They traveled for about a day. Gravis couldn't use his full speed while pulling his three children with him. Yet, Gravis actually didn't want the journey to end. He loved this feeling of harmony so very much.
Even though Gravis appeared strong and powerful, he had always felt alone in this world. Yes, he considered the Grand Elder and the Empress as friends, but friends were different from family. He always distracted himself with cultivation, but that didn't make the feeling disappear entirely. It just moved it into the background.
Now, with a family of his own, Gravis finally no longer felt alone. This world was no longer just a simple training ground on his journey but another home for him. His children were here, and he cared for them immensely.
Of course, all good things must come to an end, and the four of them arrived at the spot that the Grand Elder had told Gravis about. A lot of level one Lords congregated here as they all waited for a King to escort them to their future training grounds.
The three kids were shocked when they saw so many Lords. There were over a hundred of them! Every single one of them would serve as tempering for them. After all, the three of them were still High-Rank Spirit Beasts.
"This is only a glimpse of the true vastness of the real world," Gravis told them. "These beasts are only the ones that have reached the Unity Realm in the last ten days. In the next twenty days, their numbers will most likely triple. There are many Lords in this world, and this is only a tiny amount of them."
The three of them nodded with narrowed eyes. They finally saw beasts that they could actually fight here! To them, it felt like it had been forever since they last saw such worthy opponents.
"Don't try to fight them randomly," Gravis instructed them. "These beasts are part of our Empire. They are not the enemy. Don't waste your precious tempering experiences by fighting duels. As soon as you create a Tribe of your own, you will feel the difference between fighting wild beasts and actual war."
The three of them nodded. Gravis had told them that every tempering opportunity was precious and that they should use them in an optimal way. Gravis had also told them that a war with multiple enemies felt much more chaotic and uncertain, which would immensely help their temper. The three of them were not so stupid to ignore such sound advice.
"When the King arrives, I will tell them to send you to the area for level two Lords," Gravis said.
The three of them felt nervous when they heard that. Yes, they wanted tempering, but this sounded more akin to certain death than tempering.
"But we can't fight three levels above ourselves yet!" Cera said from behind Gravis.
"I don't expect you to," Gravis said. "The difference between a High-Rank Spirit Beast and a level one Lord is two levels, but these levels only refer to the levels between Spirit Beasts. This means that every level one Lord has a body about double as powerful as yours since you are Divine Beasts. In regards to the Lord Realm, the difference between you and a Lord is not even a full Lord level."
"A level two Lord has a body about eight times as powerful as yours. Right now, such a fight would be close to certain death. You still have a small chance of winning, but that chance is truly tiny. Yet, that only holds true if it's only one of you fighting one," Gravis said with a smirk.
The three of them began to understand what Gravis was referring to. "You want us to fight together?" Aris asked with a raised brow.
Gravis nodded. "If you fight together, two of you have a good chance of emerging victoriously against a level two Lord while the last one deals with the level one Lords. Yet, that fight will still be more difficult than fighting a level one Lord alone. Right now, you're in an awkward spot in regards to Battle-Strength."
"Awkward spot?" Cera asked with confusion. "How can Battle-Strength be awkward?" she asked.
"Simple," Gravis answered. "Fighting a level one Lord will only serve as a minor tempering experience. Yet, fighting a level two Lord means almost certain death. This makes it awkward for you to find fitting tempering."[email protected]@@@[email protected]@@@@=======
"But," Gravis said with a smirk, "there are ways around that. For example, you can fight two level one Lords simultaneously or fight a level two Lord with a companion. Both of these things will serve as good tempering for you. By fighting like this, you are increasing your Battle-Strength until a fight two levels above yourself isn't as perilous anymore."
The eyes of the three sparkled as they realized the use of fighting like this. This would truly help them to become more powerful!
"But you have to keep in mind that not all Lords are equally powerful," Gravis warned them. "Back when I have led the River Tribe, all of my Lords had an, at least, above-average Battle-Strength. Some of them were even able to fight a full level above them, just like you. You have to remember that none of my Lords had been Divine Beasts. You might meet Lords like that in your future journey."
Yersi furrowed her brows. "Then wouldn't we die if we met someone like that as an opponent?" she asked.
Gravis nodded. "The chances are high, yes, but that is the difference between the areas you have grown up in and the real world. In the real world, there are a lot more uncertainties and surprises that you can't control. If you can't deal with them, you will find that you have died an unnecessary death. Just this fear of uncertainty does wonders for you. Yersi, you of all beasts, should know the use of that uncertainty."
Yersi thought back to the time she had walked outside to find Energy Beasts. Back then, everything could have happened. If she hadn't reacted appropriately, some shockwaves might have killed her during her search. Yet, hadn't she learned the ability to pre-dodge by going through this?
"I understand," Yersi said after some seconds.
Gravis turned to them with a smile. "Then, let's enjoy our last moments together as a family. I won't be accompanying you in your future journey from now on. After all, my own journey hasn't ended yet. I also need to walk forward."
The three of them nodded at Gravis with confidence. "We understand, father," Aris said. "If you stopped going forward just because of us, I wouldn't see you as our father anymore! You are our father, which means that you always need to be more powerful than us. Otherwise, you would only be a failure."
Gravis smirked bitterly. He understood Aris' sentiment, but Aris could have put it in a friendlier way. This was Aris' way of encouraging his father to become more powerful. The other two siblings similarly echoed that sentiment in their own, less-rude fashion.
Then, the family spent the last 20 days together. They talked, and Gravis explained more foreign concepts to them. Most of these concepts were things that only humans related to or used, but those things would still be helpful to beasts. They needed to widen their horizons as much as possible.
The day for the escorting King to arrive appeared in almost no time to Gravis. When the King arrived, Gravis felt reluctant to leave them. Now, their future was uncertain. He couldn't watch over them anymore. Yet, he had to deal with the fact that his children were leaving his supervision. This was an integral step in their development, and it was time for them to create their own path.
Gravis told the King about his plans, and the King agreed that this sounded like the best way to proceed for the three of them. If they managed to survive, these three would become elites of the Empire. After all, the step of fighting two levels above oneself was the hardest to take, and not many beasts managed to accomplish that.
Gravis said his goodbyes to his children and watched them as they flew into the distance, together with the King. He waited until they left his Spirit Sense's range and sighed.
"My brief vacation in this world has ended," Gravis said to himself with melancholy. "I have managed to father three wonderful children, and I can't stop because of them."
Gravis' eyes narrowed as two other Gravises appeared beside him. He had waited until his family matters were over to become a King. He wanted to use the Law Heaven would grant him when he became a King as a springboard to jump back into danger again.
"My resolve has not weakened because of my children," Gravis said with a powerful will. "Instead, it has only grown more powerful. I need to create a world for them where nothing can suppress them. I want them to live in total freedom, without a Heaven always looking down on them."
Gravis looked at the sky with fiery anger. "If I had to choose again, I would willingly choose to have these three children. I don't regret this even a little bit! Yet, you have still forced me through this. Should I be thankful for an enemy that nearly killed me because I have gotten more powerful as a result of that? No!"
All three Gravises transformed into lightning and gathered in one lightning bolt.
Gravis had gathered all his power into himself again for the first time in several years.
In an instant, Gravis felt the violent feeling of an evolution approaching.
"You better not renegade on your own rules, Heaven," Gravis said coldly.
It was time for him to become a King!