Madeleine sat on her bed staring out of the window into a massive backyard, gently holding a dull flower in her hands. She was dressed in a black night gown. Her eyes were red as she pulled up her covers, shivering.
Sapientia Peak was unlike Patia-Neva peak. Students often visited for the Sapientia family businesses and book stores, so a specific residence was cornered off from the lively atmosphere. Madeleine's room happened to face the back, if she looked far enough, she could see over the roof top barrier and into the endless blue. The crescent shaped island was so far away from here that it was impossible to see even with peak foundation stage cultivation. However, Madeleine's cultivation was slowly declining again. Her world was darkening with every passing day. Dyon had helped her feel power she hadn't felt in a long time, but now her illness was angry at having been suppressed and was raging even more. Now, her family was even more adamant about marrying her off.
A creaking noise sounded through the silent room as the door opened. But, Madeleine didn't even bother looking. Her eyes remained dull as she continued looking towards the lake, 'you had reasons to remain strong… but where are mine?'
"Little Maddy, you must eat," a handsome man walked in with a beautiful woman. They were clearly Madeleine's parents. But, they got no response. They could only look at each other helplessly. Although elder Sapientia had met Dyon before, he had no way of knowing he'd have such an impact on his daughter.
The beautiful woman stomped her feet in anger, "this is what happens when you men think you know the best way to deal with a situation. How could you allow Oliver to kill him? Did you think this family would be the same after that? Do you think I like seeing my daughter like this any more than I would like seeing her dead?!"
The woman walked to Madeleine and say beside her. But, Madeleine didn't seem to notice as her mother gently stroked her hair, "I'm so sorry my little Maddy. Mom's not strong enough to deal with this for you. I wouldn't have wanted him dead. But, now that he is, you must still marry Akihiko… Maybe over time, the pain will dull."
Madeleine's mother understood her daughter's heart the most. She had been restricting herself for so long, and finally a hero came to lighten her load, and her family responded by killing him. She felt alone, heart broken… like she had the power to do nothing.
Elder Sapientia stood stiffly by the door, having no idea what to do with himself. Every time Madeleine saw Oliver, she would scream in anger, doing everything in her power to vent her feelings. But, that only made her illness worse and worse. He had no choice but to send Oliver away to live on another peak until the wedding. He had no idea that killing a boy his daughter had only known for a week would result in such a big reaction. Maybe he didn't understand her as much as he should.
A gentle knock came from the door, "Master, young master Kami is here to see the young mistress again."
"TELL HIM TO GO AWAY!" Elder Sapientia could only smile bitterly as his wife responded for him.
"You heard her. Tell him I don't want him here again until the day of the wedding. If not, he'll have to marry a corpse."
The servant scurried away
Elder Sapientia looked towards his wife and daughter, sighing. He hadn't told his son to kill Dyon, in fact, even his younger brother, Libro, was livid with him. But, that hardly mattered now.
Madeleine knew before that Oliver was involved, and that was enough for her to hate him, but on Akihiko's last visit, he blurted out how Oliver had done it personally. This sent Madeleine into a whole new spiral of emotions. He couldn't risk bringing that boy here again.
2 weeks had passed since that night, and Madeleine wasn't getting any better. It seemed like they had no choice.
'Don't blame me too much little Maddy… What father wants to watch their kids die before they do…'
Dyon breathed out a shaky breath. He had just finished going through all of the books in the central library and his eyes were red with fatigue.
'it only took me a few days to read so many books in the outer pillars, but it took me such a long time to read less than 1000 books? I guess the more complex the will of a book and the more profound the teachings, the longer the speed reading technique takes.'
Dyon smiled, he had gotten a lot of gains. But, his main surprise were the practitioner level array alchemy books. The outer pillars only had books to the 5th common level, but the books here had up to the peak of practitioner. Although Dyon's soul strength couldn't form arrays past the 9th common level, what he had learned here was good for future reference and deepened his foundational understanding. And, if he could upgrade his aurora to just the 3rd level and access the 1st practitioner level, he'd have access to a weapons' array that would have his battle power soar.
