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King Elbas and Noah had remained on their own. They could theoretically start planning their insane mission right away, but they didn't dare to set off for that already.
The recent battle had given both of them new insights about their existences. King Elbas had transformed, while Noah had understood that his companions had to face their respective breakthroughs before him. That wasn't an actual requirement, but he believed that he wouldn't be able to obtain what his centers of power needed otherwise.
Noah knew that his dantian and body would only require more and more as he continued to advance on the cultivation journey. He didn't even want to think about the ninth rank for now since the previous level was already causing enough problems. He had even made things worse with the ethereal blackness, so the situation looked quite grim.
However, Noah wasn't a simple existence. His personal power was incredible, and he could also rely on the living beings he had built to be the best version of themselves.
Night's breakthrough had revealed how powerful his companions could become. The Pterodactyl had transformed into a being that Heaven and Earth struggled to detect. It existed to sever their light and the laws that dared to stand on its path.
Night's power alone was immense, but the other companions could reach a similar level. Some of them might not share the Pterodactyl's potential, but Noah felt sure that they would reach incredible heights nonetheless after stepping into the ninth rank.
That would make Noah able to go far beyond what his personal power allowed him to reach. The enhanced aspects of his existence and his ambition gave him the chance to fight liquid stage cultivators, but he struggled to kill them since his might wasn't always enough against those powerful worlds.
Night had solved that issue and had proven that Noah could do more before reaching the ninth rank. The idea of defeating an actual solid stage cultivator before obtaining a complete world didn't seem too impossible if he could use all his companions.
The problems started there. Only Night had stepped on the ninth rank, which left Snore, Duanlong, the Cursed Sword, the parasite, and Shafu. All of them would require a massive amount of energy and special conditions.
'The Cursed Sword and the parasite shouldn't cause too many problems,' Noah thought while meditating inside a simple hole that he had filled with his dark matter. 'The Cursed Sword might even be almost there since I'm only fighting stronger opponents lately. As for the parasite, I guess it only needs energy after inheriting part of Robert's existence, but I'd rather leave it as last.'
The parasite fed on Noah's energy when he didn't provide it with external nutrients. The black hole could keep it in check in its current state, but things could change if it advanced into the ninth rank.
Everything would be far harder with the other companions. Duanlong could express hunger and greed in its superior form, which was still relatively simple. Instead, Snore and Shafu were complicated beings, especially the former.
Noah had built Shafu to collect entire regions inside its separate space, but it had other abilities, and Heaven and Earth had yet to see some of them. Still, the six-armed dragon was an embodiment of his existence, similar to the Demonic Sword. It had a vaguely clear path to follow, so its breakthrough would eventually come as long as Noah deployed it into battles.
Snore was the greatest problem. Noah had initially created it to be Blood Companion that could change its role and functions depending on his needs. The snake had then evolved into a being that expressed the dark world's destructiveness, and it had continued to grow on that path.
Noah feared that Snore would require the breakthrough of the black hole to reach the ninth rank, meaning that it would have to wait for his dantian to advance. That wasn't ideal, mainly because he wanted the snake to be free from any restriction that his centers of power might generate.
That wish wasn't only meant to benefit Snore and give it its well-deserved freedom from his centers of power. Noah also wanted to avoid being unable to deploy the Blood Companion because his dantian had yet to reach the intended level. That event was very likely to happen in that case since his organs' requirements would skyrocket in the ninth rank.
Noah wasn't the type to jump into random battles in the hope of achieving his goals, especially when some of his companions had precise requirements. He could theoretically create the perfect conditions for each breakthrough, but that would cause other problems. He might risk putting Snore and the others on a wrong path if he influenced everything too deeply.
His doubts never found answers even after he spoke with King Elbas about the issue. The latter was cultivating in a luxurious habitation built right next to his hole. He had created it when the two decided to rest for a while, but they often met to discuss important topics.
Noah had learnt about the final energy during one of his meetings. That discovery had left him speechless but also confused. The final existence that King Elbas had developed was real, but Noah didn't see how anyone could obtain it without being on a specific path. He even acknowledged that he couldn't get there due to the many transformations that his laws experienced.
The questions on Noah's side always involved his companions. The two experts didn't talk about the sky during their meetings, but their conversations rarely led somewhere. They soon accepted that their paths existed on realms too personal. They could only limit themselves to contradict each other whenever they found a flaw in their friend's reasoning.
"Let's say that you completely understand your living puppets," King Elbas uttered while marching inside his immense golden room.
Noah was sitting next to a wall, and he promptly let go of the cup in his hands to stop Night from attacking King Elbas. His mental waves prevented the wine from falling on the floor, but the cultivator still turned to heave a helpless sigh.
"I know that you aren't puppets," King Elbas explained. "That's just your definition in the inscription fields. Find the inscription masters from the past eras if you care about the meaning of a single word."
Night snorted, but it eventually went back inside Noah's body. The latter could pick his cup again and enjoy the wine that King Elbas had made during one of his many projects.
"As I was saying," King Elbas cleared his throat, "The breakthroughs would still have some flaws. It doesn't matter if you manage to tune the amount of danger perfectly. The process would be artificial and might lead to possible fatal mistakes."
"I am artificial," Noah replied. "I came out well."
"I would like to object," King Elbas scoffed, "But you aren't the topic here. I know that you believe in your ambition, and you might even be right. Your influence might fix every flaw caused by an artificial breakthrough, but do you really want to risk your companions' future?"
"It might take many millennia if we limit ourselves to hunting down cultivators," Noah declared.
"I don't have millennia," King Elbas sighed. "Two thousand to three thousand years is my limit. I can stretch that period, but I can't stop the inevitable decay of my existence, and I won't go back to what I was after shutting up Divine Architect so dramatically."
"We can go into dangerous areas to improve my companions' chances," Noah suggested. "Though a few millennia might not be enough even in that eventuality."
"You should let the breakthroughs be natural if you want your companions to express the entirety of themselves," King Elbas responded as his expression turned serious… "You can still refuse to help me. I would consider that in your situation."
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