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119 The Wasteland World - First Encounter

    "The third level of system upgrades.." muttered Daniel to himself.

    ____________________________

    System Upgrades Lv.3

    Reap What You've Sown = Purchased

    Time Is Precious Lv.11 = 69.500 KP

    (Active: Multiply the cost of karma points in order to multiply the speed of progression. +100% of cost and effect. Max lv.20)

    Reduced Cost Lv.20 = Current Max Level.

    Bonus Points Lv.20 = Current Max Level.

    Second Chance Lv.20 = Current Max Level.

    Second Chance Upgrade Lv.2 = 500,000 KP

    (Passive: Halves the cooldown of Second Chance.)

    Karma Debt = Purchased

    Karmic Retribution = Purchased

    Karmic Retribution Update = 20,000,000 KP

    (Active: At the cost of half of the wielder's remaining karma points [minimum 250,000], the wielder can force a karmic retribution on himself. The cost of 'Karmic Retribution' directed at others, is increased from 100,000 to 250,000.)

    Karma X Luck = Purchased

    ____________________________

    Accumulate 100,000,000 Karma points to unlock System Upgrades Lv.4

    ____________________________

    "Nothing new.." Said Daniel in his head, slightly disappointed by the lack of new effects brought by the third level of the system upgrades.

    "What did you expect? Godly power?.." Responded Sewah sarcastically.

    Slightly irritated by Sewah's behaviour, Daniel said out loud "Would you mind telling me what the hell is wrong with you? You've always been sarcastic, but never this borderline hostile."

    "I'm not enjoying having to follow you around wherever you go. We always end up in **ty places.. Look where we are.. How long do you think we will stay here?"

    "Should have I pretended to have seen nothing? What is the point of a karmic system if it reproaches me when I do something of karmic relevance?" asked Daniel with disdain. He was quite fed up by Sewah's hostility.. His uncertain situation didn't help him in containing his calm either.

    "Honestly, I couldn't care less if you have a good karma."

    After his discussion with Sewah, Daniel went back into focusing on the books.

    -----

    Inside Daniel's pocket dimension, a large group of cultivators were filling the square in front of Daniel's castle completely. On most of their faces, expressions of worry, confusion and fear were present.

    The portals that had allowed the inhabitants of Daniel's city to leave the pocket dimension for the past three years, had now disappeared.

    Only a couple of days had passed since the closing of the portals, and during that couple of days, the spiritual cultivators which had comprehended spatial essence, and weren't part of Daniel's group, had spread the news that the connection to the outside world had been cut off completely.

    This had caused a general state of fear in the solitary cultivators, and in the families and sects that had moved into the pocket dimension.

    Luckily, thanks to the work done by Daniel group's members, the citizens of the city had complete trust in them. Therefore, most of the unranked and low ranking cultivators had remained calm, and waited for updates from the leaders of the community.

    Meanwhile, the works of expansion were proceeding.

    Before this whole mess with the worshippers of death, Edmund had been thinking of ways to increment the space of the pocket dimension, until one day, an idea had come to his mind.

    There was no reason for the population to live all within the same pocket dimension.. After all, trying to fit the slowly increasing number of citizens into a single pocket dimension, was like trying to find more space to live in within an island.

    Sooner or later, Daniel would reach the peak of the ninth rank of cultivation, and that would put a limitation to how large the pocket dimension could become.

    His idea, was to create more, and smaller pocket dimension which could be used to plant food, or to house more villages and cities.

    Luckily, the thousands of spiritual cultivators within the pocket dimension didn't lack comprehension of basic essences, or low to mid level essence treasures.

    Those two things combined would only work in creating small pocket dimension, but they would still be habitable.

    It was right during the ideation of this sort of idea that Daniel had requested for high ranking cultivators to leave the pocket dimension, and aid him in the eradication of the worshippers of death.

    For days, they welcomed back injured or tired cultivators.. And right after Roley and Jerigh were sent back, the portals had suddenly shut.

    Back to the present, Edmund and the other members of Daniel's group were standing right in the middle of the castle's hall, and were currently looking at Roley, Jerigh, and the few other cultivators that had seen Daniel last before the portals closed.

    "A portal?.." Asked a surprised Edmund.

    Roley shook his head and added "Not a simple spatial portal.. It was made out of an unknown essence, and lead into a world devoid of natural essences.."

    Sounds of people gasping in surprise could be heard all over the hall.

    Edmund looked at Roley with grave seriousness. He then asked "What do you think is the reason for the connection to the outside word to be severed?" He was of course aware of the possible results, but he still asked Roley to openly expose his ideas in front of Daniel's entire group.

    Roley sighed, then responded "Our connection to the outside world might have been severed due to Daniel not being in the outside world anymore.. He might have entered a different dimension, which I assume was the place in which the portal lead to..  The only other possibility is.." he then paused for a few seconds.

    "What is the other possibility??" Asked anxiously a seventh rank martial cultivator within the crowd.

    "That the ring was destroyed." Said Roley after another deep sigh.

    "What!? Is that possible?"

    "How big are the chances of that happening?"

