Dyon's manifestations erupted.
His weapon's pagoda leered domineeringly, dripping with a blood red aura.
Wings burst from his back, one wrapping around Ri as his energy continued to rise.
Ri was stunned, 'what's he doing…'
When Dyon had thought those statues weren't normal… he couldn't have been more correct.
These statues were the guardians of dead kings valley. At their peak, their power was unprecedented. Even with the ravages of time, their power wouldn't pale in comparison to a lower Celestial Stage expert. And yet Dyon asked them to kneel!
Ri felt the warmth of Dyon's wing and the softness of its feathers, blushing when her hands found their way to his bare torso, but she couldn't help but warn him, "Dyon… those statues are there to make sure anyone entering can handle the pressure of the realm… although they're puppets, I'm sure you know that the greatest of treasures can gain sentience… just like your supposed abyssal cores. It's best you don't offend th – "
Ri's words were cut off with endless shock. There in front of her, the majestically armored statues suddenly moved.
With no thought of reservation or hesitancy, they bowed.
Their knees touched the ground, their heads leaning forward in reverence. Suddenly, all the pressure in the room vanished.
Dyon smiled. His manifestation disappearing, he looked down at Ri, "see? We just needed to ask nicely."
Ri was stunned, but when she noticed Dyon still had his arm around her, she lightly pushed him away, pouting, "you're so reckless. Are you really so prideful that you had to make statues that are literally millions of years old, kneel for you?"
Dyon chuckled, "kneel for me? You're mistaken. How could I let them stand so domineeringly when there's clearly a beautiful lady here with me? Is beauty not worth kneeling for?"
Dyon's carefree laughter boomed as he walked forward, leaving Ri speechless.
Walking forward until he was nearly upon the portal, Dyon patted the shoulder of one of the guardians, "you come with me," looking over at the other he continued, "you stay here… if we're gonna cheat, I think only one of you is necessary."
Ri looked at the scene wide eyed as the statue stood and nodded, standing dominatingly at more than 10 meters, and still respectfully standing behind Dyon.
The statues themselves were covered in cracked stone… it was clear the wear and tear of time was affecting them.
Dyon looked up in pity, "I'm not powerful enough to fix you to your peak right now… but once everything here is settled, I can at least make you look better than old and cracked stone. And, once I reach the proper level of power, even a dao formation stage expert will think twice about fighting you!"
Ri looked on as she thought she saw a flash of appreciation cross the faces of the statues, 'just who is this man… Dyon…'
Suddenly Ri thought of something, "these statues… they were part of your plan? How could you even know they were here?... unless!"
Dyon laughed, "of course, I've been to the place you're thinking of," Dyon turned back to Ri, "and once the day of that banquet comes, everyone will come to know the price for playing games with me."
Ri looked at Dyon, a complicated expression on her face, 'he knows… doesn't he… and here I thought I was intelligent,' Ri chuckled to herself, 'how many years have us Elvin Families spent planning? For everything to be seen through by a human boy who hasn't even been here a month?' Ri sighed, 'I guess there's solace in the fact he's the only one to ever figure it out…'
Dyon smiled at Ri, "when you come to know how I put everything together… you'll realize it was more luck than anything else. If not, it would have taken me much longer."
Dyon waved towards Ri, "come on… don't you know how fun it is to play a game with a list of cheat codes?" Dyon grinned, knowing very well Ri had no idea what he was talking about.
Ri looked apprehensive though, "you know dead kings valley is very particular right… you can't just use external power sources like this…"
A sudden look of realization hit Dyon, "ah, you're right," Dyon waved his hand, a complex purple-gold formation appearing.
Suddenly, a look of disgust appeared on Dyon's face, "this'll take too many hours to draw… maybe days… unless," Dyon grinned.
Massive 3 meter wings appeared on Dyon's back, his humanoid manifestation appearing domineeringly.
The peak circle of flaming black-gold glowed viciously.
