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440 The Lesser of Two Evils

    ".. help.." muttered Tirah after noticing Daniel's body stand within her cell. However, immediately after, she chuckled softly, and added, "So, it is induced hallucinations this time.." her expression quickly went from hopefulness to resignation. It was only after a few moments, that she took another look at Daniel, and started to realize that she was able to feel something she hadn't felt in a long time. The presence of a system wielder.

    "You are real!" She exclaimed with joy, springing up to her feet, and walking as close to Daniel as her chains allowed her to. "Help me get out of here! Please!!" she then said with a begging tone.

    Daniel naturally remembered this particular children of Iewah, as aside from Sewah and Romah, she was the one with whom he had the most interactions with. However, his memories of her could hardly be considered fond. The one and only time the two had interacted with one another, Daniel had just gained back control over his body, and she had been the first child of Iewah to track him down. If not for Xargy, she would have been able to hand him over to Iewah.

    "It has been awhile, Necromancer." Daniel said while covering the young woman with his power, a power that was far beyond that which he possessed the first time the two had met, and was now closer to that possessed by the explorers which had forced her into participating in the Xeno Protocol, the first encounter between civilizations where she had been abducted, and kept captive to this day. A power that was closer to that of her most fearful siblings, that it was to her own.

    However, that was not all. For some reason, Daniel's presence was not only more powerful, but felt somewhat deeper. The presence of a system wielder was always the same despite of their powers, but that was not the case for Daniel. After obtaining the Mindhive's artifact, his presence as a system wielder had become more accentuated, almost as if his system had gone through a qualitative transformation of sorts.

    "You.. Da- something.. Dan, right? Can you help me get out of here? For old time's sake?" she asked with a tone that approached a level of desperation.

    "It was you, wasn't it? I did not just happen to meet those aliens, you gave them my coordinates." Said Daniel after finally realizing how it was possible that, despite his neutral luck, he would be unlucky enough to encounter a power that not only was perfectly prepared to counter his abilities, but to find them in a random point in open space. Only another one of Iewah's children could have possibly given that kind of general directions to them.

    "I had no choice.. They put something, something in here." responded Tirah while raising a lock of hair right behind her left ear, showing a now healed scar as long as an adult man's middle finger. She then let go of her hair, and added, "I cannot disobey.. They forced me to tell them everything I know.. About Iewah, and our powers.. And you, the special one. I can't even kill myself!"

    Daniel had a clear memory of this young looking girl, which was in fact more than two hundred years old, kill an entire city of people, so pity was the last thing he could possibly feel for her. However, what she had told him was alarming. He did not wish to be a target for a group whose powers he could not comprehend.

    "If you don't want to help me, at least kill me!" she said, trying to negotiate a less costly form of help from who before was her target, and was now her only hope of freedom.

    Not exactly against the idea of killing her, Daniel approached the young girl with a serious expression. His fingers curved into a grip which could pierce through her chest, and rip her heart out of her body, and yet, only increasing happiness could be seen on the girl's face.

    It was only then, that Daniel's hand relaxed, and his serious expression turned into a grin. "You want me to kill you, so that your failsafe will save you from this situation." He said before grabbing the girl's jaw, and lifting her from the cell's cold pavement.

    The moment Daniel touched Tirah's body, he felt a large amount of his power being absorbed by her handcuffs. Once absorbed, the mark of Daniel's power was erased, and used to reinforce the very material of which the handcuffs were made out of, turning them even stronger than they were before. Similar to the shackles used by most factions within the universal government, these handcuffs were made specifically for cultivators, but instead of simply absorbing the power thanks to the concept of absorption of dark essence, they would turn the absorbed power into a reinforcement, making the handcuffs more resistant, the higher the quality of power they absorbed.

    Luckily, the alien civilization had never been able to test their items on people as powerful as Daniel, so even though the amount of power they absorbed was extremely high, for Daniel, it was like losing a few drops out of a bucket of water.

    Slightly amused, Daniel voluntarily reinforced the handcuffs, then let go of the young girl before taking a few steps back.

    Knowing that her plan had failed, Tirah's helpless expression turned into a grin. She then said, "Host, you don't have a choice. You are already their target, so unless you want to fight a group of them every other day, you better kill me now, or get me the hell out of here."

    "I can always take my chances against your system. You probably have a way out. You only have to wait for your occasion. I can hold them off long enough for you to enjoy your stay." He said, remembering how he had had to wait for two and a half years for a chance to escape prison when he was younger.

