"I shall lower my strength"
Before he could finish his words, and before Nostradamus has had the chance to object, the emperor raised his right hand with a smile and reached towards Joshua, as if he wanted to shake the warrior's hand.
But compared to a handshake, his movement was too fast, and with a lift of his arm, a piercing sound was emanated; an irresistible vigor came forth, while layers upon layers of sunlike flares emerged on his palm, immediately raising the temperature of the study by tens of degrees Celsius, turning it into a boiler. If it weren't for the old mage casting his spells to protect the books and other ornaments of the room, the excessive temperature would have caused a great loss.
Combat Aura has its origins in the power of life. Each person's Combat Aura has their own natural attributes, but by training through different Kokyu-ho techniques, one could support their natural Combat Aura with additional attributes.
At that moment, the Kokyu-ho method that Israel used, the [Flare of the Sun] which was inherited generation to generation through the imperial royal family, was able to provide the user with the ability to withstand extremely high temperatures, as well as the ability to produce brightness and high heat at the same levels as the sun. Just as the emperor himself has said, he already suppressed himself from going out in his full strength, only using Gold-tier pinnacle standards. Besides, this is simply a test of strength for the warrior, even though the heat from his palms could have easily melted steel.
Meanwhile, Joshua similarly raised his right hand, leaving a series of afterimages. He then firmly intercepted the palm of the emperor, his hand flowing with a blackred radiance. It was inconspicuous, but the warrior easily withstood the high heat that was hot enough to scorch flesh and blood into ash and dust.
The name [Steel Armor Kokyu-ho] may not draw much attention, but its ability to increase defence is top of its class. In addition to that, with Joshua's fire attribute Combat Aura, it was not really a shock that he could easily block the strike of the emperor.
At the very next moment, the both of them suddenly released their energy at the same time. They began to engage in a fight that resembles arm wrestling.
A sound like that of an explosion came from the vicinity of their handshake. Their Combat Aura surged, powerful shockwaves producing
These two lunatics!
The white-haired archbishop and Brandon, who was right beside, cursed, "Bloody hell!" in their hearts. Who would have thought that these two would actually start a fight just as soon as they were having a conversation without any sign or warning at all? This is the deeper parts of the palace, the royal study; which emperor would actually spar with someone in their own home?
In the meantime, the Mars Guardians and the other ordinary guards patrolling in the vicinity of the palace had instantly reacted to the presence of Combat Aura came from the deeper parts of the palace. They immediately delegated their own tasks and proceeded to uniformly run towards the direction where the sound of the explosion originated.
At the same time, within the four walls of the palace, the high-ranking nobles in the residence of the Imperial City began to ponder; for their strengths were far above that of the ordinary guards, which enabled them to sense the energy source of the explosion within the palace, one of which is the one who was so powerful that none dare rise to oppose him, the Supreme Commander of the Empire.
Who is the one engaging the emperor in combat?
How is it that there are only Gold-tier pinnacle level energy waves?
Even with questions in their minds, they were unable to continue to perceive, yet in order to confront this extraordinary situation, the high-ranking nobles began to hurriedly prepare themselves.
At this time, Joshua and Israel remained in a handshake. The both of them stood firmly on the floor of the study, their right hands in a tight grip, with dissimilar radiances of Combat Aura flowing on the surface. The warrior remained expressionless, while the veins bulged on his hand; he could tell that none of the emperor's total power has overflowed at all, as all of it has been channeled into this hand, whereas it was the same for Joshua himself, for the both of them treated their handshake as the battlefield, with the goal of destabilising the opponent.
The explosion from before was but less than one-hundredth of the power displayed by the both of them as they clashed.
At this point, it was impossible for Joshua to hold back anymore. His current opponent was a Legendary-tier champion, one of the strongest warriors on the entire Mycroft Continent. Even if Israel had already suppressed his power, the power he wielded would still be at Legendary tier. Joshua had tasted that level of power before in his previous life when he had attained Legendary tier. The warrior knew that he had to unleash his full power if he wanted to prevent himself from losing. By keeping himself in the battle long enough, only then would there be a possibility for Joshua to win this battle.
In the corner, Nostradamus had given up on persuading the two of them to take the fight away from the palace out to some plains or spots far away from the city. He could also tell just by looking at the two of them, regardless of whether it was Joshua or Israel, they were both battle maniacs. The both of them were in the midst of having a great time, so whatever was said would only be disregarded.
"Not bad, Joshua. You're much stronger than your father!"
As he laughed, the overflowing violent winds in the room caused the dark blond hair of the Emperor to rise. Golden lines began to emerge on Israel's body as the surrounding temperature began to rise dramatically. Beyond the area of the old mage's protection spell, burnt marks began to emerge on the ceiling of the study. Thick black smoke arose, until a blazing fire started, which burned up half the domed ceiling.
