471 Spiritual Matters

    "You bring a considerable amount of power just to pay homage, bishop." Said the owner of the tenth moon while trying to evaluate the power of those in front of him.

    The bishop did not dignify the owner of the tenth moon with an answer, and instead, said to the War God, "This isn't just a courtesy visit. The emperor has asked me to invite you to see him. He would like to exchange words with the inheritor of the first War God."

    The War God was aware that this would happen sooner or later. He could remember all of the stories regarding the Spiritual Emperor's interest in the spiritual weapons, and how he had tried many times to obtain the method to create them.. weapons that could injure their spirits, and in theory, free them from the weak shells that their bodies were.. But, alas, he had failed many times.

    Due to the rise of the spiritual faction, Inos had already guessed that, at some point, the spiritual emperor would come knocking at his faction's door. However, he had never expected that they would come so soon, and more than anything, without the emperor himself.. Although, just by feeling the power of the bishops present, he had understood why.

    Each of these bishops possessed a power that was close to rival his own. A power that matched that of the spiritual emperor the last time the two had met. This demonstration of strength would have had no purpose if what they were coming to rely on to them was a simple invitation. However, they were here to intimidate, and possibly kidnap Gai'ha.

    "Your invitation is most welcomed, first Bishop, and we accept it wholeheartedly. Go tell your emperor that we will visit soon, when the training of the lady will be at a stable level." Said the War God with a polite smile that hid the extremely pure layer of ki that hid underneath his skin, and reinforced his body.

    Both knew that the words of the other were nothing but lies, and they did not care, since they were both aware of each other's intentions. "Why don't we go right now? The Emperor happens to be free at the moment, and it doesn't seem to me that the lady is busy practicing." Said the bishop before landing gently over the stage, and allowing his spirit to leak spiritual essence through the entire amphitheatrum.

    The smile suddenly disappeared from the face of the War God, and with a chilling tone, he said while looking at the other bishops, who were following the example of the one in charge, "You better think carefully about what you are starting.. I can assure you, your travel back will be much longer, and lonelier."

    The first bishop couldn't help but laugh at the words of the War God. "I thought that of all people you would appreciate an opportunity to fight. I must be a better choice than your own people, am I not?" He said while unleashing his spirit, which in turn, quickly started to affect the weak spirits of the moon holders, and of the warriors that had yet to leave. "You are as terrible a host as ever.. Maybe one of them is more fit to your job than you are."

    Within the hearts of the moon holders something changed. Their feelings were being accentuated, to a point where resisting these impuls required an active effort from all of them.. If that was not enough, the words of the bishop were aimed at boosting the hidden feelings of aspiration and competitiveness that, due to their traditions and respect for the powerful, the moon holders had buried in their hearts.

    However, that was not the first time any of them had faced a spiritual cultivator, and while they couldn't stop wanting to challenge the War God right there and then for his position, those were just feelings, and feelings could be ignored.

    "Very well. Let us begin then." Said the War God before straightening his arm, and waving it in the direction of the group of bishops.

    While this attack did not seem menacing due to the many meters of distance between the two, the bishops did not remain still, and instead created as many shields in front of them as possible.

    From the tip of the War God's fingers emerged a whip of ki that, following the motion of his hand, landed heavily against the barriers of spatial, metal, and earth essence, ripping them apart as if they were made out of paper.

    The moment the fight started, the bishops immediately took off, and left the planet's atmosphere. The solid ground was an advantage for ki warriors, while the open space gave them a much bigger area to fight their opponents, which followed them in the form of flashes of red light that flew by stepping over invisible platforms formed by their own ki.

    Booming noises resounded around the entire planet as the moon warriors and the War God faced the bishops, using their immense reserves of spiritual essence in an attempt to wrestle against their ki, and break their bodies apart.

    While this happened the disciples of the War God grabbed Gai'ha, and with a strength which she could not resist, dragged her away, but right as they were about to reach a spatial formation to teleport into a random planet in the domain of the war god, the weakest of the bishops appeared in front of them, stopping them from reaching the platform.

    In orbit, the situation was quickly taking a bad turn for the ki warriors.

    While the spiritual cultivators were less in number, their cultivation was higher, and soon enough, they started to get an edge over their physical counterparts. The only reason why the spiritual cultivators could not walk all over them was due to the massive pressure of the War God who, while there was virtually no difference between his and the cultivation of the first bishop, the sharpness of his control over ki and powerful techniques was enough to keep an unbelievable amount of pressure on many of them at the same time.

    "Come with me, or I will force you." Said one of the bishops to the group of disciples, and young ki cultivators.

    The disciples of the War God were all veterans of war, and the moment they were unable to see a path for retreat, they reacted instinctively and jumped to the attack. Unfortunately, while exceptional for their age, their strength was not something that could be compared with the power of a bishop of the spiritual faction, and before they could react, the bishop had already teleported in the middle of the group, and locked them into statues of ice.

