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77 A Battle for What Is Righ

    After shouting intimidatingly, the giant snake-like elemental whipped his impressively large tail at the group of cultivators.

    Prepared for battle, two spiritual cultivators that belonged to the magical covenant summoned a thick wall of stone with an additional layer of ice as reinforcement.

    As the diamond covered tail crashed against the ice wall, it splattered everywhere, sending shards of ice towards Daniel's group.

    These shards weren't out of the spiritual cultivator's control, as they curved in the air and flew straight towards Daniel and the rest at high speed. But before the shards could hit Daniel and the rest, various gusts of powerful winds appeared out of the blue, and deviated their direction once again.

    The various spiritual cultivators amongst the group started to engage the earth elemental.

    They alternated between creating shields of stone and ice to defend against its attacks, trying to control the ground underneath him to obstruct his movements, and try to condense enough fire and earth essence to produce magma in order to effectively damage the mineral based body of the elemental.

    On the other side, Daniel and the rest saw the various martial cultivators that approached them with unsheathed weapons.

    A few throwing knives and arrows were sent directly towards Daniel, which unable to shield himself against all of the attacks without revealing his powers in martial cultivation, was forced to teleport once again.

    He immediately switched position with the sixth rank martial cultivator which had sent the knives at him.

    The moment he appeared on the cultivator's place, he witnessed that very cultivator turn around, grab his throwing knives in mid air, and promptly avoid the arrows.

    Two different horizontal sword slashes came from Daniel's sides, and tried to divide his body into three parts by cutting his legs and neck clean off.

    With the reaction of a fifth rank martial cultivator, Daniel managed to activate 'Stone Skin' and parry the attacks. Unfortunately, the attacks were too powerful for him to block completely, so the two swords dug a couple of centimeters into Daniel's palms.

    To the two cultivators, it looked like Daniel had an impressive comprehension of earth essence. But the truth was that most of the damage had been parried by his own flesh. 'Stone Skin' had mostly helped Daniel hide the fact that his body was extremely resistant.

    He rapidly gripped the two blades, pushed large amounts of spiritual essence to his hands, and turned it into lightning essence. He then sent an extremely powerful electric current flow through their swords and into their bodies, making them drop on the ground, completely stiff.

    He then summoned two spikes of stone in the air directly above the two paralyzed cultivators, and pierced their hearts, killing them on the spot.

    The ground shook as one tail whip after the other were parried by the jointed effort of the various spiritual cultivators.

    Closer to the edge of the ravine, Heimart and Ligart were fighting together against a single halberd wielding martial cultivator. Their power was significantly inferior, but the numbers and coordination of their attacks helped them even the battle out.

    Alis was capable of fending off the attacks of another sixth rank martial cultivator by herself, but she wasn't capable of fighting back in the slightest. Her opponent was a tightly dressed woman which wielded a spiked whip. Her wide movements allowed Alis to easily predict her attacks, and thanks to her agile body, she managed to avoid most of them without getting hit.

    On Jerigh's side of the battle, the result was completely different. At his feet, an heavily armored cultivator lied motionlessly. Copious amounts of Blood gushed out of a cut at the base of his neck. In his hand, an unsheathed single-bladed sword from whose tip fresh blood was dripping.

    An ice spike sent at the right moment was all Heimart and Ligart needed to overpower their enemy, and when one approached Daniel from behind, he teleported it right behind the cultivator that was facing the two cousins.

    The cultivator reacted quickly thanks to his surrounding awareness, and parried the magical attack just in time. He then moved his right leg back in order to avoid Ligart's leg sweep.

    Heimart, who was currently standing behind the halberd wielding cultivator, promptly kicked the back of his knee and destabilized him, forcing him on to fall on his knee. He then grabbed his spear, and after pulling it aside, he hit the cultivator's neck with a powerful elbow strike.

    Not missing a beat, the moment the cultivator bent forward after Heimart's strike, Ligart wrapped his hands around the back of his head, and sent a devastating knee strike directly towards his face.

    With a broken nose, the cultivator could not help but drop his halberd and cover his face in pain.

    It was at this moment that Heimart grabbed the falling halberd, and tried to pierce the cultivator's back with it.

    The cultivator bent forward and sent a backward kick which hit Heimart's solar plexus heavily with his heel, making him fly ten meters backwards.

    Ligart immediately tried to finish the cultivator off by stomping on the back of his head, but the cultivator quickly moved his head to the side, and grabbed ligart's ankle.

    With a solid grip on Ligart's ankle, he forced Ligart to fall on his back by pulling his leg backwards, then crawled above him and wrapped his hands around his neck.

    Alis was in a dangerous situation as well. Her opponent was becoming increasingly more accurate with her whip, and after two minutes, numerous tears had started to appear on her clothes. Underneath these tears, a few bloody cuts could be seen on Alis's olive skin, which made her clothes stick to her body.

    Jerigh noticed Ligart's precarious situation, and when he was about to go help, two martial cultivator at the sixth rank engaged him in battle.

    Heimart had ended up on the middle of a group of martial cultivators dressed with the same attire, but before he could receive any attack, he was teleported right next to Ligart.

    He then proceeded to rescue his cousin from the halberd wielding cultivator.

    Daniel looked at the movement of Alis's opponent, and after a moment of observation, he formed a whip made out of water, and lashed it towards the woman.

    The whip wrapped around the woman's waist.

    He was about to electrocute her, but before he could do that, several throwing spears reached the exact place where he was standing.

