A massive spike of ice was ripping through the air, aimed directly at his chest. Dale watched it, and slowed time to a full 80%. The world slowed down, as light stretched and time slowed. People’s screams faded quietly, and everything that was blurred slowed to a perceptible speed. Dale shifted his hands, preparing to smash against the ice.
Just as the spike of ice was about to pierce him, Dale shifted his chest, pushing off the ice as it cut past him, moving in slower motion. He smashed against the ice, shattering it, as he flipped through the air, speeding time back up to 95%.
The surrounding crowd gaped in astonishment, not believing their eyes. A Coal Metal Core expert had successfully dodged a Steel Metal Core expert’s attack. The way the Coal expert moved too was unnatural, as if he could see the future, and dodged perfectly.
“He’s a Time Art user!” exclaimed one of the students! The others looked on in surprise, then nodded, as it made sense. While the Time Arts were extremely difficult to practice in, they granted a great deal of power when it came to dodging attacks and telegraphing moves. The main downsides were that the Time Arts were seen as fast but not powerful, and the difficulty in cultivating the skill set a high bar.
The cold eyed beauty, Myra, glared at him, and launched several more ice attacks, each aimed at piercing his chest and freezing him in place. Dale, however, had gotten a feeling for her pattern, basing his strategies on her previous attacks, and dodging began to become easier and easier, as the fight continued. Suddenly, he dashed forward, using his, Heavy Steps, Quick Movement, technique to change directions directly at her.
Myra threw up a huge ice wall, attempting to stop him in his tracks while she gathered her energy to fling a collage of ice spikes at him. However, what she didn’t know is that while he stepped forward quickly, Dale had begun focusing his Aura in to his fist. After creating a massive circle of energy in his head, he forced most of it inside the momentum of his fist, creating a huge force. As he ran into the wall, he brought his Aura fist up.
“SCREEBOOOOOOOOMMMMM!” A massive screech occurred as the ice wall was completely shattered, shooting ice around the circle they fought in. Myra backed up desperately, not having had enough time to launch her attack, as Dale rushed in, swinging his fist upwards. Dale slowed time again, going back to 80% time. He then dodged past her frantic defense, and gave her a slight push.
Myra sailed through the air, and landed just outside the arena circle, her face frantic as if she was about to be hit by a massive impact. The onlooking students stared at Dale as if he was a monster. A Coal Metal Core expert had just defeated a Steel Metal Core expert, and in a flamboyant and completely overpowering way.
Myra, sitting on the ground with a bruised tailbone, started to blush and glared across at Dale, practically spitting anger, “You-you you must have cheated! How can you be this strong as a Coal cultivator?!” she exclaimed.
Several of the onlooking students quietly agreed as well. Dale had turned logic on its head, defeating someone who was several realms above him. In the first place, he shouldn’t have even been able to move her, as Myra’s personal strength was at the middle Steel level, and she could cause an impact of roughly 7000 lbs if she tried. However, that’s without taking into account the fact that Dale can slow down time for himself. With time slowed down, he launched himself at the perfect angle, levering her own force against her, causing her to fall out of the arena with a light push.
The referee suddenly declared, “Winner, Dale! Advances to the next round.” and started calling up the names of other students.
Myra glared at Dale angrily sputtering, “You, don’t think I’m done with you!!” and stormed off, smouldering.
Dale winked at her as she left, which only served to enrage her even more, as she left the arena.
Smoothly, Dale progressed through his next match. He faced off against an Iron Metal Cultivator in his next match, and defeated him by using his Time Art to flip his opponent outside the arena again.
However, it was during his third match that he encountered his first real challenge of the Tournament.
A familiar cultivator giving off an imperious Steel aura walked on to the match as his name was called. He looked quite proud, and gave off a smug look, as if he had broken through recently.
“Collin Caradon vs Dale Wensworth!” The referee yelled.