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462 Feelings of Impending Doom

    Black Castle.

    "It happened when he was on the verge of death. He used the last bit of power he had to leave his legacy on this mark." Said Daniel while tapping his forehead, right where the blood red sun was printed like a fresh tattoo.

    His companions looked at him with confusion, squeezing their eyes as if unable to see what Daniel was pointing at. "I can't see anything. Are you sure it wasn't just a bit of blood you've already rubbed clean off?" Asked Ligart while mimicking the motion of rubbing his own skin.

    "It's here.." added Daniel after putting his hand down, and leaning over the back of his chair with crossed arms. "I don't know how many will come this time, but I have to assume that this mark is some sort of beacon, and that finding us will only be a matter of time from the moment they'll enter this universe."

    Daniel's friends silently looked at one another with serious expression. To break this silence, was Xargy, "What numbers are we talking about here?" he asked before exhaling a weak cloud of smoke from in between his sharp human-like teeth.

    "Multiple dimensions' worth of cultivators." he said in response, causing the others to suck air through their teeth, and turn rigid onto their chairs. However, in their faces there was no fear. It was clear that they had full faith in the fact that Daniel would manage this. So they didn't say anything.

    Seeing as his companions trusted him with their lives, Daniel decided to change the topic. He turned to look at Ligart, and asked, "What about what I had asked you?"

    "Most of the families of the students have moved into the planet. Those who chose to stay behind claimed it was because they did not mind the changes in their factions. If you ask me, they were just worried that they would lose their standing by starting over on another planet." Said Ligart with a matter-of-fact tone, and shrugging his shoulders.

    Ever since Daniel's universe had become one of the dimensions aware of the existence of the multiverse, the many factions that formed the intergalactic alliance and the universal government had started to receive help by the numerous visitors that came from the other dimensions.

    In the universal government this meant that the immortal cultivators had lost any form of interest in keeping their hegemony over this speck of existence that before, they would call everything. Now, all they cared about was to cultivate the paths given to them by the champions of Evolution, the aspect of existence which better represented them.

    Because of this sudden division, Daniel had decided to extend the invitation that the students of his academy had received, to their families. Most of these families had heard about Daniel's feats, and since there were close to no negative rumors about his character, they had decided that they would not mind finding stability under a reasonable individual. However, that was not the same for everyone.

    Some of the students of Daniel's academy came from families who ruled their own planets, or possessed companies that expanded through many solar systems, and even galaxies. Conglomerates that had taken tens of thousands of years to build.. Empires which they couldn't not afford to abandon.

    Naturally, Daniel decided not to push them.

    The students of his academy had already gone through numerous purges, which allowed the members of Daniel's group to dismiss those who were not suitable to follow the path he created, and that was the only reason why he had taken the initiative to offer a safe haven to these families. But that did not mean that he would force them to accept.

    Relatively satisfied with the response, Daniel turned to look at Emelnie, and asked, "What are the major changes within this universe?"

    Emelnie was the chairman of Golden Karma, the company that Daniel's group would use as a connection between the market of the thousands of planets they had visited, and their own planet. Because of its nature, the golden karma company was also their main source of information, which merchants would often exchange during their business transactions.

    As the core of the information gathering of Daniel's group, Emelnie was the one who would update Daniel to the most noteworthy events of the universe, including conflicts, business opportunities, and much more.

    Now that their universe was opened to the other dimensions, interesting news were all but lacking. "Thanks to the help of the champions of the aspect of Consciousness, the spiritual faction has become the group with the largest growth margin. However, they stick to their territory, and hardly ever come out. The universal government is now allied with the ki factions, and together, they have been representing Evolution in their conflicts against Ingenuity, whose champion is the race of aliens of which the scientist you have captured a year ago was part of.."

    "Have they separated from their alliance as well?" Asked Daniel with confusion. For all he knew, the alien race of which the scientist was part of, was referred to as the Nevia race. They were highly intelligent aliens which, paired with the highly advanced technology of the Kurga race, had allowed them to slowly take over the roles which required high intellect. Thanks to their intelligence, their race had quickly turned into the mind of their alliance, as opposed to the Kruga, who were the brawns in control.

    What Daniel did not know, was that the only reason why Ingenuity had chosen to support the intergalactic alliance during their first appearance, was because of the Nevians. Unfortunately Daniel could not understand the importance their race had for the alien alliance, so all he could see them as, was weak eggheads.

    "Yes. Ever since the use of grey matter has been exposed to cause the destruction of the universe, the Krugans have been forced to give up on their reliance on military technology. Unfortunately, that cost them the favor of Conclusion, whose only interest was in using the Kruga to help him nurture his champions, the dimensional destroyers.. Helping them put an end to this dimension." Explained Emelnie, clearly more than prepared for these kinds of questions.

    "Okay, continue.."

    "The parasitic faction is no more.. new leader of the elemental factions.. have trained the other children of.." Emelnie kept reporting one event after another for the following few minutes, until finally, she stopped.

    Daniel had long since realized that the changes in his universe would be drastic. However, he had never realized how much. In only a short year, the opening of their dimension had destroyed any form of stability that had been created through hundreds of thousands of years of effort. Formerly allied factions would now wage war amongst each other, peaceful groups would now set out for conquest, and already powerful factions would strengthen themselves by the day. What was once a block of neatly stored knives, was a deadly storm where anyone could get hurt.

