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158 The Superior Alchemy

    Back within the pocket dimension, Daniel was standing inside Lucious' laboratory.

    "You were right. It's not poison.. Poison corrodes, or spreads through the bloodstream in order to reach your organs.. But this thing.. It multiplies.. I wonder what kind of instruments they have developed in order to work on such a small level.." Said Lucious with amazement.

    "Hypothetically.. What would you need to stop this virus from spreading?" Asked Daniel while standing next to Lucious.

    Lucious turned to look back at him, and said "This virus brings people's cells to an early decomposition.. I guess you could consider it as an army of minuscule death spheres that multiply in a person's body, so, theoretically.. Another virus designed to counter this effect would work, but we don't have the instruments to operate on that level.."

    "So we either prevent them from using this virus altogether.. Or.." Muttered Daniel to himself.

    "Or what?" Asked Lucious with confusion.

    Daniel turned to look back at him, and said "Or I join their organization, make my way up in their ranks, and destroy them from the inside."

    Lucious' brows furrowed in stupor, as he asked "Are you crazy? What do you even know about poison?"

    "I learn quickly." Daniel responded calmly.

    Even without Lucious analysis, Daniel had already more or less guessed the effect of the virus. He knew the theory behind it, and had seen its effects first hand. What he hoped Lucious to find, was a weak spot which he could exploit in order to destroy it.

    While Lucious conducted his research, Daniel had already thought of various different ways he could pursue in order to take revenge on The Poisonous Rose. In the end, joining them was one of the best ideas he could think of.

    The reason why joining them was one of his favourite ideas, was because he would have access to instruments to which the majority had no access to.

    The thing that motivated the universe to function during the current era, was power. A person with enough power to destroy a planet would not need to create a devious weapon like a virus, or use poison.. that's why the cultivation culture had expanded in what lied beyond the known limits of power, instead of studying in detail what they already possessed.

    The increase in power had made the study of medicine basically irrelevant, and what couldn't be prevented with sheer power, could be cured through the use of alchemy. Those who couldn't make it, were seen as the unlucky part of what was wrongfully considered a perfect system.

    Whenever someone got sick or injured, they would always seek the help of a stronger warrior, or the help of an alchemist, but that wasn't the same for the masters of poison. The way they advanced in their fields, was through discovery, invention, and knowledge.

    That was why groups just like The Poisonous Rose were so dangerous. On the outside, they would appear like simple groups of alchemists, while in secret, they conducted experiments in order to advance in their technological knowledge.. No matter how many barriers the cultivation society erected around them, they would always find ways to avoid them thanks to intelligence, and their drive for knowledge.

    In a society where talent and power were the driving factors, intelligence and strong will were ignored. But of course, brilliant people weren't willing to roll on the ground and give up their lives just because they lacked talent in cultivation. Instead, they would use their intelligence and strong will to carve a place for themselves in this society.

    Many of these kinds of people had appeared in the past, and often, they would manage to make discoveries which were outside of the parameters of power, and the study of mana. At that point, experiments would be conducted, and people would start dying.

    This, was one of those occasions.

    An occasion in which the common knowledge of cultivation wasn't advanced enough to counter the specific knowledge of poison making.

    Other than making them pay for what they had done, Daniel also wanted to learn about their more advanced instruments.

    He was the leader of a company, and he didn't want his company to be limited to only a field. If he could enter in possession of The Poisonous Rose's technology, and use it to make his company thrive, he would do that.

    Daniel had discussed about this with Governor Lien, which had told him that it wasn't unlikely that he would be able to join The Poisonous Rose.

    The Poisonous Rose could be considered a company that operated on a galactic level, and therefore, much, much bigger than anything Daniel had ever seen. They were known as a collective of groups focused on the study of alchemy, and despite being often accused of causing numerous accounts of mass deaths in their history, the various governments had never managed to find enough proof to make them pay.

    Some of the groups which worked under The Poisonous Rose, were legitimate groups of alchemists, and a few of them, belonged to the world Daniel was in right now.

    Daniel couldn't simply appear out of nowhere with a great alchemical achievement, and be invited into the secret side of The Poisonous rose. What he needed, was to join one of the groups of which The Poisonous Rose was composed, and make a name for himself, along with showing an interest for every type of knowledge-based activity.

    He already suspected that the majority of alchemy-based groups would have a direct connection to The Poisonous Rose, and that the way they used to increase their numbers, was by handpicking the groups which shared their ideas, or were opened to them.

    Luckily for Daniel, the government possessed a registry in which the names and locations of the groups that belonged to The Poisonous Rose were carefully recorded.

    He was not afraid that he might be recognized, as the old man that called himself the 'Transparent Thorn' probably thought he was dead, and had likely already forgotten about him. Plus, in a company of such gargantuan size, it was very unlikely that he would end up meeting him again.

    After a bit of searching, Daniel found the perfect group.

    The group which he had picked was called 'The Superior Alchemy', and it was a school that only accepted students from the richest families, heirs of companies, and the sons of the most prominent figures.

