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Ethereal Paradigm: A Canvas of Black
Author :ICARUS
© Webnovel

56 Paradigm Shif

"He who would accomplish little must sacrifice little. He who would achieve much must sacrifice much. He who would attain highly should sacrifice greatly. "

-James Allen

━━━━━━━━┓ ✠ ┏━━━━━━━━

"So, we're now seeing the question marks. What should we do next?"

Everyone spelled the same question to the NPC act-a-like Anima, Amadea Mozart, as they clicked the Re: Characterization Database...yet, to my surprise mine is a little peculiar. There are no question marks, but everything is filled to the brink... Mine says these,

✞———————❖———————✞

Re: Characterization Complete

Database:

Paradigm Name: Requiem Aranea

Type: Dark, Binding, Manipulation

Definition: Control anything dark, black, or bleak whether through imagination or physical contact

Paradigm Shift: Dark By Default

Limit: Once per three days

Consequence: -100 day lifespan

Usage Violation: -1-year lifespan

✞———————❖———————✞

As though I know that there's something not right, I have to act the same with the masses, or else I'll found myself exposing superficial profiles that I want to be kept private and separate from the publicity. I'll have to act however usual and casual I can be.

"As you can see in the new appearing layer, there is this, 'Re: Characterization: In Progress' prompt. It means that all of you are to undergo this said progress, may it be by hook or by crook. " Amadea Mozart exclaimed...

As I thought so. It is something to be done 'only' this day. Moreover, mine's different. It says Re: Characterization Complete. No room for any progress at all.

"So what do with do with this?" Feeling the impulse of quickly finishing the said process, everyone started to act in haste with the coalescence of curiosity about what this process really is.

"First in the database. You could see there'Paradigm' followed by question marks. That pertains to the prowess that all of you are to attain in this warfare. Simply put, in this realm, it's not called alchemy, magic, sorcery or even wizardry...that's too weak to be compared to this... to what we call as 'Paradigms'-The most superior type of natural manipulation, whatever the mean. If you have proven yourself to be ready, then please tap on the question marks."

So my paradigm is 'Requiem Aranaea'? I don't ever recall knowing what it means. Or giving my chosen power a name of its own. While it matches my power's definition, I can't help but wonder how this name came to be here, unless it's auto... Well, if that's the case, I should be thankful. If they were to auto-name it something else like 'xxJosephxx123', I'll have to sue whoever made this program, if it is in fact, one... which I think, is not the case.

"And at this point. I would like you to spend an hour or two, or even half a day to think about this. Because in your Paradigms lies your survival. It's your surreal capacity against this surreal realm, its environments that you don't know that you are yet to experience and of course, against your enemies. Upon choosing, there's no required limit, but know that it has usage boundaries. Please do choose wisely, after this it will remain 'inalienable', meaning, no external links would be ever to change what you chose. It will be your power even to your last breath. " Amadea added.


As though hearing the most important notif, everyone began to focus on thinking about what kind of 'Paradigm' they want to have. In meditation as they brainstorm for the most plausible element that would fit them. They can't mess this up now by choosing a power that is too weak or beyond control.

"Click the question marks now." Again, instructed the anima of Music in the whole congregation.

"In there you could see a menu of options of what paradigm you want to have. First, you have to choose the type, after that appears another menu in which you would choose the Paradigm's main attribute...and in the last part you would be asked to have a custom input of what your paradigm shift would be."

As she uttered that seemingly familiar lexicon, 'Paradigm Shift' everyone began to turn their heads from their Persona Interface to the Anima giving instructions in front.

"Paradigm Shift?"

"Yes. It's a skill that is unique to each one of you. A skill that alters the Natural Laws of the Universe for the time being. It's the strongest attack in your arsenal."

