For whatever reason, Maxi had been sent to learn how to better control his abilities. Maybe some incident caused it. Maybe it was just advice from the Nigami Freedom Fighters in general. However, the means by which this came about? A strange little imp man.
Axel, the leader, knew this strange imp, some strange reality-warping entity who claimed omnipotent knowledge of the "plot". Today this entity--Urd by name--claimed he knew where Maxi should travel to for proper training. It would be a foreign zone, and he was to return to the moment of his departure.
The strange imp gave Maxi a warp ring of his own design, but explained that it would not return him until he had completed the timeline. He could however use it to skip further into the future of the zone he would travel to.
His instruction was to find a group of people called "The Chisai". He was dropped off in the middle of an Orient forest, chilled but not snowing. There was a lake nearby and a village not far ahead of this.
??? - Trisell - Host
Maxi - Brudikai - Participant
What happens next is up to you
Maxi studied the wrap ring for a minute then started on his way towards the village. "That creature seemed sketchy but if Axel trusted him I shall as well. Ok first things first, get to civilization!" His pace quickened until he hit a full sprint.
The village ahead was mostly carved from various rocks, quite lovely in fact. The inhabitants were mostly reptiles, ducks, and meerkats, but the occasional owl was also in view from time to time. It was very spread out, with large sections of open land between houses, but at least the shops and other businesses were more close together. Despite being a very Oriental area, the culture and people did not seem dominated by Asian influence. It seemed to be more of a blend of general areas.
Maxi entered the village taking in the sights and sounds for a moment then headed over to a random shop. "Excuse me."
"Yeeeeeessir!" A perky young teenager lizard girl greeted, waving her ponytails about behind the counter. She kept looking at an older lizard man in the corner of the shop instead of Maxi.
"I'm kinda lost, do you mind telling me where I am?" Maxi said glacing around the shop for a moment.
"Chozin Village," she informed. "Lost in what way?"
"Chozin Village....Ok thats in the vault." Maxi tapped the side of his head. " I was told to look for a group of people known as the Chin Sore I think." Maxi butchered the name due to his lack of memory.
"Chin Sore?" She rose an eyebrow, chuckling. "How you spell it?"
"I think the guy I spoke spelled it C-h-i-s-a-i. Ya'know that doesn't spell chin sore at all. Gosh now I sound like an idiot!" Maxi stomped his foot on the ground and a small current of electricity went through his body.
The girl blinked, immediately forgetting the spelling and now becoming entirely focused on the electricity.
"So do you know of them?" Maxi asked. getting over his brief anger.
"U-... How... how is it spelled again?" She half-attentatively asked.
"C-h-i-s-a-i .-C- Chisai." Maxi tapped the side of his head once again to remember the name.
"Oh! Them... Yeah... I guess that's what everyone comes here for," She gave a weak sort of chuckle. "Their temple is across the lake. You have to walk over the bridge and keep walking. No other way there."
"Thanks you, oh by the way I'm Maxi nice to meet ya!" Maxi said waving as he turned and ran off.
"I'm-... Bye," Maxi was soon back at the lake bridge where he heard a sudden splash underneath.
Maxi stopped. " Please be a fish so I can eat it." Maxi bent over the side of the bridge. "Helllooooooo? Fishy fishy!"
"Funny..." A grumble replied back. From the water rose a black meerkat with blue tips. He was young, probably in his mid-teen years, with a somewhat long torso.
"Sweet Freya protect me!" Maxi screamed falling onto his butt. He formed an ball of lighting just in case the new face attacked.
The meerkat just slowly blinked at Maxi with a rather tired irritated expression: the slight blue glow of his eyes gleeming along his eyelids. "Really?"
"Wha?" Maxi said calming down a bit but not letting go of the ball.
The meerkat sighed before trotting out of the water to the shore.
Maxi got up and started fixing his clothes. "What were you doing down there?"
"I was dropped here..." He replied. "Punishment."
"Punishment? What did you do to get thrown under a bridge?" Maxi said finally getting rid of the lighting ball.
The meerkat just groaned out a deflective “What is it you want, stranger?”
"I honestly don't know, I was told to go to a temple, I guess this Chisai is there." Maxi said.
"Yeah, I thought you'd be one of those kinds... Alright, well I need a 'good deed' to 'redeem' anyway, so..." he walked around till he was back on the bridge. "Guess I'm your guide now."
"sure I guess. I'm Maxi whats yours?" He extended a hand for a handshake.
The meerkat was reluctant, but with a long sigh, he shook Maxi's hand. "My name is Noctis..."
"SO "guide" Do you know of this Chisai?" Maxi asked.
"I... yes," He spoke plainly. As they walked across the bridge completely, they found that the pathway ahead was... straightening, flattening to a white road.
Maxi followed at a normal pace. "Well, share what you know.
