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256 Welcome to the Poisonous Rose

    Three months later.

    "Heads.." *Ding-pah* ".. of course.." muttered Daniel with exasperation.

    "It still amazes me.. Aside from the eighty-three meteors that appeared out of nowhere and were directed right towards us, the twelve teams of bounty hunters that happened to be passing by, the three rift that lead to the void which opened right in front of us.. And three thousand losses in heads or tails.. I can see how terrifying those systems that Iewah gives to his people actually are.." Said Aeron with a face contorted in amazement.

    Daniel was not in the mood to joke, so, he looked at the big star that was right in front of them, and said "Good thing that we have almost arrived.."

    In front of them, was a bright giant white star, around which only two planets orbited. One of these two planets was gigantic and gaseous, and was basically a spinning ball of winds which would tear to shreds anything that would dare to approach it. The other, was a planet covered by a layer of green-brownish atmosphere.

    "That is Ton Bes." Said Aeron while pointing at the planet with the dense, and green atmosphere. He then added "We will need a very good reason to enter.. I know for a fact that its only city is filled with poison masters at the eighth stage, and that there are at least seven ninth stage cultivators in the planet.."

    "Don't worry, I have an idea." responded Daniel while creating a spatial barrier around the small planet which they were riding. The heath emanated by the white star was too strong, and if they didn't defend from it, they would suffer more, the more they approached it.

    In comparison to the star, the two planets were extremely small, and very far from it. So much so, that it took two more days for the two of them to finally approach Ton Bes.

    Once the two were about to enter its poisonous atmosphere, Daniel shrunk his planet back into its smaller size, and put it back into his spatial ring. He then attempted to enter the atmosphere, only to be stopped by a kid which had appeared right in front of them.

    This kid seemed to be about nine years of age, and was playing around with a snake that was as thin as an earthworm, and as long as an adult's finger. The various colors of the snake's skin were reflected by the large eyes of the kid, which blew air at the snake while keeping it just a few centimeters away from his face.

    Daniel and Aeron approached respectfully. Without needing Aeron to tell him, Daniel had already felt what kind of power this kid-looking individual had. He was a ninth stage cultivator, and the keeper of key of Ton Bes.

    "Where have two outcasts like you found the courage to approach my garden?" Asked the kid with a soft-spoken tone. He hadn't even moved his face away from the small snake, and instead, kept blowing air at its head.

    "From the same place where you found a reason not to capture us on sight.. I am here to join the Poisonous Rose. You know who I am, and why I am here. Let us through." Said Daniel with a calm tone. He showed no fear, nor excessive respect towards this individual.

    The kid-like keeper blew another whiff of air in the face of the small horned snake, which moved its head as if trying to catch the wind with his whole body, then said with a matter-of-fact tone "I am afraid that your spot has already been taken.. It's been two years, after all.."

    Without missing a bit, Daniel said "It's alright, I will handle it."

    For the first time, the kid turned to look at Daniel, and with a faint smile, he asked "And how do you plan on doing that?"

    "I don't enjoy making poisons too much.. But someone who is better than me at making antidotes, has yet to be born. That can be only compared to the best poison maker.. If my substitute is not qualified to take my place, I will kill him with my own hands." Responded Daniel right away.

    "I have to admit it.. You are mildly interesting. But let's put your courage to the test." Said the kid before teleporting directly one meter in front of Daniel. He then added "This little fella is called Flower snake.. It's a race of non-poisonous, and small snakes which has nearly gone extinct due to the increased toxicity of the planet. Would you let it bite you?"

    Daniel moved his hand towards the kid, and allowed the little snake to crawl on his hand.

    The moment the snake moved on Daniel's hand, Aeron shook his head as if by trying to come out of a trance, and turned to look at Daniel with narrowed eyes. At the same time, a slightly confused expression appeared on the kid's face.

    The little snake moved around Daniel's hands for a few moments, as he observed it carefully. Anyone who saw this little snake, would not help but find it extremely cute. It kept moving around his palm, until finally, the snake reached his wrist, and tried to sink its fangs into Daniel's veins.. But it was stopped by the Daniel's skin, which had suddenly turned as hard as stone, the very moment before the bite.

    After a couple more unsuccessful attempts at biting Daniel's wrist, the little snake turned to look back at its owner. "No thank you.." Said Daniel while handing the small snake back to the kid.

    "Why not? You don't trust me?" Asked the kid with a face of pure innocence.

    "No."

    "Hehe.. maybe you'll survive a day or two.. You may enter" Said the kid while taking back the small snake. He then resumed blowing air on the snake's face.

    Instead of leaving right away, Daniel decided to show some interest towards the small snake. He had to play the part of the poison master, and no poison master in that situation would forget to ask what kind of animal that was. "What type of snake is that?"

