506 A Strange Space

    At his age Daniel had already visited countless different civilizations, witnessed fantastical cosmic events, and traveled between dimensions and odd planes of existence, so when he found himself in front of the simple dome-shaped building that was used as the arena of the Half Moon Sect after following the group of female cultivators, he felt slightly disappointed.

    In the midst of his disappointment, a spark of curiosity was born the very moment he, after losing interest in what was happening and turning around to leave, saw the massive crowd that was currently marching as a group towards the arena.

    The reason why this massive crowd left Daniel filled with confusion, was the fact that provided that the whole archipelago could resist the magnitude of a fight between two cultivators at the peak of the godhood stage, the number of outer disciples that were approaching in an attempt to witness the fight was definitely not something that such a small building would be able to accommodate.

    Nevertheless, despite Daniel's perplexity, it did not seem that the cultivators of which this large crowd was formed were in a hurry to find a seat.. as shown by how calmly and orderly they were strolling towards the arena.

    The oddity of this event was enough for Daniel to change his mind, so, instead of leaving, he once again turned around and continued to follow the group of four female cultivators into the arena while trying to be as inconspicuous as possible. Just a couple of minutes later, Daniel had finally managed to follow them into one of the human-sized entrances present at the bottom of the building..

    The very moment Daniel set foot into the dome, he found himself alone in what appeared to be a section of empty space. Uncountable streams of light sent memories of distant stars from every angle, a spectacle similar to that one would see in outer space.. but somehow fake. It did not take long for Daniel to attribute this starlight to an illusory formation.. One that was too powerful and complex for him to understand.

    At the same time, Daniel could feel a real force of gravity which kept him planted onto an invisible floor just like he would be outside of the dome, and the presence of water and wind essences, which formed the air he was breathing.

    While at first Daniel believed to be alone, he soon noticed that in front of him, just a few dozen meters away from where he was standing, was a square slab of stone that resembled a stage. On top of this stage was a young man with long black hair, a spotlessly clean gold and white set of training clothes, and a sword that despite being worn out, was still as impressive-looking as the ceremonial sword of a king.

    This young man appeared to be no more than twenty years of age, and possessed a cultivation that had reached the very same level that Daniel had reached with the help of his system, the peak of the godhood stage.

    With his striking appearance, this young man presented himself as the confident and prideful hero of a ballad.. Ready to jump into a fight to protect the weak, and capable of stealing every woman's heart with his hands tied behind his back.

    Most male cultivators envied this young man, and many of the female outer disciples worshiped him. Despite the different place that this young man took in the hearts of male and female students, he was known by all as the first ranked outer disciple of the half moon sect.

    Daniel was already aware of who this young man was. He had seen him once during the past few days, and during one of his walks, he had casually heard people talk about him when listening to their conversation.

    But, alas, knowing this person's identity did not resolve Daniel's confusion. A confusion caused by the fact that only himself, the stage, and this young cultivator were present in this empty space, making him doubt whether he had entered the right entrance, and had somehow become a participant instead of a spectator.

    What made the situation even stranger, was the fact that the young man did not seem to be bothered by Daniel's presence, and instead, he was looking around while smiling in excitement, skimming past him with his eyes as if Daniel was just one small dot amongst an immense sea of people. Before Daniel could consider his options, however, another man made his appearance on stage.

    This man was drastically different from his opponent. He was extremely muscular, but these muscles were covered by a thick layer of fat, which was exposed to Daniel and his opponent by the strained sleeveless shirt that he was wearing. His head was shaved clean, and his facial features made him look more like an anthropomorphized pig than a person. On his face was an expression of disdain and confidence directed at his challenger, who stood fearlessly in front of him. In his hands, was a two-handed warhammer.

    "The fact that you have picked me to win a spot amongst the inner disciples.. I will take it as an offence." Said the large inner disciple before slamming the pommel of the warhammer into the surface of the stage with the full might of a cultivator at the peak of the godhood stage. A strike that formed a shockwave which, to Daniel's surprise, went past him as if he was incorporeal.

    "Why should you." Said the young cultivator while slowly unsheathing his sword. He then added while menacingly pointing his sword at his opponent, "You haven't been challenged for years, nor have you challenged anyone to earn a higher ranking. You have grown accustomed to your spot, and have become lazy. I will make you surrender your place to me."

    Despite the many accusations, the large inner disciple was not bothered by the words of his opponent, and instead, he appeared to find them amusing. "Do you want me to show you why outer disciples have stopped challenging me? I will show you." He said before grabbing his warhammer with both hands, and charging at him, starting the duel.

    In the fight that ensued in front of Daniel, the challenger took a defensive position. It was clear to the most inexperienced observer that the outer disciple had no knowledge regarding his opponent's style, so instead of attacking blindly, he chose to do exactly what a teacher would have suggested to his students on this occasion.. And that was to defend until an opportunity to strike would present itself.

    Between the fluid movements of the outer disciple and the rough and chaotic movements of the inner disciple, Daniel could see uncountable mistakes. It was clear to him that, in this universe, the pursuit of a higher cultivation was much more valued than one's attitude at martial arts, or the comprehension of the many kinds of mana.. and that was reflected in the many useless movements present in the actions of the two fighters, as well as the simplicity of the essences that they were using to strengthen their attacks.