"Why are you looking for them?"
"I was told that they would train me."
"What's your motivation?" The trees and hills started to fade. "Revenge? Being the best fighter?"
"To be great hero like my mentor Axel Kiowa. To bring justice to those who cry out for it. Hey whats happening to the...... everything?"
"Stay calm, it's not dangerous," Noctis assured. They started to see some white and blue pillars grow upward ahead of them, the ground crumbling away behind them.
" How is this even happening?"
"The Aethair," Noctis named. "Think of it as a mirror world of the real world, placed in its separate dimension."
The pillars began spreading until a large temple of white was completed, glowing blue water surrounding it: passing past Maxi and Noctis's feet and over the cliff that formed behind them, which stopped eventually about a 1/4 mile from the temple.
Maxi didn't say anything he just took in the sight with a small chuckle.
“Alright, wait here,” Noctis held up his hand before walking inside.
"Okie Dokie Loki" Maxi replied.
About a half-minute later, Noctis walked back out, accompanied by a tall male wolf of grey and white shades, wearing a robe.
Maxi just continued to stand there looking around at the environment.
"You are the one who seeks us? Maxi?" The wolf addressed, Noctis remaining silent.
"Yes I am sir." Maxi said trying his best not to sound nervous.
"You seek to become a Chisai?"
"I wish for training but if that is what it takes, yes."
"That is not so easily decided. To enter our training, you must have our approval, and to do that we must look into your core."
"My core? Like my heart?"'
"Oooooh. SO how does that work?"
"We will see what you can do and decide if this knowledge suits you," He motioned for Maxi to follow before walking into the temple.
Maxi followed without hesitation. "If you'll allow me good sir, might I ask a few questions?"
"Ask," He permitted as they reached the dim blue interior of the temple: the walls humming low in the mostly-empty room.
"For my first question, am I on Mobius? Second, What is a chisai, are you heroes too? And third, how was that whole changing scenery thing created, cuz it was both frighting and cool.
"You are on a Mobius, yes. We are keepers of stability for the universal cores. The change was done through entry into our Aethair."
"Cooooool!" Maxi looked around. "So if I become a Chisai I can help stabilize universal cores?"
"If you do, yes... But this is not a place for those who want the quick and easy. From you I sense... determination. Pure for the moment, but what say if you were to be rejected? After years of our training."
"If I do get rejected hm? Well I'll be honest I'll be bummed, but that doesn't mean i'll stay that way. I think Ill be more useful on Nimagi anyway. This universe stuff is more of my teacher's deal."
"Describe your teacher."
" Where do I begin.." Maxi looked at his feet then looked up as he found the right words. " He's the greatest hero I know, constantly fighting to protect the peace of the Mobius I'm from. His name is Axel Kiowa, a hedgehog that...... is veeeeeery... energetic. Sometimes too energetic. But thanks to that energy he did save the Cross Roads three times. Sorry I'm getting off track. My teacher is kind hearted goof ball who trains his butt off to keep his Mobius safe." Maxi finished.
"... Noctis," The wolf addressed, turning to the meerkat. "You wish to repair your reputation. You will-"
"I figured," Noctis nodded, which was responded to by a stern stare for his interruption.
"Sit," The wolf gestured as he sat as well.
Maxi did as he was told without a word.
"We will determine how much... time this will take. Be assured no harm will come," The wolf extended out his arm. Maxi began to feel a slow rippling in his chest.
"WhaaaaaaAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT" Maxi thought to himself as he felt it.
There was a burst, and suddenly, Maxi saw a glowing blue orb of energy floating in front of him. Depending on how... stable his spirit was, or personality as it were, it may have some small sparks of purple about it.
"Is that my soul?" Maxi asked. "What would happen if I touch it?"
"You would feel a sensation of all your memories at once."
"There are some memories in elementary school that I wish would be deleted: Maxi said stopping himself from touching the orb. "How long would this take?
"Concentration is key," The wolf informed before returning the core to Maxi's body. "Luckily, your core is mostly untainted."
"Thats good, wait mostly?" Maxi huffed. I need to do more good deeds then."
"That's not... how it works," Noctis sighed, clutching his face. The wolf raised his hand for Noctis to calm himself before turning back to Maxi. "What abilities do you posses?"
"Lighting magic and slight Mantra manipulation." Maxi answered.
"Demonstrate," The wolf stood up, stepping back.
"Ok then.? Maxi closed his eyes and a a bolt of lighting struck him. The bolt transformed him. His white hair was swapped with a spiky bright yellow aswell as his fur. He also gained a red mask and camo pants "I am the light that shines in the darkness. I am the golden gate, MAXIMUM THUNDER!" Maxi exclaimed his motto. Electricity flowing around his body. "This is my lighting magic and for mantra manipulation I am still a beginner so I don't have good control over it."
