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The World Tarot: Ikazuchi

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The World Tarot: Ikazuchi Empty Sun Apr 25, 2021 6:41 pm

Within the vast expanse of nature known as the Worth Woodsea were countless opportunities. There were rare crafting that could yield large returns if you were lucky enough to stumble across them. Plants that served as important alchemical ingredients, woods and ores that were irreplaceable in the crafting of powerful items, and an assortment of creatures with near endless possibilities for either field; These resources continued to attract adventurers to the area. Most were seeking fortune in exchange for what they could retrieve, but there was a small portion who were seeking the unknown opportunities that would await them deeper in.

Some arrived following rumors of a magical library while seeking knowledge, others continued to delve into the famous dungeon seeking both fortune and power. Others simply wished to challenge themselves with the unknown. There existed countless ancient ruins which contained a nearly unknown history, filled with both opportunities and dangers alike. No matter the reason, people continued to challenge the area with their lives on the line. Reward outweighed the risk for most, and this created a seemingly endless cycle of activity for the area.

It was in such a place that Ikazuchi arrived from Baska. He managed to earn enough money with Akushitsuna in order to continue with his travels. From Baska, his destination was precisely the land of danger and opportunity known as the Worth Woodsea. It was here that he believed he could overcome his own limitations and quickly progress in strength. With such a simple goal driving him, he left his home and travelled to unknown areas. He stumbled his way into the darker side of a seemingly normal town and received work that he would have never imagined when his parents were alive. He found a companion that he could trust by chance. And now, he found himself in the middle of the seemingly endless sea of trees surrounded by danger.

WC - 310


The World Tarot: Ikazuchi Empty Sun Apr 25, 2021 6:41 pm

Survival skills were essential if you wished to explore an area like the Worth Woodsea. If you weren’t operating near Orias Village, then you could only hope to chance upon a small tribal village. Unfortunately, such tribes weren’t located systematically and it wasn’t uncommon for some to migrate as needed should the resources of a particular area dwindle. It was precisely because of this that anyone intending to explore the area had to possess the bare minimum of outdoor survival skills. Navigation skills were particularly important for someone traversing such a vast area.

Ikazuchi hadn’t thought much of these particular skills previously, but his father had passed onto him at a young age. To him, the skills didn’t seem valuable as someone who had lived his life comfortably in a city. It was only during the days spent roaming he came to value survival skills and combat skills equally. Before this Ikazuchi considered a warrior someone who was simply strong in combat, but now he believed that it was someone who could overcome any situation.

It would be misleading to others if they were to see him at that moment. He was calmly sitting by a fire currently, nearby were clear signs of a recently finished meal as well as the scraps from some small game. It was a normal rabbit that just so happened to stumble across him at the wrong time. For an observer looking at him now, it would appear as if he had the experience to survive. What that person wouldn’t see is the struggle that he experienced during the last several days. It wasn’t apparent that he had lost sleep, and nearly lost his life less than two days ago. They wouldn’t know that the only reason that he was able to comfortably rest by the fire was due to luck.

He had a common plant to thank for his safety, one that he stumbled upon randomly. Something that was common knowledge to tribes that lived in the Worth Woodsea was discovered by him after more than twenty four hours of struggle. It didn’t have a particularly special effect, it simply produced a scent that the creatures with a powerful sense of smell wouldn’t want to approach. It wasn’t a particularly unpleasant scent, but it caused sensory nausea and intense headaches to beasts. It was such a simple plant that allowed tribes to survive despite living near ferocious beasts. Granted, it was only effective if such creatures weren’t interested in the area despite that. As for the meal he had cooked, the aroma hadn’t spread too far due to the plant masking it. It was thanks to this plant that Ikazuchi reached a turning point in the Worth Woodsea that would allow him to continue surviving.

WC - 460


The World Tarot: Ikazuchi Empty Sun Apr 25, 2021 6:42 pm

Ikazuchi was well-rested for the first time since his arrival thanks to the safety the plant provided. Being able to rest and adjust would allow him to easily face the dangers existing in the Worth Woodsea. He intended to hone his skills against the dangerous beasts initially, but after the first day he had experienced a struggle for survival that didn’t give him such a luxury. For a period of time after he came to know of the plant he gradually understood the uses of it. Despite the comfort of the fire, he knew that he would still need to be careful in order to not encounter something beyond his abilities. Still, after this period of struggle there was a certain appeal to combat and the stress relief that would accompany it. Combat also coincided with his initial intentions for arriving in the area to begin with, to train himself and hone his skills.

