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70 To Keep Ones End of a Deal

    Three days had passed since when Daniel had started to produce elemental spheres.

    He was currently sitting on the ground, and in front of him were the three essence spheres he had just finished condensing.

    The water essence sphere, which resembled a small-scaled world completely covered by calm water. The wind essence sphere, which constantly changed in color due to the fast movements of the various gasses above its surface. Lastly, the lightning essence sphere, which looked like a ball of white light which constantly discharged electricity in the air.

    The three spheres had been placed in a small triangle, and in between them, Daniel could see the three essences mixing and forming a miniature storm.

    Moving clouds created by wind and water rotated until they finally became small tornadoes, clouds packed with electricity moved all around, causing the various weak lightning bolts to strike the ground the very moment they formed, numerous faint thunders constantly resounded in the room as if someone was beating ceaselessly on a drum.

    Daniel quietly observed the creation of the storm. He was not aware of it, but the sort of comprehension he lacked in order to reach a perfect comprehension of the essences, were in fact, their reaction to other essences.

    Without him noticing, the still activated 'Time is Precious' started to once again consume his karma points. At the same time, his comprehension of lightning, water and wind increased.

    It was only after ten minutes, and five hundred karma points that Daniel noticed that his comprehension of the three essences had increases.

    His comprehension of water essence was now at ninety-four percent, and his comprehension of wind and lightning essence were now both at ninety-six percent.

    The increase wasn't that big, and yet Daniel was enthusiastic about it. He had finally understood what was required to comprehend the last bit of essence.

    Despite the unbelievable expenditure of thirty thousand karma points, Daniel was extremely happy about the result of his work.

    He wasn't sure about the value any of these spheres might have, but he was convinced that one of his many rich companions would.

    Without resting for even a moment, Daniel left the comprehension testing room and went towards Roley's room.

    After knocking politely on his door, he heard a voice from inside say "Come in.."

    Daniel opened the door, and found Roley sitting at his desk. He was studying the content of a book that Daniel had seen in the library. It was a mixed magic art called 'Mud Blockade', and explained how to mix water essence and earth essence in order to create a swamp, which was extremely effective when fighting martial cultivators.

    "Hey Roley, I have something for you." Said Daniel, taking Roley's mind off the book.

    Roley slowly closed the book and got up on his feet. He then approached Daniel while asking "Something for me?.. What is it?"

    Daniel raised his hand and opened it with his palm facing up. The next moment, a small watery world which brimmed with lively water essence appeared, suspended just a few centimeters above his palm.

    "WHAT THE.. How can you possibly have something like that?!" Roley suddenly burst out in shock.

    Daniel couldn't help but smile at Roley's reaction. "I found various essence treasures during the tournament. I've made this sphere out of my own comprehension of water, so it's of no use to me. You can have it.." He said calmly, before taking a small pause and continuing "Give it to Alis after you are done with it. Ask her to commission a treasury room in which high level essence spheres can be stored."

    Roley's face couldn't possibly show a more shocked expression. He looked at Daniel and asked "Do you plan on making more of these?!"

    "I do." Responded Daniel with a casual tone. He was about to leave the room when he recalled something and turned to look back at Roley. "By the way, can you estimate the rough value of of that essence sphere?"

    "Daniel.. This is basically an inheritance.. Forget the value of the treasure itself.. Comprehension of the essence is the most important thing a spiritual cultivator has.. You could buy a small city with this thing.." Responded Roley with as much self control as he could muster.

    Satisfied with Roley's response, Daniel turned around and left headed towards the room's door, but before he could open it and leave, Roley's voice came from behind him. It said "The middle aged man came back yesterday morning.. He was looking for you."

    Once again, Daniel turned to look at Roley, and asked in confusion. "I wasn't gone.. Why didn't he come to find me?"

    A weirdly satisfied grin appeared on Roley's face, as he said "He said that he isn't able to move within the space inside the castle.. Oh.. he was so pissed about it.." From his tone, Daniel could feel the satisfaction Roley felt towards the middle aged man's problems, likely caused by the fact that the middle aged man had suddenly left, leaving him in a nightmare of chaotic space for days.

    "Okay, I'll go see him right away." Said Daniel before leaving Roley's room.

    Once in the corridor, Daniel sensed the presence of every person within the castle, and quickly found the middle aged man's exact position. He was currently standing in front of the doors that lead into the spiritual section of the castle's library.

    The very next moment, he appeared next to him.

    "What reason could there possibly be for locking the space of every room within the castle? Do you only grant tours of bathrooms and bedrooms to your guests by any chance?.." Said the middle aged man in a dissatisfied tone.

    With a faint smile, Daniel responded "I guess I could grant you access.. If you let me take a peek at what's inside your pocket dimensions or spatial rings.."