    After Emelnie's report, Daniel made sure that nothing was wrong on his planet. That the resources of food would be more than support even double the number of mortals, that the academy would go ahead without any problem, and that its students would have enough resources to cultivate. Then, he dismissed his companions, and went back to his room.

    Once alone, he lay down on the right side of his bed, and with one leg over the other, and his arms crossed over his chests, he closed his eyes, and began to think.

    The pressure of having to assure a good life for what was now a population of tens of millions was not an easy thing to bear. Especially not for someone who had so many things he needed to solve. But that was the path he had chosen. The only thing that could have eased this stress was what was missing from the other side of his bed.

    However, for how much he wanted to forget about the turmoil the universe was in and go to see her, just as he planned before the encounter with the murderous god, that was not the time yet.

    The gloomy feeling of impending doom filled his mind. An army of cultivators whom, after millions of years spent kissing the feet of the creator of their cultivation's path, would unleash their greed, frustration, and thirst for violence on his people. What worried him the most, was thinking that many of them were unlikely to be much weaker than the murderous god himself.

    The fact that the murderous god had a legacy yet to impart after so many years, in Daniel's mind, was enough to only imagine the number that would come for him. He needed power, and he needed it fast.

    After a few minutes spent in silence, Daniel stood up, and headed for the window.

    Once he reached it, he leaned over it, and began to hear noises coming from one of the large gardens which surrounded the castle. There, he saw Jerigh and Cynna face one another. Her unsheathed weapon pointed menacingly towards the blond man, seemingly ready to start a fight at any moment.

    A few words were being exchanged between the two, but while Daniel could have easily listened to them, he chose not to. Instead, he simply observed as Cynna became increasingly angrier, until finally, she disappeared. When she reappeared, she was in the middle of an attack.

    Cynna had drastically improved in the past. She had become a true immortal, and cultivated to mid phases, but Jerigh was a different kind of monster. His cultivation was now past the hundredth phase of high immortality, and while the essence he emanated was weaker than hers, he would still only lose once in a million, and only if they stuck to rules that would not include death.

    This was shown by his reaction to her attack, which he effortlessly stopped by grabbing her descending wrist, and locking it against her chest.

    Almost as if offended that Jerigh hadn't allowed her to hit him, Cynna sent a slap with her free hand, but unfortunately, once again, her wrist was stopped right before joining her other hand right against her chest.

    Jerigh clearly did not want to fight, as shown by his complete indifference towards retaliating. Instead, he looked at the black haired young girl with an apologetic expression, and said, "I am-khh" he was stopped by the girl's head, which came crashing against his bottom lip, causing him to bite his own tongue.

    Daniel could not help but smile at this, but then, instead of keeping on watching, he shook his head, and disappeared from his room.

    When he reappeared, he was standing in the most populated area within his planet. The entrance to hiel academy's sacred grounds. In front of him were thousands of young men waiting patiently in line to enter, eager to spend the following few days using the true essence emanated by the artifact, to develop their mind, and ascend to true immortality.

    The line was hundreds of meters long, and at the head of it, right next to the entrance of the sacred grounds, were Xargy and Aeron, sitting at a small table, and playing chess.

    Daniel ignored the line and quietly walked ahead, attracting the attention of the many students.

    "What is he doing? Is he skipping the line?" Asked a bald young man dressed in a yellow training attire, and carried a simple staff.

    In a place filled with students eager to cultivate, skipping the line was about the biggest crime one could commit, so when these two words reached the ears of the others, the crowd went into an uproar, from which complaints and accusations could barely be distinguished.

    Daniel and Aeron ignored these complaints, until finally, "Mister protector dragon! Someone is skipping the line!" Shouted a young woman in a skimpy purple dress with a particularly squeaky voice.

    The shrill tone of the young girl pierced into Xargy's focused mind, and distracted him right as he was about to make his move. "WHY ARE YOU MAKING SO MUCH NOISE?!" He shouted after suddenly standing up, and pointing at random students in the line.

    "Sir, someone is jumping ahead!" Said the second person in line, which was very close to going in, and finally start cultivating.

    Xargy was known to be extremely strict with guarding the entrance of the sacred grounds, and whenever someone would try to skip the line, they would be sent back and would be banned from entering the sacred grounds for at least a week. To this rule there was no exception, and no forgiveness. No matter how much was offered to him to revoke the punishment, his words were law.

    When Xargy's eyes landed on Daniel, however, instead of going on his usual tirade where he would joke about eating the student whole, cooking him in a stove with his purple flames, or just huff and puff them in the air, he instantly calmed down. He then, along with Aeron, stood up and walked towards Daniel, who was still a few meters away.

    After reaching him, the three started to talk to one another.

    About a minute later, when it seemed that the conversation had come to an end, Xargy turned to look at the long line of cultivators, and said with a tone that resounded all the way to the back of the line, "The sacred grounds will close indefinitely. We will tell you the next time it will be open for the students. Go back."

    "WHAT?!"

    "What does that mean??"

    "But! IT WAS MY TURN!!"

    The complaints of the students came all together, piling up over the already extremely thin line that was Xargy's patience, until finally, "Anyone who is still here after twenty seconds will turn into human stew! TWENTY.. NINETEEN!!"
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