The man stabbed his great sword into the floor and looked at both sides.
"All of you, come at me!"
At his words, a huge pressure enveloped the area.
Yoko's eyes were wide open.
The one they fought earlier, Sawaki was strong. But, this one was way ahead of him. Sawaki could only produce the power of an E-class with a move, but this man was actually an E-class!
"How did you get past the selection?!"
The spearman yelled.
"Haah? Of course, I was an F-class when I joined. I stopped my magic power just before it reached E-class and joined the tournament. There are no rules that say that I can't participate once I've already joined."
Yoko furrowed her brows and brandished her daggers. Akane cracked her knuckles and aimed at the man.
"Just fighting one or two of you isn't enough; all of you come at me!"
He stabbed the sword deeper and a shockwave spread out, it managed to knock everyone off their feet.
"This is... above a fifth step...!"
Yoko felt the power of a fifth step earlier, this man in front of them was certainly higher.
"That's right, I am a third step."
The spearman's hoarse voice resounded.
"Your voice is really annoying...!"
The man with the great sword yelled back as he picked his ear and lifted his great sword.
"Fly for me."
He slashed out with the great sword; it was still quite the distance from the spearman. Everyone wondered what he was going to do but a cracking sound rang out which woke everyone from their daze.
The spearman was blown away, his chest caved in and his body crashed into the wall.
The three shield users grit their teeth and attacked.
"I'll join you!"
The shield user from Yoko and Akane's team jumped out; he had a halberd in his other arm.
"It's that guy."
Akane and Yoko had forgotten him, but when they saw the halberd; they were instantly reminded of the events from before.
The halberd sped up towards the man with the great sword.
"Amazing skill, I shall give you my name if you give me yours."
The great sword slashed up; the wind pressure knocked Inejiro upwards.
"So much pressure just from swinging his great sword! He has a C-class body at the very least!"
The swordsman covered his eyes from the wind with his arms. Inejiro flipped a few times before landing with a bang.
The three other shield users stopped moving from fear.
"I have no need for cowards."
The man's great sword slashed again; it connected with the three shields and sent them flying.
Nine people left in the stage.
The other spearman from the enemy's team charged under the distraction of the three shield users flying.
The great sword user's elbow struck down on the spearman's head.
From the sheer force of the elbow; the floor broke. The spearman's body was now in a crater; unconscious.
"These people are too weak, I hope you'd provide me some more entertainment!"
The man with the great sword pointed at Inejiro. Inejiro snorted and readied his halberd and shield.
"Let's see! My name is Kuroshi Inejiro, and I'll take you down!"
"I am Kuroshi Ichiro, I shall take you down now!"
Halberd clashed with great sword; needless to say, the halberd had lost due to sheer power.
The wind struck Inejiro's chest and he fell to the floor after sliding through the floor multiple times with the pressure.
Inejiro managed to hold onto the floor but spat out some blood from the strength of wind, it felt like the blunt part of the sword had crashed into him directly.
"What is this power?!"
He cursed as he punched the floor.
"Looks like he's done, now for the rest of you."
Ichiro's eyes narrowed and looked at each of the remaining people one by one. His gaze stopped at Akane and Yoko.
"Hooh, you two are the ones that defeated that pinnacle of F-class swordsman, didn't you? Care for a bout?"
He placed the great sword on his back and took a pose; with the pose he made, the great sword could swing down anytime.
"We'd have to have a bout sooner or later, but answer my question first. How are you able to reach E-class, third step in such a short amount of time? The difference in magic power from F-class and E-class is big but to reach half of E-class in a day or two, that isn't possible!"
Yoko lost her calm at the end. If someone needed a hundred points to become an F-class, an E-class had five hundred points required. To get to D-class, one needs two thousand points. Since there are five steps and a thousand five hundred point gap, it would be divided into five.
There would be three hundred points between each step. Yoko can't believe that he had managed to gain over nine hundred points after getting E-class, that would give him a total of a thousand four hundred points! It would place him way above Akane and Yoko who had less than five hundred.
"Hahaha, well... I have secrets of my own. Let's just say it's related to this great sword I'm holding."
The great sword had patterns all over it, it had two dragons on each side stretching from the bottom of the sword to the top. The dragons were dark in color, the blade was silver, and the hilt was brown; it had a tiny rope attached to the end of it. It looked like any great sword out there, but there was one striking difference.
Yoko's eyes travelled on the great sword but stopped as the great sword glowed.
"...It couldn't be...!"
Yoko took a step back as she furrowed her brows with fear evident on her face.0
"That's right! I'm actually at E-class, fifth step but this sword..."
Ichiro had a big grin on his face as he raised the sword. Akane took a battle pose as she prepared to intercept him. Yoko was prepared to run at any time. Akane looked over at her but hadn't realized what had gotten her so terrified.
"What's wrong, Yoko?!"
Akane yelled at her; this had knocked her out of her daze.
"That weapon... is an Enchanted Gear!"
Her words shocked all the competitors left; it even shocked the elders and the audience watching.
"How does he have an Enchanted Gear?!"
"His family must've given him their heirloom just for this tournament!"
The audience suddenly became noisy as they went into turmoil. Enchanted Gears were quite rare, the clan only had five of them; three were held by the clan leader and two were held by other branches of lineages.
