The guy made another attack, a kick this time. All I could do was step back and kick it away with my foot, hoping to unbalance him. But he wasn't that easily tricked. He shifted his weight to allow his leg to touch the ground again. Something in me felt wrong, I wasn't supposed to be this weak against any one of them.
It wasn't my way of fighting, but I had to attack. As quickly as I could, but not as swift as I would have liked, I tried to hook his knees with my foot. The kick connected and it pulled him off balance, twisting him around. But in the same movement he punched again.
It was off by a hair, as I pulled my head backwards the fist swished by. I could feel the air moving near my eyebrows. I let myself fall backwards completely and leaned on my hand to kick upwards. I hit him.
My foot connected under his chin with a satisfying force. He tilted backwards and fell on the floor. It was a good hit. The eight of nine, standing and watching, gasped as his shoulders hit the floor.
It was far from over but at least I'd shown that it wouldn't be an easy fight for them either.
Something, however, was wrong.
My body felt weaker than normal, despite having had a lot of blood. Physically I was alright, but something... someone was holding me back.
There was little time to think on it. The guy had got up and attacked again, this time with a low sweep like mine. I didn't have time to step back so I jumped into the air, avoiding his kick, only to be grabbed at my ankle. He continued the rotary movement and dragged my around by my ankle and threw me to the ground.
I had to summon all the gliding I could to not smack into it hard. It was not a lot, but just enough to fall with my back on the floor.
The eight of nine were cheering. But this wasn't over far from it...
What was wrong?
Something in my head was keeping me from using my full strength. What was it?
I needed a little time to get them away from me. Now I understood how the nine were going to cheat. Even though they couldn't do anything to me physically, using a mental attack was still an option. And though one of them wouldn't even get in. A choir would be loud enough for my mind to hear.
But I wasn't aware of them because they only started when he threw the first punch. It was hard to concentrate on their words.
This wasn't fair.
I stood up quickly and dashed towards the guy in the same way I crossed the street. It must have looked like a streak towards him. It was just a little bit of brute force, but he didn't have time to properly block it.
Right in the chest. He fell back hard, the air pushed out of his lungs by my punch and again by the floor. Now I had some time.
My mind focused on the task at hand. On the one hand I didn't want them to know I was aware of their actions, but on the other I couldn't let myself be crippled anymore either. Somehow I knew what to do. A sort of mental block would stop the effect without them knowing. Unless, of course, they were sensitive enough to feel it.
But I presumed they weren't.
The guy had gotten up again and advanced on me slowly.
Now it was time to really fight .
On my terms.