286 The House of Merchants

    "Father, it's about time we met." Said the Rich Man after noticing the old man who was sitting quietly on the area where, just a moment earlier, was a colossal tree. His tone was not respectful in the least, and the reason for that was that, for the children of Iewah, Iewah himself was the ultimate boss. The fact that the three had managed to refrain from attacking him on sight, was already beyond surprising.

    While the Rich Man took the initiative in starting a conversation with Iewah, the other two kept quiet, and observed the old man's reaction.

    With an oddly gentle and calm voice, Iewah stood up, and approached his three sons.. once he was standing in front of them, he said ".. This is the part where my sons attack me with all they have.. I suggest you three collaborate."

    These few words caused something to click in the minds of the three. No matter how powerful their self control had been so far.. This simple invitation had shattered any semblance of reason that the three siblings possessed.

    In an instant, the shadow connected to Iewah's feet begun to move, and separated itself from the ground. The silhouette of this shadow resembled Iewah's human form perfectly, and if that was not enough, the shadow emitted the exact same feel and power of its owner.

    This ability was called 'Obscure Clone'.

    Its effect allowed the system's wielder to take control over his opponent's shadow, and use it to create an exact copy of that person with matching cultivation, abilities, and even intelligence.. Making it the most powerful ability which the Shadow possessed.

    Just as the Obscure Clone emerged from the ground, two voice could be heard coming from the Rich Man, and the Ruler.

    The former had taken a small bag of coins and thrown it towards the quietly standing body of his father, while saying "I'll pay everything I have to have your powers.".. That caused Iewah's limitless cultivation and unique supernatural powers to be transferred directly into the body of the Rich Man, while his powers were reduced to the original cultivation of his son.

    This ability was called 'Name Your Price', and it allowed the Rich Man to take possession of a person's abilities and cultivation. The cost of the ability depended on the opponent's power, and if the power obtained was used to kill its previous owner, the Rich Man would be able to retain a portion of it as his.. It was the ultimate ability of the Opulent system.

    The words spoken by the ruler, differently from before, were spoken with the voice of an emperor. The tone was loud and domineering, and left a feeling of inferiority on the hearts of every single person who heard it.

    "I sentence you to death."

    The moment these words were spoken, Iewah's body was forced to his knees, and next to him, a ten meters tall executioner had appeared. He towered next to Iewah with a bare chest, and head covered by a black sack with no eye holes. He was holding his arms high up above his head, and in his hands, was a saber as big as him and as thin as a hair.

    The name of this ability was 'Grace Denied', and allowed the Ruler to decide whether his opponent deserved to die, or not. Ironically enough, this ability could always be used to sentence a person to death, and there was no way for the unfortunate target to avoid it, unless they used a stronger power.

    All three abilities took effect at the same time, and in a matter of moments. From his place of nigh-omnipotence, Iewah was kneeling with a blade slicing down towards his neck, his power bought by the extravagant habits of the Rich Man, and his own shadow that was about to turn his original body into smithereens.

    The hearts of the three children were beating like war drums as they attempted to kill their own father, but just as the attacks were about to hit his body.. Just when they blinked in order to make sure that they wouldn't lose an instant of the result of their attacks.. Just as their eyelids moved back up and uncovered the three pairs of brilliant golden eyes.. The situation had changed.

    The ruler was kneeling on the ground with the familiar massive executioner ready to cut his head clean off of his body, the Rich Man found himself dressed in tatters, and surrounded by golden coins which, no matter how much he crawled towards, he could not reach.. And the Shadow was stuck at the feet of his father.. Unable to move, and forced to follow Iewah's movements just like a simple, and powerless shadow.

    "I have seen worse.. I suppose.." muttered Iewah, as the images washed out of his three children, and they found themselves standing just like they had been moments before initiating their attacks.

    At that moment, they understood.

    Contrary to what they had believed so far, when compared to all of their brothers, the three were nothing special.. And yet, there was a reason why, despite meeting Iewah, none of their brother had managed to kill him.

    There was absolutely no chance for them to win against their father.. And if they tried, their fears would come to fruition.. And they would lose their lives.

    In a matter of minutes, the three managed to calm down from their fearful state, and looked at their father with a greater deal of respect than before.

    "Why did you call us here?" Asked the Ruler with a weak tone that did not match with his appearance, and previous behaviour. He was standing politely, and trembling at the idea that something could cause him to lose his status as a ruler, and he ended up being the peasant whose head was about to be cut off.

    "I need you three to capture the outcast." Said Iewah while quietly walking towards an unnaturally flat rock, and sitting down on it while brushing his beard with his hand.

