"Dyon!" Ri, still being spun around in Dyon's arms finally called out, blushing profusely.
Dyon finally settled his wives down, but the grin on his face hadn't disappeared.
"What are you so happy about?" Ri asked, patting down the wrinkles in her dress – clearly exasperated.
Madeleine giggled. If Dyon was happy, she was happy.
"If what I feel is correct," Dyon secretly messaged with using his wind will, "Then it might only take me about ten years instead of the centuries it would have before."
"You mean?" The two of them looked down at Dyon's wrist. Was that weapon really so spectacular?
In typical fashion, they had already understood why Dyon's master's memories had no information on the weapon. It without a doubt had to do with the destruction of the Celestial Deer Sect.
Ri and Madeleine smiled. They knew how taxing it would have been on Dyon's psyche to not be able to protect them. If that feeling was extended for centuries, who knows if their husband would have come out the same on the other end. But, if it was only such a short time, then even Dyon would find it acceptable. After all, they could spend all of that time cultivating in the Epistemic Tower. They wouldn't have to challenge other universes until Dyon was ready.
Suddenly, though, their smiles froze into bitter ones. Looking past Dyon, the second bracket had just concluded. Akash, who was ranked within the top 80, managed to keep her spot and move on. Zaltarish had also managed to replace the top 100 ranker and take his place in the final rounds. However, what left Ri and Madeleine feeling bitter was the fact their names were set for the 3rd bracket.
On the surface, this was good. The fact they were together meant there was less pressure. If Planet Deimos wanted to work together against them, they would have to split their forces. But, what wasn't so good was the list of names aside from them.
The truth was that there was little to no one who could rival Madeleine outside of the top 20. Even when she fought Ri, she was handicapped. After all, one of her most powerful wills was sealed.
Music will was something that Madeleine based much of her combat on. Before she earned Amethyst's faith seed, all of Madeleine's attacks were a combination of celestial will and music will – usually with music will amplifying the former. So, when she had that stripped from her, her combat prowess dropped to Ri's level.
That wasn't to say Ri was weak, of course. After all, Ri was still a meridian formation expert and Madeleine had long since stepped into the essence gathering level. This was because Ri had restarted her cultivation twice and she was also two years younger than Madeleine.
The problem was that Dyon's enemies also knew this… So, they faced a dilemma. In a system where only one expert per rank tier was allowed into a bracket, how could you possibly pressure someone as powerful as Madeleine? And the answer they found, ironically connected to the "True Top Ten".
Because Dyon's name had been smeared, the top ten was actually taken to be as the top eleven. But, the problem with this system was that it resulted in one less top 20 member and one more top 100 member. This meant that no matter what, there would be at least one or two groups that did not follow the normal rules.
Knowing this… The 'organizers' took full advantage.
Suddenly, the booming voice of Elder Den filled the stadium, "As you all know, there's been an imbalance caused in the bracket due to some unforeseen cheaters."
Elder Den wanted to sneer, but the response of the crowd shocked him.
Boos rained down at Elder Den's words. Curses began being flung at how rigged and biased the Cavositas 'Clown' Clan was. The crowd had clearly had enough of being manipulated and were tired of being seen as stupid. They had seen for themselves how powerful Dyon was, even if he did cheat, it wasn't so blatant a difference between him and the top ten for the Cavositas to keep revolving the matches around his mistake – a mistake they didn't even have proof of.
Hearing his clan being called a clown clan, Elder Den broke out into a mix of a cold sweat and anger. If he lost control of the crowd, especially like this, he'd be dealt with just like the previous announcer. He had to quickly remedy the situation.
"Please, Please, Understand. By unforeseen cheaters I only meant those who mislead others into falsely assumed the great Demon Sage was a cheater. Unfortunately, we cannot undo what has been done and the tournament must move forward!"
Seeing that this appeased the crowd a bit, Elder Den seemed to breathe a sigh of relief. But, Dyon wasn't taking this so lightly, because he too had seen the names on the list. Regardless of what they said, they were clearly still plotting. An they had brought his wives into the situation.
All of Dyon's previous happiness disappeared as his fists clenched.
"Because of the imbalance of the brackets, and to make up for our mistakes, we've decided to spice things up a bit. We won't insult your intelligence by saying that this was the most efficient way to do things, but, what we will say is that this is the most interesting way to do things."
The interest of the crowd was clearly piqued. They were only in this for entertainment after all, if these new rules gave them more entertainment, they'd be quick to forgive.
"It's clear that we've made a few mistakes." Elder Den continued. "So, it's become even clearer that there may be those ranked highly that simply don't deserve their spots.
To counter balance this, we've decided to pit those high rankers against each other much sooner."
Cheers erupted in the stands. Pit them against each other? Did this mean they were going to get top 100 caliber battles sooner?
Elder Den sneered, "I introduce you to our Death Bracket."