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Aether sat on his throne. It had been used by all the previous masters of Dragon Gunfire as a sign of their leadership, but to him it was a chair.
"Mother!" called out Aether.
A young looking woman walked into the room. Miriam Cade, guild ace of Dragon Gunfire. "You called son?"
"I just wanted to see if you were here," said Aether. Aether's pet Blizzardvern, Winters, walked up to him. He made a sound akin to purring as Aether stroked his back. "I can sense something's coming. Whether it's good, bad, or something in between, change will come to this world. And Dragon Gunfire needs to be ready to face it."
"How do you know?" asked Miriam.
"The eternano levels in Caelum have been in flux for sometime now. I'm afraid that the threat we've been fearing might be amassing power."
"Well what do you plan to do?"
Aether smiled "What any rational man would plan to do: train. Getting more guild members isn't enough now. We need more power on our side. And I've called in just the right person that might be able to get me to break a sweat.
As Aether finished his sentence, the wind almost responded to his plea as the door open with a large bang. The ominous aura was now towered by an aura of warmth and happiness. The sky danced as the peaceful rays of the sun's light pierced through the fleecy clouds casting a light that was neither too pale nor too strong. The ground began shaking with the rise of ethernano levels, all of which originated from one man alone. Two shadowy figures made their way towards Aether as they entered the grounds that are considered as holy to those who are the members of the guild known as Dragon Gunfire.
As the light shined on them and particularly their faces, it became clear who they were in the first place. First entered a rather short stature and slender cat-like man with two tails on his back with his partner who appeared behind him moving in a lethargic manner. His partner, was a lean yet well built tall mage with spiky, medium-long red hair which were like the bright morning sun, dancing in the August breeze, like fire and his heterochromic eyes sparkled. He smiled as he revealed himself to be none other than, Seraph Kinmichi; the Metal Man (金属男, Kinzoku Otoko).
Seraph and Nekomata walked towards Aether as Seraph gestured his hand asking, "Is this where you plan to spar, master? I would hate to see this place collapse!" As he completed his sentence which was further emphasized with a hand gesture, the ring on his hand shined brilliantly almost reflecting his enthusiasm while Nekomata looked at Winters and purred at him.
"No," said Aether, rising from his throne, "I picked the perfect place for us to fight. That way neither of us will need to hold back." Aether led the two, along with Winters, to the exit of Nidavellir. He placed his hand on the Wyvern, and sprouting from his hand was greenery, forming into the shapes of three saddles. "Well, hop aboard."
"G-Green..M-Mag--? Fascinating! Green Magic, the same magic once used by one of the Four Kings of Ishgar? No wonder he's strong", Seraph thought to himself as he paused for a moment as if he was formulating something but soon enough, go on board along with Nekomata as they were soon riding a giant tree like thing that moved at great speeds.
After traversing a great amount of distance with the help of greenery, Winters flew the trio far, but it only took a few minutes before they landed on an island, floating in the middle of the ocean. Upon landed, Aether dismounted. "Good boy Winters, I'll summon you again, if needed." Winters roared, and flew off of the island. "I created this island myself. There's no people or wildlife so you don't need to worry about holding back." He turned towards Seraph and Nekomata. His blue magic aura surged around him, with the occasional bolt of lightning whizzing by as his aura caused a few tremors as they crushed the ground around him and electrified the impurities in the air. "So should we get started?" he added.
Witnessing his Master's actions, Seraph looked at Nekomata and then back at Aether. "Neko, its gonna get dangerous, I suggest you watch this one from above, buddy! Keep your distance." With that sentence, Nekomata began levitating in air as he smiled and ascended; one could describe this action with the immortal words, "Up, Up and away". "This is gonna be good!" Nekomata exclaimed as he flew out of the range of the two great wizards. Within a blink of an eye, Seraph became clad in a thick, particularly dense crimson aura with black outline. His eye's began glowing as the ground beneath him started shaking and his very presence casted an eerie ambience, as his power was so great that it could easily evoke and increase the fear of those who witnessed it, even causing high-ranking mage's to be instilled with great fear just with his mere presence. The density of his magic power released several shockwaves and heated the atmosphere around him as his aura grew, towering that of his Master's aura. Seraph stopped and looked his master in the eyes declaring, "There's no way my aura is superior to yours, its not even been five minutes and you're already holding back, eh? At least bring it to this level or it won't be any fun!" as he slightly increased his power again. "Bring it on, old man!" However, noticing the situation, Seraph moved his left hand forward forming a magic seal as a shadowy figure appeared out of it suddenly dashed towards the jungles.
