Chapter 440: The Weakest…?

    Chapter 440: The Weakest...?

    It was over in a matter of minutes. It was so fast, in fact, the audience could only stare dumbfounded as the contestants left the ring. What an incredible confrontation! Every clash, every move was epic and the memory hung over the arena. Titan and his god-like power was especially stark in their minds. A moving mountain.

    Mo Xiao heaved a long sigh, then turned to regard the Terminator. "You spoke true, Your Majesty; pure force won out in the end."

    The Terminator smiled, but he did not take the opportunity to gloat. Nor did he offer any further explanation. He was, of course, interested in maintaining the secrets of his organization and his people.

    The first round of the quarter-finals had come to an end and the field was reset for the next fight. Bing Yu arose from her seat in the waiting area and, without even glancing in Lan Jue's direction, left for the ring. Despite her strong face, Lan Jue spotted her stiff gait - the last fight had shaken her nerve. It was beginning to look like Titan was going to dominate the psychology of this group.

    Lan Jue stood. "Good luck," the Pharmacist offered.

    He smiled back at her. "I'll be meeting you in the finals." His swaggered out in to view of the crowd.

    She watched him go with a little surprise in her expression. The Jewelry Master had just witnessed Titan's power and still had the gall to predict his victory. Did it mean that he had some plan to beat the convert? If he did, that would be fantastic.

    Lan Jue arrived at the ring, then floated up to enter. It was no display, just simple and straight forward. No one could see his face beneath the golden mask - all they could see was the famed Mercenary King, alone in the ring with his opponent.

    "What do you think will happen this time, Your Majesty?" Mo Xiao asked the Paragon.

    The Terminator's response was placid. "If every fight was as clear as the last, there'd be little to keep the audience entertained. Luckily, I can't tell what will happen in this round."

    Mo Xiao replied with a pretty laugh. "Well said, well said! The Westerner - Bing Yu, known as Absolute Zero - is an ice Adept. Her Discipline is considered one of the most potent. Lan Jue has dual disciplines of Thunderbolt and Lightning. Both of them are Adepts of an elemental Discipline."

    "So who do you suspect will come away the winner," the Terminator asked.

    She hesitated for a moment. "Zeus, I think."

    "Why do you figure?"

    Mo Xiao's pretty face was split by an impish grin. "Poseidon and Zeus are good friends. I'm simply going for the name I know!" Her sheepish demeanor was endearing, and caused the crowd to laugh affectionately. But Zeus was a Divine Monarch! He had as much of a chance to win anyone.

    "We'll have to see what tricks he has yet to reveal. Zeus is the weakest of all the quarter-finalists. It makes him a real underdog, and I am rooting for him to perform miracles."

    "Weakest?" Mo Xiao was not aware of Lan Jue's sudden and dramatic loss of power.

    "Let's just wait and see what happens." The Terminator left it at that.


    Lan Jue stood at the far end of the arena. Bing Yu glared at him from the opposite side. The air crackled, and flecks of ice hung around her. She didn't say anything, but it was clear from the buzz of her aura that she was like a beast just waiting to pounce.

    Lan Jue took a deep, calming breath as he looked right back at his foe. He had quite the task ahead of him; she was not weak, but he couldn't reveal all his secrets in the first round. How could he win the upper hand in later fights then? At any rate, stress and pressure were what improved his Discipline. He was determined to rely on nothing but his own rank two skills to win.

    "Fight!" The electronic buzzer and voice called the second round to action!

    Bing Yu's right hand shot out, and immediately a soupy fog billowed out from her. It encroached in suffocating waves, right toward Lan Jue. Absolute Zero vanished from view.

    Lan Jue's eyes widened. His hand shot out, too, belching a wild nest of blue and purple lightning. They formed a protective mesh directly before him.

    A series of blasts ensued. From within Bing Yu's enigmatic mist, great icicles came hurling through to cut away at his netting. Lan Jue could still feel waves of icy power pulsing from deep within the mist. From what he could sense, Bing Yu might as well be the mist - he couldn't pinpoint her location.

    He kept his cool. Both hands rose, now, and pressed forward as though shoving something away. A shock wave composed of writhing lightning blasted out to where he pointed. Soon it consumed the entire battlefield. It was quite a feat, since the coverage area was so much larger than it had been. It surprised the audience to see Zeus' Forest of Lightning cover so much ground.

