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22 System Upgrade

    It was the middle of the night, and everyone had gone back to their tents.

    Inside his, Daniel was sitting quietly with his eyes closed. His entire attention had been focused on his profile.

    -----

    Dan Hiel - Karmic system's wielder.

    Age - 14

    Rank (Details)

    Karma - 1969

    -----

    Weapons Masteries (Details)

    Martial Arts (Details)

    Spells (Details)

    -----

    System Upgrades (Details)

    -----

    A brand new section of the system had been unlocked, and Daniel couldn't wait to learn more about it. He then focused on the System's Upgrade details, and a new window appeared.

    -----

    System Upgrades Lv.1

    Reap What You've Sown = 500 KP

    (Passive: Killing rewards the mirror amount of karma owned by the victim.)

    Time Is Precious Lv.1 = 750 KP

    (Active: Double the cost of karma points in order to double the speed of progression. +100 of cost and effect. Max lv.10)

    Reduced Cost Lv.1 = 1000 KP

    (Passive: Permanently decreases the consumption of karma points by 10%. An additional 10% per level. Max Lv.10)

    Bonus Points Lv.1 = 1000 KP

    (Passive: Permanently increases the karma points received by 10%. An additional 10% per level. Max Lv.10)

    Second Chance Lv1 = 5000 KP

    (Passive: Once per month, the user will be brought back to two seconds before the moment of his death. 2 additional seconds per level. Max Lv.10)

    Karma X Luck = 30,000 KP

    (Passive: Your overall luck is dependent to the amount of positive or negative karma.)

    -----

    Accumulate 200,000 Karma points to unlock System Upgrades Lv.2

    -----

    Daniel's jaw dropped the very next moment. The upgrades were amazing and he couldn't believe his eyes. There were some that could shape his luck depending on his karma or even some that could bring him back to life. The stupor in his eyes lasted for a good 5 minutes.

    If one could see Daniel right now, they would notice his accellerated breath and his shaky hands.

    "Hahaha! Look at you.. You look like a brat in a candy shop! Hahaha!" Sewah's voice resounded within Daniel's mind, taking him back to reality.

    Daniel read the upgrades descriptions once again "How many features are there left to unlock??" He asked to Sewah.

    After a few moments, Sewah responded with his usual vagueness. "How am I supposed to know that?!"

    Such an answer was within Daniel's expectations. He wasn't sure what Sewah was, except for being part of the system. But now a new guess had formulated in his mind. And that was, that Sewah was part of an undiscovered feature within the system.

    He didn't have any solid proof to his claims, but after unlocking one feature after the other, he couldn't help but to convince himself that there were still many secrets to Sewah's character.

    Until now he had simply believed that the system was Sewah, as he instinctively knew the use of every unlocked feature. But that was simply because he wasn't aware of how little he knew about the system. What made him change his mind was the fact that, the undiscovered features, were a mystery for Sewah as well.

    Daniel dropped the subject and focused back to the system's upgrades. "I assume that I simply have to think about an upgrade to purchase it.." He muttered to himself.

    "Hahaha.." Sewah's laugh could be heard once again. "I thought pretty boys were supposed to be stupid! HA HA HA"

    Daniel had no intention of humoring Sewah, so he went through the upgrades once more, and made his choice.

    -----

    Dan Hiel - Karmic system's wielder.

    Age - 14

    Rank (Details)

    Karma - 719

    -----

    Weapons Masteries (Details)

    Martial Arts (Details)

    Spells (Details)

    -----

    Reap What You've Sown

    Time Is Precious Lv.1

    System Upgrades (Details)

    -----

    "I guess I should try this out.." Mumbled Daniel to himself. He then grabbed his bag and took out all the beasts cores that he found in the summoner's bag.

    He only had nine rank 2 and two rank 3 beast cores. He had never tried to cultivate with cores above level one, except for that one time where Sewah forced him unconscious, so he decided to start with the rank 2 beast cores.

    His consumption without beast cores was of three karma points per hour, while with the use of beast cores, it would be ten times faster. Of course, the karma system was only able to shorten the time required to absorb the beast essence and refine his body. It was in no way capable of reducing the amount of essence needed for the refinement. He would still need just as much ki or beast essence as anybody else. The only difference, was that for him, the absorbtion and refinement was drastically hastened.

    Daniel knew that there was no way for these few beast cores to be enough for him to reach the perfect state of Body Strengthening. So he decided to refine his spirit instead.

    He was unsure of when he would manage to have enough beast cores to attempt to break through the perfect state of the Body Strengthening stage, so, since he had found a use in learning magic, he decided to practice it.

    After calming his mind, he activated 'Time Is Precious' and sat in a meditating position. He then started to absorb the beast essence within the two rank 2 beast cores he was holding in his hands.

    Daniel had never practiced spiritual cultivation before, but he had gotten used to sensing his spirit when learning Stone skin. He remembered the content of the basics of spiritual cultivation, and started to follow the method described in it. He let the absorbed spiritual essence fill his entire body, and then gave up control over it, letting his spirit assimilate it slowly.

    Normally, an essence whose control had been renounced would dissipate, but the spirit was omnipresent within a cultivator's body, so as long as the essence was within one's body, the spirit would slowly assimilate it.

    Daniel focused on the correct method of cultivation, and in the blink of an eye, two hours had passed.

