While John normally did not call out the names of his battle arts, as doing so gave away their nature, he felt that the first time he used this technique should be done as such. Not only that, but being in the Heavenly Lightning Sect, he was sure that the technique would be recognized instantly anyways.
Lightning, which danced all along his body, continued to quickly grow in intensity.
"What did he say? Heavenly Lightning Domain?" a first year spoke up.
"Isn't that one the signature domain of the sect? How did he get it already?"
"However he got it, if he can truly use it, then I can't wait to see the sect's signature domain in action."
Russell's eyes narrowed as he stared directly at John. Lightning continued to build up over his body, and before long it looked like he wore lightning armor.
A thunderous cacophony of lightning exploded outwards, and everyone shielded their eyes from the brightness of it.
A solid armor of rocks suddenly formed over Russell's body, and he fortified it as much as he could. Although he had not been attacked yet, his instincts had told him that he needed to go all out to have a chance of winning this battle.
As the bright flash of light faded, all were able to see John once again. Their eyes opened wide.
Lightning exploded in John's face, and he was sent flying backwards by his own battle art.
John rubbed the back of his head. He slowly stood up, and brushed the dirt off his robe.
"This Heavenly Lightning Domain is a lot harder to learn than I thought it would be."
John stood in his basement, pondering over where he went wrong with the technique. He had been trying to learn it for a full day, and so far it had only ended in failure. Thankfully, the backlashes were minimal in damage, as his Lightning Attribute Body was mostly immune to lightning of this level.
He took out the scroll once more that depicted the technique and read over it. There was a detailed description of how to use the domain art. The description included how it should feel to use the art, the dantian Qi conversion process, the meridian pathways, and the acupoints that needed to be targeted.
Unlike normal battle arts, which typically used meridian pathways in a very precise and concentrated manner, domain arts used many more meridian pathways. It was more of a full body technique, in which almost every pathway was used.
This was one of the reasons why other battle arts could be used in conjunction with domains. During the use of a battle art, the specific domain meridian pathways could be opened to allow the use for the battle art. While this would slightly weaken the domain for a very brief moment, it was only by a fraction of its full power.
Using his comprehension of converting Qi to Lightning Qi, John had been able to learn the Heavenly Lightning Domain already. However, using his Primordial Extermination Lightning Qi instead of normal lightning Qi had made the domain much harder to use, as it was far more powerful but also more unstable. John was working to stabilize his domain now.
The domain, at least in his realm, worked by creating lightning nodes in the space around him, and lightning could strike between any two nodes whenever he wanted it to. At his current realm, eight nodes was the maximum he could create, and the nodes surrounded his body in every direction like a circle.
The nodes were made by concentrating pure lightning Qi in space, which could unleash attacks at a moments notice. This combination made it so that there was a perpetual lightning storm brewing around John, and that all those who fought him would also have to deal with those non-stop strikes.
The nodes maintained a fixed position from John's body, and they also moved as he moved. With the nodes constantly moving, an opponent would not have an easy time tracking them, even if the attacks could be predicted.
Another aspect of the domain was that it amplified his lightning abilities while it was active. With lightning Qi coursing through his body in such intensity, John was at his peak state in regards to controlling and using lightning based attacks, and so all his lightning attacks would be more powerful than usual. It truly was an impressive battle art.
John stood there calmly, while an intense storm of lightning continued to rage all around him. Lightning continuously snaked outwards from his body in every direction, and also randomly appeared at points within his domain and struck in random directions.
Close observation revealed slightly glowing points in space, and lightning continued to strike towards any of the other points.
With the lightning domain around him, and his body surging with power due to the Supreme Battle Art, John looked like a lightning war god to the crowd of disciples. While the Heavenly Lightning Domain was an incredibly impressive and profound technique, all those who had seen it before felt like it was slightly different this time. More destructive. More lethal.
By this time John's domain covered half of the arena. Russell was standing just outside the area of effect, peering into the storm. Even with his rock armor and tough body, Russell felt danger from the domain. Even more earth was uprooted from the arena and formed into dense boulders floating around his body.
The arena was quite rugged from all the damage, and only small parts were left untouched.
"Let's end this!"
John suddenly dashed forward towards Russell, his speed incredibly quick. He had utilized Thunderflash steps to close the distance quickly, allowing Russell no chance at retreating.
As soon as John approached Russell, his lightning domain continuously attacked outwards at the powerful boulders revolving around Russell. They were his most powerful attacks, and John wanted to neutralize those.
The boulders were constantly attacked, and before long, each of them exploded into rubble. However, Russell continued to quickly make more of them, resulting in a stalemate.
"Fine, then let us once again battle with our bodies!" John stated as he dashed forward.
As long as his domain could neutralize the boulder attacks, John was happy with that. Not only that, but his lightning strikes were winning out against the boulders, and so Russell would have to worry about them attacking him as well.
A large greatsword suddenly appeared in Russell's hands, and it was the first time he had taken out his weapon in this fight. He thought he would be able to defeat John without a weapon, but their battle revealed otherwise. He would not be able to hold back at all anymore.
