Chapter 140 – The Big Slap
“Then let’s begin the first lesson. I’m going to have a quick spar with each of you. If you can land a single hit on me, you pass and you can move onto the next lesson. If you fail, you will not be allowed to leave here and explore the rest of the academy until you can both tell me your weakness and land a hit on me. Understood?” The three of them looked at her with varying levels of surprise.
Daichi was incensed! The entire reason he’d come was to enter the library not to have a sparring lesson, more over he had never been given an option to become her disciple, he’d just been forced to tag along. Otherwise he would have even slept in the library if that was an option!
Lydia put a finger to her lips and she rolled her eyes and looked confused for a moment before turning to look directly at Daichi. ‘You first!’
Daichi’s face paled as the annoyance finally built up to the tipping point!
“Why me!? Why not Leo or Damien? What about Haeru?!” finally a light bulb moment happened as he realized Haeru wasn’t there. He did a quick look around only to see a smirk on Leo and annoyance on Damien’s face.
Lydia’s smile deepened as she calmly and almost leisurely said “I sent Haeru on an errand, and it’s you because you get your own courtyard. I can’t play favorites you know”
Damien’s eyes slightly widened. Out of everyone, he was the most annoyed and curious as to why Daichi had gotten a courtyard all to himself even though he himself, had to share one with two other people.
Lydia slowly approached him and Daichi tensed a bit for a moment wondering whether they were already starting. Lydia approached but he couldn’t sense any hostility, but he was already annoyed at the situation that he considered using this opportunity to make the first move ‘If I do that… Maybe I can cut this short and get back to what I was doing…’
Lydia closed the distance and whispered so that only Daichi could hear “We both know you aren’t an official student. I’m doing this for your benefit, you showed me you have quite a bit of potential before, would you like to see how well that matches up with someone with actual skill?”
Daichi’s annoyance only grew with that comment but he still retained his natural pragmatism ‘Clearly she’s unconcerned about this, does she truly believe I can’t even scratch her?’
Although he was still annoyed, he was equally curious as to why her confidence was so high and certain of herself. He had fought countless creatures and had managed to survive a variety of strong beasts and that was before his long stint in the mist. Daichi was truly curious as to whether Lydia’s confidence was misplaced or whether there was something he himself was missing. Therefore, he no longer hesitated and chose to take advantage of this opportunity. ‘I’ll have plenty of time to make use of the resources and advance at my own pace. If I can learn from this I will, and if she’s truly overestimating her abilities then it’ll be good to show her exactly where she stands next to me!’
After turning around Lydia’s entire expression turned solemn. “Oh there’s something I forgot to mention, if I can land a killing blow on you, then the lesson is over and you’ve lost.”
Damien and Leo’s eyes twitched as Daichi’s expression turned a little sour. Even he could tell that Lydia meant she wasn’t going to make it easy for him, but his confidence in himself didn’t make him waver. If anything he was just getting more mystified by Lydia and the confidence she had in herself instead.
“Shoo shoo” With her back to Daichi she motioned with her hands to the other two to move away as she stood with her back straight waiting.
Daichi looked at Lydia unsure of what her tactics were… He was at a loss for words at how arrogant she was acting, even after he had shown her some of what he was capable of.
Seconds seemed to trickle by and Daichi’s mood was turning sour, he rarely got so impatient but today just happened to be one of those days and after waiting for almost a minute he understood. ‘She wants me to attack! Or perhaps is this her way of saying that unless she gives me this advantage I won’t even stand a chance?’ Daichi’s mind was turning as he was beginning to feel a little unpleasant at how much he was being looked down on. Finally, his mind reached a conclusion as he decided that he wound defeat her in grand fashion and earn some respect.
‘If I don’t establish the difference in our abilities now, I won’t be able to bargain for what I want in a position of power when the time comes to meet Stanislas again. It’s decided!’
Now that he had made up his mind, Daichi was no longer hesitating. He lifted his hands up with is palms facing Lydia as two flames slowly erupted from his palms and blazed their way towards Lydia.
With a smile still on her face and without even taking a glance back Lydia seemed to disappear. Daichi used his keen ability to sense the mana in others to immediately notice she’d moved just in time and started rotating arms in the direction she moved.
