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As his soul quivered in a rush of excitement, soul energy spread the thrill like surging wave from Zax’s sea of consciousness to the rest of his body.
Asking for ten thousand kilogram of dark attribute’s essence at once turned out to be a long shot, as he predicted which still paid off. For him to breakthrough into the second stage of the Three Stages Of Hyper Physique, all that he needed was mere eleven hundred kilogram.
‘A hundred kilogram will soon be all that is left. And before Senior Gid will deliver the second portion, with my absorption speed increasing I could easily fill the last point one percent with dark attribute worldly energy or collecting dark attribute’s essence on my own’. Zax thought while making sure to maintain a composed mien. “When can I get the God made and first regular portion of dark attribute’s essence?”
Yurnal gave Zax a scornful look. “You deal with him”. He told Gid Chu and turned away to leave. Accompanying him was a group of thirty something dissatisfied members of the chain.
“Everyone, the review is over. You can leave”. Gid Chu said to those who stayed and those who turned their backs as if there was not a divide.
With no more words being said, of the seventy two members that were there to begin with, seventy one left the central edifice, additionally some departed the undersea cave, leaving Gid Chu and Zax alone in A-1.4.1 vault.
Flipping his right hand palm up, a slightly pale, spherical dark bulb appeared in Gid Chu’s hold.
Seeing God Demirva’s dark attribute’s essence presented for the taking, Zax’s eyes could not help but lit up and then turn gloom as he remembered losing his own God made dark attribute’s essences to Dewgong family of Monivore city.
Gesturing with his hand, the Solar Basil Leaf appeared floating above Zax’s palm. He was worried that a prolong touch will cause the same reaction as with the Diluted Element, which made him absorb prematurely, against his will.
Tossing the two treasures at each other and making the trade simultaneously, Zax grabbed the God made dark attribute’s essence as Gid Chu grabbed the Solar Basil Leaf and both drew them immediately to their spatial rings.
“The one thousand kilogram of regular dark attribute’s essence will arrive in approximately three weeks. You can stay in the cave until then”.
Zax did not mind the wait, but… “You carried the God Demirva’s dark attribute’s essence on your person?” With the chain having two leaders, he expected a compromise that would have them hide the organization’s treasures someplace natural, equally easy for both of them to reach.
“That one”. Gid Chu smiled, phrasing himself and giving the indication that the chain had more of God Demirva’s dark attribute’s essences without caring of enticing Zax’s greed. On the contrary, the new member of the chain proved himself capable of obtaining quite a loot wherever he goes. By letting him know that the chain does not lack valuables to exchange, maybe in the future he will surprise them with another extraordinary swag.
“You should know, Zax, from now on your face cannot be revealed above the surface of the Earth, unless you want for the five powers to detect and pursue you”.
“The five powers can only utilize fourth and fifth level Martial Mortal to chase after me and how many of them do they have? They can order and hope for their other members, stationed across the planet, to inform should they encounter me, but if they don’t want me to start slaughtering their weaker members, it will be smart of the five power not to use them as extended eyes and ears”.
“And what about the common people? Since the completion of your task, you haven’t got the chance to explore the current happenings in the villages, tribes, cities and clans… I was notified that the five powers released a bounty on your head, and they did not skimp. They offer a hundred million Splinters to whatever information that could give your exact position, a billion to anyone who can capture you”.
“A billion Splinters?!” Zax was shocked. With this sum he could buy anything that could be bought with money. Moreover, Splinters were not just a currency, but a cultivation material. Granted, to use them for cultivation a great quantity was needed, but a billion Splinters were more than right up that alley.
“That’s the same bounty on my and Yurnal’s heads. The five powers should know your battle power, which at the moment doesn’t deserve this sum of Splinters, so they probably assessed you by your growth potential, deciding at the very least you are a threat on the same level as I and Yurnal”.
“My appearance was revealed, so they should know that I’m the same person who got the perfect dark attribute’s essence in the ridge”.
“And that before consuming it, you weren’t much stronger than Peak Core Master, yet a few years later you can stand your ground versus a Beginner fourth level Martial Mortal”.
“I understand. Outside the undersea cave I’ll use the Bone And Muscle Transformation technique to conceal my face”.
“That’s a good, but temporary plan. Have you forgotten that the five powers have a small number of people who can recognize and connect you to New Earth?”
“Yes, and big brother Ariel. Although you don’t need to worry about big brother exposing your identity, you must by wary of the five Curators”.
“Dammit!” Baleful undulation erupted around Zax as hysteria dawned on him. “What should I do? When I previously left to New Earth there were different Curators than those who marked me!” If any of the five from back then will see the mug on his bounty, then his loved ones in New Earth will no longer be safe from the consequences of his transgressions toward the five powers! “Why did you not inform me earlier?!”
