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247 You Have Picked the Short Straw

    The way a galaxy was discovered, was thanks to the explorers of the universe. These individuals were the most respected individuals in the universal government, and without them, the discovered universe would stagnate with the amount of resources it possessed.. causing the constantly increasing numbers of factions and cultivators to have to battle for what was left.

    Another reason why the explorers were so respected, was that they were the first line between a relatively small part of the discovered universe, and anything that was outside. More than once these brave individuals had had to face against beings which would treat them as hostile invaders.. A first contact that would usually be deadly for them.

    Within the universal government, the news that one of them had left to never come back, was so common, that the idea that the explorers had suicidal tendencies had become a famous misconception.

    These explorers, whose power had nothing to envy from that which the judges possessed, would be sent towards the observable galaxies that hadn't been explored yet. Once there, they would assess the situation, and go back to report what they had discovered.

    Once a galaxy was discovered, the universal government would send its own enforcers to secure it under its power. Once stabilized, they would send the news to the various factions, which would then be allowed to claim the ownership of certain systems and planets.

    When more than one faction claimed the ownership of a territory, they would be invited to battle it out amongst themselves. Those who accepted to battle, would then send their armies and elite warriors to conquer those planets, or solar systems.

    While these counted as battles, they were not considered wars amongst factions. A war meant that a faction would battle another at any viable occasion, and try to either destroy, or take control over portions of their territory. On the other hand, these battles for the ownership of these planets, were conflicts that were limited to the battleground, and would not be allowed to be kept going outside of it.

    Even if the son of one of the faction leaders were to die in one of these battles, the universal government would prevent the two factions from starting a war around it. That, along with mediating between two factions in order to prevent a war, and give punishments, was the job of the judges.

    One example of this, was the events in which Daniel had been part of. In both situations, the judges had allowed an agreement between the two parts. Of course, if an agreement was not reached, the two parts would be allowed to start a war, just like the young judge had proposed the idea of starting a war to the vassal of the parasitic faction, and the old judge had proposed that the spiritual faction and the corrupted faction started a war to decide which one would take control over the wasteland world.

    A war between factions would usually cause the destruction of multiple planets and solar systems on each side, and therefore, it was almost impossible that one would start for the ownership a single planet. That was why in both situations, the parties had settled for an agreement.

    On the other hand, during a battle for an unclaimed territory, the rightful owner would be decided on the field. This, was what was happening between the six factions that had decided to take place in the battle for the galaxy number 5503.

    Usually, the various factions would agree on which part of the new territory they would want to put their hands on, and those that did not have the same interests, would usually end up forming an alliance. That was how the various factions would compete amongst each others.

    -----

    Six months had passed since the beginning of the battle for galaxy n°5503, and Sewah had already claimed the majority of the planets and systems which he was supposed to obtain for his faction. Similarly, Kreah had conquered the same amount of her half, while also helping the members of the ki faction in their conquest.

    Those, were the deals made by the two factions.

    Most of the times, during the period of conquest of a new galaxy, the factions would not immediately start to battle. Instead, they would ensure each and every planet or system which only they were interested in, and leave the contended ones for last. That was the reason why neither of them had found any sort of resistance so far.

    The galaxy number 5503 was extremely small, and it only contained about two million stars. Of these millions of stars, only a small part of them were the center of a solar system, and those who were, only had one or two inhabitable planets around them. In total, the number of habitable planets was not higher than five millions, and once removed those who had been claimed by the universal government, only a few thousands would remain for the factions to battle for.

    This method had gone on for the past few hundreds of thousands of years, and during that time, an incalculable number of exchanges of planets had been done between the many factions and the universal government, in an attempt to ensure that each galaxy would, through trade and a significant amount of time, fall into the possession of a single faction.

    Once the people sent to conquer the planets reached them, they would leave a mark of their faction, and then, they would move to the next one.

    At the end of these six months, the undisputed planets had finally ended, and it was finally time to fight for the remaining ones.

    Sewah, left alone with only two members of the ki faction, had arrived at the first of these planets, and in front of him, he found six individuals. Two of them were were humans, while four, were elementals of lightning, and wood. The two humans were two girls, and each of them wore a set of clothes which showed the type of power which they possessed.

    One of the two girls was the tyrant of lightning, and appeared to be in her late twenties. She was clad in a brilliant white dress, which casually discharged electricity, and was accompanied by two lightning elementals. The second girl seemed to be in her late teens, and wore a green dress with a green garland of leaves that went around her neck, and joined in the middle of her chest. She was the tyrant of wood, and was accompanied by two wood elementals.

