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523 Powerless Awakening

    Being swallowed by the inter-dimensional portal was a physically and mentally traumatic experience for Daniel and the others, one which, despite their cultivation, and Daniel's mental fortitude, none of them had been unable to withstand.

    Mighty tides of natural spacetime essence struck against the bodies of the six cultivators over and over again, shaking them like leaves carried through an infinite series of the most violent of rapids. A treatment which resulted in them losing their consciousness before they could get a glimpse of what kind of place they would end up in.

    What followed, was complete darkness.

    -----

    What woke Daniel up, after an unspecified amount of time, was not a loud noise, nor the feeling of the wind that carried sand past his dried up lips and into his mouth.. But instead, something that Daniel hadn't felt in years-The unbearable warmness of the sunrays. He opened his eyes in an attempt to get his bearings, but the only thing he saw was the blinding light that downed upon him.. A light which he was only able to get used to after several seconds of constant blinking, and which, once gentler to his eyes, revealed a scenery that left Daniel speechless.

    Around him were massive dunes of sand as tall as a hundred feet, and aside from the occasional stone that jutted out of the sandy surface to point at the cloudless bright sky, Daniel could see nothing else.

    Still hazed by the previous experience, Daniel muttered, "Where the hell am I.." before waving his hand over his head in an attempt to create a cover from the sun. However, when nothing appeared to protect him from these scorching rays, Daniel realized that something was wrong with him. With accelerated breathing, chapped lips, sweat that stuck his clothes onto his skin, and the reduced capacity of his senses.. Daniel suddenly remembered what it felt like to be a mortal.

    With increasing worry, he tried to use his powers time and time again, but no matter how many times he tried, not only was there no result, but there was no trace of essence in his body altogether.

    *Cough Cough* Before Daniel could even begin to analyze his body, a familiar noise that came from behind him caught his attention.

    When he turned around, he saw the bodies of Rose and the others, who like him, had lost consciousness after being dragged into the inter-dimensional portal. Of the five young women, Rose and Dawn were the first ones to wake up.

    "What.. *cough* what is this feeling..?" cried Rose while instinctively covering her eyes with her hand. She and the others had lived their whole lives in a world of cultivation, and because of that, they had never been able to experience the effects that something as insignificant as weather had always been to them, would have on a person.. And that included the oppressive rule of the sun, under which every mortal lived by.

    As Cassie, Lilith and Saha woke up, and Dawn and Rose finally managed to get partially used to the light, Daniel staggered in their direction with a dragged pace. "Is.. everyone okay?" he asked with a hoarse voice.

    "If you call this being okay.." muttered Rose in response. She then asked, "Where are we? Why can't I feel any form of power in my body? And why is it so hot here?!" What she asked, were the exact same questions that had appeared in the minds of each one of them.

    Daniel had a theory regarding the situation they were in, but since he wasn't sure of how realistic it was, in order to avoid creating panic, he simply said, "Help the others up.. We need to find cover." He then approached a recently awoken and still confused Saha, and after grabbing her weak arm, he helped her stand on her feet. Rose and Dawn did the same with Cassie and Lilith, who joined the former two in complaining about the harsh weather conditions.

    Aware of the dangers that they were facing, Daniel ignored the complaints of the four young women, and instead, he began to observe his surroundings more carefully. When he stopped, he was staring at the biggest dune of sand.

    With his first objective set, he turned around in order to give instructions, but before he could, "Don't take it off!" he barked in Cassie's direction as he noticed her attempts to remove the heaviest layer of clothing that she was wearing.. One that was covering her shoulders, and her neck.

    "Wh-Why?" Cassie asked in response, frightened by Daniel's sudden shout.

    "Keep your skin covered, wrap something around your heads, and keep your mouths closed.." muttered Daniel before starting to climb the dune, which crumbled under his feet, making his efforts half as efficient.

    "What are you talking about? WHAT IS HAPPENING TO US?!" Asked Lilith with exasperation.

    "Oh, that's right.." said Daniel before once again turning to face the others. He then stretched his arms outwards in a welcoming gesture, and said, "Welcome back to mortality." He then resumed climbing while ignoring the confused and constant chattering that was taking place behind his back.

    After a few minutes spent climbing with the help of both arms and legs, Daniel finally managed to reach the top of the highest dune sand, on which he stood in hope to spot their hope for survival. Luckily, this hope presented itself in the form of a forest of pointy rocks, underneath which he hoped would be shade, water, and possibly, something to eat.

    "We need to go that way!" Shouted Daniel from the top of the dune before relaxing his body, and allowing himself to be dragged by a sand avalanche all the way to the bottom, where the five young women were waiting for him. Then, as the five of them adjusted their clothes in order to follow Daniel's instructions, the six of them began to walk towards the rocky forest.

    -----

    "I feel so weak.." said Cassie before digging too deep into the sand with her left foot, and falling on her knees. She then added after Dawn helped her up, "What is this awful feeling.. I-"

    "You are thirsty. Your body is trying to regulate its temperature by sweating." Daniel said through a layer of fabric which he had ripped from the bottom of his pants, and that he was using to cover his mouth. "The bad side of that, is that in such extreme temperatures, that makes you lose liquids.. Just like opening your mouth, So STOP TALKING."

