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279 A Strategic Retrea

    "Is that so.. Let's put this confidence to the test." Said the old woman before letting out wafts of black smoke from within her loose sleeves. This black smoke was so thick, that it seemed closer to bubbling water, than anything that could be considered a gaseous substance.

    This dense gas moved with precision, and reached for Daniel and Aeron in a matter of moments, and ignoring the green-clothed elite completely.

    The effect of this poison was particularly vicious, and no one but the person closer to the old lady were aware of its true effects. One of which was attacking a person's psyche, causing them to go into a frenzied state. Once under the effect of the poison, the crazed victim would try to kill anything that moved in front of them.. And if there was nobody to kill in front of them, they would have to hold the burden of their own hate on themselves.. In the end, they would inevitably kill themselves.

    What the old woman did not expect, was for Daniel and Aeron to be completely unaffected by her actions, and instead, to take a deep breath of her poison as if smelling the clean air of a snowy mountain, or an ancient and untouched forest..

    The poison quickly took effect.. Causing the eyes of both Daniel and Aeron to become blank, and the veins right underneath the surface of their body to bulge from under their skin. The woman looked at the two as if she was looking at two idiots, but before the last step of the poison could take effect, their skin went back to normal, and their eyes closed.

    "AAAAAAAAAAAARGH!!" The two started to scream in pain, but their screams did not sound crazed. Instead, they were the screams of two sane individuals, who were suffering an atrocious pain.

    What the woman hadn't noticed, was how moments before her appearance, both Aeron and Daniel had put a small pill into their mouths. They had then kept the pills in, and responded to the old lady's words through sound essence, instead of speaking.

    After inhaling, Daniel had given the signal to Aeron to ingest the pill by allowing him to read his thoughts. The poison quickly took effect, and not long after, the pill began to fight the poison's effect, and build a tolerance, and immunity for high tier poisons.

    Just like the other elite, the woman was perfectly capable of tracing her poison within the bodies of the two.. She quickly realized that there was something that was suppressing, and eliminating the poison. After a moment spent considering what could be going on, she finally remembered why Daniel was so special, and quickly put the pieces together. Daniel was using her poison to build an immunity for high tier poisons.

    The old woman was shocked. If not for Daniel's ability to create mind boggling medicine in just a few months, also for the fact that he would be crazy enough to use them right in front of her. Yet, along with how shocked she was, she was also extremely glad. She had confirmed Daniel's abilities personally, and she could now take him back to the faction, and make him create poison immunity pills that could help the Garden of Death to gain their power back.. Willingly, or not.

    "You are a brilliant, crazy kid.. Your talent belongs to the Garden of Death.. Come." She said while approaching Daniel's curled up body.

    The green-robed cultivator, which had been freed the moment the old lady's poison entered Daniel's and Aeron's nostrils, quickly turned to look at the woman in order to thank her for saving his life, but before he could say anything, a shiver ran down his spine, and his eye locked on the massive dragon that was floating in space right behind the old woman.

    "Do I get to say something about that?" Said Xargy with a deep and powerful voice which threatened to shatter space itself.

    WIthout even turning around, the old lady understood that taking Daniel was not going to be as easy as she expected. So she let out massive amounts of her poison, which enshrouded her body completely. She needed to assess the situation before attacking.. But before she could even see the owner of the deep and soul shaking voice, she felt an impressive heat consume the external part of her poison-made shield.

    "Dragon!" Exclaimed the old lady before giving up the control over her poison, and creating a shield of thick ice around her body. She then added with indignation "Iewah's faction has no right to claim a bounty if they are not first! Go back to your master, or face judgement!"

    "HEHEHE.. Yes, call a judge.. Let's see how it will end." Responded Xargy after laughing coldly, and before dashing through space and using his massive body to claw the sphere of ice.. ripping  it into pieces.

    Left with no other choice, the old lady shouted "JUDGE!" she then focused on maintaining the ice shield in order to gain time for a judge to come and arbitrate this dispute.

    Unfortunately, even after more than fifteen seconds, nothing happened.

    The reason why no judge had appeared on field, was because their role was limited to being the impartial party, which could resolve a dispute which would avoid an all out war. If the two factions did not wish to go to war, but still couldn't let go of their claims or demands, a judge would be called.

    Since the very moment an individual was casted away from a faction, they would permanently leave the jurisdiction of the judges, and therefore, a direct dispute between an outcast and a faction could not be judged.

    A judge's intervention was mostly in order to prevent a war between factions, but preventing a war between a faction and a faction's former member, was way below them. So they would not bother to respond to that sort of call.

    A couple of long seconds passed, and yet, the familiar stopping of time, and the oppressive appearance of the judges never took place.

    The old woman became more and more anxious.. But not because she was scared of Xargy, but because she was undeniably in the right, and if only a judge appeared to settle the matter, she would be able to take Daniel legitimately, and possibly extort something from Iewah's faction due to causing problems for her, and the Garden of Death.

