Delia practiced her sword skills under the high sun with the Madeleine's melody as her back drop. It had been a month since Dyon's death and though Madeleine still hurt everyday, she had insisted on helping Delia train so she could find a purpose again. Although she felt running away would be easy, she also knew that Dyon must have died fighting for her right to live a life she wanted to live. Even if this was something she didn't want to do, she would marry Akihiko so she could live on for Dyon, 'you're my reason to stay strong.'
While Madeleine's smile was decidedly sadder, it had once again begun to appear on her face, "you're improving little sister."
"It's all thanks to you. Your will of music makes it much easier to focus. I can feel the intent of my ice sword technique much easier with you around," Delia said smiling.
Delia walked to Madeleine and took a seat on the stone beside her.
"you know, ever since my mom disappeared, I've wanted to keep Patia-Neva Peak the exact same. She loved nature and hated disturbing it, so I followed her path as best I could," Delia said softly.
The blossoms from the trees fell around them, lightly gracing the wind.
Madeleine listen silently, it wasn't often Delia opened up, let alone talked about her mom.
"Even while she's not here, I want to do my best to do right by her. She may be somewhere far off, or she may be dead. But, what I know is what's in front of me. My will to get stronger so I don't lose anyone else that important to me," Delia took a deep breath before continuing.
"I admire your strength big sister. What you've gone through since your youth. Being treated like a valuable chess piece instead of a human being. Then being tossed aside the moment you were no longer useful. Finding peace after years of struggle, then finally settling into a little bit of happiness, just to have the people you trusted the most take it away from you… And yet you sit here, smiling. Yes, it's a smile from pain, but it's a smile nonetheless. You do this, while I can't even get over a woman that probably left on her own."
Madeleine looked over to Delia, shocked.
Delia smiled bitterly, "I know you all tried to hide it from me. But, if you think about it, the answer is obvious. She isn't dead. She was taken and forced to marry into the Clyte God Clan. Father wasn't strong enough to protect her after his power was sealed…" Delia's voice was faint. But, then, she continued firmly, "But, I will be. No matter how hard I have to work. I'll build up my power, find allies, and bring my family back together."
Madeleine watched Delia mature before her eyes with a smile on her face, "it seems we doted you a bit too much," Madeleine nodded firmly, "after I'm cured, I'll grow stronger with you little sister. I'll stand against a God Clan with you, even if we have to fight them alone."
The two girls hugged each other, finding comfort in each other's weakness and strength.
After the two girls collected their emotions, Delia stood ready to begin practicing again. Madeleine grabbed her lyre, prepared to support her little sister.
Delia sword swung in an arc, "You know, the central pillar world is opening tomorrow. The quota is actually much larger this year. There seem to be a lot of new Storm family members."
"Well, I'm not entirely sure if they're from the Storm family. But, they're all blond and blue eyed, so I kind of just made the assumption."
"really? That's odd. Although, I did hear once from my father that the Storm family is actually a large clan branch that decided to break from the main branch for some reason or another."
"I heard my father say much the same thing after I was wondering why we allowed them to join the pillar family alliance. He made it seem like he didn't really have much of a choice but to accept…"
"Also, while you were dealing with your illness flaring up," Delia said tactfully, "They moved up the date of the big sect tournament. It seems they found a way to power up the dimension opening treasure much faster. They're planning on using your wedding as an opening ceremony for the tournament."
"Oh? You'd think the bride would get to choose things like this," Madeleine said bitterly.
Delia giggled, "since Akihiko is so much weaker than you, you could have that harem you always wanted. Then you can have as many more weddings as you want, to get it right."
Madeleine laughed genuinely for the first time in what seemed like forever, "don't joke around so much. Why would I waste a wedding on a concubine," Madeleine said mischievously.
"hahaha, Akihiko should feel honored, being the first husband. But, those seniors from the big sects are going to be very angry when they get here. I'll be surprised if he isn't beaten half to death during the tournament."
"Isn't Akihiko already part of the big sects? I believe it was one under the jurisdiction of a higher tier Kami branch family, why would he be in the tournament?"
"Yea, but the world opening is quite different this year. Because the world they're opening is so much more powerful than the others, the treasure can only support a limited amount of people entering at one time even with the new power supply they've found. So, instead of all the big sect disciples entering, they have to actually limit it this time."