Before Seraph could react, Aether was already behind him. "Let's see if you can make me." He quickly collected energy into his palm, creating a sphere of condensed energy which radiated huge amount of fire and light. "Lightning Flame Dragon's Spiraling Sphere!" He forced the sphere into Seraph's back, sending him spinning away quite a distance. "By the way, I'm only twenty-two."
As the Spiraling Sphere hit Seraph, his body turned back into nothing but solid metal and then suddenly disintegrated. Thus, what Aether hit was merely a doppelganger that was instantaneously yet covertly deployed through the use of Metal-Make. Within a flash of second, the real Seraph appeared directly above Aether with his his hands cupped as he thrusted them towards Aether. A giant spiked hammer made out of metal came crashing down directly on Aether as Seraph shouted, "Metal Make: Giant Electrum Hammer!" The metal hammer crashed against the ground almost instantly which resulted in the creation of a gigantic impact followed by a small shockwave. Due to the spikes present on the construct, it would easily be capable of piercing one's flesh. Seraph landed as he made his first move and prepared himself by taking out two Magic-paper shurikens. "Oh? Twenty-two? I am sixteen and a half by the way! Also, you should have noticed the clone." he added further mocking his teacher.
Aether appeared next to Seraph. "And you should've realized I was already gone." Fire and Lightning collected inside of Aether's hands. "I'm a lot faster than you think. Lightning Flame Dragon's Electron Cannon!" Aether blasted him with his technique, sending him flying away from the intense heat and force.
Concurrently, Seraph had prepared himself and saw Aether moving as he placed his right palm over his left fist causing a magic-seal to immediately appear and said, "Metal-Make!" Before he could finish his spell, his master appeared before him delivering his speech but noticing that he was busy doing so, Seraph took this situation to his advantage and completed his spell, "Osmium-Steel Shield...". This caused a ginormous shield like wall to appear between him and the incoming attack. The shield made of Osmium and Carbonsteel could easily handle any level of impact force and much to Aether's surprise, yet another move of his was rendered useless. "Osmium has the greatest density and is super hard, that's why I use it to protect against great forces. You must be wondering why the carbon-steel? It absorbs your fire magic and as you hit it with your spell which was part fire-magic, it absorbed it and grew stronger and harder. All you did was raise my defenses. As for the lightning? Did you forget the Earth is like a giant dump-yard? I just used my metal construct to ground your lightning attack!" exclaimed Seraph as he explained his move to his Master. Seraph moved quickly as he pressed his middle finger on the base of the thumb while keeping the thumb on middle finger as well as keeping the other three fingers straight. Two comparatively large magic seals appeared above and below Aether. Undoubtedly, this was none other the fearsome Amaterasu Formula 2; while not instantaneous and quite time consuming, this spell was nonetheless effective. The spell creates a net of volatile magic energy, which initially entangles his opponents and then causes a large explosion around all of them.
Aether smirked. "You're really trying hard to get me to work. Fortunately, I've been here before." A series of runes created a shield around Aether, completely protecting him from the blast. "Jutsu Shiki. Anyone within this enchantment's barriers cannot be harmed by any magical attacks. Unfortunately it only guards against one attack." The runes turned red and shattered, but this didn't matter. Aether had already sensed exactly where Seraph was. He transformed his body into lightning and fire, and at blinding speeds flew to his location, delivering a strong lightning and fire enhanced punch to the face, simultaneously connecting foliage to his body.
"Oh, I am not trying! That was just work out. Now, the fun begins!" exclaimed the young Dragon Slayer as his voiced echoed through the forest region of the Island as the one Aether landed his punch on was obviously another dummy which smirked at Aether while several cracks appeared on its body from taking the spell head on. However, before dissipating, the metal-clone took out two magic tags; a water one and an air one to be precise, as he deployed them in combination. Within a blink of an eye, a small explosion caused by, an air-enhanced water blast, occurred casting a smokescreen over the area which gave the real Seraph the opportunity to suppress his magic power and as he began moving within the jungle with absolute stealth. "Think of this as, Hide and Seek 2.0!" his voice echoed. Further confusing those in his vicinity.