    After about an hour of walking, the group managed to reach the rocky forest, at the bottom of which, to Daniel's relief, were shade and water, but no trace of edible plants or animals. Under Daniel's instructions, Rose and the others took cover under the shade as he approached the closest pond to where the others were resting, and used the curved part of his knee pads to scoop enough water to fill one's mouth.

    Once he made sure that the water was not contaminated or poisonous, he approached his five companions, who were now huffing and puffing on the ground, and said, "If it's too hot, you can uncover yourself.. Just as long as you don't go under the sun. Also, if you feel light headed, go and drink some of that water, It will help. Stay here for now, I'll be back soon."

    "Where are you going?" asked Rose with worry. Nothing had prepared her and her friends for such a dangerous situation, and now that they possessed none of their power, she felt even more defenseless than she would find herself in front of a cultivator more powerful than her. While in that state of mind, to see Daniel, who seemed to be prepared to handle these sorts of situations, leave their sight, made her panic.

    Daniel looked up at the sky, where the sun that was high up over their heads when they had woken up, was now closer to the horizon. "It will be dark soon.. I have to find something to start a fire, and materials to keep it burning throughout the night."

    "WHAT?! You want to start a fire with this heath?" Asked Lilith with shock.

    "This is a desert. The amount of water in the air is minimal, which means that as soon as the sun sets, it will get cold.. And fast." Said Daniel while rummaging in his pockets in hope to find anything useful. He then turned to look at the five young women, and asked, "Do any of you have a mirror?"

    Rose and the others shook their heads before turning to look at one another. Each of them possessed many mirrors, all expensive and of fine workmanship.. but unfortunately, they were all in their spatial containers, to which they had no access to.

    "I do.." said Saha timidly before pulling a palm sized mirror from within one of her pockets. A mirror that the blood cultivator that had enslaved her, had used to check the result of his possession the first time he had been into her body.

    "Lend it to me." Said Daniel before walking towards her and taking the mirror off her hand. "Remember what I said. Stay here, stay in the shade." he then added before walking further into the rocky forest, and disappearing from their sight.

    Once alone, the first thing that Daniel did was to find a patch of shade, and sit on the slightly cooler sand with closed eyes. He then tried to focus on his status.. A thought to which, to his relief, his system reacted to by opening his profile like it would usually do.

    ____________________________

    Dan Hiel - Karmic system's Wielder.

    Age - 23

    Status

    -Adulthood

    Strength

    -Male Adult

    Karma - ???

    ____________________________

    Weapons Masteries (Details)

    Martial Arts (Details)

    Skills (Details)

    Spells (Details)

    ____________________________

    Reap What You've Sown

    Time Is Precious Lv.200

    Reduced Cost Lv.70

    Bonus Points Lv.65

    Second Chance (Upgrades 5/5) Lv.25

    Karma X Luck

    Karma Debt

    Karmic Retribution (Upgrades 5/5)

    Devil's Advocate

    Regulator's Will

    ____________________________

    System Upgrades (Details) UNAVAILABLE

    ____________________________

    What the window that Daniel's system had created in his mind reported, made no sense to him. Starting with the fact that his age had gone from his mid thirties, back to his early twenties.. Followed up by the changes in the section which, in the past, would show his cultivation level and battle prowess, but that now reported at which stage of his life he was, along with the corresponding physical strength.. and ending with the fact that he could not see his own karma.

    More confused than he had ever been, Daniel once again closed his eyes, and tried to activate Time is Precious. This time, however, he felt an extremely faint amount of his personal essence appear in the depths of his body, only to disappear right after.

    This reaction was extremely brief, but for someone that could understand the behavior of essence as much as Daniel did, it was enough for him to come to a conclusion.. In the world, or more likely the universe where he had ended up in, natural mana did not exist.

    The sand on which he was sitting was made out of finely broken down minerals and rocks, the air that he was breathing was a mixture of gases, and the water he had drunk a few minutes earlier, was what was left of the last rainy day that this desert had seen.

    While Daniel had never seen something like this, thanks to his comprehension of space, he was able to speculate that, in this manaless world, essence would act in a similar way as gases, when exposed to a vacuum.. In which case, it would be forcibly pulled out of its container in hope to find an equilibrium of pressure.. And that was what Daniel believed was happening to his body.

    Due to the complete lack of mana in the surroundings, every bit of power stored in Daniel's body was being taken away, and pushed into the surroundings in hope to reach equilibrium. Because of this effect, every bit of essence that connected his atoms to one another, and regenerated his cells, was stripped away from his body, turning his body back to that of a simple mortal.

    To support this theory was the fact that Daniel's system had recognized him as a twenty-three years old man, which to his memory, was the age in which he had stopped aging, and he had reached complete immortality.

    If Daniel's theory was correct, as of now, Daniel was once again a mortal.
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