"Oh? Seems like none of our students will get a chance to go this time…"
"Yea… to think they groomed us first year pillar family members for this, just to be disappointed in the end."
"Don't look down on yourself so much. Your will of the sword has already reached the 3rd level. Don't think I forgot that you only picked up the sword at the beginning of the school year. Just 2 months and you're already this great."
"How could I compare to Dyon? He reached the 9th level of the will of music, and we're the same age."
Madeleine sighed, "Dyon has been playing music for more than a decade, it was easy for him to transition his understanding into a will. If he picked up the sword, he might be even slower than you in comprehending it."
"Oh? So, it's like this," Delia said as she continued to swing her sword. She was secretly relieved. Dyon's speed of progress could really hurt someone's pride.
"So, little sister Delia, you and Meiying will be my maids of honor, right?"
Delia smiled, "of course. Whatever I can do to make this easier for you."
Madeleine smiled as she continued to play a sweet tone. The sound of the melody and a sharp sword filled the afternoon sky.
On Kami peak a dark mansion stood stoically. It was eerily reminiscent of a gothic church, with large and narrow windows. However, the atmosphere was ruined by the booming voice of an expert.
"WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU LOST THE PROFOUND STONES IN A BET!" Elder Kami was enraged.
The General was shaking under the voice of the pillar family leader, "I-I… I have no excuse. I lost it to the commoner kid. But, from what I hear he's dead. I tried to find his body, but it must have sunk to the bottom of the lake already. There's no way for us to retrieve the money. I broke into his room about a month ago, but, I couldn't find the money there. It must have been on him."
Kami felt like pulling his hair out. Those were the stones he had set aside to sustain the betting pool for the tournament and possibly bribe the big sects if his younger son Mayumi wasn't good enough. Especially since he had been bedridden for so long due to the injury to his soul. But now it was all gone because of a kid he had stomped on like an ant.
"The school is going to be a laughing stock because you can't control your fucking gambling addiction!"
"I really didn't think I'd lose Grand Elder Kami… How could I know a kid with no cultivation could punch with 900lbs of force?"
"I don't want to hear your sorry excuses. I want you to find a way to give me back 20,000 profound stones. How can we host a tournament and not have a betting ring? What the fuck is wrong with you!"
"I actually have an idea about that sir Grand Elder. That day, the kid sold array plates for 2 profound stones each. He was even planning on selling them to senior students for more. What we could do is confiscate those plates under the guise of it not being conducive to proper training. Then, sell them in a market. That way, we can make back even more than 20,000 profound stones. Even if some of the students have used their plates, as long as we sell them for 5 profound stones a piece, we'll more than make up for the missing for hidden ones."
"what are you still standing here for?! Get it done! The tournament starts in a month and a half, I expect it to be done well before then!"
Kami watched The General run away, 'what a pathetic excuse for a teacher. Although, a kid with no cultivation being able to punch with 900lbs of force is fairly surprising. We could probably sell these plates as an aid to the big sect disciples during the big sect tournament. I'll also save a few for little Mayumi for when he's recovered. It'll make up for his not cultivating for 2 months.
Thinking up to this point, Kami walked away from the scene.
"Senior brother Lehabim, please. You've been roaring in rage for the whole ride. We can't represent the Flame Sword Sect like this. The Focus Academy students look up to us."
"HOW COULD I CALM DOWN?! THEY THINK THEY CAN APPEASE ME WITH SOME GARBAGE CENTRAL PILLAR WORLD QUOTA?! MY GODDESS IS GETTING MARRIED! AND IT'S NOT TO ME!"
"Senior brother, please. I hear that if she doesn't do this, she'll die. Would you rather your goddess die than be with someone other than you?"
Hearing this, the one they called senior brother Lehabim finally calmed himself a bit, "you're right. But I swear to do whatever I can to join her harem! How could this weak Akihiko character be strong enough to make her stay committed to him! I'll crush him in the trial world! Then I'll crush him in the tournament! How dare he! UGGGGGHHHHHHH"
Lehabim's junior brothers and sisters shook their heads helplessly as they continued riding a bright right bird in the direction of Focus Academy.
Somehow unsurprisingly, similar scenes were happening every as more and more people found out about Madeleine's wedding. Secluded geniuses who had their spots reserved already awoke in agitation, getting ready to make their way to the tournament just to show that they were the only ones worthy of Madeleine. There was even a senior sister mixed in.
