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Ryu stepped out, still absentmindedly thinking about something as he looked down at his chain covered hand.
He was trying to gauge whether or not his Dao was truly stronger in this state. Of course, having a method of using your strength, rather than just blasting it at everything, had its benefits. The main issue, though, was that a Founding Dao was on a completely different level.
Would he be able to clear the challenges as easily with a Founding Dao as opposed to this? The answer was yes. Even though his Dao had a weakness against inanimate objects, the term weakness was only relative. What chance did challenges of his level pose to a Founding Dao? Especially one that was equivalent to a mature Dao.
Ryu was quite certain of this, but he still felt that there was something… beyond his former Dao right now. It made him understand that he had overestimated himself once again. Just because he had formed a Founding Dao, didn't mean he was invincible, and if he wanted to maximize what he could get out of it, it was likewise in his best interest that he put all the effort he could into improving it.
If he treated his Founding Dao like he did his weaker talents, and focused on pulling out every inch of strength he could from it, just how much stronger would it be?
In just a few months, just by focusing on his combat style, he had increased his battle effectiveness dozens of times over, and those were with talents that were considered quite weak at this level.
So what about a talent that was strong?
'It's not that simple…' Ryu thought to himself.
What separated powerful talents from inferior abilities was often that they were already nearing perfection. It would be likewise dozens of times more difficult to make the same leaps in improvement he had with his weaker talents,
Even so, he kept this in mind. And first, he would start his Dao in two halves like this. In fact, he felt it would be even better if he split them once more into their four original foundational pieces.
If he could find a ideal receptacle for Dividing Sin, Dividing Dharma, Dividing Karma and Dividing Tribulation, his comprehension of his individual Daos would skyrocket and his application of them would likewise take huge leaps forward.
But that thought alone had some interesting implications. Why did he have to "comprehend" his Dao? It didn't make sense.
His Dao could only form by comprehending it in the first place, so how could he comprehend something that he had already comprehended? At least not without his Dao progressing… but wouldn't that defeat the purpose? If every time he comprehended more of his Dao, it strengthened, then he would be chasing his own standards of perfection in an endless loop.This was a layer of complexity that Ryu had never really confronted before. But after another moment of thought… he understood.
"Comprehending" a Dao didn't mean that you had fully mastered it. It rather meant that you had gained a kernel of understanding and that the Heavens had filled in the blank for you.
In the past, Ryu had already realized that he could accomplish the same things his Dao could without actually activating it. The difference was that it took him much more time and effort.
But this didn't make sense either. If he had previously understood his Dao, shouldn't he be able to use its strength whether he triggered it fully or not?
This was part of the line of reasoning that led him to create his Internal Matrix. He had wanted something that would make the use of his Dao flow more naturally.
What he hadn't realized was that he had inadvertently slipped onto a kernel of truth that hadn't been obvious to him before, and it once again affirmed to him that it wasn't what you knew that was important, but instead how you had come to know of it.
He realized now that the problem that he was trying to solve… was one that he had already solved. His Internal Matrix was the answer to it all. So long as he continued to strengthen his soul, the output of his Dao would always be extremely powerful.
The feeling that his Dao had matured even while it was still in an immature state… Maybe that was the sign of his success.
From now on, his Dao would always exhibit a tier one beyond its current condition because of his successful endeavor.
Ryu almost wanted to laugh again when he thought to this point. He had almost stressed himself out with yet another path he had to grit his teeth and walk to the end of, but for once…
He already had the answer.
His aura changed and a flicker of a white flame danced between his brows. It pulsed with a radiant light and the auras of his Divine Chains and Divine Wings shifted.
Then, he looked up. He seemed to finally notice Selheira's gaze on him and he grinned. She snorted, a sound that came out far more adorable than he thought it would, and looked away. But that only made the laughter he was holding onto echo.
The echo was just as grating on the ears for everyone else as it had been the first time Ryu laughed, but this time, there was no sudden change to the situation, no heart rending pressure, just the endless, undying confidence of a man who stared adversity in the eyes and came out on top regardless.
The geniuses present all felt a weight on their shoulders sink them down.
Selheira couldn't help but look toward Ryu again. When she first met him, he wasn't this bright, he wasn't this cheery. She didn't know what had happened in those few months he had disappeared, but that chilling wind he usually gave off had vanished, but he also hadn't suddenly become soft either.
He was just… well and genuinely Ryu Tatsuya.
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