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172 Took You Long Enough..

    "Mr Hiel, please wait a moment." Said a voice that came from behind him.

    Daniel turned around, and standing behind him, he saw the nine-fingered man smiling politely at him.

    "The event's host. What can I do for you?" Asked Daniel with an indifferent tone.

    The middle aged looked up and down at Daniel and Alesia, then, he said "I only wanted to extend my personal welcome to your company into our collective. I have heard about what happened to one of your company's marketplaces.. Truly a hideous act. You will be much safer with us."

    "I agree." Said Daniel with a plain tone. He then asked curiously "To which power does this elder belong to?"

    "Mr. Hiel, please don't jest.. Somebody your age, calling me elder.." Responded the nine-fingered man with a hint of embarrassment.

    Daniel looked back at the man with a curious expression, then said "If you are saying that you are younger than twenty-one years of age.. Then I am truly sorry. You sure do not look like it.."

    It was the nine-fingered man's turn to feel confused now. He thought for a moment about Daniel's words, then, his eyes started to open wider and wider in shock.

    At the same time, all around them, many other company heads had caught up to the meaning behind Daniel's words. Their looks, similarly to the man with nine fingers, were filled with shock, and accompanied unbelieving expressions.

    Daniel was one of the weakest beings within the floor reserved for the heads and administrative members, and yet, he was the strongest amongst his group of cultivators.

    The way people had explained this strange fact, was by assuming that they were a secluded family which was deeply focused on the comprehension of various essences, to a point where they would give up cultivation almost completely, and that Daniel was the family patriarch.

    Unfortunately for them, Daniel's words meant something else entirely. It was clear that he was implying to be exactly the age he demonstrated, and that he was not an old man in disguise.

    "Oh.. Mhh.. My apologies for wrongly guessing your age Mr. Hiel.. It's all due to your company's surprising results." Responded the nine-fingered man with evident embarrassment, and hidden shock.

    "No harm in it.." Responded Daniel without showing the slightest reaction.

    The nine-fingered man adjusted his clothes, then said "Allow me to present myself. I am part of the 'Night Sky' company, one of the seven founding members of the collective. My name is Klem Roah."

    Out of everyone's expectation, Daniel moved his right hand in the direction of the nine-fingered man, which looked back at him with curiosity.

    "Just a common way of greeting, which is common where I come from." Said Daniel with a polite smile.

    The man moved his hand forward and put it the same way Daniel's was. He then looked with curiosity as Daniel grabbed it, and shook it vigorously.

    While the two shook hands, Daniel said "A pleasure to meet you Mr. Roah." He then evidently looked at the missing finger on the man's hand.

    The nine-fingered man immediately noticed that Daniel's eyes were pointed at his missing finger, and after Daniel let go of his hand, he said "I take it you haven't seen this type of injury often."

    Daniel feigned an embarrassed expression. Then responded by saying "I apologize.. It's just that thanks to healing essence.. Seeing someone with a missing finger is quite strange."

    "That is true.. Unfortunately this injury dates way earlier than the time I was able to purchase an healing essence." Responded the man with a faint hint of melancholy in his voice. Daniel could see that he was remembering a harsh past.

    After hearing that the injury on the man's hand wasn't a group's practice, and that it was an old injury, Daniel immediately realized that this man, was in fact the man which had given the order to attack their company to the broker.

    "Truly an unfortunate event." Said Daniel with a sympathetic tone. "I would love to spend more time chatting with you Mr. Roah, but I have a few matters to take care of in my company. We will see each other again tomorrow, for the second part of the games." He then added, before turning towards the hall's entrance, and leaving with Alesia.

    Once the two of them left the hall, Alesia said "Is it-" but she was quickly interrupted by Daniel's hand, which gently pressed against her reddish lips.

    Alesia immediately remembered that the man was a master of sound essence, and that he was probably capable of hearing them even if they were to whisper two hundred meters away.

    She nodded quietly at Daniel, which slowly took his hand off her mouth. She then said "Is it really time for us to leave?"

    What she was about to ask earlier, was if Mr. Roah was the man that had commissioned the attack to their company. If Daniel hadn't stopped her, there was no assurance that she would have stopped herself in time.

    "Yes, Roley and Jerigh need to rest.. And I don't feel like meeting more old geezers for today.." Said Daniel in a natural way.

    The two then walked off in the direction of the rest of their group, and together, they left.

    -----

    Back within the pocket dimension.

    Daniel had just finished creating a special pocket dimension.

    This pocket dimension was almost empty, and extremely small, with a size of only two square meters. The only things present inside it, were a few low level fire spheres mounted on each of the six walls, and various flammable items.

    A large number of rocks and metals were also present.

    The last of the items present within the small pocket dimension, was the perfect fire treasure which Daniel had found into the crater he had created when breaking through the fourth rank of immortal cultivation.