Aether easily took the explosion, it was nothing compared to what he had endured in the past. Something changed in Aether's eyes. "I hate Hide and Seek. I don't like it when people treat my fights as a game." He closed his eyes and sniffed. He sensed the magical energy of Seraph and flew towards him again. He stopped roughly ten meters away from him. "Treat this like a game and you might get hurt. Runes appeared around Seraph. "Those only work on actual mages, which means you're the real deal. Anyone that steps inside those runes are marked, so that they cannot hide their true selves from sensory abilities. A purple rune appeared on Seraph's chest. Now that that's all cleared up. Aether created a small orb, and threw it at Seraph. It was slow moving, and seemed like a rather weak attack. "Lightning Flame Dragon's Blue Bomb!" The bomb quickly expanded, creating a large spherical explosion, and leaving a large crater where it took place.
Seraph was confident that his Master won't be able to track him because of him concealing his magic power and his unique mutation. As an offshoot to his induced mutation, Seraph aside from having an extremely pale skin and heterochromic eyes also had no scent. His mutation caused his body to give off no natural body odor both with or without sweat; making it hard for his enemies to hunt him down. However, soon he was left dumbstruck seeing how his Master found his location almost instantly. He looked below to notice a purple symbol, what appeared to be a rune and he wondered how did he end up getting marked until his mentor explained it to him. "Tsk, you really are the master, aren't you?" commented Seraph as he figured, it was about time he got serious. Before rushing in, he appeared once again with the same shadowy figure from before, much behind Seraph hiding in the foliage out of Aether's line of sight as it sighed. However, after his Master's flashy and cursory attack which seemingly left a large crater behind, he disappeared from Aether's line of sight. "You're not the only Dragon Slayer here!" declared Seraph as he appeared floating, next to his Master with his ring shining and creating a forming seal. "Foam Wave!" he shouted as a large volume of foam-like bubbles were immediately launched towards Aether. However, this assault only served as a diversion for the real attack as Seraph speed dashed behind Aether with his hand set ablaze and attempted to punch him from behind.
Aether swiped his hand in front of him, easily blowing away the bubbles with his magical energy alone. But he felt the flux of magical energy behind him, and caught Seraph's fist before he could connect with his attack. He inhaled deeply, devouring the fire on Seraph's fist. "Thanks for the meal." He glared into Seraph's eyes, a glare that made even other Dragon Slayers tremble in fear. He squeezed with his hand, delivering enough force to Seraph's arm to crush something harder than rock. "I had heard that you were a Dragon Slayer. Your words confirm my suspicions." He delivered a lightning and fire enhanced punch to his face, and followed up with several consecutive melee attacks, still holding onto Seraph's arm. He then threw Seraph high into the air. "Lightning Flame Dragon's Roar!" He fired his breath attack at him from the ground.
As his hand was caught by Aether, Seraph was taken by surprise by the sheer brute force of his Master. "Using Fire Magic against a dual element Dragon Slayer who uses fire---Damn, I was being reckless!" he thought to himself as Aether held onto his hand with crushing force but never did he imagine, Seraph was used to such level of force due to his extremely harsh childhood which required him to fight all sorts of tutors from across the globe, monsters, demons and even his father; the later being physically much more superior to the likes of Aether. With the first of the many magic-enhanced making its contact, Seraph grew restless as he turned his own wrist tightly gripping onto his Master's wrist with equal or even greater crushing force as he began matching him blow for blow for quite sometime, by constantly delivering extremely punishing blows with nothing but his raw strength which were several times of the strength of a normal Dragon Slayer. However, as Seraph was overwhelmed due to the sheer number of attacks in successions and his inability to deliver as many blows at the same time due to not enhancing them with magic. As he was fling up into the air, he wasted no time in calling forth the power of a Dragon. For he had summoned the Iron Dragon's power, a testament to which were the many layered jagged iron scales, which looked akin to that of the Iron Scales' of a First Generation Dragon Slayer, yet were somewhat more ghastly-looking specially with the presence of two demonic horns; something Gajeel did not have. Seraph then literally kicked the air below him, moving away from the trajectory of Aether's roar and then kicked the air beneath his feet again to hurl himself towards Aether with tremendous speed, who was on the ground. It became obvious, that his magic power had increased again and with the increased offensive and defensive power granted by the scales of the Iron Dragon, Seraph prepared his fist as he attempted to punch Aether with his might.