"Since it gave you the power of a third step, that means that it's at the very least, a mid-tier gear of the first level. A low-tier gear of the second level would give you the power of a D-class so I doubt that it'd be that strong. The clan also can't afford to give a youth a weapon like that if we even had one."
Ichiro had a smirk as he swung his sword; the wind from the sweep had made everyone close their eyes.
"So what if you know that? The outcome won't change; you'll all fall before me in the end."
Ichiro's Enchanted Gear seemed to have runes that used wind. It would be quite the feat if one were to create that much pressure using wind with only a body of C-class.
Yoko whispered into Akane's ear and they both nodded at each other.
They both yelled at the same time.
"Two on one? I don't mind. But, you should really include your teammates. You may even have a chance to win."
Yoko used the shadows to get close and stabbed towards him. The daggers were stopped by the great sword as Ichiro kicked Yoko back.
Yoko used her arms to block the kick and was flung from the impact.
Akane appeared above Yoko and continued the attack. She used [Smokescreen] in mid-air and used two [Shadow Balls] within the smoke.
Ichiro swung his great sword upwards and Yoko's attacks were deflected. The wind also cause the smoke to fade a little.
But before the smoke could really fade, Akane used [Smokescreen] once more.
Two voices could be heard and Ichiro looked around him in alert.
Just as he was about to strike, a kick suddenly came from his right.
"I got you!"
Before Ichiro could fully swing his great sword; a kick came from behind him.
"I'll sweep you both in one fell swoop!"
He swung his great sword but struck nothing.
"This is our chance!"
The swordsman suddenly leaped in with support from the rest. The mages aimed their attack towards the center and the archer shot volleys in the area.
Ichiro's voice was cold as he swung his great sword once more. It instantly broke the swordsman's bones and sent him flying to the wall.
Akane and Yoko dashed out from each side and spun around to kick.
But their kicks were stopped with one hand and they were flung to the side.
"I'd like to fight you three in the finals, so..."
Ichiro appeared in the middle of the mages and archer.
Ichiro kicked the archer in the chest and sent him flying. His great sword swung back and knocked the mages unconscious. With that, there were only four people left.
"I hope you entertain me."
Ichiro gave a 'hmph' and walked off the stage.
"The free for all has been decided! The competitors for the semi-finals are Akane, Yoko, Ichiro, and Inejiro!"
The elder's forehead had sweat beads falling from them. Would he be stronger than Ichiro if they fought?
Akane dropped down on two knees and punched the floor in frustration. Tears were falling from her eyes.
"Damn it... damn it... damn it...!"
She cursed repeatedly as she hit the floor over and over.
Yoko grit her teeth and clenched her fists. They were powerless against him, even if they were geniuses; what use would it be in front of absolute power?
Inejiro looked at both of them and turned his head then wordlessly walked off the stage.
Tomorrow was a day of rest; three days of continuous fighting would certainly put a toll on their body. The semi-finals will continue after a day of rest and the finals will continue after another day for resting.
The most anticipated part of the tournament was certainly the free for all as it had a hundred competitors fighting at the same time. The semi-finals and finals were the most crucial part of the tournament and so nearly everyone attends the fights even if only for knowing the results.
Akane hadn't visited Kai's house and was holed up in her room; she felt powerless. She wanted to become strong; she wanted to protect Kai instead of being protected. She wanted to fulfill the promise to her best friend; to fight in the tournament's finals and settle their rivalry.
But, an unexpected factor came crashing in and broke everything. Ichiro's power was so dominating that the two of them weren't even seen as a threat; only playthings. Even if he was a lot stronger because of the Enchanted Gear, they still wanted to win.
Yoko was frantically training without eating, she would tire her own body out just to be able to fight against Ichiro and win. Erina was quite worried with their situations but decided to leave them be. If she would take pity on them at this time, it would only give their hearts a direct jab.
There was a figure of a boy being chased by a gorilla. If an adult were to see this scene, they'd immediately think that the boy would be killed and go to help. But, the truth was that Kai was luring it into a trap.
Kai leaped a bit and stopped. The gorilla charged forward and its leg fell into a hole.
"Fighter-class beast, Iron Plate Gorilla."
The gorilla's body was so hard that it felt like an iron plate. The parts that weren't covered in fur was covered in iron plates, that's where it got its name. Its body was quite famous to use as materials for a shield.
Kai stabbed Superbia through its chest and slashed with the sword to wipe off the blood.
"Five fighter-class beasts, completed."
Kai had a satisfied grin on his face.
"Now, let's go kill twenty mob-class beasts. I wonder if I can find a den somewhere."
Kai had changed his quota, he improved so much in a few days that if he was thrown into the situation with the Shadow Panthers and Wolfen, he'd come out on top no doubt. He's been improving so much that he'd probably be able to fight even top-class fighter beasts in a few more months.
Out of all classifications of monsters, fighter-class beasts had the most variety. They ranged from everything above mob to below disaster classes. Majority of beasts in the continent comprise of fighter-class beasts.
When compared to humans, mob-class beasts are comprised of F-class and everything below them. Fighter-class beasts range from E to B-class, disaster-class beasts are A-class and S-class, and apocalypse-class beasts are SS-class and above.
"I wonder what happened to the clan..."
Kai looked up and then ran deeper into the forest in search of a den once more.