I’m the Boss
With their strongest fighter, Jared, stepping onto the platform, the hopes of Balerno’s supporters were reignited, a glimmer of expectation in their eyes. They yearned for Jared to restore Balerno’s reputation.
As Jared set foot on the arena, Oscar swung his spear, directing its point towards him. “Who are you?” he inquired.
“Jared Yancy. Twelfth on The Heavenly Immortals,” Jared announced, locking eyes with Oscar.
“I see,” Oscar responded, his tone becoming more serious.
Separated by only one rank on The Heavenly Immortals, their skills were relatively evenly matched. Both understood the potential consequences of underestimating their opponent.
“I will emerge victorious in this match! And when I do, I’ll use you as a stepping stone to ascend to the top ten!” Jared declared, drawing his sword.
“Is that so? We shall see,” Oscar retorted, his chuckle laced with icy amusement.
Gripping his spear firmly with both hands, he positioned himself for the upcoming clash.
With the toll of the bell ringing three times, they lunged towards each other, initiating their attack.
The clash of metal reverberated through the air, sparks igniting as their weapons met. An immense surge of true energy erupted, enveloping them in a whirlwind of power. The lake’s surface rippled, and the wind was stirred by their intense confrontation.
Jared’s swordsmanship hinged on raw strength, whereas Oscar’s finesse with the spear relied on agility and fluidity. The battle unfolded in a thrilling display, their closely-matched skills delivering an exhilarating spectacle.
“Take him down, Jared!”
“Go, Jared! Show him who’s boss!”
The cries of Boulderthorn disciples filled the air, their support for Jared transcending the boundaries of the Balerno martial arts alliance. Jared had become a representative not only of Balerno but also of Boulderthorn.
Inside the gazebo, Patrick turned to his grandfather. “Who do you think will win, Grandpa?”
“It’s hard to tell. They’re evenly matched,” Paul responded, his gaze fixed on the intense clash.
“I hope Jared prevails. The weight on Dustin’s shoulders would be immense otherwise,” Patrick sighed.
All eyes were locked on the escalating battle. The outcome held the key to Balerno’s fate: a chance of resurgence with Jared’s victory or the grim certainty of defeat if he faltered.
As time ticked away, their attacks grew increasingly aggressive. Exhausted of their true energy, they relied on sheer determination alone, teetering on the brink of exhaustion.
Summoning their remaining reserves, they converged for a final, decisive assault to determine the victor.
Jared’s sword struck with force, slicing Oscar’s spear in half, and then plunged into Oscar’s shoulder. Simultaneously, Oscar thrust the remaining fragment of his spear into Jared’s chest.
In the aftermath, Oscar crumpled to the ground, coughing up blood, while the momentum of Jared’s strike propelled him backward, landing him in the lake with a resounding splash.
Both fighters were severely injured, their bodies bearing the consequences of their intense duel. By the rules of the battle, it was Oscar who emerged victorious.
“He lost?” The Balerno martial artists were disheartened by the outcome, the weight of four consecutive losses hanging heavily over them.
For the first time, they had suffered such a string of defeats, leaving them demoralized and devastated.
With only one contestant left, their hopes rested squarely on Dustin’s shoulders. Yet, their optimism was tempered by the reality that his task was no less than a miracle, a seemingly insurmountable challenge.