Kai nodded his head and was about to reply when someone else started talking. Kai looked at the girl who was talking. She had blonde hair and hazel brown eyes. She spoke in a very elegant way. Looking closer, he saw that everything about her exuded countenance and grace, 'Clearly from a prominent family.'
"I will answer this question for you. " The group parted from her too so the two could see each other, "Strength is important, you are right. But it's also very Keshos of you to say that it is the most important. For a Beginner and an Amateur, the only way we can use our powers is with a kickstarter. What happens if you are fighting a Zolma and your kickstarter plus weapons breaks? Or maybe you lose them during a fight and the only way to get them back is by beating the Zolma in front of you. How do you fight? But if you are kickstart compatible you can use each other. This is an extreme example, I know but I'd feel safer in battle knowing I have a failsafe."
"This is one reason but the most important one I'd say is having the ability to amplify your lightning by two. When two people are kickstart compatible, one person is naturally negative and the other is naturally positive. When the negative and positive charge meet they neutralize each other and combine into one creating a stronger neutral charge. That charge can then be used individually or together. In order to do this takes a lot of practice. It takes constant experimentation with charges of different positivity and negativity to create a neutral charge. The charge needs to be neutral because it is the easiest to manipulate for the both of them. Although they can use positive and negative charges they are inherently better at controlling their natural charge. So if the combined charge is even slightly negative or positive one of the two won't be able to control it and the move will fail."
"Despite the difficulty of the move having that option is a huge plus. Haven't you seen the surpasser competitions? Everyone in the top 20 is kickstart compatible. For as you rank up you can control more of your elemental power and then that same power is being doubled. It's too good to give up! We are aiming to be King and Queen. The path is not easy as there can only be one King and one Queen. The future King and Queen might not even come from this building or even this country. Knowing the difficulty of the task at hand why would you not want the best partner? It's not being selfish it's being reasonable. So yes being kickstart compatible is definitely necessary."
Kai was stunned but he didn't show it. Instead, he smiled at the blonde girl as if she had said what he would have said. Kai could answer the question, he knew the two reasons why being kickstart compatible is important but not in such detail. It was a great lesson for him too. But in the end, her explanation left him with more questions than answers, 'If everyone can manipulate negative and positive charges why are repulsion and attraction arts rare? Seems to me that all you need to do is put negative with negative and boom you get repulsion. But clearly, that is not all there is to it. I really need to go see a surpasser library. The online articles don't explain in depth enough.'
After hearing the news the girl was satisfied with the answer so everyone returned to a square formation. Once they did Kai cleared his throat, "Okay so now that everyone is on board with the compatibility test please form a single line. Then one by one you come to the front and hold my hand. If we are compatible then go to the table and draw a tick next to the box you drew to sign in. Once you did all that find a place to wait for further instructions. Please don't huddle near high traffic areas. So stay away from the entrance. Thank you."
All the girls formed a single line. It looked like a 'U' then one by one the girls nervously walked forward. They hated how this part was out of their control and ultimately came down to luck. Strength had no bearing so it didn't matter if you graduated first in your class… Each girl would stand in front of Kai. Then he would extend his hand as if they were going to shake hands. Once their hands were together they would both try and use their powers. If they could use their powers they were kickstart compatible and that means they passed. If not they failed…
One by one, girls stayed and left. The girls that stayed were beaming. While the ones that left felt thwarted and bitter . There were far more people that failed than passed. Because of that, the thought of cheating flowed in the minds of some. However, in the end, no one did as they were all serious about becoming Queen. After everything was settled of the 642 only 193 were left.
After test 1 was done, Kai told them to wait outside. Then the girls that were outside waiting came inside the building. He explained to them what they should do so they signed themselves in. Then he told them that there was a compatibility test. Once that was done of the 623 girls only 181 remained. Then the girls outside came inside making a total of 374 out of 1265 that passed test 1.
The girls then stood in a square formation and Kai came to the front with Emily Frey, "Since everyone here is kickstart compatible with me let's begin stage 2. Just like stage one, your combat prowess isn't being tested however, it can determine a pass or fail. After the admin go through the list of names to see who is still here; you will be matched with someone and you two will spar. We will read your name and the person you are sparring with. Once your name is read enter one of the 8 rings or the one that is empty. What we are testing is your fighting style. Your fighting style does not need to be the same as mine. It doesn't even need to be similar; however, it must be compatible. We can't be stepping on each other's toes the whole time. My tutor, Emily Frey will be in charge of this test…" He said and pointed to Emily, "She is a Razak Rank 4 Lightning-Water 2nd Generation Surpasser. She knows my fighting style well and will be watching you fight. If she thinks you are compatible she will call your ring and number.
