47 The Journey To Afrov
After everyone was full, people went back to what they were doing; looking for a way to kill time before they reached Afrov.
There were a bunch of coffee chairs and tables, which would be perfect for idling the time away comfortably. Or perhaps the endless supply of cards and board games, tucked under the lounge's various cabinets, could be put to use. If all else failed, everyone could just go back to their rooms and play on their computers.
However, Jam didn't want to do any of these pointless exercises. He would go along with his friend's ideas up to a certain point. So, Jam told them flat out "Guys I'll play, but only for a couple hours."
After a certain period of time studying his friends lifestyles, Jam understood that he wasn't as extremely talented as he once though he was. That didn't mean he wasn't talented; of course not. Rather, he was now understanding just how broken his friends were as well! All of the core disciples, including Arnold and Evangeline, spent most of their time playing games! To Jam who only knew cultivation, their lack of disciple was evident. He could swear that all of them would be countless time stronger if they spent less than half their time playing games and instead on cultivation. But what could he expect? They were just kids; ten or so year old kids...
Evangeline was the first to respond to Jam "Alrighty then, lets play an action game!"
Kirin and Arnold voiced their assent; the fighter trio would obviously enjoy a good fighting game. However, there were other people — Rina, Cynthia, and Alex — who were opposed to Evangeline's request to play an action game; those softies would rather do something less "stressful."
Evangeline didn't understand why these people were giving their opinions, as she was talking solely towards Jam. 'Who the fuck do these people think they are? Am I even talking to them right now?' Even though her arrogant nature had been turned down a few pegs, she still didn't accept the other core disciples around her.
Jam noticed that Evangeline was annoyed, and that she was about to say something — probably demeaning — towards his friends, so he quickly sent her an energy transmission.
"Evangeline! Those are our friends." Friends in the cultivation world were supposed to be treasured or something. Jam couldn't really remember Tzatziki's exact words, but the message was ingrained in his mind; that's a lie... as a cultivator he could remember how many drops of rain came down during a storm, to say nothing about a simple mantra.
This simple sentence stopped Evangeline in her tracks, and she turned away from the rest of the core disciples in the room, swallowing her words. This little episode took place in just several moments, and by the time it was over, the rest of the core disciples expressed which games they wanted to play.
Rina wanted to play a rhythm based game, Cynthia wanted to play a strategy game, and Alex wanted to play a card game. Jam didn't want to potentially harm the relationships he had "painstakingly" built up with his friends, thus he suggested that they all play the same game at the same time.
In the end, it was decided that all of them would play an action game, since it had the most "votes." With that being decided, everyone returned to their rooms, and booted up their computers to play the action game.
This was Jam's first time using a virtual reality capsule, so Evangeline had to help him out. Eventually, everything was setup and ready to go. When Jam started the program, the world turned black for a moment. In the next moment, Jam was in a white space with a screen popping up in front of him.
This white space and screen were the dashboard to Jam's virtual reality console, and he would be able to navigate through it to play games. Jam was still trying to understand how to use the dashboard, when all of a sudden a notification popped up. It was a friend request from Shinestar and Returning Void, also known as Rina and Evangeline respectively.
Jam was presented with a yes/no prompt, and touched the yes, before being able to hear Evangeline and Rina's voiced through the void.
Rina said "Jam can you hear me?"
"Yes, now what do I do?"
Rina told Jam how to navigate through the dashboard, and soon enough, Jam was able to start the action game. The game was called God's Quest, and unlike most games, there was no start screen, or character customization. Instead, Jam just appeared in the world of God's Quest, looking exactly the same as how he did in the real world.
Jam was very impressed with the world, as he couldn't tell the difference between the virtual world and the real world. Now he just had to meet up with the rest of his friends. To accomplish this, he would rely on the voice chat to find them.
Jam could still talk to Rina and Evangeline. As a matter of fact, Evangeline explained to Jam that he could spawn a near transparent map in front of his view, where he could locate Rina and Evangeline through their icons.
Jam followed her instructions and located Evangeline in his map. The map allowed Jam to set her icon as a waypoint, so that he could follow directions to her, without looking at the map. Jam was surprised to see that he still had all the abilities he possessed in the real world, which included flight.
Since that was the case, Jam flew over to where Evangeline was. Next to Evangeline, were the rest of the core disciples.
Now that all of them were together, everyone had their IGTs on top of their heads. So Jam added the rest of his friends on his friends list — with the help of Evangeline — learning their Daoist names at the same time.
Jam already knew Evangeline and Rina's Daoist names, but Kirin, Alex, Cynthia, and Arnold's names were all new to him. Kirin was called Daoist Thunderscape — very unoriginal as it was just the name of his superpower. Alex was called Daoist Earthsin. Cynthia's Daoist name was Daoist Clearwind. Last but not least, Arnold called himself Daoist Jinxsynth.
Arnold's Daoist name was so random and unorthodox... Jam just had to ask him about it. He said "Arnold why'd you call yourself Daoist Jinxsynth?"
Arnold was used to others asking this question, but Jam's Daoist name was equally random, so he just retorted with "Why do you call yourself Daoist Purple Sunshine?"