    "Very funny." Said the middle aged man while turning to look at him. Once his eyes landed on Daniel's body, he showed a surprised look and said "..Interesting use of spatial essence.. But worthless. What's the point of bending the space around your body?"

    "I don't like to be touched." Responded Daniel with a matter-of-fact tone.

    With a slightly derisory tone, the middle aged man said "I wouldn't have the slightest problem in touching you."

    "Didn't take you for that kind of person.." Said Daniel sarcastically, while also taking a step back.

    Daniel was completely safe within his castle, so the purpose of the backward step he had taken, was to irritate the middle aged man.

    "Enough with the sass.. You have a problem." Responded the middle aged man, unwilling to continue this battle of wits with a fifteen years old kid. "Apparently, one needs to be part of the empire in order to participate in the Gathering."

    "How is that my problem?" Asked Daniel casually.

    The eyes of the middle aged man turned back on the castle's library doors. He waved his hand in the air with a casual motion, and forced the spatial blockade imposed by the formation to rip apart.

    He then slowly walked inside the library while saying "Because a pact has been made, and you have to respect your end."

    Daniel was surprised by the fact that the middle aged man was capable of ripping apart a portion of such a powerful formation. He rapidly recreated the blockade around the library and followed the middle aged man inside.

    "Any idea of how I can solve this problem?" Said Daniel while walking two steps behind the strolling middle aged man.

    The man's finger was lifted to his chin's height, and was pointing at the books titles. He seemed to be looking for something specific.

    Without stopping or looking back at Daniel, he said "Yes. You can join a group which is officially part of the empire. You'll also need to complete an official task before being considered a citizen of the Empire. Do you think you can do it before the Gathering?"

    "That depends on the assignment. What groups do you suggest?" Asked Daniel with curiosity.

    The middle aged man finally stopped, and turned to look at him. In his hand, three medallions had suddenly appeared.

    "There are many groups in the empire. But only three would give you a semblance of status." He said, while picking the medallions one by one from his palm, and describing their origin.

    The first medallion was of a lucid dark green color, and was made out of high quality wood and a ring of metal around it. On one of its sides, the outline of three different items had been carved in a triangular formation. These three items were a crucible, a retort and a conical flask. On the other side of this medallion, a name and a title had been carved.

    Daniel could not read the name, but he could feel the middle aged man's spiritual essence within the medallion.

    "The Alchemical Circuit.." Said the middle aged man. "Any merchant or group that deals in alchemy is under their control." After the brief introduction, the medallion disappeared from his hand, and he picked another one.

    The second medallion was bronze in color, and was entirely made of metal. On one side, two crossed swords were carved, while on the other side, was a single drop of blood. There was no name written on this medallion, and yet, once again Daniel felt the middle aged man's distinctive presence inside it, under the form of a wisp of ki left in the medallion.

    "The Legion of Blood and Steel, which controls every type of mercenary group within the empire. It used to only welcome martial cultivators, but after spiritual cultivators had started to be accepted into the various mercenary groups, the legion abandoned its old uses and welcomed powerful and talented mages as well." Described calmly the middle aged man.

    Once he finished talking about The Legion of Blood and Steel, the second medallion disappeared, leaving only one on the man's hand.

    "This is the group i suggest you to join." He said while showing the third and last medallion.

    The third medallion had a circular shape, and was completely made out of polished obsidian. On one of its flat surface, ten differently colored pearls were encrusted in a circle.

    Daniel immediately recognized each of these small pearls as essence spheres of the lowest level. Their worth was trifling, and their only use was to showcase various different essences.

    In the middle of this circle was another, slightly bigger bead. Contained within this bead, was the spiritual essence of the middle aged man.

    It didn't take long for Daniel to discover that these low level essence spheres were not only used to showcase the various different types of essences. In fact, their main use was to work as components of a small formation which binded the spiritual essence of the owner within the bead in the middle of the medallion.

    This medallion worked exactly like a 'Ki Flag', but thanks to the formation, erasing the spiritual essence was impossible, unless the owner died.

    Only in case of the owner's death, would the formation break and the group be alerted.

    With a doubtful voice, Daniel asked "It seems like they keep constant control your every movements.. Why would I want that?"

    "Because amongst these three groups, 'The Magical Covenant' is the one in which I have the highest position. I might be able to assign a mission to you myself." Explained the middle aged man calmly.

    "I'll pass. I value my privacy.. I know nothing of alchemy, and I have no intention of learning for the time being. My talents lie within battle magic.. I'll go for the The Legion of Blood and Steel and join along with the rest of my group." Responded Daniel while sharing his thoughts.

    "Very well. I'll take you all back to Drester.. Every city has a registration office, but only in Drester and three other cities within the empire will you have a chance to be valued by someone worth something within the Legion.." Said the middle aged man with a matter-of-fact tone. He then continued "Come with me, I'll teach you how to put your castle inside a pocket dimension."
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