The next day
Chaus woke up to the bright rays of sunlight shining on his face. His entire body ached, and his legs were sore. He slowly stood up and looked around. Chaus was so famished yesterday, the only things his eyes could see were the bread and water. After resting, Chaus saw things he missed. Laying on the platform was a worn out book. Chaus picked it up. The pages of the book looked like it would break apart if Chaus put too much pressure on it. Chaus read the title of the Book. "The Applications of the Soul." Although Chaus reached the pinnacle of the Vitality stage, he knew nothing about the soul and his soul energy other than what Dru told him. Chaus sat down and started reading.
'The soul is the basis of all power. It is the most versatile creation in the world. The soul is the foundation for magic. It can take on a physical form and also enhance your combat prowess.'
Chaus read the book for the entire day. With the help of the book, Chaus learned the concept of magic and how to use magic. Additionally, he learned how to transform the soul into a physical shape, but he was limited by his realm. The same also applied to enhancing his combat prowess. However, he was able to start learning how to use magic.
Chaus learned that in order to use magic, energy must be taken from the soul. The soul is the fuel tank while the soul energy, in Chaus's case, hellfire, is the oil. Chaus must take his soul energy and use it to fuel magic spells. Magic spells are cast through the combined usage of soul energy and magic words. Once both conditions are met, the spell can be casted. The system of magic follows the rule of equivalent exchange. The user casting the spell must have enough energy to cast the spell, otherwise life force will be used to cast the spell. Additionally, the higher rank the soul energy a person has, the less energy it will take to cast a spell. A 5th stage energy is purer and more concentrated than a 1st stage energy. Hence, it would take a larger amount of 1st stage energy to cast a spell and less 5th stage energy.
Since Chaus had soulfire as his soul energy and death as its foundation, it could be said that Chaus's soul could hold more energy than anyone in the same realm as him, and it could also fuel larger and more powerful magic spells as well.
After reading the book, Chaus's understanding of magic grew. He understood that there were different elements of soul energies that affected how the spell behaved. In order to see it with his own eyes, Chaus tried casting a simple spell. Chaus picked up the bowl that was once filled with water and shouted, "Burn!" The bowl went up in a tower of flames. However, these flames weren't red. Instead they were black flames. Hellfire. Chaus watched in amazement as the bowl was burned into oblivion. Not even a pile of ash was left. Although this was a simple spell, Chaus lost 5% of his soul energy casting that spell. Chaus could feel that energy was being wasted. Chaus wanted to stay on the platform and practice, but there was no more food or water. Chaus needed to continue climbing.
While climbing to reach the second platform, Chaus practiced magic. He practiced efficiently casting spells without wasting soul energy. He would continuously cast tiny spells until his soul ran out of energy. He would then wait for the soul energy to replenish and then continue casting spells. What initially took 5% of Chaus's soul energy now took 1%.
Chaus was mentally and physically drained. He climbed almost 800 meters and cast nearly 100 spells. It was at this moment Chaus felt a change in his soul. His soul started to expand and evolve. The Revolution Realm! Chaus felt his fatigue fade away and energy filled his body. Chaus quickly climbed to the next platform.
Upon reaching the next platform, Chaus was greeted with barrels of water and food. There was a bed and a door beside the supplies. Chaus quickly understood what this meant. He was supposed to stay on this platform for a while, but he didn't know how long. Chaus decided it was best to ration his food. After having a quick meal, Chaus looked for his next objective.
Chaus was proficient in effectively casting spells, but he had no experience with using his soul to boost his physical strength. He also had no combat experience. Because of that, it would be hard for Chaus to beat anyone, even if his opponent had a weaker soul than him. Thus, the second platform.
Chaus approached the door curiously. He was confused why there would be a door on the platform. Chaus walked around the door. Nothing happened. It still looked like a plain wooden door.
[Maybe I'm supposed to touch it?]
Chaus slowly moved his hand towards the door. Immediately, upon making contact, Chaus was sucked into the door.
What greeted Chaus was the sight of a battlefield. Surrounded by a pile of bodies, stood a lone warrior wearing crimson red armor. His facial features were defining. The warrior had sharp, yellow eyes, a tan face, long, fiery red hair, and muscles rippling across his entire body. He easily stood two meters tall, and he carried a 12 ft long spear behind him.
The spear had red and black engravings on it. The two colors intertwined with each other and ran down the entire spear shaft. The spearhead was made out of a dark blue stone, a dragon stone. The figure looked towards Chaus. Chaus immediately froze. The pressure the crimson warrior gave off was immense. It would be an understatement to say Chaus felt like mountains were on top of him. The mysterious warrior charged at Chaus. The speed at which the warrior moved was so fast Chaus couldn't even move before the warrior reached Chaus.
