Marcus quickly woke up, opening his eyes he saw a man shrouded from head to toe in black clothes, leaving nothing exposed except his face. The irises which were strangely black as if made out of the void made his head spin. But before he could do anything about it, the man spoke again.
"Did you decide?"
Even though the man was not a stranger to him, they only spoke once the previous day.
After receiving another beating from his clansmen, he ran away to the forest as per usual, but before he could reach his hiding spot, the man appeared in front of him, like a ghost. As he was debating what he should do, the man made him an offer that could possibly change his life forever.
When Marcus's mother was young, she fell in love with a foreign man. She ran way from the clan to be with him, but not long after her decision to leave, her lover died. When his mother returned carrying small Marcus in her hands the clan accepted her back; unfortunately, she passed away when Marcus was five, leaving him alone to fend for himself.
From that moment on Marcus had to work for his food and a roof over his head. Only when his aptitude was tested at the age of ten, did he start to get abused; this was because he had no talent in the family's cultivation technique! Not only that, he had no talent whatsoever in any cultivation technique! Because of this, the elders of the clan lost interest in him and didn't stop the constant bullying that he received for the past five years.
When he met the man for the first time, he didn't know how to react, the man was like a void, there but not there at the same time, he was... ethereal. His first thought was that he met the god of death, after dying from internal bleeding from the harsh beating he received not long ago. And the man's word made him even more confused about what is going on.
"Do you want talent?"
A simple question that left Marcus dumbfounded. Talent? Of course, he would want it! With it, he could gain strength and take revenge for all the injustice wrought upon him. Without thinking he could only shout out…
"Good, but there will be a price to pay…"
This sentence poured cold water over Marcus's enthusiasm; if the price was too much for him to bear he wasn't sure it would be worth it
"What's the price?"
He wanted revenge, but he wouldn't sell his soul for it… but it turned out that the man didn't want his soul but something else.
"At the end of your journey on this world, you will have to leave with me."
"You will take my soul?"
"No" This only made Marcus even more confused. What does this mean? Leave where to? End of what journey? He wanted to ask questions, but the man cut his words short and left while saying...
"Decide. I will give you time until tomorrow to do so."
With the man gone as if he was never there, Marcus stood there not knowing what to do. Finally, he went home, a shabby old hut. Going inside he could see holes in the walls, that made the winters unbearable, and were too small to ventilate in the summer. The inside had a simple kitchen, a bed, and a table. No chairs to sit on he could only lay on his bed. He was still thinking about the man's words and the price he had to pay. But deep inside his heart he already knew that if the man comes back again, he will again say yes.
His first thought about what he would have to pay was that the man would take away his soul after his death, but it looks like it's not the case. The soul was something sacred, the very essence of his being that would reincarnate. But if this is not the price, then what is? It did not matter to him now. Because with enough strength he will be able to go through anything.
The clan he lives in, Hidden Dragon clan, after countless years was one of the most powerful clans in the country, and this because of their cultivation technique. The power that can make people crush mountains and fly in the sky. Whit talent he will be able to practice it finally.
Marcus waited until dark waiting for the man, only to fall asleep. He dreamed of revenge, flying in the sky and conquering the world. This was his first good dream in a long time. This dream was his prophecy; he wanted to make that dream into reality.
"Did you decide?".
The man repeated himself, and only now Marcus came back to reality. His stomach was in pain due to nervousness. He quickly gathered his thoughts and looked the man in his eyes.
With firm voice Marcus replied.
"And your answer is?"
"It's YES! Please give me talent!"
Even though it was hard and nerve-racking, he made his decision and gave his answer.
The man extended his hand and darkness moved out from under his sleeves, it then entered Marcus body and soon disappeared.
"Now we've made the deal; I will come back to collect your debt when it's time."
Seeing that the man was about to leave Marcus jumped up from his bed.
"Who are you?"
The man turned around and looked at him.
"I'm Ethan. And you... should lay down."
With these words, Ethan disappeared. Being alone in the room again the first thing he did was to lay down, considering everything, there must be some meaning to them, and soon he found what it is.
Pain. Excruciating pain from all over his body, as if he was being eaten alive from the inside. It lasted for countless minutes before it started to subside, slowly starting from the tips of his finger and toes, before traveling up upward toward his head the pain gradually disappeared, leaving Marcus in a bed soaked with blood, leaving his clothes dyed scarlet.
With his head still spinning he sat down at the edge of his bed and looked at his hands, that looked no different from before.
"Integration complete. Good morning host. I'm your personal education system, but you can call me Es."
Edited by - HollowReaver
There used to be a cringe comment here... Just ignore the later ones as well...
Either way, It's the Author here! And I'm bringing a message from the future! The novel, it gets better!
This is literally my first attempt at writing a novel... and the beginning is... rough...
Sooo... if you can get through the beginning I can say that it will be better!
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