"You physically transform?" The wolf asked.
"Like one of those super hero types," Noctis noted.
"Yep like I said before I'm going to be the best super hero ever, like my teacher!"
"Where does this source come from?" The wolf asked.
"My lighting magic comes from a source called the Omega Star in my universe. But Mantra comes from inside me. Axel says that Mantra is the life force of all beings he didn't say if it reaches out to other dimensional clusters but maybe just maybe it does. Oh I'm rambling again. Mantrra is a inner energy source that makes up the life of my Mobius." He replied.
"Your teacher spoke accurately," The wolf nodded. "What you call 'Mantra'... What many do, we call the Core. What I brought out from your body is the inner energy of your life force."
"My Mantra...." Maxi said to himself. "SO can you guys use it was a weapon like Axel has been teaching me?"
"Not a weapon, but a tool," The wolf sternly clarified. "If you only think of it as a weapon, then you limit yourself. A weapon is useful, but a tool is infinite. Your connection with lightning is fortunate. It is one of the most common traits and easily-adapted abilities to the core. However, you will need to be able to separate your world's magic from your elemental power and core to full unlock your Coreplex."
The wolf extended his hand out: a ripple in the space next to it extending like water in the air, transparent. It stretched to a square of five feet. "Project your power here."
Maxi did as he was told charging his lighting magic then unleashing it onto the space. "So what you mean is to forget about my lightning magic and focus onto my mantra?" Maxi turned back into his non super hero persona.
"Lightning is an element. Magic is a director. Unlike the element, it has rules that may conflict with others. If you can project your element with your mantra, you can utilize the magic freely. Users of magic, chaos, and other powers, can have issues balancing the powers as they conflict. Your core allows you to better hold them all."
"Push harder," Noctis suggested.
"I'm giving it all I got!" Maxi said "My magic comes from the Omega Star, would it replenish what I lost?"
"If you rely on that power source, you cannot fully depend on it," The wolf instructed. "Your core is with you always."
"Shouldn't we just switch his source to that for a bit then?" Noctis suggested.
The wolf once again looked sternly at the meerkat speaking without turn, but his gaze showed he was considering the idea. With a small "mm..." he nodded, turning to Maxi. "Alright, you can stop."
Maxi stopped and looked at his hands. lightning surged around them. " Switch my power source?"
"It will start small, but it will grow."
The wolf gestured to the walls: a green tint forming around them as the room darkened a bit. Maxi would feel the magic start to drain out from his system.
"I hate this feeling." Maxi said as his hands shook due to being drained.
"Think of it like being in a robot suit, and then being pulled out of the suit and having to work out to get as strong as the suit," Noctis mentioned.
"Alright then." Maxi stopped looking at his trembling hands. "Ok whats next?"
"Let's see what your output is now," The wolf instructed, flexing the spacial construct again.
"So you want me use my lighting magic.... but without the help of the Omega Star?"
"Imagine yourself as someone who has never smelled something before. When you do for the first time, it's a sensation you would never have been able to imagine. Transfering your power from an alternate source to your own stamina is a similar situation."
"Alright." Maxi said nodding his head. "By the way I've been here for what seems like hours and I'm starting to get hungry."
"It's been literally seven minutes since I met you," Noctis retorted.
The wolf raised a hand before bickering could start. "We will eat after this demonstration."
"I said it seems like hours." Maxi mumbled to himself.
"We await," The wolf prompted.
Maxi focused but was only able to produce a small spark a finger length outward.
The wolf nodded. "As you train, you will be able to produce more. Your training with your 'mantra' as you call it will help you speed the process."
Maxi nodded his head enthusiastically but stayed silent.
"Hm... Well this should suffice for now," The wolf nodded. "You may call me the Elxior. Noctis will bring you through the grounds and direct you to food."
"Nice to meet you Elxior, can't remember if I introduced myself to you so I'll say my name just in case. I'm Maxi Harris Ashton, and that lighting transformation is known as Maximum Thunder........ which is currently locked off from me until I learn better control of Mantra."
"Once you exit this room, the blocking will subside," the Elxior informed. "I suggest exclusively training in that form, however."
"Alright, ready?" Noctis prompted.
"Ready!" Maxi replied.
Noctis motioned for him to follow as he walked through a back hall.
Maxi followed. "What kind of food does this village have?"
"We're a temple, not a village," Noctis replied as they exited into a white and blue garden. Various plants were organized in square spiral walkways about in layers leading down and up, but everything had a blue tint. "Really you eat whatever. It all has to do with your comfortability of morals."
"Chozin village, it was called. I just assumed that this temple was part of it."
"We may as well be, but no, we're technically separate. What kind of food are you looking for?"
"Anything with chicken really."
"You're one of those, huh?" He sighed.
"What do you mean by that." Maxi said taking offense.
