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40 Trouble Is on the Way

    The screams, one by one, slowly came to an end.

    A quiet veil of flames kept consuming everything within the room, and as the last of the screams quietened, it started to abate.

    Daniel was still sitting on his unscathed chair, and the moment the veil of fire was extinguished, he started to hear the sound of crying.

    Not far from him, the man was desperately trying to make his way out of the morse of dirt and water. His eyes directed at the burned archives behind the old man's desk, and his voice anguished.

    The man had tried to free himself since the moment he had been trapped, but no matter how close he was to freedom, the wet dirt would wrap itself back around him, making him feel like he had been trapped in an immense pool of mud.

    Daniel finally let go of the control over the water and earth essences, allowing the man to free himself.

    The moment the man managed to get himself out of the clump of mud, he jumped behind the desk, and started to rummage into the burnt archives.

    "It's gone.. All gone.. I'll never see her again.." The more the man looked, the more he convinced himself, with a broken voice, that there was no hope for him to see his daughter again.

    Daniel cleared his throat loudly and said "I know where your daughter is.. She is in the second floor, room 201.." but he was completely ignored.

    The man seemed to be in the middle of a mental breakdown, and was unable to listen to reason, so Daniel decided to change tactic.

    He approached the man, grabbed the waist of his pants, and easily lifted him off the ground. He then said "Don't move.. I haven't done this with a passenger."

    Daniel was now a rank four martial artist, and had a full control over his body and strength. To him, getting used to carrying a few more kilograms, wouldn't take much.

    On the other hand, using 'Aerial Walking' with another person, that was slightly harder.

    Between the man's attempt to free himself, and the scared screams he made, Daniel was having a few difficulties at keeping himself straight "Stop moving! I'm taking you to your daughter." He said while slowly walking out of the window, and into the air.

    "AHHHHHH!" Shouted the man, convinced that Daniel had decided to throw him off the window.

    In just a minute, Daniel had descended the air right the outside of the building, and down to the second floor, as if calmly climbing down a set of invisible stairs.

    Once he reached the second floor, he entered the building from one of the windows. He then grabbed the man's wrist, and pulled him through the corridors. The two kept walking until they ended up in front of a door. This door was plain, except for a paque on which a big 201 was neatly carved.

    From inside the room, the cries of a young woman could be heard.

    Daniel opened the door and entered the room, taking the man with him.

    Inside the room, a young woman had been strapped above the mattress. Her wrists and ankles were tied at the four corners of the bed, and she was covered in bruises.

    Above her, a sweaty middle aged man was lying, having his fun with her.

    Daniel could feel the man's ki, He was at the third rank of the martial cultivation. Unfortunately, the frantic man was a simple unranked and was not able to realize the man's strength. The first thing he did, after recognizing his daughter, was to rush at the man and try to get him off her.

    The middle aged man had been scared at first, but after noticing that the intruders were only a crying man, and a teenager, he got up on his feet, still naked, and reached for the axe he had left next to his clothes.

    Unfortunately for him, before he could manage to grab the axe, a kick squarely hit him in the stomach, throwing him out of the second floor window.

    Daniel had seen the red number above this middle aged man, so he didn't care about his health. When the window signaling his death did not appear, he simply muttered "lucky.." to himself.

    The frantic man rushed to his daughter, which after seeing him, started to cry even louder. He then untied her, and hugged her tightly.

    Daniel decided to leave the two alone, so he quietly stepped out of the room and left the hotel.

    -----

    Fourteen hundred kilometers south of Phyrri, 19:23

    Inside a solitary wooden house, two men were sitting in silence. One, was a robust man with a greatsword strapped on his back, while the other, was an old man wearing farmer's clothes.

    The robust man was oddly polite to the old man. He sat quietly on a simple chair, waiting for a response from the old man.

    The old man had been caught in his thoughts for a long time now. Until finally, he lifted his head and said to the robust man "The Silver Alchemist.. And Mister Kye?.. How many more at the seventh stage?"

    "Twentynine rank 7.. No rank 8 within the city." Answered the robust man politely.

    The old man went back into pondering the situation, then he asked "How long before their king hears of it?"

    "I would assume no more than a week. Master Kye said a month, but I doubt the Silver Alchemist didn't own a faster way to make the news reach the capital.." Said the robust man.

    After a few more minutes of thinking, the old man looked at the robust man once more, and said "To leave it as it is, is out of the question.. You have two days, Gather the agents within the neighbouring cities and wait. We will arrive within ten days... You may go now."

    The robust man got up from his chair, bowed down to the old man, and quietly left the house.

    In a matter of seconds, after the departure of the robust man, the old man had disappeared as well, leaving his old wooden house completely empty.

    -----

    Three days later, a similar scene took place a little more than three thousand kilometers southwest from Phyrri. Past the Sinleah Mountain Range, and the desert which extended past it.

    Within a tent at the edge of the desert, an old woman, and a middle aged man were sitting above two pillows laid on the ground.

    The middle aged man had an amiable smile on his face, and had greeted the old woman in a friendly manner.

    "It's been awhile since i've last seen you.. What news do you bring me?" He said.

