Since then, two months had quickly passed. Nearly everyday, everyone trained themselves. Not just Memento Mori, Kai also trained himself and got even stronger than he was.
"So, this day marks the end of the second month of training, we'll be holding a progress check."
Kai suddenly spoke to the group while they were eating. He had suddenly invited everyone to a feast at Angelina's mansion, all of them thought that it was because it was the end of their 2nd month and to celebrate accomplishments but it looks like neither were the real reasons.
"How will we be doing a progress check exactly-"
"Through a battle."
"Of course it is."
Natsumi sighed. She wasn't even finished with her sentence and Kai had already claimed her fears.
"I'll give you all the results in the past 2 months. Kei and His Highness: 7 out of 500 bouts won- though by luck and trickery as remarked by Wake, I don't mind though, play dirty as much as you like."
"...As much as I want to deny it..."
"We really did..."
Kazuki and Kei muttered.
"Natsumi: 40 targets hit- looks like you were faster than Angie, good job."
"Are you being sarcastic...?"
Natsumi said with narrowed eyes.
"Yoko: 0 bouts won but has broken through A-class and is one step away from mastering the Gentle Fist, she made the most progress."
"...I'll beat you up one day."
Yoko glared at Kai, she held quite a lot of resentment over the past two months.
"Date, my knights told me you were on the level of Private A, great progress."
"His name is Warren though..."
Date was ignored completely.
"Arata, your defensive power spiked and is enough to take a single normal hit from an S-class, that means I can hit you more now."
Quote unquote, 'a single normal hit from an S-class'. Kai had an arm that couldn't be broken by anyone in the entire continent, how would a hit from it feel? Undoubtedly above a normal hit.
"Umi, though you aren't able to create a water being just yet, you've at least mastered the basics. You can now attack from afar by using moisture and life from the air. Nice work."
Umi smiled wryly.
"Erina, looks like you're well on your way to S-class."
"Of course, I can't just hold you and Amelia back."
Erina said with pride.
"Since that's settled, let's start the fight."
Kai snapped his fingers and everyone in the room was teleported to the plains. It was the same place that he had left Warlock in.
"What happened to this place?"
Umi said as she looked around. The plants around them were all dead- it looked like a desert in the middle of the plains, if the burned dirt was replaced by sand at least.
"Long story short, I blew up a member of the council. Now, let's start."
Ignoring everyone's shocked expressions, Kai took a battle stance. This was the first time he ever faced them all at the same time. Amelia, Aya and Angie were standing by the side. Amelia and Angelina looked as if the current situation had absolutely nothing to do with them but Aya was torn between cheering for Kai or Erina and Natsumi.
No weapons, Kai would use the Null Distance Sword if he wanted to wipe them all out with a weapon but this was a progress check. He's actually better at hand-to-hand combat than with a sword though.
It looked like their training bore fruit. They quickly went into formations without any words exchanged. Arata, Kei, and Kazuki took the front. Erina, Yoko, and Date took the middle while Umi and Natsumi took the back.
No words were spoken. Kai stepped forward and appeared directly on top of Arata. He was going to launch a fist strike from above.
Arata quickly maneuvered himself and placed his shield overhead and created a barrier. Kai hit the shield with his left fist, breaking the barrier and forcing Arata to get crushed by his shield but he withstood it. Though his legs felt numb, he managed to withstand that one attack.
Kazuki and Kei managed to react in that instant and leapt while Kai was still in the air. Looks like the teamwork between the two of them improved by leaps and bounds. Kai used Arata's shield as a leverage and kicked the blunt sides of Kei and Kazuki's swords. Then, he kicked the side of their heads, Kazuki's left and Kei's right which forced them to butt heads.
Kai wasn't done there, he kicked the shield which made Arata go out of balance and kicked Kazuki and Kei's bodies. But unexpectedly, the two were able to block at the last second by using their swords and though they were flung away, they didn't take much damage other than mild concussions.
Kai leaked out some noise signifying his surprise but he quickly regained his normal attitude and leaned his head from right to left to right then finally left in quick succession. He dodged Natsumi's arrows which were all aimed for his head. Then, he leapt upwards to dodge a spike of water from underneath him and kicked it once it turned into ice. But Erina's joint attack with Umi wasn't done.
