However, right at the instant when Mario had raised his hand, Tianqiong Musk had already made an evasive action. With a tremble of his feet, followed by a speed akin to teleportation, he had already removed himself from the area Mario's black flames could reach.
A frown appeared on Mario's face as he thought, "What a thorny opponent!". He could see that there was something going on with his opponent's feet. Every time his feet moved, it appeared as though a terrifying power had exploded within them, just like cannons going off. That was the Fiery Arrow Academy and the Musk Family's Human Body Strengthening Art!
This caused him to suck in a breath of cold air. The Human Body Strengthening Art was an extremely powerful technique. Once a user was able to endure the strengthening, it would make one nigh invincible within the same realm. Of course, unless they were facing off against invincible and mysterious experts of the same realm.
The strengthening of his legs gave Tianqiong Musk astonishing explosive power. Every single movement made by him appearing as though he had been shot out by a cannon, giving him unlimited power and terrifying movement speeds.
Opening his hands wide open, dark energies continued to erupt out from Mario. His black flames were also one of the special abilities that were invincible under the same realm. As long as a sliver was able to make contact with his opponent, it would be able to expand indefinitely. Unless Mario willed it, it would burn forever and never go out.
Boom Boom Boom Boom Boom...
Black flames erupted crazily across the stage. There were times that it would rush up from the ground, with other times burning through the air without the slightest warning at all. Appearing just like flowers, these clumps of black flames erupted outwards as they chased after Tianqiong Musk's shadow.
All of a sudden, Tianqiong Musk bent his knees and channelled his strength. Leaping into the air, he suddenly appeared right behind Mario just like a bolt of lightning travelling through the air, before a sword stab and shield strike came hurtling out!
Bang! Mario frantically raised his shield. However, just as he managed to block the incoming stab, he felt a massive force smashing right into him, causing him to be sent hurtling through the air, before slamming heavily on the ground.
A wave of shocked cries rang out from the Blazing squadron. From the place they were watching the duel from, they were able to get a clear view of more details than other people, and therefore could get a better understanding of the happenings in the duel. Tianqiong Musk's smash was an exceedingly vicious one. At the second before he had launched his attack, the ground he was stepping on had shattered. This was an arena of the highest level, so the materials used for the construction were reinforced with runic pattern arrays. Nevertheless, it had still been shattered by him. It wasn't from the explosive power of his stomp, but merely from the power stored within his legs. From this, one could imagine just how terrifying of an impact Mario had just suffered.
"It'll be okay!" Sharmie's hands were clenched so tightly her fingers had already turned white. Nothing will happen to Mario! His defence could even protect him against her infinite cannon fire!
"Too weak! Too reliant on your special ability!"
Tianqiong Musk said in an indifferent tone. Although his tone wasn't one of ridicule, it stung even greater. It sounded as though he was giving guidance to Mario, while this was not a competition, but a class of him teaching Mario how to fight.
A calm expression on Mario's face was his response to Tianqiong Musk's words, with not a single word uttered by him, as he knew the obvious disadvantage he had in comparison to his opponent.
With a smile, Tianqiong Musk continued to talk. "Only your spirit is commendable."
With a bang, Tianqiong Musk shot off once again. As power came together with speed, his legs started to radiate with a silvery radiance, while his advance appeared just like a bolt of lightning streaking across the stage.
Mario raised his hand fiercely, and a preemptive wall of black flames surged up in the path of the lightning-fast advance. However, all of a sudden, the bolt of lightning swerved to one side. Without any decrease in speed, it evaded the region erupting in black flames as it continued its frenzied rush.
Mario was sent flying high into the air, before landing heavily on the ground once again. "Cough…" A sweet and metallic taste had filled his mouth. Upon opening his mouth, he discovered that blood had already seeped all over his gums, with the contrast of red and white painting a look of misery.
This time, however, Tianqiong Musk did not come to a stop. The silvery bolt of lightning made a high-speed U-turn, before continuing its rush towards Mario.
Having just stood up, Mario was sent flying, before landing heavily on the ground for the third time in a row.
