Chapter 184 – Natural Mana
“Turn matter into Mana?” Shang asked in shock.
The Dean nodded.
“That’s how they destroy everything around them. They turn matter and even Elemental Mana into Natural Mana around them. Of course, the degree of their power varies vastly. The weakest ones can only turn Elemental Mana into Natural Mana, but they have difficulties in destroying powerful matter.”
Shang scratched his chin in thought. “And their power source?”
“That’s the thing. It varies.”
“Varies?” Shang asked with a raised eyebrow.
“The weaker ones get weaker as they use their powers, but the ones at the Commander Stage can already create a certain degree of destruction around them without doing anything. Sound familiar?”
Shang nodded as he fell into thought.
‘Both of these things are related to how my Affinity works. Others use their Mana to unleash their Affinity, which means that their Mana is their power source.’
‘Meanwhile, I technically don’t use my own Mana with my Affinity. If I wouldn’t get injured by my Ice and Fire Blasts, I could theoretically unleash them continuously with all their power without ever needing to take a break.’
‘In a way, I’m using the Mana in my surroundings as my power source, which technically means that my power source is as powerful as my surroundings.’
‘The other part is also very similar. Other people and beasts don’t get injured when they use their Affinities. Meanwhile, the weaker Abominations and I do.’
‘It’s because the power isn’t my own. I am channeling someone else’s power, which is why it injures me. Someone with a Fire Affinity can unleash their own fire without any issues, but if another guy throws a fireball at them, they explode all the same.’
Shang remembered the time he had touched the antlers of the Frozen Lake Stag and when he touched the Ice Wood.
‘I also absorbed Ice Mana and turned it into Natural Mana.’
‘However, these two cases could only happen because the Ice Mana was pure. I fought plenty of beasts with an Ice Affinity, and when they use an attack, it still hurt me.’
‘Could have something to do with someone controlling the Ice Mana or not. The Ice Wood was dead, and the Frozen Lake Stag stored pure Ice Mana in its antlers.’
Shang looked at the ceiling.
‘I guess I could theoretically absorb an Ice Mage’s Ice Mana as long as it is stored outside their body. Of course, that won’t happen.’
“My Affinity doesn’t get its power from myself, and when I use it, I get injured,” Shang said after several seconds of thinking.
“Correct,” the Dean said. “In a way, you already had similar powers to the Abominations. Of course, there’s still a certain difference between them and you.”
“At least, that was how it was before,” the Dean said with interest.
Then, he looked at his left arm.
“I wonder what I can do,” Shang said.
“First, test if your old abilities still work,” the Dean said.
Shang pointed his left arm to the side.
He released an Ice Blast and a Fire Blast in rapid succession.
Sure enough, Shang’s arm was basically destroyed again.
“So, that hasn’t changed,” the Dean said.
However, Shang didn’t immediately answer as he looked at his arm with furrowed brows.
Shang watched as his arm slowly healed.
The Dean lifted an eyebrow at Shang’s curious actions, but he didn’t say anything.
30 seconds later, Shang’s arm was fully healed.
“That took longer than previously,” the Dean said. “You have a warrior’s body. You can heal your arm in less than a second by using your own Mana. Why is it different this time?”
Shang looked away from his arm and at the Dean.
“I didn’t use my Mana,” Shang said.
A gleam appeared in the Dean’s eyes. “You didn’t use the ability of your warrior’s body?” he asked.
The Dean narrowed his eyes. “So, you managed to heal your nearly completely destroyed arm in 30 seconds without using any of your Mana?”
Shang nodded again.
“What was used to repair your arm?” the Dean asked.
Instead of answering, Shang closed his eyes and focused on his surroundings.
He had noticed something peculiar when his arm was healing.
The Dean didn’t interrupt Shang and simply waited for him.
After around a minute, Shang opened his eyes with a look of pleasant surprise.
“You know how Mages and warriors with specific Affinities can somewhat feel their surroundings if that kind of Elemental Mana is very prevalent?” Shang asked.
The Dean nodded. “It’s called Mana Sense. The stronger you get, the wider its range and the clearer the picture. When your mind reaches the level of an Adept, you can basically use it everywhere since every kind of Mana is present in at least some quantity.”
“Well,” Shang said. “I have that.”
“But with Natural Mana.”
The Dean’s eyes widened in surprise.
“With Natural Mana?” he asked.
Shang nodded. “I didn’t notice it before, but I can feel the Natural Mana all around me.”
The Dean frowned. “So, your Affinity is for Natural Mana?”
“I don’t know,” Shang answered. “I don’t think that’s all of it. After all, I wouldn’t have needed the different Mana Sources for that. On top of that, I can’t use the Earth and Metal Mana Sources.”
The Dean stroked his goatee in thought.
“In a way, this doesn’t change much. I already suspected that you have some kind of Mana Balancing Affinity. Fire and Ice are opposites. Light and Darkness are opposites. Wind and Earth seem like opposites, but they actually aren’t. If Fire touches Ice, one of the two gets destroyed. If Wind touches Earth, they simply don’t interact with each other.”
“So, your Affinity has something to do with increasing or lowering powers, and if you also received the abilities of the Abominations, you should also be able to turn everything into Natural Mana.”
“However, there is still something very important,” the Dean said. “If you had an Affinity for Natural Mana, you would be able to transform Natural Mana and make use of it.”
“But literally everyone can do that already. That’s the point of Natural Mana. It can be used by everyone and transformed into everything.”
“You also can’t really transform it into anything that isn’t your four Affinities. Additionally, you get injured every time you use it. An Affinity doesn’t injure the user, which is why you can’t have an Affinity for Natural Mana.”
“There are many questions and inconsistencies with your Affinity. It’s almost like it doesn’t even exist.”
“Or,” the Dean said as he looked at Shang.
“You simply haven’t become powerful enough yet to resist its negative effects.”
Shang thought back to what the Dean had told him.
The Commander Stage Abominations could destroy everything around them without being injured or using any power source.
What kind of Affinity was that?
Turning everything into Natural Mana.
“Did you get another new ability, except your rapid healing?” the Dean asked.
Shang looked at his left arm and tried to feel it.
Before the procedure, the visualized image of Shang’s Affinity had been a rotating circle of fire and ice surrounded by a rotating circle of darkness and light.
Now, it was only black.
Even more, it didn’t feel like the darkness kind of black.
It was a different black.
It felt empty.
As Shang concentrated on his left arm, he felt some kind of power.
He didn’t know what it could do.
So, Shang decided to try it out.
He put his hand on the table he sat on.