[Sh*t. I can't dodge this.]
However, the unexpected happened. The warrior passed right through Chaus. Chaus didn't even know he held his breath. As Chaus exhaled, Dru's voice appeared in Chaus's head. Sound transmission. "This is simply an illusion of an event that happened years ago. The Battle of Cinder. This warrior single handedly fought back dozens of giants. Learn from him."
Chaus became shocked and excited at the same time. There were giants in this world. What was more, this man fought dozens of them alone. His strength was extraordinary. The benefits Chaus could get from watching his movements would be enormous. There was only one problem though. Chaus couldn't follow the warrior's movements with his eyes. As if reading his mind, Dru's voice entered Chaus's head again. "I have given some control of this world to you. You can slow down the illusion as much as you need to. I have also given you the ability to see the movement of souls in this world."
At this point, Chaus was extremely excited. He could learn from a great warrior and also see how the warrior used his soul in battle.
"Every night, this illusion will disappear and you will be sent back to the platform. If you want to enter this world again, you must go through the door again. When you've grown strong enough, the door will disappear on its own."
Chaus spent the next 8 hours watching the warrior. Dozens of giants, each wielding weapons meters long, charged towards the warrior. Each giant was massive.They were easily 30 meters tall and had the strength of 10,000 men. The warrior, however, seemed as calm as a tranquil lake. He slowly lifted up his spear and charged towards the giants.
The two forces collided. A giant swung its sword towards the warrior. The speed of the giant's sword was incredibly fast. It seemed like the warrior was going to be split in half. However, the warrior used his soul and combined it with his physical body. The ability of the revolution stage. The warrior instantly sidestepped the sword and counterattacked. He swung his spear in an arc and aimed towards the giant's heel. The giant quickly moved his leg away, but the spear still found its mark. A meter long wound appeared on the giant's heel. The initial giant blacked away, and three more giants took its place.
The three giants attacked the crimson warrior, and they each left wounded. More giants took their place, but rather than directly confronting the warrior, the giants started using Earth magic. They started chanting, and pillars of rock hundreds of meters high rose up and surrounded the warrior.
More giants started chanting. Eventually all the giants, even the injured one, were chanting. A large magic circle appeared hundreds of meters above the warrior's head. More and more circles started appearing until dozens were above the warrior's head. The circles were brown, and engravings of the giant language were on them. The feeling the circles gave off made one think it was the Earth itself. In unison, the giants stopped chanting. The warrior looked up into the sky. What he saw were thousands of arrows raining down. The arrows were a meter long and made from Earth energy: a soul energy only the giants could use. Each arrow held incredible destructive power. A single arrow could kill a human in the domain realm instantly. The barrage of arrows covered the land in shadows, yet the warrior still remained calm as a lake.
Chaus, watching on the sidelines, was in a hyper focused state. Everything the warrior did, Chaus remembered clearly. Chaus saw the warrior become one with his soul. The warrior's soul then wrapped itself around the warrior. The transformation stage ability. The soul had turned into armor. Expectantly, the color of the warrior's soul was red. The soul of fire, one of the four natural elements. The warrior, having a silhouette of red around him, bent his legs and jumped head first towards the oncoming storm.
Faster than the eye could see, the warrior swung his spear left and right, deflecting the arrows. While deflecting incoming arrows, he stepped on the arrows and used them to jump higher and higher. Not a single arrow could touch his body. A shocked expression appeared on the giants' faces. A hint of fear was also evident. Chaus, on the other hand, fared no better than the giants.
[This power...it's heaven shattering…] Chaus knew not who the warrior was, but he knew for certain the warrior was someone who had ruled at the top of the world.
The warrior climbed over the pillars of stone and jumped down onto the ground. When the warrior landed, the Earth screamed, and cracks dozens of meters wide started appearing with the warrior at its center. The giants started backing away from the cracks, but they were too slow. The cracks caught up to the giants and they fell down into the dark abyss. The warrior jumped down and followed the giants. Roars of pain were heard shortly after.
The warrior dashed left and right, dodging all the giants' attacks. He displayed a brilliant display of footwork all while swinging his spear. Every time the spear moved, pools of blood followed. It was a one sided slaughter. Before long, only one giant was left. "Carnak." The giant growled in anger. "Even in death I curse you." The warrior responded by cutting off the giant's head in one fell swoop.