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483 Hunting for Spirits

    When Daniel left the underworld, he found himself back in Anima's orbit.

    Due to the presence of many of the guests at the emperor's wedding, and numerous confused spiritual cultivators who were unsure of what to do, Daniel was able to realize that despite his permanence to the underworld had felt like it had lasted years, in reality, only a few minutes had passed.

    The moment he reappeared, the many spiritual cultivators and guests turned to look at him with confusion. Daniel had proven to be the most powerful entity in the universe, and that was the reason why they hadn't left yet. Anima could now be considered his territory, and for them to leave without saying anything, would not help them build a good relationship with him.

    Of all of those who had chosen to participate in the event, only the children of Iewah that had survived had left, as they were afraid that if they stayed, Daniel would have demanded for their artifacts in exchange for their lives.

    What none of these people knew, was that their actions were the least of Daniel's concerns. He had more important things in mind, and the last thing he would do right now, would be to receive one cultivator after another for political greetings and insincere congratulations.

    However, while Daniel had no interest in entertaining these people, he could not leave Anima yet. The planet was created around the only connection between the physical universe, and the spiritual plain, a connection which he required to recover Alesia's spirit, so he turned towards the planet, and with a domineering tone filled by a weak version of his emotional aura, he said, "Anima belongs to me now. You have until I come back to leave. After that, you won't be able to anymore." As he finished speaking he waved his hand lightly, forcing a portal to open next to him. He then took a deep breath, and walked in.

    As he stepped into the portal, Daniel emerged in front of his black castle, where many of his companions were discussing what had happened. Amongst them were the panicked Emelnie, and the enraged Edmund, the last of whom, the moment he saw Daniel, dashed in his direction, and punched him solidly in the face. "WHERE IS SHE!?" He shouted before grabbing Daniel's collar with both hands.

    The moment Emelnie noticed Daniel's appearance, she ignored her husband's actions, and gently pushed him away. She then grabbed Daniel's hand, and with hopeful eyes, she asked, "Where is she.. Daniel? Where is she?" The shame that Daniel was feeling prevented him from answering this question. Instead, he watched past Emelnie's worried expression in hope to see Aeron, who after noticing him, quietly walked next to the trio.

    While walking next to the three of them, with Daniel's permission, Aeron went through his memories, and inside them, he saw everything that happened. Once next to them, he turned towards the couple, and said, "Both of you, place a hand on my shoulders."

    The anxious couple looked at Aeron with confusion, but then, they did as requested, and placed their right hand over each of Aeron's shoulders. Once connected to him, Aeron placed his own hand onto Daniel's shoulder, and used his mental powers to force Edmund's and Emelnie's consciousness into Daniel's mind, where Alesia's consciousness was currently residing.

    As soon as Aeron's hand touched Daniel's shoulder, Emelnie and Edmund found themselves in front of the black castle, but instead of being surrounded by their companions and friends, there was no one else. The two looked around with confusion until finally, a few moments after their arrival, the castle's black gates opened, and from behind them, walked out a young woman in a snow white wedding dress, and silver hair.

    Without waiting for even a second for her to walk out of the castle, both Edmund and Emelnie dashed towards the young woman, who gave them an affectionate smile and welcomed them with opened arms.

    A few minutes later, which in Daniel's hastened consciousness lasted hours, Emelnie and Emelnie caught up with their daughter, learning what she had gone through since they had parted, how she and Gai'ha had fared in the a world of ki warriors, and how during her ascension, she had found her personal path of cultivation.

    Finally, when the joy of reuniting started to settle down, Alesia revealed how she had died, and spent what felt like an eternity in the underworld, which now felt like nothing but a simple memory.

    After hours spent talking, Daniel, Aeron, Edmund and Emelnie collectively opened their eyes. Emelnie and Edmund weren't happy about their daughter's death, but since they could still talk to her, and interact to her for as long as they wanted, they hadn't really felt that she had died, so they looked at Daniel with gratitude for bringing their daughter back from the dead, and confidence that he would manage to help her recover. After making sure of the strength of Daniel's will towards that goal, the two then retired into their quarters to give the news to their son.

    As the two went back into the black castle, to approach Daniel was a small group of cultivators composed of the War God, Gai'ha, the surviving owners of the ten moons, and a cautious Jerigh, who was observing their every movement. On the face of the War God, as well as Gai'ha's, was genuine worry, so in an attempt to bring them some relief, Daniel said confidently, "She is safe with me. I will protect her until no one will be strong enough to harm her."

    Daniel's words were of great comfort to both Gai'ha and the Inos, who sighed in relief. "That is good." Said the latter before turning to look at his companions, and giving a faint nod of his head to them.

    As she noticed that the War God's group was about to leave, Gai'ha turned to look at Daniel with a semblance of worry before rapidly turning to look back at Inos's group.

    Daniel noticed Gai'ha's actions, and quickly realized what she was hoping for him to do. "What is the condition of your faction?" He asked the War God, who was taking out a small ship from within his spatial ring.