Aether noticed this, but wasn't worried. "Dragon Slayer's Secret Art - Fourth State: Plasma Armor!" Almost instantaneously, Aether rocketed up towards Seraph preparing to strike him in the chest with an open palm. "Congratulations Seraph, you forced me to use of my Dragon Slayer's Secret Arts!"
Seraph charged in as he fell from the sky with amazing speeds, almost comparable to that of a speeding jet plane. During his rapid descent, he did not waste any time but concentrated his fist and focusing all his might to a single point he instantly created a massive amount of air pressure, he then suddenly thrusted his fist towards Aether. This launched the air pressure that has been building up, in the shape of a giant Dragon-Head; the air pressure continued to condense as it moved towards Aether rapidly, while focusing its power to a singular point for maximum power. Soon, the air pressure blast clashed against Aether's attack.
The Adamantine Dragon Strikes Back
Aether was surprised by this sudden development. No one had ever matched his Plasma Armor before. Not wanting to risk losing the power struggle, Aether did the smartest thing he could do. He moved out the way, allowing Seraph's momentum to carry him to the ground, but not before wrapping his body up in long vines that would drag across the ground. Aether landed on the ground, waiting for his next attack.
Seraph landed whilst creating a small crater from the impact as he looked at Aether as he was wrapped in vines. "Time to get serious, eh? Are you finally planning to go all out because I am not going to hold back anymore!!" declared Seraph as his nature of magic changed once again and suddenly, his Iron Dragon Scales morphed. Soon his Tetsuryū no Uroko transformed into Kongōryū no Uroko, better known as, Adamantine Dragon's Scales which had earned him the name of "Adamantine Dragon" in the first place. His demonic horns grew more prominent and sharper, with his teeth becoming jagged and armored with the same metal his body is clad in. His scales became more ghastly in nature and soon two wrist blades grew out of his forearm two spikes over each eye, a slit stretching across his mouth, three gaps on each of its cheeks and one additional gap on its chin. Soon, the lower part of his mouth became no longer visible as a face guard covered it. His eye's gave off an extraordinary spark as his transformation was complete, for he was clad in a golden armor vaguely reminiscent of his original Iron Dragon Scales. With his horns, wrist blades and sharp drill like edges on his elbows, Seraph cut off the vines of his body. "Adamantine, the metal of Gods. The strongest metal ever made--- with this, I shall show you what it means to be a Kinmichi!!" screamed Seraph as he dashed towards his opponent at much greater speeds than any human eye could follow.
Fortunately for Aether, he was no normal man. "You've certainly gained my attention Seraph, you might even make S-Class at this year's challenge. But do you have enough power to defeat me?" Aether's aura had grown larger and larger the more he spoke. His blood was boiling, he hadn't had this good of a fight since Saul. "Ripple." He sent an immense amout of his magic energy through the grass on the ground to the vines on Seraph's body. This wasn't his Dragon Slayer Magic, it was magic in the purest form, and when forcefully implanted from one body into another, the effects could be dangerous.
Since most of the vines were rather quickly dispatched with his horns, wrist blades and spiky elbows, his tremendous speed allowed him to tear through the remaining ones. Seraph looked around to notice Aether's increasing magic power influencing the grass and forming even more vines. With more of the vines under the effect of Aether's magic approached him to forcefully implant and overload his body, Seraph let out a small smirk as several long blades from various parts of his body grew out. His horns grew larger and his nails morphed into claws at the same time his spine grew out metallic spikes like rest of his body and he began moving in an unpredictable and eccentric manner, jumping and uncharacteristic of him, Seraph moved as if he were dancing as he sliced off all of the approaching vines before they could attack to his body and sliced them with the precision comparable to that of a master Surgeon's with his scalpel. Before he could comment, Aether's assault was over as all of the vines were quickly dispatch by this eccentric dance like maneuver combined with his body covered in long metal spikes. "Dance of Creeping Juniper!" exclaimed Seraph as he let his Master know the name of this move. Once again, without wasting any of his precious time, Seraph finally used the weapon of his choice as he unleashed a barrage of Explosive-paper shurikens, as the name suggests, these shurikens combined the accuracy and cutting power of a shuriken with the explosive power of a bomb.