"Each ring is marked with a number from 1-8. If you are fighting in ring 1 but you start on the left, you are ring 1, 1 if you are on the right you are ring 1, 2. The same with any ring, so ring 4 will have a ring 4, 1 and a ring 4, 2. If she shouts your ring and number stop the fight and let the next two spar. If you don't hear your ring and number then kindly find your way to the exit. Since we are testing compatibility two people can fail at the same time. In a case like that, she will just say, 'ring 5' if there is no number attached both of you were seen as incompatible."
"Two people can pass too, in that case, she will say, 'Ring 3, 1 and Ring 3, 2'. Another thing to remember, beating your opponent doesn't mean you will pass. However, losing miserably is an immediate fail. And don't worry about her not being able to see you fight. She will be using lightning hyperdrive so she will be able to view all 8 fights at the same time. Since our level of fighting is far below hers… Once you pass this round remember to tick in the next empty box. If you have any questions please fire away. "
But nobody had any questions, "Alright then let's get the show on the road."
Once the list was set up 16 names were called out and they went to spar. Since Emily Frey is at Razak level she can generate lightning by herself without the use of a kickstarter. So with electricity flowing through her she watched the girls spar with hawk-like eyes. She was merciless in the way she judged. If she thought you were even slightly incompatible she would send you home. Time after time, Emily Frey would call out, "Ring 4… Ring 1… Ring 7…" Once she did two people would be seen making their way to the exit. There was only one time where two individuals of the same ring passed. The rest of the people passed in singles.
After everyone had sparred with someone, Emily Frey returned to Kai's side. Kai was now standing and looking at the girls who were left. Of the 374 only 147 were left. Kai quizzically looked at Emily Frey, 'Maybe she was too brutal in the way she assessed,' However, she just looked at him innocently as if she did nothing wrong. Kai sighed, 'I guess she knows best though.' Then he looked at the girls in front of him, "This is the last part. Now we will finally be testing strength." He said while looking at the brunette and the blonde from before, "But instead of facing each other you will be facing me. Each of you will get a chance to spar with me. Then I will decide if you pass or not. If you pass then we will continue tomorrow again. Tomorrow a winner might be crowned. Remember to tick the box if you passed."
Once they understood, Kai walked into a ring while stretching his arms. Then he looked at the girls around him, "Who wants to go first?" So a girl walked into the ring while the rest formed a line so that once she was done the next was already decided. Kai had been vigorously training with his tutor for almost a month so he could now use 2200 of his PI. He only had 200 PI left until he could fight at full power. He still had ways to go in terms of how much elemental power he could muster but he wasn't afraid of effort...
One after one, Kai fought them and won. However, he is not god and did rest in between. His break time took an accumulative amount of one hour. Because of that, this part took four hours.
Once he had fought every one of the 147, 50 remained. By now it was already 6 pm so he said goodbye to the girls and told them to be here at 10 am tomorrow morning. Then he thanked Carmen and Co for helping him today. He also promised to stick them all for a burger and fries for their help. Once almost everyone was gone he wanted to go home too. He had an exhausting day. Although it wasn't as strenuous as his training with Emily Frey; it took its toll in areas that weren't as trained. Telling people they aren't good enough isn't easy…
Kai picked up all the litter that was lying around in the spar court. Then he put all the items that people forgot in his bag. He would bring them tomorrow and return them to their rightful owner. Then he took all the papers off the walls as well as the ones on the table. He crumbled the ones that were on the wall and put the ones that were on the table in his bag. He left the tables as is; the personnel would take that away.
Kai looked at the spar court and saw everything was clean. Now he could finally go home. It was 6:30 and it was just him and Emily Frey in the spar court. Since Emily Frey originally came from Keshos, she didn't have a car, neither did she want to rent one. She took a taxi to get here in the morning and once they were done training, Kai would take her home. Kai put his black school bag on his back and looked at Emily Frey, "I'm ready, let's go."
