Seeing the look on Lan’s face, Daneel finally pitied the man and said, “First, have a seat . This will all be a bit difficult to take in, so I suggest you be seated so that you don’t fall on the floor . ”
As soon as he said this, a very comfortable sofa appeared behind Lan, and the man lowered himself into it while still staring at the face of one of the most influential figures in the entire continent .
To the common people, the King of Lanthanor had already become quite legendary, both because of all of his feats of awe that were still told in many households and also because of the love he had for the common citizens that he had repeatedly shown in his actions, over and over again, until almost no one could doubt that he was one of the best and only leaders who cared about them . The latter was the strongest in those who had lived through the regime of a king or queen who only cared about themselves, and treated the common people as cattle to rear for their purposes .
As soon as Daneel saw him do so, he, too, sat in the throne that he had already made for himself and repeated the statement, but this time with the proper intonation that gave it the quality that he had wanted .
“I am the King of Lanthanor, and this was all a test to awaken the sleeping power inside you . ”
Of course, it didn’t have the proper effect now because of how it had been said before, but Daneel continued from here .
“The best way to prove to you that this is the truth is probably for you to first feel the powers that you have gained, which, incidentally, you’ve already put to use to great effect . How do you explain the fact that you, a Fighter, were able to change your appearance at will, without the use of any trinkets?”
Hearing this, Lan could only gulp and remain silent, as he had no answer .
He had thought about it too, and no matter how much he looked for some plausible explanation, he had found none .
Yet, he was also not prepared to believe that he had any sort of power inside him, because it had never surfaced until now, even though he had been in many, many situations where death had been certain .
Seeing his silence, Daneel said, “I know what you must be feeling . But like I said, the answer is within yourself . I suggest that you take a deep breath, and look inside to see what has changed . Still, let me give you a brief run through . Before the Apocalypse, the world was inhabited by many fantastic creatures that were known as Godbeasts . These were the original inhabitants of the continent, and at one point, humans had to cower before them and seek survival by appealing to their mercy . They mostly kept to themselves, and this allowed humans to find areas where they could grow and flourish, until they grew powerful enough to be able to challenge these very individuals who had once pitied them and allowed them to live . In fact, the humans never wanted to feud with the Godbeasts, but many species were of the sort that they loved to go on massacres . Hence, after it all reached the point where inaction could no longer be justified, a war began against these few species which also happened to be some of the strongest at the time . Long story short, a great battle occurred, and it was also during this battle that the Emperor made a name for himself . What many didn’t know is that during the battle, the Emperor also found a way to pass on the powerful Bloodlines of those Godbeasts, which held the essence of their powers, onto humans . A few individuals were lucky enough to meet certain requirements and be given the Bloodline, and their descendants could all also get the power of the Godbeast, if they were capable of going through a process called a Baptism which is an awakening of the sleeping power in their blood through a test that judges whether they are worthy . If they were capable of surviving it, then they would become one of the most powerful individuals in the continent . At that time, these individuals became the private corps of the emperor . This brings us to your story . The Emperor knew that the Apocalypse is coming, so he prepared a plan to conserve these incredible powers so that they could be utilized later on for the continent if there was a need . He hid them inside the bodies of certain humans, and they were implanted in such a way that they could be Awakened if certain conditions were met . These conditions differed from Godbeast to Godbeast . Even though what happens during a Baptism is the awakening of the full power of the Bloodline, in your case, an Awakening is different . Baptisms only occur when one is breaking through to become a Champion, and you will still have to go through it when that comes . An Awakening, though, is you meeting certain conditions to become the true Bloodline Possessor by changing the status of your Bloodline from ‘Hidden’ to, well, not Hidden . In the former, one gains all the powers and abilities of the Bloodline, whereas, in the latter, it is only a few . If you haven’t already guessed, you are one of those in whom the Hidden bloodline has been passed down, and after identifying this, I built this test so that your Awakening could occur . I know this is all a lot to take in, so take a few moments and just think about it all . If you do so… I’m confident that you will see the truth in my words . ”
Daneel took the effort to explain all of this very clearly, and it was also a great opportunity to remind himself of the true history behind Bloodlines .
The rest that he had said came directly from the memories of the Emperor, and it had been quite interesting to find out that the war in which the Emperor had made the plan regarding the Bloodlines was also the one which gave him the most fame, allowing him to take on a lot of people under him who were instrumental in the establishment of the Empire .
As for the part regarding the Awakening, Daneel had already gotten a doubt regarding this even before this entire operation, and he had asked the system for clarification .
After all, Awakenings were different from Baptisms, but both seemed to serve the same purpose . If so, the main question had been whether the Baptism was still necessary after an Awakening .
During Faxul’s baptism, Daneel had found out that each and every one was accompanied by a message from the original Godbeast whose Bloodline had been passed down . This was clearly not present in the Awakening, as he had seen in Cassandra’s case, which had given him a clue that there might still be something down the road .
Also, another clue had been that the Champion realm was the actual one where the powers of the Godbeast could be used fully, mainly because of the fact that the human body needed to reach that level in order to channel the great powers of these magnificent beings .
The answer that Daneel had gotten from the system had been exactly what he had told Lan: an Awakening was actually a partial Baptism, and its purpose was to bring forth the Hidden Bloodline . In the process, access would be given to a few of the powers, but until one reached the stage where they would have to cross the chasm between the Warrior and the Champion realm, they would not come into their full potential . At that point, the Baptism would occur .