Meanwhile, Joshua just chuckled, without a word of response. A steely color emerged on his bare skin, a dark red radiance spreading and flowing. The warrior pushed himself harder; the power in his hand increased in level; he intended to completely topple the emperor.
Yet how could the emperor be struck down by such a weak attempt? Israel did not show any signs of weakness. The arms of both men did not even move the slightest. They were still in a fierce arm-wrestle, but their Combat Auras were already clashing to the point of incandescence, and the diffusing energy ripples grew stronger and stronger.
A circle of Combat Aura radiance began to appear above the royal study, with a reddish gold as bright as the sun, and a blackred steel-like radiance, intertwined with each other. Even the air was stirred, fierce winds rising above all of Morlaix Palace.
The palace walls of the study, as well as the supporting pillars, produced some strange sounds; they were shaken by an invisible force. This was caused by the two mighty warriors mutually using the earth as their tool, redirecting each other's power, nullifying the attacks. The maids and servants who were in the middle of work were swept over by two terrifying vigors. At that moment, they felt the strength leaving their bodies, paralyzed on the floor with fear, and those who could still move had also instinctively fled from the source of the forces, screaming as they ran towards the other palaces.
The powerful energy ripples even triggered the Alert Summoning Circle of the palace interior. Layers upon layers of spells rippled out; in an instant, over fifty summoning circles had been activated, which began to sweep over the people within Morlaix Palace, reinforcing the palace defenses. At the same time, the imperial guards were also looking at this scene in astonishment, as many of them had never in their life seen how the activation of all the Defense Summoning Circles within Morlaix Palace looked like. Yet even now they were not given the time to doubt, as the imperial guards proceeded to run towards the royal study.
In the middle of the study, Brandon was gazing at the scene before him in shockhe had received too many shocks on this day alone, yet they are all from one man.
Gazing upon Joshua, the prodigy swordsman of the Empire could not help but experience a tinge of bitterness in his heart; he realized that his progression rate was not enough to catch up with this young comrade of his. Back then, the both of them were still on par with regards to their strength, but now, Joshua had already become so powerful that he could spar with the Legendary-tier emperor without showing any signs of faltering.
But then Brandon was relieved.
Naturally, each person has their own unique 'Gift'. The same goes for each individual's 'opportunity'; Joshua has an awakened Azurite, but his 'Dual Blades of Order' have yet to recognize him as their master. What he needs now is not to despair, but to be himself.
Nostradamus was also feeling complicated since Israel was his student. Though the opponent is a warrior, the old mage could never teach anything in terms of battle, yet he was well aware of just how strong the 'gift' of his student is.
As a warrior who had been running on the orc battlefield since he was a child, Israel had fought countless battles without a single defeat. His unbeatable self-confidence had long been turned into a horrific aura, such that ordinary people who face him simply wouldn't dare to confront him, having nothing but surrender left in their minds.
As for Joshua, he was but a warrior at the pinnacle of the Gold tier, yet he was competing with the Legendary-tier champion seemingly without being affected by anything, without even the slightest hesitation or fear. If the old mage had not been getting to know the warrior over a period of time, he would have even suspected Joshua of being a construct, or something that's simply without a heart.
That is the Emperor of the Empire, the ruler of this realm. How is Joshua able to spar with his opponent with nary a psychological burden?
Joshua has only one answer to that question.
Who would sweat the small stuff over the opportunity to challenge the champion?
Strong winds billowed. The garden before the study suddenly withered; the long green grasses and various fresh flowers were scorched and killed in an instant by the high heat and the vigor that carried murderous intent. Even the water in the garden pool began to boil, releasing a foglike steam. A thin blanket of magical glow appeared on each statue, extra protection that serves to protect and preserve the statues, but from the energy ripples caused by the sparring between Joshua and Israel, the layer of protection began to crumble, probably to vanish soon.
At this time, the imperial guards had arrived at the garden. They ran as fast as they could against the strong winds. These loyal imperial guards knew that even if they may not be of any use, they would not falter, for they were bound by duty.
But in the next moment, all the phenomena vanished.
Back in the study, the two warriors stared at each other after having separated their hands from each other and taking a step back. They were observing both of their footprints. Countless cracks covered the marble floor.
"Not bad at all, kid."
One could tell just by looking that Joshua's footprints were deeper, but Israel's expression remains dignified. "That was actually completely beyond my expectations although I said that I've lowered my strength to spar with you, I wasn't expecting for you to have reached this level"
The emperor did not say those words. However, the Supreme Commander of the Empire lifted his head and looked at the warrior with great interest. He spoke, slowly, "If all goes well, there will come a day when you will definitely advance to Legendary."
At that time right outside the study, as soon as the completely clueless imperial guards heard those words, they immediately went into an uproar.
This is not a matter of discipline, just pure shock.
The strongest champion in the Empire, the Legendary warrior, the emperor himself, has actually said, with his own mouth, to another person, "You will definitely advance to Legendary." ?
And a voice came from the study.
"I thought so too."