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262 The Meaning of Helplessness

    "Calm yourself, mental warrior.. Your puny avatar wouldn't even make a dent on my mighty scales." muttered the human-like dragon with a hint of irony. He had already felt the change in Aeron's behaviour thanks to his sharp sense of smell, and the simple idea that someone at his level tried to even think of escaping, was hilarious to him.

    After the veiled threat towards one of Daniel's friends, the dragon cleared his throat, and turned towards Daniel to say "You have ten seconds to save yourself. Start talking."

    Without the slightest hint of fear, Daniel approached the dragon, and sat next to him. He then casually soaked his hand into the molten rock, almost as if checking the temperature of a random pool of water. At the same time, he said "Let's be honest, you've been with a foot out of the door the very moment you've smelled Iewah's gift on me.. You have no intention of letting us leave."

    With feigned irritation, the dragon moved his yellow eyes towards Daniel, and said "You doubt the word of a dragon?"

    "Why, are dragons supposed to be righteous and honorable? I've met one before, but he tried to.. Well, he actually killed me right after." Said Daniel while showing a faint grin on his face. He still had his second chance, and if he had to attempt a dangerous approach, he would rather try it in his first try. If things went wrong, at the very least, he would know that this specific approach would get the for of them killed.

    The dragon looked at Daniel with narrowed eyes for a few moments, until finally.. "Hahaha! Okay, fair enough. No we are not righteous creatures.. But people are idiots, and they think of us like that, for some odd reason.. Or used to at least. I haven't been out for a long time."

    "Why is that, are you agoraphobic or something?" Asked Daniel with a teasing tone, while casually flicking small drops of magma far into the pool.

    An odd grin appeared on the dragon's face, as he showed a set of not so clean teeth, and his sharp canines.. But the grin quickly disappeared from his face, as he said "I am an outcast. Just like green eyes over there."

    After hearing the dragon's words, Daniel's shoulders hopped up and down as he failed to avoid laughing with his body. He then said "I'm also an outcast like green eyes over there. Why do you think I am in this planet?"

    The eyes of the dragon narrowed once again, and illuminated of a faint, and natural yellow color, which differed from the typical sign that an elite was going to use its gift, by the fact that it was caused by how the light entered the dragon's eyes when in a semi-dark environment.

    "There are no outcasts in Iewah's faction. I know that you are immune to a certain level of poisons and toxins.. And that you are an alchemist. You are part of the poisonous rose." Responded the dragon with a serious tone, almost as if calling out Daniel to be a liar.

    Many underestimated the sense of smell of dragons. They had a sight more powerful than most types of hunters, a vocal capacity which, if fully unleashed, would be able to put entire civilizations on to their knees with a single shout, and a hearing which could be compared in efficiency with a human's absolute surrounding awareness.. But their smell, was something of another level.

    After smelling a smell once, a dragon would be able to remember it for all of its life. They would be able to smell the feelings of humans, their intentions, and anything to which they had come in contact with for years. Trying to fool a dragon on something that he could feel thanks to his smell, was one of the most foolish ideas in the known universe.

    What had left this dragon perplexed, was the fact that he couldn't smell any sign of lie on Daniel.. But that did not mean that he believed him, as the chosen of Iewah were known to be odd beings, with odd means.

    "I am not sure how much you know of the chosens of Iewah, but after we receive our gifts.." Daniel casually started to recount the biggest misconceptions of the chosens of Iewah, including the fact that the people who received them were simply hosts, the nature of the gifts, and why he had come to this planet.

    These were secret, but not his. His only secret was how his own gift worked, and he wouldn't simply go around talking about it to anyone.

    "That's quite the story.. Okay.. since you've entertained me, how do you want me to kill you?" asked the dragon after slapping his scaly and spiky knees, and standing back up on his black legs.

    Aeron's eyes started to glow of a faint green glow, and he was ready to use all of his power to affect the mind of the dragon for however much, or however long he could, but Daniel waved his hand dismissively at him, and said "Don't bother." He then turned to look back at the dragon, and said "Let's say you kill me.. What do you think happens next?"

    "You die, and I go back to.." Responded the Dragon just as casually, before being interrupted.

    "..Before you go back to sleep for the next two or three thousand years. Is it worth it? Seems like a waste of power." asked Daniel in disappointment. He couldn't understand why such a powerful being would cower in fear.

    Suddenly hit where it hurt, the dragon said while taking two threatening steps towards him "Brat. You have no idea what it feels like to be on the other side of an oppressive power."

    The dragons were known in the entire universe as a family of beasts which, thank to the impressive level of power that they had reached, they had been granted the same level of a faction. They had natural advantages to humans, and their weakest states would trump over those of humans.

