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Published at 29th of December 2018 09:36:35 AM

Chapter 118
"Round Three: Match number two! Darius vs . Quagmire Jameson! May the two contestants please proceed up onto the stage and prepare yourselves!"

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This time, it was Mitsui who made the announcement for the beginning of the next match of this round . Mr White had gone to clean up and freshen up quickly, and so as not to delay things, Mitsui took over officiating the announcements and adjudging the matches - at least, until the Acting Head Administrator returned .

Darius walked up to the stage with a condescending look painted on his face . This was not due to arrogance or pride; it was simply his objective assessment of his and his opponent's strength and the conclusion he had drawn from the comparison - it would be an clear victory for him!

On the contrary, Quagmire Jameson looked apprehensive and perplexed as he ascended the steps and took his place on the arena ring . He appeared to be troubled as to how he would be able to knock down this formidable foe who everyone had slated to be number 2 if not number out of the 64 preliminary qualifiers!

And on top of that, Quagmire himself was only ranked a measly #64 .

"Are you ready . . . ?" Mitsui looked to both of the youths, checking if they were in place to begin their fight . He stood on the announcements stage, separate from the two arena rings, one of which was now vacant as only one third round fight was held at a time .

Quagmire cast furtive glances back and forth from the officiator of the match and his opponent, seemingly fearful about his chances . Darius did not even smirk, merely tightening his lips slightly as he wanted to just get this fight with a foregone conclusion done and over with .

This was also true of the attitude of the audience towards the upcoming fight . There was no hope for Jameson, none at all! He would need a miracle of divine proportions to even survive the full 10 minutes, much less threaten the god-like Darius!

Even if one looked at the two just from the aspect of cultivation alone, Darius was already at the peak-Elite stage, two full small realms ahead of Jameson who had just entered the beginner Elite-level!

Vignis held the same views as the rest - she had no sense of anticipation towards this battle, merely yawning and analysing how the finals match would go . Would the only peak Adept Lars be able to offer any resistance to an opponent a full realm above him? He had probably only gotten so far due to having a weak run-in to the finals . . . Even that Reshmont had turned out to be all bluster and no power, falling easily to Lars' weak cultivation!

Vignis scoffed; if it were her, the outcome would be as different as heaven and earth! She clenched her fists in excitement as she looked forward to thrashing the boy . . . That was *IF* he could make it pass the unscalable wall that is Darius first!

The only ones who were watching the battle with close attention and keen interest were Lars, Yusof Jamal and Duke Leanne herself .

Mitsui, on noticing that the two semi-finalists were as ready as they could be, held up both his hands and shouted out loud, "Contestants! If you are ready . . . Then let there be no further delay! I now declare the start of the next match - Darius versus Quagmire Jameson! Round Three, Match Two: FIGHT!!"

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And Darius burst into action . He shot forward, locking eyes with Jameson and shooting an intimidating aura at the pasty faced teen . He did not deign to even execute any evasive manoeuvres or feints; instead he just drew a beeline straight towards his opponent, eager to knock him off the ring immediately!

Jameson looked panicked as he leapt backwards, but in the midst of his antics, he kept his eyes firmly on his opponent's gaze - and Darius suddenly felt that something was wrong!

"Wait . . . His eyes . . . They don't look like the eyes of a prey about to be cornered by the predator . . . Instead . . . They look like . . . ' Darius' eyes widened suddenly at the realisation of the incongruity of the situation .

Since when did a fleeing prey who had earlier been trembling in fear with chattering teeth . . .

Have the eyes of a viper about to strike with its venomous fangs!?!

Darius then urgently stirred up his mana to channel into defences as he kept his watchful eyes on Quagmire .

Nevertheless, he closed the distance, more cautiously this time and kept an eye out for the boy's signature move, the restraining move, Quagmire that had hindered all his earlier opponents .

Jameson held his hands at either side with a mace in one hand and a shield in the other, a balanced mix of attack and defence . Then as Darius entered striking distance, Jameson swung a heavy blow of his weapon arcing towards the head of his muscular opponent . Simultaneously, the much smaller-sized Jameson cocked his shield before his chest, covering most of his vitals behind the round metal buckler in his hand .

Darius did not let his guard down in the least as he raised his left arm to deflect the swinging mace away, the hardened mana on his fist knocking away the heavy concussive head of the weapon .

Then he pulled back his right fist to near his waist and triggered his abundant blood energy to lash out fiercely at Jameson's chest that was protected by the buckler!

It was power vs . defence, a head-on confrontation - one that Darius believed would settle the match as he would follow-up with a relentless combo and take control of the fight .

But to his dismay, the impact he had been expecting did not come - instead, his fist passed right through the shield and straight past Jameson's body, causing Darius to spin in place when his punch hit nothing!

