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227 Not a Lucky Situation to Be In

    "Like this one?" Said Der while holding in his hand a pendant that matched Daniel's description, causing both Jerigh and Daniel turned to look at him with faces contorted in surprise and doubt.

    "Where did you.." muttered Daniel while moving his hand towards pendant, and grabbing it.

    "The second in command. He didn't leave with the captain, and when I told him I was going to look for you, he gave me a map, and this pendant.. He said they could be useful.." Responded Der with just as much surprise as Daniel and Jerigh showed. He then added "Is it strange that, despite all of the bad things that happened on board, I feel unreasonably lucky?"

    Daniel suddenly turned to look at Der, and with an odd smile, he said "That's just your mind playing tricks on you.. Unless you consider this a lucky situation to be in.. Come on.. Let's go."

    After finding out that they had everything they needed to go along with Daniel's plan, the three made their way through one dark metallic corridor after the other, until finally, they managed to reach the room that contained the formation connected to the external spatial barriers.

    What deactivating this formation would do, was to remove the spatial barrier that prevented anything from approaching, and colliding with the ship. That, of course, did not mean that the ship would lose gravity and that people would suddenly shoot through space along with the ship, instead of inside it.. That was because the formation that controlled the gravity within the ship was internal, and separated from both the external barrier formation, and from the internal defences or sound formation.

    The reason for this engineering choice, was so that the ships could expand their possibilities, as certain planets had a much higher gravity than others, and would ultimately crush a lower level cultivator the moment the external barrier was removed to let a few passengers out of the ship.

    A gravitational formation wasn't governed by a member of the crew either, and instead, was added during the creation of the ship itself. That, along with a spatial formation, were the only two requirements necessary to turn a normal ship, into a spatial one. One that would allow people to keep their feet on the ship, and one that could prevent any random object from colliding with the ship.

    Once inside the control room, Daniel approached the slab of rock similar to the others he had seen within the bridge, and started to become familiar with it.

    Instead of a map, or a sound sphere, this slab had a single scaled replica of the ship they were in, covered by a small spatial barrier. This small ship was placed just above a socket which looked like the bottom of the icosahedral-shaped yellow crystal.

    From a single touch, Daniel was able to feel that this shield, for as small as it was, was extremely powerful and virtually impossible to destroy for him, or any other person on board that he was aware of.

    With no big variety of choices from which to pick from, Daniel quickly inserted the crystal into the socket.

    The moment he felt the clicking sound caused by the insertion of the crystal, thanks to his deep comprehension of spatial essence, Daniel instantly found a huge change take place in the shield the covered the ship's replica. It was not a change of composition, but a change in power.

    Once again, Daniel tried to touch the ship, and immediately found out that the little ship's spatial shield had decreased to a power that any random fourth stage immortal cultivator with the right comprehension of space could mess around with.

    Instead of breaking the ship's defensive formation right away, Daniel closed his eyes, and started to make Der's map appear in his mind. He then began to make a few calculations.

    One minute after the other went by, and in the blink of an eye, a day had passed.

    After a full day spent in wait, Der and Jerigh were starting to get visibly worried. If not for the fact that they had less than two weeks left, for the fact that the red-clothed young man could storm into the door at any given moment.

    Just as the thought of interrupting Daniel's thoughts started to appear in their minds, Daniel suddenly opened his eyes. He then turned towards an empty part of the room, and became as still as a statue.

    Confused beyond words, Der and Jerigh observed Daniel's actions.. And soon enough, they felt something happen. A form of power was becoming more and more present within the room, and the point from which it came from, was none other than inside Daniel's body.

    That power, was dark essence.

    Dark essence kept expanding through Daniel's body, and in a matter of minutes, he became a human-shaped black hole. Once done, he turned once again to look at the control panel, and exerted a wisp of immortal essence shrouded by dark essence. With it, he completely took over the control over the ship's barrier, and made it dissipate the very next moment.

    He then turned to look at the empty part of the room, and once again, he exerted a much bigger amount of immortal essence.. Still completely covered by dark essence.

    Der and Jerigh observed at the wisps and threads of sheer darkness move around the room in confusion. Neither of them comprehended dark essence, and therefore, they weren't able to see or feel anything contained within it. All they could see, was a dance of shadows.

    That, was Daniel plan. He wanted to use dark essence to cover his use of immortal essence. The entire day he had spent thinking, had been spent trying to make out the distance between the room they were in, and the room they were trying to reach. Now that the spatial barrier formation was down, he was able to check something he was curious about.

    The immortal essence quickly started to take the shape of a door, and within the invisibility provided by the dark essence, it converted into spatial essence.

    In just a few moments, observable only through Daniel's eyes, a human sized portal had formed. On the other side, was a slightly large, and empty corridor.