Everyone then started to think harder in their decisions, even distracting themselves from the fact that they were feeling the pressure just moments ago. It is the first time that I saw them like this. It's a refreshing orderly view, not resorting to such rash actions that would inflict some mishaps further in the game. They offered every bit of their mentality as sweat running down through their faces as they scroll on the choices on the appearing menus... Still, here I am, doing his best to not get noticed that his Re: Characterization Database has already been filed without prior acknowledgment.

"Done... We chose it. But what is this consequence here? ", asked a curious lad a person away from me who is relatively younger-looking... I have to say thanks to him later. While I have the zest of what this 'Consequence' means, I hope that it's something different.

"It's exactly what it means... The consequence of altering a natural law. It will be decided by the system itself."

Never mind.

"Did you actually think that a mere human could go and alter one and escape unscathed? Fortunately no. Even for us spirits or even the deities themselves receive sanctions afterward. First, one inlaid as the 'Consequence' is basically the price that you have to pay the moment you use your Paradigm Shift." The Aima added.

"What about the usage violation?"

"It's the same. Moreover, this pertains to a 'Maximum' punishment that you must pay in return for not following the limit. In other words, if the prescribed limit is once per day and you use it twice, you'll have to pay, the 'Usage Violation', if you use it thrice you'll have to pay two usage violations and so forth. Oh, and you certainly must not worry. By 'Pay', we don't mean 'material', its something of 'equal value'.

"So basically, even if we follow the limit, we still have something to pay just by using it?"

"Yes. Outmaneuvering natural laws in your state is inconceivable and for letting you do just that, compensation is a must. While all of yours differ, there's no doubt that some of you received lighter punishment. Moreover, that doesn't mean that you are exempted to pay the due. Outmaneuvering a natural law, comes great sacrifice... even to us spirits, what more for a human? And take heed that it is not you who will decide the consequence. It's the ethereal paradigm itself. All you have to do is to input what is asked simply by imagining it and Wella... You got yourself Re: Characterized."

"Tsk" Everyone's face turned out to a disappointed bunch, while others were also calm.

Overtly, in Bleach they call it 'Bankai', in Shaman King, 'Oversoul', in Fate series, 'Noble Phantasm'... yet, in here, the deities like to refer to it as a 'Paradigm Shift'. A means of outmaneuvering natural laws given that something of said-equivalence is to be repaid.

So, this is it huh...and yet again, why is mine filled already? It says here that my paradigm shift is 'Dark By Default', without any additional information to be more specific. Not to mention that the utilization consequence is a 100 day minus to my lifespan, and if I violate that limit of one use per three days, I'll have -1 year taken from my time as a biological-thinking entity. Fundamentally, it's just that dangerous.. but don't you think a minus in a lifespan is just plain cruel. Well, the spirit did say that it's of equal value, so I presume that my Paradigm Shift should be something acceptable. I just have to test it later...

I wonder what everybody else had...But, it's something not good, judging from their discrepant looks. If I were them, I should not make those kinds of faces in front of others.

Then as all of the crowd began to flinch their teeth seeing the consequence information while some were looking stupidly overjoyed to see some 'video game system' come to life, someone from the crowd stood up, whose figure is familiar to us all...

"Lady Amadea, for the Herrschers. You're missing some important info right?" The same morena girl who was the first to step out into the city bridge asked this question, that I think might answer mine. She was the first to not fear what lies ahead, even in her fragile-looking body and in her not-so-easy-to-approach charisma.

"Oh right... For the Herrschers, your Re: Characterization Process has been completed right after you signed a contract with your respective deities. So, there's no need for you to undergo one. Sorry, I forgot this crucial part."

So Amadea also has her clumsy side. Well, it's better if it's to be compared to that complaints ullage of a goddess, which I need to meet as soon as possible, sticking to the plan.

Moreover, heating the word, everyone's face is turned from one person to another, looking for this so-called 'Herrschers' in the Armada, curious that one might be lurking with them, and then there's me pretending to be nothing but an inconsequent plankton swimming adrift in this vast unknown sea.

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