Madeleine and Dyon sat atop a massive Celestial Deer formation that galloped along the ocean water, leaving behind slight ripples.
"So why do you think I've been stuck at the 7th level of musical will?" Madeleine asked curiously.
She had left behind the sweat pants and T shirt much to Dyon's dismay, instead opting for her usual casual purple qing pao. Her hair was up, wearing the defensive hairpin Dyon had given her, still oblivious to the fact it was a transcendent treasure. She had even forced Dyon to wear his jeans and open blue dress shirt look.
Dyon looked at the girl who sat on his lap holding a lyre with an adorable focused expression on her face, feeling his heart in his throat for what seemed like the millionth time, "you really are too beautiful," Dyon muttered.
Madeleine playfully hit Dyon, smiling, "focus, you pervert."
Dyon shook his head, "right. If I'm going to be honest, the fact you've even reached that level considering the state your heart has been in over the years, is nothing short of a testament to your unbelievable talent, your sharp ear, and, quite frankly, a miracle."
Madeleine looked at Dyon's side profile as he stared out into the ocean.
"The will of music isn't about just completely understanding the instrument in your hands and playing the right notes. It's about resonating with the environment you're playing in. It's about encroaching on the emotions of the people and things listening to you. And, maybe most important, it's about having a tranquil heart or an understanding of whatever turmoil that heart is in. Without the best understanding of yourself, it's hard to reach the purest form of the will of music. It's possible to jump over these hurdles at this stage, and you would definitely reach the peak level of musical will purely off of your talent. But, the barrier to musical intent would be exponentially harder."
Madeleine nodded, looking down at the lyre in her hands. Closing her eyes, she listened to the gentle taps the Celestial Deer left in the water. She listened to Dyon's gentle heart beat and felt the heat coming from his body. All of a sudden, she seemed to understand something. Her hair fluttered gently in its bun and her breathing quietened to almost resonate with the world around her.
Dyon looked on at this scene with a smile. He was afraid she wouldn't notice his phrasing, but it seemed like he worried too much. How could a genius like Madeleine not realize that understanding your environment and the "things" listening to you meant that you're not only playing for yourself and the things that live, but, when lilies sway in appreciation and blossoms twirl in the wind, and the air shimmers with life, can they not also listen to you play?
Madeleine's hand raised to her lyre strings. With a wave of his hand, without Madeleine noticing, Dyon removed the concealment formation on the transcendent lyre.
A beautiful melody began to ring out. The steps of the Celestial Deer began to not only leave ripples, but also a pulsing light with its each step. Dyon felt his understanding of the world increase under Madeleine's efforts.
'this must be why Delia enjoys training with Madeleine so much… To be able to induce the best in others, my Madeleine is truly a pure soul.'
After hours, Madeleine finally stopped playing, beads of sweat falling down her brow. But, despite her fatigue, she had an excited look on her face.
"I did it!" Madeleine kissed Dyon on the cheek, "it's all thanks to you," she said with a smile that outshone the sun that hung high in the sky.
Dyon shook head, pulling her in close, "the only thing that was stopping you from reaching this step was the pain in your heart and the burdens you carried. With your level of comprehension, how could you not reach this step without me?"
Dyon glanced at the lyre, "look, I think it wants to acknowledge you as its master," Dyon said with a knowing look.
Madeleine gasped. She was well aware that only master level and above treasures had their own wills and could thus acknowledge masters. Wasn't this lyre just at the peak of practitioner level?
The lyre glowed in Madeleine's hands, vibrating gently.
Madeleine pouted, "you've been tricking me?"
Dyon laughed, "I couldn't be certain that you'd have a way back to the Sapientia main branch, so I wanted to conceal it for a bit until I was strong enough to make sure you wouldn't come to any harm. But, when I came to stop that farce, I noticed a faint killing intent when elder Kami mentioned signing a marriage contract in blood. That level of aura couldn't come from a simple old lady, especially to the extent of nearly hiding it from an innate aurora, so, I made some guesses. I'm still surprised that even when I called out to her, I couldn't see through her disguise until she removed it…"
"you probably didn't notice, but because of your beauty, the hairpin has long since accepted you as its master. And now that you've proven your talent to the lyre, it too has," Dyon said with a gentle smile that hid nothing of the pride he felt in his woman.