But, Dyon was well aware of his problems. He had seen a myriad of movement techniques in the library, but all of them had ridiculous cultivation requirements. However, he wanted to wait until he could temper his physical body to maturity before beginning. The problem was that without movement techniques, the situation that happened last night would occur again and again. His senses were more than powerful enough to see Oliver's movements, in fact, Oliver was slow to him, the problem was having fast enough speed to dodge. If he had used enough amplification arrays to do that, he would have turned his leg into paste. Which brought him back to the idea of tempering his body.
Dyon was about to stand to see if he could sneak out of the academy and head to the outside world, when an idea suddenly came to mind.
'last night, they were talking about how a sect used to be here. A massive hole ended up in the place they used to be? I felt something when I was near the bottom of the lake a few weeks ago… maybe the ruins of that ancient sect are still there…'
Dyon jumped up, heading towards books classified as geography. He had ignored them before, but now he was very interested. He imprinted a map of the ancient sect in his mind, 'The Celestial Deer Sect'?
'Interesting, it seems like they specialize in array alchemy, yet their books are so profound. It's either this sect was ridiculously powerful, or Focus Academy is just that weak.'
What Dyon didn't know was that he was very naïve in his statement. The truth was, the celestial deer sect was probably the most advanced sect in terms of array alchemy due to their Totem Protector: the celestial deer. Because of Dyon's innate aurora, he never needed a medium to imprint arrays. However, those who forcibly awakened their auroras had no choice but to use these mediums. Of which, the crystals created by the celestial deer was the best. Grandmaster level array alchemists and beyond relied on these crystals to power their most powerful arrays and forge their most potent pills. These crystals also had an amplification effect even for those whose had innate auroras. But, the techniques had long been lost along with the destruction of the sect. So, Dyon continued on in ignorance.
'Aside from my boost in Array Alchemy, I scanned through all of the sword cultivation techniques I could in addition to books about sensing wills and intents. It looks like my path to increasing my power will be through understanding wills. But, I'll have to increase the power of my body first so I can use my more powerful soul as a medium. Using my level 9 music will for just 5 hours almost put me on the brink of death. If I want to use multiple wills at a time or am in battle, the stress will be even worse. All in all, strengthening my body is my top priority. Then, I'll focus on movement techniques. After that, I'll master arrays up to the 9th common level. If I'm talented enough and still have time, I'll start my path on the way of the sword.'
Dyon smiled as he thought of a wild idea, 'it seems it's time to visit the bottom of this lake…'
In the dead of night, Dyon peaked his head down through the ceiling of the bottom level of the central pillar to ensure no one was there. After confirming, he made his way through the window, slipping through and slowly making his way down.
Although they called this body of water focus lake, Dyon was well aware that its depths were at the very least comparable to the ocean. He wasn't sure if his usual defensive array could withstand the pressure, so he spent an extra 2 days learning a peak common level defensive array. It took him hours to finish, and he ensured there was a slight imperfection, so the heaven's chimes wouldn't ring. Although this might have let Madeleine know he was alive, if he was caught in the central tower because of something like this, it wouldn't be good.
After a few hours, the sinister aura Dyon had felt before was becoming more and more prevalent. But, Dyon steeled his resolve. If an ancient clan really had ruins that lay here, it would be too beneficial for him to pass up. There could never be benefits without risk, so he was willing to take the risks in order to save Madeleine. Every time he thought about the helplessness she must be feeling right now, his eyes became colder.
Soon, an astonishing sight appeared in front of Dyon's eyes. A massive domed formation appeared, covering hundreds of miles in every direction.
Dyon choked, 'what level of array alchemy must you reach to make something like this? Can I even pass through this? My spatial array is a joke in front a defensive array like this… My only chance is if I use a spatial array blessed by heaven's chimes. Hopefully, after so many years, the formation has weakened enough for it to work.'
