The Gemstone Chronicles – Book 2 – Chapter 6

 

“Match start!”

 

Dale glanced at Frederick. He was still arrogant looking, giving off the feeling that he was superior to everyone. He wasn’t even paying attention to Dale. Frederick turned around, looking at Dale in surprise.

 

“Step off the arena.” He said, waiting expectantly. The audience waiting around looked at the fight and nodded their agreement. They could see that Dale was merely a Coal Core level expert, while Frederick was the Rank 2 in the entire school, a Silver Core level expert. Dale had no chance.

 

Regardless, Dale refused to give up without a fight, saying, “No.”

 

Frederick stared at him for a second, not believing that some kid would refuse him. He glared at him for a moment, then spat out, “Fine, have it your way. Try not to die.” A huge silver aura enveloped him, and he blasted forward.

 

Immediately, as the Silver aura descended, Dale slowed time to 80%, already beginning his dodging motion to avoid Frederick’s attack. He knew he had no real chance against the Rank 2, but he had to try. However, Dale had underestimated the power and speed of the Rank 2 boy. Despite time being slowed to 80%, Frederick appeared before Dale in an instant, swiping his arm to the side, intending to blast him off the stage. Dale responded by dashing forward into the attack, dodging Frederick’s arm by less than a centimeter. However, the wind pressure created by Frederick’s attack smashed into Dale, knocking him back several meters. Dale looked down at his ripped clothing, feeling his aching chest.

 

“I cannot let him hit me!” he thought, working out a strategy furiously. Dale refused to give up; however, he couldn’t find a single scenario where he won. Frederick slowly turned around, yet again surprised that the Coal Expert who stood before him remained in the arena.

 

“You do have some talent.” He said, grudgingly, “However, with just this level of strength, you will never match me. Come back and try again in a few years.” He lunged forward again, a silver aura enveloping him. This time, however, a blade of wind enveloped his legs, and he instantaneously arrived in front of Dale, slapping out again.

 

Dale stared at the incoming blow, powerless. It was simply too fast! He furiously ducked, trying to avoid the blow. Dale smashed against his arm, and was thrown back through the air. He furiously cut his legs down, managing to slow himself just inside the arena, at the outer edge.

 

“Why are you struggling so?” Frederick said, staring at him, “There’s no shame in losing to me. Accept your fate.” He dashed forward, leading his attack with another instantaneous blow, this time a kick towards Dale’s chest.

 

As Dale watched the blow descend, he knew in his heart that he could not dodge this blow. Dale had never wanted anything more in his life, than to be able to dodge this blow. He focused all of his will, his concentration reaching a new high, putting every single fiber of his being into dodging this attack.

 

Suddenly, Dale felt a huge pool of energy in his mind. It was similar to the power of his Aura when he concentrated, however, this power was in his mind, and seemed much softer and less overt. Dale grasped this power, pouring a huge stream of it into his body, mentally screaming at himself to dodge.

 

As Dale forced the huge energy into his veins, time began to slow. And slow again. And again. He glanced around, surprised. Frederick’s blow, which was previously lightning fast and not dodgeable, had slowed to a crawl. The sound all around Dale had dropped away; it was as if he was alone in the world. Frederick’s blow slowly whipped towards Dale. Dale ducked slightly under it, feeling the air pressure move through the air. He swept just under it, and jumped to the left. Suddenly, he lost a hold of the huge river of energy and time returned back to its normal pace.

 

“WHOOOOSH! CRASH!” Frederick’s massive blow shattered into the ground, creating shockwaves and moving the earth. Several of the nearby onlookers were forced a step back. However, everyone’s attention was on Dale.

 

“What the hell was that?!” was the uniform thought. They had been watching the battle so far, and saw Frederick’s impossibly quick attack flare out towards Dale, and had been eagerly awaiting the results of that blow, expecting Dale to be smashed into smithereens. However, the impossible had occurred, and the space around Dale had blurred, and he had suddenly appeared to the left of Frederick’s strike. It was impossible, yet it had happened. Frederick turned around, eyes blazing, “How is this possible?! How could you dodge my attack! You, a mere Coal level expert, are nothing compared to me!” He viciously advanced on Dale, death in his eyes. Frederick was enraged; having to go all out against a Coal level expert infuriated him.

 

However, at that exact moment, a huge amount of fatigue crashed into Dale, and Dale fell to the ground, watching as blackness took him over, the last thing he saw was Frederick’s face filled with fury and malice.

 

Dale gratefully swept into the darkness, resting his eyes, and fell into blissful unawareness.

 

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