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199 Karmic Exactor

    "Let's talk.." Said Daniel while showing a big smile, which hid the uncomfortable sentiments that he was feeling. He never meant to extort other people's help for his own gain, but he surely needed it.

    The three old cultivators quietly sat on their chairs, and after taking a deep breath to calm themselves down, the head blacksmith said "We are nowhere powerful enough to do anything against the powers that have been suppressing your company."

    "That is not the type of friend I need at the moment. The pressure of those companies is hurting, but it's nothing we can't handle by ourselves." Responded Daniel while waving his hand in a dismissive way.

    After hearing Daniel's words, the head blacksmith hummed briefly in understanding, before saying "What did you mean then?" his left leathery hand was slowly brushing the back of the other. The skin of both of his hands were covered in scars which could easily be attributed to the decades spent handling rovent materials. He brushed them together almost as if trying to warm them up through slow friction, while in truth, he was struggling not to lose his temper, and demand the answers he wanted.

    While conversing with these three old people, Daniel had found out a few details through sheer observation skill. Through his view power of seeing people's karma, he had found out that two of these three individuals possessed extraordinary neutral karma, which was what someone would have expected from a businessman or woman which solely focused on a practical field like smithing.. But what caught his eyes, was the red karma over the head of the third elder.

    "According to my source, the bombing was done by a professional with a certain reputation in the underground world. During the five different explosions that destroyed just as many shops which belonged to your company. Various flammables had been left to stage a human error, for which you took the blame." Explained Daniel with a single breath. He was aware that it was a lot to take in, but he didn't want to give them time to overthink things, and lose track of the point.

    After a few moments, the third elder looked at Daniel and asked with a hint of anger "How do we know that any of that is true?"

    "The government conducted their investigations, and after they did, you must have done the same. Five different deliveries to five shops in the day before the bombings. The items which caused the explosion were items that would not usually be in a smith shop, and certainly not close to the everyday smithing materials in use.. In the end, the government thought that you had purchased the wrong materials, and did not store them properly.. Causing a chain of explosions that not only killed one of your elders, but also close to a hundred of innocent people." Daniel's explanation was clear, and every detail was backed by the very reports given by the government, which due to the outrage caused by the event, had been made public.

    The three old people were starting to be visibly irritated, and Daniel knew why. He had given a reasonable explanation which the three of them had tried to find for the past months. The problem was, that the only person who was supposed to know those things, would have been the killer, the broker which had hired the killer, or the one who had commissioned the bombings.

    The head blacksmith and the old woman could see that Daniel had more to say, so, they waited to hear the remaining information which he could offer. On the other hand, the third elder was getting restless, and after a few seconds, he burst out in rage saying "You better explain how you know these things! And who your sources are!"

    Daniel did not even flinch, and instead, turned to look at the third elder and said "I wasn't done." These three old people were more powerful than he was, but he could feel that the remaining two were at the very least reasonable people, and would want to hear him out instead of throwing accusations, or start implying something.

    The third elder turned to look at his two companions, and only after seeing their stern faces did he sit back on his chair, and quietened down.

    "Are you familiar with the company called Sharp Edge?" Asked Daniel while taking notice of the reactions on the faces of the three old people. At the mention of the name of the Sharp Edge company, the head blacksmith and second elder looked at each other in confusion, then turned to look back at Daniel. The third elder had had the exact same reaction, but the only difference, was the slight narrowing of his eyes at the mention of the company name.

    "It's one of our most powerful competitors.. We are both part of the same conglomerate of blacksmiths.. They are our allies." Responded the second elder with a bit of suspicion. She then added "Are you saying that they have commissioned the bombings to our company?"

    Daniel said nothing, and simply answered by nodding.

    The third elder, which had been oddly quiet for the past minute, suddenly said in outrage "Why would they do that?! Why don't you start making sense and stop wasting our time!"

    Daniel shook his head slowly, then said "It's because of your late companion's last discovery. The new alloy."

    The eyes of the three old people opened wide in shock, then, the second elder said "How could you possibly know that? Only the three of us were supposed to know about that.." It was clear to Daniel that this revelation had come as a shock for the three of them.

    "How I came to know about your company's discovery is irrelevant.. What you should be worried about, is who of the few people who knew about it talked.. Who would have had the chance to have him killed?.. Who was damaged the least by what happened?.." Daniel's words, right after what the second elder had just said, sounded extremely accusatory, and in fact, they were. Ever since he had notice the negative karma of the fourth elder, and the odd behaviour that he showed in the past few minutes, Daniel had started to consider that the hit was maybe not only an attack from a different party, but in fact, an inside job.

    Suddenly, an idea flashed in his mind.