Aether simply increased the output of his aura, blowing away the shuriken with no issue, causing them to explode elsewhere. Aether took his first blade from his side, Sekhmet, and combined it with his magical energy. He unleashed the full power and speed of his Plasma Armor. He disappeared from the naked eye as darted past Seraph to cut him, quickly resheathing his blade. "Sanguine Sword." The full effects of the attack were felt after he finished sheathing his blade, when the wind he created from moving so past blew past him.
Seraph's aura grew proportionally, as he declared himself to be no ordinary man either and matched Aether's amazing speed with his own as his wrist blades began glowing and soon, they clashed against Aether's Sanguine Sword. The force from the swords balanced out each other, however, the plasma despite not being able to destroy his blade or push back Seraph was definitely having its effects on the adamantine blade. However, Seraph took this situation to his advantage while grinning and holding onto Aether's blade with a tight grip. "There's no escaping this one!" he exclaimed. Seraph began to rapidly inhale the raw ethernano in its purest form from the air around him while simultaneously converting it into sharp and unstable metal shards, as he prepared magic in his own mouth rather quickly; allowing the metal and magic to interact freely resulting in a violent and eruptive reaction as he fired them in combination in the form of a large drilling tornado, "Iron Dragon's Roar Version 2!" Due to the two-fold nature of this breath attack, its much more stronger and faster than the original version; though, it takes slightly longer to prepare. Due to the volatile nature of this spell, it not only delivers tremendous impact based damage or pierces one's flesh but also triggers a ginormous explosion in its wake. The rapid bombardment by the metal sharps present inside the drilling tornado can be fatal if not absolutely deadly. The explosion produced by this attack can further cause the debris around to be hurled in every direction thus greatly injuring whosoever is unlucky enough to be in the vicinity of this spell. There it was, the stronger and improved version of the Iron Dragon's Roar, fired at point blank range with its maximum power.
Noticing Seraph powering up for a Dragon's Roar, Aether did the same. He quickly ramped up the power of his Plasma Armor, encompassing Seraph's aura. He activated Dragon Force, planning on using this for one attack and one attack alone. He didn't plan on taking anymore damage as he prepared a spell powerful enough to destroy the island. "Lightning Flame Dragon King's Grand Breath!" He unleashed the enormous blast of lightning and flames from his mouth at the same time as Seraph, a spell ten times stronger and larger than the regular Dragon's Roar. Aether had used this spell to melt Adamantine in the past, although that wasn't Dragon Slayer created armor.
Seraph was forced to let go of the blade as he had to constantly moved while his roar was being overpowered by his Master's and he was pushed back. He had no other choice left, he had to do it and perhaps, it was going to be one of his last spells. While being dominated by Aether's spell and attempting to counter it with his own, Seraph ran out of options as he activated Metal Drive, as his his dazzling gold aura materialized in the form of a giant dragon and with the sudden boost of energy, Seraph was as much as nearly thrice as stronger. However, despite the boost, he was still overwhelmed by Aether's roar due to it still being stronger and was blasted away. As the smokescreen cleared out, Seraph appeared on the ground with a few injuries attempting to get up as his magic power and physical prowess were still boosted by Metal Drive. Gathering his strength, he stood up with a smile. "That actually hurt a lot more than it looks!" he exclaimed as his body showed signs of sore, abrasions and a couple of minor punctures. "Time to really end this. This might be my last spell. The way I see it, you gave that last attack about ninety percent of your power. Since, this might be our last move, show me your maximum power! Show me the power of Dragon Force!"
