In a massive circular stadium, fans were in an incredible state of euphoria as they expected an incredible day of fights. The elite gladiator league had entered its second and final stage.
The second stage was a simple knockout stage. Starting with 256 participants, eventually finishing with one.
It was being held in a very large stadium filled with thousands upon thousands of viewers. That stadium was a combination of magic and mathematics which would boggle the feeble minded.
The stadium was circular and was similar in shape to arenas from ancient Rome, except that the scale was much, much larger.
A round of fights would be held every week, with all of the fights occurring within the arena. The VIP section had screens made from magic, to allow them to get a better view, whereas, the normal viewers had no choice but to use the best of their optical abilities. Most of the viewers were cultivators, albeit weak ones, thus their senses were far stronger than average, so the sheer size of the stadium did not affect them much.
On that day, the gathering had come to watch the fourth round of the elite gladiator league, which meant it had been three weeks since the second round of the that particular group had begun. That day was going to be the day in which the last sixteen would be chosen, in other words the only the cream of the crop would qualify.
Only the best of the best would be able to make it to this stage, and only the best of that group would go further. At such times, the organizers would intentionally stall the battles, to increase the crowd’s bloodlust. After all, food tastes better to a starving man, especially if he has been expecting it for quite some time.
“Who do you think will win? I have my money the Divine Spear Maita. He always ends his battles in one shot!”
“You fool, don’t you know? There is a wild card this year!”
“Friend, loosen your tongue, what do you mean by wild card?”
As two spectators seated in the VIP were talking, another came to join the conversation and sat beside them.
“The Tempest Monk, that is the new addition. They say he ends all of his battles, and that he is an acolyte!”
One of the two who had been talking about the fight earlier, couldn’t help but gasp, and the other nodded. “He must have incredibly powerful spells if he is able to reach this far. It is a shame that we only started coming for these matches at this stage.”
“He doesn’t win through spells.”
The more knowledgeable man from the duo who had nodded his head earlier was suddenly interrupted by the unknown newcomer.
“He is an acolyte but he wins through hand to hand combat. So far, no one has seen him cast a single spell, yet there is no doubt that he is an acolyte.”
The duo was gob smacked but one of them shook his head in disagreement.
“A mage, an acolyte no less cannot win matches in one hit through hand to hand combat, even seasoned warriors like these men have to use weapons. Yet you would have me believe that an unarmed mage is able to beat warriors at his cultivation, unarmed in hand to hand combat? Imp-“
“I didn’t say he is unarmed. He has weapons.”
The duo was then confused. The mysterious man who had joined them, had claimed that he used hand to hand combat, which meant that he was unarmed. How could he be unarmed?
As the duo were about to argue with their new companion, an announcement ranged out, signaling that the first match of the day was about to occur. And it just so happened that the subject of their discussion was fighting first. The three men looked at the screen, completely ignoring the opponent, and focused on the monk.
His head was perfectly shaved; he had thin purple eyebrows with a read hue. He was ridiculously handsome, to the point where some women could not help but feel envy at the mere sight of his face. The boy had the appearance of a teenager, no older than sixteen, yet his body emanated the bearing of a warrior, who had experienced countless battles.
There were many things one could say about that odd looking boy but the duo looked at his hands and finally understood why their friend had said what he had said. He had no sword, no spear, ho dagger. He did not seem like he was going to use a weapon. Most warriors frowned upon seeing him and looked, he was wearing as an accessory. He was wearing gauntlets!
Bastian walked onto the arena in front of him with a confident expression. He had no doubt that he was going to win this match; to him the question was how many seconds it would take.
His opponent was a large woman, who wielded a relatively large mage, as if she was holding a sunflower in her hand. She was incredibly ugly, to the point where many men in the arena spat on the ground when they saw her face but Bastian didn’t even consider looking at her beauty.
No, to Bastian that mattered not. The fact was that she was in his way, so as they stood a few feet apart. The robed official who acted as the referee signaled for the match to start. The large woman screamed at the top of her lungs as she ran toward Bastian, her arms covered in earth qi.
Bastian showed no signs of movement and merely waited. Those who had not seen him fight before were surprised and assumed he was courting death. Yet those who had seen him battle before knew what was coming. The spectators then stood up in anticipation.
When the woman was only a meter away from Bastian, she raised her large mace and struck toward the stagnant Bastian with all her might. She was angry and frustrated at the fact that Bastian didn’t even try to move and was also angered by the fact that he didn’t care about giving her face.
So she decided to make him realize what she was truly capable of. Bastian was actually surprised, the woman was using a martial technique that allowed her to augment her strength multiple times. Through e-vision, Bastian could see the movement of her qi. Unfortunately for her, she was no longer facing the old Bastian.
He merely blocked her mace with his left hand. There was no impact, no thud, only the sound of the woman’s hand breaking. Bastian had a simple rule in those fights, if someone attacked him, he would return in kind.
Quickly, using his left foot as a pivot, he spun around and gathered momentum, unleashing a right hook on the woman’s body. Yet she didn’t fly away, he wouldn’t allow that, he carried her body with his fist and smashed her into the ground. That resulted in cracking the arena and kicking up a large amount of wind.
“The reason he is called the tempest monk was simple. Whenever he strikes, he pummels his opponent to the ground, destroying his or her body and kicking up a lot of wind. He also leaves his mark on the arena.” said the mysterious man as he looked toward Bastian with intense fervor.
Even though the trio of spectators was looking through a screen, they could not help but feel intimidated. Bastian had caused the woman’s abdomen to cave in and as a result, she coughed out a fountain of blood.
After the ‘tempest’ cleared up, fans finally got what they wanted to see, the mots. The cracks formed by the woman’s fall had formed a certain image. This image would always form whenever Bastian pummeled an opponent into the ground. It was his mark. It was his symbol. It was the taiji!