A minute passes without an end to the discussion in sight, Cleamon gets bored waiting for them to decide what to do. He sits down and prepares his own strategy.
‘They’ll probable try to surround me and restrict my movement, the most heavy hitters are Lilia and Resyana. Amara will try to suppress my movement with her Earth magic, whilst they fire spells at me. Homian will probable cast a Shadow spell on me restricting my vision, Cecily would be taking care of any damage by healing’ Cleamon thinks pondering the options he has.
‘A surprise attack from my side might be a bit too much, but it will teach them a lesson. Guess I’ll prepare a big spell that will hit all of them’
Cleamon also takes into consideration that the training grounds are not that big compared to the ones at school. Compared to those this one is about half the size and has less natural obstacles.
Lost in thought another few minutes pass by.
“We’re ready!” Cecily yells.
“Cleamon?” she asks as he gives no response.
“Is he sleeping?” Amara asks confused.
“Maybe we took too long” Homian says with a smile.
They walk over while calling his name, but he doesn’t respond.
Slightly annoyed and slightly amused they walk closer. Twenty meters, fifteen, ten.
All of a sudden the ground disappear underneath them and as soon as they fall the hole they fell through closes.
Cleamon stands up and forces his mana into the walls surrounding the hole, compressing them to they maximum.
Amara desperately tries to use her own Earth magic to no avail.
“Hey let us out of here!” Cecily screams deafening the others in the hole.
“You cheater! Can’t you win playing fair!? How can you do that!” she screams trying to provoke Cleamon and letting off steam.
The hole opens at the top letting light back in.
“Are you guys comfortable in there?” Cleamon asks with a cheeky smile.
“You bastard!” Cecily yells at him throwing a rock in his direction.
“What? I’m just teaching you guys a lesson. How can you fall for something so obvious? In real combat you have to deceive and lie to make your battle easier or do you think everyone fights fair?” he says in a condescending voice.
“Fine you made your point just let us out!” Cecily yells again.
The others feel slightly embarrassed by their own failure and how easy they got fooled.
“Lilia I expected better from you” Cleamon says extending his hand to gesture her to come up.
“Well I didn’t think you’d actually trick us, it didn’t seem like something you’d do” she says.
Cleamon activates magic and the hole fills back up like an elevator.
Cecily has clearly lost her composure and is ready to attack as she gets out.
She jumps towards Cleamon.
“Wait a moment!” he suddenly says.
In confusion she hesitates while charging towards him, slowing down her pace.
She falls into another hole in the ground and the same thing happens.
The others can’t help but laugh.
“How can you fall for the same trick twice?” Cleamon asks.
Inside the hole it sounds like there is a hive of angry bees roaring to get out.
“You **** and **** why the **** do you do these **** things. When I get out I will **** kill you!” she screams kicking and punching the walls.
Cleamon open a small hole in the top, just big enough for his face to appear.
“Why do you think I did this? Do you think I’m just making fun of you? Do I need to give you another hint?” he asks showing some killing Intent to her.
Her anger suddenly disappears and fear takes over for a moment, the aura coming from Cleamon terrifies her.
“I-I-I’m sorry” she says on the verge of tears.
“Don’t be sorry, just improve and think. You are way to forwards in your thinking, you get easily frustrated if things don’t go your way and you are way too gullible. Compared to everyone here, you would be the easiest to fight as messing with your brain is the easiest. Your physical strength may be greater than most of the others and your skill with magic is good as well, but it doesn’t mean anything when someone weaker than you tricks you with ease” Cleamon says.
Seeing as Cecily calmed down, he lets her out of the hole by lifting her up and filling it again.
“This goes for all of you, don’t be fooled in combat. The smallest mistake can cost your life, a moment of hesitation can lose you the battle. In a life or death situation you can’t show any mercy to your opponent, they most likely would do the same to you” Cleamon says as if he’s a drill sergeant rallying his troops.
“From now on this will be a battle of life or death, I won’t accept any halfhearted attacks or attempts without the intention to kill” Cleamon says exuding his aura making the others look scared while swallowing their saliva.
The mood drops to below zero, the happy discussion they had before while making up tactics seems useless now. Their hearts weren’t in it from the start and all of them feel like idiots trying to see it as a normal sparring match.
They look at each other while confirming their intentions.
After a minute they compose themselves, looking a lot more serious.
“That’s better!” Cleamon says.
“Now come when you’re ready!”
Still slightly hesitant they start moving, even thought they’re in armor that can block magic attacks by default. The armor itself has no Inscriptions yet so the full defense is not on there.
As expected they surround him from a safe distance, Lilia and Resyana start their Incantation. Because they are in a real battle they skip trying it with intent as the casting speed would be too slow.
Amara activates a small spell, the ground around Cleamon quickly deforms into spikes aimed at him. As soon as he felt the earth shake he took he distance, however to spikes follow him around wherever he lands.
Cleamon easily dodges the spikes while inspecting the others’ intentions. Homian finishes his spell and tries to enshroud Cleamon in Shadow.
Cleamon quickly casts a spell on his eyes that allow him to see even while in the Shadow, his eyes glow with Light magic. The Shadow nearly target the whole of the room to Cleamon’s surprise. However it’s strength is lacking.
As if Homian expected that, he puts his hand on the ground inside the shadow and together with the Earth spikes, now Shadow tentacles seem to follow him around.
Cleamon dodges them skillfully and seem to crack a smile while dodging. As if waiting for the others to make their move, he refrains from making an attack himself.
As Cecily gives a signal to Amara when Resyana and Lilia finish their Incantation, the ground around Cleamon forms walls up to the ceiling, locking him in a circular room with on the side a one meter diameter hole.
Lilia releases her spell just a fraction before Resyana. She creates a sphere of pure water, she refines it to the point that there are no more impurities inside. The sphere itself is five meters in diameter, she manipulates it to enter the hole. Resyana uses her strongest flame, a similar sized fire of pure white flame follows the water orb.
Inside the room the spells combine and the water instantly vaporizes under the extreme heat, causing it to rapidly expand resulting in dry superheated steam. The inside of the walls are being scorched under the extreme heat. For at least a minute the extreme heat inside the room has no escape and all exits are sealed.
Inside the room, as soon as Cleamon saw their intention, he changed into his void form. Since the Blood Pact he made during the time inside Yako’s illusion, his executing has become much better. His body is able to exist in a slightly different place, avoiding all damage and visibility.
The side-effect however is being unable to use other magic while in this form and compared to normal movement, it’s too slow for combat. If used at the right time it can confuse opponents as the aura signature disappears while in that state. The longer the state lasts the more mana it costs.
Having no mana signature they suspect that Cleamon is in this form. On Cecily’s signal Amara forces the walls to come together while lifting up the ground at the same time. She’s compressing all the steam inside, while the flame keeps raging on.
‘I might actually be in a bit of trouble because I didn’t take it too serious myself. I guess their initial plan wasn’t that bad’ Cleamon thinks.
‘I need to get out of this situation quickly else I’ll receive major damage’ he thinks.
He leaves his Void form and instantly casts a Water shield on himself preventing the steam from reaching him. As he finishes his spell the walls start to move as Amara tries to close him in even further.
Having no control over the Earth she currently possesses, Cleamon has to find a way to break the walls.
Underneath the Water shield, he compresses all the air in the room. By sucking in the hot air through the water shield it cools down enough to be able to withstand it without burning himself. Having not enough air the flame almost dies out, to Resyana’s surprise.
Having compressed enough air Cleamon expands it outwards with a massive force.