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48 Clear and Dark Island

    It was late at night, and within his cabin, Daniel was quietly lying on his bed.

    In his hands was the pirate captain's spatial bag, which Daniel had waited for a chance to inspect since the very moment he obtained it.

    Heimart and Ligart were sleeping, and the petite girl was still lying in her bed, completely hidden by her dark grey cover.

    Daniel injected a bit of his ki into the captain's bag, forcing part of his consciousness to slowly seep into the bag.

    Inside it, almost as if following the universal law of what a pirate's booty should look like, Daniel found various chests.

    One after the other, floating around like a wisp of essence, Daniel checked the content of these chests, hoping to find the gains of the pirate crew's raids. Unfortunately, until now, every chest he had controlled, had been completely empty.

    This, to Daniel's disappointment, could mean only two things. They had been the first target since the pirates had last set out to sea, or that they either spent as much as they earned, or their money was stashed someplace else.

    Daniel kept controlling the chests, and only when he reached the last few, he had been pleasantly surprised by the fact that they weren't empty as well.

    Three chests remained. Inside the first one, was a small pile of gold coins. Daniel didn't count them, but he roughly  guessed them to be around two hundred and fifty coins.

    The second chest, contained a few beast cores of various levels, and a few low level essence treasure.

    At this point, Daniel considered the possibility that, right before they had encountered they had had their encounter with the pirate ship, a ship of low level cultivators might have perished to the pirates crew's hands, as the resources within the second chest, looked like what most cultivators would usually walk around with during their travels.

    What caught Daniel's attention, was the content of the third chest.

    The chest was similar to the others, but its content wasn't money or resources. Instead, it contained a book.

    This book was a thin weapon wielding manual, on whose leather cover 'Dual Sword Wielding' was neatly written.

    Daniel had gone through a quick read of dual knife wielding in the past, as he had found a manual for it within the ring given by the old master-at-arms. From that quick read, he had learned that dual knife wielding was an advance and more effective way to use close combat martial arts.

    What 'Dual Sword Wielding' teached instead, was to use swords with both hands at the same level of efficiency.

    Daniel wasn't too interested in dual wielding, but to be as capable of wielding a sword with his left hand as he was with his right hand, was a much more interesting concept, which could give him an additional surprise factor during his future fights.

    He then retracted his ki from the spatial bag, and started to force the content of the captain's bag into his rings, then, he went to sleep.

    -----

    Two more days had passed since the day of the attack, and Daniel had decided to spend his time cultivating in his cabin.

    This wasn't an unusual sight in the ship, as the many cultivators would be stuck together for a full week. It was an unspoken rule, that practitioners in the middle of cultivation should not be disturbed.

    He hid the beast cores into his shirt, so that his abnormal speed of consumption could be hidden, and then, started to cultivate.

    One by one, Daniel started to consume one rank 3 beast core after the other. He had chosen to cultivate with rank 3 beast cores, as he didn't want for any action driven by jealousy to happen.

    The consumption was extremely fast, but unfortunately, being Daniel's stage of cultivation on a different level than the beast cores he was using, it didn't allow him to make to breakthrough.

    Nevertheless, he had still managed to reach the peak of the fourth rank in spiritual cultivation, and approached it with his martial cultivation.

    At that point, Daniel decided to stop cultivating, as he didn't feel that rank 3 beast cores were able to assist him into a breakthrough to the next rank.

    It was dinner time when Daniel finished his cultivation. Heimart and Ligart had just finished a game of cards, and as usual, Ligart's expression was a pissed one.

    After the few usual interaction amongst themselves, the two put away the cards, and prepared to go to the mess hall.

    As usual, before leaving the room, they checked the state Daniel and the petite girl were in, and invite them for to accompany them.

    Usually, their invitations would be left unanswered. But this time, Daniel accepted.

    After Daniel joined them, Heimart tapped twice on the petite girl's bed, as he usually did to get her attention, but differently from any other time, the girl actually got out of bed, and stood silently next to them.

    Slightly shocked, the three looked at the girl with confused expressions, as this had been the very first time the girl had shown any sort of reaction to one of their attempts to interaction.

    After a good minute, Ligart looked at his cousin and said "I think you've tapped the right combination this time.. Hehe.. Come on, i'm starving" He then started walking out of the cabin.

    Heimart followed suit, and after him, Daniel did as well.

    The girl stood completely still in the cabin, until Daniel decided to move. She then followed him to the mess hall. She was still wearing her grey cape, and on her face, the mask was always present.

    There had been heavy casualties amongst this ship's number of cultivators. Therefore, the line that would form during meals, didn't seem as unbearable anymore.

    After reaching the mess hall and sitting on a table like they always did, a voice came from behind the group "Ligart! Did you finally found out a way to have a kid with your cousin? Hehehe" The voice asked.