Faced against Tianqiong Musk and his explosive movements, Mario could only open his eyes wide in desperation. There was utterly nothing that he could do!
This was an S ranker! This was Tianqiong Musk! His body strengthening special ability had allowed him to master a combat style that was famed for being extremely fast and rapid. With his speed, every single strike Tianqiong Musk unleashed would contain, twice, thrice, or even 10 times the force of a normal strike.
Bang... Bang… Bang... Bang...
Every single strike would sound like the crack of thunder. At this moment, people within the audience could not control themselves and stood up, raising their hands high and shrieking out at the top of their lungs. Naturally, all of these were Tianqiong Musk's fans, as the fans of the 10 great families were all swayed by the ruling monopoly.
A figure that couldn't be caught by the broadcasting cameras, as well as the successive thunderous smashes. Such a spectacle caused the audience's adrenaline levels to skyrocket, as they felt a primal feeling of hot blood surging within their bodies, as fists collided with flesh. This was power, with that fist representing what speed really meant.
Once, twice, again, yet again...
Mario continued to be sent flying in the air; repeatedly flying upwards and landing heavily on the ground.
Mario continued to climb up.
He continued to stand up again and again. I cannot lose, I cannot lose, I cannot lose!
At this moment, a frown had already appeared on Tianqiong Musk's face. How could this person be so resilient against beatings? Nevertheless, his opponent's muttering caused his relaxed mood into turn into one of disgust.
Bang! A red flash of light come attacking over!
This fist rumbled right towards Mario's face. Under the massive impact, his neck was flung backwards with so much force that it appeared distorted, as though his entire neck had simply snapped into two.
All of a sudden, the cheering noises coming from the entire arena turned silent once again.
Countless eyes had been turned dumbfounded.
That's because this time, Mario did not get sent flying!
"Earth...it's an Earth attribute defensive special ability!"
Some people immediately shouted out after discovering a faint yellowish halo surfacing around Mario's body. However, even with the earth attribute defensive special ability, which allowed one to possess truly astonishing defensive capabilities, and his undying cockroach-like nature, the Fiery Arrow City's cheerleading groups were all hugging their heads. They did not dare, and could not believe what they saw!
Curses were being shouted in their hearts as they started to rage. How the hell did he train such defensive capabilities! It was too perverted!
Definitely, Mario would not let such a hard-earned opportunity slip past him, as he responded by unleashing a ring of hellish flames. Nevertheless, Tianqiong had instantly vanished. The attack that Mario had endured so long just to unleash was fruitless yet again.
As Tianqiong Musk came to a stop, an expression of surprise was evident on his face as he noticed the radiance of an earth attribute special ability radiating from Mario's body. Subsequently, he gave a faint smile before saying, "This is slightly interesting. However, you're still too underqualified to be ambushing me. Now, it's time for me to get serious."
Hearing that, Mario wiped away the bloodstains at the corner of his mouth, while fighting the impulsion to vomit. Wasn't that earlier beating due to him being serious? Looking towards his opponent, he proceeded to curl his finger towards him. Come! The tempering from the great captain every single day wasn't for nothing. At the very least, it had allowed Mario to gain a superhuman level of tolerance towards beatings. Compared to being beaten to death, Mario was even more incapable of dealing with Sharmie's disappointment.
A brilliant flash shot out from Tianqiong Musk's eyes, before his indifferent gaze gradually changed into one that radiated the dazzling demeanour of an expert.
Crack! All of a sudden, clear cracking sounds rang out from the left and right ribs on his back. In the next instant, two slivery clumps of radiance unique to special abilities spurted out like fiery arrows. Forming a pair of silvery wings, they sparkled with silvery brilliance. As this was happening, his hands appeared to have turned metallic as they now appeared to be glowing with a silvery sheen.
Was he still a human? However... there was an unspeakable sense of aesthetic appeal from his appearance, while his icy cold strength of appeared just like the definition of perfection.
