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326 Something to Give Up

    At some point during the beating, the light had disappeared from his eyes, leaving him unable to see the arrival of the following punches, which seemed to never stop. What was left for him to endure were the quick bursts of pain, from which he only found shelter the moment he lost consciousness.

    After what felt like thousands of years, a small wisp of light passed through his eyelids, and entered his eyes with enough intensity to wake him up.

    The first thing he noticed, was that he couldn't move. Every bone in his body was pulverized, and his flesh was squashed like a rotten pumpkin under the sun. Every breath brought him incredible pain, comparable only to the twinges that came from multiple parts of his abdominal area. The only parts of his body left somewhat intact, were his head and neck, which he was able to move by only a few centimeters.

    When Sewah opened his eyes, all he could see was a vast expanse of darkness. No stairs could see in the night sky, and the light that had woken him up came, along with a moderate heath, came from a campfire about three meters away from him.

    "What are you doing.. Daniel.." He asked with the tone of a person who was on his deathbed. "Why don't you just kill me.. You have the system.. You won.. you don't need me." While half dead, Sewah was still able to feel Daniel's presence. He was sitting of the grass right next to his powerless body.. Looking at the fire crackle and dance in the night.

    Daniel did not respond, and instead remained quiet.. Causing for Sewah's pain to be overcome with a fairly good amount of anger. "I will never stop trying.. You know that." He added with a hateful tone to obtain a reaction, but without any success.

    The two remained quiet for a few seconds, until finally, Daniel broke the silence and said "You know why I allowed you to bother them?"

    "Of course. You wanted me to t-ghh.. To teach them a lesson about the c-cultivation world.." Responded Sewah while trying to endure the sharp pain that came from every single part of his body "Next time find a **ing assistant elsewhere."

    "Them?.. That's only part of it." Responded Daniel while picking a small rock from the ground, and morphing it into a piece of charcoal which he threw into the living flame.

    With the small amount of power that was left in his body, the muscles of Sewah's face moved into forming an indignated expression. "Ha-argh.. You wanted to teach me something too?" He asked while feeling his hate towards Daniel grow bigger than ever. While he could take a beating from anyone and not care, he couldn't stand to be humiliated by the person whose only reason to be alive, was his mistake.

    A faint sigh escape Daniel's lungs, as he watched the starless sky while in a pensive state.

    "I don't know.. I always thought there had to be a moment in which you were a decent being." He said while slowly moving his hand up to his face, and scratching his scruffy beard. ".. 'He is cynical, but he has no reason not to see me through the good side of this path..' I used to tell myself." He then slightly turned his head to the side, just enough for Sewah's face to appear in his peripheral, and added ".. but then I've learned that you couldn't care less about what I did with this 'gift'. As long as I did enough for you to grow powerful enough to kill me."

    Daniel's first memories of Sewah were not as bad as one would believe. He was abusive and rude, and constantly belittled him, but there was always a method to do good that came along with that personality.. And Daniel couldn't help but feel thankful for that.

    With time, after seeing that Daniel would thread the right path on his own, Sewah had distanced himself by him, and lied in wait.. In wait for the right moment to present itself. Of course, for Sewah, obtaining Daniel's body was not an option. He was born along with that power, and had always lived with it. To let go of it and live as a consciousness trapped into another person's mind was pure suffering.. And Daniel had failed to notice that.

    "Iewah truly screwed one of us over." Said Daniel while brushing his palms over his legs. After this last sentence, he said nothing else and went back to focusing on the fire in front of him.

    For ten long minutes, neither of them said a single word. Sewah felt the power come back to his body, but since he had no comprehension of healing essence, he was not able to heal himself. He could only lay there, as close to dying as he was to living. Daniel, on the other hand, was moving around the burnings pieces of wood with a thin and long stick.

    Aside from the crackling of the flames, it was silence. A silence to which Sewah wished he could escape from.. but he knew that there was more that Daniel had to say. So he painfully turned his head towards him, and while enduring the pain that came from his chest, he said "Put an end to this torture. If you have to say something, just say it."

    "Do you want me to kill you?" Asked Daniel out of the blue. His tone was extremely serious, and sounded like that of a person asking if it would be okay to open the door for him. There was no doubt that, if Sewah responded yes, Daniel would have killed him on the spot. However, before Sewah could respond, he added "You have lost a part of your power, and I know it makes you feel powerless.. but you still have your li-"

    "Fuck you, Daniel. You know nothing." Responded Sewah in clear anger.

    From his voice Daniel could still feel how the loss of his power was a huge burden on his mind. So he ignored Sewah's outburst, and instead said "You can't be a children of Iewah anymore. You are a cultivator.. Bound to die because of your stubbornness, and thirst for conflict.." he then paused for a few moments, before adding "If you were unwilling to live that way, or to live with this sort of regret.. I could end it here and now."

