Having made his way up and heard the words of Lieutenant Barbaros, the General made his way to Dyon, standing a mere half meter from him.
In reality, Dyon knew that this contest would be over as soon as he leaked his demonic will. But, he did no such thing. This was a contest between mortals, as such, he was respectful of that.
"Is there a problem General?" Dyon asked with a smile on his face.
"You're just as disrespectful as ever. Your father taught you better."
"Hardly. I have nothing but respect for second best. It's hard to live your life in a shadow." Dyon's smile didn't fluctuate. In fact, if you muted the conversation, you may have very well thought he was complimenting the general.
The truth was that the more time Dyon spent in the martial world, the more odd he found the death of his parents. His father and mother were both completely healthy before their deaths. But, what was even more odd was the note his mother had left him for his thirteenth birthday. Everyone here obviously knew about the martial world considering the testing was public. But, that didn't explain why Dyon's mother had been so adamant about him going. Or why she was even more sure that he'd either pass the test, or at least find a way to pass it.
Whenever you wanted to start an investigation, it was best to start with whoever had the most to gain. And, with that in mind, who could have possibly gained more than the person who replaced his father.
In addition to that, Dyon's mother wasn't normal either. She may have retired to raise Dyon, but she was still once the head of Logistics&Intelligence and had a lot of influence. If she had been alive, the likelihood of this General, General Mace, being appointed to his position would have been near 0.
"You've gotten bolder. Did you think losing your virginity made you a man now?" Unlike many of the martial world's so-called experts, General Mace didn't lose his temper at Dyon's words. If anything, he invited them.
But, he didn't speak blindly. They did have some intelligence on the martial world. According to what they knew, the academy Dyon went to was among the weakest and Dyon's talent had been evaluated as normal, even for them. In just two years, it was impossible for Dyon to have become powerful enough to be much of a threat.
Dyon feigned surprise, "General. Inquiring about the sex life of a minor isn't too good, no? You're practically a political official. What would the public think? People have been fired for less."
A faint light flashed in the general's eyes at Dyon's words.
"You're being quite rude to someone that can keep you here for months if need be."
Dyon smiled, taking a step forward. His nose was a mere inch from the General's, his eye's sharpening in response. "There's nothing I find funnier than someone who doesn't know his own limits."
The surrounding soldiers had no idea what was going on. This front was one that had a lot of turnover. Not many were willing to spend much time here. In fact, the only reason General Mace was here was due to an inspection. This wasn't a border that required a lot of protecting because of the treaty.
So, when they saw the general they couldn't even look in the eye being stepped up to by a sixteen-year-old boy, they didn't know how to feel.
"Oh? But the man who raised you didn't seem to know his." General Mace's words were laced with malice. Even cry baby Barbaros couldn't help but shake in anger.
"You know, in the martial world those words are enough for me to kill you." Dyon's eyes burned with a black flame that caused a serious expression to surface on General Mace's features. It was the first time he had felt a threatening aura from Dyon.
"Threatening a government official is enough for me to arrest you right now."
However, before he had even finished his words, Dyon had gone back to face Ri and Madeleine. "Not everyone here is like him. He's just got a big a mouth. He has an inability to put much to action though. Let's go."
Taking their hands, a brilliant array appeared below Dyon's feet as he raised into the air under the astounded gazes of the soldier.
"See you later, Unc!" Dyon waved.
"I don't remember authorizing your entry into our world." General Mace called out.
"Why don't you go talk to the President about that? In fact, why don't you also tell him about how I threatened your life too. I'm sure he'll help you out with your grievances." Dyon laughed, flying away leisurely.
His words had quite an obvious meaning. General Mace's authority enough wasn't enough to hold him here. And General Mace knew that.
Later that evening, General Mace stood alone in his office. It was a large space in the frontier's main sphere and was filled with large panning windows. However, they were currently shielded by metal blinds.
"Are preparations nearly complete?" A voice Dyon would have recognized came from seemingly everywhere at once. General Mace didn't even bother to look, he knew he wouldn't find the person.
"We've been working steadily toward this goal for hundreds of years. I wouldn't mess up now."
"Do you realize what it is you're doing?"
"These people mean nothing to me."
The voice hummed in acceptance. "It's a shame that the soul kernel has been lost."
"That could not be helped. But, I believe I have a fairly good guess of what happened to it now."
"You've realized the same thing we have, hm?"
"You too have heard of the boy from our world?" General Mace asked questioningly. He was a bit surprised. Dyon's presence should have been too lowkey for these figures to notice. Could he have miscalculated something?
"We know of him. When the time is right, the soul kernel will be ours too. But, for now. Focus on properly nurturing the energy and body kernels. After all, your people have been practically placed on a sacrificial alter for them. It's only right that one of their own be the one to hand it off."
"As long as my life is extended as promised."
"You've already lived hundreds of years past the normal mortal. Are you still not satisfied?"
General Mace's eyes flashed with something imperceptible. "I should be the one cultivating. But, that isn't possible. So, I'll settle for the life associated with it instead."
The voice paused before disappearing completely. The hobbled figure that projected the voice disappeared over the horizon in an instant with speed only possible by a Celestial expert. Their back was hunched and aged, but their features remained recognizable.
This person was Elder Daiyu.