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238 Picking a Candidate

    "You look just like him.." Said Daniel with a warm sounding voice. He could see the resemblance that his uncle had with his father, which at the time of his death, was at about the same age his uncle currently was.

    The same, of course, could be said for Daniel.. Whose uncle saw as his older brother's younger self. The old brother who used to teach him the martial arts of their family, and from whom he asked pointers on how to successfully chase girls when they were younger.

    But of course, he knew that his brother was already dead. Ever since he had been taken out of the mines, he had been told of how his brother had died in war, and how his brother's son had taken the world up by a storm with a world-changing discovery.

    After realizing who this young man was, he slowly stood up, and after looking at Daniel up and down a couple of times, he said with a croaky voice "..Daniel?" This simple word, along with his previous call for his brother, where the first words he had spoken in years.

    "Why are you here?.." He then added with a worried tone. He was fully aware of why he had been imprisoned in the dungeons of the royal castle, and that was to be bait for his own nephew.

    Seeing how naturally protective his uncle was, Daniel couldn't help but smile. He then said "I'm here to get you out.. Come on, let's go."

    -----

    At the same time, in a different solar system was what, from the distance, would appear to be a gaseous planet, but if observed from a closer perspective, people would see that it was, in fact, a normal planet with a dense green atmosphere.

    This planet was called Ton Bes, which in the native language of its inhabitants, meant 'Toxic Roots'.

    The massive experiments with various types of poisons conducted for the last few tens of thousands of years, had saturated the air with a poisonous residue which prevented anyone from inhabit the planet. Only a few poisonous beasts which had adapted to its atmosphere's high toxicity, had managed to evolve into species that could survive in that environment.

    Built in the middle of a massive toxic swamp, was a large green bubble. This bubble might have seemed like a sack of gases that was trying to come out of the surface of this mud-like lake, but in reality, it was a constructed of wind essence. Large enough to contain an advanced city within.

    This city was divided into a few different sections placed in a petal-like formation which surrounded a larger area in the middle. This city was called The Poisonous City, and as the name suggested, was the main base of the Poisonous Rose.

    Each of these petal-like areas were the research territories of the various families of which the poisonous rose was composed, and their main purpose, was purely to experiment and research poisons.

    The central area, on the other hand, belonged to a group formed by the retired, and most powerful individuals of each group. This group worked as a sort of senate which dominated the entire conglomerate as one, and under the strict scrutiny of a single individual which acted as chairman.

    Inside the biggest building within the central area, was an office so big, which took an entire floor by itself, and yet, only one person worked in it. This office, belonged to the chairman, or current leader of the poisonous rose.

    Sitting on a sofa with her legs crossed, was a twenty-something year old girl whose voluptuous  body was covered by a tightly fitting red dress. Similar to the color of her dress, was the color of her lips, shoes, nails, and iris. She was currently looking at a few different stacks of papers, and appeared to be unsure which one to pick.

    On each of these four stacks of papers, were the sketches of just as many different individuals, along with their details, their history, the information about their companies and groups, and their contribution in the underground world of poison making.

    Standing next to her, was an old man dressed in formal clothes. He was standing politely, waiting for the girl to take her pick.

    "There are a few good ones this time.. This one created a sentient poison that feeds off of people's immortal essence, and keeps them at a weakened state forever.. It's cute, but the effect is nothing a few power-suppressing chains can't imitate.." Said the girl while discarding one of the stacks of papers.

    "How about this woman, milady?.. She caused quite the commotion." Said the old man as politely as possible.

    "This woman exterminated a whole planet's population by synthesizing the toxin of a plant common to her world, and spreading it into the air. Noteable, but nothing to write home about.. Nothing that half of the senate couldn't have.. Or hasn't done before anyway.."

    Despite the polite tone shown by the man, he was still an incredibly important figure within the poisonous rose. He was the current chief of the senate, and was the second in command of the entire company, as well as one of the retired leaders of his own family.

    His job at the moment was to propose a few candidates which had been agreed upon by the rest of the senate, so that they could take the place of the group that was previously in charge of one of the petal-like researching sectors. That group was, of course, the Navi family.

    The girl which he was treating with extreme politeness, was the current chairman, and she had the last word on whom to invite into the Ton Bes. Unfortunately, she was extremely picky, and therefore, she would often delay her decision.. as she wanted only the best and most talented to be able to occupy a spot in the Toxic Root of the Poisonous Rose.

    It is important to understand that not every family was granted a researching area in this planet. Only those whose leader had managed to retire, and enter the senate after creating a poison that was deemed worthy were allowed in.

