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170 I Bet You Will Not Be Disappointed

    Once Jerigh and Roley finished being tested, the two masters of wind left the arena, and went to compare, and combine their evaluations of the competitors together.

    The results would be all given at the same time at the end of the testings.

    The moment the two masters of wind disappeared, The nine-fingered cultivator appeared once again in the middle of the stage. Once there, he said with his usual oppressively high tone "What a beautiful spectacle.. Truly worthy of our mighty collective! But let's not stop here.. The next test is for water essence!"

    The moment the man finished speaking, the majority of the cultivators walked back up on the stage, leaving only a few of the dozens of people on the outside of the stage, similarly to what had happened the moment the test for wind essence had been announced.

    With all probability, those who had left the stage were those who had never tried to comprehend wind or water essence to begin with.

    -----

    Back in the room for the administratives, Daniel and the rest of his group were chatting with various company representatives that had approached them.

    Most of them, were groups that dealt in wind essence.

    "Two prodigies! Truly.."

    "Impressive to say the least!"

    What had really left these company leaders shocked, was the fact that both Roley and Jerigh had a control superior to their own comprehension of the essence. That was considered much rarer than having a perfect comprehension at such a young age.

    The reason for that, was that comprehension was what indicated intelligence and wisdom, while the control, was what indicated affinity and practical talent.

    Daniel was responding to people's compliments left and right, until suddenly, a voice that shut the majority of the company leaders up, was heard coming from a few meters of distance.

    "It is quite selfish to limit those young men's talent to your feeble means.. You should consider letting them work where they have the biggest chances of growing up."

    This voice belonged to a green-robed thin man, which quietly stepped towards Daniel and spoke with a righteous tone.

    Daniel turned to look at this green-robed man, and responded by saying "And I assume that one of those places, is Mister's company, correct?"

    Just as Daniel had guessed, the man's company was in fact one of the most powerful wind essence dealers in the entire collective. They also dealt in flying formations, and enchanted ranged weapons.

    "Correct. I think it is safe to assume that your company does not possess the means to really develop these young men's talents.. You should not waste their potential like this.." Said the slim middle-aged man with a displeased tone. He then added "If they stay within your Golden Karma company, this is probably going to be the most attention the will ever receive."

    Daniel simply smiled back at him, and said "I think you would be surprised about that.. But if you want, we could put that to a test.."

    "Are you suggesting a bet?" Asked the slim man with furrowed brows.

    Most of the company administratives around looked at Daniel in surprise. They knew perfectly who that man was, and although they did not need to fear him or his company, they would still behave more politely than Daniel was.

    "Of course.. At this pace, the competition will last days.. Don't you want to make this a little more interesting?" Asked Daniel with a clearly provocative expression on his face.

    After a few moments of thought, the thin green-robed man smiled, and said "Very well.. What should we bet on?"

    "You moved the claim that I am not capable of developing my people's talent.. So why not bet that you will admit that you are wrong by the end of today?" Proposed Daniel calmly.

    The man looked at Daniel as if he was looking at a stupid person, then, he asked "And how much is that worth to you?"

    "I wouldn't know. It is a matter to judge whether your opinion is worth something or not.. How much would you be willing to value your opinion?" Asked Daniel with an innocent smile.

    The meaning of his words was clear. He wanted the green-robed man to put a value on his own word. If the man placed a low bet, then, he would be admitting that his word was only worth so much.

    For the green-robed man there was only one thing that he could do.

    "Very well. I bet five hundred perfect crystals that I will be disappointed by the performance of your people." Responded the man with confidence.

    That promise was not enough for Daniel. He wanted more..

    "And what result would bring you disappointment?" He asked with curiosity.

    "If either of them ranks below the top two hundred, I will be disappointed." Responded the man clearly.

    His plan wasn't too bad. He knew that, due to their young age, both Roley and Jerigh could not possibly have a high comprehension and control over many types of essences. But that could not be said about many of the other participants.

    At the same time, he wanted to imply that, in case the two of them were part of his company, he would be able to exploit their talent to a level that would make them capable of reaching such a high ranking.

    "Very well." Responded Daniel before turning towards the rest of the crowd around him, and saying "If anybody else would like to make a similar bet, I am opened to it."

    The area quietened for a minute.. Then..

    "I would like to bet fifty perfect crystals.. They won't enter the top four hundred."

    "I will put eighty perfect crystals on them not entering the top four hundred as well."

    "My company.."

    "We would like to.."

    One after the other, more than twenty bets were placed on the final result of Jerigh and Roley's testing.

    Of course, what people meant with 'top hundred' or 'top two hundred', was the final rating, and not the provisory one that would be given at the end of each test of comprehension.

