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197 To Even the Odds

    The moment the surface level of the lake stopped rising, Daniel found himself at double of the depth he was previously in. He was about to swim back to the surface, when a sudden motion of the water forcibly dragged him left and right. Unfortunately, his view was now completely obscured, as light could not reach the lakebed anymore.

    He quickly swam upwards, and the closer he got to the surface, the more he could feel the motion of the waters, and the clear signs of it being controlled by a living being. It was only after Daniel reached the surface once again, and was only a few meters from emerging from the water, that he finally managed to see what was actually going on.

    The waters were divided into multiple waterspouts which soared free through the sky like blue dragons. These columnar vortices moved with what looked like patterns, and seemed to be chasing something in the air.

    As Daniel's head emerged from the surface of the water, and he found himself back with his group of friends, he finally found out what was actually happening.

    There were seven waterspouts of at least fifteen meters of diameter, and whose highest point did not go straight up and to merge with a cloud like these sort of meteorological events usually would. Instead, they quickly dashed through the sky in pursuit of a multicolored flash, which in turn adopted many different strategies to try and escape the encirclement.

    These seven aquatic vortices were all originated from a relatively small area, and submerged under the surface of the water right in the middle of it, was the red carp, and of course, the multicolored flash that desperately tried to avoid the various columns of water, was the hawk-like beast, which had likely found itself in a bad position due to Daniel's sudden actions.

    The reason why the red carp did not fight back against the hawk-like beast in the past was not because it was less powerful, but for a much simpler reason. The powerful winds swiped the clouds that formed above the desert in a matter of seconds, preventing them from condensive, and ultimately, raining. At the same time, they chipped away at the water that was already part of the pond's body of water, decreasing it in size bit by bit.

    Whenever the red carp had tried to attack the hawk-like beast, the latter would always play defensive, and whenever it could not counter the former's attack, it would at least make him waste a bit of the precious water that was left in the pond. This had happened multiple times for hundreds of years.

    Now the tides had changed. The addition of a water sphere allowed the red carp to use its full powers, as it did not need to worry about wasting water, and at the same time, decreasing the size of his very own habitat.

    The hawk-like beast had tried to run away from the area the very moment he noticed that something was wrong when he noticed that the surface of the water was slowly rising, but unfortunately, for how fast it was capable of flying in the sky, the red carp was in no way slower when in the water.

    Daniel observed as the seven constructed vortices were carefully controlled so that they could prevent the hawk-like beast from simply gaining altitude, and escaping to safety. That was the job of at least three of them, while the remaining four, attacked it from four different directions at all times.

    Ideally, Daniel would have helped the red carp in killing the hawk-like beast, but their feud was one that went on for centuries, and all things considered, it was not his place to meddle in it.

    The chase went on for a few more minutes, until finally, the hawk-like beast decided to stop running and to finally fight back. Its wings opened wide, showing the spectacular colors, and impressing wingspan of at least sixty meters.

    Unable to keep caring about each of the incoming attacks, the hawk-like beast took the following hit head on against his back, but then, it used the momentum produced by his body to wave his enormous wings, and create dozens of squalls that dashed towards the place where the red carp was currently in.

    These squalls of wind penetrated into the water like a hot knife through butter, and their motion was not interrupted by the water in the very least. Unfortunately, the red carp was literally a fish in the water, and its agility allowed it to avoid the hawk-like beast with as much ease as the latter avoid its own.

    In a matter of moments, the fight turned into a battle of endurance.

    Both of the sides had an advantage. The red carp's advantage was that the hawk-like beast had nowhere to rest, and therefore, it was forced into a constant state of physical stress, as it needed to keep itself up in the air, while also avoiding and attacking without stopping. On the other hand, the advantage of the hawk-like beast, was that the movements of the red carp were limited to the surface of the water, and therefore it was easier to attack from the distance.

    The battle raged for the following two hours, where aquatic dragons were sliced up by powerful blades of wind, columns of water rose from the surface of the water, and chased the flashes of colored lights, and the agitated elements threatened to merge into a storm of immense proportions.

    The hawk-like beast was now in a disadvantage, and due to his gradually increasing tiredness, he ended up moving to a lower altitude whenever it tried to avoid the relentless attacks of the red carp. Now at only twenty meters from the surface of the water, the ancient flying beast needed to use a lot more energy, as the attacks that tormented it became faster the closer he got to the water.

    Suddenly, just when the hawk-like beast found itself gliding just a few meters above the surface of the water, five columns of water exploded from under its body, and quickly started to fall apart, but as they did, instead of dripping back onto the lake, the water turned into a large and thick dome, which trapped the flying beast.

