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(Raging battle)

Surprising Randall with the daunting power of his broken flying knife gave Zen an upper hand.     

Overconfident in his icy shield which normally could hold up under several blows from even nature creatures, Randall was left vulnerable to Zen's secret weapon.   

  All of this left Randall seething with resentment over his failures in battling Zen.     

Extending his arm, Randall channeled his life vitality, instantly transforming the area into a smooth surface of gleaming ice.     

After it formed, he got to his feet to ski, at full speed at Zen.    

 Randall learned from his earlier blunder to be wary of Zen's peculiar weapon.   

Waving his hands, Randall summoned five small, sharp ice spikes that glimmered, emitting trails of light using his white life vitality.    

Taking successively deeper breaths, Randall flew at Zen, overtaking him and renewing the battle.    

 As Randall came up, poised to strike, Zen unexpectedly turned, taking aim at Randall, who triumphantly let loose the five ice spikes.     


  The five ice spikes clashed against the broken flying knife, causing it to veer and embed in the icy ground.    

 "Zen, I've seen through your ruse!" Rushing, Randall sped to catch Zen.   

  As Zen tugged, retrieving his knife from the ice, he felt an icy chill along the nape of his neck. Randall brandished an icy spear, planning to run it through Zen's back.   

"The spiritual thorn!"   

 Poised, Zen used his soul strength to create his gray colored thorn meant for his enemy.     

Meanwhile, the knife circled around Zen, reversing direction and flying toward his opponent.     

While Randall was focused on killing Zen, he felt a stabbing pain shoot through his head, so exceptionally sharp that he fell over in pain.    

 Due to Randall's experience in battles, heightened senses alerted him to dangers and he was able to survive Zen's attack.     

Maneuvering so he could endure the strike, he was then able to elude the broken flying knife through rolling on the ice surface.   

However, his injured shoulder was bleeding.     


seethed Randall between clenched teeth as the pain gripped him. His frustrations were mounting.    

 Thinking of Zen as an easy target, Randall believed he should have managed to kill Zen with little effort by now.   

  Randall had several decades of combat experience, and all of it was proving useless at that moment.     

Randall howled as his life vitality flowed, transforming into numerous ice spikes that were unleashed in every direction.     "Ping, ping, clatter, clank, tink...." the sound was like a shower of crystalline glass falling.    

 Racing and dodging to reach the safe zone, Zen found his enemy was hot on his trail. When Zen reached the supposed haven, he looked back amazed at the degree of destruction Randall had delivered.   

Wherever Randall passed, anything and everything in reach, including the shrubs and grass, were penetrated with ice spikes.     

Randall's rank four life vitality was so strong that it was nearly inexhaustible.  

   Intent on escaping, Zen took advantage of the fact that Randall was distracted at the moment and frustrated.    

 But, his antagonist relished skiing at Zen at an incredible speed.    

 Actually, Zen didn't stand a chance of fleeing Randall.     

Consequently, Randall could overtake Zen in a short span of time.     

But, the closer Randall got to Zen, the more determined Zen became, and he opted to leverage his two signature moves, The first was the spiritual thorn, and the second was the broken flying knife!   

Alongside the two having continuing quality, the two moves also adversely affected Randall's chase.    

 As Zen continued though, he noticed, the more time went by, the more ineffectual his attacks were proving.    

 With how nimble and light Randall was on his feet, the powerful broken flying knife didn't pose much threat to him.   

  Adding to that, with the distance Randall was keeping from Zen, it meant the spiritual thorn was less useful against Randall.     

Given the fact that Zen hadn't developed a thorough understanding of the spiritual thorn technique yet, his range of attack wasn't wide enough to be much of a threat.   

The two of them covered another stretch quickly, and Randall dodged Zen's offense, sneering, "You're finished now Zen!"    

"Freezing thousands of miles!"    
As he punched the ground with his strong fists, Randall produced two bright snow lines extending in front of him and growing more rapidly than Zen could flee.    

