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150 The Challenge of a Young Merchan

    As if turning into a liquid, the metallic cube started to melt, and bubble.

    Some of the most common materials like iron, lead, and copper, were turning into types of metal which weren't present in the cube before, due to the influence of the perfect metallic treasure.

    The various colors which covered its surface were slowly merging, forming infinite types of alloys, composed of each and every kind of metal in existence.

    The former cube kept changing shape for a few minutes, until finally, its metallic essence became less chaotic and more controlled. It had turned from natural mana, into the type of mana which belonged to a living organism, and that could be recreated and consumed without the help of another living essence.

    After a few minutes of slow movements, the unsteady cube started to melt completely, forming a puddle of liquid, and multicolored metal, that covered the floor of the cellar completely.

    In the middle of this puddle, was the perfect metal treasure.

    For a moment, this large puddle was as clear as a mirror, and right after, its surface started to bubble like boiling water. The edges of the puddle starts to recede. Slowly moving inwards, and regrouping in a single clump right in the middle of the room.

    Right outside of this room, Daniel had appeared, and was standing quietly in wait with his eyes closed. He was observing the event with his immortal essence, and at the same time, he was comprehending all the different concepts which were being displayed by the shapeshifting  mass of metallic liquid.

    His comprehension of metal increased as he observed melting, smelting, the bonding of metals.. Seventy percent, eighty, ninety.. Only stopping right underneath a full and complete comprehension.

    He quietly opened his eyes, and then waved his hand. This simple action forced a door to open in the wall of the cellar, showing to him what was inside.

    In the middle of the room, was what looked like a silvery wolf cub rolled up in a circle, and it appeared to have fallen asleep around the perfect metal treasure.

    Despite seeing his evident wolf-like shape, Daniel was perfectly aware of what this entity was. It was a newborn metal elemental.

    Observing it carefully, Daniel was able to notice how his fluffy fur was actually made out of tiny needles, which weren't fully solid, and were able to wave like normal hair.

    The moment Daniel took a step into the cellar to approach the newborn elemental, he was immediately noticed, causing the wolf-like entity to turn towards him, and show a pair of golden eyes.

    Daniel was the first living being that the metal elemental had ever seen, so, it did not feel fear towards him.

    It got up on his four paws, and slowly approached him, leaving scars on the stony floor due to his extremely sharp claws. It felt no ill intent coming from Daniel, so it decided not to show aggressivity either.

    In response, Daniel fell on both of his knees, and lowered himself to just a bit higher than the wolf cub's eyes. He then moved his palm towards him.

    The metal elemental moved his head backwards the moment Daniel's hand approached its face, but as Daniel started to turn his immortal essence into metallic essence of near perfect comprehension, it felt comfortable enough to allow Daniel to touch it.

    As Daniel's palm finally touched the top of the wolf's head, he felt the smooth and cold feeling of metal.

    A few of the wolf metallic hair cut the sides of Daniel's hand as it lifted his ears in alertness, and looked at the individuals that had appeared behind Daniel.

    At the entrance that Daniel had created in the wall of the cellar, Leffe and Buriath were standing quietly.

    "What do you guys think I should do with him? Will he chose a name for himself when he'll grow up, or should I?" Asked Daniel without even turning around to look at the leaders of the wood and earth elementals. At the same time, a faint white light was coming out from the small cuts on his skin, and pulling his blood back in.

    Leffe was the first one to talk. He said "Both Buriath and I picked our names by ourselves.. As we didn't have anyone to name us.. If you don't want to name each and every other newborn metal elementals in the future, you should let him do the same."

    "Very well, I won't give you a name.. But I have to call you something until you'll grow up.." Daniel said to the curious metallic wolf cub. "How about Wolfie?"

    Daniel, Leffe, and Buriath were more than aware of how long it would take for the wolf-like elemental to grow an intelligence to their level.

    Intelligence and power were two different things.

    Just like humans, the intelligence of elementals was within the domain of the mind, which could not be altered by time. So, even with a perfect sphere, and an increased time speed, the growth of the metal elemental's intelligence would not be sped up.

    The only increase that he was granted, was from the bonus given for being part of Daniel's group, but even with that, it would take him at least twenty years to reach the level of intelligence that the other two elemental leaders possessed, which unlike him, had grow to that level of intelligence in the span of at least a century.

    Of course, thanks to the future increases of the shared effects of Daniel's group, the time would be greatly reduced, but as of now, the newborn metal elemental would have to grow and gain knowledge at a slow pace.

    -----

    Main hall of the Sect of the Illusory Edge.

    ".. He seems too confident.. Are you sure that the kid was only at the peak of the third stage.. And that his essence was split into two?" Asked the one of the elders to the thirty-something years old man which quietly stood in front of them.

    "I am sure." The man responded confidently.

