96. Spar
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Rakna grasped a shadow spear thrown at him and destroyed it in his grip with his claws before tilting backward to dodge one of Allan’s kicks aiming at his neck. He activated Fabled Sight as the leg passed by and spotted an odd air disturbance around it.


Putting the detail in the back of his mind, he jumped back and performed a spin in mid-air with a grace befitting of a wolf whilst both swinging Sonata at Allan and avoiding the concentrated beams of gravity shot by Flavia.


‘Those are tricky,’ he thought as he saw the magic hit the ground in the distance and dig a perfect hemispherical crater. ‘What a fearsome upshot…’


“Don’t lose focus, Rak!” Allan shouted and threw a fist charged with momentum by his gloves; a pair different from the one he had in the Tutorial.


Rakna reacted swiftly and even took the time to judge the trajectory. He deviated the attack with the shaft of Sonata and proceeded to give a blow of his own to his friend’s stomach.


His speed was much higher and Allan was unable to dodge it. But when the werewolf’s punch landed, nothing happened, as if the force was dispersed on impact. Rakna’s ghostly eyes shrunk in surprise.


Allan let out a small grin and his body became shrouded in wind. His speed increased momentarily and he threw his other fist. Rakna grunted and muttered, “[Shadow Step.]” He melded with the darkness and slipped away with blurring speed.


❮◈❯ Shadow Step has leveled up! ❮◈❯


His skill disengaged two seconds later and the next thing he knew, a cage made out of shadows was built around him followed by Nyx’s chant, “[Bird Cage.]”


“[Apokalypsi!]” Flavia’s voice resounded just after and a spiral of dark purple energy formed above the cage and he suddenly felt very heavy. This was considerably worse than the superficial weight that Anchor added.


“[Wormhole]!” Allan shouted and with a sudden spike of mana, a black orb appeared in his hand before swallowing his entire body and disappearing.


Rakna suddenly felt the air to his right being warped before the orb reappeared and spat Allan inside the cage along with him. He raised an eyebrow at the teleportation-like spell and swung his glaive at an incoming attack, moderately reinforcing his body with mana and pushing himself against the gravity.


The blade of his weapon clashed with Allan’s fist and the latter surprisingly came out of it entirely unscathed. The blade was clearly pressing against his hand but it didn’t seem to be affecting him in any way. Even the glove he was wearing was wholly undamaged.


Rakna frowned and then raised his arm to block an ensuing kick. He faintly winced at the power behind it. The blond brawler seemed to have put quite a fair number of points into his strength.


‘Interesting…’ Rakna thought as he was slowly pushed back against the bars of the cage. His Fabled Sight busy analyzing what was happening. ‘He’s somehow annulling physical blows. That must be some kind of application with void magi-!”


Before his train of thought could end, his instincts suddenly made his fur stand and in a moment of panic, he reached in what remained of his mana and used his Star-Make to construct a shield.


The second he finished making it, something invisible struck it and produced a loud sound. Rakna immediately turned on his soul sense and saw the identity of his attacker.


“I didn’t know you could do this… Evelyn,” he muttered and shoved her assailant away and made the shield explode at the same time.


The invisible figure became visible again and the succubus emerged, wagging her wings to retreat from the exploding star construct. “A girl has her secrets,” she said with a smirk and Rakna snorted as he was forced to parry another attack from the blond.


“Whenever you want, girls,” Allan voiced and the werewolf abruptly sensed a new surge of mana from behind him. He decisively unfurled his wings and shot out dozens of feathers to buy enough time to look behind him.


What he saw made him a bit nervous. Flavia was clasping her hands together as a purple and green sphere hovered above her. The very moment his eyes fell on that sphere, Rakna knew he had to stop it. But before he could act on that thought, black flames walled him and obstructed his vision.


He increased his aura’s output to fight the heat and glanced at where Evelyn was a few seconds ago to see it completely overtaken by the fire. “Hell Blaze…” He muttered to himself.


These dark flames were probably more than they appeared and he didn’t want to find out what they could do. He flapped his mana-infused wings to temporarily douse the flames and his eyes widened when he realized that he was alone in the birdcage.


