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542 I see

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Ae'zard went completely silent. Just what was giving this man so much confidence?

He hadn't deemed it necessary before because he felt that it was beneath him, but now that he heard Magnus speak, he wasn't so completely sure again.

Ae'zard turned his gaze downward and scrutinized Atticus thoroughly, and not even a nanosecond passed before one of his eyebrows unknowingly moved upward.

A grin appeared on Ae'zard's face. "No wonder you're being so careful, old friend. You've finally found your apex, huh?"

The perception of a paragon was hard for even grandmaster ranks to fathom, especially when it came to members of Ae'zard's race.

The Aeonians.

Unlike the bone race, the Aeonians were a race of people who were mystical and elusive.

They were thoroughly focused on knowledge and the pursuit of the unknown. However, every single race in Eldoralth knew better than to underestimate them.

They might sound like wise weak scholars, but they were anything but. Amongst their pursuit of knowledge and the unknown, mana and its infinite potential was amongst them, followed by how to utilize them effectively during battle.

Their control over mana was so insane, one would think that they had become it.

Immediately, he had scrutinized Atticus, he had immediately seen a number of things many wouldn't be able to see. Despite his attempts to hide it, the staggering number of elemental cues he was emitting, the strength contained in each one of his limbs being higher than his rank.

'An expert+ rank, huh? Just like most of the other Apexes. Interesting.'

Magnus didn't offer any audible response; however, his message was clear: we'll see.

The entirety of the Aegis crew members, Dario, and Yotad alike focused their gazes intensely on the figures of Atticus and the young boy facing one another on the massive platform.

"You seem awfully invested in this battle, Captain,"

The man who Atticus had initially tagged as the leader of the Aegis crew turned his gaze backward to see Amara, who had just spoken.

The captain smiled and turned his gaze towards the platform again. "I can't really blame you, Amara. This is probably the first time you're going on a mission outside our domain. You haven't had the opportunity of seeing the other races.

"The boy you see there standing across the young master, he's the Apex of the Aeonians."

Amara's gaze widened, but she wasn't the only one. The other crew members instantly broke into chatter, shocked by the revelation.

Apex?

That same question crossed through each of their minds. That title held so much weight and the individual so much importance that they were each finding it hard to believe that they were so close to one of such beings.​

As soon as they comprehended the captain's words, another realization suddenly set in. What the hell was their young master doing facing an apex!?

Dario and Yotad's reactions were different. Atticus had told them a day before that he had been tagged as the apex of the human domain; the other crew members weren't aware of this fact. However, they both couldn't help but worry.

It had already been ingrained in the people of the human domain how overwhelmingly more powerful the other races were compared to them. One could say it was an inferiority complex.

They both hadn't seen how strong Atticus was, but it was truly hard to believe he would be on the same level as an Apex.

With renewed vigor, they each fixed their gazes on the platform, wanting to see just how their young master would fare against an Apex.

Atticus was calm.

He was feeling an incredible amount of hatred for the boy in front of him, but he reeled it in. He had never been one to act on emotions.

'An Apex, huh?'

Magnus and Ae'zard hadn't made any attempt to hide their conversation. Atticus had heard everything, and it was easy to surmise what they meant.

He was about to battle an Apex.

"My name is Ae'ark,"

Atticus's gaze sharpened as he fixed it on the boy who had just spoken. Ae'ark had just bowed slightly as he introduced himself. His voice had been sharp and calm at the same time.

There was not a single air of disdain on him. Atticus had somewhat expected it, considering how weak the other races perceived the human race.

Ae'ark wasn't overconfident either; Atticus could see that the boy was confident but had no intention of underestimating his opponent. Atticus had no idea if it was just bullshit, but the boy radiated an aura of an Expert+ rank.

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However, his gaze couldn't help but be drawn to the spear hanging on his back.

Atticus paused for a moment, wondering if he should respond or not. 'Do they understand our language, or is it a high-tech translator?' he wondered. He ultimately decided to respond.

"My name is Atticus."

Atticus followed Ae'ark's actions and bowed slightly, but that was all he had time to do as a voice, deep as it was commanding, echoed across the area.

"Begin."

Not a nanosecond was wasted.

