“Onto the cool combo moves! Zhang, help me out,” Shui said, creating a cloud of steam.
En extended his open palm and the steam became tinged with an electrical shock. Every few seconds, sparks pulsated from it. Electrified steam, huh? Trap an opponent in steam and then paralyze them inside it. A really useful tool to have.
“Once you set it up, you can extend the range or reduce it to a single enemy if you want to,” Shui explained, decreasing the radius of the steam area.
“You can burn and electrocute them at the same time, right?” I asked.
“That’s the next thing I was gonna talk about. Yep, you can burn them up with the hot steam and then cause an electrical burn too,” Shui answered, dissipating the steam from before.
The water elemental user went over more potential combinations. I could fire off icicles, and upon contact with the target, shock them with electricity. A more devastating version involved melting the ice, and then mixing electricity in with the newly formed water, resulting in a damaging electrocution. A similar approach would work with someone trapped in ice and shocking them.
“Can you make it so that the water doesn’t conduct electricity? Distilled water has no impurities which means it’s just an insulator. What do you know, Tess’ lectures are all coming back to me,” I recalled.
“Uh, yeah, you can. That’s impressive, Tomo, remembering all that. Just be careful because once anything touches that water you made, it’s not pure anymore,” Shui confirmed, glancing down at his clipboard.
“Is that the reason? Crazy stuff,” En remarked, shaking his head in amazement.
“It’s just simple stuff. Tess really went over a lot of stuff with me,” I responded.
“Yeah, my fault for not being a good student. Only reason I’m so good with my powers is because of all that training with Tess. Hurt worse than Kyoi’s lessons,” En revealed.
“You can also go to the extreme by making it super cold then super hot. Goes the other way too,” Shui added.
I practiced the combo moves Shui mentioned before and noticed a diminished magical output. I had been using my magic quite a bit today. I needed to maintain a good pace and remember using multiple types of magic at once tired me out faster. En adjusted his glasses and pulled out a bottle from a nearby bag. When I finished, he walked over, handing the bottle over to me.
“Magical restoration. Your magic’s pretty low,” he said.
“You could tell, huh? That’s not good if I’m facing a higher level opponent,” I commented, drinking the contents.
“Hate to tell you, Tomo, but you’re facing Lau,” En informed me.
“No wonder this thing is only half full. Tess, you really do plan for everything. Kinda dumb of me to think that she would let me just sit around for two straight training sessions,” I said, peering down the bottle opening.
“That’s how it is with Tess,” En responded, walking toward the sideline.
I changed into a new set of clothes, finding my current ones too battered by Shui’s various water attacks. He stood in the center, wearing headphones. En sat on the bench, wearing an earpiece now. Guess Tess was feeding both of them directions.
“I’m ready whenever you are,” I announced.
“Let’s do it!” Shui created a light drizzle.
Skill Exhibition: Tomo Yuki v. Shui Lau
I fired off a bolt of magic, imbuing it with a light poison. A snowman popped up in front of the man, absorbing my attack. It collapsed into a pile of snow which soon turned into steam. I know your tricks Shui, not this time! I regulated my body temperature, preventing any overheating.
The steam vanished and I slipped on the layer of ice he formed. I struck my face against it, feeling a burning sensation. What the hell? I melted the ice around me, regaining my footing. Shui grinned and then an enormous heat occurred below me. A small burn formed on my arm. I clutched the area, preventing any further damage with a defensive layer.
Three snowman appeared and slammed themselves into me. My defensive layer shattered and the sudden cold worsened my burn. This was really fast-paced. Shui never displayed this kind of speed with his powers before. Puddles of water surrounded me now. I stretched my hand toward one of the puddles, hoping to commandeer it for my own use. No, not good! I realized my mistake too late as a flame stream burst out, burning my hand. Shui accelerated towards me, sliding on his ice. He slapped my injured hand, trapping it in ice.
I broke free of the ice, resulting in a slight tingle. Oh, come on! I glared over at En. This was not a fair battle, having the two men team up on me with their respective powers. I could imagine Tess lecturing me about how this was for my own good. Okay, time to really let loose if you’re going to do this to me!
I teleported to Shui’s backside, choking him out. He slammed his palm into my arms, resulting in a sharp pain. I released the man, seeing mini icicles embedded into my forearm. Shui coughed, woozy from my submission hold. Ignoring the icicles for now, I kicked him in the stomach, and then stomped on Shui’s back. I glanced downward and saw both my arms engulfed in flames. Damn, I knew I should have removed those earlier. I extinguished them, seeing red scabs on my skin.
Shui recovered, pushing me back with a mini tsunami. I tried halting his water with Zhuyu’s vector powers, but couldn’t pull it off. I crashed into the ceiling and only avoided major damage because of Shan’s gravitational manipulation. S***, I should have just transported away from that with portals, such a bad mistake.
The water elemental user shot a steam of water at me. I responded with an ice wall and was caught off guard when the stream shifted into flames. It shattered my wall, striking me in the stomach. I fell to my knees, having difficulty breathing. Shui plunged an icicle into my shoulder and then jumped back. F***, he just paralyzed me.
Shui kicked my knees, knocking me to the ground. The man stomped on the icicle from before, shattering it. Pieces of it cut into my skin, further aggravating my existing burns. I finally broke free and dropped Shui to the ground with a leg sweep. I slammed my palm into his back, paralyzing him. I locked in another neck choke and was successful this time. Shui slumped to the ground, unconscious.
“That’s enough!” Tess appeared in front of me.
I fell to the ground, the burn damage finally catching up to me. En knelt next to me, healing my burns with his flames. Most of my burns vanished but some still remained. Tess, after confirming Shui was okay, patched me up. S***, the lower ranked heroes were no joke.
“Tomo, you need to be quicker with your thinking. Multiple powers mean greater flexibility, but also an overwhelming amount of choices. You will learn over time when to apply certain powers depending on the situation,” Tess said, moving my arm around.
“Yeah, I’ll work on that,” I responded, wincing as she finished wrapping me up with gauze.
“As for Zhang and Lau, good job on your combinations. The timing still isn’t up to my expectations, but it is adequate for now. Lau, work with Feng and Shigetzu next on your strikes. Zhang, you’ll stay behind as well,” Tess ordered.
“Working with the Feng for the third time, huh? Not fun,” En commented, sitting down on the bench with a dejected expression.
“Don’t be discouraged, Zhang. You’ll work primarily with Shigetzu,” Tess revealed.
“We got this!” Shui pumped himself and En up.
I limped out of the training area. Damn, Shui really did a number on my legs. He was a formidable hero, especially when paired with En. His water skills were also more versatile than expected. The limited times I saw Shui in action weren’t good indications of what he was really capable of. This little fight with him really emphasized the amount of experience the heroes all possessed. One more to go. I was curious about what Kuan had in store for me.