An Understated Dominance
by Marina Vittori
“What the fuck? Has the battle ended?”
The audience in the guild stared at Chunkster, who was lying flat on the ground lifelessly. They looked at each other in disbelief. At first, they thought that Dustin would never win, but the battle ended with a huge twist. More importantly, Dustin had only made one move throughout the battle, which was terrifying, to say the least.
“Fuck! That dude won? What happened?” Otto’s eyes widened, and he looked incredulous. Dustin Rhys beat Chunkster, who had defeated Mr. Chapman. Would that mean Dustin was more powerful than Mr. Chapman?
“I–impossible! That guy must have pulled some tricks. Why else could he win without breaking a sweat?” Julie vehemently shook her head, refusing to accept the outcome.
“What happened just now? Why did Chunkster collapse after the touch?” Brody was confounded. Chuckster’s defense should have been impenetrable for most, except for Maximus and the King of Kicks. What trick did Dustin pull to win?
“He’s quite something. He found Chunkster’s weakness in no time.” Maximus narrowed his eyes and appeared quite taken aback. The others might be oblivious to the strategy behind the move, but Maximus knew that Dustin had found Chunkster’s weakness and focused his attack on it, which resulted in the surprise victory.
“No wonder he was so confident. He came prepared.” The hawk–nosed old man scoffed. He would have acknowledged Dustin’s talent if the latter had taken down the opponent with his skills, but the trick that Dustin pulled was cowardly.
“Hahaha! He won! Dustin, you’re awesome!” After overcoming the shock, Ruth jumped up and down with joy.
“What’s so great about it? He had to thank Mr. Wangley and Mr. Chapman for exhausting Chunkster. He wouldn’t have taken advantage of Chunkster otherwise.” Quentin was a little jealous about Dustin’s win. In his opinion, Dustin merely beat the opponent due to luck.
“Mr. Wangley, Mr. Rhys was right. Chunkster’s weakness is on the top of his head.” Stephan, who was being. treated for his injury, shot a glance at Mr. Wangley, who seemed embarrassed and quiet.
The unexpected victory set the crowd ablaze. Most were confused and doubtful about Dustin’s move, but he proved that the Harmons still had a chance to fight and win.
“Is that all the Boulderthorn disciples have to show?” Dustin stood boastfully in the ring with a disdainful smile on his lips.
“That insolent bastard!”
“How dare you?
“This is too much!”
Upon hearing the insult, the Boulderthorn gang stood up in rage. Anyone who looked down on their guild would be playing with fire!
“You punk! You’d better tone down your ego!” Brody angrily slapped the table and shot up,
“Quit the nonsense. If you can, take me on.” Dustin was as calm as ever as he looked down upon those beneath him.
Right then, the hawk–nosed elder suddenly cackled menacingly. “Kiddo, did you really think you could show off a couple of amateur moves over here?”
“If you do not believe me, come try it out for yourself.” Dustin wiggled his fingers at the old man provocatively.
“Great! If death is what you’re after, I shall grant your wish.” The old man finally lost it and walked up to the ring. At the sight, everyone at the scene cheered enthusiastically.
“Great! The King of Kicks finally joins the battle!”
“How dare that dude challenge the King of Kicks? He doesn’t know his limits.”
“Either way, he’s going to lose. At least he’d lose with glory if he is defeated by the King of Kicks.”
“Hmph! The King of Kicks is known to be violent. He wouldn’t go easy on that kid.”
The crowd was murmuring about the scene in the ring.
Otto snickered. “Well, at least the punk will die an honorable death in the hands of the King of Kicks!”
“He’s too reckless! Did he think he could call the shots after his one lucky victory? Facing off the King of Kicks is the same as staring at death!” Julie couldn’t resist the touch of schadenfreude. But she admitted that Dustin had given her many surprises. At the end of the day, she believed that he wouldn’t escape his fate of being butchered.
“That old fart is utterly despicable! When he was repping the Harmons, he immediately ceded the fight. Now, he’s fighting against us. He’s the ultimate definition of shameless!” Ruth was irritated. Just when there was a sliver of hope for the Harmons, the King of Kicks showed up to give them a blow. It was disgusting.
“There’s no point talking about that. Let’s think about what we’re going to do after the loss.” Quentin shook his head. He obviously decided that Dustin would be defeated.
“Hey, little punk! I’ll give you a chance to live. If you bow to me here, I’ll spare your life!” the King of Kicks announced evilly in the ring.
“Bow to you? Are you asking me to bow to a filthy animal? You don’t deserve that.” Dustin chortled.
“You’re a brave one. I bet you’ll only regret it when you’re staring at death!” Looking offended, the old man took one step after another toward Dustin with an imposing air.
An average martial artist would have cowered under the pressure, but Dustin stood firmly on the ground. unaffected.
“To avoid accusations of bullying the young, I shall only make three moves on you. If you successfully block all the attacks, I’ll consider you victorious,” the old man said coldly.
“Bring it on.” Dustin gestured at him.
“The first kick is to destroy your core!” After snorting, the old man suddenly launched the first kick. He propelled himself like an arrow projecting from the bow. He was moving at an unbelievably high speed that the crowd could not make out his figure. When the old man was near enough, he quickly gave Dustin a kick in the abdomen. The strength of the kick was comparable to the destructiveness of a bullet. It was so powerful that it could make a hole in a metal board, not to mention destroying a human.
Seeing that, Custin merely smiled and swayed aside, narrowly avoiding the attack.
“Hmm?” When the kick didn’t land, the old man looked quite perplexed. He had applied only half of his full. strength in the first kick, which made it impossible to dodge. “He is something No wonder he’s so bold.” The old man scrunched his eyes and scoffed. “But that’s the end of it!”
With that, he moved across the ring again, launching his second kick with 80% of his full strength, aiming at Dustin’s head this time. He was confident that Dustin would be annihilated after being struck.
A figure flashed across the ring quickly. Like an apparition, Dustin twisted his body and narrowly escaped the second kick.
“Why? Are you starving? Why are you moving so slowly?” Dustin jeered at him as though he was staring at a clown. His disdainful gaze had completely infuriated the old man.
An Understated Dominance by Marina Vittori
Author: Marina Vittori
Artist: Dahlia Nicholson and Dustin Rhys
Released: July, 9, 2023
Native Language: English