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What happened next was unlike anything the juniors here had ever laid their eyes on. The Complete Heavenly Path, the flawed trial of the Heavens, the very location that they were certain that even Dao Lord, Sovereigns and Gods alike could never directly interfere in…
In the white expanse of the land they were in, dark clouds suddenly formed and boomed. It was a sound so loud that it was impossible to properly describe, so much so that even these prodigies of the various Heavens felt their minds collapse as their ears began to breathe.
Their entire souls were consumed by fear, by inadequacy, by a willingness to drop down to their knees and obey.
Ryu looked up from his seated position and shook his head.
As soon as he thought this, a pressure even more overpowering than that descended. It crushed the clouds and destroyed them to their last wisps of misty waters. The booming crackling of lightning arched through the skies, but it didn't make it very far at all before fizzling out.
Ryu somewhat understood what had happened, which was why he had said what he said. The Martial Gods were very used to taking control of matters of Fate, whether that be their own or that of their targets. This sort of power had given them a great deal of control over what they could do, even to the point that they could seal away a talent like Ryu.
But this came with its own drawbacks as well.
Just now, that tribulation that triggered was more definitely something crafted at the hands of the Martial Gods themselves. It wasn't a Heavenly Tribulation, but it was much more like the tribulation that Ryu had faced when he formed his Hegemonic Dao, and again when he formed his Ancient Dao.
It was artificial, and as a result, the Martial Gods had lost out in two important ways… well, three if Ryu was lucky.
The first was that they failed to target Ryu. Why would the Celestial Realms allow outside interference into its Heavenly Path, especially against someone with so much accumulated Heavenly Favor.
The second was an continuation of that. They lost track of Ryu. Due to the fact Ryu was within the Heavenly Path, they failed to brand him like they had branded him in the past, and it wasn't a simple matter to just establish a connection again.
The third, and one Ryu was more hopeful for than anything else, was that whoever the core entities of the Martial Gods were, whoever was the central control of the power that had threatened to fall just now, had just dropped a stone on their foot.
Ryu doubted that they were dead, but there was most definitely some sort of backlash. The real question was how significant the backlash was.
Just take that as a small downpayment on what I'll unleash when I rise to the Ninth Heaven.'Ryu looked down at his body. The chains were still there, but now they were more corporeal, more real. They even seemed to slightly vibrate with a hidden breath akin to a rhythm of nature.
The chains were a dense silver, but they radiated a slight royal blue hue. Aside from its main color, there were countless small etchings across its body, fueling an ancient aura that was almost palpable.
When they rattled, space warped and cracked, and those around Ryu couldn't look at them directly for fear of what might happen if they did.
On Ryu's back, a pair of wings had formed, but these wings were almost too… familiar. They looked like his own wings, the very ones that he could manifest when he fused his Bloodlines and activated their strength. But there was a start difference.
These white wings were truly his own, but they seemed covered in an almost illusory layer, one filled with runes just as complex as that of the chains that covered him.
There was a palpable fear one felt looking at these two things. The chains carried an oppressive might, and the wings felt angelic and holy, but in a way that demanded obedience and servitude.
For the prodigies here, it was all too uncomfortable just to wrestle with these innate feelings in their heart.
'I see, so that's the drawback.
Ryu nodded to himself.
He was able to infuse Dividing Chaos into these Divine Chains, and Dividing Order into these Divine Wings, but doing so required him to keep his Daos separate. As a result, they were at the pinnacle of the Ancient Dao level as opposed to his true level, that of the Founding Dao.
If he wanted to use his Founding Dao in the same way, he would need to find a vessel for it that was just as powerful.
Of course, this didn't mean that Ryu had lost his Founding Dao. So long as he dispelled these vessels, something he could do with a thought, he could fuse his Daos once again and form a Founding Dao.
The real question was whether or not these chains would allow him to maintain the strength and power of his Daos should he do so.
Even though this was a somewhat depressing thought, Ryu wasn't as downcast about it as he seemed. That was because so long as he found a vessel powerful enough for his Founding Dao, just like he had regained the full strength of the two halves, he would likewise regain the full strength of his whole Dao.
And… there was also no telling what completing this round might give him.
"I guess this is the end of this, right?"
Ryu smiled for a moment before his pillar shot into a challenge he had been aiming for.
He appeared in a world that seemed to be falling apart. Everywhere you looked, pillars of fire blazed and they were quickly closing in on him.
Ryu grinned, his wings suddenly spreading out wide. But after a moment, he chose not to flap them, instead punching out with a fist wrapped in chains.
The entire world crumbled to ash.
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