More days went by for Ikazuchi in the Worth Woodsea and he was developing a hunter’s instinct and knowledge as a result of this time. He was very slowly understanding how to follow tracks and identify the kind of animal that they belonged to. On that first day of searching he managed to find only a single creature that he felt he would be able to triumph over. It did little for his experience as it was weaker than the abomination he faced during his first quest, but it allowed him to reduce his stress greatly.

For a few days after that Ikazuchi continued to hone his skills for survival and tracking. He didn’t have any noticeable improvements with his combat skills, but it was still a valuable experience for him. It was good for him to fight creatures that relied on instinct and physical prowess as it meant that he couldn’t do so himself. Ikazuchi could be considered someone who has a solid foundation, but it could also be said that he’s inexperienced as he only has a foundation. Facing creatures that surpassed him physically and instinctually meant that he was being forced to gradually apply practical combat skills. He was developing his skills functionally rather than flashily. The most obvious example of this would be his ability to judge a situation. He was gradually able to minimize his own movements and make more accurate strikes against the beasts as a result. Ikazuchi didn’t have any specific purpose in the Worth Woodsea, so he continued to gain the experiences that he could in combat.

It was a bit more than a week after things took a turn for the better that he chanced upon a small ruin. The moss covered stone bricks were cracked, some spread randomly around the area. All that could be seen was an uncovered staircase which clearly suffered after many years spent withstanding the trials of time. It was so worn down and overgrown that normally Ikazuchi wouldn’t have paid it any heed, but it called to him. It wasn’t as if it spoke to him, but his passing glance exploded into an uncontrollable curiosity. There was without a doubt something within, and Ikazuchi intended to find it.

WC - 520


The World Tarot: Ikazuchi Empty Sun Apr 25, 2021 6:43 pm

In a secluded location within the Worth Woodsea at a location that would never be found if someone searched for it was Ikazuchi. He was currently standing at the top of a staircase peering into the darkness below. Light seemed to disappear completely long before it should have. It was mysterious, captivating even, but also terrifying. It was as if he was looking into an endless abyss at that moment. There was the growing sensation that as he observed the darkness... it was also observing him, evaluating him.

Despite the discomfort that came from such a feeling, he still didn’t feel any malice. It was the sensation that he would use to describe a piercing gaze. It was the distinct sensation of being seen through, down to his very soul. Even now though, the beckoning continued to call him from below. Something was attracting him, leading him down the staircase into the mysterious darkness.

Ikazuchi spent the last several days on edge, constantly prepared for any potential danger. He had the safety net provided by the plants, but he knew that he could rely on it entirely. His fatigue was constantly growing as a result but he was slowly developing his own awareness towards danger as well. Despite that, he felt nothing of that sort from the darkness. He vaguely felt that an opportunity had appeared in front of him as he directed his gaze deeper into the darkness in vain. It was only his inability to actually confirm the dangers that kept holding him back.

Seconds turned into minutes as Ikazuchi continued to direct his attention down the stairwell. It felt like an eternity passed before he finally gave in to the call. His desire for whatever this opportunity may be below outweighed his cautious worries in the end. Ikazuchi wasn’t one to be indecisive, so he continued to take one step after another approaching the darkness after he moved.

With each step downward came a rising sensation from what seemed like the steps themselves. It was a foreign sensation for Ikazuchi who had lived his life as a Non-Mage, but the source of the sensation was the convergence of mana. The mana of the world surged like the wind around him. It was an invigorating sensation for him, something that he hadn’t truly experienced before. By the time he took his first step into the darkness the mana had become so dense that it took the form of surging mist. Each step lower caused that mist to become denser, eventually becoming a billowing fog rolling upward from the passage as Ikazuchi fully entered into the darkness. That fog would hide the area and prevent anything from approaching by disturbing their senses.

WC - 450


The World Tarot: Ikazuchi Empty Sun Apr 25, 2021 6:44 pm

Darkness was something that Ikazuchi had thought that he experienced throughout his life. Whenever night descended or a shadow was formed darkness would naturally be formed. They could be considered everyday experiences for him and essentially any other person. What existed at the bottom of the stairwell wasn’t normal darkness. It was an absolute darkness that he hadn’t ever actually encountered before. There was a total absence of light to the extent that Ikazuchi felt as if his sense of sight had been stripped from him when he looked into it. It was discomforting for him, but the beckoning continued to lead him deeper..

He took slow and steady steps as he continued onward into the darkness. The movement of the air and sounds of nature disappeared in this place. All that he had were the sounds he produced. The slight sound of his breath, the faint footfall that was heard with each step, even the internal echo of his own heartbeat; these sounds felt as if they were all that proved his existence in this moment. Ikazuchi felt a sense of anxiety as the staircase seemed to go on and on. His breathing became more haggard as doubts began to form as he doubted his decision to go deeper..

