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293 Companions Part 1

    Planet Elementi, two weeks later.

    In the galaxy of origin of the Tyrants of Mana, was a planet called Elementi. This planet was the core of one of the factions that were part of the universal government, as well as the planet where the natural elements were the strongest in the known universe.

    The very planet was incredibly big.. So much so that no human could survive in its weaker state. All of the humans that inhabited it, were high level cultivators who focused on the comprehension, and control over natural elemental mana.

    Contrarily to people's common belief, the leader of the Tyrants of Mana was not a single entity. The faction was one of the oldest to date, and had been founded by beings born from pure and natural comprehension of mana.. Elementals of the currently highest known level.

    Unlike most other civilization, the natives of the territory under the control of the elemental faction did not see the elementals as a form of resource that could be exploited. They were revered as gods of nature, from which humans had much to learn.

    During the hundreds of thousands of years of cohabitation, the elementals, unable to advance over the power that their nature of elementals allowed them to, had decided to teach the powers of the elements to a few talented humans. These humans would then be able to use these powers to protect, and fight for the faction that the elementals had created.

    That, was the nature and purpose of an elite member of the Tyrants of Mana.

    The method of creating an elite warrior of their faction was, however, a little more complicated and expensive.. As it required for many hundreds of essence treasures to be used, amongst which was a perfect one.

    A powerful cultivator would be chosen to merge with the comprehension and nature of an element, and once done, that would create an elite member of the elemental faction. That person would not be a human anymore, but a middle ground between a human cultivator, and a high level elemental.

    Elementi was the biggest planet within the territory of the universal government, and its massive size rivaled that of a few large stars. The planet not only contained a big portion of the essence spheres that had been made out of perfect treasures, but was the place where the method to create them had been invented.

    The perfect spheres were placed in a way that would allow for more treasures to form with time, and that had made the planet known as the one and only working farm for perfect essence treasures in the universe.

    Numerous cities had been created thanks to the joined effort of humans and elementals, and now, these cities numbered in the thousands. The theme of each of them depended on the prevalent type of natural essence that could be found in its surroundings.

    In one of the mountain ranges of Elementi, was a city made out of bricks, stones, and metal. In the middle of this city, was a large manor surrounded by a tall and impressive walls of stone. Inside this stonewall was a large garden, and in between the gate that lead inside and the manor, was a small square surrounded by a labyrinth, and a circular pavement carved with numerous symbols. Amongst which, were the symbol of lightning, fire, water, wind, metal, earth, and wood which merged in the middle in the symbol of mana.

    Numerous individuals were pacing around the manor's ground, and just as many, if not more, were locked inside their rooms cultivating, and trying to deepen their comprehension of mana.

    Inside the largest of the manor's rooms, was an old man dressed in brown simple robes. He was sitting quietly at his desk, and reading a thick, and dusty book.

    *Knock knock* "Come in." Said the old man without moving his eyes from the book.

    "It's me." Said a young woman in red robes which entered the room casually. After closing the door, she walked towards the desk on which the old man was reading his book, and sat on one of the chairs placed on the other side. "There is no reason to doubt what he says.. The types of power inside his body prove that he isn't lying.."

    "Do you think that something like that can happen? That an individual with such a deep affinity to the elements can simply find his way to the capital of our faction from the other side of the universe?.. What kind of luck is that?" Asked the old man while raising his head to look at the young woman, and showing the eyeglass he was pressing over his right eye, and the two yellow irises behind it.

    The woman shrugged her shoulders faintly, and responded by saying "I don't know.. What I know is that he had a near perfect comprehension of three elements, and a perfect comprehension of the remaining four.. He isn't even thirty.. There isn't a place in the universe more fitting to him than here."

    The old man in simple clothes put down the eyeglass and slowly closed his book, then, after a deep sigh, he said "I don't want to tell the lords that we have found a candidate unless we are sure that he isn't a spy from another faction.."

    "What would the problem be? We can always kill him if he dares betray us.. It's not like it never happened before." Said the young woman while looking at the old man in confusion.

    ".. we are talking about two different levels of candidate.."

    Meanwhile, inside the mess hall of the manor, was a young man dressed in white clothes quietly eating his lunch. Contrary to the other tables, which were filled with people with differently colored clothes, the table on which he was eating, was empty. Yet, it didn't seem like he had a problem with it. Instead, he enjoyed the peace and quiet that the solitude brought.

    Unfortunately, the peace and quiet was interrupted by a man in his mid twenties which entered the mess hall, and ran towards the empty table while shouting "Roley! I have another story for you! This one is pretty cool! Hehe."

    "I am listening.." responded Roley while quietly bringing a spoon full of soup into his mouth.

