As the bright orange glow of the sun lit up the blue sky, Daren's cultivation grind came to a halt. His concentration returned to his actual surroundings as he stared at the sky.
Birds were chirping and a cool breeze blew through the air. The blue sky with its orange, yellow and blue shades almost made a tear fall from Daren's eyes.
Daren had not seen a natural sky and felt such a pleasant vibe from his surroundings since the day he moved to his artificial planet. There was nothing natural about his surroundings as everything from the weather to the dirt beneath his feet was artificially made.
He slowly stood up on his two long legs and took a long breath.
"Ahhhh!" Daren took multiple sets of these deep breaths as he did all sorts of stretches to get rid of the feeling of laziness. He didn't mind sitting days for hours and playing games while being indoors all the time.
Now that he had a chance to be relaxed and take in the feeling of open nature, he would not give it up for anything.
'Is this what it feels like to be free?' He asked himself. Daren knew that there was a lot of time available for him to enjoy the vastness of this world so he started to slowly walk towards the city gates.
Along the way, he saw all sorts of people, men, and women, both young and old packing up their tents and preparing their carriages to line up.
The line for the gate was not long and the guards were doing their checks quickly. The guards all varied in size and wore blue leather armor and a red leather helmet.
They carried 2 meter long spears made completely out of metal and stood proudly.
There was the crest of a red and black dragon on their chests. This was the symbol of the Gigantus Empires' military.
Daren shook his head when he realized the strength of these guards.
They had no cultivation! This did not surprise him though as he knew the probability of finding someone who could actually feel the elemental force within the human was only 1/10,000.
Due to the rarity of cultivators and the huge strength gap, cultivators within the military were all officers of higher ranks.
There was one such officer seated at the top of the city wall which towered at an outstanding 100 meters. The shiny, white stone that shone no matter the time of day made the sight even more intimidating
Daren knew this was a cultivator not only due to the full metal armor that was reserved for officers but the fact that cultivators could sense each other's presence.
Once a person became a cultivator, they would leak a special kind of aura that signified their presence. All cultivators would give off this feeling until they were at the Aura Formation stage and could actually control it.
If Aura Formation experts did not control their aura, they could easily kill a normal human by just standing next to them.
Daren could not see the officer's face as it was covered by a knight's helmet but he could tell that this person was just as dangerous as the giant rabbit he saw in the Googoon Lagoon Forest.
Daren only took a glance at this person and his instincts had started to alarm him. He looked away in an instant and lined up to enter the city.
3 minutes later.
Daren approached the guards as it was his turn to enter.
"Halt!" Commanded one of the guards. He was muscular and broad-shouldered. The guard was only 5 cm shorter than the now 190 cm tall Daren. Alex's body had grown in the last 3 years of constant hiding and running.
Daren did as the guard ordered him. The guard then extended a black crystal, the size of a tennis ball, towards him and said "This is a cultivation crystal to test if you are a cultivator or not. It also tells us your cultivation level. Put or hand on it!"
The explanation was quick and concise. Daren had nothing to fear. He quickly put his hand on the black crystal.
The crystal then glowed a strange light and words appeared in thin air. The guard read it out loud.
"Body Strengthening Level 2, Lower Grade." The stern, rugged face of the guard and the other 30 or so guards around the gate had stunned faces as they all bowed in unison and said something that shocked the rest of the crowd that was entering the city.
"RESPECTED CULTIVATOR, WE APOLOGIZE FOR OUR RUDE ACTIONS! WE HOPE YOU ENJOY YOUR STAY!"
The guards then stepped aside and made way for Daren. As he walked into the city, the expressions of the merchants behind him were a joy to see.
They were surprised to see a lone cultivator in this world as they either had people they were guarding or people guarding them.
The crowd also was not surprised by the actions of the city guards as everyone knew that it was Gigantus military tradition to respectfully treat any force user they find.
This world's main fighting force is definitely cultivators and each nation's position in the world was decided by how many and how strong their force users are.
The line continued to funnel into the city where Daren was enjoying the view.
The streets were teeming with humans of all ages and gender. They were either selling, buying, or just looking around.
Most of the buildings were made out of a combination of stone and wood. The more stone a building had, the more domineering and magnificent was its design. It was clearly a show of status.
