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406 A Change of Plan

    For the next few seconds, Nilo and the others did not pay attention as the other spatial booths slowly filled with the cultivators to which they had been assigned to. Even Aeron, Ivan, Sigg, and the father and son couple failed to be acknowledged, almost as if they hadn't been there to begin with.

    To stop Nilo and the others from rejoicing about Daniel's appearance, was the shadow of a doubt that he was, in fact, the same person who did not want anything to do with them, and had ultimately sent them away from his own planet.

    The only one who spent enough time with Daniel to recognize him, was Zack, who before everyone else could, walked in his direction, smiled widely, and gave him a short and friendly hug.

    Before being separated from Jerigh, the group had learned from him that Daniel's family had not been kicked out by Sewah just like they had been, but that they were sent away by a recovered Daniel for reasons which he had refused to explain, as well as convinced them that it was much safer for them to stay as far away from him as possible.

    This news had been a source of doubt for a very long time, as the more time went by without Daniel finding them, the less they would believe what Jerigh had said to be accurate. Only now that they had seen Zack's reaction, and the comfortable faces on their two teachers, had they realized that this was in fact the person they had known in the past.

    "About time you showed up! Haha!" Shouted Finn with elation before patting Daniel's shoulder. Fyro, on the other hand, simply walked closer, and as their eyes met, he gave him a simple nod.

    The only two people who stood back, were Nilo and Cynna, who for two different reasons, were buried in their thoughts.

    Cynna had never been particularly close to Daniel. The two had been students in the same academy for one of the factions that Daniel had destroyed, but aside from that, they had little to no interaction with each other. However, she knew that Daniel was the star around which Jerigh gravitated, so while she had heard the words he had spoken only moments earlier, she still wanted to talk about him.

    Nilo, on the other hand, was simply feeling uncomfortable about the fact that, after Daniel's body had been possessed by Sewah, he and Reila had started a family, and even had a child together. Ideally, he would have preferred to talk to Daniel about it before any of that happened, but no one knew if he would ever go back to being himself, or if he was gone forever.

    Daniel could not only see the embarrassment on their faces, but hear it in their thoughts. So before the situation could become awkward, he turned to look at Cynna, and with a wisp of sound essence, he said, "I can't tell you how I know this, but I can assure you that he is fine. If there is someone I can be assured would survive anything that is thrown at them, that is Jerigh."

    At the same time, he sent another wisp of sound essence towards Nilo, which contained the words, "It is not my place to make a decision about my sister's relationships, and even if it was, I would not argue about the choices she has made. I just hope you won't mind introducing me to my niece, later."

    These few words were enough to reassure the two of them.

    -----

    For the following couple of hours, the remaining participants desperately tried to recover their powers, while the other observers minded their own business.

    Meanwhile, outside of this massive spatial formation, the seven organizers of the event were having their own conversation, and the topic, was none other than Daniel and his group. Of these seven people, six of them were discussing calmly, while the seventh, was making an adamant opposition towards any of what the others were saying.

    "This is ridiculous! I don't care how capable they appeared to junior explorers like you! Are you doubting the powers of my men?!" Asked the army general with clear anger.

    "Sir, with all due respect, there is no way that a group of soldiers of the same cultivation base would ever compare to any of the participants of today's event. Not unless they are in great numbers! I am telling you, they are individually superior cultivators, even without gifts." Responded the old man in light blue clothes.

    The One Above All was born out of necessity. Specifically, to find talented young cultivators who could compete in the many individual fights of the competition between civilizations. The most promising participants would be aided in their ascension, as well as trained in their individual survivability.

    The use of this event was similar to the Patriot Academy, but aimed at recruiting the most talented individuals within the many factions, instead of the second class students that had been handed over when requested.

    However, while focused on finding powerful cultivators who could hold their own against unknown challenges, the two explorers who had stopped the battle between the participants, had found something different.Find authorized novels in Webnovel,faster updates, better experience,Please click www.webnovel.com  for visiting.

    They had not only found powerful cultivators amongst the participants, but two groups which were able to cooperate, and fight efficiently against bigger, and stronger groups. These two groups were the students, and Daniel's followers.

    Without wasting a single moment, the two cultivators had reported what they had discovered to the organizers of the event, who during the fight, had been busy interacting with the observers of the event.

    The team fights of the competition between civilizations had, ever since the competition had been established, reserved for the army, who prided itself with their historical successes whenever a war was fought against new, or rebellious factions. This was the reason why, after the two junior explorers had suggested to recruit the students of the Teacher, and the followers of the Outcast to participate as teams instead of individuals, the conversation had turned into a vivid debate.

