Away from Dyon and approaching from the opposite side of the Epistemic Tower, were first and fifth son.
Fifth son panted heavily as his energy barrier was continually bombarded with spatial tears. That being said, Kaeghan seemed completely unperturbed.
“First son… I’m not sure if I can hold out for much longer.”
At first, Kaeghan wanted to send a few spiteful words toward his useless younger brother. After all, how could you claim to be a ranked son of the Uidan family and still be so pathetic? But, when he noticed the trail of dead bodies behind the two of them, the seriousness of the situation dawned on him. Fifth son had been acting as sole throne bearer for Kaeghan for a long while now…
Currently, Kaeghan and fifth son were the only ones left, and there was still a dense patch of about five hundred meters to go before they reached the true base of the Epistemic Tower.
Kaeghan stood, his body flashing into the distance as he left fifth son behind. “Stay there and refine some profound stones if need be.”
Ignoring fifth son, first son continued flashing forward. But, even he reached a point where he needed to begin dodging the fluctuations. ‘It gets quite dense…’
Soon, Kaeghan stood but a few feet from the tower.
His vision was invaded with nothing but a perfect black. The tower had not a single stain or blemish, it was as though it stood separate – completely unaffected by the wear of time. ‘How do I get in?’
Kaeghan stretched his hand out slowly, hoping to touch to tower and find a clue. But, a sudden sense of danger overwhelmed him, causing him to leap back.
His eyes narrowed, immediately scanning his surroundings. ‘What was that?’ Kaeghan’s eyes trained on the tower. ‘Was it you?’
Fifth son watched this scene happen with a look of confusion on his face, ‘First son retreated? Why?...’
Kaeghan’s hand swept up and toward his forehead, an action he was all too used to. It was something he did to activate the Uidan’s signature technique [Buddha’s Eye]. But, He suddenly felt something very wet on his hand. ‘Wha – ‘
Kaeghan’s eyes widened. His hands… They were bleeding. In fact, bleeding didn’t even properly describe the damage. His hand had been completely marred to a nearly unrecognizable point. The whites of his bones shone through with clear markings of a weapon running across them and he could even see his muscles twitch with every movement of shock he made.
Maybe if Kaeghan felt something, this wouldn’t have been so bad. He had reached out his hand in a dumb move and made a mistake. If he coated his hand with more energy, he would have thought that he could force his way through. But… even as Kaeghan stared at his mangled and twisted hand… He felt nothing.
Fifth son shook violently watching his elder brother be so severely injured. Neither of them even knew what happened. How did this happen? If first son couldn’t withstand the Epistemic Tower, how would he?
“Uh… F -first son,” fifth son stumbled through his words, clearly agitated. “M-maybe we were wrong? There hasn’t e-ever been records of anyone even approaching this tower without first conquering the other eight…”
Kaeghan didn’t immediately reply, instead choosing to take out a grandmaster medicinal pill to quickly heal his hand.
After flexing it comfortably, he looked back toward the tower. ‘Why wouldn’t I feel pain…’
A thought flashed through the first son’s head. What if it was because there was no reason to feel pain? ‘An illusion?
No. An illusion wouldn’t disappear because of a healing pill…’
“Don’t you find the rules of this gate to be interesting, fifth?” Although Kaeghan spoke to his younger brother, his eyes remained trained on the Epistemic Tower, he felt an endless feeling of fascination. As a genius of the Uidah family, although you could say he worked diligently to maintain his status, much of what he had accomplished had been easy. But… This tower truly seemed to be a wrench thrown into all of that.
“In our quadrant, there are several hundred gates for our hundred universes. And yet, this is the only one with an odd number of towers, did you know that?” Kaeghan continued speaking, not too intent on waiting for answers.
“I can’t claim to have information on each and every gate, that would be asinine. But, we have impeccable information on about 20% of the gates in our quadrant, and information by proxy on about another 50%.” Kaeghan’s eyes sparkled. “Imagine that! 70% of our quadrant’s gates have an even number of towers! Except for this one!”
Kaeghan’s odd energy began leaking from him involtunarily, he hadn’t felt his blood boil with anticipation like this in a long time.
“We never pay attention to this gate because it’s connected to such a weak universe… But there has to be a reason, don’t you think?
Does this have to do with why the Ragnor and Pakal clan would send branches here? Was it calculated for their branches to give birth to faith seeds? There’s so much we don’t know!”
“Big brother.” Fifth son finally found a space to squeeze into Kaeghan’s monologue. “Did they really come here for this gate? If they did, why would they come to a universe with such a lack of energy density? With the talents their clans give birth to, wouldn’t they benefit more from our universe?”
Kaeghan thought for a bit. Fifth son did make a good point. The gate, after all, had two points of entry. Not one. Yet, they essentially handicapped their branches.
If those Ragnor and Pakal branches had grown in the Uidah universe, they’d likely be much stronger than they were now… There was too much of a massive difference in energy quality.
Plus, why would the Ragnor and Pakal clans leave a trail of crumbs for him to come here if they had went out of their way to disguise the reason behind their clans coming here in the first place. What would those massive clans want with a mere first son of the meridian formation stage?
Suddenly, first son was snapped out of his thoughts. Before, he had been hearing the gentle movement of energy as fifth son refined profound stones. But, the sound had disappeared. This wasn’t something he would have noticed normally, but, the tower had put him on edge.
Kaeghan’s head snapped back, his eyes widening in shock.
His eyes locked onto a handsome young man with caramel skin and short hair that shone in a combination of red golds and browns. He oddly had a little girl clinging to his back and a few injured followers behind him. ‘How did they get so close without me noticing!?’
But, what truly angered Kaeghan was something completely different. Although he didn’t respect fifth son, for better or worse, he was still his younger brother – a younger brother that carried the pride of the Uidah clan with his actions. A little brother that was being held so tightly by his neck that his face blued in agitation as his feet flailed.
The handsome young man’s eyes locked onto Kaeghan. “You’re not the one I wanted to lead here.”