Chapter 1267 Light Mastery Part 4
"This way, you can get used to fighting people of your same weight class, without the gap in mass and core level affecting the development of your techniques.
"Quylla, your body is fit for a homebody thanks to your training, but it's inadequate even for a street fight. Before teaching you how to fight, you need better foundations so we'll focus on developing your muscles and endurance.
"Phloria, Tista, you two are two sides of the same coin. Phloria's body has evolved too fast compared to her core and needs further refining. Tista, instead, has a perfect body and too few impurities.
"Luckily for you, the solution is the same. I just need to push you to your utmost limits. Get ready, I'll show you how an Awakened fights." One of the golems with Faluel's appearance said while the others nodded.
Quylla had to run laps of the lair to work on her endurance while Tista and Phloria got pummelled by their respective golem. Faluel would always hit to produce little damage but great pain, to not let them underestimate their exercise and prolong it as much as she could.
The moment they became incapable of moving further, she would use light magic to speed up their recovery. It allowed them to strengthen their bodies and produced more impurities.
Then, Faluel would take out Phloria's impurities with Invigoration and leave Tista's intact. As soon as the healing magic fixed them, the training would resume. Phloria had much more battle experience compared to Tista yet she fared no better because neither of them had ever faced an Awakened.
The moment they tried to set some distance, the golem would be shrouded by a light that indicated the use of Invigoration. Each time it happened, the match would end abruptly.
The golems left them no time to use their breathing technique and exploited the sudden gap in energy to finish them off quickly. Tista was used to Fusion Magic whereas Phloria had trouble adjusting her footing to her faster and stronger movements, turning what was supposed to be an advantage into a hindrance.
"I can't believe I'm out of breath in barely over a minute." Tista said amid pants during one of the short breaks Faluel gave them to reflect on their many mistakes.
"Do you have any idea how mentally and physically exhausting it is to go all out while focusing on your opponent's every movement?" Faluel's golem said. "Tista, you never fought a real opponent and got used to easy wins.
"Phloria, you're an excellent fighter, but until you don't get used to Fusion Magic and to not leave the opponent the time to breathe freely, you'll never win."
As for Quylla, she soon understood the depth of the nightmare she was in. The moment she was exhausted and too tired to continue, Faluel would give her a tonic. Then, healing magic would enhance her muscles and share part of Faluel's stamina with her.
"Please, enough with the running. I'm sick of it." Quylla never stopped long enough to stop sweating and even if her body was always at its peak, she was frustrated beyond reason.
"Muscle training it is." The golem shapeshifted into a mud form that covered Quylla's body.
It didn't weigh much, but it opposed every of her movement, tripling the effort needed to take even a single step.
Nalrond joined them just in time to hear them beg Faluel to stop. The Hydra could use Invigoration as much as she wanted, providing her students with plenty of healing and vitality. None of them had an excuse to slack off, condensing days of training in a single afternoon.
While the others cursed the Hydra's bloodline with growing intensity and creativity, Lith, Solus, and Faluel's main body kept practicing Light Mastery.
'This is as interesting as it is frustrating.' Thanks to the Hush dome, Lith had no idea what was happening on the other side of the lair. 'Double casting light magic isn't the hard part, so much as not making the two different spells mix freely.
'One spell must work solely as Builder while the other as Matter. Each one of them needs to be imbued with a different type of willpower and the slightest mistake makes everything fall apart.'
Following Nalrond's advice, the three of them were trying to create a spherical construct the size of a marble. It was the smallest and simplest thing they could study with all their senses.
'To make matters worse, the Builder mana must coat the Matter inside out. The former serves as both the skeleton and exoskeleton of the construct at the same time, while the latter gives it mass and durability.
'Not enough Matter mana and the construct it's too brittle, too much and it collapses under its own weight. The Builder, instead, suffers from a different issue. If I don't set its boundaries with enough focus, the construct dissipates.
'Yet if I focus too much or make the structure too complex, I don't have enough mana left for the Matter and the construct comes out frailer than a sand castle. Each spell requires a fine balance that must also fit that of the other.' Solus thought.
'While shaping the other elements is like pouring water into a glass, Light Mastery is akin to preparing a potion while juggling with its ingredients. One single mistake means wasting everything and being forced to start over.' Faluel thought.
Minutes turned into hours yet none of them managed to make their respective hard-light marble withstand the slightest impact. Nalrond and the others had already consumed two meals and several liters of water just to not die of starvation or dehydration due to their non-stop training.
Lith had found several methods to shape his constructs, yet they had all turned out to have fatal flaws that made them useless.
'Maybe I'm just overthinking this. I shouldn't try to arrange properly every single millimeter of the marble. I've seen both Manohar and Nalrond use Light Mastery several times and none of their constructs was very detailed.
'On the contrary, they were fairly simple.' Lith thought back at his fight with Nalrond and that with Dawn.
He focused on how their constructs felt when he hit them and on the way they shattered. With each failed attempt, Lith deepened his understanding of the light element beyond that of Healers, who only tapped into half of its true potential.
After a while, his mastery over the light element grew enough to open the fourth eye of his hybrid form, making both of his human eyes turn white. Faluel and Solus congratulated him briefly under the cover of the Hush zone before returning to their own task with renewed vigor.
'I must follow the advice that Lith gave Nalrond after they first met.' Solus thought. 'Heat rays and constructs work the same, but while rays last a split second, constructs can be used until they run out of mana.' Solus thought.
'The question is, how can two phenomenons apparently so different derive from the same principle? Think, Solus. The secret must be in the name. This discipline is called Light Mastery, not Light Constructs.'
Solus and Lith had two completely different approaches to magic. Usually, by pooling their minds and resources they would always come up with a solution. That was the reason why Faluel had ordered them to work alone.
Each one of their two minds acted as a crutch for the other. Constantly receiving suggestions limited their potential and kept them from learning from their own mistakes. Only by realizing what each of them lacked they could truly improve.