Truthful Transmigration 129

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The time of the Great Waterfall Reversal was not something precise. The predictions could be off by several days, though as the time grew closer those with a connection to water became increasingly aware of the incoming change. It was difficult to explain, especially for John whose connection was more secondhand. He had experience manipulating water elemental spiritual energy, but no totem to empower his ability. It was like the weight of the water was decreasing, though it hadn’t actually affected its flow yet- and it still had the same impact as it splashed at the bottom. 

It was also still just as cold, as the myriad of cultivators positioned themselves beneath the waterfall. Even outside of the upcoming event, the Grandcliff River was an excellent place to train. This portion was simply difficult to get to, making it only worth the effort for a longer trip or special event.

Water energy flowed between John and Matayal naturally as if they were part of the same stream. Surrounded by so many others, nobody was comfortable with diving deep into cultivation, but a gentle circulation of energy kept them in peak condition. John and Matayal were not far from breaking through to the Consolidated Soul Phase, and one good push could make the difference. However, if they ran low on energy during the attempt they could instead find themself facing a setback that delayed their cultivation for some time. Both were experienced enough that they wouldn’t be reckless like Fortkran had once been, ruining his cultivation. In a way, the fact that John had that experience was a great boon- but not one that could be sought out by anyone.

Though tensions existed between various sects and clans present for the event, nobody was willing to cause trouble beforehand and potentially get ousted from the area. Even if there was no particular overseer, the various groups would band together against those who started trouble. Of course, that was only during the period of waiting when they were unoccupied. Once the actual event happened… people would be quite occupied with their own cultivation and wouldn’t bother with things that didn’t affect themself or their direct allies. It stood to reason troublemakers would also focus on cultivation, but John wasn’t going to bet that held completely. Neither were their guards, of which several would be fully focused on watching for trouble. Aydan for example had little to gain from a water element phenomenon.

The water from the fall was prone to freezing in thin layers as it splashed a fine mist on everyone. John was glad to have a portion of fire energy stored away so he could at least be warm inside while he guided the layers of ice off of him. Matayal was able to completely stop it from freezing or pulling away her body heat, but John wasn’t going to compare himself to a pure water cultivator. 

A week later, everyone was growing impatient. Most had arrived earlier, just in case the predictions were late- but it turned out to be the other way. A week of time for cultivators was not particularly long… but many of those present were talents on the younger end, and even older cultivators were still subject to human feelings. John and Matayal in particular couldn’t help but wonder what the triplets were getting up to and were eager to return. Yet they were also grateful for the time together, even if it wasn’t particularly exciting. It might be a sparse commodity in the coming years.


John was awoken by a sudden change in the atmosphere, both of the people and the area itself. He poked his head out of a rather comfortable tent and saw others reacting as well. It was finally time. It would only be a few minutes at most. The spray of icy water actually felt refreshing again for the first time in a week, and everyone felt their spirits rising.

Then the water stopped. For a moment, it was as if the entire river had frozen- though it did not have the look of ice like that covering stripes along the falls. Everyone held their breath in anticipation. It could have been a minute, an hour, or just a second… and then the water was flowing in reverse. The river flowing along the plateau pushed towards the tall cliffs, pushing those standing in it upwards. They were still weighed down by gravity, but with just the slightest control they could ‘attach’ themselves to the water to be carried along with it. 

It was a wonderful feeling, more akin to flying than swimming, though John had yet to actually fly outside of long prior trips in airplanes. The power of the water washed over everyone present, and John felt simply flooded with the water element. 

Matayal held his hand, and together they began to circulate their energy as they rose. However, it wasn’t exactly as simple as it seemed at first. The great power was almost overwhelming, even with a pure water element cultivator involved. In addition, the waterfall didn’t suddenly unfreeze. The sections that were frozen remained that way, forcing the cultivators to control their movement to avoid sudden impacts or even possibly impaling themselves on spikes of ice. A random icicle could not harm a cultivator, but the waterfall had great power and spiritual energy behind it. 

John and Matayal moved together, dodging to the sides, backwards, and forward. The waterfall had significant depth to it, with flows of water all around and through the obstacles of ice. Cultivating in such a situation might be impossible, if it weren’t for the way the powerful water element energy almost circulated itself through them. However, it couldn’t just be left uncontrolled. That was the sort of thing that got cultivators killed.

