“Are you ready?” Sevedant asked Lakshman as they took their place on far ends of the platform.
“Y-Yes!” Lakshman said nervously.
“No need for nervousness,” Sevedant said, but Lakshman could not dispel his nervousness.
Earlier, Sevedant had requested that he and Lakshman spar. This was supposed to be training to test how good Lakshman was against him. Darian and Rumble gladly agreed to the idea and so it was decided.
Lakshman felt nervous because had watched Sevedant grind Rumble to dust and made it all look fictional with his Real Fiction technique. On top of that, Lakshman was not to wield the Phoenix Blade, Tetra, in that battle. Sevedant wanted to see how Lakshman fought without her.
So Lakshman and Sevedant faced each other with their weapons ready. Lakshman wielded a sword he borrowed from Darian. Sevedant wielded a sword which he called the Bone Sword which had a skull shape in the centre of the handle.
Seeing that Lakshman was still feeling nervous, Sevedant said “Treat me as an enemy. Will be easier.”
“I-I know, but you’re not…” Lakshman said while looking uncomfortable.
Sevedant sighed and muttered “I have no choice” before his eyes flashed bright red as he shouted “Death by Destruction!”
In an instant, dark energy was unleashed and it swept the entire area. Lakshman was hit by it and instantly felt an overwhelming pressure. He looked towards Sevedant and saw a mass of darkness with red eyes glaring at him. It suddenly gave him a sensation as if he was going to be killed.
Lakshman suddenly realised he was fearing for his life. Gritting his teeth in anger, he screamed “AAAHHHH!!!”
In an instant, he powered up. He was covered in a red aura as he gripped his sword tightly. Both sides have risen their powers and were ready to battle.
“Fight!” Darian shouted as he signalled the start of their battle.
In an instant, Lakshman launched himself at Sevedant. He zoomed across the land and reached him in an instant. Then he swung his sword at Sevedant, but his sword got caught by Sevedant’s skeleton hand which surprised Lakshman.
“Thinking your opponents will fall because of your initial fast attack is foolish. What if they are faster than you?”
As Sevedant finished speaking, Lakshman realised he was about to struck. He instantly jumped away to avoid the strike of his blade. Then, as he landed back on his feet, Sevedant continued speaking.
“Jumping away the moment your opponent strikes is a foolish action. What if they reached you the next instance?”
Sevedant suddenly disappeared and reappeared directly in front of Lakshman in a blink of an eye. Lakshman looked shocked and he automatically stepped back in shock.
“Stepping back shows that you are afraid and a coward,” Sevedant said quietly.
Lakshman got irritated at his words and said “I’m not!”
He immediately swung his sword at him only to get blocked by Sevedant’s sword.
“Letting your feelings control you is not a good idea. It makes your fighting techniques sloppy,” Sevedant told him as he easily held Lakshman’s blade away.
Lakshman gritted his teeth angrily and began to attack Sevedant. His speed was impressive as he easily swung his sword in the direction that he wanted to. However, it was not bothering Sevedant as he easily parried each sword blade.
With a final bang, a strong wind and power was unleashed. Lakshman was pushing against Sevedant with all his might, but Sevedant did not budge.
“Thinking your strength and fast swings alone will win the battle is stupid. They are no better than the swings of a baby,” Sevedant told him quietly.
“Oh yeah?! Then how about this?!” Lakshman shouted angrily.
He leaped away and used Energy Force to focus energy into his sword. Then, as he swung, a massive energy wave was unleashed. It soared straight at Sevedant, but he just sighed as he saw it coming. Then he casually lifted his sword and aimed the pointed end at it.
“Disperse,” Sevedant muttered.
The moment the energy was within reach, it suddenly got dispersed. There was no explosion or the strong force that it had earlier. It was as if it just magically became one with the wind.
Lakshman stared at the dispersal of his attack with wide eyes and muttered “No… way…!”
“Believing your strong energy attacks will grant you victory is foolish. What if your opponent is far stronger than you?” Sevedant asked him.
Sevedant raised his sword high in the air. Then, as he swung it down in an arc, a massive energy got unleashed. The released energy wave was incomparable to the one Lakshman had unleashed a moment ago.
It rocketed straight at Lakshman and did not give him time to dodge. Taking the full impact of the energy attack, it went boom with a huge explosion. He screamed as his body was damaged greatly by the sheer magnitude of the attack.