“That teleportation spell…” He mumbled. He was trapped inside a cage surrounded by flames with no way to see past them. He then heard Flavia’s voice again.


“[Constancy leads to Chaos, Instability creates Chaos, Balance sustains Chaos.]”


“…I don’t like the sound of that,” Rakna whispered and hacked at the bars of the cage with Sonata while injecting mana into the blade. They were easily cut apart by his weapon but the shadows promptly started knitting themselves back together.


He clicked his tongue. “If I had a more mana to spare…”


“[Two-Fold Chaos! Pandemonium!]”


He ran out of time as he heard a loud buzzing sound. He opened his eyes wide as the black flames and shadow bars parted to allow the path to a green and purple wave of energy. In the split of a second, his mind went through everything he could do, and right before the attack hit, he pulled out something from his spatial ring.


When the freshly learned Chaos Magic hit the cage, the training room shook and a dome of erratic energy arose, releasing a powerful shockwave. Flavia covered her eyes as the sounds of the booming detonations reached her ears.


She was instantly filled with worry, thinking that they might have gone too far, but just like Allan, she trusted Rakna’s ability with her life. And her beliefs were proved founded when the group of four heard a loud chant coming from within the exploding dome of energy.


“[Four of Clubs! Dreorin’s Heritage! Dreorin Rage!]” A primal roar followed his words and they shuddered collectively. Their eyes widened in shock as they found themselves rooted in place, unable to move.


Then, they watched as the spectral figure of a colossal Dreorin emerged from the raging residues of the explosion. Rakna followed soon after with an ashen Greatsword shielding most of his head and part of his body. The rest that wasn’t covered had been protected by a steel dome materialized by his Card.


He peered over the blade and used Artzpul, ignoring the subsequent stiffening of his muscles at the reckless move, to fly off toward his sparring partners while they were still affected by his sword’s crowd control perk.


The person he targeted was Allan since he was the closest one. Normally, the duration of Dreorin Rage should have kept them stunned for at least a few seconds. While that felt vague, if taken literally, it would mean at least two seconds and he had been fast enough to be under that time frame.


That’s why he was surprised when a rain of shadow blades fell on him and stopped his advance. He was forced to deflect them with Sonata and the Greatsword which he wielded with both of his hands simultaneously. As for the ones he couldn’t take down, he blocked them with his wings.


‘Nyx’s traits… there were some I couldn’t get a read on. Can she resist crowd control?’ He mused.


Then, his ears twitched when he sensed that all of them were moving again. He growled and used five of the thirteen mana points he had left to cast one certain spell, “[Cold Star Mist.]”


Right on cue, the training room was suddenly filled with a thick mist and he used one more MP to activate Stealth as well. The shadow constructs immediately lost sight of him and began raining on the ground randomly


‘Of course, these things’ accuracy depends on her ability to locate me,’ he thought and put his body into motion; locking onto Allan with Fabled Sight and charging at him. He reached him in no time and before he could react, grabbed his arm and flung him toward a wall in the distance with all of his strength.


Since he didn’t know any practical method to get past his seemingly perfect physical defense, his only choice was to get him away while he dealt with the girls.


“[Hell Requiem.]”


Then, as if to spite him, Evelyn conjured a torrent of black flames that burnt away most of his mist. He groaned internally when he saw Flavia and Nyx instantly set their eyes on him.


‘I can’t let them cast anything again…’ He said to himself and decisively threw his Greatsword at Nyx who he deemed to be most dangerous. Not only because of her magic but also the experience her identity entailed. She dodged it easily but it had never been his intention to hit her with that; just stall her a little bit.


He mentally commanded Sonata to turn into Dual Chain Blades and threw them as well. This time, however, he aimed at both Nyx and Evelyn with each scythe. Both of them evaded it but as they thought that they didn’t need to worry about the scythes anymore, he emitted a pulse of mana and the Dual Blades shone before backtracking their path.


The chain connecting the two scythes caught them by surprise and since they were close enough to each other, he only needed to cancel the recall and it wrapped around them, effectively binding them.


That left only one person and when Rakna turned to look at her, he was a bit startled when he saw her run at him with a purple glow around her body. He was taken off guard for sure but that didn’t stop him from reacting as she performed a high kick aimed at his ribs.


