Sovereign of the Karmic System - Chapter 551
From the moment the fight had begun, to the moment Victor had attacked, only a couple of seconds had pa.s.sed, and most of that time had been spent talking.
The crowd looked on with disappointment as the most expected outcome played out in front of them. What they ignored, however, was the tension that had formed into the ring-shaped room, inside which the leading champions of the many universes eyed the middle-aged champion of War with uneasy expressions. In their mind, they could not help but curse Daniel for giving one of their opponents such a huge advantage.
The champion of War ignored the looks of his peers, and instead, said in a voice that broke out of the boundaries of the pocket s.p.a.ce, and reached far and wide. “I’ll take that orb off your hands.” He said before letting out a hearty laugh.
“I don’t think so.” Daniel retorted before sinking his teeth into another piece of fried vegetable.
“Fool, you don’t even know what kind of pact you have made. I’ll take what is mine from your smitten corpse.” The champion of War said, uncaring of who might hear his words. In his mind, he was the rightful winner of the bet, and as such, along with the prize, he had the boasting rights.
Unfortunately, his overjoyed mood was interrupted by a few words. “Am I not still here?” Daniel said before pointing the vegetable towards the stage, where a thick thread of greyish power had emerged from Ashura’s decapitated body, and reached for his head. As the two were connected, the head snapped back in place, and the injury was healed in a matter of moments.
The champion of War was shocked beyond words. While he had seen such impossible recovery speed on Daniel, he had a.s.sumed that that was a form of blessing that Karma had granted him, and yet.. It had showed up again, and in the body of a high immortal nonetheless. Before any question could form in the mind of the middle aged warrior, however, his attention was grabbed by Daniel’s words, as he said, “You should pay more attention to your fighter.”
“ARGHHH!!” Before the crowd could process Ashura’s unbelievable healing powers, a scream grabbed their attention. When they turned to look at its origin, they saw the figure of Victor, who was now holding his arm just above the wrist as thick black veins creeped up from the palm of his hand.
A maddening and excruciating pain made its way through Victor’s arm as his body, spirit, and power were consumed by Ashura’s chaotic power.. To a point where, out of desperation, the soldier let go of his wrist to draw his gun, and after pointing it at his elbow, pulled the trigger. The beam of light blew off everything underneath the elbow, putting a stop to the advancement of the corrosive power.
Convinced to have avoided death, Victor took a deep breath and looked at Ashura’s stoic figure with fearful eyes, a feeling he had never expected to feel towards what he should have considered less than an ant. Luckily, he had reacted in time. Thanking his lucky star for choosing not to leave his gun behind, Victor prepared himself to start a battle of attrition with Ashura. He knew that his recovery could only be supported by his immortal essence, and that if the battle carried on for long enough, he would be able to outlast him. All he needed to do was to maintain his distance.
This perfect plan quickly took form in Victor’s mind. Triumph was still possible.. It just required a little more effort than he had believed. Healing a lost limb was child’s play for beings like him, and a promotion in the rankings, as long as he won, was guaranteed. The more he managed to calm down, the more he realized that this was nothing he couldn’t handle.. Or so he thought.
Every aspiration or delusion that had reformed after formulating his fool proof plan were nothing but a castle of cards, and the now familiar excruciating pain that reappeared at the end of the b.l.o.o.d.y stump was the wind that brought it all down.
“NO! NOO!” Victor screamed in panic as Ashura’s chaotic power spread throughout his shoulder, and made its way into his chest.
“USE LORD WAR’S PRESENCE! QUICK!!” said a disembodied voice that resounded through the entire planet, but that failed in its intent to awake the young soldier from his panicked state.
In a wave of never ending pain Ashura’s power ate the man’s organs, soul and essence the way an incandescent star would eat at every meteoroid unlucky enough to be caught by its gravitational pull. The screaming only stopped when the chaotic essence reached the man’s throat, leaving only a speck of consciousness residing in what was left of his head.
By the time his gun fell on the ground, nothing was left of Victor’s body. His consciousness, his spirit, his body.. All forced to fall apart under the corrosive effect of Ashura power. Not even the formation that had been engraved into his gun had been spared, turning the once feared weapon back into a useless piece of metal that could be sold for a few coppers in a market of a city inhabited by mortals.
The entirety of the fight lasted just about a minute, and yet it had felt like a rollercoaster to the observing cultivators, who were now looking fearfully at Ashura. None of the young champions dared to underestimate him any longer, as none of them could even comprehend how one of their peers had lost to begin with. The only thing that was left, was a deafening silence.
However, the eerie atmosphere only lasted a few seconds, as it was dispelled by a voice that most within the crowd had taught themselves to fear, “I don’t think he is going to get up.” Daniel said while crumpling the now empty paper cone into a ball, and setting it ablaze.
Daniel’s words struck a chord in the champion of war, making him realize how easily he had been played by someone whose age had yet to reach the three digits. This humiliation was fueled by the surrounding leading champions, who until now had been biting their nails for losing the chance of being in his place, but who now, were looking at him with disdain and contempt.
If not for the fateful contract, the champion of war could have found a way to back out from this immense loss, but rejecting the bet’s terms now meant defying the very existence of one of the most powerful ent.i.ties in existence. That fact alone would cause him to become a target in his own domain, as no domain was willing to take that burden, not even to protect one of their strongest fighters. His only hope to respect the contract, and recover the loss, was to convince Daniel to give up on the universe he had just won.
