Chapter 139:

Battle of two Sects (3)

Mad God


By the time morning came most of the people were surrounding the limestone arena. At one end, the leaders of Heaven’s Gate were already standing ready, leading a dozen or so disciples behind them. They were amongst the first to arrive and waited there patiently.


“How do you want to do this?” Aerthus smiled after they arrived leisurely, stopping at the opposite end of the arena. Even as they were a great distance away from each other, his voice echoed out clearly and everyone could hear him perfectly. “The usual, tournament style brawl? I won’t even ask if we should compete in different proficiencies! I know you are here to have a battle.” He shook his head while Zelig answered calmly.


“While fighting, a cultivator can utilize everything and can showcase the accumulation of all proficiencies. It is a waste to compete in anything else, besides fighting. We all have ten disciples here who were selected for this moment. The side who is first to exhaust its resources, wins.”


“Resources huh…? Mines are not objects…” Aerthus whispered softly yet in a voice that was easily heard by all the people spectating. “So be it! One can fight multiple times I assume?”


“Yes. And can be changed out before or after the battle. Agreed?” Zelig asked, crossing his arms, ignoring his words.


“Fine by me.” Aerthus nodded, looking at his own disciples, wanting to ask who wants to go first. Before he could open his mouth a shadow flew by him and Kyu was already on the field.


“I’m first!” She laughed, jumping up and down happily. “Come, come, come! Nyahahaha~” She clapped, rolling up the sleeves of her uniform while hundreds of spectators twitched their mouths. In their eyes, she was a powerless kid, simply bouncing happily on the white, limestone arena.


The only people who did not take her lightly were the elders in Heaven’s Gate. They already knew about her and even instructed their disciples how to deal with her. They were instructed multiple times to watch out for her if they meet Kyu, outside the sect’s grounds. Yet seeing her in person, some of disciples failed to take her truly seriously.


“Let me.” A Heaven’s Gate disciple stepped forward. He had long, black hair, tied up in a ponytail. It was accompanied by dark, brown eyes and sword-like eyebrows. At first look he was only 16 years old, but looks always were a deceiving factor with cultivators. “My name is Ednar, 7th stage of body refinement.” He cupped his hands towards Kyu after walking up to the stage.


“My name is Kyu! Um… I don’t know what stage I am at, but I am… some years old!” She tilted her head to the side trying to count up the years but it was a blur for her. Especially when she was not yet able to take human form and existed between the stage of an animal and a demon. “Uuugh, don’t confuse me! Let’s fight!” She raised her little fists like a boxer would.


“Pathetic.” Ednar whispered the same sentiment that a lot of spectators had at that moment. “If you want to fight that badly, so be it!” He said as he grabbed the hilt of the sword he was wearing at his left. He was pulling it out from its sheath and as he did so, the blade, made out of pure steel, let out a sharp scream. Wind was slashing forward, leaving scars on the ground as a warning. “Beware! I won’t hold back!”


“Okie-dokie!” Kyu giggled, waiting for him to make a move.


Seeing the little girl not attacking, Ednar decided to take the lead. He rushed out, surrounding his feet with wind, looking like he was gliding forward, arriving before her very quickly. With the same swiftness he was slashing down at her head with his full strength. Kyu just laughed, punching out with her small fists. When it was already in mid-air it turned into black bear paw, meeting the edge of the blade, deflecting it with a loud, metallic clank, sending Ednar stumbling backwards.


“Again!” Kyu laughed again, jumping up and down, holding up her small fists with a grin.


As they exchanged blows Leinor smilingly looked at Ren, standing beside him.


“You trained her in boxing?”


“She got into it really quickly.” Ren nodded. “But I am more surprised by the boy’s movements. He's pretty good at it.” She crossed her arms, watching closely. Ednar utilized his affinity perfectly, empowering his legs, moving quickly and dodging Kyu’s incoming fists.


“Master, they are training with… our methods?” Ariana asked a little bit uncertain, watching the fight unfolding before their eyes.


