Libro looked away from the computer monitor and sighed, "it's going to be a really long road for him if he insists on continuing."
"Uncle, why are you so invested? You saw it yourself, he's clearly weak. And if he keeps it up with that compassion nonsense, he won't last very long in our world."
If Dyon was there, he would have noted that the one who spoke was Pertinacis. He was currently giving his uncle an odd look. He didn't understand what was going on.
"Pertinacis, how long did it take you to master the speed reading technique?"
"Um, I haven't. Why would you ask me that uncle? You know only crystal level family members have mastered the first level of the technique. Clearly, I haven't even reached that level, let alone mastered it. You should tease someone else if you're bored," Pertinacis said with a harrumph.
"Obviously I know this. But, it took Dyon less than an hour to reach a rudimentary understand of the first level, and that was only because that was the only part of the technique I gave him. If he was in our family, he'd already be crystal level."
"What?!" Pertinacis looked to his uncle in shock.
An unassuming girl at the corner of the monitoring room looked up from her book. She had her brunette hair was up in a bun, and her brown eyes were sparkling through her carbon framed glasses. Her cheongsam was a beautiful purple with white lilies reaching to her thighs. Her lips were full, painted with a bright red that complemented her fair skin. Her beauty was beyond words, as if her mere presence placed untold pressure on the world around her to worship in praise, but it seemed to be dulled due to her slightly pale appearance.
Her gentle voice filled the now quiet room, "you gave the technique to him Uncle?"
"I did. I'm embarrassed to say that the only reason was because he asked for it. I found it quite impressive that someone who had never had contact with the martial world before would be able to assume such a technique existed, so I gave him a chance. Never did I think he'd actually be able to master it so such a short time. His talent is astounding."
"Father might not be too pleased about that," said the girl in purple.
"Haha, I've never seen you so worried about a boy, Madeleine"
Madeleine didn't seem too embarrassed by what her uncle was saying. A light and soft laughter filled the room, "you're always so intent on playing match maker, uncle."
"But, of course, there's nothing I want to see more than my beautiful nieces with a worthy man."
"Nieces? Did you have another one," Madeleine said, raising her eyebrow.
Libro looked over mysteriously, "our little princess Delia, and the little fox Meiying, seem to be interested in him as well."
Delia, sitting across from Madeleine and next to Meiying looked over, "don't joke around like that uncle Libro."
Meiying giggled as she continued fiddling with a strange compass she had in front of her.
Madeleine looked over at them questioningly.
"Don't look at me like that big sister, how could I be with a man weaker than me? We should stand as equals. Plus, I've never seen a real man get crushed and smile like that. It's pathetic. And even if he was that strong, I have no interest in that sort of thing," Delia said, rolling her eyes.
Libro's laugh filled the room, "I don't know if you're right about that Delia. What I've never seen is a man with 2 broken arms still clench his fists. Have you?
Delia froze, the whetstone she was using to sharpen her sword radiated a crisp metallic sound.
Libro smiled knowingly, "if he doesn't die first, you may not be stronger than him for too long. You all heard it, he could have ended all of it by bowing his head and kneeling. Determination is exactly what you need to be strong."
Meiying's eyes sparkled with interest. She knew her friend better than anyone else and was well aware of the anger she felt watching Dyon get beat, 'you're going to need to be honest with yourself, you know you're a softy. You've been trying to be someone you aren't since your mom went missing… it hurts me that all I can do is watch from the side. Maybe running away from new relationships is exactly what you don't need.'
Libro turned to a monitor with an pensive look on his face. All he saw was static. The interference wasn't allowing him to see into the room.
'It seems like his technology is quite interesting. Let's hope he's okay.'
In Dyon's bathroom, the guards on his arms were glowing. Slowly, the last of his wounds closed and the blood dried. His breathing steadied, and blood rushed to his face, giving him a livelier appearance. But, he remained in a coma. Just like he had predicted, his wounds were healed in just 2 days, but his consciousness refused to reawaken. Unbeknownst to Dyon, he was undergoing an evolution. Whether he'd use it properly in the future, was something only time could tell.
"Ava? Hello?" A small hand waved in front of Ava's blue eyes.
"Huh, oh, hey. What were you saying?"