"You're quite impressive Seraph," said Aether. "Unfortunately you can't beat me." Aether's aura increased in size. His eyes turned blue as magical energy poured from all over his body. "If anyone will end this it will be. Forcing me into Dragon Force is the biggest mistake you've made today." Aether got down on all fours as his Plasma Armor began to seemingly solidify, until it appeared as though they were blue and black Dragon's scales. "You could tell that I was holding back from the very beginning, and quite honestly, I was holding back with that blast. Otherwise you'd be dead." Aether's fangs elongated. He was becoming more like a dragon by the second. "Come at me with everything you've got!"
"Eh? So was I. I was using only seventy percent of the power granted by my Metal Drive", said Seraph much to Aether's surprise, "Dragon Amplification or Dragon Force, let's see which one is truly strong!" he further added as he powered up to his maximum capability, his crimson eyes stared down his opponent's blue eyes. His aura turned golden from red as it gave off much higher amount of energy then before. His scales radiated a brilliant, dazzling aura as they became empowered and further hardened. Seraph raised his hand almost signalling someone, something. Seraph's right thumb and forefinger formed a ring and the three remaining fingers were curled into the palms of the hands. As he suddenly thrusted his left palm forward which activated the spell. Suddenly a multitude of extremely vicious stream of a gooey liquid were fired from every direction around Aether, with great force and pressure. The projectile-like force of each of these shots combined with its monstrous volume gives it the capability to quickly cover a wide area. "Amaterasu Formula 5: Remastered!"
The Grand Finale!
Seraph smirked as the watched his Master dance to the melody of Amaterasu. Since, the attacks were specially designed to overwhelm one's opponent in number and were locked onto the target's magic power, it was extremely difficult if not nearly impossible to dodge all of them.
Aether stopped trying to dodge them then. "Dragon Slayer's Secret Art - Fourth State: Blue Tornado!" Aether spun in a circle, creating powerful wisps of lightning and fire that evaporated all of the liquid. When he was done he dropped back to all fours, the magical aura that surrounded him looked the scales of the Dragon King: Acnologia. "I'll finish this with one blow! Lightning Flame Dragon King's Scales!" He rocketed forward towards Seraph, his aura and speed blinding.
"Trying to get cocky now, are we?" remarked Seraph as he watched Aether attempt to speed blitz him and land an attack Seraph couldn't possibly "physically" intercept; while Aether did manage to get some sort of contact with his super attack but, unfortunately failed to deliver the results he was hoping for as his attack and his body simply phased through Seraph's body which dispersed into intense fumes and then assembled together to form his solid body in an instant. While Aether continued flying to the other side due to the sheer force of his attack. Seraph raised his hand, "Brace yourself!" his aura once again exerted huge amount of pressure on the island that created hundreds of ripples on the surface of the ocean. The winds began blowing in a weird direction under the influence of his aura. Suddenly a huge blast of what appeared to be golden sand occurred near Aether which was shortly followed by a slashing wave comprising of the same gold like sand again; capable of easily piercing through bones, iron and equally durable materials. As the two attacks took place, concurrently, a considerable quantity of golden sand erupted from beneath the surface of the island which soon took the shape of several giant waves, covering and "drowning" the opponent in an ocean of golden sand. It all looked like a violent tsunami of golden sand that was equally scary and beautiful at the same time. This raging sea unarguably dealt a great deal of damage as it not only trapped one's opponent(s) but mercilessly drowned them inside this wave while their bodies were immobile and were being crushed by the great density and pressure of these waves as they simultaneously deprived the victims of breathable air. "Witness, my finest creation! Dragon Slayer's Secret Art— Gold Dragon's Imperial Sandstorm". Soon, it became clear, that the golden sand was not actually sand but gold dust; thus explaining its tremendous density. However, the scarier part about this spell was, even after being employed, Seraph can control a limited portion of this gold dust wave which allows him to strike down opponent's who are trying to escape this technique.
Aether was tossed around and around in the waves of gold dust. Suddenly, Aether's drive to win kicked in. "Use me," said a voice in his head. "No! I won't need you!" shouted Aether. "Use me," it repeated. His magical aura switched rapidly between blue and red, until suddenly he stopped at a brilliant violet. "Fine we'll work together." Aether shouted, blasted away the gold dust with his magical aura, long enough for one spell. "Sink!" Aether moved his hand downwards, forcing the island to go deep into the ocean at an almost instantaneous speed.