She wasn’t moving away but rather circling around him as he struggled to keep track of her presence while unable to touch even her clothes with his flames. Instead of frustration there was merely a speculative gleam in his eyes. This was a professor of Lumea with good standing, he didn’t believe this attack would work and instead he was merely trying to get a gauge for her speed.
Although Daichi had already had a run in with another group of participants during the exam who he had handled with no problem, after spending time with his group on the way back he’d gained some knowledge. He speculated that the “professor” with the group at that time was merely a new guardsman. Which was the weakest of the guardians that went out with the participants. He could basically just be called a graduate of Lumea Academy, on top of which Daichi had attacked without holding back while the group was already in disarray. Daichi figured that if he discounted their numbers, he’d been an advantageous position from the start. He didn’t dare believe that Lydia would be so weak as anyone else he’d fought with in the past.
Even so, Daichi had already experienced a terrifying opponent in the past. Someone whom he couldn’t do a single thing against, even if they hadn’t had a real fight. In his mind, there was no way that Lydia could be as strong as that.
After following her with his flames at her back, Daichi was getting a good feeling for her speed even though she was still just running around him. Every time he tried to corner her by splitting the flames from both of his hands to entrap her, she would just flit away effortlessly.
Over the flames that were starting to leave burn marks on the ground Lydia’s gentle voice drifted over to Daichi’s ears “I know you can do better than this, my time is precious Daichi. Or… Should I attack now?”
Daichi’s annoyance took a step further at this provocation. He knew she was trying to provoke him, but he felt the entire situation was too laughable. He knew he could use his chaotic mana to force her into a trap, but that wouldn’t count as an overwhelming victory. Instead he wanted to take the offense and prove his superiority. With his confidence flaring to a new degree, Daichi ceased the flames in an instant and yelled “Here I come!”
Then immediately bent his knees as if he was about to burst forth and as he made eye contact with Lydia, he stead disappeared before their very eyes as he used his <Flash> technique.
Immediately Lydia’s eyes went as round as saucers as a trace of recognition appeared within her eyes. A look of consternation took over and immediately after she closed her eyes.
Anyone else may have panicked and begun looking around searching for Daichi, but Lydia was perhaps the worst… Or more accurately second worst person Daichi could have used this technique against…
Using the flash technique he created he could enter the void and appear in different areas, it was a fantastic technique that required little mana to move larger distances while saving time. But what it did not do, was allow for instantaneous movement, it merely shortened the distance Daichi traveled.
If Daichi was moving to an area 300 steps away, he would do so by stepping into the void and reappearing 300 steps away having taken one or two, even the time it took would be drastically but down, but it still took time. The seconds it took was more than enough for Lydia to recognize and understand, and prepare!
Daichi reappeared within a second seconds right behind Lydia as he reached for her. ‘I just have to touch her! One touch and I’ll show her what I can do!’
Instead the moment her reappeared his eyes didn’t have time to adjust as Lydia disappeared from sight as a gust of mana seemed to knock Daichi backwards. His eyes widened in disbelief and confusion while his back felt like it was being torn to shreds! Suddenly he understood that something was seriously wrong and just as he realized he needed to do something immediately Lydia seemed to appear from beneath him grabbed at his shirt and pulling him forward.
She pulled him and threw him on the ground where he rolled a few times as the pain from his back intensified as he finally stopped half propped up by one knee and his forearms as he tried not to lose sight of Lydia. His gaze was sharp and Lydia gave him a moment before walking right up to him and yelling at him to stand up.
Daichi’s back was burning but he didn’t dally as if it felt natural to respond to her words as he stood immediately only to see his vision turning sideways as his body hit the ground. Only upon impact did his mind register the pain from his right cheek and shoulder as he gazed up at Lydia confused.
‘She slapped me?’ Daichi felt like an idiot for a second as not a single thought bubbled over other than than confusion.
Lydia’s face was no longer smiling as she looked at him in anger as if he’d done her some great injustice. “Are you some sort of idiot!? Why the hell would you try something like that!? Are you trying to get yourself killed!? Did you think I wouldn’t retaliate!? Was that your plan!? You thought I would just stand there and let you hit me all so that I wouldn’t kill you in your suicidal attack!?”
Daichi laid there on the ground stunned and confused.