Arthur Invern, the sixth participant introduced by the Third Princess took the audience by a storm with his flashy entrance. Donning a masquerade mask, there were now two participants whose real identities were unknown.
Everyone reached the stage- through normal means- after Arthur. Lantz, whose arm was injured earlier, was now perfectly fine.
“Everyone, please draw lots from this box for the pairings for the next round.”
Everyone drew lots in the order of their matches, with Arthur being the last. The pairings were as follows:
First match: Lantz vs. Rugtred
Second match: Pars vs. Arthur
Third match: Samael vs. Diana
With the pairings announced, everyone except Lantz and Rugtred left the stage. We went back to the VIP room where Cecile was eagerly waiting for us.
“Getting used to the mask yet, Arthur?” He shook his head and once again adjusted his mask. “Don’t worry, you’ll become accustomed to it soon enough.”
Arthur nodded and stood beside Cecile again, waiting for the match to start.
“The rules of the third round are simple! To win, you must push your opponent off the stage or render him unconscious. Killing is absolutely prohibited. So, without waiting any further, let the first match of the third round, begin!”
The moment he announced that, Lantz and Rugtred broke into a run……….not. What happened was something unprecedented. Lantz remained standing at his place, not even attempting to take out his sword or getting into a defensive stance.
Rugtred, on the other hand, turned his back on the opponent and…….jumped off the stage.
“T-the unthinkable has happened! Rugtred has forfeited the match by jumping off the stage by himself. The winner is Sir Lantz!”
The spectators- well, almost everyone else was surprised and bewildered by this act. There was an exception, of course. Cecile’s smile wasn’t fazed in the slightest.
Now then, why did Rugtred withdraw? Because he was too scared to fight Lantz? That doesn’t sound impossible, considering the prowess he showed in his previous match. But that doesn’t seem to be the case here.
Then what? Perhaps Lantz and Rugtred had a prior arrangement where the latter would withdraw if they happened to be opponents? But why would they do that? Unless….
Unless Rugtred was also an opponent prepared by Cecile for me. In that case, letting him fight Lantz would only be detrimental as only one of them could proceed to the next stage. In that case, letting the stronger advance would be the logical choice.
Geez, seems like the Third Princess took my bet too seriously.
Anyway, with the first match’s anti-climatic ending, it was now time for the second match between Pars and Arthur.
“Good luck, Arthur.”
Arthur nodded and jumped off the balcony again.
“Best of luck, Pars. Oh, and get to the stage through normal means, please.”
I don’t want him turn to into an eccentric as well. The people around me are more than enough.
Pars thanked me, exited through the door of the room and reached the stage after 2 minutes. Upon their arrival, the announcer started.
“The end of the last match was a bit…….underwhelming! Here’s to hoping that the newcomer Arthur and Pars show us a good fight. Let the match, begin!”
Like before, Pars took out his sword and closed in on Arthur with speed. Arthur, with his own sword ready, just waited patiently for Pars to come to him.
A metallic clang rang out as their swords clashed. Arthur held his position even after defending against Pars’ powerful strike. Pars followed with some more slashes, but Arthur was still able to parry them easily.
Seeing that this was useless, Pars backed off to create some distance. His body glowed with a blue hue, and seven swords made of water appeared around him. Each of the swords seemed capable of independent movement; Pars was finally getting serious.
With the water swords closely following behind him, Pars attacked Arthur again. His strike heavier and his feet faster, Pars continued slashing, thus making Arthur focus solely on him. Just as he warded off a slash from Pars’ sword, a water sword came flying from behind him, aimed right at his face.
Arthur tilted his head to evade, but Pars used that opening to close in and launched a roundhouse kick at Arthur’s face. The latter ducked to dodge that and tried to use that opening to attack Pars’ flank, but was stopped by the two water swords.
As he parried the attack from the swords, another sword attacked his right flank. Pushing the water swords from before away, he clashed with the new sword, but even that was an opening for Pars. He lunged at Arthur’s chest with a speed indiscernible to the human eye. However, even that was beautifully evaded by Arthur as he bent his body backwards at the last moment.
With a savage grin, Pars continued his onslaught. The audience watched with bated breath as Arthur dodged and parried and counterattacked using his incredible flexibility and amazing speed. But as time passed, Pars was beginning to tire out a little; I guess the usage of those swords took a toll on the body.
Arthur, on the other hand, seemed as if he had gotten even faster. Perhaps, finally being tired out of the stalemate, Arthur took a long leap and landed on the edge of the stage. But of course, Pars wasn’t going to let him go so easily as he followed him behind.
But creating distance wasn’t all that Arthur had done. A torrent of mana overflowed from his body as he raised his sword above his head.
“W-wait….. isn’t that….”
The one who murmured that was Diana, while Cecile’s smile grew even wider. The reason for that was the large white sword clasped in Arthur’s hand. This was the same skill that Lantz had used, albeit a bit weaker.