She lifted one eyebrow, "Where do you think you are going? You didn't train yesterday and now you want to skip today too. No ways. Training starts now."
Kai almost collapsed when he heard her. He was mentally fatigued and she still wanted him to train. Kai had tried to argue even though he feared the spoon. But she didn't care, "You are mentally fatigued not physically. So you are still capable of training."
In the end, he gave up and complied. There was no winning this argument. So he asked, "What do you want me to do?"
She smirked devilishly, "I want you to spar with me."
Kai closed his eyes and put his right hand on his forehead. This was literally the one thing he did not want to hear. Kai hated getting hit by the spoon but sparing with Emily Frey was the same as getting multiple beating by a spoon. Emily Frey would always coat her hand with lightning and then whack him around. It was hurtful in more than one way. She liked to call this 'pride training'. Kai had pride and that was a good thing. It's because of his pride that he was able to keep training despite not seeing results. It was because of his pride that he is able to train his body until he can't walk. It's because of pride that he has so much resolve. However, too much of anything is bad, even a good thing. So she did this to show him how small he actually is. She praised him when he did well but also showed him that there is so much more.
Kai knew this but he still hated 'pride training'. She liked to say it was for him but he knew she loved whacking him. It was especially fun for her when Kai thought he had a chance then she would pull some never seen before move and catch him off guard. This was also one of the reasons Kai could bear the humiliation. Because she exposed him to different things. Things that if performed by someone of his level he would now be able to see coming.
Kai ran through the benefits of sparring with her trying to psyche himself up. Once he was ready he stood in the ring. She was already waiting for him. Kai took a deep breath and then focused every ounce of mental power on her. There was no slipping when it came to her. Let your mind wander for even a split second and she would whack you to oblivion.
Emily Frey took off her magenta rubber bangle and then showed it to Kai. She was going to throw it in the air and once it hit the ground the match would begin. Kai took out his kickstarter; he still had his eyes focused on her. He didn't need to look at the bangle. He would hear it when it landed on the ground. Kai pressed his kickstarter and started amplifying the lightning inside him. Previously he could only control four cycles. He could now control 16 and this was not the limit. His speed of amplification had drastically increased too. Kai was planning on going all out from the start. There was no room for mercy with her. He was not going to let her warm up. It was full on from the get-go.
Emily Frey looked at Kai and saw he was ready to go so she threw the bangle in the air. Up it went until its velocity reached 0 then it came back down and hit the ground commencing the battle.
Immediately Kai charged in, he was revved up to the brim with power. Kai punched towards her angelic face with no hesitation. However, with her hands behind her back, she casually moved her neck avoiding the punch. Kai followed the punch with a right hook, 'If she tries to dodge the same way as last time she will get hit,' he thought smirking.
Emily Frey saw the hook coming and then smiled and took a step back. Dodging the punch by a millimetre. Had Kai not known of her personality he would have thought that her barely dodging it was her on the ropes. However, he knew it was a trap. One that would lead to great humiliation should he choose to pursue it.
Kai took his kickstarter and let electricity flow inside him. He still had but he needed more. If she was going to let him charge up then that was on her. Kai continued to cycle up to 16 then off he went. This time he aimed for her abdomen. He made a fist and the punched with all he had. He was about 3.5 cm away from reaching her. 3cm was her comfort zone if she wasn't trying to lure you in she would usually dodge or block before the 3cm zone. Kai knew this all too well. She would usually dodge when his hand was round about 3.25cm away.
At 3.30cm Kai opened his fist fully and then put all his coated lightning on his open hand. The coated lightning began forming on his fingertips and then extended like an extra-long hand. Kai had been doing additional coating training at home every night. This was one of the moves he practised. He designed this move specifically to touch her which he has never done before. In order to accomplish that feat, he had to catch her off guard. He knew there was no way he could get her when she was prepared. She would always dodge before 3cm and if she didn't it was a trap. Kai had to admit she was brilliant with mind games. Maybe there was a time when he really got the best of her but because of who she is he decided not to pursue. Possibly wasting an opportunity but rather safe than sorry, he thought.