As the smoke surrounded the spot where the energy exploded, he jumped back. He was breathing quickly while his clothes smoked and his skin had burnt marks on it. The next instance, Sevedant appeared and swung his sword down.
Lakshman quickly reacted and blocked the strike with his sword. Then Sevedant began raining swing after swing at him. Lakshman barely managed to keep up with the speed at which Sevedant fought him at.
“What if your opponents are stronger than you? What if you opponent is faster than you? What if your opponent is capable of predicting what your next move will be? What will you do then?”
Sevedant asked him these questions as he continued to swing at him. He would often kick him away and then send a powerful wave of energy in his direction. Lakshman barely dodges it only to find Sevedant waiting for him with another round of sword attacks.
“What if your opponent is capable of using magic while attacking? Frozen Grip!”
In an instant, Lakshman felt something icy cover his feet. Looking down, he saw ice frozen feet stuck to the ground. He attempted to move his legs, but it was useless. Just then, Sevedant reached him and began relentlessly attacking on him while Lakshman barely managed to block.
Sevedant then kicked him away and setting him free in the process. Then he swung the sword to his side and said “How will you prepare? How will you react? Can you handle all this with the way you are right now?”
Lakshman managed to get to his feet and said “I…I’ll try my best…!”
In that instant, Sevedant’s eyes flashed. He darted forward so fast, no one saw him move. Before anyone realised, Lakshman’s sword was flying away with Sevedant standing there. The sword spun through the air and landed while getting pinned to the ground several meters away.
Lakshman was prepared to use hands-on-combat since he no longer hand a weapon. Then he suddenly saw Sevedant gathering a lethal energy into his sword. Realising in an instant what was about to happen, he ducked just in time.
Sevedant swung his sword and sent a massive amount of energy over Lakshman. The slicing energy travelled to the building and utterly destroyed it with a resulting explosion. The explosion and the released wild wind buffeted everyone.
Lakshman slowly turned and saw the building completely destroyed. With wide eyes, Lakshman turned around just to see Sevedant swing his sword at him.
Sevedant brought the sword to a stop just before reaching his neck. Lakshman turned slightly and saw the gleaming sharp edge of the blade just centimetres away from his neck. Then he turned to look at Sevedant with a shocked expression on his face.
“How would you react when you are this slow? How can you do your best when your opponent is so much stronger than you? What sort of blindness are you living under, Lakshman?! Wake up! Face reality! You are nowhere as strong as you should be!” Sevedant yelled at him for the first time.
Then he pointed in the direction where Ondine, Emilia and Tetra stood. It looked as if he was indicating them for a reason which he made clear in his next shout.
“I hear that you swore you will protect them, but like this?! What the hell can you protect with the way you are right now?! Don’t give me the rubbish about empowering your strength and power by wearing the Phoenix Armour! Even with that, it still won’t do you any good when you are not good yourself!”
At that moment, Sevedant pulled the sword away from Lakshman’s neck. Then the sword vanished into particles of light.
“I’m sorry, but this is reality! You’re not as powerful as you might believe yourself to be. No? If you still think you’re powerful, then you are a self-conceited bastard! Stop deceiving yourself! It will only create trouble for you and everyone around you! Is that what you want?!”
At those words, Lakshman felt to his knees with a shocked expression on his face. His eyes were wide with a blank expression on his face as if he did not know what to do anymore. It seemed like all the confidence, experience and training he learnt was proved to be useless His ein the end.
Sevedant looked down at him for a moment. He liked Lakshman, but his carefree attitude and relaxed manner worried him. In that town, Sevedant had felt a powerful dark force gathering and it felt extremely sinister.
If anything were to happen, they would not be there to always protect Lakshman or his people. On top of that, Lakshman will only lead himself and his companions into danger with such overconfidence. So he had no choice, but the rain down the harsh reality to him that way.
Then he sighed and said “It isn’t completely hopeless. Follow me.”
Lakshman looked up at him blankly. Then Sevedant bend down and forcefully pulled Lakshman to his feet. Then, with a firm hold of his arm, he pulled him and they began walking towards the destroyed building.
“Fix,” Sevedant muttered and, in a flash of light, the destroyed building instantly appeared good as new.
Normally, such a thing happening right in front of him would interest him, but Lakshman remained silent. He simply looked lifeless as he quietly was pulled by Sevedant.
“Gravity Chamber!” Sevedant said loudly.
In an instant, a large room appeared in front of them. They entered it and Lakshman vaguely saw that everything was white inside the room.
