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174 The Aftermath of the Games

    "I guess that this answers the question about whether you are disappointed or not in my group's performance. Or am I wrong?" Daniel asked with a smug grin on his face.

    The green-robed man and a couple of other company heads turned to look at Daniel, and after getting rid of their shocked expressions, one of them said "There is no need to rub it in our faces Mr. Hiel.. no one likes a petty winner."

    After a bit of banter, the company heads all turned back to look at the arena.

    There, the nine-fingered man was handing over a medal to each of the people that had earned a place in the top ten positions, along with the various smaller prizes that they had earned.

    Most of the attention was put on the final prize, as the whole point of the games was to obtain that single spectacularly expensive item for which the entire event had been created, but not only the winner would receive a prize.. Many other cultivators would receive one as well.

    These prizes, were mostly a portion of the money that the collective had received from the purchase of the tickets for the event, while the rewards for the second to tenth position, along with a set number of crystals, also comprised specifically made essence spheres.

    The masters of essence would value the various talents of the cultivators, and after noticing their missing bits of comprehension, they would personally pick the spheres that suited them, and that could grant them the chance to obtain the missing comprehension.

    Of course, this was only something done for the first ten cultivators.

    Sharing knowledge between companies that competed in a field where knowledge was considered the private product of the company itself, would usually be considered absurd.. but since the knowledge of the essences had evolved to a multigalactic scale, the knowledge of most concepts had now became common, and it was not hard to find it, at least for those who knew where to look.

    In the end, with enough money and time, everyone could potentially obtain a perfect comprehension of a specific essence.

    Unfortunately, money was not the main problem.

    Those who had managed to obtain scores similar to Roley's and Jerigh's, were people which had been taken in by their companies since a young age, and made them spend their life, up to their late forties, studying the essences.

    It was not strange to believe that someone with fifty years of age, would have forty-six years of experience with dealing with essence spheres, because that's the way the companies nurtured them.

    Along with training in cultivation, these people produced large numbers of quality spheres that the company would then sell. They could quite honestly be considered as the true foundation of the company.

    The fact that they could then compete in the collective's events and have a chance to win mind boggling prizes, was only secondary.

    Of course, That did not mean that they would not try..

    If they could win a perfect essence treasure for their company, they would be able to produce a sphere out of it. And with it, the education of more and more masters of fire essence would become easier, and less expensive.

    These methods would also be used by the incalculable other companies that dealt in essence spheres all around the universe.

    There were a few worlds where elementals would be treated as slaves for the sole purpose of working as living and talking essence spheres. These elementals would be constantly mistreated, and forced into a weakened state.. Or they would usually revolt, try to escape, and sometimes, even kill themselves or their "owners".

    Back in the middle of the stadium, once the nine-fingered man finished handing out the prizes to the cultivators that had entered the top ten, he once again turned towards the public, and with his usual loud tone, said "As per custom, we will help Mr. Hiel, the leader of the 'Golden Karma' company, to deliver their proposal to everyone present."

    He then took an envelope out of his spatial ring, and from it, a sheet of paper.

    "Mr. Hiel indicated only two specific offers he is willing to consider as 'Offer to the Champion'. These offers are.. A different type of perfect essence treasure, along with one day of private tutoring of a perfect comprehension of fire.."

    When the last word left the nine-fingered man's mouth, various company heads that had anything to do with fire started to walk towards him.

    At the same time, many rich cultivators within the stands quickly reported their news through their various methods.

    Not only cultivators that dealt in essence spheres would have a use for perfect spheres, in fact, all around the universe, many of the most reputable groups, families, sects, and school whose members had to learn a particular style which would require knowledge of a specific essence, already possessed a perfect sphere.

    Of course, when compared to the various groups which did not possess one, they were an infinitesimal amount. After all, what were a few thousands, in a universe which contained billions of groups.

    "The second offer that Mr. Hiel is willing to accept, is a hundred and twenty thousand perfect crystals.." Continued the nine-fingered man.

    "What?!"

    "That's a ridiculous amount of money.."

    "..Who does he think he is?"

    "That's double of the worth of the treasure!"

    The second offer listed by the Mr. Roah lit the spark of conversation all through the stadium.

    Nobody expected that Daniel's company would find someone willing to trade with them, after all, a perfect sphere would be found maybe once every fifty or a hundred years.

    Even though Daniel did not want to sell the essence treasure, he knew that keeping it would attract the envy of many people. Fire essence treasures were largely seeked out by the majority of groups due to the fact that the offensive abilities of fire were amongst the highest of all.

