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308 Save Aeron and Xargy

    What appeared in front of Daniel's eyes when the door opened, was completely unexpected. Despite of the land's name, the place did not appear at all what one would expect a place called 'Hell' to look like.

    Aside from the high temperature, the world that appeared in front of him looked just like a run down plane of dirt, and a few kilometers away from the towering door from which they had just come in, was a small town surrounded by simple mud buildings.

    The sky, which Daniel believed to be reddish in color due to the nearing of nighttime, was in fact in the middle of its daily cycle.. At the same time, the clouds that filled the sky were of an odd dark green color.

    Daniel followed the group of demons all the way to the city, and there, he noticed a few low level demons conduct their lives peacefully. They did not seem to possess any sort of gift, and in fact, they were not even cultivators. Their entire schedule appeared to revolve around the maintenance of a teleporting platform which was placed right in the middle of the town they lived in.

    As soon as the white-horned demon and the other two arrived to the city, the group of maintainers stopped working, and immediately bowed in respect. The White-Horned race of demons was known to be one of the noble demonic families which had descended from the ones who had discovered Hell.

    A demonic family was not much different from a human family. Its members would join one of the major groups, and cultivate through the use of their cultivation methods. That was the reason why the division between Hell's group and families resembled that of humankind's low level cultivation worlds, and had more in common with families and sects, than the factions and the universal government.

    However, the power that each group possessed, allowed them to be on par with the factions of the outside universe.

    The white-horned demon and the other two entered the city ignoring the actions of the other respectful demons. He then stepped above the platform, and disappeared without even waiting for his two companions to get on.

    "Nobles.. Let's go." muttered the calmer of the two demons before following the steps of the white-horned demon, and jumping over the large platform.. But as soon as the teleportation began, the more impatient of the two demons turned to look at one of the lesser demons that was standing around the platform, and shouted "STOP THE PROCESS!!" His tone was so loud, that the demon's heart couldn't handle the pressure, and stopped.

    A second lesser demon quickly approached the platform and removed one of the crystals that worked as fuel to it.. Then tried to tend to the demon who was in charge of the platform before him, but it was already too late.

    The two demons turned to look at the bag they were carrying with narrowed eyes, and hearts filled with worry..

    The demon who was carrying the bag quickly threw it on the ground, but the moment it touched the hard surface of the platform, it slumped on it, as if it contained nothing at all.

    "A FUCKING ILLUSION!!" Shouted the angry demon, sending out a sonory attack powerful enough to burst the eardrums of the hundreds of demons who were surrounding him. "TWO DAMN DAYS! CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?!" he then added before turning to look at his calmer companion.

    While Daniel had been able to keep the illusion working for more than two days, thanks to his comprehension elemetal and spatial essence, the moment the two had tried to teleport away, the platform had tried to separated the illusion from reality, and teleport it with the two of them. This had distorted it, and caused it to become completely unstable.

    The moment the two demons felt that something was wrong with their captive, they stopped the teleportation in order to check if there was anything wrong.. And since there was no way for Daniel to keep the illusion up without being discovered, he had decided to let go of it and let it dissipate.

    The calmer of the two demons did not panic, and instead inspected the surroundings. He was aware that such a precise and defined illusion would require the caster to be nearby, but no matter how long or what method he used to look for him.. Of Daniel, there was absolutely no trace.

    Daniel had been gone since the moment the two had demanded for the process to be stopped, and was now getting as far away from the teleportation platform as possible.

    While he didn't fear an encounter with these two demons in particular, he didn't know what methods the two would have to ask for support, or even if there was a more powerful demon waiting in the vicinity.. So he picked one of the roads that lead outside of the town, and while keeping himself invisible, he left as fast as he could.

    He passed multiple towns and cities, but decided against stopping in any them. He knew that the moment the illusion had been discovered, he would be hunted down in the entire Hell.. and since he was not sure where to go, he chose to gain distance while they were still unaware of his location.

    -----

    Ten minutes later.

    The Church of Damnation was not only called a 'church' for show, but because it was ran like a proper religious organization. The lowly demons Idolized the Demon Lord like a god, which aside from helping them get rid of their sufferings, would also teach them how to feed off of the pain of others..

    Unfortunately, the people who believed in the powers of this Demon Lord were already far too deep into their sufferings, and a sane person would see clearly that they were desperate beings who had lost too much, to avoid being affected by it.

    To the most devoted members, the doctrine that sufferings were a tribulation that demons had to live by constantly.. was taught, and in the end, they were brainwashed into thinking that causing pain was the most noble thing that a demon could do.

    The second type of demons who would join the Church of Damnation were the members of noble families who wished to leave Hell, and visit the outside universe.. after all, the Church of Damnation was one of the few groups who had joined the universal government.

