Just like every human has a unique face, or unique voice, aura's were similar in that regard. Every cultivator had an aura, and those aura's were always easy to identify. Despite the fact that the youth before him had an aura that was countless times weaker than the holy aura from within his palace realm, John was still able to identify that the two stemmed from the same source.
'Its the mysterious man from within my palace realm!'
John turned to the creature who stood behind him, his face still full of shock.
"This youth is the mysterious man that just showed up, correct?" John couldn't help but confirm.
The creature smiled, as if it was enjoying John's shocked reaction. "That is correct. The man who saved you just a bit ago is far more terrifying than you can imagine. And as for this youth before you, it is indeed him when he was younger. While it's just a formation that copies his strength and battle arts that he displayed during his own Divine Trial, it is essentially as if you were fighting him when he was fifteen," the creature replied.
John looked back to the youth, who stood there silently, as if awaiting instructions. The boy's cultivation was emanating a Late Meridian Forging cultivation, shocking John once again.
"I guess you really weren't lying when you said that I needed a Late Meridian Forging Cultivation," John wryly commented.
The creature waved its hand towards the youth, and its cultivation slowly but surely regressed. Before long, it was at the Early Core Formation Realm.
"As promised, I have scaled his cultivation to match your own. However, his insights, Dao comprehensions, and battle art profundities have not been scaled down. Those will be the same as he displayed when he took his Divine Talent trial," the creature explained.
A thought crossed John's mind. "In that case, if I pass this trial, will I be added to this trial just like the boy before me?" John asked curiously.
"Yes," the creature replied. "If you pass, a formation copy of you will be created. It will emulate your battle prowess, insights, and comprehensions. I suppose if any of the Divine Trial temples ever run into someone like you again, who takes the trial with such a low cultivation, then they will use your formation copy as the final trial combatant."
John nodded his head before looking back to the youth before him. It stood there silently, but even then John could tell that it was an absolutely terrifying opponent. His aura was absolutely shocking, and John could even feel profound Dao's infused into them, similar to how he infused his own Dao's into his battle axe.
He was used to jumping multiple realms to find a good fight, but John could tell that he was going to be the one on the defensive in this fight.
'Despite the fact that my body is at the Middle Core Formation Realm, I'll still need to use my full power to survive.'
John took a deep breath and closed his eyes, calming his mind and emptying any negative thoughts.
John's aura suddenly exploded outwards, radiating an intense battle-intent. His eyes snapped open and locked onto the youth before him. He began to walk towards the youth, step by step. Each step was like the beat of a war drum, growing louder and louder.
The arena below him quaked with every step as he continued to increase his aura, getting himself to his optimal battle state.
"You can start the fight," John said to the creature without looking back.
His eyes were still locked on the youth before him.
"Your cultivation might have been reduced, but I refuse to lose to anyone in the same realm as me. Let's see how amazing you truly are," John said in a confident voice.
The creature nodded his head in approval at John's fighting spirit, and waved his hand once more. The youth before John suddenly moved, as it turned its head slightly to stare at John.
Their eyes locked, and they both paused for a split second.
Both youths instantly pressed off the ground, and charged directly towards each other.
Supreme Battle Art!
John activated his Supreme Battle Art, and his aura and body power surged greatly once more.
Three profound Dao's!
Three profound Dao's emanated from John's battle axe as he and the youth reached each other in an instant. In fact, the youth John was fighting moved even faster than he did. They both swung out their weapons at each other.
John's battle axe cleaved downwards powerfully, like it was a mountain looking to crush its opponent.
Weapons collided, sending a loud metallic echo throughout the arena. John slightly raised his eyebrows as he stared at the youth before him.
'He's not even a body cultivator, but he managed to block my attack without being knocked back at all.'
John was sure he would win out in a direct power battle, as the youth before him was solely an essence cultivator. However, things had not gone according to plan. ...
The youth suddenly raised its other hand, and pointed it towards John's chest.
