As Arthur heard her say that, he was a bit shocked, to be honest, he didn't expect her to say this, he indeed decided to let go of the enmity between them, however, that didn't mean he wants to join her clan or whatever, that was a whole different thing.
It may be a good offer to others, heck! people wish to join the Ma Clan but can't so what she told him now is very rare, especially when you know the Ma Clan almost never recruits people from outside, it may have been a bold move from her, but for Arthur, he didn't think much of it.
Firstly, he didn't want to be restricted by a Clan as he liked travelling, but it may be a lie to say he never thought of establishing some kind of institution or something similar, it's just some trait he got from his past-life, in the past he established several companies and became filthy rich, the money didn't interest him, what he quite enjoyed is raising that company to the very top.
Arthur stared at Anastassia who was looking at him with cold eyes and emotionless face, she didn't even seem eager to hear his answer so it seemed confusing as to why she would ask that.
"I cannot do that..."
She didn't seem surprised by his answer, and when he just finished those 4 words, she talked yet again
"How about a guest Elder? You and your comrade."
Her insistence perplexed Arthur for there is no apparent reason for what she asked, did she think the clan would gain better protection or what?
"Why do you want me to join your clan or become a guest Elder?"
To this question, Anastassia remained silent as if struggling between answering or not, finally, after spending some time thinking thoroughly, she replied to Arthur.
"The Grand Elder won't let you live after what you did, especially if you plan to kill his grandson, so if you join us and stay in the female area, the probability of you surviving is better."
Hearing this, Arthur burst out in laughter and retorted
"Ha! What a joke! I know you are not this kind and this is not the real reason if you don't plan on telling it then nevermind, it's not like I'm willing to join with a clan with its master being a liar!"
Sonia, hearing Arthur badmouth her sister, became a bit angered and shouted at Arthur
"Who are you calling a liar!"
However, she soon realized who she was shouting at, so she shrank back behind her big sister, afraid to even glance at Arthur, she did that on impulse and it was completely out of her character.
Arthur ignored Sonia and just kept staring at the black-haired woman with a smile on his face.
Having no choice but to say the truth, Anastassia sighed and slowly said
"Fine... that reason was only secondary, I was interested in your strength and your comrade, after all, you managed to kill 29 Elders. Furthermore, each and every one of them is a powerhouse not to be reckoned with, so I wanted to rope you in to increase the power of the clan and at the same time protect you from the Grand Elder"
In fact, Anastassia wasn't the kind of person to easily say her motives, but this time, she got no choice, Arthur is not someone she can easily mess with, she didn't see him fight but from the result of that incident, it was certain that he was very powerful, plus it was mysterious how he healed from those horrifying wounds in just 5 days, one must have a godlike recovering ability or some heaven-defying Elixir than can instantly heal all wounds.
"Hoo.. so you finally speak honestly, good! good! I like that, but I think it's unnecessary to protect us.."
"I know you are strong, but the Grand Elder is not like those normal Elders, he is almost on par with me, he has been concealing his strength for a while now"
Anastassia obviously didn't think Arthur became much stronger by possessing so even though he managed to kill all those elders, for her, it was a simple thing, an achievable feat even by her. although for others it may sound like a miracle, she can kill them easily but that didn't mean she can kill the Grand Elder easily too.
She also thought he was very lucky as the day he attacked the male area, the Grand Elder was out of the clan and not all elders were present, nonetheless, he slaughtered half of them which is incredible.
"I think you misunderstand something too, I'm not as weak you think, I was merely injured last time because of an unexpected thing, if you do not believe me then.. how about a spar between us?"
This time, she was taken aback a bit, she never expected him to ask her to spar with him, Anastassia felt a bit of contempt toward him as he was certainly not the first to ask her for a spar then end up half crippled.
After staring at him with piercing eyes trying to find his motive, it was futile so she could only nod at him indicating her confirmation about his proposal.
The two of them didn't linger off in that room any longer and headed outside, there was a private training ground not too far from the pagoda, it only needed 5 minutes of walk and they decided to make it the place of the spar.
Anastassia was yet again shocked when she saw the familiar Astrith outside, she thought he was dead for sure so how in the blue hell did he come back?
Astrith too was staring at her, he wanted to fight her again now that he becomes stronger, one must not forget that his strength increases when Arthur stats increase, it may not be like Lucy, but it nevertheless strengthened him a lot, he became more confident in his victory against her.
The place was quiet and suitable for a duel or a spar, it was a big square devoid of people of anything, it was just green ground with some wind blowing making the place seem very peaceful and pleasant.
Anastassia didn't change her clothes, she only retrieved her two black daggers and put them in her waist, as for Arthur, he took out Makaze and also put it his waist, unsheathed.
They stood 50 meters from each other while Lucy and the other spectators were not far away.
