188 If You Cant Stand the Heat..

    Less than a minute after leaving the hall, Daniel, Roley, Jerigh and the father and son couple found themself at the end of a dimly lit corridor.

    This corridor was not too large, and allowed only three people to move through at the same time. At the end of it, one could see a large double door made out of stone, and from the chinks at the sides of each slab of stone, people could see a light shine through.

    The temperature of the corridor was a huge tell about what was going on on the other side.

    Once at the end of the corridor, the temperature had reached a point where Roley's, Jerigh's and Fyro's clothes were tightly pressed against their sweaty backs. Large drops of sweat ran down the sides of their heads, while a thin wet layer formed on their foreheads.

    Now in front of the double door,  Mr. Tigg turned to look at his three guests, and after smiling faintly, he said "It will be slightly hot behind this door.. I hope that you will be able to handle it."

    He then turned around, and placed his palms against the two slabs of stone.

    The moment his sweaty palms touched the door, the sizzling of the sweat being vaporized could be heard all through the corridor.

    The door slowly opened, revealing a brightly lit forge, where an extremely large and muscular man was working on a piece of metal. This man was completely bald, and possessed a thick white beard that could be seen even from behind. His muscles were defined like those of a middle aged man, and yet, the large veins that protruded from his arms and the oddly colored patches on his skin betrayed his real age.

    "Father.. We have guests." Said Mr. Tigg with calm and composure, almost ignoring that his son and two of the three young men beside him were figuratively melting in their own clothes.

    The large and muscular old man kept on quietly slamming the hammer he was holding in his left hand against the piece of metal he was holding with the right, flattening it more and more, and reshaping it into an unrecognizable bar of rovent metal.

    Slowly but steadily, the temperature in the forge started to increase, and while Daniel, Fyro and Fyro's father were holding up relatively well, Roley and Jerigh were starting to struggle.

    The matter quickly started to annoy Daniel. He hadn't come here to play statue and observe this old man forge a weapon, so, he expelled a stream of immortal essence, and moved it towards the molten metal within the forge.

    He had long since comprehended the magnitude of heat necessary to melt any form of metal and mineral, after all, he wouldn't have been able to obtain a perfect comprehension of metal and earth if he didn't possess a comprehension of the concept of melting.

    The concept of melting was part of the essence of fire, the essence of metal, the essence of earth. It included a comprehension of the melting point of each type of metal, and stone.

    So, for one that had comprehended it like Daniel, it was not difficult to melt and reshape metals to his will.

    It was not the same for the old man, which even if he possessed a perfect comprehension of fire, he lacked a comprehension of the metal essence. That meant that he was capable of melting objects pretty well, but he couldn't manipulate them as well.

    Daniel quietly observed the blueprint of the weapon that the muscular old man was creating, and in a matter of seconds, he manipulated the molten state of metal into a perfect shape of the sword, and made it emerge from the surface of the molten material.

    After the blade moved out of the forge, it floated above the old man which looked at it with indifference, and dipped directly into a thin cauldron filled with water, causing a large amount to vapor to turn the previously clear room extremely misty.

    "Here, now you can rest for a bit." Said Daniel with a genuine smile, opposite to his inner state of mind.

    The old man turned towards him, and with his ever present indifferent expression, said "Maybe that's how I like to spend time when I rest.. Ever thought of that?"

    "I thought old men were supposed to sip tea in cozy chairs, and criticize the young ones for the behaviour they disapprove.." Said Daniel with a hint of confusion and doubt.

    The old man looked at Daniel, and felt immense arrogance hidden within the sweet tone he was using.

    "HAHAHA.. A lack of patience.. That's what I would complain about if I were to sit on a cozy chair.. Of course, to survive that boring lifestyle I would need something stronger than tea.." Responded the old man after laughing out loud. He then turned back towards the weapon he was making, and started to hammer it over and over again.

    Daniel looked back at Roley and Jerigh, which were now close to fall on their knees from the intense heat. Something clicked in his head.

    An intense coldness started to be emanated from his body, which caused the room temperature to drop significantly.

    In response, the old man forced the surrounding air to become once again, warmer. He didn't even turn to look back at Daniel.

    The room temperature started to increase and decrease by large margins.

    In only a matter of minutes, Daniel was forced to eat a black pill that he was keeping within his spatial ring.

    The two kept fighting for the control over the room's temperature, until finally, the old man pushed a little too much immortal essence, and caused the temperature of the room to reach unbearable levels.

    "Kid.. even though I am surprised about your talent.. If you can't patiently wait before conducting business, I won't be doing any with you." Said the old man with a hint of anger.

    Calmness took anger's place in Daniel's heart, which instead of insisting, simply said "Very well. We will leave. I only hope that the breach of our deal won't hurt the poisonous rose hard enough to take it up on you."

