23 Back For Revenge!
Jam and Arnold reached the Teaching Department, and were once again, facing each other as sparring partners within the sparring ring. They had a warm up session, where Arnold fought Jam with the same intensity as their first fight before, gradually increasing the difficulty. In this warm up session, Arnold determined that Jam had transcended the level of basic fighting mastery, and they could now move up to the Energy Combat Sparring Ring.
In the Energy Combat Sparring Ring, the people fighting could use energy attacks to fight with all they had, without having to worry about destroying their surroundings. This sparring ring had a defensive formation and repairing formation supporting it, which would not let attacks, up to a certain level, reach outside its domain. Furthermore, as long as the damage inside the formation, didn't damage the formations core, the formation would automatically heal itself over time.
Jam followed Arnold's lead and headed to the new sparring ring, where they continued fighting. Arnold explained that they would be using energy in this spar, so Jam limited himself to use the same amount of energy as Arnold.
They only used energy to enhance their strength and speed, not casting out their most destructive abilities. Up to until this point Jam didn't suffered a loss, but after ramping up the fight to energy combat, he lost due to his lack of experience.
While Jam was in the Wolf Range, he did have to use this type of hand-to-hand combat when practicing with his Foundational Beam Magic or Styles of the Cosmic Bow techniques. But, he couldn't hope to be at Arnold's level with just two trips to the Wolf Range.
Jam might have killed thousands of demonic beasts in the Wolf Range, but he had only started his fighting career, with less than a week of work. Arnold on the other hand had been raised in the academy all his life. Who knows how many million, or even billions of beasts he's killed in his time. Moreover, Arnold was the most battle-hungry member of the core disciples class; he would without a doubt have the most combat experience of the bunch.
Jam would be bamboozled at every turn in his fight with Arnold. Arnold had countless tricks, that were now available for him to use, since they could fight with energy. However, Jam wasn't a pushover, he adapted to Arnold's combat style and after losing to one of his tricks, Arnold wouldn't be able to effectively use it again on Jam.
Arnold pursued the Dao of Emotions because of his superpower, but the Dao of Emotions by itself was not capable of producing energy suitable for cultivation. Aside from the Dao of Emotions, Arnold also studied the Dao of Light and the Dao of Darkness. It was very unusual for a cultivator to have affinity for opposing elements, thus Arnold was a very lucky boy.
After several hours of being bamboozled over and over again, Jam learn every single trick Arnold used, as well as how to counter it. Jam and Arnold were now excited as this meant that Jam had adapted to energy-enhanced close-quarters-combat, and could move on to the heavy hitting energy attacks.
However, it was as if god (the religious one, not the one that could be reached by humans through cultivation) wanted to rain on their parade; as they were going to start another round with the more intense energy attacks, The first rays of sunlight peered over the horizon.
Arnold was an expert in controlling his strength, and for an opponent like Jam, that was just now learning to be cunning in his fights, he never once injured Jam severely. Jam could at most be considered equal Arnold in basic hand-to-hand combat and energy-enhanced combat, so there wasn't much to say about Arnold's "injuries."
Arnold and Jam been fighting for almost over a day and the rays of sunlight were proof that it was almost time for class to start. They cleaned themselves up, using their energy to dispel any sweat or dirt on their bodies, then headed towards the classroom. Today was sparring day for the class anyways, so they would be able to continue their fight after class started anyways.
Jam and Arnold took their seats. While waiting for the other students to enter the classroom, Arnold began cultivating his "Self" aspect, ignoring his surroundings. Jam had nothing to do until his clique of Rina, Kirin, Cynthia, and Alex entered the classroom. Once they did enter, time passed by very quickly and the teacher arrived as well.
"Good morning. As all of you know, today is sparring day. All of you take a ticket, there are two pairs of tickets in a set, so the other person with the same ticket as you will be your sparring partner. Since we now have seven students, one "lucky" student will have to spar with me. You know the rules, after you have a fight with all your peers, class will be over."
The students lined up, and when it was Jam's turn, he got ticket number three. Coincidentally, Arnold also had ticket number three. Both Jam and Arnold knew they would spar eventually, but they were both pleasantly surprised to fight each other in the first round.
