Chapter 28 Way Of The Fox

"All I have to do is keep our eyes?" Lee Seng asked. Keng nodded. He wiggled himself out of Lee Seng's grasp and pranced around in front of Lee Seng.

"Yup, that's all you have to do. If you can do that then I can guarantee you'll be able to continue forward." Keng replied. Lee Seng turned himself onto his back and sighed. He glanced at the tiny white and gray specks in the black abyss and bit his lip.

"How does that move us forward?" Lee Seng asked. "It seems so... tiny. I thought you'd say something more... elegant." Keng laughed and hopped onto Lee Seng's stomach. He pranced around and then sat on top of him.

"You want me to say something over the top? Something overused?" Keng glanced over at Lee Seng.

"N-no... It's just... I didn't expect that." Lee Seng turned his head away from Keng.

"The eyes might not seem permanent right now, but trust me on this. You'll look back and wonder why you thought it was so hard."

Lee Seng took a deep breath and nodded. If there was one thing Lee Seng was grateful for, it was Keng's answer. He held onto Keng and lifted himself into a sitting position. Keng looked up at Lee Seng.

"Ready to go?" Keng asked.

"Yeah," Lee Seng answered.Diiscover new 𝒔tories at n𝒐ve/lbin(.)c/o𝒎

The black abyss pulled out and Lee Seng found himself with his knees up to his chest and arms wrapped around his knees. Akio stood a couple feet away.

"Where's your resolve?" Akio shouted. He pointed the bokken towards Lee Seng and Lee Seng reached for the bokken and grabbed it. He lifted himself up onto his feet and rolled his neck. Lee Seng let out a sigh and looked at Akio.

Akio noticed Lee Seng's eyes were red and blue again. He but his lip and kept his serious demeanor and motioned for Lee Seng to come at him. Lee Seng rushed at Akio and swung. Akio blocked and felt the difference in the strike and smiled.

'Seems like he found it.' Akio noticed. Lee Seng quickly went in for another strike. Akio quickly blocked and sent a kick out towards Lee Seng, staggering him backwards. Akio started to send a barrage of attacks towards Lee Seng.

Whack! Crack!

Lee Seng stumbled backwards. His grip tightened around the bokken. The two went at each other and again exchanging strikes. Lee Seng blocked an attack from Akio and quickly threw his right hand up.

A puddle of gravity shot outwards and shoved him backwards. Lee Seng dashed forward and swung downwards at Akio. Akio went for the block as Lee Seng's bokken connected. Lee Seng grinned and the bokken pulsated. The strike blew Akio's bokken into pieces. Akio stumbled backwards, holding what was left of the broken bokken.

"Alright, I give." Akio lifted his hands up. Lee Seng's lungs were starting to burn. He could feel his powers negative weighing on him differently in battle than practice. He stood up straight and nodded.

"For a second there, I thought you'd quit." Akio said. He glanced at the bokken handle and tossed it into the wood splinters. He casually rushed his hands together and smiled. His demeanor had gone back to carefree. Lee Seng grunted at Akio, nodding in agreement.

"I did." Lee Seng said. His ruby and sapphire eyes looked towards Akio. "Everything is happening too fast." Lee Seng waved his hand in the air. His grip on the bokken tightened and he desperately wanted to burn the adrenaline coursing through his body.

"What do you mean by that?" Akio asked. He folded his arms together and looked like he was a bouncer asking for ID into a bar. Lee Seng threw his head back and stared at the ceiling. There was a long pause.

"Dunno." Lee Seng finally answered. "I'm honestly not sure still. I was just told to hold onto that small flame of hope." Lee Seng stood up and stretched. He twirled the bokken in his hands, mindlessly. His eyes glimmered and he smiled. Even if it felt meaningless, at least Lee Seng got an answer that could remind him he wasn't alone.

'Keep our eyes.' Keng's voice echoed. Lee Seng nodded and let a small smile out.

"Enough about that, let's train some more. I used my powers through my hand, so I want to do this fair and square with the bokken."

"A fight's always gonna be dirty. You should already know that." Akio grinned. His shadow grew and whipped out towards the rack of swords and he pulled one towards him. He grabbed the sword and swung it in the air. "Let's go. I'll crank it up for you."

