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128 The Wasteland World - Desperation

    While Daniel stared back at the five individuals hidden under the black robes, the army of monsters that stared back from the other side of the body of water, grew faster and faster.

    After only a minute, their numbers had tripled.

    Suddenly..

    *Burble*.. "HEEL-".. *Burble*

    The group turned to look at a spot about three hundred meters from the coast. There, they saw a middle aged man which was desperately trying to swim towards the coast, and behind him, a few monster followed quietly.

    The man had only just entered the field of Daniel's surrounding awareness, and he could see that the monsters weren't actually attacking him, but just following quietly.

    Daniel understood immediately that it was a trap, but unfortunately, the same wasn't for the rest of the group, which grabbed their weapons and prepared to dive back into the water.

    Before they could do that, Daniel grabbed the waistband of the strongest of warriors, which was grabbing the handle of his sword tightly, and jumped high up in the air.

    He then stepped in the air thanks to small outbursts of ki, which he released from underneath his feet.

    The strongest of men immediately realised what Daniel wanted to do, so, before they went too far from the shore, he shouted at the rest of the group "STAY THERE!"

    As the two of them arrived near the middle aged man, the monsters which followed the man quietly started to jump out of the murky water in an attempt to interject them in mid air.

    Unfortunately for them, the old man was extremely dangerous even with one arm, and whenever a monster tried to swallow them, he would swing his heavy greatsword, and split the monster in two.

    As Daniel arrived at the spot where the middle aged man was, the old man prepared to swing with his sword at any monster that would try to attack them while they tried to rescue the man.

    Daniel allowed the two of them to fall over the middle aged man, and just as they were about to touch the water, Daniel grabbed the clothes of the middle aged man. He then forcibly pulled him out of the water by stepping over the surface, and propelled himself back in the air.

    At the same time, the old man slashed vertically at an enormous shark-like monster that suddenly came out of the water in an attempt to devour them. Unfortunately, its skin was too tough, and he wasn't able to kill it.

    Now tightly holding at the two men, Daniel tried to go back on the shore, but not even a hundred meters in, a bird like monster dived straight towards the strongest of warriors, and pierced his only remaining arm with its sharp beak.

    The strongest of warriors was a powerful old man at the mid chief level, and yet, his second arm was cut off by the lightning fast dive of the bird-like monster.

    The old man was only able to look at his last arm and greatsword as they fell into the murky water, and were devoured by the monsters.

    The three of them arrived back on the shore of the island, on which the other monsters didn't dare to follow.

    The chief hunter approached the strongest of men, and after looking at each other meaningfully for a few seconds, she cupped her palm on his cheek, showing him her grief for his loss.

    Daniel quietly looked at the old man, which was overall calm about the loss of both of his arms. It was right there and then that he understood how much this operation meant to him. How much he was willing to sacrifice for a single chance of saving his people.

    The next moment, a small while pearl appeared in his hand.

    He approached the old man, which in turn looked back at him and said "I'm afraid I won't be of much use from now on.."

    "That's not necessarily true.." Responded Daniel in a low voice while opening his hand and showing the ninth rank healing pill he had received from the Bizac family's leader, Vael, to them.

    "What is that?" Asked the chief hunter as she noticed the small pill in Daniel's hand.

    "This is a healing pill. The only reason I didn't take it out before, is because it's a life saving treasure.. But also because it contains thick life essence.. Which I've used before to cause injuries to corrupted monsters." He then pause for a few moments, before adding "I.. I am not sure what effect it will have on you."

    "Are you saying that this pill could give him back his arms?" Asked the chief hunter with eyes opened wide in shock.

    "If I was the injured one.. Without a doubt."

    The old woman looked at the injured old man with doubt. She didn't want the old man to die to get back his arms, but she also knew that such a disability, in their world, would mean the end.

    While she looked at the old man's injuries, the old man looked at her body instead. She had numerous small cuts that started from her shoulder, and went all the way down to her thighs.

    The chief hunter immediately understood the meaning behind the old man's look, causing her to step back and said "NO. You have to take it. I can survive with these injuries."

    Before the two could start to argue about whom should take the pill, Daniel interjected by saying "If we find what I'm hoping to find, I can heal her with my powers. But I won't be able to restore your arms."

    The old woman cupped her palms on the old man's face once more, and said with a sweet tone "Did you hear that? I'll be fine.. Take the pill."

    After a few seconds, the old man nodded, and turned toward Daniel.

    Daniel looked back at the old man, and said "This might end in a quick death.. Are you sure?"

    "Kid, I've had a long and painful life.. A quick death is more than I could ask for. Let's just get this over with." Responded the old man with confidence.