Kai continued to change the amplified lightning into lightning aura and extend his coating. There were two crucial elements to the success of this move. The speed at which he could complete the coat and the length of the coat. It had to be fast because otherwise, she would see it and then just dodge it. It also had to be longer than 3.25cm as that was when she would dodge. Kai had been training these two elements every night and last night he finally reached the required skill level. Quickly Kai infused more lightning into lightning aura extending its length to 3cm. While he was extending his coat he also thrust his hand forward. The sudden emergence of the lightning aura caught her off guard. Kai had not shown this level of proficiency in training, nothing near it to be frank. Seeing the aura growing at an alarming pace, she moved backwards dodging the now 3.5 cm lightning aura.
Kai saw her evade the aura, however, he expected this and continued to increase its length while he drove his hand forward. This time he put almost everything he could in the aura. So it instantly increased in size. It was now 5cm. The speed of the sudden increase was faster than she could move back. So with a flabbergasted expression, Emily Frey watched as the lightning aura touched her.
Seeing his lightning aura finally reach her, he exclaimed in joy. Kai knew that all he managed to do was touch her. It was not like he finally beat her or even landed a punch. Yet, he was satisfied. Kai continued to move his fist forward as he did the lightning aura drilled deeper into her clothes. It was a weird sensation as if her body was formless but also rigid.
Kai had been fighting with Emily Frey for long enough to know that if something doesn't feel right, it isn't. That's when he felt a presence behind him. This was weird because she was still in front of him, he could see her. But moments later, something happened he didn't expect. She appeared behind him and then whispered in his ear, "That's not how you coat lightning. Let me show you how it's done."
Coming out of his shock, he wondered how she was behind him and in front of him. He knew it wasn't an after-image, he actually felt his aura piercing something other than air. That's when the body double of hers molted into arcs of lightning. Because Kai was connected to it, the lightning entered him and stunned him. He could not move a muscle.
That's when she appeared in front of him again. This time her hands were coated with thick lightning aura. It was long and thick like a plank. Both her hands were coated. Then she looked at Kai and snickered. This was her favourite part, giving hope and then taking it from you. Now it was high time for Kai to get a beating. She charged a bit of lightning and then poof she reappeared right in front Kai. She was going to smack him silly; this was pride training after all. She came in with a right hand then a left, a right, a right and lastly a left-handed overhead chop. She put vigour into each attack but to her surprise, none reached the target…
Kai was panicking when he thought he was going to face another beating. The pain it caused was horrible. It did mental and physical damage. She had waited for the best moment to attack. When her opponent thought they had won. Still panicking Kai, calmed himself down because panicking helped no one. He saw her disappear and then braced for the beating head on. But something strange happened when she attacked, it felt really familiar. Then Kai's body absorbed the lightning she had created with her clone and used it as a kickstarter. Then he dodged to the left then to the right, right, left and then he took a step backwards. Kai's body flowed so naturally, he looked formless.
When Emily saw Kai evade the move instead of being peeved she was ecstatic. She screamed, "Finally! You see, I told you your body would be able to react properly. Whenever I gave you a beating, I did it in the exact same way. But I did it in a manner just a bit faster than you could perceive. I needed your body to feel it. And now it did, it just reacted and dodged the move. Like I said, instincts refined by experience. It is so much more dependable than raw instincts. I'm also glad you realised you could absorb the lightning. I purposefully left you with a lightning clone so you could charge up. Lightning clone is not a move you use against a fellow lightning wielder unless you change the nature of the lightning to something they can't control. I can change the nature but of course, this is training so I didn't... I'm so proud of you!" She said beaming with joy. This smile was a true angelic smile with no hints of deceit.
Once the moment had settled they both noticed there was a guest in the spar court.
"Oh don't mind me; I'm just here for my scarf. I left it here so I came to get it back."
Kai looked at the girl and it was the blonde girl from before, "How does it look?"
"Like a scarf of course." She said raising her one eyebrow.
Kai chuckled, "No man, give me the design, length etc. I need to make sure it's yours."
"Oooh, uhm, it's red with black blocks and white parallel lines."
So Kai dug into his school bag and then gave it back to her.
She took it then she looked at Kai seriously, "It seems you were holding back on us today." She had seen Kai dodge the moves she couldn't even see so that's why she thought so. Kai did hold back though but not to the extent that she thought.
The blonde girl walked closer to Kai and then whispered, "I'm going to let you in on a little secret… I held back too," Then she walked away in reverse and then shook her scarf to say thank you. Then she gracefully twirled 180 degrees and walked out the spar court.