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237 You Look Just like Him..

    Thunderous roars resounded in the air, as Der ripped one limb of the youngest of his old enemy's children after the other. Standing above the spatial platform, the older brother of the screaming man couldn't bare to watch anymore, and turned away with pained eyes.

    Staring at the shocking spectacle while crawled up in a ball just meters away, was his sister. She wanted to look away, but a power that was beyond hers, was keeping her head towards the gory scene, and eyes pried open. Blood constantly squirted on her shocked face, clothes, mouth, and eyes.

    The torture went on for minutes.. And ended long after the man had stopped screaming. Unfortunately for him, the healing pill had forced him awake the whole time, and aided his ripped limbs in reattaching right away. That was until Der, blinded by rage, grabbed the man's neck while holding his shoulders steady, and ripped his head off along with his whole spine.

    The sufferings he had caused to the man was nowhere nearly enough to calm him down.. So, the moment he realized that there was nothing more he could do to the destroyed body of the person who had hurt his daughter, his thoughts quickly started to focus on who could be the next person to blame..

    "SERO!!" He shouted before turning towards the royal castle, and disappearing right after.

    When he reappeared, he was standing in the middle of the throne room. In front of him, was the king he had loyally followed for years.. The man which had thrown his family away at the first problem.

    "Der.." Said the king with a deeply shocked expression. The two were not only friends once, but brothers under the same master.. the old master-at-arms. To make the choice of blaming his family of the losses of the war, was one of the most difficult and regretful actions he had ever done, and now that he had witnessed to Der's return, he could barely look at him in the eyes.

    "After all I have done for this kingdom.. Every war, every battle, every campaign.." Said Der with a voice filled with hatred. A hatred which became only deeper as he noticed that his old friend was not even looking back at him. "LOOK AT ME!!! COWARD!!" He shouted with enough power to burst the king's eardrums.

    As the king fell on his knees, right as Der was about to approach him and finish him off.. Daniel appeared in front of him.

    "It's enough.." He said through a serious expression.

    Der looked at Daniel with eyes devoid of any reason, and simply shouted "MOVE!!"

    "Der-.." Said Daniel before being interrupted by Der's sudden charge. He had no choice but to create a spatial barrier around him to stop him.

    This action did nothing but worsen Der's state of mind. He felt like he was being betrayed by one of his allies once again. Without thinking, he used all of the power he could muster, and sent a series of powerful punches against the spatial barrier. At the same time, he shouted to the top of his lungs "I SAID MOVE!!"

    *BOOM* *BOOM* *BOOM* *BOOM* *BOOM* *BOOM* *BOOM* *BOOM* *BOOM* *BOOM*

    One hit after the other bashed Daniel's barrier like an almighty hammer against an anvil, creating a spider web-like crack which threatened to break the natural space itself.

    Der and Daniel were both at the same stage of cultivation, and therefore, it wasn't as easy for Daniel to block him. Especially since he didn't want to hurt him in any way, and could sort of understand where his anger was coming from.

    Der's crazed outburst went on for awhile, until finally, Daniel lost his patience.

    The moment the last of Der's punches shattered Daniel's barrier, a powerful punch hit him square in the face, sending him flying against the wall, and destroying a huge portion of the wall.

    "I SAID ENOUGH!" Said Daniel once again.

    Of course, the punch had no real power behind. It was only enough to shake Der out of his rampage.. Which unfortunately, did not work. So, as Daniel saw one of his allies approach towards him with eyes blinded by rage, he said "Der.. your daughter will wake up any minute.. You should be the first person she sees.."

    Daniel's words hit Der's mind like a shower of ice cold water. His angered face turned into one of worry, and after turning towards the direction of the School of Everlasting Fury, he disappeared in an instant.

    "I would have never done it if.. If.. The country was in chaos.. People wanted to revolt.. The war had brought to nothing.. If only he hadn't disappeared.." Muttered the king with an apologetic tone.

    "DON'T YOU DARE!!!" Shouted Daniel with deep anger. "My father died in that war!! Say that one more time, and I'll feed you your eyes."

    "..I'm sorry.." muttered the king as guilt made his way into his mind like wildfire. Seeing one of his old generals and friends confront him on what had already become one of his life's biggest regrets, had been a huge hit on his psyche.

    After noticing the weak state of mind of this supposedly powerful and distinct cultivator, Daniel shook his head in disappointment, and said "You and I have much to talk about.. Starting with where my uncle is."

    -----

    Back in the territory of the School of Everlasting Fury, Mea was lying gently on a soft patch of earth. Around her, were the now fully recovered master-at-arms, the Silver Alchemist, and Reila. Her eyelids were trembling, and she was groaning faintly.. Clearly in an attempt to wake herself up.

