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7 Sewah, the Trees Son

    It was 4:00 AM when Daniel finally reached his home. He had entered the city from the second eastern gate, so he had to cross the whole city to reach his house, which was in the outermost parts of the slums.

    He was standing in front of a white colored building, the surface of the wall had numerous cracks, and the remnant of white paint crumbled on the ground at the slightest touch. The door was made out of wood and of the color that, ages ago, must have been red. Daniel felt the familiar feeling when he grabbed the door knob.. it was loose.

    After entering his house, Daniel slowly stepped on the hard stone floor, and walked towards the bedroom. Step after step he approached the bedroom door, opened it slowly. Just enough to take a peek inside the room.

    Inside the room, a girl was sleeping on his bed. She had fallen asleep while hugging his pillow, her expression one of worry. Daniel's face softened as he looked at his beloved sister, and felt sorry for making her worry. He then closed the door of the room and left the house.

    People in the slums did not have a way to wash themselves within their houses. The only ways they had to clean themselves, was to fill buckets of water from the closest well, and take them to their houses, or even wash themselves in the street.

    What he and his sister were used to do, was to go to a bathhouse and clean themselves there. There weren't many bath houses in the slums, but luckily, they lived in the outermost parts, so they could simply walk to the commoner's section, and take a bath in one of its numerous bath houses.

    For Daniel it had always been important that he and his sister were always clean. She went to school in the commoner's section, and he didn't want her to be discriminated because she lived in the slums. That's why the first thing he did whenever he had money, was to make sure her needs were met.

    His sister had told him dozens of times to think more about himself.. she even reminded him that his clothes were too small for him. But he always smiled and told her that he liked those clothes.

    After taking a bath, Daniel went back home, sneaked silently into the bedroom, and fell asleep on his sister's unoccupied bed.

    -----------

    Slums, 12:10

    Daniel woke up to the mid-day noise that came from outside the window. People shouting in the streets, and street sellers promoting their cheap wares as loudly as possible.

    What Daniel noticed first, was that his sister was gone. His bed had been made, and outside the bedroom, in the living room, a plate with cold bread and two cooked eggs on it was waiting for him over the table.

    He knew that his sister wouldn't come back until late that evening, so he rapidly ate his cold breakfast, and left the house.

    Daniel had a clear idea of how he would spend his day. Ten days remained before the end of the month, and he had no means to pay. What he wanted to do instead, was to sneak into the merchant's district and sell his remaining beast core to an auction house.

    Rank 3 beast cores were rare, but not difficult to find. Only the part of forest that was closer to the city had been cleared of most rank 3 beasts, therefore, if one were to venture further, they would be able to see powerful beasts.

    Unfortunately, most of the powers that were able to hunt for beasts of the third rank, or higher, usually kept them for their use. Those in need of money wouldn't be able to reach rank 3, as reaching the third rank was something for well-off people.

    This was the reason why, not only the closer one got the the center of the city, the wealthier people were.. but they were also more powerful.

    One had to know that the learned district had strict rules. Setting up shop was strictly prohibited, as the learned district was a place for the biggest sects, schools of martial arts, big families, high ranking military and government offices. That's the reason why the best shops and auction houses, were situated right outside the southeastern entrance of the learned district, within the merchant district's territory.

    Setting up shop in that area was extremely expensive, as most of the rich sons and young members of the biggest and most powerful groups, used to spent their wealth there.

    Daniel didn't have enough money to buy a temporary permission to enter the merchant district, nor would he be granted one if he did, due to his attire. What he decided to do was to stand right inside the city walls, and wait for a merchant to come in. He would then hide underneath his carriage, and sneak past the wall that separated the working and merchant district.

    Daniel's opportunity presented itself right away. Inside the city walls, right past the gate, a fat, richly dressed man was shouting angrily at a young girl dressed in tatters. The girl was around the age of his sister, 16 years old, she had long dark brown hair, and her skin was very pale.

    At the couple's feet was a pile of broken pottery, straw and pieces of wood. It was clear to everyone's eyes that the girl was the fat man's slave, and that she had dropped a box on the ground, ruining its content.

    Slavery was legal in the kingdom of Karalis, therefore the man was allowed to do what he wanted with the poor girl.

    Everyone looked as the man turned angry shouts into heavy slaps.. One after the other, the man's slaps hit the girl squarely on her face. Both her once pale cheeks were now bright red, tears were running down her cheeks non-stop, yet she never covered her face. She knew that if she covered herself, the man would have beaten her harder.

    Daniel was looking at them from the side. His fists clenched so hard that if the man's head had been inbetween his fingers, he would have crashed it like an egg. He kept thinking about his sister, and how she could have been the girl if they ended up as slaves..

    It took a few minutes before the man calmed down, turned towards the carriage and entered it. The girl, that now was unrecognizable, had to walk barefooted nearby the wagon that contained the man's items.

