The Day of The Tournament
Dale and Feng woke up quite early, and started warming up outside their dorm. Dale began by stretching his muscles, and slowly punching and practicing his movements. Feng practiced concentrating his inner flame, and using his absolute control over fire to his advantage.
Dale began to focus his mind. A circle of energy appeared in his head, and suddenly, time slowed down to roughly 95%. Dale had found that, if he concentrated his will, he could compress time to 95% speed, AND focus his Aura as well. While 95% of time being slowed down doesn’t seem like much, in a life or death battle between someone, or a match with huge stakes, it was just enough to make a difference.
However, it was rather awkward trying to talk in this state. According to Feng, his voice rose an octave or two, and he sounded like a girl. Feng fell over laughing every time he spoke, so Dale decided to pretend he couldn’t talk when time was slowed, for the foreseeable future.
When Dale slowed time down to 95%, it was imperceptible to others; It just appeared like he was faster then he really was. A 5% advantage gave Dale enough time to register opponents’ movements and react according to them.
Because of the Bloodlines that both Feng and Dale had, they found that they could advance and create their own techniques, basing them off the techniques they learned previously. This wasn’t a characteristic that either of the boys had heard Bloodline owners profess. However, it was a known fact that every Bloodline owner usually had some sort of unique signature technique, and were considered geniuses. They attributed their success to this.
Feng had decided to solely focus on his Overlord Flame Art, ignoring the other techniques he had taken with him. With Feng’s single-minded determination to become powerful, his Art was rising at a ferocious speed. Feng’s original Art allowed him to manipulate his energy into his fist, under his knuckles. Then, when he punched something, his fist would impact, and then the energy under his knuckles would explode in a fiery impact, dealing twice the damage to his enemy. However, thanks to his highly developed Fire Lords Bloodline, he was able to control his energy to explode all over his body, not just his knuckles. This allowed him to instantly change directions, and create large hits out of nowhere.
When Feng launched his fist strike at the Field Strength Test Crystal, he hadn’t gone all out. At the time, Feng was still wishing to maintain a low profile, because he felt he wasn’t strong enough yet to be arrogant. He had used only 50% of his strength. His real power had yet to be revealed and he was looking forward to the upcoming tournament.
As Feng practiced, he slowly started to build up his inner power, concentrating on absorbing heat from the air. A common characteristic of Fire Lords is that they can absorb energy to temporarily power up. The energy they absorb is not very pure, and therefore cannot be permanently kept, however, it could be held long enough to provide a powerful aid in one’s attacks.
Feng launched a punch at a nearby tree. Just as his fist was about to connect, he exploded the energy in front of his fist, blowing himself backwards several meters. He was unharmed, though a bit tired. The tree, on the other hand, had a huge hole through its middle, with two sides of it barely connecting. The piercing power of this attack was tremendous, he realized, easily powerful enough to deal with any low level monsters.
Dale stopped watching Feng practice, and decided to practice his Aura Art. He made a motion to avoid using the massive store of energy locked inside him if he could. He had yet to find a safe way to tap into this, and decided to use his own innate energy instead. First, Dale slowed time to 95%, by focusing on a mental image of his energy compressing the time around his body. Then, he focused his will, and started to infuse his Aura into his fist. It was a slow process, but one that he felt he could do 100% of the time successfully.
Dale practiced this a few times, expending a slight amount of energy before stopping. Feng finished his practice too, and the boys glanced at each other, and decided to make their way up to the center of campus, where the preliminary rounds would be held.
On their way towards the middle of campus, they encountered a small exodus of students walking towards the tourney grounds. They overheard some of the chatter.
“This fight should be a good one, eh?”
“Yeah, I heard that the Rank 2 overall is participating!”
“Oh wow, I guess it’s obvious who’s gonna win, huh.”
“Did you guys hear? The town of Delmon was attacked by a Space Dragon!”
“Whaaat? Did anyone live?”
“I’ve been training my Earth Art, heh, I should be unmatched now!”
“In your dreams, Yaon!”
Dale and Feng went with the flow. Eventually, they came upon a massive building. It was also shaped like a coliseum, apparently a popular architecture choice for the school. It was enshrouded in a gold and white film, and gave off a feeling of majesty. It was also absolutely massive; you could fit Dale and Feng’s entire dorm inside the arena with room to spare. This wasn’t counting all the seats for the audience.
One of the entrances was gathering participantsl Dale and Feng made their way over there, patiently waiting in line. Feng was bursting with eagerness, ready to test how powerful he had become. Dale was more calm, trying to focus on pulling his energy through his veins over and over. Both Dale and Feng were still on the early stage of being a Coal Metal Core expert; however, they were very close to being a middle stage expert. Neither of them had neglected their meditation, and had paid close attention to focus on raising their strength. Feng, because it was his dream to hold absolute power; Dale because he was interested in manipulating Time and strengthening his Aura. Dale also decided that if he met the Iron Core expert that had tried to bully him, Collin something, he would teach him a lesson. He hated inequality.
Suddenly, a young man walked past, giving off a majestic silver aura. The nearby students stopped and stared. He was a young man, with golden red hair, and imposing green eyes. He gave off a feeling of viciousness, and looked like he was prepared to fight an army. All the students immediately made way for him, allowing him to go to the front of the line, and register that he was here.
“Looking arrogant as usual, I see, Frederick.” called out a familiar voice to their left. Dale and Feng glanced over, startled, because it was Kyle that spoke!
“Kyle.” Fredrick DeMonge, the current Rank 2 in the school said, his voice dripping venom, “I don’t suppose you’re participating in this Tourney?”
“Nope!” said Kyle, smiling cheerfully.
“Coward.” Fredrick responded, his eyes glaring daggers at Kyle.
“Hahaha, whatever you say mate.” Kyle brushed him off, and walked towards the spectator section, ignoring Fredrick. Fredrick turned around, and walked back inside. The various students that were left began talking amongst themselves, wondering what caused the enmity between the Rank 2 and Rank 11.
“It would be a good fight.” said one student.
Another scoffed, “Kyle is only Rank 11. Frederick is Rank 2, it wouldn’t be anything.”
“Ranks aren’t set in stone.” voiced another.
Dale and Feng quickly worked their way through the line, and finished registering for the tournament, ready to fight.