There was little time to react. Or, more accurately, the only expert within range to react was Elder Den, and he had no intention of doing so.
Celestial level experts could make cover the distance in but an instant as well, especially someone as formidable as Kawa, but Dyon had said he would handle. So, Kawa trusted him.
Blinding pillars of saint energy cracked the arena beneath the feet of the two girls as they began to power their techniques. In all of this, how could the crowd not tell what was happening? Even though many of them didn't have talent comparable to the participants, that didn't mean they didn't understand cultivation and the martial world. Being able to manipulate saint energy was difficult but being able to recognize it when it was placed so blatantly before you was a simple task.
The "technique" Ode and Eboni were making use of could hardly be called that. After all, they were mere essence gathering experts, how could they possibly manipulate saint energy?
No. What was happening was something entirely different.
The Geb God Clan specialized in all sort of paths related to earth. Some were more useful than others, but there was no doubt that all of its resources stemmed from this single will.
Dyon was already familiar with three. The first was one he himself used in the amplification path. The second was one that Eboni had tried but miserably failed at using in the hardening path. The third was the leeching path Iris used, which was in many ways a variation of the path being used now. But this was still a different path. It was known as the absorption path.
This was a path that had many applications. It was very useful for defense and could also be used in very low-level storage rings. But, as it was being used now, was as a power source for the weak.
As a life protection treasure, the Geb were capable of providing their geniuses with an absorption path crystal capable of powering their techniques in a tight situation. This was nothing like energy crystals.
Energy crystals contained essence, saint, celestial, or higher forms of energy in their raw and unrefined forms. However, absorption path crystals provided already processed energy to fuel attacks. All one needed to do was cast their technique within the energy pillar provided by the absorption crystal. This would result in the crystals absorbing said technique, melding it with the higher level of energy, before blasting it outwards in a direction dictated by the user.
It went without saying how difficult it was to refine these crystals and how rare those who mastered this path were. After all, in battle applications, absorption path experts could absorb the attacks of opponents and reflect them at a higher power!
This difficulty was exactly why saint energy was usually the cap of these life saving treasures. To find an expert with masterful enough absorption will, capable of absorbing celestial or an even higher energy, was simply too difficult.
But. For now. Ode and Eboni both had the power of a lower saint.
Serious expressions colored Ri and Madeleine's features. They needed an instant to realize what it was they were dealing with. Anger boiled over in their hearts.
It wasn't enough to try and abuse the tournament system to tire them, but now they wanted to cheat?
Cheating wouldn't have even been so bad had they clearly not had every intention of killing them. What were they thinking?!
The truth was that Planet Deimos had already thought this through. Everyone could see that Madeleine's relationship with the Sapientia had been severed regardless of whatever flowery words Connery used. And, everyone had just witnessed the power display of King Acacia.
To the crowd, he was an untouchable expert. But, to the God and Royal God Clan heads? He was a mere first level celestial expert. They didn't put him in their eyes at all.
Femi Geb knew all of this well. Or, more accurately, Tau Aumen had calculated all of this. So, they went forward with their plan. A place in the top ten was simply too important for reasons even Dyon didn't know just yet. Because of this, they couldn't afford Dyon taking up a spot. They needed to find a way to throw him off his game.
Femi, of course, didn't see it this way. To him, he was only ensuring that Dyon challenged him. But, Tau was working on a much deeper level.
Ri and Madeleine erupted.
A blazing violet phoenix blocked out the skies as Madeleine's purple hair fluttered in the wind. Her transcendent level dress blossomed, radiating out and amplifying her aura as her arms spread from herself.
Ri's manifestations descended. A dark fox crowned itself with a blinding crown. Vicious growls filled the arena as her ten tails whipped around violently.
The tempest of winds crashed into the iced warriors, shattering them where they stood.
Madeleine's lyre raised into the air, a melody continuously building as her sharp purple eyes bore into the Ode the stood before her.
Ri's ice will boosted itself powered by her manifestations, tearing through the intent barrier as she did something she warned Dyon never to do. She stepped into the level of an intent without being an essence gathering expert!
"Ice Petal's Dance. Third Petal." Ri's delicate skin reddened as dark golden hues raged around her even as a massive lily appeared above her fox manifestation.
Eboni and Ode sneered at Ri and Madeleine's attempts. In their eyes, how could they ever match up to an attack powered by saint energy. It was futile. They would die where they stood!
"Geb's Might, Third Pillar!" Eboni's voice screeched as she pushed her technique to the limit. Never before had she had enough power to see this set of techniques through to the third pillar. But, with the help of the absorption crystals, she felt invincible!
Three pillars tens of meters thick descended from the skies. They were almost works of art, shining through in a crystalline light even as fires of the atmosphere burned around their fast approach.
"Horus' Sky, Fourth Compression. Heaven's Eruption!" Ode didn't lag behind. The skies violently shook as a violent tempest of wind condensed again and again, spinning viciously around itself.
Barely a fraction of a second had passed. But now, there was a pillar of untold might bearing down on Ri and a sphere of condensed air ready to detonate at any moment.
In their way stood two beautiful women with auras of unmatched elegance. Not a drop of fear on either one of their faces.