When they both met each other, Thomas made the first move. With his longer reach, he thought that he could at least force a reaction out of Jojo, and he didn't fail to meet his expectations. While crouching, he parried and their weapons clashed. Their wooden sticks, which had already endured a barrage of strikes, instantly broke into multiple pieces.

The two fighters were surprised, but it didn't mean that the fight was over. They dropped the remaining bits of wood and stared at each other, sweat dripping down from their foreheads.

Without any warning, Jojo threw a vicious leg kick at the injured leg of Thomas, which realized the gravity of the threat. While badly staggering, he threw his body to the side, narrowly avoiding a hit that would have been his end.

With a humph, Jojo threw himself on the injured soldier, intending on making him quickly surrender.

However, when he reached Thomas and was about to throw a right hook punch, he froze. His opponent had a huge grin on his face, as if he had fallen for one of his schemes.

Thomas had feigned being more injured than he really was to draw in Jojo. After all, his previous life as a bully had made him a melee range fighter, even if it was against weaklings. While dodging the incoming right, he sent a violent uppercut that connected to Jojo's jaw, sending him flying backwards.

The guy had simply been overconfident, thinking that the injuries he had inflicted were sufficient to throw caution out of the window.

He brutally landed on the ground and his vision blurred. Jojo had to say that he royally messed up. In a real fight, he would be dead to rights after such a huge blunder. On top of seeing everything in triple, a metallic taste invaded his mouth, making him spit out a mouthful of blood. He had unfortunately bitten his tongue and it was bleeding profusely. With his head still spinning, he groggily got up and gave a determined look to Thomas. He wasn't done yet, even if his body screamed to stop the hostilities.

The adrenaline had worn off long ago, and both combatants were now engaged in mental warfare. In both their minds, the one that would end up winning would be the one with the highest level of tolerance to pain.

Their refusal to back down was admired by all the spectators, wondering if they could have done more on their parts. Eloise and Atta both looked at each other with a slight smile, seeing that the event had already brought in dividends.

Without standing on ceremony, Thomas walked forward, intending on using his remaining energy in a last ditch offensive. He had realized that his condition wasn't much better than his adversary.

Jojo wasn't going to be outdone, and he also walked forward, ready to meet him head-on.

When they both met, a scene that awed everyone occurred. The two fighters threw punches at each other without defending, purely taking in everything like punching bags. Their bruised bodies couldn't take it anymore and cuts appeared, with blood seeping out of them. Eyebrows, cheeks, noses... Everything was swollen and every fragile part of their bodies was broken. Their faces were so big that they couldn't even see each other anymore, but that didn't stop them from still hitting each other.

"I can't lose here... I have to... win..."

Thomas was trying to hold on, but his brain was shutting down, overwhelmed by pain. He had never expected the person in front of him to be so resilient, refusing to yield at all. His lack of mobility and his confidence had faltered bit by bit once he realized that he wouldn't win simply by going to the body of his opponent. He had to have an unbreakable will.

"Don't... get too... carried away... you fucker!"

Jojo was in the same spot. After he had received the violent uppercut, the fight had become more even, with the both of them severely hampered. He thought that a thug was mentally weak, but he had been proven wrong again and again until he had to finally acknowledge that the person in front of him was a different beast.

Their strikes were weakening one after the other, as they couldn't muster any more strength. They were both drained mentally and physically. Seeing their wretched states, Atta was prepared to intervene to prevent any permanent damage. These two had shown their potential, and they weren't going to let them ruin it in a little competition.

Meanwhile, Thomas's consciousness started slipping away... No matter how hard he tried to remain awake, it was pointless. He started falling in an endless abyss and when he thought that everything was over, he let go. He had given it his best shot, and he could be proud of himself, even though he had lost to a skinny kid he had once almost bullied to death.


Overwhelming power suddenly burst forth from his core, hijacking his entire body. The feeling scared him so much that he didn't have time to react and when he tried to regain any sense of control, it was already too late. He was only a passenger on the wild ride that was about to follow.

When Jojo had seen Thomas faltering, he had hung on with all his might. His endurance gained throughout days of work had finally paid off, and just when he thought he had won, an oppressing feeling burst out of his opponent. It was so heavy that he had to back away, breaking their scuffle.

The entire field quieted down and looked at Thomas, which had stopped moving. He only stood there, with his head down, heavily breathing. Eloise was startled by the pressure he emitted and her eyes widened. Who was this guy?!

Atta thought the man had fallen unconscious, which he technically did, and was going on the field to tend to his injuries.


A bestial cry resounded and Atta immediately stopped, petrified on the spot. It was like an instinctual fear when one met their natural predator.

The cry had come from Thomas, but he didn't look like himself anymore. His once tilted head now facing the sky and his eyes were so bloodshot that they resembled rubies. His entire body started expanding, until it became two times its normal size. Veins that were normally hidden were now gorged with massive amounts of blood and were trying to make their way out of his body. One could say that the man was possessed.

Eloise, whose expression had turned ashen, ran in the direction of the enraged Thomas. Her previous feeling had given her a vague sense of deja vu and the following sequence of events had confirmed it... This was a berserker!


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