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Ri could only stare helplessly at the now empty skies. There wasn't even a moment to feel relief at the release of her mother… Because immediately afterwards, her husband was taken away…

No matter what nonsensical hopes she held, there was no logical path to victory. All signs pointed to their loss… How could Dyon, a mere boy of sixteen years of age, hope to survive against such powerful enemies? He was alone!

Little Black nudged Ri's cheek with his own lovingly, trying to console her.

"Big brother has no intentions of dying," Little Lyla spoke from atop Little Black, her large pink eyes glistening.

Ri listlessly nodded. She knew quite well that Dyon wouldn't have any thoughts of death. In fact, with the anger blazing within him right now, his only focus was giving them the most horrid deaths imaginable.

But… If things went the way they wanted simply because they willed them… They would never be in this situation to begin with…

**

Within the Shruti section of the arena, Saru's emotions were agitated. She could hardly say she had any deep feelings for Dyon – that was ridiculous. But, she had an understanding about him in their exchange of fists due to her sutra. His being held a purity that she had only ever seen from her own mother. A soul like that dying would anger anyone.

"It's best that we go now princess." Elder Shruti tried to speak tactfully, but there was no room for delay. This wasn't their universe, nor was it their conflict. Since it was clear they wouldn't get the opportunity to enter the Belmont Holy Lands, what was the use in staying? Even worse, the experts of this universe may very well be too much for them to handle.

That was by design, of course. It wouldn't be much of a coming of age ceremony if Saru had too much help. In fact, it was because she was so young that she had protectors at all. However, this situation had clearly gotten out of control.

That day, the Shruti disappeared from the quadrant as though they had never been there.

**

"What did he tell you, Ulu?" Matriarch Lebna looked at her granddaughter who had seemingly regained color to her cheeks.

Ulu shook her head, a small smile playing her lips. "Nothing important. All that matters is that I'll be able to birth husband an heir."

"Is it really so simple?" Matriarch Lebna had lived too many millennia to be so gullible. Was there really anyone so benevolent in the martial world?

Even if Ulu had done absolutely nothing to Dyon prior, Matriarch Lebna wouldn't believe that he would just go out of his way to help.

So, when she then considered the fact that it was her very own granddaughter that instigated the situation in order to gain their families a chess piece, she found it even more astronomically unlikely.

And yet, Ulu sat there smiling. The same girl who had cut off all her five senses just moments ago, seemed to have raised from a nightmare and into a dream. The beauty that made her among the six in this universe shone through fiercely…

Matriarch Lebna may never know how right she was. When Ulu dies on the birth date of her child, many might think it was a fluke or heaven's jealousy. But, Ulu would always know different.

However, that didn't matter to her anymore. She had lost her husband and child all due to her own selfishness. Everyone believed Dyon would die, there was simply no way out of this, so how could Ulu think he'd ever have the opportunity to save her husband? The mere fact he had gone out of his way to save her child before leaving was the only thing that anchored a feeling of pain and remorse in Ulu right now.

A man she had co-signed to a life of slavery… A man whose wife she had nearly taken the most important thing from… Still had the purity in his heart to not punish her child for the mistakes she made… And yet that was a man she had despised just moments ago…

'You may never find out just what kind of service you've given to our clans…' Ulu said to herself, 'I nearly ruined everything, and yet you still found it in your heart to forgive. Even if it costs me my life, this is a price I am willing to pay. It's a price I deserve to pay…

Thank you…'

**

Hours later.

In the skies above the planet, a second group battle was taking place. Luckily, outside of Dyon's expectations, the reason Patriarch Cavositas hadn't appeared wasn't because he had joined that fight. In fact, he was nowhere to be seen!

Patia-Neva's fists raged with dense ice and space intents as he clashed against King Clyte. The rest of their allies were there as well, but King Belmont seemed to be struggling – dealing with three opponents on his own.

"Haha! To think the mighty Patia-Neva would struggle so much with this little Clyte!" King Clyte mocked his long-time rival. How many years had he felt stifled by Patia-Neva's talent? How many years had he lamented not having the strong legacy that the Patia-Neva's had? Even when he thought that he had finally ridded himself of Patia-Neva for good, and established the Clyte clan as the new rulers of Planet Naiad, he had come to find out his wife was pregnant by another man!

Unfortunately for Patia-Neva, recovering from a cultivation deviation wasn't so simple, and a mere decade and a bit more than a half wasn't enough. His cultivation had plummeted, and his ice will, his most powerful, had followed. Even now, after all these years, he could only make use of one with mind ice will, having completely lost his martial way.

However, his one with mind was built solidly. He hadn't been sitting idly for the past years. In fact, he had had to build his ice will from the very first level will to what it was now – a first level intent.

The truth was that King Clyte was still no match for Patia-Neva. However, after his first talk with his wife and daughter, Patia-Neva had settled on something…

Although he never thought of asking for forgiveness, and was perfectly ready to be cut out of both of their lives, the two most important women in his life had given him an ultimatum: to build his dao the right way.

And his first step toward that goal was to make use of this pitiful first level intent to do away with the last of his inner demons.

However, the longer he spent trying to shed away his shackles, was another moment that their inevitable defeat itched ever closer.

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Awespec

  • Canada
  • Awespec

Bio: Med school student who loves to write :)

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