‘What if this staircase never ends?’ ‘What if I can’t ever leave?’ ‘What if I die here?’ Ikazuchi was a normal person that naturally couldn’t leave such thoughts behind. It was because of an impulse that he was currently risking his life, and each step deeper caused a bit more regret to form. Still, for some reason, his steps didn’t stop. Some part of him felt that the beckoning wouldn’t be harmful to him despite not being able to understand it.

As he progressed further into the passage of darkness, he developed a strange sense assurance. It was as if someone was there urging him on, encouraging him to take the next step. It was strange, but it allowed him to calm down and press onwards more confidently after his doubts reached their peak.

Eventually the steps came to an end causing Ikazuchi to stumble forward a couple of steps. In that moment several symbols flashed in his mind. They were incomprehensible, but somehow the intent was conveyed. ‘Keep moving forward and don’t stray from your path.’ It was a vague command without any concept of time, but it gave him direction in his time of need. He considered turning around, but the intent made him feel that doing so was more dangerous than moving forward at this point. All he could do was hope that what awaited him wasn’t an unfortunate end.

WC - 440

Last edited by Ikazuchi on Sun Apr 25, 2021 6:44 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : adding WC)


The World Tarot: Ikazuchi Empty Sun Apr 25, 2021 6:47 pm

Time seemed to flow steadily, cruelly, without any concern. It continued no matter how much you wished it would stop. All around the world there were happy and sad occasions alike that left people wishing for just another moment. Sometimes the passing of a felt like a curse, one where you can’t get back something lost. But what happens when the concept of time fades? What happens when you can’t tell if a single moment or a thousand have passed? That was Ikazuchi’s current experience. The absolute darkness had taken away his concept of time. Without a night and day cycle he could only continue trudging along, seemingly in a trance.

Ika-” After what felt like ages he faintly heard something. “Ikazu-” Something familiar was calling to him. “Ikazuchi!” A voice that he thought would never appear again in this life of his, one that he was destined to slowly forget over the course of his life. The voice he heard was his mother who had appeared surrounded by dim light along with his quiet father. Ikazuchi couldn’t help but pause at the sight, taking in the image of his family that should never have appeared before him again. “Come over and give us a hug, we’ve missed you!” The words pulled at his heartstrings. Tears uncontrollably welled up in the eyes of the young man for the first time that he could recall.

Mom, Dad; How are you here?” It took everything in him to not rush to his parents who he missed dearly. The last bit of rationality was being protected by the fact that he had personally been with them both in their last moments. There wasn’t any way for them to be here, yet he was still seeking an answer. He couldn’t just ignore the parents that he loved, and deep down he wished for a miracle. “What’s wrong, Son? Why won’t you come here?” The dam restraining his tears burst upon hearing his Father’s voice, but he remained rooted on the spot. “Mom, Dad; How are you here?!” He couldn’t stop himself from yelling this question but once again, there was no reaction.

The two continued to look on with warm and caring expressions, but continued to show no reaction to what he had to say. Ikazuchi had been mentally tortured by the darkness as he moved forward. A part of him wished that by some miracle they had truly appeared in the form of his parents. He had no idea how much time had passed, and the loneliness was killing him. The solitude brought on by absolute darkness wasn’t something that could be easily expressed, and it was in that moment that they appeared and beckoned him. “Why won’t you come here?” He couldn’t respond at this point. He subconsciously clenched his fists and bit into his lip as he understood the situation…

WC - 470


The World Tarot: Ikazuchi Empty Sun Apr 25, 2021 6:47 pm

Seemingly endless rage consumed him in that moment towards the source of this phenomenon. He recalled the message ‘Keep moving forward’ after so many attempts to draw him off of his path by whatever created the illusion of his parents. Following the intent was simple without temptation but difficult with it. Clarity had returned to him who had spent an unknown amount of time in this darkness. The metallic taste of blood from biting his lip reminded him that he was alive, the sensation of being alive and the flames of his rage combined to create a fire that would drive him forward from here.

Despite finding a driving force, Ikazuchi couldn’t rush off just yet. True or false, it didn’t matter in this moment, his parents appeared once more and he simply wished to firmly imprint their image into his memory again. Something odd that he didn’t notice was that after his mentality shifted they had ceased their temptation. As if they knew that they couldn’t stop him anymore, they simply observed him.

With the peaceful moment he began breathing just as his father had once taught him, something that had become a habit to him over the years. Ikazuchi slowly controlled his emotions and wiped away those tears, one last time he intended to see his parents off with a smile. What went unseen to him was the spark of life and intelligence which flashed through the eyes of his parents as he wiped his tears, as well as the slight shift in expression that gave life to the illusions.

