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250 A Magnet for Calamities

    Daniel was sitting on Sewah's throne, visibly irritated. He was tapping on his knee nervously with his right hand, while thinking of what he could do to recover from the immense karmic debt which Sewah had left him with. Of one thing he was certain.. It would take a very long time.

    Just as he was about to pull his hair from nervousness, a familiar person appeared next to him. It was a man close to his late twenties, and wore a helmet from through which two cold eyes could be seen. It didn't take long for Daniel to recognize this man as one of his closest friends.

    "Jerigh.." He muttered, while extremely surprised that somebody he knew had remained by his side until now. He had checked the list of the people that were part of his system's group, and no one had remained in it. Even Jerigh, Reila, and his uncle Thien, which had decided to stay with him, didn't see him as their leader anymore.

    Sewah did not care at all about the relationship between Daniel and his friends, so, after he had taken over his body, he had treated them like the rest of his followers. For example, for two years, Jerigh had been left to be a simple guard of the palace, while Reila and Thien had decided to build a house in Daniel's group base, and live there. They did not want to separate themselves from Daniel, as they didn't know what had gotten into him, but they could not bear to be in direct contact with him.

    Curiously enough, Sewah cared so little about them, that he had allowed them to stay in his planet.

    The first reaction shown by Jerigh to Daniel's words, was deep confusion. He had been in contact with Sewah multiple times, and due to the fact that Jerigh refused to talk the common tongue in front of him, Sewah had gotten used to call him 'the mute' to make fun of him. The last time he had heard the name Jerigh coming from that mouth, was before Daniel had experienced that drastic change.

    Doubt started to grow in Jerigh's mind, which Daniel immediately felt.

    "It's me. Daniel.." He said with a reassuring tone before explaining to him everything that had happened. About the gift he had received, about the price that he had paid for it, and about how he had regained the control over his body, thanks to his training with mental power.

    It took a few minutes, but after his explanation, Jerigh finally started to think that Daniel could actually be back. Or at the very least, that was what Daniel could see in his mind.

    "Dan.." Muttered Jerigh while taking his helmet off, and moving it in between his arm and chest, showing a slightly more mature face, and longer blonde hair.

    Daniel approached him, and put his hands on his shoulders. For Jerigh, two and a half years had passed, while for Daniel, it was only half a year, as he had remained unconscious in his sleeping state for more than two years.

    "Where are the others?" He asked after noticing that Jerigh had started to believe him.

    With a low tone, Jerigh responded by saying "Your sister Reila and your uncle Thiren are living in this planet.. The others have left with the rings after they lost hope for your return.." Said Jerigh while also leaving a small trap to confirm Daniel's actual identity.

    He knew for a fact that Sewah knew the name of Daniel's sister, but whenever his uncle tried to come and visit, he would tell Jerigh to get rid of 'the guy'.. While also hinting the fact that he wasn't fully aware of his name.

    Naturally, Daniel wouldn't have fallen in the trap even if he couldn't see inside Jerigh's mind, so, while pretending he hadn't heard anything, he said "So.. it's only you, Reila, and uncle Thien?"

    While hiding his elation in a way that only Jerigh was capable of, he responded "And two other people.. The others left.. Took the pocket dimension.. Took the company building.. No way to reach them from here."

    Daniel already knew that the others had left. If there was a connection to his pocket dimension nearby, he would have been able to feel it. But since he couldn't feel anything, he put the matter to the back of his head, and quickly caught up with Jerigh's words. "Wait.. who are the other two people?" He then asked with curiosity.

    As if remembering something extremely important, Jerigh opened his eyelids slightly, and moved them back to normal right after. He then said "Nilo.. and Than.."

    -----

    A few thousand kilometers from the city where Sewah's castle was, was a large valley surrounded by tall and impressive trees of multiple species. This valley was at the feet of two massive mountains, and in between them, was a small lake formed by a cascade of crystal clear water. The scenery was spectacular, and anyone who would see it, would feel a tremendous amount of envy towards the person to which this place belonged.

    Not too far from the waterfall, right at the edge of this large grassy and flowery field, were two wooden cabins. These cabins were built recently, and were big enough to allow only a few people to live in. They were made of the wooden material that had been found in the area, which explained the presence of the few neatly-cut tree stumps.

    Sitting on one of these three stumps, was a man in his mid thirties, which was scrabbling something in a book. The images which he was drawing, were the depictions of certain moves and positions of the body used to practice a certain style of martial arts.

    Daniel and Jerigh, which were currently floating in the air while masked by a thick spatial barrier, immediately recognized that man, as Daniel's uncle, Thien, and the book which he was writing, was the most basic type of martial arts manual. The pictures were simple enough for any random beginner to understand.

    The two observed for a couple of minutes, until finally, a second man left one of the two houses with a book of his own in hand. This book was not written at the moment, and was instead bound in refined leather. On its surface, was the depiction of a flaming palm, and a writing which spelled 'Swift Palm of Oppression.'