    Internally satisfied by Daniel's curiosity, the kid turned towards Daniel, and said "This little one's race is called Nightmare at the End of the Rainbow.. Its bite injects an extremely small amount of poison which will cause a reaction in your blood.. Turning it into a corrosive substance that will melt your body from the inside in about two minutes. Its poison is categorized as a seventh tier poison. A high tiered poison."

    Daniel was, of course, aware of this. He had decided to let the snake bite him successfully at first, as he wasn't sure if the kid-looking keeper was just bluffing, but then, he had felt a burning feeling run through his veins.. Slowly corroding his organs. Thirty-five seconds into this torture, and he decided to kill himself, as his organs were just about to fail.

    This was the cause for the odd looks that had appeared in the faces of the kid, and Aeron.

    Daniel had also discovered something extremely important about the latter. Just like him, the wielder of the karmic system, Aeron had kept the memories from before he had died, and time rewinded to forty seconds before the moment of his death. Aeron was already aware of the fact that Daniel's system could rewind time, as he had seen it in his memories, but he had never explained to Daniel his own power. One amongst many, was the ability to retain his memories when time was rewinded.

    Daniel put Aeron's matter to the back of his head, and asked to the kid-looking keeper with curiosity "Why blow air in his face?"

    "Because he likes it."

    Daniel responded to the kid-looking keeper with a faint grin, then turned towards the planet, and flew into its toxic atmosphere after surrounding himself with a sphere of wind essence.

    It was extremely important that Daniel and Aeron managed to enter the city, as the clean air which they had been breathing until now was constructed, and if they stopped creating more with their comprehension of wind essence, the constructed oxygen in their brain would dissipate, and they would risk going into a coma, or even enter a state of cerebral death.

    Luckily enough, they only needed about two minutes to find the large green dome which contained the base of the poisonous rose.

    The moment they approached the entrance, they were stopped by five heavily armored cultivators, and a woman dressed in white armor. "What is your business here?" she asked with an authoritative tone, while wielding a spear with with a hollow tip, and a vein of white liquid that ran down its shaft.

    "I am here to see the chairman of the poisonous rose. She should already be aware of my arrival." Responded Daniel with a polite, yet slightly cold tone.

    The woman tightened the grip on her spear, and said "One moment." before teleported away only to come back less than five seconds later. She then walked towards Daniel and Aeron, and once next to them, she directly teleported the three of them into the office of the chairman.

    Inside the office, three people were already present. A young woman that was sitting on the couch in one of the room's corners, a black clothed middle aged man who stood quietly next to a large and refined desk, and a middle aged woman dressed in purple clothes, that was sitting behind the desk with a nervous expression on her face.

    Even if these three individuals were not in those positions, Daniel would have already known who the leader amongst them was, as Aeron had already told him.

    While Aeron stayed right next to the woman in white armor, Daniel approached the desk with a dead serious expression, and stared at the middle aged woman straight into her eyes.

    "Mr. Hiel.. I've heard so much about you.." Said the middle aged woman nervously.

    Daniel's eyes narrowed for a short moment. He then completely ignore, and walked straight towards the couch opposite to the one where the young girl was sitting, and sat on it.

    "I've had about enough of your tests.. I'm here for my spot in Ton Bes.. not to play games." Said Daniel after making himself comfortable on the couch.

    The young girl, which until now was playing with her hair in an attempt to pass as a airheaded young girl which had no business being there, turned towards Daniel, and said "What makes think you were worth waiting for? We already have a substitute."

    "That woman.." muttered Daniel before adding "I am more valuable.."

    The woman which was still sitting at the desk, showed an extremely displeased expression. She was the third choice for the role she had acquired, but she was not aware of that. She believed to have been chosen for her talents as a poison master, so, her pride was above the roof.

    In her hand, she was holding a small poisoned knife with which she was ready to attack Daniel at any given moment.

    "What makes you say that? Lady Min's poisons are.. Peculiar. They lack grace, but they are brutal enough for my taste." Responded the young girl with a polite smile. While she did not fear Daniel as a cultivator due to the cultivation at the ninth stage which she, the black clothed man, and the white armored woman had, she still feared his reputation as a former chosen of Iewah.

    Daniel smiled back at the young girl, and said "Because you don't have a shortage brutal poisons.. And my previous discovery already topples the value most of your people's life work. Lastly.. She is already dead."

    The young girl turned to look at her desk, and there, she saw the body of the purple dressed woman lie lifeless on her chair. Blood was oozing out of her nose, mouth and eyes, and her poisoned knife was pierced on her own leg.

    The young woman turned back towards Daniel, and with a faint mile, she said "Well, if you put it this way.. Welcome to the Poisonous Rose. The first rule is.. Try not to kill other poison masters.. If they don't do anything to you."
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