The two trained for hours after that. Akio began to put all his energy into refining Lee Seng's rough spots. He pushed as far as he thought he could, but Lee Seng's eyes seemed to always remind him not to treat Lee Seng like his kid brother, so he pushed it further. The two battled it out with all of their might.

Akio dodged as Lee Seng swung horizontally. Akio could feel the condensed energy. Lee Seng had been going at this for a couple hours now without a break. Akio worried the negative effect would be harsh on Lee Seng's body but Lee Seng insisted to keep going. Lee Seng's goal was to hit multiple gravity strikes onto Akio. Akio dodged, always hopping away on one foot while Lee Seng kept moving forward.

Lee Seng gritted his teeth as he stopped. Akio hopped on one foot and twirled his sword. They had decided Akio would enshroud the sword so it would negate some of the gravity strikes effects. Akio would scare Lee Seng with a couple of jabs but kept the use of his powers to a minimum. Lee Seng's lungs were on fire. He took a moment to catch his breath and put both hands on his bokken.

'He's switching forms.' Akio noticed. Akio motioned Lee Seng forward and Lee Seng grunted as he ran forwards. Lee Seng went for a right slash upwards. He pushed the blade with his gravity and the strike went faster than anticipated. Akio barely managed to block it and sent a kick towards Lee Seng. Lee Seng stumbled backwards and took his form again.

'Both hands on the bokken. Maybe I could try to do it.' Lee Seng thought. Akio ran forwards and jabbed with the shadow-infused bokken. Lee Seng rolled out of the way and quickly got onto his feet. Akio began a barrage of attacks. Lee Seng infused his blade and quickly blocked the first two strikes but quickly was outmatched with Akio's speed. Akio landed his third and fourth attacks across Lee Seng's chest and landed a fifth one onto his shoulder.

Lee Seng's body swung left towards the ground and Akio quickly began his sixth and final strike onto Lee Seng from above. Lee Seng rotated his body faster with gravity and quickly kicked at the blade, emitting a gravity pulse. Akio's bokken and arms flew upwards, pushing himself backwards.

Lee Seng pushed himself to continue while his body screamed at him to stop. His legs fell towards the ground and he quickly maneuvered onto his feet. Akio threw himself backwards into a flip and landed on his feet. Lee Seng saw Akio smile and then immediately disappear.

'Oh, shit.'

Lee Seng felt bloodlust appear behind him for a second and a bokken sat near his throat. Akio held the bokken and chuckled. He slapped Lee Seng hard and removed his bokken away and his bloodlust immediately disappeared.

"I scared you, didn't I?" Akio laughed. The shadows around him started to pull inwards. Lee Seng awkwardly laughed along.

"N-no, I thought you decided to smack me around after I did that." Lee Seng answered awkwardly.

"I wouldn't be that tough on you." Akio chuckled. "Gotta make sure you live for the exam."

"You weren't going all out then?" Lee Seng asked. Akio shook his head and twirled the bokken I'm his hands.

"Nope. You'd know if I went all out. You wouldn't even have a chance." Akio turned around and started over towards the weapons stand. Lee Seng jogged to catch up with him.

"Then what was that bloodlust I felt earlier?" Lee Seng asked. Akio turned with a confused look.

"What bloodlust?"

"It happened right before you appeared behind me. I felt like someone was gonna kill me."

Akio was still confused. He set his bokken on the weapons stand and spun around to look at Lee Seng who was doing the same thing.

"Well, I didn't do nothing." Akio shrugged. "Well, it's getting late. Shower and get some rest. I gotta make my rounds. Kali probably is wondering where I am."

"You didn't tell, Kali?"

"Nope. She'll understand. You're leaving for the exam soon so I gotta do my part." Akio squinted at Lee Seng happily. Lee Seng lightly shoved him away.

"Okay, bro. Thanks for the help today. I should be able to get some extra training with the bots the last couple of days, anyways. Don't worry about me." Lee Seng said.

"Don't overwork yourself. Rest for a couple days before Exam day. Trust me, you'll need it, Seng."

"Okay, workaholic. I won't work too hard then."

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