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14 Moving Ou

    Slums, 21:15

    When Daniel managed to get back to his house in the slums, he noticed the dim lights coming from the windows, and realized that Mea and Reila had come back.

    Inside the house, a couple of beautiful girl were sitting at a table, above which, various dishes had been placed.

    "About time! we were starting to think that you wouldn't be back tonight!" Said Reila.

    "Welcome back.." Said Mea while giggling shyly. After she had gotten used to Reila's personality in the evening that they had spent together, they quickly became friends.

    "I like how you've packed.." Said Reila teasingly while indicating at their untouched belongings.

    Daniel smiled, took his cape off and dropped his bag on the ground "Sorry, I had something to settle first." He then took his seat on the table "Did you find a house?" He asked to the two girls.

    "Oh, yes!" Said Reila excitedly, she then started listing all the houses they had seen, their prices, and the locations. In the beginning, Daniel wanted a house with at least three rooms, but after learning about his uncle's situation, he decided to go for a larger house.

    Daniel had slowly started to become aware that the 'Freedom for All!' quest, would not only require him to free people along the road, but also take responsability for them. For example, he had already set Mea free, but because of her belonging to a family accused of treason, she would either be killed by bounty hunters or be once again enslaved if he decided to let her go on her way.

    Provided that he knew that he wouldn't be able to take every person the system will make him help in, he wanted to at least have a chance to, if necessary.

    One thing was for certain, the Karmic system wasn't free.

    When listening to his sister's description about the houses they had seen, Daniel noticed the emphasis she had put when describing two of the few house she had listed.

    The first one, was a medium sized house with three bedrooms and a small yard in the front. It was situated near her friend's houses, and was next to various commercial roads. Its size was big enough for the three of them to live in, and the price was fairly affordable.

    The second, was a four story building in which an old man lived. The building used to be a small hotel, but after a few financial problems, had been forced to ceace activity. The old man had purchased the building and lived in it ever since, renting the rooms to students. The reason why Reila had put emphasis on describing this location, was because it was situated close to her school, and the nearby buildings were the school's dorms.

    "What do you think Mea?" Daniel said while looking at the girl. He felt slightly odd about the idea of making Mea stay in their house, after all, she didn't know them that well. Furthermore, Mea had been a slave, and he didn't want to give her the impression that she wasn't completely free, so when he heard about the building with separated rooms, he became fairly excited.

    Reila interjected right away "If we take three rooms here, going to school would be much easier.. and all of us would have their own privacy!" Of course, Reila had also noticed her brother's reaction when she mentioned the four story building, so she pressed on it.

    Before Mea could say anything, Daniel said "Sounds nice.. wouldn't have to sleep in a room filled with the poisonous clouds made by your cook- OUCH! Ssshh.." A underhanded kick on the shinbone interrupted his sentence.

    "Fine! Separate rooms then!.." He feigned indignation while rapidly rubbing his unhurt shin.

    Daniel genuinely wanted to hear Mea's opinion, but also thought that, if Reila had interjected on the subject, she must have had a good reason, and he was right.

    When Reila and Mea had spent time together alone, she had noticed that the time spent on the run, not to talk about her being enslaved, had left a deep scar on her. She didn't trust other people easily, but she also wasn't the kind of person who would advance requests if other people's money was being used. That's why whenever Reila asked for Mea's opinion when looking at a house, she would simply mention some good qualities about the house, but would never give her true opinion.

    After dropping the conversation, the three started to eat dinner.

    Half an hour later, the two girls started chatting amongst themselves, while Daniel sat quietly on a corner. "You girls should go to bed early tonight, we'll move tomorrow. Mea, you can sleep on Reila's bed, she'll sleep on mine"

    "Where will you sleep?" Reila asked.

    Daniel looked at her and responded "I have something to do, I don't know how long it will take, don't worry about me."

    "Fine, but don't you dare act tired tomorrow just to make us hold the bags!!"

    As the girls stood up and prepared to go to bed "Mea, can I talk to you for a moment?" Daniel said.

    Mea walked towards him, and as she was about to talk.. "You've told me your father was a powerful martial cultivator.. he must have had plenty of knowledge about it, right?"

    Mea had been taken by surprise, but she composed herself right away and nodded her head firmly.

    "Have you ever learned martial cultivation from your father?" He asked with eyes filled with hope.

    Mea's eyes flashed with a bit of sadness when she remembered about the time she spent with her father.. After a few moments, she looked at Daniel and responded with a simple "Yes."

    Daniel didn't want to beat around the bush, so he simply asked "Have you ever heard about a 'perfect' state between stages?"

    A surprised look appeared on Mea's face once more. She had in fact heard about the 'perfect state' from her father.

    The perfect state was a second stratum of refining of the body through Ki. A person at the perfect state would have a much deeper foundation, perfecting their bodies to a point where their battle prowess was near that of a next stage practitioner.

