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272 Big Problems, Small Problems

    Only a few minutes had passed since the battle between the aliens and the explorers taken place. The group of explorers, along with the survived soldiers, had teleported back into the capital of the universal government.

    The capital of the universal government was called 'Alcazar', and it was a small-sized planet, whose surface was completely covered in buildings. Not a single portion of it had remained as a bastion of its natural form, except for a few gardens. Under the crust, the minerals and metals had been harvested to such a degree, that nothing remained, except for a warm core formed by multiple perfect fire spheres, and a subterranean city.

    Alcazar had long lost the status of planet, and at some point in time, had simply become a massive cluster of buildings with a few bits of earth in between.

    The task given to the group of explorers and soldiers after the sixth level of the Xeno protocol had been reported, was of extreme importance, and that was the reason why it had been assigned to the most capable warriors that were currently available.

    When the group came back from the task, they arrived directly in front of a large rectangular building surrounded by massive white pillars. Right in the middle, was an enormous door in which many people would be able to walk through side by side without any problem.

    The six of them moved into the building, and waited in a large hall for a little longer than a minute, until finally, an old scarred man approached from one of the corridors that connected the hall, to the rooms on the right side.

    This old man wore an armor whose colors were identical to those of the army, and yet, the style was not the same as that of the captain. The difference between the two armors, made it seem that this old man was using an outdated version of the armorm, which had now been changed into something more modern.

    The moment this old man noticed the injured captain, he instantly appeared in front of her, and helped her to sit on a bench. Then, before even asking for a report from the explorers, or the captain herself, the scar that marked his face became more evident, as his face contorted in a vicious expression. He barked out with an extremely loud tone "WHAT DID YOU DO!"

    Due to the immense power of their bodies, any form of healing pill that existed within the domain of the universal government was unable to have the same effectiveness that it would have had on someone like Daniel.

    Minutes had passed since Ada and the captain had ingested their high quality pills, and yet, Ada's missing right eye was still forming, and her leg was only half partially healed, as anything underneath the knee was still missing. On the other hand, the captain was struggling to breathe, as her ribs had been shattered, and a sharp end of one of them was constantly poking at her lung.

    "Maybe the general should inquire about the result of our mission, before trying to pull the blame for the outcome.." Said the old mage while slowly sitting next to the bearded explorer.

    The old scarred man was a general of the army, and the father of the captain. He was the one which had pushed for his daughter to be tasked with being the part of the army assigned to investigating of the Xeno Protocol, and the moment his daughter had came back injured, his first instinct, was to blame it on the explorers.

    "INSOLENCE! I want an answer, RIGHT NOW!" Shouted the furious general with a voice powerful enough to cause the entire planet to tremble.

    "I've heard shouting.. Of course it had to be you.." muttered a second individual that came out from a corridor exactly opposite to that from which the general had walked out from. The moment this person appeared, the five explorers stood up in sign of respect, while the general snorted quietly.

    This individual was a scrawny teenager that wore the clothes of a Judge, but aside from the attire, he had a special crest which showed a single knife which stood suspended into the empty space. This patch indicated that he was not a simple judge, but a grand judge which had retired from his career of explorer. The people who knew who this teenager was, knew that he was well over the nineteen years he showed, and was closer to the hundred thousand years of age.

    After making his apparition, the Grand Judge turned towards the bearded man, and with a serious face, he said "How did it go?"

    The two clearly knew each other, as despite the clearly different standing of the two, the bearded man was still allowed to speak his mind around him.

    "My plan was to split into groups of ten soldiers led by at least one explorer each. We wanted to play on the unknown, and intimidate by showing our individual power, but we haven't found any trace of the enemy." Said the bearded man before pausing for a moment, and continuing by saying "We've managed to find the point from which they have arrived. A wormhole hidden by a black hole."

    After hearing the word 'wormhole', the back of the teenage-looking Grand Judge straightened like the cord of a violin. He then looked at the injured state of Ada and the captain, and asked "What happened to them?"

    "They were the ones that made the encounter, but were unable to fight back against a group of strong alien scouts. Ada managed to hold her own, but the soldiers were unable to defend themselves due to the surprise nature of the attack. We've had some losses." Said the bearded man with unusual calmness. It was clear that he felt a big deal of respect for this grand judge.

    Furious by the accusation of the bearded explorer, the general said "We will see if that is the truth the moment my daughter will tell her version." He then turned towards the injured captain, and after moving her head to face him, he said "Tell us what happened."

