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12 Cultivating

    "It's about time! I thought you would end up only using me for becoming rich! He he" Answered Sewah.

    Part of Daniel's plan had always been to become stronger. Strength was dependant on money in Phyrri, but in order to make money, unless born into a rich family, one required something to rely on.

    Originally Daniel wanted to pay his debt, allow his sister to graduate from school, and then let her find a good job. But after seeing the way the wealthy treated human lives of the lowest level, he realized that he needed more than that. He needed a way to prevent others from stepping over him and his sister, like the hotel owner did with his family. He needed strength.

    Daniel wasn't harmless anymore, he didn't need to live by the day like he used to.. He had the Karmic system now.. He could plan.

    -----

    *Primary Quest started: You Can't Do Good Without Strength!*

    -Description: Obtain enough power to protect those in need.

    First objective set: Cultivate to the peak "Vasodilation" of the martial cultivation, or the peak "Profound Spiritual connection" of the spiritual cultivation.

    Optional: Reach "perfection" before breaking through the next stage.

    Reward: Karma +500(+1000)

    Time limit: 3 months(4 months)

    -----

    Surprise grew on Daniel's face as one more window appeared inside his mind, warning him that a new quest had started.

    Since the moment he had awakened Sewah and the karmic system, Daniel had understood a few things about it. First of all, a primary quest had to start from a train of thought. For example, the "Freedom for all!" quest had started when had witnessed the treatment Mea had received by the fat merchant, and his desire to set her free, had triggered the creation of the quest. Second, a quest has to pertain to Karma. In each quest a decision had to be made that would either grant him positive or negative karma, meaning that he could possibly create any sort of quest, provided that he formulated it within the parameters of karmic influence.

    The very last quest, for example, wouldn't have been created if Daniel only wished to become strong. But since he decided to become strong in order to protect his sister, he turned his motive into one that would influence his karma, therefore creating the quest.

    "Well, that comes in handy! He he" Sewah was just about to explain how to utilize karmic points to Daniel, when the window appeared. He was, of course, part of the karmic system, so he was able to see through every change within the system itself, like Daniel could. "It's very simple, really.. Start cultivating, and whenever you will enter a lengthy process, just think of speeding it up. Your karmic points will slowly decrease, until you'll run out.. Have you learned nothing from me!? Trial and error! come on!" Explained Sewah.

    Daniel still didn't know anything about cultivation. That was the reason why he had bought the cultivation manuals. He took them out and started reading through their pages.

    In Daniel's world, cultivation had two main branches.

    The Martial cultivation, which allowed a person to strengthen their bodies through the use of Ki, and Spiritual cultivation, which had the aim of cultivating one's spirit through the use of mana, and increase its connection to the spiritual plane, from which the cultivator could absorb the power required to use magic.

    The basics of martial and spiritual cultivation explained the first two "main stages" of cultivation. Each main stage was divided into three sub stages, commonly referred to as "ranks".

    Each person would be born as a mortal, and their default stages of cultivation were at the "Muscle Strengthening" of the martial cultivation, and the "Spirit Forming" of the spiritual cultivation. These two stages were known as the starting point of every human being, and therefore referred to as unranked.

    The first two main stages of the martial cultivation were the Body Strengthening stage, and the Nigh Inhuman stage.

    The Body strengthening stage started with the Organs Enhancing sub-stage, or rank 1, which enhanced your organs resistance and efficiency. The rank 2, or the Bones Refining sub-stage, was the stage that would allow the cultivator to increase the density of their bones. The third and last sub-stage of the Body Strengthening stage was called Vasodilation, and was the dilation of one's blood vessels, which would increase the flux of blood that would allow the body keep up with the increased strain.

    After breaking through from the Body strengthening stage, one would find himself into the Nigh Inhuman Stage. The Nigh Inhuman stage was similarly divided into three sub-stages, or ranks.

    Starting from the Full Control sub-stage, or rank 4, which allowed a person to perfect the control of their body. The rank 5, described as the Reflex Heightening sub-stage, was the stage that allowed a cultivator to increase his reflexes to an inhuman level. Ultimately, the Surrounding Awareness sub-stage, or Rank 6, was the stage that allowed a cultivator to develop a field around their bodies, inside which they would have complete awareness.

    The book that Daniel had bought only mentioned the third main stage of the martial cultivation as "Immortal Path stage".

    Similarly to the basics of the martial cultivation, the basics of spiritual cultivation only explained the depth of the first two stages. They were called the Spirit Connection, and Spiritual Synchronization stages.

    The sub-stages of spiritual cultivation were much easier to understand, as the spirit had much less parts to nurture when compared to the body. Therefore, each main stage of the spiritual cultivation's sub-stages were used to indicate the progress in the main stage, and were referred to as faint, moderate and profound. For example, a person in the first rank of the spiritual cultivation would be referred to as a spiritual cultivator at the faint spiritual connection stage.