"How could a man be worthy of my Madeleine? She needs a woman who understands her," A girl with jet black hair and blue eyes stood on the head of an odd bird. It seemed to be illusory, but if you looked closely, it was more accurate to say that it was made of wind.
"Yes! Senior sister Knoton, the wind blade sect will support you all the way!"
A bald dark-skinned boy opened his eyes.
"Is what you said true?"
"Yes, senior brother Hashim. Lady Sapientia is getting married as the opening act of the tournament. I know your spot was guaranteed, but, I think you might want to go this time."
"Good, good. You want to take my woman? We'll see how that works for you. Tell the Destruction Sect Elders that I'll be going"
"Senior Brother Orbis!"
"hmm? What is it?"
"Lady Sapientia is getting married as the opening act of the big sect tournament!"
A fat round boy chuckled, "those guys must be up in arms. But, I've already found the love of my life. Lady Knoton is the only one for me. If I can't marry her, the path of cultivation is the only wife for me"
"Senior Brother! We've heard reports that all the seeded geniuses are headed towards Focus Academy! Including Lady Knoton. Not only will you get to see her, you'll get to fight against all the strongest they have to offer in the big sect!"
"well why the hell didn't you start with that! I'm coming my love!"
Orbis' junior brothers and sisters laughed bitterly, 'and here we thought he was in it for the competition. Our Earth-Bound Sect really is lucky to have him as our top disciple,' they thought bitterly.
"hmm? The seeded geniuses are headed to the big sect tournament? Oh? And the center pillar world too? I hear that's a teleportation array to the Elvin realm… I'm surprised the big sects let them have a monopoly over it. But, I guess if a big sect controlled it, a war would break out… I guess I might as well go visit my little brother"
"Also, senior sister Viridi, senior sister Sapientia is getting married."
"Oh? She used to be my highest goal… it's unfortunate that she's sick. Why is she getting married? And to who?"
"I hear it's Akihiko from the Kami clan. He was found to have a decent percentage of god level blood from the main Kami clan, so he was accepted into the Kami sect of the big sects. I hear god level blood is the cure for senior sister Sapientia, so her family decided to marry her off."
"So that's how it is... *sigh* Madeleine is really pitiable, I'm sure she doesn't want to do this. The Elvin world should be really good for our plant cultivation, so we should go. It would be good to support senior sister Madeleine too, it seems she'll soon be cured and able to rise again," the girl dark blonde hair and brown eyes spoke faintly, getting up from her cultivation to prepare for the long journey.
'It's been a long time since you left little brother… I know you wanted to support Uncle Ail, but you should know that array alchemy isn't for everyone. The clan couldn't support aurora awakening and my status in the Green Blade Sect wasn't this high at the time… I hope you'll come home now…'
Dyon was oblivious to all that was happening in the outside world. If he had known, he probably would have coughed up blood in anger. How could a single girl mobilize the geniuses of so many big sects, wasn't this too exaggerated?
That aside, Dyon's mind was slowly acclimating to the new energy. The strain on his soul because of it was causing it to grow stronger. Dyon's aurora, as a result, was slowly encroaching on the 3rd stage.
At the same time, Dyon's body was getting stronger as well, but not due to his soul. The demon qilin blood and celestial deer blood were really working wonders. Little Black watched, lying on Dyon's chest, as black scales covered in crystals flashed into and out of existence on Dyon's chest and arms. His aura was sometimes light and pure, and other times dark and heavy, creating a domineering dichotomy.
Dyon's body bulged, growing taller and more muscular. Without him knowing, his 14th birthday had passed, and he had grown to 1.9 meters tall due to the essence blood. His lean body was slightly more defined and bulky, but he still retained his lean appearance. His features increased in devilish handsomeness. His skin became fairer as his body became stronger and stronger, acclimating to the 5% of both blood drops that had fused with it.
The roar of a dragon emitted from Dyon's mouth as the last of the blood and memories fused with him.
His eyes slowly opened as the scales and crystals faded and checked to find that 2 weeks had passed.
'One month and a half left. One month and a half of struggle left. Then, I'll never let you struggle again.'
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smh, seems like Madeleine really is worth a lot of trouble...
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