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122 The Wasteland World - Cultivation

    "What are you doing?" Asked Daniel to the seemingly busy middle aged woman.

    Without looking back at him, the woman said "Preparing some detoxifying powder."

    "What is that?"

    "It slows the contamination of our bodies.. If we use this, we are able to absorb more of the natural power of what we eat.. And less contamination." Responded the woman with a matter-of-fact tone.

    "What do you use to make it?" Asked Daniel with curiosity.

    "It's a mix we make from contaminated plants and the parts of the boies of the monsters which contain the least power of contamination." Responded the woman, now slightly irritated by Daniel's distracting questions.

    Daniel observed the entire process, and after only seeing it once, he memorized it.

    What he had understood from observing this process, was that the corrupted living items would retain a small bit of life essence. This life essence was protected from corruption by none other than death itself.

    Life and death are opposite parts of a duality. They seeked each other's destruction, but do not allow anything else to meddle with never ending struggle.

    A person's premature death was a lucky event for death essence, while a person who managed to prolong their life, was a lucky event for life essence.

    This was the reason why, in a world where everything was being corrupted by an essence that resembled so much death essence itself, it was still impossible for it to completely eradicate life.

    Just like darkness followed and hid from light, and light would struggle to push back darkness.. Life would struggle to keep death essence at bay, while death did not allow any other essence to consume life.

    -----

    "What do I have to do to get out of this cell?" Asked Daniel to the still occupied woman.

    The woman turned to look at him once again, and said "First of all.. Our head hunter would love to know how do you make items appear and disappear at will.. Mhh.." As she reached this point, the woman's demeanor appeared to change. She appeared to be slightly embarrassed.

    "My father wants to know if you have any more of those fruits.."

    "HAhahah!" Daniel couldn't help but laugh at the woman's words. He had long learned about the meaning of the word "Jiguah".. Or how he would say it.. "Father".

    He had also learned that the young man which had knocked him out twice was the son of the muscular man, and that the event he happened to stumble in wasn't exactly a hunting trip.. But more of a 'baptizing of fire'.

    Due to the extremely hard condition of the wasteland world, the kids were forced to go through a baptize of fire when they reached the age of ten years old.

    They would be left alone, and left with the assignment of attracting as many monsters within a set ambush spot as they could. If they survived, and managed to attract at least ten monsters, they would be considered adults, and would be taken out of the cave for future hunting trips.

    "Why didn't you say so earlier?!" asked Daniel animatedly. If what they wanted him to do was just that, he would have done it sooner. "Call your father and the head hunter.. I can how them right away.."

    "There is one more thing.." said the woman with a more serious tone. After a slight pause, she added "You must eat."

    Daniel's brows furrowed. He finally understood why he was being kept in a laboratory.

    To be more specific, Daniel had already guessed this woman's intention towards him. Why else would they be interested in his unique type of power?, why would they recount the story of how their world had been corrupted?.. Why would they give him food every day despite the fact that he could summon his own food at will?.

    They wanted to expose Daniel to the world's corruption.

    Under the solemn look of the middle aged woman, Daniel shrugged his shoulders and said "I don't have a choice, do I?"

    "I'm afraid not.." Responded the middle aged woman with an apologetic tone.

    Daniel couldn't manage to feel hostility towards this tribe. They lived inside a cave.. And fought powerful monsters on a daily basis just to survive.. Causing themselves to be contaminated further by the corruption that had destroyed their whole world.

    After the woman finished talking, she called for her father to come in. He was standing in the dark passage that lead outside of the lab room.

    In his hands, the man had a large piece of raw meat of unknown origin.

    All that Daniel was able to see, was that it belonged to some sort of large flying monster.

    Unlike the beast cores formed within the bodies of the ranked beasts back in Daniel's original world, which would produce, store, and spread the power all through the beast's body.. The power inside the monster's body was everywhere.

    Each piece of meat emanated an impressive amount of corrupted essence.

    Now that Daniel was able to touch a piece of high level meat, he was able to finally compare it to his own power.

    What he found out shocked him greatly.

    This single piece of bird-like monster's meat had so much power, that if put next to a beast core of the ninth level, the two would have a difference in power similar to the one a cultivator at the sixth rank and a ninth rank martial cultivator would have.

    There was no need to say, that the corruption had completely taken over the meat of the monster.

    With no other choice, Daniel started to munch on this arm-sized piece of meat.

    He ate it so fast, that before he could feel any result, he had already finished it.

    The old man and the middle aged woman looked at him attentively.

    Once Daniel finished eating, he sat on the ground, and started to observe the power contained within his stomach.

