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"They passed already? What the hell were you all doing?"

"Fuck you, where were you?"

"I went to double check something. I had to after what I noticed, just in case he had left behind any of the Spatial Bristle Bush Cores."

"And?"

"Nothing. He took it all."

"Tsk. You should have already known that after the first time you checked."

"Never mind that, it looks like he was already prepared for a barricade. We can't waste time here for too long. A beast tide has already formed and we need to make it through before the real big shots get here. This is nothing like previous years, it's like they really want as much of us to die as possible. Even the storefronts already vanished by the time I got back."

Leonel had noticed this as well. Not long after the voice announced the start of the True Selection, the storefronts and their clerks had all vanished, likely to take part in the Selection at a new location. But, this also left those who needed things stranded while also making all the homes they had built useless.

The ones talking right now were, of course, the Libra brothers, Huon and Droet.

After Leonel returned with an hour left, Huon had chosen to go out to check a few things. Since Leonel had managed to return unscathed, it was more likely than not that he had had some gains and their initial estimation of him was wrong. He was definitely a threat to them monopolizing the rewards available to Village 0012. And, they knew quite well that if they couldn't monopolize these rewards for themselves, they would end up at a disadvantage when facing other villages.

While a lot seemed to have changed about this Selection, the fundamental tenants of previous years were still here. They were still on their own, very little would be explained to them, and their main goals were to gather as much resources as possible while making it to the various checkpoints for any semblance of rest to be gained.

Ultimately, they would have to make it up the mountain. It was just that simple. The trouble was that a 'mountain' of the Void Palace, even the smallest, were easily taller than entire planets.

This aside, the twins chose to take a cautious approach. After their own deductions and Orinik's 'informative' talk with them, they had gotten complacent. But, Leonel's return snapped them awake. They would only have one chance at this, they couldn't afford to waste it. And what Huon found on the outside proved him right.

The destruction left by the Spatial Bristle Bushes wasn't something Leonel could easily cover up even if he wanted to. Seventh Dimensional worlds were incredibly sturdy, so any damage to the surroundings at all were quite rare especially in a region limited to Fifth Dimensional existences. So, when Huon found several deep pits of violent spatial qi, each at a location of Spatial Bristle he was familiar with, his pupils couldn't help but constrict.

Harvesting the spatial rings the two brothers had done every few days. But, even after more than two months, they had only managed to gather less than ten between the both of them. Yet, somehow, if Huon was correct, Leonel actually had hundreds in his possession. The kind of buying power such a thing represented was enough to make him salivate.

The two brothers had been certain that the encirclement would be enough to slow them down. And, because they didn't want to alert Leonel, they had chosen to remain in the shadows and wait for an opportunity. But, it was clear that they had gravely failed in doing so.

"What exactly happened? What's his strength? What weapon does he use? What's the damage?"

"It seems to have been a surprise attack. He uses a spear and it's definitely not one constructed by the smithy, which means he has a weapon that can survive in this atmosphere without special refinement methods. Or, it was already specially refined for him. In addition, that beauty and one other also seems to have weapons like that."

"Three of them?" Huon frowned deeply.

There was no such thing as 'fairness' in the Void Palace. The things that others had that you didn't, you would have to rely on yourself to get. But, so many individuals with weapons capable of surviving Anarchic Force was unheard of.

The two brothers fell into this category of people, of course. However, they had thought that they would be the only two of this village to have this luck. But, it seemed that they were wrong.

"The damage is pretty bad. Three succumbed to their injuries and died, all of whom seem to have been hit by an odd elevated concentration of Anarchic Force. It's hard to tell if it was intentional or if they were just unlucky."

"Do you think we could get them for murdering fellow disciples?"

"You know if it was against the rules they would have already stepped in. The True Selection is much less policed in this fashion. If it's like other years, there's free rule outside the safe zones and rules are only enforced within them."

Huon nodded, having already known this.

"… The beast tide is already here. They still don't know we're targeting them. It'll be easier to get through this wave of beasts if we combine efforts in the vanguard. However, I'm not giving up those spatial rings. Even setting aside the Bush Cores, that many spatial rings is enough for us to practically buy our way to the peak!"

"We have Orinik to thank. If not for him talking to the seniors, he would have already exchanged them. But, we can't relax. There's far more to trade for at higher level safe zones."

The two brothers looked toward one another and nodded in unison, shooting off toward the sounds of howling beasts.

Leonel's gaze sharpened. His dilated pupils saw an endless wall of beasts rushing toward them. Just in a 50 meter radius from him, the numbers were already in the hundreds.

His mind went into overdrive. How could he get out of this without casualties?