    Inos momentarily stopped what he was doing and turned to look back at him. "It is our domain's rule that when we wage a war that we are not confident of winning, we take anyone who wishes to fight with the faction, and send the others to join a ki faction of their choice. Regardless of whether we come back as winners or losers, our warriors will have the same chance as the domain offered, and if we win, we start from scratch with the survivors." He said while releasing the small ship into the sky, and letting it float towards outer space, where it would grow to thousands of times its current size.

    Only a few moments away from leaving, Gai'ha once again looked at Daniel with imploring eyes, to which he responded by saying, "You are my people's teacher and sworn brother, and did not fail to come to their rescue when needed. If you wish, both you and your faction's survivors are free to live on my planet. I owe you that much." Despite needing Gai'ha's convincing, Daniel's words were genuine, and contained the gratitude that he had felt towards the War God for having taken care of both Alesia and Gai'ha.

    Inos stopped his actions, and along with the remaining moon warriors, he looked around. They all knew that their faction had never seen a more obscure time, after all, their number was now barely in the thousands, and their forces had decreased to that of an ordinary mid level faction. In a time where every faction of that level could gain the favor of an aspect's champion, and grow in power the same way the spiritual faction had, a weak existence such as them was nothing but easy prey.

    Amongst them, the one that was the least convinced was Inos, who as the War God, was in charge to keep the faction alive. However, he could see in the faces of his followers that this proposal was an opportunity for a better life not only for the moon warriors, but for their family members, as well as the families of the fallen ones, which he needed to take care of.

    Daniel saw the spark of doubt on Inos's face who, by not feeling like he was owed anything, saw this proposal as a charitable offer, so he said, "You don't have to disband your faction. Turn it into a school of martial arts, find a suitable place on this planet to settle down, and pass down your faction's history. You can find students within my planet's inhabitants, or teach your martial arts in my academy."

    This proposal was too good to refuse, as shown by the faces of the moon warriors, whose doubtful faces had changed into hopeful ones as they turned to look at the War God.

    Inos had no reason to refuse, so, without turning back, he said, "Very well. We'll be back with the other members of our faction in a few days."

    "Sewah, Jerigh, Xargy, go with them. Make sure there is no trouble as they move in." Said Daniel before turning to the side, and opening a small portal, from which a few seconds later, walked out Edmund. "Are you ready?" Asked Daniel.

    "When you are." Responded Edmund right before Daniel opened a second portal that led back to Anima, which was now only inhabited by the surviving spiritual cultivators that had chosen not to leave.

    When Daniel appeared, these cultivators showed no enmity, and instead fell on their knees, and said, "We harbor no ill intentions. We merely wish to live close to the connection to the spiritual plain." To speak was one of the few surviving bishops, who along with his emissaries and acolytes, were prostrating themselves in submission in hope to be allowed to keep their place of cultivation, even if under Daniel's rule.

    Within the emissaries and acolytes Daniel could see some familiar faces. Specifically, four spiritual warriors whom he had met in the past. The second and third emissaries, who had been punished for trying to cheat him after the events of Gai'ha's and Lucious' planet of origin, and Nia and Noah, the two acolytes that had been assigned to be his intergalactic chauffeur, but had cheated him by leaving him far away from his destination.

    All four of them were the disciples and grand disciples of the fourth bishop, who was now prostrating himself in front of Daniel just for a chance of being allowed to stay on anima. The four were now kneeling to Daniel in complete silence. They knew that if their master learned about how they had offended him in the past, he would have likely sacrificed them to appease him anger, so they were in no hurry to be recognized.

    Naturally, their presence did not escape Daniel's senses, but since he could not be bothered with delaying his plans for such a small matter, he simply walked past them and towards the white castle, pretending that they didn't exist.

    As Daniel and Edmund reached the white castle, they forced an opening on the large constructed stones that formed its walls by erasing the control enforced by the formation, and soon enough, the two found themselves in front of the vein which provided the entire universe with spiritual essence. "It's up to you now." Said Daniel after taking a step back, and letting Edmund walk closer.

    Daniel did not leave, and instead pressed his hands against Edmund's back, and injected large amounts of his true immortal essence into him. He then waited.

    Just like he had been able to open a portal for the underworld, Edmund knew that he would be able to open one for the spiritual plain. However, he was unsure what the effect would be. After all, the underworld was a passive domain, while the spiritual plain would constantly emit an immense quantity of power with no sign of ever being close to stop.

    The moment Edmund's hands hooked onto the two sides of a portal that only he could see, the spirit contained in his body threatened to be ripped out and be absorbed by the crack that he had just opened. If not for Daniel's power, which had caged his spirit within his body, Edmund would have been long gone.

    With a significant consumption of his power, after a few minutes of strenuous attempts, Edmund was finally able to open a portal large enough for a person to walk through. He then tried to enter it, but was promptly stopped by Daniel.

    "Edmund, you can't enter. Your spirit will disperse the moment I move my hand away." Said Daniel to the worried father, who wished for nothing but to be able to help recover his daughter's spirit.

    After seeing Edmund's disappointed state of mind, Daniel stepped in between him and the portal, and said, "I don't know if I'll be able to use my system when I'm in the spiritual plain, but I am almost sure that as long as I am in there, none of the blood cultivators in search for the legacy of the murderous god will find you. Take care of the others. I'll be back with your daughter's spirit in no time."

    He then entered it without waiting for Edmund's response.
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