Gid Chu kicked Zax’s abdomen, sending him flying roughly two kilometers before losing altitude and crushing.
Zax stomped and pounced.
Gid Chu fractured the ground and launched. “It’s futile. Your cultivation is too low than mine and your technique is cruder. You can’t bring me to reveal the true meaning of Infinite Transformations Altering Body like that”.
“My technique, bodily maneuvers, indeed lacking. To bring them to full display I must use dark attribute”. Zax confessed in a deep tone, yet his countenance brimmed with excitement. “My Master’s and Grandmaster’s bodily maneuvers, though… see how decent my control on kinetic energy is!”
He noticed it in their exchange. Gid Chu could absorb and manipulate the Kinetic Force discharged in his strike, but when it originated from his own strike, it was much milder, as his technique was on the verge of comprehending it and then branched to a direction, different from Zax’s.
“Senior Gid, if you dare, accept this punch head on and then tell me my overall ranking among bodily cultivators”.
Detecting air currents spiraling around the incoming Zax, Gid Chu’s mien turned brooding as he sensed something he could not properly appraise radiating from his junior.
“It’s named… Soar With The Storm!”
Gid Chu received the fist with his forearm.
The explosion was so loud his sensitive ears could not hear the cracking sounds echoing from his arm.
‘It’s broken!’ A trace of astonishment was distinguishable on his face, right before he could not anymore suppress the force of the collision’s impact and got pushed back nearly a hundred meter while trying to put up a resistance with his footing.
A dust cloud rose from the two scorched lanes stretched on the ground. Zax squinted to see through it.
“Was that it?” Gid Chu’s curious voice penetrated the dust cloud. “The fist used to defeat Zechariah and Linor in the Martial competition?”
‘His arm…’ Zax was preoccupied with gauging Gid Chu’s condition than answering.
While his sleeve was completely torn, Gid Chu’s forearm that blocked the punch was ten times the size of its normal appearance. Its skin had a yellow luster and its muscles definition clear to the smallest detail.
“Congratulations, junior Zax. Whether it was the notorious fist or not you managed to compel me into revealing Infinite Transformations Altering Body’s distinctive execution. Arm of the Golden Steel Behemoth”. He swung his arm back. “Show me this punch once more”. This time he intended to offensively counter Soar With The Storm.
‘He barely suffered injuries…‘ From the defined muscles of the giant arm, Zax could perceive a slight depression. Before, upon contact, he felt the throb ensuing from the fracture in Gid Chu’s forearm. Now they were on a course for a second collision and it appeared that the fifth step of Kinetic Force could not leave lasting damage. ‘And he just going to use this arm for a regular fist?’ He could not make up anything special in the Golden Steel Behemoth’s arm other than the animalistic trait of its build.
The two fists connected and Zax’s was only big enough to hit Gid Chu’s middle finger. It had an elastic feel to it, which nullified thirty percent of the Kinetic Force, spreading it to the rest of the arm, and overpowering the remaining seventy percent by sheer physical strength.
Zax drew his arm and bent backwards, releasing Soar With The Storm with a kick up. In the current form of his arm, Gid Chu could not redirect his attack or evade it.
Zax’s foot hit below Gid Chu’s wrist, but instead of feeling solid bone and muscles, his leg kept rising, sinking into the arm.
“Armored Squid’s Prime Tentacle”. Gid Chu announced as if intentionally hinting on the theme. His yellow, giant arm lengthened, fingers merging and curved to a peg shape, hardening and graying as the rest of the arm turning pale green and soft.
“You can reconstruct your body!” Zax gathered from the name of Gid Chu’s bodily refinement technique that it can manipulate the shape of its practitioner but he did not take to heart that it would be to this degree. It looked to his as if Gid Chu’s entire arm turned to a legit tentacle.
Gid Chu’s Prime Tentacle absorbed the Kinetic Force even better than it was nullified by the Golden Steel Behemoth’s arm, expelling eighty percent of it through the pores on the upper side of the tentacle.
The tentacle wrapped around Zax, it could not throw a punch at its opponents like the Golden Steel Behemoth’s arm, but it sure could squeezed the life of them.
Zax had a short window to get free before the squeeze will completely restrain his movements.
“Ah!” He condensed the Kinetic Force of Soar With The Storm between his navel area and lower dantian and unleashed as a pulse. For a fraction of second the force of the pulse pushed the tentacle around him, allowing him the space jump from its tenacity.
The pointy edge of the peg left a deep cut on Zax’s back. It could have pierced him back to front, but that was not the purpose of the fight.
Ignoring the pain, Zax retreated several hundred meters from Gid Chu, by the time their eyes met his back was healed with only the stains of blood to indicate that it was ever injured.
“Big brother Ariel has the best comprehensive mind I ever met and even he cannot fathom the insights which led Yurnal into developing this bodily refinement technique”. Gid Chu whipped and his tentacle arm returned to normal. “Each commendable bodily refinement has characteristics unique of its own. I dare say that in all of Earth there is no technique that enhance healing factor, strength and durability like Kartion’s Seven Stages Of Bodily Refinement or a profound blood manipulation technique like Elijah’s Scarlet Armor. Infinite Transformations Altering Body is several grades lower on both fronts, but as far as transformation of the body’s skin, muscles, bones and so forward… is concerned, it’s second to none!”
