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Ryu's gaze became so fierce that he directly ignored the vertigo that came from his sudden movement. A blazing light of desire boiled within himself as he realized the answer had been right in front of him the entire time, so much so that it was almost amusing that he hadn't seen it before.
The Heavens had already given him the answer he needed: The Protector Spirits!
Every time Ryu absorbed a Protector Spirit, it taught him something. But even putting it like that wasn't quite accurate. Rather than actively teaching him, it was more like it branded his mind, turning something that wasn't originally his default state, into one that was.
When it did that, the Protector Spirit turned into streams of energy that entered his body. Ryu was certain, if he used the Origin Flame to replay those moments in his mind, he felt that he could build a similar system with these natural energies around him.
The Heavens hadn't made changes to his actual brain, it had instead made changes to his soul, and then by proxy made changes to the filter through which his brain saw and reacted to the world…
Il Ryu had only experienced it a single time, he might not have enough information to translate those methods into something that he could use here. After all, what the Protector Spirits had done and what he was attempting to do were on two entirely different levels.
The Protector Spirits, especially the Bronze ones, had only wanted to target a very small portion of him. They keyed in on small details like a slightly more efficient method of swinging his fist, a sharper and more efficacious method of changing direction.
However, what Ryu was doing was on a much larger scale than that. And luckily… he already had a blueprint.
His Martial Forms.
He had yet to fuse these into one, not because he couldn't, but rather because he felt it was a waste of his time at this point. In the beginning of the second round, he had thought the Martial Forms to be a huge opportunity, and that they were, but the Diamond Protector Spirit, alone with his own breakthroughs in the Dao, had blown them out of the water. Due to that, and time constraints, it wasn't worth it to waste his time on this matter for now.
But it was the perfect blueprint, the blueprint he needed to diffuse the best method of using his body to be in tune with the Heavens, one perfectly suited for himself and one that matched his Bloodlines and his path to absolute perfection.
Of course, that was only relative. He needed to fuse them first, and there was no telling what changes might occur as he attempted to do so. But did he even need to worry about it any longer?
This world around him would be sure to let him know every time he made a mistake, even if it was the most minor of mistakes. It wouldn't allow him to take an improper path.The only question that remained was how would he get it into his eyes, but once again, that was answered by the Protector Spirits. All he had to do was copy the method the Heavenly Path used to make the subtle alterations to his soul. Once that was completed, the next steps would be easy.
The eyes were the window to the soul and the two were deeply interconnected. He wouldn't have to experiment with his brain at all, the two already had perfect and unbridled access to one another.
When Ryu finished his thoughts, he immediately began to act on it.
The first thing he did was map out the path the first 999 Bronze Protector Spirit had taken. Then he repeated the same for Silver and then Gold. When he was finished, he went over the changes that happened to him when absorbing the Diamond Protector Spirits.
Upon further observation, he recognized just what he was dealing with. Each method of change had its own subtle implications, and each was likewise heavily tied to his Seven Corporeal Soul.
As he thought about it, he realized that these seven spirits and the organs that represented them were like engines dotted across his body, while his Vital Qi was the fuel.
When these things were put together, the influence they had on his body without even his knowledge was groundbreaking.
Ryu began to cross reference the changes, breaking them down into their simplest parts and like the building blocks of a language. The more he did so, the more he began to comprehend the flow patterns of his seven spirits much like he did with formations and their individual parts.
The greatest boon in the end might actually turn out to be this very understanding, because it even allowed him to understand the circulation pattern of the Prayer Mat more than he ever had before.
After feeling that he had all of the building blocks of the language, Ryu began to translate, taking the four perfected Martial Forms that he had created and turning them into flow patterns that moved through his seven spirits.
Once this was completed, he began to layer those understandings on top of one another, almost as though he was trying to align their shadows just right.
Even when he was using the "perfected" Martial Forms individually, bouts of vertigo came in waves and he realized they weren't nearly as flawless as he had thought, so he made many changes until they shone resplendently. If Ryu put any one of these Martial Forms up for auction, even the likes of the Emperor Phoenixes, Fire Dragons and Lightning Qilin would fight tooth and nail for them.
But Ryu wasn't finished as he finally seemed to realize the problem was no longer his Martial Forms, but rather that he didn't have enough of them.
That was right. He had long since had more than just four Bloodlines, so why did he only have four iterations?
He shaped a fifth, and then a sixth. Then he fused the Phoenix ones together, the shrieking design of a radiant White Phoenix taking shape within his body, and then he began to force his Dragon and Qilin Martial Forms into one.
He bent and distorted them with his will, his body trembling mightily until just two remained.
Then, he hurled them both toward his soul.
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