"If you have any cards left, it's best for you to use them now." said Tianqiong Musk in a serious tone. He had great respect for Mario, as only he knew exactly how many of his blows Mario had endured. Although he had been sent flying and landing on the ground from every single strike, every single time, Mario was still able to defend against the lethal sword strike he had sent in every attack. That wasn't an easy task!
This was the first time he had bumped into an opponent with such a high tolerance for beating.
As he thought about it, he gave a calm and faint smile. From the beginning, he had never really considered Mario as his opponent.
However, he was genuinely serious now.
"Human Body Transformation Art. Second level, unseal."
As Tianqiong Musk opened his eyes slowly, his body started to flicker!
A silvery bolt of lightning reappeared on the stage. However, this time, it was going at 3 times faster than before!
What's more, it's speed was still increasing!
Just at this moment, Mario raised his shield ferociously towards Tianqiong Musk.
However, it wasn't for defence!
Dark energies gushed out from the giant shield, entering the runic construct within steel frame, before destroying its molecular stability from the inside and outside.
In an instant, the giant shield exploded apart, transforming into hundreds of shrapnel pieces burning with black flames. With a ferocious shove, Mario shoved it before himself while shouting, "Explode!"
Bang Bang Bang...
Just like a dozen shotguns going off, hundreds of fragments exploding out from the giant shield shot out in a fan-like pattern!
Such an impact wouldn't be one bit frightening for Tianqiong Musk. When trained to its limits, the Fiery Arrow Family's Human Body Transformation Art would allow one to forcefully take head-on blows from cannon fire. However, he did not dare to ignore the black flames that were burning on the incoming shrapnel. Those were the flames from hell. Just the slightest contact and there would be the possibility of him being turned into cinders by Mario. The Musk Family's Human Body Transformation Art was an art they had inherited from the dark era. However, it was unorthodox; only the Musk Family had been able to develop it to this stage, and obtain a great and powerful strength from it.
The silvery bolt of lightning swerved fiercely, evading the fan-shaped region of flying shrapnel. With his speed and reflexes, an attack like that was useless against him...
All of a sudden, Tianqiong Musk's expression changed, as a black radiance had suddenly lit up beneath his feet. It had formed a circle, and was just about to erupt.
Mario! The fan-shaped shrapnel blast from the explosion of the giant shield was only to force Tianqiong to change directions. Mario had already placed eruption points for his hell flames along the evasion paths, like the one which had just been triggered.
Tianqiong Musk gave a cold snort, before the silvery wing-like radiance on his back gave a fierce flap towards the ground. As it proceeded to flap as if it was a pair of wings, his speed abruptly rose, forcefully propelling him out of the radius of the flame ring.
However, Mario proceeded to raise his right hand, before giving a fierce swipe towards the ground. How could a single flame ring stop Tianqiong Musk?
"Hell's----5 successive explosions!"
Bang Bang Bang Bang...
Tianqiong Musk's expression finally contorted, as everywhere beneath his feet, in front of him, his rear and all sides had been turned into hellish flames. The imprint of the black flames continued increase in brightness, showing their impending eruption.
Tianqiong Musk was astonished by what was happening around him. With such an ability, the large radius of special ability eruption had already exceeded that of any ordinary realm. Instead, this was...
Quasi Sanctuary Division!
So it turned out that Mario was the one that had hidden the deepest!
At this instant, he had already reached the maximum speed he could reach, and was in a phase where it was hard to continue keeping it up without the input of additional strength. Although he had one more chance to push his strength to the next level, his front, back and sides had... Fuck it. At this moment, the entire stage seemed to have been completely enveloped by the black flames. The fan-shaped region with shrapnel from the exploded giant shield, the five successive explosions on the ground; this was the eruption of the strategy Mario had been preparing for very long!
In the arena, an explosion of astonished cries had rung out!
Not in anyone's wildest dreams did they expect for the ever-so-disadvantaged Mario, who was always on the receiving end of beatings, to be able to retaliate; what more, he might be able to turn the tide?
Ma Dong jumped up into the air, his heart surging with emotions. At this moment, with Tianjing already in the top 16, he had already become extremely relaxed. Although they had yet to become victors, he did not have the mood to aim for such heights. Naturally though, deep down within his heart, he was still hoping for the Blazing squadron to be able to take this win.