    "I thought that it wasn't allowed for us to hunt each other, unless we were able to leave our hosts body.." Said the Rich Man with an unstable state of mind. He had both of his hands inside his pockets, and was touching the coins that he had left not because he wanted to fight, but because he was trying to remind himself that he hadn't lost all of his wealth.

    "He is not one of you.. Your brother, stupid as he is.. Was unable to keep the body for himself.. I had a lot of hope for his power.."

    While all of Iewah's children that had heard about the matter were aware that Sewah had been expelled from the faction, they did not know exactly why. All they knew, was that during a conquest campaign, he had fought against one of their sisters, and that after that event, he had been expelled.

    To learn that the host could fight back, and that he was able to subdue their supposedly more powerful mind, was unheard of.

    While the three were shocked about the revelation, they still did not feel fear towards Daniel. Their will to compete came from knowing that their brothers possessed a power that could possibly be as powerful as theirs, and therefore, they seeked confrontation regardless of whether it was against their brother, or another powerful individual.

    Of the three, the only one that had some doubts, was the Shadow.. Who said to his father "Why send three of us?.. He was the last one to receive a gift, and even if his gift was as powerful as ours.. Shouldn't two of us be enough to subdue him?"

    With a face filled with disappointment and resignation, Iewah said "You always overestimate yourselves.. You believe your hosts were easy prey..  But I've chosen them exactly because I knew they would be capable of anything to survive.. If not for the element of surprise, none of you would have lived through the possession attempt."

    Aside from the Shadow, whose power forced him to be humbler than most of his brothers, and live in the shadows.. The Rich man and the Rulers were amongst the most prideful of all of Iewah's children. Listening to Iewah's words had lit the fire of competition that resided in their minds, and now that they had been underestimated by their own father, they wanted nothing but to prove him wrong.

    "Why us three?" Asked the Shadow with a fair bit of curiosity. The three of them were relatively young, and had taken control over their hosts just centuries ago.. In the grand rooster of Iewah's children, there were many more powerful entities which could fit the role better.

    "Of all of the hosts that I have chosen, only a few were able to create a truly fearful power.. You are the three who will be the least affected by his powers."


    Daniel's planet, one month after the asteroid's events.

    Sitting in front of the small house meant for the kid to live in, was a garden table with two chairs, and a flaming board with small wooden pieces which, only ten seconds earlier, were the components of a chess board.

    Sitting at the table were the kid, which was moving his hands in an attempt to communicate with his opponent, and Xargy, whose arms were crossed, and was looking at his right with a face filled with irritation.

    As a scholar, Xargy had shown a lot of interest in the game of chess, but while Daniel and Aeron refused to play with him after losing a few times, he did not have the same result when playing with the kid. What had helped him push through the hundred consecutive losses, was his pride as a king of beasts.. Unfortunately, after the number of losses had reached the three digits, his pride shattered like a crystal.. Causing him to burst out in anger, and set the entire game ablaze.

    A month was more than enough for Xargy to learn the sign language which was used by the kid, and therefore, he was ignoring him out of annoyance, and not because he couldn't understand him.

    Sitting on the ground separated by a few meters of grass, were Aeron and Daniel. They were both trying to cultivate with the small amount of crystals that they had left, but while Daniel appeared calm and focused, Aeron seemed slightly irritated.

    "Mind telling me what is bothering you?" Aeron finally asked. He had this question in mind for a very long time, and now he couldn't hold it in anymore.

    Daniel quietly opened his eyes, and said "It's been a month already. The universal government should have been able to destroy the Garden of Death, but I haven't received any notice for it."

    "Hypothetically, yes.. The Garden of Death should have been wiped out by now.. But do not underestimate the leaders of the factions.. They are not common beings." Responded Aeron while reminiscing about the leader of the Psionic Dimension, which he had met the day he had received his own gift.

    While Aeron was more knowledgeable about the power of a faction leader, he knew nothing about the power of the universal government's army. All he knew about them, were the legends that were told through the entire universe. Rumors about generals, and unknown explorers single handedly facing the leaders of a faction, and forcing them into submission..

    These types of rumors were as numerous as the number of factions that were part of the universal government, and were a testimony to the government's power.

    "They might have refused.." muttered Daniel to himself before becoming pensive. He then asked "Do you think they have sent somebody to hunt for us?"

    "I doubt it. Aside from Iewah and the Emanation.. Nobody should be able to track us." Responded Aeron calmly, before noticing an asteroid similar to that where the three of them had encountered the kid, yet a hundred times as big, and with enough gold on its surface to resemble a golden ore partially covered in dirt. He then added  "It seems that we have arrived.. The House of Merchants.. The Golden Nugget."
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