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358 The Hidden Hand Suppresses

 Someone who wanted to exchange pointers with him? Izroth did not think that he was so popular as to have someone personally make such a request of him. But, from Kayn's expression as well as his way of wording it, Izroth had a clue as to who this mystery person could be. Not to mention, Kayn seemed like the type of individual to do something because it was interesting to him. Izroth believed that helping him with his Essence and Seal of Ten Chakrams just now was only due to this as well.

When Kayn observed Izroth's silence, he thought of it as Izroth still being somewhat cautious of him. Therefore, he decided to expand on his explanation a bit further.

"You see, a certain someone has an issue with you and doubts your ability and qualifications to participate in this selection. I thought it'd be interesting if you wanted to personally rectify this matter." Kayn said.

'I see, so it's like this.'

There was only one person that came to mind when adding up everything Kayn said. One of Zushuatri's eight students, Sage. For some reason, she had it out for Izroth ever since they were back on the platform even though he had done nothing to offend her.

It would also explain why Kayn had helped him a few moments ago. To Kayn, this may be a simple form of entertainment. However, Izroth did not mind it too much as it worked out perfectly for him. In fact, he was not worried about running into Sage again, but rather that he would never have another chance to confront her for her actions back in the Boundless Sea.

"You're right... That does sound interesting. I look forward to exchanging pointers." Izroth responded with a carefree smile on his face.

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"Good, then-"

"But, since you're already here in front of me... I wonder if the prince of the Dragon Palace would be willing to exchange a few pointers with me." Izroth stated as he pointed his Sword of The Storm towards Kayn.

"Sure, I don't mind. However, you may regret it. Is that alright? After all, I'm sure you can clearly see it with those eyes of yours." Kayn said with a grin on his face as the aura around him suddenly soared.

'Oh? He's not trying to hide it one bit.'

At the moment, Izroth had his Energy Vision Sense activated as he saw the sun-colored flames around Kayn. As for the size of his flames, Izroth was unable to tell. This was because it was so massive that he was unable to see where it ended from his current position! Out of all the flames Izroth had seen thus far with his Energy Vision Sense, it was the first time he observed one where he was unable to grasp the distance.

'Is this the limit of my Energy Vision Sense? Or will its effects grow stronger as my Source advances?'

"I only have one condition." Izroth said as he deactivated his Energy Vision Sense.

A condition? This caught Kayn off caught guard. He knew that Izroth should be able to see the clear difference in their strength with the skill he just used. Could it be that Izroth was afraid of facing his full power and wanted to set a condition that was more to his advantage? Though, despite this sudden request, Kayn decided to hear him out.

"What condition might that be?" Kayn asked out of curiosity.

"If I land a single blow on you, I hope that the prince of the Dragon Palace can provide me with some information in regards to a place known as the Path of Dragons." Izroth responded.

Kayn narrowed his eyes as he focused his gaze on Izroth as if trying to peer through him. How did a human, who was not even in the legendary realm, know about the Path of Dragons? Even the legendary beings of other races did not know of its existence! This was due to the fact that it was a well-hidden secret of the Dragon Palace for countless millennia. The more he learned about Izroth, the more interested Kayn became in him.

Not only was Izroth chosen by that person to compete in the selection, but he even had a Source at such a young age which was practically impossible for humans. Not to mention, his skill set and combat experience did not match his appearance at all. Although it was faint, Kayn was able to sense a hidden power within Izroth that had yet to emerge. It was as if that power was being forcibly suppressed and blocked by an unknown force. Whatever the cost, it seemed as though that unknown force did not want to let that power escape from within Izroth.

"Alright, if you can land a single blow on me then I'll tell you everything I know about the Path of Dragons. However, this seems more like a one-sided bet than a condition, right? What do you say we make things more interesting? If you fail to land a single blow on me before the next relocation takes place, then I want you to reveal everything about that power being suppressed inside of you." Kayn said.

Suppressed power? Izroth did not know what Kayn meant by these words. Izroth understood that it was unlikely that he was talking about his Source or the Seal of Ten Chakrams due to the fact that he just helped him advance on both of these paths. However, the only thing "suppressed" in a manner of speaking was the Seal of Ten Chakrams because it slowly needed to be integrated into his body.

But, although the Seal of Ten Chakrams was an incredibly useful skill, it should not be to the point that it caught the attention of someone like Kayn. Though what Izroth did not know at that moment was that Kayn was referring to a power that had been constantly lingering inside of him since the beginning of his journey in RML. A power that, for some reason, even the extraordinary system of RML had trouble comprehending.

"I'm afraid your words remain lost on me." Izroth stated.

"Oh? Can it be that he's unaware of it? But, if that's the case, then whoever is intentionally suppressing that power is not someone simple. Not even that old man of mine would be capable of something like this. If I'm sensing it correctly, then there's no doubt about it... There's an existence residing in the Divine Realm directly interfering with his progress. However, that's a bit..." Kayn thought to himself as he inwardly furrowed his brows. What could Izroth have done to incur the wrath of someone from the Divine Realm?

