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507 The Guilt of Incompetence

    "Would you look at that.. Isn't that the chosen one from our sector?" Asked a young man with a hooked nose and long silver hair tied up in a bun, to the inner disciple that had just fought in the arena, and who was now standing right in front of Daniel. He then added, "Big shot here.. You better not bother him, Yonn."

    These few words were enough to draw the attention of Yonn, the stout inner disciple that had walked out victorious from the recent event, and who had murdered the strongest amongst the outer disciples less than ten minutes before. "He is the one who is standing in the middle of the bridge like a dead animal." He said with a hint of irritation.

    "Hey, I am just looking out for you.. You don't want to mess with the kid, he might just succeed where the other one didn't." Responded the man with silver hair while raising his hands in surrender. Meanwhile, around him, the stout man, the woman that had been following the two of them, and Daniel.. The crowd had already retreated by at least ten meters.

    What the man with silver hair said seemed to hit a soft spot in the stout man, whose irritation quickly turned into anger. However, before he could find a way to unleash his anger, the woman with tinted purple hair who was following the two, said, "Cut it out, Yonn. We have lost enough time here. Let's go back."

    The words spoken by this woman had a polar effect on her two companions, calming Yonn, and infuriating the silver-haired cultivator, who allowed his irritation to show for just a moment before managing to hide it, and regain his calm. "She is right, we have wasted enough time.. But the kid hasn't moved yet." he said while pointing his finger at the calm and composed Daniel, who was observing them in silence as the crowd thickened around them. He then turned to look at Yonn, and added, "Are you waiting for either me or Sasha to ask him to move?"

    From the behavior of the three cultivators, Daniel was able to guess their intentions.

    The stout man called Yonn wanted to maintain his position as an inner disciple that shouldn't be challenged, and therefore, he couldn't afford to appear weak. His reaction to the girl named Sasha revealed that he had unrequited feelings for her, which was the reason why he was so keen to listen to her words. From what Daniel could see, this young woman did not appear to have any ill intent towards him.. Or at least, not like the silver-haired young man, who had tried to instigate Yonn into attacking him ever since they had bumped into him.

    Despite being able to easily read the behavior of other people, Daniel could do nothing. He could neither defuse or worsen the situation, as he had taken a passive role in his visit to the universe. A reactionary behavior that was entirely dependent on the actions of those who surrounded him.

    The intention of the young man with silver hair was clear to Daniel. He had obviously heard of him before, and wanted to use Yonn to test his strength. This was demonstrated by what he said after noticing Yonn's slow reaction. "You either ask him to move, or move around him. We don't expect you to beat him anyway." he said while merging his point of view to that of the young woman, giving the illusion that she agreed to what he had just said.

    These words were the match that lit the fuse, and caused Yonn to turn to look at Daniel with anger, and say, "I won't tell you twice.. Move, or I will hurt you."

    Daniel had no intention of spending his time in the half moon sect while in the limelight, but his system had given him a clear path which he could not defy.. So he chose to remain quiet, and pretend not to understand what the stout inner disciple said.

    The purple-haired girl shook her head in disappointment. While she didn't reciprocate Yonn's feelings, she respected his position as an inner disciple, one that the three of them shared. Any form of embarrassing situation in which an inner student would find himself into, would reflect poorly on all of them, and this included bullying outer disciples publicly.

    "Chubby as he is, he doesn't look that menacing.. No wonder the guy isn't afraid of him." Said the silver-haired young man to Sasha loudly enough for Yonn to hear him. He then let out a hearty laugh.

    The girl looked back at her sly companion with anger, but just as she was about to speak her mind, Yonn took a step closer to Daniel with open arms, which he then closed in an attempt to catch him into a hold.

    Even if Daniel hadn't seen this man fight just a few minutes prior to this encounter, he would have been able to read his actions from a mile away.. So when Yonn tried to wrap his body with his arms, instead of dashing out of his reach, summoning elements, or weapons, Daniel leaned back with his upper body, put his entire weight onto his left leg, and raised his bent right leg upwards upwards. Before Yonn could notice what Daniel was doing, his right leg straightened, and hit him squarely on his jawline.

    With a quick snap of his head to the right, Yonn's body turned into a sack of potatoes that fell at Daniel's feet like a pair of oversized pants.. leaving the observing cultivators at a loss for words. Then, seemingly unbothered by what had just happened, Daniel went back to a standing position before once again lowering his upper body, and reaching for Yonn's unconscious body with his right hand. Finally, he grabbed his wrist, and dragged him towards the edge of the bridge.

    Once Daniel raised the limp body of the unconscious inner disciple over the railing of the bridge, Yonn's two companions realized what Daniel wanted to do.. and while the young woman chose not to intervene, her silver-haired companion chose to act.

    Originally the silver-haired cultivator wanted to use his irritable companion to probe Daniel's strength, but now that Yonn had been humiliated and brought shame to the inner disciples, he chose to act.. So as Daniel was about to drop his companion down the bridge, he stepped forward, and shouted with anger, "STOP!"

    Daniel did not stop. Instead, he let go of the stout man.. causing him to fall over the railings, and into the seemingly bottomless abyss.

    In response to Daniel's disregard for his words, the silver-haired cultivator dashed in his direction, ready to attack.

    The extremely low standards of training shown by these cultivators once again left Daniel dumbfounded. While their power would allow them to wipe away solar systems in a matter of hours, the danger they posed to Daniel, who shared their cultivation level but had a perfect mastery of multiple weapons and essences, was the same that a child with a sword posed to a soldier..