Dyon's aurora erupted, his soul stage jumping immediately to the 6th middle stage as his base soul stage broke through into the middle 5th stage.
The speed of the array increased drastically. Complex lines cut through the air, leaving behind an endless feeling of majesty and precision.
Mesmerized, Ri didn't even notice when half an hour passed.
Dyon looked almost like a ghost. His eyes sunk into their sockets and his lean but strong torso looked as though it had lost twenty pounds.
But, he still pushed through as the last line was drawn in the air.
Pushing his hand forward, the array slowly fused with the statue, causing a small tremor to pass through it.
Dyon stumbled but was caught by the statue.
Ri sighed in relief as she watched Dyon slowly burn his aurora to heal himself.
Soon, Dyon looked back to health. It had already been a day and a half since he completed the array, but, all that mattered was that he was doing much better now.
Dyon turned to Ri was soundly meditating, seemingly still trying to manifest her soul.
Walking over silently, Dyon rubbed her head.
Ri opened her eyes to find a shining pair of pure hazel-green eyes, "what exactly did you do?"
"well, you said we're not allowed external help, right? Isn't puppet making a facet of array alchemy? Aren't puppets weapons? So, if it's under my ownership and I trick the world into thinking it's my creation, it's my power, no?"
Ri trembled. Dyon made it sound so simple… what could be simple about gaining ownership of a puppet that was a peak level dao formation stage expert in its prime… the sheer complexity of the arrays that made it would send even experts of that level into a frenzy. And yet Dyon weaved his way through to leave his mark?... just like that…? A puppet made by someone who had a 12th staged soul at a minimum?...
Dyon laughed, "you're thinking too much… maybe at its peak it would be too much for me, but many of its defenses have degraded and the complexity of the arrays have lessened. Also, it has sentience and is willing to follow us. That only made it easier, no?"
Ri rolled her eyes, "I'm sure your fiancée is fed up with how you make impossible things sound so simple. Whatever, let's go."
Dyon smiled, "alright, let's go," Ri was stunned as Dyon grabbed her waist, leaping with her to broad shoulder of the statue, "think about it, we'll be tested on talent for our cultivation… but we have a celestial level expert with us… what could be a better cheat than this," Dyon laughed as though he had just heard the funniest joke in the world.
"cheater," Ri pouted.
Dyon grinned, "well, think about it this way. I can only leave them in my ring when we go campaigning. So, I might as well make full use of them now, no?"
Ri rolled her eyes, "you'll probably just find a new way to cheat. You think every campaign leader can have 'demon generals'? You've already entered your supposed 'cheat codes'."
Dyon was stunned before he realized she was right. But, this only sent him into another fit of laughter.
Wiping the tears from his eyes, Dyon finally looked up, "welp, little feu glace… let's go raid your ancestors!"
Dyon's making moves… putting in cheat codes… raiding graves…. This man really is playing a video game, lmmmaaoooo
Also, 'feu glace' (French for fire ice) is pronounced like 'fur glass' said with a British accent…. Kinda… that explanation was horrible… lmao, that's as best as I can describe it
Hope you're enjoying! 😊 A massive twist is coming soon… yikes :/ well… it's a twist for you guys, LMAO, Dyon already figured it out. I think you'll enjoy reading about how everything fits together. I had a lot of fun with this arc, it's almost sad that it's ending soon. But! I'll do my best to make the campaigning arc even better!
if you'd like to see character representations, check out my twitter @Awespec. Once I reach 30 followers, I'll do a ss giveaway (I've never done this before, so let me know a suitable amount… dkm, I'm a broke author, lmmaaoo)
OH YEA, I also made a discord. I've divided it into advertising novels and novel discussion, so, if you're a writer and would like to partner with me to make a discord, feel free to join. Or if you're a reader looking to talk about focus, or the other novels I've either written or my partners have written, also feel free to join (link is in RMW's synopsis)