    "What do we do now?"

    "Does that mean that we are stuck here forever?"

    Many questions were thrown at Edmund and Roley all at once, causing the hall to become extremely noisy.

    "Calm down." Said Edmund with a heavy voice. "You all know that, just by being part of Daniel's group, we receive great benefits in cultivation and power.. I presume that, if Daniel were to die, those powers would be lost. So it's highly possible that Daniel has voluntarily entered or has been forced into another dimension, and therefore, we are stuck in this pocket dimension."

    "For how long?" asked one of the cultivators in the middle of the crowd.

    "We cannot possibly know that.. All we can do, is to keep the situation under control here, and be sure that we'll survive until Daniel finds a way to restore the portals of the pocket dimension." Said Edmund with a reassuring tone, then, he said a little more seriously "Visit the various sects, schools and populated centers.. And communicate to the citizens that we will be temporarily stuck in the pocket dimension."

    -----

    Back in the abandoned book store, Daniel was still trying to understand something about the wasteland world's literature.

    It took him a few hours just to be able to understand a few of the words, as the form of the words themselves was fundamentally different from the one of his world of origin.

    The text was written with symbols instead of a normal alphabet, and these symbols were repeated in groups of symbols that appeared to have no correlation whatsoever between each other.

    Daniel had to start from the very basics.

    For now, he was only able to remember the names of items of common use. Items like chairs, tables, and a human's body parts.

    Thanks to the informations he had obtained from these books, Daniel had also learned that the inhabitants of this world were humanoids, with similar uses to the kinds of humanoids he knew lived in his world of origin.

    Unfortunately for Daniel, the karmic system only could helped him in speeding memorization and practice.. It would not help him in discovering something he didn't know, or anything of that sort. If he were to learn the right meaning of a word, he would memorize that word almost immediately, but he would not learn how to speak it.

    Basically, Daniel would become a master at anything in a very brief time.. As long as he was instructed on how to do that something at least once.

    Happy with the informations he had gathered, Daniel decided to put the book back in the shelf and leave the bookstore.

    The moment Daniel put the book he was reading back on the shelf, he heard the hurried sounds of three different pairs of legs.

    He immediately focused a small portion of his ki under the bottom of his feet, and dashed out of the bookstore in silence.

    When he reappeared, he was standing above the roof of the bookstore.

    At about one kilometer of distance, he saw a roughly dressed kid being chased by a four legged monster.

    This monster was different from the ones he had seen before. It was much smaller, and seemed to be much weaker. Its speed was on par with the kid's, and it looked like a crazed dog with fur that had turned as straight and as durable as needles.

    The kid seemed to be terrified by the monster, but its movements were agile, and his ability in using the obstacles to keep the monster away from him showed his experience in surviving this sorts of attacks.

    This kid seemed to be ten or eleven years of age, and yet, it had the ability of a third rank martial cultivator. His skin was greyish, and there were dark spots which Daniel wasn't sure if they were some sort of painting, or a skin condition.

    He decided to quietly follow the two by using all the stealth skills he possessed.

    As the kid ran, he kept making sounds which resembled the squeaking of a crazed mouse.. This, had caused a few more dog-like monsters to spot him, and join the previous one in its chase.

    Still being chased by the monsters, the kid kept turning to look at them, and a few times, it almost fell on the ground.. Risking being caught and devoured.

    Daniel hadn't forgotten the fate of the injured monster had suffered a few moments after they had landed in this wasteland.

    When the number of the chasing monsters had reached the dozen, the kid increased his speed in what Daniel believed to be his last outburst of energy before running out of it.

    Unfortunately, the monsters appeared to have a strength at the peak of the third rank, so, they were still able to keep up.

    In order to avoid being caught, the kid kept turning behind the various buildings, and taking shortcuts that forced the pack of monsters to be slowed down.

    From his aerial view, Daniel could see that the kid was going towards a dead end. At the end of the road he was running in, there was only a small sized square with no other exists.. If he were to end up there, he would be trapped.

    Despite the kids apparent experience, he still run straight forward into the closed square.

    In the end, he finished with his back against the wall.. Curled and screaming in fear as the pack of monsters reached him.

    When the first monsters entered the square, instead of attacking the kid, they started to growl at each other.. The kid was clearly not enough food for all of them, so, a battle for deciding to whom the spoils would go had to take place.

    This had shown Daniel that these monsters weren't completely devoid of intelligence, and at the very least, they were as smart as ranked beasts of the same level.

    Daniel had seen enough. He unsheathed his swords, and jumped down the roof of the tall buildings he was standing on.

    As he fell, he slashed in the air, and sent half a dozen of ki waves towards the ground.

    Each ki attack split two of the monsters in half.

    These six attacks were so fast, that in order to learn which attack had reached the ground faster, one would need to slow time by a hundred times.

    He then landed heavily on his feet, right in front of the kid.

    *thump*

    Without having the chance to feel the pain on the back of his head, Daniel fell on the ground unconscious.

    Right before losing his sense, he saw the kid calmly get up on his feet, and dust his body with his small hands.
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