As the pack of Grey Storm Wolves edged ever closer, Shin and the rest of the constables braced for impact. Although they were facing a direct attack from a bunch of savage beasts, every single one of the constables stayed calm. Throughout their entire career, they had faced multiple situations such as this one and fighting a few Grey Storm Wolves was one of the easier challenges that they had encountered.
“*Whoosh!!!*.” Being imbued with high amounts of elemental wind energy, the Storm Wolves were one of the fastest land Spirit Beasts there was. Speeding down towards the downed convoy, the pack of beasts viciously aimed at the delicious flesh of their prey.
“Stupid beasts, do we really look like lunch to you?!” A crease formed at on the shiny forehead of the constable officer as he violently hollered out. He was pissed off that they were being underestimated.
“Men!!! Mind your heads!!!” Warning everyone in the vicinity, the constable captain gathered a humongous fireball above his head and threw it straight at the pack of beasts. Moving at a speed equivalent to that of a fastball, the mass of fire was viciously aimed at the centre of the pack. Unfortunately, the Grey Storm Wolves were one of the most elusive and agile Spirit Beasts in the region. Scattering into smaller packs, the wolves effortlessly evaded the large-scale attack.
“Idiots, that’s what I wanted you to do!!!” Once they had been divided, the other constables and able-bodied healers sprung into action. With their Spirits unleashed, they proceeded to wreak havoc amongst the split up wolf pack.
Fire spewed and water sliced. Earth pounded, and lightning stuck. All sorts of elemental abilities were on full display as humans fought beasts. One of the Grey Storm Wolves signature attacks was to call forth razor sharp wind blades that could slice even the sharpest of swords. Naturally, every single one of the fighters present was aware of said ability and made the necessary precautions to protect themselves in the event that they were hit by it. Thankfully, due to the disorder created by the constable officer, the Grey Storm Wolves were still disoriented and were in the midsts of recovery, giving them a chance to strike at maximum strength without worrying about the ramifications from over-extending.
“Stay close, Kesyl…” Shin blurted out softly while fixing his gaze upon the beasts that were heading to his direction.
It didn’t take long for one rogue wolf to slip past the cracks of the constables’ defences and launch an attack on the young teen. Since Shin was of a smaller build compared to the others nearby, the wolf must have assumed that the young boy was an easy prey for lunch.
“Dumb beast…” Lightly cursing the Grey Storm Wolf, Shin manipulated two of the water orbs to move in front of him.
Gradually, the two spheres met and formed into a different shape altogether. A thin wall, entirely composed by Shin’s created water, barred the beast from coming any closer. From his back, the three remnant water spheres turned into eight water tendrils, making Shin resembled a spider that was stalking its prey.
After facing many situations where he was forced to let others protect him, Shin had decided to put his foot down. In the one and a half years since he was targeted by the Black Masks, he had changed his training methods to fuel his combative side, as it was severely lacking as compared to someone like Ariel. As a result, he experimented on various ways to increase his combat ability. One of which was the spider form that he was currently adopting.
By combining a strong defence with an offence that could control his enemy, Shin would expertly decimate his foes by either wearing them down or drowning them with his created water. Shin’s greatest asset was neither Heal nor was it his physical prowess, but the first ability that he disdained when he first awakened it. Creating water and manipulating it seemed to be a straightforward ability where the most the user could do was ensure that he retained an infinite water source. However, the number of variations and possibilities that the ability possessed was virtually endless.
Unlike Junius’ ‘Pierce’ or Ariel’s ‘Lava Puddle,’ the fact that Shin could essentially make a thousand attacks from one ability made him the superior Spirit User. That was if he was proficient in using it.
The Grey Storm Wolf closed in the distance between them in a blink of an eye. Baring its talon-like fangs, the beast attempted to break through the thin layer of water that seemed to be easily passable. However, for some reason, the moment it made contact with the wall, its teeth got stuck, and the wolf lost all of its momentum.
Struggling to escape from the grasp of the water wall, the wolf flailed its muscular legs about as its claws scratched the viscous surface of the wall. Unfortunately, since it was made entirely from water, any damage done to the wall would be immediately repaired in the next second.
“Hmph! I like dogs, but wolves that think that I am just a piece of meat really pisses me off.” Shin snapped at the wolf. Evidently, he had some bad prior experiences when it came to wolf beasts.
Now that the Grey Storm Wolf was caught in his trap, Shin could now lay down his cold judgement. Turning the ends of the spider legs into thick human fists, the pissed off youth ferociously slammed the water fists down upon the beast, as if he was beating down some dough.
“*BOOM!* *BOOM!* *BOOM!*.” Thundering blasts shook the floor, drawing the attention of all those nearby. Sparing no mercy, Shin hammered down on the beast, causing its bones to break and tendons to snap. Since the Grey Storm Wolf needed to be as agile and quick as possible, it bore very few defensive mechanisms such as thick fur or armoured flesh. Therefore, Shin didn’t need to expend much effort to completely decimate his enemy.
After taking hundreds of fists, the Grey Storm Wolf had turned as flat as a pancake, with not a semblance of life amidst its eyes. Controlling one of his water tendrils to form a shape of a human hand, Shin grabbed the dead carcass and flung it far away to one side.