“Yep.” Ren nodded. “They clearly have the same body refinement cultivation as us.” She explained calmly so the rest of the disciples could also hear her. “Not a surprise. My method is widespread by now in the Empire, not just in the military. Their spies could easily steal from many places and families. Piece by piece they can try and reassemble it for themselves. I never meant it to be a secret, it benefits everyone as it is nothing more than the source for stronger building blocks.”


“A universal cultivation method is a good thing.” Aerthus explained. “If everyone starts with the same foundation that is widely available, it won’t be hard or detrimental to the disciples when we start teaching them. What matters are the spells they learn and the help they get along the way. That is what is going to differentiate sects in the future. What kind of spells they use. Also… there is a difference between a basic method of cultivation and specialized versions of it.”


“And… What about us?” Ariana asked. “Of our Sect?”


“We are still in gestation.” Aerthus smiled. “For now, I make sure we are not focusing on one thing. I want everyone to have the opportunity to try out everything. It may stay that way and we will produce talents from all kinds of fields. Maybe it is going to change in the future, but we can’t see that far yet. Will we become a sect that is famous for arts in fire manipulating? For its pills? Formations? Sword arts? Who knows! This is something that only time will tell.”


While Aerthus was explaining this to his disciples, on the field, Ednar became increasingly frustrated. No matter what kind of moves he executed, Kyu just laughingly met him head on with her punches.


“What are her fists made of?!” He screamed internally as he put all of his strength into his grip on the hilt, executing a sideways slash.


“There!” Kyu shouted, blocking the blade with her left hand and punching out with her right, hitting the blade at the base of it.


What rang out afterwards was a loud crash as metallic pieces flew everywhere while Kyu’s furry, bear paw blew it apart. She did not stop there. Moving her legs forward she was changing her form instantly and she grew into a half-demon half-human hybrid. She was landing multiple, quick hits on Ednar’s body, shaking up the boy’s internal organs. After the cracking sound of metal, came the shattering of bones. Ednar was flying backwards, landing on his back just after a second, vomiting blood high into the air while he was trembling constantly. Ednar tried to sit up but he was unable to and could only fall back, spasming on the ground.


“Huh? That’s all?” Kyu stopped, turning back to a little girl, tilting her head, looking back towards her Master worriedly.


“Bring him down from there.” Zelig ordered with a calm voice as two others walked up, dragging down the now unconscious Ednar. “Foydor, you go.”


“Yes, Sect Master.” He cupped his hands, hearing his name. He was a short, white haired, young man. As he walked up to the stage, stepping over the pool of blood Ednar left up there, his violet eyes were calm and collected.


“Great! It was too quick of a fight anyway!” Kyu clapped, seeing her new playmate walking up to her willingly.


“Overconfident beast.” He spoke calmly as his violet eyes lit up. Kyu felt her body trembling, refusing to move as she wanted it to. Foydor was already aiming a kick, right into her abdomen. It sent her flying, crashing hard onto the ground, making her roll backwards. “You’ll learn your place.”


“Ugh… that hurt!” Kyu moaned as she stood up, spitting a little, before shaking her body. By now she has transformed completely into her demonic form, towering over 6 meters tall and was rushing at Foydor on all fours.


“No matter how hard you try to act as a human, a beast remains a beast.” Foydor said while he looked into her eyes. Once again, Kyu’s legs suddenly buckled. Foydor only used his legs, holding his hands behind his back kicking into her sides, making Kyu roll over.


“I told her so many times… Do not look into her enemies eyes…” Ren sighed as she shook her head.


“Will she be okay, Master?” Ariana asked, nervously playing with her fingers.


“She is tough, so this is still not hurting her. But no, she won’t. I already see what that Foydor guy is trying to do. His strength is similar to the previous fighter but he at least uses his head.”


Whenever Kyu started to attack him, it was enough to just take a glimpse at Foydor’s eyes. It made her lose control over her body and then receive a harsh beating. In the end she was finally kicked to the edge of the limestone field. While Kyu was trying to stand up, Foydor stood before her, looking into her eyes once again.