"Touche." Jam said. It made sense that if he could have a random Daoist name, others could as well. After Jam's little talk with Arnold, Evangeline told Jam what they would be doing in the game.
"You wanted to know what we will be doing in the game, so I'll tell you. In God's quest, our avatars are all carbon copies of our real life bodies. This means all of your strength and abilities are still usable in virtual reality.
This game is a skill based action game, where you go around fighting with other people and NPCs (Non-Player Characters) to improve your skills and earn the game's currency. Since we're in a virtual world, all threats of death are eliminated, so we can fight to our hearts content!
Because this is a skill based game, everyone possess the same cultivation base — everyone is at the Core Formation Stage. Therefore, the only variables that determine victory in this game are Dao Cultivation and strategy."
Jam asked "Does that mean that the Dao insights I get in this world will apply to the real world?"
Evangeline confirmed "Yes!"
"Well, why didn't you say so before? If I'd known that was the case, I would happily spend time in this "game." Being able to fight to the death — while not being at the risk of death itself — is the best way to get Dao insights anyways."
And so, Jam and the gang passed their time playing God's Quest. If they weren't fighting each other, they would be fighting other people logged into virtual reality, or dealing with NPCs.
Now that Jam knew that he could perfect his skills in virtual reality, as well as get Dao insights, he would play with his friends daily, to pass the time on the spaceship. Unfortunately, in an effort to pacify everyone on the spaceship, everyone would play the same game at the same time, resulting in Jam having to waste time playing board games and card games.
On the third day aboard the spaceship, Jam decided to make the breakthrough into Soul Fusion. This would be a perilous trial, as even the slightest mistake would result in severe and prolonged damage to Jam's soul.
After a cultivator reached the peak of Soul Condensing — possessing a soul the same size as their body — they could begin integrating the incorporeal soul with the corporeal body.
The Soul Fusion Stage was split into three phases of integration with the soul. A cultivator could not stop the process of integration midway through, or they would face brutal and immediate consequences.
Jam warned everyone on the ship not to disturb him as he was going to breakthrough, before starting the process. There was no need for supplements like pills or arrays, as those would not help Jam complete the fusion in any way.
The process of fusing the soul with the body, involved Jam having to superimpose his soul atop his physical body, and begin synchronizing the two as one. Because Jam cultivated his body as well, he had no problems breaking through the first phase of the Soul Fusion Stage.
Body cultivation made the Soul Fusion stage of cultivation much easier for Jam, as he found that he could reach the second phase of synchronization as easily as the first. Jam wasn't the type to waste time, so he finished the first two phases of the Soul Fusion Stage in one session.
Alas, he didn't have the confidence to finish the last phase in this session, so he stopped. He would attempt to complete the last phase after he solidified his cultivation, in a couple days or perhaps weeks.
Now that Jam was at the Soul Fusion Stage — he was in the intermediate phase to be exact — Jam could upgrade his essences and secondary occupations to Tier 4.
Jam was pretty worn out from the succession of breakthroughs he had completed today, and decided to take a break. He would finish upgrading his essences and secondary occupations — except his Beast Taming, that couldn't be improved unless he had beasts to tame — during the next couple days, while they were still flying to Afrov.
To no one's surprise, before Jam's group reached Afrov, Jam upgraded all his secondary occupations to Tier 4. Jam restocked all his pills, and upgraded all his existing formations — as well as Evangeline's formations.
Jam mastered his control over the demonic skill, Intent. With his current cultivation, Jam could affect even Saint Grandmasters with his Intent. He also mastered the Spirit Realm section of Solar Upheaval — causing his Yang Dao cultivation to reach Dao Contact. At the moment the Solar Upheaval technique gave Jam access to pure yang beams, pure yang arrows — as a substitute to stellar arrows — and Yang Fire Combat Armor — as a variant of his regular Fire Combat Armor.
Because yang energy could be used in direct cultivation, Jam's Dao Palace had changed to include yang Dao runes. Jam was worried that this would make his cultivation needlessly difficult, but after consulting Tzatziki, these worries were gone. Tzatziki examined Jam's Dao Place — with Jam's permission of course, he wouldn't be able to do so otherwise — and concluded that Jam's constitution was naturally aligned with yang.
This meant two things. One, once Jam used the Innate Constitution Technique of the Innate Technique Set, he would unlock an innate constitution aligned with yang energy. And two, cultivating with yang energy would not needlessly restrict Jam's cultivation. Jam would be able to progress as long as five of his — Fire, Thunder, Stellar, Space, Time, and Yang — energies reached the required Dao Cultivation.
Since Yang cultivation would now be part of Jam's primary Daos to cultivate, Jam adjusted his equipment to have Yang Dao Runes; now that he was a Tier 4 artifact refiner, his artifacts could support up to eight types of energy. Jam's armor and gauntlets were now made of space, time, thunder, fire, stellar, and yang Dao Runes. While Jam's Stellar Bow, now had stellar and yang Dao runes — now Jam would call his Stellar Bow, the Stellar Yang Bow.
Last but not least, Jam reached Dao Infusion for the Stellar Dao. With five of Jam's primary cultivation Daos having reached Dao Infusion, Jam's Dantian Space and Dao Palace started changing; the runes began to constantly emit a soft light, and became more detailed.