    Thanks to his comprehension of metal and earth essence, he was able to melt both of them to a liquid form, and make a small pool of lava in which he could soak the treasure.

    The low level fire spheres would then keep the small spatial room warm enough to prevent the items from turning back into a solid form.

    This was what Daniel assumed was the best possible environment for a fire elemental to be born in. Unfortunately, he had close to no comprehension of fire essence, therefore, he could not produce a perfect sphere which could speed the birth process.

    After he finished, he left the pocket dimension, and reappeared within his room.

    Due to his playing with fire spheres, his clothes had been burned down almost completely, leaving only his pants and boots intact.

    Only able to think about going to sleep, he took his ruined shirt off.

    Before keeping on undressing, Daniel noticed that the large window that lead to his room's balcony was opened.

    It only took a moment for him to connect himself with the formation, and see that Alesia was currently asleep in the chair she usually occupied when the two of them drank together.

    Next to her, was an half empty bottle of wine, and one glass which still had a bit of wine in it, and a clean glass.

    Daniel approached her, and made sure she was sleeping soundly. He touched her forearm, and said with a low voice "Hey.." but the only reaction he received, was her making herself more comfortable in the chair.

    Seeing that she had already fallen into a deep sleep, Daniel slid one arm underneed her knees, and one behind her back, then, he picked her up, and walked towards his bed.

    Once at the edge of his bed, he moved the covers of the bed aside with his feet, and gently laid her on the soft mattress, before covering her body with the blanket all the way up to her shoulders.

    He then walked to the other side of the bed, and lied down on it gently.

    For a few minutes, he looked at Alesia's peaceful sleeping face.. trying to resist the need to brush his palm against her cheek.. And ultimately, failing miserably.

    He was able to fall asleep only after half an hour.

    When Daniel woke up the next morning, he did not open his eyes right away.. Instead, he delved in the last thing he remembered seeing before falling asleep.

    The memory of Alesia's sleeping face appeared in his head, giving him a sense of peace.

    It was only after he felt a slow movement on his bed that he opened his eyes.. And laying on the other side of his bed, he saw Alesia.

    She was now above the blanket, and she was looking at him sleep with a sweet expression on her face.

    When Daniel saw her once again, unable to hold back any longer, he wrapped one of his arms around her waist, and pulled her closer to him. Then, he directly pressed his lips against hers.

    Alesia did not fight Daniel's actions in the least, and instead, pressed her palms gently against Daniel's cheeks, and let his arms wrap tightly around her waist, and behind her shoulders.

    After a few long seconds of kissing sweetly, Alesia pulled herself back a little, and after smiling at Daniel, she muttered "..took you long enough.."

    Daniel looked at the girl's eyes, then back at her glistening lips, and said "I was stupid.." before moving forward once again, and kissing her one more time.

    -----

    After ten long minutes of being inseparably tangled into a tight embrace, and never ending kiss, the two heard a sound that they had never expected they would come to hate so much..

    *Knock Knock*

    "Dan, it's nine in the morning.. come on, it's time to go." Said Roley's familiar voice from behind the thick wooden door.

    Daniel stopped kissing Alesia, which was now laying underneath him, and looking back at him with flushed red cheeks and warm-looking lips.

    He was more than aware that they needed to leave, but he wasn't able to control himself, and had ended up lowering his body once again, and kissing Alesia one last time.

    It took all the willpower he was able to muster to separate himself from her, and get up from the bed.

    For the following minute the two prepared themself to leave and join the others to take part in the second day of the games.

    Neither of them said a word, but when Daniel felt that Alesia was about to teleport out of his room, he locked the space around her.. Walked up to her.. Put his palms on her cheeks and forced her into one more passionate kiss.

    A few seconds later, their lips parted once again, and after taking a deep breath, Daniel said "This isn't over.."

    He then took a step back, and teleported out of his room.

    When he reappeared, he was in the hall outside of the castle, right next to Roley, Jerigh, Edmund, and Emelnie.

    Two minutes later, Alesia joined the rest as well, and together, they opened a portal that lead directly outside of the large stadium.

    Just like any other company head and administrative members, they had to be allowed into the reserved floor once again, so, they walked towards it in silence.

    Once back in, Daniel was greeted much more kindly than during the first day.

    Virtually anyone with whom he had spoken the previous day had come to greet him, as well as a few people he hadn't met yet.

    About twenty minutes passed slowly, until finally, at exactly nine thirty in the morning, Mr Roah appeared once again in the middle of the stadium, and said "To all our dear spectators and collective members, welcome to the second, and in my opinion best half of our exciting games! Yesterday's event left us with our jaws opened in shock and awe! But something tells me that today won't be any less exciting. So, prepare for the show.. The first essence to be tested today, will be lightning essence!"
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