    If the old alchemist had been here, he would have recognized this woman as the doctor employed within his Golden Cauldron, and person who had examined Daniel.

    She refused the exchange of pleasantries and just cut to the chase. "The important kind.. A kid within the city of Phyrri has found a way to cultivate both paths at the same time."

    Shock appeared on the middle aged man's face, he then asked "What!? Are you serious!?"

    "I am.. I've checked him personally. He created an anomaly after breaking through the fourth rank." The old woman explained.

    It took awhile for the middle aged man to come back to his senses. He looked at the old woman, and said "We need to get that kid.. Go back, keep an eye on him and wait for us. We'll get there in about a week.

    -----

    Back in Phyrri, Daniel had been silently cultivating in his room. In his hands, two rank 3 beast cores had just finished being consumed.

    Once the two beast cores disappeared, he slowly opened his eyes and took a deep breath. He then decided to check his advancement in his profile, causing the familiar window to appear in his mind once again.

    -----

    Dan Hiel - Karmic system's wielder.

    Age - 14

    Rank

    - Mid rank 4 of Martial cultivation (Perfect Body)

    - Mid rank 4 of Spiritual cultivation (Perfect Connection)

    Karma - 5202

    -----

    Weapons Masteries (Details)

    Martial Arts (Details)

    Skills (Details)

    Spells (Details)

    -----

    Reap What You've Sown

    Time Is Precious Lv.1

    System Upgrades (Details)

    -----

    Daniel had been surprised by the huge amount of karma points he had received that day at the hotel. Since then he had understood that, the huge costs within the karmic system, not only required him to do good.. But also to be merciless against those with negative karma.

    Since now Daniel had so many points, he had found himself thinking on how to use them. Many ideas had crossed his mind in the past few days.. But he still hadn't taken any decision, or at least, not until he checked his profile.

    The System Upgrade feature of the karmic system had, once again, caught his eyes. With a simple thought, Daniel opened the details of the System Upgrades menu.

    -----

    System Upgrades Lv.1

    Reap What You've Sown = Purchased

    Time Is Precious Lv.2 = 1500 KP

    (Active: Double the cost of karma points in order to double the speed of progression. +100% of cost and effect. Max lv.10)

    Reduced Cost Lv.1 = 1000 KP

    (Passive: Permanently decreases the consumption of karma points by 10%. An additional 10% per level. Max Lv.10)

    Bonus Points Lv.1 = 1000 KP

    (Passive: Permanently increases the karma points received by 10%. An additional 10% per level. Max Lv.10)

    Second Chance Lv1 = 5000 KP

    (Passive: Once per month, the user will be brought back to two seconds before the moment of his death. 2 additional seconds per level. Max Lv.10)

    Karma X Luck = 30,000 KP

    (Passive: Your overall luck is dependent to the amount of positive or negative karma.)

    -----

    Accumulate 200,000 Karma points to unlock System Upgrades Lv.2

    -----

    Daniel's points still weren't enough to go on a spending spree, but two skills had caught his attention. Specifically, 'Second Chance', and 'Reduced Cost'.

    What Daniel needed the most, was power, or a life saving ability. Therefore, a way to decrease the amount of karma points spent, along with a second chance at life, were both very tempting.

    After a bit of thought, Daniel crossed 'Second Chance' out of his mind.

    The skill's effect was amazing, but then, he considered that had he gotten to the point where someone was two seconds close from killing him, that would mean that his enemy was clearly stronger than him. Therefore, he wouldn't be able to change his fate even if he got those two seconds back.

    On the other hand, a permanent decrease in the karma points consumed, in his head, sounded like the best possible passive effect he could purchase at the moment.

    After thinking it through for a few more minutes, Daniel decided to go for 'Reduced Cost'

    With a single thought, he upgraded his system, and then, he checked out his profile once again.

    -----

    Dan Hiel - Karmic system's wielder.

    Age - 14

    Rank

    - Mid rank 4 of Martial cultivation (Perfect Body)

    - Mid rank 4 of Spiritual cultivation (Perfect Connection)

    Karma - 702

    -----

    Weapons Masteries (Details)

    Martial Arts (Details)

    Skills (Details)

    Spells (Details)

    -----

    Reap What You've Sown

    Time Is Precious Lv.2

    Reduced Cost Lv.2

    System Upgrades (Details)

    -----

    Without enough point to upgrade 'Reduced Cost' to the third level, Daniel decided to upgrade 'Time Is Precious' once more instead.

    He now could cultivate three times faster than when 'Time is Precious' was not activated, and his consumption of karma points was permanently reduced by twenty percent.

    Happy about the upgrades of his system, Daniel felt like trying his new speed of cultivation, so he took two rank 4 beast cores from his spatial rings, and started cultivating without 'Time is Precious'.

    The speed of cultivation was the same, but the consumption of karma points was, as expected, reduced to eighty percent of what it was before.

    After checking the effects of his new upgrade, Daniel activated 'Time is Precious', and kept cultivating. At the very next moment, the two beast cores he was holding, along with his remaining karma points, started to be consumed faster than ever.
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