A Chapter by EdwinBozie

Author: EdwinBozie
Created: December 28, 2017 at 08:31 am
Upload Type: Chapter, T (13+)  
Category: Fantasy | Action | Adventure
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L.O.T.J.L Ep 13: The Trial Of Adaptability


Finally, Harry had arrived safely at Fencer’s hideout. He talked excitedly with Josec and Buern but they were so excited talking with him that they had not noticed the girl standing a little further inside the cave. Harry rushed towards her and that was when they noticed her.

“This is Princess Estelle of Imperium, she is my fiancée”

When he said that his two friends dropped their jaws in surprise. Even Fencer seemed surprised for a while but regained his composure shortly after.

Josec pulled Harry aside.

“Harry, you’re not messing with me are you?! How is this possible?! A hopeless guy like you and…a…a princess?! I need to sit down” Josec joked.

“Who’re you calling hopeless?!” Harry roared.

He didn’t take offense though.

Buern seemed even more shocked.

“You had better not have pulled any tricks on her or so help me dear God I’ll slam your face into the ground!” Buern threatened.

“No, I didn’t. I’m not even sure I’m not dreaming and I don’t know how it happened. It just sorta did” Harry confessed.

Estelle seemed amused, even a bit joyful to see Harry look so happy amongst his friends. She was even more joyful to see how they interacted. It was amusing to watch them express their friendship in an almost awkward manner she was quite unfamiliar with.

Then Buern turned to face Estelle. Estelle seemed intimidated.

“Come straight with me. How did it happen?! Is it true?! What manner of entanglement did this guy use?! Threats?! Blackmail?! How could someone as beautiful as you…fall for…this?!” Buern exclaimed as she pointed to Harry as though he were an object.

“Careful Buern or I might just bite your finger off” Harry challenged.

“I’d like to see you try!” Buern exclaimed in anger.

“You, me, outside, let’s go now” Harry challenged.

In an instant, a punch from Buern reminded him that amongst the three, there was a definite hierarchy of power.

“INSTANT SUBMISSION!” Josec commented.

Estelle laughed nervously.

“Isn’t it more polite to introduce yourself before asking questions?” Josec asked nervously.

“Sorry about that, I am Buern Vane” Buern introduced herself.

“Josec Fenix, nice to meet you” Josec introduced himself.

“And our new Master is…” Josec looked around but Fencer had disappeared.

“Fencer?! Fencer?! Where are you?!” he called.

He left the trio to find Fencer and found him pointing to a new image in his ‘history of Jo-lan’. It was an image of the four companions together with Fencer in the cave.

“New history huh?” Josec asked.

“Yeah, some things only make sense over time. It would be interesting to experience all these things perhaps five or ten, even twenty years from now” Fencer said.

As Fencer watched the painting, the other teens approached him.

“So what’s the plan Fencer?” they asked.

“It certainly would be a thing to seek out the seven Jo-lan Masters as soon as possible but as crazy as it may sound, it is pointless to do so as things stand now” Fencer said.

“A thing?” Buern asked with a raised eyebrow.

“As it is now?” Josec asked. “What’s the problem?” Josec asked.

“Remember the seven stones from the riddle I taught you?” Fencer asked.

Josec and Buern nodded.

“What riddle?” Harry asked curiously.

Estelle was still trying to adjust to this new environment.

“If there are seven masters and the seven stones prove what is unique to each, then these stones are seven lessons tied to the seven canons which represent each master’s unique history. You could call these seven canons their personal experience so to speak. A better way to put it would be their life’s story” Fencer said.

“I just met you but you are very deep Master Fencer” Harry looked impressed.

“You are a Bane, the inheritor of the Phoenix’s mind. Somehow, I can sense in you a fraction of the power I wield. You and I, I feel are very similar in nature” Fencer said.

“So what’s the point? I mean what are you getting at? Be straightforward for once Fencer!” Buern demanded.

“I have one lesson to teach and if you succeed in learning it, I will go with you to seek out the next Master” Fencer said.

“Then let’s get this over with!” Buern demanded.

“Princess Estelle. I am assuming you have a Jo-lan ability as well?” Fencer asked.

“Yeah, a flame natured one. I call him Kerberos. My psychorage…that is” Estelle said.

“I have a feeling that Buern is the one most likely to master this first. In fact, I believe she has, to some extent” Fencer said. “The Verns were always instinctual at understanding anything related to Jo-lan”.

“So what is your test?” Josec asked.

“RELEASING ONE UNIT OF POWER INTO THE CORAL GEM! RUNE KNIGHT VER SILVER ENGAGE!” Fencer called as his silver armour clothed him and his power increased.

