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156 The Capital - The Poisonous Rose

    For the next couple of hour, Daniel sat quietly on the bench.

    His skin was now paler than before, and he was shaking visibly. His hands trembled, and he was having difficulties in forming meaningful thoughts in his mind. His hair had frozen, and his blood had rushed from his extremities, all the way to the middle of his body.

    Despite the cold, he could feel the virus advance at a pace much faster than before. In fact, form when he had moved away from the life sphere, and entered into a cold habitat, the virus had affected him even faster.

    The reason why Daniel was doing this, was because he had read of two tests conducted by the alchemist which had discovered viruses, that could help in eliminating them. The body of a cultivator would be strong enough to resist high or low temperature, but the same wasn't necessarily true for the viruses.

    The alchemist had conducted numerous studies, and had discovered that the majority of viruses would die in an extremely cold, or extremely hot environment.

    The reason while he had decided to start with extreme cold, was because he had a much higher comprehension of wind and water when compared to fire.

    Unfortunately, it appeared that this particular virus couldn't be killed with extreme cold, so, he now had to try with extreme heat.

    People looked at him as he trembled like a leaf in the wind, and was completely unable to speak.

    He unlocked the water sphere from the bench, causing the temperature of the area to suddenly drop.

    The virus was now in a much more advanced stage than before. Luckily for him, all he needed to fight back, was to use his karmic system. Thanks to 'Time is Precious', he could increase the speed of his body in defending himself against the virus. But that wasn't what he wanted.

    He simply wanted to feel better, and make an attempt with high temperatures, so, he made healing essence run through his body, causing the damaged parts of his body to recover at a speed visible to the eye.

    This had left the people around shocked, as they knew that Daniel was already holding the life sphere which had supported them, along with suffering the extreme cold caused by the water sphere for hours.

    Of course, the moment they noticed the forming of a metallic room of five square meters in size, they became even more surprised.

    This metallic room was composed of an alloy, it was clean as a mirror, and looked extremely out of place in the middle of the street.

    After a few minutes, the numerous people that were waiting to die right inside the barrier turned to look at the show.

    A kid between them walked up to the room. He then placed his palm on its smooth surface, but was forced to immediately pull it back in order to avoid getting burned.

    The particles of water contained in the air were forced to evaporate the moment they came close to the scorching hot metal.

    One minute after another passed, until finally, after a full hour, the metallic room started to dissipate.

    Inside it, covered by a dense cloud of steam, was Daniel, kneeling on the ground.

    The view that appeared in front of the people as the blanket of steam dissipated, left the spectators horrified.

    Daniel's skin was red, and burned all over, his palms were melted into the stony ground, and boiling hot blood dripped down the corners of his mouth.

    Right after finishing to experiment with extreme heat, he immediately forced the majority of his immortal essence into recovery.

    His skin started to slowly repair, as if a single drop of black ink had been dropped on a glass of milk. Bit by bit it went to its familiar smooth and pink color.

    This time, it took much longer for Daniel to heal completely. Causing him to spend a long time in pain and suffering.

    Unfortunately, when he managed to heal completely, he still felt the progression of the virus on his body.. But during the sufferings caused by the testing on his own body, Daniel noticed something.

    Now completely healed, he started to walk once again towards the barrier. He then asked to the old man "Do you have any updates about those suspects you've talked about earlier?"

    As soon as they heard Daniel's words, the people around further lost hope. Daniel was very knowledgeable, and despite failing each attempt to purge himself from the virus, they still hoped that he could have a method to get them out of that death sentence.

    "Still nothing." Responded the old man.

    Daniel looked at the old man attentively, and said with a superior tone "What kind of pathetic kind of human kills with poison anyway.."

    "You've got to admit, it's effective.." Responded the old man casually.

    "It's the weapon for those who cower in fear of direct conflict.. I bet they'll soon break those suspects. I don't expect them to have any more spine than the venomous insects they play with." Added Daniel with a matter-of-fact tone.

    At this point, the old man seemed slightly irritated by Daniel's words. "They must have put a lot of work into this.. You can't blame them for wanting to test it out.."

    "Of course, I can respect the work of a researcher.. But you can't really call them that, can you?.."

    "Research is research, and this poison is the most advanced poison we have ever seen.. You have to give credit where credit is due.." Said the old man bitterly.

    A simple smile appeared on Daniel's face, as he looked at the old man, which was now looking the other way, and said with a derisive tone "The most dangerous poison is no different from a needle, in the right hands.. There are thousands of ways to take a life.. If they were really researchers, they would find a new way to save one instead, that's a challenge."

    "ENOUGH!" The old man suddenly burst out. He turned to look at Daniel, and with a face filled with rage, shouted "WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT RESEARCH!? YOU ARE JUST A KID! So what if you have a high comprehension of the essences.. What weapon or spell will help you avoid death?! You'll die soon.. Be quiet!"