    He then turned towards the corridor, and started walking.

    The old man was surprised by Daniel's decision, yet, he didn't believe that Daniel was serious. So, he quietly observed as he left the forge.

    "Father.." Muttered the old man's son as a hint of worry appeared on his face. He was not worried about not giving Daniel what was promised, but he was worried about not respecting the deal they had with one of the families of the poisonous rose.

    "Relax.. The kid is bluffing. He is waiting for us to run after him.. He'll.. He.. Fuck.. he is already at the gates! Go after him." Said the old man while standing up from his seat, and dusting his clothes.

    Mr. Tigg was about to dash towards the entrance of their company territory, but before he could take a step, Daniel, Jerigh and Roley appeared once again in the place where they were standing until now.

    The old man immediately understood what had happened, so, he hid the embarrassment he was feeling, and kept dusting his clothes in silence.

    "Your comprehension of fire essence is valuable, but not enough to beg for it.. I don't know what the poisonous rose gave you in exchange of this favor, but if you don't mind.. I would like to get this matter over with.. Now." Said Daniel with a calm tone.

    He knew that he couldn't wrestle the control over the room's temperature against the old man, which had a cultivation much higher than his, and was simply playing around with him. What he could do, was to embarrass him by using the moment of distraction, to manipulate every other type of essence to create an illusion.

    The old man would have usually noticed this, but he was too focused on controlling his power in order to avoid melting the very walls, to make sure that no one was messing with the surrounding space.

    "Your company has many spearheads.. Why add fire?" Asked the old man with curiosity.

    Daniel shrugged his shoulders in response, and said "I don't lack talented people in my company.. I need a knowledge to pass on to them.."

    The old man looked at Jerigh and Roley, two people whom he had personally seen show astonishing results in many other types of essence, and muttered "..talented indeed." He then turned back towards Daniel, and said "It was a stupid move to trade the perfect essence treasure for a demonstration of perfect comprehension.. You could have paid me.. And kept the treasure for yourself if you wanted. Now you will probably never find another one.. What a waste.. Talk about buying the water in exchange of the pot.."

    "Maybe I have another one.." Said Daniel with a casual smile.

    "Hahaha.. Nothing would make more and no sense at all at the same time."

    Once again, Daniel shrugged his shoulders, and said "When are we starting?"

    "Right now.." Said the old man, right before his son and grandson left the room.

    For the following few hours, Daniel, Roley and Jerigh experienced increases in temperature to absurd levels, different types of flames formed through the combustion of different objects, the effects of fire on the body, and even cold flames which burned one's soul sooner than they burned the body.

    The old man was perfectly aware that neither of the three could comprehend fire essence simply by observing it once, so, he demonstrated everything with haste, and without stopping too much on each concept.

    When he was done, eighteen hours had already passed, and Daniel was the only one left in the room.

    Jerigh and Roley were forced to leave the room due to the unbearable temperatures, which Daniel was able to resist to thanks to his higher power.

    It is important to understand one thing when talking about high temperature in a context of comprehension of fire essence.

    The dept of the temperature was a matter of power, while in order to understand the concept of heat, only a simple understanding of how temperature worked was necessary.

    The reason why high temperatures were needed to comprehend fire essence, was because they were needed in order to observe the effect they had on other elements like metal, earth, water, and so on.

    That did not mean that one needed to reach impossible levels of heat like the heat of a star in order to understand fire, just like one did not need to reach absolute zero in order to understand the concept of freezing.

    "Here we go.. That's about it." Said the old man after sitting back on his rocky seat, and taking a deep breath. He then made a cigar appear in his hand, put it in his mouth, and moved his face just a few centimeters from the molten metal that filled the forge just to lit it up. "A stupid trade if you ask me.." He then muttered before inhaling deeply.

    Daniel stood up from the patch of floor he had been sitting on for the past better part of a day, and closed his eyes.

    He focused the majority of his immortal essence out of his body, and started to turn it into the various forms and shapes of fire essence he had witnessed until now.

    The concepts and comprehension he demonstrated was slightly off at first, but was quickly corrected into perfection in a matter of seconds.

    After another hour, Daniel opened his eyes, and observed the semi-invisible green-bluish flame that covered his body with curiosity.

    The old man was still sitting on his chair, and next to him, were at least thirty cigar butts. The shock had long left his face, and he was now observing with interest.

    "I disagree.." muttered Daniel in a low voice before turning towards the old man, and saying "Thank you." He then turned around, and left the forge from the way he had arrived.

    While still sitting on his chair, the muscular old man looked at Daniel's back, and while lighting one more cigar, he muttered "Talented people huh?.. What a monster.."
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