Nick reached the top of the building and breathed heavily as he collapsed onto his knees in exhaustion.

He had never been this exhausted before.

"Well done," Manela said. "I thought it would take until the end of the lesson, but we still have about half an hour left."

"Take a break for two minutes," she said.

Nick didn't answer and just continued breathing with difficulty.

When the two minutes were up, Nick had somewhat recovered.


And the five spears shot towards the same places again.

"One last time," Manela said. "If you manage to do it in time again, you'll get a surprise."

Nick took a deep breath.


Nick's bones were already hurting from the constant falls and his muscles constantly pressing on them.

His body was shouting at him that what he was doing was dangerous and that he needed to stop.

This was too much, and it might become dangerous!

However, Nick only took a deep breath.

If it were just himself, he would never do something as risky as this.

But he trusted Manela.

Manela seemed like an honest person, and she also seemed too intelligent to make Nick do something like this without a good reason.

Nick trusted in Manela's character and experience.

So, Nick almost immediately jumped down again.

As soon as he started running, Nick felt himself being slower than before.

His exhaustion had hit him full force.

But he just kept jumping.


Nick slipped, and his knee hit the roof of the building he was on.

It hurt quite a bit, and his knee made weird sounds whenever he moved it, but he just gnashed his teeth and continued.

Despite all odds, Nick managed to do the jumps he needed to do.

Eventually, he retrieved all of the spears.

Nick felt like he was about to collapse, but he still managed to accurately throw the spears into the tall building before climbing up and retrieving them again.

Finally, he arrived, and he immediately fell onto the ground, breathing heavily in exhaustion.

He was done.

He was so done.

He didn't care about the time anymore.

He was just done.

"A bit slower than expected," Manela said.

Nick didn't care.

"It took you 18 minutes and 36 seconds."

That took Nick by surprise.

"W-what?" he asked in confusion through heavy pants.

"18 minutes and 36 seconds," Manela repeated. "That's your time."

Nick almost couldn't believe it. "But… how?" he asked.

"Don't act too surprised," Manela said. "That's still quite slow for a Peak Newbie."

"But I'm…"

That was when Nick realized.

"And that's your surprise," Manela said.

"I… broke through?" Nick asked in confusion.

Manela nodded. "You can reach the next level after only accumulating about 80% of the Zephyx necessary. In your case, you seemed to have somewhere between 93% and 96% of the Zephyx you needed to become a Peak Newbie."

"You can view Zephyx as a pile of stones, and you advance a level when the pile grows to a certain height. By simply putting more stones onto it, it will eventually reach that height."

"However, you can also force it to reach that height if you put in a lot of effort to realign the stones."

"Our bodies use up Zephyx as fuel, and a higher level simply means that you produce and use more Zephyx. The stored Zephyx in your body is used as a magnet to attract more Prephyx, and if it manages to attract enough, it will disperse into your body, and the new amount of Prephyx absorbed in a given timeframe remains at the early peak."

"In short, even if you break through with less Zephyx, you will have just as much Zephyx as someone that did break through with all the required Zephyx."

"By forcing yourself to the absolute brink, you managed to absorb enough Prephyx to push yourself over the edge."

"That's how you managed to break through."

Nick listened with rapt attention.

That was possible?!

He could break through earlier?!

"How exactly can I achieve that?" Nick asked.

"Very strong stimulus," Manela answered. "Most commonly, a dire situation."

"If you feel like you're about to die, your survival instinct can give you the push. If you feel like you have to save a loved one with all of your power, you can get that push."

"In your case, it was simply trying very hard to finish the course."

"Of course, something like this can't be compared to something like a life-and-death fight, but you also had more Zephyx."

"80% is what has been observed in experiments where Extractors were put up against Specters in a battle. It might be possible that it can go even lower, but we don't have any specific data for that."

"In short, since you already had something like 95% of the required Zephyx to break through, it wasn't very difficult to force it," Manela explained.

Nick absorbed all the knowledge like a dry sponge.

Right now, reaching a new level didn't require a lot of time, but things wouldn't stay that way.

With this method, he could probably save years in the future!

"Thank you for telling me," Nick said through exhausted pants.

"Everyone knows that," Manela answered. "It's nothing special."

Nick didn't answer.

"Anyway, we are done for today," Manela said. "You are too exhausted to do anything but lay on the ground, and if you attempted to throw your spears in this condition, you might throw one of them into the sewers."

"I will note the remaining ten or so minutes down and will add them some other day."

"For now, we're done. See you tomorrow."

Nick slowly forced himself to sit up. "Th-Thanks," he said in exhaustion.

Manela just nodded and silently jumped away.

Nick collapsed onto his back again and just looked at the sun.

Looking at the sun wasn't painful since its beams weren't that bright.

For the next 20 minutes, Nick just lay on top of the building.

And then, he went home.

Luckily, his ability was active again, making it easy to get home.