Just as Dyon was about to try his 5th common level spatial array, he touched the massive defensive array and seemed to slip right through. He was free falling without the water's buoyancy and was almost too surprised to break his fall with a few weak defensive arrays.
'it must be an array that blocks threats… I guess I'm not powerful enough to be a threat,' Dyon chuckled bitterly landing on the ground with a thud.
Just then, a flash of black light zipped by Dyon, surprising him.
'what was that?' Dyon got up cautiously.
Something knocked into Dyon's chest making him fall on the ground, but, it didn't seem to hurt him too much.
'what the hell is going on?'
Just as Dyon was getting up again, another black light his him on his back, causing him to fall face first.
'what the hell…'
Dyon's eyes flashed with golden lights as he prepared to instantly cast a defensive-spatial array combination to trap the black light in with him.
The black light came again, but this time Dyon was ready, a sphere appeared around him as the black light rammed into him, knocking him to the other side of the array. But, as the black light tried to escape, what sounded like a whimper sounded off as it realized it was trapped. Not willing to give up, it bounced around the array, causing cracks to form.
"Oh no you don't!" Dyon grasped towards the black light, but to no avail.
'I'll have to shrink the array.' This was a manipulation technique he had learned before even the banquet, it was what allowed Dyon to change the shape of his arrays into a more convenient form. It had also allowed him to form the phoenix to fly Madeleine to the banquet. But, the flames themselves were from his aurora.
Soon, Dyon was crouching down looking at an adorably pouting puppy like creature. It looked like a deer, but it had paws instead of hooves. Its black fur actually had patches of jet black scales on it. Its tiny head had what looked like tiny bumps where horns would eventually grow in. However, this was heavily contrasted by majestic swirls of white fur and a single pearl like scale on its forehead.
"you're adorable," Dyon said with a chuckle, "did you want to play?" Dyon reached out to pat on the little guy's head. It didn't seem to protest as it looked on in interest.
He picked him up and held him in his arms, dispersing the array, "what are you doing here alone, little guy?"
Dyon continued to look around, content with the fact his new little friend didn't seem to want to leave his arms.
Although Dyon seemed nonchalant about this encounter, his mind was actually racing. All he saw around him were ruined and aged buildings and the area seemed desolate. Yet, there was clearly a living creature in his arms. Were there others? Has someone been raising him this whole time?
Dyon decided to walk to the absolute center where he saw a massive building. Although it wasn't as tall as the center pillar, it looked about as wide as the pillar was tall, so there might be clues there.
After a few hours, the building was finally right in front of Dyon, but the sinister aura was the thickest he'd felt yet.
As he was about to go in, the little guy in his arms started to squirm.
"you have a lot of nerve, treating my child like a pet," A voice boomed, but it seemed to be transmitted directly into Dyon's head.
Dyon looked around, shivering as he saw the massive silhouette of a pure white majestic dear with swirls of gold on its fur appear in the skies. Its eyes were pitch black and its aura was suffocating.
Dyon looked down to see innocent black eyes looking back up at him, "you really got me into some trouble, huh?" Dyon said chuckling bitterly.
"hmm?" The illusory deer seemed surprised by Dyon's calmness. Her cultivation far surpassed this boy, but he seemed at peace. It seemed to smile.
"I'm sorry, senior. I was only playing around with Little Black, I'd never disrespect the deity-like celestial deers," Dyon said politely.
The illusion remained silent for a while before nodding. It shrunk into a woman so beautiful, even Madeleine couldn't compare. Dyon had never seen women so beautiful, and yet he had been here for less than 2 months and had already seen 2 earth shaking beauties, 'it seems like the martial world really does increase beauty. But, it's best I don't offend such a powerhouse.'
But, that didn't stop Dyon from being mesmerized. She illusory lady in front of him had white flowing hair, and her qipao matched her previous fur, white with swirls of gold. She walked slowly to Dyon, seemingly sizing him up.