"Different zones handle food differently. This world has different kind of meat, but we've had so many people lik you that things like 'chicken' are expected here."
"well I don't know what animals exist in this universe. I doubt you guys have the weird animals like on Nimagi."
"We can make chicken," Noctis quickly answered, as if trying to avoid hearing the entire description of every foreign creature. He motioned Maxi further onward to another hallway past the garden.
Maxi continued to follow. " So how long have you been a Chisai?
"Seven years," The hallway was wide, like everything in the temple. They saw no other people for the moment strangely enough, but something made it feel like there was a population of some sort. A plate here, an item there, or even teh brief sound of scuffing feet against the floor.
They were soon in a room with lined tables: each having varying shape and style.
"Elxior seems like a chill teacher, what type of training did you go through?"
"There's a lot of exercising involved. You exhaust yourself each day physically, and you study mentally so you can increase the core energy you can manifest."
"Seems hard but fair."
Noctis sat down, cupping his hands around a space on a table as a blue glow began sparking out.
Maxi sat down as well. " Soooo universal cores huh... How many are there?"
"Everything with life has a core," Noctis informed, a glowing skeletal structure forming between his hands.
Maxi stayed quite for a heartbeat or two. " So what did you do to get punished?"
The skeleton shattered with a scraping glass-cracking noise. Noctis closed his hands.
"Touchy subject, sorry."
The skeletal structure started to reform. "You've had consequences for training with your teacher in the past, yes?"
"Axel does take training seriously, he says that one day he might not be there to protect Mobius so it would be up to me. His punishments aren't terrible. Like one day I woke up late and he had me run through Death Flower Valley twice."
"What, is that filled with toxic fumes or something?"
"Yes and with giant carnivorous plants that can eat a mobian."
“What caused him to put you there?”
"I told you, I woke up late for training. So do we get a menu or something." Maxi said changing the subject back to food.
Noctis didn't answer more than a small gesture to the forming structure in his hands. It seemed as evident by his lack of memory of the previous situation that he wasn't entirely actually interested, but going through the process as he needed.
"Hm..." Maxi started to tap his fingers on the table.
A large flash went off as a large raw chicken plopped on to the table.
"WHAT IN ZARUTH'S NAME!" Maxi yelped in surprise as the chicken hit the table
"Who is that?"
"Hes a very very very VEEEEEEEEEERY important person from my mobius." Maxi said smoothing out his hair.
"So what? A hero? A deity? A... 'president'- are you going to eat your food?"
"Biggest deity in my dimensional cluster- WAIT! How can I eat this, its raw!"
"You can't cook it?"
"I probably could if I had my powers besides I'm twelve I'm not allow near fire..."
"... You're twelve?" He rose an eyebrow. "... You... how?"
"I'm not a regular hedgehog, I guess you knew that since the lightning powers and all. I am from a race of cosmic beings. Our bodies age faster than we really are. I look eight teen but I'm twelve."
"So... what- you're in... a younger grade?"
" don't know what you mean by that, but I guess." Maxi said poking the chicken.
"Alright, well if you can't cook it with your powers, you'll have to take it up the hill and make a fire to cook it."
Maxi looked at Noctis with disbelief. "You can't cook it?"
"I can," he nodded, "but if you're the guy who survives killer flowers all the time, this shouldn't be a problem."
Maxi just grabbed the chicken glaring at Noctis. "I bet you secretly planned this."
"I really didn't," Notis shook his head, his monotone noticeable. "Do you want me to come with you?"
"I don't care honestly. What would a Chisai do?" Maxi mocked as he left towards the nearest hill.
"I'm assigned right now to show you around," Noctis reminded as he followed Maxi out. The temple had no hills visible, which meant they had to leave back to the normal land. "He hadn't told you how to exit did he?"
*I'll just retrace the steps we took." Maxi said looking back only to smack into a wall.
"... You must be hungry," Noctis pulled him away from the wall. "Come on," he sighed, heading to the outside.
Maxi groaned in anger as he rubbed his face the lighting he charges when he gets mad was absent.
Thundering Urd sounds
Notcis went out to the waterfall ends outside the temple.
Maxi followed quietly clutching the chicken.
Noctis soon jumped down off the fall.
Maxi jumped down as well. "We have to go down a waterfall to get to a stupid hill?"
"Separate plane of existence remember?"
"No I don't. Memory isn't that good anyway."
"That's going to be your vice if you don't work on that. vices are important here."
A few seconds later, the two were suddenly standing just next to the bridge in the outskirts of the village from earlier.
" Oh right there was this girl that pointed me to this place. I haven't gotten her name though, hope her shop is still open."
"We're going to the mountain, not a girl," Noctis replied before turning toward the hills behind.
"I know that. I just didn't thank her properly."
