The Oracle Paths-Chapter 1043 Ulfar's Stage To Shine
1043 Ulfar's Stage To Shine
A bone-chilling silence quickly swallowed the underground chapel hall, enveloping everyone who witnessed the grim fate of the audacious barbarian. The rookie looked like he was peacefully asleep, but the froth at his lips and his glassy, wide-open eyes told a much darker tale.
There was no sugarcoating it—the baptism had spiraled into a catastrophic failure.
This turn of events instantly shattered the renewed confidence and enthusiasm the other recruits had just seconds before. Now, all you could hear were stifled gasps and gulps of dread. Their instincts screamed at them to get the hell out, but they were too mesmerized by the gruesome tableau before them—a haunting preview of their potential futures.
Amid his disturbed tribesmen, Jake was in no mood for laughter either. Inspecting the soul-state of the comatose barbarian, an unprecedented gravity weighed down his features.
'Xi, do you think the Oracle can heal this? I mean, through a Green Cube or other means?'
His Oracle AI didn't respond right away, equally skeptical about the rookie's chances of recovery. After a brief pause, she cautiously answered,
[His soul is still in one piece, so it should be possible... However, it's riddled with cracks, like a shattered vase glued back together. If his memories and personality still exist, they're fragmented, and neither Spirit nor Soul Power flows through him anymore. I think his Spirit Body could recover with enough time and resources, but repairing a soul is far beyond my expertise. Perhaps only an Aetherist above Rank 5 stands a chance of saving him. But what would a mythical Rank 6 Aetherist be doing in this shithole? Those types of Evolvers are venerated everywhere they go, and even Oracle Sovereigns from other Mirror Universes fight for their favor. That level of skill belongs to Ancient Designers and other genius Evolvers. Our Mirror Universe officially has no more than 15...]
'So the guy's totally screwed,' Jake sighed, casting a final pitying glance at the unconscious figure. At the same time, he couldn't help but wonder since when had Xi gained access to such information.
He'd be lying if he said he wasn't intrigued by these legendary Rank 6 Aetherists or becoming one himself, but that would have to wait for another day. What concerned him now was—
'Xi, if it were my soul in this state, do you think I could pull through?' he darkly questioned. Her answer would determine the risks he was willing to take with his own baptism.
After all, his soul was somewhat unique. His Oracle Status provided the following description:
[Cosmic D Starveyrves Soul lvl 1: Very strong Energy, Cosmic, Life and Space Attribute. Able to feed on any Energy to continuously strengthen and regenerate.]
Despite training hard all this time, Jake hadn't been able to level up his bloodline, which spoke volumes about its difficulty. According to the short description, his soul could indeed continuously strengthen and regenerate thanks to his Energy Soul, the third triplet along with his Energy Spirit and Energy Body. On paper, he had nothing to worry about.
But the catch was, with his experience as an Aetherist and his recent acquaintance with the Aetherdream, Jake also knew that even the soul had its own Aether circulation system, albeit in a special form called Soul Power. If that system was compromised, then it became a pressing mystery whether its perks would still hold any water.
Digestors were said to be able to fully regenerate their souls as long as a fraction remained, but although Jake was corrupted, he wasn't sure he qualified as a Digestor himself.
Furthermore, unlike his fleshly body, his Oracle Status made no mention of adaptability. His soul was neither highly morphable nor could it adapt to any environment or situation. The only common ground between his body and soul were their affinities for various attributes.
So Jake had a good reason to hesitate about trying this baptism again. Because a baptism that could work on him might also have the power to kill him.
'50% chance of success, huh? Seems a little low to gamble with my life,' Jake rolled his eyes.
But just as he was about to shelve his hopes for the blessing promised by the Spirit Enchanter, Xi unexpectedly disputed his line of thought.
[You won't die.]
Jake's face scrunched up, and he mentally growled, "Explain."
Unfazed by his skeptical tone, she calmly explained,
[The barbarian's soul was too fragile. The enchanted spiritual energy contained within the diluted Lumyst Water ignited an internal cataclysm his soul couldn't withstand, nearly causing it to collapse. Whether you're seeking the blessing through enchantment, the imprinting of a Soul Glyph, some kind of soul mutagen, or some even more arcane method, the success and failure rate appears to be a coin flip for everyone—from the weakest to the strongest. Success bestows the blessing, while failure results in the disruption of the normal flow of spiritual energy in both your soul and Spirit Body. Add in the extra spirit energy extracted from the Lumyst Water, and the weak souls of these recruits are pretty much screwed.
[Except your soul isn't weak, Jake. It won't collapse from something like this. Moreover, you seem to have overlooked something. The odds. Where there are probabilities, there's also..."
Jake's face lit up like a supernova, as if struck by divine insight.
In the realm of probabilities, luck could tilt the scales! During his first baptism, he couldn't sense its influence because the result was doomed from the get-go due to the insufficient energy in the water. If the success rate was zero, there was no room for luck to maneuver.
Realizing this, Jake almost burst into laughter.
"Haha, Ulfar, you clever son of a bitch," he muttered bitterly, his face twitching. It seemed this Fifth Ordeal would be the Beskyrian's stage to shine.
Meanwhile, the third and fourth volunteers had gone, each falling victim to their own dreadful fates. The conscripts in the crowd looked like they'd seen a ghost; a relentless parade of failed baptisms unfolding before their eyes, a waking nightmare they couldn't escape.
The third had ended up like the second, in a vegetative coma. The fourth fared even worse; his life force siphoned away, leading to a sudden cardiac arrest well before age or soul damage could claim him.
Others had tried their luck since, and the two who survived with their sanity intact had pulled their hands from the water before the effects kicked in. In the end, they'd lost years off their lives for nothing—along with the courage to shape their own destiny.
Up to this point, the victory rate was a whopping zero. The conscripts were starting to think they'd been played, unwitting participants in some dark sacrificial rite.
That changed with the ninth volunteer. Well, "volunteer" was a stretch; he just wanted to get this nightmare over with. He wasn't as massive or intimidating as the others, but his eyes were alert and resigned. Trembling with fear, he took a quick breath and decisively plunged his hand into the water, eyes clenched shut, too anxious to face the outcome.
Soon after, a now-familiar, ear-piercing scream echoed, but like the ones before it, quickly faded. Jake and the other recruits glanced at the latest "victim," expecting another disastrous failure. But this time, a different scene played out.
The volunteer stood upright and conscious, his body enveloped by an ethereal, insubstantial halo. To those like Jake with special pupils or heightened extrasensory perception, the young barbarian seemed to glow faintly, like some mythological deity.
Using his Cosmic Eyes and his understanding of the Aetherdream, Jake noticed immediate changes. Compared to before, the young man's spirit seemed... more awake and charismatic? A close connection had formed between his soul and the nearby souls, including Jake's, exerting an imperceptible pull.
That was as much as he could deduce with his current grasp of the Aether, but he was sure he'd missed some things. In any case, this barbarian's spirit had successfully evolved.
The baptism was a success.