    The smile disappeared from Daniel's face as he looked at the enraged old man. He then said with a plain tone "Who are you?"

    After hearing Daniel's words, the old man understood.

    He understood that Daniel had noticed something, so, instead of responding to his question, he smiled in a self deprecating way, and asked "..How did you guess?"

    "You are not in heavy armor, despite being weaker and older than the rest of your group, and yet, you are clearly above them. That means that you are probably the highest in rank here, likely a researcher.. Now, why would a researcher be needed here? At first, I thought that you were sent by the government, and that were observing the virus in order to find informations, but you haven't showed a shred of interest despite seeing me test its thermal resistance.. This made me think that maybe, you knew already that it wouldn't have worked." Responded Daniel with a matter-of-fact tone.

    The old man nodded in agreement with Daniel, then said "And that would have meant nothing, if it wasn't for my ego.. Nicely done."

    As if responding to a compliment, Daniel nodded slightly, and then said "So, are you going to tell me what is going on here, or who you are?"

    "Just nurturing a passion for the art of poisons, what's so bad about it.." Responded the old man after showing a set of faintly yellow teeth.

    "Come on.. You are not letting any of us out.. We will all die here, show a bit of spine and answer the question at least.." Said Daniel with a righteous tone. He wanted at least that much information from him, and the best he could do, was to exploit his situation.

    "What the hell, why not.. I don't expect you to have heard of the group I belong to anyway.. The Poisonous Rose.. You can call me the Transparent Thorn." Daniel could see pride in the old man's expression and tone. To him, being in The Poisonous Rose was certainly an honor.

    "How original.." Muttered Daniel in a voice just high enough for the old man to hear, then added "I bet that the other researchers are different colors of thorns, and they all study different kinds of poison.. And let me bet, the leader is a woman, and her nickname is the Red Rose.."

    "I was never a lover of our group's name, but it's more powerful than you'd imagine.. You should feel honored to have us test our work on your body."

    Daniel shrugged his shoulders in indifference, and started looking at the bracelet around his wrist. He then said "Do you know what this is?"

    The old man showed a stern expression, and responded by saying "I do.. And I also know that it is deactivated."

    A smile appeared on Daniel's face, as he said "True.. but do you think that this universal beacon would be enough to alert the guardian of this planet? I wonder what he would think about what you are doing.."

    With uneasiness evident on his face, the old man smiled grimly, and said "Now now, it's all fun and games until someone loses an eye! Hehehe.."

    As he finished speaking, the woman that floated in the air teleported next to the old man. She then took a sphere out of her spatial ring, and immediately shattered it under the strength of her fingers.

    The very next moment, a portal that lead to a completely different world appeared.

    Before the old man can cross through, Daniel said "Hold on!.."

    The old man turned to look at him in silence.

    "The antidote.."

    The smile on the old man's face became bigger and bigger, until he said "You're a fun-.."

    "Or I'll do all I can to wipe your group of poisonous insects to extinction.." Added Daniel before the old man could finish. His tone was threatening, and his words sounded like a promise.

    The brows of the old man furrowed, then, he left through the portal, which closed after he crossed through it.

    Daniel's fist were shut tightly. His fingernails close to penetrating his skin and from drawing blood.. He then turned to look at the visibly sick people, and found himself unable to do anything to help.

    He quietly went to sit on the bench which he had occupied earlier, and closed his eyes.

    For the next few hours, Daniel heard the noise of people dropping on the ground, one after the other. The middle aged man which had asked questions before panicking, the woman that lived in the capital, her daughter.. The young couple..

    He simply stood quiet, and looked at his empty mind.. Looking for a window that described a quest that had never appeared. Saving these people was simply impossible, to a point where even the karmic system did not have a way.

    The only person that had survived, was Der, which thanks to his boosted speed of recovery, was able to survive the virus.

    Daniel opened his eyes after ten hours spent quietly. He got up on his feet, and teleported the entire area in quarantine, into an empty space inside one of his pocket dimensions.

    Air, wind, water, buildings, corpses.. Everything was switched, including the two of them.

    Once inside the pocket dimension, Daniel teleported himself and Der into a third pocket dimension, burned their clothes, showered with clean water, healing essence, and every other way he could think of, and then, teleported back outside of the pocket dimensions.

    The area around them, had now become a small desert within the city. No buildings, no air, not water.. No ground. Nothing whatsoever.

    He looked hatefully at the ring which contained the space the part of city under quarantine, and crashed it under his foot, causing that dimension to be lost forever into the void.

    What was worse, was that when the woman had left from the portal, the barrier she had create to quarantine the area, had disappeared.

    Daniel could do nothing but recreate the barrier himself.. And keep everybody in quarantine in order to avoid people from leaving, and spreading the virus.
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