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234 Can You Point Us in the Right Direction?

    "Are you sure that you didn't get us too far in?" Asked Der after looking around in confusion. It had only taken them four portals to teleport across an ocean that was supposed to be, according to the maps they possessed, at least two million kilometers wide. Now that they were inland, Der was having doubts that they hadn't teleported past the small Nestreia continent.

    Not completely sure, Daniel turned to look at the geography of his surroundings in hope to match the area with the map he had memorized, but since these maps came from places extremely far from there, and were at least thousands of years old, he wasn't able to, due to geographical changes. Instead, he noticed an old man floating in the air just a few meters away from him.

    "We could ask." Said Daniel while looking back at Der.

    To a normal cultivator, Daniel and Der would appear as odd characters.. Almost devoid of any power. That was unless somebody touched their bodies. Only then would someone realize how immensely more powerful the two were.

    But of course, the Golden Cauldron old man was no random person. He was aware that no common cultivator would be able to comprehend spatial essence to a level which Daniel had just shown, and if they were low level cultivators, they would have at least felt intimidated by the evidently powerful spirit which he possessed.

    Der turned to look at the old man, and for a moment, he felt a hint of familiarity towards him. The two had met on multiple occasion in the past, but unfortunately, too much time had passed in between, and that frame of time had removed the majority of their memories regarding each other's face.

    After numerous seconds spent in pointless attempts to remember where he had seen this old man, Der gave up, and said respectfully "Elder, can you point us to the Nestreia continent?"

    "You are in it." Said the old man casually, as perfectly balanced gusts of winds kept him elevated from the ground.

    From his ability with controlling wind essence, Daniel could see that this old man possessed a wind comprehension at a level nearly identical his. He was only a small step away from a perfect comprehension.

    "We need to reach the Karalis kingdom.. Can you point us in the right direction?" Asked Daniel with just as much politeness as Der showed. He couldn't understand why, but he felt like he needed to show respect to this individual. There was something mysteriously familiar in the man's facial features, and his overall comprehension of wind.

    As he heard Daniel's words, a few ideas popped in the Golden Cauldron old man's mind. His group was currently at war against the Karalis Kingdom, and he couldn't be sure that these two individuals weren't allies, or messengers from the coalition.

    Without showing the faintest reaction, the old man slowly lifted his arm, and pointed to his left, hinting for them to move in that direction.

    The directions he had given was, of course, false. If Daniel and Der went in that direction, they would go through fifteen different kingdoms with a single teleportation, causing them to be even more lost.

    With a direction set, Daniel and Der nodded at the old man in gratitude, and teleported away.

    "Strange kid.." muttered the Golden Cauldron old man, before dashing towards the battlefield.

    -----

    A long hour had passed, and the barrier which the Silver Alchemist was able to create out of one of his talismans was starting to show signs of fading. The yellowish color had become dimmer, and would vibrate whenever the second barrier shrinked over it.

    The few warriors within the barrier had already prepared to fight to death. They knew perfectly well that the coalition did not want them, but only the Silver Alchemist, and Reila. The rest would be immediately slaughtered.

    These thoughts had forced them to reach a state of mind where fighting was the only option, and the quality of death was only quantifiable based on the number of enemies killed. They had nothing to lose.

    The only one that was starting to panic, was the youngest of the two sisters of the Folding Crane School, Miri.

    "Is this the end?.." She asked with increasing fear. She then let go of the hold on her folding fan, letting it hang from the small metallic ring near the handle, by one of the phalanges of her finger.

    Her sister Riri was about to urge her to correct her state of mind, but Finn beat her to it. The one with whom, when Daniel had met them, Miri was never capable of speaking to without starting a fight.

    He quietly walked next to her, and grabbed her hand into his. She then looked at him, while squeezing his firm hand into hers, and after letting a couple of tears stream down her cheeks, she nodded at him with gratitude.

    After seeing that her state of mind had recovered, Finn grabbed her folding fan, and put it back in her hand. Then, he let go of her, and unsheathed his rapier.

    "Silver Alchemist! Surrender!" Shouted the master of the school of everlasting fury. Next to him, stood the oldest of his children. He was looking at the group of trapped cultivators with a face devoid of emotions. Just like how he was when he had witnessed his younger brother almost kill a young girl in a restaurant of Phyrri.

    From within the fading barrier, the old alchemist said "I remember you  begging me for a pill to help you get your buddy up.. Lord here, Lord that.. Where has your respect gone, Master of the School of Everlasting Fury?"

    The Silver Alchemist's sharp tongue was something that, in the past, he had kept hidden in order to save face.. But ever since they had been forced to escape their homes, he had let his inner self emerge bit by bit. Now, he was a walking offending machine. He knew enough to mock all of the powerful cultivators present.

