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Just as Dyon was about to explain himself, the doors of Heaven's Wine were opened.

"I don't know why you want to bet me on this, Luvon… I've long since passed the 3rd common level formation tests, I'm more than ready to take the next steps. Do you really think I can't cross to the 2nd tier with my cultivation suppressed?"

Dyon looked back to find a pair of black haired young men walking in. They couldn't have been much older than Dyon, maybe a year at most. This also affirmed something else for Dyon: non-major family members usually had more realistic hair and eye colors. This went for sub-families as well, although they still retained their special bloodlines.

"I'm not challenging you to see whether or not you can do it. Don't conveniently forget the terms. We're competing to see you can pass through to the 4th floor of the 2nd tier. Or, at the very least, see who can go the furthest. The loser treats the winner at the 5th tier!" A devious smile spread across Luvon's face.

The young man who had spoken first looked exasperated with his friend, "why are you so ridiculous? Not all of us have endless funds. Do you want my father to kill me for using his credit again?"

Luvon sighed, "you're as cheap as your old man, Erlan. Is it fun to pretend like you're poor? Stop being such a spoil sport."

Erlan rolled his eyes. It seemed that he'd have no choice but to acquiesce to Luvon's demands today. As long as he won, it wouldn't matter too much. But, he refused to face his father's wrath.

Soon, the boys reached Dyon's group as they were about to head up the stairs. Looks of surprise surfaced on their faces, before it quickly switched to disdain.

"there's an unspoken dress code here, you know," Luvon spoke with his brows furrowed, "also, a word of advice… you can't just head upstairs because you want to. Formations are a very complex thing, they can't be overridden by just anyone."

Dyon turned towards Ri with a questioning look. But, she shrugged, seemingly understanding his question, "I keep a low profile. All my interactions with the formation guild are through Grand Elder Kroak."

A look of realization flashed through Dyon's eyes. So, Ri didn't know these guys although she was familiar with the formation guild because she kept that contact to a minimum… Ri was becoming more and more of a mystery to Dyon.

Dyon smiled, nodding his head, "thanks for the advice," turning towards Little Lyla and patting her head he said, "let's go, big brother will give you something good to eat."

Little Lyla nodded her adorable head, rubbing her tummy. Dyon and Ri laughed at this, but Ri couldn't help but still worry about how Dyon was planning on dealing with all of this.

Luvon's frustration was growing, but he felt a tap on his shoulder, "ignore them. They'll figure it out eventually, let's go on with our competition," Erlan said, no longer bothering with Dyon and his group.

They brushed by each other, but Dyon didn't seem to care too much, instead materializing a familiar badge.

Ri's eyes shone when she saw this. She knew that the more well-off families could buy badges like these. This was why the boys from before weren't worried about making it to the top floors.

The badges were like a form of credit their owners had – almost like a Heaven's Wine exclusive credit card. Ri wondered how much credit Dyon had, but she was even more curious as to how he got this badge in the first place, 'did he get it from his fiancée?'

Dyon was oblivious to all of this. All he knew was that with this badge, he could eat as much as he wanted. When he saw the Heaven's Wine in the distance, a wild idea suddenly surfaced in his mind.

When he was thinking back to how he so quickly raised his soul cultivation back then from the 3rd stage to the 4th, he found something puzzling. Although he was aware that cultivation became more difficult as you progressed, the drastic difference in speed before he reached the 4th stage and after was weighing on him. But, something clicked when Little Lyla pointed out the tower in the distance. Didn't he eat his fill at Heaven's Wine right before he progressed his soul? And that was only at the 4th tier level of the restaurant. How beneficial would the 5th tier be?

Dyon smirked, 'who needs to earn money for cultivation materials when I have everything for free here? Won't it be child's play to find something good enough to help me integrate more of my blood essences and speed up my soul cultivation?'

Also, Dyon realized if he let Little Lyla eat here often, it would be greatly beneficial for her future cultivation. He looked at Ri and smiled thinking to himself how he'd help Ri out too if she behaved.

Ri gave Dyon a weird look when he smiled at her, "what're you smiling about? You're about to treat another woman with something you got from your fiancée? What's there to be proud of?"

Dyon was in shock for a second before bitterly shaking his head, "I won this through a bet with the disciple of the owner."

Ri blinked her eyes, "really? The disciple of Heaven's Wine should be at the level of an unparalleled genius considering how powerful his master is. How could you beat him in anything?"

Dyon feigned being hurt, "how could you say such a thing?"

Honestly, Dyon hadn't put Iaachus Vinum on his level as a martial artist. Maybe because he was angry with him for disregarding him in front of his fiancée, or maybe because Iaachus was so respectful to the God Clan young masters, but either way, Ri did have a point. If he gained acceptance of the owner of Heaven's Wine, he couldn't be weak.

What Dyon didn't know was that Iaachus had no choice but to be so respectful to the God Clan young masters. Although he was a disciple of the owner, he was by no stretch the only disciple. And, with the constant absence of his master, many had forgotten how powerful the owner really was. For example, Madeleine told Dyon that the owner was an expert of the saint stage, but no one was sure of this. In addition, a master of the saint stage was only enough to be the grand elder of a God Clan and a simple elder of a Royal God Clan. Why would a God Clan young master be afraid of such an existence when their clan wouldn't be?

To top all of this off, Iaachus' master was non-confrontational. Much to Iaachus' dismay, his master really would kill him if he killed Dyon for such petty reasons because the owner wouldn't want such a disciple. But, when an expert wasn't domineering, to the martial world, they weren't worth a second thought.

Ri rolled her eyes at Dyon's acting.

"I won because he thought I couldn't make it to the top floor since I had no cultivation," Dyon's eyes flashed with a gold-purple light.

Suddenly, the formations within the badge spread, covering the 4 of them.

Dyon grinned, winking at Ri.

Little Lyla clapped gleefully, following her big brother with Little Black. Ri could only shake her head and tell herself to stop underestimating Dyon.

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Awespec

  • Canada
  • Awespec

Bio: Med school student who loves to write :)

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