"Did you thank her before?" Noctis inquired, more just to make sure Maxi was still behind him as they arrived at the hill base.
" Yeah but it was a half baked thank you. When I'm able to return back to my universe I'll thank her again before I go." Maxi took a deep breath. " SO when we get to the top I guess one of us will have to get firewood?'
"One of us, yes," Noctis replied as they started up the dirt path leading to the top. "I'm just the guide."
"Of course. I don't even know why I even asked that question. Can you "guide" this chicken up to the top while I get some?.
"Do you also look for ways to avoid work with your master?" Noctis shot back.
"My master doesn't make me work for food." Maxi replied.
"Does he work for his?"
"He has servants so no. the oly thing he worked for was his powers and to modernize his island."
"Well he sent you to us, so you'll have to learn how to change from that pattern. Nothing not earned is worth having."
"whatever." Maxi carried on at a faster pace.
"You seemed far less complacent when the Elxior was with us," Noctis noticed as they neared the top of the forest-lined hill.
" Not complacent just hungry." Maxi said quickening his pace.
"And argumentative," Noctis added. They were at the top, a small park-like area in view. "Alright, now we can make the fire place."
"Alright I'll get fire wood." Maxi scanned the area to find some good trees.
Most of the trees looked fairly strong. It would take a while to get them dry enough for wood. However there were quite a few dead bushes about. If anything, they would make good kindling.
"If only I had my powers and I could just zip over there and be back in 5 minutes." Maxi ran off into the direction of the trees.
"You do ha-" Noctis's voice cut off as Maxi ran off.
"With this one kick I'll take this tree down like my master! MAXI KICK OVERDRIVE!" "Maxi leaped up drop kicking the trunk of the tree only to fall down. A few pieces of bark chipped off as a result.
Noctis walked over. "Your form isn't bad I guess."
"Yeah Axel had me practice this against Yggdr-- trees all the time."
"... What?" Noctis approached the tree, feeling around its trunk.
"what?" Maxi asked pretending to forget what he just said.
"Yggdr...!" His ears straightened up. "asail... The tree..."
"Wow what is that?" Maxi still pretending to forget. "I'ma continue trying to knock this tree down"
"I am going to be telling the Elxior how you act you know, including lies."
Maxi stopped. "Snitch!" M My master told me not to reveal key features of my dimensional cluster... I kinda forgot.."
"You're not the only Nordic Mobius," Noctis replied in a deadpan tone. Strike here," he gestured to a spot at the tree.
"We're more than Nordic but that is cool, so do you have Nidhogg or Ratatoskr in your lore as well? YOU SHOULD TALK TO MASTER AXEL YOU BOTH COULD HAVE GREAT CONVERSATIONS!" Maxi eyes lit up. like a fan boy meeting his idol. "Is this Mobius part of the nine realms?!?"
"I have an answer for that, but considering how excited that gets you, it might not be a good idea."
"Please please please please please please pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease tell me!"
"You're not ready for it yet. You need to complete your current task."
"Right!" Maxi started to repeatedly punch the tree getting faster and faster with each strike.
"Are you punching the part I pointed?"
"Yeah. I'm cut-- punching down the tree another thing Axel showed me." The trunk of the tree started to chip away with each strike.
"Alright, well that's progress. Keep going."
Maxi chipped enough away to leave a crescent shape hole in the trunk. He went around the other side and gave it a swift kick making the tree fall. He zipped around to catch it. "Hey do you mind if I call you Noct?"
"It saves time when talking." Maxi lifted the trunk over his head.
"It's two syllables..."
"But Noct is one." putting the tree down
(They're at the top of the hill already)
(ok thought they're at the bottom, Cuz Maxi moved to a tree.)
"Hey you got anything to chop this up. I'd use my hands but they're sore from punching."
(They walked UP the hill to the top)
"Are you completely exhausted?"
(sorry thought the trees were at the bottom)
"Kinda, drop kicking and punching trees does wear you down. Besides I don't think punching will help again."
"You're not really panting, and your hands aren't bleeding. Looks like you can do more."
Maxi sighed. "You lack empathy." Maxi started to punch the tree again getting faster. After the tree diminished in size about half way Maxi stopped. "Ok I think My knuckles are broken.":
"What tools do you have to break down the wood?"
"None what so ever. Axel says that tools will only weaken my body"
"You can't always rely on your body, but if that's the case, you'll have to split the wood yourself."
Maxi massaged his knuckles for a bit then took a deep breath. "OK if I if I complain how can I call my self a true hero? I will take on any task, if I can train my body I'll be one step closer to that goal.Mantra give me strength " Maxi rolled up his sleeves then began to strike the tree.
"Much better," Noctis nodded. "The Elxior would appreciate that attitude."
