“I’ve consumed almost all my arcane particles. I have to win with a blitz.”
“Looks like I can only use this tactic.”
His hands propped on his knees, Ayrin gasped fiercely for breath. He raised his head slightly and looked at Austin, Mountain Kings’ fourth contestant, coming into the field.
Austin’s expression was particularly bad.
Mountain Kings Academy had always traditionally been a strong team. As soon as the groups were drawn, all the observers believed that Mountain Kings Academy were the ones most likely to eliminate Silver Trout Academy and qualify into the top eight, in case Silver Trout had some harsh fights before they met.
He’d always been the number three in team Mountain Kings, his strength second only to vice-captain Rykiel and captain Werther. Previously, when they saw Holy Dawn Academy’s school team, he had also been the one who mocked them the loudest. But now, looking at Ayrin’s clearly tired and spent appearance, he still didn’t have any confidence in his victory.
“How should I fight?”
His thoughts tangled in his mind for a long while. He only made up his mind when Ayrin gestured at referee Kleis he was ready. He was going to fight the way he was best at, assault Ayrin with raw strength and explosiveness. Otherwise, if Ayrin were to force him on a contest of something he wasn’t good in, victory would be even harder to glimpse.
“Holy Dawn Academy against Mountain Kings Academy, Austin against Ayrin, begin!”
Feeling the situation more and more strange, Kleis signaled with his eyes at the assistant referees to be even more careful. Only then did he declare the start of the fight.
With a “Boom,” his entire body radiant with golden beams of light, Austin seemed to transform into a big human-shaped ax slashing at Ayrin with alarming speed.
As soon as Austin moved, Ayrin’s clothes flapped noisily, plastered against him by the wild gusts of wind rushing to his face.
“What a formidable force!”
Ayrin shouted without the slightest fear. His whole person immediately flashed to the side.
A chant rushed out of Austin’s mouth like an explosive bellow.
“What arcane skill is that!”
Ayrin opened his eyes wide. His body felt like steel attracted by a huge magnet, sucked toward Austin.
“Hammer of Death!”
As Ayrin firmly stamped his feet on the ground, resisting this force, Austin chanted in another explosive bellow. Countless bronze- and black-colored particles combined in the air, condensing in front of him into a huge hammer taller than a grown man, smashing ruthlessly in Ayrin’s direction.
“Triple Burst Rhapsody!”
“A mighty triple strike, that’s exactly Austin’s most proficient, most formidable move!”
Such surprised cries rumbled in the stands.
“Evil Flaming Eye!”
A huge burning eye shot away in front of Ayrin.
In the stands, almost half the crowd stood up in spite of themselves. Even Kleis’ and the assistant referees’ eyebrows shot up. They forced down the urge to act.
In everyone’s opinion, since Ayrin couldn’t dodge in time, the only thing he could do was to launch an arcane skill and weaken the power of the Hammer of Death, then try to block it or perhaps dodge it afterward.
But no one expected was, Ayrin’s Evil Flaming Eye didn’t fire at all in the direction of the Hammer of Death, but directly shot at Austin.
At the same time the Hammer of Death smashed on Ayrin, the Evil Flaming Eye had also already reached Austin’s chest.
Austin had never imagined Ayrin would entirely disregard his own safety. After launching his triple strike, he only had time to swerve one arm horizontally and shield it in front of his chest.
A blaze exploded in front of him. His whole body snapped back and flew away.
After the strikes smashed Ayrin to the ground, he still rebounded heavily twice in succession.
“What on earth is he doing?”
“He didn’t try to defend even against the Hammer of Death, but directly used a mutually destructive tactic?”
“The Hammer of Death has such formidable power, how can his body withstand it? Isn’t he afraid of being directly struck dead?!”
“Right now, all his bones are probably be shattered.”
“Hammer of Death is clearly so much more powerful than his Evil Flaming Eye. It might be possible for Austin to stand up after eating his Evil Flaming Eye, but how is he going to stand up after this? Could it be he knew he was going to lose for sure, so he tried to create an opening for the ones coming after him?”
The stands were in an uproar. Many people even started asking quietly, “Won’t he be directly killed?”
“He really used this tactic again.” This thought flashed at the same in the minds of people from Iron Forest Academy, Divine Shield Academy, and Agate Lake Academy.
“He can still get up?”
“How can he be so hardy!”
What made people in the entire arena stare in disbelief was, after being smashed to the ground and bouncing twice, thumping the ground with his crashes, Ayrin immediately got up on swaying legs just like Austin.
And what made people gasp even harder was, Ayrin was actually hurting so much even his face was completely twisted, yet he was the first one to start dashing, even before Austin, charging toward the latter.