While Aether with his aura blasted away some of the gold dust wave, he was still under assault as the tremendous density and range of this technique was overwhelming. As the island began sinking, finally the shadowy figure appeared on the beach revealing itself to be another metal clone of Seraph's who was watching the fight this entire time. He yawned as he realized, the time has come for him to spring in action. He looked at Seraph while casting a spell but still managed to make a comment without, though he did not mind making more but that would surely delay his spell for a long time. "Still getting your ass handed by Dragon King's, huh? Good times.." However, without further adieu, he casted his spell as he shouted, "Metal Make: Platform" the spell rather quickly created a platform of metal that was used to maintain the duo's footing as the island sank. Soon, the platform levitated in air, it seemed as if it was overcoming the gravity of Earth but in reality it was simply using electromagnetic fields to generate anti-gravity.
Aether's rage was building, his aura was slowly changing from violet to red. He blasted a hole inside the gold dust wave long enough to say "Don't let it turn red." He was tossed around inside the gold more and more. He couldn't breath. Suddenly, Aether had an idea. He created a sphere of lightning and flames around himself, melting the gold dust, and slowly expanded it, giving him more and more space. He continued until all of it had melted, creating a sphere of gold around him. He punched the sphere, shattering it into several pieces. His aura a blazing red, he sat down onto the ground, and began to meditate, his aura turning back to the regular blue.
The hole grew bigger and bigger as Aether meditated, ultimately sucking him back inside the gold dust wave. However, that was not the end of troubles for Aether, as a figure jumped on him, revealing himself to be the metal clone that was with Seraph moments later. He appeared jumping onto Aether while attempting to punch him as tags appeared all over his body and the real Seraph watched as he sat on his metal platform murmuring something to himself.
However before any of the gold dust or Serpah's metal clone could touch him, his aura melted through the ground, and he fell into the ocean. A new island came out of the ocean, locking onto Serpah's position with the rune Aether had placed on him earlier, and began to contort itself around his body, trapping him. "Mountain." Aether murmured. He had finished his meditation, and used his sword to quickly draw a magic circle in the ocean, summoning Winters. He mounted his steed, and the two flew out of the ocean.
A few minutes passed as the new Island appeared out of nowhere and consumed Seraph. Suddenly, no magic could be detected and just when Nekomata was beginning to be worried, as he prepared to intervene, a small crack appeared on the surface of the island. Soon enough, the ground became soft around the crack as a hole began appearing and within minutes, a large hole form and from within the hole came out a hand of metal as it dragged itself out. In a blink of an eye, his entire body was out as he appeared almost unfazed. Seraph looked at Aether who was now riding his Wyvern. "You know I use Earth Magic too, right?" he questioned Aether. "If you want to know what happened, I can explain in details but know this, I used my Soft Earth Diving and boy, was it fun! Anyways, you done yet? " he added. He stretched his left palm forward while curling curling his right hand and moving his right leg back simultaneously and then, he changed his moved his head slightly as he assumed a stance prepared for his Master's answers. Nekomata watched as he thought to himself, "Damn, was he this strong?"
"Do you know where that earth came from?" said Aether. "It's the same earth I used to create my island. And all the enchantments are still active." A barrier surrounded Seraph, giving him virtually no room to move. "Anyone caught in that rune can't escape, unless struck by Ice Magic." Winters opened his mouth, firing a blast of ice, similar to a Dragon Roar, directly at Seraph's position. Winters was not the average Wyvern. He had learned magic thanks to Miriam's Archive. At the same time, should his assault fail yet again, Aether had been creating a magical barrier with Jutsu Shiki.