    After a few more seconds, the truth finally made its way into the old lady's mind. "You are an outcast?!" She exclaimed in shock. There were few things rarer than a dragon that was not part of the tamer's personal army, and one as strong as Xargy, that was even rarer.

    Realizing that the judge that she had called would never come, her train of thought changed completely. "Fine, dragon. A battle it is then." Said the old woman before creating a few holes in the shield of ice, and ejecting massive amounts of liquid-like poison out of them like small geysers.

    This liquid poison moved with an impressive speed, and immediately attached to Xergy's scales, then tried to seep in between the scales in order to reach his more vulnerable skin.

    Xargy did not avoid the poison, and instead kept clawing with his powerful hands at the massive sphere of ice, forcing the old woman to keep consuming her immortal essence just so that she could defend from his onslaught of attacks.

    Finally, after a series that crashed against the ice shield with a power which felt like a hundreds of earthquakes and lightning bolts at the same time, the speed of the attacks slowed dramatically, and a few powerful and crazed roars resounded in the space with such power, that the atmosphere of the planet where the green-clothed resided, was close to be washed away.

    Sure that her poison had finally taken effect, the woman opened the sphere of ice, and while keeping herself hidden by a layer of black smoke, she approached Daniel before the dragon could kill him.. But before she could reach ten meters from his screaming body, a column of green fire melted the very essence of space.

    The attack came with such surprise, that the old lady was only able to form a thin shield in front of her body before the thick column of fire pushed her for hundreds of kilometers through space. She had to use all of her power just to prevent the powerful green flames from melting her ice shield.

    Once the attack dissipated, the old lady was left with barely any immortal essence in her body. She looked back at Xargy from the distance, and where a majestic dragon was floating just moments earlier, was now a flaming green being that came out of legends and myths.

    From every crevice in between Xargy's scales, green flames were burning vividly as if not fueled by the combustion of gases, but from the ejections of Xargy's naturally unique mana. He was floating in space like a massive dragon made out of moving jade, and yet, for as spectacular he looked, he was also terrifying.

    The old woman had immediately felt the extinction of her poison from within Xargy's body, and it had happened almost instantly the very moment the green fire had started to seep out of his skin. It was clear that the green flames had the ability to destroy anything that was not part of Xargy's own body, and poisons were not an exception.

    Unfortunately, she was not able to react in time to avoid Xargy's attack. She was not at her peak form anymore, and had lost a lot of immortal essence. If the fight kept going for long, she would lose without a doubt..

    Xargy's main objective was to gain an advantage in immortal essence. That was also the reason why he had attacked the old lady physically, instead of relying on his flames. Now she was heavily weakened, and killing her in that state, would be easier.

    The old lady floated in space hundreds of kilometers away from Xargy. Her eyes were moving from his majestic appearance, to Daniel's recovering body. She wanted Daniel more than anything else, but entering in battle with Xargy while in her current state, meant death.

    She couldn't ask for help from a more powerful elite, as that would attract the attention of more powerful individuals, and possibly give out the plan of the Garden of Death to strengthen their numbers thanks to Daniel's inventions.

    They still possessed the recipe of the low tier pill, and that was already a great help to them.. But if their plans were to be uncovered, the other groups would definitely try to prevent them from gaining the power they once had back.. Especially their old enemies.

    Left with no other choice, the old woman opened a portal, and while taking one last look at Daniel, she walked through it.

    Slightly disappointed, Xargy forced the green flames that came from every inch of his body to dissipate. He then moved towards Daniel, and waited for him to wake up. He did not have to wait for long, as Daniel and Aeron opened their eyes after no longer than a minute, and tried to catch their breath with a few deep and hastened breaths.

    Since the very moment they had inhaled the woman's poison, they had understood that if they hadn't both cultivated their minds, they likely would have not been able to swallow the pills, and would have gone crazy right away. Luckily, their mind were powerful enough to grant them enough time of clarity to consume the pills.

    "It's terrifying how everything went according to your plans.." Said Xargy with amazement. He then added "How did you know she would not call for somebody stronger?"

    "Luck.. I guess.." responded Daniel in between breaths.

    That answer was not enough for Xargy, be he knew that there was no way that he could ask for more information about Daniel's system, and receive an actual answer, so he turned towards the green-clothed cultivator which floated in space with a terrified expression, and said "What do we do with this one?"

    "HAVE MERCY! PLEASE!!" Shouted the green-clothed cultivator in panic and terror.

    Daniel looked at the red name above the man's head, and recalled how this man had drugged and killed two innocent women. Without even showing his disgust on his face, he said "You can kill him if you want."

    The green-clothed cultivator looked around in panic, but before he could even try to escape, a massive cage of teeth with a soft roof and pavement covered his body entirely. It wasn't required to be an elite to understand that he was in the dragon's mouth.

    All the green-clothed cultivator could, do was to scream in panic, and use his strongest weapon in an attempt to leave..

    From outside, Daniel could hear the man's screams and his poison ooze out from in between Xargy's teeth, but both of those actions were quickly interrupted as a green inferno broke out into Xargy's mouth.

    *Crunch* *Gulp*
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