Dyon didn't even watch as the armies retreated. He slowly touched down to the ground with Ri in his arms as the demon generals returned to their normal states. Although they were a bit disappointed the Uidah hadn't attacked them, after months of fighting, maybe a break was something even they needed.
Dyon's eyes flashed golden, causing the Gorilla's Den formation to disappear in an instant.
By the looks of it, it was clear this formation had been rebuilt and restructured many times. With the oddities of the gates, the cyclones and storms probably did more damage than the Uidah universe did. But, it was good that Dyon had managed to create enough array plates.
Looking down at Ri, Dyon lit a gentle halo of flames around her to ward of the falling snow before he walked toward Akash and the elves.
"Commander." Dyon gave Akash an apologetic smile as he noticed her injuries were quite severe as well. Her black armor was terribly torn in many places, her singular shoulder guard had disappeared, and even her eye was closed in an attempt to ward off the blood from a gash above it.
Despite that, Akash sighed, "I don't know if I have the right to be called that anymore." Looking back toward the tired and injured elves, Akash felt a dull pain in her heart. If it hadn't been for Dyon, who knows what would have happened.
Having run out of medicinal pills long ago, many had been depleting their essence energy in a feeble attempt to heal themselves for months now. However, essence energy wasn't meant to directly heal. It had healing properties in so far as it purified, cleansed and improved normal bodily functions, but it worked better to amplify healing as opposed to being a healer itself. This was why Dyon's healing worked better with his energy cultivation.
Dyon had thought that maybe the elves might have auxiliary groups from the alchemists guild be responsible for supplying additional pills. But, the problem with that was that not everyone could become a top tier alchemist at such a young age. In fact, many who were still able to enter this gate were still common level alchemists. The pills they could make would not only be a waste due to their margin of error, even completed ones wouldn't be of much help.
And as for those of the older generation who were just slow cultivators, because they were slow cultivators, their soul strength also lagged behind. This meant it was rare for any of them to even have the soul strength necessary to reach upper levels of alchemist mastery.
Dyon could only sigh. He had to slowly change his perspective on things and be more self-aware. As nice and flowery as it sounded to say that everyone should be able to succeed as he did if they persevered enough, the truth was that that was only the case if you allowed for differing amounts of time per person. Dyon couldn't expect everyone to improve as quickly as he did.
Whenever Dyon jumped into situations and acted frivolously, he had to be aware that he could very much be making things worse.
At Focus Academy, he had naively believed that simply revealing the truth of things would be a win. He had somehow believed that the martial world still had some semblance of the mortal realm. If a scandal like the sacrifice of thousands of students had been made public in Dyon's home country, then there would be hell to pay. But, Dyon had to stop applying his own philosophies to the martial world.
From this time onwards, Dyon knew that if he wanted to get involved in something, he had to be sure that he could see it through to the end.
He couldn't rely on the power or the justice of those stronger than himself. He couldn't hope that all of the anger he brewed would only be aimed toward himself and not others. And, he had to be mindful of the connections he formed and what they meant to him.
"Don't say that commander. This campaign was already coming to a close before I got here. There's no doubt in my mind that you all would have lived to fight another day." Dyon smiled. Although his words had seemed hollow, there was still a semblance of truth to it.
They had held out for nearly four months and were still here. Had they not held out for so long, Dyon wouldn't have been able to train and gain his meridians. Even if Dyon were here from beginning to end, there's no telling whether his strength would have been able to sway the battle.
Before his advancement, he had only been comparable to Ri before she fully awakened to her faith seed. Which meant it was likely that Ri's impact on the battlefield strength wise would have been much better than Dyon's had he stayed. They didn't know it, but their contribution was equal to if not more so than Dyon's. What would have been the use of getting stronger if he came back with no one left to protect?
Akash looked Dyon in the eye. At first, she had assumed that he was just saying things to be polite. But, there was something decidedly sure and pure about his eyes that made Akash feel compelled to believe in him. Dyon just had an allure to him that made others believe in the words he spoke.
Withholding her disbelief, Akash nodded. "We should get moving. There are still a few weeks until the gates close, but this we're already in a period where attacks on the lotus tower should stop. An army coming in any later than now would be hard-pressed to return to Gautama Tower by closing."
Dyon nodded in agreement, content to wait. At least, that was until he noticed Delia was nowhere to be seen.
Scanning around the area, a faint worry built up in Dyon until he noticed blood staining the grey ground where the center of the maze would have been.
Anger steeled Dyon features as his eyes froze over, boring holes into the group of slowly retreating big sect members.