106 The Best Place to Hide Something

    After the portal closed, the skirmish between the two armies stopped immediately.

    Both the general and the leader gave the order to their spiritual cultivators to follow Roley, but when they managed to appear on the other side of the spatial residue, they found nothing.

    The spiritual cultivators went back to their leaders and reported that the targets had disappeared completely.

    The general of the Zenna empire turned to look at the leader of the Tiyra empire, and with an imposing tone said "You better be on your way home soon, Tiyarian.. I'll give you one day."

    After hearing the threatening tone of the general, the leader of the cultivators from the Tiyar empire felt his blood boil in his veins.

    He had no alternatives. The local authority was aware of their presence, and in order to find Edmund and the rest, they would need to split and search the surrounding area. But that was impossible.

    Their only alternative, was to go back to the Tiyar empire, and report to the empress mother. The empress mother would then confer with the military advisors, and together they would decide whether to go to war or not.

    "RETREAT!" Barked the Tiyarian leader in frustration, before turning around and leaving the scene.

    The various cultivators of the Tiyar empire started to approach the spiritual cultivator adept in spatial essence that belonged to their group, and allowed themselves to be teleported into the pocket dimensions they had been previously carried into.

    The general of the Zenna empire turned to look at his men, and said "I want a hundred man in every city. FIND THEM!" He, as a high ranking military officer, was more than aware of the value of a perfect wood treasure.

    The Zenna empire was big, and it probably wasn't any weaker than the Tiyar empire, but they knew that they would not survive the attacks of all the kingdoms and empires if word got out that they were in possession of the wood treasure.

    All they could do, was to enter in possession of the treasure, and use it before other countries could make up excuses to start a war for it.

    The spiritual cultivators adept in spatial essence within the army immediately teleported towards the closest cities. From what they knew, Roley was only a seventh rank cultivator, therefore, it was impossible for him to go too far.

    The troups of the Tiyar empire had reunited, and were currently teleporting back towards their own country.

    It took them four days to cross the borders and find themselves back in the territory of the Tiyar empire. After that, the spiritual cultivators which had comprehended spatial essence joined together and formed a portal towards the capital, allowing the entire group to teleport back.

    The next day, throne room. 09:20

    "..you are not lying to me, are you? They are still there?" Asked a woman that sat on a big throne, right at the end of the throne room.

    This woman was extremely old, and on her skin, one could see that mementos of an extremely long and rough life.

    She had a scar that went across her left eye, and the pinky finger of her right hand was not there.

    "Yes Empress mother. The army of the Zenna empire lost them. They probably won't be able to catch up to them anytime soon, but they won't be able to escape their territory either." Responded the leader of pursuing party.

    "A perfect wood treasure.." Said the old empress in a feeble tone. She then asked "Did they kill any of you?"

    "No Empress mother. They spiritual cultivators that aided the wood elementals exploited the moment of distraction caused by the clashing of our groups to leave." Responded the man honestly, and with a confident tone.

    The old empress narrowed her eyes for a few moments, then asked again "Did they kill any of you?.."

    The man felt a tingly sensation run down his spine. He lowered his head and said "Yes Empress mother. They killed a hundred of our men despite we wanted to respectfully retreat from their territory."

    "Good.. come back tomorrow with the rest of the military advisors." She said with a domineering tone, before waving her hand and sending the man off.

    Once out of the throne room, the leader of the pursuing parties was approached by one of his subordinate, which said "Lord Jila, your orders?"

    Without stopping or looking back at him, Lord Jila said "Take a hundred random cultivators from our troops, bring them back into the Zenna territory, and kill them. Leave their bodies there."


    While the two empires were preparing to wage war on each other, within one of the military camps of the Tiyar empire, was a group of sixth and seventh rank cultivators that rested peacefully.

    These cultivators belonged to the pursuing parties, and had had the chance to join the battle only during the final confrontation between the two empires.

    "That was crazy.." Said one of the heavily armored martial cultivators. "What a waste of time.. We didn't even get to catch the guys."

    One of the covered spiritual cultivators removed his hood, exposing a head full of blond hair. He then said, while trying to fix his hair by combing them with his hand, "If we didn't get them, Zenna won't get them either.. The guy managed to escape.. That means that they'll have time to rest and that the zenna spiritual cultivators will be at the point we were when we started chasing for them."

    Another one of the heavily armored martial cultivator removed his helmet, exposing a middle aged face with that was half burnt. He said "Too bad.. We were so close." He then turned to look at a third martial cultivator, and said "Especially you man.. You were so close to catching that guy.."

    The third heavily armored martial cultivator shrugged his shoulder in disappointment, and said nothing.

    "Can you imagine what would have happened if you managed to pull him back out of that portal? You're not even part of the military.. The rewards you could have enjoyed.." Said the blond spiritual cultivator in leather armor.

