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71 Twice as Cunning

    "Is that it?" Said Daniel with a doubtful tone "I only need to encompass it with my spiritual essence and shift it into the pocket dimension?"

    "That's how easy that is. Of course, if you can't do that you can always try to scale down the space around the castle. Shifting it into the pocket dimension should be easier once you make it smaller." Explained the middle aged man calmly.

    Daniel's interested had been piqued. He looked at the castle and asked "How do I do that?"

    "You find the fulcrum of the castle, and apply pressure towards it from every angle of every direction. It's very complex.. Think of it like squeezing a ball into your hand. You have to apply the same amount of pressure from every angle, or the pressure will be released from the points with the lowest amount of pressure is being applied." He then paused for a second before finishing to explain "Once the pressure will be released, space will shatter and you'll find yourself with a trillion pieces of a castle to pick up."

    "It seems impossible to do." Said Daniel with an irritated tone.

    A faint smirk appeared on the face of the middle aged man, as he said "It is for you. I am barely able to do it myself. The first method is simple, but requires a lot of spiritual essence. The second method takes a lot less spiritual essence, but requires a near perfect control over space, and a deep comprehension of it."

    "Why are you explaining this to me, if you know I won't be able to do it?" Asked Daniel.

    "I seriously doubt that you will have reached the necessary comprehension of spatial essence by the time the Gathering will take place. So you better remember this. Now shut up for a minute, I have hundreds of pocket dimensions to go through to decide which is the best one to store your castle into." Responded the middle aged man in a dismissive tone.

    Slightly irritated by the man's tone, Daniel took the pocket dimension he had received by the middle aged man and entered it with his spiritual essence.

    The next moment, he was standing as a wisp of spiritual essence inside the simple yet stable space within the ring.

    This space was the first place in which Daniel had managed to achieve comprehension of spatial essence, so he was extremely familiar with it. To a point where he could feel every bit of it even from the distance.

    Suddenly, Daniel raised his gaseous-like arm, and above it, the wind essence sphere he had just finished to create appeared.

    The moment the sphere appeared in the empty space, a basic atmosphere started to form around it.

    Daniel comprehension of wind essence included the components of which the breathable air was composed, so it didn't take long for him to set a breathable atmosphere within the empty space, and regulate the power of the gusts of wind.

    He then took control over the space, and locked the wind sphere into a slow circulatory movement in mid air. The entire space started to slowly fill itself with air composed by the appropriate amount of oxygen.

    After setting the dimension's gravity and air pressure, Daniel retracted his spiritual essence from the pocket dimension, and entered it with his entire body.

    He was fully capable of breathing, and he could feel the wind brush against his skin.. but he couldn't feel the faintest presence of humidity in the air. He was sure that if he had installed the water sphere along with the wind sphere, he could create a perfect replica of the air in the outside world.

    Happy enough with the result he had obtained, Daniel left the pocket dimension once again. Noticing that the middle aged man was still busy, Daniel suddenly disappeared from where he was standing, and reappeared inside the castle's ground. He then focused on the control he had over the formation.

    Outside of the castle, the middle aged man was muttering by himself "Not this one.. This one is too chaotic.. This one is basically the inside of a volcano.. Too small.." He went on for a few minutes, before finally.. "Ah, this one is close enough." He said after managing to find an appropriate pocket dimension that could contain the castle.

    Prepared to show off in front of Daniel, the middle aged man looked back up.. But the castle was gone. Only the figure of Daniel could be seen, standing alone just a hundred meters away from him, exactly where the castle was only a few minutes ago.

    The middle aged man teleported in front of Daniel, and looked at him sideways. After noticing the smug expression on Daniel's face, he said "Try not to ascend to higher plane by sheer satisfaction.. I already suspected that the castle had the ability to teleport. I just didn't expect you had the necessary level of comprehension of space required to use that part of the formation.." He then paused, before continuing in a slightly disheartened tone "I supposed I shouldn't have expected that you would spare me the embarrassment of boasting about something you can already do.. Kids have no respect for their teachers nowadays.."

    "That's because you've left one of my friends inside chaotic space for days.." Said Daniel with a self righteous tone.

    Contrary to Daniel's expectations, the middle aged man started to snicker. After a few seconds, he said "Alright, alright.. That was my fault."

    After the unexpected apologies, Daniel found himself being teleported three different times in the span of half a second. Before he could think of something to say, he was back in the middle of Drester.

    "Go register to the Legion.. The sooner you take care of that, the more time you have to complete your assignment." Said the middle aged man. Daniel nodded at him in response, and before he could ask anything to him, the middle aged man handed a 'Ki Flag' over to him and said "Call me once you are done with your assignment." He then disappeared into thin air.

    Daniel entered into the pocket dimension with his spiritual essence, and went to find the rest of his group.

    It was lunch time, so he expected them to be all together inside the castle.. But when he entered the dimension, he found all of them scattered around the place.

