37 Close Call
Jam's antics never seemed to stop shocking those around him, as he was looked at with fear and respect from all his peers who had witnessed his "enlightenment;" excluding Evangeline of course. While she didn't fear Jam, she certainly respected him. Yet the look in her eyes gave the impression that she was stalking her prey, while at the same time containing a hint of warmth.
Jam's social retardation was either improving or its limits had been discovered, as he noticed the various strange glares he was receiving from everyone in attendance.
The rest of the events which concluded the hunting competition were normal. Jam said his goodbyes to his now former squadmates. After the competition was over, all the squads were disbanded. Jam also said his goodbyes to Evangeline, Arnold, and Mary.
After concluding with all the formalities, Jam returned back home. He managed to travel to reach his house in less than fifteen minutes, after augmenting his speed to the maximum with his thunder and space abilities.
In his house, Jam took a long awaited rest by sleeping for a total of three hours. After three hours his body was re-energized both physically and mentally. Jam had a lot of things on his agenda.
Jam had to digest all the insights he had gained in his battles in the Delta Heavy Forest. He had to start training the core skills of his various techniques in the Spirit Realm section. Jam had to train his body up to the Bone Realm. He also had to look over the benefits he had gained from the Enlightenment Stone.
The Enlightenment Stone Jam used gave him insights into the Dao of Fire. It pushed Jam's Dao of Fire from the Dao Contact level straight to the edge separating Dao Infusion from Dao Domain. Jam would probably have charged start through the Dao Domain level if his cultivation base were a bit higher; sadly that was not the case.
The Enlightenment Stone also gave Jam insights into the Dao of Fire's aspect of Essence, directly increasing the potency of all his abilities that used fire energy. Jam casted out a Firebolt and determined it was as strong, if not stronger than, his demonic-space beam.
After executing a couple basic fire manipulation exercises, Jam understood more or less the extent of the gains brought by the Enlightenment Stone. After confirming that the stone had increased his Dao Insights with regard to the Dao of Fire, Jam concluded that he had received a Fire Enlightenment Stone.
The academy had records of there being a way to determine the type of insights a cultivator would gain from each stone, but those methods were lost with the passage of time. However, Tzatziki told Jam he knew how to determine what type of Enlightment Stone he came across, should he come across another one in the future.
Tzatziki also told Jam a method to prevent him from unintentionally consuming every Enlightenment Stone he came across. He explained that this phenomenon happens when a superpower outclasses the rank of an Enlightenment Stone by more than two levels in Dao Degree.
This was the reason Sages wouldn't use the Enlightenment Stones for themselves. In the Mortal Plane there were no Enlightenment Stones at the Dao Mastery Level.
Tzatziki also told Jam the type of Enlightenment Stone each of his squadmates had received. Kirin had received an Earth Enlightenment Stone, Alex had received a Fire Enlightenment Stone, Rina had received a Thunder Enlightenment Stone, and Cynthia had received a Wind Enlightenment Stone.
With this information, Jam stopped his plans and immediately rushed to gather Rina, Kirin, and Alex. The information Jam had could help his fellow peers not waste their time, and more importantly not waste three precious Enlightenment Stones.
Jam ran to the Sect Head's office and asked for permission to enter. Even though Jam knew that time was of the essence, Daoist etiquette trimpthed over time; at least that's what the Sect Head would screech at him, if he had the guts to barge into her office.
After being allowed into the Sect Head's Mansion, Jam practically teleported into the Sect Head's office and asked her where Rina's house was located. The Sect Head could tell that Jam was truly concerned and didn't bother asking him why he needed to know where Rina lived. She pointed him the direction of her house, and Jam took off once again.
Once Jam reached Rina's abode, he started frantically knocking on her door. Rina was very annoyed at the noise being generated outside her door. She briskly walked toward her door, preparing to scold who ever was outside making such a racket. She opened the door and saw Jam, and before she could say anything Jam asked her.
"Have you used the Enlightenment Stone yet?"
"Uh… no?" Rina was a bit defensive, thinking that Jam had some bad intentions. Perhaps he would demand she give him, her Enlightenment Stone. After all, the only reason she received a stone was because of Jam in the first place. If he wanted to reclaim all the Enlightenment Stones, no one in their former squad could argue that Jam was out of hand.
