954 Symphony 1
Since Dyon couldn't figure out what it was about him that cause the Soul Rending Peak elder to be so surprised, he let it be. He wasn't a fan of making conjectures when he didn't have enough evidence to do so, doing something like that would be akin to putting on blinders that might cause you to miss the truth when you truly came across it.
Instead, Dyon casually studied the white-haired beauty along with the dark elf. He was the most interested in Asyna because he could feel something inside himself throbbing with recognition.
Considering Dyon's wife was an Elvin Princess, it wasn't hard to guess what it was, but there was another possibility. The Ancient Elvin manifestation techniques were actually a method of altering your bloodline into an Elvin one… Could it be that this elf was from one of the three ancient Elvin clans?
Obviously, she wasn't from the Acacia family. But, that still left two other possibilities…
Either way, Dyon knew something else: this was definitely the woman who was observing him earlier, and since he could sense her, she could definitely sense him.
'This just got a little more complicated… Who are these girls and why are they here… Their talent would be enough to stand at the peak of even the top 3 quadrants, let alone this poor 98th ranked one…'
In the skies, Lilith pretended to not notice Dyon at all. When RolRol and Asyna came to find her, she had assumed they were speaking nonsense just to defy her orders. However, seeing what they were talking about first hand let Lilith know that there was more to this young man than what met the eye.
In her life, there were very few men who dared to leer at her, and in her experience, they were all the best of best geniuses. In the martial world, powerful women weren't so easily pursued. Without the proper power to do so, one would simply be running into their deaths. So, to Lilith, the fact that Dyon's head was the only one looking up meant one of two things: either he was incredibly stupid, or incredibly strong.
Now, if Asyna's analysis was correct, Lilith might tend toward believing the latter. However, the question was 'strong in relation to what?'. Dyon might have an overblown ego, enough to foster a Presence that allowed him to believe he stood on equal footing with the four of them, but whether or not that was actually true was another matter entirely. After all, the competition in the 98th quadrant, or the supposed 74th quadrant he originated from, wasn't exactly fierce.
In the end, this meant little to Lilith. Although Asyna and RolRol's speculations were enough to cause her to raise an eyebrow, from what Lilith could tell, this young man didn't have enough power to defeat Asyna even while she was suppressed, let alone enough to disrupt their plans.
That said, Lilith still decided to take this a bit seriously. She had been given a very important task by her Nightmare Palace and her royal father. In these circumstances, she couldn't allow underestimation to be the reason why their plans failed. So, when Asyna came begging and pleading to be allowed to fight Dyon, she directly agreed.
If Dyon didn't place first, he would hardly be worth their time. If he did place first but couldn't defeat Asyna, he still wouldn't be worth their time. It was as simple as that.
As for Evangeline's interest in the young man, Lilith didn't think twice about it. After spending that past couple weeks with the woman, Lilith had come to understand her personality. She was simply kind to everyone. In all likelihood, she probably naively spoke to Dyon in order to stop those rowdy disciples behind them from attacking him directly.
This made Lilith slightly disdain Evangeline. She simply didn't believe that a woman should be so soft and kind hearted, nor so devoted to the strictly written stereotypes of their gender. Lilith had always been cold and ruthless, just like her father before her. Being soft was just asking to get taken advantage of.
As Lilith was thinking to herself, their seats were arranged.
Seeing that the organization had concluded below, Evangeline took this moment to speak a few words.
"I'm happy to see so many willing participants this year." She smiled lightly. "On behalf of the Soul Rending Peak master, I want to take this opportunity to apologize to you all."
The crowd was shocked by her words and began to murmur amongst themselves. Apologize? For what?
"Without prior deliberation, we unilaterally changed the rules of this assessment. This isn't usually how my Soul Rending Peak would do things, but I believe you all deserve some compensation for the trouble we've put you through.
"With the power given me as the Vice Master of Soul Rending Peak, I would like to formally double the size of disciples that will be accepted this year."
When the participants heard this, they were overwhelmed with joy. Evangeline was truly the goddess of their 98th quadrant!
"We'll be taking 180 outer disciples instead of 90. 18 inner disciples instead of 9. And 2 core disciples instead of 1.
"I would also like to extend those who will unfortunately be unable to take part in this provision an extra attempt at joining my Soul Rending Peak. Usually one would only be allowed 3, but I've decided to strike this from your attempt total, thus effectively giving you four.
"I wish you all the best of luck."