    After accepting the numerous bets, Daniel and the other groups kept close to each other, and went back into observing the event.

    -----

    About an hour had passed, and various water-like unstable spheres had started to form in between the participants hands.

    The results were about the same as before. The majority of the cultivators were unable to put their entire comprehension into a sphere form, or rushed themselves in order to get a better result.

    In between them, Roley and Jerigh formed two spheres at different speeds.

    In the blink of an eye, another hour passed, signaling the end of the two hours time limit.

    Just like during the test for wind essence, a few masters of water walked up to the stage, and quietly paced while evaluating the various spheres placed in between the participant's hands.

    After a few minutes, the masters approached each other, and after sharing their evaluations with each other, they created a temporary ranking for the water tests.

    Similarly to the testing for wind essence, only about five hundred cultivators had managed to complete a water sphere, and were included in the ranking. Of these five hundred people, Roley was ranked forty-ninth, while Jerigh, was Three hundred and fifty-sixth.

    Of the two, Roley's result was especially impressive to the many company heads and administratives that had bet with Daniel. They truly did not expect that such young cultivators could reach such a high level of comprehension of two essences.. But they were not worried. Comprehension and control were two very different things.

    Just like with wind essence, the first couple dozens in the temporary rating were the strongest cultivators, which also possessed a perfect comprehension of water essence.

    The reason why Roley wasn't any higher than his current position, was because despite having a ninety-eight percent of comprehension of water essence, he had been slower than the more powerful participants with an identical comprehension.

    The same was for Jerigh, which was the last ranked of the cultivators that possessed an eighty-two percent comprehension.

    After the temporary ranking was released, the crowd cleared the stage, and two of the masters of water entered the stage.

    Fifty at a time, the participants would be sent to defend against the first master, and then, to attack the second one.

    As the last group finished being tested for their control over water essence, Jerigh and Roley's turn to be tested again arrived.

    The method of testing the defense abilities of the participants through the use of water essence, was not conducted in the same way as the wind essence was.

    Instead of having to withstand a constant gust of wind, the competitors had to escape a trap made out of water. They would each be encased within a sphere of water, and would have to only use water essence to escape from it.

    When it was their turn, Jerigh and Roley managed to surprise everyone by, once again, using the same way to easily pass the test of defense.

    The way they had used, was to create a simple later of ice around the sphere of water and use it to encapsulate the sphere. Then, they would reach for it, and use its solid surface to crawl out of the caged water.

    This would not be possible in normal circumstances, as the power of the master of water was set to be at the peak of the third stage of immortal cultivator.

    Theoretically speaking, they should not have been powerful enough to cage the master's sphere of water, nor filter their immortal essence through their construct of water.. But contrary to the expectations, they would always show more power than people assumed they would have.

    During the test of attack, the two of them left the spectators shocked once again, by demonstrating how easily they could go through the ice shield created by the master of water in order to defend by their attack.

    The way Roley passed this test, was by overpowering the shield with hot vapor. Making it melt into nothingness, and forcing the master of water to declare the test over.

    Jerigh, on the other hand, had used a much more crude method. He had created a blade of ice, and had slashed horizontally against the wall of ice. The wall of ice dissipated a few moments later, and on the light blue robes of the second master of water, people could see an evident horizontal rip on the external layer of the fabric.

    -----

    Back within the floor reserved for the administrative members of the companies, Daniel was glancing at the slim green-robed man with a satisfied grin.

    "Don't gloat, kid.. The games are far from being over, and there are still many essences to be tested." Said the man with indifference.

    "Of course.. You can always increase the stakes of our bet.. Or give up now, and pay half of what was previously agreed." Responded Daniel with a faint smile.

    The meaning of Daniel's words was clear to everyone.. 'Increase the stakes of our bet, or humiliate yourself, and pay half'. To many this sounded more like a bluff than a genuine concession.. And unfortunately for them, most of them did not fall for it.

    "Very well.. I'll see your bluff. I'll increase my bet to seven hundred and fifty perfect crystals, if you can afford to keep up." Said the green-robed cultivator with a dirty grin on his face.

    Daniel turned to look at the people around him, and said "Anybody else wishes to do the same?.."

    "I do.. A hundred perfect crystals.."

    "Seventy-five.."

    "Ninety perfect crystals instead of eighty."

    In a matter of minutes, about three fourth of the people which had placed a bet with Daniel, had increased them by a substantial amount.

    In response, Daniel said "Very well, I accept all of your bets.. Let's go back into watching.."

    Satisfied by Daniel's response, they all turned to look at the middle of the stage, and quietly waited for the event to be over.

    Unfortunately.. Their satisfied grins quickly disappeared as they spectated to the following few tests.. Leaving space to an uncomfortable look.
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