He was more furious at himself for not considering the existence of the five Curators. In retrospect, he also did not take them into account after letting Sister Beatriz, Sister Iaura and Stelero Mars leave in Demirva Ridge, which shows that at the time the five powers preferred to avoid making an enemy from a mere lucky mercenary with prosperous future…
Little did Zax know that the leaders of the five powers even wanted to recruit him after the Event in Demirva Ridge, though now it was too late.
“Calm down, Zax. First, I wasn’t notified about the bounties until a few minutes ago. Second, not all of the chain’s members were present in your review. There are two members stationed separately in Selivereb and New Earth. Although I can’t contact them with the communicator’s range, I was able to remotely control the Galactic Communicator to transmit them both a message. The member in New Earth should now be preparing your family and friends-”
“To leave New Earth to another hideout of the chain?!” Zax interrupted with clenched fists.
“Yes”. Gid Chu replied solemnly, he could see that Zax hated the idea of uprooting his family and friends only to move them to quarantine without them even knowing why.
‘H- How- How could I have been so careless?!’ Zax’s mind was under immense stress, he did not expect to be in, up until short moments ago. What worst was that he could not blame anyone but himself for letting his real face be seen. ‘Wait…’ A sudden thought struck him like a lightning bolt. “Your family, you said that there is a bounty on your head? Does that mean that the five know your identity?”
Knowing where Zax was going, Gid Chu nodded. “Yes, they know. They don’t move against my family because I severed my ties with them while they stopped recognizing me, their founder. The public is left to think otherwise to maintain the ignorance of Kingdom Earth’s citizens to the matters above ground, but it is also due to big brother Ariel’s and big sister Trey’s help that my family was left untouched. Yurnal, on the other hand, doesn’t have many relationships in Valgarel that the five powers can you to threaten him with. And as a Shenghuo beast that attained his level of strength, he received Ozeyn's deepest admiration, and the five powers don’t want to offend the ruler of Valgarel by using his subjects as hostages”.
“Then… my loved ones in New Earth have to leave?!” Zax felt cornered. Just a while ago he received affirmation that his task was a success and the immediate fear of the Immortal powerhouses behind the five powers was nullified, yet instead rejoicing in this temporary freedom he got everyone he cares about even more confined!
“Your Martial family is probably safe, as a result of its affiliation to Ozeyn and the fact that it’s situated in his territory, but your friends and family in Kingdom Earth. I’m sure once big brother will catch wind of the situation he will speak for them along big sister and try to get the same deal, but because there is a difference in status between our families and their influence in Kingdom Earth… I’m afraid they won’t be able to prevent the five powers a second time”.
Doing his utmost to compose himself, in the span of time it takes to blink, Zax manifest his naked body at his Inner Panorama and forcefully mollified the raging waves of the boundless sea encompassing it and the looming clouds above its quaking land, which he got to last.
“How do you plan to move my family and friends? Two people will not be enough for the job and for so many people to be transported and settled from beneath the ground to the surface of the planet will centrally not escape the surveillance of the Curators”.
“In haste”. Gid Chu answered simply. “There are two members on the Western Continent, but I sent additional twelve from those who were present in the review. They are now on their way, crossing the ocean. Their mission is to first neutralize the Curators so they won’t be able to transmit messages to their superiors, but they can’t be killed since from past experience we learned that they, too, in their particular job, are marked and their deaths will alert the five powers. We did the investigation. Your family, in its entirety, contains eighty nine people, up to the last extended members. Your friend, we only gathered information about those you were in contact with before your participation in the Great Earth’s Core Pursuit, and their immediate families are overall fifty one people. The five powers will not seek their extended families”.
“Weren’t you thorough…”
“We must be. It may not be often that we meet this predicament, but if we weren’t planning in every way for it, then who would have been there to safeguard our loved ones?”
Zax did not argue. “How long will it take to move them?”
“We don’t have time for explanations or anything of the sort. A hundred and forty people is a large number, but it is still doable. My family might be monitored, but there is a hidden cell that supports me and will cooperate with the member in New Earth. As for the duration of the operation… It should take forty eight hours to move them all from Kingdom Earth and a week to escort a group of non cultivators of this size to the base in the Western Continent”.
“A week is too long!” Zax protested.
“It’s the shortest time”. Gid Chu insisted.
“…Then I’m going, as well, to partake in the operation”.
“You can, but under no circumstance you are allowed to reveal yourself to your family and friends, before we get them to the base”. Gid Chu said after an instant of deliberation. “I can’t guarantee their wellbeing, should the operation tarry because your loved ones will see a recognizable face and feel confident to demand answers, which you will feel obliged to give instead of concentrating on the escort”.
“Fine, I’ll use the Bone And Muscle Transformation to change appearance during the operation”. Zax complied.
“If you understand, then good. You can head out after the twelve; I’ll send you the information about them and the other two at the Western Continent in a bit”. Gid Chu said and a small smirk stretched on his serious countenance. “It seems that you will receive the first delivery of regular dark attribute’s essence two weeks early”.
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