Published at 29th of December 2018 09:36:32 AM
Chapter 120
Vignis was slightly pale and subconsciously brushed back her hair, wiping the beads of sweat away from her forehead as she did so .

She had been nervously clenching her teeth as, to an observer, a confounding scene had played out on stage - that of a confused Darius fumbling around on stage against hs deft opponent . Which didn't make sense at all, unless Quagmire Jameson's reputation for releasing a suppressing and restraining field was really that effective . . . ?

She along with the audience had been sitting at the edges of their seats and watching as Jameson flitted around Darius who seemed to be moving and reacting sluggishly; each time Darius would look dazed and be too slow to keep up with his sword-and-mace wielding rival, then receive a smashing blow to his head, back, shoulders or waist .

And finally, along with murmurs of disgruntlement and irritation at seeing their favourite act like a newbie . . . . And just when they had thought it would be over without Darius even putting up a fight . . .

Darius had suddenly burst out in laughter and closed his eyes! However, curiously, they could not hear the sounds of either his uproarious guffaws nor their verbal exchange after that . Nonetheless, they could sense that the one-sided thrashing had come to an end . . . Or at least, they hoped that it would finish, one way or another!

Then to their bewilderment, Darius suddenly stood still and didn't even try to react or track down his enemy . He merely stood there with his arms by his sides as he charged up his mana and capabilities .

Grumbles of disappointment and anxiety filled the stadium as his erstwhile supporters showed themselves to be fair-weather friends - they began to criticise him heavily and bemoan his foolishness as it looked like cheering Darius on was a hopeless cause!

Then when the fight had neared what looked to be the climax with Jameson charging stealthily from behind a seemingly unsuspecting Darius . . . ! But they were then shocked and left in awe as the god-child spun around and released a sky-crashing yell along with all his consolidated power . . . And the sky and air surrounding the boys was literally shattered!

The ear-piercing waves of sound swept outwards and signalled the conclusion of the fight with Darius once more the clear victor . This time around it was a close fight, nevertheless, he had still overcome his opponent without taking any serious injuries, though, the way the fight had played out and the baffling ending exchange left the spectators scratching their heads .

And the fact that Darius had been pummeled left and right like a fool also left a bad taste in their mouths!

However, there was no explanation given, and neither did Vignis comprehend just what had transpired moments ago as she sat there in relief, hands slightly damp with sweat and body recovering from the tense emotions she felt during the unsatisfying match .

Smiling at the side, Yusof Jamal walked over with even steps and gently sat down by his daughter's side, eliciting a glance from the still slightly stunned teenage girl whose idealistic image of her crush had been ruined .

After sitting down, Yusof gently prompted her, this time with the authoritative voice of a father guiding his young daughter in the ways of battle as well as life .

" . . . Do you understand what happened in that fight just now . . . ?"

Vignis pursed her lips for a moment before shaking her head . She hesitated for a tick before doing so, but decided that she did have to admit; her father was still far wiser and with greater insight than she cared to admit .

She then paused awhile, silent for a moment before she blinked and then asked him, "Where did you go just now . . . ?"

Yusof smiled caringly, not mocking nor condescending as he comforted her, "Oh . . . I dropped by to congratulate the boy and also to confirm my guesses . Don't worry, alright . . . ? Darius did not manage to actually see through his worthy opponent's tricks . . . But he still managed to win through a keen understanding of his adversary's psyche and mental state . . . !"

Vignis smiled just a little at that, a tightening of the corners of her mouth as she kept her gaze trained at the floor as her eyelids drooped . Then she turned to look at her dad sitting at her side as she asked, "What was the trick . . . ? And how could I have done better in that same situation . . . ?"

"Well . . . First off, I did some checking on Jameson's background . . . Turns out he was secretly apprenticed to the Illusion King!" Yusof dropped a casual piece of information that made Vignis' eyes widened in shock .

"The Illusion King!? You mean the peak-Mythical member of the Eastern Mist sect . . . ? The undisputed expert of the Leez continent when it comes to reality distorting illusions . . . ?"

Yusof nodded twice, confirming her questions, then he continued, "Based on what I understand . . . With the boy's his cultivation of the early Elite-level . . . He should be utilising the first layer of the Illusion King's Semi-Charmed Life Scripture . . . And from what I heard, this should make him unbeatable among the same generation as no one beneath the Master-level can dispel the illusions!"