Austin’s chest was still hurting so much he couldn’t even catch his breath, and his body felt as though it had cracked open, as though it were out of his control. Even his body hair stood on end at this moment. However, his long painstaking training still moved his body, as if subconsciously, making him launch an arcane skill at the fastest speed.
Light once again shone from his entire body as if he’d transformed into a golden axe crashing head-on toward Ayrin.
A muffled, palpitation-inducing sound of flesh colliding with flesh exploded in the air.
What made almost everyone in the stands incapable of making a sound was, Ayrin once again disregarded his collision and sent a vicious punch smashing on Austin’s neck.
The two of them flew backward at the same time. Both fell heavily on the ground.
Only after several seconds did the entire arena once again erupt in earthshaking surprise and cheer.
“They’re both done for?”
“None of them can stand up.”
Everyone saw that both Ayrin and Austin were both lying on the ground. They simply couldn’t get up for now, both of them groaning in pain.
“He planned to use a mutually damaging method like this right from the very start?”
“That’s the Hammer of Death though! It’s one thing to forcibly endure another skill and take the opportunity to hit your opponent, but that’s the Hammer of Death inherently known for its power!”
“He has to guts to use his body to withstand even a formidable skill like Hammer of Death?”
After several seconds, there were quite a few spectators coming back to their senses from their head-numbing shock. They felt Ayrin was truly too mad for doing that.
“He actually has such a resolve for battle.”
“This member of a weeds-level team can actually go so far for his following teammate.”
In the stands, many other participant teams all looked on with respect as well.
But just then rose a mad laughter totally at odds with the mood.
“Ayrin, you’re finally down for the count, you finally lost!” His hands on his hips, Stingham said with a wild laughter, “Medical team, hurry up and take this guy away.”
“Is that guy really in team Holy Dawn? His own teammate fought so hard, does he have no humane feelings or what.”
Insults immediately fell down from the stands. Many random things smashed down at Stingham like the rain.
“Why are you hitting me!”
A depressed Stingham dodged the things pouring down his way. All of a sudden, he once again let out another narcissistic laugh. “I’m still the most handsome, I’m so handsome even when dodging the stuff raining down.”
The entire stands gasped all of a sudden.
Because, in the field, Ayrin once again, on shaky legs, stood up.
Lying on the ground in incomparable pain, Austin saw at the periphery of his vision Ayrin surprisingly stand up once again. He also desperately tried to stand up, but one bout of acute pain after another gave him one bout of dizziness after another. His body shivered from the cold, as though he kept sinking into icy water.
Ayrin walked in his direction, step by step. The sounds of his footsteps were extremely heavy.
Everyone could see it was because Ayrin suffered from extreme pain with every step. That was the reason why his body and his steps seemed so heavy.
However, such sounds seemed like Death’s Hammer pounding and pounding again on Austin’s heart.
He collapsed mentally after six or seven such sounds. He yelled in pain, “I concede!”
The entire tournament venue sank into a strange silence.
Hearing Austin concede, Ayrin actually turned around and looked at Kleis. “Mister referee, according to the rules of the tournament, isn’t it true I can temporarily go beside the field and drink some water, say whatever to my teammates?”
“You still want to keep fighting?”
In spite of himself, Kleis first retorted a few words in a hush. Only then did he breathe in deeply and nod. “According to the rules, you’re allowed a short rest and communication. But it can’t be longer than half a minute.”
“Ayrin is coming down?”
“The referee’s gesture meant the match is paused. He requested a half-minute timeout, does he still want to keep fighting?”
“The reason timeouts are limited to half a minute is to prevent contestants from healing and recovering arcane particles during. You can’t do anything in half a minute. He already fought against four people back to back, the score right now is already four one. With his condition, why doesn’t he forfeit the next fight? He still wants to go on?”
Seeing Ayrin struggle to walk to the edge of the field, together with Kleis’ gesture, the stands were once again in turmoil.
Everyone in the stands had eyeballs about to fall from their sockets. Because they saw Ayrin walk to the edge of the field, then Ayrin said something to Carter, and Carter also said something to the other members of team Holy Dawn. Bang bang bang, the whole team Holy Dawn started to kick and punch Ayrin.
The radiance of arcane particles was even clearly visible on many people’s fists and feet. Just listening to the sound of the beating, they could tell it wasn’t for show, but a real beating.
“What’s the meaning of this?”
“He got hit so hard by the Hammer of Death just a while ago, wasn’t it enough? He even has to step down the field and get beaten up by his own people?”
When they saw Ayrin shout it was fine now, seemingly very satisfied, then walk back to the center of the field clearly more invigorated than when he left it, people in the stands all became crazy.
“What kind of team is that.”
“Is he a masochist? He’s more energetic the more he gets beaten up?”
“What the hell is this!”