The kids could now feel clearly how powerful Fencer was.

“ENGAGE THE MYTHICAL PROGENITOR’S HISTORICAL LOCK! ENFORCE CAVERN DEFENCES!” Fencer called as the walls of the cavern began to solidify.

The interior of the cave suddenly assumed a metallic appearance.

“When I activate the defenses that protect my history of Jo-lan, the ores within my cave are purified and solidify forming an almost impenetrable defense from within. The mountain still looks ordinary from the outside though. The material that enforces my cavern is mythril. A mythical ore I’m sure you’ve heard of. Now let’s get down to the point. My lesson is the Trial Of Adaptability. To escape from this cavern, each of you must master the art of Jo-lan called ‘Improvisation’. You must learn to psychorage without depending on your element of affinity. Thus this art of psychoraging is called ‘Psychorage Improv!” Fencer said.

“Psychorage Improv?” Josec wondered as he recalled the technique Buern used as she battled the Four Black Captains.

“Fencer you know saying we cannot use our element of affinity severely limits our capabilities right?” Buern asked.

Fencer chuckled sinisterly.

“That is the whole point. Fundamentally there are two principles to this tech. One of them is that when exposed to an unfavourable situation long enough, people adapt. The second is that people usually adapt quickly when the situation gets so bad they have no choice but to act” Fencer said with a sinister laugh.

Buern sighed.

“I knew you were slightly sadistic but this is just insane. Psychorage Improv. is not a tech mastered in a single day” Buern glared at Fencer suspiciously.

“And that’s why I’m simulating a hyperbolic time chamber. After all, if you can’t see the sky, you shouldn’t be able to tell how much time has passed. Forgive me if your biological clock gets severely altered but a concept of time might indeed make things slightly more difficult for you” Fencer laughed and said the final words that would determine the goal of the test.

“It’s simple really, all you have to do is escape this cavern without relying on your element of affinity” he said and flew out of the cavern.

There was a loud sound as though the entrance to the cavern sealed itself and then darkness covered the cavern. For a while, everything was dark and then slowly but surely, the interior of the cavern began to glow with a strange white light.

“I guess the mythril in this cave is of a luminous variety” Buern said.

“Buern, Fencer said you might understand the Psychorage Improv. Would you mind sharing what it’s about?” Josec asked.

“Why not just use our own ability to shatter the cave? We could do it if we psychoraged. Fencer wouldn’t see us” Harry reasoned.

“And you’re dumb enough to assume a Jo-lan master hasn’t set up countermeasures for such a moment? For someone who inherited the mind of the phoenix, Harry you can be quite dumb” Buern said with a look of exasperation on her face.

“Fine” Harry sighed.

“I’ll show you once, try and get it” Buern said as she looked around and found some stones lying within the cave. She picked two of them.

She threw the first a distance away from herself with little force and threw the second with tremendous force. When they clashed, they created sparks. In a flash, Buern was between the stones, assimilating the sparks.


“I see, I think I get it” Harry said.

“Get what?” Josec asked.

He was still new to the world of Jo-lan.

“Buern used friction to generate sparks then assimilated the flames with her joki. It makes a good improv. for a person who doesn’t have an affinity for flame. Buern originally had an affinity for flame so this probably comes naturally to her” Harry said.

“Think of it this way Josec. When we look at a colour, we only see one colour however some colours are made by combining a variety of colours. It’s the same with elements. Fencer’s test is quite illogical in the sense that you need to use what you don’t have to get what you want. However, to use what you don’t have, you need to use what you have first. For something he explained so simply it’s actually a triple layered test” Buern explained.

“Elements too may be made from a variety of other elements though you may see only one element when you look at it. Molten for instance is made up of fire and rock, get it?” Harry explained.

“Then you could easily generate Molten couldn’t you?” Josec asked Buern.

“I certainly probably could, that is…if I were serious about it however that sly devil Fencer…he made that impossible the moment he decided to coat the cave with mythril. Mythril belongs to a class of elements called mythical elements. These elements often possess strange properties beyond comprehension. Mythril is very easy to purify as an ore and quite simple to work with but once forged and hardened, it’s almost impossible to break. It goes beyond a concept of simple hardness. That’s just the way the element is” Buern explained. “I don’t know how large this cavern is but if there is a constant supply of air or water, then there must be an opening somewhere” Buern said.

“That might be our way out” Harry said.

“And how do we find it?” Josec asked.

“Buern probably could” Harry said.

“It’s simple really. All you need to do is test the direction of the wind and follow it to the source of its flow. Fortunately, Buern is in her fiery form. You should feel it more sensitively than we can can’t you Buern?” Estelle finally spoke up.

