"Ajaar." Queen Acacia quickly looked up to her brother in law who was still standing respectfully to the side. She couldn't blame Uncle Acacia, after all, Edrym hadn't told his younger brother anything about his disappearance. But, she was too worried to be rational right now. "How long has it been since Little Alex awakened her bestial bloodline?"
Uncle Acacia was stunned by the question, he didn't expect this to be so surprising. After all, Ri was half Kitsune. What was the problem with her awakening her bloodline?
"About 3 months prior to the start of this year's campaign." He quickly remembered how Dyon had been in a coma for 4 months, causing them to be about a month late to the campaign. So working backward, it should have been 3 months prior. "So, just a few months from a year now."
Time had flown by. Since the incident at Focus Academy, practically two years and a half had passed.
A small sigh of relief escaped Queen Acacia's lips. Less than a year gave them a lot of time to work with. And, if their plan to send the children into the Epistemic Tower worked, even the Kitsune wouldn't have an ability to infiltrate such a thing. By the time Ri was ready to come out, it would be solely to campaign from gate to gate and universe to universe to conquer and earn the right to enter higher levels of the tower. With so much movement and how difficult it was to move from universe to universe, it would be near impossible for the Kitsune to find Ri.
If their plan worked as they wanted it to, the children of this universe would grow into an empire that exceeded even the Kitsune. By that time, would they dare offend her Little Alex?
In the grand scheme of things, it took King Acacia little more than 5-8 years to find and bring back Kawa. However, that wasn't because it was a simple task.
If one were to think about it, in the life of a cultivator, what was 5-8 years? It was the equivalent of the blink of an eye. Nothing more.
That said, it had taken the Kitsune hundreds of years to come for Kawa. The amount of resources necessary to find and track a member of their clan, even one with a faith seed, was a heavy investment. Kawa went on a mission that should have only taken a few decades, yet never attempted to return. By the time the Kitsune realized and actively attempted to find and bring her back – eventually succeeding – centuries had passed.
So, one may wonder, why was there such a disparity? It was simple. As King Acacia had mentioned in his recounting of the Dragon King's story, he had his soul bound his wife. He never needed to spend any time searching for her whereabouts at all, he could feel where she was. In the end, it was only a matter time because when it came to a bound soul, distance meant nothing as long as you were in the same plane of existence.
That final caveat is also of utmost importance. To be in the same plane of existence simply meant to be in the same dimension. This meant that searching for someone became near impossible when you crossed dimensional barriers. This was why Little Black was able to sneak into the gate with Dyon's knowledge – he had entered the storage ring, therefore entering an entirely new dimension. And this was also why Ri would be safe if she entered the Epistemic Tower or if she spent time campaigning in the gates, they were also completely different planes of existence.
Both the Epistemic Tower and the Gates, along with the spatial ring, were newly constructed dimensions created by Dyon's grand teacher. It was nearly impossible to bypass them and search within.
In the end, King Acacia just remained silent as he allowed his wife to slowly think things through. He had been very calm after the initial surprise, so he knew he just needed to give his wife some time for her to reach his state. Kawa still blamed herself far too much, so it made sense for her to react so strongly.
She had already been centuries old when she arrived here. After all, it had taken her time to find this universe just like it had taken the Kitsune time. But, she had believed her task to still be simple. Search for great power sources, sweep through a weak universe, and help bolster her clan. But, what she found was a feeling of love she had never felt before. Instead of being a tool, she had finally become a person – and she hadn't been willing to give it up.
She still remembered how she had clashed with her husband. At the time, he had been a mere peak saint and she was already well into her celestial cultivation. And yet, he read her so easily. To this day, she had never fought a tougher opponent. King Acacia was just that talented.
It still pained Kawa that he had pushed himself too hard.
The trials tested talent, but King Acacia had lost centuries of cultivation time trying to awaken his manifestation. As Ri had lamented before, had it not been for Dyon's help and the awakening of her aurora to 100%, it too would have taken her centuries to awaken her manifestation – just like her father.
Because of this, although King Acacia's battle prowess was shocking for his cultivation, in terms of his age, it could only be considered above average because of all of that lost time. In the end, King Acacia could only blame being born in a universe with such poor resources. Had he been in any half way decent universe, how could they not invest in a genius like him? Imagine if he had awakened his manifestation as early as Dyon had? Or as early as his daughter had? He wouldn't need to rely on the younger generation now… He would have conquered the Epistemic Tower himself.
But… Things didn't always go the way you wanted them to.
King Acacia fought bravely, pushing his True Empath capabilities to the limit while trudging his way through the trials.
After all was said and done, he was forced to sever his tie to his True Empath abilities so he could stay by his wife's side… And that came at the price of much of his cultivation.
How could Kawa not blame herself?