It wasn't something he thought about often, but, during his test to enter Focus Academy, his task was very simple. In fact, it was almost laughable how easy it was.
All he needed to do was have his cultivation talent tested by some odd stone. According to the attendant, a very deadpan man who happened to be the captain of the silver yacht he had been pulled by, the stone summed the average of his soul, body and energy cultivation talent.
In the end, Dyon had received a score right at the average, something that had greatly shocked those from the martial world. He had always wondered… Why were they so surprised by an average score?...
"There you go, thinking about useless things again. It's like you don't listen to anything I say!"
'Alright, alright. Can I ask questions related to the trials themselves?'
'Okay. How do they work?'
"The trials are different depending on the ability. The aurora trials are probably the most abstract. They have to do with your senses, your soul talent, and your ability to comprehend complex concepts. I can't give out perfect auroras to stupid people."
'Don't auroras boost your intelligence?'
"Of course. But, if you're stupid, and you get a boost, won't you only be slightly less stupid? It works better if you're already smart. That's probably why my will chose you after it broke through the dam. Well that and it probably liked your stupidity."
'Uh… Am I stupid or smart?...'
'Is this back to the balance thing you were talking about…?'
'Are the only rewards you provide the powers themselves?'
"Hmm. There are other awards… depending on how I'm feeling. I seem to remember giving out that spatial ring on your finger to someone…"
'Oh?... No wonder it's so high level. Aren't you helping me cheat by letting me have this ring?'
"Cheat in the gate? Not really. You can use it to bring across high level experts to other universes, but if you ever released them in the gate itself, they'd die instantly. Even your dao formation experts are nothing before me. As if they could escape my rules." Clear pride reverberated in the entity's deep voice.
'Then what about array alchemy? Why is there a taboo placed on it?'
"Who are you trying to fool kid. What does that have to do with the trials?"
'It's very much related. After all, since you're the creator of the aurora, the fact people aren't practicing array alchemy makes it harder for them to realize the gates are even a game to begin with. That's less fun for you, no? Maybe if I knew the why, I could help.'
"As if. The people facilitating the taboo on array alchemy are existences, below, but not too far from me."
Dyon chuckled at these words. 'Below'. Clearly these were existences at the level of this entity, but the entity was too prideful.
"Don't laugh kid. They truly are below me. That's why they're scared of the dao my first student created."
'Your first student?'
"Ai. The aurora was my ability, but the use of it was seen much more clearly by my first disciple. He created the dao of alchemy in your tome. It's really sad you don't even have a concept of the treasure you picked up."
'Can you tell me?'
"Look at you, being more respectful. I guess as your people say, a broken clock is right twice a day."
'Yea… But I always say.'
"If that clock kept running on the wrong time, it'd never be right. Quite clever of you."
Dyon laughed. Maybe this guy wasn't so bad.
"So disrespectful. You realize the First White Mother of the Celestial Deer Sect was my disciple as well, right? You're my grand disciple many times removed. Show some respect."
Dyon's eyes flashed with interest. The 25th White Mother was his master. And every white mother before that was the master of the latter. 'Interesting…'
'That's all the more reason you should be lenient with me, no?'
"You haven't even given me my due respect, why would I help such an unfilial grand disciple. You're not even the only grand disciple in one of my Epistemic Towers right now! In fact, you're not even the only one I'm talking to right now!"
Dyon sighed, 'Point taken…'
"Good. The tome is among the 33 heaven layer artifacts. Usually, these weapons and artifacts are split into their use for either energy, soul and body. But, this one is a bit special. Although it's categorized among the 11 soul layers, it has the ability to inscribe technique and spirits – ugh, you disgust me, you actually call them abyssal cores?... Actually… That doesn't sound so bad."
Dyon chuckled. 'Ri would love this.'
"Anyway. Point being, what you did was the death core was stupid. If you had used the soul tome, you could have absorbed over time leisurely instead of literally killing yourself again and again. Essentially, aside from techniques the tome itself inscribes as you master it, you can also use it to cleanse souls and absorb various useful things.
The effect it has on souls is most of the reason why its categorized as it is. As you'll find out, the first technique it inscribed isn't even soul related… Well… Not entirely anyway. It uses the soul as a medium to do something quite important. Although, now that I think about it, it's completely useless to you."
Dyon was taken aback. 'Completely useless?'
"Of course it's completely useless to you. Are you an idiot?"
"Do I really have to explain everything to you?"
'Please?' Dyon tested the waters, hoping for an answer.
The entity sighed. "I don't know why you're in denial. You're much too intelligent to have not figured it out.
Out of everything in this martial world, you have a solid understanding of many basics. And yet, you haven't made heads or tails of anything energy cultivation related.
You wanted to start finding and making the perfect energy cultivation technique, and yet you, despite being hard working, haven't started even almost two years removed from that decision?
And you keep telling yourself you just need to mature first here and there. But the reality is you can't improve and understand what's good versus bad about energy cultivation techniques, because you can't even sense the core of what every energy cultivator needs.
Unfortunately for you, your intelligence may have broken the dam when it came to soul cultivation by allowing you to have a perfect innate aurora. And you may be able to make up your body cultivation deficiencies with your understanding of wills and by absorbing essence blood. But. The dam for energy cultivation in your mortal realm is still very much there.
Tell me. Kid. How are you planning on using the greatest energy cultivation technique ever created with non-existent meridians?"