Their arms clashed and created a shockwave that rippled through the hall, sending the surrounding dust flying all over the place.
Garen and Anjay Terin were having a fierce bout. As their arms collided at high speeds, they gave out loud clunks as if two pieces of metal were hitting against each other.
Without using any other techniques and purely the abilities within his arms, Garen managed to force Anjay Terin into a corner within just a few seconds. Using only just one arm, he could block his opponent's two-handed attacks. With each swipe, he could completely parry his opponent's attacks.
His other hand reached into the space between them and his palm struck Anjay Terin directly in the chest.
With a strike on Anjay Terin's chest, his face immediately turned pale. Backing up a few steps to regain his stability, he looked at this freshmen First Seat. At that moment, he had no idea what to say as his pale face had patches of red. Seeing this sight, the whole training hall fell silent.
Bit-by-bit, Anjay Terin started to feel that this freshman Nonosiva's martial arts were almost as flawless as his. More importantly, his every action and skill gave off an indescribable sense of suppression. This type of feeling wasn't the bloodlust you felt from the top-ranked students who were experts in actual battles, it felt more like… an indescribable fear-inducing feeling.
"For you to reach this Level at this age… I've underestimated you," Anjay Terin clutched at his chest as his face turned even paler.
"You're not bad yourself," Garen shook his head slightly. "Continue?"
"I…" Anjay Terin wanted to say something, but he was interrupted by another voice.
"Leave this to me, Anjay."
Nearby, a man with long black hair jumped up to the stage with a flip. Taking off his black jacket, he threw it towards his friend.
"Barry?" Anjay Terin stopped talking and he opted to leave the stage as instructed. Right before he left, he gave Garen a word of caution, "Be careful, this is fellow is ranked seventh, and he has a bad temper."
Garen nodded, accepting his opponent's good intentions. He shifted his sight towards the man who had just arrived on the stage. This Barry guy seemed to be surrounded by a black mist, giving off a mysterious vibe.
"Rank seven… He looks different from the others," he felt that his opponent's mental will was almost like it's not from just one person, but rather, a culmination of two people's wills.
"Level 3 Willpower. To be able to utilize it to this level was solely due to your physical body's capabilities," Barry's line of sight seemed as if it could scan through everything, almost as if his eyes were faintly flashing with a white dot of light.
Garen felt a chill in his heart. He remained silent, glaring at his new opponent.
"Your vitality is terrifying. It should either be from being submerged in a strengthening potion or from some genetic altering ray. However, that doesn't matter," Barry smiled. "All of these are irrelevant. Although your vitality can increase your body's defense and speed, only pure Willpower suppression stands above all."
"Pure Willpower suppression?" Garen raised his guard, as he was still not very familiar with the true Willpower secret skills and he could only base his reactions on his observations. His opponent was an expert who was ranked seventh. Out of all the people practicing the Crouched Eagle Talon in Blackboard Academy, he was among the top ranks of the pyramid. Looking at his age and aura, he didn't seem like a rookie when it came to actual killing. This kind of opponent was enough for him to actually fight with full seriousness.
"As a fellow genius from the Eagle's Nest, let me show you some pointers…!!" before the word "pointers" even finished, Barry waved his right arm. His arm was like a sharp blade, slicing through the air, shooting forth a bloody and sweet aura. A shadow of an arm started forming in the air, almost like a snake, slithering towards Garen.
On the ground, all things touched by the arm's shadow started losing their color as if they were starting to rot. This displayed the terrifying power of the shadow's toxicity, as something as durable as the alloy ground had started to rot just within an instant, if it was human skin, the person would be instantly disintegrated.
"Poison!" Garen frowned as he immediately jumped back, dodging the shadow's pursuit. However, a poisonous mist had started to engulf the opponent in a few meters' radius, and there was no way for Garen to enter.
Barry stood at the center of the stage like a curled up porcupine; there was no way to get close to him.
The shadow of another arm struck Garen from behind. Although Garen managed to dodge in time, there was still some black mist sticking onto him. This black mist felt as if it has a mind of their own, slowly moving around on Garen's skin as it pleased. With a shake, Garen managed to get it off of him.
The two continued on in this cat and mouse battle, with one on the offensive while the other remaining on the defensive. Unconsciously, Garen was completely suppressed.
Even though he had not released the restraints of he placed on his body, his opponent still managed to suppress him using Willpower secret skills. This gave Garen a sense of excitement; if a rank seven fellow was able to unleash this amount of battle potential without a mech, it showed how fearsome Willpower support could be.
For a pilot with a strong Willpower, even without his mech, he would still have the battle prowess of an expert in internal energy, and so defeating an average person would be completely effortless. The development of their own cells had reached an absurd level.
Thinking of this, Garen finally started to loosen the restraints on his body. At the end of the day, these people had a stronger Willpower than him, but their vitality was not that much different from an average person's. Take Barry whom he was currently facing for example, based on his reflexes and physical strength, he had at most 1.2 or 1.3 times the vitality of an average person. In other words, he was only that much stronger than the average person. This also displayed how Willpower training could only support your capabilities for a brief moment. Without the support, his capabilities were no different from an average person's.
