Over the next few days Zoey and Viridi were inseparable. Viridi was quickly gaining strength and agility and her little wings were quickly getting big enough to support her for short glides. She would climb up on Zoey and leap off her shoulder to glide around the clearing while swishing her tail happily. Zoey could clearly feel how much Viridi enjoyed the breeze when she was flying. Through their link Zoey was able to feel the emotions and feelings from her friend, but since she was still so young, Viridi's thoughts were still not very clear.
The two of them were learning much from each other. Zoey discovered that Viridi was more similar to a panther than a cat. Also the dragon portions were becoming more obvious as she grew. There were bony spines growing along her backbone to her tail and the leading edges of her wings were developing into a hard bone surface as well. There was also a raised ridge of bone that went from the top of her forehead to the tip of her nose. The ridges were only barely visible through Viridi's fur and she loved being scratched along the edges of them.
Viridi also proved to be quite the hunter. She did not stray far from the clearing around Nito's house, but she still managed to proudly bring back some avian creatures that were twice her size. She also liked following Zoey when she practiced. To sharpen her skills, Zoey had been leaping through the forest trees from branch to branch, practicing her reaction time and speed while she got used to her new Rank 3 strength. Viridi was not able to keep up at first, but before long she was flashing through the trees almost as fast as Zoey was.
When they were leaping through the trees one day, they were attacked by a feral Rank 1 avian creature known as a Drill Beak. As the name suggested, the bird-like creature used its incredibly hard beak to drill through wood with a rotational movement. It also used the same method to attack anything that pissed it off. When it attacked them, it went for the smaller, weak looking Viridi with an angry dive from above.
Zoey was about to kill the creature when something amazing happened. She felt through the link that Viridi wanted to take care of this herself, so Zoey watched to see what would happen. When the diving Drill Beak was only a meter away from piercing through her, Viridi calmly turned and swiped her tail through the air towards the creature. A shadowy blade formed in the air between Viridi and the avian and in a single swipe, sliced the creature in two.
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Zoey was stunned. She had just witnessed the the small Viridi summon a Shadow Blade and kill a creature tree times her size! Now she was sitting proudly and licking her paws without a care in the world! How had she used one on Zoey's runes? Could she use the other runes as well? Zoey had a multitude of questions! After questioning Viridi through their link she was able to learn that Viridi was able to use almost all of her ability runes! She could use the Ice Venom Rune, the Null Field Rune, the Mittra Regen Rune, the Shadow Blade Rune, and the Ice Armor Rune. The other abilities seemed to be beyond her as Viridi seemed confused when Zoey had asked about them.
So thanks to the fact that Viridi drew her power from Zoey's blood, she was somehow also able to use the abilities that were compatible with her. With this new knowledge, Zoey and Viridi embarked on an entirely new training regiment. They focused on working together and utilizing their abilities in attacks and other situations. With their link, the two were able to create an extremely dynamic offensive and defensive team, and it wasn't long before they were actually reading each other's minds when maneuvering in and out of combat. They could sense where the other was at all times allowing them to attack their targets and defend each other with little effort.
Viridi proved to be a natural at attacking enemy weak points and blind spots. With her ability to fly and extreme agility, she moved around the battlefield and struck when and where the enemy was most vulnerable. It truly was a marvel for Zoey to watch.
During the days when they trained, Zoey took some time to modify her Crystal Claw Bracer with her Shadow Blade rune and her shield array with the Ice Armor rune. Her defence was massively improved with the addition of the Ice Armor, and she could now send out magical Shadow Blades with a swing of her Crystal Claw. Since she had achieved Rank 3 her abilities also seemed stronger than before by a significant margin. She was confident that if she faced the Scythe Mantis Reaper again she would be able to put it down without taking a scratch.
A week after Viridi had hatched, Zoey was relaxing under her customary tree while Viridi purred contentedly in her lap. They had been training hard for the past few days and felt like they deserved the rest. The evening sun was painting the tree tops with its vibrant, fiery colors as it set when Zoey remembered that she still had that unmarked book, the Heritage Manuscript that she had not used yet. She pulled it out and looked at the description again in her interface.
[ITEM: Heritage Manuscript
[DESCRIPTION: A book of unknown origin. Marking this book with your blood will bring forth a technique perfectly tailored for your specific Heritage.
If this actually gave her a technique she could use it would be really nice. She once again cut her thumb and let a few drops of blood drip onto the surface of the book. Viridi was interested in what she was doing and got up to look curiously at her actions. As the blood touched the surface of the book, the black leather cover seemed to warp strangely, then flowed like a liquid into a strange geometric shape and glowed with a deep red. After a moment, it flowed back to match the cover it had before, only this time there was a title on it.
"DARK STAR MANUSCRIPT" was written on the front in large, red letters. The book now felt heavier to Zoey, almost as it it carried a secret that only she was privileged to know. Viridi leaned in to see as Zoey slowly opened the cover to the first page and read the first sentence...
"Dark Star Vision"