    Despite not being considered as important as cultivation, alchemy still played a big role in the society, so, those who practiced it on a high level were extremely respected. Unfortunately, it was also a practice that required a lot of time, and most experts would not be able to spend too much time to pass down their knowledge.

    That's what 'The Superior Alchemy' had been founded for.

    -----

    Now that the company which Daniel had created possessed a steady production of essence spheres, there was no need for him to personally create them, so, he decided to leave Roley in control of that side of their business.

    The reason why Daniel had chosen to leave Roley in control of the production and sale of the essence spheres, and not Edmund, was because he was the person with the highest general comprehension of essences right after him. His first choice would have been Edmund only if hadn't been only interested in spatial essence.

    The rest of his group members, on the other hand, were busy with other parts of the company.

    Heimart, Edmund, Emelnie, and Alis occupied the highest positions within the higher spheres of the company, while Ligart and Imblen, took care of the marketplaces, and auctions.

    The job which Daniel had assigned to Jerigh, was to take care of, and to coordinate the security of the entire building space, as well as of everything else outside of the pocket dimensions.

    The control over the pocket dimension had gone to Leffe and Buriath, which were good willed entities, already had experience in dealing with large amounts of people, and if that wasn't enough, they were the part of Daniel's group.

    After he had communicated his intentions to the rest of the group, only one person offered to join him in his mission. That person was Alesia.

    Daniel and Alesia had become increasingly close since they had founded the company, and they now spent most of their free time together.

    The two of them were currently standing, along with many other young people of their age, inside the main hall of a refined looking building, which despite being the entrance of a school of alchemy, appeared more like the lobby of a luxurious hotel.

    Each and every one of the young men and women around Daniel and Alesia wore high quality clothes, and had an arrogant demeanor that could only be kept in check by that of their peers.

    From listening to their conversations, Daniel could understand what types of people these young individuals were. Spoiled, competitive, and childishly malevolent.

    Daniel had expected such an occurrence, after all, this was a school for the rich.

    The 'superior' in 'The Superior Alchemy' wasn't meant to indicate a superior type of alchemy passed down to the common, but normal alchemy passed down to superior individuals.

    These 'superior' individuals were divided into different categories, and while all of them appeared arrogant to a certain extent, each category of people appeared to be mindful of other more arrogant ones.

    Daniel had heard more than one people refer to this division as 'the food chain'.

    At the top of the food chain, were three different groups.

    These groups were respectively composed of heirs of powerful families, descendents of famous alchemists, and finally, heirs of big companies.

    The groups in which these people were divided into were not created by them, but by the school itself, which after their registration, had assigned a badge to each individual. These badges were composed of precious metals, and indicated the social standing of each student. Starting from the lowest level, were copper, silver, gold, and platinum.

    Daniel and Alesia had received a copper badge each, as they had presented themselves as the heirs of a company which operated on a regional scale.

    Around them, were the least, yet still arrogant ones amongst the people within the hall.

    "I don't like this place.." Whispered Alesia from Daniel's side.

    Without looking back at her, Daniel smiled, and said "Why not?.. look at all of these possible candidates for marriage.. you're already over twe-" *Pthh* "Ngh!.. Easy! I was joking.." Said Daniel while rubbing the ribs which Alesia had just hit.

    The closer the two of them became, the more Daniel felt comfortable with joking around with her. It had now gotten to a point, where his relationship with Alesia reminded him of how he and his sister joked with one another.

    Of course, these thoughts were usually interrupted by a sudden sense of nostalgia, but not this time. This time, he looked at her satisfied grin, and couldn't help but smile.

    Daniel was not the only one whose eyes were drawn to Alesia's beautiful smile. Many others had turned to look at her, and found themselves mesmerized by her appearance.

    On the other hand, most of the women in the hall looked at her with expressions that showed derision, arrogance, envy, and contempt.

    "Excuse me miss.." Said a voice that came from behind the two of them.

    The two turned around, and standing behind them, they saw three young men which had a silver badge appointed to their chests.

    "Is this guy bothering you?" Asked the tallest amongst them while pointing at Daniel.

    He had noticed Alesia's slight punch, and had already understood that the two of them knew each other very well, yet, he still decided to use that scene as an excuse to approach Alesia.

    "Matter of fact, he is bothering me.." Responded Alesia while furrowing her brows, and curving her reddish lips into a displeased expression.

    The young man did not expect Alesia's words. He thought that he could simply apologize after she would tell him that she and Daniel were friends, and then start a conversation with her. But now that she had told him that he was bothering her, he had to improvise.

    He looked at Daniel, and asked "Is there a problem here?.."

    Daniel looked at Alesia's satisfied smile once again, and after shaking his head by himself, he said "I've told her that she should start looking for a man, or she'll end up at fifty preying on young men in the streets in a few years." He then turned to look at her, and said "Look at this guy, give me a reason why he wouldn't be suitable."

    Alesia's big and clear eyes opened wide in surprise as she turned to look at Daniel. She thought that he would embarrassingly explain himself to the young man, but instead, he went with her joke.. and doubled the stakes.
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