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Dyon walked along a moving floor, heading back to the same pillar he had met Libro in – Patia-Neva Pillar. Looking down at the white card in his hand, he sighed.

'After all that, it seems like I'll be stuck with books on just the first level,' he smirked, 'Delia's never going to fall for me if I have to ask her for help at every turn'.

Thinking back to Meiying, Dyon chuckled, 'she's definitely not simple either. I felt like I was almost being used, but what complaints would I ever have about such a pretty little lady needing my services?'

Dyon's eyes flashed with seriousness. He knew he needed an action plan.

For one, the currency system in this martial world was entirely different. Dyon was so poor here that he couldn't even afford a ride on the silver yacht. Secondly, there's the matter of access. Being restricted to just the first level wasn't a big deal for now, but considering Dyon's speed reading ability, he knew he'd finish the entire first level in about 2 months at the most, and that was if he read things useless to him. And that wasn't accounting for the increase his speed would undergo as he further familiarized himself with the technique.

Dyon shook his head, 'these people are so petty. By my performance, I definitely deserve higher floor access. But considering their anger, being frozen out might be the best possible outcome. I'll have to publicize my future accomplishments so that they have no choice but to follow the rules in the future.'

Dyon's eyes glazed over in thought. In truth he had many ideas, but they needed time to be implemented. With just 1 week before classes started, Dyon didn't have much time before his freedom was cut down by almost half.

'This money thing is going to be an issue…'

Although Dyon had his wrist bands to preserve the food he brought from home, considering how much he ate, that would last another 2 weeks at the most. After that, he'd need money to eat. And that's not even speaking on how he would protect himself.

Currently, the school had hundreds of factions. But there were about 5 main ones. Dyon had no doubt in his mind that those chosen would create their own factions or join already prestigious ones. This meant that soon, Dyon wouldn't have just them to worry about, he'd have however many hundreds decided to throw their pride away to kowtow to those annoying family names to worry about as well.

'I'll need to make a name for myself before even considering forming a faction, but there are other things I can do.'

Dyon had been pleasantly surprised to find out that, in addition to student lead factions, there were also pillar factions that kept the school running. These acted almost as a profession for students. The library was considered one. But, Dyon immediately crossed it off his list. Unfortunately, he didn't do this willingly. According the faction rules, only those of the Sapientia family could become members. Also, it required having knowledge of the first 600 levels to be admitted. Unlike the student formed factions, that were more free-form, pillar factions had strict rules and guidelines to be met, as well as their own internal ranking systems that provided higher tier members with extra benefits. Of course, that isn't to say that student run factions don't have their own admittance tests. But that was mostly held to just the 5 or so main factions.

Dyon had been especially interested because of the increased possibility of accessing the inner library, but he was also realistic. It just wasn't possible for him right now.

There were also sports factions. But, as you might imagine, Dyon had never heard of these sports before. If it was a simple matter of reading the rules, he would have considered it. However, Dyon knew that these sports factions required understanding of the martial world he simply didn't have right now.

Despite his lack of true understanding of the martial world, Dyon knew that the key to being great in anything was great fundamentals. But, the issue was that he had no access to the best fundamental techniques. In fact, he wasn't sure if anyone in Focus Academy had access to such a thing.

'The problem of money and cultivation techniques both require the same action plan. I just need to make significant enough contributions. But, the latter will take significantly more time to deal with. So, aside from cultivating, I need another way to increase my strength while I take my time to research the best methods of cultivation for myself'.

This was, of course, easier said than done. Dyon had narrowed down the possibilities of pillar factions down, but it was still difficult to choose with his lack of knowledge.

'There's the Array Alchemy faction, the forging faction, the creature breeding faction, and the philosophy debate faction. Of those 4 that I've narrowed down, it's probably best to go with Alchemy.'

Although the idea of what creatures the martial world might raise piqued Dyon's interest, he had no way of knowing how long it would take to make significant contributions to a faction that required raising animals. For all he knew, it could take decades to raise a decent creature. And even then, he would have to give it away for him to garner any of the basic benefits he was looking for. At first, he had thought of the possibility of using beasts as a proxy for his strength, but the time needed was again a barrier.

As for the philosophy debate faction, Dyon once again had to push the idea away because he simply didn't know enough. It was clear that a faction of philosophy was important to a world based in understanding the wills of things, but without a clear understanding himself, even marginally contributing would be difficult. And the crux of the matter was that if he wanted to profit from joining, it would again take time to build up a reputation, so others would be willing to pay to listen to his lectures.

The forging faction was quite a good choice, but it required high cultivation levels to improve at a steady pace. Without appropriate strength, it would be impossible to forge the materials of the martial world, or even handle the environment needed to mold said materials.