    Before Daniel could act on his thoughts, the voice of Sewah was heard saying "I like where your mind is going.. Finally a bit of fun.. Hehe." Then, just as the last word pronounced by Sewah faded into silence, a window appeared within Daniel's mind.

    ____________________________

    *Primary Quest started: Karmic Exactor (Repeatable)*

    -Description: Enforce the payments of a karmic debt.

    Objective set: Support the Scorching Anvil company in exacting their revenge.

    Optional: Kill the Fourth elder of the Sharp Edge company.

    Optional: Kill the Second elder of the Sharp Edge company.

    Optional: Kill the Third elder of the Scorching Anvil company.

    Optional: Kill the broker.

    Reward: 1,000,000 (200,000/200,000/500,000/100,000) / Scorching Anvil Reputation 100%

    ____________________________

    "Kill the broker.." muttered Daniel to himself after reading the requirements of the new quest. The quest he had purposely created had tasked him to aid the Scorching Avil company in exacting their revenge, which in this case, consisted in killing everyone who had played a part in the bombing that had caused close to a hundred deaths. That also meant killing the broker, and if he hadn't killed the bomber himself, his name would have likely been part of the list.

    On the other side of the table, where the three old people were sitting, silence reigned supreme. Ever since the last word had left Daniel's mouth, the three old cultivators had gone silent. The fists of the second elder were tightened so hard that all of the blood flushed out of her palms, the head blacksmith was looking forward in shock.. His face fas firmly shaped into an unbelieving expression, and finally, the third elder was looking downwards.. Feeling the hostility of the second elder towards him grow exponentially.

    "Master Hiel.. thank you for sharing the information with us.." muttered the head blacksmith while getting up from his chair, and saying to his two companions "We are leaving.. Now."

    The second elder, which had finally learned who had caused the death of her husband could not take it anymore, and said with unwillingness "Hiro! He-"

    "I SAID NOW!!" Shouted the head blacksmith to the top of his lungs, causing the glass on the table, as well as the windows of the adjacent floors to shatter. His tone was imposing, and one could feel deep anger in his it. "We will talk about it after we go back!" He then added while looking gravely at the second elder.

    The third elder, which was now perfectly aware of the fact that he had been discovered, turned to look at Daniel with a hateful expression. The next moment, he dashed towards one of the walls with enough power to destroy it, and cause a hole to open.. But right before he could flee, Daniel had teleported right next to him, and had pierced the skin of his old neck with what looked like small needle.

    The old man reacted almost immediately, and with a twist of his waist, he backhand punched Daniel's ribs, causing him to fly all the way towards the building they had just left, and crash against it hard enough to replicate his previous feat of opening a hole on it.

    "It's all your fault.." The old man barked viciously before turning to look at the building he had just jumped out of, to see if his two former companions were chasing him. The head blacksmith and the second elder were standing on the edge of the hole he had created, and were ready to start a fight with him, when suddenly..

    "A good punch.. For someone your age.. But you are already dead." said Daniel while walking out of the man-sized hole he had created on the thick wall of the building. A small droplet of blood was streaming down the corner of his mouth, which he brushed off with his dusty hand before removing the debris from his clothes with a few strokes of his palms.

    The old man was furious. He had never expected that his life would be ruined in a matter of minutes by someone of the younger generation.. He knew he could not escape his two ex companions, so, he turned towards Daniel and said "I might not be able to escape today.. But I am taking you wi-" Unfortunately, he lost the ability to talk before he could convey the full message.

    The muscles of his body had started to become rigid, and the only things he could do were to breathe and look around in increasing panic. It didn't take long for him to remember what had happened a few seconds earlier, when Daniel had pierced his neck with something sharp.

    "Poooo.. iss.. ssoon.." He said with as much strength as he could muster, while his eyes opened wide due to the deep horror caused by the sudden realization.

    A moment later, the two elders of the Scorching Anvil company landed next to their ex companion. "What did you do to him?" Asked the head blacksmith to Daniel.

    Daniel pulled a small thorn out of a secret pocket hidden in his sleeve, and after showing it to him, said "Puffer fish poison.."

    The second elder, which could not even move her eyes from the immobilized body of their former companion, said "Do you already know who he worked with to kill my husband?" Her voice was as cold as a snowy night.

    "I do." Responded Daniel plainly.

    The second elder looked at the head blacksmith with a dead serious expression, to which he responded by turning to look away. The meaning was clear.. 'I don't care anymore.'

    A large hammer appeared on the hand of the second elder, which she then lifted high above her own head, and brought down against the third elder's head.

    *Cra-Squelch* *Thuthump*

    The last thing that the third elder saw alive, was the piece of metal that approached his face, before his entire head exploded like a melon dropped from a height of a hundred meters. A large bloody crater had formed on the spot where the his head was a few moments earlier.
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