The battle was over in moments.
Dyon's scythe made Alidor's buddha's rage feel as though it was never there to begin with – slicing through them with an eerie ease. Alidor simply stood no chance.
Not only was his energy cultivation lower than Dyon's, his stamina was entirely too low and his ethereal permeation seemed to have no answer for Dyon's death will.
Death qi was like erosion incarnate. Techniques, energy, wills… All of them seemed to wither before it and disappear. There was no purification like celestial will… There was no shattering like ethereal permeation… There was only an inevitable end to a short beginning.
Alidor's body withered as Dyon clenched his throat tightly.
Neither said a thing, only waiting while Alidor's eyes seemed only moments away from losing all life.
"You have one chance to live." Dyon said faintly. His voice seemed layered with the depths of hell itself, booming and eroding even the air as he spoke.
Alidor said nothing. To him, his sister was dead and his plan had failed. What use was there in living on.
"You become my servant and I'll allow your sister to keep her elder brother. There's a price to pay for attacking my fiancée. And this is it."
Alidor's eyes flashed at the mention of his little sister. 'She's alive?...'
Struggling with the last bit of his strength, Alidor nodded his head. If it meant not allowing his sister to despair, lowering his head was something he was more than willing to do.
Dyon nodded as his scythe disappeared into his weapon's pagoda. "You'll have to accept this array. Know that should you ever have thoughts of erasing it, it will kill you. Should you have thoughts of betraying me, it will kill you. There is no out unless I remove it myself. Your soul strength is not as powerful as mine and even if your fundementals are good, you have no way of dealing with my death qi."
Not removing his hand from Alidor's throat, Dyon began drawing an array. But, it was pitch black.
Taking inspiration from Alidor, Dyon inscribed his array with the will of death itself. In reality, the method behind the array was no different than the one he had used to bind the 14 Elvin sub families. However, this time, with the help of death qi, the punishment had an entirely new level of severity.
But, Alidor could only watch as the black seal entered his pale and withering forehead. This was the price he had to pay.
After he was done, Dyon released Alidor, washing him over with celestial will to remove the residue of death qi before he walked over to the key.
Not bothering with Alidor for the moment, Dyon smirked to himself.
Looking at his hand, a simple tracking array appeared with the name Alexandria Acacia on it. 'I think I'll take credit for this, hm? The demon sage's first true victory.'
The name slowly changed as Dyon's eyes flashed with gold.
Content, Dyon grabbed the key before walking back to Alidor. But, as he did so, he suddenly felt information stream into his brain… Information about the Epistemic Tower and a road map spatial tears.
'This…' Dyon chuckled to himself. He had known that the Epistemic Tower held a map of the gate… But, as the only Epistemic Tower in the entire universe, it was connected to every gate in this quadrant… Quite simply put: Having a road map of spatial tears here meant having an untold advantage over attacking the other gates.
It was suddenly very clear to Dyon that he and everyone else had been thinking on too small of a scale. Or, rather, the scale the old man was thinking on simply far outdid everyone else…
'To transcend means conquering an entire quadrant and reaching the top of the Epistemic Tower… Sounds… fun?' Dyon chuckled bitterly. This wouldn't be easy at all…
However, he had taken a good first step. Or, rather, the secret of this universe had taken the first step for him, making this step much easier.
The Epistemic Tower was never meant to be a part of such a weak universe. The old man had never designed it like that. How ridiculous was it for the most important gate of a quadrant to be attached to such a backwater place? It would have been simply too convenient if that was the case…
But, wasn't it true that the Celestial Deer Sect was once a main force of this universe? That the Daiyu clan was once a main sect of this universe? That the demon qilins, although Dyon hadn't heard a word from them since accepting Little Black's father's essence, had also once been in this universe…?
In fact, it was likely that those weren't all of the powerful clans that had once been here…
It was clear that this universe wasn't weak when the gates were established. In fact, with so many peak dao formation experts at its disposal, it wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that it was once among the very best the universe had to offer…
To put things into perspective, there was only one cultivation rank separating a dao formation expert from transcendence. It was the cultivation rank the demon sage had been. A rank of untold power and destruction and the epitome of what someone could hope to be in this realm… The rank of the half-step transcendent expert.
And yet, Dyon's universe had once been filled with experts just a breath away from this level.
Over the stream of time, many forgot the once central universe… Or, maybe, not many had known about it in the first place.
Just how many would have had the right to fight in the Epistemic Tower when it was at its pinnacle? How many universes would be strong enough to fight the likes of the Celestial Deer Sect and clans on its level?...
And on top of that, the fabric of reality was vast… Even a clan as powerful as the Uidah could only claim to understand a small percentage of the universes in its quadrant.
Whether intentionally by design, or coincidentally… Everyone had forgotten about the Epistemic Tower – even to the point of playing the game entirely incorrect.
But, one thing was still true. The other Epistemic Towers were still very much connected to this one… And the competition was still raging on.