    The idea of perfecting their bodies interested many practitioners of old, but unfortunately, it wasn't easy to reach. The problem wasn't talent or resources.. the problem was time. In fact, refining one's body to the perfect stage would take years. Years which practitioners weren't willing to spend stuck at the same stage.

    After tens of thousands of years, most records had been lost about this subject, and as reaching perfection of the stage turned into a simple matter of increasing one's battle prowess, the practice had lost people's interest and had been slowly given up.

    Mea explained everything she had heard from her father about this subject to Daniel, and then she went to bed.

    "What is the point of reaching the perfect state if all it does is increasing my battle prowess.. and why would the system reward me with so many points for reaching it.." A series of questions rushed into Daniel's mind as he quietly sat in a corner of the living room. "No point thinking about it now.." He muttered.

    One thing that Daniel had learned from Mea, was that the perfect state is an optional sub-stage in between major stages, so there was no need for him to worry about it now, since he was still at the peak of the second rank.

    What left Daniel slightly excited was that, when thinking at the timeline that the quest had give him to reach the perfect stage, he had realized that, the fact that the system had only given him an additional month for reaching it, meant that it wouldn't take him a full month to reach it if he wanted to.

    In a good mood, Daniel took a few rank 1 beast cores from his bag and started to attempt a breakthrough to the third rank. His intention was to kept cultivating using beast cores for the whole night.

    Sitting quietly with two rank 1 beast cores on his hands, he started to absorb them, and direct the raging beast essence towards his bones.

    After a full hour, Daniel finally managed to break through the early vasodilation sub-stage. Two more hours later, he had reached the mid rank 3, and when the first lights of the morning started to shine through the windows, five hours later, he was at the late third rank.

    The difference between Daniel's body before and now was abysmal. The more he cultivated, the easier it was for him to produce ki and to make it circulate through his body.

    Daniel checked the content of his bag and noticed that he had consumed two thirds of his beast cores, while the eight straight hours of cultivation had made his karma points drop from 656 to 416.

    After making the calculation, Daniel had realized that cultivating with beast cores consumed ten times the amount of karma points compared to cultivating without.

    Naturally, Daniel had also felt the difference between the two types of cultivation. Cultivating with beast cores forced the beast essence inside one's body in an aggressive manner. One required to direct the foreign form of power and use it to refine their bodies.

    The difference between the two was like the difference between tempering your body underneath a gentle stream of water, and a raging waterfall. The latter would be much more efficient, but also more dangerous, while the former was safe but far slower.

    Daniel didn't feel any sort of weakness from spending all night cultivating. In fact, whenever he advanced, he would feel his body become stronger than ever.

    While he waited for Mea and his sister to wake up, he decided to prepare breakfast.

    As the first street noises started to reach the insides of Daniel's house, the two sleepy looking girls came out of the room while still wearing pajamas. The two looked sleepy for two different reasons.

    Reila had slept peacefully, while Mea had barely managed to close her eyes for the entire night.

    After breakfast, the three went to a nearby bath house to clean themselves. They then headed back home and started packing their belongings.

    -----

    Commoner's section, 11:58

    A small group of three was walking on the busy streets. Two of them were beautiful girls, while the third was an unfortunate young man, which currently had a bag two times his size strapped on his back.

    "Are you sure it's this way?" Asked Daniel

    She turned towards him and.. "Are you asking me if i've forgotten where my school is?!" She asked back, slightly irritated.

    Daniel, startled by her irritated tone, said "Alright, calm down.. it's just that there is a lot of people around giving you two weird looks" Daniel had learned his sister's weak point. Whenever he made her angry, he would simply need to throw a subtle compliment to her looks, and then she would usually calm down.

    He was right, as Reila looked at him sideways.. her eyelids so thin that they almost looked like they were closed.. and then she slowly calmed down. "I think they are staring at you.. and how weird you look with that huge bag behind your back" She scoffed. "Why did you even insisted to take all the stuff yourself.. are you trying to steal a mule's job?"

    "Ha ha ha, very funny.. if you used half of the effort you spend on thinking of ways to mock me into your sense of direction, I wouldn't have to come pick you up from school so damn often.. or at least we would have arrived already.." Daniel retorted sarcastically.

    "Fine! We are here!" She said while throwing her hands in the air.

    What stood in front of the three, was a large four story building. The building had a rectangular shape, which expanded in width more than in height. Its white stone walls were so smooth that they looked like they had been carved from one immense boulder. Long balconies could be seen connecting every room from outside of the building, and decorating the frontal wall, were hundreds of rosewood boards placed vertically, diagonally and horizontally. The number of windows visible from the outside, suggested that, either each room had more than one window, or the former hotel contained a large amount of rooms. Above the fourth floor, a gable roof extended through the entire building, covering it completely.

    At the ground floor, an impressive looking double door stood above a short set of wooden steps.
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