Bastian was getting bored. His attempt at improving his reaction speed was becoming more and more pointless as time went on, because Tate’s swings became slower and easier to predict.
This was not only because the giant was tiring, but also because Bastian’s eyes were adjusting. Thus when Bastian saw that Tate had stopped, he decided to put an end to this farce.
Bastian’s mind had finally returned to what could be said to be a good place but he was still not his usual self.
Be it Bastian from Earth or Sebastian from the Sovereign Continent, both were very calm and hard to anger. They were very passive in terms of emotions and would never get enraged in the truest sense of the word.
Now that the two personas had fused, they had changed each other. Bastian had come out on top over his far younger companion. Thus, it was more accurate to say that Bastian had devoured Sebastian. Either way, the new Bastian was different from both of his former personas. One of those differences was about to come out.
This new aspect of the new Bastian was ruthlessness.
Bastian Smith was kind hearted, Sebastian Tirius was also soft. Yet when both souls fused and bore a third, much darker side.
Bastian’s wisdom and knowledge of the human mind, coupled with Sebastian’s knowledge of the true nature of the Sovereign Continent, had led Bastian to a conclusion; Kindness to your enemy is cruelty to yourself.
Tate was a stranger to Bastian. He did not know the man. But Bastian would not hesitate to kill the giant. Especially considering that his survival hinged on this battle.
So why had Bastian not killed the man now that he had no use? The answer is simple.
“Old man. I am about to kill you, but before I do I need you to help me out with something, and tell me where I am. Specifically what Country and City this is.”
Bastian’s question baffled the audience. What kind of person would request a favour from someone he was about to kill? Especially in such a nonchalant manner.
Bastian’s face was no different from the face you would have when you were talking to a friend.
He had a smile that was not a smile. His expression was relaxed and he had his guard down.
The audience knew very well that Bastian was relaxed because he had Tate within the palm of his hands. But his shameless act of asking a favour from a man, whom he had just toyed with and was about to slaughter, had surprised quite a bit of people.
The smarter people in the audience, people like Kai were speechless for an entirely different reason.
He doesn’t know what country he is in?
Bastian looked very relaxed, and he had asked what country he was in, as if he was asking for the time of day!
Absurd. Just who is this youth?
“You are in the Blue Seas Alliance. In the City of Yani.”
“Hhmm what is the date?”
“The 1st of May 4130 E.D.”
“Hhmm that’s good. Thanks for helping me out. I owe you one.”
“Nonsense, it’s the least I could do, after all. You are helping me.”
At Tate’s odd statement, Bastian merely shrugged.
Meanwhile in the booth containing Kai and his Master…
“Kai, do you believe in miracles?”
“No young master.”
“If not a miracle then what are we looking at?
“Two mentally ill people young master.”
Kai’s Master put his hand under his chin and entered into a state of deep thought. He was really trying to understand what was occurring before him.
That was when Bastian opened his mouth.
“Tate, I’m attacking. Get ready.”
“Alright, come at me.”
Bastian loosed up his body and made a crouching pose, looking to pounce on Tate. Tate raised his sword in a defensive manner. Assuming a stance that said ‘I will block everything you can give me.’
Meanwhile somewhere else…
“Kai, do you see the sparring match before us?”
“No young master.”
“If not a sparring match then what are we looking at?”
“A death match….I think.”
The moment Kai finished speaking, Bastian pounced.
His feet pushed off the ground, launching his relatively small body toward his foe. His left hand was reaching out, while his right hand was lingering on his back.
Tate stood there, like a large rock that could brave the force of a large wave of water. Tate’s intention was simple, the moment Bastian touched his sword, he would smash him into the ground.
Tate, like most of the veterans in the arena, knew the hardness the gauntlets had, coupled with Bastian’s lightning fast reaction speed, Tate knew he would not be able to cut the boy.
But even if one could prevent himself from being cut by the blade, the force behind it could still damage him.
Tate’s instinct told him that he was at death’s door, yet his logic told him that he had a fighting chance. The moment Bastian headed straight for the gloves, Tate knew that there was a dragon amongst snakes.
Even if the young warrior is faster than me, even if he is quite strong, there is no way he can damage me without a weapon!
Tate had seen Bastian’s strength when he had smashed the blind disaster into the ground. The cracks spread all along the arena floor.
If I was to concentrate my strength into one blow, I could do the same! No, I could go further!
With this naïve thought, Tate tensed his muscles, and got ready to smash Bastian into the ground.
Bastian could tell what the giant was thinking, but this did not change his thinking one bit.
The moment Bastian’s hand gripped the sword with a roar, Tate put all his strength into his sword in an attempt to swing it down.
The sword started moving, but it was not in the direction Tate wanted, instead, the sword was being taken away from the giant’s grasp. Bit by bit, Tate was losing his grip.
What? What is this?
Tate and the audience had expected a fast paced collision, with Bastian relying on his fast pace to get the better of Tate. Yet the completely unexpected occurred.
Yes, Bastian had taken advantage of his speed. But not to dodge the large sabre and counter, instead, his intention was to grip the sword.
“Now you have nothing to protect yourself with.”
Bastian’s words brought Tate and the audience back to reality.
To Tate’s horror, Bastian had completely stripped the giant of his sabre.
The giant wanted to jump back, but unfortunately for him, Bastian had already gripped him with his other hand. It was at this point that Tate realized the fact that had led to his death.
He is stronger than me.
Tate was taller than Bastian by quite a bit, so at that moment, he was looking down at the boy, yet he felt like he looking up at a god.
With an arm breaking yank, Bastian pulled the giant closer.
The giant attempted to use his free hand to strike while he was falling, hoping to use the weight of his fall to supplement his momentum.
Bastian used his other hand to catch the giant’s hand. He had already tossed the sabre aside. Then, like he had just done, he yanked, further hastening the giant’s fall.
The result was that the giant was forced into a kneeling position.
With a loud thud, his knees greeted the bloody floor. Then with a quick movement, Bastian attacked.
Yet he attacked with neither of his feet. Instead, he used his only other available option. His head.
Bastian’s head met with Tate’s skull. A cracking noise, like twigs being snapped, resounded throughout the arena.
The giant did not understand Bastian’s motive. Bastian had opportunities to strike. He could have hit his eyes, his ears, twisted his neck, or even cut him with his sword. Yet Bastian chose such a brutish method of victory.
Blood started flowing from Tate’s ears and nose. His death was only seconds away. Even though Bastian’s work was done, he did not separate his head from the giant’s body.
Instead, he let go of the already lifeless arms and gripped Tate’s skull. Tate still had a bit of light in eyes. So Bastian told him the last words he would ever here. And quite the words they were.
“Tate the smiter. You are the first man I have ever killed. I have no grudge against you nor do I despise you. But rest assured. If I truly do become worthy of my arrogant words, then your name shall never be forgotten as long as mine is remembered.”