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39 Tying up Loose Ends

    A tense period of Daniel's life had started. He had the resources to cultivate, martial and spiritual arts to practice in, and he wasn't in any need of money. But alas, there were still a few pressing matters which kept biting him in the neck. Like his debt, His uncle's freedom, and last but not least, Mea's safety.

    Of course, some matters were much more pressing than others. For example, paying his debt could be done at any time, and while saving his uncle was important, he still wasn't in any immediate danger. Furthermore, in order to save him, he needed to enter the learned district. The most pressing matter of all, was Mea's situation. Fortunately, solving Mea's problem had just entered within the scope of things within his capabilities.

    Daniel had no idea that his martial arts teacher was secretly planning to protect Mea, so the thought of finding a way to keep her safe, had always been present within his mind.

    But simply being a talented cultivator had never been enough for that, as he was still too weak to physically protect her.

    Things had changed the day he had reached the fourth rank. Not because he had suddenly become powerful enough, but because, as the progenitor of dual path cultivation, he had become an extremely valuable asset to the entire Karalis Kingdom.

    The old master-at-arms had ensured Daniel that, at some point, he would have met the king. And what Daniel intended on asking him when they met, was for him to grant the Rulin's family pardon.

    Unfortunately, that would take a while, as just the news of him becoming the first dual cultivator in history, would take at least a month to reach the capital.

    Daniel decided to solve the easiest matter first. Paying his debt.

    He left the building, and headed towards the hotel owned by his creditor.

    -----

    Commoner's Section 12:02

    Once again, Daniel had found himself sitting on the couch placed in the the square lounge room, within the hotel owned by the old man he owed money to.

    Nothing had changed since the past two weeks. The spotlessly clean coffee table, the couch facing his, the three doors, and the counter right next to the double doors. The only difference was the girl behind the counter. She wasn't the same as two weeks ago.

    Daniel remembered how nervous he had felt the first he had come here. How he had froze when the door facing the double door had opened, and he had caught a glimpse of the group of bodyguards staying in wait.

    Not even his reason for being here had changed.. He was still here to pay for a debt.

    In the couch that faced his, another man with a disheartened expression was holding his head between his two hands. His hair were messy, and he looked like he hadn't slept in weeks.

    "You shouldn't be here.." Said the man with a broken voice, after noticing Daniel.

    Daniel had no idea what the man was talking about, so he asked "What do you mean?"

    The man's clawed at his own scalp so hard that his head started to tremble. Within gritted teeth he muttered "This place.. It will eat you alive.." He was on the verge of crying.

    Daniel had never seen someone in such a desperate state. He moved his upper body closer and asked him "Then.. What are you here for?"

    The man lifted his head, just enough to take a glimpse of Daniel's face, then looked back down.

    "A mistake.. If only I hadn't agreed.. I just.. I just want my daughter back."

    A cold breath filled Daniel's lungs as he pressed his back against the couch once again. He had a clear idea of what this man was here for. He had probably taken money from the owner of the hotel, and ended up losing his daughter.

    Daniel would have pitied him, if he hadn't been a free man. He was here, on his own decision. While his daughter had been used as collateral for his debt.

    After thinking it through, Daniel decided to ignore the frantic man, and wait for his turn to talk to the hotel owner. There was no way for this man to get his daughter back, as he seemed to have come here to beg, instead of paying his debt.

    A few minutes later, the double door opened and Rat came out of it.

    Rat immediately noticed quietly sitting Daniel.

    "Daniel! Here so soon! Do you have all the money already?" he asked him, but before Daniel could respond, the frantic man rose up to his feet and approached him.

    "Sir.. I would like to s-see the owner.. I've f-found a w-way to pay.. P-please.. Please let me see him." The man barely managed to talk through a broken voice and sobbing sounds.

    "Why of course! You know we like to help!" Responded Rat immediately, while wrapping his arm around the man's shoulders and taking him in the room. While entering, he threw a glance at Daniel and said in a low voice "The young man's matter can wait for a few more minutes.."

    Daniel had a bit more to wait, but before two minutes even passed, Daniel started to hear screams coming from inside the old man's office. He then closed his eyes, and focused on the elemental essence within the air.

    He could feel the whiffs of air entering the old man's office, crashing against the people within, the still wood essence cointained by the furniture, and the water particles within the air. Even from outside, Daniel could clearly feel everything that was happening in the room.

    Daniel recognized Rat's body, the two bodyguards behind the desk, and Sweet Cheeks sitting at the table next to the window, and finally, the old man sitting at his desk.

    The man from before was lying on the ground, his body being repeatedly kicked by Rat's leg.

    Daniel thought the man had said something that had earned him a rough treatment, but then, he felt a whiff of air crashing against a small cluster of metal essence, right in Rat's hand.

    *Crash*

    The double door exploded into splinters and flew for two meters into the room.

    Within the dust cloud, Daniel strolled peacefully through the wrecked door. Behind him, on the other side of the lounge room, the many bodyguards hidden in wait rushed out of the room and entered the office as well, completely surrounding Daniel.

