Dyon watched from the entrance of his cornered area as Madeleine and Delia were seemingly trying to suffocate Meiying to death.
Behind him, there was a battle raging. It was between Tau Aumen and Zabia Jafari. Truth be told, it was quite interesting, but Dyon couldn't be bothered to care.
"Hmph, so you left us all worrying just so you could go save another girl?" Clara teased, poking Dyon's side.
Dyon coughed, "I do a good deed, and this is how you treat me?"
"You could have at least said something," Ri pouted. "We were worrying."
"Okay, okay, sorry, sorry," Dyon wrapped his arm around Ri's shoulder, kissing her head.
Clara shook her head, "Upped and got two wives and suddenly forgets how to apologize to his friends. What happened to bros before hoes?"
Dyon grinned, "So you admit you're a boy now? I knew it all along to be honest. How could a woman be so aggressive. Literally no redeeming qualiti – "
Clara pinched Dyon's side, "Ah, ah," Dyon jumped, pretending to be hurt to appease Clara.
"How many times did they call my name while I was gone?" Dyon asked.
He didn't think he had been gone for long, but, martial battles could last hours, but they could also last a few seconds. If the battles he missed erred on the side of seconds, he might have missed much of the event already.
"You were called up three times," Ri said frowning. "They clearly did it on purpose. No one else has been called more than once."
"But, that Caedlum guy and Thor directly resigned. They happened to be two of your opponents, so right now you have two losses and two wins." Clara finished.
"Really?" Dyon raised an eyebrow.
Caedlum he could understand. But, Thor was a nice surprise. 'It seems I didn't misjudge you. I'll leave it up to Ava whether she forgives your sister or not. But, you two deserve my help.'
"Who was the person I lost to?" Dyon asked.
"Other than Vidar, there was this person named Jace Clyte." Ri answered.
"Alright. No big deal. To be honest, with this line up, I can probably still get top three." Dyon looked over his shoulder again. He noticed something odd about the fight between Tau and Zabia, almost like it was being stalled. But, he thought nothing much of it.
"Meiying," Dyon called.
Looking up, a misty eyed Meiying peaked over Madeleine's shoulder.
"I'm going to change your appearance a bit. There may still be some enemies lurking around here, and it might not be great for you to be out and about."
Meiying nodded, allowing Dyon's eyes to flash gold and change her features. Her eyes dimmed to a calm brown and her face became sharper, in contrast with its usual delicateness.
"Next fight." Elder Den's voice boomed.
"Oh?" Dyon looked over, 'Tau Aumen won… huh… Interesting.'
"Saru Shruti vs Vidar Ragnor!"
"Alright." Dyon said, finishing up with Meiying. "After the tournament, we'll find an opportunity to explain everything to King Belmont."
Meiying nodded, but before she could even finish the action, Elder Den's voice boomed again.
"Victor, Saru Shruti!"
Dyon snorted in laughter. It had been maybe 5 seconds, and he had already lost? That's sad even by his standards.
"You shouldn't laugh," Clara said teasingly, "Technically, you lost to him. He's been calling you a coward for the better part of a few hours."
"Next match! Lionel Belmont vs Thor Ragnor."
"As if. Ten moves would be more than enough for him. In fact, it's an overestimate."
"Sure, sure." Clara was seemingly having a lot of fun with this. She knew that Dyon would never hesitate to give up his prestige to save any one of them, but that didn't mean he like having his name trampled over. "You never gave me those books on array alchemy you promised."
"Victor: Lionel Belmont!" Elder Den's voice boomed.
Initially, Dyon was shocked. 'Is Lionel that strong?...' But, when he looked over, he noticed that Thor had simply resigned again. It seemed he had no interest in placing in the top ten at all. Either that, or he was saving his strength.
"Here you go," Dyon smiled as his ring flashed, piling a bunch of beginner level books beside Clara.
"Next match! Saru Shruti vs The D – " Elder Den paused, shaking his head and sneering, "Victor: Sa –"
Dyon's eyes flashed. In an instant, his body disappeared from his position.
"Ah, ah." Dyon's voice suddenly interrupted Elder Den. "Sorry about that, I'm here now!"
Elder Den frowned, looking down toward Dyon. "Do you take this tournament as a joke?"
There was little else Elder Den wanted to call Dyon other than a coward, but even he knew how ridiculous that sounded. Dyon ran from Vidar yet came back to face the opponent that had beaten him in a near instant? He didn't feel like walking into a verbal trap again.
"Of course not." Dyon smiled, "But when nature calls, it calls. You can't have expected me to just hold it in, right?"
Elder Den's face twitched. What was he talking about?! Martial Artists past the foundation stage had no need for such things. In fact, as soon as you tempered your inner organs at the 5th and 6th stages, you would never again have to. Who was he trying to fool?!
"Ah, Elder Den, you have such a perverted mind. Nature calls for many things. I'm just a bit too embarrassed to share. But, I'll take my losses in stride. You won't stop me from participating from now on, right?"
Suddenly, a beauty gently landed onto the stage. She was truly worthy of being known as a member of the six beauties of the universe, although they had now lost one of their members.
Her delicate brown skin was flawless and unblemished. She wore a beautiful sky-blue Saree dress with long and flowing sleeves, but had a body that clung tightly to her curves. Her hair was a long jet black, but her eyes shone a piercing sky blue… She was truly perfect.
Vidar, who was on the sidelines, gritted his teeth. He didn't know where Dyon had gone, but, for him to come back at this very moment when he had just taken a devastating loss truly irked him.
Elder Den couldn't find a reason to reject. Since Dyon had accepted his losses, there was no longer anything to discuss.
Saru Shruti stood silently – completely unmoving. And yet, Dyon too didn't move.
"I've been looking forward to fighting you," Her voice was gentle, like spring waters gliding over the smooth rocks of a river.
The crowd was immediately mesmerized. This was the first time they had heard this beauty speak throughout the entire competition.
However, her words only served to further aggravate Vidar. She hadn't spoke a word to him! She simply ended his chances with a simple palm!
Dyon shook his head, "Women are truly too dangerous."
Saru Shruti smiled, "Since I respect you, I'll give you the favor of using my full strength."
How sensitive was Dyon to music will? It could be said that he was nearly without match in this regard. It had been the very first will he grasped and that was when he had no real concept of such a thing. So, how could he not tell what Saru was lacing her voice with?
However, why was he frowning? If he knew what was happening, especially since it was a will he was so familiar with, what need would he have to frown?...
Quite simply put… This was a level of music will mastery he had never seen before.