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99 See You Guys Soon

    Thousands of kilometers away from the capital, a fist sized portal had opened just one meter above a patch of grassy ground.

    Daniel's ring fell from the portal, and just as it touched the ground, a large number of people appeared near the ring. These people were the Saullet family, and Daniel's group.

    "What happened?" Asked Emelnie with an anxious tone. She was currently hugging her daughter.

    Daniel's group looked at Edmund with a serious face.

    While Daniel was being blocked by the emperor, he had sent a message to them that he had prepared in advance during the ten months they had spent cultivating.

    This message was a wisp of sound essence, which could be saved within a one time use object.

    This object was called 'Last Words Shell', and it was created similarly to a ki flag. The only difference was that it contained sound essence, which could easily be liberated by shattering the shell, instead of ki that would mark the flag forever unless erased.

    This 'Last Words Shell' was in Heimart's hand.

    Daniel had created a small formation within the castle that could be easily activated by inserting a wisp of his spiritual essence into his pocket dimension. The formation would then deliver the 'Last Words Shell' to Heimart.

    Before listening to the message, Heimart turned to look at Edmund, which said "The kid helped us escape.. He threw us into a portal.. But I don't think that we are too far away.. We have to go right now."

    Edmund didn't delude himself thinking that he could explain himself to the emperor. He knew that now he was marked as a spy, and he needed to leave the Krehan empire along with his family.

    Alesia suddenly turned to look at him, and with tears welling up in her eyes, she said "Dad.. what about Daniel??"

    "The kid had his secrets.. There is nothing we can do now." Responded Edmund with a resigned tone.

    "But he was in front of the emperor because of a deal he made with you!" She said as two clear tears streamed down her cheeks.

    It was at this moment that Heimart broke the 'Last Word Device', and released Daniel's wisp of sound essence.

    ____________________________

    "I can tell you this only once, so listen carefully.. If you are listening to this message, I've been found out.

    Don't be stupid and don't come looking for me.. If someone was powerful enough to go through my defences, there is no way that you guys will be able to rescue me.. No offence.

    Now, this part is important, so listen close. I'm going to ask one thing of you guys.. Something that, for as strange as it may sound, will allow you all to increase in power to a much higher speed.

    Regardless if you guys split, or make the group increase in size and thrive, as long as you'll do things for good reasons, you'll be able to become powerful much faster.

    And before Lig says that this doesn't make sense.. Know that I have bigger secrets than the one you guys know.. Just.. Trust me on this one.

    I'll manage my way out of whatever pickle I'll find myself in.. So don't worry about me.

    See you guys soon.. Daniel out."

    ____________________________

    Everyone had heard Daniel's message. Including Buriath and the Saullet family.

    Emelnie looked at Daniel's group, on whose face there was no confusion, and instead sadness. She asked "Found out.. What was he hiding?"

    Heimart and Alis looked at each other for a moment, then, after Heimart nodded, Alis responded "Daniel is the first cultivator that ever managed to increase both martial and spiritual cultivation above the third rank.."

    She then looked at Edmund, and added "That was the reason why he had created that spatial field that prevented others from accidentally touching him.. It was to avoid others from finding out that his body was that of a martial cultivator."

    Of course, Edmund, Alesia, and Emelnie were shocked beyond words. This was the first time that they had heard of someone that had managed such a feat.

    Alesia and her mother were having difficulties to believe it, but to Edmund, it actually made sense. Not only the fact that he had created the spatial field, but also the fact that, differently from the other gathering of experts, the evaluator and the emperor himself had attempted to touch Daniel.

    Once out of his stupor, Edmund looked at his family, and only then did he realize that he was left with almost nothing.

    His home, his money.. All they had was the content of their rings, and themselves. He looked at Heimart and Alis and said "What are you guys going to do? Do you want me to teleport you somewhere?"

    Heimart had more or less understood what had happened. And had also guessed the situation he Saullet family was in.

    Something else that he realized, was that their group wouldn't be able to go back to their homes. After all, they had traveled into the empire for a long time now. The empire's counterespionage had probably gathered informations about them when investigating Daniel.

    If for some ridiculous reason the empire ended up not believing Daniel's version on how to achieve both paths of cultivation, they would definitely believe that the true method was hidden inside the ring which he had teleported out of the capital along with them.

    The same was for the Saullet family. They were not simple spies now.. But spies that might possess one of the most important secrets in the world's history.

    After a few moments, Heimart looked at Edmund and his family, and said "You can all stay in our castle. We have plenty of rooms, great training ground.. An atmosphere identical to that of the outside world, and enough resources to last us a long time. Daniel said you have a mansion within one of your pocket dimensions.. You could even move that into ours, and live there."

    Edmund was ready to say no, but as he noticed the begging expression of his daughter, he ultimately accepted the offer.

    A more hidden reason for accepting the offer, was Daniel's message. He was well aware that Daniel was extremely cunning.. And if he considered this phantomatic 'bigger secret' much more important that something that would change the world, then, deep inside, he couldn't bare not knowing what that was.