    The elder then turned towards the Illusory Maiden, which was standing right next to her companion, and asked "What about you? What do you think?"

    "I have no doubt that the kid hasn't reached the fourth stage yet.. But.." Responded the Illusory Maiden, before stopping right after the first word.

    "But?"

    The Illusory Maiden looked at the various elders, then said "He seems to be extremely composed, focused.. I couldn't distinguish him from the two swords he carried.."

    A second elder entered the conversation and said "So he is extremely talented.. It doesn't matter. As long as his cultivation isn't higher than his, there should be no problems in defeating him." He then turned to look at the man, and said "Am I right?"

    The man nodded energetically, and said "Of course, elder."

    "Good. If what you've told me is true, and he is really able of creating all sorts of essence spheres of various levels, even if he won't make them personally, we can force his company to create them for us." A nasty grin appeared on his face as he thought of a funny detail, then added "The kid hasn't even set a specific limit to how many spheres we will be able to request.. If you win, we'll have a company that will help us enter a profitable market.. All for free. Don't mess this up."

    -----

    Two days passed quietly, in which Daniel kept opening his shop at the usual marketplace, purchased as many essence treasure he found, and offered his services at his stall, along with Alesia and the rest.

    The Sect of the Illusory Edge had decided to make the bet public.

    They were sure that they would win, and since they wanted to enter the market of the essence spheres, they wanted people to know that Daniel would soon be working for their sect.

    At the same time, the reason why this young merchant had challenged this powerful sect had started to become known. That, was mostly thanks to Daniel, which would always explain the truth about the matter to each and every customer who asked about it.

    Inside the depths of the castle, Jerigh had spent the last couple of days cultivating at the highest possible speed. Daniel had given a large amount of high-level crystals, which contained heavy amounts of pure crystallized mana, and meat of powerful monsters to eat.

    That day, whenever people finished their business with Daniel, instead of leaving and going back to their schools and sects, they would stay in the marketplace, and wait for the day to end.

    It was now sunset, and the marketplace was unusually full of people.

    In the middle of the large square, four people dressed in green colored clothes were standing quietly. These people were the Illusory Maiden, the man which would have to fight Jerigh, and two of the most well known elders of the Sect of the Illusory Edge.

    These two elders had decided to come as a simple way of confirming to the various sect leaders and elders, that the words they had heard were actually true. They were currently chatting with numerous other generally known cultivators from the city.

    After Daniel and the rest finished packing their items, they walked towards the middle of the square, right where the members of the Sect of the Illusory Edge were waiting.

    As they arrived, the crowd of people opened, liberating a space of around fifty square meters.

    When the two elders noticed Daniel's arrival, they approached him and presented themselves "We are elder Rio and elder Tife, from the Sect of the Illusory Edge, we have heard great things about you, and your extraordinary knowledge."

    "It's a pleasure to meet you, elders." Responded Daniel while nodding politely. The two elders expected Daniel to bow as well, but culturally speaking, it wasn't necessary for people to bow towards the elders of another sect. It was more of a matter of respect.

    Despite the apparent lack of respect, the two elders did not take Daniel's behaviour to heart. In their mind, Daniel had challenged their sect, and he would soon be forced to work under them. So they really did not care for his behaviour.

    On the other hand, Daniel's reputation slowly increased in the minds of the various cultivators in the crowd. For someone as young as Daniel, to not care for the face of his elders, it took a lot of bravery.

    Elder Tife smiled politely at Daniel, and said "We did not expect so much people to want to spectate to this little bet.. Why don't you give us half an hour to set a proper stage?"

    As the elder finished speaking, a dense layer of immortal essence started to come out of Daniel's body. It quickly covered the entire area, just like a thick blanket. Then, the very next moment, it turned into a surprisingly well made circular ring.

    Four refinedly crafted wooden chairs had appeared on each side of the ring, while various stands had appeared on all four sides of the ring. Each could seat at least a hundred people.

    Finally, all around the ring, various metallic poles had been created. At the top of these poles, powerful white lights illuminated the area as if it was daytime.

    In a matter of seconds, a perfect looking arena had been created out of nowhere.

    Daniel turned to look at the two elders, and with an amiable smile, he said "I'm sorry elders, I have much to do in preparation for tomorrow. Allow me." He then walked towards the four chairs, and sat in one of the middle ones.

    Alesia, Der, and Zack followed him and occupied the remaining three chairs.

    While the two elders were still busy being surprised by the impressive level of comprehension and focus that Daniel was able to use, the various spectators quietly took their seat in the stands.

    A good minute later, after the members of the Sect of the Illusory Edge finally sat down, the competitor from their side stood up, and prepared himself to go on the stage. But before he could, Daniel teleported on the stage, and quietly read the exact content of their bet.
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