The tree's remains piled up when Maxi finished. "Done!" Maxi shouted massaging his knuckles again. "Now we can set it on fire and cook this raw chicken that has more dirt on it than a dead body."
Noctis nodded. "We can use the dry bushes for kindling."
"Thats great mind if I just sit for a while?" Maxi sat on the ground I need Axel to teach me a more efficient way to take down trees."
"You'll learn," Noctis assured. "Watch," He walked over to a tree: hovering his fingers over it for a moment before jabbing his hand through it: causing a split. The meerkat then swiped his hand upward: causing the split to spread to the top of the trunk: cutting the tree in half.
"That...............Was.....................AWESOME!" Maxi shouted getting back to his feet. "Like ten dragons in a free for all death match!"
Noctis turned back to Maxi, giving a small nod as he flexed out his arm to the side: the scrapes on his hand healing instantly as the dripping blood was sucked back up into his fist. He opened his hand with some cacking noise coming out as he slowly moved his fingers back to normal. "You can learn to sense the structure of the tree and its weaknesses. Then you can easily destroy it."
"Alright I'll keep that in mind. Now what?"
Noctis placed the wood. "This wood will not burn for days with the moisture still inside of it."
"Sooooooo we gotta find something to help it?"
"In the village, there is a special kind of salt. That may work."
Maxi groaned slumping to the right. " This feels like a side quest to an rpg......."
"Rpg?" Noctis questioned while carrying some wood down the hill.
"Its type of game." Maxi said getting up. "So where is this salt?"
"A shop in the village," Noctis replied. "You mean which shop specifically?"
"That would also help." Maxi confirmed.
"One of the general shops should suffice."
"OK I'll be back in jiffy!" Maxi said running down the hill.
Noctis continued walking, calling out "It looks like you still have energy." It didn't take long to get back toward the village, though it as now a bit later in the day. Not as many people were out this time.
Maxi walked right up to the first general store he saw. "Hello?"
"Hello," an older lizard man greeted at the counter. The store seemed to be the same one Maxi had first gotten directions from. More people were inside, looking at various wares and foods.
Maxi walked up to the counter "Excuses me sir but I'm looking for a type of salt that can evaporate moisture."
"Masen Salts?" The lizard asked. "Are you soaking up a lake?"
"Just moisture from trees so that they can burn to cook with." Maxi explained.
"Oh," The man chuckled. "Well you can always just purchase some wood here. It costs far less."
Noctis watched from the corner of the store as the conversation went on.
"That would be great!" Maxi said with a smile. Then it dawned on him. "CRAP! What if their currency is nothing like my Mobius'. I'm gunna get laughed at or kicked out the store." He thought to himself as he reached into his pockets.
"Alright, so that'll be some... well how much wood do you need?"
"Probably five pieces."
"Twelve should be fine then."
He could almost feel Noctis's stare on him... or maybe he was finding this humorous. The lizard just waited a bit for Maxi to hand out the money that he probably didn't have the right type for.
"I'm a foreigner sir, so I have money just not this lands currency, is there a place I can exchange for some?"
"Well that depends," The lizard scratched his chin. "What kind of money do you have?"
"Its a coin called an Isroth found on the island Nimagi." Maxi took out a quarter sized coin with a triangle hole in the middle.
"Hm, gold?" The lizard extended his palm out.
Its made from metal found on the island I think it was called Veraim.
"Hm..." The lizard poked the metal a bit. "I'm not sure we can accept just any metal currency."
"Its denser and tougher, not sure that will help."
"Hm..." The lizard kept pinching at the coin, examining it. It took him a while to decide on the coin, and Noctis appeared to be at the end of his allowance for this delay as he started to approach the two, but both stopped when a cheerful voice called "Oh you're back!" from the back room: the lizard girl poking her head out before quickly heading out to meet them.
"Oh hey!" Maxi waved at her with a smile. "Thanks again for directing me to the temple."
"No problem. I didn't think you'd be back so fast though," she noted.
"I only stopped by to pick up some wood to cook with, and as it turns out I might not be able to buy anything with the coins I brought."
"Oh? Can't he just cook it for you?" The lizard girl looked over to Noctis, who looked at Maxi as if this were a test,and he was awaiting the correct answer.
"Thats what I asked him, but then I thought of this as a good training opportunity, Breaking trees with my fists and all."
"Why do you need more wood then?"
"I was coming to get salt actually I honestly don't know how I ended up almost buying wood. I need more fish to help my memory."
"He wants to dry the wood he broke," the older lizard informed. "His coin isn't from here."
"Noctis, do you have any money or do chisai believe in material possessions weigh you down like zen Buddhist do?" Maxi looked towards Noctis' direction.
"We believe in being resourceful. Perhaps you can trade with them?"
"I think I have the sword a friend of my master made for me." Maxi said digging into his pockets. "AH here it is." He pulled out a capsule and pressed a button that unfolded it into a Scimitar which ignited with electricity.
