67.64% Astaroth: Path to Ascension / Chapter 23: Just before...

Chapter 23: Just before...

As hot as the scorching sun, at top of a small hill, in mid of nowhere, a crimson more than two meters tall ball of fire stood. The zone around was burned beyond recognition but the flames didn't expanded but instead were absorbed by the ball of fire.

Even more curious, inside the ball of fire a human figure was sitting and when he face was full of discomfort and even pain, there weren't visibles burns over his body.

Adding to the scene in the glade behind the small hill, a snake-like and a dog-like beings were battling each other. The snake-like being seemed somehow ethereal and had two horns over his head and red colored streaks over his body. The dog-like being was pitch black as if it was made of shadows itself and his tail was covered with snake-like scales.

Akin didn't screamed once but the pain he was feeling was enough to make most people wish their deaths. His whole body felt like burning, the feeling was alike but stronger of that when he ate the Burning Heart fruit but this time he didn't fell unconscious nor he could allow himself to do so.

Star Furnace was called the technique Akin was practising right now,it was similar to that used in his soul cultivation manual but instead of soul power it was intended to refine the body of the cultivator burning down all the impurities and also rising his affinity toward fire meanwhile.

As a cultivator, refining one's body was a basic step one had to take before entering the Energy Gathering realm, a step Akin didn't took, or rather somehow took, as the Burning Fruit which pushed him into this realm also had this effect.

The problem? He fell unconscious during the process and lost what mortals would call a "heaven sent opportunity" to refine his body. Without knowing to what extend his body was refined he didn't had any other option that doing so again as this was a cornerstone in the path to inmortality, to power.

What made him to take this step again was the knowledge he didn't had before on how important this step was and the preassure he felt after coming out of that branch of Mammon's Greed, between the beings inside the reach of his Spiritual Sense there were lots of whom he couldn't even guess the dregree os their power.

And there was also the fact that now even if he didn't know the exact level Ashtarte possesed before, it was clear it was far beyond the reach of the first layer of his cultivation technique, meaning revenge was far, and he needed to walk the right path until then, he couldn't afford to severe his own path because he forgot to do something as refining his body nor he could endure it.

"Hahaha, what a grandmaster you are, you don't even can to put a fight with a little puppy". Said Amon.

"Yo-you...humm, you just wait for me to recover my powers at that time even if your father come out he would need to beg me". Said angered Botis who was having a bad time battling Amon.

"Well, i hope your highness will be magnanimous when the time come". Said mockingly Amon who was already toying with the snake.

"You..." Botis would had fainted from anger for sure if he had a body.

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Looking at the scene Akin gritted his teeths before closing his eyes to focus again in refining further his body.

About Amon and Botis bickering there wasn't much to say as he didn't understand too much. Amon had waken up a couple of days ago and wihout even greeting Akin nor saying nostalgic words the first thing he do was look to the tatto, which was Botis , in Akin's right arm and said "I don't like him, he is not trustworthy".

"What are you babbling about little dog" Was Botis replied and from that moment on, they would make a ruckus over any small matter having Akin to interfere from time to time. Now as Akin was 'occupied' their discussion quickly scale up into a fight. Well a single side fight as Amon quickly gained the upper hand and was toying around with the snake.

When Amon finished 'evolving' Akin was full of expectations, at first when Botis told him about Amon undergoing evolution he didn't understood nothing besides it was a good thing. After his visit to Mammon's Greed he had an understanding of what evolution was, a mortal understanding, and was very puzzled evolution would normally took over million of year but here, in the Upper Realms, seemed as it was a common thing between the demonic beast. Anyways evolution was a marvelous thing, and after ending he expected to see a totally brand new Amon.

But alas, expectation and reality were two worlds asides, the same as practice and theory. And Amon 'evolution' was far from his wildest dream, besides his height being doubled and a layer of snake-likes scales appearing covering his tail there was nothing else.

Not an awe inspiring size nor fancy body parts nor an intimidating aura not even a change in color. If not for the slight preassure he could felt stading besides Amon he would thought his brother fail to undergone evolution. It seemed that whatever his evolution was, it wasn't something which could be discerned by common means and it was highly related to Amon's power up, maybe it was an improve of quality in his spiritual energy or soul power.

More puzzling even was Amon's displeasure towards Botis, it couldn't be jealousy, could it?. Akin wasn't so naive anymore as to thing that something related or bound to him couldn't harm him in anyway, and he had some suspicious but it wasn't something he could take care of by now.


As the 'play' between Akin's partners was reaching it climax, his refining reached the last step, his heart. The previous refining of his other organs was and endless torture but this time, he woudn't find words to describe his pain.

His heartbeats where becoming louder but slower too and the time between each other kept increasing until a moment when Akin's heart seemed to had stopped.


The hearbeat was so loud that Amon and Botis stopped their 'play' to look to Akin.

Next to the sound, the ball of fire around Akin deformed and expanded greatly before retracted suddenly inside Akin's body.

Botis used this opportunity and the fact of Amon being distracted to retreat to Akin arm, before the hound was able to react the snake had become a tattoo again.

"Hummm, just wait for the next time 'snake' ". Said unwilling to let it go, Amon.

"Let's see how much time would last that aptitude of you doggy". Replied full of confidence a sheltered Botis before taking a nap.


The next heartbeat was only heard by Akin and a smile blossom in his lips as he saw the fire blazing around his heart. After hours of endless self-torture he finally finished refining his body with fire, and the gains where beyond his expectations. The past hearbeat was the first of his own 'Burning Heart', from now on, the fire spritual energy would be running through his blood, keeping his body clean of impurities. And along with his others 'Burning' organs he would be able to refine with fire anything he breathed or ate, meaning he woud had an almost pure body.

But Akin didn't stopped refining his body yet, he next started using the darkness to absorb any impurities which could remain inside his body, this method came from whom he was sure now, was Amon's Father. It wasn't as fancy as the Star Furnace, instead and as he was using it along with the Cloak of Darkness, nobody would notice what he was doing.

Thousand of needles made of darkness were nailing into his body but despite, he didn't feel any pain, in fact it was a wonderful feeling as if darkness was a part of him or as if he was a child in the embrace of his mother.

"Let's move". He said caressing the head of the still unwilling to let Botis go, Amon. But what could he do if the snake choose to ignore him.

Akin should be happy, as someone walking the inmortals path, the gains from this time were enough to give him a bright start in the path of energy refining. But there was this dreadful feeling he was having since his visit to Mammon's Greed, this feeling which made him refine his body ahead of time when he wanted to wait for finishing some of Habib's matter before doing so.

The feeling which he could call a premonition, a bad premonition and he was hoping earnestly for life to probe him wrong.

SoyNegro SoyNegro

well Amon evolved and he is not OP..next chapter may some people hate me...

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