    The beast was alerted, but not panicked. It wrapped its wings tightly against its body, and with a rotating motion, it perforated through the encirclement of water, and pushed through it.. But the moment it shook off the water on its feathery body, a thick aquatic dragon hit it squarely against its chest, causing it to lose consciousness, and to dive straight towards the water.

    The ancient red carp gave up control over the columns of water, and hastily moved underneath the falling hawk-like beast. Then, it looked upwards, and emerged from the water with its entire head. Its huge mouth was now opened, and showed the insides of its pink mouth, inside which the hawk-like beast could easily fit.

    Just moments from falling straight into the giant fish's mouth, the hawk-like beast started to move once again, revealing that he was only pretending to be unconscious, and with a flap of its wings, he made use of the distracted state of the red carp, and directly dashed out towards the distance, while increasing his speed thanks to his control over the wind essence in the surroundings.

    In the blink of an eye, the flying beast had disappeared, leaving a trail of blood that painted the waters of a dark red color for miles.

    "COME BACK HERE, COWARD!!!" Shouted the red carp with the highest tone he could muster. Daniel could hear the accumulated frustration that had been caused from being stuck in the same small patch of water for hundreds and hundreds of years, be released by the thunderous voice of the ancient beast.

    "It's alright, you will have another chance in the future.." Said Daniel with reassurance to the angered red carp.

    The ancient red carp became quiet for a few moments, then, it turned towards Daniel and asked "How are you so sure about that?"

    "After a thousand years spent bullying you, he won't accept this outcome.." Responded Daniel casually, as if he knew what he had a clear experience to prove his claim, and in fact, he was, and he did.

    Daniel's confident tone quickly calmed the ancient beast down.

    "What are you going to do now?" Asked the red carp with curiosity. It had met a new kind of beings with whom it had never interacted before, and now that it had discovered that they were quite likeable people, parting from them and likely spend the next thousand years in solitude was something that the red carp was not looking forward to.

    Daniel's face twisted in confusion, and while looking back at the red carp, he said "What do you mean? Aren't we waiting for the flying beasts to counterattack? I'm certainly not leaving. And even if I wanted, I am not going to force one of my people to walk into the flying beasts territories without protection.. We will leave a connection to our pocket dimension here." He then paused for a moment, before adding "We will be neighbours for awhile."

    -----

    At the same time, in the capital, and in numerous other private territories and cities all around the world, a similar scene was playing out in the territory of many powerful groups whose children had been sent to 'The Superior Alchemy' academy.

    An indignated young man or young woman whose chest had a golden or platinum badge placed on, would complain towards the mistreatment that they had to endure earlier during that day. About the blond and silent 'beast' which had made a mockery of them, of how he had disregarded the rules of the academy, and how the school had done nothing to protect them from the humiliation.

    Of course, many would omit the parts which would make them the villains of the story, while the parts which suggested their innocence, were magnified to an unbelievable degree.

    Naturally, their parents, guardians or family heads were not stupid, and without an exception, they could all guess what had really happened. After all, those were their children, an no one knew them better than their parents.

    While some of them cared about the truth of the matter, some scolded their children for lying to them, and some didn't even care, they would all come to the same conclusion. They would face the other party, and demand reparation for the damages caused. This method of solving the problem would make their spoiled children happy, while at the same time, these greedy cultivators, family heads, and group leaders would be able to obtain a large sum from Daniel's company.

    -----

    Back to the lake in the middle of the desert.

    After the fight between the two ancient beasts had ended, Daniel and the rest of his group had  gone back into the underwater cave, and there, they had installed numerous sphere which were required for humans to survive. Roley had also created a small house with water and wooden essence, in which one person could be able to live, while the rest went back into the pocket dimension.

    A guardian of the ring was necessary, as if anyone were to find the place, they would have full access of the pocket dimension simply by possessing its connection to the outside world.

    Inside the pocket dimension, Daniel, Serf and Alesia were walking in the streets of the city, while Jerigh followed in silence.

    "Hahaha.. Really??" Asked Daniel after laughing heartily. He then turned to look at Jerigh in confirmation, and said "Why didn't you tell her your name?" For the first time since Daniel had met him, Jerigh rolled up his eyes in annoyance, and turned to look away, clearly bothered by Daniel's questions. Unfortunately, that quiet response did not generate the result that this silent warrior was hoping for, and instead, caused Daniel to burst out laughing once again "Hahaha! I have to meet this girl.. I have to give her my blessings.."
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