He brought his arm up to block it but quickly gave up on that idea when the strength behind was way higher than he expected. Instead of facing the blow, he opted to redirect it and took advantage of his size to counter with a kick of his own which she would not be able to dodge.


But, once again, much to his disbelief, she blocked it with both her hands, though it was clear that she was struggling. ‘Heavy,’ that’s the first thing he thought. ‘It’s like I’m trying to hit something weighing tons. That purple glow… and her strength…’


He quickly understood how she was doing this but that didn’t do anything to stop her. After blocking his counter, she promptly jumped to get closer to his head. Their eyes crossed and she let out a small smile before dealing out another kick.


Rakna nearly smiled himself at the display and tried to use Reinforcement to intercept her before she could carry out her onslaught but unfortunately, his weakened condition caught up to him and his muscles spasmed and froze mid-action.


Flavia’s blow ultimately landed and the mind-boggling amount of strength behind it sent him to fly for a few meters before he helplessly rolled on the ground. The former teacher then landed on the ground and immediately collapsed on her knees while panting.


It was about that time that Allan rushed back from his impromptu voyage through the air and that Nyx and Evelyn freed themselves from Sonata’s chain. When they saw that Rakna was unmoving, they began to think it was over when they heard something they never expected to hear.


“Hah,” a chuckle. It was a quiet one but it was definitely a chuckle. Flavia and Allan were the ones who reacted the worst to that. Rakna never chuckled. Or to be exact, he never did it in his normal state of mind.


“Hahahaha!” The chuckle turned into laughter and they saw the werewolf’s eyes turn red along with the color pigmentation at the tip of his tails and ears. “That was fun,” he uttered and sat up.


Nyx and Evelyn who had never seen him like that were shell-shocked at the raw insanity on his expression as well as the ear-splitting grin.


“That was good, Flavia,” he said. “Using gravity to even up the weight class between us, boosting your momentum with your telekinesis, and also your kicks; well fucking done. That was Krav Maga, right? Military-style. Probably what your grandfather taught you.”


Flavia blinked at him and tentatively nodded, not really accustomed to interacting with him so jovial and out-spoken.


After a few more chuckles, Rakna turned back into a therian and pulled out a cigarette. He put it in his mouth and lit it, not with his lighter, but a snap of his fingers. A few seconds later, his grin died down and his eyes returned to their usual purple color.


“Well, I guess, you won,” he said with a tone as blank as always, baffling Nyx and Evelyn to no end.


Allan snorted and sat down on the floor. “Yeah, right. Says the guys who had barely any mana left to spend and was forced to take teach’s kick head-on because his body stopped responding.”


“It doesn’t change anything,” Rakna retorted. “While I do have some superiority in terms of skills and equipment, it’s not that relevant. I don’t think any of you was going all out too, and there’s also Evelyn, while resourceful, is a bit low-leveled. Additionally, my senses are too keen to be fooled or outplayed. I can predict most of your attacks and it’s hard to land surprise attacks.”


“Yeah, which basically sums up to; you’re too OP for us,” Allan deadpanned.


“Well, my capabilities aside, it was interesting to see where we all stood compared to each other,” Rakna changed the subject and cracked his neck with a groan. “In any case, after this fight, you guys made me remember that there’s something I have yet to try out.”


“Which is?” Flavia asked curiously.


Elemental Reinforcement,” he said and his four companions realized that was true. They hadn’t seen him use it at all during their spar. “But I’ll have to postpone it to after I’ve recovered.”


“D-do you want me to give you some mana and stamina again?” Evelyn asked with reddened cheeks, still remembering the sensation she got when he did it the first time.


“No, it’s fine. I’ve pushed it a bit too far already. I strained myself more than I should have. I don’t know if I’ll be able to stay put if you help me again.”


“I see…”


“Anyhow,” Rakna continued and stood up with a stagger. He groaned and drank a low-tier healing potion to help him a little bit. “I’ve had a rough day and I think this is enough action. I don’t know about you, but I’m hungry after all this.”


They all chuckled and agreed to his suggestion, leaving the training room that was already being repaired at an incredible rate.