    The first thing he noticed, was that similarly to all other powers, he was able to use the monster's power to increase his martial and spiritual cultivation.

    Since the very first moment he had found out about the absence of a connection between this world and the spiritual plain, he had feared that he would not be able to cultivate his spirit.

    He could have confirmed the truth sooner by simply using one of his beast cores to cultivate, but he was afraid that, if he lost his consciousness while cultivating, he would accidently absorb some of the essence which seemed to be integrant part of anything in this world.

    Now that he had no choice but to cultivate, he had learned that he didn't actually need a connection to the spiritual plane to cultivate his spirit.. Or that maybe, he was able to due to the fact that his body and spirit were one step away from fully merging.

    Completely focused, Daniel started to absorb the impressive amount of power contained in the food he had just eaten.

    After forty-eight hours, Daniel had reached the peak of the eighth rank in both paths of cultivation, and a few black spots had appeared on his face, arms and legs.

    The black spots became larger and larger, until, after five days, During his breakthrough to the ninth stage, they had merged.. Turning his arms, legs, face and neck completely black.

    After ten more days, Daniel's body had become almost completely black, with the only part left of it's healthy pink color being the center of his chest.. He had reached the late ninth rank of both martial and spiritual cultivation.

    The leftover power that still roamed in his body was not enough to allow him to charge to the peak of the ninth rank of cultivation, so, he decided to stop.

    The old man and the woman had observed him for the entire time, and the more they looked, the more shocked they felt.

    Their tribe's increase in power wasn't slow by any means, as they usually had a lot of food to eat.. But what had surprised the two of them, was that Daniel could absorb so much of the power before the corruption could consume him completely.

    Unfortunately, the real shock for the two of them, started right after Daniel stopped cultivating.

    Under request from the old man, Daniel had removed his shirt while cultivating, as he wanted to observe how the corruption would propagate in his body.

    When Daniel stopped cultivating, after only a few moments, he fell on his fours.

    His blood was literally boiling, the defined muscles contracted and relaxed constantly.. His bones pressed one against each other, and his veins bulged and dilated to allow the extremely hot and fast flux of blood to circulate at a higher speed.

    The pitch black color on his body started to retract, starting from the spot that hadn't been affected.

    Daniel spent the next few hours in panic and agony, as his body seemed to have lost control.. Only after the corruption disappeared completely from his skin, did his body relax, and went back to functioning normally.

    Still under shock from the horrifying experience, Daniel slowly got up on his feet.. With legs trembling like leaves, and chest swelling and deflating at a crazy rhythm.

    As Daniel' breathing was about to go back to normal, and the color on his face was about to go back from bright red to his healthy rosy color.. He suddenly bent forward and vomited an extremely large amount of black liquid.

    The old man and the middle aged woman were petrified. The panicked screams of Daniel had made them doubt more than once if what they were doing was right.. But after seeing Daniel rejecting the corruption that had been the bane of their entire world, all doubts disappeared in front of a newfound hope.

    Even while vomiting an incredibly large amount of black liquid, Daniel's mind was lucid, and he was thinking about what had happened to him.

    During his cultivation, Daniel had noticed something very surprising.. And that something, was that his combination of spirit and body was able to fight against the essence of corruption.

    If Daniel hadn't kept cultivating, his unique essence would have easily purged the essence of corruption from his body. But since his speed in absorption was highly increased by his karmic system, his power wasn't able to cope with the large amount of corruption that he was taking in, and he was slowly and successfully being corrupted.

    The moment he had stopped cultivating, and the essence of corruption was stopped spreading through his body.. His extreme production of unique essence started to rapidly attack the essence of corruption, and purge Daniel's body from it.

    There was something of which Daniel was certain. If he hadn't stopped cultivating and let the essence of corruption invade his body completely, his very source of clean essence would have been corrupted as well, and he would have become no different from the inhabitants of the wasteland world.

    Still panting, Daniel looked at the middle aged woman, and said "Will you let me out now?.."

    The woman recovered from her shock, then said with an apologetic tone "I am sorry Daniel.. If the result had been any different.. I would have let you go.. But you are the only hope for our world now.. So I can't."

    Daniel expected as much.

    Unfortunately for him.. The bane of this essence of corruption was the only thing that these people would never be able to obtain.. And that, was a powerful spirit.

    "What will you do with me now?" Asked Daniel while sitting back on the ground, and putting his shirt back on. "You must have thought that you can't give me any more meat.. Or sooner or later, I'd become powerful enough to get out of here.. So, what happens now?"

    The middle aged woman turned to look at her father, then she said "We'll see.."
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