Days later, Dyon awoke to find himself lying on a bed of grass. Suddenly, he felt bad, 'I didn't give them good places to sleep! I'm such an idiot.'
But, before he could get up, he noticed something weighing on his chest.
There, an adorable five-year-old girl slept soundly, her small hands gripping Dyon's shirt. Next to her laid Little Black, taking a leisurely nap without a worry in the world.
A dull pain invaded Dyon's heart, 'I'm really not good enough to you, hm little Lyla?' Dyon gently stroked the little girl's long pink hair.
"mm," Lyla stirred, feeling a familiar touch, "big brother?"
Suddenly, she started awake, grabbing onto Dyon's neck and sobbing.
Dyon held her for a long time. It seemed she wanted to say something but couldn't get the words out. He could only sigh.
"It's okay Little Lyla, big brother's okay. He's not going anywhere."
Dyon gently circulated his celestial will and aurora, improving the little girl's mood until she finally calmed down enough to wipe her tears and smile.
"are you sure you're okay, big brother?" she said softly.
Dyon pinched Lyla's cheeks, causing her to giggle, "this is just a small injury, don't worry about it."
Lyla shook her head quickly from side to side, "that's not what I meant.."
But, before Dyon could ask her about it, there was a sudden rush of kids.
Dyon smiled at the sight, even noticing Ri watching from nearby with a smile on her face.
"okay, okay. I'm back now, did you all have a fun time?"
Nopos shook his head, water flying everywhere since they had just been playing in the lake, "big brother, we had a lot of fun. But you sent too much food!"
Dyon was stunned for a bit, before he broke out into laughter.
Just like that, Dyon spent a good long while playing with the children. Then, he made up for his mistakes by diligently making living quarters for everyone.
The inner world of the spatial ring was massive. Even the Celestial Deer Sect ruins were miles away from sight. If Dyon wanted, it would be no problem to even create an entire country here. But, a single building for the kids near their favorite lake was enough. And this one, he made even more fun and elaborate than the original orphanage.
When Dyon was done, he went around to the demon generals to see if they too wanted living arrangements of their own, but they only shook their heads.
"we're used to campaigning, successor. Hard beds and barely pitched tents is what we're used to."
Dyon shook his head in disagreement, "campaigning with me will be different. With my aurora, what in this world can't I make you?"
With a laugh, Dyon ignored the wishes of the generals, directly making each of them their own well-furnished tents. It took days, and often times he would almost pass out from exhaustion, but he found this to be worth it.
Soon, Dyon was in his own tent looking around with a content smile on his face.
The tent itself was about 40 meters squared and had a ceiling reaching at least 4 meters tall. The hard grass had been replaced by soft carpet, and a comfortable king-sized bed stood at the edge of the room. Dyon picked darker colors for his tent, trying to avoid any blinding lights.
Suddenly, Dyon had a thought, 'maybe I should make the kids computers… it would help improve their reasoning abilities, and it would be fun, no?'
But, before Dyon could finish that thought, he heard the flaps of his tent open.
He looked up to find Ri. Dressed in lowcut sweat pants and a black sports bra, her hair still waved around with distracting purity.
But, at this moment, she was glaring at Dyon, "you make everyone tents but me? What are you getting at here."
Dyon grinned, "can't you see how large this bed is? Why would I need to make you a separate tent?"
Ri rolled her eyes, "I know what you're trying to do, and it won't work. You'll be taking me with you as well."
Dyon suddenly had a pensive look on his face, getting up to stand so closely to Ri that they nearly touched.
Dyon spoke softly, "you know… I've figured out a lot of things over the past week… things that have made me question a lot of what I know, and a lot of what I hope for."
Ri looked up at Dyon, hands on her hips and still unyielding. But, she listened intently.
"When the time is right… you'll know what I've come to know too… But, the question is: would you still be willing to come with me after that?"
Ri stared at Dyon for a good long while, before she finally said just as resolutely, "you're taking me with you. Make me a tent. And, whatever you're planning on doing on the outside. You're taking me with you then too. Don't think I won't kick your ass into submission. OP manifestation or not, I doubt you're a match for me."
Looking at Ri's defiant will, Dyon smiled, suddenly tilting her chin up.
Ri was startled by his sudden change but didn't make a move to stop him for reasons even she didn't know.
Dyon's voice was gentle, soft and honest, "you know… if I hadn't met Madeleine first, you probably would have won the competition."
Ri didn't even know how to process Dyon's words. What competition? Madeleine first? Ri felt that she was just a girl of normal appearance. And yet, despite the fact Dyon had seen what the Elvin Kingdom had to offer… despite the fact she was sure he was being bribed with endless beauties… despite the fact his fiancée was peerless among women… he said these words to her?