    That was shown when the silver-haired cultivator unsheathed the sword that he was carrying by his waist, and charged at him with the ability of a warrior that had survived but a few spars. A charge which Daniel broke by casually avoiding the diagonal slash of his opponent's sword, and then, by thrusting his thumb into the muscles in between the man's thumb, and index finger.. causing them to stiffen, and for him to lose the grip over his weapon.

    Before the weapon could even touch the ground, Daniel grabbed the throat of the silver-haired cultivator with two fingers, obstructing his carotid and jugular.

    With an enormous pressure building in his head, the inner disciple quickly began to panic. The second-hand embarrassment he felt towards his defeated companion disappeared, just like the facial features of the surrounding cultivators.

    As he observed the silver-haired cultivator struggle against such a simple move, Daniel felt a hint of embarrassment. These cultivators were killers, and yet, their foundations were as stable as that of an air balloon, which caused him to feel as if he was bullying the weak. However, that did not stop him from keeping the pressure onto the young man's throat, who desperately tried to hit him by flailing his arms and legs around. Unfortunately, each strike slid past Daniel's body as if meant to miss.. Only stopping when, just like his companion, he lost consciousness, and turned into a limp body that hung from Daniel's hand.

    Once unconscious, Daniel did not think twice before throwing him off of the bridge as well. He then turned towards the lodgings of the outern disciples, and while ignoring the dumbfounded expressions of the observers, he started to walk away.

    When leaving, Daniel felt that something was amiss. He had just killed two feared inner disciples, and yet, no discussions were taking place amongst the thousands of the outer disciples who had witnessed his actions. Even the woman that had accompanied the silver-haired cultivator and Yonn was keeping quiet, and instead of leaving, she chose to wait right where she was.

    By the time he took the fiftieth step towards the mountains reserved for the outer disciples, Daniel started to hear the surprised and excited voices of a few cultivators. "Look! They are coming down!" said one of the young women who were part of the group that Daniel had followed into the arena.

    Confused about these words, Daniel turned around just in time to see the unconscious bodies of the stout cultivator, and the silver-haired cultivator fell at extreme speed from the sky. The two were still unconscious, and aside from the small damage made by Daniel attacks, they were relatively unharmed.

    With an embarrassed expression, the purple-haired woman caught the two before they could once again fall below the bridge's level, then left while carrying their still unconscious bodies away.

    After witnessing this scene, Daniel resumed walking towards his cave as if nothing had happened.. Yet, at the same time, he could not help but to cover his mouth with one of his hands in order to hide the smile that had appeared on his face.

    Once able to regain his composure, Daniel resumed walking towards his cave while wondering how the formation that surrounded the half moon sect truly worked.

    -----

    Aula Magna, Half Moon Sect. Two hours later.

    "Ancestor, I have an update regarding my.. assignment." Said a young woman with wavy hazel hair and dressed in the attire of an outer disciple. If Daniel could have seen this young woman, he would have recognized her as one of the four women that Daniel had followed to the arena. More specifically, the quiet one, who had silently observed her group's interaction with Daniel, while her friends spoke freely.

    She was currently standing in a relatively dark hall, facing a door frame which reached at least forty meters in height, and ten meters in wideness. Behind this stone frame was complete darkness, in the middle of which was the silhouette of an individual that sat with his legs crossed in complete silence. This person was none other than the Ancestor of the Half Moon Sect, the man to whom Daniel had been given to.

    "This better not be about another skirmish with the outer disciples.. Or you will lose your position as a core disciple." Said the man with irritation.

    "N-No ancestor.. Well, it is about a fight that took place between two juniors and him. Inner disciples." Said the young girl while trying to give grandeur of the whole event with her tone.

    "Speak."

    "Mast-Ancestor.. When you gave this assignment to me, you've told me to protect him secretly.. But he doesn't seem to need it. His experience in hand to hand combat is far beyond that of us core disciples. Personally, I doubt that I would have a chance against him." Explained the young girl with a matter-of-fact tone.

    A scoffing sound came from the depths of the dark hall, followed by a few words, "Blame it on your parents. The forging of your cultivation comes at a price. His parents might have delayed it by a few years in order to allow him to train. It is an old practice, as cultivators learn faster.. But not as odd as you think it is."

    "Thank you for your teachings, Ancestor. His amusement towards the spatial loop does validate your words." Said the young woman before bowing politely. She then prepared to bid farewell and leave, but before she could, she noticed the silhouette of the Ancestor rise into a standing position.

    "He looked amused?" He asked.

    "Y-Yes Ancestor. He smiled at the sight of the inner disciples falling into the infinite loop.. Just for a moment." Responded the young woman with confusion.

    "Very well. You may go. Keep paying attention to what he does." He said dismissively to the young girl who, once again, bowed with politeness before leaving the hall. Once alone, he muttered to the empty hall, "Come here, Iacob."

    Moments after he pronounced these words, a tall and athletic-looking man dressed in refined core disciple clothes appeared from one of the dark corridors. "I am here Ancestor. Do you have a task for me?" He said after bowing politely.

    "Yes. Go to the planet where the stairway to heaven appeared the last time. Investigate the family of the chosen kid. Bring me anything you can find about them." Ordered the ancestor.

    "It will be done." Responded the tall young man before bowing once again, and disappearing in the shadows.
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