    The fog danced between the bolts, and where they touched the snow-white mist became hues of blue and purple. From outside it made the whole arena look like an enormous, dazzling opal. The lightning continued to flash, and somewhere in between the blinding flashes, Lan Jue's form vanished. This was an ability he hadn't used in his fight against the Angel of the Moon. It was nothing the contestants and audience had yet to see him do.

    Great blasts of thunder tumbled over one another again and again, while mists surged and lightning raced. No one could see anything but violent flashes of light and shifting colors. Their clash continued and intensified until, with a shuddering boom of thunder and a flash of light, two figured appeared again within the ring.

    Lan Jue hovered in the air. It was hard to tell his condition simply by looking at him. Bing Yu was on the ground, surrounded by a flickering oval of blue light. The orb itself was glimmering and faceted like an ice crystal. Her eyes had become a brilliant shade of blue, and in her hands she clutched a navy-hued spear three meters long. It's sharp point never wavered from Lan Jue's direction.

    Everything leading up to this point had been the two fighters testing each other out. Now it was time to make their move.

    The blue lightning that surrounded Lan Jue gradually changed to gold. A fine net of electric threads hung over him that made him blaze like a sun.

    Bing Yu sniffed derisively. The lights that infected the ground beneath her feet flashed. The air around her condensed in to another volley of icicles she sent flying Lan Jue's way. She thrust the butt of her spear in to the ground.

    As the iciles passed, they filled the air with frozen blue contrails. It all converged on Zeus, surrounded by a mysterious white aura.


    "The temperature in the ring is dropping." Mo Xiao suddenly exclaimed. A digital thermostat was plastered on the viewing screens. She was right, the thermostat read the force field's internal temperature as negative eighty degrees centigrade and dropping. Although Adepts had increased resistance to climate changes, it was all within reason. If it got too cold too fast, of course it would be crippling for a fighter.

    She had earned the name Absolute Zero for a reason.

    Lan Jue came crashing towards her like like a golden bolt of lightning. He blazed like the surface of the sun. Bing Yu's icicles melted away long before they could do Lan Jue any harm.

    She didn't hesitate, and she had no fear. The moment Bing Yu saw Lan Jue approach, she tapped in to her power and began to grow. Taller and taller she rose, as a crystalline figure appeared behind her. It looked precisely like she did - like a self-portrait in ice. The spear in her hands glowed with inner light until it blinded the eyes. A bolt of condensed power launched from the spear's top toward Lan Jue.


    The explosion blasted through the arena like a tempest, followed by a light snowfall. The light from Bing Yu's spear was gone, but so was Lan Jue's shield. Just then, however, lights erupted from the ground below Bing Yu, and quickly enveloped the defenseless Zeus.

    Ice Prison!

    Lan Jue grunted. Without any motion or word, his body began to spew feral coils of electricity - another Forest of Lightning, but this one made of gold. He lightning rose to a thunderous crescendo, and once again Lan Jue vanished in the flashing lights. Bing Yu's ice prison had no effect.

    A faint light of understanding dawned in Bing Yu's eyes as she realized Zeus' explosive display wasn't an attack, but a retreat. She could also feel that, although strong, the energy behind Zeus' attacks didn't compare to her own, a fact which gave her confidence in her determination. Bing Yu had done her own research before the fight, as everyone had. She'd watched the videos, studied the footage. This man they called the God of Lightning was clearly the weakest one in their group.

    She made her move. The spear she bore lashed out like a lightning bolt, piercing the air in the direction of Zeus. A blizzard roared from the end of her weapon, swirling like an angry beast to devour him. At these extreme temperatures, every snowflake was a razor blade at a hundred miles an hour. The deadly blizzard raged through the lightning storm, sweeping over everything. Just like Bing Yu's eyes.

    The battlefield had already frozen at negative one hundred degrees. It had even begun to influence the actions of the lightning itself, making it sluggish.

    Slowly at first, everything began to get pulled together, drawn to a central point on the field.

    Bing Yu's response was to launch herself in to the air. There, she thrust her spear forth, and it belched another beam of icy-blue light. The power flowing from her spread out from her pours, making her skin as blue as the light.

    And then it all stopped, as sudden as it had been violent.

    The lightning that had been coiling together fired in a single raging column, directly in the face of Bing Yu's attack.

    Boom- -!
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