I’m going now.” Ikazuchi spoke softly to the illusion of his parents with a smile on his face. He felt lighter as he took a step forward without hesitation and continued on. He was confident that he wouldn’t be led astray after encountering his parents, but at the same time was painfully aware of how close he came to breaking moments ago. If whatever controlled the illusion had made them more lifelike, he felt that it would have been impossible to ignore them.

WC - 340


The World Tarot: Ikazuchi Empty Sun Apr 25, 2021 6:50 pm

That’s our boy...” His father’s voice sounded out from behind, but something had changed compared to earlier. The tone was soft, as if intended for Ikazuchi not to hear it. Had it been anywhere else then Ikazuchi wouldn’t have been able to, but there wasn’t any background noise here to mask the words here. Ikazuchi felt as if his heart stopped after only a couple of steps, and his head jerked around in their direction. What he saw was his mother giving his father a reproachful look before looking back to him. “What are you stopping for? You’ve finally started working towards your goals, so you can’t let me hold you back anymore.” This one sentence shook him down to his core. He felt in that moment that the one talking to him was truly his mother. “If you really want to be a warrior, you can’t hesitate. Keep moving forward. We’ll see you off from here, so get going.” This time his father spoke causing him to feel more shock. Ikazuchi’s jaw opened and closed several times but words wouldn’t come out.

If he was sure earlier that they weren’t his parents, then he was even more sure now that they were. The dim light was gradually fading though, as if their time was up. The darkness seemed to be consuming their figures from the ground up. That realization helped him recover from his shock enough to speak. “Mom..? Dad..?” He wanted to know that they were there, that they could react to him. Their expression softened and tears could be seen in their eyes as well. ‘It’s really them…’ There was so much that he wanted to say, but their time was limited. After a deep breath he managed to recollect his thoughts once more. He wished to spend this time with them, but he felt that leaving in a way that would let them worry the least was the best way to separate from them.

Mom, Dad; I love you both.” He smiled once more as he fought off tears again. “I’m going to go now, so watch over me.” They had already expressed what they wanted him to do, so he could only let them see him off one last time. “We love you too…” “And we’re proud of you.” These were the last words he heard from behind as he continued onward into the darkness. As his figure disappeared, his parents also had their figures fade as they turned their gazes to the nearby darkness during their final moment s. Something had observed the encounter unbeknownst to Ikazuchi. That something had somehow allowed him to meet his parents even after death, or at least some lifelike incarnation. He wouldn’t ever know if the two he encountered were truly his parents. He had previously been enraged at this trick, but after that short conversation that anger faded as if it hadn’t ever existed.

WC - 480


The World Tarot: Ikazuchi Empty Sun Apr 25, 2021 6:50 pm

Once again he found himself walking forward on the path he never deviated from. Unlike before, this didn’t continue on in an indefinite manner. It wasn’t long before light appeared directly ahead, as if all the steps he had taken so far had simply been leading to it. Within the light was a floating tablet covered in the mysterious symbols which had poured into his mind previously. Once again, he was unable to decipher the meaning yet some formless intent urged him to place his hand against it.

Ikazuchi had no reason to doubt it at this point, and followed the urgings obediently. Upon contact with the tablet a change occurred around him. The darkness began to move as if it had substance and converge towards the tablet. Ikazuchi instinctively wished to pull his hand away, but found himself immobilized by some force. As more and more darkness converged, the light from before ceased to shine. Time seemed to pass slowly until suddenly the surroundings were clearly seen by him. The tablet that he had been touching fell to the ground as if it hadn’t ever been anything more than a simple rock to begin with, and on the back of his left hand was an incomplete magic circle.

He couldn’t understand exactly what had occurred but, for the first time in what seemed like ages, Ikazuchi could finally see. It was a relatively small underground room filled with bones on either side of a single cleared path from the staircase to the tablet. It was an indication of what fate may have awaited him had he left the path. It was strange for him to leave the area in less than a minute after spending so much time there, but that was exactly what he did. The staircase wasn’t any larger than a standard flight of stairs when leaving, so he was above ground within moments. That was when he became aware of what changes had occurred…

WC - 320


The World Tarot: Ikazuchi Empty Sun Apr 25, 2021 6:50 pm

Light, an element taken for granted by nearly every creature throughout their lives. Not many of the intelligent races have adapted to a lightless environment; even if they had, very few circumstances were without any light at all. To some, the darkness of night was a great impairment. To others though, it was as clear as day.

That was Ikazuchi’s experience after arriving at the surface. He hadn’t been calm enough to realize below that the darkness didn’t hinder him anymore. He had taken for granted that he had regained his sight, and not considered what had changed as a result. It was only once he was standing under the clear night sky illuminated by the soft white light of the moon that he realized that he could see perfectly.

