Chapter 54 Age of Preparation
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Aphelia raised her hands, and a stream of rocks came from the ground up to her. A loud thunderclap boomed in the distance, and that purple lightning danced around the sky. A moment later, a torrential downpour came from the skies soaking everything and drowning the smaller plants in the forest beneath us. Aphelia reached out with her left hand and absorbed the rocks that came towards her and began to reinforced her body.

While she was preparing, I guess I should too. I ran through the list of skills I had and saw somebody enhancements I learned from the academy. They weren't part of my skill roster, so they weren't a major focus, but I guess I need to use them more. I cast Fire’s Embrace on myself, which gave me increased strength, and a passive defense aurora, which would deal damage to targets in the vicinity. I then cast Lightning's Calling, which increases my movement speed significantly.

I summoned a dozen fireballs that began to circle me at blistering speeds. A feat that most humans would find difficult because of the control of mana that it would require. Though because I am an Administrator, there was a bit of cheating on my part.

Lighting cracked the sky again, and the water fell even harder than before. “You ready, Kairos?” Aphelia called out to me.

“As ready as I could be!” I cracked my fingers and steadied myself. I had to watch for an opening and take it. This will be a tough fight, but nothing I wasn’t ready for. Aphelia stepped forward, and twin lightning bolts shot through the sky and impacted me. I felt my body clinch as the electricity shot through me, and I let out a growl and threw three fireballs toward Aphelia, and pumped my wings. I shot forward, using my fireballs to cover my approach.

Two of the fireballs were intercepted by another bolt of purple-colored light and were instantly evaporated. I shifted my weight down and sent a sweeping kick out towards Aphelia. My leg caught hers, and the rock underneath hers shattered and knocked to the side. However, before I could capsize off of that, three strands of water reached up and grabbed my limbs, and pulled me back.

“That was a good strike Kairos. I applaud you.” Aphelia said as she straightened herself up. I shrugged off the tendrils of water that were wrapped around me. This was an annoying fight so far. She could keep me away with the elements all the while she withers me down. My magic was barely able to reach her since that lighting would shred my magic. That must be some form of pure mana that just absorbed the magic cast in the area. I think it was time to up the ante. I would slide in some class skills to hopefully get me ahead. I can’t use my blade skills, but my gap closers should work.

Without saying anything, I used fleeting steps to close the distance. The water tendrils passed harmlessly through me, and I threw a wild punch towards her. My fist impacted the stone with a harsh crunch that pushed her back. She let out a chuckle and hopped backward, and made a quick gesture. The clouds started to swirl, and the sound of rolling thunder shook the land below us.

The lighting changed from purple to blue but did not move to strike me. However, I still took a few steps back and looked around. The air felt heavier and hotter than before. What was she doing? A large crack of thunder shook the sky, and the rain changed into droplets of fire that rained down below. Was she crazy? She is going to destroy the forest at this rate!

The fire rained down around me, yet it did nothing to lower my health bar. I did have close to the maximum level of fire resistance, after all. I rushed forward as I tried to end the fight before any more damage could be wrought by our skirmish—large spears of earth rush towards me as I tried to close the distance. I had to work my body overtime to make sure I dodged each one, yet I was almost too slow each time. Each rock barely grazed my flesh and left tears that oozed a black liquid. She was relentless with her assaults. However, I didn't expect anything less from her.

I felt my heart beating harshly in my chest as I felt exhaustion start to take over. My stamina bar was still high, but I was moving my body in ways that it wasn’t used to was exhausting in its own right. Another wave of wind blades came spiraling towards me, followed by lances of boiling water. Aphelia was a monster. I am barely holding my own, and I know she isn’t even trying. I twisted my body in various directions as I tried to dodge everything coming towards me. Each strike I missed tore a chunk from my health bar.

“You said this is how your dad trained you?” I yelled out to her as I had to use fleeting steps to back out of the overwhelming assault.

