Dyon furrowed his eyebrows as he scanned the puppets within the ring.
'Well… It's not as bad as it could be?'
The good news was that one puppet had an intact array. The mild news was that the intact puppet happened to be the one he hadn't claimed full ownership yet. But… the news that mad him stomach green with regret was the fact that from the damage he could see in his owned puppet, it was likely that the ancient game within dead kings valley was responsible.
'Fucking hell, I could have had two perfect puppets, but I went and practically destroyed one of them.'
Dyon was beyond frustrated. It would be years before he could master an aura to fix this puppet. But, he could only sigh, there wasn't much he could do.
The truth was that if Dyon had had access to celestial stones, the puppet would have had enough power to resist the ancient game for much longer, which would have meant it wouldn't have been damaged. But, Dyon hadn't had any celestial stones at that time, so he would have had no choice but to do exactly as he did anyway…
'Maybe it's better this way,' Dyon thought to himself, 'One weaker puppet and a stronger one. That way, I may be able to catch them by surprise twice?...'
Dyon knew this didn't make sense, but he had to try to find something to comfort himself.
With that thought in mind, Dyon piled half of the celestial stones he had into the spatial ring along with the puppets. It would take time to properly absorb the energy, but by his calculations, the amount of celestial stones would be enough to raise the intact puppet to at least the 4th or 5th celestial stage.
Also, although the other puppet had a damaged array, it still had the ability to absorb energy to repair itself. It wouldn't make it stronger, per se, but, it would at least improve its defenses to withstand a 4th to 5th stage celestial expert…
Dyon didn't want to add anymore celestial stones because that would only marginally increase their power… the requirements to increase strength via energy stones increased exponentially with every passing level. So, it was better to keep the remaining stones to himself. Maybe they would be useful in the future…
'Alright. After a few days, the puppets should be set back at around the lower levels of the middle of the celestial stage. But, there's still the matter of the second facet…'
Dyon knew he couldn't infuse any useful wills into the puppet, let alone intents or auras, but there were other low level things he could inscribe into the puppets to increase the effectiveness when in battle… And what Dyon wanted to mainly do was increase their abilities to work together.
So, he focused on two arrays.
One was called 'Instant Transference.' This allowed the puppets to instantaneously switch places with each other in battle if they were within a hundred meters of each other.
The second was 'Energy Link.' This allowed the puppets to string energy between each other. With this, the puppet master could control the thickness of the energy to near imperceptible levels. Or, the puppet master could increase the energy output to the max to connect a stream of energy between the two.
Both of these abilities were seemingly weak, but Dyon had already thought of a myriad of applications for them. And, the best part, was that they were low level.
So, Dyon spent the next few hours diligently inscribing the needed arrays.
His body had become much more powerful, thanks to Ri. In fact, he had recently noticed that because of the melding of their auroras during their dual cultivation, his soul had reached the peak of the 5th stage. As such, with his manifestation, he boosted his soul to the peak of the 6th stage.
Suddenly, Dyon froze, 'If dual cultivating with Ri improved my body cultivation and my soul cultivation… did it help my energy cultivating as well? Did my meridians mature?'
However, Dyon was severely disappointed when he inspected himself. His meridians were completely dormant, no change whatsoever, 'What's going on?…'
Dyon could only sigh, 'I guess only time will work?...'
Although Dyon told himself this in comfort, something was telling him that it wasn't so simple…
A long time later, Dyon was covered in a sheen of sweat.
It had taken him a while to perfectly understand the two arrays. Although they were 'simple', that was only relative to the level of the stone puppet. In the end, they were still master level arrays.
Finally, Dyon laid back. He could see the sun shining through the window, but he felt he had too much left to do. He had to go to the alchemy guild to stock up on pills for his demon generals. He to structure and specialize military formations for them as well. And lastly, he had to set in motion his plan for conquering the Epistemic Tower… Because make no mistake about it, that was his goal!
But, Dyon's mind suddenly calmed as he remembered the woman by his side, his hands running along her naked body.
Suddenly Ri spoke, "It's not healthy to stay awake like that if you aren't meditating you know…"
Ri's alluring body stretched under the small streams of sunlight. Dyon couldn't help but gulp.
Ri giggled, "Pervert." She reached up, pulling Dyon down to lay beside her so she could wrap herself around him, "When are we leaving?"
Dyon grinned, "If you keep doing this? Never."
Ri smiled, reaching her hand down to play with something she thought of as her new favorite toy, "You know, if this thing keeps releasing inside of me so much, even with low birth rates we may have little ones running around soon."
Dyon laughed. He knew Ri could tell he used an array on himself to filter out anything procreative. She was just having too much fun teasing him.
"If you want me to put a baby inside you, you only have to ask."
"I think we have enough kids for now… Maybe when Little Lyla and Little Black grow up."
Dyon kissed Ri's forehead, "Okay, whenever you want."
Despite his words, Dyon inwardly sighed. He knew quite well that having children with Ri right now was a bad idea. For one, they were still young. Secondly, the situation wasn't exactly safe… Although Dyon doubted it would be anytime soon, it had to be at the very least safer than this.
Ri's father was still missing. Madeleine was still not here. In fact, Dyon and Ri both knew, but never spoke about, how Ri's mother was alive too. What could make a beast as powerful as a Kitsune leave her daughter behind?
It essentially boiled down to Dyon not being strong enough. 'One day… One day I will be.'
"Let's aim to leave a week from now. I need to check on which demon generals managed to learn music will, and form teams from there. Then I need to prepare some supplies, and probably have a few meetings with Akash and the other campaign leaders."
Ri nodded, "You know you aren't leaving me behind right? Try and treat me as a trophy wife and I'll be exactly that. Sitting in a cabinet you can't open."
Dyon laughed, "Are you threatening me with sex?"
"Oh?" Ri smiled deviously, climbing on top of Dyon, "You don't like sex? You're okay with losing it forever?"
Dyon winced as he felt a softness touch down on him below.
Ri grinned, seemingly quite pleased with herself before she lowered herself to kiss Dyon.
"You win…" Dyon said almost in a grunt.
"Ah!" Ri gasped as Dyon flipped her over.
Dyon grinned, "My turn."