Jam breath out a sigh of relief before saying "We need to hurry to Alex and Kirin's houses'."
Rina didn't know why this matter was so urgent, but she complied with Jam anyways.
Rina led the way to Alex's house where a scene similar to the one played outside of Rina's house took place.
"Alex! Have you used your Enlightenment Stone yet?!"
"Nope. Why you wanna tak..." Alex couldn't finish his sentence before Jam grabbed his hand and started rushing towards Kirin's house. With Rina in one hand, and Alex, in another, Jam dragged his two fellow core disciples with him.
Meanwhile at Kirin's house, Kirin was making extensive preparations. He had set up a dozen or so formations, pills of all sorts of colors and sizes surrounded his cultivation cushion, and he had also prepared over a hundred talismans.
The reason Kirin made so many preparation was because he wanted to make sure, he at least got something out of the Enlightenment Stone.
Since he had no clue what type of Dao insights were stored within his Enlightenment Stone, he wanted to make sure that even if he didn't get an Ice or Thunder Enlightenment Stone, he would be able to gain some insights into another Dao, and Minor with it.
Even if you dismissed Kirin's Dao Domain tier superpower, Kirin could still attain his status as a core disciple, because he had unlimited affinity with two different energies, ice and thunder. However, he still had pretty good affinity with a bunch of other energies. Minoring in another Dao was not out of the question for him.
Needless to say, once Kirin's clan heard that Kirin had earned himself an Enlightenment Stone, they sent him the all resources he requested from them.
Kirin bought the pills, and hired some formations experts to set a couple Tier 3 arrays around him, but he made the Talismans himself. Kirin was a well known Talisman's master, he managed to quickly reach Tier 3 as an Inscriptionist, after finishing the competition.
Kirin had just finished all his preparations, and was about to eat his Enlightenment Stone, when a harsh knocking sound assaulted his ears. Kirin was usually friendly and chummy to a fault, but when he was ticked off, hell would be raised.
With eyes that seemed to be possessed by the devil, Kirin opened his door, and the first words he heard come at him were.
"Kirin! Please tell me you haven't consumed your Enlightenment Stone." Jam could see behind Kirin, the very impressive preparation set up for using the Enlightenment Stone.
Kirin was inclined to lie and tell Jam that he had consumed his Enlightenment Stone. That way he would be able to prevent Jam from taking his stone. However, his consciousness, while reluctant, led him to be honest and tell Jam that he was about to consume the stone, but had yet to actually do it.
Jam then smiled and told Rina to give her Enlightenment Stone to Kirin. He told Kirin to give his stone to Alex. He finished by having Alex give his stone to Rina. The three were quite the happy bunch after knowing that Jam had no intention on taking their Enlightenment Stones, but they still wanted to know why he made them rotate the Enlightenment Stones they received.
"I know you're all wondering why I asked you to switch stones. Look, after I fully comprehended the insights in my own Enlightenment Stone, I learned how to tell which Dao insights are insight the Enlightenment Souls; at the very least, I can recognize the Dao signatures inside the Enlightenment Stones of energies I have been exposed to.
Rina originally had a Thunder Enlightenment Stone, Alex had a Fire Enlightenment Stone, and Kirin had an Earth Enlightenment Stone. If I didn't have you guys switch stones, you would have wasted chances for yourselves and for each other!"
Rina, Kirin, and Alex were thoroughly shock, while at the same time ashamed that they had thought Jam would do something as wicked as steal his friends' resources. However it was pretty ridiculous for Jam to claim that he was able to tell what Dao the Enlightenment Stones corresponded to. After all, even the Sect Head couldn't do this.
It was only after Rina, Alex, and Kirin actually refined their now-traded stones, that they found out that Jam was telling nothing but the truth, and believed in him.
They chose to rotate their Enlightenment Stones, because even if Jam was lying to them, the worst case scenario would be them just getting another Enlightenment Stone with an unknown type. But, if Jam was serious and they actually received the type of Enlightenment Stone he said they would receive, it would be nothing but beneficial for them as a collective.
This event had solidified Jam's relationship with these three guys as fully-fledged friends.