    Each of these bodyguards were cultivators of the second and third rank.

    "What the hell do you think you are doing?!" Said Rat with a shocked expression, and his knife still held in his hand.

    "What does it look like I am doing?.. Paying my debt." Responded Daniel. He then approached the desk, and sat on the chair in front of it. On the other side, the old man was looking at him with the usual amiable smile.

    Daniel took a small bag out of his spatial ring, and put it on the table. He then said "30 gold coins."

    For the first time, shock disappeared from the old man's face as he saw the spatial ring that Daniel wore on his finger. He had been a cultivator himself in the past, and he was aware of how much that ring was worth.

    "The contract?" Said Daniel.

    A smile returned on the old man's face, as he took the small bag. Without counting the money, he directly put it into his drawer. He then looked at Daniel and said "What about the contract?"

    "I've paid my debt, I want it." Daniel said decisively.

    "Hahaha!" The old man suddenly started laughing. He then looked at Rat, and asked "Did you see him making a payment?"

    Rat's lips opened in a big smile, before being replaced by a confused expression. "A payment? No sir.." He lied.

    A faint smile appeared on Daniel's face. "Of course.. Say, what's the matter with this guy?" Daniel asked while indicating the man on the ground.

    Before the old man could explain, Rat opened his mouth and said "Oh, it's such a coincidence.. He thought he had made his payment as well! Isn't life funny at times?"

    Daniel's fingers started to crack.. And before Rat could finish talking, a window appeared within his mind.

    -----

    *Primary Quest Updated: Freedom for All!*

    -Description: Eradicate slavery from the world.

    Second objective UPDATED: Find the location of your uncle, and free him.

    Optional: Save the injured man, and free his unlawfully enslaved girl.

    Optional: Kill the hotel owner.

    Reward: Karma +750(+250)(+1500)

    Failure: Karma -3000

    Time limit: Your uncle will die in 23 years, 8 months and 27 days.

    -----

    The voice of the old man shook him off his brief trance. "His poor daughter had to take a debt to pay for her useless father's medication.. We opened our hearts to help them.. But they took advantage of it." He said with almost believable anguish.

    "Sewah, my options please.. On second thought.. Only the open ones." Thought Daniel.

    Sewah laughed within his mind, then responded "Hehehe.. I like where you're going!.. There is only one." He then made one window appear inside Daniel's mind.

    -----

    Open approach

    Difficulty: Extreme

    -Set fire to the hotel owner's office, burning all contracts stored within;

    -Take the injured man to see his daughter at the second floor, room 201;

    -Force your way into the Silver Peak Mine;

    -Kill every guard within;

    -Free your Uncle.

    Reward +250% (1875/625/3750 KP)

    -----

    Daniel observed the approaches details, then thought to himself "..there is no reason why I should complete all of it that way.." He then looked at the old man, and said "Okay, this has been fun.. But let's cut to the chase. You give me my contract, you give me the girl's contract, and me, the girl, and this guy, leave right now.." He then paused for a second, before his voice turned serious and added "Refusing is still an option.."

    The old man's smile disappeared once more. He looked at Daniel and said "Kid, I don't know how you've grown such big balls in just half a month.. But I suggest you remember where you are!" His voice grew furious the longer he talked. "Maybe I should cut that little finger of yours and make a new contract with a few more zeroes in it!"

    Daniel smiled, showing two rows of pearly white teeth. He then muttered "Well, I did say that refusing was an option.. Didn't i?"

    Suddenly, a veil of fire started to expand in radius, starting from under Daniel's foot. The guards panicked and tried to rush out of the room, but the fire was too fast, and it expanded as if the ground had been covered in oil. In less than a second, they had been engulfed.

    The moment the fire reached the walls, it rapidly climbed up to the roof, and expanded through it.

    It took just ten seconds for the large room to be completely engulfed with fire. Only two small patches had been left uncovered. Daniel's seat, and the area where the injured man was lying.

    The moment the injured man saw the fire spreading within the room, he tried to get up on his feet. It took him a few seconds before he barely managed to stand up straight. He then looked at the archives behind the desk, and with indomitable determination, he threw himself into the fire.

    Daniel's opinion of this man increased greatly after seeing this, and before the man could jump, he trapped him into a clamp of wet dirt.

    Screams could be heard within the room. The guards, the bodyguards, the old man, Rat and Sweet Cheeks.. For twenty long seconds, they couldn't stop screaming.

    And as the screams gradually stopped, one small window after the other started to appear within Daniel's mind.

    -----

    Reap What You've Sown +210

    -----

    Reap What You've Sown +83

    -----

    Reap What You've Sown +120

    -----

    Reap What You've Sown +91

    -----

    Reap What You've Sown +560

    -----

    Reap What You've Sown +261

    -----

    Reap What You've Sown +424

    -----

    Reap What You've Sown +187

    -----

    Reap What You've Sown +99

    -----

    Reap What You've Sown +163

    -----

    This had been the first time that Daniel had killed someone with a negative karma since he had upgraded his system. And for the first time, he had seen the result of the passive upgrade 'Reap What You've Sown'.
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