Ae'ark's body acted as though he had practiced that set of movements for generations.

His body shot forward, darting left and right, his legs moving like weightless air as he closed the massive distance between them in a flash.

With a powerful stomp of his left foot, his hips twisted, and his right hand rocketed forward.

Despite the abruptness of the situation, Atticus's gaze was frighteningly calm.lightsnovel

His head moved upwards from the bow to see a devastating punch appearing inches away from his chest.

Atticus's reaction was instinctual. A golden shield instantaneously appeared between his chest and the punch, blinding in its radiance.

However, Atticus's gaze couldn't help but narrow into pinpricks as the punch, which was supposed to be stopped by the golden shield, phased through it as though it were a mere illusion.

Hard fists met his chest, the brutal cacophony of bones breaking echoed like a thunderclap, reverberating with chilling intensity across the entire area.

The air was knocked from Atticus's lungs, a mouthful of blood spewing from his mouth before his figure shot backward like a cannonball.

Atticus's mind spun like a boxer reeling from a knockout punch, thoughts scattering in all directions.

'Get a grip!'

It lasted only for half a second. Atticus regained control over himself and performed a mid-air spin, skidding down the hard ground.

His mind oddly clear, he performed multiple actions all at once.

A bubble of water engulfed his chest, healing his damaged chest.

The nature of his movement shifted, his figure flickering downwards, narrowly evading a sweeping round kick inches away from his head.

His actions flowed smoothly, his focus changing to the space element.

Atticus teleported above Ae'ark, his right leg enveloped in searing flames descending downwards towards his head like a meteor crashing on earth.

The calm expression on Atticus's face threatened to collapse as what was supposed to be a scorching leg meeting head, turned out to be the opposite.

As though his entire being was an illusion, Atticus's flaming legs phased through Ae'ark's head down to the bottom.

The retaliation was swift, a blitzing punch landed on Atticus's stomach in the next second, its intense force bending him at the waist.

With another mouthful of blood spewing out, Atticus's figure once again shot backwards through the air.

At this point, Atticus's mind was a whirlwind of scattered thoughts, each one unable to come to a unified conclusion. He was completely and utterly lost.

What the fuck was going on?

Was this their cheat?

Was this why the other races were more powerful than them?

To Atticus, the current situation was so baffling that there was only one thing that he wanted, space and time to think.

He was so desperate for this that he had unknowingly ramped up his perception into full throttle, his mind working at blistering speeds.

However, unfortunately for Atticus, he only got said space and time for 3/10ths of a second.

Ae'ark appeared above Atticus's shooting figure like a phantom.

With his face still maintaining the same neutral expression since the beginning of the battle, his hands raised upwards and legs straight and firm as a ruler, his figure shot straight downward at blinding speed towards Atticus.

'Now's not the time!'

Atticus's unfocused gaze regained its clarity, his eyes narrowed and landed on Ae'ark.

The nature of his movement shifted, an exhilarating surge of energy coursing through his veins as he reached newfound speed.

Like a bolt of lightning, Atticus surged sideways and then streaked forward, evading the brutal blow and closing the gap between them in an instant.

With a roar, he unleashed a torrent of lightning-fast punches. His fists blurred, striking with the fury of a storm.

However, the title Apex wasn't for decoration.

The soft blue glow Ae'ark's figure had been radiating abruptly changed. Its color shifted spectrums from blue to green in an instant.

Ae'ark's speed exploded, his movements mirroring that of Atticus.

His fists flew in a dazzling display of speed and power. The air hummed with energy.

Sparks flew as their punches collided, each strike echoing like thunder. The clash was relentless, raw power meeting raw power, neither giving an inch.

The spectators watched silently, many with their mouths agape because of the intense power young kids were currently displaying.

Atticus's gaze was sharp, his movements electric. His hands moved in a torrent of blurs, hard fist meeting hard fist, some phasing through as though it didn't exist.

Despite the intense situation, Atticus's mind was working like a supercomputer, racing with speed.

Atticus analyzed, analyzed, and analyzed. Multiple scenarios and possibilities rapidly flashed through his thoughts.

A minute passed, the intensity of the moment peaking before a thought found its way into Atticus's head.

Atticus's gaze flashed, his thoughts firming.

'I see.'