Ashton felt like he was floating...
It always feel like this whenever he"s deep in his Meditative State. It feels like his body was just leaving his body - astral projecting unconsciously but in truth, it's not. His body and soul are firmly rooted on the spot.
The lightness he felt is probably due to the fact that he's freed up so much of his mental faculties. In the meditative state, he mostly kept his thoughts empty and the longer it stays the way, the lighter he felt overall.
The weird thing is, in that same state, Ashton felt like his mind is capable of reaching for so much more. He got this feeling of freedom which tempted him to try so many things. But then again, he knew that this is a trap since the moment he tried to do something impulsively, his train of thought will resume and he'd be ejected out of that state.
It's finicky to be in this state, yet it also feels addicting. Ashton can say that he at least understand why many people do this and why it was required before attempting to sense mana.
Speaking of Mana Sensing...Ashton had some success with that.
It was during one of those idle mornings where he was following his routine. He meditated without any expectations and without even thinking about trying to sense mana. He just did because it was a part of his routine by now and he grew to like the feeling of being in state.
That morning, Ashton did well. He usually meditate for two hours, constantly trying his best to stay in the Meditative State within that time period and on that day, he did it.
The sensation was still fresh in his mind...
Around thirty minutes in his session, he found unprecedented calmness and peace. Then Mana revealed itself to him.
It was crazy. It's like seeing air particles with his naked eyes. He could see these tiny wisps floating around him, tentatively jumping and bouncing around him like curious little things.
Mana behaved rather weirdly. Though they mostly stayed afloat, it seems that they can freely flow through anything as if they were nothing.
When the books he read said that everything around them contains mana, they weren't lying. Ashton saw it himself despite having his eyes closed. Mana was everywhere; in front of him, on top, beneath, behind...mana is also present in him as well. It was really everywhere, even mechanical things!
Ashton knew that he just can't look at the world the same after this. If living for more than a month hadn't already convinced him that any of this is real, then this will do it.
This world is so much different than Earth since none of this was possible there. If it was, it had never been Ashton's turn to knew about this so he still preferred this.
And while Ashton was jubilant that he unknowingly sensed mana at that point, he really didn't do anything with it. He just observed its behavior and watched it behave normally.
He knew that he wasn't ready to siphon mana from his surroundings just yet. He had finished reading the book but he knew that he still isn't ready due to numerous things.
First and foremost, he sensed mana through sheer luck. He didn't went into his meditation fully cognizant of the fact that he will sense mana. This just happened by chance and he's already lucky enough to experience it for as long as he could.
The other thing is, the act of absorbing mana to convert it for an individual's own has to be done with extreme care and consideration.
There is a reason why it is recommended for everyone to have a not try this without supervision from an expert. This could get very dangerous and could potentially end a life if done incorrectly.
Ashton values his new life so he isn't in any rush. Getting into the Academy is a sure-fire way to have someone supervise this process, that way he'll have extra security.
Of course, he'd still attempt it once or twice, and if he can't really do it on his own, well he'd just have to get into the Academy right?
So, there were really no reason for him to do anything at that moment so he just relished in that feeling and enjoyed it.
Ashton ended up extending his meditation to four hours because of that. His legs were absolutely numbed after that and his butt hurts from all the sitting but it's fine. He felt extremely refreshed and accomplished anyway.
"...do you have a membership card?"
Ashton shook his head.
"Alright, that'd be 150 Dollars."
Ashton took out his credit card and allowed he machine to scan it. After the bill was deducted from his account, he received the receipt and picked up the grocery bags and headed out of the store.
This feeling truly doesn't get old...he didn't expect that the idea of grocery shopping this way would be the same for this world as well. Even the membership cards are being offered the same way as well.
Yeah, sure. He could've done this all online and had it delivered to his house. In fact, he already did that once but still, it's nice to actually roam around the store with a good ol' grocery list and personally collect the stuff to be added on his cart.
By the way, the design of the carts are bit different but they function the same.
Besides, going out of his house is nice every once in a while. Don't get him wrong, he closely adhered to the way of the hermits and mostly stayed indoors but that doesn't mean that he didn't like going out every once in a while. In fact he did that quite frequently in his past life too.
The funny thing is, even in this huge city where there's tons of people, Ashton didn't have a single person that he can actually call a friend.
Sure there is that kind grandpa, Mr. Guard and his alcoholic belly, the lovely grandma who's always giving him cookies, that elder sister who frequently runs laps around the area and of course, Jerry. But none of those people are actually his friends. At most, they're civil and kind to each other but that's about it. Jerry is a special case of course.
Just like his previous life, his neighbor hood is filled with adults or old people in general, which he find odd and quite hilarious actually.
Still, it would be nice to have a friend or two. He doesn't want a lot, just enough to add a good dose of chaos in his life to make it more fun you know? Alas, it seems that he wouldn't find it here.
He guessed that he'd eventually meet some when he becomes a student of the Academy.
Speaking of the Academy, Ashton finally knows how to get there. Yes, it took him this long to actually get the address of the place.
While the agents did tell him that his home was close to the Academy, they actually never told him where it was exactly. The weird thing is that, there isn't any available information about the exact address of that place online either. When he tried to asking people about it, it's either they don't know where it was because they didn't pass the test or they just told him that he'll know eventually.
Thus, he dug deeper online, searching for any clues and he actually found it.
...believing this to be real though, now that's more difficult to do.
Apparently, the reason why this Academy doesn't have an official address is because it's not in this city...at least physically.
The Mystic Academy is located on a so-called 'Grotto-Heaven', in other words - a freaking Pocket Dimension.
Now isn't that just great? Who'd believe that sh't?
But remembering what this world is. Now it doesn't sound impossible anymore isn't it? In fact, it would totally make sense if that's the case.
With how much people glorified this Academy through the word of mouth, it's origins must be really grandiose, right? And it's not like it's any normal Academy either. It's an Academy that teaches people magic and cultivation! Of course it has to be dramatic!
Therefore, it would totally make sense if it's within a pocket dimension wouldn't it?
Ashton needed a nap to process of this apparently. His whole world was shaken so much upon learning the fact that the place he's trying to get into is located in a such a dramatic location.
In turn though, it just made him even more fired-up. Now, he has more than enough reason to make it in. He has to!
It's a freaking Pocket Dimension, man!
This was his ultimate fantasy daydreams come true! He hasn't even been there yet he's already geeking out. Who wouldn't want to take a look at that?
Well, if he wants to get in, he has to work even harder. The Academy's initial exams will take place online and it's a written exam based from what he has already known. He'd best prepare for that if he truly wants to take a look at what the academy is like.
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