 The two lines flew over Zen and were suddenly transformed into two icy crystals which began increasing, spreading and doubling.    


 came a deafening sound as millions of icy thorns intertwined and filled the area.    

 Ultimately, the frost crystals reshaped themselves into an icy crescent-shaped hill, leaving Zen trapped in the valley beneath them, with no avenue of escape.   

With no other recourse, Zen turned to confront his rival.     

"As a leading master, I would be ashamed if I wasn't able to seize you!" 

Heading for Zen, Randall took calculated uniform strides, in an effort to intimidate Zen as he approached.    

 "Randall, you're worthy of your reputation," acknowledged Zen in a tone of admiration.     

Randall shook his head and said, "I would be depressed if I were you at my weakest!"    

"Really.....?" prodded Zen, pretending to be engrossed in what Randall had to say in an effort to catch him off guard, all the while applying a sharp thorn.     

"The spiritual thorn!"    

Regrettably, his rival evaded the attack, moving as nimble as a sparrow to dodge the fatal blow before beginning his slow, calculated approach at Zen again. "No more of your tricks! I've become tired of them!"  

"You're not a fool," offered Zen his tone dripping with sarcasm.   

  "Thanks for the recognition! But, I'm not all that flattered because you're done for!" As Randall spoke, a colossal ice spike was taking shape gradually in preparation to deal a fatal blow to Zen.     But, Zen just shook his head, smirking as he continued, "I mean you're more of a fool than I imagined!"    

Slightly stunned, Randall grinned slyly, as though he was ready to strike his final blow against Zen and dramatically stated, "I hope you are prepared because today you meet your end!" With that said, Randal aimed the colossal weaponry at Zen.     

Staring at Randall's colossal weapon, Zen had no means of escape, which made Randall giddy with excitement at his invincible strike.   

Unexpectedly, the colossal weapon's progress halted, and half of its front shattered, falling back to the surface of the ice along with many flakes.     

It was as if an invisible barrier stood between the invincible weapon and Zen.     
"What's this?" asked Randall, a twinge of fear in his voice.    

 "As Zen stated, you couldn't be more foolish than you are!" accused a husky voice from behind the icy valley. Looking in the direction, he saw a figure in green emerged, approaching the two combatants.    

 As soon as Randall saw who it was, he became irate. "Dammit Jon, no more of your meddling!"    

"You're wrong! I'm not interfering, I am enforcing the law you violated! You altered the marching route the Green Haze Group was to take, and you plotted to murder your fellow soldiers, who fell victims to the blade locust queen because of your actions. What's more, you secretly interrogated Martin using brutal means. If not for our timely rescue, Martin would be dead! You should reflect on your errors and make amends to be worthy as a member of the Imperial Army!" admonished Jon as he rattled off Randall's numerous crimes.   

In view of how harshly the Imperial Army disciplined, Randall's crimes would be deemed treasonous and punishable by death, though the numerous soldiers from the Green Haze group that lost their lives meant little to the Imperial Army.   

  Martin was a victim, but he was too underprivileged to file a lawsuit, so Randall decided to keep him in custody, avoiding any trouble.     

"Jon, what you are saying is true. But, I don't believe you can best me in combat!" threatened Randall while remaining cool, calm and collected because he believed he could best Jon in battle by a narrow margin.   

"I'm aware of your consummate skills which enable you to confront me!" said Jon admitting to Randall's martial prowess.     

Smiling pompously, Randall cautioned, "Since that is so, you should back off and leave me to conflict with Zen, otherwise, despite our fellowship, I won't spare you!"    

"You might be brawny, but Randall, you're brainless!" insulted Jon smiling as if he and Randall were joking around.     

In that instant, the icy valley designed to trap Zen started shattering, changing into falling flakes, as the icy prison fell away, and a stalwart figure appeared from the other side.

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