“I’m assuming that this isn’t a mere coincidence. Why did you arrange it so that we’ll be facing each other for our exam?” Luon asked Zythos as he found out that his opponent in the virtual world was Zythos.
“You’re right. It isn’t a coincidence. I’m not here to stop you from passing the exam. In fact, It shouldn’t matter who wins or loses, we’ll both pass in the end. I’m only here to sever our ties,” said Zythos.
“What ties? Even after this match, you won’t leave me alone, right?” said Luon.
“I might, I might not. But right now it doesn’t matter to me. Now come, let’s end this once and for all,” said Zythos as he got into his battle stance.
His words were a tad confusing, why would it not matter to him? They have been at each other’s bad side since the first year, and although it got better during the second year, Zythos limited his options during their last year.
‘Could it be that he wasn’t completely related to why I wasn’t able to get a half decent course for my final year?’ Luon thought. However, he didn’t ponder too long about it. It wasn’t time to consider on such concepts, Luon recognized that Zythos looked at him with determination, it wasn’t a lie or mere words one would sprout out for fun.
Luon pulled out two weapons and got into his stance, he asked, “So why are you fixated on fighting me?”
“Why should it matter to you? It’s only something I wish to do, and that’s to fight you one more time. There’s nothing special about it whatsoever,” Zythos said.
Luon smiled, “Although you said that it doesn’t matter. Your face doesn’t say the same.”
Zythos had a grin on his face, the adrenaline from facing Luon had already incited his battle senses. Their killing intents intertwined, and the two couldn’t help but recognize each other’s strength.
They were both at a similar level in the late level 60’s. Luon relied on Thanatos’s experiences while Zythos’s relied on his families connections to get this strong. The only difference was that Luon’s combat level was able to reach 80 when equipped with his NG-Arms as Zythos wasn’t as technically precise as him.
Luon didn’t activate his NG-Arms, for some reason he had a feeling that Zythos wouldn’t bother using his and he felt for this fight it wasn’t necessary.
Luon looked at Zythos’s appearance, unlike what he was three years ago as Zythos grew a few more in height, and his muscles had become more developed. He wasn’t using his fist or a sword, but a pair of metallic claws which overlapped his fingers. He didn’t wear that heavy body armor but some light, high-quality leather, Luon couldn’t help but recognize that Zythos had figured out the perfect combat style for himself.
But he wasn’t the only one that changed, Luon also grew a few more centimeters compared to his appearance during his first year. The experiences he had at the Inzektor island, the Alliance tournament, and his training sessions with Thanatos helped forge his body and mind. Zekar had taught him how to create his own set of weapons and armor for himself.
Luon felt fortunate if it weren’t for Zythos he would have never met Zekar, Luon may have not even tried as hard as he was doing now, his relationships with everyone he had met wouldn’t be as strong as they were now. Zythos may have been a thorn in his path, but it did help him develop as a person.
“Are you ready?” asked Luon.
“Yeah,” said Zythos.
“Then let’s end this once and for all,” said Luon as he gave one of his blades a twirl before dashing in.
Zythos followed suit and the two charged at each other. Luon swung his blade and Zythos replied with his claws. The two exchange a rhythmic set of attacks and slowly they diversified the trajectory and strength of each attack after probing each other.
They say that after exchanging blows that people would be able to understand one another, but for the two of them they lost themselves in the exchange as they were solely focused on one thing, to win against the person they see in front of them.
“Hahaha, to think we are able to face each other like this in the end! Come show me your strength! I know you can do more than that,” Zythos said.
“Darn dog, settle down. Less talking and more fighting,” Luon said as he filled his sword with mana and launched a ranged attack from up close.
Zythos could feel the power behind the attack as he jumped backward to evade it. However, Luon used that timing to close the gap causing Zythos to retreat as he parried Luon’s blows. Unlike regular combatants the two weren’t easy to tire, the excessive offense that Luon attacked with and consistent defensive maneuvers that Zythos used only used a small amount of energy the two had. Especially since Luon body became used to devouring mana from the surroundings, and Zythos relied on his genetic racial traits as a werewolf to last longer.
Luon aggressively slashed once more, but Zythos who had been observing his moves decided to parry his attack aside causing him to lean towards one direction. Using that opening, he attacked Luon’s exposed stomach causing him to fly backward. The damage wasn’t severe since the armor mitigated most of it, but Luon could feel his blood boiling. Zythos didn’t leave him alone to recover from his injury, while Luon flew back he started his own offensive and dashed in, the two swapped positions and Luon took the defensive role.
Luon wasn’t able to parry Zythos’s attack to expose an opening. Instead, he moved faster and trickier, the trajectory of his blades soon overwhelmed Zythos’s claws. To Luon all he had to do was move the handle to block the claw attacks, and with a twirl of his blades immediately countered Zythos, forcing him to decide whether or not to block or take damage.
