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175 How About a Kiss?

    The past few day had been extremely busy for each of Daniel's group members.

    Those who did not consistently cultivated, were busy with expanding the company.. They traveled through the region, and visited the various cities in order to purchase shops, and establish their presence in the territory they were allowed to operate in.

    In the end, Daniel and Alesia weren't able to find a moment that they could spend together. Be it because of the embarrassment that had formed after not being able to be together for more than a day, or because of the lack of a proper chance.

    But despite their busy schedule, Daniel still found the time to relax in his balcony at night.

    That's where he currently was.

    "This is going to take forever.." Said a voice from within Daniel's head.

    A surprised expression appeared on Daniel's face, as he said "Now that's a voice I haven't heard in awhile.."

    "Your daily life is getting boring.. You haven't been following the quests given by the system in so long.. You should just go around and make a mess.." Said Sewah with a displeased tone. Daniel could also feel a hint of frustration in it.

    "How am I supposed to free my world from slavery, if I'm not even there?! One step at a time." Responded Daniel with a matter-of-fact tone.

    "Who are you talking to?" Asked a melodious voice from behind Daniel's chair.

    For once, Daniel's heart jumped in his chest, as he recognized the owner of this voice as Alesia.

    He rapidly got up from his chair, turned towards her, and while looking at her with a mesmerized expression, he muttered ".. just to myself.." in a low voice.

    That night, Alesia looked particularly good. She was wearing a beautiful dress, and she didn't look like she had come to simply drink, and spend time together like they usually did.

    "You look.. Incredible.." Said Daniel with the deepest shock he had ever felt in his life. "What is the occasion?" He then asked.

    Alesia looked at him with a hint of embarrassment, and said "I was thinking that we could take a pause from everything else.. And just.. Do something together."

    Unable of forming a reasonable response in his mind, Daniel kept quiet for a few moments. It was only after ten long embarrassing seconds, that he said "Give me a few minutes to change.."

    -----

    In a matter of minutes, Daniel came out of his room, and nervously walked toward the castle's main hall. There, Alesia was waiting for him.

    He was wearing a fitting black suit, inside which he himself believed to look worse than he actually did.

    As he arrived into the hall, and he saw Alesia waiting for him, the sound of a silvery voice came from his side.

    "Dan, I have these offers for you to check, they've arriv.." Said Alis before pausing, looking at him up and down, and said "Going somewhere?" She then looked at Daniel's eyes, which moved behind her.

    After Alis turned around, she saw a beautifully dressed, and slightly embarrassed Alesia clearly waiting for him in the hall. An expression of realization appeared on her face, as she muttered, "Oh.. Well.. you can check these later.. I'll leave." before walking back into one of the corridors at the side of the hall.

    Daniel ignored the interruption, and walked towards Alesia, which looked at him up and down with a bright smile on her face.

    "What do you want to do?" He asked.

    Alesia walked next to him, and wrapped her arms around Daniel. She then said "How about we take a walk in the capital.. I am sure we will find something to do."

    Daniel waved his hand faintly, and a portal large enough for three people to walk through appeared in front of them.

    On the other side of this portal, was Der, which was currently eating inside one of the restaurants inside Daniel's company building.

    Daniel had taken the habit of giving the ring to Der, whenever he wished to go back into his pocket dimension to rest. After all, Der was the strongest person that followed him, and there was nobody else that had more of a motivation for Daniel and the rest to be safe.

    "Going out?" Asked Der with a mouth covered in what looked like a greasy substance. He then turned towards the two of them, and after seeing the way they were dressed, he quickly cleaned himself up, and said "Do you want to keep the ring or..?"

    "We'll be back later.. You can keep it for now." Responded Daniel before waving his hand once again, and opening a second portal.

    On the other side of this portal, was an extremely busy street.

    It was already late at night, so, the people that walked around weren't customers poking about for products.. Instead, the streets were filled with couples on a night out, groups of friends, and other types of parties with the same objective in mind.. to have fun.

    The part of the city in which they had decided to appear, was a rich neighborhood, therefore, all the shops and restaurants were classy and expensive. It really suited the way he and Alesia were dressed.

    "Do you want to look for someplace to eat?" Asked Daniel while turned to look at Alesia.

    In response, she rested the side of her head against his shoulder for a moment, then turned to look back at him, and with a smile, she said "Sure, let's go."

    The two walked and recounted to each other things they hadn't yet shared before.

    Alesia told Daniel about her relationship with the guy that used to pester her, about how she was sure that her parents had decided that she should have practiced martial cultivation in a game of rock paper and scissors, in which her father tried to cheat, but that in the end, her mother had won thanks to her better reflexes.

    Daniel listened to Alesia hilarious stories, and for some reason, he found them even funnier than Alesia believed them to be herself.

    "Enough laughing at my stories.. Tell me about you." Said Alesia while unconsciously tightening her hold on Daniel's arm.

    With a slightly embarrassed expression, Daniel said "You would not believe it."

    "Try me." Responded Alesia while feeling almost challenged.

    Daniel smiled faintly at her, and said "My parents died when I was a kid, so I grew up as a pickpocket. That's how I took care of me and my sister."