“I was too cocky”. Zax did not mind admitting. His ego was not interested anymore in a fight solely based on bodily cultivation. “But I wonder how I would have coped if my body was just a little bit more tempered. In a battle without mist energy or attribute energy, you must be consuming tremendous vitality to transform and maintain the change”.
“There is a downside to everything. Regardless of how much vitality I spend, transforming doesn’t harm my body, while it’s apparent that you had to go through a lot for your body to use this level of kinetic energy at liberty”.
All bodily refinement techniques have a measure of proficiency in kinetic energy, but it is the characteristics of the Seven Stages Of Bodily Refinement which corresponded most perfectly with it. The rest have to be cultivated to a higher level, in contrast, which is a waste a time for their practitioners, otherwise they are not able to withstand the rampant Kinetic Force.
“It’s my loss”. Zax was not dissatisfied. His opponent cultivation was much higher. Repulsive heaviness manifested around him. “Now let’s add to the mix our attainments in the worldly attributes”. Black aura shone in the sphere of influence of the gravitational force generated from the swallowing property.
“Bet everything you got on one hit, no point in prolonging an exhibition”. It also would have been careless of them to make it a battle of attrition, but Zax got the point without delving to further explanation.
“Everything, eh?” Zax mused and looked up. “Follow me. At the moment I’m not sure how destructive my power is and whether I can prevent it from spreading”. There were herds of Deformed Beings and Wild Beasts he did not want to be caught in the crossfire. Therefore he ascended, heading above the clouds and higher.
“Isn’t it a sight?” Underneath the soles of Gid Chu’s shoes, purple glow crackled. He and Zax were still in the range of troposphere, but could nevertheless see the mesmerizing arching skyline. “The higher you go it’s even more beautiful. I attempted ascending to space once, however beyond the thermosphere gathering an attribute worldly energy is thousand times harder”.
“Mm”. Zax nodded, although he already found satisfaction from attaining his contemporary prospects. Of course, that did not stop him from aspiring for greater horizons. He shifted his gaze back to Gid Chu.
Dark attribute energy filled every limb and fiber, converged and overflowed thirty three spots. His body grew taller, muscular, black and shining like obsidian. Getting to three meters big, his increasing physique halted. Thirty five bridges manifested between the spots across his body, connecting them and drawing, one might say “swallowing”, the converged, overflowing dark attribute energy.
Zax began to shrink, from three meters to two and a half, smaller till he finally returned to his original size, including slimmer figure.
“This is my Dark Titan Storm form, second stage, to be precise”. He upgraded it along with the insight he obtained in the Earthly Crater. The immense offensive and defensive capabilities were promoted, but it was a small margin to the speed he successfully retained and improved. He also felt a lot more at ease as there was no strain like in the bulky and coarse first stage.
“A physique of dark attribute”. Gid Chu’s eyes gleamed as his lips stretched to a happy smile. “Great minds think alike”. Purple electric attribute fluctuations amassed again.
Purple lightning emerged out of nowhere and struck Gid Chu. From pained, his expression gradually turned somber, intense, pensive, calm, peaceful, content, happy and lastly excited.
“Is he…!” Zax voiced in disbelief.
Gid Chu’s complexion became violet. His body twice as tall, though a more proper word to describe it, perhaps, was “long” as it seems out of proportion with its width.
His hair turned into strands of pinkish electric currents.
He raised his hand, or maybe it was always up close to his face? Zax was uncertain as it was one moment down and the next up. ‘Such speed…’
“It’s my loss”. Now Gid Chu was the one to confess, his voice sounding static. “Your understanding of the dark attribute surpassed mine in the electric attribute”.
Yes, with further examination Zax could detect things in Gid Chu’s electric form that gave him the impression of imperfections. The bulging veins on his face, neck and arm were an indication of how difficult it was for him to sustain the form, despite how pleased he looked.
“All roads lead to the same destination…” Gid Chu laughed at himself, at Zax? “This is my original technique, Lightning Marvel. If I stay still I can hold it to ten seconds, should I make a move, one second. I can’t, not yet, transform my body in its current state, but I did use Infinite Transformations Altering Body as the template for it. Since you don’t possess the same bodily faculties, I assume you developed it by your dark attribute’s insights, tsk!”
“One second. I can’t keep up with you even in this second stage. Come, I’ll do the greeting”. Zax spoke in a mollified voice, yet a non cultivator could only hear explosion coming out of his mouth. It was due to his insufficient control of the Dark Titan Storm form even in its new stage.
He positioned himself for a punch, much like he did at the acme of his fight against Zechariah and Linor in the Martial competition.
“Stinky junior”. Gid Chu snorted. Does he not know that it is the junior who should come seek the senior?!
He took a step, becoming a purple lightning, and struck.
Zax only saw a flash, but it sufficed for him to shoot his right fist in a straight punch.
Bright, multicolored light lit the sky.
A figure fell, smothered in smoke. It was dark and right before hitting the ground, light brown.
A figure descanted. First looking purple, than clad earth colors tattered robe and short black hair. Blood spilled from his mouth and a fist size deep depression was at the center of his chest.
Looking down at the passed out fallen figure in the crater it created, he spoke. “Stinky? No, no, no! Shitty brat! You should have told me that your fists carry the weight of a fourth level Martial Mortal!”