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468 Connected by the Red Thread of Destiny

    Seemingly horrified by what he had just seen, Daniel once again closed his eyes, and hurriedly read what was written in the old, and yet updated mission that would bring him to once again see Alesia. As his eyes reached the end of the description, his heart sank.

    ____________________________

    *Primary Quest started: Connected by the Red Thread of Destiny*

    -Description: Alesia's peculiar nature has caught the attention of the Spiritual Emperor, who after seeing her, has become infatuated with her.

    First objective set: Reach the territory of the Spiritual Faction.

    Optional: Reunite with Alesia before she can be forced into a marriage with the Spiritual Emperor.

    Optional: Reunite with Alesia before she can be used as goods in exchange for superior cultivation methods of spiritual nature.

    Reward: ???

    Time limit: Alesia will die in 2 years.

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    Daniel had always been a relatively composed individual. He could always plan his course of action and follow that path regardless of hitches, and most of the times, with a bit of luck, he could come out successful.. But not this time. This time his mind was blank. His eyes locked on an unimportant patch of dark grey rock of which most of the castle was made out of, but inside him, all but calmness remained.

    It did not take long for his companions to notice that something was wrong with him, but before any of them could step forward, or even talk to him, the hair on the back of their necks suddenly rose, and their muscles began to shiver uncontrollably.

    The feeling that dawned upon them was one of pure bloodlust and killing intent, and was so horrifying, that the weakest of those present could feel their stomach churn, and their content rise over the bottom of their throats, threatening to rush out from the same entrance from which it had passed on the way in.

    This terrifying feeling came out of Daniel's body like a deadly stench, taking a nearly-physical form that pushed the essences of wind, water, light, and even space, away from his body. Once coming in contact with this bloodlust, the water essence crystalized, causing the temperature of the room to drop as fast as the lights dimmed down.

    Unable to handle this anymore, the weakest people present fell on the ground unconscious, while the rest tightened their jaws in hope to resist this nauseating pressure. Most of those who had maintained their consciousness were trying to say something, but a simple action like opening their mouths or even thinking of what to say, were now impossible to perform.

    Every single sense in their bodies screamed at them to run away, warning them that if they stayed, they would die the most horrible and painful death they could possibly imagine. However, just as a few drops of sweat and tears were starting to stream down their foreheads and corner of their eyes, Daniel took a deep breath, and the feeling suddenly disappeared.

    "What the hell was that!?" Barked Xargy with anger as the others gasped for air, or tried to wake up those who had lost consciousness. Daniel turned to look at his angered companion with confusion, and only then, he noticed the mess he had created.

    "What is going on? What happened?" He asked with confusion.

    Daniel's companions looked at him with confusion. The power they had felt clearly came from him, and they knew that he would never willingly hurt them, but from his reaction, it appeared that he was unaware of what he had inadvertently unleashed.

    What neither Daniel or his companions knew, was that the power used by Daniel was a form of attack that turned their power into a representation of their emotions, releasing it in the air so that it could reach the hearts of others. While this power had never appeared in Daniel's universe before, it was relatively common in other dimensions, and was an ability that only cultivators that, just like him, had broken into the early stages of godhood.

    After listening to the explanation of what happened, Daniel immediately apologized, but that could not stop many of his companions from leaving the room with expressions full of anger.

    When only his closest friends were left, Emelnie approached him. She then caressed his hair a few times before taking his hand, and squeezing it between hers. "What happened? Talk to us.." She said with a kind expression.

    Daniel looked back at Emelnie, and for a moment, he couldn't help but hear her thoughts. In her mind he could hear genuine concern for him, but more than anything, was the worry she had felt for Alesia. A worry that she had buried underneath loads of work for the past few years, and which she couldn't keep quiet anymore. He was the cause of this worry. He who had shown her such a terrifying power, right after claiming that he would finally save her daughter.

    The feelings of guilt and shame emerged into Daniel's mind, as he looked at his other equally worried companions. Then, when his eyes once again landed on Emelnie's, who was still holding his hand while hoping for an answer, he showed a confident smile, and said, "It's nothing. Let's go get your daughter back."

    Terrified that her daughter could have died, tears of happiness threatened to fall down the corners of her eyes, but she was able to keep them in. Instead, she once again cupped Daniel's cheek with her hand, "Okay" she said with a broken voice, which showed that she was on the verge of crying from relief. She then stood up, and left the room without saying anything more.

    -----

    Territory of the spiritual faction, planet Anima, ten days earlier.

    In what was considered by most low level cultivators as the very core of the universe, was Anima. An entirely constructed planet of which seas, mountains, skies, and even its core, were made entirely out of morphed spiritual essence.

    What made this planet special, however, was not the uniqueness of its composition, but the reason why it was given the honor to be considered a mecca for all of the immortal cultivators, and spiritual cultivators throughout the universe. That was the connection between the spiritual plain, and their universe.