“Stand back.” He ordered in a commanding tone and Kyu, with her simple mind under the influence of Foydor, quickly did as he told her to. In the next moment she was tumbling off of the hard, white slab, landing on her buttocks, kicking up dust everywhere. “You lost.” Foydor smirked, before turning his back, walking back to the Heaven’s Gate’s side.


“Lost?” She stood up, turning back into a bruised faced little girl, jumping back up. “I did not lose!”


“You were out of the arena. You did.” Foydor said, not even looking back at her


“Y-you!” She flared up, stomping on the ground with such a force it cracked apart loudly. “Nobody said we could lose that way! Master!” Kyu turned towards Ren with a pleading expression, like a child who was wronged on the playground by another kid.


“Nobody could expect a dumb beast would be familiar with the basic rules of a martial tournament. Those rules have not changed since immemorial.” Some elders chuckled, standing behind Zelig, enraging the disciples at the other side.


“Come down, Kyu.” Ren said with a kind voice.


“B-but… but…” She sniffled with a frustrated expression but still, she walked besides Ren. Her master just gently rubbed her head, calming her down.


“I told you not to look into your enemies eyes if you come across someone looking like me! Did you forget?”


“S-sorry…” She murmured, looking down, ashamed of losing so quickly.


“Ahaha, no worries! Maybe now you are going to remember it, huh?” Ren chuckled, not worried about it.


Foydor himself also walked off of the stage, standing back between the rest of his peers while his eyes were a bit watery and red.


“Good.” Rudrick whispered. “That beast’s physical body is strong, the easiest way to tame her is through its weak consciousness. If you would be a little stronger, you could’ve crushed its mind.”


“I don’t know, Sect Leader.” He answered back, rubbing his eyes. “I felt a presence inside her mind. I was a bit afraid that if I tried to invade further, I would trigger it.”


“Probably the work of Ren.” Rudrick mused a little. “She must have placed some kind of defensive measures inside her disciples and family’s minds. She wouldn’t let them meet us without some counter measures. Doesn’t matter! Rest your eyes for now.”


“Yes.” Foydor nodded, closing them, standing still behind Rudrick, while their Sect Leader looked at a girl to his left. She had a long, braided red hair, wearing a slave collar around her neck yet she was dressed up in the beautiful, white robes of Heaven’s Gate. Her expression was cold and distant, blinking her crimson eyes slowly, watching the opposing side. “Qeena, you go next.”


“Yes.” She nodded, walking out stoically. Every footstep of hers left burning marks on the ground, melting her bare footprints into the stone itself.


“She emits a pretty strong aura…” Leinor whispered.


“Yes. A demonic one.” Zern and Ren nodded at the same time.


“Let me handle it.” Toobu said, looking at the Elders.


“Okay.” Aerthus agreed, giving a nod as Toobu just cracked his knuckles.


“Good Luck!” Ariana exclaimed while Wyland pointed a thumbs up at him.


“Hehehe~ Thanks~” He grinned while walking out, standing before Qeena. “My name is Toobu, 7th stage.”


“Qeena.” She answered by only giving out her name.


“Are you a demon?” Toobu asked with a smile, cupping his hands.


“Yes.”


“I see. It is always said that a demon that is able to transform into a human shape is like stepping into the Harmony Realm.” Toobu chuckled


“You also sent up a demon previously.” She replied matter of factly.


“Oh, no, no, I’m not saying this to say it's unfair! Quite the opposite! This is the only fair way of doing this!” Toobu grinned as the air around him started to turn colder as his breath became visible. Qeena’s eyes turned serious for the first time she stepped forward. “If you would be only a human at the same level as me… I’d crush you.” He declared with a smiling face drawing a simple, small smile onto Qeena’s stoic face.


“Is that so…?” She whispered as her hands turned into claws, covered with red, orange and deep brown feathers. They were already on fire, burning her sleeves into ashes. “Then be ready… as you may lose your life.” She said to Toobu while her voice became a bit raspy as their cold and hot aura clashed, creating a mini storm on the field, kicking up strong wind currents around them.