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217 When Everything Went Wrong

    Nuragovia, Two months earlier.

    Despite how majestic and impressive their first travel through space was in the beginning, the experience became stale pretty quickly. It was true that the open space contained an infinity of interesting things and events to witness, but all of those things were trillions of kilometers apart, and it would not be odd if somebody spent years of traveling without being able to witness to any of them.

    Just one day had passed since the Nuragovia had set out for space, and Daniel and his two companions were already sick of looking at the vast expanse of nothingness which seemed to extended forever.

    "This is not how I had expected it.." Muttered Daniel with a disappointed tone.

    Der, with his usual stern expression and authoritative tone, said "Of course not. If you were in a desert, you wouldn't expect for each grain of sand to be an exceptional treasure.." His words caused Daniel to sigh in disappointment once again.

    While Der went on with his rant about the vastity of space, Daniel quietly observed his system's profile. There, four hundred and fifty million points were written clearly right underneath his cultivation level. These karmic points were, of course, the points that he had obtained when killing the members of the Navi family.

    Due to the impressive number of genocides committed by the Navi family, its members had gained massive amounts of negative karma. Alana alone had over one hundred millions of karma debt, while her grandmother possessed three hundred millions. Oddly enough, Alana's mother was the one that possessed the least amount of karmic debt, at only four million points. The rest had been obtained by the remaining hire warriors and mercenaries hired, and the remaining family members.

    So much karmic points had caused Daniel to fall deep into consideration. The next upgrade of Daniel's System would cost one billion karma points.. And who knew what effects it would bring with it. On the other hand, four hundred million points were plenty enough to spend a good part of the journey in cultivation.

    In the end, Daniel had decided to cultivate.

    The possibility that something incredible awaited in the next level of the karmic system was high, but he doubted he would be able to acquire the remaining five hundred and fifty millions before he would need a higher level of cultivation.. And at the end of the day, a good effect would be worth nothing if he was dead.

    "Two and a half months of this.. I'll pass." Said Daniel, interrupting Der's seemingly infinite speech. "How many crystals do you guys think you will need if you cultivated uninterruptedly for the rest of the voyage?"

    "Ten perfect crystals are more than enough for me.." Said Der with slight pride. For as little as ten crystals sounded, it was in fact an impressive amount for a single person. A less talented individual would consume maybe one in a month, but he was a prodigy, and along with the effect of being part of Daniel's group, he had reached a level that was hardly seen. Unfortunately, his ego took a hit the very next moment..

    "Twenty-five.." Said Jerigh casually.

    Der was very tempted to call Jerigh out for being boastful, but then, he remembered the fact that this young man, who was just in his mid twenties, could already best him in combat. Almost as if realizing just now how impressive the two young men in front of him were, Der sighed in stupor, and muttered "..Master Kye would never believe that freaks like these exist.."

    "What did you just say?" Asked Daniel after suddenly turning towards Der.

    "I said that my master would have never believed that freaks like you two exist." Der repeated with a louder tone, and hints of admiration, jealousy, and irritation.

    Daniel shook his head in response, and with a slightly dismissive tone, he said "I've heard that.. What did you say your master's name was?"

    "Master Kye?" Responded Der in doubt.

    "The old master-at-arms!!" Exclaimed Daniel with deep surprise, causing Der's brows to furrow, and his eyes to narrow in confusion.

    "Do you know my master?"

    Daniel smiled in response, and said "I do know your master.. Or well.. My teacher. He, along with the silver alchemist are my first teachers."

    It took a minute for Der to understand the implication of what Daniel had just revealed to him. "You're telling me that my daughter is with Master Kye?" He then asked animatedly.

    "The last time I've seen her, she and my sister were in.." Daniel quickly explained the story of how his sister had found the old man's building, and of how the three of them had rented a room, only to discover later that that building was, in fact, a private school owned by the old master-at-arms.

    He then recounted of how he had managed to discover a method to cultivate both paths of cultivation, of how he had received teachings from both of these two individuals, about the small-scale war that had started because of his discover, and finally, about how the silver alchemist had teleported him to 'safety' to prevent him from being kidnapped.

    Aside from the shock of learning about Daniel's past, only relief could be seen on Der's face. Master Kye was the person whom he trusted the most, and he had no doubt that if his daughter was with him, he would have taken care of her.

    Daniel had never told this story to Der before, as he didn't know that Mea's father was his teacher's disciple, or simply could not remember this matter being revealed to him by his teacher of martial cultivation.

    From now on, Der looked at Daniel with different eyes. While before he was a young hero whom he had decided to follow in hope that, one day, he would manage to bring him to reunite with his daughter, he was was a sort of little brother, just like the other disciples of the old man.

    For the rest of the day, the two talked about their shared teacher, and about all of the teachings that Daniel would have received from him if the two hadn't been separated so abruptly.. leaving Jerigh to go to cultivate by himself.

