on it, was extracted from the Xunarian's head.

Kieran looked down at the blood on his hands with no change in his expression.

"Since I've been having those nightmares, those gory scenes don't bother me anymore... Surely I should be happy about that. Hesitating in this kind of world will only bring me more trouble."

He moved to the Xunarian's body and began harvesting all the blade-like bones in his aurora collar as well as the tail that had been ripped off earlier.

Checking the contents of his aurora collar, he couldn't stop a sigh from escaping.

"I only have a few items inside, but it's already half full, shapeshifting clothes, a new spatial gem, my future purchases keep increasing..."

He looked away into the forest.

"I have several hours left before it gets dark. I should be able to find one or two more."

Without another word, Kieran left, his body disappearing into the forest.

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