It sounded like a missile hit the ground. Rubble and strong gust expanded outwards. The ground shook and the trees trembled as they shed leaves. The shockwave also expanded outwards. Aoi had to block with his arms. He got pelted with the ensuing storm of pebbles and rocks. He was also covered in dust.
After a while, Aoi lowered his guard, he tried to assess the situation.
Noah was supposed to be standing there but his spot is now a crater about 5 meters wide. There is also rubble in it. Tooru stood inside the crater while taking a knee. His fist is still connected to the earth, it was immediately obvious to Aoi who created the crater.
Aoi stood up while putting pressure on his chest. His eyes were shaking with astonishment.
"That bastard, when did he learn this move?"
Tooru grabbed his bleeding fist. He winced in pain.
"As expected, the feedback is still not something one can handle after becoming an Exceed..."
Aoi realized something wrong. He shouted at Tooru.
"Something's wrong! Where is that damned guy?!"
Tooru also flinched in shock. The attack is certainly powerful. However, it is far from being able to obliterate a person outright.
So, the question is, where's Noah?
Soon, they got the answer.
"That was a good punch."
Aoi and Tooru looked up when they heard this praise. Someone's standing near the edge of the crater.
The dust settled to reveal a slightly dusty Noah. He looked dirty but unharmed. Judging by Noah's distance from Tooru's punch, they both knew what just happened.
Aoi's diversion and tooru's attack all failed. Noah still dodged the last-ditch attack from Tooru.
"An attack focusing all of one's strength at one point in the punch and then unleashing it at the fastest and shortest trajectory. I am guessing your attack's real edge is the shockwave generated from the punch. That's the secret behind your punch's power."
Noah dusted himself off while Aoi and Tooru looked on in disbelief.
"Is my assessment correct?"
"You dodged it?"
Tooru bitterly laughed.
"No, you even analyzed my attack after dodging it. Who, no, what are you?"
"The principle behind your attack is simple. It's similar to how swordsmen who dedicated their lives to the art of sword can generate sword beams. I am guessing your ranged shockwave-punch attack bears a similar mark. You amplified this point by focusing your power."
Noah looked down at his own hand.
"If one were to train their bodies and skills..."
Noah balled his right palm into a fist and took a stance. Like a drawn bow, he pulled his fist behind his shoulder.
He charged his fist with so much power he actually generated small waves of energy from his fist.
If he released this energy then the punch will project a shockwave in front of the fist. He just needs to find a short trajectory and unleash his punch with a fast enough speed.
If he did that then he can replicate Tooru's trump card.
Alas, this didn't happen.
The power he gathered suddenly fluctuated as he lost control of it. The slightly glowing fist faded in luster.
"Indeed, knowing the theory and putting it into practice are two different things. Without a proper direction, I can't mimic that move, huh?"
Noah relaxed his expression after that brief test.
"Looks like I have to train in order to replicate this move..."
Tooru's expression changed rapidly. What started out as disbelief turned into amazement.
Tooru dedicated two years to learning this technique.
Noah saw it once and he almost pulled it off after deducing the principles behind his attack.
Noah almost mimicked that attack without proper guidance or training. He just lost control of his strength.
What a monstrous talent!
Tooru suppressed his shock while bracing his arm. He sighed once.
"This attack places a huge burden on the body and especially the arm. Even an Exceed can use this attack once or twice at most. Using it a third time will make one paralyzed for the day. I suggest spacing your training time out to prevent your physical harm. You are warned."
"I stole your technique and you still gave me pointers? Isn't that too kind?"
"Yeah, what the hell man?"
Aoi grumbled while approaching Tooru.
"He's the enemy right now. Can't you wait until we are done or something?"
Noah laughed when he heard this.
It seems Aoi also approved of the tip despite commenting on the timing.
These two male students are unexpectedly good.
"You guys still wanna keep going?"
Noah decided to call this duel off. He shrugged.
"I think we can wrap this up here. We should keep running. I don't think we can finish the 10 laps in an injured state.
"You bastard, you want us to admit defeat?"
"I will not let you get an easy win!"
"Tora-kun, he has a point."
"We still have to run 10 laps. We will only waste our stamina and risk injuries if we keep this up. Finishing the 10 laps is more important than our pride."
Aoi found his proverbial cue to exit so he turned his head the other way.
Noah waved at them before turning around.
"Alright, I will be taking my leave first. Let's spar again soon."
Noah sprinted away, he left Aoi and Tooru to themselves.
Tooru looked at his bleeding fist. He clenched hard before resolving himself.