    He wanted to quickly exchange it for a different type of essence sphere, or at the very least, sell it for a significant amount of money. Either way, he would have the means to increase his power, and the power of his group.

    While a hundred and twenty thousand perfect crystals was an absurd price, it was not uncommon to see an object being put up for sale for double the item's worth. What ticked people off, was seeing how much that "double" was worth, after all, it was not easy to find a mine of perfect crystals..

    But despite the complains.. A large number of people suddenly approached Daniel from every direction. Their intention was to make their offers.

    As soon as they presented themselves, Daniel interrupted them by saying ".. a pleasure to meet you. If you want to make an offer for the fire essence treasure, please send it to my office. I will definitely consider it."

    Most of those people were the heads of companies that dealt in fire essence, and there is no need to say, they had a desperate need for the object.

    The reason why Daniel didn't want to hear the offers now, was that he knew that if he were to listen to these company heads, they would simply offer a bit more than the treasure's price.

    What he wanted, were the offers from the people behind the spectators.

    There were much more powerful company representatives between the people that occupied the stands, than within the company heads of the collective. Many of these people were in this world only momentarily, and they worked for companies or conglomerates that operated on multiplanetary level.

    Those were the people that Daniel wanted to deal with. And was also the reason why he had decided to go for such a high prize.. He wanted the rich to see it.

    Once the event was over, Daniel left the venue along with his group, and went back into his pocket dimension.

    -----

    For the next few days, Daniel and the rest used their newly acquired wealth to cultivate, and increase their overall power while under the protective blanket of the collective.

    Unfortunately, they also had to keep a watchful eye on the collective itself.

    Now that the broker worked for him, Daniel had received three different reports that warned him that three different groups had targeted him. Two of these groups were companies that belonged to the collective, while the third, was a sect that operated by itself in the capital.

    Of course, all of those groups commissioned the attacks anonymously. It was only thanks to the dark elemental which worked for the broker, that Daniel was able to find out who the senders were.

    Whenever his company was attacked, an emissary from the collective would be sent to visit him. This emissary would usually promise that the culprit would be found, and that justice would be served. But of course, whenever they accused somebody of the attack, they would always present an innocent person.

    Daniel would always ask for these people to be handed over to him, so that he could take care of them.. And he did not lie. After testing their honesty through their karma, he would quite literally take care of them and their families by hiding them within his company and pocket dimensions.

    These people were part of families that had had some difficult past with companies that had eventually joined the collective, and therefore, they had expected that the collective would come and act against them sooner or later.

    Fortunately for them, when they were handed over to Daniel, they had also found a good occasion to disappear under the radar of the collective.

    Daniel would always offer these people the chance to start over in another city where the companies that had a bone to pick with them did not operate, but in the end, they would almost always decide to stay, and work for him.. After all, there was always a chance that they could be found out again, and eventually be killed.

    Daniel's cultivation went a lot smoother now that he possessed a larger sum of money.

    He could expand his company through the use of perfect crystals, and at the same time, use high crystals, which still had a powerful effect on him and his companions, to cultivate.

    Now that Daniel had surpassed the ninth rank, or third stage of cultivation, he had technically entered the world of immortals.

    The reason why people called cultivators over the third rank immortal cultivators, along with calling the mixture of their spirit and body 'immortal essence', was because after the third rank, the limited life essence of these people would be strengthened, and it would be consumed by death essence at a relatively slower pace than before.

    The increases in lifespan came with each increase in stage, and the more powerful one became, the more additional years of life they would be able to obtain.

    A cultivator at Daniel's stage of cultivation, would be able to live up to a hundred and twenty years, while a cultivator at the fifth rank would have a lifespan of up to two hundred years.

    At the moment, Daniel aged at a slower speed than everybody else in his group.

    The strongest cultivator present in the world where Daniel was currently in, was the 'Keeper of Key', a cultivator at the ninth stage of cultivation, which could live as long as three thousand years.

    Aside from the man that guarded the entrance to this world, were the various cultivators at the seventh stage of cultivation. A few of them were the heads of the most powerful groups, sects and families, while the rest, were part of the government.

    Thanks to his prodigious talent, Jerigh was the second to break through the stages of mortality, and had become the first one of Daniel's group to enter the fourth stage of immortal cultivation after Daniel himself. The closest ones behind him, were Roley, and Alesia.

    Due to his lack of progression in the study of spatial essence, Edmund had also started to cultivate his body through his wife's methods of martial cultivation, while Emelnie, did the same for spiritual cultivation.
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