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91 The Gathering of Experts Part 4

    Once again, Daniel was standing in the middle of the square. Around him were all the other disciples, eager to show their abilities.

    One by one, they jumped over the stage and, after setting the stage according to their own desires, they displayed their mastery in weapon wielding, essences, and martial and spiritual arts.

    A few of the shows were extremely impressive and well presented, and yet, the Imperial family looked all but entertained.

    Daniel wasn't sure of what the point of the demonstration stage was, but if the point was to impress the imperial family, then the other had all failed.

    The reason for this was simple. The gathering of experts was an important tradition held once every two years. An event where powerful cultivators would speak of important matters that took place in the most recent years.

    With their forty or more years of age, the emperor, empress, and masters, had seen many shows of sword arts, dances with fire, aquatic worlds and so on. What was missing, was originality and true talent.

    A young man performed a dance with his spear, of which movements were so fast that they would fend the air for ten meters. Hurricanes formed when he rotated his spear, and the ground shook whenever he pierced it with it.

    A young woman that covered the entire square in floating snowflakes, which then turned into needles of ice and dashed towards her body, only stopping one millimeter away from her skin, and changing shape once again and turning into a transparent armor of ice.

    Another young man used an assistant to display the slowing of time, and the explosion of various items in slow motion. Demonstrating the slow and sinuous movements of elements like water and fire.

    No matter what they did, the imperial family gave no hint of reaction. Not even the youngest one amongst them cared about these demonstrations of power and talent.

    It was now Alesia's turn.

    She had gone over the stage with nothing but her sword, and a perfectly neat martial attire.

    Her platinum blonde hair were gathered behind her head in a ponytail, and flowed between her shoulder blades and down her back.

    After a simple bow to the imperial family, she started to make her demonstration.

    Daniel expected her demonstration to be showy like everyone else's, but instead, she simply showed three repetitions of her daily training.

    She had long learned from her mother that the old masters didn't care about showy demonstrations. What they wanted to see was talent and dedication.

    Therefore, her expression marked with dedication and seriousness towards practice, had finally lit something within the cold hearts of the masters.

    They remembered how they used to practice until their hands started to bleed, how they hated themselves when they couldn't comprehend a portion of a specific essence, or how they couldn't figure out how to perfect their arts.

    Alesia simply practiced with her sword, a practice that seemed like a private dance that no one was supposed to see, that was supposed to have no spectators.

    After the third repetition, she finally stopped.

    Her stunningly beautiful face was covered in droplets of sweat that run down her neck and stuck her clothes tightly against her body. She had used a big deal of her ki for her demonstration, and yet, she maintained her composure. After a deep bow, she sheathed her sword with care, and left the stage.

    Differently from all other competitors, the masters that spectated her show gave a slight and brief applause the moment she left the stage.

    Even a couple of members of the imperial family started to whisper and nod in approval.

    The show kept going for two more hours, until finally, Daniel was the only one left on the stage.

    Again, Daniel hadn't been told exactly what he was supposed to be showing to these people, so after noticing the result of the other contestants, he went up the stage and stood there for a moment.

    Only a thought was running through his mind. 'If the other shows hadn't impressed these people, it was because they hadn't done things big enough.'

    Now alone on stage, Daniel looked at the imperial family and bowed just as slightly as he had bowed the day prior. He then stood in the middle of the stage without moving.

    To others it might have seen like he was doing nothing, but the various masters on stage started to feel a movement in the surrounding space. A movement that made a shiver run down their backs.

    A small bead-like stone started to float in front of Daniel. This stone was composed of many common minerals, and it didn't seem special in any way.

    Suddenly, the ground started to shake, and bits and pieces of it started to dash towards this bead-sized stone. They then integrated with it and kept increasing its mass, until it reached the diameter of ten meters.

    The floating bloudler started to change all of a sudden. It seemed like every small part of its surface was being changed into a different looking crystal. These gigantic multicolored crystal ball looked beautiful, but it was nothing impossible to see.

    It was at this moment that Daniel sent a ball of fire into a hole that he had left on the surface of the sphere.

    When the ball of fire entered, the crystallic sphere started to shine with thousands of different colors. It then started to spin so fast, that the air around it formed a small scaled hurricane of which the sphere was the eye.

    The lights were bent by the incredibly strong winds, which transported them through the entire body of the hurricane.

    The show was stunning, and definitely different from anything the masters had seen, and yet it was not over.

    Snow formed in the air around the tornado, which was rapidly caught by the rapid movement of the winds. Electric discharges started to make their appearances, adding color and brightness to the whole cluster of deadly elements.

    Suddenly, time stopped.

    No matter if the strong winds, the snowflakes in the air, the rotation of the sphere of the bright electrostatic discharges.. Nothing moved.