    After a soft sigh, Daniel sent the healing pill flying towards the old man, which was quickly able to catch it with his mouth, and swallow it.

    Daniel immediately approached the old man, and placed a hand on his back. He then felt the warmness of the healing essence spread inside the old man's body.

    For a few seconds, nothing happened.. But as the spectators looked at the old man in relief, Daniel was more serious than ever.

    The temperature within the old man's body started to spike, and before long, he feel on his knees..

    *AAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRGH* *AAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRGH*

    He started screaming in pain, as the moisture on his body started to evaporate and form a faint mist around him.

    "What is happening?!" Asked the chief hunter in an extremely worried tone.

    *AAAAAAAAAAAARRGH*

    "I think that the life essence within the pill is trying to fight against the corruption of his body.." Responded Daniel with a grim expression.

    The healing essence started to move towards the old man's bloody stumps, and after it got to his shoulders, a large amount of corruption started to drip down the injury, as if pushed out by the raging healing essence.

    The screams of the old man were louder than ever. His expression was one of agony, and his skin was boiling hot.. After a couple of long minutes, he finally lost consciousness due to the pain.

    The chief hunter quickly grabbed him, preventing him to fall against the hard rock, but had to let him go right after due to the temperature of his body.

    For the next hour, the old man lied on the ground while his arms grew anew, and a large portion of the corruption was expelled from his injuries.

    His previously black skin gradually went back to its original greyish color, only stopping after his arms were fully recovered, and there was no way for the corruption to come out.

    Daniel, which was currently studying the man's body all through the duration of the healing pill, was able to comprehend the concept of healing essence called 'purification', and the concept of life essence called 'opposition'.

    Many essences had a concept of opposition, and it described the way a certain essence would oppose another. Like how light would oppose darkness, or how death would oppose life.

    Despite the fact that the old man's arms had been healed, the remaining healing power was still roaming in his body. Therefore, if he were to wake up now, he would still feel the pain caused by the two struggling essences.

    Once again, Daniel turned to look at the army of monster that had amassed around the lake, and noticed that their numbers had increased once again.

    They now numbered no less than five thousands.

    Daniel turned to look at the chief hunter, which was kneeling next to the strongest of warriors with a face filled with worry. He then said "He is not in danger.. Try to wake him up after his temperature lowers."

    He then turned to look at the rest of the group, and said "The rest of you, I need your help to explore the stronghold."

    Thank to the recent events, Daniel had learned something to which this particular race of humanoids would be forever grateful to him for, for the rest of their existence.. He had learned that he could use healing essence to purge their bodies from the essence of corruption.

    He already knew that spiritual essence defended the body from being corrupted, and that life essence could damage a corrupted entity.. What he hadn't learned until now, was that he could use healing essence, which was an artificial essence invented by the alchemical mixing of life and time essence, to push the corruption out of a body while also healing it at the same time.

    Thanks to the concept of purification, if he were to find a connection to the spiritual plain, he would be able to purify the bodies of the population of an entire world.

    -----

    The mages' stronghold was a simple and small castle built in pearly white stone. Inside it there were various rooms, a mess hall, and a few studies.

    Daniel and the other survivors were currently searching around, examining parchments, reading books.. But even after five hours, they had found nothing but a few diaries filled with the delusions of a groups of maniacs.

    The majority of the written material talked about the advent of the world's salvation.

    ____________________________

    The day that the grey teardrop fell from the sky, we have become the chosen ones..

    What better proof than the abilities that we have been bestowed by its saving glory..

    We have been chosen because we are the righteous ones.. Our purpose is to cleanse

    To cleanse the undeserving people of this world, and to lead our world to new ways

    Ways deserving of these mystical and benevolent gifts.. Deserving of salvation..

    ____________________________

    "Have you found something?" Asked Gai'ha after noticing the confused expression on Daniel's face.

    Daniel looked at Gai'ha with an apologetic face, and said "Just.. gibberish." He then started to search more animatedly.. Throwing books away as soon as he was sure that they were not relevant.

    The warriors that had accompanied him, along with the chief hunter, and the recently awoken strongest of warriors approached Daniel one by one, and looked at the frustration and disappointment in his face. They knew that Daniel hadn't found what he was looking for.

    The army of the five tribes had already retreated back in their territory now, and were waiting for Daniel and their group to show up as agreed. But after hours of pointless waiting, they had no choice but to leave with the conviction that they had perished.

    After a full day of searching, within a messy room with books strewn all over, and furniture broken in pieces, Daniel was sitting with a dispirited expression on his face.
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