Face was an important factor for those who lived in the Sovereign Continent. For cultivators, especially warriors, face was even more important. Mages were more liberal in their behavior and would often resort to any means to win a battle. Warriors on the other hand, did not have such a luxury.
By the time Ruka had come to, Bastian had already wiped out every warrior before her. To Bastian, most of the battles that day were like a blur. He had fought for so long and had fought so many battles that he was then essentially fighting on a subconscious level. He was still clear headed but he had realized long back that Kenshin’s experience was more effective, the less he thought about it.
It was similar to walking. If one had to think about where one would place his or het foot consciously with every step one took, then walking would be a very arduous process. Bastian already had Kenshin’s experience, so the process was already somewhat familiar to him. All he had to do was get his body used to it.
He had already done so for most of the day and had improved by quite a great deal. With the addition of yuan, his ability to fight had multiplied. Thus, his battle with the remaining warriors held no suspense.
After finishing off the warriors, Bastian did not rush. He stood there, calmly observing Mark. Bastian had noticed that Mark’s relationship with Ruka was not a normal one, but he had long ago stopped looking at her as her threat.
To Bastian she was no different from a rock on the ground. Mark had Bastian’s full attention, and deservedly so. Bastian was hesitating on taking the initiative in attacking Mark for many reasons.
For starters, the Martial Technique Mark possessed was a long range skill. Bastian was well within Mark’s range but so far, Mark had not made a move so that he could not lose face. At the time Bastian was done fighting, it was still highly unlikely Mark would use the Martial technique because he would still lose a lot of face.
The second reason was because Mark had the earth attribute, which was the second best defence amongst the attributes. Bastian was confident in his abilities but he had not seen the full extent of a Teacher’s capabilities. Even if Mark was a quasi Teacher, he was a Teacher none the less. Bastian was at that time, acting as a mage, and all of his most effective spells were long range attacks.
Bastian figured that Mark would choose to shorten the gap between the two intentionally. Bastian also guessed that Mark would switch to using earth qi, and Bastian’s assumptions were proven correct.
Mark covered his entire body in earth qi and moved. Bastian saw his movements clearly, from Mark’s lift off to his breath. Yet despite that, Bastian could barely do anything consciously as Mark’s body moved with a speed that was unlike anything Bastian had ever seen.
Kenshin’s movement skills were different, they were ethereal in nature. When Kenshin moved, it was almost as if he did not exist. His clothing would not ruffle and barely any sound was made. When Bastian moved, the same thing occurred but on a far smaller scale.
Mark’s movement was completely different. It was fast, it was powerful and it was intense. Just the lift off caused a crater to be formed on the ground. Wild winds were formed as Mark bolted toward Bastian.
Just by virtue of speed alone, Mark was far above Bastian’s league but luckily for Bastian, Mark’s speed created a lot of wind. Bastian had realized over time, that his body was very sensitive to wind, so much so that he was confident that he could ‘feel’ wind.
It was a rather unusual sensation for Bastian to describe and and even harder him to understand. It could only be felt. Bastian’s body was very sensitive to wind, and he had spent a lot of his time experimenting with pressure magic, so one could say Bastian was very familiar with wind.
Mark pushed a lot of wind ahead, which Bastian took advantage of. He could not move away using his own body in time, but he could launch himself back using the force of the wind produced by Mark.
From Mark’s perspective, he moved to a relatively slow Bastian, only to see that Bastian out of his reach the moment he got there. Mark was gobsmacked but he did not let that deter him.
He quickly pursued Bastian, only to see the same thing happen. The surrounding greenery was either being blown away or Bastian would smoothly shift around it.
Mark’s qi was like a sizzling hot stove as far as Bastian was concerned. It was releasing an intense aura, one that distinctively gave off the feeling of danger. Mark was surprisingly nimble for someone of his size. Normally earth attribute warriors were stiff. Yet Mark was not only agile, he was explosive.
Bastian guessed that it was due to Mark’s fire attribute. Over time, qi affected the hosts body, so it had made Mark strong and explosive, which made for a deadly combination. Whenever Mark believed Bastian to be in reach, he would get his hands ready for a vice grip.
Bastian was being as slippery as an eel, so Mark’s current objective was to catch him first, then attack. Mark was confident that once he caught Bastian, the latter would not be able to escape. Bastian too, had no doubt about that.
The nature of the fight quickly changed into a cat and mouse game, since both parties were continuously improving. Bastian was getting used to dodging Mark, and Mark was getting used to his new level of power. Both were improving and both were always trying their best. Resulting in a stalemate.
At first Ruka was amazed by the strength Mark possessed at that time. She reassured herself and was confident that Bastian was finished but he surprised her time and time again. At some point Mark and Bastian had left Ruka’s sight, and she had no intention of catching up with them. They were out of her league, and she was well aware of it.