    Their conversation was interrupted by a person dressed as part of the ship's crew, which approached the two from the side, and said "Master Hiel, the captain wishes to speak to you. Would you follow me, please?"

    "Of course." Responded Daniel casually before following the man into the ship, and towards the captain's cabin.

    A couple of minutes later, Daniel was inside of the captain's cabin. This cabin was simple, and did not have special furniture within. The owner kept it just like he kept his hair, beard, and clothes.. Extremely shabby.

    "Master Hiel!" Said the captain with enthusiasm before approaching Daniel, and shaking his hand.

    After getting over the shock caused by the man's surprisingly good smell when compared to his demeanor, Daniel shook the Captain's hand back, and said "Captain Nura. A pleasure to meet you. I was about to go and train, is there something I can help you with before I start?"

    "Oh, my apologies Master Hiel. I just wanted to meet one of Iewah's champions. I am but a servant for Lord Iewah, and have crossed this system for the past hundred years. To meet the person that will open a new path for us sailors, it's a honor." Said the man with good manners.

    "Don't mention it.. It just happened" Responded Daniel with a hint of embarrassment. It was clear to him what the Captain was trying to do.

    Daniel would be the first one to open the isolated world to the rest of the universe, and as its claimer, he would also be the first one to sink his feet in all of its richness, after all, no company present in that world would compare to Daniel's. What the captain wanted, was to be considered when Daniel's company would evolve into a company that was allowed to expand through the entire system.

    After a few more words, the two were ready to bid farewell. Before leaving the cabin, Daniel turned to look at the man, and said "Captain Nura, who is the prisoner on board?"

    After hearing Daniel's words, a dead serious expression forcibly took the place where, just a moment ago, was an amiable smile. "It's better you don't know, master Hiel.. the universal government needed to poke around for months for a ship to allow that filth on board.. If I hadn't owed a favour to some annoying people, this crossing would end much sooner." Said the Captain with sheer disgust.

    The reason for Daniel's interest, was the fact that while the prisoner was being escorted on board, he had seen that the number that floated above the man's head, was perfectly neutral. Daniel had only seen a perfectly neutral number in newborn babies, and never in grown up individuals. That alone, was cause of great interest for him.

    After listening to the man's response, Daniel pushed the matter in the back of his head. It really wasn't his business why the man was in that situation. For all he knew, he might have committed a crime that had no connection to karma, and therefore, was still guilty.

    "I'll leave you to your job now, Captain Nura. I will come and see you again once I finish my training. Farewell." Said Daniel before turning towards the door of the cabin, and walking out.

    When Daniel went back on the deck, he found out that Der had already started his session of cultivation like Jerigh, so, without anything else to do, he too went back into his cabin and started to cultivate.

    -----

    One month and a half later.

    Daniel was sitting in in the middle of his cabin in silence. In his mind, his profile was opened once again, and on it, his increased cultivation level was written clearly right above the number of remaining karma points.

    What had left Daniel speechless, was not seeing that his cultivation level had already reached the late sixth stage of immortal cultivation.. But the amount of karma points that he was forced to spend in order to reach that effect in a month and a half.

    A hundred and twenty millions had disappeared as if nothing had happened, as well as a few dozen perfect crystals. Daniel knew that the more powerful he would become, the more time he would need to cultivate.. It was a common concept of the cultivation world. What he could not stomach, was how quickly his karma points were consumed, after all, he did not have an evil family to exterminate whenever he needed to cultivate.. Unfortunately.

    Slightly demoralized by the irony of having a shortcut that could only be walked through extremely slowly, Daniel left his cabin, and decided to go for a short walk. He was sick of eating the food that he had brought, and was craving a bit of human interaction.

    He was currently walking towards one of the various restaurants within the massive ship, and after turning two corners, he started to feel that something was odd. He hadn't seen anybody walking around for at least five minutes.

    Daniel tried to sense his surroundings, but quickly found out that, just like the dormitories of 'The Superior Alchemy' academy, they were enchanted with formations that did not allow to see through.

    With a bad feeling creeping on his back, Daniel started to explore the ship on foot. Most of the doors were either closed shut, or opened, but with nobody inside and in a complete mess.

    What fed Daniel's suspicion, were the bloodstains that covered the walls which and the more he walked, the more frequent they became.

    *Crunch Crunch Crrrcha Crunch*

    A few noises that made him get goosebumps started to reach his ears.. They came from behind the corner to his right.. He slowly walked towards the end of the corridor, then, bent his body forward to look at what was causing those horrid sounds.

    His eyes opened wide in shock and disgust.. A faint gasping sound escaped from his mouth, and caused whatever was causing those noises to notice him. The next thing Daniel remembered, was that time had gone backwards, and he was standing in the middle of the corridor.. Trembling in fear.
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