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"It'll be okay Little Lyla, you don't need to watch this at all," Uncle Acacia tried to shield Lyla from the image of the boy she called big brother being skewered. He didn't know how effective something like this would be against a true empath, but he had to try even though his heart was hurting.

He was quite fond of Dyon, and even more fond of his relationship with his niece. He couldn't think of a better young man for Ri. And yet, there he stood with his life ended much too soon…

But, Little Lyla and Zaire suddenly said something simultaneously that shocked those around them.

"He's still fighting." They said with determination on their little faces.

In the skybox, King Acacia had narrowed his eyes. 'Fight.' He thought silently.

"Belmont." He said quickly afterwards.

"Mm?" King Belmont looked up in a daze, still at a loss for words for what was going on.

"Lock everything down."

King Belmont's brows furrowed, "Wh – "

"The movements of the Ragnor's are reading attack and it seems they won't be alone in it. But, more importantly, my son in law still hasn't given up yet."

Although Lionel Belmont wasn't in the skybox any longer, Elwing was. When he heard those words, he was shocked before he looked down toward Dyon. 'Can you really survive this?...'

King Belmont's surprise increased, but he slowly calmed down before nodding. "It's quite convenient having you back."

In the next instant, King Belmont's order rang through the arena. Out of respect for the deceased, since they were two geniuses of unprecedented talent, there was be a pause of half a day. But, that was where the order became weird and those with intelligence began picking up on the fact that something weird was occurring…

They weren't allowed to move from their designated areas.

Patriarch Ragnor chuckled at this order. He had long since known that King Belmont was wary against him, but even he was surprised that the usual passive king had acted so unilaterally for once. It seemed he had his hands-on information that was fairly tangible.

Either way, it didn't matter. Patriarch Ragnor's job wasn't on a time constraint. All he had to do was bring the necessary pieces to the location because their planned sneak attack would no longer work. As such, pre-emptive action was needed. As long as he acted before the world tournament was over, it would be fine.

If he started acting antsy now, it would only raise suspicion.

Of course, Patriarch Ragnor was only reacting like this because he had gotten word just a few days ago that King Acacia's true empathy wasn't functioning properly. The Ragnors information network wasn't to be underestimated.

Unfortunately, he had yet to be informed of a change. Or else, maybe, he would have reacted differently. After all, even he couldn't predict just how heaven defying the scope of Dyon's abilities were…

**

'Power.' Dyon thought. 'Power.'

Why did he always settle on this? It wasn't as though he needed a reminder. He was always chasing after becoming stronger. Even his wives didn't know how hard he worked. Or, more accurately, they knew but decided not to comment.

Dyon's obsession with cultivation was bordering on psychotic. Why? Because at the end of the day, the only way to avoid situations like this was to become more powerful.

Would he be worried about not being able to construct his body in time if he was more powerful? No. Would he even have to reconstruct his body if he was stronger? No. It just all acme wrapping back around to the penultimate measure of your worth… Your power…

A thick scent of death started invading Dyon's senses. For the first time, he really felt like he was on death's door. If he delayed any longer, he really would die… And everything he had built until now would be for naught.

Dyon knew that this scent wasn't really a smell. It was just his soul being invaded with his imminent doom. A looming fact of life and an inescapable reality for all… death…

Dyon's sensitivity to it far surpassed the normal human. He couldn't help but think about why, of all the supreme laws, this was the first he had stumbled across. Why couldn't he have stumbled across life instead? Wouldn't it be a simple matter to save his life then?

How was understanding death better supposed to help him? So he could die quicker? What the hell was that? …

The death qi on Dyon grew as he inched toward the edge.

'I can't wait any longer… I just have to try it…'

Dyon focused his mind, trying to slowly sever the connection between his soul and body even as the death qi flooded him, sinking him further and further into the feeling of dread. The time-stop was clearly becoming weaker, and time went from a complete stop flow, to slowly inching forward.

At first, it was a tiny leak. Maybe a second would move forward for every ten minutes as Dyon strained to learn to control his soul in a novel way. But, even with his soul talent, dealing with flood of death qi made it difficult to focus. That coupled with the fact he was beginning to feel pain now that the time-stop was losing its effect, and it wasn't a great recipe for success.

Then a second moved forward for every five minutes…

Dyon's body was beginning to emit a thick and dense black aura imperceptible to everyone but him.

'Focus.' He reminded himself. His praise of Arios reached to a completely new level in this instant. Severing such a connection while maintaining your consciousness was nearly impossible. And, it was starting to become clear that the only source of pain wasn't from Dyon's body… But also the sheering of his soul away from it…

Dyon's soul shuddered.

Time shifted forward again… A minute passed for every second that moved forward now…

Suddenly, Dyon's body began to glow as death qi continued to invade his soul.

The crowd looked over, still solemnly contemplating the past day's events. But, now they felt as though a miracle was about to happen. And yet, what really happened was beyond the expectations of everyone…

The glow intensified as a key slowly separated from Dyon's forearm, before gently floating in the air, as though it was waiting for anyone to take it.

King Acacia's eyes widened in shock. His kingly demeanor was completely shattered. He suddenly understood everything, but it all felt like it was too late.

There, floating before the eyes of everyone was the Epistemic Tower's Key…

But, what stabbed King Acacia's heart with pain was the fact that this would only happen if the key felt that it no longer had an owner… Something that would only happen if its previous owner died…

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Awespec

  • Canada
  • Awespec

Bio: Med school student who loves to write :)

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