Although has new skills and techniques now and his stats sky-rocketed and became insane, that didn't mean he should underestimate her, especially her, he previously saw her speed and offense and it was no joke, even with his new strength he didn't dare act overconfident like last time, furthermore, he was on full alert as maybe that woman with the black chains will come back again, after all, they appeared suddenly and if not for Zodiak, he would have been killed by her.
He took out Zodiak's corpse earlier and inspected it, but no matter how much he called for Zodiak's name, nothing happened, it just returned to a normal skeleton corpse, it was confusing but he didn't dare absorb it or throw it, after all, it saved his goddam life.
One other thing that bothered him is his soul, it was very weak, thinner than paper, even a simple soul attack would heavily injure him so he wanted to find a solution to strengthen it, it was too bad that the system won't work right now, as he wanted to thoroughly inspect the skills, see his LVL and so on.
"How about we make this more interesting?" Arthur said while grinning at Anastassia.
She only stayed silent, unwilling to speak for some odd reason so he continued speaking.
"Let's make a bet, if you win I'll become a guest Elder, and if I win.... I'll decide what I want at that time.. what do you say?"
Anastassia's eyes widened for a second before regaining their normal sharpness and coldness, she pondered for a dozen of seconds before nodding at Arthur.
Wuji stood between them and counted down from 3 and just when he said 'Go!' both of them charged at each other, this time Anastassia took both of her daggers from the very beginning, just like him.
Arthur didn't use [Petal Footsteps], he wanted to see his speed without it and compare it to her.
As they were rushing at each other, although the distance was extremely short, he was able to guess that she was fast, very fast, faster than him, it made him more and more surprised, his agilitiy must be in the 4 million, no matter how high her agility is, it can never reach that, that's going by logic of course, because Arthur is a parasite, he only reached it by possessing countless corpses, and Lucy had the blessing which is considered literal cheat, but how did Anastassia do it?
He didn't dare to relax anymore and launched [Petal footsteps] in the middle of the charge, his speed more than doubled and he finally clashed with her, he didn't use any dangerous skills such as dark magic or anything similar, after all it was just a spar.
Makaze and both the daggers struck each other, and the impact was incredible, just the strength of the clash was enough to create a 30m radius crater under their feet.
Anastassia's eyes were wide open, her face looked like she has seen a ghost as she stared with disbelief at Arthur, never did she think he not only was fast but had immense strength, although it looked like both of them clashed, she was pushed back a couple of steps by that simple slash of his.
Makaze was pressing on both of the crossed daggers, she could barely hold on as she was slowly but surely being overwhelmed by his brute strength, with no choice left, she jumped back with lightning speed and sneakily sent hidden needles at Arthur.
They were not dangerous, but they were precisely aimed at specific Acupoints to make him paralyzed, her accuracy was no joke, but unfortunately for her, as if hitting an invisible wall the needles fell on the ground once they come into contact with Arthur body.
Actually, Arthur picked a good defensive technique from all the ones he got, it was called [Suppressing Mountains], it was originally an offensive technique but it is used to defend more than to attack, by using it, the owner will be extremely heavy and his skin and bones would be hardened to the extreme, once active it would make the user 75% slower but his defense would sky-rocket and would become almost like a fortress.
Arthur used it in a flash as his reaction speed was unbeatable, he noticed the needles the moment they were thrown at him and since he didn't want to use magic in this sparr, he used that technique.
He didn't know if those needles would hurt or not if he didn't use [Suppressing Mountains] but he won't lose anything from using it.
Arthur then used [Lone Sword] at her, then he followed the two supersonic slashes but jumping on her using a palm attack he gained, it was one of the few which was practiced to a high realm and is decent, it was called [Buddha Palm] and is strong at crushing enemies.
Anastassia wasn't holding all her hopes on the needles, she had already retreated several dozens of meters from him, while doing so, she saw a wide black slash coming at her with illogical speed, it was a 1 meter curvy black arc, it's speed was many times faster than her, but fortunately, she managed to react in time to defend, it's basically impossible to dodge that as she was already backing away, so the only left solution is to counter it or successfully block.
For someone like her, who experienced countless battles and even managed to take hold of a powerful clan, her fighting reached a heavenly level.
She used a secret defensive technique that she practiced since childhood, it was her main one, although she didn't use it much, it was nevertheless useful.
In a slow yet strangely fast motions, she waved her daggers sending two slashes of her own, then she waved her left hand in a weird manner which resulted in a dark shield appearing in front of her.
The slash of [Lone Sword] and those of Anastassia's finally clashed but her slashes only managed to slow down his by a little bit, it was still charging at her.
When it finally hit the dark shield, there was a loud ringing sound before it vanished leaving cracks on the shield, however, that wasn't all, Arthur was following behind that slash as he struck the dark shield with his [Buddha Palm], his palm turned into a golden colour, emanating an overwhelming pressure, the dark shield instantly shattered, leaving Anastassia exposed to the sudden attack of Arthur.