    Like in the manual of martial cultivation, the third stage of spiritual cultivation had only been mentioned, and it was called the "Spirit Merging" stage.

    The more Daniel read the more he understood, but at the end, he started to have some doubts.. Why was there no mention to "perfection" in any of these books?

    He read the manual's pages over and over again, but the answers he looked for were nowhere to be found. According to the manuals, one could attempt to breakthrough to the next stage right after refining their blood vessels if cultivated the body, or reached the profound spiritual connection if they cultivated the spirit.

    Daniel had no way of understanding the depths of these stages with the information he was give by these manuals. He had four months to reach the peak of the first stage, and learn what perfection meant.

    Setting his thoughts aside, Daniel started reading the methods of cultivation depicted in the manuals.

    A martial cultivator produced Ki through the strain of the body. Ki, similarly to the core essence of a ranked beast, was the essence of the human's body, and it was produced constantly.

    Breathing, exercising, training and combat.. These were just few of the methods a martial cultivator had to produce Ki. The produced ki could then be used to gradually refine the cultivator's body.

    Just like a martial practitioner used ki to cultivate, a spiritual cultivator used mana to strengthen the spirit.

    Mana was a natural essence that could be found everywhere in the world. Each and every type of essence, included ki and beast essence, were in fact, mana. The very own definition of mana comprised every sort of naturally formed essence which belonged to the earthly plane.

    A spiritual cultivator could produce ki just like any martial cultivator through the use of breathing and training, and then use the ki to strengthen their spirit.

    Most people had no means to cultivate, and therefore stayed at the Spirit forming, or Muscle Strengthening stages, so they erroneously considered mana as an alternative sort of essence to ki, while instead calling it a "generic" sort of essence, would be much more accurate.

    At some point in the past, after martial cultivators had found out that every type of essence could nurture the spirit, they started to experiment with the aim of finding out every viable sources of essence which could be used to increment their cultivation speed.

    After dozens of years, they had realized that, every form of essence produced by a living being could be absorbed by their bodies and turned into ki.

    This had been the reason that had started the hunt for ranked beasts, and many uncountable wars between humans and the other races.

    Daniel had decided to cultivate the martial path, so he read the martial way of cultivation and adjusted his body into the lotus position. He had also decided to avoid using beast cores, as he wanted to familiarize to the human's natural way of cultivation through self produced ki.

    For an hour, he breathed in and out slowly. Whenever he breathed in, his enhanced lungs would expand and send waves after waves of newly produced ki through his muscles, blood vessels and organs. When this ki had reached every corner body, Daniel forced it to seep through his tissue and reach his bones, then he began to refine them.

    His marrow slowly became denser, his carticalge became more elastic, the stratum of cortical bone became harder by the minute.

    After another hour, Daniel decided to stop.

    He had read that breakthrough was a lengthy process, and he wanted to know how much of his karma cultivating for two straight hours had consumed.

    -----

    Dan Hiel - Karmic system's wielder.

    Age - 14

    Rank

    - peak rank 2 of Martial cultivation

    - early rank 2 of Spiritual cultivation

    Karma - 656

    -----

    Daniel was extremely surprised that it took him only two hours to increase his cultivation from early rank 2 to peak rank 2. Unfortunately, he still had no idea of the rate his karmic system had speeded his cultivation. All he knew was that, before he started cultivating, he had 662 karma points, which meant that, for basic breathing cultivation, he would require to spend 1 point every 20 minutes.

    This had left him elated, as this type of cultivation was effortless and required a very small amount of karma points. Of course, he knew that different methods of cultivation would increase the amount of ki produced, which would likely require longer times to be absorbed.

    When he was about to make an attempt by using a rank 1 beast core, he heard knocking sounds coming from his door. At this point, Daniel realized that he had been cultivating for the past two hours, and that he still hadn't started to pack things up.

    He put his beast cores and manuals back into his backpack, and went to answer the door. Behind it, a couple of men were standing one in front of the other. The one in front was a short and skinny man, while the one in the back was tall and stout. The skinny man had a small triangular face, with a nose so big that it looked out of place. On his head, a lock of thin hair had been glued to his scalp with the intent of hiding his impending baldness. At the base of his neck, a vicious looking scar that reached from ear to ear could be seen pulsating whenever he breathed in.

    The tall and burly man was completely bald. His eyes small as a pair of needles, and his neck was so fat that it was indistinguishable where his jaw ended and where his neck started.

    Daniel knew these two men all too well. He had never learned their real names, but he knew that within their organization, they were called Rat and Sweet Cheeks. The skinny man was, of course, Rat.. the reason why the big and fat one was called sweet cheeks, had always been a mystery to him.

    What was more important than the origin of their nicknames, was the fact that these two men worked for the hotel owner to whom he owed his debt.
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