Jack had sensed his Formless Flowing Sword style nearing its third phase for some time, but he just couldn't break through the barrier and enter this third phase. There was no flaw for him to correct. His execution had been flawless. But after countless attempts, he finally realized what was missing. It was mana manipulation.

The third phase was a martial art that required mana manipulation to perform, just as the proper one-word slash sword art. Jack never once skipped his daily training in mana manipulation. Although he was still not yet at the level of freely using it in a real fight, he had never stopped improving. He had brought down his margin of error when using mana manipulation in his standard weapon attack to around twenty to thirty percent. This meant every ten slashes, only two or three failed to have their damage boosted by mana manipulation.

Additionally, his mana manipulation was still weak if compared to masters like his grandfather or Wong. When those two hit an opponent with a standard attack fueled by mana manipulation. The damage they produced could be four times the damage by normal players. When they used a proper martial art technique like One-word Slash, for example, they could produce damage around ten times. Making the technique not lose to a high-level game skill. For a more powerful martial art, the produced damage could be even higher.

The advantage of using a martial art compared to a game skill was that it had no cooldown time, so one could spam its usage. The drawback was it caused fatigue if used repeatedly.

Jack understood the advantage. If he could master this mana manipulation, he could alternate between using martial arts and game skills. This could help him cover his weakness when his powerful game skills were on cooldown.

But at the moment, he was still training to reduce the failure rate of mana manipulation on standard attacks. When he could perform it fluently, then he would focus on strengthening it, bringing his mana manipulation to a level where it could do substantial damage.

In terms of simple martial art, like the One-word Slash, he could already perform it well as long as he was allowed the time to focus on his mana manipulation. The third phase of the Formless Flowing Sword style, however, required better control.

After touching the barrier of the third phase for so long, Jack felt that he already knew what he should do to execute it. He just needed to practice it. Now that the Time Chamber had Mana Gathering Stone installed, the mana in this chamber had become denser even when compared to Daminos Square Garden. The density was close enough to the mana environment inside Ancient Battleground. Hence, learning mana manipulation inside the Time Chamber had become even easier.

Jack sensed that the key to the Formless Flowing Sword style's third phase was to explode his mana. Gathering the mana into his two swords before exploding them, using the explosion as a force to propel his swords into a burst of uncountable attacks.

This caused Jack to remember a quote from an old famous anime show, "Burn your cosmos and make your inner universe explode, then your attacks will hit with all the power of the meteor."

Jack smiled amusingly upon thinking about it. He thought perhaps he should rename the burst attack of his sword art into Pegasus Meteor Slash.

Since he already got a reference on how to perform the third phase, it allowed him to better imagine the execution.

Still, it was easier said than done. It took him quite a few seconds to gather the mana. Then when Jack tried to explode the gathered mana, it went off with a puff instead of a bang. The resulting force was hardly enough to supply any energy for a high-speed attack. But he knew he was on the right path, so he continued to practice.

During the next few days, aside from doing the Ice Throne legacy dungeon and Ancient Battleground legacy dungeon, Jack spent his remaining time inside the Time Chamber. He even slept inside the chamber. Considering the time inside the Time Chamber was ten times normal, he spent a considerable time practicing inside.

Normally, the usage of this time chamber was limited because only a number of players could enter the chamber at any one time. They needed to regulate its usage so every core member had the chance to use it. Mostly it was utilized when the martial arts tutorial was in session. But right now, most of the core members had already left with the army. So, no one could complain about Jack's abuse of the chamber.

After three days, Jack had spent an equal of almost one month inside the chamber. He could already gather his mana in an instant. Yet, he was still having trouble exploding the gathered mana.

After so many failed attempts, Jack decided to stop and ponder. Perhaps he had been going at it wrongly. He had been willing the gathered mana to explode, but the force was never near enough. The created explosion was not truly what he could call an explosion. It was just the gathered mana spread out at a decently fast speed.

After pondering, he surmised that he shouldn't will the explosion to happen. Instead, he should cause the explosion to happen. For that, he went back to the physics of his old world. How did an explosion happen? There were three types of explosions. Nuclear, chemical, and physical. He was obviously not dealing with nuclear and chemical here. He was not even sure if an alchemical table existed in this world.

Hence, he focused on the physical explosion, which occurred when a content of a vessel was pressurized beyond its limit. The vessel will then burst and released a large amount of energy into a small volume of area in a short time.

Thinking about this concept, he had an idea of what he was supposed to do. He again gathered the mana into his two swords. This time, however, he didn't will the gathered mana to explode. Instead, he compressed them. He compressed them into as small an area as possible. He exerted all his willpower into compressing the mana. Sweat started to drop on his forehead as he did so.

He felt the mana fight back as they were forcefully pressured, but he continued to compress them. When he thought he couldn't compress the mana any further, he released the pressure. As he did, the compressed mana burst out.

The force was so strong it took him by surprise. He felt as if the air around his two hands had exploded. He was even knocked by the blasts and was disoriented by them. He wasn't ready for the energy outburst that he didn't swing his swords at all, much less perform his sword art.

"Damn!" He uttered. "This needs adjusting."

Despite the failure, Jack was hopeful because he thought he was on the right track. Thus, he repeated the process, trying to gauge the required level of explosion needed while applying the force to unleash his sword art's burst attack.

Another two days passed, which were weeks inside the chamber. At this time, he was standing still at the center of the vacant time chamber. He controlled his breathing and emptied his mind. He just let his senses do the work. After weeks of training, the sensation came to him naturally.

The gathered mana in his swords was squeezed and then at a point, Jack let go of his hold. Strong gusts of energy erupted from his two swords. As they happened, Jack's sword became a blur. Ninety-six sword lights crisscrossed around him.

The sword lights traveled at almost the speed of light. Furthermore, each of these sword lights carried power stronger than normal slashes. Mana followed these slashes. Jack was sure that if these slashes hit, the enemy won't just suffer standard damage. Added with the combo multiplier, this attack was devastating.

"You seem to be able to do it fluently now," Peniel commented.

Jack nodded. "Still, this move required a great control on mana. It is very exhausting. I can't do it too often."

"Your mana manipulation has also greatly improved from all this training."

"Yeah, I have a feeling the margin of error has now decreased to just one blank out of ten slashes with my swords. I think I can safely use it in a real fight now."

"So, do you want to leave now? The army should have been halfway to their destination by now," Peniel asked.

"Yes, it's about time I join them," Jack said.

Jack stepped out of the time chamber and went to the Guild Hall.

"Are you ready to leave now?" Tip asked when he saw Jack enter. "I heard from Jeanny that commander Armstrong and Commander Ahab will be separating with the main army. They will be rushing to the two forts. The scouts mentioned the orc army had also been mobilizing to head to the two forts."

"Yes, I will be leaving. I will leave the guild in your good hands," Jack said, then added when he noticed Captain Whitebeard, "and paws."

"Good luck!" Both Tip and Whitebeard said.