    As the grey-robed and the light blue-robed cultivator discussed with the army representative, the man in royal clothes, the old explorer, and the grand judge remained quiet. On their faces, were pensive expressions.

    "Did you see what happened?" Asked the man in royal clothes to the seventh individual with a respectful tone. A person whose body was completely covered by a black hooded coat which made it impossible for any part of his body to be seen. This person was the cultivator who had been in charge to create a venue for the entire event, starting from the islands, the tunnels, the towers, the illusory formations, and even the area where the participants, observers, and organizers were in now. He was also the only other person who had seen the battle between the participants, instead of participating to the banquet.

    "I did." Responded the man with a ghastly voice.

    "What do you think?" He then asked.

    This simple question was able to quiet down both explorers and army general, who turned to look at him. It was clear that this black-robed individual had a very important role within the government, and was a person whom even the man in royal clothes had to respect to some degree.

    "I agree with the two youngings. The numbers for the team fights are limited to twenty cultivators per team. Even with the soldier gift, only in the thousands can the army show its prowess." Responded the black-hooded man.

    "SIR! This is ridiculous! We have hundreds of thousands of years of history behind us. The government would not exist the way it does without us!" Said the general with indignation, after turning to look at the man in royal clothes.

    It was only at the mention of the government's history, that the man in royal clothes raised his head, and asked, "Twenty of your most talented soldiers, against a team of twenty explorers. Can you swear on your cultivation that the army would come out on top?"

    This simple question was enough for the army general to feel dumbfounded. Even as a representative of the army, he knew perfectly well that a soldier was not comparable to an explorer. By nature, an explorer was required to be an excellent warrior even on his own, while the soldier was dependent on his group. Similarly to the judge's gift, the soldiers would become stronger with numbers.

    Yet, unable to simply give up, the general said, "Sir, this is an unfair comparison. The explorers are expert cultivators. These are just kids."

    "Kids who come from the same group. Kids who know each other, and excel in both individual and team fights. Do you deny that?" Asked the man dressed in royal clothes.

    Unable to insist on his point, the army general's only option was to yield. "Very well. But we can't allow the government's main force to be unrepresented. We are the face of our civilization, as well as the main deterrent to an all out war."

    The army general was not in the wrong. The team fights had been conceived in order to test the power of the main armies of the two civilizations, and if all of those fights were fought by members of inferior factions, that would reflect negatively to the main power of the government, increasing the chances of a war between the two massive powers.

    "We will present them as elite members of the army." Responded the man in royal clothes with a reassuring tone, before turning to look at the old explorer, and adding, "The same goes for you. Give up a few individual placings for the Tamer's legendary beasts, and the outcast's best fighters. They will participate along with the strongest members of the academies."

    While this was a great humiliation for the army general, for the old explorer it was only normal that the stronger individuals were allowed to represent the government in such a delicate situation. So instead of protesting, he quietly nodded in agreement.

    "Very well." Said the man in royal clothes before turning to look at the black robed cultivator, and adding, "After the event, please keep both the Teacher and the Outcast here."

    The black-hooded cultivator responded with a faint not.

    -----

    For the following day, the event went on smoothly, until finally, only a handful of participants were left. Of these twenty cultivators were the three legendary beasts that were part of the Tamer's group, ten students, and finally, seven individual participants.

    Each of the last seven participants had shown a great predisposition towards their own factions, and powers that allowed them to counter the unique abilities of the otherwise favourites 'followers of Iewah's children'. Each of them belonged to the major factions of the universal government.

    The plan of the organizers of this event was to put all of the greatest talents in the known universe together, and despite the name of the event, never to simply find one that was above all. So even though the event had ended with the legendary beasts finding themselves at the top three positions, all of the others were asked to stay as well, as each of them would receive similar invitations.

    At the end of the day the event was concluded, and after giving out the rewards and a long speech that was particularly focused on the importance of the universal government, the participants were sent back to their factions, and together with their carers, they were sent out of the spatial formation.

    The numbers of booths around Daniel's quickly started to decrease, until finally, only his, and the Teacher's were left.

    "Why haven't they let us out along with the others?" Asked Cynna nervously.

    "I thought we were too small to be in the government's scope.. Yet, it looks like they have something they want from us." Said Daniel casually, and without showing the slightest hint of worry.

    Just as he finished speaking, the two booths moved closer to one another, and as their confines touched, they merged into a single, bigger one.

    There was only enough time for Daniel and Nilo to respectively nod in greeting to Romah and Tianna, before a small portal was opened right in front of them, and the seven organizers of the event walked out of it.
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