    Alesia's eyes opened in confusion and surprise, then, her expression changed into a dubious one "You were right, I don't believe you." Of course, she meant the part about the his job, not the part about his parent's dying.

    "I knew you wouldn't.. That's why I stole half of your bracelets while you weren't looking." Said Daniel while making two golden bracelets dangle from his fingers in front of her.

    Alesia immediately checked her wrist, and there, she saw two identical to those that Daniel was holding disappear in thin air: She burst out with surprise, as if having just witnessed to a magic show "Whaaat!? I didn't even feel anything!"

    Daniel was used to playing that trick when stealing bags of coins. The only difference, was that now that he could control the various essences, he was able to simply create a fake to leave on the target's body, and steal the original.

    As a martial and spiritual cultivator, Alesia would have noticed that her golden bracelets were made out of constructed gold, if only she had not been distracted by Daniel.

    "I wasn't so bad at it.." Said Daniel while feigning offence for her overly exaggerated reaction. While growing up, Daniel had always been more than proud about his skills. "Do you want to make a bet with me?" He asked.

    Shock disappeared from Alesia's face, as her expression became one of extreme curiosity. she said "What kind of bet?"

    "I bet that by the end of tonight, I'll put these bracelets back on your wrists, and that you won't even realize it." Responded Daniel with a challenging look on his face.

    "Oh really?.. And what would the stakes be?" Asked Alesia with a playful smile.

    "How about a kiss?" Asked Daniel with a nervous smile. In his mind, he was risking everything by proposing this.

    After he finished speaking, Daniel saw Alesia's cheek flush of a brighter red color.

    Unsure whether he had crossed a line, Daniel was about to say that he was kidding, but he was stopped by Alesia's sweet voice, which simply said "Okay." She then once again wrapped her arms around Daniel's arm, and after looking in the distance for a few seconds, she saw a colorful and packed restaurant, and said "Let's go there to eat."

    Slightly surprised by Alesia's willingness, Daniel said "Sure.. But, don't you want to keep your guard up? You'll definitely lose like this."

    Without looking back at him, Alesia started to walk towards the restaurant while leading him in as well, then said "No.."

    About fifty meters away from them, an overly thin black-cloaked cultivator of what appeared to be thirty years of age looked at the two of them, then, he turned to look at his companion, a short, and stout similarly dressed man of about the same age, which was currently busy doing something else. "Hey, Isn't that the head of the Golden Karma?" He said.

    "What? Don't be stupid.. How could he.." Said the stout man before turning around, but after his eyes landed on Daniel and Alesia, he continued by saying "Ohh.. it really is him."

    The taller and thin man observed the two for about a minute, then, without turning around, he said "You know.. I've heard that the reason why the head of the golden karma is so weak, is not because he focused on the comprehension of the essences.. But because he is actually as young as he looks."

    "Where did you hear that from?" Asked the shorter and stout man.

    "Remember Hinna, the 'Blazing Terror' company's heiress? Her father heard the head of the Golden Karma say it himself. He isn't older than twenty one." Responded the thin man. He then added "He seems to be out with that girl.. Alone.."

    A weird smile appeared on the stout man, that looked at his companion with a dirty grin, and said "Are you suggesting what I think you are suggesting?"

    "Even if he has nothing on him.. He and the girl must be worth something.. Maybe we would not be able to extort them, but I can think of a hundred companies that would gladly put their hands on him." Responded the thin man with a matter-of-fact tone.

    After thinking about it for a moment.. "That's a good point.. But let's do this the right way.. We will need more people. Wait for me here." Responded the stout man before walking towards a dark alley, and disappearing in the shadow.

    -----

    Half an hour had passed, and Daniel and Alesia were still sitting at their table. Enjoying their meal, while quietly throwing jokes at the odd behaviour of the other people present in the restaurant.

    "Look at that old man.. He is eating so slowly that the waiter is going to catch up with his age soon.. Hehehe.." Said Daniel in a low voice while pointing with his eyes at an old couple a few tables next to them.

    "Hahaha.. Okay, I'll raise your pick with that guy over there.." Said Alesia after moving her head closer to the middle of the table, in order to prevent others from listening to them, and pointing at a guy behind Daniel.

    Luckily, it didn't seem that there were many that were paying attention to what they were saying, except for a solitary thirty years old man, which couldn't help but laugh whenever the two made a joke.

    Daniel and Alesia had long noticed him, and made a competition out of 'making him laugh'. They would joke by themselves, and at the same time, listen to the man's reaction.. Which included spewing his food, almost choking on his drink, and randomly laughing with no apparent reason.

    The two of them were having a great time, but unfortunately, their night out was interrupted by an odd occurrence.. The sound essence had been suddenly locked for the first time since they had entered the restaurant.

    The same was for space, and the various essences within the entire building.

    Daniel looked at Alesia with a disappointed expression, and said "Seems like they offer entertainment in this restaurant.."

    Naturally, Alesia was more than aware of what Daniel meant. She was about to say something, but Daniel grabbed her hand, and said "I win the bet.. You owe me a kiss.." while pointing at the bracelets that were back around Alesia's pale wrist.

    He then stood up, and looked at the entrance of the restaurant. There, five black-cloaked individuals had appeared.
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