That left the Array Alchemy faction. According to the book Libro had given him, Dyon understood that this faction might be his only real chance at improving his prestige and pockets.

Having made his choice, Dyon spun on his heels. He could look for his room later, but now, it was more important to do more research. So, he headed back towards the library.

When Dyon had initially seen the name of the faction, he had been intrigued. Had the faction represented just one or the other, either Arrays or Alchemy, Dyon might have understood. But, to be both, really gave Dyon a rare moment of confusion.

Dyon walked into the library to find it to be in the same state he left it in. It must have been almost midnight by now, but it seemed like the students hadn't noticed.

'Maybe there's some technique that also reduces the amount of sleep you need?'

Dyon had previously thought that this might be a possibility, but since he was on a time crunch, he hadn't asked Libro.

Standing in front of the grandiose desk, Dyon waved at the monitor.

It flickered to life to reveal Libro shaking his head, "you're really reckless you know. Had you misread the situation even a bit, you would be dead."

Dyon smiled a devious smile, "so you have cameras in more areas than just the libraries? Interesting."

A wry smile spread across Libro's lips, "don't get any funny ideas now. I am completely neutral."

"For now," Dyon said tilting his head in a knowing smile before continuing, "I'm thinking of joining the Array Alchemy faction, so I need whatever books this first level card you gave me can get on them and their area of expertise."

Libro's eyes flashed with something that looked like disappointment, "you know, I could put in a good word for you and help you join the Library and Research faction."

"Thank you Libro," Dyon said sincerely, "But I don't think I'd like to join the Sapientia family."

Libro sighed, "I understand. If you ever change your mind in the future, we're always looking for intelligent lads like you."

Libro really was disappointed. He had just watched Dyon learn a speed reading technique that only the top percentage of the Sapientia family knew. He had only given it to Dyon to help Delia fulfill her favor and because he never thought he'd be able to learn it. Now an elite technique of the Sapientia family was out in the world and the person who had it wasn't willing to join them.

"But Dyon, there are other factions you could join. The Array Alchemy faction is dead in the water. Not to even mention the fact that since you only have access to the first floor, any of their advanced techniques aren't available to you. Even if you had Delia's card you would be at a loss. In fact, I don't believe Focus Academy has a single advanced technique with connection to the Array Alchemy faction regardless of floor."

Dyon, of course, knew all of this. But he had no choice. Only a faction like this would, for one, accept him, and also have a low requirement for cultivation.

"I know Libro, I know," Dyon said softly, "Although the fact the entire academy doesn't have any advanced techniques is surprising, I'll have to continue forward with them. From the faction description, not only does this faction have the most potential, it is by far the easiest for me to advance in."

The Array Alchemy faction had 2 members, none of which had reached past the 2nd common grade level of understanding. Considering professionals had to be of the 5th common grade to be recognized across the universe, this was a poor showing for Focus Academy.

But, with this came an amazing opportunity for Dyon. To become a main member of this faction and possibly become a 5th common grade Array Alchemist would mean his value would be indispensable to the academy. He'd essentially become untouchable. The reason was simple. Whereas the array alchemy factions was dead here, its importance was still unprecedented. The only reason they were looked down on at Focus Academy was because the efficacy of their products was so low that anything of value had to be mostly imported. This meant that Focus Academy lacked a self-sustained array alchemy expert. This was perfect for Dyon.

"I won't deny that Array Alchemy has supreme value. But, to become a great Array Alchemist means being nothing short of a monster," Libro shook his head, 'what am I saying, this kid IS a monster."

Dyon smiled, seeming to have read Libro's thought.

"I can't begin my road in the martial world yet because I don't want to begin without the proper cultivation technique, this means I'll be quite weak for the time being. But, Array Alchemy from the 1st to 9th common grade doesn't require my power being high. I only need an understanding of plants, array theory, a refined spirit and plenty of practice drawing arrays and grafting plants together. I can do this," he looked at Libro, eyes burning with determination.

Dyon was right. In the basic first 9 grades of Array Alchemy, the range of will manipulation necessary was within a range that, even though it might be taxing, it was still possible with still in the most basic level of martial world cultivation. What Libro didn't know is that Dyon had another wild idea prepared for once he started down this path.

Libro's eyes softened, "I'll make an exception. Since even the so-called array alchemists of our school don't check out these books, I'll give you a copy of every array alchemy related book we have at Focus Academy."

Dyon smiled a wide smile, "I'm about to make a splash."

 

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If you enjoy Focus, be sure to add it to your library. If you like a chapter and want to support, make sure to vote us up 😊. Each additional collections and power stone helps!

 

Haha, seems Dyon thinks he has everything figured out...

 

Follow me @Awespec on twitter if you'd like to talk about Focus or ask questions

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Awespec

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  • Awespec

Bio: Med school student who loves to write :)

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