Jam and Arnold moved to their sparring ring. Unlike their peers, this duo had been "warming up" since the previous day. Jam and Arnold wasted no time, and immediately started a serious fight.
Cecily and all the other students had never seen Jam fight. They took this sparring session as a way to size Jam up and see were he falls on the class in terms of combat prowess. Jam didn't disappoint, in fact his sparring session solidified his status in the core disciples class.
For this fight, Arnold specifically told Jam to treat him like an enemy, he wanted Jam to "go for the kill." Jam knew Arnold's personality, so he used his Styles of the Cosmic Bow and Foundational Beam Magic to the best of his abilities. For the Foundational Beam Magic, Jam would only used the energies of Cosmic Control. This way he would avoid unnecessarily showing his affinity for other energies.
Jam started the fight with his Stellar Bow, using Single Shot and Power Shot. These attacks, which could now instakill Soul Condensing cultivators, were effortlessly deflected by Arnold; Arnold didn't even need to berserk to deflect the attacks. After seeing how futile using only single and power shots would be on Arnold Jam started using Stellar Control as well.
Stellar Control, while being less powerful than Single Shot and Power Shot, would do significant damage to Arnold if it hit him head on. For the first time in the fight, Arnold had to actively dodge Jam's attacks.
Since the start of the fight, Arnold had been showboating by only deflecting Jam's attacks. Now that Arnold had been pressured by the Stellar Arrows, he began to see Jam as a challenge. Arnold now started to shorten the distance between him and Jam in order to fight him with his specialty, close quarters combat.
As a berserker Arnold, could amplify his base strength by several folds; he could, at his peak, fight head to head with Soul Fusion cultivators. However for his play fight with Jam, he only boosted himself to the level of a Soul Condensing cultivator. Arnold thought that Jam would be weaker in a melee fight, after having to give up his bow attacks.
Unfortunately for Arnold, he had underestimated Jam way too much. After Arnold was within punching distance, Jam introduced his Beams into the fight. He began to setup Support Beams around him, and would launch Points and Beams at Arnold. Additionally he would also use his Stellar Control to continue firing stellar arrows at Arnold even without his Stellar Bow.
Arnold was under the fire of Support Beams, Points, Beams, Stellar Arrows, and Jam's enhanced Close Combat. Jam had pushed Arnold to the point of him having to utilize his Dao of Emotions. With all of Jam's attacks, Arnold, even in his maximum level of Berserk, needed to use his skills to fight back.
Arnold called for the aspects of "Wrath" and "Self" to be able to tank Jam's various energy attacks. Wrath was part of the Seven Sins Aspect of the Dao of Emotions, which could further boost Arnold Berserking superpower. Self, was another Aspect of the Dao of Emotions which would heighten Arnold's senses to a super sensitive state, where his reaction time and calculating speed would be enhanced. With all these buffs added on to Arnold's already highly trained body, he could fight with Rebirth Stage Spirit Realm Cultivators.
Arnold needed to use these two skills to dodge more of Jam's attacks, and tank the ones he couldn't dodge. These two skill's would let Arnold not worry about Jam's Stellar Control and Support Beams.
Now Jam had to deal with Arnold's life-threatening punches. While being boosted by his Berserk superpower to its highest current level, Arnold could kill Rebirth Stage Cultivators, so Jam had to enhance his melee attacks to the point of being able to contend with Arnold's level of power.
To resolve this issue, Jam used Points. Instead of casting them out like beams, he used them in an unorthodox manner to create singularities of energy in his hands and elevate his melee combat to Arnold's level.
The fight continued in this manner for about ten minutes, before Jam took a risk and tried to use a fused beam of stellar-celestial energy. Jam had never used this fusion, but with his experience fusing all the permutations of six energies, he believed he could fuse these two energies with relative ease. Jam managed to produce a somewhat stable fused beam after a couple more minutes.
Jam used this attack once Arnold had shown an opening during their fight. Arnold was no easy fight, he barely gave Jam any openings even after having to dodge all the energy attacks Jam was displaying. However, a ten minute long serious fight would utterly drain the energy reserves of any cultivator without a Dao Domain; with the exception of Jam of course.
Jam could at any point replicate a superpower to quickly restore his energy mid fight, not to mention he has a comically large energy reserve in the first place. Cecily stopped Jam's attack, and ended the sparring session.