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467 Unknown Stages and Lost Friends

    After the death of the last blood cultivator, Daniel's friends approached him. "How long do you think we have before the next group arrives?" Asked Edmund with a hoarse voice, dragged down by the tiredness he was feeling.

    Daniel did not respond right away, and instead, maintained his pensive state for a few more seconds. He then suddenly turned to look at his companions, and said, "Weeks.. Maybe.." He then quiet down once again. After realizing that his companions had noticed that there was something in his mind, he added, "Killing them might not have been the right choice. The next group will be bigger."

    "Did we have a choice?" Asked Nova, confused by Daniel's words.

    "We did before, but now we don't." Responded Daniel, hinting that there was more to it than they knew. Once again Nova was about to speak, but before he could say anything, Daniel added, "It wasn't impossible to avoid this fight, but the next time we would have encountered them, they would have obtained more power through the sacrifice of countless people, and the fight would have been harder. Now we have time to grow in power."

    Daniel's companions immediately understood his motive, but still couldn't wrap their minds around what he meant with 'grow in power'. It was only after nobody said anything for various seconds, that Xargy finally asked, "Do you mean that you want us to cultivate in the artifact? Because if we all go in at the same time, none of us will make any progress by the time the next group arrives."

    Once again Daniel did not respond, but this time, it was for a much longer time. The only one who understood what was going on was Aeron, who looked into Daniel's mind, and noticed the window that latter was busy observing.

    ____________________________

    Dan Hiel - Karmic system's Wielder.

    Age - 29

    Power Level

    -Birth of Godhood

    Battle Prowess

    -Early Godhood

    Karma - 586,579,023,475,938

    ____________________________

    Weapons Masteries (Details)

    Martial Arts (Details)

    Skills (Details)

    Spells (Details)

    ____________________________

    Reap What You've Sown

    Time Is Precious Lv.100

    Reduced Cost Lv.50

    Bonus Points Lv.50

    Second Chance (Upgrades 5/5) Lv.25

    Karma X Luck

    Karma Debt

    Karmic Retribution (Upgrades 3/3)

    Devil's Advocate

    Regulator's Will

    ____________________________

    System Upgrades (Details) AVAILABLE

    ____________________________

    What Daniel was currently focused on, wasn't the enormous number that appeared underneath his name, but the terms which the system had used to describe his level of cultivation. There weren't many theories in his mind about what the Birth of Godhood could possibly mean, and the only reason he was not beyond a simple state of confusion, was because of what had happened not that long ago.

    -----

    Core of the Sacred Grounds, one day earlier.

    For the last three months Daniel had constantly drained the door to the dream state of all of its cultivation, using its ownerless power to cultivate, and reach the highest phase of true immortality he could achieve. All he needed was enough power to be able to use the essence of spacetime, after which he would be able to manage many of the upcoming fights.

    However, the higher his cultivation phase reached, the more worried he became.

    While his cultivation level kept increasing without a problem, he soon realized that the power of spacetime was not something that someone in his realm was supposed to possess, and that was confirmed when finally, after reaching the two-hundredth phase of true immortality, he found himself in front of a bottleneck, only days before the arrival of the first wave of blood cultivators.

    Despite the failure in controlling the essence of spacetime, he had discovered that there was a change with his body. His true essence had become less stable than before, almost as if trying to change, but unable to find a way to. Unsure of what to do, Daniel tried to create a mission through the use of his system, but for the first time since he had received it, nothing happened.

    With his mind filled with questions, after many hours spent guessing, he finally gave up on cultivation, and decided to leave the artifact, so that he could support his companions the moment the enemies would arrive. However, the moment his consciousness entered his spatial ring to retrieve a clean set of clothes, his attention was stolen by a small orb of grey matter, or how the aspects of existence had called it, residue of origin.

    This dull orb of grey matter now appeared much more important than before, and almost as if essential to him, he couldn't stop looking at it, to a point where, if not for his mental fortitude, he would have forgotten about the incoming danger, and would have spent months staring at it. After shaking this feeling of importance out his head, Daniel left the spatial ring, along with the residue of origin.

    The moment Daniel's consciousness left the pocket dimension with the grey orb, he opened his eyes, curious to see if that strange phenomenon would reappear once again, but when his eyelids opened, the grey orb had already stuck to his body, and was seeping into the pores of his skin. Shocked by what was happening, Daniel tried to force the grey matter out of his body, but the moment his true immortal essence would clash against the now liquid grey matter, it would simply dilute it, and allow it to navigate through the atoms of Daniel's body with more ease.

    The feeling left behind by the passage of the residue of origin was akin to that of molten lava, burning through skin, flesh, blood, and bone. This amount of pain couldn't be contained by Daniel's recovery, and was so oppressive, that after only a few seconds, caused him to fall on the ground, unconscious.

