484 The Spiritual World

    The moment Daniel stepped into the portal, he found himself in an white room. This room would be completely empty, if not for the presence of a young woman with grey hair who appeared to be standing in wait for his arrival on the side opposite Daniel's. From the power that her body emanated, it was clear to Daniel that this woman was a spiritual cultivator of sorts, but of a kind that he had never seen before. Instead of emanating immortal essence, which was a power that was born from merging an equally developed ki and spirit, or a soul, which was the result of merging a powerful mind to one's spirit, this woman possessed, very much like Daniel, a developed mind, spirit, and body. However, these three powers were not merged together, and coexisted individually within her body.The moment this young woman saw Daniel, she looked at him with the same expression a receptionist would show to her guests, and said, "Welcome to the spiritual world. Due to Spirit's regulations, only one group per universe is allowed to visit the spiritual world, and as the first visitor from your universe, this passage belongs to you, and is free for you to use. You are free to sell or gift your ownership of this passage whenever you like."Usually, whenever a universe would become aware of the multiverse, a champion of the aspect of existence of Spirit would visit that universe's indigenous spiritual cultivators, and would introduce them to the spiritual world. That was what the emissary of the Soul Clan had tried to do with the spiritual emperor of Daniel's universe before he had interrupted their plans. However, Daniel had never been introduced to the spiritual plain, and therefore, he knew nothing of what to expect.For a moment Daniel ignored the presence of the young woman, and instead, closed his eyes and tried to formulate a mission with the use of his system.. However, he soon found out that his fears were founded, and that just like in the underworld, his system was not allowed to function by the owner of this domain, which Daniel had guessed to be an entity on the level of Destiny, and Death."Your ability to read and change destiny won't work here. Anything but that is allowed." Said the young woman, almost as if reading right into Daniel's mind.The words of the young woman sounded oddly specific to Daniel, who once again closed his eyes, and this time, tried to start 'Time is Precious', which activated without a problem. "How did you-" He started to ask before being interrupted once again."The arrival of one of you sets off all kinds of alarms in Lord Spirit. Your apparition did not go unnoticed." Said the young woman with a matter-of-fact tone. She then turned to the wall that was erected behind her, and in front of Daniel, and placed a hand over it. As her hand touched its cold surface, the six walls of the room detached from one another like the paper walls of a box, before melting into an ownerless spiritual essence that dissipated in the air, revealing an immense constructed swamp that reached beyond the eye could see.The young woman noticed the swamp, and reacted to it by muttering, "So many dirty souls in your universe.." she then once again turned to look at Daniel, and added, "Remember this place, this is your way out if you wish to leave the spiritual world. Good luck."As she finished speaking the young woman started to leave, but before she could, Daniel said, "Wait.. I have some questions."In Daniel's tone the young woman was able to feel a hint of desperation, so, in a fit of compassion, she decided to stop, turn to look at him, and asked, "What is it?""I am looking for the spirit of a dead person.. It dissipated a few hours ago in my universe, and went back here. How can I find it?" Asked Daniel, hopeful that a method to reconnect with the spirit of a deceased person actually existed.The young woman looked at Daniel with a somewhat confused expression, then pointed her to her surroundings, and said, "Look around.. Every bit of this world is made of mindless spirits. There are quintillions of them. This person's spirit better be a special one in life, or you'll never find it.. Now, if you have any more questions, now is the time, or I will be on my way."While this answer was the exact opposite of what Daniel was hoping to obtain, there was nothing that he could do. However, that did not mean that he had no idea where to start. When he had created the mission with the goal to rescue Alesia, Daniel had read that the second optional objective required him to save her before she would be handed over to the emissary of the Soul Clan, an eventuality which would have led to her demise exactly two years later."Where can I find the Soul Clan?" He asked while struggling to hide his hostility towards the group he had mentioned.The young woman shook her head in disapproval. She knew perfectly well of how unruly the Soul Clan was. Their reach and power within the spiritual world was incredibly vast, and that was due to the control they had over numerous universes, which they had invaded by purchasing, or stealing their newly opened paths to the spiritual world. They, along with a few other groups, were those against whom the young woman would have suggested him to cross paths with. However, now that Daniel had mentioned them, while she wanted to warn him, she felt like her words would be wasted.Instead, she turned north east from where she was standing, and said, "That way is the closest trading post. In it, you should be able to find some members of the Soul Clan. You should be able to manage it on your own from there. Good luck with your search." As she finished speaking, she stepped away, and turned herself into a mist of white smoke which disappeared in the wind.The information that the young woman had given to him were not many, but at least now Daniel knew where to start, so turned to look at the direction that she had pointed out for him, and with as much power as he could muster, turned into a beam of light, and shot in the distance.The first thing that Daniel realized about the spiritual world was that it was not a planet. Even after using his cultivation at the early stage of godhood to dash in a straight line for two hours, he had yet to see a city or a town. At the same