    When she finally managed to open her eyes, kneeling next to her, she saw a man who she hadn't seen in more than half of her life.. A man with whom she had fond memories, and which she had hoped to see again many times.. But based on the last thing she had seen before passing out, she didn't immediately believe what she was currently seeing.

    Almost hurt by the sight of her own father, she quickly blinked in hope that he would disappear, but he never did.

    "My little Mea.." Said Der with a trembling lower lip, and tears that threatened to stream down his face at any moment.. "It's me.. It's dad.."

    Still slightly unconvinced, Mea moved her hand on her father's face, and after touching his rough beard, she said with a broken voice "D..Dad.." then moved closer for a heartfelt hug.

    Reila, which had often heard about the close relationship which her sister-like friend had with her father, couldn't help but cover her mouth emotionally. Even the old master-at-arms was forced to turn his sight upwards and breathe in slowly in order to prevent his emotion from taking over.

    He was eager to know what his student had gone through in all of these years, but this was not the time to.

    -----

    Back into the royal castle of the Karalis empire.

    The prison of the Karalis empire was built right outside of the capital city. There, the day to day criminals would be placed in wait for a trial, or if had already been judged guilty, they would serve their sentence with no option to be released in advance.

    The most important prisoners, on the other hand, were kept in the dungeon of the capital's royal castle. These criminals placed in these prisons were only left with enough food and water to survive, and nothing else. No windows, no doors, and no light.

    In one of these cells, was a thirty-odd years old man. His eyes were closed, as he had no need to keep them opened, and he was standing while facing one of the walls. The rocky wall which he was looking at was covered in dents, and dried blood, and in the stale air of this cell, constant thumping sounds could be heard resound at an unsteady rhythm.

    *Thu-thump* *Thu-Thu-Thu.. Thu-Thump*

    This man was extremely thin, and yet, the muscles of his body had developed to an incredible definition. His body seemed to lack any form of fat, and he appeared to be a being born to practice martial arts. His back was covered in scars, and he was practicing various styles of boxing against the hard and cold rocky wall.. Just like he had been doing for the past five years.

    His rations of food and water would always appear in his room at the same time every day, with the exception of this very day, where the appearance of his rations had been delayed for more than twenty minutes.

    He had found this an odd occasion, yet, he didn't complain. He was in a prison after all, and he couldn't expect all of his needs to be catered every day without any exception. He had been forced to work in the mines before, and there, he didn't have it any better.

    In the mines, food would only be passed down rarely, and most of the times, it was given to those who would make their strength worth the most. The oldest ones would always have to take less than the others, as they wouldn't be able to work as much.

    Used to having to withstand hunger, this man had forged a method to keep himself distracted.. and that method was composed of meditation, and training.

    He was an extremely talented martial cultivator, and thanks to the constant practice he had accumulated by forming scenarios in his head, he had managed to perfect every styles of combat which he had knowledge of.. And even create his own.

    In the middle of his daily training routine, he threw one punch after the other, until finally, he felt the rock on which his fists were crashing, become softer and softer.

    It wasn't rare for him to injure himself to a point where keepin on training would give him a similar feeling, but this time, his hands weren't hurting. Instead, it seemed as it was the rock itself to be losing its hardness.

    Before he could understand why, the 'thump' sounds quickly turned into splashing sounds, and one punch at a time, he felt himself carving a path through the ten meters of thick wall.

    The moment the wall had reached its softest state, a dim light filtered through what had now become a water curtain.

    Wondering if he was finally going crazy, he slowly opened his eyes, and after turning his hands into claws, he started to make his way through it one handful at a time. The light became brighter and brighter, to a point where he couldn't keep his eyes opened anymore.

    As the man's eyes adjusted once again to the increasingly brighter light, he noticed a silhouette standing right behind this thick curtain of water. The more he advanced, the clearer the silhouette became, giving him a sense of nostalgia and familiarity.

    With his heart in his throat, he pushed his whole body towards the remaining bit of watery wall, diving directly into it. At the same time, he muttered with a croaky voice "..brother.."

    Seconds later, he fell into an empty corridor.

    When he had seen this corridor the first time almost 5 years ago, it was completely dark.. But now, there was a bright light that came from above him. Bright enough to shed light on each and every one of its corners.

    For as much as he had gotten used to light, this light was still too bright for him to see, so, while covering his eyes with one of his hands, he looked around. Moments later, he noticed that none of this light was hitting his face directly, and for a good reason.

    A young man was standing directly in between him and the source of the light.

    With slight difficulty, he looked at this young man's body from down to his legs, all the way up to his shoulders.. Until finally, his eyes landed on his facial features.. Causing him to be shocked beyond words.

    "You look just like him.." Said Daniel with a warm sounding voice.
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