He always had a good set of eyes as a warrior. It was needed to observe opponents and be able to control his own movements. Today was different, he wasn’t seeing perfectly according to the normal standards by which he would normally judge himself. He was seeing clearly through the darkness and shadows cast by the trees. The color and vibrancy of the day was missing, but Ikazuchi’s gaze clearly pierced through the darkness.

There was some initial shock that he quickly overcame. This left only excitement and curiosity towards this newfound power. It had the potential to greatly enhance his survival capabilities during the night, even protecting him from ambushes hidden in the shadows of the tree canopy. There was only a single question that he needed answers to, is this permanent?

Ikazuchi didn’t want to develop a reliance on something that would easily be stripped away from him, so he focused on furthering his understanding of the power gained from the trial. That was the only way that he would be able to trust it in a pinch. The trial, the incomplete magic circle on his hand, and even this power were all mysteries waiting to be solved. As for how, that would be answered by following the subtle attraction that developed after the partial magic circle formed.

WC - 350


The World Tarot: Ikazuchi Empty Sun Apr 25, 2021 6:51 pm

Several days went by as Ikazuchi made his way through the Worth Woodsea. With his improved sight it was easier for him to perform basically every task required for survival. He could more easily track animals, assess situations, and forage for various resources thanks to the change. He didn’t want to rely on it, but the quality of life increased exponentially making it difficult to ignore. The only thing he could be sure of after this period of time was that there wasn’t any inconsistency. It could be called a meaningless observation considering the short amount of time that had passed, but it was the only available information.

Ikazuchi wandered deeper into the forest following the beckoning of the partial magic circle as he experienced its benefits. It didn’t seem as though it would be harmful to him, and a part of him hoped to benefit as a result. He didn’t encounter any other person along the way and resigned himself to the fate of not meeting his companion during this time. It would be a miracle for them to meet each other after he started following the guidance of the partial magic circle.

He was forced to make several detours along the way in order to avoid creatures that were too powerful for him to face currently. He had confidence in his skills, but didn’t believe in his weapons to withstand the fights that would occur as a result. More than a week went by as a result of circumstance, but he finally saw his destination upon entering a valley. A dilapidated tower stood firmly in an imposing manner. Ikazuchi’s mind blanked for a moment as he witnessed it rising above the tree canopy in the distance.

The impression he received upon seeing that tower was a weapon which stood firmly on the front line. He doubted that impression, but couldn’t shake it no matter how hard he tried. He could only smile bitterly and accept that it must be something special about the tower itself and move towards it as the mysterious force drawing him to it became stronger. His hope for new changes to the magic circle fueled his excitement as he quickened his pace towards the tower.

WC - 370


The World Tarot: Ikazuchi Empty Sun Apr 25, 2021 6:51 pm

Desolate, that was the only word Ikazuchi felt was appropriate for describing the area near the tower. When he first noticed the tower, it was from beyond the trees in the distance. The emptiness around the tower hadn’t been expressed from that perspective. But what he saw upon approaching included ground that had been stained red and a number of ruins which he couldn’t even estimate. The condition of the tower itself was terrible, but it continued standing by some miracle.

The faint metallic stench here gave Ikazuchi a new impression. “Military?” He asked this question quietly, but it was obviously not intended for anyone to hear. He was alone in the ruins of a lost and forgotten kingdom, there wouldn’t be anyone to answer him if he truly seeked answers to that question. As for his impression, the area was laid out in a way that appeared to be for defensive positioning. There wasn’t any way for him to know the terrain in the past, but he felt that it was most likely a border of some sort. Ikazuchi felt as if he could see countless soldiers in that moment, and hear the distant marching mixed with the sounds of battle. It was only for a moment, but his blood felt as if it was boiling. A Warrior would always feel a longing for a battlefield where he could prove himself.

It saddened him to know that what resonated with him was simply the vestige of a fallen empire. Ikazuchi gave the ruins which spread out towards the valley entrance in the distance one last look before turning back to the tower. As his gaze fell on it, it was clear that something within had led him here. He didn’t hesitate as he moved towards the barely intact entrance. After his recent encounter Ikazuchi expected another trial of some sort, so he didn’t have the same unease that he did with the previous location as he finally stepped foot in the tower.

WC - 330

Last edited by Ikazuchi on Sun Apr 25, 2021 6:52 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : adding WC)


The World Tarot: Ikazuchi Empty Sun Apr 25, 2021 6:53 pm

Mana surged around him as Ikazuchi entered the tower, similar to how it had when he descended the previous staircase. He was able to observe it calmly with curiosity after his previous experience. The sensation wasn’t any less foreign to him who hadn’t been blessed with an aptitude for mana, but it was at least recognizable now.

