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148 The Right Way to Conduct Business

    "Explain to me why you have come back in such a sorry state.." Said the elder that sat in the middle to the young man which, along with Kyla, had convinced them to kick Zack out of the sect.

    Of course, the young man, whose name was Silas, had already a story prepared. He would never openly admit that he wanted to kill Zack, so, he tried to make it seem like the decision of letting Zack live was actually the wrong one.

    "Esteemed elders. We were purchasing some materials in the city today, when someone brought to us the news that.. Zack was opening a stall in the commercial road's marketplace." Responded Silas politely.

    "So what?" One of the other elders asked.

    Silas lifted his head, and turned to look at the elder which had just spoken. Then, with an apologetic tone, he said "He wasn't alone. He was accompanied by powerful cultivators. We only wanted to talk to him, and see if he had any ill intentions towards the sect, but as soon as we approached, we were attacked by one of them."

    "You were all defeated by a single person?" Asked a third elder with a dubious voice.

    "Yes elder Rio. He was much more powerful than us.." Responded Silas immediately, almost as if expecting such a question.

    The first elder which had spoken said with irritation "Fine.. we will send the Illusory Maiden to investigate the matter.. Go back to practice.. So that you won't humiliate us the next time."

    -----

    Back into the pocket dimension.

    A very large group of people crowded the square right outside of Daniel's castle. This group was entirely composed of cultivators.

    Now that anyone could practice both paths of cultivation, each and every cultivator in the pocket dimension had a certain level of spirit and body. Their levels were usually uneven, and depending on how old the person was, they were still catching up.

    At the edge of the square, a wooden podium had been created, and Daniel was standing over it. He had just finished giving a speech.

    He looked at the large crowd, and said with a deafening voice. "If you have any questions, ask them now."

    A large number of people raised their hands, and from them, Daniel randomly picked a middle aged man that stood in the middle of the crowd, and said "You."

    Everybody quietened as the man lowered his hand and said "For those who have no interest in going back to our world, can we move here permanently?"

    "Yes. But I suggest you wait to form your immortal essence first. Immortal essence is the main power in this world, and it is of a higher quality than either ki or spiritual essence. You'd be the weakest amongst your levels of power." Responded Daniel patiently before saying "Another question."

    A lot less people lifted their hands this time, and only lowered them after Daniel picked another person at random.

    This time, it was an old woman that was allowed to speak. She said "Can you repeat your proposition regarding the formation of a merchant business?"

    Daniel nodded at the woman, and responded "Of course. Apparently, the study of essences isn't as popular as it is in our world. There are many amongst you adept in specific essences, and you would be able to make a living out of that skill.. But that would mean going under the employment of a power of which you know nothing of.."

    He then paused for a few seconds before continuing ".. Alternatively, you can stay here.. Safe, paid, amongst people you know.. And mass produce essence spheres under my employment. Not only that, I would also allow you access to any sort of mid-level essence spheres. So that you can broaden your knowledge."

    "Any other questions?.."

    For the following half hour, Daniel responded to the various questions asked by the cultivators which inhabited the pocket dimension.

    -----

    2 hours earlier.

    "Dan, are you going to tell us why did we organize this for?.." Asked Heimart with a hint of confusion.

    "I want to include the people that inhabit the dimension into our business, and make a company out of it." Said Daniel to Edmund, and the various other leading members of Daniel's group.

    Roley was the first to talk. He said "You do realize that you will also have to explain where we are, how we arrived here.. And everything else, right?"

    "Of course." Responded Daniel with a faint smile, before saying "I'm not keeping a colony of ants here. If they want to leave, they will be allowed to. I'll still make my offer."

    Daniel's idea was simple. For now, he only dealt with creating essence spheres due to the fact that they didn't have resources to produce some of their own. But now that they did, they could expand their reach by selling an already finished product.

    In order to do that, Daniel not only needed money.. But also people that did the job for him, since he wouldn't be able to do anything else if he were to do that by himself.

    "Alright then.. Let's get you some work force.." Responded Ligart with a dirty grin on his face. "How much are we paying them for the job? I'll get some fliers done and put them around the city."

    "Our earnings were already huge by simply creating spheres with other people's treasures.. Make it 10% of the spheres they create. Also, do mention that they'll have to sign a contract which will prevent them from becoming a competitor in this world, or any world in which our company will set shop in the future.. Unless they already live there before we arrive."

    -----

    Back to the present.

    "That was exhausting.." Muttered Daniel to himself before sitting on one of the balconies of the castle, and looking up at the dark sky. His face was pensive, and visibly signed by tiredness.

    Suddenly, from behind him..

    "Mind if I join you?"

    Daniel didn't need to turn around to know who it was. Yet, he still turned to see Alesia standing at the entrance of the balcony. On her hands, was a bottle of liquor, and two glasses.

