1

Outside the volcano.

The middle-aged man and the Elders were all dumbstruck with Alice's display. Just like the other three, she was also above others in the same stage as herself.

"All four are extraordinary!"

An Elder commented.

Going through the first stage was not as impressive as the second stage. The reason for this was due to the grade difficulty of each stage. A grade three Eighth stage Venerable could achieve what they achieved in the first grade. This goes to show the strength gap between each grade.

"The next level is against a grade five Venerable in any stage. If they can deal with that with such ease then we most likely have grade nine geniuses on our hands." An Elder said with seriousness.

"A grade nine genius? When was the last time such a person appeared?" Someone asked.

"It has been so long. I can't help but imagine if all four of them are grade nine geniuses." The middle-aged man sighed.

If all four turn out to be grade nine geniuses, it would be the shock of the century. Four friends, all grade nine geniuses. Just the thought of this thrilled all of them.

The Elders could barely keep their composures when they heard this.

"We'll find out soon enough."

….

Inside the volcano.

Grey and his friends appeared on another level. This place was hotter and required more effort from them to repel it.

Grey and Alice had no issues with absorbing it. Although it was difficult, Klaus and Reynolds didn't have any problems with resisting the heat.

"Why repel it? It's good nourishment." Grey said.

"Oh." Klaus let the heat touch his body and felt relieved, however, he was soon hit with intense heat.

A thought came to him and he executed it. He left tiny holes in the snow he created around his body to stop the heat. The heat would be able to get through the holes to give him the nourishment Grey spoke of while his snow would regulate it, making sure it didn't do any harm to him.

"Rey, you should try it." He recommended it to Reynolds.

He was getting into a better state while absorbing part of the heat.

Reynolds followed Klaus' instructions and was soon able to feel the same nourishments.

"Nice." Reynolds commented, he gave Grey and Alice a side eye. He couldn't believe they've been enjoying this and not even offering to tell them.

Alice and Grey shrugged, they weren't too bothered with him.

"Does everything involving this Faction have to do with fighting?" Klaus asked when he saw the group in front of them fighting seriously with another group.

One set of them looked human, and the other, not so much. Although there was a slight resemblance to humans, the lava running through their bodies suggested otherwise.

Grey squinted his eyes and said, "They're stronger than the man from the previous level."

"Of course they are. The higher the level the stronger the opponents." Klaus said matter-of-factly.

He gave Grey a detestable glance before saying, "These things are all on the same stages as their opponents, but they all fight with stronger powers compared to what we fought in the first level."

"Yeah, could the opponents be getting stronger in the same stage?" Grey asked, he thought for a while and said, "Is this trying to see how powerful an Elementalist could get in a single stage?"

"Most likely. If that's the case, then this is a good chance to test our strength." Alice replied.

"I can't believe you didn't want us to come in." Klaus dumped all the blame on Grey.

"Yeah, if we hadn't insisted on coming, we would've missed such a nice opportunity." Reynolds joined in as well.

Grey almost wanted to punch the duo in the face. He told them he didn't want to go, but they could go. They refused, and when he decided to enter, they followed. Now they were blaming him for almost missing out on this.

"Hypocrites." He remarked under his voice.

The duo looked at him as if he offended them, but he couldn't even bother with them.

"Looks like we can fight in a group this time." Seeing others fighting against the opponents in a group, Grey felt this was the case.

"So it seems." Alice nodded, agreeing with his analysis.

"Should we try now, or wait to watch?" Reynolds asked.

"Let's watch and get a better idea of what we're going to be up against." Klaus suggested.

The group didn't have any issues with his suggestions and walked to the side, not stepping into the place for the battle to begin.

They couldn't find the young lady's group and concluded they've gone to the next round.

They watched as different groups fought against their opponents. Some of them were able to quickly defeat those they were fighting, while others were having a difficult time. Not everyone was a grade five genius.

After watching for a while, the group got a hang of it.

They could assist each other if needs be, or they could all fight one against one. It depends on how they wished to fight. As long as they grouped together, they would have to fight against four different opponents on the same stage, but all grade five powerhouses.

"Should we try now?"

"Sure, I told you I have some things to take care of."

"When did you say that?"

"I…"

"If you don't shut your mouth we'll beat you up."

Klaus wanted to turn to Reynolds, but he found out his usual partner in crime was slowly creeping over to Grey and Alice's side.

"Rey…"

"Oh, hey buddy." Reynolds gave him an awkward smile, while still slowly going over to Grey's side.

"Fuck! Let's just go."

Klaus could only give up. He thought it would've been a two on two, but Reynolds had betrayed him to join the enemies. Such a devastating feeling.

With no hope of winning, why bother? Grey was enough to squash him, adding Alice made it overkill. Reynolds didn't have any issues with beating him up too.