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534 The Faith of Destinys Spawn

    "I don't like this.." Lilith muttered while standing nervously next to Dawn, who had spent the past two hours looking ahead, and into the depths of space in hope to spot any possible approaching threat. In her hands were the controls of the ship, which, thanks to the spatial formation created by Daniel, and boosted with one of the beads of grey matter that he had hidden inside his chest, was allowing the ship to reach a speed that even the blood cultivators would have a difficult time catching up to.

    Daniel had prepared these three beads of grey matter in advance to be used in case he needed to run away from someone he could not escape with his own powers alone. The reason why he had hidden them in his body instead of his ring, on the other hand, was based on how space worked.

    Connected to a spatial container, pocket dimensions were simply portions of stabilized and immovable space present in shattered universes, and since the universes, even when shattered, were physical locations, once Daniel had left his own, he had lost the connection to his void, where the pocket dimensions of his spatial containers were located.

    In order to move objects from one universe to another, One had only two options. To physically carry the items he needed through the trigate, or by using the spatial concept of occupation-an abstract concept that allowed the user to shrink space itself for it to be stored into objects.

    The drawback of this method was enormous, as creating containers through the concept of occupation required extreme levels of mental power and focus, to a point where maintaining one for longer times was extremely difficult even for Daniel. His first ship, along with all of the bombs he had already used to escape the blood cultivators the first time, were virtually all of what Daniel had been able to take with him when leaving his universe.

    By physically moving objects through inter-dimensional portals, on the other hand, Daniel would have risked inspections that could have led to the discovery of his belonging to the champions of Destiny. The three orbs of grey matter were a last resort in case he would find himself on the run, and were small enough for him to hide them in his body.

    Unfortunately, with his reserves of bombs emptied out, and a severe lack of time, using the grey matter was the only method he had left.. But luckily, he now had a plan. Hoping that the grey matter would last long enough, he decided to reconstruct the ship he had lost, and left the controls in Dawn's hands, who said in response to Lilith's umpteenth discouraging outburst, "We have been out of options from the very beginning, stop complaining."

    "We could leave right now. You wouldn't even have to betray him, just set a steady course, and we can jump off. Trying our luck in this universe is better than waiting for the executioner's axe." Pleaded Lilith in hope to convince her friends Dawn and Cassie who, ever since having been to the past, appeared to show more loyalty towards Daniel than worry towards their situation.

    "You are a fool if you think you'll survive a minute in Horror's domain." Said Dawn while trying to focus on the sea of darkness she was pointing the ship's bow towards. She then added, "If you want to try your luck, then nobody is tying you to the ship."

    Unhappy about her friend's response, Dawn turned to look at Rose, who along with Saha was the only one who still seemed to make sense out of their group. However, instead of seeing the looks of worry that had struck her own face for the last few weeks, she saw uncertainty. "Do you have nothing to say?! It's still your fault that this is happening to us!!"

    There was no need for Lilith to remind Rose of who had caused them to be in this mess. After all, while she had been instructed to do so by the patriarch, Rose had never signed up to such a dangerous mission, nor had she agreed to risk the lives of the young women who she had befriended to keep her cover. Observing Daniel was supposed to be an easy job, and instead, had thrown her, and a group of innocent girls into a blender of deadly situations. If not for the feeling of guilt that had haunted her every day since leaving their universe, Lilith would have promptly reminded her of this.. Accusations which she felt she had no rights to argue against.

    Nevertheless, while guilty, Rose was still able to maintain her calm, and look at her situation from a clear point of view. The changes in both Dawn's and Cassie's behavior had appeared as odd to her as they had to Lilith, and with time, she had felt that her seniority within the sect had lost value the more she remained in the presence of Daniel. These changes in her group's mechanics did not bother her, but instead, made her curious.

    "Why do you have so much trust in his ability to keep us safe? Even if he had thousands of years to cultivate, he will never be able to fight back against an awakened champion." Rose said, aware of the difference between someone at the godhood stage like them, and someone that, just like the elders and the patriarch, had cultivated far and beyond that level.

    "You would have said the same about time travel, escaping the blood cultivators the first time, and surviving in that blasted desert as mortals.. He is beyond logic." Said Dawn with a matter-of-fact tone.

    "It's not! this is different, because.." Retorted Rose before letting her voice trail off into silence.

    Cassie was the first one to notice Rose stop herself from talking, as well as the small twitches of her face that she once believed to be parts of her personality, but later learned to be signs of her lying. She asked, "What? What are you hiding now?" Her words were able to catch the attention of the rest of the group, who turned to look at Rose with brows narrowed in a suspicious confusion.

    Rose quietly cursed her inability to keep her mouth shut, but after noticing the faces of her companions, she said, "I have once asked about the children of Iewah.. To the patriarch." As she saw that the others were carefully listening to her, she took a deep breath, and asked, "Do you know why the children of Iewah are killed?"

    "They are powerful, and have strange and powerful abilities that they use to live chaotic lives and wage war on one another.. That is what my grandfather said to me." Said Saha, breaking the vow of silence which she seemed to practice for most of the day.

