As Xiao Tu was paralysed, Shang Yang took her attention off of his body and sat on top of him whilst watching Shi Die and Ye Xiu's spar. She could see that Shi Die was slowly easing into his transformation compared to his instant transformation that she had witnessed before. She had no idea what caused the difference in his transformation speed this time but different situations make different types of results to appear.
Shi Die could feel his body burning once again but the pain did not throb like it did during his first transformation which he was glad for because he could still fight with a clear head. He believed that if he could control himself in the period that he transformed, he should be able to retain control over his mind and body as he is transformed instead of becoming the beast that had absolutely no control over his body.
His senses were definitely getting sharper as he could smell Ye Xiu's scent and he could hear the slight movements on the ground that Ye Xiu made as he attacked him with his bare body. He could react to Ye Xiu's fast speed and the only visible sign that his transformation was even taking place was the marks that were slowly appearing over his body. He had taken off his shirt for the fight so that they could tell whether he would transform or not.
With his reaction speed improving due to his improved senses and the faster speed that he was gaining due to his transformation, Shi Die started to go on the offensive instead of receiving all the attacks from Ye Xiu. Though he wasn't at his fastest speed, Shi Die managed to attack Ye Xiu faster than he could react which was definitely surprising.
"Your speed is much faster than when you were fighting Yan Guo and it doesn't even seem like you've reached your maximum speed yet because you haven't finished transforming yet." Ye Xiu commented as he tried to block the attacks. He retrieved his whip out from his dimensional storage and began to do a mock interpretation of his technique that he used during his dual wielding style. It only utilised a single whip but the whip was moving at a speed that many would be cautious to approach.
Ye Xiu was doing this as a simple test to see just how fast Shi Die had become once he was transforming. He knew that ordinarily, Shi Die had no chance of getting past the speed of his whip but he wanted to see just how improved his senses and reaction speed was. His own linear speed definitely wasn't enough to dodge the whip even if he was able to predict where the whip was going because Ye Xiu had managed to improve the speed that his whip moved at due to the improvement of his muscular strength.
Ye Xiu wasn't disappointed with the speed that Shi Die had displayed as he managed to slowly evade the attacks of the whip as he made his way towards Ye Xiu. Ye Xiu watched as each time he dodged the attack to move closer towards him, Shi Die managed to disappear from his line of sight for a split second before reappearing closer.
It showed that Shi Die had enough speed to trick Ye Xiu's eyes because his eyes weren't fast enough to see how Shi Die was actually moving. Ye Xiu's reflexes were certainly fast enough to block Shi Die's hits currently but he had no idea if he would be able to continue to do so if he Shi Die was completely transformed.
Shi Die's body was still transforming and it seemed to Shang Yang that he was about to reach the full transformation that she had witnessed last time. All that needed to be visible were the claws that Shi Die was supposed to develop. Shi Die's attacks were more vicious in nature and Ye Xiu could definitely feel the danger every time Shi Die got close enough to try to lunge and bite him.
With Ye Xiu noticing how dangerous it would be for Shi Die to land a hit on him, he started to evade most of the attacks that Shi Die tried to land on him. Even though Ye Xiu's maximum speed with the 'Swallow Mirage Steps' wouldn't be able to keep up with Shi Die's increasing speed, his direction of movement was never given away to Shi Die which meant that he was able to easily confuse Shi Die.
Though speed in a fight could determine a fight, especially with how fast Shi Die was, it depended heavily on how you used that speed. Shi Die didn't have a firm grasp of control over his speed but could use it crudely to launch fast surprise attacks on his opponents. It meant that Shi Die would have to adapt to his new speed if he transformed because against Ye Xiu, he'd probably be dodged until Ye Xiu tired or if he managed to predict where Ye Xiu was moving.
Shi Die felt claws forming on his transformed hands and knew that he had probably finished his transformation but he could still feel the burning sensation on his body and he was confused. He ignored it so that he could attack Ye Xiu because he knew that his speed was enough to get past Ye Xiu's defence. In less than a second Shi Die managed to get close enough to Ye Xiu so he could use his claws to swipe Ye Xiu on the stomach.
Shi Die wasn't meaning to cause damage in the spar but he knew that even if they got injuries, as long as it wasn't anything life-threatening, Ye Xiu's and Shang Yang's skills in the Medical Arts should be enough to patch the injuries up. If that wasn't enough, they always had elixirs and pills that could help them recover from injuries, there was even the Spiritual liquid in the Locket Dimension that would greatly heal the injuries.
