Chasing Demon's question was simple, but it hid a profound meaning that the rank 5 cultivators didn't fail to notice.
Even Noah managed to pick up some clues, but he waited for him to explain before pondering about the matter further.
"My fire shall burn the limits of the heroic ranks."
Elder Austin answered after a moment of silence.
The rank 4 elders nodded and exchanged gazes between themselves, but some of those in the fifth rank didn't seem to agree.
However, no one spoke.
Even the strongest rank 5 elder couldn't give pointers about someone's else individuality.
Only Chasing Demon could have a clear picture of the higher ranks.
"Your fire might be as powerful as lava, but that alone can't represent a volcano."
Chasing Demon said when the focus of the presents returned to him.
"The matters concerning individualities are extremely personal. Yet, I can tell that your lava won't be able to touch the divine even if you bring its power to the peak of the heroic ranks."
Elder Austin revealed a confused expression when he heard Chasing Demon's words and didn't hesitate to ask for clarifications.
"The features of your fire are an imitation of something already existing in the world. However, your individuality is real. I can see the volcano."
Chasing Demon answered, but his explanation didn't satisfy the elder who continued to ask for more.
"What should I do then?"
"Follow your individuality. Gain inspiration from the world without becoming its imitation. The power of a volcano isn't in its burning blood, but in its blast!"
Elder Austin's eyes widened at that point, and he remained still for a while as the pointers of the Patriarch seeped inside him.
Noah noticed how the aura of the elder flickered and became slightly murky as understanding dawned upon him.
'A change in the individuality can affect a mighty existence in the fifth rank so thoroughly. Only a firm belief in your path can make you cross the hindrances of the cultivation journey without damaging your foundation.'
Noah concluded in his mind as he reviewed the exchange of words.
The individualities of the cultivators would begin to affect their centers of power as their rank rose, which meant that most of their battle prowess would depend on it.
Extreme confidence in the path taken was one of the main requirements for heroic cultivators that wanted to improve, but they still had to be careful not to delude themselves.
Noah had just taken the second step on his path, but that banquet was already teaching him the common mistakes to avoid.
Elder Austin bowed toward Chasing Demon before sitting back on his chair and lowering his gaze.
There was no trace of shame in his expression.
Instead, the elders could notice his eagerness to explore the possibilities that the Patriarch had opened for him.
A short moment of silence followed that gesture, and the rank 5 cultivators decided to resume speaking only when they saw that Elder Austin had raised his head again.
The next elder that stood up was Elder Justin, and he used even fewer words to express his individuality.
"I'm an immovable boulder. Catastrophes shall fall, and the world might change, but I'll remain the same forever!"
Everyone in the hall could see elder Justin's firmness, but Chasing Demon had pointers for him too.
"How can you advance if you can't move?"
Elder Justin listened to his words and bowed before sitting back on his seat.
He didn't seem surprised by the Patriarch's doubts.
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It was as if he knew about that flaw in his individuality already.
He was aware that the Patriarch was holding back his pointers on purpose because providing every answer would just have adverse effects on the elders.
Also, Chasing Demon wasn't omniscient.
He could broaden the elders' perspective, but he couldn't tell them what laws they had to pursue.
The rank 5 cultivators turned toward the two Demons seated next to the Patriarch at that point.
Flying Demon revealed a helpless smile at their gazes and shook his head.
Only his lover, Noah, and Chasing Demon could understand what was afflicting him.
The one thousand years spent alone in the separate dimension had disrupted his foundation, and there weren't any certainties that he could recover.
On the other hand, Dreaming Demon decided to stand and give a few words to the crowd.
"My thoughts can stop the wind and destroy worlds. My desires are laws, and my mind is the G.o.d spreading them."
Surprised gasps resounded in the underground area when the elders saw that Dreaming Demon was already considering herself as a deity.
'The will of a disciple of Divine Demon. She must be so strong because her individuality is already gazing at the divine. She is the strongest rank 5 cultivator in the Hive.'
Noah continued with his evaluations as the banquet kept going, but he soon noticed a series of eyes landing on his figure.
The heroic cultivators on the table had waited for their amazement to cool down before turning toward the Demon Prince seated right next to the rank 5 elders.
The situation became even more evident when Noah saw Chasing Demon nodding toward him.
'I have nothing to hide.'
Noah thought before standing up and wielding one of his rank 4 Demonic swords.
He had to admit that he was interested in the Patriarch's opinion regarding his individuality.
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