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Eboni's stance changed. She brandished her sceptre, holding it out from her as her shining crystal will amplified.

"Don't get cocky," She sneered.

The arena began to tear apart under Ri's feet as massive spikes of crystals threatened to impale her. Eboni had finally switched to an offensive tactic, unwilling to continually look so week.

Ode noticed this immediately, "You stupid bitch. We had a plan!"

Eboni said nothing. She was fully aware that she was throwing everything out, but unlike Ode, she was in this battle and had a feel for what was going on. She knew that if she kept avoiding Ri, she would only be playing into her hand. The only way to tire Ri would have been to make shattering her defenses difficult, but it was clearly much too easy from Ri's perspective! How could Eboni know the reason she couldn't analyze Ri's will was because it was a domineering supreme law?

Ode could only throw Eboni's actions from her mind. If she let up on Madeleine for even an instant, she could lose. She had had a feeling that something was off from the very beginning, but she couldn't put her finger on what it was.

Madeleine just continued to leisurely play at the center of the arena, causing Ode to vibrate the air again and again, distorting the sound around her and not allowing it to reach her.

On Ri's stage, she had begun to dodge herself. But, with every flash of her step, she inched forward. That was when something dawned on Eboni: 'Her beast form… She hasn't used it yet…'

Even as the words were etched into Eboni's thoughts, Ri's hair darkened as a bestial growl escaped from her lips.

A jet black aura oozed from her pores as the arena seemed to set itself into a somber and dense black fog.

Ten black tails whipped out from Ri. Her feet flashed faster, her sword swung sharper, and worst yet, that odd will of hers amplified.

Kawa Acacia sat in the skybox, shocked.

"Kawa…" King Acacia's words escaped as nothing more than a whisper. How many years had he spent fighting to get his wife back? He had even given up much of his power for her. But what would they do if they ever found out about Ri?

"I didn't know… I had no idea…" Queen Acacia didn't know how to feel.

The memory of eleven years ago when the Kitsune had descended upon the Elvin Kingdom and taken her away was still fresh in her mind. They had wanted to take Ri away too, but after realizing she had little to no bestial qualities to her, and listening to Kawa's pleas, they had let her leave her daughter behind. Of course, in Queen Acacia's mind at the time, she would never see her daughter or husband again.

But, King Acacia had long since prepared for this. How long had he spent knowing that there could come a day where they came to take his wife away? The only reason Kawa was even in this universe in the first place was the same reason the Ragnor were likely here. Everyone knew there was something special about this formally powerful universe and everyone knew there was a mystery behind why such a potent power had fallen so far – so everyone wanted to find out why.

Back then, they had sent the young Kawa here to investigate. But, after hundreds of years and her still being nowhere to be found, the Kitsune had sent their elders to retrieve her. After all, Kawa was a holder of one of their 13 faith seeds, and a destined faction leader. How could they let her roam free so easily?

But, in the grand scheme of things, Kawa was still much too young. She wasn't ready to take up the mantle of the River Kitsune, so many treated her as such. So, thinking the worst had happened, elder Kitsune came to this universe only to find out that Kawa had settled down with a family.

Many of the Kitsune factions had wanted to sentence King Acacia and Ri to death for tainting their supreme beast heritage. However, doing something like this was futile. Kawa was already tainted and her growth hadn't been too stifled, much to their surprise. As such, they simply took her away.

As a beast clan, the Kitsune valued power above all else. They never took Kawa away with thoughts of her never returning to King Acacia and Ri. They only took her away until King Acacia earned the power and the right to have his wife and daughter by his side.

In the turmoil of the martial world, it was much too selfish of Kawa to hide away in a universe, doing nothing for the greater good of the clan. As a beast, she had benefited from a long line of heritages gifted to her directly through her blood line. As such, in the eyes of her ancestors, how could she not pay them back for the talent she was gifted?

Kawa understood this. This was why she had long since told King Acacia that she would likely be taken away.

What Kawa didn't know was that King Acacia had never resigned himself to such a fate. He had given his all during their centuries together to raise his power and further his cultivation. Eventually reaching a point where he was powerful enough to pass the trials laid out by the Kitsune to earn Kawa as his wife.

In the Kitsune clan, they had a tradition for marrying members of their clan. Trials separated by the power and talent wielded by both their males and females were given to those willing to risk their lives.

This was a win-win for the Kitsune. Why would they turn away someone powerful enough to match their best talents? Wouldn't this bolster their clan's power?

So, that was what King Acacia did. He fought his way through the universes, eventually making his way to the Kitsune ruled Kingdom. Then, he lay his claim to Kawa.

It was no surprise that with Kawa's talent and power, he was forced to undergo one of the most stringent trials available. But, in the end, he succeeded. It came at a heavy price… But, still. He succeeded.

But now history was threatening to repeat itself. The couple knew very well that the awakening of Ri's faith seed wouldn't go unnoticed by the Kitsune.

This normally wouldn't be a problem. The trials, after all, were based on talent. It didn't matter how young Dyon was, he only had to have talent at the peak most of his age group – something he without a doubt had.

The problem was something else entirely…

There were 9 levels of trials. Ninth level trials were for the weakest and least talented kitsune. These were still difficult because Kitsune were supreme beasts after all, but still, they were comparatively easier.

However, the first level trials were solely kept for the 13 faith seeded kitsune and they were further divided into 3 stages…

The lowest stage had a 1% survival rate. Considering only the most talented of suitors would even attempt the first level trials, this was a ridiculously low pass rate to begin with. This included the wind, earth, fire, river, ocean, mountain and forest Kitsune. This was the stage King Acacia was forced to undertake.

The middle stage had a 0.001% survival rate. In the million upon billions of years of history of the kitsune, less than 100 men have passed this trial. That also shows how few have even thought to attempt such a thing. This stage was reserved for the music, spirit and thunder faith seed kitsune.

However… The highest stage. Had a survival rate of 0%. In the history of the Kitsune, not a single Kitsune that has wielded these faith seeds has been allowed to marry. They were forced to spend their lives giving back to the clan in thanks for the talent they were gifted with.

The Kitsune this was reserved for?

The time kitsune: Jikan.

The heaven kitsune: Tengoku

And.

The void Kitsune: Kukan.

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Awespec

  • Canada
  • Awespec

Bio: Med school student who loves to write :)

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