    After accepting the offer, Edmund moved the entire group back into Daniel's pocket dimension, and started performing a very large number of long-ranged and exhausting teleportations towards the empire's border.

    -----

    In the depths of the imperial castle, there was a secret dungeon.

    This dungeon was the classical stone made prison.. The corridors were dark, and dimly lit by a few torches set in a sporadic order.

    Inside this dungeon, only important spies were kept.

    Instead of being left in a larger prison which was used to contain common criminals or killed, the people kept in this dungeon were pressed into revealing informations in various ways.

    Torture, wasn't excluded.

    The entire number of this prison cells was not higher than eighty, and in one of them, Daniel kneeled on the ground, with his arms chained to the wall. At the same time, on his feet were two balls and chains, and on his chest was a bar that was bent and wrapped around him.

    Each of these seemed to be made of simple casted iron, but that wasn't what made escape so difficult.

    Be it the chains on his wrists, the ones on his ankles, or the one on his chest.. They were all made of iron enchanted with extremely powerful runes of mana absorption.

    These runes had the same effect as the ones Daniel had ingested, and that effect was to absorb spiritual essence and ki.. The only difference, was that these runes forced out every drop of mana before it could accumulate, and produce any relevant amount of power that its owner could use.

    In the room with Daniel, there was the black-cloaked man, two people in military attire that seemed to be prison warders, and the emperor himself.

    "..I've told you already.. Never heard of a deaf emperor before.. Hehehe-"

    Daniel's laugh was interrupted by a kick to the stomach from one of the two warders.

    The black-cloaked man approached Daniel, and said "Amuse me.. Explain it again.. In detail."

    "First of all.. You take a shiny little beast core.. And.. listen to this part because it's important.." Said Daniel with eyes opened in urgency. Then, after the black-cloaked man approached him, he said "You put it into your natural pocket.. Basic-"

    *pthuuuh*

    A heavy slap landed on Daniels face.

    Daniel didn't enjoy being tortured, but if there was something that he had learned from his past experiences, was that a secret information obtained easily wouldn't be considered valuable.

    What he needed was time alone to formulate a plan, and he wouldn't have it if he burned his chances of privacy by flaunting the true method left and right.

    He needed them to feel like they had earned that information.. Instead of being given to them for free.

    "Look, I don't enjoy spending time in the dungeon torturing silly brats like you.. But everything that you are is too important to be left wandering the world.. Any small kingdom, given your knowledge and twenty years of time, would be able to easily topple our empire. If there is going to be someone that will learn your methods in this area, it will be us." Said the black-cloaked man with a matter-of-fact tone.

    "Oh.. it's too late for that!.. Do you have any idea of how many people I've met in the past year?.. You should go around inspecting the empire's population's cavities.. Only then you'd understand that my secret isn't really a secret anymore.. hehe."

    *pthuuuh*

    Once again, a heavy slap landed on Daniel's other cheek.

    "Keep talking like that.. And I might start enjoying treating you roughly." Said the black-cloaked man in an angry tone.

    -----

    After twenty-eight long hours of rough treatment, Daniel finally pretended to give in, and explained the true method of practicing both paths at the same time.

    The explanation went beyond a normal cultivator's logic, as it required a talent that had never appeared before in the world.. And yet, thanks to Daniel's tactique.. They were willing to take his words as true.

    What they had learned, was that the entire process required an immeasurable amount of talent, or an immense amount of wealth and time.

    Their only option to verify Daniel's method, was make the learning of time the most important objective of the empire's efforts.

    The black-cloaked man looked at Daniel once again, and said "Get comfortable.. It will take a long time for us to verify your story.."

    Finally alone, the first thing Daniel did was to start to intensely think about his freedom. A moment later, a window opened in his mind.

    ____________________________

    *Primary Quest Updated: Freedom for All!*

    -Description UPDATED: Eradicate slavery from the world, and maintain your own freedom.

    Third objective: Escape imprisonment.

    Reward: Karma +1,000,000

    Failure: Death

    Time limit: The system's wielder will die of old age in 71 years, 1 month, and 8 days.

    ____________________________

    When Daniel noticed the extremely large amount of karma points offered as reward for the mission, he didn't feel happy at all. Usually, the higher the points offered, the more difficult the quest would be, and the longer it would take to finish it.

    He took a deep breath, and while looking at his dark empty cell, Daniel said in a low voice. "Sewah.. my options please.."

    ____________________________

    Stealthy approach

    Difficulty: Extreme

    -Trick the gullible new guard into believing that you are dying.

    -Neutralize the guard after he frees you from the majority of your chains.

    -Escape the empire while making use of the chaos caused by the civil war.

    Countdown: 2 years, 6 months, 22 days, 1 hour, 9 minutes, and 55 seconds.

    (Requirements: Control over the breathable air through the use of wind essence.)

    Reward +200% (3,000,000 KP)

    ____________________________
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