    The first martial cultivator bent forward, and got closer to the quiet martial cultivator. He then said "Speaking of which.. What the hell happened? How did he pull himself out of your grab?"

    The hands of the third quiet cultivator moved on his helmet, and after grabbing it firmly, he started to removed it, slowly exposing a pointy chin and sharp jawline covered in a slightly undeveloped beard, a straight and pointed nose, a pair of umber colored uplifted eyes, and a full head of pitch-black long hair.

    This person was Daniel.

    "I just pulled too hard.. After feeling the clothes rip in my hand, I got scared about the portal suddenly closing and taking one of my arms." Responded Daniel with a seemingly dispirited tone.

    One of the other cultivators pressed one of his hands on his shoulder, and said "Don't worry about it young man. You're young.. You're talented.. You'll be fine."

    Daniel sighed, then got up on his feet and said "Well, this was fun, but I have someplace else to be.."

    Just in that moment, a man in silver armor approached Daniel and the rest of the cultivators. He said with an ordering tone "You six, come with me." The man, was the same whom the leader of the Tiyar forces had ordered to bring a hundred men to the Zenna territory, kill them, and leave their bodies there.

    "I'm leaving.. You can keep the pay. I don't want to take part in any war for the amount you're paying me." Said Daniel with a firm voice.

    "You'll get ten times the compensation if you just shut your mouth and do as I've ordered you." Responded the man in silver armor plainly.

    Daniel waved his hand in the air, and said with a dismissive tone "Forget it.. I've got people to take care of.. No time to play war for a country who isn't even my home."

    "HEY! Aren't you forgetting something?!" Suddenly shout the man in silver armor. Daniel turned to look back at him with a slightly confused face. He then heard "Leave the armor."

    The corner of Daniel's mouth rose in amusement as he nodded at the silver armored man. He then waved at the rest of the cultivator and left.


    One month earlier.




    "What?" asked Daniel after noticing the looks of expectation of his party.

    "Aren't you going to tell us this idea!?" Asked an irritated Bonas.

    Daniel had learned about how irritable Bonas could be, so he had made it one of his pastimes to tease him every now and then.

    "I don't know where my group is.. But that doesn't mean that I can't join the hunt. My guess is that the Tiyar empire must have lost many men during the skirmishes.. They'll be looking for mercenaries.."


    Back to the day of the battle between Edmund's, Zenna's, and Tiyar's groups.

    Daniel was one of the last that had arrived on the side of the Tiyar's empire. He had presented himself as a martial cultivator, and after being given a heavy armor to wear, he was assigned to a group.

    When he arrived on the site, the first thing he did was to find his friends. Then, he approached them as much as he could before standing in wait.

    He waited for the right moment to act, and that moment, was when roley had created the small portal.

    He had dashed towards Roley along with another martial cultivator from the Tiyar's empire right as he was about to enter the portal, and then, wasted enough time for him to enter safely.

    The next moment, he inserted his entire arm and grabbed Roley's clothes.

    Immediately, Roley recognized the familiar mark of Daniel's spiritual essence, and as he felt a sudden spatial force trying to teleport him into the gauntlet that covered the hand attached to the arm, he allowed himself to be teleported.

    Every ring that Daniel possessed had been confiscated by the recruiters. Fortunately, nobody bothered to think that a martial cultivator could possibly enchant a gauntlet and turn it into a spatial container.

    The last important thing that Daniel needed, was for it to seem that he was actually trying to pull something out of the portal. So, he pretended to pull and pull.. And finally, after pretending to panic, he pulled his arm out of the portal and gave up.

    Everyone was too focused on Roley's extraordinary escaping abilities to even begin to suspect that a martial cultivator could possibly have used such a method to trick them.

    After his plan succeeded, he went back towards his assigned group as 'the mercenary that had almost obtained the full reward promised by the Tiyar empire all by himself'.


    Back to the present.

    Daniel had long moved Roley and the pocket dimension into the spatial ring that the empire had returned to him.

    Thanks to this event, Daniel had discovered something extremely useful about one of the newest essence he had comprehended. Dark essence.

    Dark essence was almost impossible for people to understand. Even for Daniel that had spent two and a half years in darkness with his karmic system, it had taken a very long time to understand a couple of its concept.

    The thing he had learned about dark essence, was how useful the concept of absorption was to him.

    His biggest problem in hiding his double path cultivation, was that he had to expose his spiritual essence while avoiding any form of physical contact. But the absorption concept of dark essence changed this.

    With absorption, he could absorb, and literally enshroud his spiritual essence in darkness.

    A darkness so profound, that other spiritual cultivator's sensing was unable to move through.

    This meant that, if a spiritual cultivator attempted to sense Daniel's spiritual power, he would see it as the spirit of someone that had never attempted to cultivate his spiritual essence, exactly like the most obsessed cultivators of the martial path.

    Currently, he was taking one carriage after the other, in order to leave the Tiyar empire just like any random wandered would.
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