    After landing on the floor, Daniel teleported everybody next to him and said "Sorry, I should have warned you guys.. I have added an atmosphere inside the ring the middle aged man gave me.. So that we could have breathable air after moving the castle inside."

    Alis seemed to be about to say something, but she was surpassed in speed by Roley, which asked in an extremely surprised tone "Is that a wind sphere you've made?!"

    "One thing at a time." Said Daniel, interrupting Roley's enthusiasm. "First of all, I have changed my mind about the water sphere. When you are done with it, give it back to me, so that I can install it in this space. Regarding the treasury for storing essence spheres, I'll store only spheres made out of perfect comprehension, and use the semi-perfect ones to make this space as similar to the outside world as possible.."

    Roley and Alis immediately understood what Daniel was referring to, as Roley had already exposed Daniel's plans to her. The rest of the group was completely oblivious, and seemed to need an explanation, but before they could ask, Daniel started talking once again.

    "In order to participate in the gathering, I need to be officially part of the Krehan empire. The easiest way to do that, is by joining a group. I've picked a mercenary group called 'The Legion of Blood and Steel', which is basically the largest mercenary group in the empire. You guys are free to follow me or stay in the castle." Explained Daniel in a single breath. He then added "I assume there will be benefits in joining a group."

    "I'm certainly not going to stay in this castle to rot.. I'm in." Said Heimart with a decisive tone.

    The next one to talk was his cousin Ligart, which said "I have too many bets going with him, I can't stay here either."

    "I am definitely coming.." Said Alis in an amused tone. She had spent too much time renovating the castle, so she felt the need to go for the adventure.

    Contrary to Daniel's expectations, Imblen and Roley both refused.

    "I have all I need to train here, Daniel. I can come out to aid you guys in any fight you encounter, but Since we still have plenty of rank 4 beast cores, and you've given me a water essence sphere.. I'll stay here most of the time to train." Said Roley in an apologetic manner.

    "I will be staying in as well. My main weaknesses are the poor proficiency with my weapon, and the lack of martial skills.. And since we have a training room and a library.." Imblen said, before letting her voice trail off into silence. She then added "We will look after the kids as well."

    Daniel understood the reasoning of the two. They had all they needed to advance in their training, and they recognized that training was more important than go to the adventure.. At least for now.

    It only took a brief look at the blond young man to understand that he wasn't going to stay in the castle. In fact, he was already standing next to Daniel's wisp form, ready to go at a moment's notice.

    Daniel's gaseous shadow moved towards the castle's gate, and stopped only when he was ten meters away from it. He then focused on the space, and created a one way connection between the space inside the dimension, and the outside world.

    He looked back at Roley and Imblen, and said "You guys can use this tunnel to leave the pocket dimension at any time. If you find it blocked, then it means that it is dangerous and that you shouldn't come out."

    After a brief nod of confirmation, Daniel teleported everyone but Roley, Imblen, and the two kids out of the pocket dimension, then he left as well.

    When he retracted his spiritual essence from inside the ring, he noticed the four members of his group standing all around him.

    "Okay.. to the Legion of Blood and Steel recruitment office." He then said before turning towards a certain direction, and start walking.

    -----

    Twenty kilometers east from Daniel's position

    Inside a simple yet clean office, a man and a woman sat comfortably on two chairs. Between them was a wooden desk behind which the woman sat.

    She seemed to be in her forties, and yet her athletic and attractive body could be barely hidden underneath the leather clothes she wore. Her platinum blonde hair reached her chin in big and messy waves, and her perfectly symmetrical facial features made her look like the kind of woman most young girls desired to grow into.

    The man that sat in front on the desk, was the middle aged man.

    "Where have you been? You were supposed to find someone to take to the gathering.. Not disappear for more than a week" asked the woman.

    Slightly annoyed by the woman's reprimand, he said "Relax for once woman!.. I've found someone.."

    The woman's brows arched in curiosity. She couldn't help but say "About time.. Who is it?"

    The eyes of the middle aged man lit up as he said "A damn freak, that who that brat is.. Twice as cunning as I was at his age, and a hundred times more talented."

    The woman couldn't help but smile when noticing the way the middle aged man talked about Daniel. She then turned back into her serious state, and said "Your daughter got into trouble once again.." she then paused for a moment, before explaining "She said that the young master of Rising Dragon School was pestering her again.. So she broke his nose.."

    "Again?.." asked the middle aged man.

    The woman nodded and said "Again.. You have to solve the matter for her.. Before they come here and start making strange demands."

    "Fine.." Responded the middle aged man. He then sighed deeply, and right as he was about to teleport away, he looked at the woman and said "..How come when she does something stupid she is 'my daughter'.. But when she advances in her cultivation she is 'your daughter'..??"

    The woman simply smiled, and said "See you at dinner."
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