At the bottom of the tower he didn’t see anything, but he received guidance like last time which directed him to ascend the tower. “This fucking thing better not collapse.” Ikazuchi said this as if to address the intent which was guiding him and sighed before stepping onto the stairs. He expected it, but shortly after the jarring sensation of a shift in reality occurred. During his days of travel he had contemplated what occurred and accepted that it was some form of unique illusion.

That conclusion meant that he assumed that the mana was a sign of an illusion, but there wasn’t any clear indicator for Ikazuchi. Besides the warped feeling around him, the area hadn’t changed at all. ‘Is it busted?’ This was the question that he thought to himself as he reached the top of the staircase.

On the other side of the room was another spiral staircase for him to ascend, but he found it particularly odd that there was a wide open space between here and there. He could feel the beckoning from above, so he knew that he had to continue forward despite his confusion. ‘What’s the worst that can happen?’

His prior thought was soon answered as he reached the center of the room and the surroundings shifted drastically. What was before him wasn’t the tower interior, but instead open space at a valley entrance. All around him were similarly dressed soldiers, and in the distance behind him was the imposing tower in pristine condition. As for his position, he stood on the front line facing another army. “This time it’s war?” Ikazuchi asked this question audibly as a smile crept onto his face. This trial was one that he was looking forward to.

WC - 340


The World Tarot: Ikazuchi Empty Sun Apr 25, 2021 6:54 pm

The situation was tense as two armies faced off quietly, waiting for the coming battle. Ikazuchi was less affected by that tension as he attempted to interact with the illusionary soldiers from his side. There were some generic responses like what he would expect from those in the military that seemed intent on keeping him in line, but overall he gained nothing. He hoped to understand more about what group the soldiers and the military base belonged to. It wasn’t common knowledge after such a long time, at least not common enough for Ikazuchi to know.

ATTACK!” A deafening order eventually rang out from the tower commanding the army, seemingly shaking the battlefield. Ikazuchi felt as if his heart had stopped for a moment due to the power contained within the voice. ‘Holy shit…’ That thought went through his mind as the ground faintly shook. Every soldier stepped forward in unison while the other side sprinted towards his own, but something felt off. While the soldiers from the tower were roaring and courageously marching forward, their opponents appeared almost fearful as they moved in disarray.

There was some influence from the soldiers around him, but Ikazuchi himself naturally felt excitement bubbling up as he drew his weapons. It wasn’t long ago that he felt a sense of longing precisely for the kind of battle that he was about to experience, albeit illusory. He didn’t fall behind a single step as he moved forward to confront the enemies.

Ikazuchi didn’t pay much attention to the others around him as he skillfully carved his way into the enemy ranks. The opponents weren’t poorly trained, it was just that Ikazuchi surpassed the level of a foot soldier by quite a bit. It could even be said that his strength was beyond his own rank in reality as well. What resulted from this was him serving as a spearhead for piercing through the opponent formation and causing a rapid collapse and overwhelming victory. It could only be called one-sided, and very shortly after the remaining enemies retreated Ikazuchi found himself back in that dilapidated empty room. “So this is what it’s like?” Ikazuchi smiled as he moved towards the next staircase.

WC - 360


The World Tarot: Ikazuchi Empty Sun Apr 25, 2021 6:54 pm

Upon reaching the top of the next staircase Ikazuchi saw another empty room that was extremely similar to the last one. His brow furrowed as it seemed nothing would be different. That concern was only temporary as he knew that there wasn’t any possibility for the same scenario to appear. In fact, he expected something more difficult. ‘Bring it on!’ He didn’t hesitate to face a higher difficulty as he moved into the center of the room.

When his surroundings shifted once more his confidence took a hit. It was in fact the exact same scenario, it was just that he was on the opposite side. He was able to see the lack of discipline and general fear of those around him. ‘Is this some propaganda bullshit, or were they really that feared?’ This was Ikazuchi’s thought as he turned his gaze to his former illusory allies.

It wasn’t long before the roar for the other side to attack sounded out from the tower leading to the two sides clashing once more. Ikazuchi was prepared, but the people surrounding him had a negative influence on the mood and brought him down as well.

Rather than a fight for victory, what followed was simply a fight for survival. Without his presence on the other side, it didn’t seem like the defeat would be as crushing. But at the same time, it felt as if defeat was inevitable. Unlike his previous experience where his allies covered his blind spots, Ikazuchi constantly found himself surrounded and alone. There wasn’t a sense of unity, and his frustrations only continued to grow as his armor and defense were chipped away at. The casualties were constantly growing, mostly due to Ikazuchi’s presence.

Corpses continued to make piles all around him as he fought, but he didn’t have time to consider anything other than his next attack. This was the desperation born from a losing battle, something that could make or break a warrior on the front lines. As of this moment, as Ikazuchi continued to fight, he was in the process of determining whether he was suitable as a warrior.

