861 Ten Years 2
By the 72nd wave, Dyon was forced to use his wings. His stamina drained faster, but he also had added mobility he simply didn't have before. Although his wings were supposed to have the added benefit of helping him to quickly recover, Dyon had long since noticed that there was no energy in the third trial. The only means of recuperation were the motes of light absorbed through your weapon after a wave was cleared. It was no wonder the system forced Dyon to pick a weapon, had he not, he would have been screwed.
Once the 81st wave came around, Dyon's suspicions were doubly confirmed. Facing the Fire Serpent King, yet another King beast of the Heaven level, he could only grit his teeth and charge forward. By now, it was the beginning of the 7th year. Luckily, with the help of his wings, Dyon had finished off the Silver Wolves much faster than expected.
However, Fire Serpents were difficult enough to handle normally, let alone handling multiple of their King level existences.
These creatures were of the very peak of the Heaven level, and their kings could count as pseudo transcendent beasts.
The word transcendent for beasts were reserved, entirely, for beasts capable of human-like intelligence and having the capacity to choose the human path of cultivation. It was a sort of transcendence for the beast sub-species, as such, they were aptly named.
For the Fire Serpent King to count as a pseudo transcendent, they could thank their trace dragon blood line. Not only was their dragon lineage more robust than that of wyvern worms, they also managed to form a pseudo reverse scale that had partial Dragon Soul effects. Although it couldn't match up to even the lowest bronze grade of a true reverse scale, it was still enough to cause Dyon headaches.
In addition to this, they were exceptionally intelligent. Unlike the first four waves, they could actually coordinate their attacks!
Although the third and fourth waves had intelligence, it was overridden by their pride. This was a small benefit Dyon received for the system tailoring the chosen beasts to his strengths. However, this benefit didn't last for long…
Despite being as prideful, if not more prideful than the previous beast waves, the Fire Serpents had human intelligence and thus understood putting their pride aside for the sake of survival. This ended in joint attacks that constantly put Dyon's life in peril. Even worse, there was an invisible ceiling that completely stopped him from flying out of the range of the serpents, something he had found out the hard way…
The only saving grace was that the serpents had the same weakness as the wyvern worms, their reverse scale. This allowed Dyon to focus his attacks instead of looking for vital points like he was forced to do with the Silver Wolves.
By the time Dyon reached the end of the 100th wave, his body charred and cut, along with ridiculous bruises down his sides courtesy of vicious tail whips by the serpents, describing him as a man on his last legs would be giving him far too much credit.
His massive sword was glistening with a silver-bronze light, or it would have been, if it wasn't coated in violet blood. As for his arms that held it, they were ridden with scary looking veins that were a product of their over-exertion. But, he still swung time and time again, carrying a weapon that had reached thousands of jin as though it was a feather.
As he swept through the red-scaled bodies, he could feel the restrictions on his body about to allow him to break through to the essence gathering level. But, this would only make the situation worse for him.
After he broke through to the meridian formation stage, Dyon felt that the ban on wills and energy were lifted. In accordance with that, the beasts also became fiercer. If this continued, the gap would only grow larger!
By now, it was well into the tenth year and Dyon had collapsed to his knees.
In the outside world, although ten years weren't much in the face of martial warriors, it was still too long for someone they assumed wasn't a fighter. So, many assumed that Dyon had overestimated himself, forging forward when he should have cut his losses and continued to the fourth trial.
Although the rankings only held a 100 names per trial type, for a total of 35 – 5 trails to each of the 7 tier levels – there were other methods for checking on names not worthy of making the top 100 in their generation.
The Epistemic Tower Inner World was separated into 100 corners, each of these corners corresponding to one of the 100 quadrants. However, the Celestial Deer Corner has been closed off for millennia, thus not allowing people to use it as an exit to find out where the tower was located. This was actually another function of the Tower Key, the ability to decide who was allowed to use the teleportation formations of your corner.
That aside, that was only 1 function of the corner. The other was a much more subtle ability.
Currently, the corner of the Celestial Deer Quadrant was covered in a massive fog formation. This was a formation that appeared at a corner every time the Key switched owners and it would not disappear until the key wielder completed their trials.
The purpose of this fog formation was to keep intruding Universes out until the key wielder gained the ability to defend their territory. For example, the Kitsune-Shruti Quadrant was covered in this very same foggy formation because Saru had yet to exit her trial. The only reason Ri was allowed in was because she was allowed in by a Duke level character of that universe, as that was the minimum status needed to do such a thing.
The problem was that even after ten years, the barrier still had not disappeared. It was no wonder they thought Dyon had foolishly died.