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436 Strange Encounters

    Daniel's decision to fall out with the Universal Government was not without consequences.

    Soon after the events of Spira, Daniel was forced to shut down the branches of Hiel company, and recall all of the members of his group back to his planet. At the same time, in order to limit the contacts which his group had with the factions and government he had offended, Daniel had sent back most of the students who would not be able to adapt to the ways of his group.

    These actions had turned Hiel academy from being amongst the most prestigious academies in the universe, to being a secluded academy that was nearly impossible to reach, or join. The outrage caused by this decision was beyond the limits of space, and reached the very edge of the territory of the universal government.

    While being separated by the rest of the government could have been a problem for Daniel and his group in the past, that was not the case anymore. Smaller cultivation resources could be secretly obtained within any auction house of the known universe by his agents, allowing the younger generation that inhabited Daniel's planet to cultivate without a problem.

    Even less problematic, was the necessity for high level cultivation resources, which had been substituted with the Sacred Grounds of Hiel academy. The former artifact of one of Iewah's children which had been turned into a nearly limitless source of power. As long as Daniel could feed it the power produced by his planet, the artifact would be able to recycle it into absorbable essence that could be used by the member of his group to cultivate.

    Just as occupied, was the universal government. The ambassadors of every major and mid-sized faction were called to Alcazar, they were then informed about Daniel, and as stated in the agreement between their factions and the government, they were recruited into what was to come.

    The first factions to show up were the ones which had a history with Daniel. The corrupted faction, the spiritual faction, the parasitic faction, and the mental factions were the spearhead of this army. To refuse, were only two factions. The inhabitants of Hell, which by living independently inside a separate dimension were not forced by the same requirements of the other factions, and ironically, Iewah's faction.

    The absence of a clear base made Iewah's faction extremely difficult to attack. According to the research conducted by many of the factions, Iewah was an entity that could move from planet to planet independently of boundaries or distance, as shown by the significant distance between the apparition of one of his children, and the other.

    The universal government had never truly been able to come into contact with Iewah. The person who took care of the factions affairs was one of Iewah's children, and was known as the Politician.

    During their assimilation into the government, the Politician had agreed to most of the government's demands, only asking for a condition in return. This condition ensures that in case the target of a military operation was one of Iewah's children, the faction would not operate as a group, and that the only thing that would stop any of them from joining the effort, was their own individual volition.

    In simpler terms, each child of Iewah was his own power, and unless ordered by Iewah himself, they could do anything they wished, even if it meant killing one another.

    This was only a half good news for Daniel, who for the last few weeks, had seen numerous armies appear in the vicinity of his planet. These groups would appear out of nowhere, and would interject his planet's trajectory. They would then approach him as if they knew that they were there, only to stare at the empty space as the planet orbited past, and far away from them.

    While the affiliation of these groups was often different, one detail was always the same. Each of these groups was guided by one of Iewah's children, who had decided to join the factions in their hunt for Daniel.

    What made them join was not Iewah's direct order, but their curiosity. All of them were in possession of unfathomable powers, and each was a special entity on their own accord, but Daniel was different. He was the first outcast. The one whom their father had taken a direct interest in and expel him from his graces. This made him special, and triggered the innate competitiveness amongst their spirits.

    Each of these individuals could bring the factions' armies nearby Daniel's planet, and the only reason why Daniel was not forced to fight against one of Sewah's brothers and sisters on a daily basis, was thanks to his mental powers. With his powers of mental teleportation, Daniel was able to teleport his planet, as well as its inhabitants, out of danger without leaving traces of spatial essence, turning this constant chase into an enormous and impossible game of whack-a-mole.

    Meanwhile, throughout the universe, the conflict between the Outcast and the government was not the only rumors that caught the attention of anyone who was willing to listen. A trail of celestial bodies found destroyed, either cut cleanly into different parts, or turned red due to the blood spilled by its inhabitants. The strange behaviour of the elementals, who started to migrate towards the core of the elemental faction from all over the known universe, drawn by something, and eager to arrive to their destination. Parties that appeared to belong to the alien civilization, spotted far deep into the government's territory, gathering intelligence, spying, and at times, testing the patience of the owners of the territory in which they were trespassing.

    Each of these rumors could potentially become the point of attention of entire galaxies, but together, they were able to cause a loss of faith in the stability universal government. Symbolizing the start of a chaotic era.

    -----

    Daniel's planet

    "Who was that one? Have you encountered him before?" Asked Nova to Daniel, right after teleporting away from the umpteeenth faction accompanied by one of Iewah's children.

    "I have only met a handful of them." Responded Daniel with a casual tone while observing their new surroundings.