“Healer Shin… To think that you had such a barbarous side to you…” Kesyl gulped in fear. She was used to seeing the gentle Shin, who cared dearly about his patients. It was weird to see such a drastic change in the healer Kesyl had respected so much.
“Kesyl, if it’s too crazy for you, I don’t mind if you close your eyes…” Playfully winking at the young girl, Shin offered up a suggestion.
“No! I can take it! Please, don’t worry about me, Healer Shin!” Immediately taking back her statement that she had uttered in a daze, Kesyl immediately flushed in embarrassment.
“Haha, just don’t push yourself too much.” Diverting his attention back onto the battlefield, Shin smiled as he tried to reassure his junior, seemingly forgetting that she was about the same age as he was.
Now that the Grey Storm Wolves were spread out, it was much easier for the constables to take out the beasts one by one. Thinning out the pack, the constables ensured that the healers and injured were well-protected and soon, the number of beasts had been halved.
“Keep it up! We are almost done with them!” The constable officer barked out, satisfied with his men performance.
Although there were some Grey Storm Wolves that slipped past the cracks in their defences, for the most part, the constables were holding back over ninety per cent of the beasts. For those wolves that managed to break through the defensive line, they were utterly smashed by the combative healers, such as Shin, preventing them from tasting the flesh of the injured that they had come to save.
“Hoho… Looks like Healer Shin is really unloading huh…” A gravelly voice softly spoke out.
Standing at the forefront of the combative Healers, a lean and medium-build man folded his arms in akimbo as he gazed at Shin’s direction with his pure hazel eyes. Looking no more than forty, the middle-aged man retained his head full of burgundy hair, which was uncommon for men his age. Wrinkles that should have been more defined had been made less significant, indicating that he was in the pink of health.
“Healer Rahwil?” A nearby apprentice called out to the middle-aged man, confused that he had taken his eyes off the battle to stare at the black-haired youth.
“No, it’s nothing… As expected as the disciple of the infamous Lady Seph. At his age, not only is he a skilled healer, but his combat ability is also not one to be scoffed at… To think that I could only get to see a talent like that appear in these peaceful times.” Healer Rahwil shook his head.
The Healer’s Association had a defined hierarchy that reflected the skillsets of those in each level. At the bottom-most layer, were the apprentices. Typically assistants to certified healers, the apprentices were the equivalent of a live-in disciple, and they learned the art of healing through the guidance of their masters. Once an apprentice had gained enough knowledge and experience, they could attempt to learn the staple ability of any healer, ‘Heal.’ Unfortunately, due to the complexities that came with learning ‘Heal,’ only one in five apprentices are able to add that supernatural ability into their arsenal before they turned twenty.
If an apprentice had successfully learned ‘Heal,’ they could register for their healing license so that they could be officially accredited as a novice healer. Should they wish to continue on the path of the healer, they must work in a recognised clinic or military medical facility for ten full years and learn another ability pertaining to their treatments. Only then would they be promoted to an intermediate healer, and the pattern continues. The ranks are as follows:
Apprentice → Novice Healer → Intermediate Healer → Senior Healer → Registrar → Elder Healer → Divine Healer.
As their title suggests, for novice healers to senior healers, they are all physicians with incremental healing abilities. A registrar, on the other hand, is a top healer that was bestowed with a management position in the Healer’s Association. Typically responsible for overseeing an entire region of healers, the Registrar was a position that was coveted every single doctor that joined the craft.
If the Registrar gained enough prestige and reached a threshold in the art of healing that impressed the top brass of the Healer’s Association, then the healer would be promoted to the Elder Healer position and would be able to influence future decisions that the organisation might take.
For the final level, the Divine Healer, only those who had done undisputable meritorious tasks for the Healer’s Association could be bestowed that title. Only the resident Spirit Saint, Her Holiness Althea, has the right to decide who gains the title that every single healer lusts for. In the modern day, there were only six breathing Divine Healers.
“Perhaps I’m looking at the birth of the next Divine Healer…” Healer Rahwil muttered to himself, with a tinge of envy in his voice. Being a Senior Healer, it was natural for him to aim high. Unfortunately, he was well aware of his capabilities.
The more Rahwil climbed up the ladder, the more crushed he got. The talents of those at the top were terrifying. So terrifying that the closer he got to the top, the more he wished to give up. Even if he had twice the lifespan of his peers, there was no way he could bridge the gap between those freaks of nature. However, even amongst those monsters, there were none that could even begin to match the talent that was Shin.
The most horrific thing about Shin wasn’t his spiritual abilities or godlike cultivation rate, but his monstrous comprehension ability. He could fully assimilate hundreds of pages of medical journals within a day, something that even Healer Rahwil couldn’t do, with his decades of experience. Now that Shin was already at the peak of Rank 16, he was on track to break into the Rank 20 Spirit Core realm before he turned sixteen, further cementing his legacy as the most talented healer in history.
While Rahwil was busy theorising about Shin’s future prospects, the young boy had taken on another Grey Storm Wolf. Turning the ends of his water tendrils into sharp blades, Shin brutally stabbed into the savage beast, severing its four limbs in a matter of seconds. Although his grey robes were free from impurities due to his excellent defences, no one present could deny that the youth stunk of death.
“Hah… We should finish up before I get more depressed…” Letting out a deep sigh, Healer Rahwil quickly mauled down another Grey Storm Wolf with the full intention of finishing the entire beast pack.