    Their overall superiority had turned them into a proud and vicious race, but that, had changed the day that the Taming System had appeared in the mind of a young woman.

    This woman had tamed one beast after the other, until one day, by chance, she managed to find a youngling of the dragon kin during her travels through space. The dragon's weak mind was not able to defend itself against this girl's power, and through it, she had managed to infiltrate into the massive organization that was the kingdom of dragons.

    One by one, the woman tamed each and every dragon from the bottom to the top, and now, after thousands of years.. She still traveled through space with her personal enslaved dragon King to protect her.

    Of course, not all of the dragons had been captured, and those who were, had not lost their personality either. They had simply become obedient towards the wielder of the Tamer System.

    One of the dragons which had managed to escape, was the dragon with whom Daniel was speaking. He had managed to notice that something was wrong, and failed to convince anyone of relevance in the kingdom of dragons, of the human's dangerousness. In the end, he had been forced to escape in an attempt to avoid being enslaved.

    The dragon faction, was one of the victims of Iewah's faction, and the first faction to have ever been conquered through means different than war.

    Daniel did not take this accusation lightly. Not many people could say to have been in as many disadvantageous situations as he had in his very short life, and he couldn't stand being belittled like that.

    "I don't? What do you think I am doing here? You've gone unnoticed to the keeper of key, and no one ever found out about you.. You are clearly more powerful than any level of cultivation that I know of, and yet you are hidden in a hole filled with spiders, while I plan my move to take my revenge. I have ten times the balls you have." responded Daniel agrily.

    He had found himself in front on uncountable situation where he was on the verge of death, and the only time he had actually considered escaping, was not to avoid confrontation, but to prevent his friends from being hurt by his own power. Many in Daniel's position would have long given up, and took the easy path.. hiding in the darkness.

    The dragon was dumbfounded by Daniel's reaction. Not even for a moment he had realized that Daniel was in a situation of life and death. He had spoken calmly, and behaved in a composed manner, and that had made the dragon forget the fact that, no matter if dragon or human, everyone had only one life. He was threatening to take a person's only life, and he had been stupid enough to dare to say that this man could not understand the meaning of helplessness.

    Nothing but deep shame filled the dragon's mind for the next minute, as his eyes stayed on Daniel's.

    After a long minute, the dragon broke his silence by saying "Who are you planning to take your revenge on?"

    "The list of my enemies is only half written, dragon. Leave us alone, or put your name on it.. Now, if you'll excuse us.." Said Daniel before turning towards the entrance, and walking out with heavy steps.

    The dragon looked at the back of this seemingly crazy young man, and before he could reach the entrance, he said "Hold on.."

    Daniel lowered his shoulders in annoyance, and turned toward the humanoid dragon with irritation.

    "Who is your first target?" asked the dragon with curiosity.

    Instead of speaking out loud, Daniel pointed at his white clothes, and tapped on them faintly, indicating that his first target was none other than the Poisonous Rose itself.

    "Alright then. You've called me a coward, and while I am acting as one, my pride doesn't allow me to take it lying down.." Said the dragon with a matter-of-fact tone, before taking two steps towards Daniel, and while turning back into his original draconic form, he added "Show me what fighting back against the strong means, and you'll earn a powerful ally. Fail, and you, and the people whose smell I can feel on your body, will die by my hands. You have one month."

    In his mind, Daniel cursed the dragon. He already had a year of time limit for his mission to be completed, and the least thing he needed, was even less time.

    The dragon quickly smelled this reaction on Daniel, but said nothing.

    "I'll destroy the Poisonous Roses, and if I'll ever need someone to hide in fear in my stead, I'll let you know." said Daniel before once again turning toward the entrance, and leaving.. It was only when he reached the entrance of the cave inhabited by the dragon, that he illuminated the area with light essence, and found the body of the researcher by the side of the entrance.

    He had been partially mummified with spider's thread, and had died due to the venom of one of the spiders, which had turned his organs into a liquid paste. When Daniel touched him to take his ring off, he felt as if he was touching a bag of skin filled with soft paste, and loose bones.

    When the four of them left, one thought kept reappearing in Daniel's head over and over.. and that thought was 'I hope that I'll manage to finish in time'. This whole problem, had become a matter of not only his safety, but that of his own friends, and Daniel couldn't help but consider this, a truly unlucky encounter.

    Once outside of the cave, Aeron removed the memories of the two of them from the minds of the middle aged couple, and forced them to fall asleep.

    They then arrived back to the city with the couple, and claimed to have found them half dead in the forest next to the spider's nest, directly on their way back from their travels.

    When they had left the cave, Daniel was able to see that the karma of these two people was negative, but of a relatively small amount. Just a couple thousands negative karmic points, was not a good indication that a person was good or evil, so, he decided that, if the occasion presented itself, he would try to help this family.
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