    This connection between the two dimensions, contrary to what people believed, was not a crack in space, or a door that led from one dimension to the other. Instead, it was more similar to a small sprout that had grown out of the ground, and waited to turn into a majestic tree. However, even from before its discovery, this little sprout had never grown in size, and had stayed the same for eons.

    Despite his size, however, this little connection was able to supply the entire dimension with an unlimited amount of pure spiritual essence, and was the channel that connected all spirits to their place of origin, the spiritual plane itself.

    The importance of this place was so big, that a whole faction had been built with its existence at its core. The spiritual faction had prepared itself to even face destruction when found by the universal government, as they were ready to die before letting another group occupy the territory around the connection between the universe, and the spiritual plain.

    For tens of thousands of years, the spiritual root had been hidden in the most peculiar and complicated labyrinth ever conceived, and buried deep beneath the white castle, a majestic construct made completely out of white stone, and inhabited by the spiritual emperor.

    The entrance of the white castle was always filled with prominent cultivators who, despite their age and cultivation level, had to respectfully wait for their turn to enter in hope to meet with the Spiritual Emperor, and maybe, even get a peek at the spiritual root. However, there were some exceptions to this rule.

    Being escorted past the long line of cultivators by numerous spiritual warriors, was a relatively old high immortal. Skipping the line would usually cause one to be banned from ever entering the territory of the spiritual factions again, or at times, even death, but no one argued about this man, who was escorted straight to the head of the line, and led into the white gates which opened for his arrival.

    This was the first time the old man had ever been in the White Castle, a place which he had always wanted to visit, so he tried to enjoy every detail he could while being hurried to where he and his escort were headed. Every breath he took led into his lungs copious amounts of spiritual essence, which invaded his body with the same power as an essence gem would. He would have sat down on the floor and started to cultivate right away, if only that would not have granted him a death sentence.

    After a few minutes of walking, the old man was finally led into one of the studios in the southern side of the castle. In it, a man in his early twenties stood in front of a large library, scrolling through books, while an older looking gentleman stacked papers and organized a large constructed desk.

    The moment the old high immortal entered the room, one of the guards closed the door, leaving him in the company of the young man, and the old gentleman.

    Seeing how naturally the old man took care of the papers present on the desk, the immortal cultivator approached the desk, and with an extremely polite tone, said, "It is an honor to be in your presence, first bishop. Thank you for granting me an audience."

    "You have a minute." Said the bishop with a casual and uncaring tone.

    "Sir.. Word that you enjoy a good story regarding the spiritual world has reached my humble planet, and I do believe I might have something that might interest you.." Said the old man while straightening his posture, and glancing a little higher.

    "And this is how you have wasted half of your minute." Responded the bishop before raising his head, and looking at the old man.

    The old man was caught off guard by the words of the first bishop, but then, he quickly composed himself, and began to explain. "I have spent all of my life in the Dominion of the War God, so I am very familiar with the many types of cultivators.. Especially those rejected by their factions. However, what I have seen now is unlike anything I have seen before."

    For the first time, the bishop seemed to be interested in the words of the old man. "You have come to tell me about the spiritual weapons of the inheritor of the first War God?" He asked with interest before sitting comfortably on his chair.

    Almost as if afraid to give bad news to the bishop, the old man bit his lower lip, then responded by saying, "No sir, that is still a very well kept secret. But I have something that could be equally as interesting."

    "Go on then."

    "As you might have heard, the inheritor of the first War God is a young woman with grey skin. She is a talented warrior and possesses a different kind of power from the more common Ki.. which made her the center of the attention of the many ki factions. I have had the pleasure to see her a few times in Arena, the capital.. And she was always accompanied by another woman."

    The minute had clearly passed, but after seeing that the bishop was not interrupting him, the old man felt reassured, and continued, "This young woman, other than being exceptionally beautiful, is equally as unique as the inheritor of the first War God."

    "What makes this woman so special?" Asked the bishop while leaning over his desk.

    "I was there when the two were discovered, I was amongst the observers to one of the collective ascensions.. When she turned into a being completely made out of spiritual essence." Said the old man while trying to recall the details of what he had seen that day.

    Suddenly, the interest disappeared from the face of the bishop, and he slouched on the back of his chair. "That is just a spiritual mirage.. It happens when a cultivator of the martial and spiritual path fails to enter immortality.. Get out." He said with a dismissive tone while waving for him to leave.

    The old man noticed the disappointment on the face of the bishop, but instead of leaving, he lowered his head, and said, "Sir, you have misunderstood.. The woman wasn't at the late ranks of spiritual and martial cultivation, and she wasn't trying to break into immortality. She was already an immortal cultivator that was trying to break into the stages of high immortality."

    These last few words reignited the interest in the face of the bishop, and even the young man that was going through books, put the one he was holding down, and began to pay more attention.
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