Saru Shruti raised an eyebrow. She was trying to figure out whether this Dyon character was bluffing or not.
On one hand, it made no sense for him to have seen through her technique in only a single instant. It was much too complex, layered, and quite frankly, too high level for this universe.
But, on the other hand, he was clearly standing before her, perfectly fine. Had she underestimated the strength of his body? Or was there another problem with her calculations?
'No,' Saru inwardly shook her head, 'My calculations are never wrong.'
"I'm surprised, honestly." Dyon said, still stretching out the kinks in his body from being sent flying so far, "For such a dainty woman to be primarily a body cultivator. That's quite interesting."
Saru froze, her eyes narrowing.
Vidar grit his teeth. Dyon had already lasted for longer than he had, and he had clearly snapped out of the state he had the inability to.
Truth be told, Vidar's understanding of wills was shallow. It was his major flaw and a reason why his father hadn't hesitated to bring in Thor as a second first in line genius. Had he not been his son, Vidar might not have had that position to begin with.
That combined with the fact that Saru wasn't exaggerating when she said that her technique was far above anything from this universe, and Vidar simply stood no chance. He didn't have the experience, nor did he have the talent.
Suddenly, the space around Dyon began rippling.
"You…" Saru didn't know how to feel. Just what was she seeing? "I don't believe it." She said defiantly.
Saru flashed forward, no longer waiting and definitely no longer patient.
Her delicate palm stretched out, oscillating the air around it and compressing it into an attack.
The atmosphere around them began to gain that heavy and illusory feel it had in the beginning. Bells suddenly appeared along Saru's sky blue dress, causing a corrosive whistling sound to fill the atmosphere. There was no question that the level of this attack on the senses had reached an unprecedented level.
Members of the nearby audience began to lose focus in their eyes, becoming disoriented. Some of the even weaker began to bleed from their ears, seemingly oblivious to what was happening to them.
At this point, the damage to the audience could no longer be ignored. Just what level had the younger generation reached to be able to do such a thing? This had never happened during previous world tournaments!
Elders of the Cavositas family had no choice but to flash outward, acting as protectors to several sections at once. This universe simply didn't have array alchemy on the level necessary to provide such protection. Providing arrays for voice amplification of image projection were about their limit. Had it not been for the previous Celestial Deer Sect, even interplanetary travel would be near impossible!
In an instant, Saru appeared before Dyon. Her palm struck outwards, decidedly more vicious.
A strange white pureness came condensed with her attack, causing its danger level to increase even further.
Dyon's eyes flashed with a high degree of focus before his palm, too, struck outward.
The air between their strikes compressed, turning into such a powerful vacuum that the tiles beneath their feet blasted outward.
For a moment, it seemed as though they were evenly matched. Both Saru and Dyon stood in a deadlock, palms seemingly touching, but really, they were separated by a thin film of volatile air.
Suddenly, the skin of Dyon palm sheered, splitting open and erupting in a volcano of blood as his body was once again sent flying without remorse. And yet, Saru was not the least bit happy as she watched him once again skid through the air and ground.
It didn't take Dyon so long to get up this time. He was up in an instant, flashing toward Saru and striking his palm outward again.
Saru's palm slapped Dyon away again, her strange white energy becoming more intense as her agitation grew.
However, despite being sent flying for the third time, Dyon didn't seem perturbed. In fact, there was a light smile playing on his features.
The crowd seemed confused. Why was this so one sided? And since it was, why hadn't Dyon given up yet?
A chorus of boos began to rain downwards as chants for Dyon to give up became louder and louder.
Vidar stood on the sidelines, sneering on one hand, and sighing in relief on the other. So what if he had lasted a bit a longer? Vidar thought. Even if he had, it just made Vidar look smarter for resigning much quicker. One knew his limits, and the other didn't.
That said, the growing frown on Saru's face told an entirely different story. In fact, if anyone was really paying attention, they would have noticed that she had long since stopped trying to use her confusion technique at all. Why? Because it wasn't working!
Dyon leaped upwards for the fifth time, his clothes completely unscathed and the smile on his face all the more entrancing.
"Time to get serious, don't you think?" He said lightly as his skin subtly bulged in agitation. "Demon Emperor's Will. Act 1. Stage 3. Perfection."
Dyon's speed reached an all new height. Booms of sounds and circles of agitated air blasted in his wake as he sent a sixth palm toward Saru.
Vidar's sneer only got wider as the crowd continued to boo, calling for Elder Den to end it. And yet, something astonishing happened.
Saru and Dyon's palms met. However, this time, there was no pocket of air between them and there definitely was no one sided affair. Even Saru's odd wide energy cracked under the pressure, slamming their palms together.
For a moment, people were almost fooled into thinking they were once again equal. But then, Saru stumbled backward!
Saru looked up in shock even as her "father", Patriarch Shruti eyes widened in surprise.
She had lost her first exchange!