"Tell me, have you ever offended an existence from the Divine Realm?" Kayn questioned.

Offended? Izroth had offended quite a few people within RML. The Netherworld, the Shadahi, Tempest Kingdom, Sage Falls, League of The Eidolon... However, he never once remembered offending an existence from the Divine Realm.

In fact, he had never even met someone from this so-called Divine Realm. Not to mention, he received the Blessing of Helilatiaa back at the Lake of Tears! If anything, could this not be considered as being on good terms?

"I've offended many people, but I cannot recall that any of them were from the Divine Realm." Izroth replied. He did not know much about the Divine Realm except that it was a place that resided above the firmament of all realms and that their influence over the realms below was extremely limited. Otherwise, if chaos broke out and they fought in the realms below, then even a legendary existence like Zushuatri would be killed with the flick of a finger.

"I see, then I won't ask any further. I'll change the bet. If you fail to land a single blow on me before the next relocation takes place, then you'll owe me a favor." Kayn said. Of course, Kayn had to intentions on letting Izroth land even one hit on him. He also had no reason to demand something too extreme, therefore, he decided to go with a favor. In the end, a man was not a man if he did not know how to properly repay a favor.

To be honest, Izroth was surprised by Kayn's choice. As a prince of the Dragon Palace, is there any favor that Izroth could return to him that the Dragon Palace themselves was incapable of doing? If this were the Seven Realms and he had his former power then it would be a different story, however, his current strength was laughable at best compared to the beings at the pinnacle of this world. But, in the end, he saw no reason to decline.

"I, Izroth, am a man of my word. If I fail to land one blow on you before the next relocation, then it can be considered as my loss and I will do whatever is in my power to pay the favor I owe you." Izroth stated.

"Good! A man needs to know when to be decisive! You can start whenever you'd like." Kayn said. But, the moment those words left his mouth, a sword had already arrived mere centimeters away from his face.

Izroth wasted no time and as soon as Kayn said he could start he immediately used Enhanced Instantaneous Movements to close the distance. He then swung his sword straight down towards Kayn's head. This was someone who was the captain of the first team and an individual considered to be a genius among even the true dragons, therefore, Izroth would not pull back on his blows in the slightest! Otherwise, this fight would be over before it even started!

Woosh!

Izroth's attack cut right through Kayn, however, he did not feel any resistance. Even if his Sword of The Storm was sharp, it was not sharp enough to completely disregard any resistance it faced.

'A clone? No, it's a movement skill similar to Flickering Steps. Then, he should be...'

Without hesitation, Izroth activated Flickering Steps and the active skill of Light Feather Footwork. Although Light Feather Footwork only lasted a few seconds, when paired with Flickering Steps, it heightened Izroth's overall speed up to extreme levels!

Boom! Crrrrckle!

Kayn appeared behind Izroth as his leg descended from above like an axe splitting a wooden log with one decisive strike. The strength behind Kayn's casual attack was so powerful that the ground collapsed in upon itself and formed a small crater as a result. But, just like Izroth, he also hit nothing but an afterimage.

The battle was incredibly high paced as flickering afterimages of Izroth could be seen spawning up all over the battlefield. As for Kayn, his movement skill also left behind brief afterimages. The sole difference was that the ones he left behind were more solid and realistic than that of Izroth's. If one did not possess sharp enough senses then they would easily be fooled by this movement skill of Kayn's.

'It'll be impossible for me to strike him head-on. Even with the initial phase of Second State: Heavenly Cloak, the chances are unrealistic. I have to find an opening, however...'

Finding an opening was easier said than done. Izroth could barely keep up with Kayn's current speed even with his Heavenly Golden Body, Soul Sense, and the Five Cycles Pill that he had consumed! If not for the fact that his Heavenly Golden Body had progressed to the 4th stage after his fight with Roudin, then Izroth believed that it would have been impossible for the current him to follow Kayn's movements.

'Fourth Sword Form: Dipping-'

Bang!

Izroth quickly shifted his sword stance and blocked Kayn's incoming foot with his Sword of The Storm. However, despite successfully blocking the attack, Izroth felt as if he were just struck by a small mountain. Izroth was able to successfully parry the blow and immediately used Flash Counter to launch a counterattack. But, Kayn had taken half a step back and avoided it just in time.

Izroth slid back several meters as he finally managed to halt his movements. He released a deep breath as he activated his Energy Vision Sense, making sure to keep the range low so as not to drain his Essence too quickly.

'I can't afford to have Energy Vision Sense deactivate. He's reading all of my sword skills the moment I take a stance. Even an instant attack like Flash Counter was avoided. Is it those strange eyes of his?'

"He certainly doesn't lack movement skills. However, if that's all he's capable of, then I'll be disappointed. So then, shall I rob you of that precious speed of yours?" Kayn thought to himself as a golden and flame-like energy formed over his eyes.