24 Not The Best?
"Alright, that's enough." Cecily teleported in front of Jam's Beam to cancel it completely. If she hadn't stopped Jam's attack, he might have caused Arnold some serious injuries.
All the students were absolutely shocked at Jam's prowess. Arnold was arguably the strongest person in the class, only technically surpassed by Jared. However, everyone understood that Arnold was fighting against his total counter. Still, that didn't excuse Arnold's loss. Jam's multiple long range supporting attacks heavily suppressed Arnold, who excelled at melee combat. Jam's power showed that he could hold his own in a head on confrontation against Arnold in his max power.
Jam and Arnold were the only two people fighting, as everyone wanted to see Jam fight. Only after Jam's fight finished did the others start their sparring sessions. As Jam and Arnold were recovering, Jam started analyzing how the rest of his classmates fought.
What surprised Jam the most, was that most of his classmates showed several types of energies. He thought that they would be hiding their talents, like he himself had. After talking to Cecily, Jam realized that it didn't matter if others knew you could use several types of energies; in a real fight you won't hold back, so you might as well not hold back (on using different types of energies) when sparring.
Rina's first sparring partner was Cynthia. Rina used yin fire to fight Cynthia, using her flames to cover herself and her weapon. Rina also pursued the Dao of Swords, so she fused her yin flames with her sword as her primary form of combat.
Cynthia's superpower was known as Stellar Roc's Descent, which is one of the inherited superpowers from a special mythical beast bloodline. With Stellar Roc's Descent, Cynthia had the powers of a Roc, being able to control the wind, space, and stellar energies. She used her wind and space powers to move and attack with her halberd, and used her stellar energy to defend and provide support.
Kirin sparred with Jared. Kirin also had a special bloodline; in fact, he was named after the mythical beast of his bloodline, the Frigid Kirin. Kirin's superpower gave him unparalleled control over thunder energy, and his bloodline also gave him ice powers. He used thunder to attack and move, and ice to defend, most of the time; sometimes Kirin would mix up his attacks and only use ice attacks for a while.
Jared was the "most" talented of the core disciples. By merit of his Disintegration and Void Detection at his disposal, Jared was able to pursue a total of 4 Daos: The Dao of Time, Space, Chaos, and Swords. Jared was undoubtedly insanely powerful, however, he was a glass canon. All of Jared's Daos pursued attacking. At least the way Jared used them, showed him abandoning defense and support, all in favor of displaying the most destructive damage possible.
Alex had to spar with Cecily, being the odd one out, in this first pick of sparring sessions. While all the other students were having what seemed like life or death battles, Alex was just being instructed. Against their Saint Realm teacher, absolutely no one in the class could hope to match her in a real sparring session.
Alex had a superpower aligned with the Earth Dao, Foundational Domain. Along with his defense-oriented earth energy, Alex also used a Lance and Shield as his weapons of choice, further augmenting his defense. Alex is kind of like the antithesis to Jared; a total tank.
In this first round of sparring, Rina beat Cynthia, Jared beat Kirin, and Alex… he earned some valuable experience. Everyone started rotating sparring partners, and over the course of five hours, every student had fought with one another, as well as with the teacher.
After fighting with each of his classmates, Jam improved significantly. Jam never lost a fight, but he didn't have an easy time gaining victory over his classmates. Whenever Jam was in a tough situation, he would show an additional technique, and by the time he fought with all his classmates, he had shown all of his techniques.
On a superficial level, Jam appeared be the most powerful member of his class, but on the flip side, he had the least experience. To truly find out who was the strongest of the class, non-life-threatening battles like these sparring session would not suffice; No one would dare use their truly killer moves in a friendly sparring session.
In the end, these battles were very helpful to Jam, as he would in every fight learn how to counter various strategies and methods of combat.
With Rina, Kirin, and Jared, he learned how to focus on defend effectively. With Alex, Arnold, and Cynthia, Jam learned how to attack, counter and support himself in a balanced fashion. Cecily taught him the most out of everyone in the class, constantly exposing his flaws and weak spots as he tried to fight her with all his abilities.
Cecily took extreme measures to snuff out Jam's habit of overwhelming his opponents with his energy attacks. The only reason Jam could beat his classmates was certainly not because of his tactics, rather it was because he could perpetually bombard his opponents with energy attacks, such as beams or arrows, in an effort to wear down his opponents.