    The young man immediately sat in the chair opposite to the one where Roley was sitting on, and said "I want five hours for this one.. I am close to reach a high comprehension of water.. Just five hours of tutoring!"

    "..If the story is interesting."

    "Hehe.. it is! The last rumor that has been running around about the outcast of Iewah's faction, is that after he threatened the Universal Government and forced them to wipe out the Garden of Death, he began to target the Church of Damnation. He has been running around killing demons left and right along with a massive dragon, and an outcast of the Psionic Dimension."

    "Tell me about the Church of Damnation.. What kind of people are they?" Asked Roley after finally putting his spoon down, and taking interest into the news that the young man was reporting.

    The young man shrieked back on his chair, and said "Nasty bunch.. I have heard that their elites gain power by feeding off of the sufferings of the people that live in their territory.." He then moved one of his legs above the other, and leaned on the backrest of his chair. "I don't know why the universal government would decide not to.. Are you okay?" he then said before noticing that something was odd with Roley.

    Before Roley could say anything, a group of cultivators that wore differently colored robes approached the empty tables with menacing expressions. The leader, a man with sharp brows, red eyes, and red robes, said to Roley "Hey! Greenhorn, I want to talk to you!"

    However, instead of stopping in front of Roley's table, the group kept walking to the end of the room.. Only to stop when they were facing the wall.

    "Just because you have a little bit of affinity towards the elements, it doesn't mean that you are better than us." Said the leader of this group while the rest of the people in the mess hall looked at them as if they were idiots. The leader was currently shouting at the wall as if he wanted to challenge it to a duel.

    The young man that had come to report the news of Daniel's action looked at the group of cultivators, and said "Nice trick.. Where did you learn how to do that?"

    "A friend taught it to me.." muttered Roley as his hands and jaw clenched in excitement. "So it's true.. It is him.."

    After noticing an expression of excitement on Roley's face for the first time since he had met him, the young man smiled and said "So, did I earn my five hours of tutoring?"

    Roley did not respond, and instead stood up from his chair, and while walking towards the door, said "Let's go."

    When he and the young man left the room, the illusion that had trapped the group of cultivators dissipated, and they found themselves raging at the wall while the people around them laughed hysterically.

    -----

    Planet Sand and Blood.

    Much different from Elementi, Sand and Blood owed his name not to its richness in elemental resources, but to its history of countless bloody wars, which in its tens of thousands of years of history, had painted the sand and dirt of a reddish color.

    This planet was populated by numerous tribes of warriors in constant warring state. This made Sand and Blood one of the favourite destinations for mercenaries who lacked the knowledge of how the planet worked.

    While there was always a place for mercenaries in Sand and Blood, its complete lack of connection to the spiritual plane had forced its inhabitants to increase their power solely through the use of their ki, as well as the weapon wielding abilities.

    This detail was often forgotten when people mentioned this mercenary wonderland, and that caused most of the mercenaries that dared to set foot on this constant warring planet, to hardly ever leave it alive.

    In between two of the countries of this cruel and violent planet, were just as many massive military camps separated one from the other by two dozen kilometers of empty valley.

    Inside the northernmost of these camps was a large bar, and inside this bar, hundreds of muscular men and women were getting rid of their nervousness, and finding the excitement for the upcoming battle in the bottom of their glasses.

    While these martial cultivators seemed to be friendly amongst their brothers in arms.. by the time the night had started, numerous fights had taken place, and almost all of them had ended with the death of one or more individuals.

    Occupying one of the tables at the corner of this bar, was a man whose build did not seem too different from that of any other warrior within the bar, and two young women that were polar opposite when compared to the others. Their figures were quite slender, and their weapons, while similar to those of the other warriors, seemed to deserve more graceful wielders.

    These people were Der, Gai'ha, and Alesia.

    "Stop biting your nails.. I am sure he is fine." Said Der to a nervous Alesia while keeping an eye out for trouble.

    Alesia quickly lowered her hand, and said with a nervous, and yet saddened tone "Why is he challenging the factions on his own?.. Why hasn't he come to see us.."

    "You know why.. We are on the other side of the universe..  Remember what Jerigh said? Even when he wasn't himself, he wasn't able to teleport through the universe.. Why should he be able to now that he is back.." Said Gai'ha with a reassuring tone. She had complete faith in Daniel's capabilities, and if he hadn't come yet, was because he wasn't able to.

    Just as Alesia began to calm down, three large men approached the table that they were occupying, and one of them said "Beautiful girls.. What are you doing here with that old man? Why not come with us.. We can show you how to hilt a sword.. Hehe.." Said the frontman of this group of three just moments before Der's arm flashed, and a red line appeared on the neck of the cultivator that had just spoken.

    The man wasn't able to utter another word before his head fell on the floor, and his body dropped lifelessly on the ground.
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