A patch of earthen spikes suddenly erupted below John. John didn't even slow down to block the attack, and instead sent a destructive lightning attack between two nodes which happened to line up with the spikes.
The spikes exploded in a shower of rubble, and John continued towards Russell uninhibited.
Sword and scythe collided, and Russell was shocked to find that he was sent flying backwards by the collision. HIs Qi reserve was running low, and he could no longer afford to focus on his body strength as much.
The earthen boulders were floating in a wide array, and Russell suddenly sent one from behind John's body towards him. However, before the boulder could move much, a lightning strike exploded from a node and onto the boulder, destroying it.
At the same time, John noticed that Russell himself was standing between two lightning nodes, and sent an attack with the domain towards him, while also raising his finger forwards.
Russell noticed the domain attack, and turned to block it with a slash of his sword. He successfully blocked the attack, however, his instincts kicked up as he felt danger approaching from the other direction.
He turned as quickly as he could to block it, but was just a hair late.
Lightning ruin exploded onto Russell's armor of rocks, and created a large hole in the armor. Lightning continued through the armor and onto Russell's body.
Russell cried out in pain as lightning continued to flow within his body. Even though he was a disciple of the sect, and had been tempering his body with lightning, the lightning he felt coursing through his body was far more destructive than anything he had felt before. It took him a good while to neutralize the rampaging lightning, but doing so allowed John to approach him once more.
Russell hastily swung his greatsword out towards John, and its power was something that even John had to take seriously.
Weapons collided, and Russell once again cried out in pain as an attack from the lightning domain struck out from behind him and onto his back. Although he knew of the threat of the domain, Russel was helpless to stop the attacks from behind when he had to focus forward.
At the same time, a boulder from Russell's attack was sent towards John's back, and John quickly dashed to the side with his Thunderflash steps.
The boulder, missed him due to his dodging and continued forward. Since he was busy neutralizing the rampaging lightning in his body again, Russell was too late to notice this, and was violently struck with his own attack.
The fast moving boulder, which was as hard as steel, struck Russell and sent him flying backwards dozens of yards. His body collided against the arena walls and rebounded to the ground below.
John dashed forward rapidly once more while also raising his arm, looking to seize the opening.
The destructive beam of lightning pierced directly towards Russell, who had just stood up.
Russell formed an incredibly dense earthen shield, and just barely managed to neutralize the attack. However, by this time, John was already directly in front of him, slashing down with his scythe. Russell sent out his greatsword with all his might to meet the attack.
John scoffed, as he knew he would win out in this exchange. However his eyes widened slightly as he noticed part of Russell's rock armor change shape and pierce towards him in an earthen spike. At the same time, an earthen spike from behind him pierced towards his back.
"Not bad!" John said to Russell. The combination attack truly was impressive, but John was not concerned.
A lightning domain strike pierced towards the spike behind him, shattering it into rubble. However, there was no node connection in the way of the front attack, and so John could not use the domain to neutralize that attack.
'I'll bet on the strength of my body here!'
John decided to ignore the earthen spike piercing towards his chest, and continued with his scythe attack. His Supreme Battle Art surged to its maximum peak, increasing both his attack power and his body defense.
Weapons collided, and Russell was sent flying backwards like a kite. While flying backwards, Russell happened to go between two nodes, and was struck by a lightning attack without being able to defend.
At the same time, John's chest was pierced by the earthen spike, but his sturdy ribcage managed to stop it before it hit any internal organs. While the wound was deep and slightly serious, it was something that could be ignored for the remainder of the fight. He was knocked back by the attack a few yards, but managed to stabilize quickly.
John smiled, as the sturdiness of his body had not let him down. If any other first year disciple had taken that attack head on like that, they would have been pierced right through and lost the fight. Russell was truly unlucky to have an opponent like John, who did not have any obvious weaknesses. Not only that, but his battle arts were of a lower grade than John's, and so he was at a large disadvantage in many aspects of this fight.
If Russell had a battle art on the same level as John's Lightning Ruin and Heavenly Lightning Domain, then he would have had a much better time in this fight. This brief fight showed the difference in battle art profundity and power between a First Tier sect like the Ruinous Earth Sect, and one of the Four Great Sects.
John seized the initiative once more, and utilized his fastest movement speed to reach Russell before he could recover. He combined the Thunderflash Steps with his body cultivations Limiter of Speed to reach an incredible speed. His body looked like a blur to the first years as he dashed forward.
Russell was still tumbling backwards, but finally managed to maintain his balance and began to stand up. While he had taken damage in that exchange, he was still in relatively good condition, and could continue fighting. His Innate Variant Body was truly impressive, as any other disciple would have lost by now having taken that many attacks head on.
However, Russell's body suddenly froze as he looked directly in front of him. A frown appeared on his face. Silence descended on the arena for several seconds before Russell spoke up.
The scythe that lingered directly in front of his head was withdrawn. Had John wanted to, he could have taken Russell's life in that moment, but had obviously held the attack back.
A large smile appeared on John's face as he stuck his hand out to help Russel up.
"That was a good fight!"