"You're nothing but a big fat cheater!" declared Seraph as he signaled Nekomata to move back as one last time, he unleashed his aura after being directly struck with the Wyvern's ice-magic as his aura shattered most of the Ice, Seraph raised his hand as he began levitating and suddenly magic seals over Aether, his Wyvern and the entire island appeared as he activated the gravity formula causing their gravity to increase over eighty times the the maximum gravity on the surface of the planet, making it impossible for the anyone except Seraph to keep flying as his opponents were bounded to be sucked in by the increased gravity and the island began collapsing on itself due to sudden increase in gravity. As the one's hit by this technique are marked, no matter where they are or how fast they move to avoid it, they are bound to send crushing down by this technique. "This what happens to cheaters!" he said as he looked at Nekomata when suddenly a voice in his head said, "Yeah, yeah, I know! On it!" and in an instant, Nekomata used his powered up in order to use his Darkness Magic which allowed him to manifest the Demonic Holy Bow and unleash a volley of attacks upon the immobilized targets.
Fortunately, Aether had finished his protective spell just in time, forming a shield of runes around him. The attack from the Demonic Holy Bow merely bounced off, but Aether and Winters were still slowly being sucked into the gravity well. Despite all the magical energy he had used up, and the increased gravity, Aether still found the strength to stand. "Cheaters?" said Aether. "Will you call a Dark Mage a cheater after they do a trick like this on you?" Aether pointed his head up. Knowing his spell would be pulled down by the gravity he had to plan the shot just right. "Lightning Flame Dragon's Roar!" He fired it, and after the gravity came into affect, it went in an arc trajectory, headed straight for Seraph. So that he wouldn't have to be subjugated to the immense gravity anymore, he de-summoned Winters, and fell into the ocean.
Seraph smiled as he displayed his light pen as suddenly the roar stopped as if crashing against something solid and exploded away from Seraph. "Runes of that nature, can be rewritten with some degree of basic Rune-magic understanding that is taught in academy. Didn't you know I was the topper in my year? I simply rewrote the runes on your sinking island. The only person who can now freely leave and enter the perimeters of your island is me. No attack, no being and no objects are allowed to leave. Don't worry, the effect is temporary and it will fade away as soon as the island sinks! Now, if you're wondering how I did it, I created several clones while underground and each of us used Earth-magic to simply come to the surface of all of the damn island while staying hidden in order to rewrite your runes. As you know, runes do not work on the clones. Hence, you were able to do your little trick with Winter's on me but everything else, went according to the plan. Have a nice time sinking though!" explained Seraph as his adamantine scales turned back to iron as his magic power lowered significantly. "I'll be going now. When you get out of this mess, we can meet at the guild. We've fought for over three hours now and I am really really ...hungry!" said Seraph as he undid his scales and signaled Nekomata who carried him away as the duo flew away leaving Aether on his own.
Seraph returned to the guild hall, and as soon as he did a series of runes surrounded him and Nekomata. Aether walked out of the guild hall, his usual expressionless face on. "The shield I created had a secondary effect," he said. "If it makes contact with water, all long lasting spells will be canceled out on those inside the runes. If I wanted to I could've struck you down before you left the island. But I thought that we both had enough for the day." He tapped runes surrounding Seraph. They turned red and disintegrated. "You're quite skilled. It's been a while since I've had a good fight, not since Saul Peregrine. But now, I wish to rest. I hope you decide to participate in this year's S-Class promotional trial." He turned around and stopped. "And one more thing," Aether's aura blazed an intimidating red for a split second. "Don't mess with my islands." He walked back into the guild without another word.
Meanwhile, unbeknownst to either Seraph or Aether, a man had been standing on top of a tall building, monitoring them.
"Status report," said a voice through a communication lacrima.
"Their fight is finally over," said the spy, who had long blonde hair kept back in a ponytail. "I couldn't see much of the beginning, the island's enchantments made sure of that, but the later half was incredible. Aether moved islands in an instant. And I believe that we haven't even seen his full power."
"Excellent work Hyperion, return home."
"Yes lord Cronus." The man transformed into light and flew away at high speeds.
"The man is scary, isn't he? Thank gosh I didn't go all out war and mess with him. Heh, I would end up getting my ass kicked large time, no?" commented Seraph looking at Nekomata. "You don't need to be that modest. Anyways, let's have a look at that--" replied Neko as suddenly he stopped noting Seraph's facial expression. "What's wrong?" he asked. "It's nothing probably, I think I kind of felt someone else's magic for a small amount of time while we were fighting. I couldn't get a read. Perhaps, its my mind messing with me... ah, it could be nothing!" said Seraph as he sat down applying first-aid on himself.