153 Gravity Steps
Failure after failure didn’t deter Leo from his relentless pursuit of mastery. Each setback served only to fuel his determination, pushing him to his limits and beyond. With unwavering resilience, he pressed on, undeterred by the roadblocks that stood in his path.
Every attempt to master the defensive aura technique seemed to fall short, but he refused to let frustration consume him. Instead, he embraced each failure as a valuable lesson, a stepping stone toward success. And it finally came.
In a moment of synchronization, Leo’s mind, body, and aura aligned, culminating in a working execution of the defensive technique. The shield of shadow energy materialized around him. It was nowhere near perfect and had taken him four days, but it was progress that he was very proud of.
Between his rigorous training sessions, Leo still attended his classes. It was, after all, information he had paid a lot of money for. He also went out to hunt his weekly quota of magical beasts once in a while.
Time passed and a month passed by since he started attending the academy. In this month, he had achieved a lot more than he expected.
His primary achievement was getting all his aura techniques to Novice Proficiency. It wasn’t a lot but it was a big leap compared to using his outdated Twilight Veil Slash that could only harm 2nd Circle Aura Knights because of the amount of aura he puts into his technique.
Compared to that, the Obsidian Blade technique was more than twice as powerful and would be enough for him to defeat Melissa in a few seconds.
He also made a little progress in his magic as well. He was inching closer to breaking through to the Late Stage of the 3rd Star. He was still pretty far, but the gap was closing. Along with that, he had also gotten all his spells to at least Advanced Proficiency. The Shadowbind Bolt was brought up to Expert Proficiency.
He had also amassed a total of 20000 points from his weekly hunts since he wasn’t using any of them at the library.
In this month, his relationship with the people he was with also blossomed. After his talk with Madison, she seemingly matured and became more serious. Lyra and Marcus already knew about the boundaries they had and so respected them.
As they all attended class together and occasionally hung out, they became more than just classmates. They became a close-knit group of friends. Albeit a very odd group. It was seemingly an elite group with 3 out of the top 15 people yet there was also a person who barely got into the academy.
However, it wasn’t that Madison was weak. She had grown a huge amount in the month since she got into the academy. She spent her time growing herself as an Aura Knight while growing her proficiency in her Aura Technique. She had gotten a lot better at hunting Magical Beasts out of necessity. This led to her having saved up 6000 points.
As for Marcus and Lyra, both of them left Leo in the dust with their progress. Both of them used the pills they got from the rankings to get to the Middle Stage of the 2nd Circle. Lyra chose not to challenge him since she knew him, but she successfully beat the 5th Ranked Mage, bringing her a rank up.
Marcus climbed even more ranks, coming all the way to the 6th rank. He had also picked out a suitable Aura technique for himself from the library. As for points, both already had a lot from their rankings.
So after this month together, they all had enough points to finally attempt to try any of the resources that the academy offered. They made sure that Leo was coming with them too.
They had also decided on a date and time so that everybody would be there without any problem. Leo was also okay with it since he wanted to see what the training areas offered.
On the day they had decided to show up, Leo woke up early to dedicate his entire day to the endeavor. Even though he got to the first place they decided on very early, he found Marcus, Lyra, and Madison already waiting, their faces filled with enthusiasm.
“You guys are here very early,” he said.
“We were excited that you finally joined us,” Madison said.
Marcus nodded. “Yeah. So, do you want a run-through of how this works?” he asked Leo.
Leo nodded. They were currently at the Gravity Steps, the place they had their first test. He looked at Marcus and Lyra and found both of them looking at him with a passionate glance. They had been frequenting this place together while he was busy training by himself.
After that much practice, they were sure that they could finally beat Leo at the Gravity Steps. The first time they tried the gravity steps, they were completely exhausted while Leo strolled through the steps like they were nothing. This time, they wanted to beat him and show that they had grown a lot.
“So, is it like the test?” Leo asked.
Lyra nodded. “You just need to give your card and deduct 1000 points to start. It is good for one attempt at the Gravity Steps, so don’t waste it,” she said.
He nodded. Meanwhile, Madison asked a question.
“Was it useful to you at all?”
Both Marcus and Lyra nodded. “It helps temper your body and make it easier for your aura to flow. It is actually a lot more useful than Maria said it would be,” Marcus said.
“Okay, you have me convinced. Should we start?” Leo asked them.
Madison looked around and saw the eager faces of her friends and nodded. Compared to them, she would need to use her points a lot more conservatively. She couldn’t earn the points as quickly as them.
But since they said that it would be helpful to her, she listened to them. Their advice had only helped her till now.
“Yes,” she said.
All four of them walked to the counter to the side to start. As they were walking, Leo suddenly wondered about something.
“Wait. If this trains our physical body, do Mages use this?” He asked.
Everyone was blank. They never bothered to find out since they weren’t mages. Leo only got the question because he secretly was one.
The man at the counter answered the question for them.
“Not as often as Aura Knights. This was built for both mages and aura knights, but the only mages who come here are the stronger ones. I have only seen mages who were ranked come here and no one below that.
It’s because the number of mages that realize the importance of a good body is very few.” He said with a sigh.
Leo raised his eyebrow at the explanation. If it was a normal student giving the explanation, he would have been skeptical. But the man at the counter was a Peak-Stage 3rd Circle Mage.