    He faintly shook his head with a faint motion, and a slightly less faint smile.

    Alesia walked all the way to the chair that was next to the one which Daniel was occupying, and sat. She then put the glasses and the bottle on the small table in between them, and said. "I thought you'd feel like drinking something."

    "I've never drank any alcoholics before.." Said Daniel while looking at the bottle. "Wish I would have tried it before I became too powerful to be affected by alcohol."

    "This is a special type of alcohol.. I found it in the market earlier this morning. It's made to turn people way more powerful than you into staggering sacks of potatoes.. Hehe.." Said Alesia while showing one of her signature beautiful smiles.

    For a few seconds, the two sat in silence while looking at the empty dark sky. It was nighttime, and the light spheres were off, aside for those that illuminated the city, and the villages in the surrounding area.

    "You don't look happy.. Despite us being in a safe place, and having a good thing going on.." Said Alesia casually.

    For a few seconds Daniel didn't know what to say, then, almost as if allowing himself to talk about it, he said "I am twenty-one now. It's been almost six years since the last time I've seen my sister. I wonder if she is still waiting for me to come back.. If she is safe.. If she is married, if she has a kid.. And if she is happy."

    Alesia felt stupid for a moment. She had come to forget that many amongst the people in the pocket dimension had family members left in their world.

    It wasn't the same for her. Both of her parents were alive and well, and had had a child within this very pocket dimension. To her, this pocket dimension was as much of a house as their world of origin was.

    Not knowing what to say in order to comfort Daniel, she grabbed the bottle and one of the glasses, and said "I think this will help more than anything I can say.." She then poured a half glass of liquor to Daniel, and handed it over to him.

    Daniel looked at the pink watery liquid in his glass, then, drank it in a single gulp.

    *COUGH COUGH*

    "HAHAHA! Almighty Daniel can't handle half a glass of alcohol!" Said Alesia while laughing hysterically.

    *Cough* "Okay badass girl," *Cough* "why don't you show me how it's done, then?" Responded Daniel, slightly embarrassed.

    A faint smirk appeared on Alesia's face, as she picked the second glass, and halfway filled it for herself. "Watch this, rookie." She then gulped it down confidently.

    Daniel observed as Alesia's face turned into a variety of shade of red.

    Her eyes opened wide, as she looked at Daniel with an expression that seemed to scream "I've made a mistake!!"

    Unable to hold it anymore.. *COUGH COUGH COUGH* "That's disg.." *COUGH!* "It's disgusting!"

    "HAHAHAHAH!" Daniel burst out laughing at how fast Alesia's confidence had been turned into rage "So I had to cough a little more? Good thing I have an expert that can show me how to do it right."

    *Cough* "Quit it!" Shouted Alesia with a face as red as an apple. Partially due to the alcohol, and partially due to the deep embarrassment. "This is nothing like what I've drank before.."

    "We should start sipping.."

    The two poured another half cup each, and quietly looked at the empty sky while slowly sipping the pink liquor.

    "I miss the stars.. Sometimes.." Muttered Alesia in a low voice.

    -----

    The next day, Daniel and the rest showed up at the marketplace. They went to acquire a daily permit to open a stall, and this time, they were forced to pay a fee for forcing the government office to place various guards around his stall.

    Daniel expected such a fee, and paid it gladly.

    After walking out of the government office, they directly went towards the place where they had placed their stall in the previous day.

    All around the area, dozens of small stalls which traded in essence treasures had been set. And the streets, were filled with old men and women. Their spot had been protected by this large group of cultivators which had come only to conduct business with him.

    Daniel didn't expect that the people would be so responsive to his business.

    He waved his hand in salutation to the many cultivators, and immediately created a stall out of wood. This stall was much more refined that the one he had created the previous day, as he hadn't put too much time into creating that one. But since he wanted to gain a better face for his starting company, he decided to put more thought into it.

    This specific idea was only one of those conceived by him and Alesia the previous night.

    The first thing Daniel did, was to place the monster meat on the counter. Then, he placed a seat for Alesia and him to seat on, and said "First customer."

    Somewhere within the group of cultivators, two individuals dressed in dark green clothes were standing quietly.

    One of them, was a thirty-five years old man with a lean and athletic build. He presented himself with a polite smile, and hanging from his waist, was a simple double-edged sword.

    The other person, was a thirty years old woman which Daniel would be able to recognize. She was the woman to which the job of protecting Kyla had been assigned, and the head disciple of the Sect of the Illusory Edge, the Illusory Maiden.

    The two of them were waiting in line like anybody else, and looking at Zack, which was currently standing nearby, with a sign which brought people in the direction of Daniel's stall.
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