The further they rose up the waterfall, the more powerful the effect of the energy. Yet it wasn’t simply about height. The process allowed them to get used to the increase. In the past, people had climbed up the waterfall to be at the top before the reversal began, but they found themselves overwhelmed by the power. The lucky ones were flung away, but there were tales of an unlucky soul who was pulled into the source where the river originated, never to be seen again. That part might have been a tall tale, but the rest was true. John and Matayal planned to settle at the highest point they were comfortable with, and perhaps once they stabilized there they would push higher.

There was a wave of energy as Bora Kartal pushed his way past them with a trio of guards in obvious provocation. The momentum of his passing pushed them towards the front surface of the waterfall, though only slightly. At least he hadn’t been so stupid as to draw a weapon. That sort of behavior could cause a war between clans, while this might be put down to a petty squabble. But John and Matayal looked at each other, and there was immediate agreement they weren’t going to take things lying down.

The pair shot upward, but instead of directly catching up Matayal hung behind until there was a large section of ice. As Bora picked a path, she led John towards the back of the waterfall. They skimmed dangerously close to the rocky face, but John played a supporting role and held them at a safe distance with a modicum of earth energy and some precise maneuvering.

As they moved in front of the others, they pushed forward- specifically off of the water behind them. That had the added effect of pushing Bora and his trio of guards backwards without even touching them with spiritual energy. Matayal did most of the work, while John focused on keeping the flow of energy they were absorbing steady. He circulated the elements through him, the water empowering air and then earth, with the energy flowing through darkness and back to water through the cycle of allied elements. 

Though John was certain Matayal could have stayed ahead of the four others, even with them working together in a small formation, he felt her intentionally delay. Perhaps it was a bout of competitiveness, but she also might have disliked Bora from John’s descriptions of their previous encounter.

Either way, the group was allowed to swim up next to them. John had to admit the method they used next was interesting, but ultimately it was ineffective. The four worked together to create a bubble of air ahead of the couple, but their momentum carried them most of the way- while John split the void of air into many smaller bubbles when it was out of their control. They might have done more if they maintained their efforts, but directly imposing energy around others could be taken as an actual attack. So far, things hadn’t escalated to that point.

As they continued upward, John noticed their opponents slowing. They weren’t actually taking the time to adapt to the increase in energy, instead focusing on causing trouble. Meanwhile, John had the attention to spare on maintaining those efforts while Matayal toyed with them. 

If Bora had been willing to accept a private loss, things might have ended there. However, if that was the case he wouldn’t have caused trouble at the Quartz clan to begin with. John could feel his attitude shifting as Bora controlled the four person formation’s spiritual energy. Losing all subtlety he shoved a mass of water towards the two of them, accelerating it with air. Matayal had the skill to maneuver around the group, but her personal power couldn’t stand up to the might of four people. But of course she wasn’t alone either. 

The pair were shoved through a hunk of ice, shattering it, but as they were driven towards the solid wall John repeated his earlier method of pushing against it. But more than that, he remembered the techniques of Brage, the swordsmanship instructor. His earth energy compressed and sprung back, pushing not himself and Matayal but the water energy shoving against them. Matayal sensed his intentions and followed along with her water element. The two of them were at the peak of Soul Expansion Phase, so together they nearly matched the four mid Soul Expansion Phase cultivators in direct power- and with some technique they were able to overcome them. 

The rebound pushed specifically against Bora, who was sent rocketing out of the waterfall. The waterfall flowed in a fairly straight line across the plateau, so he should be able to slow himself with his air energy and land in it. Water energy would allow him to reduce the impact with the river below instead of crumpling against it like concrete. Even if he failed, he should survive. And if not… John didn’t care. 

The three guards with Bora momentarily seemed as if they might attack… but in addition to John and Matayal’s looks they also took note of the various bodyguards following from below. The Brandle clan cultivators had helped pave the way for the others, but so far they had not felt the need to interfere. Several moments passed, and though the Kartal clan’s guards knew they had more numbers elsewhere, they wisely decided this was not the time to push things. Beyond just their personal safety, they knew better than to elevate things further. 

“If they get anywhere close again,” Matayal modified her voice to speak clearly through the water, “Deal with them.” The mixed Tenebach and Brandle clan guards nodded. Her words were of course spoken loud enough the retreating guards pushing their way down the waterfall were able to hear them.

With previous experience creating air in the depths of the sea, John and Matayal found it almost laughably easy to simply pull some from outside the waterfall to keep themselves topped off. The skirmish had slightly set back their adaptation to the force of the waterfall, but now they returned their full focus to the task. The extra stimulus had been beneficial to a small extent, but now they had to narrow in on their task. Advancing to the Consolidated Soul Phase was a serious task that could afford no distractions, and the eight guards maintained positions around them close enough to protect them but far enough to not disturb them.

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