66 Its Only Spatial Essence

    Daniel's wisp of consciousness was now standing in the middle of an empty space.

    He had just started to examine one of the many rings and jewels that the middle aged man was displaying, and yet he had already been greatly surprised.

    What surprised him wasn't the immense space inside it, as all the spatial containers that Daniel had seen contained a relatively large space already. What surprised Daniel about the ring he was currently in, was how different the space in it felt from other spatial containers.

    The space was hundreds of times more stable than that of any other ring he had found. It didn't feel like a large and feeble box adrift in space. Instead, it felt like a stable different dimension.

    Simply by standing inside the ring, Daniel was convinced that he would be able to reach a faint comprehension of spatial essence if he wanted.

    He quickly withdrew his ki and found himself back in front of the middle aged man.

    "So, what do you say?" Asked the man, with a grin still present on his face.

    Daniel looked at the middle aged man with a surprised expression and asked "These aren't spatial containers.."

    "They are not. They are called pocket dimensions and you can store anything inside it.. Even people. Of course, you'd need to create an appropriate atmosphere so that anything can survive inside.." Responded the middle aged man.

    That wasn't the first pocket dimension Daniel had seen. In fact, he had been carrying one for a very long while.

    The difference between these rings and the greenhouse ring that the old alchemist had given to him, was that space wasn't a major component of the latter. It could still house people within, but the space was much more unstable, and barely adequate for plants to grow in.

    At the moment, Daniel couldn't figure out what the middle aged man's motives could be.

    He had checked the man's karma more than once, but unfortunately, that hadn't been as helpful as it had always been in the past.

    Since when Daniel had met the blond young man, he had learned something very important about his karmic system's ability to read other people's karma.

    That something was that he shouldn't judge someone solely based on their karma points. What he should judge instead, should be the circumstances and actions of a person.

    What karma indicated was simply a person's disposition to pick the wrong path, but even that could be forged. For example, a good person could be forced to do something evil, or a bad person could do good things for the sake of appearance.

    Daniel felt very lucky for having met with one of those cases amongst people with bad karma and not the other way around. Had he found a bad person who had taken the habit of doing good things for the sole purpose of keeping up the appearances, he might have been cheated by now.. or worse.

    Of course, the system was not perfect. There was also another bane to Daniel's unique ability.. And that was people with relatively neutral karma.

    Daniel used to speculate that these people were simply shut ins who focused on their cultivation and training. Therefore, he was never able to make out their intentions solely by looking at their karma.

    The middle aged man, unfortunately, was one of those people. Above his head a red number 10 floated steadily.

    "What do you want?" Inquired Daniel in a doubtful tone.

    With curiosity in his eyes, the middle aged man looked back at Daniel and said "Nothing."

    "Okay.. What do you want me to do then." Asked Daniel, sure that there was more hidden behind the man's simple response.

    The middle aged man grinned at him and said "I am looking for a disciple. If you will be able to obtain a high enough comprehension of spatial essence, I'll take you with me to a gathering, and give you a ring as a reward."

    "What sort of gathering?" Asked Daniel with undeniable interest.

    Unable to hide the smile behind his dirty look, the middle aged man responded "A gathering of experts, of course."

    Daniel looked back at the rest of his group and said "What do you guy think?"

    The first one to respond was Roley, the only other spiritual cultivator in the group "What is there to think? Do you know how rare it is to find a teacher for spatial essence??" his tone was agitated, as if worried that Daniel would refuse.

    Daniel's eyes moved on the others.

    "It sounds shady.. But if he is telling the truth, then it might be worth it.. Any of these spatial rings could store the.. You know.." Said Heimart with a matter-of-fact tone.

    The blond young man was currently looking around, clearly uncomfortable with the strange looks the people in the crowd were sending him, and yet fascinated by the liveliness of the big human city.

    "I need critical thinking.." muttered Daniel impatiently.

    "Nobody showed discontent at him for placing his stall right in the middle of the square.. That indicates that he is a known figure. He also didn't approach you secretly, and made his offer out in the open instead.." Said Alis before taking a slight pause. She then continued "..finally, it is not uncommon for such an occurrence to happen with spiritual cultivators of that age. They spend all of their time studying and researching essences, and the only reason they are able to do that, is because they are funded. Let's say he is being funded by the empire.. He would need to prove that he isn't a dead investment by showing himself at the various official events along with a capable disciple."

    After a good half minute, Daniel turned back towards the middle aged man and said "If I accept, will I become part of the empire's return of investment?.."

    "Of course not. I made sure with the empire that whomever i will teach spatial essence to, will have the right to decide if or when to become part of the empire. As long as you don't decide to become part of the Krehan empire, you will be free to do whatever you want.." Responded the middle aged man.