"even within the celestial deer sects prime those with innate auroras were rare… rare to the point that we only had 2 ever in our long history," she muttered.
Her eyes weren't actually black, they were the palest shade of silver, matching her pale skin.
'she doesn't seem to be in peak condition,' thought Dyon.
Finally, she looked up from her analysis, "don't move," Dyon saw an delicate illusory hand touch his forehead, him being powerless to stop it.
He felt as though his whole life was being laid bare. His memories flashed through his eyes and after but a moment, it seemed like this woman knew everything about him.
"it seems like your sect is dealing in quite some darkness… But, to be able to form 9th common level arrays with such little practice, you would be a peak genius even lined up against our whole lineage…"
The lady nodded in satisfaction, "it seems like my wait wasn't for naught. I know what you need, just come with me. I'm willing to bestow what you need to save your woman as long as you promise to take care of my child like your own little brother after I fade. I'll be leaving an imprint on your heart, if you ever dare treat him like a tool, the sliver of my soul will kill you in an instant."
A cold sweat appeared on Dyon's back, but he was relaxed. He had no intentions of abusing Little Black, so he was content with the arrangement.
"Wait, senior, you know about Goddess' Disposition," Dyon asked with heavy anticipation.
"Ai, it's among the top 3 innate God level body constitutions a female can have," The Celestial lady began to walk into the building, "but, it's also among the most troublesome. Although the way this Akihiko noted is indeed a way to cure it, it also means draining your woman of all her potential. Her life span would be that of a normal human, and all of her talent would then belong to him. It's a method only dark clan members would use. I suspect this Daiyu clan has affiliations with them… I believe I heard about a Daiyu clan many millennia ago, but, they were wiped out during the war my Celestial Deer clan had with their allies against our enemies. I'm not sure if they're related or not, but it's important for you to not underestimate them in the future."
Dyon nodded, "so, is there a way to cure her without draining her potential?"
"There are a few ways. The crudest way is to drain all of her blood and replace it with blood from another god level constitution. Another way is for her to unite with someone who has the Gods' disposition body type, the symptoms of which are much the same, but within a male. But, I don't think either of these are routes you can or want to take. Another option is a grandmaster level pill called the constitution awakening pill. It seems counter-intuitive to awaken a constitution that's plaguing her, but, the constitution is actually only acting up like this because it needs a catalyst to be fully awakened."
"Does the celestial deer clan have those pills on hand?"
"of course we do, such a monstrous clan would have 100s of disciples with constitutions that needed to be awakened. However, these pills have lost their potency over the thousands of years it has been since the sect was destroyed…" The Celestial lady sighed as she can to massive black doors. It almost looked like a tomb.
Dyon's determination steeled, "what level of array alchemist must I be to forge the pill?"
The celestial lady turned and smiled in satisfaction, "determination is exactly what you need on the path to cultivation. That girl is lucky to have you, and my son will learn well under you. Normally, you'd need to be a peak level grandmaster array alchemist to form the pill, so your aurora would have to be at the peak 8th stage, almost 9th. But, there's another way. If your aurora reaches the 3rd level and you have a secret pill condensation technique of the celestial deer clan, then you can combine the pills that have lost their potency together to form a super pill of sorts. In fact, considering your talent, you might be able to awaken 100% of her constitution if you combine enough pills. Usually, the pills only awaken about 60-70%."
Dyon's hands clenched, 'I can do this.'
"The only reason I even bring this up as an option is because I trust in your comprehension abilities… This technique may not have high requirements for cultivation because you're using already made pills, but it requires a comprehension level even higher than the understanding of the person who made the pill…
I'll transfer the technique to you soon… as for your soul strength, I think I have a solution. The path of cultivation you want to take is in fact something many geniuses have done before you. To wait until your body matures is a path only those of absolute confidence take. In fact, if your woman hadn't been born into such a low level of the Sapientia clan, she probably would have taken this path as well. It's unfortunate that they wasted her potential like that. But, if you take a cultivation cleaning pill with you as well, you can give it to her before you awaken her constitution completely. Then she can start cultivating immediately. This is the benefit of having a god level innate constitution. Her body matures much sooner, so, since she's already 14, it shouldn't be a problem."
