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Dyon sat silently on the shoulder of the puppet. He had finally calmed himself enough to think clearly, at least to some extent. So, he finally noticed its changes.

The stone was no longer anything of the sort. The puppet now had an obsidian sheen to it that was reminiscent of the Tree of the Life and Death. It made Dyon think that maybe he had misunderstood the makeup of the puppets. Were they connected to ancient singularity techniques?

If you thought about it, puppets that guarded the legacies of a race as powerful as the elves couldn’t be simple. They had eroded to a point far past what Dyon could remedy currently, but, he’d slowly tease apart their secrets.

Every so often, Little Lyla would change their direction, but, most of the time, she played with Zaire who Dyon had brought out as well. After all, he couldn’t just leave Little Black alone.

The world around them was pitched in absolute darkness. Except for the odd spatial portal, there was nothing but black. If it wasn’t for the faint energy shield coming off of the puppet, they wouldn’t be able to see anything. Well, that and they’d likely be torn apart by the spatial will.

‘Arios likely fell into a situation like this. Maybe he ran out of stamina and couldn’t protect himself anymore. That’s likely why the demon sage had to save him… But, the question is, did the demon sage save him in this time, or another?’

This question was actually of utmost importance. If the demon sage saved Arios in this time, that would mean that it was the demon sage who brought them to a separate time.

‘That doesn’t make sense though. If the demon sage had such powerful time will, the situation with the Timeless Library would have never happened. After all, if he could just go back thousands of years on a whim, why would he have ever suffered a loss to his enemies?’

‘No. There was definitely something more to this. If the demon sage wasn’t the one to send Arios back, then it was this space. Which means, something, or someone here, is powerful enough to do something like that.’

Dyon smiled. This was about to get interesting. His heart had settled, and he was determined to let Madeleine and Ri carry burdens themselves. Many hours ago, he had already figured out a way to help both of them. All he had to do was enter one spatial portal, save either Madeleine or Ri, then tear a hole in the game again. With Little Lyla’s help, it would only be a matter of time before he found his way to the right spatial portal…

But, he decided against it. At first, his mind was in too much turmoil to even think of that solution. However, the more he thought, the more he ran over what Madeleine and Ri told him again and again. They wanted to help him. That meant the only thing left for Dyon to do was to let them.

So, he had two new goals now. The first was teasing apart the secrets held in this dark spatial world. And the second? The Epistemic Tower.

**

“Little Lyla, it’s best if you go back with Zaire now. I’ll bring you two back out when it’s safe, okay?” Dyon’s eyes trained on something that made even his spine drip in a cold sweat. It was a feeling he had never felt before… It was an insurmountable mountain.

Little Lyla’s large pink diamond eyes blinked while looking at Dyon. “Be careful big brother…”

Zaire nodded, giving Dyon a fist bump. It seemed to be his new favorite thing to do, much to Dyon and Ri’s amusement.

The two children disappeared as Dyon took a deep breath. ‘The puppet is absolutely useless here…’

Dyon say quietly, steeling himself through observation.

The obsidian puppet seemed to vibrate in submission, almost creeping backwards.

‘This is suicide.’ This was the only thought the repeated in Dyon’s mind. Death was the only ending he could see.

A core of foggy black hovered menacingly in front of him. In fact, it was such a dense black that it stood out even in this space.

Dyon knew before he asked Little Lyla for help that this game was built on an array, much like every other ancient game. But, what did that mean? Mulling over this thought he suddenly connected a few things.

The goal of an array is to literally manipulate the laws of a confined space. That confined space, in terms of its size, was determined by the power of the array.

Dyon had always likened arrays to writing code in the human world. Symbols were commands, thus meaning you used your aurora and soul as the ink or pixels of the words and numbers. Because of this logic, Dyon had always been able to simplify symbols to take shortcuts, something that experienced coders did all of the time. It was common knowledge amongst them that some forms of code and code language were always more efficient than others.

So, knowing this, what did it mean for Lotus Tower to have such dense sources of death qi? Or for the ancient game to be connected by so many spatial portals? Or for Arios to fall to a completely different time because of the game?

It was simple. That meant there was someone who wrote ‘code’ for some of the strongest representations of space, time and death Dyon had ever encountered… Or would likely ever encounter.

But, there was something else. What did it mean for someone to use an array to program changes in space, time or even death?... What did it mean for someone to be able to simulate a will to such a close extent that even Dyon, with his keen senses, mistook all of these spatial fluctuations as true space will?

Just what did all of that mean?...

It meant someone was writing the laws of the universe with their array alchemy. Someone who toyed with the concepts of reality as easily as breathing. Someone who had created the perfect representation of death before Dyon right now…

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Awespec

  • Canada
  • Awespec

Bio: Med school student who loves to write :)

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