    Six of the rank 2 beast cores had been consumed, and Daniel's karma points had decreased from 719 to 599.

    The karma consumption was exactly double what he would have spent without activating 'Time Is Precious'. What left him excited, was that his spiritual cultivation had increased by leaps and bounds. From the early rank 2 or Faint Spiritual Connection sub-stage, he had reached the late Profound Spiritual Connection, or late rank 3.

    As of now, his spiritual cultivation was almost on par with his martial cultivation.

    Daniel's consciousness focused on sensing the changes within his body. His muscles, skin and bones protected him like an armor, his blood was being pumped through his enhanced heart, and forced into every corner of his body through his dilated blood vessels. His physical body functioned like a well oiled machine. The only difference, was that now, he could feel his ever present spirit flooding through the entirety of his body. No matter if it was blood, skin, organs or muscles, his spirit was a constant and quiet part of it.

    Feeling the changes within his spirit, Daniel started to wonder about the two types of cultivation. Various questions that millions before him had asked, but to which nobody had ever found an answer to. He understood the conflicting parts between the two types of cultivation, but why was there no problem with the two being cultivated together until one reached the second stage?

    This subject had been the center of thousands of studies through history, but no matter what kingdom, continent or race one came from, the answer to this question had been a mystery to any cultivator underneath the sky that had a genuine interest in practicing both types of cultivation to a higher level.

    Daniel wasn't any better at guessing than anybody else before him, so he put that question aside, and started to consider his situation. It didn't took long before he realized his major problem.

    "I need to learn more skills.." He mumbled to himself after opening his eyes.

    He was right. Daniel had been lucky to have fought against a member of the military at the third rank. Every power had their own speciality, and the military wasn't an exception.

    The speciality of the military was Tactical Formations.

    Every person who decided to take the military life, would be required to study and practice Tactical Formations. In fact, part of the tests that one needed to pass in order to advance past the Lieutenant grade, was knowing every type of formations, so that, in case a war broke out, they would be able to make use of them. Individual skills were only teached to officers above the grade of Lieutenant, like Captains and Captains of the guard.

    That meant that, had their battle been a one-on-one, and hadn't Stueh underestimated Daniel since the beginning, their fight would have probably ended differently. Luckily, Stueh was only an elite sergeant, so his competence with individual skills were severely lacking. Despite that, he had still been a dangerous opponent to Daniel and Garth.

    What Daniel needed the most, was to gain combat experience and learn fighting skills, like 'True Motion' or 'Stone Skin'. Unfortunately, just like before, the first thing he needed to do was to earn money.

    The rest of the night passed quietly while Daniel pushed his spiritual cultivation forward, and after spending three more hours, and an entire rank 3 beast core to reach the peak of the Spiritual Connection stage, he finally stopped.

    Bright rays of light seeped through the small holes within the fabric of his tent, so he got up, and went out.

    Outside, around the faintly lit fire, the rest of the party was sitting quietly while eating. About ten meters from the camp, the body of Stueh was laying, completely covered by large sheet that the rest of the group had found inside his bag.

    All of them were experienced hunters, and waking up early had long been a habit to them.

    Daniel approached the group and sat on a large tree stump. He then took a piece of dried meat from his backpack and started to eat it quietly.

    Time passed awkwardly, until a voice broke the silence. It was Sella's. "What do you guys want to do? we don't have an escort anymore.." He said dispiritedly.

    At that point, Yala left Stueh's tent, which she had decided to use after killing him. She had heard Sella's question and decided to intervene. "What are you guys worried about.. two of you are at the third rank. Hell, Daniel's cultivation is on par with the dead soldier's!" She said.

    The rest of the group, except for Garth, looked at Daniel with a stupefied looks painted on their face.

    They were aware that he wasn't a simple bronze hunter, but they didn't expect him to be this powerful. After all, he was just 14 years old.

    Reaching the peak of the third rank at 14 years old wasn't impossible, but it would still require an abnormal talent, or at the very least, to start practicing right after being born.

    Yala ignored the surprised looks on the faces of the group, and went to sit oddly close to Daniel.

    Legoh picked up right away and asked "Daniel.. do you think you can act as our escort if we end up in truble?"

    "I have a contract with the Huntsmen Guild, like you guys. I won't get paid to act like an escort.." He paused before continuing "But if we do end up in trouble, I won't just let you die."

    Daniel didn't know, but most of them didn't simply hunt for the sake of earning money. In fact, hunters earned more money than they needed to live a normal life.. So what many amongst those who risked their lives by going out to hunt needed, was a large amount of money for one particular reason or another.

    For example, Fiora was terminally ill, and the siblings's only hope for a cure was to hire a healer. Garth was paying for his two daughters's studies, and finally, Sella was saving money to organize a wedding for him and his fiancée.

    "That's enough for me!" Said Sella right away.

    Legoh looked at his sister fondly, then turned towards Daniel and said "We are in."

    "I'll come too.. I came here pick herbs, so I won't steal any of your preys. Also, I am not so bad in a fight.." She said while hitting Daniel's arm with her elbow, but the moment her elbow touched his arm, her eyes widened in shock and she jumped up in place.

    "WHAT THE HELL!?" She shouted ".. y-you were just at the early Moderate Spiritual Connection.."
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