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457 Old Enemies and Lost Friends

    The three entities stood in silence, observing the emptiness of space almost as if waiting for something to happen, and soon enough, after no more than a few minutes, a bloody portal opened in front of them. From this portal walked out the Brutal who, covered with superficial cuts, showed to the three only a fraction of the entity of the original injuries.

    On the Brutal's face there was no trace of the pride of Iewah's children, and instead, was only fear. With shoulders lowered, and his line of sight pointed at the feet of the Murderous God, the Brutal opened his mouth to talk, but before a single word could some out of it, a powerful slap came crashing down against his head, and his entire body was turned into a mist of blood.

    While the Sovereign of Corruption did not appear to be bothered by the death of the Brutal, the parasitic king shrieked back in shock, and was only able to stop himself from letting out a fearful high pitched scream by moving his arms in front of his face to protect himself from any imaginary slap he was assuming would hit him, right after hitting the Brutal.

    After seeing that killing the Brutal had satiated the anger of the Murderous God, the Parasitic King composed himself, and forced his arms down the sides of his body. However, he was unable to stop his hands from trembling. With the corner of his eye he tried to find comfort in a similar reaction from the Sovereign of Corruption, but he was disappointed, as he quickly noticed the latter's detached and calm demeanor.

    The mist of blood that had now expanded to a point where the microscopic droplets of blood could not be seen anymore, slowly started to move back together as a result of the Brutal's failsafe ability. These droplets quickly turned into larger drops, which soon amalgamated into a glob of dark red liquid.

    Once every last bit of blood had joined back into this bubbling red glob, its shape began to change, and in a matter of just a few seconds, turned back into the body of the brutal, who trembled in fear at the thought that Murderous God could still be unsatisfied by killing him once, and would kill him again.. This time once and for all.

    "Speak." Ordered the Murderous God, sending a shiver down the backs of the parasitic king, and the Brutal, who instinctively floated a few centimeters back before stopping abruptly.

    Still terrified, and yet slightly reassured that he was allowed to live a bit longer, the brutal lowered his head respectfully, and said, "M-Master, I couldn't complete my mission. It is not possible for me to capture them without risking my life.. My weakness is unforgivable, please punish me as you see fit."

    In the last few millions of years, the Murderous God had reaped an uncountable amount of lives, and killed for the smallest and most insignificant reason. To kill as a way to vent out his anger was not only acceptable to him, but something he had to do. Unfortunately, despite feeling the powerful instinct of sending another slap that would end the existence of the Brutal once and for all, he calmed himself down.

    Without looking back at him, he reached for the Brutal's neck, and squeezed hard enough for the chosen of Iewah to gasp for air. "Your incompetence is revolting.." He said before looking at the Brutal's body up and down with disgust. He then let go of him, and with a calmer tone, he added, ".. but I wasn't expecting any better from you. You are only alive because you can help me find them. I will decide whether to spare you depending on your performance. Now, find them for me." An expression of reassurance appeared on the face of the Brutal who, for some reason, along with relief, also felt gratitude.

    Before letting his unforgiving master repeat himself, the Brutal closed his eyes, and used his system to create a new quest that could tell him the general time and place where he could find Jerigh, and his brother the Swordsman.

    Seemingly aware of when the Brutal had completed his task, the Murderous God turned to look at the two faction leaders who stood behind him, and said, "You two will capture them for me."

    After listening to the Murderous God's assignment, the Sovereign of Corruption remained completely calm, but that was not the same for the Parasitic King, who felt an indescribable feeling of worry erupt from the depths of his spirit. He once again looked at the Sovereign of Corruption for support, but once he saw that he his expression was devoid of any form of reaction, he muttered, "My lord.. I am afraid that we-"

    "Quiet!" Said the Murderous God with enough power to force the next words down the throat of the once powerful and proud Parasitic King. He then added, "I know perfectly well that you two maggots amount to nothing." As he finished speaking, he gave the two one last look of disgust before reaching for his blood red belt, which was keeping his loose robe from floating out, leaving his body completely exposed. After his hand approached the small golden bell that was hanging from the belt, which to others appeared to be just a decoration, he tapped his fingers over it.

    The moment his finger touched the bell, an extremely thin thread of blood came out of it, and reached for the two factions leader, only to stop about a meter in front of them, and turning into a small whirlpool. From this bloody whirlpool emerged two clean pages.

    "Follow this method to the letter, and if you will still be unable to complete the mission I gave you, I will kill you." Said the Murderous God before turning back towards the immense expanse of empty space, giving his back to the two cultivators.

    The Parasitic King snatched one of the pages with enthusiasm, and quickly began to read every word that was written on it. He immediately noticed that while the entire page was covered in words written in dried up blood, only the first paragraph was readable, while the rest of the words were blurred beyond recognition.

