Chapter 71:

Chapter 71 – Black Fog

Crystal Evolution

Kieran held a soul crystal in his hands with viscous yellow blood dripping from it. Behind him was the body of a golden toad that was twice the size of the one Ryan and Thomas had faced, cut cleanly in half.

With a wave of his hand, the soul crystal disappeared. His gaze turned to the direction where he had left Ryan and Thomas. From the time he had left them until now, he had kept them within reach of his crystal sense.

"It looks like the two are doing just fine on their own."

He thought about it when he sensed with his crystal sense that they had both managed to kill the three golden toads. They didn't need him to be with them all the time. He could feel how much they had progressed over the past few days.

"They're not as weak as they used to be."

As he turned to leave, he suddenly felt something enter the range of his crystal sense, moving in the direction of Ryan and Thomas.

He disappeared from the spot at that moment, reappearing a few seconds later in front of Ryan and Thomas, both sitting on the ground, breathing heavily. The corpses of three golden toads lay next to them.

"Be on your guard. Something is heading our way," Kieran said seriously as he threw a crystal essence recuperation potion at both.

Ryan and Thomas stood up quickly, drinking the potion in one gulp before preparing for another battle. They trusted Kieran and knew he wouldn't have warned them for no reason. They looked around, trying to spot any signs of danger.

Kieran used more of his crystal essence through his crystal sense to try to figure out what was coming their way, but he couldn't sense it with his crystal sense. It was as if something was obscuring his senses.

Soon, a black fog appeared in front of them, slowly dissipating, revealing a group of four students, three men, and a woman. All were wearing the uniforms of Ozryn Academy.

The four students stood in front of the three of them. Their eyes filled with curiosity and a hint of arrogance.

The leader of the group was a young man with short brown hair. He stood straight, his piercing green eyes scanning Kieran and the other two.

"Who are you?" he asked, his voice cold and demanding.

"Shouldn't you introduce yourself before asking who we are?" Kieran replied in a calm and collected tone.

"You don't know who I am?" a hint of surprise appeared on the man's face.

"Should I?"

"My name is Darian. I'm the leader of class 3-8."

Kieran turned his gaze to Ryan and Thomas.

"Classes have leaders?"

Ryan sighed, "You should come to class more often. Most classes have a representative who is often the strongest in their class, but ours has none."

"Rather than saying we have none, the one who should be the representative never shows up," said Thomas laughing.

Darian's face darkened when he saw the three of them clearly ignoring him. He was the leader of his class, and it was unheard of that anyone in the academy didn't know him. He took a step forward, his hand resting on the hilt of his sword. The other members of his group behind him started moving in unison.

"I'll show you who I am now," said Darian.

Kieran smiled slightly, he couldn't feel anything before when the black mist surrounded them, but now his crystal sense could easily tell him the cultivation of the four in front of him.

"I'll take care of this 'leader', he's a little too strong for you two, but I'll leave the other three to you."

A yellow light shone on his hand as he slowly lifted it, walls of earth rising from the ground, separating Kieran and Darian from the others.

The sudden situation surprised everyone, even Ryan and Thomas.

"Shit! He did it again!" shouted Thomas.

Kieran and Darian faced each other inside the earth walls.

Darian had already drawn his sword, but the look he gave Kieran was different from before. He was now filled with caution.

"Who are you? I don't know of any students who have such a powerful earth ability."

Kieran smiled slightly at Darian's question, "I'm just a normal classmate," he replied casually.

Darian's eyes narrowed, crystal essence surging from his body, revealing his middle stage Bronze rank cultivation. He advanced with his sword, his eyes filled with caution as a dense black fog formed around him, growing rapidly until it engulfed the entire area around the two.

Kieran's crystal sense was disrupted again, unable to find any trace of Darian, who was only a few meters in front of him a moment ago.

'This ability is quite useful for hiding,' Kieran thought as he transformed his right hand into a lycan.

The blade of a sword slicing through the air was going for his head. His hand moved slightly, stopping the blade between his claws.

"It's impossible!!" Darian had an incredulous expression on his face. The sword in his hands couldn't move, no matter how hard he tried or how much crystal essence he was circulating in his arms.

It was only then that he noticed the transformation on Kieran's hand.

"You... You're Kieran from class 3-4!!"

"Sorry for you. You attacked the wrong group."

An earth spike rose from the ground, pointing in the direction of Darian's chest, but before the earth spike could reach him, a protective white layer formed around his body, the next moment, he vanished, taking the black fog with him.


On the other side of the earth walls, Ryan and Thomas stood ready to fight, their eyes fixed on the three remaining students. The trio looked less confident now that their leader was gone, but they still held their weapons tight.

A tall, muscular young man with short black hair stepped forward with a giant mace in his hand, rushing toward them.

Thomas reacted quickly. His arms covered with black scales, he rushed forward to intercept the man with the mace, his fists clenched.

The mace and the scale-covered fist collided, causing a slight shock in the air around them.