With no way to defend, she crossed her hands in a defensive stance and awaited for the palm to hit her, which it obviously did, it sent her flying very far away, until she hit a tree a hundred or so meters from her previous position.
Soon, she got up from the ground with some blood leaking out from her pale white lips, she was still unable to comprehend what just happened in this exchange, she was totally overwhelmed by him, she barely managed to block his attacks only to receive stronger ones, also, how is he able to use those techniques of her clan? That mouvement technique or that palm...
She was curious, but she didn't ask him, it was a spar, he can use whatever he want, however, it nonetheless was intriguing as even if he managed to get a hold of the scrolls of those techniques, there is absolutely no way he can use them like that.
Anastassia, didn't waste time thinking as she rushed at him yet again, but this time her speed seemed to have increased.
Arthur was excited as he tested the new skill and enjoyed the spar, he also rushed at her but even with her increase, she was still slower than him when he used [Petal Footsteps].
They clashed yet again but this time, they flew to the sky and from afar, you can see two black shadows appearing and disappearing in the sky with strong impact noises here and there.
For spectators like Saly, Astrith and Wuji, they could only see blurs, only Lucy barely managed to see both of them, a smile bloomed on her enchanting face as she saw Arthur fight, he was totally suppressing Anastassia.
Although to others it seemed like both of them were relentlessly attacking each other in the sky with explosions here and there, it was all Arthur's doing.
He was hit a few time by her but it didn't even injure him, as for her, she was sent flying several times, he didn't exert too much strength to not kill or heavily injure her, nonetheless, she had superficial injuries, she just couldn't block his monstrous strength, the only way is to dodge which is even more impossible to do seeing that he is faster than her.
Anastassia had a few deadly techniques or skills that would strengthen her by a huge margin, but that would cost a lot and this was just a spar, so there was no need to use them.
She was flabbergasted the more she fought him, no matter how she attacked, it was useless as it would be either dodged by him or blocked.
At a certain exchange, one of her daggers finally couldn't hold on and suddenly shattered, shocked by this, she hastily retreated and looked dumbfoundedly at the shattered dagger as if it was just an illusion.
Arthur felt a bit guilty as he didn't do it on purpose, Makaze was a deadly weapon and it's already surprising those daggers managed to hold on many exchanges against him, it was a matter of time before one of these daggers would shatter, however, even if he have told her that earlier, he was sure she wouldn't have believed him or would have simply continued so he refrained from doing that.
This outcome was anticipated by him, so when he saw her stare at the dagger like that, he descended from the air and calmly said
"Let's stop here... I didn't mean to break it but it just happened.... anyways, I'll compensate you for it."
Hearing this, she snapped out of her daze and looked at him coldly before retorting
"The spar isn't over yet, the winner has not been decided yet."
Arthur merely waved his hand non-chalantly while saying
"There is no need to continue, none of us fighted seriously, I held back a lot and I think so do you.. because if that's your real power, then I'm really disappointed... you can consider yourself the winner and I'll be the guest Elder... Just for the time being, it's only until I leave the clan"
Arthur wanted to stay here for a certain amount of time, first to find some solutions to his weak soul and finish that young master, then he would probably go to the Holy Church or something else, depends on what he plans.
Anastassia could only angrily descend and stare at Arthur's back with ferocity, even though it was apparent he was suppressing her and he should be the winner, he said she won, this kind of undeserved victory is unwanted by her, it sounded like a pity more than victory.
It was rare for her to show expressions, and this time was one of the rare times she did, her face looked a bit distorted as she looked at him going with Lucy and Saly back to the Pagoda.
It was a good thing he became a guest Elder, and now that she knew he is very strong, probably stronger than her, then someone like the Grand Elder is no threat to him, plus he said he will stay here for a while so that means her clan would gain many benefits.
Her decisions weren't wrong after all, it was a wise idea to help him that time, although they were firstly enemies, that didn't mean they will always be like that.
Arthur, Lucy went back to their room while Saly stayed with Astrith in the yard, even though she wanted to stick with Arthur, seeing him fight like that, she resolved herself to become stronger and immediately began training, after all, she vowed to become strong enough to be able to fight by his side.
Just as Arthur and Lucy went back to the room, his black storage ring vibrated intensily before the familiar skeleton of Zodiak got out of it.
It looked as creepy as ever and suprisingly it wore the black robe, it looked around for a second before it's lifeless eyes landed on Arthur's figure, it didn't remain silent as it hastily spoke.
"Boy, I don't know who you are but I can sense my magic within you, I sealed some of my consciousness into my body so it can activate once it is near a divine being, I only managed to win a couple of years for you, that treacherous woman will find you sooner or later... anyways, I don't have much time left. I said what I had to say, hopefully, we meet again in the future.. boy."