Once they had sat down and gotten comfortable, Nito made some tea. It was actually a nice tasting tea with a minty aftertaste. Nito started the conversation by asking what had brought her here. Zoey saw no reason to hide what happened, and told him what had happened over the last day, leaving out the bits about her coming from another universe.
After hearing her tale about the noble Markus Rellen and the chase by the black clothed man, Nito showed a disgusted look on his face. From what he said, the noble house of Rellen were the the overlords of the city Colten. Everything in the city was ruled and controlled by them. Anything they wanted, they took regardless of the situation.
When Zoey wondered what could possibly have made them come after her, Nito turned thoughtful. After a moment he got up and started rummaging around in his stuff. a moment later he returned holding a clear crystal in his hand. He had Zoey hold the crystal and simply send her magic energy into it. The moment she did, the entire crystal lit up with a molten lava like radiance that filled up Nito's small home. It was as if they were staring into the heart of a volcano. Inside the molten fury, Zoey could see a single point of a deep, cold, blue.
Nito was stunned once he saw the crystal's reaction. Zoey was surprised as well, but she still did not know what caused it. After taking a moment to recover, Nito explained the best he could. The crystal was known by most as a Heritage crystal. It was a common tool used by people to test their Heritage type and strength. The reaction of the crystal would reveal the Heritage of a person and allow others to know its type and strength.
This test was usually conducted as soon a a child could learn how to control their magic. Needless to say, the strength of your Heritage would determine the treatment you would receive growing up on Darren. Powerful or unique Heritages would lead to a life of opulence and riches, with great teachers fighting over who got to train the newest prodigy. Having a weak Heritage, would only lead to you being tossed aside, just another speed bump for the more privileged and lucky.
Once Nito explained all this to Zoey he then went on to reveal why he thought she had been chased back in Colten. He said that some members of his race, the Vekt, had an ability that allowed them to identify a very specific and unique type of Heritage. This was a Heritage that rarely appeared, and most commonly appeared in females. It was known as a Harmonic Heritage.
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Basically, a person that had a Harmonic Heritage could be used - either willing or unwilling - as a tool to vastly increase magical strength through a special technique known as a Union Technique. This made any person that was born with a Harmonic Heritage an extremely valuable and sought after resource for the powerful magic users of Darren. By using someone with a Harmonic Heritage and the Union Technique, one would increase in strength at an unimaginable rate.
Nito said that most Heritage types that had been revealed to be Harmonic in nature had already been claimed by the noble houses on Darren, allowing them to rise to power. Any time a new Harmonic Heritage was discovered, it would nearly cause a war between the nobles trying to claim the prize.
Nito seemed a little puzzled though. He acknowledged that Zoey's Heritage was indeed powerful, as displayed by the reaction of the crystal, but Harmonic Heritages were normally identified by a blue color variation, and Nito had not seen that when she held the crystal. In response, Zoey held the crystal again and pointed out the small deep blue point inside the sea of molten lava. Once again, Nito was stupefied. Having two Heritages was unheard of on Darren, and Zoey appeared to have exactly two. Remembering that she had seen this when she first checked her info, Zoey called up her interface and took a look.
[HERITAGE AND ELEMENTAL AFFINITY INFO
[HERITAGE| Dark Star Runic Heritage: Tier Unknown | Gaia Human: Tier 3 Harmonic
[ELEMENTAL AFFINITY| Cold: Harmonization 25% | Dark: Harmonization 15% | Unknown: Harmonization 2% ]
There was now a Harmonic tag next to her Gaia Human Heritage. Additionally the unknown element she had affinity with had increased by 1%.
Seems like the molten lava color the Heritage crystal was her Dark Star Runic Heritage, and the deep blue was the Gaia Human Heritage.
Zoey asked Nito if there was a way to hide her Harmonic Heritage from detection by any Vekt that had the skill to detect it. He said that there was a way, but it would need the blood of a powerful magic creature that was at least Rank 4.
Apparently all magical creatures and people on Darren were ranked 1 to 9 on how powerful their magic essence was. Zoey was rank one, having never really used her magic before. She would have to either meditate, consume the magic essence from another creature, or use a secret technique to increase her strength.
Each rank would come with a exponential increase in power and capability, and your innate talents would also get stronger, often getting additional effects or abilities.
The good news was, Zoey was in a location that was teeming with all manner of magical creatures. Nito explained that they were currently in a place known as the Exile Frontier. The city of Colten was actually a defence point against the Exile Frontier, intended to keep the vicious magical creature attacks at bay, and preventing them from reaching the peaceful towns that it protected.
When Zoey had arrived, she had been in the protected area to the east of the city. Now she was in the wild, untamed wilderness to the west of the city. Nito also said the name Exile Frontier was due to the large number of fugitives that had fled here. Many were the nasty sort that society did not except or were driven out here fleeing the law, but many more were refugees and escapees running from noble oppression and control.
Nito said that there were even hidden cities out here in the Exile Frontier. These cities were often the only safe location out here and were often protected be extremely powerful exiles that had once been nobles. These exiled nobles were often the last survivors of a noble war that had led to the rise of one family and the downfall of another. Power struggles were not an uncommon thing among these families.
Zoey and Nito's conversation led into the evening. With all the information she had received, Zoey definitely needed a night to process it all. Nito kindly made her a woven mattress and the two gradually fell asleep listening to the lullaby of the forest just outside.