    The spiritual cultivator approached the two statues in which Alesia and Gai'ha were stuck, but right as he was about to touch them, his attention was taken by an immensely powerful entity that was moving at an incredible speed in his direction. Caught by surprise, he took control over the air that surrounded the entire area, and turned it into mist.

    From the sky descended the figure of the War God, which after a few long minutes of fighting, had been able to use his experience and control to overpower most of the bishops, forcing them to retreat. The only reason why he hadn't started a pursuit was because he had felt the presence of one of them near his disciples.

    When he landed, the impact forced the mist away, clearing the area for everyone to see.

    After him, the injured figures of the ten moon holders arrived. "War God, what is going on?!" asked the owner of the third moon while digging his sons out of the statues of ice.

    "Why would they attack us like this?" Asked another of the moon holders with confusion.

    "They could have wiped us out if the Spiritual Emperor had joined them."

    The confusion did not leave the minds of the many warriors present, and before long, it turned into a loud buzz of chatter, to which Inos responded by shouting, "Quiet! Finish freeing them, and then come to the hall of war. There are things we have to discuss." He said before turning towards the only castle built on Arena.

    He was ready to dash in its direction and prepare a speech, but he was stopped by a familiar voice. A voice filled with panic that said, "ALESIA!? ALESIA WHERE ARE YOU!?" The War God instinctively turned to look at the panicked Gai'ha before joining in in looking for her, but even after a couple of minutes, of her, she had found no trace.

    It was right then that Inos understood. The Spiritual Emperor had no interest in Gai'ha. He did not care about spiritual weapons, and the bishops hadn't come to take her to meet him.. They had clearly heard of Alesia, a being capable of controlling the amount of spirit that she could merge to her ki, so that she could change her path of cultivation based on her needs.

    In hindsight, the War God should have expected for this to happen. According to what Gai'ha had seen in her memories, only a member of her race of humans, which instead of having ki would have an innate Aura, would be able to create spiritual weapons. That was a requirement that a spiritual cultivator could not fulfill since for a spiritual cultivator, to lose a portion of one's soul, meant downgrading their spirit's connection to the spiritual plain, crippling themselves. And even if by absurd the spiritual warriors would be able to create spiritual weapons, their power of those weapons would be bound by the power of their bodies.

    A weak body would not be able to use a spiritual weapon, and therefore, there shouldn't have been a reason for them to want it. What they truly wanted was to study Alesia's unique condition.

    Cheated and humiliated, the War God stood in silence. Nobody dared to say a word either because they didn't want to further anger him, or because they couldn't bring themselves to speak.

    "Spiritual Emperor.. This is how you want to play it.." muttered Inos while ignoring the string of blood that streamed down the corner of his mouth. He then turned to look at Gai'ha, who was looking around in a panicked state while refusing to consider the truth, and waited. After a few minutes of pointless search, the War God turned to look at the moon warriors, and said, "To the war room. Give me a minute with her." to which the warriors responded with a faint bow before grabbing their children, and disappearing.

    "Alesia.. Alesia.." Gai'ha kept muttering while slowing her pace, until finally, her eyes landed on the War God. "Y-You have to save here! I-I-I.." she stuttered while holding back her tears.

    The War God placed his hands over her shoulders, "It's alright.. Everything is alright.. I will do my best to save her." He said in a reassuring tone. Then, when Gai'ha seemed to have calmed down, his face became more stern, and he added, "Gai'ha.. those people were the bishops of the spiritual faction, and they serve the Spiritual Emperor. Their faction has grown in power for the last year.. And I am not confident in fighting the spiritual emperor anymore.. I need a spiritual weapon."

    Gai'ha looked at the War God with doubt for a few moments, then began to mutter with a broken voice, "I-I can't.. Your spirit is too w-weak, if I make a mistake in splitting your soul, you will die."

    The method to create a spiritual weapon was absurd in practice, but very intuitive in theory.

    The idea of ripping a portion of a person's spirit out, and putting it into an object was a known method of punishment, but from that and the creation of a spiritual weapon, not much changed. What differed, was the ability to part a portion of one's spirit away from the rest without damaging either of the two. And that, was what was contained in the memories of the first War God.. but while the first founder of the ki faction had had thousands of years to practice, Gai'ha had only done that once during her ascension, when she had inadvertently severed Alesia's spirit from her body, turning her whole physical body into a spiritual weapon.

    According to her future tests this result was the outcome of a nearly infinite amount of luck, as she would have failed the following nine hundred and ninety-nine attempts if she had tried it a thousand times, killing her on the spot.

    After noticing the concern in Gai'ha's eyes, Inos added, "We will take the risk, or the next time they will come, let alone getting my student back, I will not be able to stop them from taking you as well."
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