    Despite the method was an incomplete one, the Parasitic King memorized the first paragraph as quickly as he could, and after bowing respectfully to the Murderous God, he said a few words of gratitude, and left.

    On the face of the Sovereign of Corruption, however, was a different expression. While his face was still mostly devoid of emotions, his eyelids had narrowed into two slits the moment he read what was written on the sheet of paper.

    ____________________________

    When the body is spent and the soul is tired,

    Find comfort in the purity of newborn's blood,

    For only the purity of innocence can restore you.

    ____________________________

    Thanks to his dark black sclera and irises, it was impossible for others to see exactly towards what the Sovereign of Corruption was looking. Only through the eyes of the Sovereign himself one could see that he was observing the Murderous God.

    After noticing the looks of envy of the Brutal, the Sovereign of Corruption decided to say nothing, and instead bowed his head slightly, and dissipated immediately after by turning himself into a dark mist.

    Once the two left, the Murderous God turned to look at the Brutal, and said with a domineering tone, "Tell me anything you know about the other members of your kind. Tell me about the sons of Destiny."

    -----

    Back in Daniel's planet, he and his companions were sitting onto the many seats present in the main hall. From the mood present inside the room it was clear that they weren't there to have fun, or catch up on each other's day, but to discuss something important.

    ".. Hold on a second.. I still don't understand what.. Are we talking about actual gods?" Asked Ligart with clear confusion. He was one of the last ones to hear about Daniel's encounter with the five aspects of existence, and hadn't had enough time to wrap his mind around the matter yet.

    Xargy, who was present in the meeting along with Daniel, Aeron, Edmund, and Nova, let out a sigh of exasperation, and said, "They are not gods. They still compete for power, live in a hierarchical society, and are wary of the progress of one another.." He said before taking a small pause, after which he added, "But if we consider the difference in power between us and them, we might as well call them gods."

    "It does not matter how we call them. The fact is that we cannot stay here any longer. We have too many enemies, and they are getting stronger by the day." Said the silver alchemist while packing his pipe with a mixture of herbs and weeds.

    The group kept discussing about their options for a few minutes, but Daniel appeared to be thinking of something else. He was sitting with his legs crossed in front of a large fireplace, with orange light that landed over his focused expression in an attempt to move through his closed eyelids, and make him notice it.

    ".. Dan, what is our next move?" Asked Heimart in an attempt to get Daniel to contribute to their conversation. But, alas, Daniel never responded. Instead, he began to move around nervously, scratching his knee, resting his chin over his palm, trying to sit more comfortably, showing the increasing nervousness he was feeling.

    ".. damn it.." he muttered after stopping. The rest of the group looked at him with confusion, but before anyone could say anything to him, "DAMN IT!" he shouted in anger, extinguishing the large fire that until a moment earlier, was dancing loudly in front of him.

    "What is the matter with you?" Asked Alis, shocked by Daniel's sudden outburst.

    "It's getting worse." muttered Daniel, leaving his friends into an even deeper state of confusion.

    The only ones who understood what had happened, were Aeron and Sewah, whom either by knowing how the system worked, or by being able to read his mind, were aware of what Daniel's words meant.

    During the year that followed Daniel's encounter with Conflict, him and his friends had focused all of their attention into reuniting with their lost companions, before deciding what to do or where to go. After examining the four quests, Daniel had decided that Jerigh would be the easiest one to look for, as his position was the closest to their own.

    However, the moment Daniel pried deeper into Jerigh's mission, he had discovered that contrary to how it was before, the details of Jerigh's rescue were extremely vague, and that the only information that the system would give out were his general position, and his time of death. After making this discovery, Daniel had immediately asked Sewah whether he knew what the reason for that could be, and he did not like the response.

    According to Sewah, he had seen something similar when he had been in possession of Daniel's body. Just like any other child of Iewah, his competitive nature had brought him to look for his siblings, but when he had tried to create a mission that could help him with that, he had found out about one of the system's limitations. The gifts would interfere with one another, making it impossible for two children of Iewah to solely rely on their system's missions to defeat one another, instead of their powers and abilities.

    Knowing that Jerigh was probably in the company of one of Iewah's children, Daniel hurried to rescue him, but now, something else had changed. Instead of reporting his moment of death to be tens of thousands of years in the future, in the time limit of the mission, the system reported that Jerigh would die in exactly thirty days, and four hours.

    Still years away from Jerigh's general position, Daniel was forced to do something he would prefer not to do.

    With no other option left, Daniel closed his eyes, and let his consciousness leave his body, and travel deep into the planet. When he reached the innermost part, he emerged from a rocky surface, and found himself in front of what, instead of being a ball of scorching fire, was a cold metallic sphere. This sphere was identical to the one used by the intergalactic alliance to warp space, and allow their fleet to reach superluminal speed, and stored inside it, was a small moon's worth of grey matter. Or how the aspect of Ingenuity had called it, residue of origin.
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