    "How were their powers compared to yours? Any hope in defeating any of them?" Asked Nova with curiosity. He had spent thousands of years in the void, where only spatial cultivators lived. Everything he had seen before reaching the stable dimension with Edmund was nothing but different forms of space, so for a long time, he could not help it but to enjoy the sight of so many magical and different forms of power.

    Just like Daniel's system, the powers of the other children of Iewah allowed them to locate his general position, forcing him to be in constant alert. It was only after he made sure that no other child of Iewah was waiting for him in his new location, that he turned to look at the surface of his planet, and before going back, he said, "I am as confident as a scorpion battling a centipede."

    "Uncle Dan, look at what Wolfie taught me!" Said Than right as he noticed Daniel land on his house's yard. Next to him, was Wolfie, the metal elemental born and grown into Daniel's group.

    Before Daniel could even greet his nephew, Than controlled the immortal essence he was emanating, and turned into metal. He then solidified it around his neck.

    "Why the neck? Why not the chest?" Asked Daniel with confusion.

    "Wolfie said that the weakest part of a man is the throat! That I have bones to protect my chest!" responded Than, slightly annoyed by the lack of praise from his uncle.

    Daniel turned to look at Wolfie with an expression which spelled "what the hell are you teaching him?", to which Wolfie responded by flashing his sword like teeth, before walking away.

    "It's good! But if you walk around with a plaque of metal around your neck, people will try to strike elsewhere. How about you try to evade before defending?" Said Daniel before patting his nephew's head, and taking a knee in front of him.

    "Can you teach me?"

    "I will, when you will be a little older. For now, go and play with the other children, I won't hear the end of it from your mother if you grow up into becoming a cultivation freak." Said Daniel before standing back up on his feet, and walking towards the door of his sister's house. However, before he could touch the handle of the door, his shoulders dropped along with his head, and he sighed deeply. "Tell your parents that I won't make it for dinner." he said before suddenly disappearing.

    When he reappeared, he was back in the planet's orbit, right where Nova spent his time controlling the spatial formation that clouded the planet to the eyes of any outsider.

    The only reason why Daniel would personally teleport there, could only be because they had encountered another group, and they needed to once again escape by teleporting away. However, this time, something was different. Amongst this group of people Daniel could not see any child of Iewah, and at least two amongst this group of hundreds were looking at the exact point where Daniel planet was hiding. Their faces were covered by masks, and yet, their mannerism showed perplexity.

    "Are they looking at us?" Asked Nova with deep confusion. As a spatial elemental, he knew perfectly well how unlikely that possibility was. After all, the formation that clouded Daniel's planet was the most complex spatial formation in the known universe. A formation which turned the planet as invisible as a black hole, while diverting the starlight around it in order to simulate the starry void the planet's mass was meant to cover.

    In order to see Daniel's planet, one would not only need a deep comprehension of space, but an understanding of physics. Light bending on celestial proportions, invisible mass, all parts of space that were overlooked due to the evolution of cultivation.

    The only kind of civilization that would understand this, was a civilization that had evolved around the technology of space travel, and not around cultivation.

    Daniel immediately opened a portal to the main office of Hiel academy, a portal from which Master Kye, the Silver Alchemist, and his father Golden Cauldron quickly walked out of.

    "What is it?" asked the Silver Alchemist, curious about what this summoning was about.

    "They seem to be aware of our presence." said Daniel before pointing his finger at the group of unknown cultivators. "Can you tell me to which faction they belong?" he then asked.

    The three looked carefully at the group of people who appeared to be talking amongst themselves in a language that did not match any of the universe's main languages.

    During the few years spent apart from Daniel, the three had made an extensive research on the major powers that governed the universe, so if there was someone on their planet who could recognize the affiliation of a group, was them. However, even after a few minutes, nothing but confusion was left in their faces.

    "We are not sure. Their clothes show no crest or affiliation, and I don't know if you have noticed, but their language teleports from one's mouth to the other's ears." Said the Silver Alchemist before noticing a few strange movements.

    "What are they doing?" asked Nova right before half of these people turned into flashes of light, and dashed in the direction of Daniel's planet at an incredible speed. Just as it seemed that they would crash against it, they split into a large net, and surrounded the planet's surface.

    Daniel was not eager to see what kind of game these people were playing, so he immediately tried to teleport away, but before he could do that, a mind numbing sound pierced through his ears, causing him to lose focus of any of the thoughts he was trying to formulate. This sound was being broadcasted around the entire planet, crippling its entire population.

    Before Daniel's mind fortitude could kick in and allow him to resist this sonic wave, the two individuals whom had spotted him threw a fist sized orb right into the planet's atmosphere. When this orb came into contact with the spatial formation, the warped space around the planet dissipated, and the planet was revealed in its beauty.
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