For the group, this meant they could fight with more ferocity and to fight against each other with the intent to capture. As long as they managed to knock a person unconscious or to render them unable to move, then it would count as their win. It was harder to capture a person than it was to kill a person, that's why they were willing to switch the winning conditions for their spars.
Once Ye Xiu realised that Shi Die was able to get past his whip extremely easily, he abandoned his approach and took out his katana so that he could at least block Shi Die's claw swipes. Ye Xiu had no idea how sharp or how durable Shi Die's claws were so he decided that until he could assess the damage that Shi Die could inflict with his claws.
The only way he could do this is to see the amount of damage he could inflict to the surroundings, this required Ye Xiu to continue dodging but even though he was dodging he still took the chance to attack Shi Die.
Shi Die managed to block Ye Xiu's attacks with ease even after failing his attack due to his fast reaction speed and the speed that he was able to move his body at. Ye Xiu examined the damage that Shi Die caused to the ground and noticed that it Shi Die's claws were definitely strong enough to maul a person to death without even leaving a mark on the claws.
Once Ye Xiu managed to affirm that, he simply took out his whip again and used it to bind Shi Die just as he dodged another one of his attacks. Once Shi Die was bound, Ye Xiu just took out his other whip and used it to add another insurance that Shi Die would have his movements restricted.
Shi Die frowned before speaking. "I surrender, he knew that the spar could be won even without having their opponent knock them out because technically Ye Xiu had restricted his movements to the point that he could no longer move or do anything to help him ease the situation.
Ye Xiu immediately removed the hold that his whips had on Shi Die because there was no point in continuing to drain his Qi if he had surrendered and it was just a spar either way. Ye Xiu looked over to see Shang Yang sitting on top of Xiao Tu and ignored it in favour to ask Shi Die how his transformation went.
"What did you feel during your transformation this time? I noticed that the process of transformation wasn't as fast as when you were fighting Yan Guo. Is there a difference if the change is instant or if it is gradual?" Ye Xiu was interested in the different ways that Shi Die transformed in.
"I know that the transformation was definitely slower than what had happened during the fight against Yang, and it was probably due to what I was feeling during the battle. The emotions I was feeling during the spar wasn't as strong compared to what happened the first time. I think that the speed of transformation is probably linked to the strength of the emotions I feel during the course of a battle."
Shi Die put a finger underneath his chin as he continued to review what had happened during the battle. "I have to keep a firm grip on my mind during the process of transformation. If I let go of the control of my mind, I know that I'll definitely be unable to control what is happening to my body as we fight. I think that it's definitely better for me to gradually transform simply because it allows me to slowly adjust to the changes in my senses and speed that I can move."
"It's rather disorienting because of the changes. The instant transformation can be used for a quick surprise attack and if you have absolutely no need to adjust to whatever changes that would occur. I think I should be able to make my way up to the instant transformation, the more time I spend in the state of transformation. The increase in my senses' sensitivity was pretty much the same as when I was fighting Yan Guo but the speed that I had was definitely improved from last time."
Shi Die continued to explain what he felt during the spar. "Hmm... even after the transformation finished I still felt the burning sensation on my body as if like it still wanted me to continue transforming. I don't know what's actually happening but there's a possibility that there are further stages to my transformation but until I have this stage mastered, I won't try to go any further because I don't know if there are any side-effects to going further than I already have."
Ye Xiu nodded at the wiseness that Shi Die displayed. "I think that's a smart decision, for now, there's no point in charging into sometime that's completely unknown to us even if it's your bloodline ability." He looked once again to where Shang Yang and Xiao Tu before letting out an exasperated sigh. "What are you doing on top of him, Shang Yang? He's probably going to be very angry with you once you get up from that position."
Shang Yang nonchalantly replied. "I paralysed him so he won't be getting up for quite a few minutes. If he's angry then his anger shouldn't blind him during our spar at least. I paralysed him to give him enough time to cool his hot head down until he can fight me properly. I don't want to fight him when he isn't at his strongest, he's been sulking the past few weeks because of our progress, and I want to show him that his progress is just as great as ours even if it's not in strength but in skill and technique."
Ye Xiu nodded before gesturing to Shi Die. "Want to get some food for the others later with me?"
"Sure." The two left the gravity room which they had no reason to be in because they were sparring at the normal gravity.