Bastian’s attempt to affect the minds of those present had gone well. Mark’s quick response however made things more difficult. The warriors became afraid of Bastian, that was evident, but they were even more afraid of Mark. Even as a quasi-Teacher, he was still far more powerful than all of them combined. Mark decided to harness that fear and use it to his favour.
Mark’s objective was to use these warriors to test Bastian. There were still quite a few warriors that were supposed to be able to get Bastian to act. At that moment Mark wanted to know as much about Bastian as possible.
“Everyone, attack the boy now. Either you die by my hands, or you take a chance and fight him. I give you 10 seconds to decide.” As Mark spoke, his eyes were filled with cold killing intent, he no longer saw the people around him as fellow warriors but as tools for him to do as he pleased. Such was the nature of being weak, the strong could do what they wanted with you.
As warriors, as gladiators, and as slaves, no one knew that sad truth more than the people there. The warriors gritted their teeth and charged at Bastian.
Bastian sighed and shrugged. The Bastian they were facing at that moment was not the Bastian they had faced before. This was a being with yuan, an energy composed of both mana and qi. Since Bastian he could create it, he felt invigorated. Yuan filled up his entire body, strengthening him down to his very core.
The Bastian they were facing then was a monster compared to the one they had faced before. Although Bastian was not able to use his Martial Techniques like the vector steps, due to the fact that he was acting as a mage, there was nothing that prevented him from powering up his body from the inside.
Qi’s ability to enhance the body not only manifested from the outside but even from the inside as well. Bastian was a Novice, so he could not cover his feet with qi, nor did he intend to but he could fill his feet with water yuan, which was far more potent than normal qi. Although Bastian did not understand yuan, he did understand that it was more potent that both mana and qi.
It was not Bastian’s style to stand there and get attacked. He had discovered on that day, that he enjoyed taking the initiative, and would operate in that manner in the future. Bastian filled his feet with water yuan and got ready to move. He filled the rest of his body with fire yuan, to boost his destructive power.
As the energy was inside his body, no one could sense it. All the warriors saw was Bastian crouching, getting to pounce, and his silhouette flashing. Screams and blood covered the area as Bastian engaged in what could only be described as wanton slaughter.
No one could keep up with him, no one could touch him, and no one could stop him. Some had their chests pierced, some had their heads ripped off from their bodies, others would have their skulls smashed, which left their brain matter visible to the naked eye, flying all over.
Bastian wanted to end this as quickly as possible, and that he did. Other warriors chose to run, but they would either be caught in Bastian’s grasp or they would fall prey to Mark’s arrow. To be destroyed by a flaming arrow or falling to a seemingly mad Bastian, this was the situation facing the warriors.
Some tried to fight back but Bastian was at that moment too fast to counter. Not only was he using water yuan but Kenshin’s insights also came into play. This made a deadly combination. Bastian’s arms were like weapons themselves, filled with the explosive power of fire yuan. Although the earth attribute had more strength, the fire attribute was not too far behind.
Elemental attributes had many sides to them. For example, earth’s main enhancement was strength but fire also increased strength, although not as much. Yet this was more than enough to allow Bastian to rip someone’s head off his body. Though, that in itself required some skill on Bastian’s part.
These secondary aspects were quite important. Although fire attribute energy was not as strong as earth, it was not slow either. In fact, the explosive nature of fire energy gave its user a slight boost in speed as well.
That resulting in fire being the most impressive element in terms of pure offense for warriors. The warriors could only cover certain parts of their bodies with qi, all Bastian had to do was attack parts that were exposed. That lead to a completely one sided massacre. Mark was disheartened by the sight but Ruka was afraid.
She, being Mark’s companion, was obviously not included in the suicide squad sent to fight Bastian. She had stood by Mark’s side and observed the battle. Suffice to say that the shame had at first been replaced by relief. She then understood the gap in strength between her and Bastian, so it was not a surprise that he had been able to best her so easily.
This relief however was quickly replaced by fear. As she saw Bastian mow down the warriors as if they were grass, she started thinking about what would have happened if Mark was not there. She knew, just like anyone else, the power a Teacher had, even a quasi-Teacher like Mark. Yet Bastian made her heart skip a beat every time he attacked.
Logically, Mark should be able to defeat him instantly, yet Mark himself had an evident look of worry himself. This made Ruka’s fear become even worse.
Wait why isn’t Mark attacking? He has a long range Martial Technique! He should take this chance to finish him off!
Indeed, if Mark used this opportunity, then his chances of finishing off Bastian were all but guaranteed. Ruka was about to reprimand Mark for not attacking when an idea dawned on her.
Logically, Mark’s power should be a far cry from Bastian’s. That fight was being observed by their Masters. If a Teacher like Mark were to resort to underhanded means such as this to defeat Bastian, then he would lose face. For Mark and Ruka, due to certain circumstances, face was especially important. A lot of gladiators there had a certain reputation, and Mark was one of them. He was one of the favourites for the two star tournament so, many eyes were on him.
If he was to strike Bastian at this moment, then Ruka knew what people would say. ‘You, a Teacher, qualified by striking down an Acolyte who was already in the midst of battle.’
To Ruka and Mark being talked of in such a manner was a fate worse than death.