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Chaos' Heir

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After the First Impact, the entire humanity had forsaken their political borders and had joined hands to create a united front against alien threats.

The wealthiest people on the planet had initially maintained their influence. Still, the enhancements brought by the mana had slowly moved the power over the human race in the hands of men and women who managed to overcome the limits of their species.

The Global Army slowly came to be after those powerful humans created an alliance and seized the monopoly over everything related to the mana. That organization not only provided the chance to obtain power. It also developed new technologies and techniques that used that energy as their foundation.

Khan only had a general understanding of the Global Army. The restraints placed on his father had never allowed him to spread its secrets. Khan’s knowledge mostly came from what the news said and from his few memories of the wealthy districts of Ylaco.

‘I have so many doubts that Dad has never managed to clear,’ Khan thought as he sat on a few pillows placed on the floor.

The Global Army’s enlistment period happened once a year, but it lasted for a few months. Khan only had a few weeks left to reach the nearest training camp, but he wasn’t in a hurry.

Khan treasured his father’s words. Bret was the smartest man he knew. Ignoring his teachings and warnings would only place Khan at the same level as the stupid soldiers.

Moreover, Khan had seen how threatening the Nak were. The Second Impact had shown him that those aliens could survive the crash of a s.p.a.ces.h.i.+p and still have enough strength to fight entire platoons.

Khan didn’t want to become a common foot soldier. He had suffered too much to remain cornered in the outskirts of Ylaco, handling people who didn’t even know how mana worked.

His reoccurring nightmares had made him unable to forget what he had lost during the Second Impact. The Nak had become his curse, and Khan could only think of one way to get rid of it.

‘I need to hunt to the Nak and get rid of that d.a.m.ned species!’ Khan shouted in his mind to reaffirm his determination.

Khan didn’t really hate the Nak. They were natural enemies of the human race, but he didn’t feel blinding anger controlling his thoughts. He only wanted to experience dreamless nights and grant a better life to his father.

The Nak probably were in the way, so Khan had to fight them. He would think about what he really desired after he managed to get rid of the nightmares.

‘Visualize the mana,’ Khan said in his mind while focusing on his nape.

His birthday was still a few weeks away, so Khan decided to use that time to improve in the visualization technique. He would then try to move the mana once he mastered the first process.

A faint tremor ran through Khan’s spine when he focused on his nape. He could sense that foreign energy had acc.u.mulated on that spot, but he had yet to see it clearly.

As Khan maintained his attention, the mana became clearer. He slowly began to see the azure energy stored in his nape flowing toward his brain.

The effort made Khan sweat. He didn’t know why that simple visualization technique was so tiring, but he would have to suppress his doubts until the enlistment.

‘How can I feel so sleepy already?’ Khan complained when he reopened his eyes. ‘I’m also hungry. Maybe trying to visualize the mana is making me burn more energy than usual.’

Khan went to open one of the cans in his stash. That was the only type of food available in the Slums unless you were willing to eat the roasted rats in the street stalls.

His eyes casually fell on the watch near the holovision when he bent to pick a can from his secret drawer. Shock filled his mind when he noticed that he had spent three whole hours deep into the visualization technique.

‘How is this possible?’ Khan wondered while turning the holovision on and checking whether the watch was wrong.

The watch on the holovision reported the same time. The visualization technique had only lasted for a few minutes in Khan’s mind, but he had actually spent entire hours meditating.

‘My perception is completely off!’ Khan exclaimed. ‘I should be careful from now on. I know how I am. I might end up spending entire days meditating if I don’t keep track of the pa.s.sage of time.’

The reoccurring nightmares had made Khan’s mind quite resilient. He didn’t fear pain, and he didn’t mind exhausting himself as long as he had a purpose. His determination had already surpa.s.sed what ordinary fifteen years old kids could have.

The discovery forced Khan to change his approach. He continued to use the visualization technique, but he set alarms before entering that meditative state.

Days pa.s.sed quickly. Khan never left his home. His routine slowly adapted to his training, and he even added a few physical exercises to respect his father’s directives.

At the end of the first week of training, Khan could visualize the mana in his nape after mere minutes spent meditating. After the second week, Khan could trigger the tremor even without closing his eyes.

‘I guess I should try to move it now,’ Khan thought once he found himself unable to improve his performance in the visualization technique.

Khan closed his eyes and focused on the azure energy acc.u.mulated in his nape, but doubts soon appeared in his mind. He had no idea how to force the mana to move.

‘Maybe my thoughts are enough,’ Khan concluded while focusing even harder on that energy.

Nothing happened, no matter how hard Khan pushed himself. The mana flowed normally toward his mind and body, but he had no power over that energy.

‘Small steps first,’ Khan thought. ‘The mana already moves on its own. I should try to slow down and accelerate its flow before attempting to move it.’

His new approach didn’t immediately give results, but Khan didn’t give up. He continued to go through long mediations to learn how to overcome that challenge.

‘Come on!’ Khan cursed after hearing his alarm ringing. ‘I will turn sixteen in four days. Give me superpowers already!’

Khan ignored the alarm and continued to focus on the mana. A sudden tremor ran through his spine, and the energy finally began to flow faster toward the rest of his body.

A strange sensation filled Khan’s body. A tingling feeling spread through his skin and forced him out of his meditative state.

Khan didn’t know what had happened. The mana had triggered a reaction in his body after it began to flow faster, but it was unclear whether that was a good or a bad thing.

‘Well, it moved at least,’ Khan accepted that outcome before ending his training and filling his stomach.

Khan would have normally wanted to maintain a healthy routine. Yet, he didn’t have to work in those days, and his nightmares made him unwilling to hit the bed.

The new achievement worsened that situation and made Khan dive even deeper into his training. He slept only two nights in the four days before his birthday. He spent the whole time alternating between meditations and physical training.

Once his birthday arrived, Khan ate more than usual and began the preparations for his departure. He had an almost intact bag, so he stuffed it with clothes and food cans before sealing the entrance of his home as best as possible.

Stealing someone else’s house in the Slums was common, but Khan’s father was rather feared. Still, Khan didn’t dare to risk leaving his home open to thieves while Bret was in jail.

‘It’s finally time to leave,’ Khan thought while glancing at his poor-looking home.

Khan felt slightly sad that he couldn’t say a proper goodbye to his father, but their relations.h.i.+p went past those things. They would eventually see each other again.

‘I know in which direction the training camp is,’ Khan thought while inspecting his mental map of the Slums. ‘I have a bit less than a month to reach it. I wonder if the soldiers can give me a ride.’

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