Fencer was listening to them from outside.

“Impressive, these kids are. Though they are still lacking in terms of observation and listening skill. The moment I spoke of simulating a hyperbolic time chamber, they should have guessed that the only time limit imposed on them was that of their own stamina” Fencer said. “In other words, there is indeed a constant supply of air…though it’s not going to be as simple as that to escape. How will you find an opening if the air is flowing from multiple sources at a 360 degree circumference from yourself. Of course it will feel as though the air is flowing straight upwards and you won’t be able to find a single opening until you expand your awareness” Fencer said.

“Buern realized the truth in his words almost immediately though she didn’t move. The air felt like it was coming from multiple sources at the same speed and intensity at the same time. Fencer laughed sinisterly from outside.

“I told you it wasn’t going to be that easy. This cavern is strategically positioned in a windy area. The wind lashes at it from multiple sides. It almost reminds me of a cliff at the seaside” Fencer said.

“The air…it’s coming from everywhere but I can’t determine its direction because…” Buern said.

“Because the winds flowing from the opposite direction are of the same intensity…it feels stopped. I did take into consideration that one of the phoenix children may have an affinity for flame when I chose this spot. Knowing that she was the daughter of Innovain made it easier if I considered which of them would be most developed in the art of Jo-lan. I am surprised you mastered the Psychorage Improv. though. In hindsight it proves that your father’s will has not been completely consumed by Souryu. Souryu might be a psychorage but he lacks finesse. All he knows is brute strength” Fencer said.

Buern laughed.

“What’s so funny?” Harry asked.

“I didn’t consider this earlier but that Fencer is an extreme annoyance. You may have taken my abilities into consideration in fact so much that it is easy to tell that the focus of your test is designed around suppressing my abilities in particular but if the wind is flowing from anywhere and everywhere…in hindsight it proves that there are openings everywhere. Mythril may be hard but its impenetrability makes the flaw in your plan easy to spot. I suppose there are minute openings in the cavern’s defenses almost like pores on the human body. You go too far with the expression ‘Living Mountain’ for this makes it seem as if the cave breathes” Buern thought to herself. “I’m pretty sure Fencer might be listening to us and knowing his nature, he might be adjusting the test as he sees fit. I’m beginning to understand a bit of how fearful he might be as a foe”.

Buern walked to the side of one of the cavern walls and placed her hand on it. She shut her eyes and let her flame flow through the wall of the cavern.

“I have a vague comprehension of the composition of this cavern’s walls now. There are indeed minute pores. Mythril might be impenetrable but if the ore can be melted, I’m guessing the material can be melted too” Buern thought.

“Buern” Harry called.

Buern’s flames suddenly amplified.

“Yikes, I think she’s mad!” Harry exclaimed in horror. “Buern, what are you doing?” he asked nervously.

“What does it look like I’m doing?” Buern said as she amplified her flames even further.

She placed both arms on the walls of the cavern and discharged a great amount of flame. The heat spread quickly throughout the whole cavern.

“I wouldn’t do that if I were you. Nothing consumes air more quickly than a flame. I’ll have you remember that the air in these caves comes from minute pores. If you can’t break out in the space of an instant, you are only going to cause yourself needless pain” Fencer chuckled sinisterly.

Buern took in a deep breath.

“Buern I’m sorry to intrude but considering our supply of air and mythril’s highly conductive properties…” Estelle began to say.

Buern took in a deep breath.

“I know what you’re trying to do Buern but we’re all in this uncomfortable situation together so why don’t we think about this together?” Estelle said.

“I hate to say this but to break out of this situation, we might all need to learn the Psychorage Improv.” Buern said.

“You better do because I’m not going to feed you needlessly!” they heard Fencer’s voice from within the cavern.

“Well that certainly is interesting…” Estelle said as the wind began to flow around her.

“I tried to hold it in and not intimidate any of you but I also know a few tricks” she said as the air condensed around her. “PSYCHORAGE IMPROV. ALTERED KERBEROS STATE!” Estelle called as she sprouted wings and her hands and feet grew sharp talons.

“As a royal, there are certain skills you can’t afford not to have and one of them is most certainly the ability to improvise!” Estelle said as she opened her eyes.

“Let me make this simple, we basically need two skills to escape this cavern. One is an improv. that generates heat and the second is an imrov. that amplifies heat” Estelle said.

“Probably shouldn’t have said that out loud” Buern said with a smirk.

“Eavesdropping isn’t a very commendable hobby and even if it were, I doubt it would make any difference because our highly esteemed Master would never give us a trial that was impossible to overcome. Isn’t that right Master Fencer?” Estelle said with a smile.

