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Chapter 403 Underhanded Tactics
One hour after the other went bye, and soon enough, it was three in the morning.
Inside the ma.s.sive illusion in the middle of the square, the students were starting to get nervous. By rotating, they had tried to stop the charmed ones into the illusion for as much as they could, but their immortal essence was starting to run thin.
The consumption of essence was way higher than the amount which the resting ones recovered, and soon enough, they would find themselves not only having to face these sixty cultivators, but do so while having close to no power left.
If that was not bad enough, the difficulty of their feat was high enough for them to be unable to keep an eye on what was happening outside, and instead have to focus on their illusion, or recover as much of their power, in as little time as possible.
“We can’t go on like this.” Said one of the resting students with worry, before adding, “At this rate we will have no power left to face them. We have to start implementing some killing methods in the illusions. And what happened to the Outcast’s followers?”
“They are not back yet, so they probably haven’t won.” Responded another resting male student.
The third one to speak was the young woman who had interacted with Nilo and his group, and said, “The other sixty charmed ones are not coming either, so they must be occupied with them.”
“This is all your fault, Tianna. We should have picked the beasts.” Said the first young man with dejection, implying that they had proposed a similar agreement to the beasts, before going to Nilo’s team.
“You have heard what they said! No alliances with the Outcast’s followers! We also all agreed that they were much less reliable than Nilo and the others.” Responded the young woman right away. While they were in clear danger, taking the blame for something for which she had no fault, was still something she was not willing to do.
“You know it better than us. After three hours of fighting one against twelve, they must have ran out of immortal essence. They probably hid somewhere. The moment the other half of the charmed ones stops looking for them and comes at us instead, we are done.” Said the second resting young man in response to the young woman’s words.
Slightly annoyed by what her two companions were saying, the young woman responded by saying, “Enough! It doesn’t matter what they are doing! Remember what Teacher Romah taught us? The moment you worry about problem number two, problem number one will smack you in the face! Focus on these ones first!”
Suddenly, just as the young woman finished peaking, one of the attacks of the charmed ones moved past the barrier of one of the students, and reached his body, striking him in the stomach, and sending him flying backwards.
While the blow was hardly able to deal any damage to the student, it was enough for him to lose his focus over the illusion, dispelling it completely.
The now free six charmed ones, who had done nothing but curse and attack one another, finally found themselves in a clearer s.p.a.ce in the shape of a large dome. Inside this large spatial dome, were more room sized illusions inside which a similar number of their companions were fighting amongst themselves.
In the middle of this dome, was a clear s.p.a.ce where ten of the students were sitting in rest.
“d.a.m.n it! Don’t let them interrupt the other illusions! Attack!” Shouted the young woman before disappearing, and reappearing in front of one of the charmed ones. In her hand, was her flexible sword.
The charmed ones looked at one another for just a moment, then disappear from where they were standing. When they reappeared, they were standing right next to the students who were keeping the illusions up, and trapping the rest of their companions.
As soon as these cultivators approached these focused students, the remaining ten immediately realized that keeping the illusions up was not possible anymore.
“LET GO OF THE ILLUSIONS! We need to regroup and reorganize!” Shouted the young woman promptly.
Just like the young woman, the students were aware that this was their only option. If the charmed ones managed to split their powers into fighting them six on one, it would have been a disaster. At some point one of them would be unable to hold on any longer, and after being defeated, the number of opponents per individual would slowly increase, until finally, the last one standing would have to face sixty people by themselves.
Left with no other choice, the students dispelled the illusions, and backed away with ultrasonic speed. However, instead of dissipating the large dome, while most of the charmed ones were still confused about their situation, the young female student shouted “IGNITE!!”
While used to hide them from the outside, this spatial formation was still the domain of these students, and while not useful anymore, that did not mean that it was not an advantage. After all, every bit of s.p.a.ce within the dome was being controlled by the students, who after heeding the command, turned the s.p.a.ce within the dome into extremely flammable gas, and set it ablaze right after stepping out of it.
This time the power of the explosion was not limited by the weak walls of the buildings, but compressed by the spatial dome, which turned it into a blast wave of colossal proportions. The extremely small, and nearly invisible opening in the top of the dome had been placed there to direct the blast upwards, turning it into a column of fire hundreds of meters tall.
The ma.s.sive shifts of essences came to a great strain for the students, who unfortunately, knew that even this explosion was highly unlikely to kill their opponents. After all, while part of the charmer’s brainwashed army, these cultivators were still extremely resourceful, and just like them, they likely had measures that would save their lives in desperate situations.
“Good, now back away, and try to recover as much as possible while the dust settles!” Said the young woman, ordering for her companions to retreat.
However, before long, “AAAAH!” Screamed one of the female students, causing the other nineteen to immediately turn in her direction.
After turning to look back at her, the group quickly noticed that there was a hand wrapped around the girl’s ankle, which right after she pulled her leg away, moved randomly in every direction. This odd event prompted the young students to look around, only to find themselves shocked by what they were seeing.
