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"NO!" Ri snapped out of her trance. Yes, she loved her mother dearly and had been longing for her for so many years but having to choose between two people you love was a cruel fate for anyone.

Dyon felt a soft hand grasp his arm. But, when Ri felt the level of agitated heat coming off of Dyon, a deep guilt flooded her. She had been so consumed by her own grief that she had forgotten how her very own husband had just lost the world he called him. Everything he used to know, the uncles he shared jokes and laughs with… Even the graves of his parents… All gone.

He no longer even had a place to visit in remembrance.

That cemetery and that church were places Dyon hadn't visited in truth for almost a decade. In fact, the last time he saw them, it was in an illusion fabricated by his grand teacher from his memories. He had lost count of how many times he thought of taking Ri and Madeleine there during his visit, but in the end, he didn't end up doing so… And now he would never get the chance…

Ri's hand trembled, 'I'm so selfish… If only Madeleine were awake…'

Suddenly, Dyon's hand slipped out of Ri's and clamped down on her arm. Leaning forward, he whispered something into her ear.

In an instant, ten demon generals appeared around Dyon. With a last look at Clara, Dyon disappeared, leaving his demon generals behind.

The entire process took less than a second. Before Ri could even comprehend anything that had happened, Dyon was gone and her screams of agitation and unwillingness were deafened by the demon sage's tower.

However hard she tried to chase after Dyon failed. How could she overpower ten demon generals alone?

A lone boy appeared in the sky. The black clouds rumbled and groaned as arcs of lightning lit the dreary day.

Seeing Dyon step out without the slightest bit of hesitation, a complex look flashed across King Acacia's features. This was a boy he had all but cut away from his daughter just a day ago… Someone who he had looked down on as unworthy… Whether that had been because of the state his True Empathy put him in or not, he found this to be irrelevant.

In the end, even with how he treated him, this boy cured without batting an eye. He didn't ask for anything. He didn't make him plead. He hadn't even accepted an apology. How many in the martial world would forgive a grudge so easily after having their honor trampled upon? The percentage was so small that it was all but negligible.

King Acacia's lips opened as closed as though he wanted to say something, but in the end, he was at a loss. What could he do in this situation? He was fully aware that he was much weaker than his wife in this state without having fully recovered. And, even if he was fully recovered, he was fully aware that he could never beat Kawa as easily as Patriarch Ragnor had. What if his actions led to the death of three people instead of just one?

'Wait… Where's Patriarch Cavositas?...' An eerie feeling came over King Acacia. He and Kawa could hardly handle him together, how could the rest of them? Especially since they were already outmatched enough to let Matriarch Niveus slip away?

The situation just seemed to be getting more and more bleak…

"Ah, good choice. Quick and decisive. Well done, you have my praise." Patriarch Ragnor stood in the skies, still holding onto Kawa's neck.

Regardless of how confident he was and how much he thought he had calculated, everything this boy seemed to do was well out of his realm of understanding. No one in their right mind would account for the death of a celestial to a meridian formation expert, and yet, isn't that what happened? So, he didn't let go of Kawa too soon, something anyone would have guessed.

Saru's brow furrowed. She turned her head to her protectors, but when she noticed that they were already avoiding her gaze, her frown could only deepen. Regardless of how much they pretended to follow her orders, Saru was quite aware that her father had given them the flexibility to make unilateral decisions should the situation get out of hand.

At the end of the day, Patriarch Ragnor was too much of a variable. And, if they knew that Kawa was a kitsune, they'd be even less likely to help.

Dyon didn't say anything. Instead, he inexplicably walked through the skies and descended upon the Planet Nix people.

Matriarch Lebna's eyes flashed with uncertainty, but Ulu didn't even seem to notice anything around her anymore. She hadn't moved in hours, just helplessly holding onto her belly.

"We can do no – " Matriarch Lebna started to speak. In her thoughts, she thought that Dyon would be coming to use his leverage to force them to fight for him. However, in their weakened state, it was impossible to do such a thing. Their Jafari Royal God Clan was already a taboo in the universe. They had come here looking for legacies to complete something their clan had long since sought after, but they had clearly failed.

Two of their members had been kicked out of the top ten, and then their king had seemingly died before he could fulfill the last bits of their goal. They were as helpless in this situation as Dyon.

"Snap out of it!" Dyon furiously glared at Ulu, sending a torrent of music will that snapped her out of her listlessness.

Ulu looked around confused, but when she saw Dyon standing before her, a deep and reverberating anger lit in her eyes. However, before she could say or do anything, Dyon spoke again.

"Give me your life, and I'll save your child." There were no other words. He didn't explain himself. He didn't try and coerce Ulu. His meaning was simple. You can keep your life if you want it, or you can trade it for your child's. Which will it be?

No one heard these words but Ulu. Everyone saw Dyon's lips move, but only a single person caught what was being said.

Looking into Dyon's eyes, Ulu's own glistened. After only a moment's pause, she nodded.

Dyon remained silent. With a wave of his hand, a black seal that Ulu's clan members had labored day and night over flew out with ease and shattered.

"The moment your child is birthed, you'll cease to be."

With those final words, Dyon turned and headed into the skies, appearing in front of Patriarch Ragnor's smiling features.

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Awespec

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  • Awespec

Bio: Med school student who loves to write :)

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