Ri spoke, "there is indeed something else of a higher level of… I guess you could say purity. Because of how wills work, it's possible for even weapons to cultivate. There are phenomena that allow for those lucky enough to gain kernels of cultivation that were the product of a weapon's or element's will. For example, a kernel of fire that's cultivated for thousands of years could directly boost a user of fire will to a new level. It's also not just about power, but also affinity.
There's of course a tradeoff because it's not your own power. Something like that might help you say… boost your peak will into an intent... but at a cost"
Dyon's eyes flashed, "these weapons from my pagoda…"
Ri nodded, "they're all kernels of cultivation. Essentially, you have a manifestation that allows you to raise weapons through their own cultivation forms. This allows you to boost your understanding of weapons, and temporarily boost your will… so, if you mastered your sword to the 7th level of will, you could use your sword kernel spirit to boost it to the 8th or 9th level… and…"
"But, since my sword will can reach the peak of the 9th level… it's possible that if the kernel is powerful enough, I can boost my sword will to an intent without having to step into the essence gathering level!"
Ri smiled. Despite her feigning jealousy, she was happy Dyon had gotten such a useful ability, but she had to warn him, "remember Dyon… there's a reason it's again the laws of the universe to comprehend an intent before stepping into the essence gathering stage. Unless your back is truly against the wall, don't do it!"
Dyon smiled at Ri, appreciating her concern, "ai ai captain. So essentially, if I find more cultivation kernels to boost my sword spirit. Or, I further understand sword will myself."
Ri nodded, "if you do those things, the kernel increases in power, and the levels of wills to intents you can skip forward increases. But, so would the stress on your body. So, you'd better listen to me or I won't forgive you," she said sternly.
Dyon sighed, "there's got to be a cooler name for these things than kernel."
Ri flicked Dyon's forehead, "haven't you been paying attention? I only called it that to explain the concept to you in simple terms. It's called a spirit. Sword spirit. Shield spirit. Spear spirit. That's what you call a weapon when it's gained autonomy and the ability to self-cultivate without a blacksmith improving it."
Dyon laughed, "spirit, kernel… Both are bland. I think I'll call them abyssal cores. They're essentially containers for holding power right? The more abyssal cores I find, and the more I fuse them with my own abyssal cores, the stronger I get."
Ri rolled her eyes, "call them whatever you want. Just know everyone else calls them spirits."
Dyon grinned, "now… my other manifestation may not be as straight forward to comprehend…"
Ri frowned as Dyon's humanoid figure appeared. It hovered in the air, it's one black and one white wing bearing down menacingly. But, what caught Ri's attention were the flaming golden black circles that formed a hexagonal pattern behind it.
Ri pointed, "those circles seem interesting…"
Dyon nodded. As of now, only one image was clear, the eye at the very top. However, the other 5 flaming circles had images that floated into and out of existence, as though it wasn't quite in Dyon's power to understand them just yet.
At least, that was until he noticed something peculiar about the flaming circle hovering just behind the manifestation's black wing.
"that's… a black flame?"
Dyon himself was out of it for much of the past week. He needed to be in a state of mind like that to do what he needed to do. But, he could feel the familiarity of that image… it was the exact replica of the flames that had been constantly burning in his eyes for the past few days… it felt so close… but so far away.
Ri turned her gaze to the flaming circle Dyon was looking at, "black flame?... I don't think that's fire though… it's different."
Dyon shook his head, "it must have been my state of mind that prematurely awakened that circle. I believe the only one I have real access to is the circle containing the eye."
Ri nodded. The eye was indeed the only clear image, "what do you feel tapping into it?"
Dyon reached out his mind.
Suddenly, everything expanded for him.
Dyon groaned as his soul strength shot upwards, immediately breaking into the 6th stage.
His aurora flared to life, shining brightly with it's usual purple-gold color. But, there was now a distinct black undertone.
Dyon felt his body bulging under the pressure, struggling to keep up.
But… he didn't want to give up this feeling just yet.
With a thought, tens of creation arrays appeared. Almost comedically, hundreds of sweat pants and sports bras tailored for Ri poured out. Piling into colors of black, greys, and dark reds.
Unwilling to stop there, Dyon's weapon's hell arrays whirred to life, spinning viciously.
Ri watched this scene with her mouth nearly gaping, 'this is bullshit! His control of arrays was already so great, now you're giving him that ability to use even an array he struggled with before, the creation array, so freely? Ridiculous," Ri felt like sobbing.
At this point Dyon was sweating profusely, but, he wanted to see just how far he could push this.
Suddenly, he felt something snap within him
Massive 3-meter-long wings burst from Dyon's back. They seemed bathed in light but were somehow also real…. Very real judging by the blood pouring from Dyon's back…
Ri watched this intently, 'wait a minute… weapon's hell array? I almost didn't recognize them! How can a lower level practitioner array be so powerful?!?'
Dyon hadn't even released the spears yet, but just the pressure bearing down on Ri made her feel as though she was suffocating.
Suddenly Ri thought of something, 'his control… is ridiculous…'
Dyon was doing something that had absolutely nothing to do with the original weapon's hell array: spinning them. The more powerful his soul became, the more furiously he could spin the array, making it one of his most used offensive techniques. In fact, he had practiced over his 6 months of conclusions to not only do this better, but to also fuse wills with the array. Although he had previously been able to do so… coating an array with different arrays and fusing them like he had done with space and time… were completely different concepts.
Dyon's wings flapped as he soared in the air, spreading his arms out as his body was bathed in blacks, whites, golds and purples.
Ri's eyes flashed blue as she activated her aurora to get a better look at the situation… and it seemed with each passing second, she only became more and more surprised, 'the arrays… they're changing.'