“Scary! Girls are scary!” Josec and Harry drew back in fear.

There was silence from Fencer’s end.

“Hmm, I suppose I can take that as a truthful silence” Buern said with a smirk.

“That leaves Harry and…I keep forgetting your name” Estelle said.

“It’s Josec” Josec introduced himself.

“I have good news and bad news” Estelle said.

“Which do you want to hear first?” Buern asked the boys with a smirk.

“I guess the good?” Josec said.

“The good news is Buern and I can already use improvs that are compatible. One of you needs to absorb a fraction of Buern’s flame. The other will have to absorb a fraction of my wind” Estelle said.

“And the bad news?” Harry asked.

“It has already been decided who will absorb what. Harry has an affinity for wind so he can’t absorb wind. That will conflict with the goal of the test. Josec also recently sprouted wings made of flame so we can’t ascertain whether or not flame is an affinity of his so Josec would have to absorb Princess Estelle’s wind. In short, whether or not we escape is…largely dependent on you two” Buern said.

“Figures Harry is the one who gets burned” Buern said with a look that showed that she enjoyed the situation more than she detested it.

“So how does the Psychorage Improv work?” Josec asked.

“It’s simple. The first step is to generate the element you wish to assimilate. The next step is to assimilate it with your joki into your body, and finally the third step is to equip it in like manner you would a normal psychorage” Estelle explained.

“And that…will be our way out” Buern quickly added.

“Sweet! Can you imagine the possible implications?! The varying combinations?!” Harry seemed excited.

“Looks like his otaku switch has been turned on” everyone said with bored expressions.

After a while, everyone had mentally prepared themselves to attempt an escape.

“Be very careful Harry. If we don’t do this well, you could get burnt” Buern said.

“Hmmph, you’re a hundred years too early to be worrying about me Vane. You seem to have forgotten our earlier exchanges” Harry said.

Buern recalled the times she and Harry used to exchange words, even fight in hand to hand duels in school.

“You are quite capable Bane” Buern admitted.

“Plus I’m the one that inherited the mind of the phoenix. Don’t underestimate me” Harry said.

“I hate to admit it but this guy took down both Asmodeus and Anubis almost single-handedly. I don’t know how but it will be an interesting thing to watch” Buern said as she began to focus flames into her palms.

She walked to Harry.

“Regardless of how prepared you think you may be, I wouldn’t want to burn you. I will focus my flames into my palms and touch you. How quickly you adjust to the temperature of my palms will determine your mastery of the Psychorage Improv.” Buern said as she laid her hands on Harry’s shoulders.

He winced in pain.

“Fencer…unngh…did say we were not to perform our usual psychorages or use the element of our affinity to escape. To some extent, his words imply that we can use our element of affinity as long as it is not to psychorage or escape” Harry said.

“Huh? You are only realizing that now? Don’t you recall what I said to Fencer then?” Buern said.

“Fencer, you know saying we cannot use our element of affinity severely limits our capabilities right?” Harry recalled.

“For something he explained so simply it’s actually a triple layered test” Harry recalled. “You knew?” he asked.

“I’m not the daughter of Innovain for nothing you know?” Buern said.

“Wait wait wait a sec, Buern is the daughter of Innovain, the Innovain?” Josec seemed surprised.

“Oops, did I say that out loud? Is there a problem with that Josec?” Buern asked nonchalantly.

“No, it’s just a little surprising, that’s all” Josec said with his mouth wide open.

“Don’t stare Josec, really, it’s rude” Buern said.

“I’m just wondering how you could conveniently skip that minor detail” Josec said.

“You said it yourself, it’s minor and convenient” Buern said emotionlessly.

“Let’s get back on track, Buern, you really knew?” Harry asked.

“My words to you Bane! Why didn’t you mention that conveniently minor detail to me earlier?” Josec accused Harry.

“Wow, the things you learn about each other when you are stuck in a prison together” Fencer’s voice sounded from outside.

“SHUT UP FENCER!” everyone roared in anger.

“At least you are united in that one regard. Let me tell you a little secret that any kid knows. Dissension within the ranks only lowers your chances of escape” Fencer said.

“FENCER! YOU KNEW?! FIGURES I AM THE ONLY ONE LEFT OUT!” Josec exclaimed in shock.

“Figures indeed, was never good at them” Fencer’s voice sounded again.

It was almost as though he were mocking their plight.

“This is a really bad time to be mixing puns and math jokes. What sort of concoction are you trying to brew Fencer?!” Josec roared.

