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Near a clear lake of the spatial world, Ri sat next to a handsome boy on a rock as they watched the kids play.

The kids had long since cleaned themselves, and Dyon had even sent each of them a new set of clothes to the point where he even included swimming suits. It had already been a week since Dyon had sent them in here. In fact, he sent another 'week's worth' set of food they wouldn't be able to finish for months.

Ri could only sigh. She knew Dyon thought this was his fault. She remembered very clearly how he had said Little Lyla's name at the coliseum. And, when she asked the kids what had happened, they told her that bad men had come looking for their sister Lyla. And now, Dyon was cutting himself off from them as his way of protecting them all.

If Ri knew that Dyon was also an orphan, she'd understand that his pain right now was even deeper than what she assumed.

"Dummy," she muttered.

Arios, who was sitting beside Ri smiled, "you're worried about him… I am too, honestly…"

Although Arios didn't voice it to Ri, he was well aware that Dyon had absorbed the demon sage's blood. If he lost control of his emotions, no one would know how long it would take for him to return to himself.

Dyon himself might not even be aware he was slipping. To the point where he hadn't even read any of Madeleine's messages for the past week.

Ri sent a glance towards Arios, "you sure you can't tell me about all of you?"

Arios shook his head, "if Dyon hasn't told you yet, he must have a reason for it."

Ri nodded. She understood and wasn't too bothered. In fact, although she was worried for Dyon, she often disappeared for weeks if not months at a time without seeing her father, so she wasn't worried about headmaster Acacia worrying.

Ri sighed, "I hope he's alright…"

**

Outside of the spatial world, Dyon was immersed in his reading. It was an odd sight. He had hundreds of books stacked around him as he closed his eyes in meditation.

Jade was nearby, using her delicate and fair hands to pluck the strings of her guqin. She had spent the past week with Dyon, coming here everyday. But, he had completely ignored her. He was almost like a completely different person.

Because of her gift, she was able to tell something was weighing on his mind, but, keeping him company was about as much as she could do for now.

To Dyon, nothing mattered but his cultivation and his knowledge. He not only poured through everything there was to know about the soul, he had also spent days studying past campaign accounts of the Elvin Kingdom and, although there was a strikingly small amount, he had also looked through tales of Elvin history.

Although he had intuitively known what Ri might mean when she mentioned innate souls, it was only now that he fully understood. Innate souls were essentially just the level a soul could reach, without soul specific cultivation. Meaning, since Dyon's soul had reached the peak of the 3rd stage as soon as his body was strong enough to handle it, that was his innate soul strength.

However, the meaning was also deeper than this. One's innate soul was also about a reflection of one's personality. It wasn't just about its base strength, but also connected to manifestations. So, Dyon finally understood why it wasn't within his master's memories. But, it also connected back to Ri's blue aurora flame… maybe there was something special about her innate soul…

The last oddity Dyon found was the fact records showed the max innate soul should be at the peak of the second stage. Yet… his was an entire stage higher than that. Technically speaking, the usual max made sense, it spanned from the equivalent of the first foundation layer to the ninth formation layer. But, Dyon's was inexplicably equal to around the lower end of the 5th meridian formation layer.

It seemed off, and somehow not complete… but, he didn't have an answer for it.

Having completed his research, Dyon decided that it was about time he found a secluded place to study his manifestation. He assumed that Ri's mother's cave was the best place… but something was telling him it wouldn't be a haven for him there… definitely not in this state.

Remembering that Ri had told him the elders couldn't handle the flaming words he had left in the sky… he suddenly had the crazy idea to sneak into the empty castle. Why would his own flames affect him?

Although Dyon didn't have an exact understanding of why his manifestation left those flames, he did have a good guess.

A tome flashed into his hands. Flipping to the first page, he stared intently at the shifting array, but still gained nothing from it. But, he wasn't willing to give up on it. He was sure that the flames in the sky were not only the residue of his manifestation, but also whatever was sealing this tome. For peak saint level experts to not be able to handle it… could only go to prove the power needed to seal this seemingly normal book.

He also had come to understand the awakening time of the generals had been drastically cut down by this tome. How?... he hadn't fully grasped. But, how could a technique of the demon sage be cleansed by Dyon's power alone in a little over a year? It didn't add up. So, he eliminated all options until he was left with just this one.

The awakening of the generals coincided with the time this tome wrote in its first technique. There were no such coincidences, it could only be correlated in some way.

The tome flashed and re-entered Dyon's ring. He decided that he would bide his time in entering the castle. He couldn't afford to be caught, and he also at least needed a better idea of what he was looking for. So, he decided that he should probably finally head to the formation guild. He needed the sub-families in his back pocket, and this was the best way to do it. He didn't even see them as people anymore. They were just pawns to him.

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Awespec

  • Canada
  • Awespec

Bio: Med school student who loves to write :)

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