    Unfortunately, he wasn't as powerful as he was quick-witted. After more than five years, he had only managed to reach the late eighth rank of cultivation, and was therefore, only as strong as one of the eighth rank cultivators present.

    Despite the disadvantage, he was not going to take it lying down.

    "You should be thanking me, or you wouldn't even have any children. Hehe.." Added the Silver Alchemist with a taunting tone.

    There was no need to say that it had worked, as after hearing the words of the old alchemist, the Master of the School of Everlasting Fury seemed to want to literally eat him alive.

    At the same time, the spatial barrier became less and less effective, until finally, it fell apart.. Leaving only the second spatial formation to trap the group of cultivators.

    "I am going to try something.. If you find an opportunity, take the others and leave." Said the old alchemist to his grand daughter after suddenly turning serious. He then took a high level water sphere and a high level wind sphere out of his ring, and kept their power in check with his spiritual power.

    The power of a spiritual cultivator at the eighth rank was not something that people should look down upon. Especially one as old and experienced as the old alchemist was.

    At the same time, the leader of the School of Everlasting Fury turned to look at his son, and said "Keep your eyes on the girl. The Rulin slut and the old Kye know nothing. We need that one alive."

    His son nodded in understanding, while quietly putting on a pair of armored gloves.

    For the next few seconds, the area became completely quiet. The second barrier was about to fade away too, and at that moment, the group of few cultivators would have to inevitably face an impossible fight. Finn, Riri and Miri held their weapons tightly, while Yala and Reila focused on feeling the natural essences in their surroundings, and make them resonate with their spiritual essence.

    Finally, after more than an hour stuck in this stalemate, the second barrier was moments from breaking.. But before it could, the old alchemist threw the two spheres he was holding in his hands, and let go of the control it had over it.

    The two different essences, paired with the fact that they were extremely close to one another, exploded in a storm of ice and snow. A massive hurricane had formed in an instant, obfuscating the surroundings completely.

    After only moments from the creation of this mayhem, a powerful jet of water was sent in the unsteady area in between two of the five armies, making people fly to the sides, and creating a path for them to try to escape from.. But it was all a pointless attempt.

    Before they could even enter this path created by jet of water formed by the joined effort of the old alchemist, Yala and Reila, two powerful cultivators at the eight rank of cultivation had already appeared at the end of it. The same was for their back, around which three more cultivators had appeared, included the master of the School of Everlasting Fury.

    These powerful cultivators were looking at the failed attempt to escape of the small group with amusement, then, they prepared to capture their targets.. But suddenly.. They felt themselves be blocked in space.

    The two spheres flew randomly in the air, causing winds and rain to pour everywhere.. The ground was steady and calm.. No form of elemental mana was being used to stop them in their tracks. The power that was causing them to be stuck in space, was actually time essence.

    "You are too close to the base of your enemy.. And you don't have enough power.. That was a strategic mistake." Said an old man while strolling on small platforms of ice in the air. These platform of ice were so thin, that they could barely be seen.

    "Lord Golden Cauldron.." muttered one of the eight rank cultivators the moment his eyes landed on the old man. But as soon as surprise appeared on this man's face, this expression of surprise quickly turned into a faint smile. He then said "Who says that we don't have enough power.."

    "Old friend.." Said a powerful disembodied voice that reverberated through the entire valley. "You shouldn't use your power to bully the younger generation.. It doesn't fit your style."

    The Golden Cauldron old man looked up to see three men and two women of around the same age as he was. They were a few of the generals of the armies present, and were there to ensure that everything would go fine with the capture of Daniel's sister, and the Silver Alchemist. They had no choice but to intervene the moment the Golden Cauldron old man had appeared.

    "I was actually talking to the five of you.." Responded the Golden Cauldron old man with a tone as plain as ever.

    One of the old women amongst the five, looked at the Golden Cauldron old man, and said "You have always been exceptionally talented.. Much more than any of us could ever hope to compare to.. But time gave us a chance to catch up with you.. I'm afraid we will have to use this chance to cut the head of the snake, and put an end to this war."

    "You can try."

    The moment the old Golden Cauldron old man finished speaking, the two essence spheres that were roaming in the air suddenly stopped in place. Their power was suppressed by an impressively pure spiritual essence, which quickly brought them towards the old man.

    The two suppressed spheres then started to slowly orbit around him, in preparation for the give old warriors and mages to make their move.

    The five old individuals appeared to be extremely cautious, as they feared the old man's capabilities greatly.. But their innate caution quickly gave field to a growing anger and desire to test their powers..

    A massive battle was about to rage on amongst the six of them.. But then, the six of them turned to look at the two individuals that had appeared just above their heads.

    "I told you he was lying.."
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