Both lizards looked quite surprised by the sword. "Yeah that would work," the younger one nodded. "How much wood?"
Maxi pressed a button on its hilt and the sword folded back into a capsule. "Five pieces please,"
The older took the sword capsule. "... This looks to be worth much more."
"in that case maybe eight then."
"How about twenty?" The younger lizard prompted. The older one looked at her, blinking. She shrugged back "It's a nice sword."
"It's a deal." Noctis smirked, patting Maxi on the back.
The older lizard nodded, then walked into the back room.
"Haggling is not my strength." Maxi said raking his hand down his face in relief.
"Your master made th- what kind of master?" The lizard girl asked.
"A friend of my master who's really good at science like things made that."
"Do you have more?"
"Nope." Maxi said simply. "But when I get back home I'll find a way to come back and see if he can make some."
The older lizard soon came back with the wood. "Here we are. I hope what you're cooking tastes well enough."
"I hope so as well" Maxi looked to the lizard girl. "Thanks again, sorry I didn't ask your name earlier."
The lizard girl groaned a bit at this prompt but winced out "Nonya... Please just call me Nony. It gets annoying otherwise... Y'know, people saying things like 'Nonya business' jokes."
"Ok Thanks again Nony!" Maxi grabbed the wood and jogged out with each piece over his head.
"You're wel-" but once again he was already gone.
It was about five minutes later. Maxi and Noctis were back up the hill, and cooking the chicken. In the distance, the Exlior began to approach.
Maxi waved at him with a mouth full of chicken.
"Assessment?" The Elxior asked Noctis.
"He isn't the worst I've seen." Noctis shrugged. "Shouldn't be hard."
The Elxior nodded. "Come, Maxi. We will return to the Aethair. Your training begins."
Maxi Swallowed and let out a cheer. "Getting pumped!"
The Elxior motioned the two to follow, and they began walking down the hill. Maxi was brought back to their temple and shown to the living quarters: a wide room completely empty.
He was informed by the Elxior "Your possessions may appear here, but each must be placed on a structure you create in your training. You will learn to construct your coreplex as a unique signature of yourself. For now, you may rest."
They weren't heartless thankfully. Maxi was given a cloth cushion to act as his bed for the night. He wasn't handed any change of clothes, nor was he instructed to dress differently.
Sleep was peaceful, temperature medium, night calm.
The first week went by rather quickly. Maxi would have no progression until he could properly tap into his core. Each day he would spend four hours with the Elxior in a training room where his electric abilitiy was blocked out: being pushed further to manifest the power of his core.
Each time Maxi would have a question, the Elxior would say "As you progress in your training, we will answer more of your questions. There will come a point where you are trained enough that you will be able to ask freely." and of course Noctis was also instructed not to answer certain questions.
After the four hours of pushing his body to manifest the core energy, Maxi would spend one hour of meditation, shown how to regulate his breathing in such a way to quicken the relaxation and healing in his body.
After this hour, Maxi would spend 4 hours physically exercising. Noctis would oversee him, making sure that he remained constant in his tasks. As long as he remained physically active, he passed for the day, but he would be given a little more to do each day to push his limits.
After this, Maxi would have the rest of the day free. The Aithaer did not follow time. Maxi would be quite exhausted at first of course: having little time to do anything in his free time before just going to bed to recover for the next day. However, over time, he would be slowly getting longer stamina.
He was allowed to leave the Aithaer but under specific conditions. He was to return before midnight in the Mobian world, and if he did not have an escort, he would need to write down all of his activities before resting. Were he to be found lying, there would be consequences. Noctis being his designated supervisor, Maxi would need to ask him to come with him if he didn't want to write down a report.
Maxi's progression with his core abilities was very small at the moment, but this was expected. He could manifest small streams of core light--in the shape of electricity due to his past experience--but only for short seconds. The Elxior assured him that this was progress.
In his free time Maxi stayed in his room with a sketch book he brought with him, drawing new costume art and team logos if he ever where to create one. "I wish there was a away for me to talk with master Axel and my other friends. But I can't let my home sickness distract me. I'm training not just for me but for them as well!" Maxi said to himself."
The first day of the second week. Elxior's core training would begin. Maxi was summoned to the training room.
Maxi entered the training room fully rested and ready.
The Elxior approached from another room. "You have progressed well in these first days. What is your first inquiry?"
"How long has the Chinsai been around?"
"The answer is very complicated and challenging to accept. Are you prepared for that knowledge?"
"... The Multiverse that you exist in is not the first to exist. There have been at least fifteen others in the past. At some point, every multiverse is destroyed, then recreated. Each is different to the one before it. The Chisai exist regardless of each of these events. These Multiverse Restarts are called Ecrations. To answer your question, the Chisai have existed since the first Ecration, for at least many entireties of time."