    Daniel could do nothing for this girl. He could try to help the girl escape, but then he would have to take care of her, which for now, he couldn't afford. He promised to himself that, if in the future he had a possibility to do so, he would do all he can to free her, or anyone in her situation.

    ____________________________

    *Primary Quest started: Freedom for all!*

    -Description: Eradicate slavery from the world.

    First objective set: Free the slave girl.

    Optional: Kill the merchant.

    Reward: Karma +50(+25)

    Failure: Karma -75

    Time limit: The slave girl will be killed in 5 days,

    21 minutes and 19 seconds.

    ____________________________

    As the window appeared in Daniel's mind, shock took over him, making him jump in place. "What in the world is that?!" He asked fearfully to himself.

    "You have activated the Karmic system. Good job."

    "Who said that??" Said Daniel out loud.

    The people around Daniel looked at him curiously, and after noticing his attire, guessed that he was a young beggar who had lost his mind.

    "Now now, young hero, if you keep shouting like that, you'll end up in a madhouse! Ha ha ha! You better keep our conversation to.. yourself.. if you know what I mean.. HAHAHA!!" Said the voice from inside Daniel's head.

    It took a minute for Daniel to look around and realize that the voice he was hearing, came from his head.

    "Don't be shy now.. never had one of the previous heroes made my brothers wait so long.." Said the voice, before sighing deeply.

    "What are you?" Thought Daniel while trying to compose himself, and appear as mentally stable as possible.

    "I am Sewah, your karmic system. I am one day old.. not as young as I used to be, I know.. never had a girlfriend either! Ha ha" Said the voice with very little seriousness.

    "Am I going crazy?.." said Daniel in his head, yet not exactly asking.

    Sewah cleared his throat audibly and said "Not a joker I see, very well. I am your Karmic system, or how those annoying people in the past used to call us, i'm one of the Tree's blessings. Personally, I consider myself Iewah's son..." his voice then turned serious.. "Iewah grants a blessing to a worthy entity, the blessing then resides within the chosen's body until it takes form." he continued without stopping.

    "A karmic system is a first, to be honest. Most of my brothers ended up in the bodies of powerful cultivators, weapon wielders and mages. Their systems were based on their deepest desires, so they ended up as overpowering tools for promising humans turned egomaniacs" Sewah felt proud about being a unique system. His father had ensured him that this boy would have made good use of him. "You must have really wanted to free that slave girl if that thought alone activated me..." Muttered Sewah.

    Daniel was dumbfounded. It took a minute for him to process everything that he had heard. Then, while slowly following the cart, he directly asked "There are a few things that I want to know. First of all, tell me what these quests and objectives are, then I want to know about those karma points."

    "Humph!" Sewah cleared his voice once more "Quest and objectives are the way the system has to impart points to you. You complete the quest, you get the points, easy" He calmly explained.

    "What do I do with Karma points then?" Questioned Daniel almost immediately.

    "Simple, you use them to speed up every kind of lengthy process, like absorbing essence form beast cores, learning techniques, or even magic" Answered Sewah proudly.

    Daniel was shocked as he heard Sewa's answers. He then asked "Was it you that made me consume that beast core in the forest??"

    "Uhm.. yes. That was.. let's say trial and error.. Good news is! Trial uses are free! He he" Sewah was embarrassed about that episode, but unfortunately, granted systems weren't born perfect. "And now I can guarantee you won't pass out if you absorb another core! try! try away!"

    Daniel had no intention of trying here, in the middle of the road. He instead asked "How do I know how many Karma points I have? do I have to keep count myself?"

    Before Daniel could obtain an answer, another window appeared in his mind.

    ____________________________

    Dan Hiel - Karmic system's wielder.

    Age - 14

    Rank:

    - early rank 2 of Martial cultivation

    - early rank 2 of Spiritual cultivation

    Karma - 417

    ____________________________

    Daniel completely ignored the amount of karma points and asked "Wait, early rank 2 of Spiritual cultivation??"

    "Of course" Said Sewah as a matter of fact "How was I supposed to know which path would you pick? you were sleeping so happily, so i've split the essence between the two."

    At the mention of himself 'sleeping happily', Daniel got slightly irritated. He then asked "What about those 417 points? I thought you had just woken up"

    "I don't own karma." Said Sewah with a slightly mocking tone "That karma is the one you've collected in the past 14 years of your life."

    Daniel took a few moments to absorb all the informations he had received. He had a clear idea of how useful this system would be to him. He wasn't a common unranked anymore, and he had a starting capital to invest in himself.. This system would make things much easier.

    After clearing his mind, Daniel asked "Do you have any suggestions on how I could complete this quest?"

    "Ha ha ha! I'm glad you've asked." Sewah answered. Then, suddenly, a series of windows opened inside Daniel's mind.
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