Within the barrier, oblivious to the help that was trying to reach them, Madeleine and Ri sweated profusely as they held their delicate hands in each other's palms.
With Ri's focused creation of weapon's hell arrays, and Madeleine's supplying of soul cultivation, they were soon reaching their limits.
"It's okay to rest," A shy and gentle voice came from behind the two of them, clearly coming from Kaeda, "River and Ronica can handle the front line for a while. Plus, there are a few of us here that haven't switched in with them yet, we have plenty of fresh legs. Including Thatch now that they're gone." Kaeda smiled sweetly, diverting her soul strength into new master's wives.
Under the protection of numerous Daiyu, Chenglei's brow furrowed as he scanned the situation. The Daiyu after existing for so long of course had trump cards of their own, but to use it now? And only against 3000 experts? Wasn't that too much of a joke?
The mighty Daiyu being reduced to this state by an army led by two teenage girls…
Dyon almost comedically walked out of the Belmont Holy Land – that had been reduced to rubble – with a square metal sheet being held up by his hand.
'If only I didn't leave my battle changpao in the supreme level ring…' Dyon sighed. But, it wasn't as though he was a woman, he didn't care about walking around naked at all.
These were only the trivial things on Dyon's mind, more than anything else, he was worried. Although he told his wives not to do anything reckless, how could he not know that Ri never had any intention of listening to him? That aside, he knew very well that Clara was likely feeling alone right now, and he wasn't there in her time of need.. again... He couldn't help but feel another pang of guilt.
'I can't replace your dad, but I can try my best to make sure you never suffer again…'
Dyon crossed the boundary, stepping into the caved catacombs. Because his senses were significantly dulled, he couldn't feel the same spatial fluctuations he had when he walked here, but he knew they were there. Now more than ever, he was highly susceptible to being lost.
The Belmont catacombs ran underground through the whole Earth, the only exception being beneath the mortal realm. That portion of the earth had no energy, so there was no need for these tunnels.
Because of the accumulated and still growing gama energy, many legacy worlds had accumulated here. This was meant to be the prize to the top ten, but the world tournament was the furthest things from everyone's mind right now.
"Can you help me with this?" Dyon asked, hoping the Dragon King would be able to lead the way.
Without a word, the Dragon King began to guide Dyon through to the exits.
Within the catacombs, another group of people were making their way deeper. One was an elder, while the other two were two much younger and still tightly bound.
"Tell me the whole story." The summons ancestor looked down at Lionel, unwilling to release him without fully understanding what he had just done.
Lionel, having long since prepared for this, started to explain various things. They didn't need to be true, nor did they have to be unfalsifiable, they just needed to be believable for this moment, until the ancestor disappeared.
Every ancestor had a limit, but that limit was usually decided by how much energy they spent. Because of their heaven defying means, ancestors who were awakened could not replenish themselves and needed months of waiting time between summons if they were lucky enough to have more than a single summon.
It was impossible for the energy requirement to be avoided because every moment an ancestor spent in a plane they didn't belong required massive amounts of energy in and of itself. If Lionel's calculations were correct, this ancestor would last half an hour more at the most. This was why Lionel had purposefully asked to be teleported back into the catacombs instead of out of it.
Not only were the catacombs the safest place because of their spatial fluctuations, it also placed strain on an ancestor remaining in this plane, increasing the energy requirements.
The ancestor nodded as Lionel continued to explain, "So it's the world tournament… I was always against using our Belmont Holy Lands as a reward for such a thing. The rewards of the other planet couldn't hope to match us back then, and likely can't now either. We're giving up far more when we've sacrificed more than enough.
"But, those old fogies thought that it was be a great show of power that we were so confident and magnanimous enough to share such treasures."
The ancestor shook his head, lamenting over the old times. He had always disliked when martial artists placed appearances over what was truly important. And now it had come to bite them back, leaving him to, ironically, be the one to have to clean up the mess.
Suddenly, the ancestor's senses sharpened as his expression grew serious. He felt a dangerous aura approaching, one filled with dense hatred and killing intent.
A cold sweat permeated through his back. He was fully aware that there was only one path, despite the complex tunnel system, from the entrance to the heart of the Belmont Holy Land… And the aura he felt now, was definitely coming from that direction. When the ancestor thought of just how fear inspiring the entity who was chained there was, his mind couldn't help but jump to the worst conclusion.
However, in the next instant, he was given the surprise of a lifetime.
Out from the depths of darkness, walked a boy rippling with endless vitality as lean muscles flexed taut. His eyes raged with an anger so deep that the ancestor had no doubt that this was the aura he had felt… But he was washed over with endless shame in the next instant… This boy… He had no cultivation!
In the next moment, Evelyn and Lionel eyes landed on Dyon, following the ancestors. At first, there was surprise. How was he here? Shouldn't he be dead?...
But then, there was a sinister glare in their eyes.
"Ancestor, he's one of the invaders of our land. As you can clearly tell, he's not a Belmont, but you see the direction he came from. It's best we kill him without mercy." Lionel said calmly, as though he was doing nothing else but ordering a meal.
In any other situation, the ancestor would be apprehensive. A boy? Coming from that direction? Something wasn't adding up. But, when the shame he felt as an expert sprung through, overshadowing his reasoning, he couldn't help but take a mighty step forward, the flames of his anger flickering.
He would wash this shame away with the blood of this boy.