Thrax walked back to their side, sporting the brightest smile they had ever seen since the battle in Rome. Julian could imagine how satisfying it was to win 10 fights in a row, and seeing his rival smiling that brightly really irritated him.
"Alright, it's my turn now," Julian said.
To make sure no one did something like Thrax, Julian even quickly grabbed Chumo's arm with a death grip. He would not let him go, until they could sort out whose turn it would be next.
Julian grabbed him tight and continued arguing with Klea, but the longer he grabbed his Asian friend's hand, the stranger his arm felt. Julian stopped talking for a bit and looked at his friend, only to realize said friend looked a bit loopy.
It was actually just Chumo's [Shadow Self] clone.
As soon as he realized what happened, the shadow clone dissipated. They looked around the arena and spotted Chumo already standing in the center, ready with his fighting stance.
"Chumo…!" Julian narrowed his eyes, "Since when did he become that slick!"
Once again, Julian found himself falling victim to his friends' mischief. Emery found the situation was something worth laughing about.
Meanwhile, unknown to them, Chumo forced himself to come precisely because he knew who the next opponent was.
It was the man garbed in all black and wearing a distinct silver mask. He was a known master hailing from a shadow assassin group from the island across Dongboyou. They were famous hired fighters, who had felled several well-known public figures with a secret mystic art.
Chumo gave the man a sign of respect with his hand; the masked man followed suit.
There were no words exchanged between them, but one thing was clear, they were both itching to prove themselves. The masked man moved his hands, creating signs too fast for untrained eyes to follow; four clones identical to him appeared. Each clone wore the same silver mask and held the same weapon.
All of the clones held a small, triangle-shaped dagger made with carved white stone. At the same time, all the clones charged towards Chumo. However, Chumo could quickly discern which clone was not real, unfortunately for him, Chumo's [Eye of Raven] was the perfect counter of this skill.
Chumo's eyes glinted with a white sheen, quickly discovering which one was real, before countering them with a quick kick. Realizing his skill had been rendered moot, the man jumped back to dodge.
The man with the silver mask used a different hand sign and added multiple clones. Now, there were a total of 15 masked man clones and the invited fighters all looked at the arena in shock.
All 15 black-garbed figures with silver masks surrounded Chumo.
Nothing could trick Chumo's eye and he scanned the men, trying to figure out which one of them was real. But, before they came towards him, the man made another hand sign and, to Chumo's surprise, all 15 shadows were suddenly brimming with spirit energy. With his [Eye of Raven] he could tell now all 15 clone figures were now not just shadows, but real persons....
He had to admit, the masked man had amazing skills. Right now, Chumo was a rank 8 acolyte, but he was only able to create 2 clones. This man's strength was rank 6 acolyte, but he was able to create 15 clones.
Chumo quickly casted [Shadow Self] and two figures appeared, each standing by his side.
The technique marked the point when the fight turned into an epic 15 vs 3 battle, in other words, a battle to see who has the superior numbers. Unfortunately for his opponent, Chumo's two clones were much stronger than the 15 masked men clones.
As the fight dragged on and Chumo vanquished a few of the clones, he felt that although his opponent had more clones, many of them only had a fraction of the real one's strength. At most, they would have a third of the original man's strength and none of his defensive capabilities.
Chumo started to take a more offensive approach and hit every incoming clone as hard as he could, without giving them any window to dodge. It was the right call, for the clone disappeared into black smoke within one or two hits.
During the chaos, one clone jumped up into the air, made a sign with his hand, and threw a [Firebreath] spell on Chumo's face. Chumo was barely able to dodge it, but before he could savor his victory, another clone managed to sneak up behind him and cast [Frozen Touch], freezing half of his body and trapping both his right arm and right leg, making him unable to move at all from his spot.
A peak rank 6 cultivator, a warrior with the aptitude of both fire and ice element. Added with his spectacular clone skill that bested his [shadow self] spell. His opponent definitely possessed a rare talent.
Another reason why the man's strength was able to match Chumo was because of the Magus Academy restriction. The spell placed on him downgraded his spirit force to rank 7 despite his rank 8 condition.
Chumo quickly shattered the ice encasing half his body with his strength. Now that the ice restricting his movements was destroyed, he started to use his real ability. Chumo cast a spell that summoned dark shadow shapes like a bow and used his [dark missile]. Each missile would blast one and two of the opponent's clones.
The real silver mask figure could only dodge around in panic. Chumo dashed toward the confused man and gave the man a powerful punch to the face, making the man fall onto the ground. The force of the punch shook the old man and made his silver mask fall to the ground.
Without his mask, Chumo saw that his opponent was an old man in his sixties. The old man stood up, gave a sign of respect and admitted his defeat.
"Young warrior, my name is Bihei. Please give me the name of the warrior who has bested me."
"Chumo, I am Chumo." Chumo nodded, and the man gave him a small smile before returning to his side.
Chumo stared at the old man's retreating form. Perhaps, if the man was given the chance to spend a few days in the academy, his talents might have passed his own.
He shook his head, now was not the time for such thoughts. He decided to return to his side.
With the old man's defeat, the only ones left were the swordsman from Hans. Unlike the previous fights, both the man and woman walked up to the stage.