    When Daniel woke up, hours later, he found that his body had changed. The mist-like essence that had filled his body was now more similar to a liquid, and by the feel of it, he knew that a smaller amount would be able to achieve much more than his true immortal essence. This power bound the atoms of his body even more tightly, making his bones sturdier, and muscles more elastic. However, what surprised him the most, was the fact that while manipulating the essence of spacetime was an extremely taxing action before, now, it wasn't any more difficult than when he had gained the very first bit of comprehension of fire essence.

    Curious about the changes that had taken place in his body, Daniel tried to open the window that would usually describe him, but right as he was about to, the sudden realization of how much time had passed came to his mind. It was right then that he left the sacred grounds of Hiel academy, and joined his companions in fighting the six blood cultivators.

    -----

    "Can you handle them like this?" Asked Aeron after noticing the changes in Daniel's profile.

    Daniel ignored the looks of confusion of his other companions, and after turning to look at Aeron, he shook his head lightly. "This was the best I could handle with the power I have. If they hadn't killed one of their own, things could have gone differently."

    "Are you doing that mind thing you always do? Can't you just talk like normal people?" Said Xargy with exasperation. He was the one who had spent the most time with Daniel and Aeron, and no one more than him knew how unnerving being in the company of two mental cultivators could be.

    "Alright, calm down.. Here is the problem.." Said Daniel before starting to explain everything that had happened since he had entered the sacred grounds. The people in front of him were those whom he trusted the most, and therefore, he had no secrets with them.

    A few minutes later.

    ".. and this is where we are now."

    "Wait, hold on a moment." Said Nova after raising his translucent hands in front of his chest in a waiting motion. "Are you telling us that you are some sort of God now?"

    Daniel shook his head gently before saying, "Of course not. I probably just broke into a realm of cultivation that is used by a species that inhabits one of the other universes. That is the only reason I could think of, for why the system would create a name for a stage of cultivation that I should have been the first one to reach."

    Daniel's friends looked at one another with worry. What worried them was not the fact that their leader and friend had no idea about the realm he had reached, but because of a new problem that they would have to deal with from now on. What resources would Daniel need to cultivate now? Would they be able to survive the assault of the blood cultivators if Daniel were to stay at this stage of cultivation? These questions were the first ones to appear in the minds of Aeron and the others, whom as cultivators, were bound to always think about resources, and danger.

    There was no need for Daniel to read their minds to understand what his friends were thinking, "We will pull through it, don't worry.. Now let us go back, I need to rest." he said in an attempt to reassure his friends, before leading them back to his planet. Once they reached the black castle, Daniel closed himself into his room.

    For the following few hours the leading members of his group remained in wait for an explanation, pacing around the halls of the castle while thinking over the fight that had just taken place, and about how powerful the singular members of the blood sect truly were. When their patience was starting to run thin, the invisible winds and gentle waves of the seas and oceans stopped all around the world, and were replaced by a wave of sound essence that reached the ears of every single member of Daniel's group's system. This wave of sound essence carried a horse and disembodied voice, which said, "What is about to happen will shock many of you, but do not worry, you are perfectly safe. Try not to panic or overreact."

    The moment the last of these words entered the ears of the tens of thousands of cultivators, before they could even think of what the meaning behind these words could be, their power began to surge, increasing beyond the limits to which they were so familiar with.

    Many of the cultivators recognized this surge of power like the one they had felt when they had decided to follow the leader of this benevolent group of cultivators. A permanent improvement in their cultivation on which they could rely on, and that would place them above anybody at the same level of cultivation.

    However, that was not all. These boosts in power came one after the other until finally, after the tenth time, they finally stopped.

    This form of power surge would happen regularly when Daniel's group would be in contact with the other planets, but now that they had been forced to hide, and move around in secret, the lack of chances to gain karmic points as a group, had caused their advancement to stagnate. Now that Daniel had obtained a large amount of power, however, he had made use of the group's ability called Karmic Donation to donate many of the points he had received, and used them to increase the power of his group.

    After ten updates to his group's system, Daniel finally left his room, and met with his companions in the main hall of the black castle.

    "What was all of that about?" asked Xargy who, just like the others, felt like he could face a dozen guards of the draconic's royal army.

    After taking a quick look at his companions, Daniel responded by saying, "This will give us a chance while we find the others." In the small crowd Daniel could see Lucious, Mea, Edmund, and Emelnie, who more than anything, wanted him to find their lost family members and friends.

    "Who are we going to look for?" Asked Imblen, who in the past few years, had given up to her share of responsibility in exchange for a simple life with the two orphans she had adopted. However, she had never forgotten about Roley, whom she missed just like the others missed their daughters and father.

    Daniel looked back at Imblen with an apologetic look, shook his head gently, and remained quiet. He knew that if he left the choice to them, each of them would press him to save their loved ones, so he was left with the burned of making one of them happy, and the others miserable.

    "We are headed towards the territory of the spiritual faction, to find Gai'ha, and Alesia." he said before closing his eyes, and revisiting the content of one of his old missions. However, after only a few moments, his eyes opened in shock for what he had read.
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