A barrier rose to the right of Thomas, intercepting a sphere made of compressed crystal essence.

"Thanks, Ryan!" Thomas shouted as he blocked another attack from the man with the mace.

The sound of metal crashing against metal echoed throughout the area.

"Lila! Go deal with whoever is creating these barriers!"

As the two faced off again, the man with the mace shouted, glancing behind him.

The woman who was in Darian's group rushed towards Ryan at his shout with a dagger in each of her hands.

Ryan formed a barrier in front of Lila's feet to trip her up, but Lila reacted instantly to the appearance of the barrier and changed direction.

He formed another barrier in her path, but she quickly jumped over it to land in front of him and slashed his face with both daggers.

He dodged the first dagger, but the second grazed his cheek, leaving a small cut.

He jumped back, his heart racing, his eyes fixed on Lila, who was standing a few meters away from him. She was fast, agile, and deadly with her twin daggers. He knew he couldn't let his guard down for a moment against her.

Lila rushed towards him at lightning speed. Her daggers pointed at his throat. Ryan quickly created a barrier before him, deflecting the attack.

He created two more barriers around her to block her movements, but she took a step back as the barriers started to appear.

'Her reflexes are amazing! Is that her ability?' Ryan thought for a moment, but his concentration returned to his opponent's movements, who rushed at him again.

He responded by creating a barrier just in time to deflect her attack, then another barrier to create a platform he could stand on in the air.

Lila's eyes widened in surprise as Ryan hovered above her, moving freely as he used his barriers to constrain her movements.

"Dammit!!" Lila swore under her breath as she watched Ryan rise higher and higher in the air with the help of his barriers.

She dodged the barriers that had appeared around her before jumping into the air, following after him. With a wave of her hands, her two daggers flew in Ryan's direction as another pair of daggers appeared in her hands to replace them.

Ryan jumped back, dropping off his platform to dodge the daggers she had thrown at him. With a thought, all the barriers he had created disappeared.

'You won't be able to dodge now that you're in the air!'

A slight smile appeared on the corner of his lips as he lifted his index finger. A barrier formed under Lila, propelling her even higher into the air. With nothing to lean on, she twisted her body in the air as she threw her daggers at Ryan.

A barrier appeared in front of him, stopping every dagger she threw. Ryan's face turned serious as he lowered his index finger, a third of his crystal essence instantly vanishing as an incredibly strong barrier formed over Lila before crashing into her, sending her flying to the ground.

Just before her body could hit the ground, a protective white layer formed around her, causing her to disappear the next moment.

Ryan felt a sense of satisfaction wash over him. He had used his ability to its full potential, and he had emerged victorious against an opponent who was incredibly faster than him.

"Ryan, be careful!"

Thomas' voice took him by surprise, without him noticing, a sphere of compressed crystal essence rapidly approached him.


Ryan had just enough time to circulate his crystal essence through his body to help protect him before the sphere hit him, sending his body flying into a tree.


He spat out a mouthful of blood while leaning against the tree to help himself up. He could feel a stabbing pain in his back from the impact against the tree.

He looked in the direction of Thomas, who was still engaged in battle with the grounded man, the scales on his body had started to crack, and blood could be seen coming out of some of the cracks.

He focused his attention on the other man, who hadn't moved since the beginning of their confrontation. The man was staring at him with a fierce expression on his face. His right fist was raised in front of him, and a blue light was gathering inside it.

A sphere of compressed crystal essence quickly formed around his fist. With a wave of his arm, the sphere flew towards Ryan, who created a barrier to stop it.

The sphere crashed into Ryan's barrier, causing shock waves on the surface before cracks appeared on it. He moved quickly, circulating his crystal essence in his legs. He sidestepped his barrier, rushing forward toward the man with the mace who still confronts Thomas.

The other man keeps throwing compressed crystal essence spheres at him, but he uses his barriers to stop each attack. Eventually, he came within a few meters of the two, his gaze fixed on the movements of the man with the mace.

As he was about to hit Thomas with his mace, Ryan formed a barrier in the path of his arms, pushing him back.

Thomas didn't hesitate for a second to take advantage of the opportunity that Ryan had given him. Crystal essence filled his fist, hitting the man in the head. The amulet of protection instantly activated, stopping Thomas's fist in place.

Thomas glanced over at Ryan before rushing to the last member of Darian's group. It didn't take long for the two to eliminate him.

"Finally!!" Thomas shouted before dropping to the ground.

"Are you fine?" Ryan asked, sitting down next to him.

"Yeah, I'm fine... Thanks to you."

"It was nothing."

Behind them, sitting above the earth wall, Kieran and Runihoril watched the whole scene with smiles on their faces.

"You can walk like you own this secret realm, but it's a great place to train these two."

"Indeed. It's just a shame that the ancient formation has a limitation. Otherwise, we could have taken our time getting there," Kieran said, standing up before jumping in front of the two.

"Let's go."

Both looked at him with their mouths quivering.

'This guy... He watched the whole scene from the start?!' the two thought in unison.

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