Most of the stone used was not the same as the ones used to build the city walls and was rather a dull gray and dark blue.
Before he could continue, Daren was shocked as ever since he had entered the city, he could smell a soft fragrant. It smelt like the gentle scent of cherries and it was freely wafting into his nose.
Daren used to think that medieval cities always had issues of cleanliness and good never stay clean. Heck, even the people were supposed to look depressed and malnourished.
This was the opposite of what Daren had prepared for. He decided to stop a passerby to make his query.
Daren found a short, brown-haired man and stopped the man by blocking his path. The reason why he stopped this person specifically was that they were happily skipping down the street as if something good happened to him.
A happy person would answer one's questions with less reluctance.
"Excuse me dear sir but would you be willing to tell me why this city smells so good? It is my first time here," asked Daren as he smiled brightly. Accompanied by his handsome face, he radiated a charming appeal.
He even caught the attention of some of the young ladies that had come out to make errands. It's not every day that you find such a handsome person just walking through the streets.
"I see. Everyone always asks the same when they first come to Igrit City. The answer that we give every time is that the viscount's manor in the city's center has a pink-colored tree around it. The tree gives off this scent even in the winter. It never goes away." replied the short man.
"That is quite interesting. Thank you for your help, sir." Daren thanked the man while still exuding that charming, confident smile.
"Hehe. No problem young man. By the way, do you happen to be single?."
"I do not swing that way, sir." Said Daren while taking two steps back.
"Brouhaha!!! I am not asking like that. How did you even think of that? Look over there." said the man while pointing at a cluster of teenage girls. They were all wearing brown or gray dresses.
Some had a slightly pretty face while even though some were not that good looking, they were definitely not ugly. The girls were taking glances at his face to show their admiration for his handsome visage.
None of them were the peerless beauty that Daren was used to seeing in his world.
Idols and actresses were aplenty and Daren even dated a large number of idols to blend more naturally with the rest of high society. He did not want to stand out in the wrong way by looking like a loner.
That being said, he was going not going to feel attracted by anyone around here unless he got the time to know them and took a liking to their personality.
As a being who was 6969 years old, he had a clear idea of what type of women he liked. He also understood the someone's thoughts and emotions mattered more than their looks and had completely embraced that ideology.
Only if a person had an acceptable personality was when Daren truly felt attached to them.
"That beautiful, red-haired girl is my daughter. I can introduce you to her if you're interested.' The middle-aged, short man continued his remarks.
Indeed there was a pretty, red-haired girl. A nice, oval face with shiny red hair was definitely something hard to find around here. Daren did not feel anything for her though.
Daren face slapped himself while saying " Surely you jest, sir. It's not that your daughter isn't attractive but rather I already have a fiance."
"Surely a pity young man. " The man sighed and walked away. His happy day might have been ruined for a slight moment but it was all cheerful in a couple of seconds.
The women at the side heard his response as Daren made sure to speak loud on purpose. They started to slowly continue their walk and go on with their day.
'I can't believe that someone would try to set me up with their daughter just because I have a good face, especially someone I just met. Like, what if I am a criminal or like dirt poor!' Daren thought to himself.
He is technically quite poor at this moment. He has absolutely no money on him. He was also about to do quite a bit of criminal activities around here.
With the memories of an aristocrat, Daren does not understand the viewpoint of commoners. The reason why that man wanted to set him up with his daughter was not because of his looks but rather his clothes.
Daren's pants, shirt, and cloak were all made from high-quality silk. This was something only the rich could afford.
To commoners, Daren stood out like a sore thumb. No father would let go of the chance to send their daughters to a wealthy family.
Plus, since Daren's expressions and words did not look down upon commoners, the man felt that he should be a fine, young man from a well-mannered family.
Too bad for the middle-aged man, regular humans can't tell the difference between cultivators and them just by looks. If the man knew, he definitely would not have risked being so informal and daring with Daren.
As Daren cleared his head of this sudden encounter, he spotted a brawny-looking, bald dude pickpocketing a random old man on the street.
'Hehehehe. Time to go on my first massacre adventure!' An evil smirk appeared on Daren's face as he followed the thief into a secluded ally way.
Let the massacre begin!!
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