    The main base of the Church of Damnation was called The Cathedral, and was a massive castle that appeared to be more like the center of a religious cult, than the main fortress of a powerful group of demonic cultivators.

    Inside the main hall of this this impressive chapel, was an empty throne. Standing next to it, was a female demon with golden hair, and pitch black horns. She was part of another of the most important demonic families, as well as the leader of the current forces of the Church of Damnation right underneath the Demon Lord.

    She was looking at eight demons who were standing in a single row. Four of whom were looking at her with pride, while the remaining four looked at her with shame.

    The four prideful demons were the ones who had been in charge of capturing Aeron and Xargy, while the four who couldn't bear to look at the golden-haired demoness, were the ones in charge of capturing, and bringing Daniel to Hell.

    "Repeat to me how that happened." Said the demoness with a melodic, and emotionless voice.

    The white-horned demon glimpsed at the two larger ones who he had left behind minutes earlier, and after noticing that they had no intention of speaking, he said "A complete failure on the shapeshifter's part. She was tricked by the brat's illusion.. Our fault was to trust her success instead of checking ourselves."

    "Was it also the shapeshifter's fault that you didn't notice the outcast follow you for two days.. And all the way into Hell?" She asked in response, causing the white-horned demon to lower his head further.

    The problem with their situation, was that it was something impossible to predict. No one who possessed the age which Daniel was reported to have, would ever be able to master and control so many essences. The very idea that somebody could, would be scoffed at by most..

    To control all of the elements in a way that would make them react with the illusion as if it was actually something tangible in their way, to keep a constant pressure within the bag, as well as keeping its motion consistent with the movement of the bag.. To be able to do this for two straight days was beyond impossible for someone at Daniel's level of cultivation, and logically speaking, would have required him to take numerous pauses in order to recover his immortal essence.

    What added to the strain of keeping such a complicated illusion up, was the fact that he was using spatial and dark essence to keep himself from being noticed. The sheer mental strain of both of these actions combined, was not something that a twenty-six years old cultivator should be able to perform.

    "No.. that was our fault." responded the white-horned demon.

    The golden-haired demoness looked at the white-horned demon with what, for the very first time, appeared to be anger.. But after a few moments, her eyes relaxed. She then turned away fast enough for her golden locks to wave through the air, and as she walked towards one of the doors to the side of the throne room, she said "I suggest you find him.. Quick. The next time you fail, you will end up like them."

    The white-horned demon raised his head to look at the demons who were standing by his sides.. But all he saw, were strips of flesh, and shadows of blood that grew the more time passed. The other seven demons were all dead, and not even the ones who had succeeded in their job had been spared.

    With trembling hands, and a heart that was beating fast enough to threaten to burst out of his chest, the white-horned demon walked out of the throne room.

    As he walked past the entrance, he heard a sigh sound comingg from his right side. There, laying on the wall, was the white-horned demon who had taken Xargy into custody. He was looking at the member of his family with a faint smile.

    "What do you want?" Asked the one who had just been scolded, still not completely calm.

    "You should be more polite to your big brother.. If I wasn't here, that bitch would have turned you into a set of cards.." responded the smiling demon before pushing himself away from the wall, and approaching his younger brother. He then added "You look like you could use some help.."

    -----

    Meanwhile, somewhere a few hundred kilometers away from the teleporting platform..

    After running at a relatively slow speed for a few hours in order not to draw attention, Daniel had finally decided to stop running. He was in a dimension he knew nothing about, and he couldn't afford to get caught. Especially now that he had learned that his friends had been captured by his enemies.

    He was now in the middle of a thick forest, where the tree trunks were white and the leaves were of a purplish color. The sky could not be seen, but underneath the dark colored dry leaves that covered the ground, numerous sounds could be heard.

    There was really nowhere to turn for Daniel.. He could not shapeshift into a demon by using illusions, as the demons were already aware of his presence.. And he couldn't simply walk around in his normal appearance, as from what he had learned by the chatty demons he had followed, there were no free humans in Hell.

    He was a rat in a cage of lions which had been lucky enough to find some shade to hide in, but that was not good enough for him, so.. Left with no other choice, he decided to do what he had chosen not to do unless he was truly out of options..

    ____________________________

    *Primary Quest started: Everything Helps*

    -Description: Offer your help to people in need.

    Eighty-fifth objective set: Save Aeron and Xargy.

    (Optional): Destroy the Church of Damnation.

    Reward: ??? / ??? Karma Points / Hell Reputation +100%

    Time limit:

    1 year, 9 months, 22 days.

    7688 years, 11 months, 3 days.

    ____________________________
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