    "Our numbers are greater than yours, chosen of Iewah.. Leave. Find another planet." Said the tyrant of lightning with a sharp and threatening voice.

    For as scary the idea of facing an overpowered and unknown power sounded, the elite members of the other factions were not spineless individuals. Each of them possessed their own gifts, and their pride was as high as that of any children of Iewah, causing them to almost never back out from a fight, especially when in the middle a campaign to conquer a new galaxy.

    The gift given to the elites of the Tyrants of Mana, was the merging of their body with a natural element. Thousands of cultivator from the faction of the tyrants of mana would be exposed to a special type of elemental essence, which would seep into their bodies, and in time, merge with them. If they survived, they would become elites of their faction.

    What merging with an element made them capable of, was to create, control, and transform into anything that was within their comprehension of their element. They were the living combination between a perfect essence sphere, and an elemental. The constructs that they created were permanent, and they were immune to any sort of attack which included their element, and a few more depending on which element they had chosen to merge with.

    For example, the tyrant of lightning was immune to lightning, wind, fire, and earth, while it was slightly stronger against water and wood, and marginally incapacitated by metal.

    The reason why they traveled with two powerful elementals each, was so that they could join in battle by using the massive amounts of essence which the tyrants emanated, as they only had one brain, and it was difficult for them to control all of the power which they were capable to exhibit.

    Sewah was floating in space along with two ki warrior, and on his face, was an expression that showed all but happiness. He had hoped to spend this time battling with powerful cultivators, and ultimately, fight to the death with his sister, but instead, he had been tormented by sharp, and short headaches.

    It was needless to say, that he did not have patience to spare for the two of them.

    "You have picked the shorter straw.. Come.." He said while activating 'Time is Precious', as the umpteenth wave of pain made its way into his brain, powerful to a point, where the back of his eyes hurt.

    For a reason which he couldn't understand, each of these headaches would make him lose his train of thoughts.. And for a few moments, he would forget what he was doing, or where he was, which irritated him beyond measure.

    Noticing the golden hue that had appeared on Sewah's eyes, the two girls quickly activated their own gifts, and started to change.

    Numerous electric discharges moved out of the fingers of the tyrant of lightning, as her body started to turn, similarly to that of the lightning elementals, into a human-shaped white star. The discharges which came out of her fingers, instead of dissipating after moving far away from her, kept moving through space and formed what looked like massive cracks of plasma, which soon joined together, and formed a net of lightning.

    Next to the tyrant of lightning, the tyrant of wood started to mutate as well. The two sides of her garland split into two, and untangled from around her neck like two fronds of leaves. Before her human-like body was uncovered by the removal of her clothes, her skin started to darken in color and crack into pieces of bark, her hair rose above her head and formed the crown of a tree, and her feet turned into thick roots.

    Brought on the verge of madness by these endless and sharp headaches, Sewah looked at the two tyrants with hateful eyes, and then, he dashed towards them.

    The four elementals instantly moved towards their leaders, and along with them, used their control over the elemental essence to, attack Sewah from six fronts.

    The two lightning elementals formed two large whips made of plasma, and used them to attack him at lightning speed, while at the same time, the tyrant of lightning made the thousands of cracks in the area form an electrified cage around them, while also sending lightning attacks one after the other.

    Similarly, the two wood elementals used their control over wood to form wooden chains out of the tyrant's roots and branches, in order to immobilize him.

    Through teleporting and well-timed outbursts of immortal essence, Sewah was able to avoid each of the dozen attacks that came towards him every fraction of a second. He wanted to move close enough to them to use the element to which they were weak to, to kill them.. But just as he was about to feign a dodge and teleport behind the wood elementals, the sharp pain appeared once again in his head.

    This time, the pain was excruciating. To a point where he could barely think of what he was doing, or where he was.

    His moment of distraction allowed the two tyrants of mana to strike him with a thunderbolt, and allow the thick tree roots to coil around his body like large snakes, immobilizing him completely.

    Despite the heavy hit he had received, there wasn't a pained expression on his face. Instead, a face of pure shock and horror had appeared, as during the last particularly painful headache, he had heard a voice in his head. A voice which he knew all too well, which said.. "Hey Sewah.. Forgot about me?"

    This voice belonged, of course, to Daniel.
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