    That was what had happened to the Navi family, before the senator died, and they had ended up with only half of the knowledge of their late ancestor.

    The decision of who should have taken their place in Ton Bes had been delayed for almost three months, and now, the senate had been pressured by the thousands of outsider families to make a decision.

    After what felt like their hundredth meeting, the senate had finally managed to narrow the decision to four candidates. What was stopping them from filling the empty spot of the Ton Bes, was this girl.

    "Milady, what about the other two?" He said calmly, while hiding as much of the exasperation as he could.

    "Don't worry, I have decided that I will pick one of them.. I can feel the stench of your impatience from here." Said the girl with a tone just as calm as the old man's. She knew that she had delayed the decision for too long, and that she had to take it. Plus, she didn't believe that any better candidate would appear any time soon. "Tell me again about the new ones.." She then added.

    "Vin, two hundred and two years of age.. Seventh stage cultivator. A killer adept with the use of poison. A genius who can engineer the most appropriate method to kill high level targets based on circumstances, type of poison, and method of poisoning. His most notable kills have been the disciple of the eighth demi-god of the faction of the Blood God, and multiple low level officers of the universal government." Explained the old man as clearly as possible, before getting to the last of the four candidates.

    "This one is new, and the lowest level amongst the candidates, but the one with the most promise. Only two senators objected to him being added in the stack, but that was only due to the candidate's age.. Dan Hiel, twenty-one years old, sixth stage of cultivation.." He said before turning towards the dubious face of the red-dressed girl, and saying "Yes, twenty-one is his real age.." He then continued "He is the cause of the demise of the Navi family.. Poisoned by the Poison of the Night Blue Thorn, he spent the following two months researching a cure. He ultimately discovered a new formula for low-level poison immunity which he called 'Partial Poison Immunity Pill'. We have no information about the tier of the poison immunity, as he has never sold the formula, or a single pill."

    Clearly interested by both of these candidates, the girl said "For as useful of a person the assassin would be, the Ton Bes is a place for research.. Take the brat here.. I want to meet him."

    "Milady, less than three months ago he has boarded a spatial ship directed towards an isolated planet. Apparently, he is a native there.. And he will stay there until he'll be able to claim the planet for lord Iewah, and open it to interplanetary travel.." Responded the old man to the woman's demands.

    The woman became pensive for a few moments, then, a big smile appeared on her face.

    She turned towards the old man, and said "Send the killer to him.. If he can manage to kill the kid despite the blockade of the universal government, the spot is his. Send someone with him to monitor the planet. If he doesn't succeed, have him killed and wait for the kid to come out of the planet."

    "Yes milady."

    -----

    Back in Daniel's pocket dimension.

    "You went through all of that?!" Asked Reila with a shock which Daniel had never seen on her face before. Her lips had still traces of food on them, and she had stopped eating only make a scene.

    While removing a few grains of rice from his face, Daniel muttered "Glad to see you haven't lost the bad habit of spitting food on people at every meal.. And good grace, since when did you start eating so much!?"

    The moment the last few words reached Reila's ears, she opened her eyes in shock. She then put her hand on her stomach, and looked towards Nilo, which after noticing her look, turned to eat his own food in silence.. "That's so rude to say!.." Reila said after turning to look back at Daniel with indignation.

    The old master-at-arms, the Silver Alchemist, Yala, Miri, Riri, and Finn, were looking at Daniel and his sister Reila with a mixture of different expressions. Except for Yala, the rest of them were fully aware of the relationship between these two, and for them to behave like they had never separated even after five years of not seeing each other, was extremely odd.

    Sitting at the table with a saddened expression, was Der. He was mindlessly moving his fork on his plate while casually moving his eyes towards the empty seat next to him. This seat was where his daughter Mea was supposed to sit, and yet, she had decided not to attend, and instead, remained in her room.

    The old master-at-arm quickly noticed the state of mind Der was in, and after turning toward him, he said "You haven't seen your daughter for a very long time.. But I have been training her for the past five years.. Trust me, she is strong.. And after she will go through it.. She will come out even stronger."

    "Master.. All the things that happened to her.. If only I was there.." muttered Der while turning the entire hall silent.

    "You were never at fault.. She knows it. Just give her some time to heal." Responded the old master-at-arms before turning back towards his food, and finishing his meal.

    After the heavy discussion between the two, the people present did not feel in the mood to keep joking around, so, the room became quiet for a few minutes, until.. *Knock Knock*

    "Come in." Said Daniel while turning to look at the large double door of the castle's dining room.

    The door slowly opened, and standing behind it, was Roley.

    "Roley, spectacular timing. Come, there is a few people I want you to meet."
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