    The middle aged man's words made sense. No matter how talented a youth was, it would be worthless without a teacher that could impart something useful to him. That was the reason why the empire had accepted the man's request. As long as they had him, they could find another young and talented spiritual cultivator to pass his spatial essence comprehension to.

    "I accept." Said Daniel, finally convinced by the man's words.

    The smile on the middle aged man's face grew larger "Splendid!.. Are they with you?" He then asked while pointing at the rest of the group.

    "Ye-" Before Daniel could finish to respond, he and the rest of the group had been absorbed by space, and teleported into a different place.


    Taken by surprise, Daniel and the rest of the group found themselves in an odd place. They could all feel a slight difference between the world they were in now and the one they were used to, but except for Daniel and Roley, they couldn't understand what was different about it.

    "Where are we?" Asked Imblen.

    Trying to resist the urge to puke, Roley grabbed his knees and said "Not in the outside world if that's what you are asking.. Probably inside one of the man's pocket dimensions."

    "That's right" Said a voice resounding in the air "This is the pocket dimension i've decided to give him if he won't fail my expectations" The voice belonged to the middle aged man.

    "It is? It's not the one i would have picked" Asked Daniel with confusion in his voice.

    The man appeared right in front of the group, and while looking at them he said "It's big enough to keep your castle in, isn't it?"

    The man's words petrified the entire group.

    "Oh please.. Do you think I wouldn't have felt the residue of spatial essence on you?" He asked while looking at Daniel. "How many spiritual cultivators who comprehended spatial essence do you think there are?.. The Clear Mage might have had a deep comprehension of many essences, but space wasn't one of them. Many spiritual cultivators had worked on that formation, and amongst them, was an ancestor of mine."

    "If you knew about the formation, why haven't you tried to warn people about the dangers of entering the tournament?.. Or even do something about it yourself." Asked Daniel.

    With a slightly mocking tone, the middle aged man responded "Haven't tried?.. Have you ever tried to tell someone that their hopes and dreans are garbage, and that the entire reason for their sect, or group's existence is to die inside a faulty trap? Plus, The tournament took place for two months every decade.. How powerful do you think I was ten or twenty years ago?! I was twenty then.. for crying out loud!"

    "Alright, good point." Said Daniel while raising his hands in surrender. "When will we start?"

    "Right now. We don't have much time to make you reach a decent level of spatial essence comprehension." Said the man without hesitation. He then indicated at the surroundings, and said "Get out of this space." before disappearing.

    Slightly irritated by the man's impulsive actions, Daniel was about to start focusing on the spatial essence when Imblen's voice came from behind him.

    "We might have a little bit of a problem.." She said while still holding the little boy in her arms. The little girl with black hair was standing next to her as well, holding her leather pants.

    Daniel couldn't help but sigh and say "Give them Ligart's candies.. Keep them happy. It won't take long.."


    Two hours had passed since the group had been teleported to the foreign space, and Daniel had spent them sitting and sensing every detail of space he wasn't used to.

    Atmospheric pressure, gravity, lack of natural essences.. Every one of these details had been a hint that could aid him in his comprehension.

    It was only after the third hour that Daniel had started to feel the feeble connection between the space they were in, and the ring which contained it. Once found the ring, he immediately recognized the space the ring was in, and in front of everyone's eyes, he disappeared.

    The very moment Daniel disappeared from the space, the middle aged man reappeared. He said with an amused expression "Alright alright, the joke is over. I'm taking you gu-.. Where is the kid?" His expression showed confusion, as if something he couldn't understand had just happened.

    "I think he left the dimension" Responded Heimart calmly.

    "That's ridiculous, I have put you all here to show him the difficulties of comprehending space. There is no way he was able to leave in a few hours." He said with a slightly irritated voice. As if someone had tried to refute his expert opinion.

    He was about to leave the pocket dimension, when suddenly, Daniel appeared once again right next to Ligart. The middle aged man was about to say something to him, but before he could, Daniel and Ligart had already disappeared.

    The middle aged man immediately left the pocket dimension, and what he found outside, was a solitary Ligart which stood right in front of him with a face filled with confusion. The very next moment, Daniel appeared outside of the pocket dimension along with the blond young man.

    Alis, Heimart and the rest were taken out one after the other in the span of ten seconds.

    Unable to believe his own eyes, the middle aged man kept staring at Daniel for a few minutes before managing to regain his wits and say "A.. D-damn monster.."

    The idea that Daniel could be an old cultivator had never crossed the middle aged man's mind, as in his eyes, Daniel looked like a simple young man in his mid teens that had reached the fourth rank.

    His rank certainly showed talent in cultivation, but it was nothing as prodigious as what he had showed by learning how to connect to an external dimension, and leave it in just a couple of hours.

    It had taken the middle aged man more than six months to learn how to do the same thing when he was younger. The only difference was that his teacher had actually left him in there for good, instead of going back for him after only a couple of hours.

    "What's next?" Asked Daniel teasingly.
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