To make Jam a better fighter, he would need to stop relying on this tactic, and learn to fight in various ways. If this habit had not been curbed by Cecily now, Jam would be fine until he met an opponent stronger than him, who also used the same tactics as him.
On a side note, Jam's energy reserves had brought out total disgust from his classmates and his teacher. They were all deeply disturbed by how much energy he could unleash as well as the fact that he never needed to take breaks; especially Arnold. Arnold personally knew that Jam had been fighting with him since the previous day..
Jam had only fought with his classmates for less than five hours, and while he didn't instantly become a fighting expert, his style of fighting had taken several steps towards evolving.
"Alright, now that everyone has sparred, class is over."
With his class being dismissed, Jam said goodbye to his classmates and prepared to head home. All of a sudden, a voice message was transmitted to Jam's mind.
"Stay after class."
Jam did as the message told him to do, awkwardly staying in the classroom after indicating that he would be leaving. After all his classmate left, Jam was left alone with Cecily.
"Do you really think that you're the strongest person in this class?" Cecily asked Jam with no sarcasm in her tone. She wanted Jam to answer truthfully.
"No. None of us are fighting to the death, so I doubt my classmates used their most powerful attacks. But then again, I also didn't use my strongest attack..."
"Well, it's good that you understand. Anyways, now that you've sparred with the class I'm inclined to register you in the power rankings. Before you fought today, I didn't think I would need you register you for the power rankings, considering that you've only been formally training for six weeks."
As the teacher of the core disciples class, Cecily had access to Jam's background. Even if Jam's talent could raise his status to that of a core disciples, that status would not instantaneously make him an expert; at least, it shouldn't have. Cecily had a hard time believing that Jam would be strong enough to join the power rankings, after knowing of how long he had been formally cultivating.
"What are the power rankings." This wasn't a term Jam was familiar with, even after reading through the general knowledge jade slips from the library. Jam reasoned that the power rankings were a part of inside information for the academy. Otherwise, there wouldn't be a reason for him to be lacking this kind of information.
"It's a leaderboard that shows where you score in terms of strength. Right now, I'll need you to show me your strongest attack. That is, unless you want me to register you at the strength you displayed in today's sparring sessions."
Jam expressed his agreement, before telling Cecily the damage his attack could do. Cecily didn't believe Jam's claim that his attack could instakill Rebirth Stage experts. However, she didn't want to take any chances, and moved Jam into a better sparring field, one that could handle the power Jam claimed to have.
Jam initiated his True Demon Form, then demonified his arms, hands, and fingers. Then he charged up a demonic-space Beam to the highest concentration he could endure with relative stability. When Jam had tested this attack in the field, he only charged it to the point where his demonic energy would let him fire it off; this time he purposefully charged his beam to the absolute max he could hold before firing.
Jam's attack landed on the middle of the sparring ring's floor creating a crater spanning the entire ring's area, digging into the ground by at least ten meters. Jam couldn't fly yet, but he could use his energy to slow down his falling speed. So, before firing his attack, he jumped into the air, discharged his attack, then slowly floated down into the chasm he had created.
Cecily was in the sparring ring with Jam when he was charging his attack, but after seeing the amount of energy Jam was using, she knew the power of his attack was not at the level he had previously state, it was higher; in her words it was "way the fuck higher" than what he mentioned.
Cecily was still flying in the air when she disabled the sparring ring's barrier and let Jam jump out of the crater he had created.
After a short moment of relief from the fact that she had taken Jam into a secure enough sparring ring, Cecily told Jam his rank in the power rankings.
"Well, from that attack just now you have solidified your rank at second place for the core disciples class as well as the Mortal Realm disciples."
"What?! Is there really someone in the Mortal Realm that can surpass that level of strength?"
"Yep, and he's your classmate; Its Jared."
'Oh. That makes sense then. Jared is after all in the Soul Condensing Stage, and I still need to fix my Dao Palace. I'm sure that after I reform my Dao Palace, I'll be much closer to Jared's strenght.'
After reassuring himself, Jam stopped dwelling on this matter. Jam finished his conversation with Cecily, then headed to his house.