Chapter 23:

Chapter 23 – Competition (4)

Crystal Evolution

While Kieran and Ryan continued their hunt for points, twelve students surrounded a single person in another area of the competition.

Allen stood in the middle of the students, looking at them with disdain.

"You weaklings should never have entered this competition."

"Can't you count? We're twelve against one!"

"Twelve or a hundred doesn't change anything. An ant will always be an ant."

Allen raised his hand in the air forming red balls of fire all around him, with a wave of his hand, the balls of fire shot through the air towards each student.


A thin blue barrier appeared around the students, protecting them. Before they could rejoice, cracks formed on the barrier, rapidly expanding, in an instant, the barrier shattered, letting through the fireballs which had lost nothing of their power.


"Help me, help!"

"Stop it, please!"

The bodies of the twelve students began to melt, Allen controlled the flames to not kill them, leaving them feeling all the pain in their bodies which melted, some tried to roll on the ground to extinguish the flames without success.

Allen watched them burn in front of him with a smile on his face.

"I... I give up!"

Unable to bear the pain any longer, the students all gave up one after the other, vanishing in light particles.

Allen turned away from them, resuming his hunt.


It had been more than 30 hours since the competition had started, the environment had changed countless times to give way to different terrains. A labyrinth, forests, mines, volcano, etc...

Each terrain was different, and each student and crystal beast that Kieran and Ryan encountered had their strengths and weaknesses.

The two were currently in an arid desert where the heat was unbearable.

"How long have we been in this desert?" Kieran asked.

"One hour, I think? The environment should change soon again."

"I hope. Otherwise, this heat will kill me."

"Stop complaining."

"You're not the one covered in fur in this heat!"

As the two bickered, Ryan spotted something in the distance.

"Look over there. It looks like an oasis, doesn't it?"

"You're right, but is it real, or is it a trap?"

"There's only one way to find out."

Kieran sighed, "You're right."

He changed shape to a giant wolf.

"Get on."

After spending more than 30 hours with Kieran, Ryan was already used to riding on his back. Once on, he clung tightly to Kieran's fur.

As soon as he sensed that Ryan was holding onto him, Kieran ran forward, moving quickly towards the oasis.

Slowly the oasis grew bigger and bigger in their sight. Finally, fifteen minutes later, the two arrived.

Ryan climbed off Kieran's back, watching all around him.

"Do you think the water is drinkable?" Ryan asked, looking at the light blue water source in the middle of the oasis.

"Wait, I'll test the water."

Kieran took out a small tube-shaped object from his aurora collar, bringing it closer to the water source, he plunged the tube into it for a few seconds before lifting it up.

A blue light flashed on the tube for a moment before it turned green.

"The water is drinkable. We can drink it."

As soon as Kieran finished his words, Ryan rushed to the water spring, plunging his head inside, sucking large sips of water.

Kieran looked at his brother, stunned.

"I thought it wasn’t that hot."

"Leave me alone. I haven’t had a drink in hours."

Kieran shook his head, plunging his hands into the water source to drink.

After drinking, he looked around him, trying to see a crystal beast or a student. The oasis was quiet, no life could be seen except them.

He stood still for several seconds before sitting down in the shade, leaning against a tree. With a thought, the team window appeared in front of him.

[Remaining time: 15:27:32
Team list:
Kieran Arvost
Ryan Arvost
Cassandra Ashblight
Individual collected point: 8,460 ]

"Our points went up nicely after killing so many crystal beasts and eliminating students."

"It is because you have made us run everywhere, facing every crystal beast that appeared before us, in 32 hours the number of crystal animals that we have killed is almost 50. You even threw yourself on crystal beasts of the Bronze rank."

"Bronze rank crystal beasts are just a bit harder to deal with, but they are worth 500 points."

"Maybe, but do you know the number of times I was almost eliminated during these 32 hours?"



Ryan looked at Kieran, who kept smiling with a gloomy face.

"Sit down. We're going to take a break here until the map changes again."

Ryan slowly moved to sit next to him.

"Do you think the oasis will attract other students?"

"I don't know, but right now, there's no one else here except us."

"What do you plan to do once the map changes again?"

"Go back to hunt?"

"We should try to find other students to eliminate, half of our points come from them, it's more advantageous and less dangerous than hunting beasts, especially Bronze rank ones."

"We just have to chase everything we see. It's as simple as that."

Ryan let out a deep sigh at his brother’s carelessness, "Do what you want."

"Take advantage of this moment to rest or practice with your barrier."

"I'm starting to have good control over the range where I can create my barrier. Maybe I should think about another way to use my ability."

As Ryan spoke, he raised his hand in front of him, and a transparent cubic barrier formed fifteen meters in front of them.

"Is fifteen meters your limit?"

"Yes, beyond that, I can't keep the barrier stable."

"What if you downsize it?"

"I can try."

Following Kieran's advice, Ryan gradually reduced the size of his barrier, the barrier that was two meters high before now measuring one meter.

As the size of the barrier was reduced, Ryan could feel he could push it further away from his body than before.

When the barrier reached 21 meters in range, it quivered on itself before collapsing.

Ryan again formed a barrier 20 meters away from him.

"Seems like 20 meters is the maximum. If I reduce the size of the barrier even more, it won't be of any use to stop an attack."

"I wonder if it is so resistant at this range."

Kieran looked at the barrier in the distance before getting up.

"What are you doing ?"

"I'll see if your barrier can withstand an attack when you create it this far away from your body."

Kieran stood in front of the barrier, gently striking it, it seemed stable without any sign of collapse.

He put his hand on the barrier when he suddenly thought of something, he jumped on the barrier, standing on it as if it were a real object.

"Hey Ryan, if you use your barrier, could you not stand in the air with it?"

Ryan looked at Kieran for a moment before shaking his head.

"It's not possible, at least not for long periods of time. Standing on my barrier uses a lot more crystal essence than I need to create one."

"So you just need more crystal essence, and you could technically fly through your barrier."

"It should be possible, but I should cancel and reform my barrier to rise or advance, if I make a single mistake, I could fall."

"And if you form several barriers?"

"I don't know if it's possible. The crystal essence consumption will be even greater if I succeed in creating multiple barriers. I don't think it's possible until I reach the Bronze rank."

"Okay, we'll try then."

"You say that as if it will happen soon. It will probably take me several years to reach the Bronze rank."


Kieran climbed down from the barrier before sitting down against the tree again.

"If you can't improve the distance at which you form your barriers for now, try forming two separate ones around you."

"I'm going to try it. And you? What will you going to do?"

"Me? I'm going to take a nap. Wake me up if there's a problem or if the map changes."

Before Ryan could say anything, Kieran lay down, closing his eyes.

"This guy... He really takes the competition for a vacation..." Ryan whispered.

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