Crimson Immortal

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Chapter 1: A Fated Encounter

Mages, an occupation greatly revered by the countless citizens of the kingdom of Avalor, they represent power and prestige. They hold great powers capable of affecting the elements. Fire, Water, Air, Earth; four basic elements compose the majority of these mages. These elements are determined from birth and only one out of thousands of newborns would have the aptitude to be a mage, such is the rarity of this occupation.

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Astral Forest, noon. Tens of apprentice mages wearing the insignia of Saint Isle Academy gathered at the outskirts of the forest as they will be sent to the forest to slowly train themselves against low level beasts. For, what use is a mage that doesn’t know how fight?

As soon as everyone was accounted for, a middle aged man calmly shouted, “Everyone! Today you are to train yourselves by fighting against the beasts of Avalor’s Astral forest. But remember! Never go too far ahead, the closer you are to the center, the stronger the beasts! Bravery is commendable, but the dead are forgotten! Those who collect the most cores will be rewarded greatly! A low level neutral absorption pill will be given to the one who collects the most cores!”

As the crowd of apprentice mages heard this, they can’t help but go into a clamor. A low level neutral absorption pill! Though low level, it is still a pill that could increase one’s comprehension of their respective element for a good day or two, such an item could be considered a luxury! These pill can’t be bought with mortal money, even their seniors could barely afford paying the points to procure one. So even just an elemental absorption pill could make most of them startled, what more a neutral absorption pill that any elemental mage could absorb.

“Settle down! It is time! You have 3 days to gather cores. Returning before 3 days are up will be considered as a failure, also returning after 3 days is also considered a failure so make sure you keep tabs on the time properly. Professors will be around the periphery to rescue you. Of course being rescued means forfeit. Remember, never go into the inner layer of the forest! Venture forth, kill beasts, and collect their cores! Go!”

As soon as the middle aged man finished talking, the various apprentice mages slowly went inside the forest in pairs or in small groups.

One particular group however had a young man with clear signs of being pampered as a noble, he had an entourage of at least 3 men trying to curry favor with him. Before going in, a cold and nefarious glint could be seen in his eyes as he quickly took a glance over a young female apprentice, clearly showing signs of ardor and lust.

The last to enter was actually a young female apprentice, wearing a slightly overused cloak showing signs of wear and tear, but such a poor display could not hide the serene yet calm beauty she possess.

This young girl is Alyanna, a poor girl blessed with the power of fire. She, an orphan of war, was luckily found by an elder of Saint Isle Academy in some tattered ruins of a town, seeing her possessing an aptitude for the elements, this elder quickly decided to bring her to the academy because for any country, every mage is surely an asset, so no matter how poor, they dare not neglect to try and train a potentially great investment.

Being poor and one without backing, she naturally had no friends in an academy filled with mostly sons and daughters of nobles. Even the elder who brought her didn’t bother with her after enrolling her to the academy. As such, she lived a lonely life casually bullied by the so called great nobles. To her however, this life is more than enough for having entered such a prestigious academy and discovering her potential, she was given a greater chance for revenge.

She vowed to one day find and kill the people who dared to plot and murder her parents. For she too was once considered a noble, but due to the death of her parents and the countless thieving relatives, she was left with nothing but herself unable to even lift a finger to struggle against them for the countless wealth her parents have left.

She slowly made her way to the forest hoping to at least kill a beast to test herself, not knowing that there were a pair of eyes full of depravity constantly glancing at her.

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In a not too distant location, a roar of a young beast could be heard.

Roar!

Crouching among the bushes, trying her best to hide her trail as she warily checks the surroundings to find a beast to kill, Alyanna stumbles upon a roaring young bladed tiger.

Concentrating her blazing mana into an arrow shaped object, as she calms her nerves, she waits eagerly for a chance to strike the beast in surprise.

A sound of a shrill arrow breaks the silence.

Woosh..

Throwing the fire arrow, she successfully hit the beast’s back, but such a minor wound could only slow it down, not incapacitate.

Being hit by the arrow, the beast roared in anger towards its source, and as its eyes moved, it found a young girl that it immediately pounced upon.

As her first hunt, to have nerves of steel is of course impossible, so in such a situation, she tried her best to run away in a hurry. Unfortunately she stumbles upon a rock on her path, making her fall and have cuts made on her dress showing a bit of her smooth and tender white skin. The fall had her shriek in pain due to panic and fear that slowly crept upon her.

Seeing its chance, the bladed tiger once more tried to pounce upon the young mage.

Roar!

