74 Chapter 74: Five years later

Ever since my first failed attempt at creating a soul space, five years had passed. A long of things had changed in the past years, my body had grown even larger. I was still nowhere near my mother or my grandfather's height yet I had certainly grown taller, and I wasn't the only one.

Sidus and Immy had grown a lot as well, both of them still looked like twins with opposite scale colors, Ynos got more muscular than ever, his body strength was able to pierce through a damn small plain with ease. Essie on the other hand was still the shortest out of all of us, she still very much enjoyed settled down on top of my head, between my horns.

Everyone had grown stronger throughout the last few years, little Essie's control over wind mana was incredible, so much that she was able to move our entire mountain using it. Granted, she only managed to gently nudge it, rather than push it, but that was still a testimony of her strength.

Sidus became almost impossible to find during the night. He would use the shadows to his will, wielding them to hide his presence. I had seen him hunt countless oblivious monsters that way, and It still brought shivers down my spine each time I did. He would silently creep behind them, and by the time they noticed, It was already too late.

His fighting style was no longer as straightforward as It was when we were just kids, he became much more calculative, with a nasty habit of toying with his prey. No matter the difference in strength between them, Sidus always seemed to enjoy making his prey tremble with unease, afraid of where he might pop out next.

'Truly a nasty habit,' I shook my head with a sigh, the water of the lake below jumping about around me as I laid basking under the warm sun. My mind soon wandered back to my siblings and how much they grew. Ynos' obsession with training his physical body went beyond the realm of ordinary.

He would purposely refrain from using his magic and hunt his prey using his physical strength alone. I had berated him about It when he first began this training but eventually gave up seeing how he seemed to have his mind set on the matter. I did not know how he did It exactly, but every day he would come back home with his body littered with wounds, and even missing some scales.

He also picked up a nasty habit of hunting down fairies as his favorite pastime and keeping their tiny skulls on his side of the cave. I honestly had no idea where he even found so many, as I never once stumbled upon one in the past five years, while he managed to fill up an entire corner with their skulls, forming a miniature pyramid of sorts.

Immy was the one who did not change much in the last few years, she would still spend most of her days dozing off at the entrance while basking under the sun. The only time she ever moved was when It was her turn to hunt. Speaking of which, another person that never moved was my mother.

I didn't know why exactly, but mother spent all of her time sleeping, while Immy would go for the occasional hunt, mother on the other hand would sleep for months on end. Another strange thing was that I did not get to see our father in the past five years, not even once.

I had asked my mother about It once, and she replied by saying something about a task assigned to him by grandfather where he had to take care of some mission far away. For some reason, the conversation grandfather had with the other adult dragons I overheard all those years back came to my mind. 'I guess It must have to do something with the adult brown dragon of that time,'

Another noteworthy thing was that I finally managed to understand the geography of our surroundings and It went as followed. We were born in a giant barren mountain somewhere to the east of our current floating home. If I want to visit our birthplace, I would have to head east until I get out of the forest, there I will find the ancient city, I was strictly forbidden by my mother to go near there, hence that was the 'borders' for the current me.

Yet I still remembered the first time we left our birthplace when mother and father brought us to our home, we had passed by a grey mountain range where we met some strange shadowy monster. I had my speculations about those abominations, especially considering how they looked similar to the shades I met on my naming ceremony, though a lot weaker than those.

'I guess that would make sense why mother is not allowing us to go there,' I mumbled in understanding. So east was as followed, forest, ancient city, grey barren mountain range, and then our birthplace.

Now directly to our west, in the middle of the dense forest, on the other hand, was the giant lake where I spent most of my time, further west was the ancient battlefield where I had met Amanita. I wasn't sure what was down south, as the thick forest seemed to extend endlessly.

Turning my head north, however, was the direction of the mountain of beginning, the Dragon road, and the King's temple. That was the general idea of our surroundings. An interesting thing to note was the monster populace, the closer we are to our floating mountain, the fewer monsters we encounter, whilst the further we head away from It the more frequent the monster sightings become, with some especially strong ones near the borders east, and south.

The thing all of these strong monsters I encountered had in common was that a certain part of their body was obsidian in color, similar to that of the shades, It felt almost as If they were tainted by something. A yawn escaped my mouth as I stood up and stretched my body, I then unruffled my wings and launched myself into the air, lazily making my way back home.

Ever since that dreaded day five years ago, I had never once forgotten the excruciating pain I felt when my soul space collapsed. It had taken me months before I regained my courage to try again. I had succeeded in creating another one and even learned my limits, yet unfortunately, It was not long before I messed up again and was left bedridden for another day, the pain was more bearable that time.

This cycle continued a few times, with me recreating my space and then biting off more than I could chew, causing It to collapse again. But with each failure, I would learn something new, and I'd further understand my limits. And so after five long years, I was finally able to somewhat master my control over my soul space.

I was able to reach a balanced state where my mana would constantly feed my soul space, strengthening It every day. I could now easily jump In and out of It and was even able to use It against some of the weaker monsters. It turns out that an attack with my soul space is in shorts, dragging my opponent's soul towards this space I created, and destroying them completely.

The most important thing to note was that my soul had to be stronger than my opponent otherwise If they managed to break free, the backlash from that could quite possibly be fatal according to my mother. Hence why throughout the past years, I took extra care in choosing my opponents and testing my newfound power against them.

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