Madeleine gentle touched the hair pin, "this is a master level treasure too? You treat me well," Madeleine said with a grin.
"Of course, of course. But, how could I only give you a measly master level treasure? These are transcendent level treasures. Nothing but the best for you, I promise."
Madeleine's eyes widened, but she just shook her head in acceptance, 'he really does nothing by half measures.'
"But, you should conceal them again, Dyon. Even the Sapientia clan only has a few transcendent treasures. In fact, even when I was a genius to them to be married off at their leisure, I had never seen them. If I suddenly arrive with 2, especially with how you revealed that you're the Celestial Deer Sect's successor, you'll definitely be hunted down even more fervently," Madeleine said with a trace of worry.
Dyon sighed, "I'll be a laughing stock for only being able to give my woman a half-step master level treasure, but, I'll listen to you. I'd prefer if you worried less."
Madeleine nodded in satisfaction as Dyon waved his hands, leaning her head to Dyon's neck and looking out to the slowly approaching land.
"Since you've shown me the entertainment of the human world, I can't let you look down on the martial world too much, now can I?"
"Oh? Can you beat Lord of the Rings though?"
Madeleine had a mysterious smile on her face, "if we were powerful enough, I'd bring you to a volcano even more powerful than they described in it. Unfortunately, it's in the Demon Fire God Clan's territory and I've only been there once when my master brought me. We also have real dragons in the Qilin-Drago Lands! And real elves in the Elvin Forest! And no orcs! How could we lose?"
Dyon smiled wryly, 'it is a bit hard to beat them I guess.'
Thinking of dragons and qilins though, Dyon brought out Little Black so he could enjoy the view.
"Oh, what size is your spatial ring?" Dyon asked Madeleine.
"It's not too bad. It's about 27 meters cubed."
Dyon waved his hands, "store your things in your hairpin instead. I forgot to tell you that it doubles as a storage device."
"Oh?" Madeleine clapped her hands in excitement. The storage of a transcendent level treasure was no joke. After putting away her lyre, Little Black immediately jumped into her arms.
"So, what are these entertaining things you're going to take me to do?"
"There are illusory formation games, fantastic restaurants, magic performances. You can even enter dream worlds to live out a few years in just a few moments. There are a lot of Sapientia family run auctions. There are also a lot of tournaments to watch. All over the continent, there are Chaos Arenas run by the Cavositos God Clan. They enjoy battles so much that they try to find the strongest warriors to pit against the younger generation in their main clan arena. It's a lot like those sports games you mentioned from the human world. Everyone has their favorites and fighters also have organizations that sponsor them, kind of like teams. If you work your way up, you can fight in higher level arenas. If you win three fights against their Cavositos clan members, whether in a row, or after many losses, then you automatically have the choice of either joining their clan as a respected member, or a prize of equivalent value.
But, probably the most entertaining thing is probably the Ancient Games. There is a total of 3. No one knows the names of them and the rules have long since been forgotten. However, the formations and materials used to play those games from so many years ago still exist. Also, there's something very odd about these games. Once someone decides to embark on a journey of learning the rules through play, an ancient array formation appears as a mental block, disallowing you from discussing the rules you've figured out!"
Dyon was intrigued, "wait, so why are games no one knows how to play so entertaining?"
Madeleine smiled, "the thing is, even without knowing the rules, you can still play and can still watch people play. Although no one can talk about the rules, there are still a few basic rules that even a child could figure out. But, only true geniuses can delve into a more complex understanding and therefore win more consistently. But, even they often lose. How could you win every time if all the rules aren't known to you? In those arenas, the Elves have dominated for a long time. I'm sure if you ever meet them, you'll figure out why. Or, maybe if you ever see the games, you could make some guesses. Unfortunately, the city we're coming to now doesn't have an Ancient Games Arena. But! There are a lot of other things to do," Madeleine said with a smile.
"Wow… Ancient Games that even till now can force billions of people to be unable to speak of the rules…"
"Impressed?" Madeleine asked with a grin.
Dyon lightly pinched Madeleine's nose, "don't get too cocky. I have more of the human world you haven't seen yet. Plus, isn't the thing that's most entertaining to you from the human world?" Dyon said with a wide grin.
Madeleine blushed, "pervert. Look, we're almost at the gates, let's go!"