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124 The Wasteland World - Meeting

    "Spiritual essence you say.. Do you believe him, Lucious?" Asked the head scholar from her middle seat.

    From in front of the three leaders, the old man that had spoken to Daniel, said "He definitely has a second motive.. There is no reason why he would want to help us.. But that's as far as my doubts go."

    After a brief pause, he continued "We fed him contaminated meat, and while he was able to drastically increase his power, he also rejected the contamination.. He is able to make clean food appear out of nowhere.. If It's true that he can free our youngest generation of corruption and render them immune.. We could go back to a time where we were able to live for hundreds of years."

    As he reached this point, he started to talk more animatedly.. As if he was releasing a life worth of ifs and buts "Just one generation.. Just one generation capable of resisting the corruption, and we could explore our world in depth.. Maybe find a clean spot in which we can live.. Isn't it a future worth taking a risk for?"

    "You seem to put an awful lot of faith in this kid, Lucious.. How are you so sure that he won't just leave if he were to find a source of spiritual essence.. Or worse.. He'll grow powerful enough to slaughter us all for capturing him?" Asked the old man sitting to the left of the head scholar.

    The head scholar became quiet for a few minutes, and then, she said "If he really wants to help us, he will have to do it after we conduct the proper tests on him. Even if this was all possible, and I doubt it, I would rather set him free after the research and hope that he'll still decide to help us, than letting go of our only hope in thousands of years for a promise."

    -----

    After Lucious's conversation with the triumvirate, Daniel had accepted to let himself be used for a few tests and experiments, which were much more humane than one might believe.

    For three months, Daniel ingested various types of concoctions created by the scholars, consistently gave away small portions of blood, and allowed himself to be tested regularly. In exchange to his cooperation, he was allowed to roam the city in the company of a selected guard.

    The guard that had been selected to keep an eye on Daniel, was a woman in her late twenties.

    Her skin was of a sick grey color. A color which Daniel had learned was the natural tonality of skin of this particular race. The black spots of on her body turned her arms and legs completely black, while on the rest of her body, small black pots covered her body like strange freckles.

    She belonged to the warriors, therefore, her body was covered by small plaques of metal over a layer of leather that covered her waist, thighs, breasts, and vambraces, while on her feet, she wore a pair of leather boots.

    Her hair were of a natural green color, a color which was lighter during her youth, and similar to the green color of her eyes.

    Her name was Gai'ha, and her weapon of choice was a short sword and a shield.

    Since Daniel had met Gai'ha, he had formed a large variety of different opinions on her. She was a serious person, and quite talented cultivator. Unfortunately for her, she had been born in a corrupted world, in which she could not shine properly.

    During the past three months, Daniel had recounted to her the majority of his adventures, how life in his world was, and about his ability to create a world with sheer comprehension of the elements.

    The reason why Daniel had told her all these things, was simple.

    After three months, he had guessed Gai'ha to be a good person, but that didn't mean that a good person could not be used as a spy.. And that's what she was.

    The triumvirate had specifically picked her so that Daniel could open up with her, and reveal things which would convince them whether they could trust him or not.

    Except for the fact that he was carrying a inhabited world on his person, and his karmic system, Daniel had nothing to hide.

    He had considered that, in case he would be able to find a connection to the spiritual plain, he would be able to offer entrance to his clean pocket dimension to this tribe.. And grant a better chance than the harsh they led for them and their children.. But then, he had to consider two different matters.

    The first one, was that he would not tell the tribe that he had a ring which contained hundreds of thousands of people, and a clean environment perfect for their race to thrive.

    Secondly, he would not allow them in the pocket dimension unless he was able to match their power. The strongest level of cultivator within his pocket dimension was only at the peak of the ninth stage of cultivation.. And even if paired with the group's bonus in battle prowess, he was sure that there were hundreds of warriors within the tribe that could easily take over the entire pocket dimension.

    If he were to take them in, he would do it in a different pocket dimension, and once found a way to increase the power of his own people, we would slowly make the two groups encounter, and possibly merge.

    -----

    Back in the underground cave castle.

    "Give us a report of the exams." Said the head scholar with an orderly tone.

    "Well.." Said Lara with a dispirited tone, and just a bit of embarrassment. "I was not able to find anything. His blood gets corrupted just like ours with the right amount of corruption, but if the amount is small enough, it simply bounces off. I've tried to use his blood on many of our detoxifying concoctions, but the most they did, was to increase the effectiveness, and grant us a forgettable increase in power."

    A grim expression appeared on the faces of the three leaders. The head scholar looked at Lara and said "Do you think we should do a more.. In depth research?" She was, of course referring to more invasive ways of research, like vivisection.