    The deafening silence once again dominated their surroundings. This time, for more than an hour. While Daniel was waiting for an answer to the hardest question that could ever be asked to a person, Sewah's mind became clearer than ever.

    Ever since Daniel had taken back control over his body, his whole being had focused on the objective of eliminating Daniel's consciousness, and take the body and the system back for himself. Be it when he was a flimsy wisp of consciousness threatened by Daniel's mind power, when he had spent a year and a half trapped in stone, or when he was in the powerful body of the oni leader.. Not for a single moment had he given up that idea.. Until now.

    Daniel's speech had made him realize that, willing or not, he was a cultivator like any other now. A cultivator whose destiny wasn't written in the stars, and that had to work hard for his power, as opposed to be born to wield one. A cultivator who had to constantly look for his own back, or risk finding a knife planted in it.

    These thoughts grew like wildfire, sending Sewah into a spiral of realization, and ironically, loneliness.

    What if I won't be able to get the system back? What if I have to live like this for the rest of my life? Will I ever get over it?

    One question after the other appeared in Sewah's mind, weighting on his mental health like slabs of stone that were being lowered to seal his sepulchre.. When finally, he broke the silence by saying with a weak and defeated voice "J-Just kill me.."

    From his faltering tone, Daniel knew that, while he waited for a response, Sewah was falling deeper and deeper into the deadly trap of resignation.. A devastating feeling that, for a cultivator, could only mean death.

    At the moment, Sewah, was at his lowest.

    After hearing his request, Daniel slowly stood up, and approached his powerless body. He then straightened his arm, and raised it high in the sky. The immortal essence that his arm emanated quickly turned into metallic essence, which formed a thin blade that hanged right above Sewah's neck.

    Daniel was ready to keep his word. To just save Sewah from a life of regret, and dreams of how it would have been if. To die in such a way.. Desperate, alone, and scared. That was Sewah's fate.. But.. why?

    Why did he have to do it?  Why was his job to do have this action on his conscience, for the rest of his life? These questions began to bother him.. So he looked at Sewah's face in search of acceptance.. But all he saw behind the big and scary eyes of the oni demon, was the same fear of death that he had seen in a dying Vergil.

    Without hesitation, Daniel lowered his arm.. However, the blade didn't follow its motion.

    From the ground grew a thick wooden branch that formed an arch above Sewah's body, and next to the blade. Right after, a metallic thread followed suit, but as it arrived up to the branch, it moved above it before splitting into two separate ends, and reaching for the two holes placed at the edges of the blade that formed right in front of these moving threads end.

    At the same time, Daniel approached Sewah's body, and placed one of his hands on his right arm.. then pushed large amounts of healing essence into it. The healing essence did not go through his whole body, and instead only focused on repairing every muscle, bone, and nerve that would allow for Sewah to move his hand.

    Once healed, Daniel grabbed the metallic thread by the point on the ground it originated, and pulled it off.. Then placed it in Sewah's hand.

    "If you want it to be over, do it yourself." He said before turning around, and walking away.

    While long to explain, the creation of this rudimentary guillotine had taken about ten seconds. But ten seconds were enough for Sewah to understand what was going on, and the reason for Daniel's actions.

    In the blink of an eye, Sewah felt his anger explode through his chest, and trump over any other feeling. "..what? NO! YOU GA-Gahh!.. YOU PIECE OF SHIT! COME BACK HERE!! YOU COWARD!" He shouted to the top of his lungs, causing for the already fractured bones on his chest to be further damaged.

    Daniel ignored Sewah's words, and kept walking instead.

    Being promised a way out only to be taken away right after, was too much for Sewah's mind.. "DANIEL! You.. bastard.. C-Come on! Damn hypocrite.. Such a damn hypocrite." Said Sewah as his voice became more emotional for each word. "You owe me this much! AFTER ALL YOU HAVE TAKEN FROM ME!"

    As these words reached Daniel, he suddenly stopped.. And without turning around, he said "There is so much that a cultivator can do in his life.. If you want to give that up.. Like a coward.. Do it yourself." He then started to walk once again.

    Sewah's feelings were a mess. Hatred, envy, anger, indignation, loneliness, fear.. Everything was mixed together into a lump in the throat that prevented him from speaking. It was Daniel's figure that was walking away in the distance, that allowed him to swallow all the hard to swallow pills he had been forced to take.. and finally.. "I DON'T KNOW HOW!!"

    Two tears welled up in the corners of Sewah's eyes, coursing down as he repeated "I-I don't know how.."

    ...

    In reaction to the first tears of his life, Sewah used all of the power he could muster to lift his partially healed arm, and reach his face with it, letting go of the metallic threat at the same time.

    As he touched these two warm tears, the blade came down with enough speed to split the air open.. But right as it was about to touch Sewah's neck, it exploded into a puff of air.
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