    "And you think I would bother myself with talking with you if I had a plan?!" She asked with anger. Her expression suddenly turned serious, and she added, "They have experimented on me.. Every day, for months.. Years. Why do you think that only now were they able to find you?"

    Daniel remained silent, waiting for her to elaborate.

    "After they forced me to reveal that I had a system, they used their damn trinkets to find it inside my body. They put something into my head.. I can only use it when they allow me to." She said before falling down on her knees in resignation.

    "I don't believe you." Said Daniel, unwilling to think of how horrifying the idea that an entire civilization could have control over a power such as the Necromancer's system. Especially since their civilization was likely to enter go to war with humanity, and use his power as a weapon against them.

    "Then do it.. ask your system. Create a mission, ask it for a way to save me.. Pay attention to the consequence of failing.." She said while showing a smile tainted by smugness.

    Daniel did as suggested, and soon enough, a window appeared within his mind.

    ____________________________

    *Primary Quest Started: The Lesser of Two Evils*

    -Description: Prevent the end of human civilization.

    First objective set: Help the Necromancer escape from the alien's prison.

    Reward: Karma +15,000,000,000

    Failure: ???

    Time limit: The aliens will gain full control over the Necromancer in 71 years, 6 months, and 20 days.

    ____________________________

    Stupefied by the reward of the mission, Daniel shook his head, and as soon as the window disappeared, he once again turned to look at the number that was floating above Tirah's head. However, the number hadn't changed, and was still a dark red number composed of more digits than a man had fingers in both hands combined.

    It did not take long for Daniel to realize what that meant. If saving Tirah was not the reason that could justify such a bountiful reward, then only avoiding a massacre could be. That meant that after gaining control over her powers, the alien civilization would use her powers in a way that no other children of Iewah had ever used theirs for.. To exterminate an entire civilization.

    Daniel had already witnessed Tirah's power, and could imagine how she would do that. He could see flourishing planets be turned into ghastly rocks, filled with only the dried corpses of the dead, and ghosts which wanted nothing but to follow the orders of their master, the Necromancer. An army that only grew in size, and could hardly be harmed by any traditional method. That, Daniel could not allow.

    Letting her go was also something that he was not willing to do, as the two were enemies, so he looked at her with a smile of malicious compliance, before quietly closing his eyes.

    A strange feeling started to creep down Tirah's spine.

    Moments after his eyes closed, Daniel walked towards one of the walls, and as if entering a portal, he disappeared.

    For the following few minutes, Tirah did not see Daniel, but somehow, she knew that he hadn't left her to rot in her cell. All she could do was to wait for him to come back, and wonder what he was doing. Her questions found an answer the moment Daniel's head emerged from the thick metallic wall, but as soon as the rest of his body followed, she quickly saw what he was holding in his left hand. A flat rectangular object with a smooth surface, and a thickness of around a centimeter.

    She quickly recognized this object as the item the aliens had used to force her to give out everything she knew, as well as control her into sharing Daniel's location.

    It did not take long for Tirah to understand what Daniel had done. Instead of freeing her or killing her, he had chosen to take her as a prisoner, however, while not an optimal choice, she was not completely against this decision. After all, as long as she could escape, sooner or later, she would find a way to gain her freedom back.

    Daniel did not bother to explain to her what was going to happen next, so he approached her, and after grabbed both of her thin wrists with one of his hands, he turned one of his fingers into an invisibly thin blade, and cut both of her hands off.

    Tirah immediately screamed in pain, but before these screams could be heard, they were stopped by the sound barrier that Daniel had created beforehand.

    Uncaring about her pain, Daniel removed one of the cuffs from around her right bloody stump, but instead of taking the handcuffs off completely, he put the second cuff around the left arm, making it look like Tirah was wearing two bracelets attached to one another by a metallic cord. While keeping her arms tied up could be problematic, Daniel was not willing to allow her to recover. After all, had she recovered, it would be a joke for her to take her own life, and use her failsafe ability to escape.

    As he finished putting both cuffs of the handcuffs around her left arm, he grabbed her forearms, and injected into them a massive amount of healing essence, which in a matter of seconds, recreated her bones, muscles, veins, and skin.

    Tirah clearly knew what was going on, so instead of objecting, she looked at Daniel with defeat, and said, "Can I at least have some clothes." only now realizing that both of them were standing in the cell completely naked.

    Daniel looked at her face with what appeared to be a look of contempt, and instead of dignifying her with a response, he grabbed her face with his left hand, and dragged her into one of the cell's walls. A few minutes later, he and Tirah emerged from the planet's solid core, and disappeared within the thick layers of cream-colored winds.
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