When he had found this out, he had also recognized the brilliant plan of the Emperor, as he saw the main reason behind him choosing to hide the Bloodlines .
Right when he had found out about the Bloodlines initially, Daneel had also found that during the age of the Empire, those who were lucky enough to be born with a Bloodline would still die during Baptisms as they either weren’t strong enough, or weren’t the type of person who could endure the Baptism of that certain Godbeast .
Different God beasts used different methods of Baptism, and where the Ancient Black Raven’s method had been to use the weaknesses of the individual against them, because it was one of the famous fighting styles of that species, others would have different methods where they would test whether their powers resonated with the individual . The basic test was the same, but the means would change, so there wasn’t even any method to prepare beforehand .
The Awakening had similar conditions: anyone would be able to fulfill the conditions only if they had enough of a resonance with the powers, and this would definitely carry over to the Baptism, too, allowing them to pass it without too much trouble .
That was just brilliant! By doing this, it basically assured that each and every one who underwent the Awakening would also finish the Baptism and become a powerful Champion .
This was definitely much simpler and more effective than randomly letting people try and see whether they could survive, and now, Daneel could also see the reason behind a group being present to make each possessor of a Hidden Bloodline go through the kind of life that would be required for their Awakening to occur .
However… Would he choose to have all these individuals go through such traumatic situations just to have a few more people to defend the continent?
Both Cassandra and Lan had had to go through so much, and it had actually affected Daneel quite a lot when he had found out the truth behind the former’s past . Their lives would forever be affected by that childhood of theirs, and no one could change that .
To obtain a Champion with a bloodline, would he be heartless enough to subject children to such a thing?
The answer was clear .
Over this journey, Daneel had changed, but even though he was not as softhearted as that newly ascended King who hadn’t known when to be ruthless and when to show mercy, there was no way that he could ever be able to live with himself if he did something like this .
True, he had forcefully put people through difficult situations to help them gain power, such as in the case of his Sovereigns . Yet, he knew them well, so he was sure that they would want to go through anything that was needed so that they could grow stronger to serve, and if they weren’t okay with it, he would definitely have gone ahead to wipe out those memories and erase any damage they might have caused .
That was different with innocent children, for whom the choice would be made without that knowledge .
Even in times of war… Daneel couldn’t condone something like this, and with this thought, he once again reaffirmed his decision to go along with Cassandra and find that organization, or group, or whoever it was that was doing these things to these children .
Putting that aside, he laid his gaze on Lan to see that the man seemed to have finally come to grips with the situation, even though he still looked like he was seriously doubting his sanity .
The words he said, though, made Daneel chuckle .
“All of that is well and fine… But what was that part about taking my blood? And…what now?”
Daneel had already prepared the answer for this .
“What now? It’s simple . I did all that because I need to take your Bloodline . Oh, by the way, you should know this . If you had chosen to take the money and flee, I would have forcefully taken your blood and then killed you, because I abhor such people . You found your true self, and I found that I quite like your character . You have the option to become my follower, in which case, I guarantee that you will come to no harm during the process of me taking your blood . After that, you will be given all the resources you wish, both to train and to spend in the Alliance for the welfare of the people, however you like . Either way, I have to take your blood, and I understand that I’m being quite a forceful . However, I have no choice . One consolation for you, though, is that you do not need to swear any oath to me, and even if you wish to leave my service, I’ll only require an oath that you will never let anyone know about these powers, as it will bring harm to me . What do you say?”
Lan had always been capable of recognizing the best option in tough situations, and here, it was quite clear that it was either death, or agreeing to be under the King .
He didn’t know exactly how the latter would be, but at least he would be alive, so there would be a chance to find out .
Hence, he made the choice .
An hour later, Daneel checked on the medical solution and the formation he had placed around Lan’s emaciated body which looked like it had been completely drained by some sort of bloodsucking beast .
That was almost the truth, and in his quarters which he had converted into a laboratory of sorts, there was a large bowl which was half the size of a man that held all the blood that he had taken from Lan .
The process after this was simple: the system had already created all the steps, so all he needed to do was to wait for the Bloodline to be extracted, before it was injected into his own body .
That last part hurt, though, as according to the system, he would have to ensure that a chain reaction would occur to change every particle in his body, so that he would become a descendant of Lan . If the Awakening was a nightclub on Earth that Daneel wanted to get into, but couldn’t because he didn’t have the pass, then this was him disguising himself as someone who did have the pass . He was basically fooling the Bloodline into Awakening in his body by using the process he had seen before after making it believe that it was naturally present within him, and although he got the momentary doubt regarding why others hadn’t tried it during the Empire, the obvious answer had been that as the personal corps of the Emperor, all of those who could be exploited must be kept safely under his watch . Besides, he had the system which could replicate everything and control each and every part of his body perfectly to change it into someone who had the Bloodline, which was definitely something that even a Hero would be hard-pressed to do .
All of this went just as smoothly as expected, and finally, Daneel closed his eyes and said, “Begin the baptism . ”
For him, it would be a full baptism, as he was basically making his breakthrough from being a Warrior to a Champion .
As soon as he said this, he felt something pulling him away, but just as he was about to let himself drift away into the arms of unconsciousness, a voice thundered in his ears .
“You think it is so easy to obtain my Bloodline without being allowed to do so? Changing destiny is not something that is so simple, kiddo . “