Saru's white eyes flashed, "Shruti's Stomp. 3rd Performance!"
The five headed white elephant looming behind Saru trumpeted into the skies. The space shook violently as Saru clasped her hands together.
Beasts with weaker bloodlines trembled, bowing in agitation to the appearance of their queen.
Suddenly, three massive elephant feet appeared in the skies, layering atop of one another and sending a tempest of air rushing outward from itself. Its movements seemed slow, and yet maintained an air of suppression and dominance that threatened to shatter even Dyon's level three fusion.
In an instant, they clashed. Ethereal white leather matched an unrelenting slash, both not giving way. And yet… Dyon raised his arm again…
His arm slowly swung downward, sending yet another careening toward Saru's already struggling features.
Blood seeped from her mouth as she struggled, unwilling to relent.
"Shruti's Stomp. 4th Performance!" Saru grit her teeth, pushing the words out even as she fueled yet another stomp.
However, there was only so far she could could pus herself.
Much like the soul and meridians, the body tires. When a body cultivator like Saru makes use of a manifestation, she was tapping into an innate technique of her bloodline, namely her defensive technique 'Shruti's Stomp'. However, the problem with doing such a thing, especially when Saru was so young, was that it worked to heavily fatigue her – she lacked the stamina and efficiency to use this technique for an extended period of time, let alone having the ability to use it to as high a level as she was now.
A low cry escaped from Saru's lips as her manifestation shattered.
Her delicate figure was blown away by the impact before being immediately chased into the distance by two space cleaving sword qis.
"Victor: Dyon Sacharro!"
Dyon stretched out his hand and shattered the sword qi. It was clear that Saru had lost consciousness, but, he flashed forward as his eyes shone a purple gold. Before anyone could see, a concealment array blossomed around Saru's still figure, but the glimpse of perfection Dyon saw caused his nose to redden before he turned away.
Saru had, of course, been relying on her transformation to hide her naked body. And, now that she had lost consciousness, it was suffice to say that that transformation hadn't lasted.
'I guess using any kind of manifestation in such a way is highly dangerous…'
It was clear that the reason Saru had lost consciousness was because of the shattering of her manifestation. Since it wasn't soul based, Dyon couldn't use devour on it, but, that didn't stop him from overwhelming it anyway.
In the end, it became clear to Dyon that with greater talent and techniques, risk came along as well even when learning them was easy. Manifestations couldn't reach their peak usefulness unless they could materialize into the real world. And yet, almost ironically, it was that very materialization that put them at the most risk.
Dyon's eyes dimmed as he looked at Saru, but he quickly averted his eyes, placing the blanket he had created over her before shattering his concealment array and walking away.
It was clear to everyone in that instant that Saru was in the nude, and yet, there were mixed feelings about Dyon so quickly covering her up. That said, it was a clear sign of respect. Especially considering he hadn't extended the same courtesy to Iris Ipsum.
"Thank you," A soft voice came from behind Dyon as he walked away.
Looking back, Dyon smiled lightly before flashing away from the stage. Coincidentally, he landed beside Vidar who was apparently fuming in anger. It shouldn't have been so easy to beat her! Even if he understands music will, there shouldn't be anyone alive who could conquer her so quickly.
Seeing Vidar's face, a light smile played Dyon's feature, "Forget ten moves… A single swing is probably enough at this point." He said lightly before walking away.
By the time Vidar had realized what was just said to him, Dyon was long gone, of in the distance and leisurely sitting cross-legged with his focus focused. However, he couldn't say anything. He could only watch and accept…
"Next Match!" Elder Den boomed, "Arivata Shruti vs Jace Clyte!"
Arivata was already on the stage, gingerly helping her cousin down from the stage as her name was called. In the next moment, she had stepped forward, prepared to battle.
In the skies, Dyon had closed his eyes in meditation. He had truly learned a lot from his fight. Namely, he had learned that with his increased soul strength, he could finally fuse wills beyond just the first level!
In addition, he was able to control the output of his sword-space fusion into finer and finer detail, such that the sharpness would be concentrated and therefore all the more potent.
Time and time again, he found that his soul gave him an unprecedented advantage in terms of comprehension ability. And yet, he had yet to fully grasp just why that was as the battle between Arivata and Jace erupted.
The soul was of unprecedented importance to the martial world despite its being neglected. Despite what the pursuit of energy and body cultivation might tell you, both of those were just a means to an end, and both were just as fleeting. What truly connected you to this world was your soul.
When ancestors of clans slept to increase their karma during reincarnation, it was their soul that tethered them to this world and gave them an opportunity. When you reached the pinnacle of mortal cultivation, it was your soul that aided you in forming your dao. When you transcended above it all, it was your soul that housed your cultivation, forming faith seed and passing it along as you saw fit.
Without a soul, you were disconnected from the world in a way that could only be described as tragic.