    It was only after a few seconds that the four different essences of air, water, lightning and earth started to split, and move in four different points of the stage.

    These four elements condensed into the shape of four golems.

    The golem formed by the wind essence was made out of powerful gusts winds that rotated in position at incredible speeds. A touch from this golem would strip a person for their skin.

    The golem made of water essence was completely made out of ice, and its skin appeared like a thin veil of clear water. Its look reminded a warm beach, and yet, one could be sure that if they touched it, they would feel as if they were in the depth of a frozen lake.

    An hard to observe giant completely made out of plasma could be seen discharging electric charge in the air. Its electric discharges reached meters in the air, and each of those could definitely kill anyone weaker than Daniel was.

    Finally, a golem made out of rock and dark minerals formed on another corner of the stage.

    The masters were fascinated by this scene. They had never seen four different golems created by a comprehension of above ninety percent by the same young man, so they couldn't help but gasp in surprise.

    Even the imperial family, except for the emperor and empress, were no exception.

    These golems started to move and approach the balconies where the masters were sitting. They moved in circle around Daniel, demonstrating the purity of comprehension required to being created. They made sounds of thunder, howling of wind, rocks crashing one against the other and immense waves crashing against solid ground.

    The noise was deafening.

    It was only after half a minute that the master of spatial essence that had tried to attack Daniel the day before stood up, and said in a loud voice. "Enough trickery kid. Do you think you can impress others just because you can create an illusion inside a fictitious space?"

    The masters that were sitting in the balconies suddenly felt disappointed. They thought they had seen a true prodigy of spiritual cultivation in action, and instead, they were lead to believe that he was nothing more than a trickster.

    Satisfied by the response of the crowd, the master of spatial essence waved his hand and destroyed Daniel's fictitious space.

    Just as Daniel's illusion started to dissipate, a faint smile appeared on his face.

    After the illusion dissipated, the crowd heard a loud shattering sound that signified the destruction of the fictitious space.

    But what came next was what really shocked them.

    At just three meters from the platform where the imperial family was sitting, an enormous golem was standing right in front of them.

    Its body wasn't made of a single essence, and instead, it looked like a terrible hurricane had picked up rock, water, and even thunder, and had taken a humanoid shape.

    The large hands of this golem landed heavily on the platform where the imperial family was sitting, and then..

    *ROOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRR*

    It roared so loudly that the masters were left to believe that the golem had attempted a sound attack against the imperial family.

    The entire scene was so fast that even the emperor couldn't help but stand up in shock. His wife had a terrified look on her face, and her children showed a variety of expressions between amazement, enjoyment and sheer fear.

    Right as the deafening roar ended, the golem exploded into small diamonds, sparks, and shards of ice that were carried by a gentle whiffle of wind.

    The crowd was dead silent.

    Everyone was shocked, and the first ones who had managed to recover from their shock were carefully looking at the odd state the Emperor was in.

    He was currently standing, looking at the void with his mouth slightly opened, nostrils widened and pupils constricted.

    If there was a mosquito in the square, everyone would be able to hear it.

    Suddenly, the shocked expression of the emperor turned into one of amazement.. And then..

    "HAHAHAHAHA!" He started to laugh out loud. The way someone who has just gone through the scare of their life would laugh at his own reaction.

    One by one, many more laughs started to buzz in the air. Amongst the masters, the only three who were laughing nervously were Edmund, Emelnie, and the master of spatial essence that had rudely scolded and interrupted Daniel's performance.

    Daniel's idea was simple. The whole point of this demonstration was to move something within these powerful cultivators.

    After noticing that spectacles of magic, performances of martial arts, or showy displays of weapon mastery didn't work, and that only being able to relate to a disciple had managed to move something within them, Daniel decided that he would use both methods.

    He wanted to make them feel something, and to do it in a big way. At the same time, he would show off his talents in spiritual cultivation and the essences of which he was adept with. Including the one he was there to show off for Edmund.. Spatial essence.

    The laughs and claps went on for the time it took for the last elemental remains to fall on the ground. Then, Daniel took a deep bow at his public.

    The bow wasn't directed at the imperial family, but at everyone who had watched and enjoyed his performance.

    When the claps ended, Daniel teleported down the stage.

    One again, Daniel was the last to demonstrate his abilities amongst the disciples. So, after he left the stage, the three children of the imperial family went on the square, and started to demonstrate their abilities one by one.

    Each of the three made meaningful and peerless demonstrations, which received just as much praise as Alesia did.

    After the princess and the two princes left the stage and went back to their seats, the stage disappeared, and in its place, the man covered by the black cloak appeared.

    With his usual loud voice, he said "The Demonstration stage of the gathering has terminated. The Competition stage will take place two days from now."

    He then disappeared along with the platform where the seats of the imperial family had been placed, leaving only the disciples and masters in the square.
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