    "That's only partially true." Said Rose in response. She then added, "Everything you said is true, but they aren't killed off for that reason. The truth is that they are immediately hunted down the moment they appear to prevent any force from taking control over them, and making use of their abilities.. And that's because they can't cultivate past the godhood stage."

    Confused yet interested, Dawn turned to look at Rose and asked, "What are you talking about?" The topic of the children of Iewah was a very rare one for someone that came from a simple noble family of Competition's domain.. after all, the ones who were born in their universe had been killed off so long ago, that their existence had been long forgotten, let alone taught in the sects or academies.

    "This is what the patriarch told us core students when mentioning the ascension to beyond godhood. It requires a portion of power of the aspect of existence we follow-That is why our society revolves around competition. Because otherwise, our cultivation would stale at the godhood stage. A champion of Destiny is still a champion, but since they live following their own path, instead of a specific one represented by an aspect of existence.. They can't ascend." As she finished speaking, Rose became quiet, and allowed for what she had just explained to sink in.

    When she believed that Dawn's and Cassie's blind faith towards Daniel was being shaken, she added, "This is why they are killed. Not because they would be a threat, but because they would be taken, enslaved, and forced as a weapon by the various domains.. There was a time when the domains would keep them in secret, but all of them are extremely resilient. No domain has ever been able to keep one for more than a few years, after which they have always managed to escape.. No matter how many measures were taken."

    Once again, she took a small pause. From the faces of both Dawn and Cassie she could see genuine disappointment, and that was something that she couldn't believe, as Daniel had never done anything to deserve that level of faith.

    When Cassie's and Dawn's gazes were pointed at the floor, marked by their uncertain state of mind, Rose decided to give the decisive stroke by saying, "Is Daniel so different? How many ways does he have to escape without having to leave us behind?" She then grabbed Cassie's left hand, and asked, "I don't know what he gave you two to start believing that he can save you from anything, but that does not make him different from the others."

    Rose's words made too much sense for them to ignore, as everything she had said matched what they had experienced with Daniel. About his timely methods of escape, about his oddly convenient powers which were able to aid both him and them in any situation.. And his exploitable ability to grant powers to others. Everything matched perfectly, causing the seed of doubt to form in their minds, ready to bloom.

    Before that could happen, however, their trains of thoughts were interrupted by Lilith, who while looking at the space past the stern of the ship with narrowed eyes, said, "Those are some oddly lined up stars.."

    When Dawn turned to look up to and past Lilith, and noticed the lights she had mentioned, her eyes lit up with worry. She immediately placed both hands on the controls of the spatial formation, and said, "Those are not stars." As she finished speaking, the twenty or so bright lights began to move in their direction in unison.

    -----

    For the following three hours, Dawn tried to pilot the ship away from these approaching lights by pushing its engine to the fullest of its capabilities.. which became increasingly more difficult as, every few seconds, one of these lights would flash out with the intensity of a dying star, warning them to stop before ultimately dissipating in space.

    With time, these attacks became brighter and closer just like the lights from which they came from, which increased as others joined the pursuit from every direction after separating themselves from the distant slow moving stars.. On the ship Rose and the others looked on in horror, aware that it was too late to abandon the ship, and that if they got off of it now, they would be killed by one of the many attacks before even thinking of what to say to be spared.

    Dawn, on the other hand, was fully focused. She had been instructed for this moment, and despite having her conviction shaken by doubts, she knew that ignoring Daniel's instructions at this moment meant certain death.

    As time passed the flashes of light kept increasing in size, and changing into a dark red color that despite being harder to see with the naked eye, emitted a feeling of death that could pierce through space, and reach all the way to the ship.

    "AAAHH! That one was too close!" Screamed Lilith as the ship was shaken by an attack that exploded right outside of the ship's spatial formation.

    "They are approaching us from the sides too.." Added Rose as she began to wonder whether there was something that, after being caught by the blood cultivators, she could offer to her captors to let her, or at least her friends, go unscathed. However, after the last one, the attacks stopped completely, showing that those who were pursuing them did not intend to kill them, but simply scare them into stopping.

    Dawn took a deep breath, and prepared to make use of all of the odd evasive measures that the ship's formation was equipped with, but before she could use any of them, right before the pursuers could reach and surround the ship, she felt a hand land on her shoulder in a calming manner. When she turned around she saw no one standing by her side, but with her hands, she felt the formation turn off, causing the ship's motion to come to a halt.

    With hurry, she turned to look at the stern of the ship, where she noticed the figure of Daniel floating in between the ship and the line of blood cultivators who had caught up after a mere fraction of an instant after the ship had stopped. However, for some reason, he felt different in her eyes. His body was not emitting any form of essence, nor did he seem human anymore.. And while the feeling his figure gave off was not much stronger from that of a cultivator that had just moved past the godhood stage, he gave off a feeling of absolute power that only those who had had the pleasure to meet an actual aspect of existence would have recognized.
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