“As humorous as the entire situation is, I’ll let you sort it out yourselves” Fencer said and the cavern became silent once more.

“Josec, were you not the one that saith ‘The sins of the father shalt not be inherited by the son?’ So what’s the biggie?!” Harry found the situation quite humorous as well.

“No biggie I guess, except that you all…knew?” Josec emphasized the last word.

“Somehow I’m understanding that the keyword here is knowledge and the only one mad about it is the one who was most in the dark” Estelle said.

“Immature” Buern smirked.

“Very immature” Estelle emphasized her words.

“Fine, I give” Josec surrendered.

“Then what was the point of dragging this on if you were only going to surrender so easily?” Harry asked.

“My point exactly” Estelle quickly added.

“Hey Harry, it’s not still burning you is it?” Buern asked.

“No, I activated my joki and used it to enforce my natural defenses” Harry said.

“Impressive. You actually have precise control over your joki” Buern said.

“You can increase the intensity of your flames now” Harry said.

“Don’t regret this” Buern said seriously with a look of concern on her face momentarily.

 She focused flame into her arms and shot them towards Harry. Harry released his joki and the flames burned intensely around him and then slowly but surely, he absorbed the flames through his pores.

“Assimilation complete. PSYCHORAGE IMPROV! ALTERED RUNE KNIGHT VER FLAME!” Harry roared as the flames materialized around him as fiery armour.

Harry’s hair spiked up and his muscular features became more pronounced.

“So that’s somewhat what your psychorage looks like. Impressive” Josec praised.

“I almost feel like punching you. I hate to be reminded of Fencer, our cynically sadistic master!” Buern yelled the last words.

“I can hear you!” Fencer yelled back.

“You were supposed to hear that!” Buern yelled back.

“Nice master and student chemistry there Buern, definitely nice” Harry teased.

“Shut up Bane!” Buern glared at him.

“I see the dragon lady’s still got her flames. For one whose affinity is water, you definitely represent your polar opposite affinity well” Harry teased.

“Josec, you need to do what Harry did” Estelle explained.

“Okay, hit me” Josec said enthusiastically.

Estelle sent a gust of wind his way and gradually increased it till it had the strength of a gale. Josec released his joki.

“I don’t understand the details” he said “but I understood by watching Harry”.

Buern seemed puzzled. She could sense Josec’s joki clearly now though she often felt that he was powerless.

“I don’t understand. How can Josec have and not have joki at the same time?” she wondered.

“It’s like looking to the left and the right at the same time isn’t it?” Harry laughed.

“Don’t get smartmouthed with me Harry or so help me…” Buern threatened with a glare.

“Psychorage Improv. almost resembles a kind of Jinn State but it’s kinda like a middle ground between normal self and full psychorage. Instead of bonding with a consciousness, we merge with an element. Pretty sweet!” Harry cheered.

Josec seized the wind with his joki and absorbed it into his body.

“PSYCHORAGE IMPROV. ALTERED WIND PHOENIX!” Josec called as he assimilated the wind and transformed into a powerful embodiment of wind.

“Now let’s begin!” Buern declared as she shot a powerful stream of flame into the mythril wall.

Harry amped up her flame by adding the strongest stream of flame he could to hers. Josec and Estelle fanned these flames with wind until an extremely powerful torrential flame stream was created. The mythril wall began to melt easily and eventually crumbled to the ground. The kids walked out and found Fencer leaning against the wall at the other side. He looked unconcerned.

“I’m vaguely impressed. You realized that one, two or three of you couldn’t shatter the mythril wall. It took all four of you to shatter the wall. The power of many to counter the force of a single insurmountable obstacle was what you just demonstrated aside from your psychorage improvs” Fencer said.

Buern’s mouth dropped wide open.

“That was one intent I never foresaw” she admitted.

The others were quite impressed.

“Aside from that you demonstrated the ability of a child to climb out of a pit many times his height. Congratulations, you have passed my test. The Trial Of Adaptability” Fencer said.

“How many hidden intentions were in this single trial?!” Buern roared.

“I had only one lesson to teach. It’s not my fault if you ended up learning various skills along the way” Fencer said.

For a while, the comrades stood in awe of the man called Fencer.

“It’s about time” Fencer said.

“For what?” Buern asked.

“To seek out the next Master. Well, we’ll not really be seeking him out since his mountain of Jo-lan is linked to mine. We just have to take a single path through the cavern and follow it to our destination. Be careful though, the path is steep and narrow” Fencer laughed.

“I don’t think I’m up for more surprises” Buern said.

“I will give you a fair warning though. The next Jo-lan master is…” Fencer left his sentence hanging.

© EdwinBozie - all rights reserved

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