"So you don't reincarnate as welll?" Maxi said writing the information down in his sketch book.
"Not everyone is reincarnted, but many are. The Chisai strive to exist regardless of the Ecrations, but not all are left unaffected."
"How old are you?"
"Old, but that is enough questioning for today."
Maxi put his notepad away. "Ready to learn!"
"Let us see how you've progressed in your projection of the energy."
(Not lightning remember?)
(honestly I did not so what energy does Elxior mean? Mantra?)
(I would suggest re-reading the first part that the two spoke together where it explains that. If you don't understand after that, I'll try to re-explain.)
Maxi focused his Mantra into his hands and a small blue orb manifested in between is palms. "Is this that core energy?"
"The same energy you've been projecting for a week, yes."
"Ok so what now?" Maxi said losing focus and the ball disappeared.
"You need to transform that energy into separate matter, like a construct."
"Like reality warping?"
"No. You've proejcted your energy out. It has a level of mass when you project it out. You need to be able to concentrate it enough that the mass is tangible." The Elxior waved his hand out to the left, some glowing blue blocks falling from his fingers and clinging against the floor.
"Constructs...." Maxi repeated to himself.
"Try to mold the energy to a particular shape."
Maxi focused the energy again making a single brick, which made him groan in disappointment.
The Elxior reached down and picked up the brick. He then tossed it to Maxi.
Maxi caught it.
"Try to mold it."
Maxi nodded and molded it into a lighting bolt to his best ability.
The shape flattened after some pressure, but it was difficult to get it to mold specifically.
"There!" Maxi held it up.
The Elxior took it. "Progress..." He turned the shape about in his hand. "You've noticed that only Noctis and I are the only ones here so far?"
"yeah I've only seen a few people outside the temple in the village. Why is that, is the Chinsai a dying organisation or does everyone else exist on another plane of existence?"
"Very good. There are many more in the Aethair. You will meet them in gradual time. Very soon I would imagine."
"Ok soo what now?"
"Well you still have energy, so let's work on making more Coreplex constructs. If you make it right, what you shape might transform to the actual thing, like a butterfly or a tree."
"Creating life? AWESOME! When can we start!"
"We are starting now. Let's begin simple. Start with a basic element. A basic wood."
Maxi focused and the energy formed his hands. He then stretched it out a bit into a log."Basic wood, like this?"
"You have the shape. This might help." The Elxior walked over and picked up a small wooden lamp-holster, handing it to Maxi.
Maxi took it. "So to be clear you want me to mold it into this shape?"
"Feel the wood, and use that to replicate the element into the core."
Maxi sat on the floor and closed his eyes focusing on the texture of the wood. The shape, color, and size he replicated in his mind until his core reflected it.
The wood in his hand faded a bit as the core in his other began to take the texture of the element until it fully changed. It didn't take the shape, basically being a brick of wood.
"I used the meditation method Axel taught me but I'm not sure if it worked. Did it?"
"I'm sure that your master has given you a useful method, but here you will act as we instruct unless otherwise given. With that said, your form of meditation does seem to be paying off. Do you feel you can do more?"
"Sure." Maxi replied.
"Practice your shapes then. Use the material and try to make a tree."
Maxi shaped the material trying to stretch it out into the bark of a tree. "Please be an oak, please be an Oak." He repeated to himself.
A blue glow stretched out more and more as the tree slowly began to take form.
"Its working!" Maxi said putting the thing down.
"Make sure you don't feed too quickly into it." The Elxior warned. "You may feed it too much and drain yourself."
The tree began piercing into the floor and taking root.
"I just... created life, I don't know how to feel about this." Maxi said just staring at the tree.
"If you did know then I would be worried." The Elxior noted. "Think of it more of an extension of life."
"Is it too early too stop for today, I need to wrap my head around this." Maxi said not taking his eyes of the tree.
"That is best." The Elxior nodded. "You should spend some time outside of the Aethair. Go to the town or walk through nature. Make sure that Noctis accompanies you."
"Alright." Maxi got up and exited the room. Only to pop his head back in. "Do you know where Noctis is?"
"He was in the garden, but he may have moved. Try to sense for him."
"Thank you!" Maxi left the room again and made his way to the gardens calling for Noctis along the way in case the meerkat moved.
Noctis soon appeared, walking in view from behind a lamp-post. "Yes?"
"I was allowed to spend some time outside and Elxior said you should go with me."
"Right... So to the village?"
"It doesn't matter but maybe the forest?" Maxi asked.
"That's fine, I guess."
"Great, lead the way!"
"You didn't forget how to get out, did you?" Noctis asked as they suddenly appeared at the edge of the Aethair.
"I did forget, didn't put it in the vault."
"You should have because I'm going to let you re-firgure out how that works now."