WC - 350


The World Tarot: Ikazuchi Empty Sun Apr 25, 2021 6:55 pm

Ikazuchi’s vision was blurred and his body numb after such a long battle. The ground was red and muddy due to all of the bloodshed, but he had lost hope for victory. Enemies continued to step out of the valley at a faster rate than he could cut them down. Eventually his allies were either killed or simply fled. Only he remained and was surrounded by more enemies than he could defeat alone.

His armor had long since broken and wounds decorated his body. There had been true pain that was felt by him during this period of time that forced him to doubt illusion and reality. That pain let him continue to fight harder as his actual circumstances were forgotten. He didn’t have time to consider this an illusion with how he continued to suffer. That pain and suffering was used by him as a whetstone to sharpen his willpower into a blade that would cut down his fears.

No one approached within twenty meters of him as he currently stood with bodies of their allies covering every inch of the ground for those twenty meters. In some spots there were even piles of several bodies that had been made. Ikazuchi stood there alone as he struggled to catch his breath while observing around him. The swords in his hands had changed multiple times, but they were still half broken appearing more like daggers.

If he could see clearly then he would be surprised to see that the courageous soldiers that he fought with in the first illusion were now staring at him with fear. It was a kind of respect reserved for those who would fight until their last breath, and a genuine fear of the possibility that they could join the corpses at his feet. Unfortunately for Ikazuchi, he would soon learn that his efforts in this illusion would be meaningless.

WC - 310


The World Tarot: Ikazuchi Empty Sun Apr 25, 2021 6:55 pm

Ikazuchi didn’t know when, but darkness blanketed the battlefield at some point as the standoff continued. It was through sheer willpower that he remained standing, but it wouldn’t be long before his body gave out due to blood loss if this continued. After all of his effort, Ikazuchi wouldn’t allow himself to wait for his defeat and simply took a step forward atop the corpses.

His back was coincidentally to the tower, so he didn’t notice the crowd splitting behind him as he took that step forward. His senses had dulled and his consciousness had become blurry, but the shift in mood by the people in front of him forced him to halt in his steps and turn around.

‘Are you fucking kidding me?!’ He was able to sober up as his eyes met the newcomer’s eyes. Power radiated off of the man as he stood at the edge of the corpses and silently gazed at Ikazuchi. Mana seemed to surge out of the man’s body and bombard Ikazuchi like countless needles attempting to stab into his pores.

He instinctively felt danger and tensed up facing this man, but he didn’t retreat. He wouldn’t allow himself to step back, not even in front of the man who he was certain started the battle and served as the general of the fortress. The sense of danger at that moment felt as though he would truly die if he faced the man, but Ikazuchi still took a step forward. It was only intuition, but he felt as though he would rather die than retreat in this moment.

Ikazuchi dashed towards the man while crushing body parts under his feet, but he continued to accelerate despite that. It was like the last light of a dying star as he exploded with his full potential and stabbed forward at the man’s throat. ‘Wait, is this going to land?’ Ikazuchi was confused as the man showed no signs of resisting even now.

WC - 320


The World Tarot: Ikazuchi Empty Sun Apr 25, 2021 6:56 pm

Ikazuchi’s blade was inches away from the man’s throat, the battlefield was silent, and the pressure weighing down on him had peaked. Despite that, one second after another went by as the world seemed to be frozen. “Not bad.” The unknown warrior spoke with a smile as he gave Ikazuchi an appraising glance. “If only there were more people like you back then…” Hearing this piqued Ikazuchi’s curiosity, but he was still frozen in the air and unable to speak.

Kid, here’s some advice, don’t ever put down the sword in your heart. If you maintain that sword until the end, you will be able to surpass someone like me.” The man spoke with some profound sounding advice, but he didn’t know that Ikazuchi was internally cringing at the man’s words. ‘What the fuck is this bullshit? How about you let me go instead?!’ Ikazuchi kept cursing the man in his heart, but the man was oblivious to what Ikazuchi was thinking.

A moment went by before he suddenly had his world shift once more. He found himself in a different spot when he returned to the old tower. He was confused by the change, but he also found his hand firmly pressed against a floating tablet that was very similar to the one found underground previously.

What?” This sole word escaped his lips as he heard the resounding cheer of soldiers from below. He felt like his blood was boiling once more, but what soon followed was pain. It assaulted his body as his hand remained glued to the tablet. As it continued to occur, Ikazuchi was quickly to realize that the pain mimicked the wounds he experienced in battle within the illusion. ‘This is fucking sick…’ That was what Ikazuchi thought as he grit his teeth and endured the tempering.