The girl gave Ava a weird look, "you've been out of it for a while. I was trying to tell you about my cultivation manual. I suggest you switch. The foundation stage is all about preparing your body to sustain the influx of energy that comes with the meridian formation stage, but how could you expect my dainty body to accept so much extra muscle. Can't I be a martial artist and stay elegant at the same time? It's like the martial gods have no remorse for the feelings of women. Anyway, elder Lena suggested a new cultivation method for me. The muscle you gain is much less obvious, but the trade off is that surpassing the 3rd and 4th layer is much harder. You know the first layer is building strength and the 2nd is about building flesh, so this cultivation method spends less on those, and the trade off is more time spent building your bones and marrow. I could use some extra umph in my hip bones, I'm trying to be as curvy as you. Hey! Are you listening?"
"Huh, oh, yea I was listening. What if you become big boned though?"
"Don't be ridiculous, the technique is about increasing bone density and durability. It's just changing the matter that makes up bones, size won't change noticeably, I was joking about my hips," the girl sighed, "something big must have happened for you to be so out of it. Tell your bestie, who do I have to beat up?"
"Stop it Tammy, it's nothing like that. I was just thinking about this kid that got beat up by Darius."
"Darius Storm? Someone was ballsy enough to provoke him? Must have been a first year who didn't know how high the heavens were."
Ava sighed, "he's from a family I've never heard of honestly. Dyon Sacharro. Have you heard of him?"
"Sacharro? None of the martial families that go to this school share that family name I don't think," Tammy's eyes glazed over in thought, "Oh! But I did hear a rumor the other day."
"A rumor? What about?"
"I hear the academy accepted a student from the human world," Tammy said in a hushed voice.
"The human world? That would explain a lot…"
"So, the rumor is true?"
"Well, I think so. He had all of this weird technology I've never seen before. Even a weird disk that even stopped my power at 50% without a scratch."
"50%?!" Tammy said in shock.
"That's not even the end of it. The reason I think you're right is because he had no cultivation whatsoever. Even those from the weakest of families have at least stepped into the lower tier of the 1st layer, but he showed no signs of ever having practiced a cultivation method. He's completely green. To come to an academy like this with no cultivation, no backing, and no idea what's going on? He has a death wish. The idiot almost dipped his hand into one of the energy ponds, if it wasn't for me, he'd be dead, twice over."
"twice over? You must have saved him from Darius too," Tammy giggled, "you're soft. I didn't know you had a thing for commoners"
Ava glared at her friend, "stop it. He's handsome, sure. But there are plenty of handsome guys here. Looking good isn't going to help you when you're lying in the ground, dead."
Tammy giggled, "there's the cold-hearted Ava I know and love."
'It's already been two weeks and I haven't seen him since. I saw Eli headed towards the array alchemy faction, but he hadn't seen him either. Maybe he's already dead, his injuries were severe, and he clearly had no means to heal himself. *sigh* whatever, he brought it on himself"
A serious look flashed across Tammy's face, "The tournament is coming up in a few months you know Ava, are you going this time? I know you're strong enough to make it into those bigger sects, you need to stop holding yourself back because of him."
A sad look appeared on Ava's face, "he's my brother… I can't just forget about him. 4th years don't just die like that Tammy… You know my brother was strong enough to make it into the big sects too, in fact, he already had multiple offers. But, he chose to stay here to perfect his wills to a new level because of that place in the center pillar… I know I'm not strong enough to go there yet, but… I-I have to find out what happened," tears glistened in Ava's eyes, threatening to fall, but she fought them off, "I will find out."
Tammy looked at the determination in her friend's eyes, "I just don't want you to lose so many years of your life. Promise me that you won't spend a 3rd year here. Promise me that you'll participate in the tournament and let those big sects see that you AND your big brother are special."
A troubled look flashed across Ava's face, she knew her friend was right. People die in the martial world all the time, not everyone could have a proper burial. She just never thought her brother would be one too. He used to be a shining light in their family, but now everything was rested on her shoulders. She had to be strong.
"Alright. I promise. This is the last year I'll spend looking."
A smile appeared on Tammy's small face. Her blue eyes and blond hair bobbed together in excitement, "alright, now let's get to the fun stuff. The pillar family seniors are hosting a party for their juniors and of course you and I are invited. You because you're a top ranked and I because I'm obviously ridiculously beautiful. How could you have a party without me? It's in a week and I forbid you to wear leather. Let's go to Bai peak and look at some dresses. Maybe we can find a cheongsam to match those outrageous curves of yours," Tammy said pulling her friend along.
Ava shook her head in exasperation, but in the end, she just giggled and allowed herself to enjoy the moment.
If you enjoy Focus, be sure to add it to your library. If you like a chapter and want to support, make sure to vote us up 😊. Each additional collections and power stone helps!
I think it's a bit too early to give up on our boy Dyon, Ava! Smh. You're losing harem points as we speak.
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