“Yeah! He was an Eldar war god. So slightly different training regime.” She yelled back as an earthen fist one hundred meters across came hurtling towards me. I had to activate dimensional steps to make sure that I escaped its radius. A moment later, I heard it crash into the ground below us with a deafening explosion. If I didn’t know any better, I swear she was trying to kill me.

I summoned a long stream of fire and swung it towards her in a deadly arc. The fire consumed all the water in the air that it touched with its intense heat as it traveled and flickered with white-hot intensity. The fire stream impacted Aphelia, sending her backward and melting the rock that acted as her chest piece.

She cut through the rest of the fire with her hand and flickered out of existence, causing me to tighten up as I quickly looked around. A second later, I felt a pair of arms snake around my waist. “Boo.” She whispered in my ears as she pulled me into her and plummeted towards the ground. I had to fight a flurry of emotion as we fell towards the ground at impossible speeds.

I activated fleeting steps and pulled away from her just before we impacted the ground and moved away. The goddess's body melted away just as it impacted the ground. My feet touched the ground lightly, and I looked around. It was tough to fight her anywhere. Her power was almost overwhelming. In fact, I think I was slightly better off in the air than on the ground.

The trees shuddered for a moment, and a bundle of plants rose from the ground forming a facsimile of the human form. She shifted her weight to the right side and put her hand on her hip. “How are you holding up there?”

“Doing well. I'm pushing myself to try and keep up with you, but it isn't proving easy so far. I’ve had to use my class skills at certain points to do so.”

“I noticed. That move that you do makes you intangible really annoys me. I have seen some of the Souls that roam the planet do that. Ghost, right?” The plants on her face shifted, but instead of her regular voice, it sounded like the rustling of plants on the wind.

“Yeah. It's my other path of power. I am a part ghost.” I explained to her as I shifted to my monster form. I felt my mind start to restrict, and my vision changed to that of bright overwhelming colors. I had to blink a few times. “Give me a couple of minutes. I’m switching out some stuff for this form. I am a bit restricted in its power until I level it up.” I rifled through my menu and had to switch my strength to the guidelines of my form.

“Do I need to scale back my strength a bit?” Aphelia formed a chair of plants that she sat down on. Her body blended in almost perfectly with it.

“Definitely yes. This is only an early evolution, and I need to use it a bit to evolve. It's one of my lowest leveled right now, so I have to catch up a bit.” I finalized my settings on it and confirmed it. While I was in this form, I lost most of my power. However, I kept my innate resistance, which made me happy. But also due to my tampering, my monster class had a higher resistance to most of the magic it was weak against, but it took a hit to its overall magic resistance. But I would change that over time.

I took a second to get used to how to move my body before I called out to Aphelia, “Alright, let's continue. This body won’t have nearly the strength as my other forms do. So please don’t kill me.”

She uncrossed her arms and stood up. Plants started to spring up around the area, forming a large arena of sorts. “I will hold back.” She stomped her foot into the ground, and large blocks of rock rose from the ground. I counted five blocks that were at least the size of a fully grown human. She shifted her body and slammed her foot into the slab of stone, and sent it rushing towards me. I activated fleeting steps and meandered over to the right. The rock passed through me harmlessly and went crashing into the forest.

She eyed me for a moment and threw out a punch that connected with the next rock. I waltz around the rock and let out a chuckle that seemed to catch the air around me, causing it to echo strangely. Sadly, however, unlike my Administrator form, this form consumed a lot of mana. One use of fleeting steps consumed a large portion of my mana bar, so I had to be careful with it.

Vines snaked their way through the grass and shot into the air to try and wrap me up; however, they only passed through my form and left me with a strange feeling. It was like my body was stretched out, yet it was still connected. Truly an odd feeling.

“I truly hate dealing with ghosts. It's so hard to damage them. But I also forget that they ignore all physical damage. Time for the next batch of attacks.” She told me as she pulled drops of fire from the sky and pulled them into an orbit around her.