    This man was Nilo. The clever young man which Daniel had encountered once he had entered the academy of Master Kye, and had saved along with his masters and sister from the coalition back in his planet of origin.

    As soon as he walked out of one of the wooden cabin, Nilo walked directly towards Thien. "Here it is." he said after handing over the manual of his family's martial arts to him.

    "He will learn this one first." Said Thien with a serious tone, almost as if trying to reserve a future event to his benefit.

    Nilo smirked in response, and said "He'll chose by himself.." He then turned to look at the door from which he had just walked out of, and with a bright smile, he said "Come here.." His arms were wide open in invitation.

    From the opened door of the house, a toddler which was close to two years of age, walked slowly walked out of the door on his puffy legs, and towards Nilo, which welcomed him in his arms with deep affection. "My little Than." Said Nilo to the smiling baby.

    The moment Daniel saw this baby, his heart and mind froze.

    Daniel had looked at Jerigh with doubt the very moment he had told him that an individual called Than, which was the same name as his deceased father, had remained close to him, his sister, and his uncle. He had asked more than once to Jerigh what he meant exactly, but for an unknown reason, Jerigh would keep refusing to answer, and instead, would say "You have to see it yourself.."

    At this moment, everything had started to click. Why Nilo had remained behind despite the fact that two of them weren't that close.. Why Reila had decided to enter his academy instead of having the chance to learn directly from Daniel, and why his uncle and Nilo were writing and keeping books which explained the most basic concepts of martial arts..

    Reila and Nilo were a couple.. And they had had a son together which they had named Than.. Than Hiel.

    It didn't take long before Reila herself, now older by two and a half years, walked out of the house right behind her child, with the happiest expression which Daniel had ever seen on her face. She then approached Nilo, which had already picked up Than from the ground, and was holding him in his arms.

    Once next to them, she caressed her son's hair tenderly, and kissed her companion before saying with her usual cheeky tone "I don't know about that.. We are kind of two against one here.."

    What Daniel was feeling at the moment, was a mixture of happiness and sadness.

    All he had dreamed about for his sister was that she could be happy. Happy with the people she was with, happy with what she had done, and happy with her life.

    That was not only his dream, but also their parents.

    All the sadness he felt was due to the idea that their parents would never see their daughter being this happy.. they would never see the beautiful kid that was trying to reach for his mother with his fat little arms, and they would never see them safe and sound.

    Jerigh looked at Daniel's odd expression, and said "You don't want to go down?.." Unfortunately, he received the answer he received, was the last one he would have ever wanted Daniel to give him.

    "You all have to leave.." Said Daniel with a broken voice.

    Shocked by Daniel's words, Jerigh turned towards him, and said "What? Why?" His shock was so high, that he forgot to even use the common language, and had talked in the Asum's tongue instead.

    Daniel's heart was breaking in a thousand small pieces. He had never imagined that, one day, he would have had to push for him and his family to separate.. But this time, he had no choice.

    He was an outcast now.. And one with a bounty at that. He didn't knew how many powerful individuals would come looking for him.. What he knew, was that he didn't want his sister and her family to be there when that happened.

    "You have to.. If you have any trust in me left.. Take them, and find the others.. Keep them safe. That's all I'm asking of you." He said with a saddened tone.

    Daniel would have never separated himself from his family just because he had to escape.. But there was a major reason why he couldn't allow them to stay.. And that reason, was his karma. Sewah had created such a large karmic debt, that saying that Daniel would soon become a magnet for bad luck, was a huge understatement.. With the debt he currently had.. He was a magnet for calamities.

    Jerigh had always had a blind trust towards Daniel, and even after all this time, he still hadn't forgotten that he owed way more than his life, and that he had sworn to fight by his side until he breathed. His loyalty was so deep, that even though Daniel had asked him to leave, he had no choice but to do it. After all, in his mind, protecting Daniel's family was just as important as protecting Daniel himself.

    After listening to Daniel's words, Jerigh nodded, and with clear unwillingness, he landed next to the happy family of four, and exchanged a few words with them.

    The more the group talked, the faster the smiles disappeared from their faces.

    "..Why does he suddenly want us to leave? He has never cared for us until now.. What changed?" Asked Reila, while on the verge of tears. Leaving, would have meant abandoning all hopes of Daniel's return.

    Seeing that Jerigh wasn't being too successful in convincing them to leave, Daniel took a deep breath, and shouted with a heavy, yet harmless sound essence "LEAVE, MAGGOTS!! I HAVE TOLERATED YOU IN MY HOUSE FOR LONG ENOUGH!!" his tone was angry, and devoid of any form of affection.

    Caught by surprise by a sudden outburst which they thought came from a cold and merciless tyrant, the three of them had no choice but to accept to be kicked out of the planet they had lived in for the past two and a half years..

    In a matter of minutes, they gathered their belongings, and approached Jerigh, which was one of the few which possessed a few talismans that would take them back to Daniel's planet of origin.

    As Daniel noticed his family leave from the portal unwillingly, he couldn't help but feel his stomach churn, and mutter "I'm sorry.. Sis.."
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