Arthur swung down that sword with overwhelming speed. Pars, who was still in the air at that time could not really dodge, so he summoned the seven water swords in front of him. Those swords combined to form a thick, large shield in front of Pars. A thunderous sound resounded inside the arena as Arthur’s sword struck Pars’ shield.
Arthur’s sword was turned into powerful light energy that rent the ground below and behind Pars in a straight line. Even the barrier shook a little as that energy collided with it.
And the result was…… as expected, Pars was unscathed. His shield had broken, but there was not even a scratch on him. The only problem was-
“Adventurer Pars has been pushed off the stage! The winner is Arthur!”
Due to being attacked while he was in the air, Pars had been anti-climatically pushed off the stage. And so, the second match ended with Arthur’s victory.
It was finally our turn; the last match between Diana and me. I had failed to notice it before, but Diana was an elf. But given my experiences with all the elves I had come across till now, I was a bit surprised to find that she wasn’t a stalker.
We parted ways at the door of the VIP room (we were supposed to enter from different entrances after all) after wishing luck to each other. On my way I met Pars, who was walking sluggishly with his head drooped low.
“Your fight was very good, Pars.”
“What does it matter?” He grunted. “I lost.”
“But if it was a real battle, you might have won.”
“There are no ifs now. I lost and won’t be able to fight you. That’s all.”
Why is he so fixated on me anyway? Is he an elf? I didn’t think that I would encounter another Reishu here.
“Oh well. Watch my match then. I’ll be sure to win this tournament on your behalf.”
“Samael….” A soft smile rose on his lips. “You really are a good man.”
He patted my shoulders and made his way towards the spectator seats, while I went ahead to my destination.
“Without further ado, let the third match begin!”
The announcer announced as we took our positions. Just like my match with Carlos, I instantly ran from my place towards Diana. However.
Mana swirled around her as her body melted into her shadow and disappeared. Most probably, it was a magic spell that let her hide inside the shadows. But of course-
A magic spell still in its casting phase wasn’t going to be enough to stop me. Before Diana could complete her spell, ‘Demolition’ did its work and ‘blew away’ that spell. As a result, she abruptly popped out from the ground.
Before she could understand what happened, my palm was already upon her chest- no, wait, that could be a bit problematic. So, my palm was already upon her stomach. As the two made contact, I released the ‘Wave Explosion’. Her mana ran amok as the shockwave sent her flying off the stage. She hit the barrier hard and fell unconscious.
“Aaaand it’s settled! One-hit Samael has once again ended the match in an instant using his sure kill attack! The winner of this match is Samael!”
The crowd cheered louder than even before as I ended the match in an instant. The announcer continued.
“The third round ends with this. Please stay at your place, participant Samael. The other participants, please come to the stage. We will now begin the final round!”
Hmm? The final round with 3 contenders? How do they intend to do that? Not another battle royal, I hope. That would be absolute pandemonium.
Lantz and Arthur, both of them who were by the Princess’ side, jumped from the balcony in the same manner and landed at the stage, right in front of me.
“So it’s finally our turn, huh? Samael.”
“So it would seem, Sir Lantz.”
I wonder how that fight will proceed, and how far will he be able to push me.
“Are you ready, M-, Arthur?”
“I am, Sir Lantz.”
The two confirmed something with each other. The announcer started explaining the rules.
“The rules of the final round are simple; the last one standing wins. There are no bounds, and everything is allowed except killing. The three contenders will fight each other at once, and the one who knocks the other two unconscious or makes them give up would win this round, and with it, this tournament. So let the final match, begin!”
This time, the announcer abruptly started the match without even checking whether the participants were at appropriate distance with each other or not. But as it turned, there wasn’t any need for that. After all-
“I give up!”
Lantz raised his hand and instantly gave up on the match.
“W-what’s this?! Sir Lantz has given up on the match, leaving only Samael and Arthur!”
Ignoring the shouts from the announcer and crowd, Lantz turned to Arthur.
“Well then, Michael, I leave everything in your hands.”
“It’s supposed to be Arthur, Sir Lantz.”
“Ah, right!” He laughed. “Sorry sorry.”
With that, Lantz left the stage, leaving me with Arthur. No-
I must say, Cecile, well played. This was her plan right from the beginning. The man in front of me was the real opponent that the Third Princess had prepared for me. Cecile’s trump card-
The Hero, Michael Fortner.
The sword of humanity, their last hope.
My failure that started it all.
I wonder; should I remove my mask and reveal to him my true identity? That I am Samuel Hayden, the man cast away by the God, left to rot in Hell for an eternity so that they could prosper?
And I wonder; how he’ll react?
How will Michael react to the sudden reunion with his former classmate?
and we meet another person who Samuel knows man does he know every relevant character that this novels is going to have?
I mean he’s the mc but he sure is XD
And now which class they’re together from?
Ty for chapter
To be fair, the story itself takes place after probably 2-3 whole story arcs from the her’s perspective and stuff. Samael was the outcast of the Hero Party, and found his own way in life, so ofc he has some connections and stuff. The early chapters were almost all about setting Up the story and explaining a little bit about this.
That’s the basic premise, yes.