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184 No Small Amount of Trouble

    The sudden attack had made the stranger drop the talisman he was holding, which fell on the ground, and disappeared underneath a thick layer of dry leaves.

    "Hey! I don't know you.. Why are you attacking me?!" He asked with a mixture of anger and shock.

    Daniel, which was now standing where the stranger previously was, lowered his upper body, and picked the talisman off the ground. He then observed it, and felt a wisp of immortal essence of which he could not calculate the power.

    There was a large possibility that, in case he was allowed him to destroy the talisman, a portal would have appeared. In the past he wouldn't have had a problem with letting someone open a portal to escape, but he had learned long ago that portals which lead to pocket dimensions, would often alert the masters of those dimensions.. And that, he would not allow it.

    "Who is he?" Daniel asked to Serf.

    "His name is Grum Tera.. he is one of the children of the House of Corrosion.. He likely came here in order to obtain the queen's heart, after he learned about the presence of this tribe of dryads." Responded Serf without holding back anything after approaching Daniel's side.

    Due to how Daniel had dealt with the person that had left the bomb in his company building, Serf had learned how he acted. He wanted to give Daniel the highest amount of informations, and let him handle the situation the way he preferred.

    "How dangerous is his family?" Asked Daniel with a low voice. He was in no hurry to add another big group to his enemy list, especially now that he had a large number of people to take care of.

    "Very dangerous.. Not any weaker than mine." Responded Serf with a matter-of-fact tone.

    The thirty years-old man called Grum looked at Daniel, and said "You better listen to him, kid.. The repercussion of challenging my family are not something you can withstand."

    Daniel turned to look at Grum with an indifferent expression, and said "That is if you leave this place alive.." He then dashed towards him, as a second sword appeared in his left hand.

    Hearing Daniel's words, Grum felt an indescribable amount of anger build up in his chest. He looked at his quick advance, and said "You are underestimating me.." then, two scythes appeared in his hands, which he grabbed tightly and put in front of his body just in time to parry Daniel's attack.

    *Cli-Clink*

    The sound of the two pairs of weapons clashing formed a sonic boom that caused the dry leaves in the radius of ten meters to be forcibly pushed back.

    Daniel was the one that had impacted against Grum's defensive position, so, he was the one that had been pushed back by the aftermath of the attack.

    As he was in mid air, he threw several metallic needles which reached Grum from various directions. Unfortunately, they were all parried thanks to the latter's higher cultivation.

    Once Daniel's feet touched the ground, he looked at the sword that he was holding, and immediately noticed something.. The blades had started to corrode.

    "Careful when you get close to him! He uses many different poisons.. Each capable of corroding your body or metal!" Shouted Serf from the side.

    The reason why Daniel had chosen not to use his immortal cultivation to create essence constructs was because, at some point, in order to keep up with the consumption, he would have had to activate Time is Precious..

    Activating that effect would also speed up the effect of the poison within his body which, instead of spreading at a normal speed, would spread at a three thousand times faster rate.

    Luckily, his adversary was a melee fighter and not a ranged one, or he would be forced to fight using large amounts of immortal essence.

    "I was going to let you live, since you are a friend of one of the families of the poisonous rose.. But I've changed my mind.. I'll kill you and the cheerleader, and take Serf.. I wonder how much his family will give mine for him." Grum said with a dirty grin on his face.

    His current cultivation was at the late fifth stage of immortal cultivation, which was currently higher than Daniels, the strongest of his group.. So, saying that he was willing to let them go previously, was not a lie. Now, he had been angered by Daniel.

    Daniel did not respond to the man's provocations, and instead, injected a small amount of immortal essence into his swords, which he then turned into a faint metal essence that he used to once again sharpen his sword.

    Once he was done, he disappeared from his place, and reappeared right behind Grum's field of view.

    The sharpened sword slashed the air into two, but suddenly disappeared before hitting the blade that Grum had just placed behind his neck to parry the blow. The motion of Daniel's blade did not stop, as it kept going against the knee of his adversary.. Unfortunately, it disappeared once again as the second scythe moved in front of its path in an instant.

    The two attacks had taken a quarter of a second, and had only happened in a single motion of Daniel's arm. Now that the movement had been completed, when Daniel re appeared for the third time at Grum's side, he found the blade's end of the first scythe right in front of his eyes.

    A single metallic thread forcibly came out of the ground, and dashed towards Grum's wrist the very next moment. It quickly wrapped around it, and deviated his attack by pulling his arm downwards.

    Grum did not resist the pulling force, and instead, he placed his palm against the ground, and put all of his weight against it to roll his body, and use the strength generated to attack Daniel a second time.

    Daniel avoided the slash just in time to avoid having a large gash on his face, but unfortunately, he wasn't capable of avoiding the damage fully.

    A thin bloody line had formed on his left cheek, of which he felt the skin, flesh, and blood burn as if he had a torch placed directly against his face.

