Ruka started despairing. She knew from the way Bastian had acted that he was not a person who showed mercy upon his enemies, this thought was further cemented by looking at Mark’s corpse. She was barely able to tell that the corpse was even that of a human, but she had no doubt in her mind that it was Mark.
She did have one more card to play, but it was a card she did not want to use, because the consequences of using it would be dire. Whether it worked or not. Yet one more look at her companion’s remains forced her to steel her resolve.
Bastian on the other hand was cursing in his head. His was cursing himself for underestimating the power of his own technique. He had been caught in the blast radius and flung around like his body was weightless. The result was him injuring one of his legs, making it a task to even walk.
Bastian was not even concerned about the fact that his gamble had paid off. His embarrassment outweighed his instinct for survival, especially due to Kenshin’s presence.
“That blind freak will probably look down upon me even more after this. Damn it I don’t have the patience to deal with this sh*t” Bastian said to himself as he dragged the bloody remains of what used to be Mark to his destination. Bastian’s reason for bringing the corpse along was quite simple, he wanted to scare the living daylight out of Ruka.
Ruka was already scared of him, Bastian was confident this would push her over the edge. For him the ideal scenario would be her being scared stiff and losing the will to fight back. Unfortunately things backfired. She didn’t lose her will to fight, instead the opposite happened.
After Ruka made her decision, she created a flaming bow, similar to the one that her companion had made.
She has the same technique? Surely she should be under the assumption that it’s unable to harm me, so why bring it out? Man this is a pain.
Bastian frowned upon seeing the bow and halted his steps. He threw Mark’s remains carelessly onto the ground and crossed his arms, his body exuding an aura of dominion. Ruka was somewhat affected, but she still continued her plan.
A flame arrow formed as she pulled her bowstring, at first, the arrow seemed to be slightly weaker than the ones Mark made when he was still a Fighter, but that quickly changed over time. The arrow became longer and the colour became more intense. Bastian was very sensitive to heat, so he could tell even from quite far away that the arrow was gaining an unusual amount of strength.
Bastian quickly activated his e-vision and noticed that all of the qi in Ruka’s body was congregating toward the arrow. This was a very dangerous thing to do as it would cause irreparable damage to one’s energy pathways.
Normally a little bit of qi is left behind to keep the pathways intact, but if all of it is collected, then the pathways will collapse. Similar to how blood vessels would be damaged if blood was suddenly sucked out of them but on a far more damaging scale. It also was a drain, because to a warrior qi was also life force.
The remnants of qi that remain saturated in your energy pathways are very concentrated, and thus very powerful. They also provide energy for many bodily functions. This energy is what Ruka was pulling out and using to power her arrow. From Bastian’s point of view this was a pointless endeavor, because this firepower was a far cry compared to what were capable of.
Although no ordinary Fighter could take that arrow, there was only one result for what she was doing. After this, she would be crippled. This was a pleasant outcome for Bastian, so he did not try to stop her. He simply stood there as she gathered all of the qi she could muster, which took a few breathes of time to achieve.
At first Ruka had thought Bastian would interfere with her, but when she saw that he did nothing and allowed her to finish, she felt her motivation drop.
“Why are you just standing there? Do you want to die?” shouted Ruka.
Bastian didn’t say anything and merely stood there with the same frown on his face.
He can’t be a Scholar, otherwise he would have been able to kill Mark sooner, there is no way Mark would have allowed him to make a breakthrough during battle, and even if he had done so after killing Mark the energy ripples would have reached me! So why is he so confident? Just how was he able to kill Mark?
Ruka was hesitant on firing the arrow. There was too much mystery regarding Bastian. She had calmed herself down and reasoned that he must be an Acolyte, yet he was able to defeat Mark. The fact that the corpse was in such a sorry state made her even more afraid.
To damage a Teacher’s body to that extent, just what spell did he use? Could it have something to do with that loud explosion? If that was caused by the purple haired boy, then…. No! It couldn’t have! No Acolyte can make such a destructive spell! But what if he isn’t an Acolyte…but he can’t be a Scholar either.
Ruka’s body shivered and her aim wavered as doubts and fear started creeping into her mind. The more she thought, the more things didn’t make sense to her. But she didn’t want Bastian to realize this, so she put up the best façade she could, which was pathetic in Bastian’s eyes.
“Any last words before I send you to the underworld?” said Ruka. She came to the conclusion that thoughts would lead nowhere, so she had no choice but to take action, plus the last remnants of qi holding her body up were weakening by the second, causing her an incredible amount of pain and suffering.
“Look up.” said Bastian as he used a finger to point to the sky. Ruka thought that this was a rouse and was about to fire the arrow anyway when a noise entered her ear. It was wind. The sound made when wind was moving at high speeds, and it was coming from above.
Ruka moved her head cautiously so that it faced upwards. Her heart beat got faster and faster as the noise got louder and louder and the wind around her body got more restless, lifting up a lot of dust and soil.
When she saw what was above her head, her legs almost gave way and she almost lost herself. A massive purple coloured tornado was dropping from above. The slight fluctuations of energy from the tornado were a clear indication that it was created by mana. It was the size of a small mountain, and it was imposing to the point where Ruka could barely breathe.
She saw a trace of purple mana linking the tornado to Bastian’s finger and she finally realized why he had been so confident. She also realized why he had been able to defeat Mark.
“Now then. It’s my turn. Any last words?” said Bastian with a snicker.