WC - 300


The World Tarot: Ikazuchi Empty Sun Apr 25, 2021 6:57 pm

After leaving the tower Ikazuchi’s magic circle had become more complete and intricate. This time the effect was explained with intent very simply, in fact only two words were given to him. ‘Fear Immunity’; It was extremely direct, but he likely wouldn’t have understood otherwise as fear was a vague concept.

After obtaining it he found himself being drawn towards a new direction, but it kept shifting locations and frustrated Ikazuchi endlessly. During the time that he happened to be searching he had been contacted by letter. It was odd for a courier to appear here, but he was able to understand a bit after reading the details. There was a particular vampire who had reached out for the sake of making a guild, and Ikazuchi had no reason to deny the request. Akushitsuna was mentioned as well, and the fact that he would be contacted in a similar manner. Ikazuchi found himself more interested as a result since they could meet back up there.

He didn’t consider that his friend wouldn’t accept at the time, but the more shocking issue would be what would come as a result. This casual acceptance would result in him accidentally joining the ruling guild of the north known as the Sentinel Syndicate. It wasn’t something that he would come to know until he returned to a proper village in the near future.

Time continued to slip by until one day when a particular creature flew over Ikazuchi’s head. It wasn’t an uncommon occurrence, but this occasion was particularly unique as the beckoning for the magic circle shifted with that creature’s passing.

That can’t be a coincidence, right?” Ikazuchi asked this rhetorical question while frozen in shock. As the beckoning grew weaker due to distance he knew that it wasn’t and could only pursue the shadow into the distance. From so far away, he could only make out the red color and lizard-like shape? ‘Dragon?’

WC - 320


The World Tarot: Ikazuchi Empty Sun Apr 25, 2021 6:58 pm

Ikazuchi continued to pursue the flying creature through the Worth Woodsea for what seemed like the longest time. If asked later on, he would say without hesitation that this day felt endless due to how much fatigue the pursuit built up.

There weren’t words to describe how thankful he was when he caught sight of the red shadow landing. ‘This fucking lizard…’ Ikazuchi was upset one-sidedly as he continued towards where the creature landed. It took several minutes for him to actually arrive in the vicinity of the creature as there was a sizable gap between him and it due to its ability to fly.

He could finally see in detail that the creature was a red wyvern rather than a dragon like his initial assumption. It was an underwhelming realization, but a welcome one considering how powerful most dragons are according to the stories he heard. It was curled up in a resting position, but one particular spot drew his attention like a magnet. A magic circle could be seen like a tattoo on the dragon’s head beckoning Ikazuchi’s approach.

‘Are you fucking kidding me?!’ Ikazuchi wanted to scream this at the heavens, but restrained himself as he didn’t want to wake the wyvern. He knew that he would have to place his hand directly on that magic circle, but he was confused about how it came to be on the wyvern. ‘Did it obtain it by coincidence?’ He was naturally curious about this, but there wasn’t anyone to answer his questions.

After he finally steadied and suppressed his breathing, Ikazuchi was ready in and intent on approaching the creature. After his previous experiences with these magic circles Ikazuchi had developed a distrust and was being careful, yet he approached it peacefully. It was only after his hand touched the wyvern’s head that its eyes shot open, but it was too late. Much like Ikazuchi, the creature found itself immobilized as the magic circle transferred to Ikazuchi.

The wyvern seemed angered and there wasn’t any doubt that it would attack immediately after the restrictive force faded, but it wouldn’t get the chance. The new addition brought his magic circle to a state of completion causing a change in the mana that was several times stronger than either of the previous trials. In the air above him a matching magic circle formed as the one on his hand merged into his body. The changes forced both Ikazuchi and the wyvern to observe quietly, and it prevented them from noticing the faint connection that the two had mysteriously developed.

What followed the magic circle's formation was a flow of mana that directly entered Ikazuchi’s head and caused him great pain. He was immobile at that moment unable to even scream in pain. He could clearly understand the changes as the intent from the previous trials informed him of the blessing that he was receiving and its origin. A gift from The World, on that was being given to him by using the fallen empires magic that mimicked it as a medium. The pain kept his eyes firmly shut, but they would change forever when they opened once more.

As for the wyvern observer, it possessed enough intelligence to be fearful at that moment. It still couldn’t move, but it would only flee if it could at this moment. A short time passed as it fearfully watched the flow of mana return to normal. Ikazuchi was gradually recovering, yet it remained rooted. It was at that moment that Ikazuchi’s eyes opened and the residual mana flowed out. Following the faint connection that the magic circle formed, it forced this red wyvern into a state of submission. Just like that, Ikazuchi had obtained a blessing and a new mount. After a period of time used for bonding with the creature and adjusting fully to the changes to his eyes it was time for him to return to civilization.

WC - 650

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