At this instant, Wang Zhong's eyes were glowing like torches. It was hard for him to have the opportunity to view a fight at this level. The information gleaned from watching the fight live in the arena was absolutely unattainable from the Skylink broadcast. The exchange of combat techniques and skills between two experts, especially the transformation of their mental states, this Mario… was truly formidable.
This stemmed from the essence of his spiritual soul, which was of an extremely high realm. As for that Human Body Transformation Art that Tianqiong Musk had succeeded from his family, it had traces of a genetic manipulation technique. Without a doubt, the Musk Family had monopolized techniques and skills in this field during those years. They had fused it with the usage of Soul Power, and were the leaders within the Federation on this subject. However, the problem was that this was only one out of the many possible paths towards achieving success. What's more, following the rise in their proficiency on Soul Power usage, the Musk Family's long-established position of superiority had been eroded. At this moment, they were merely clinging on to their position as one of the 10 great families. If not for them starting to fuse the power of runes into the basics of their Human Body Transformation Art, they might have already been kicked out from their positions.
Sighing, Tianqiong Musk suddenly squated down. "Human Body Transformation Art, 3rd level, unseal."
This was a move he had originally reserved for Gui Hao, Carolyn, Mo Wen and people at their level.
The silvery wings of light gushed fiercely towards the ground, before growing to twice their size. At the same time, two silvery wings of light burst out from each of his ankles.
Like a fiery arrow being shot out of a bow, Tianqiong Musk rose fiercely into the sky. The silvery glow of light drew a vertical line straight up, reaching a height of 10 metres in the air!
Bang Bang Bang...
The five successive hellfire rings rushed up into the sky. However, after rushing to the 10-metre mark, the surging black flames were unable to continue upwards. As for Tianqiong Musk, he was already close to the 100-metre mark. Nevertheless, his momentum had yet to disappear as he straightened his body, appearing to stand in the sky, like a god looking down on the mortals beneath.
Extending his right hand, he pointed at the ant-sized Mario standing on the stage beneath.
"I admit that you're qualified to be my opponent, to have forced me this far. However, this ends here."
At this instant, the silvery wings on Tianqiong Musk's back and ankles shook, before he did a backflip, with his feet raised above his head.
"Spiralling Meteor Explosion!"
A glowing circle of light, formed by what seemed to be a sonic boom, exploded in the air.
In an instant, a spiralling streak of silver rushed down from the sky.
The entire arena was silent as they stared dumbly at the streak shooting down from the sky. Was this a god?
At this moment, Mario's mouth was already wide open. The Musk Fiery Arrow Family's Human Transformation Art was truly perverted! Even freaks shouldn't be able to do that, right?
Like a descending god, Tianqiong Musk reached the ground in the blink of an eye. With another shift of his body, a silvery energy halo suddenly exploded around him. In the next instant, instead of smashing into the ground, he skimmed across the surface, shooting right towards Mario like a heat-seeking missile.
Musk did not lose his reason. Not only did he want victory, he also wanted to avoid making contact with Mario's frightening hellish flames. It couldn't be flung off once contact was made, so Tianqiong did not want to suffer a loss from a stupid mistake.
The Zhao family had already paid in blood to warn him that he couldn't afford to be careless in front of any opponent.
Victory was before his eyes. Yet, Mario had started to laugh, instantly causing Musk to sense that something was amiss. Was this fellow really courting death?
"Heaven Falls and the Earth Rends--Arena of Death!"
Blood gushed out like a spring from Mario's nose. Blood was even flowing out of his ears! He was using his special ability in a way that surpassed his body's limits!
Fierce rumbling sounds blasted out from the ground. Amidst the reverberation, a spherical dome 5 metres across enveloped both him and Tianqiong Musk.
At this instant, Mario raised his hands in the air and roared. "Flames of Hell!"
Tianqiong Musk naturally knew what his opponent was planning on doing. Mutually assured destruction! However, he was not willing!