An Understated Dominance
by Marina Vittori
“Hmm?” Maximus’s pupils dilated. He didn’t expect Dustin to grab his sword with bare fingers. It appeared that he had underestimated Dustin’s sheer talent and confidence. Still, he was unflustered by the strength of his opponent. Quite the opposite–the stronger the opponent, the more excited he felt. He was getting more belligerent as a result.
“Return!” With the wave of a hand, Maximus called his sword back from Dustin’s fingers. The sword came flying back like a serpent.
“Oh?” Dustin was rather surprised by the move. Although he had reined in his capabilities to match his opponent at the earthly level, he acknowledged Maximus‘ talent from how Maximus managed to free the weapon from his grip.
“Look out! I’ll show you my Illusory Sword Technique!” Maximus dropped a reminder before waving his sword again. In one move, his sword split into hundreds and thousands of different swords. The gleaming blades danced around, weaving a confusing web of swords within ten meters around them. The mind–boggling amount of swords made it hard to discern the actual sword from the illusory ones.
“Wow! It is the Illusory Sword Technique! Looks like Maximus Kane is getting serious!”
“I heard that no one could fight off the Illusory Sword Technique. That punk is going to lose!”
“Kill! Kill! kill him!”
There was an uproar among the audience. Some were shocked, some were concerned, and some were merely adding insult to injury. Soon, Dustin vanished in the midst of the illusory swords in front of their eyes. He and Maximus were nowhere to be seen, leaving only the blinding shine of blades dancing in the ring. The audience glued their eyes to the match and struggled to figure out which of them was making the moves. Even so, they couldn’t take their eyes off the climactic fight for fear of missing out on the highlights.
Dustin, the black horse, had garnered all the attention that night by fighting alone against Mr. Williams‘ lineup. Earlier, he took down two masters in the top ten of The Hundred Immortals. Even if he lost the fight against Maximus, he still won himself the right to feel proud of his accomplishments.
Three minutes later, the audience heard the clanking of metal as the web of illusory swords suddenly vanished. A figure, who seemed to have taken a bad blow, stumbled speedily toward the edge of the ring. where he finally managed to steady himself.
Everyone focused on the figure and realized that it was Maximus! As for Dustin, he stood in the middle of the ring without moving, remaining in the same position as before.
“What happened? Who won?” The audience exchanged glances in confusion. Dustin and Maximus looked unharmed, but one appeared poised while the other looked grim.
“Sir, you are indeed talented, I’ll give you that. I concede defeat.” After a long silence, Maximus finally opened his mouth.
“He conceded?” The audience gasped. What was going on? The two of them stood there uninjured. No one had the upper hand yet, but why did Maximus concede defeat? Could he have been bought off by the Harmons, just like the King of Kicks?
“Max, what is that nonsense? Us Boulderthorn guild men never concede defeat! Murder that punk!” Brody stood up and bellowed after recovering from the initial shock.
“Shut up!” Maximus scoffed. “You have to admit defeat when you know it. There’s no shame in admitting you’re not as good as your opponent!”
The audience might not be able to tell, but he was well aware of the truth.
An Understated Dominance by Marina Vittori
Author: Marina Vittori
Artist: Dahlia Nicholson and Dustin Rhys
Released: July, 9, 2023
Native Language: English