    Despite how dark this corridor was, Daniel was still able to see the evident traces of blood on the walls, as well as the many traces of a fight that had taken place long ago, and human remains. The smell that filtered through the portal he had opened caused him to instantly gag in disgust, and almost lose control over the spatial portal.

    Instead of directly walking through it, Daniel took the crumpled up map that Der had given to him, and threw it gently through the corridor.

    A big smile appeared on his face as, just like he had hoped, the paper ball passed through without being turned into dust by any sort of spatial interference. He then looked through the portal in search of a distinctive sign. Once again, his smile became more evident the instant his eyes landed on what appeared to be a the top of a ladder.

    Without waiting one more second, Daniel took the key back from the control panel, and sent a wisp of sound essence into his companion's ears. Then, he entered the portal.

    After hearing Daniel's words, and seeing his actions, Der and Jerigh followed him without any objection. The portal closed right after, and the remains of the essences of space and darkness dissipated in the air.

    The very moment after the portal closed, the door of the control room opened. Behind it, the young man appeared. On his face, one could see a playful expression.

    He slowly made his way into the room, and after noticing the deactivated spatial barrier, he muttered "looks like the rat found the cheese.." He then took a deep breath in, and after feeling the feeble last remains of dark essence in the air, he added "Now, that is cheating.. But cheating is a game for two.."

    -----

    Once they walked through the portal, the trio quickly looked at both ends of the dark corridor, and the rooms inside it.

    This corridor only contained three rooms, and a ladder that could only go to a lower level. Two of these rooms were on the right side of the corridor, and the third, was at the end of it, while the ladder was on the left side.

    The fighting marks couldn't be more obvious, and on the ground, the three saw something they had never seen before. Along with a few rotten limbs, was the bony structure of one of the bigger monsters.

    The doors of the rooms on the right were destroyed, and that allowed Daniel and the rest to see the numerous marks left inside them from the fight.

    A battle had take place in this place between the monsters and a few powerful warriors, and even though the warriors appeared to have managed to take one of the monsters down, they were unlikely to have survived.

    What was worse, was that there was no trace of a full body.. Which indicated that these warriors had probably ended up becoming the very monsters which they had fought against.

    Daniel's attention was momentarily caught by the room at the end of the corridor. It was closed, and the door was made of thick steel. The glass on the porthole only showed the darkness within. According to the map, that room was supposed to be empty.

    After putting the matter of the room to the back of his head, he turned to look at the ladder, an said "Here, down this ladder." He then approached it as quietly as possible, and slowly climbed down one step after the other.

    No longer than a minute later, Daniel, Der, and Jerigh reached the bottom, and found themselves in a relatively small room.

    This room was about fifteen meters in width, and just five meters in profundity. It appeared much more similar to a short corridor with no rooms by its sides.

    On the other side of the room, were five circular holes placed one next to the other on the wall. Each of these holes was just a meter in width, and could be closed with a metallic hatch which was, at the moment, opened.

    Daniel had heard what these holes were. They were the 'mouths' where the perfect crystals would be inserted, turned into pure energy, and then, that energy would be directed towards various canals, and ultimately, used to create a sudden burst of power liberated through the propulsors.

    The arrival to their planet of origin was scheduled for thirteen days later, and because of the still massive distance between them and the planet, Daniel could not feed the crystals to the propulsors yet. Veering a millimeter in any direction, at this distance, would without a doubt add hundreds of thousands, if not millions of kilometers to the distance between them and the planet.

    But of course, that was still part of his plan.

    With as much focus as he could muster, Daniel took the sound sphere out of his pocket and installed it in the space in the middle of the room, while covered by a layer of immortal essence, and an external layer of dark essence.

    At the same time, Der and Jerigh placed one hundred perfect crystals in each of the five mouth, and closed the hatches.

    Once they were done, using the last bit of focus that he was able to spare from keeping the sound sphere quiet, and the perfect crystals from sliding down the mouths of the engine, Daniel opened another portal.

    While closing his eyes, and focusing purely on making sure that neither of those objects escaped his control, Daniel slowly stepped through the portal along with Der and Jerigh. When they reappeared, they were inside the room at the end of the corridor.

    There, they would wait for twelve days for the ship to reach the planet.

    In order to avoid losing focus, Daniel sat on the floor in the lotus position, and started to meditate. In his mind, only him, the floating sound sphere, and the five groups of perfect crystals existed.

    Knowing that they would have to wait for a long time, Jerigh and Der approached one of the walls, and sat down. They were going to spend most of the time meditating as well.. But just as the two closed their eyes in meditation, they heard a weak rattling of chains come from the darkest part of the room.
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