    "He made us split.. There were too many for us to defend ourselves.. If he hadn't ordered for us to split.." she muttered with a weak voice, but without forgetting to put the full blame on the losses of her team onto the bearded explorer.

    The bearded explorer sighed in disappointment, and said "You agreed on splitting in groups of eight, but after I've decided to split us into groups of ten, you still blame me for the decision?" His tone was indifferent, and it showed the low the expectation he had for people like the soldiers of the universal government army truly was.

    After responding to what the woman had said, he turned to look back at the Grand Judge, and said "We have captured one of the aliens. We were waiting to deliver our report before starting the interrogation."

    "How many of them did you kill?.." Asked the Grand Judge with a certainty that his group of explorers hadn't simply taken losses without causing some of their own.

    The bearded explorer was slightly uncomfortable about the question. He knew exactly what the reason of the question was.. As well as how many people they had killed. So, with a hint of reluctance, he said "Twelve.. After we've lost the occasion to demonstrate individual power, we had to send the message that we are not an easy prey.."

    The teenage-looking Grand Judge looked at the conflicted expression of the bearded explorer, and became pensive for a few moments.. He then said "Avoiding conflict won't be easy.. But if they will come for war.. They will have one."

    -----

    "We should have really stopped to one Iewah's closest planets.. We could have found a platform there.." muttered Daniel after months of travel through the infinite space. He was hungry, annoyed by the constant talking of the dragon, and couldn't wait anymore to see his family, his friends, and Alesia.

    "And then what? The moment you approach a planet of Iewah, you will instantly get reported by the keeper of key. Do you want to go around demanding for people to activate a teleporting device to your planet while you get chased by the children of Iewah?!" Said Xargy with a hint of annoyance. He had heard these words coming from Daniel's mouth over and over again, and now that they were close to Daniel's planet of origin, he was starting to lose his patience.

    Daniel turned to look at the human-like dragon, and with a faint smirk, he said "I thought you had found your courage back.."

    "There are beings much more powerful than the necromancer.. Fool yourself with thinking that you are not taking any risks, and you won't reach a hundred years of age." Responded Xargy while waving his large arm thick tail around in anger.

    "You two have had it for weeks now.. We are almost there.." Said Aeron with a similarly annoyed tone. While Xargy and Daniel had argued about their plans more than once in the past few weeks, he had been the one to have to listen to them argue, while also feeling both of their feelings of frustration and annoyance accumulate in his own mind, and preventing him from cultivating in peace.

    All three of them were on edge.. Thankfully, they were close to solar system from which Daniel came from.

    Daniel was clear about the limitation of his powers. The very entity that kept on indirectly reminding him of that, was none other than Xargy.. which oddly enough, was following him out of the entertainment that he would get from Daniel's inevitably chaotic future, and not because of some form of allegiance to his persona.

    He knew that after opening his world of origin to interplanetary travel, a lot of groups within Iewah's faction would attempt to put their flag on the rich and isolated soil, and that was the reason why he had tried to take over the entire planet, before any other group could try to plant their seed, and attempt to add his home to their territory.

    Taking claim of a planet was not always a big deal within the universal government, as most of the times, an isolated planet would end up being conquered by one faction or another in a matter of tens of thousands of years. Nevertheless, the matter was completely different when the conquering party was Iewah's faction.

    That event did not simply mean the addition of a planet to Iewah's territory, but the birth of a monster. The addition of a chosen of Iewah was a big deal, as a lot less of them appeared in the years when compared to the elites of the other groups, form which hundreds were groomed every year.

    Sewah's birth had given a lot of attention to Daniel's world of origin.. But unfortunately, when looking at it from the viewpoint of a relatively weak group that controlled a desirable territory, attention was the worst possible thing one could have asked for.

    Daniel had expected his friends to have suffered some difficulties after the opening of interplanetary travel, and if not for that reason, for the fact that he was now an outcast. So, he was in a hurry to reunite with them.

    When two days later the three managed to arrive to the solar system where Daniel's home was, they quickly agreed on sticking together, and suppressing their powers in order to go unnoticed.

    While that was not a difficult task for Xargy, whose power the keeper of key could not feel to begin with, it was different for Aeron. He had required a month of training to understand the concepts of dark essence necessary to keep himself hidden from the eyes of Iewah's faction.

    Daniel's asteroid sized planet dashed through at such a speed that, if it hit one of the planets in the solar system, it would inevitably cause an apocalypse.. And in three days after entering the solar system, the group of three finally spotted Daniel's home in the distance.
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