    "Head scholar.. If I may.. I don't think we will be able to find anything. If we see the tempistics and reaction to ingesting contaminated meat, we can assume that his words were true. That 'spiritual essence' he talked about was fighting the contamination as he 'cultivated', and when he finally stopped increasing his power by getting further contaminated, his spiritual essence fought back and removed the contamination from his body altogether.." Said Lara in a single breath.

    "Why don't you just give us your opinion on what we should do? You and your father are our best scholars.. That's why we've let you study the outsider." Asked the old man, whose face showed a slightly irritated expression.

    "I think we should accept his deal."

    "Exploring the prohibited land is not a joke.. We'll need the help of the other tribes just to get in. There is a good chance that, by simply exposing him to the other tribes, they'll attack us to do their own research." Said the chief hunter after fixing herself in her own seat.

    "A war could leave the tribe with half of the army for years.. It's too risky.." Added the old man.

    Lara, which had thought about this matter for three months now, couldn't help but burst out saying "And what if we don't!?.. This is all we have left.. Our usual grey rock.. Or usual black meat.. Don't you want to be the ones that made the decision that  brought our race out of this all-time-low period of our race?"

    The three remained quite, not taking Lara's loud tone to heart. They knew where her exasperation came from.. After all, the were all in the same situation.

    "I think that we should at least talk to him.. Bring him here." Said the head scholar.

    -----

    Daniel was currently training Gai'ha in martial arts.

    The very first time that Daniel had challenged Gai'ha to a sparring match, she hadn't taken him seriously.

    It was only after her precious sword had been split in two, that she had started to pay attention to Daniel's teachings.

    Provided that she was much more powerful than he was, her aura would only increase her power and speed, and could not be used to enhance their weapons or moved out of her body. That was the reason why their race did not bother with producing weapons of quality higher than carved bones.

    Therefore, when the two's swords had clashed, Daniel was easily able to cut her normal 'sword' in half thanks to his sword sharpened with ki.

    Since that day, Daniel had teached her many of the martial arts he knew which focused the focused on raw power, along with swordsmanship, and hand to hand combat.

    Unfortunately, the end would always be the same. She would be on the losing end, until finally, exasperation would get the better of her, and she would burst out with her raw power, sending Daniel flying in the air.

    This time was no different.

    The two of them were one over the other, and Daniel had Gai'ha's head locked in a triangle choke. She had tried to free herself without using more force than what Daniel could produce, but after staying in that embarrassing position for a few long minutes, Gai'ha started to get angry.

    Daniel was carefully observing her expression. Her lips became of a darker color, her eyes were narrowed and directed at his.. The moment Daniel noticed these small details, he let go of her immediately.

    "Okay! There, you're free." Said Daniel after immediately getting up on his feet and raising his hands in surrender.

    Gai'ha looked at Daniel sideways, then said "So you're going to abuse me until you're satisfied, and then let me go before I get a chance to release my stress?.."

    "Woah there.. If you say it like that you make it sound much more perverted than it is." Responded Daniel while taking a few steps backwards.

    Realizing what he had just said, Gai'ha's pink lips and greyish cheeks became of a darker red color. She immediately charged towards Daniel.

    Unfortunately for her, Daniel had gotten used to her pattern of attacks. Unless she actually increased her speed through the use of her aura, she would never be able to catch up to him.

    "Hahahaha.. OKAY OKAY! I'm sorry! I was just joking.." Said Daniel while giggling and evading left and right.

    Suddenly, a man appeared at the edge of the small training ground in which they were practicing. He wore a common fur attire, and was part of neither of the three major occupations within the tribe. He was an emissary of the triumvirate.

    Gai'ha stood up in front of the man, and said "Waiting for orders."

    The man looked back at her, then said "The triumvirate wishes to speak to him."

    Daniel approached the two, and said "It's about time. Let's go."

    On their way to the underground castle, Daniel walked in silence as he internally preparing his sales pitch.

    The three of them went across the entire underground city, and entered the largest of the holes within the cave walls.

    They then walked directly inside the large room where the triumvirate was already patiently. At the entrance of the room, Daniel saw Lucious, Lara, and the middle aged man that lead the hunting party that captured Daniel.

    When the six of them entered the room, Daniel walked all the way in front of the three, then, lifted his head to look at the three members of the triumvirate.

    "It's a pleasure to finally meet you." Said the head scholar.

    Following the head scholar's example, the chief hunter and the strongest of the warriors followed suid, and said a few words of greeting.

    Unfortunately, Daniel seemed distracted.

    His face had a dumbfounded expression, and he was starting at a particular piece of metal, which was working as the pommel of the old man's greatsword..

    This small and round piece of metal, emanated a deep, and powerful metallic essence.

    Daniel immediately recognized it as a perfect metal treasure.
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