Reaching their destination, Sevedant let go of Lakshman’s arm. Then he turned to face him as he vaguely looked around.
“Lakshman! You’re not completely hopeless! You can still become stronger, but only through tougher means!” Sevedant told him in a firm voice.
At those words, Lakshman looked up at Sevedant. Light was reappearing in those eyes of his as he suddenly realised it was not hopeless. He could still become stronger if he followed Sevedant’s directions.
“We are currently in a room called the Gravity Chamber. Here, you will train under intense gravity and will conquer it! If you are unable to conquer that gravity, you are not allowed to eat meals!”
At those words, Lakshman looked at him shocked and said “What?! No food?!”
Sevedant nodded and he folded his arms and looked grim even though his mask covered his face.
“Right now, you are using the Gravity Rings to train under hundred times gravity. You have gotten used to it and it’s time to push the boundaries! It’s time you start training under even more intense gravity!”
“Ah!” Lakshman said as he finally understood Sevedant’s plan.
He clearly remembered how Sevedant wore a rings for each of his fingers and that they totalled a thousand times gravity. It seemed Lakshman would be doing the same thing, except in a room that just appeared at Sevedant’s call.
“This room is called the Gravity Chamber! Here you’ll be training from five-hundred to a thousand times gravity!”
“Five-hundred to a thousand?! Really?!” Lakshman exclaimed in a shocked voice.
When Sevedant nodded, Lakshman remained frozen for a moment. Then a wide grin spread across his face as he said “Great…! Excellent!”
Seeing the returning energy in Lakshman caused Sevedant to nod his head in satisfaction. It puzzled him that Lakshman was very different from kids of his age. Most would not be training that way.
“By the way, how did the room suddenly appear?” Lakshman asked curiously as he returned to his original self.
“It gets created as you call for it. Bed, bathroom, books… You name it,” Sevedant told him.
“Wow…! So I’ll be starting from five-hundred times gravity and slowly increment to reach thousand times gravity?”
Sevedant nodded and said “Five-hundred times gravity, Activate!”
For a few seconds, the room began to glow brightly as it lifted the gloom. The next instance, Lakshman felt an immense pressure pulling him to the ground. He grunted, groaned and made inarticulate noises as he struggled to keep standing.
“W-Wow…! S-S-Stroooong…!” Lakshman managed to say with all the pressure his body was experiencing.
He tried to walk and found that he barely managed to move his leg. It also took him a lot of strength just to keep standing.
“You are struggling now, but soon you will not feel the pressure when you reach my level,” Sevedant told him.
Lakshman turned and saw that Sevedant was walking around under the gravity as if he was unaffected by it. He sighed because it came as no surprise to him. After all, Sevedant was the Death Titan who was said to be the fifth strongest warrior from the Nine Pillars of Power.
“I’ll… aim for it…!” Lakshman managed to say.
Sevedant shook his head and said “Don’t aim to get strong. Become strong! If you have that determination, you will succeed in everything that you will do!”
“R-R-Right…” Lakshman mumbled and he winced with his body feeling slight pain from sudden movement.
“Well. I’ll leave you be. Make sure to conquer five-hundred times gravity by evening! Otherwise, you get no meal!” Sevedant said and he began to walk away.
As he left the room, he heard Lakshman groan behind. It made him sigh and think he was being very hard on the kid. At the same thing, he felt it was necessary to make him stronger. Babying him like the rest was making him soft. This harsh lesson should serve well for the future.
“By the way, Sevedant. That’s the first time I’ve heard you talk in such long sentences. What happened to your short sentences?” Ondine asked curiously when he came back out.
Sevedant turned and saw them looking at him curiously. Well, everyone except Emilia as she hid behind Ondine. He sighed at seeing her attitude towards him and turned to answer Ondine.
“Had no choice,” he said simply and walked towards the exit of that world.
“Had no choice?” Ondine asked and she looked surprised as Sevedant disappeared through the dimension hole.
In any case, that was how Lakshman’s intensive training began. Sevedant ordered everyone to not feed him until he managed to conquer the intense gravity. It shocked Marilia, but she could not refuse since it was more of a demand than a request.
Only Ondine complained by saying “Why five-hundred? Couldn’t he have started on around three-hundred or something?”
On the other hand, Lakshman did not mind. He found the intensity tough and challenging which made it even more worthwhile to try his hardest. The only thing he could not stop was the sounds inarticulate noises he made in his training.
Thus. Lakshman began training in the intensive training inside the Gravity Chamber.