John rapidly dashed to the side, as an absolutely terrifying power exploded out of the youths fingers. It contained an incredibly dense and profound sword aura.
John was slightly late to dodge, and the battle art from the youth pierced directly into his shoulder. It was so sharp that it pierced out through the other side, forming a small hole through his body.
John grit his teeth in pain and dashed backwards, creating some distance between the two of them. Blood flowed down his shoulder freely, but thankfully it had not hit anything vital that impacted his battle prowess.
"Using my move, huh?" John grumbled as he stared at the youth. He was normally the one who made such moves, but he had fallen victim to it now.
John's eyes locked back on the boy, who's aura had grown even more. The Dao of the Sword swirled around within his aura and body, and it was as if John could see tiny swords materialize in and out of existence.
"A Sword Dao cultivation? This is going to be troublesome."
Sword Dao cultivators were absolutely terrifying, and were known to have some of the sharpest and most deadly attacks of all cultivators. While most cultivators used the sword, they did not truly focus on the Sword Dao, and instead dabbled elsewhere.
Sword Dao cultivators, however, only focused on the sword and nothing else. Their life was about the sword, and only the sword.
Heavenly Lightning Domain!
John activated his domain, and thirty six lightning nodes sprung up into existence. The youth's body flickered, as if it phased in and out of existence, before appearing directly in front of John.
Lighting exploded out of eight lighting domains, piercing directly towards the youth. At the same time, John's axe cleaved down on the youth.
The emotionless youth suddenly exploded with his own domain, as dozens of ethereal swords, formed of nothing but Qi and the Sword Dao, sprung into existence.
The lightning attacks exploded against the ethereal sword, creating small explosions constantly in the air above the two youths. Lightning continuously rained out from the lightning nodes, while ethereal swords constantly swirled about, intercepting them non-stop.
At the same time, weapons once again collided, and John and the youth traded dozens of blows in the blink of an eye.
The creature opened his eyes in slight surprise, as he was able to tell that John's lightning domain was actually evenly matched against the youths sword domain.
"The Hegemon Sword Domain, one of the most terrifying domains in existence, is actually being evenly countered by a lower level lightning domain? What's going on?"
The creature closely inspected John and his domain, and finally came to the realization of what was going on.
"The domain is quite weak, but this boy's essence power is absolutely horrifying. Just by sheer essence power, he is able to make up the difference between the two domains. The youth before him was rumored to have achieved fifteen dantian compressions. Just how many compressions did he achieve to be able to do such a thing?"
Weapons collided once more, and both youths were knocked backwards a few yards. John stared with narrowed eyes at the youth before him. His lighting domain had been completely countered, and he was slowly but surely losing out on the direct clashes against the youth.
Every sword stroke from the youth contained incredibly sword Dao profundities in it, and even casual strikes from the youth had the power and sharpness to threaten John's life. The youths sword comprehensions were absolutely terrifying, and dwarfed the comprehensions John had towards the Dao of Power, Destruction, and Annihilation. It was like a toddler versus an adult. It was as if every single swing of his sword contained an incredibly powerful battle art.
He had barely managed to stabilize in their last exchanges, and had definitely been on the losing side.
For the first time in his life, John was losing to someone in the same cultivation realm as him.
John's eyes turned grave as he stared at the youth. The youths' aura once again rose greatly, and the Sword Dao profundities emanating off him increased several fold. John felt his soul ache just by staring at the youth, as if the sword aura was piercing his very soul.
'It seems he wasn't even using close to his full strength. I wanted to conserve as much blood essence as possible, but that doesn't seem possible anymore. I'll only have a few minutes of this state before I run out off blood essence, but I can't hold back.'
John's aura exploded out violently once more, this time dyed with a sinister bloodlust. His eyes turned blood red, as two small protrusions appeared on his head. His nails grew slightly and sharpened, and faint blood red runes suddenly lit up on his body.
His power increase matched the youth before him as they both locked eyes.
Immortal Asura Transformation Art! Second Form!