    Of the two, however, Daniel could see that the outer disciple had a slightly better understanding of melee fighting than his opponent. That was demonstrated when, instead of stupidly blocking the attacks of his bigger opponent, the young man would deviate the attacks.. Something that the outer disciple appeared to be slightly adept at, but that at the same time, any of the students in Hiel academy would be able to top.

    The inexperience of both fighters prolonged the duel, which lasted for more than three minutes, and after which, the young swordsman finally found an opportunity.

    After the inner disciple performed a wide swipe with his hammer, the young swordsman saw his opportunity, and with minimal effort he took a step back, and allowed for the hammer to graze his neck, and move past his body.

    As the larger cultivator found himself in a position that would make it difficult for him to raise his weapon and defend himself from any incoming attack, the outer disciple used all of his power to slash his sword horizontally against his arms. His intentions were obvious.. He wanted to sever both of the inner cultivator's arms.

    This whole exchange lasted for no longer than a few moments, and in that brief moment, Daniel was able to see the complacent smile on the face of the challenger as he believed that victory had appeared in front of his eyes.. But, alas, Daniel did not share that enthusiasm. Instead, he shook his head in disappointment.

    Right as the sword could cut the arms of his opponent, the inner disciple let go of his warhammer, and instead, grabbed the wrist of the arm with which his opponent was holding his sword.

    The outer disciple instantly realized that he had fallen into a trap, but as he desperately tried to pull his arm out of his opponent's tight grip, the lips of the fat cultivator curved into a smile that would have sent shivers down the back of anyone who would have seen it.

    "You wanted me to show you why people avoided me for so long, right?.." Said the inner cultivator before forcibly pulling into his arms. Then, amongst the panicked screams of the once prideful and heroic first ranked outer disciple, the inner disciple began to rip his body apart limb for limb, finishing with his head, which he showed to an imaginary crowd that seemed to be surrounding the stage before losing interest, and dropped it on the ground.

    Once the duel ended, and the inner disciple disappeared from the stage, Daniel felt a gentle pull come from behind him. Unsure of what to do, he decided to follow this gentle pull, and as soon as his body moved alongside this power, a light appeared in front of his face, and before he could act, he was out of the arena from the very door he had entered it.

    Around him were all the cultivators that had entered alongside him, and in their faces Daniel could see the residual emotions that the duel had caused in them, starting from dispirited attitudes, and in a smaller number, expressions of disappointment and sadness.

    Once outside of the arena, Daniel tried to forget the duel he had witnessed, and instead focused on the real mystery.. the nature of the space he had been in.

    Based on what he had seen, Daniel had already realized that despite being unable to see anybody else but himself and the two participants, he wasn't the only spectator. In fact, it was more likely that he was in a position that prevented him from seeing any other spectator. The only way that would have been possible, was if every spectator was placed into a newly created superimposed dimension the very moment they would enter the arena.

    His theory regarding the nature of this arena was that it contained a boundless pocket dimension with a built-in stage, but instead of containing physical boots or stands from which the spectators could observe the fights, the arena would create a new dimension that superimposed with the dimension that contained the stage whenever a spectator would enter it. This system gave each spectator the chance to witness the fight without being distracted by the crowd, which the fighters could still see from their original dimension.

    This form of multidimensional sub-dimension was unheard of in Daniel's universe, and even with his knowledge of spatial essence, he struggled to understand how that could have been possible.

    As he pondered about the method that was used to create this kind of artifact, Daniel walked back towards the outer disciples area along with the rest of the crowd, but before he could even reach the first bridge, he bumped against the group of young girls which he had followed. They had left a few moments before him from the same door, and since he was distracted by other thoughts, he had failed to notice them.

    "Hey, watch where you are.." muttered the red-headed girl before turning around, and noticing Daniel��s now familiar stature and cold expression. Following the girl's reaction, the rest of her friends turned around as well, and noticed Daniel's striking appearance.

    "What is he doing here? Did he follow us here from the caves?" Asked the girl with straight black hair with suspicion.

    "He might have.. I doubt he would have found any interest in seeing two people fight." responded the red-headed girl before taking a step towards Daniel. On her face was an expression of curiosity.

    "He is so creepy.. Don't get too close to him, have you forgotten what he did to those guys a few days ago?" Said one of her friends with worry.

    The red-headed girl looked at Daniel with narrowed eyes, who in turn, was looking back at her with his usual inexpressive stare, and showing that while his brain was supposedly damaged, he would still try to determine whether someone would be a threat to his person or not.

    After looking at Daniel's expressionless face for a few moment, the attention of the red-headed girl was caught by something located past Daniel, and before the latter could turn to look at what had caught the girl's attention, he felt her hand wrap around his forearm, and saw her body take two steps back while at the same time trying to pull him out of the way.

    Unfortunately, Daniel didn't budge. Neither when the girl tried to pull him aside by his arm, nor when a large individual bumped against him, halting his march, and interrupting his jovial conversation with his friends.

    When Daniel turned around to see who had bumped into him, he recognized the wide figure of the inner disciple that had just fought in the arena, and on his face, was nothing but an expression filled with hostility.
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