At first, Zythos ignored the light twirl attacks since they didn’t look they have any force behind them, but when he ignored the first one, he realized that Luon was as sly as a fox. Even though it was weak Luon would immediately inject mana into it to deal more damage.
This forced him in a predicament, he had to block and evade the attack every time he attacked Luon. The exchange only agitated him, as he launched another attack he placed more force into it and when the two clash Luon was the one repelled. To use the twirl trick the blade had to be loosely gripped and expertly manipulated, Zythos’s huge blow almost made the blade fly from his hand.
Zythos who noticed this weakness grinned as he said, “Hahaha, looks like your twirl trick is just for show!”
Zythos started to put more strength in his attacks after finding out Luon’s weakness. Luon began to struggle with twirling his blades.
All of a sudden Luon who blocked Zythos’s attack had his sword fly away, seeing this Zythos made a huge grin as if he had accomplished something. However, he was shocked to find that Luon intentionally let the blade go. The hand that was now empty reached behind and pulled another weapon from the intraspatial bag he had equipped on his back.
Zythos who was surprised by the turnabout couldn’t react as Luon stabbed the new blade into an exposed location in his arm.
The scorching pain in Zythos’s arm caused him to retreat instinctively, but Luon didn’t allow him to do so. He charged in at a faster pace than he was doing before. Zythos’s found the situation strange, with his uninjured arm he would parry Luon’s attack only to find that if he put too much strength in his blow, Luon would swap the weapon out, and if he placed too little Luon will twirl and make another attack.
The floor was soon littered with weapons and blood as Zythos was unable to block the new pattern of attacks.
But that didn’t lower Zythos’s morale, the loss of blood only incited his bloodlust as he gave a huge daunting roar, “Luon!”
Zythos who was defending roared causing Luon to flinch at how sudden it was. At this moment, Zythos’s aura jumped, Luon could feel that Zythos’s was planning to end everything in one attack.
After realizing this he backed out a bit as he figured he was unable to intercept it safely and began to charge his own attack, the two stood distance apart and upon reaching a point unleashed their best attacks. Zythos swung his uninjured arm as a claw-shaped energy blast launched from his swing. Luon, on the hand, launched two energy blasts in the shape of an X and the impact between the blows quaked the surroundings.
A flash of light occurred, and the aftermath was equal, only Zythos was unable to find Luon who was initially opposite of him. He suddenly felt his skin crawl as he turned behind him. Luon appeared out of nowhere and launched a flurry of attacks which Zythos’s barely blocked. But Luon wasn’t a simpleton, he used an unexpected attack while starlight movement skill blinded Zythos in its radiance. Luon launched two attacks with swords at the same time causing Zythos to block both of them. Using the rebound Luon backflipped and kicked Zythos in the head sending him flying.
Zythos body flew several meters as it bounced off the ground several times before stopping at a distance.
The kick hurt just as much as Luon’s sword. He wasn’t wearing anything light, the metallic armor Luon wore on his feet caused his mind to shake as he barely managed to hold his consciousness.
By the time Zythos managed to lay himself up, Luon had appeared before him with a sword towards his neck. He said, “Looks like I win again, is there anything you like to say?”
Zythos gave a short laugh as he said, “It looks like I’m no match for you. From the beginning to the end you never saw me as anything significant in your eyes.”
“That’s right, for scum like you who relies on their family connections to suppress others, why should I treat you well? Are you actually leaving me alone from now on? I find it hard to believe that,” said Luon.
“I’m… satisfied, but even though I say this, my family won’t let you off. This battle is off the record, so I’m not worried about it affecting me publically. However, my family wouldn’t let you run wild in the military,” Zythos said.
“What? You already knew I have applied to be a soldier?” Luon said as he was shocked by the sudden revelation.
“My family has a lot of connections, soldiers are like brothers to one another. The reason I said I will end my ties with you is that we will both be comrades against the Inzektor race together. Although we may not be beside each other we will still be fighting on the same battlefield for the same cause,” said Zythos.
“Is that so…” Luon quietly said.
Zythos closed his eyes as he uttered, “Come now, end it once and for all. From this point on, we will be strangers.”
Luon gave a short nod, he didn’t know how trust-worthy Zythos’s seemingly sincere words were, but the fact that he learned that Mythos Clan has something against him joining the military was something he concluded with the information he has gathered so far.
Luon gave a short sigh as said to Zythos, “For a new era.”
Zythos gave a sly smile and said, “For a new era.”
Luon blade quickly moved, and the match ended without any other surprise.
Luon has finally graduated from Nexus University.