" Do this cave even have an end?", Max mumbled. It has already been 5 minutes since he had entered this place through the crack in the rocky terrain.
This place was covered with green wines and there was nothing else but puddles of water in the cave which may be due to the river overflowing in rain.
After walking a bit, Max started to feel the mana growing thinner and thinner. It wasn't being sucked away or anything. But it was more like the mana was drifting away from the inside of the cave.
" What could it be?", Max mumbled hesitating whether to venture further into the cave.
' I don't know my way out of this place. Even if it's dangerous, I have to check it out. It might give me some idea.'
Max thought before entering his stealth stance and slowly moving in without making a noise.
As Max slowly moved in, he felt pure energy in the surroundings. The energy gushed past Max's body opening all his pores. Max felt his cells reacting to the energy as they quivered in excitement.
" T-This... "
After a while, Max finally realised something.
It was Flow energy.
" Why is it so pure? I couldn't even identify at first. But this feeling, I am sure….", Max mumbled as he began to revolve the Ancient Manual and drew the energy in.
" Whoosh! "
The Flow energy in the surrounding rushed towards Max engulfing him in a storm. When the first strand of energy entered Max's body, he knew that he had f*cked up.
Max immediately cut off his connection with the energy outside. But it was already too late. Even though he had only absorbed a single strand of energy, it was so pure that the moment Max drew the energy in using the First Layer of the Ancient Manual, it exploded like fireworks.
Max cursed as he felt an intense pain coursing through his body. His veins swelled under the tension of the excess energy coursing through his body.
The vein on Max's forehead bursted out under the pressure covering his entire face in blood.
' No..not good!! I will die if I don't absorb it.'
Max pushed the Ancient Manual to its limit making it revolve faster than ever.
Several more nerves burst out and things became dire. Max started to feel dizzy due to such a large amount of blood loss.
' No...don't sleep...hang in..it will be over if I…'
Max continued to scream within himself as he let out his wings bringing in everything he had to hang in there.
But it wasn't enough...Max slowly felt the surrounding turning dim. It didn't seem he could hold in any longer, the Ancient Manual which was revolving started to lose its momentum.
When Max felt that he was going to faint, he felt cool energy rejuvenating his senses.
Max immediately found his senses coming back. But it wasn't permanent, he knew that he would die anyway if he didn't do something about the excessive energy in his body.
And now it only looked like he had only one option…
Max turned to his spirit energy. He used the unknown circulation method and began revolving the spirit energy around his body.
' It can consume lower grade energy like mana...even though Flow energy is one grade higher...I hope that it doesn't let me down…'
Max knew that the First Layer of Ancient Manual wasn't enough to completely absorb the energy and so he could only grit his teeth as he pushed the spirit energy in his body to its limit.
And it worked….it seemed that the Spirit energy was even stronger than Flow. It slowly started to eat away the Flow energy and Max finally saw hope for his survival.
After an hour….
Max could finally move his body. The amount of pure flow energy had decreased quite a lot. And the Spirit energy in his body had increased by 30% too. But it still wasn't enough to refine his core once more.
" Damn! I expected to have another breakthrough...isn't that how it happens in novels..", Max tried to lighten his own mood by cracking a joke.
But it seemed that it wasn't so easy to make a breakthrough. It looked like every breakthrough would make it even more difficult to progress forward.
Max lay down carefully and finally had time to look at his wound. The blood from his wounds was slowing down. And now that the excess energy has been absorbed, it shouldn't take much time to stop.
" It's healing faster than I imagined. Does this variant element provide low-level regeneration too?", Max mumbled in curiosity.
It looked like he had more than just a flying ability and heightened senses.
" I should rest a bit and recover. I don't know what might be ahead. But, Flow energy really gave me quite a surprise. I can't wait to see what is in there."
Max closed his eyes and decided to enter his spirit world.
" Ah...this place is really refreshing.", Max said as he took a deep breath in.
" Hm..where is Sera?"
Max turned his head around. But he couldn't see her around.
" Sera! "
Max called out loud and after a moment, Sera emerged from the bushes and came running down towards him.
" Good girl! Where were you Sera?", Max patted her head before asking.
Max suddenly noticed that there was a centipede-like creature following Sera around.
Max thought of scaring it away. But to his surprise, Sera turned around and grabbed the creature bringing it towards Max with a sweet smile on her face.
" Ah!..um..is this your friend Sera?", Max asked with a forced smile.
Max really didn't know what to say anymore. He really had left her alone to the point where she made an insect into her friend.
Kids should be afraid of such things right….
' I should probably spend some time with her and while at that, I can teach her how to communicate too.'