    The exchange of blows went on for a few seconds, and after that, it became obvious to Daniel that he would not be able to simply win with his martial skills.

    He was extremely talented in handling weapons, and his agility was above anybody else's.. But his cultivation was still lower.. And most people above his level of cultivation would be able to react faster, and hit harder.

    Once he noticed that Grum was fully focused on avoiding and parrying his swords, he started to add magical attacks into the mix of attacks.

    His two blades had been filled with light essence, which appeared like a couple of brighthouses that he wielded with each hand to blind Grum. The noises in the surrounding started to confound him, as the sound of slashing arrived behind his back, while the attack came from somewhere else, and the heat of Daniel's body was now replicated around his entire body.

    One minute earlier Grum was in complete control over the fight, and now, he was forced into a defensive state by a younger, and less powerful kid.

    He had been shocked by Daniel's control over various different essence, and now had no way to effectively counter any of his attacks.

    He started to gain one injury after another, until finally, the umpteenth misleading slashing sound, caused him to lose his arm altogether.

    Grum was not a kid, and he was perfectly capable of keeping his calm even in dire situations, so, the moment he found himself in the sharp side of the knife, he quickly came up with an idea of how to get himself out of trouble.

    Targeting the arm on which a person wore his spatial ring was common practice during a fight. Especially for martial practitioners.. After all, in order to restore their immortal cultivation, a cultivator would need alchemical products.

    This practice had also become popular amongst bandits, which instead of demanding people to give up their fortune, they gave a single warning before directly starting to cut off limbs.

    This had caused the rich families to leave a layer of safety on the members who ventured out of their territory.

    Grum, was not an exception, in fact, after he lost his arm, he rapidly found a chance to put his hand into his robe, and grab a sheet of paper.

    On this sheet of paper, was a simple formation created with time and space essence. It only needed a thread to immortal essence to be activated, and the way it worked, was by stopping time in an area of around five meters around the user, and after a few seconds, forcibly teleport the user out of the area.

    The moment Grum managed to grab this piece of paper with his hand, he didn't waste time before pushing his immortal essence into it, and activating it.

    Time immediately stopped in the area where the two had been exchanging blows until now.

    Daniel was immobile in mid air, while Grum was standing on the ground, seemingly still able to move.

    The first thing he did, was to walk towards his arm, and to grab it.

    He then turned towards Daniel, and said "You are a tough kid, I'll give you that.. But you shouldn't have meddled with my family's business. Watch from hell as I find each member of your family, and send them to me-"

    His speech was interrupted by a lightning fast blade which slashed towards his neck.

    In his shock, he was only able to let go of his arm, and raise his hand at the last moment to faintly deviate the blow, which instead of cutting his head off, simply slashed his throat open.

    Daniel had only pretended to be stuck in time so that he could have a chance to attack his adversary while he was distracted, and it had worked. There was no way that a simple formation could tramp over his own control over time essence.

    Grum was standing shock, with his remaining hand pressed tightly against the gash on his neck. Copious amounts of blood were quickly dripping from the spaces in between his fingers.

    Daniel was about to finish him off, but right at that moment he stopped, and instead, he grabbed the cut arm that was lying on the ground, and removed the ring that was around the middle finger.

    The very next moment, Grum disappeared from next to him, along with the arm that he was holding a moment earlier.

    He had felt spatial essence around him agitate, and knew that he had only a few moments before he would be teleported away, so, he had no choice but to give up on the kill in order to obtain the items he was here for.

    After Grum disappeared, Serf and Alesia approached him.

    "This is going to give you no small amount of trouble in the future.." Muttered Serf with a distracted tone. His eyes were pointed at the human cultivators, which were looking towards them with dispirited expressions.

    "Do you know how to make the cure for the dryad's poison?" Asked Daniel while looking at the small ring in his hands.

    "I do." Responded Serf plainly, before adding "For that many people.. I'll need at least twenty hearts of adult dryads, and the blood from just as many young dryads."

    Daniel said nothing, and with a single thought, made twenty fist sized greenish hearts appear in mid air, along with the bodies of just as many young dryads.

    These young dryads were almost completely covered in bark, except for a few humanoid facial features. They were at the earliest stage of a dryad's life, and were all preserved into Grum's spatial ring.

    Serf immediately started to work on the cure, while Daniel approached the few still living dryads, which after noticing him, said "Kill us, human."

    "It doesn't have to go that way.. If you are willing to live with them in peace, I will let you go." Said Daniel with a cold tone.

    "Our queen died, just like our young ones.. Even if you let us go, we will find a way to take revenge on this group of humans." Responded an adult dryad with a just as cold tone.

    Daniel could not understand if the cause of their was their lacking abilities in showing emotions, or if that was how they really felt.. But that didn't matter.

    "Very well.." He said, before forming various blades in mid air, and piercing the heart of each living dryad in the surrounding.. Causing them to drop dead in unison.
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