time, the spiritual world lacked the curve that a planet would possess, which convinced Daniel that the spiritual world was, in fact, a flat plain that extended beyond anyone's imagination.On his way towards the city, he had seen frozen lands, deserts, snowy forests and tropical jungles, but not a single living entity aside from a few spiritual beasts every now and then. These beasts inhabited the spiritual world, and differed from normal beasts by a powerful spirit which was caged within their similarly powerful bodies. If not for a strong body that could protect them from the nature of the spiritual world, their spirits would be ripped out of their bodies, and end up being forced to become part of the landscape.Something that Daniel had noticed, was the fact that every blade of grass, tree, boulder, or even pebble, were formed out of lifeless spirits. These object-shaped spirits were once living beings, which after dying, had gone back to the spiritual plain in wait to be reincarnated into a living being that was still at its earliest stages of formation. The stronger the spirit would become in life, the bigger and more majestic its form would be in death, but aside from their appearance, there was no real difference between one another.After more than a day spent flying in the same direction at full speed, Daniel finally found a massive city, which appeared underneath him in an instant, and almost went unnoticed.Daniel's plan was to lay low, and gather the piece of information that would allow him to pinpoint the location of the spiritual clan, a clan of spiritual cultivators that focused on merging their spirit and minds into a soul that would allow them to maintain their memories even after being killed in the physical world, and being sent back to the spiritual world.The nature of the soul of the envoy was the reason why Daniel had failed to protect Alesia. He was convinced that by killing him he had solved the problem, but when the child of Iewah had picked up his trinket, which the envoy used as a rope to go back to the physical world soon after, he had moved outside of his system's spectrum of prediction. Luckily, Daniel had noticed the envoy's interest in the nature of Alesia's spirit, an interest that had led him to believe that during the transition of her spirit, the envoy would have found a way to take her spirit and bring it back with him, so that he could study it in the safety of the spiritual world.While his intentions were to go unnoticed, unfortunately, his reckless flying had already caused thousands of people to notice him. These people immediately flew out of the city and stopped him from entering."You don't have any respect for your surroundings.. Nor your elders, young immortal." Said a decrepit old man who floated at the head of a group of around a hundred people. By his sides, positioned all around the floating figure of Daniel, were twenty more groups which, just like the first one, were led by a single individual, and supported by a hundred more."What do you want?" Asked Daniel with a calm and unperturbed tone. He had noticed that every single one of these thousands of cultivators possessed a cultivation at the level of the early stages of godhood, and that their leaders were already at the mid stages. These groups were clearly part of different factions within the spiritual world.. Factions which, if possible, he would rather not add to his enemies.The leader of a second group, a middle aged man with rough appearances, moved slightly forward and responded before anybody else could, by saying, "Sell your pathway to the Gate of Seven Sins, we will forget the offense, and let you use it for free in the future."Daniel had long since wondered why someone would sell the access to their own universe, or how it was possible that someone could steal it from its holder, but now that he had met someone that belonged to other universes, in their spirit, he had felt the connection to spaces different than his own. Similarly, other people could feel his own, which by not being separated into the millions of people which had entered the spiritual plain from the same universe, marked Daniel as the only user of that pathway, and by extension, as its sole owner.The words of the middle aged man were successful in riling up his peers, who started to argue to whom Daniel's connection should have gone to. Daniel's opinion, or willingness to sell it, were beyond irrelevant to them, and the only reason why they hadn't ripped it out of him yet, was because that would cause a battle to take place."This trading post belongs to our clan. If anyone has a claim on that connection it's none other than us."".. You wish, you decrepit old mummy. Our leader spotted him first, and we were the first ones on site."This discussion went on for a few minutes, until finally, Daniel, the only one who had yet to talk, asked, "Who are the members of the Soul Clan?"The thousands of cultivators suddenly turned to look at a group in particular, whose leader smiled in satisfaction, and said, "You are smarter than you look, kid. You have picked the right group." However, by the time he had finished speaking, the looks of the observing cultivators had turned from looks of irritation and jealousy, to looks of horror. "What is wrong with you lot? You have to learn how to take a loss." He added after noticing that the other groups, along with their leaders, were slowly backing away, almost as if horrified by him and his group.Confused by their behaviour, the leader of the spiritual cultivators of the soul clan turned around, and where before were a hundred of his people, now were only corpses engulfed in pitch black flames.In disbelief he turned to look back at Daniel, but before his eyes could point out his position, a hand landed onto his forehead. The light in his eyes went out as his consciousness was forcibly pulled out of his weak body, which due to being fused to his spirit, dragged it along in the form of his soul.Daniel incinerated the physical body of the cultivator while holding his soul in his hand, then turned to look at the spectral being, and said with a calm and unhurried tone, "One question. Answer, and I'll let you go.. lie to me, and I will erase you."
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