“Kid, I would forget our grievances, and consider it a personal favor, if you accepted another universe.” Said the champion of War with a thread of sound essence that reached straight for Daniel’s ear.
Unfortunately, this veiled threat was only welcomed with a faint smirk.
What Daniel was more worried about was the figure of the monstrous cultivator, who had quietly reappeared in the middle of the stage not to declare a winner, but to examine his companion, whose power he seemed to be interested in.
“Is there a problem?” Daniel said after quietly appearing next to Ashura, demonstrating the comprehension of s.p.a.cetime which he had used to bet on the fight.
The monstrous cultivator looked at Daniel with narrowed eyes, then, after looking one last time towards the tattooed warrior, he said, “The winner is Ashura, of the domain of Karma.”
After the winner was declared, Daniel decided to leave the stage along with Ashura and Lilith. His last words to the crowd were a reminder that he would be waiting for the domain of War to deliver his untouched universe, and urging them to do so as soon as possible.
Daniel’s ship, two days later.
“.. they don’t keep universes to themselves, because those aspects exist regardless of who owns what.”
“Yes, but do not forget that ..”
After the fight in the arena, Daniel had found himself entertaining a group of old cultivators who, after witnessing the value of his newborn domain, had decided to establish a friendly relationship with him. Among these people were some champions that belonged to domains that he had encountered before, like the domains of Curiosity, Paths and Portal and Morality, and some which he had never met, and whose aspect he had barely paid attention to.
With them he discussed a seemingly never-ending series of different topics. The lengthier of which was the one regarding the powers within the domain, which had given Daniel a rough understanding of what offending a mid-domain like that of War truly meant.
Unfortunately, while originally full of useful information, it did not take long for the constant chatter to start numbing him, forcing him to ignore most of the discussions or conversation which the guests seemed to be able to prolong forever by intervening on one another. The only positive side was that, after the first few hours, these people had stopped asking him whether his comprehension of s.p.a.cetime, or even just time, could be exchanged for anything.
After what was his hundredth gla.s.s of wine, Daniel’s eyes opened in relief at the sight of Dawn, who approached the tables he had prepared under the warm light of a constructed sun, and said, “A representative of Conquest’s domain is hoping for an audience.”
As soon as Dawn finished speaking, Daniel put down his gla.s.s of wine, and said, “Gentlemen, it was my pleasure to talk to all of you.. But my guest has arrived. Anyone who doesn’t wish to be seen in my company, should be on their way.”
Many of the guests had expected this to happen, after all, they had only been granted Daniel’s time because he had nothing better to do while he waited for the domain of War to come see him, so when the representative of Conquest’s domain, a low domain subject to War’s domain, arrived, they did not take offence. Instead, they gracefully stood up, and bid farewell, leaving only Daniel, and a few old champions of Morality alone.
Once the last of these champions bid farewell, a tall and muscular woman in heavy armor appeared in front of them. Her demeanor was that of a king, and the deep scars that could be seen through the c.h.i.n.ks of her armor recounted a story of millions of battles that she had purposely refused to erase.
“Kanna, of the domain of Conquest. Here under the orders of War’s domain to present the list of untouched universes.” Said the woman with a callous tone. She then waved the ma.s.sive spear she was holding in her right hand, causing several cloud-shaped images to appear in the s.p.a.ce that separated her from Daniel and the champions of Morality. Each of these images depicted a different universe.
Daniel was taken aback. He had heard that a mid-domain would likely not have more than one or two untouched domains at hand, and yet, in front of him were no less than twenty universes. “All of these universes haven’t been touched?” He asked with suspicion.
“Not one of these universes has been in possession of War’s domain for longer than a few months.” responded Kanna, the champion of Conquest.
“That is not what he asked.” uttered one of the champions of Morality that had chosen to stay, in anger. It was clear to everyone that the domain of War had tried to get out of the Fateful Contract by dancing around the meaning of “untouched”, and instead of presenting him with newly opened universes, they had presented him universes that their domain had yet to touch.. Unfortunately, that included universes that they had recently obtained through betting, which they had technically yet to touch.
“Ahahah! Of course!” Daniel exclaimed before springing up on his feet and taking a few steps towards the floating images. He then said while going through the various universes, “She knows that is not what I meant.. But she needed to give me another meaning for untouched, otherwise the contract would have been locked on my meaning, and they would have had no way out.. I can’t deny it was clever.”
With his lips curved into a smile, Daniel took a brief pause, then added, “However, I don’t believe one party can dictate the meaning of the contract’s terms.. So the real untouched universes must be among these ones, am I right?”
The lips of the championess of Conquest pursed, and her eyes narrowed, and yet, Daniel could feel nothing but nervousness hiding within the layer of power that surrounded her body.
“I will accept this second round of betting.. But, this time..” said Daniel calmly before turning to look straight into the championess’s eyes. He then added, right before his eyes turned into two pearls of pure gold, “I will cheat.” As the golden light was reflected into the eyes of the worried championees of Conquest, Daniel slowly raised his hand, and without diverting his eyes from hers, he pointed his finger at one of the universes. “This one.” He said.
“F.U.C.K!” yelled the championess in a fit of anger before turning around, and charging out of Daniel’s ship.