The doors slowly opened, and the sight before Dyon had him nearly drop Little Black.
Sad whimpers started coming from his arms. Dyon looked down to see Little Black hiding in his chest, trying to turn away from the scene.
Dyon saw two massive creatures hundreds of meters long and wide. One was exactly like the illusory deer he had seen in the sky. A picture of perfection, it rested quietly as its head rested ahead the forehead of another massive creature.
It was covered in black scales. Its horns were massive, at least a third of the length of it body, they branched in elaborate and elegant patterns having jet black ancient marks etched directly onto them.
'That's… a Qilin…'
The Celestial woman sighed, "this is my husband and I. We died in the war and he gave up his soul to nourish mine so I could stay alive long enough to birth Little Black… I had been suppressing my pregnancy with the strength my husband left me, but when I sensed you a few weeks ago, I had already assumed that you'd come eventually, so I was finally able to rest.
Little Black… I hadn't had the heart to name him until now, but since you seem to like that name, my child, I'll allow you to have it."
Dyon couldn't imagine how powerful this celestial deer and qilin had to be to become so big, but what was clear was that Little Black's blood line was extraordinary.
"Qilin's are actually prideful and solitary creatures. If it wasn't for me, he would have never died like he did. To protect a sect of humans of all things, he became the laughing stock of his clan and Little Black was disowned."
Dyon clenched his fists, 'the martial world truly is cruel.'
The Celestial woman sighed, "come with me."
They stepped into the tomb, letting a heavenly fragrance waft past them.
The Celestial woman walked to her husband's forehead and placed her hand on the center scale after raising up into the air. A light flashed, causing a shudder in the body of the massive dark QIlin as a massive pitch-black drop of blood was pulled out by the woman.
She silently moved on her forehead before pausing, "after I pull out my essence blood, I won't be able to stay much longer. I'll properly fade away. So, first, I'll pass to you the legacy of the celestial deer clan. I don't ask you to get revenge for us. Nor do I ask you to put your life on the line. Enough blood has been shed. I won't even tell you the story behind our war. I only ask that you take care of our child and once you're powerful enough, pass on the legacy of the celestial deer clan. Once Little Black is able to make his own decisions, allow him to decide whether to return to his father's clan or not. I owe my husband to not let our child die for the same reasons we did," she said faintly.
Dyon could feel the sadness in her voice as a stream of memories invaded Dyon's consciousness. Not able to withstand it, he fell softly to the ground as a gentle wind carried him there.
As he was losing consciousness, a gentle voice rang in his mind, "the essence blood of a demon qilin and a celestial deer will give you a body strength few can match. It will take a few years to absorb all of it fully, but, it will be just in time for your body to start cultivating. Then you can choose from the celestial deer sect's whole collection. Since you don't have time right now, I'll help you forcefully ingratiate 5% of each with the last of my power. In the future, you'll need high level body tempering fruits and medicines to continue.
The demon qilin will help you have a high affinity for fire, wind, darkness, and demonic wills. However, my blood will allow you to better understand celestial, light, and crystal wills. This is my thank you to you. I've seen your life and I understand what kind of person you are, I don't believe it's wrong to entrust you with this much."
The last thing Dyon saw before passing out were two massive drops of blood, one black and one silver, shrinking and condensing before flying into his chest.
He blacked out with a shudder.
A last voice rang out, "thank you…"
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!
so many sad back stories I might as well be doing my best Oda impression... *tears*
lowkey tho... the demon qilin arc I have planned in the future is 'bout to be lit!
Follow me @Awespec on twitter if you wanna interact (lowkey, I haven't posted anything on twitter yet. I'm just waiting on getting like... 50 followers first. That's probably not the smart way to do it, but I need that kinda motivation to spend time thinking of what to post )