    Once again, he was forced to teleport away. But before losing control over the water essence, he turned the water into ice and made a few spikes pierce into the woman's body.

    These spikes did not pierce the woman too deeply, but due to the large number, she couldn't help but fall on the ground.

    Alis dashed towards the injured woman, and as she was about to thrust her short sword into her shoulder, a greatsword easily deflected her strike and sent her short sword flying in the air.

    -----

    After ten long minutes of battle, Daniel and the rest of the group were exhausted.

    Daniel had already consumed thousands of karma points just to keep going, while the rest had already exceeded the restoration of their ki with the consumption, and were barely managing to hold their own against their opponents.

    Ligart and Heimart were covered in sweat, and various bloody gashes could be seen all over their bodies. Jerigh was limping backwards while parrying one attack after the other. Finally, Alis had a deep vertical cut on the side of her thigh, which disabled her ability to avoid her opponent's attacks effectively.

    On the other hand, thanks to Daniel's periodical support, the snake-like earth elemental had been able to solidly hit the group of spiritual cultivators, which unable to defend themselves from a physical attack of that level, were thrown against the rocky wall or down the ravine.

    Unfortunately, not even the earth elemental was able to avoid all sorts of injury, as a few molten sections of his body could be seen.

    Around thirty bodies lied on the ground, and at least two thirds of them were the elemental's victims.

    Daniel knew that he could not go on by himself forever. So, with a single thought, he upgraded 'Time is Precious' to the fifth level, and started to produce spiritual essence at five times the original speed granted by the system.

    He pushed his spiritual essence out of his body, and focused it in three points. He then used the same technique he used to demonstrate his proficiency in lightning, water and wind essence during the evaluation.

    He formed three clusters of different types of essence, and after merging them in the middle, he created a large storm sphere double the size of a normal human's head.

    Every cultivator in the area noticed the powerful attack. A few shouts could be heard saying "LOOK OUT!" or "STOP HIM!". But it was too late.

    After the three elements merged into the power of a storm, Daniel sent it straight towards the the middle of the large group of cultivators.

    The ball of storm essence traveled so fast that it looked as if it had turned into a liquid form, and before the cultivators could evade, the sphere impacted heavily against the ground.

    Once the large sphere touched the ground, gelid winds and lightning strikes wreaked havoc in a radius of fifteen meters, and when the flashes stopped, and the mist thinned away, the entire area had turned into a frozen land.

    Unfortunately, Daniel's fifth rank of spiritual cultivation wasn't enough to directly kill the powerful cultivators in the area. Nevertheless, many had been stuck in ice, and through it, Daniel could see various cuts and charred spots on their bodies.

    Every cultivator in the area looked at Daniel as if they were looking at a monster, as he had shown way more proficiency of lightning, ice and water than that he had shown during the evaluation, making use of up to 85% of his comprehension.

    More surprised than anybody else, was the earth elemental himself.

    He was an entity made of mana, so, recognizing the level of comprehension that a spiritual cultivator had towards an essence, was one of his innate abilities.

    The first to free themselves from the cages of ice, were the cultivators at the sixth rank, while the rest of the cultivators required the help of the spectating practitioners.

    The man in lucid heavy armor, which was one of the two cultivators that had forced Jerigh into a disadvantage, pointed the tip of his sword towards Daniel and said "Kid, I don't believe you have the enough strength to keep fighting. I suggest..."

    The man's words got stuck down his throat, as he noticed three new spheres of essence form in front of Daniel. "WAIT!" He quickly shouted.

    The merging of the three spheres stopped momentarily as Daniel looked back at him.

    The man in lucid armor sheathed his sword and said "The Platinum Warriors surrender. We will report the situation to the mercenary horde' and come back with new orders." Then, without waiting for Daniel's response, he turned towards his group members and said "Let's go!" He then left.

    Shocked by the sudden changes, the area quietened for a full minute. Until the leader of the group of which the scout belonged to took a step forward, and said "We, the 'Quiet Arrows' will report to the mercenary horde as well, and come back with new orders." He said before leaving along with his group's only surviving member.

    "The Proud Bookworms will retreat as well. We ask that the members of 'The Aimless Adventurer' will consider the Alchemical Circuit in case they'll decide to sell any sort of essence treasure." Said the leader of the proud bookworms, convinced that the only reason Daniel and the rest had to defend the earth elemental, was to put their hands on the essence treasure it kept hidden in the area.

    "As a sign of respect for our comrades from the legion, the 'Night Blades' will renounce on the mission." Said a young man that bore a legion's medallion.

    One after the other, every group collected the bodies of their fallen members, and retreated back into the narrow path between the two stone walls.

    Once alone, Daniel immediately went to heal his teammates.

    The one with the most severe injury was Alis. Her leg was bleeding copiously, and she looked pale and significantly weakened.

    Daniel pressed his palm against Alis's thigh and forced as much spiritual essence as he could into her body. He then turned it into milky-looking healing essence.

    Her injury quickly recovered, and after half an hour, no trace of it remained.

    Ligart and Heimart were next.

    -----

    After healing his teammates, Daniel finally approached the earth elemental, which had now turned back into his previous human-like form, and was looking gently at his son.

    "I am sorry.. This was all our fault" Said Daniel in an apologetic tone.

    The earth elemental turned towards him and said "What are you talking about? It was my own choice.. Human's life is too short to take upon themselves other people's mistakes."
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