After Garen made sure of the difference between secret techniques and Willpower secret skills, without uttering a single word, he lunged forward, straightened his palm as if it was a knife, and fiercely struck forward.
With a screech, his palm created a shapeless air flow, dispersing the poison mist in front of him. Taking advantage of the poison mist being dissipated, he immediately charged, throwing a fist at Barry's direction.
"Poison Pond!" Barry opened his mouth as the Willpower in his body started bursting out. That wasn't a Level Four Willpower, it was Level Five!
A strong Willpower started to flow out in all directions as a formless energy field, almost like a huge wave, that crashed towards Garen's body.
He was flung back and his legs skidded along the ground, leaving long black marks; even the soles of his leather shoes had been completely burned through.
Garen's body was completely engulfed in his own Willpower in order to protect him from the damage caused by the opponent's poison mist. However, he started to feel a searing pain in his mind; it seemed like his Willpower had been damaged, and it would need some time to heal.
A Level Five against a Level Three, as expected, the difference was still quite a large leap. If not for Garen's monstrous vitality, he would probably have been knocked out cold.
Silently standing in the same spot, Garen could hear the shouts of amazement from all around him. Most of them were in admiration of Barry's terrifying poison technique, but there were also a few that were praising him. For someone who had just entered the Eagle's Nest, even as the freshmen First Seat, he'd managed to hold his own against so many attacks by Barry, who stood at rank seven.
Garen had restrained his own physical capabilities to that of an above average human. Even so, he did not expect that even with his myriad of battle experience, he would be forced into a corner by an opponent to the extent where he had his Willpower damaged. This was obviously the result of his unfamiliarity of his opponent's abilities. That last Willpower wave was something that could not be dodged. It was a wave that spread in all directions, and the only counter was hard defense.
Squinting his eyes, Garen simulated the battle if he had released all his restraints. The end result would've been a tie, leaving both parties heavily damaged. His opponent's poison techniques were dangerous, but he could still take on the poison damage if he dealt a Hail Mary attack, heavily damaging his opponent.
This gave Garen a sense of exhilaration; he had almost reached the epitome of power in the Secret Techniques World, but here, he was already being suppressed by a pilot without his mech. Although he no longer had the monstrous Divine Statue Technique, just with his body's diverse battle experiences, he could only reach such a level. If that was the case, how strong would the pilots of an even higher rank be?
However, his current physical capabilities were still small, it was only 3 times the average person, and he was still far from his actual level back in that world, much less his level in the Totem World. This result was expected.
Garen was in shock on this end, not knowing that Barry on the other end was even more shocked.
"This bastard… This bastard is a bloody monster!!" although Barry remained calm on the surface, he was trembling on the inside.
"Out of all the Level Five pilots, I have the best physical capabilities! From reflexes, vitality, strength, to speed, all of it had been strengthened using special potions, and I'd even been through multiple genetic alteration rays. My physical capabilities should have far exceeded the average human's! I can unleash my body's full potential up to 100%! Even those military experts who had undergone special training shouldn't even be a match for me!"
Barry's mind was in complete turmoil.
"Only those martial artists who have spent their lives practicing purely martial arts should have better physical capabilities than me! How can this freshman…" Barry's pursuit to strengthen his physical capabilities was something that even most traditional Level Five pilots could not attain.
There weren't many pilots who would focus so much on training their physical bodies because their strength lay within their mechs. No matter how strong their physical body was, when up against even the weakest mechs, they would still be completely destroyed. Rather than spending time on their physical bodies, most people would spend more time training in their respective mechs.
This had caused most people to pursue strength by focusing solely on their Willpower. When it came to physical capabilities, Barry was already considered among the cream of the crop.
Barry was someone who had participated in countless combat tournaments in the Blackboard Region, even winning two gold medals and a silver medal! He had also worked part-time as a tutor for a few generals and their combat training before. He was someone who had crawled back from the depths of hell itself.
Suppressing his trembling heart, he cleared his throat.
"How long have you trained in combat?"
The two were no longer in battle, they just stood opposite each other. Hearing his opponent's question, Garen felt that both sides had no intent to continue.
"I started when I was young. Why do you ask?"
This opponent's reflexes were even faster that Anjay Terin's from earlier. He also had great battle senses, and he'd chosen an extremely appropriate timing to activate his explosive Willpower. He was a worthy opponent.
The white dots in Barry's eyes started to light up once more. He carefully scanned Garen once more and started to frown.
"You chose a wrong path… No matter how strong your body is, you still stand no chance against a mech. A pilot's path relies on Willpower, over-strengthening one's body is a waste of time and energy and will cause one to lose focus. You should have been able to progress even faster."
"My Willpower is already fast enough…" Garen lightly shook his head.
Barry let out a sigh.
"How meaningless. Your physical capabilities are strong, and you are able to stand on equal grounds with me in this current situation. But, once we step into a mech, believe me when I say I will be able to destroy you in one hit," he calmly said while pointing his index finger at him.
Garen's heart trembled slightly. His sharp five senses could tell that everything his opponent said was the truth. There was no sign of any joking or mockery, it was a sincere statement.
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