More than twenty people were currently stuck inside the ground, almost as if they had fallen through a liquid version of it right before it solidified back. Their free limbs moved frantically as they tried to free themselves from this trap. However, that was not all. Littered on the ground, were unconscious people with broken knees and elbows, as well as people halfway stuck into the walls of the remaining buildings and walls.
The now alerted students looked at each other with confusion, while also being aware of their surroundings, but it was only after the dust settled that they understood.
In the area that had just exploded, the sixty cultivators were slowly getting back on their feet, while also ingest their pills, or healing themselves. However, the eyes of the students did not land on them, but on the backs of the five individuals who were currently facing sixteen between n.o.blemen and high beasts.
Blood covered each of the bodies of these five individuals, and no piece of clothing had been left intact. On the surface of their injured skin came a constant white gleam, which made them look like a group of humanoid stars.
Past them, were the seemingly injured golden figures of the n.o.blemen, and the tired silhouettes of beasts of all kinds, from ma.s.sive reptiles, feathery beasts, large gorillas, and even the infant state of legendary beasts, like dragons, quillins, and minotaurs. All of them forming a common front against the outnumbered five.
Despite the difference in numbers, however, these two groups exuded a different feeling.
While the group of sixteen beasts and n.o.blemen were wary of the five, the latter were quiet, and focused.
The students immediately understood what was happening. This event was not only set to see which one was the most capable between the partic.i.p.ants, and to allow for people to form alliances to get rid of dangerous individuals. There was also a reason why this pause between fights had been placed in between the rounds of the elimination type event.
The government wanted the partic.i.p.ants to witness which one of them was the most dangerous, and use whatever means necessary to get rid of them in order not to prevent them from becoming an impossible obstacle to them the very next day.
The reason why the beasts and n.o.blemen were not willing to join the effort in protecting themselves against the charmed ones, was because their objective was different. They wanted Nilo and the others. They had wanted them ever since they had seen them fight in the morning, and even before, when the chosen ones they followed, had oddly predicted that the disciples of the Outcast would partic.i.p.ate to the event.
This thought formed in a few moments, just long enough to witness how one of the beasts broke the line, and come charging at the members of Nilo’s team.
Before the ten meters tall minotaur could take five steps, Fyro alone stepped forward, gaining speed at every step, bit by bit, until the Minotaur was only a few meters of distance. Just before clashing, however, Fyro swept the ground with his hand, causing for a twenty meters long rocky hand to emerge from within the floor.
The ma.s.sive hand was double the size of the minotaur, but the moment the two came in contact, almost as if made out of paper, the hand exploded into small pebbles. Unable to slow the minotaur’s motion in the least, he kept charging, unaware of the building sized rocky stalact.i.te, which came down on him fast enough, to strike him right in the back of his mighty back, and force him to the ground.
Fyro immediately reacted to his successful attack by raising both of his arms, but right as the ground underneath the minotaur started to turn into metal, two flying beasts appeared from within the still floating rocks, ready to peak his arm and leg right off.
Capable enough to see the attack, Fyro decided not to avoid, and instead focused on his target.
Just as the two flying beasts were about to strike him, Zack’s figure appeared out of nowhere, lying horizontally in the air, while holding a sword with each hand. One which parried the attack aimed at Fyro’s leg, and one which parried the attack aimed at his arm.
Thanks to this action Fyro was able to take full control over the ground underneath the minotaur, but right as he was about to make numerous metallic spikes emerge from underneath it, a few golden coins reached him at an absurd speed. However, instead of hitting him, they entered his pocket, causing him to lose control over the ground underneath the minotaur, who had already started to get up.
After parrying the attack of the two flying beasts, a large dark shadow approached from behind the dust, becoming bigger and bigger, until it was revealed to be the fist of the ten meters tall gorilla.
Zack was unable to avoid the punch, so he crossed his arms in front of his chest in order to parry.
The punch was strong enough to make his bones tremble, and sent his body flying past the standing Fyro, and towards their side of the line-up. Before he could go far, Cynna pointed her shield towards Nilo, who without thinking twice about it, stepped on it with enough power to be sent flying towards Zack’s flying body.
As the two met mid-air, Nilo grabbed Zack’s belt, and with every bit of power of which he was capable of, used his motion to cast his companion back from where he came from.
Zack tightened the grip around his the hilts of his swords, and after putting them above his head, he focused the emission of his immortal essence in the right side of his body, starting a spinning motion which soon enough allowed him to become difficult to see, and for his body to be surrounded by a quickly forming tornado.
The gorilla watched with horror as Zack approached him with an attack so fast and powerful, that he was certain he would not survive.
Unfortunately, right as the tip of Zack’s swords could meet with the Gorilla’s strong body, an enormous leathery wing wrapped him, right before turning itself into impenetrable metal.
As Zack’s attack clashed against the dragon’s wing, the shock wave sent the two of them, as well as Fyro, the minotaur, and the gorilla flying back, signaling the end of the umpteenth of the many exchanges these tired cultivators had had in the past couple of hours.
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