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'What??? How in the hell--' But he could not complete the bewildered thought as the mace that he had just deflected came flying straight at him again! As he was already off balance, he could only desperately channel his mana to defend his head as he received a crushing blow to his left ear!

The crushing hit sent him sailing towards his right, tumbling round and round as intense pain and a sharp ringing sound filled his senses! He had taken a direct smash to his head!

'How?!? How could this be . . . ???' Darius clutched the side of his head as he glared at Quagmire Jameson . Was this the boy's trump card? An unexpected dematerialisation of his body? Wasn't it his triggering of a Quagmire that slowed down the battle into literally a mud-fight . . . ??? What was this all of the sudden?!? This was too big of a surprise, an ability that had nothing to do with his earlier repertoire - it was nonsensical!

He forced his spinning head to be still by force of will and quickly looked over to his opponent .

. . . Who had disappeared!

Panicking, with his earlier cocky demeanour erased, he backed off quickly and ended up with his feet at the edge of the arena . He glanced around nervously as he struggled to calm his shaken emotions .

His speciality was in strength, power, speed and overall might . He was an all-rounder . But that did not mean he was omnipotent! No, in fact, he had one very clear weakness in his cultivation, one that he had knowingly decided to delay addressing until he had increased his overall strength far more .

His perception and detection skills were sorely lacking!

Darius focused his senses to the maximum, trying to catch a hint of where his opponent had disappeared to .

But though he was glancing all around him, even above him and to every side, it appeared that there was no longer any trace of his enemy!

Then just as he was looking to his left, to his shock, he heard a smug voice speaking from a place he had just checked barely 0 . 1 seconds ago . The voice whispered into his right ear, saying, "Looking for me . . . ? Heheheh!!"

'DAMMIT!!!' Darius raised his right arm to cover his torso and released a blast of bright orange aura to attack towards where he heard Jameson speaking from . At the same time, he spun his body to face the direction of the voice and dashed backwards quickly . . .

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Only to see that there was nobody there!

'SH*T!!! I GOTTA--'

He was smashed in the back of his knee by a bludgeoning metal weapon, causing his weakly defended leg to buckle on the spot and knocking him head over heels until the back of his head contacted the ground!

But even when he was caught off guard like that, Darius showed his excellent battle senses and immediately lashed out with a retaliatory back-fist at his attacker - but once more his blow only whistled through the air, a wasted effort!

Darius recovered almost immediately, triggering his sublime physique and exerting superb muscular strength to regain his footing and back off immediately . He cast his gaze all around and strained his senses, just trying to catch his elusive opponent's trail . . .

But once again he had nothing!

"Hahahaha! That was a close one! Were you going easy on me . . . ? You almost got me there, why don't you try again . . . ? Look, I'll even give you some tips - I'm going to be attacking from your LEFT SIDE!!!"

Ignoring whatever the words said, Darius instead closed his eyes, shut off his ears and covered his entire body with an invisible field of aura extending out 1 metre from his body .

'Come on . . . Let's see how you attack this time! How will you pierce through my Sensory Field?? Come on!!!'

Darius waited patiently . 5 seconds . . . 10 seconds . . . 15 seconds . . .

Then he heard the voice once more and realised he had been played for a fool .

"Wow! What a warm welcome you prepared for me! It's almost as if you--"

Suddenly Darius felt a reaction from underneath him and smashed a fist straight down into the ground!

"REALLY DID MISS ME!!" But he still heard the voice complete the words, still from beneath his feet!

And was knocked flying by a fierce rising blow to his chin, knocking him somersaulting up into the air and landing heavily on his back!

Despite his reeling consciousness and the throbbing pain filling his dizzy head, Darius hopped back up to his feet and took a low defensive stance immediately .

"Hehehe!!! Good try, good try!!! Now what are you going to show me next . . . ? Exploding the entire ring . . . ? Running away in circles?? Come on, come on! You're the magnificent Darius, right . . . ? Then SHOW ME WHAT YOU'VE GOT!"

But to Jameson's surprise, the swaying Darius did not seem perturbed at all .

Instead, he began to laugh .

"Hahaha . . . . Hahahahah!!! HAHAHAH!!! Very interesting, very interesting!!!"

"W-what are you laughing at! Do you think I'll let you off easily just because you're laughing at my jokes!! D-don't even think about it!"

Darius then flashed a confident smile and said, " . . . You know, you may look like a well-mannered and humble guy . . . Sometimes bordering on lacking self-confidence . . . But you sure can talk a lot of shit, can't ya, ehh???"

"!!! HOW DARE YOU INSULT ME! Do you believe me if I say I can make you suffer for another 8 minutes before finishing this match!!? By the time I'm done, you'll--"

"JUST BRING IT!!!" Darius roared suddenly, giving the hidden Jameson a fright and leaving him at a loss for words .

Then Darius relaxed his stance then stood up straight as he looked up at the sky with the air of an emperor as he said, " . . . Because I've figured out your little trick!"

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