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Suddenly, two keys appeared in front of them. Each was identical to the other.

They were about a good 10cm long and beautifully embroidered. However, their key mechanisms were unlike anything Dyon had ever seen before.

Not only were the key grooves large and 3D in nature, but they were also constantly moving. And from what Dyon could see, it was yet another puzzle.

Suddenly, Dyon looked up to the tomb floating above with a look of annoyance. But, he wasn't even the first to speak.

"is this a joke to you? I almost die, yet you want to test me again? Do your job without bias and give us what we've earned, your tricks are pathetic," with a wave of her hand, both keys spun violently, the arrays within them cracking and imploding.

"we don't have time for your games," Ri said glaring at the tomb.

Dyon chuckled, 'it seems like with little feu glace here I won't have to do all the yelling. It seems like her fully awakened aurora has heightened her senses tremendously.'

A voice resounded from the tomb… and had Dyon and Ri been present during their earlier conversations, they would have recognized that voice as the old bobbing will.

"leave," he said faintly, the voice sounding in their heads, "we can't accept giving our legacies to you two. Use the short cut within the first palace in order to exit. Or else we'll be forced to kill you."

Ri's brow furrowed, 'are they serious?... is it because I'm only half an elf?'

The old will had spent many weeks thinking about it, and in the end, he decided it was for the best that they ignored these kids. It wasn't even certain that Dyon was the one the prophecy spoke about because it was clear Ri wasn't a True Empath… they could at least tell that much.

And if his lover wasn't a True Empath, then why would they consider allowing him to benefit? But, all their thoughts were shattered when Dyon suddenly began laughing so hard tears came from his eyes.

Wiping them away, he sighed, ignoring Ri's confused glance, "you know what I find funny?..."

Silence reigned the world.

"It's the fact I know very well you have no power to do much of anything. You can't kill us even if you wanted to. If you had real sway over this world, why would you allow so many of your geniuses to die before even making it to these steps?

And you know what the best part is? We don't need you to enter the 9th palace. The only requirement is the percentage your aurora is awakened to. The 'key', quote-unquote, is the awakening your aurora undergoes when you can no longer continue. Each step corresponding to another percentage, thus why there are 99 steps. As long as you've connected with your aurora, you've already taken that first percentage… so the rest is obvious"

Suddenly Dyon started laughing again, feeling the agitation of the wills.

"but, wait… damn my stomach is seriously hurting," even Ri had started smiling at this point, "the best part is that you claim this is your world, when all you've really done is store your things in someone else's shed," Dyon took a deep breath trying to stop his laughter.

"you think I'm not aware that the Elves never created that ancient game below? Let alone you thinking you could convince me that you created this world and that these are 'your things'."

'you… you've been to that library? That's impossible!'

"I don't care what you think at this point anymore honestly. All about 80% of the Elvin race has done is piss me off. If I didn't have a few people I cared about from your kingdom, I wouldn't care for it at all.

Let's go Ri, these old useless things aren't worth our time," Dyon smiled gently at Ri, ignoring the anger radiating for the tomb.

But, despite their anger… they knew there was nothing they could do… even the key they created had taken up everything they had, just to try and fake them out. But, it didn't work.

And the truth was, Dyon was right.

Once they reached the proximity of the palaces Dyon suddenly thought of something, so he turned to Ri, "you know, it would be a shame if we went through all this work and only went to one palace… and I'm in sore need of cultivation stones… I haven't spoken to Madeleine in too long…"

Surprisingly, Ri smiled gently at this, "how thoughtful of you," but her next words made Dyon cringe, "to want to rob my ancestors blind just to speak with your fiancée, how romantic."

Dyon turned his head away and bitterly chuckled, 'women… so difficult…'

Suddenly Ri grabbed his arm and buried her forehead into his shoulder to hide her face, "I'm kidding, let's go raid…. Soon you'll owe me an explanation about a lot of things. But, I think we have more serious concerns for now, right? I'm looking forward to meeting big sister Madeleine

Dyon smiled, 'better… but still complicated… just what did I do in my sleep… I need to do it more often.'

With that, they began moving toward the first castle.

The bobs of will raged as they watched Dyon and Ri sweep seemingly endless amounts of cultivation stones and weapons into their spatial rings.

From the first to the seventh castle, the cultivation stones were mostly of the profound and saint level. However, there were millions of them… to the point where Dyon assumed it must be within the billions.

'this is the wealth of an ancient kingdom?... they lost a lot of their transcendent stones to the Ragnor family… if they hadn't, I would be set for life,' Dyon thought mischievously, still ignoring the grumblings of protest from the bobbing wills.

Aside from the cultivation stones in those first seven palaces, there were also many weapons and techniques. Following the lead of the cultivation stones, they were also of similar rank.

The weapons were mostly of the master and grandmaster level, while the techniques peaked at the upper earth to lower heaven levels.

But, Dyon was aware that there had to be more to this. For one, the elves had never stepped into the ninth palace, which meant that whoever the true originators of this world were most likely left what they wanted to protect within that place…

Dyon had figured out the steps were yet another treasure. Just think about it. If someone had enough talent to make it through the ancient game, it was likely that they already had a fully awakened aurora… so why would they then need these stairs? It was clear that whoever left these stairs wanted the person who could figure out the ancient game to raise an army of aurora users…

Dyon shuddered with excitement just thinking about an army using his weapon's hell array all at once. But, he reigned it in. After all, how likely would it be that everyone in his army would be as talented as Ri and reach the last step?

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Awespec

  • Canada
  • Awespec

Bio: Med school student who loves to write :)

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