Due to the immediate nature of the situation and her inexperience she slowly accepted her fate, as Alyanna closed her eyes hoping for a quick and painless death. But at the last moment, she felt shockwaves as a wind blade shot itself and accurately hit the neck of the beast, slicing half of it having the young bladed tiger limp and bleed awaiting its death growling in a manner unable to accept its fate.

Growl...

“Whoooah, Alyanna, are you alright? That was close, thankfully I saw you being chased and found a chance to kill the beast.” , said a young man in noble clothes as his eyes constantly took glances at the exposed skin of Alyanna.

“Robert.. Yes. Yess... I’m fine.... Thank you!” Uttered Alyanna as she bowed while constantly shivering from the shock of almost dying.

“I see, I’m glad you are alright.” said the young man with a glint fleeting through his eyes as he slowly neared Alyanna.

“You..you what’s wrong? What do you need?” she asked wary of the weird look in Robert’s eyes.

“Nothing. I saved your life, I would at least want some sort of compensation.” He sheepishly grinned.

“Wha..what do you want? I don’t have any money, nor any item of value that could enter young noble’s eyes.” Alyanna uttered in vigilance.

“Well.. I know, so why don’t we go for something that you could actually offer.. hmm.. perhaps, a taste of your, you know... body would do. Don’t worry, I’ll be incredibly G-E-N-T-L-E” uttered Robert with a wide smile, true to his intentions.

“What? No! Stay away from me!”

As naive and innocent as she was, Alyanna still had a vague memory or two about the teachings when she was young with regards to the acts of men and women and what should and should not be. But due to the sudden nature of the event and nearly dying, she forgot to even conjure her magic to at least protect herself.

“C’mon, I saved your life.. a little sacrifice suc...” but before he could finish speaking, a greatly maddened roar could be heard approaching.

Roooooarr!!

“Sh**! It must be that tiger’s parent! Dammit. You! Girl! Are coming with me! You still have yet to repay this young master’s kindness!” He bellowed as he dragged the poor young mage away with him.

Not too soon afterwards, a giant bladed tiger came to the scene, seeing its young one lying dead in a pool of its own blood, it roared so loud that a few trees in the vicinity couldn’t help but shake.

Seeing two humans running away, it instantly knew that those two were the culprits. It ran towards them with a murderous air, chasing wherever they go and slowly catching up.

As the giant bladed tiger came inching closer and closer, Robert couldn’t help but curse, “Damn this sh**ty tiger! Such a perfect opportunity wasted! Girl, go be good and block that tiger for me!”

Throwing Alyanna away, he ran faster than he ever could, hoping that she’d at least buy some time for him to get away to safety.

“Hopefully that girl could at least delay that monster even for a bit. Time to return, lest they think I went off to somewhere without them.”

Being thrown away, adding the injuries from before, Alyanna no longer has the strength to pick herself up.

Unable to accept her fate and turn of events, she suddenly felt cold and uttered, “Such an unfair world.. why? I can’t die!! I can’t die yet!! Not until I avenge my parents!”

A resolute and indignant look came as she chanted a spell far higher than her current capabilities could sport.

A twirling mass of burning mana gradually came together and slowly burned in front of her as she awaits the tiger’s coming.

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A few tens of meters away from Alyanna, a burning orb of fire lingered.

“Interesting, such a small vessel but it contains a great aptitude for my flames. It’ll be a waste to have her die like this. And those indignant eyes, revenge.. revenge is a great fuel towards strength .” , the flaming orb uttered as she scanned the young mage as if seeing through everything.

“Maybe she is capable of inheriting my will and strength, given the current wounds on my soul and the amount of natural Qi in this world, I doubt I’d still live for long. Sigh, guess living in peace for countless years has had me fear death.”

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Alyanna, with sweat drenching her back, was currently doing her best to conjure a great fireball, something which only a mage a level higher above her could only do when suddenly she heard a voice.

“Girl! Do you seek strength!? Power that could make you reign supreme in this world of mortals?!”

“Who.. who are you!? Wait... it doesn’t matter who you are. Yes! Only when I’ve successfully avenged their souls can I find peace in death!” shouted Alyanna from the depths of her soul.

“Very well. But with this power will come a curse, but before that let me take care of that annoyance for you.”

And in just a blink of an eye, the approaching giant bladed tiger was burned to mere ashes right in front of her.

Seeing such an unbelievable sight, the conjured mass of blazing mana Alyanna created with much difficulty gradually dispersed amongst the wind as her body relaxed in relief.

“You.. whoever you might be. The devil, god, or some cursed soul.. if I could gain power as strong as yours, no matter the cost, I will gladly accept.”

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