Over a year ago, Madeleine had told Dyon about the ancient games. To many in the martial world, they were simply a form of entertainment. Three enigmatic games, with admittedly odd origins, but also seemingly harmless.
However, was that true? Were they truly harmless? And why didn't they think more about the kind of power it took to lord over the rules of these games? The mere fact it was impossible to speak about the rules amongst each other should have been a cause to pause.
The worst part was that Dyon had yet to come into contact with these games without his life being on the line. In dead kings valley, if it wasn't for the stone puppet, he would have never had enough time to learn the game's rules. And now here, his most potent rival seemed to be taking advantage of the game's mechanics to pin Earth into a corner.
"Truth be told." Dyon continued. "This information is relatively useless to you all as it stands."
Many eyes looked up from their thoughts and focused toward Dyon at this point. Everyone was thinking the same thing: 'Why?'
But, before Dyon could answer, Airic stepped in. "The ancient games have always been dominated by elves because of the Eostre family. And now its being used to deal with us in the hands of an innate aurora wielder. The deduction is quite simple. We don't have the insight necessary to compete."
Agitation and competitive spirits blazed at these words. Who were they? They were among the best geniuses this entire universe had to offer. Three of them, namely Vidar, Caedlum and Thor, had faith seeds. And yet they were being told there was something they simply wouldn't get?
"There's a solution to that, of course." Dyon interjected. "If you can awaken your auroras to larger percentages, you'll have a chance. But, for now, I've only given you this information so as not to be a hypocrite. I, for one, hate it the most when people tell me there are things I can and can't do based on the way I was born. So, I'm giving you a chance to do something.
Secondly, I'm not as selfish as the whole of you. Half of this planet belongs to my home. I was raised here too. I'm not a stranger or an alien to this place. Take this information. Learn from it. Prove that you're the so-called geniuses you claim to be."
Flames lit in the eyes of the campaign heads as they watched a hobbled Dyon be brought out under Ri's strength. And yet, despite his seemingly weak state, his back was wider than any of them had realized.
Many kilometers away, three familiar figures were making their way through the Earthen Passage under the dark shadows of the mountain range.
Bas and Liska leaned against each other for support, clearly severely injured.
The sword wound in Liska's shoulder was very much still there. She didn't have medicines potent enough to deal with Dyon's sword will, which was exceedingly odd to them. From every angle you analyzed it, it seemed as though Dyon hadn't used anymore than a first level sword will… And yet, it was so potent?
Near by, but not bothering to do much to help the massive couple, was the young man with the oil-paper umbrella. He twirled what looked like a long silver sword in his hand, and if one looked closely, it was the very sword that had been in Liska's shoulder. It was odd, but he seemed strangely infatuated with it.
Suddenly, the young man spoke, "Do you know why I decided to attack the Earth Tower as opposed to one of the closer towers?"
The couple looked to the young man before shaking their heads. After all, it didn't make much sense. If the goal was to conquer a tower, choosing one that was not so easy to scout out would have made it easier to keep their action covert.
"Do you know my goal?" The young man extended the sword from himself point it forward.
"To replace our universe's King God Clan." The couple responded without hesitation.
"And how do I want to go about doing that?" A strange energy began dripping from the sword. It was heavy, yet free flowing – and it happened to be the very same energy Dyon was attacked with.
Bas and Liska thought about this for a moment, this was clearly not a question they were expecting nor knew the immediate answer to.
"By winning negotiation rights?" Bas asked probingly.
The young man sighed. "You're too short sighted. Can't you tell there's something strange going on? Something different from any other time we've entered the gates? Why do you think I was able to execute the plan like I did?"
Bas and Liska were silent. The mood of the young man was something they themselves, despite having spent the most time with him, had no way of gauging. In times where he berated them, it was often best to keep quiet.
"Today, something that hasn't happened to me in a long time happened." The young man's personality and focus seemed whimsical. He asked questions, then ignored them. Started on a path of explanation, before completely swerving away. Bas and Liska could only listen helplessly.
If you were to use Dyon as an example of what to expect from an innate aurora wielder, you may come out disappointed. Why? Because many of them acted exactly as this young man did.
Their minds work so quickly that they're almost on an entirely different plane of understanding. To the young man, his vague questions and statements should have been enough for the snake couple to understand what he meant. He was completely oblivious to their emotions.
"Imagine that." The young man chuckled to himself, casually swinging the sword. "I was wrong about something! How interesting."
Bas and Liska lowered their heads in response, avoiding the gaze of the young man as he continued to speak to himself.
"He's still too young to play with me though. And I unfortunately don't have time to wait for him to grow. Whether it be intelligence or strength, he's woefully lacking."
The sword in the young man's hands burst from the stress of the strange energy.
Bas and Liska grunted in pain as shards of stray metal embedded themselves into their skin. But, they didn't dare make any more noise than that.
"Ha. The idiot probably thinks my goal is to attack the other three strong holds and that I was using the Earth Tower as a distraction. As if I could plan something so unoriginal and bland."
The young man seemed very pleased with himself as he discarded the hilt of the sword, walking forward with a smile on his face.
"I, Alidor Gautama, don't lose. Especially not to bratty kids who seem to think they can provoke me.
Let them put all their strength into defending their 'strongholds'. By the time they look up, it'll be too late. The Epistemic Tower and all its secrets will be mine."