    Without looking back, Ligart smiled and said "Is it one of your magical mustache's powers to sniff out children in the surroundings?" His words vicious, but his tone playful. A sound slap landed on Ligart's shoulder the very next moment.

    From behind Ligart, the voice started once again "I admit it, with how many times i've been with your mama.. I always am on the lookout for any kid that kinda looks like me.. Speaking of which.. Heimart, how sure are you that he is your cousin?"

    With a faint smile on his lips, Heimart looked at the man which stood behind Ligart, and said "A hundred percent.. Unfortunately.."

    Heimart and Ligart, since the day of the pirate attack, had built a good reputation for themselves, as they had shown great talent in martial arts, and even saved a few lives.

    Added to the fact that, whenever they went to the mess hall, their card games would become the biggest source of entertainment to the ship's passengers, they had easily been able to build a few friendly relationships.

    Daniel turned to look at the person behind Ligart, and saw a man which was in his mid twenties, but carried his age like someone at his early thirties did.

    His skin was heavily tanned, and on his face, was a mischievous smile. Right above his lips was a thick weird looking mustache, which Daniel guessed was the reason for Ligart's teasing words.

    After this man left, many other approached the two cousins with the same behaviour.

    Dinner hour rapidly went by.

    Daniel left the table and headed back to their cabin. Behind him, the petite girl followed.

    At first, Daniel thought that the girl, just like he did, simply wanted to go back to their cabin and mind her own business.. But then, the following days, Daniel noticed that the girl would only accept Heimart's invitation after he accepted to go as well.

    -----

    Three days later.

    Aside from the occasional shoal of fish, or low level aquatic beast's attack, the ship had no more problems, nor did had anything worthy of attention happened.

    It was early in the morning, and many of the passengers were now standing on the deck of the ship, looking at the barely noticeable mass of land in the horizon.

    When Daniel, the girl, and the two cousins left the hold to join the rest of the passengers on the deck, they were immediately noticed.

    Everyone present here had either seen the petite girl fighting the pirate captain, the two brothers fiercely defeating pirate after pirate, or Daniel's prowess when sinking the ship and killing every escaping pirate, before they could bombard them with their warship.

    The four had become respected cultivators within the ship, causing the crowd of cultivators to part, so that they could take a look at the view as well.

    The more they approached the island, the more ships they started to see come and go. What was odd, was that ships came and went from every direction, not only toward the harbor they were approaching.

    This mystery was solved by the island itself when they came close enough to it.

    The island was massive. So big that one could see more than a few mountains within its inland.. But what was more surprising, was that the entire observable coast was a single long harbour, to which hundreds of ships had been anchored.

    Minute after minute, they came closer and noticed more details. Like the outstanding number of people roaming the port, including middle aged and old people, and the many buildings that had been erected.

    More than a harbor, Daniel and the rest of the passengers felt like they had been looking at a ring city which covered the entire coast of the island.

    Little did they know, that their guess was actually right.

    If the group were to ask to anyone who lived in the island, they would always receive the same answer, which was that the legend of the Lost Inheritance Tournament's fame was so big, that it had eclipsed every story told about the city which surrounded the island.

    That city, was called Clear and Dark city, name given in honor of the Clear Mage and Dark Warrior which once inhabited the island.

    The barriers created by the two powerful cultivators would only activate when trying to look for the inheritance hidden within the island, during the time of the tournament. The tournament lasted two months in total, and after that, for the remaining nine years and eleven months, the island would become like any other.

    This had allowed settlers to establish small ports all around the coast, which then grew into small port cities, and after hundred of years of development, merged into a single port city to which the Clear and Dark name was given.

    -----

    Since sighting the island, the ship had to travel two more hours before being able to dock.

    Daniel and the rest spent these last couple of hours at sea chatting, until finally, they were able to get off the ship.

    Like many other cultivators within their ship did with their cabin mates, Daniel, the petite girl and the two cousins, didn't immediately part ways.

    None of them knew anybody else in the island, as they had come here with the sole purpose of participating in the tournament. Therefore, the friendships formed in battle and travel, became the only things that separated these cultivators from two months of absolute loneliness.

    This hadn't happened to the practitioners of the other ships, as they owned private cabins, and traveled in groups whose members originated from the same area or even power.

    In front of Daniel and the rest, a large sign hung between two large wooden poles which emerged from the water. On it, a clear writing spelled 'Clear and Dark city - Dock 229'

    Daniel turned towards his cabin mates, and noticed how all the people the two cousins had made friends with, were now standing next to them. Including the four of them, the entire group numbered close to a dozen.

    Daniel immediately looked at Heimart, and handed the leadership role to him when saying.. "What do we do now?"

    Heimart took the hint, and after a moment of thinking, he said "Now we look for informations.. Ideas on where to start?"

    In response, Daniel took deep breath, and after smelling the inviting odor of roasted meat, he said "I know where I want to start.."
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