Using the water in the air, Umi forced the gas to turn into liquid which gathered as droplets around Kai. Erina quickly froze them and closed her fist.
"[Miniature Hail Storm]."
It was the first time in the match that Kai used a spell. He used telekinesis to block the movements of the ice but just as he did so, he saw a shadow creep up from behind him and place a dagger on his neck. Kai quickly gathered the ice to block it and once he did, he aimed a kick backwards but Yoko had already changed her position. In the instant he kicked, three people ran up to him. Date, Kei, and Kazuki all thrust their swords forward from different directions.
Kai kicked the air and flipped his body. He was now upside down with one finger balancing on the tips of the three intersecting swords.
"You guys are dangerous when you work as a team."
The only leeway he had of attacking was during the start.
Kai didn't last long while balancing and he had to return to his previous position.
Natsumi's arms disappeared and at least half a hundred arrows were launched at the same time. Kai snapped his fingers to form a wall of ice but in the instant it formed, a shadow passed through and aimed two daggers at his eyes.
A dragon made of flames, a guillotine made of water, and a blade made of wind attacked Kai who was on top of their swords.
Erina balled one of her hands into a fist and punched her palm.
A giant hammer formed behind Kai and threatened to slam into him.
"[Arrow Barrage], [Wind Drill]!"
It took up a huge amount of Natsumi's mana but 50 arrows all missed everyone except Kai. This all happened in the instant Yoko attacked Kai.
Kai was completely cornered.
"Well, you've all made substantial progress."
Nonchalantly, Kai spoke despite the impending attacks. That was what everyone saw but it felt like he was talking normally and they were moving slowly, that's what everyone was feeling.
Kai walked up to Yoko with light steps and hit her in three places, the solar plexus, the chest, and then the stomach. Then, he stepped down from his spot and kicked Kei, Kazuki, and Date on the napes. Then, he appeared right beside Erina, pressing something by her neck, then he did the same for Umi and Natsumi.
Arata who was running to provide support was mercilessly given a combo attack using Kai's palms. Then, Kai snapped his fingers.
All they saw was lightning flashing near them for an instant before their consciousness all gave out. The attacks that they had all launched hit each other excluding the ones who were far away.
Everyone excluding the spectators and Kai fell down on the floor though he actually caught Erina before she fell.
"Kai..." "Papa..." "Master..."
"""That was merciless!"""
Kai was suddenly shouted at by the three spectators.
"What? I didn't tell them I was going easy on them. I simply checked their progress. Though I held back quite a bit, it's true that they still managed to corner me. If it was just about damage, I wouldn't even be scratched but I plan to not take a hit until they can hit me at lightning speed."
"Master, I know you've always been merciless at training but come on! Couldn't you see their expressions when they cornered you? It was like you gave them water after weeks in the desert and then proceeding to drink all of it."
Aya shook her heads several times.
"Papa, you shouldn't have injured the big sisters!"
"Dear, I know you love Erina and all but couldn't you at least give the rest of them cushions of water to break their fall or something? All of them are sleeping on scorched dirt."
Now that she mentioned it...
Kai looked back to the sight of Arata landing face down on the dirt and then towards the others. Yoko and Umi had their faces on the ground while Natsumi was the only one of the group to lie on her back.
Just as he was thinking about that, Erina woke up in Kai's arms.
"...Kai, wasn't that a bit too cruel?"
"Well, I don't think so."
"As punishment, give me a kiss."
Saying that, Erina closed her eyes and puckered her lips seemingly forgetting about the fact that there were three people standing right beside them.
It looked like that was her plan all along.
Kai gave in and kissed Erina on the forehead.
"There, now let me take care of the rest."
Despite Erina's complaints, Kai set her down and lifted up everyone with telekinesis and began healing them. Arata was especially battered up though the reason was so that his body would become tougher than it already is. He's better suited for protecting rather than fighting. If he hadn't defended against Kai's first attack, then the rest wouldn't be able to corner him.
Needless to say, there were a whole mountain of complaints aimed at him by the group after they had woken up. It was very peaceful for a week or two after that, until news came about the arrival of a demonic force at the Empire, the Alteria Kingdom's neighbor and the place that they had sparred in.