Yusof stated this emphatically, comforting Vignis that this was an exceedingly difficult opponent to face while at the same time expanding her horizons of the vastness of this world as well as the myriad talents and great powers that existed! He hoped that she would understand that, in the grander scope of things, Gorun City and their "geniuses" were just sands on the seashore or a stone by the wayside - there were thousands if not tens of thousands of such "geniuses" throughout the continent, and far more across the planet!

And that was not even beginning to mention how there were so many more trasncendental beings out there in the vast cosmos!

"Then . . . It makes sense why Darius looked so confused and was flailing about and turning around uselessly . . . But at the same time, we couldn't see or understand just why he was doing so as spectators because the illusion spells were not directed at us . . . " Vignis chewed her lip then as she focused her mind to analyse the situation . But her eyes then narrowed as she arrived at one thought that frustrated her .

"Then how did Darius prevail . . . ? If it's impossible for him to break the illusion with his own power . . . And excluding the possibility of outside help . . . How was he able to defeat such a mighty foe . . . ?" The girl's ambitious personality was shown in that moment, always eager to figure things out and then adapt others' strength and learning for her own .

Yusof nodded slowly at her question as he spoke, "Yes, that's exactly what I had to confirm with the boy . . . And my guess was correct . The truth is, once Darius realised it was all an illusion, he had a few choices . First, break the illusion, something which he quickly realised had not worked . Secondly, find a way to detect his opponent even through the deception - but based on Darius' profile, I don't believe he would have been able to, though if it were you or me, perhaps we could . . . "

"Finally, the third way which would work even against other stealthy or hidden opponents . . . A deep understanding of people and how they function . . . Their thought processes, their motivations, their behaviour and their emotions . . . " Yusof smiled and had a look of admiration on his face as he explained this point and continued, " . . . Even for an enemy that he had just met for a few minutes!"

Seeing Vignis' still attentive but slightly confused look, Yusof carried on .

"You see, if ever you face an opponent who you can't see, can't hear or can't detect . . . As long as you can ascertain two things, they still won't gain any advantage from their hidden state . . . As long as you know WHEN they will strike, and from WHERE they will come from!"

Vignis' eyes grew wide and her lips parted as she suddenly understood where his explanation was going, and she too was filled with respect for the boy who had solved the problem in such an ingenious but simple way!

"Then Darius, he . . . He just manipulated his opponent into moving at exactly the time and way he predicted . . . ? That was what the laughter, the closing of eyes and their spoken exchange must have been about! And since he showed such great confidence, there was only 2 possibilities of how Jameson would then approach . . . " Vignis' eyes grew ever more fervent as she self-assessed the remainder of the equation, her sharp mind able to supply the conclusion from her father's slight guidance .

And Yusof nodded, pleased that his daughter would grow in more ways than one just from watching another's fight .

Vignis finished off her explanation quickly as she continued speaking, " . . . Based on the possible approaches of a hidden enemy . . . And one who was closing in for the final blow . . . He would have chosen to attack from either straight in front as a form of reverse-psychology . . . Or from behind at an angle! Normally it would be a 50-50 chance of either, but with how assured Darius seemed to be and how he even dared to close his eyes, this would have subconsciously inclined Jameson to veer away from a frontal assault . Then the only question would be: from the back left? Or from the back and right side . . . ?"

Vignis leaned forward and placed her hands on her knees as an admiring smile crossed her face as well as a look of awe at how naturally and quickly Darius had pulled off his scheme . Her eyes flashed with pleasure as she marvelled at his talents and battle sense as she finished off her analysis .

"And . . . Since Darius is well-known to be a right-hander . . . There was an almost 90% chance that Jameson would choose the back and left direction of approach! Brilliant, utterly brilliant from Darius! Truly worthy of being called the god-child! Not just for his bloodline, but for his immense, staggering capabilities! Even I . . . Even myself . . . I wonder if I'm his equal . . . " Vignis' cheeks flushed as she spoke passionately and blushed slightly as she mentioned this point .

And Yusof smiled as a happy father would when he saw his daughter blushing over the guy she admired and probably had a crush on - though it was also a slightly scheming smile .

He was happy because he knew that when Vignis saw her idol lose miserably to Lars, she would awaken to the realities that things did not always turn out the way you expected .