A wild burst of aura erupted from Zabia's body. Flames of white danced around him, sparking and flaring to new heights with every passing moment.
"NO!" Ulu shrieked, her voice straining so much that her throat sheered against the force of her voice. Blood flew from her mouth before she passed out. Her psyche could no longer handle what was happening. This wasn't how it was meant to go. They were meant to be the King and Queen of their generation, moving their clans forward to a new level of prosperity.
It wasn't meant to go like this... It couldn't go like this…
King Belmont frowned as he watched the pure white flames rage around Zabia.
In the martial world, there were plenty of techniques capable of enhancing your abilities for an instant, but some came with more of a toll than others depending on the quality and the power provided by the technique.
However, there were two techniques anyone could use should they be willing to do so. These techniques gave a power boost beyond even words capable of explaining such things, and yet the price they cost would be high… It was a price you should only be willing to pay should your life be on the end of its rope.
The first, and milder of the two techniques, was the burning of blood essence. During cultivation, whether deliberately by body cultivation, or not – by simply focusing on energy cultivation – blood essence would increase. Much like the soul, should a person choose to place all of their efforts into energy cultivation, blood essence would slowly lag behind by a few stages, gradually increasing, but at a much slower rate.
Should one want a temporary power boost, it was possible to burn your cultivation in this way, using your blood essence as a catalyst. This would result in a permanent drop in energy cultivation, as well as a severe weakening of the body for an extended period of time. Depending on how much blood essence was burning, one could increase their instantaneous power by as much as an entire stage, giving a first level essence gathering expert, the power of one at the second level and so on.
But… There was a much more severe technique. One that there was nearly no coming back from even if you had the best medicines in the world… One that would put your life on the line itself… And that, was the soul burning technique.
So often people underestimated the power of the soul, but little did they understand just how important it was. The soul was a fundamental connection to the world itself. It was what truly gave mortals the right to forge their place in the world and it was the gift of the heavens to the weak so that they could one day become strong… The idea of burning such a gift away from temporary power was unheard of… And yet, that was what was happening now…
Zabia's peak essence gathering cultivation tore through the divide, causing clouds to rage in the skies as saint energy rained down upon him.
And yet… It didn't stop there…
First saint level… Second… Third… Fourth…
The crowd watched in shock as Zabia's cultivation continued to climb, seemingly without pause.
"You want to show me death? I gladly accept! But before I step away from this world, I'll show you the pride of my Jafari Clan!" Zabia roared into the air.
Suddenly, sparkles of silver and black overwhelmed the black fog that leaked from his wounds. And then, before the eyes of everyone… His limbs grew back!
No… That's not what happened… Time reversed on his wounds… It was almost as though they had never happened to begin with!
This was the price necessary to use time will as a supreme law. This was the price detailed and explained in the Jafari legacies. For the power to control the universe as you saw fit, to bend it to your will and see what you want done, done… The cost was your life!
All of this time, Zabia had been using a technique that was already heaven defying. By restricting his time will to an infinitesimally small distance above his skin, he could control the time for him and him alone. He could extend this principal to his swords as well, controlling just the time flow of them as objects. With this loophole, he was able to use time will to the capacity of a supreme law within that finite space.
That was how he was able to sneak up on Dyon in an instant and why Dyon was being cut by swords that were seemingly appearing from nowhere! The swords and Zabia had both been in the future while Dyon was still in the present! How could you possibly react to something not within your timespan?
The problem with this technique was that it was a ridiculous stamina drain. In addition to this, the more Zabia used it, the more damage his soul took. In a short battle, he could slowly heal himself over the course of a few weeks. But, in one as long as the one he fought with Dyon, he found himself struggling more and more as his stamina and soul depleted.
Seeing that his technique was no longer working, Zabia made a decision. As a man, he refused to not have the capability of protecting his own family. He hated himself for not having been there for Ulu when all of this had happened. And for what? To go on a bullshit mission he hadn't even really done anything during anyway? For the sake of increasing the power of a clan for what? For the future? What future was there if he couldn't protect it?
Zabia roared madly into the air as a heavy sword weighing hundreds of kilograms appeared in his hand. It was without a doubt a transcendent weapon. However, the aura it gave off being flooded with endless saint energy was something that Dyon had never been able to match.
Fifth saint level…. Sixth….
"Die!" Zabia's figure disappeared completely. He was within a stream of time completely separate from everything, and yet his range had increased to such an extent that Dyon felt his reaction time significantly slow. Even the erosion ability of his death qi came to a full stop.
If time couldn't progress… How could there be any death?!
And then, the piercing sound of shattering bone rang through the arena.
Clara raised a shaking hand to mouth, tears falling without end. Ri's bestial roar shook the arena, her kitsune form bursting forth as all she saw was white. Madeleine paled, unable to move…
Dyon stood in the middle of the arena, his eyes slightly widened as he slowly looked down.
In his chest lay a massive sword.