I look at the fixture again, trying to figure out this strange arrangement. Except for the three Princesses and their fifteen opponents, all the other contestants are placed in normal one versus one matches.
“Wait a second, no one from the Elves or the Vampires is matched against the Princesses. It’s either us humans or the Beastkins,” I say with a frown.
“I don’t know why they would do this. Maybe they will inform us before the tournament starts?” Evelyn says wonderingly.
“I guess so…”
[I think that they just don’t want to waste time on the weaklings. It’s better to remove all of them in one go, right? After all, humans and the low-level Beastkins are no match against those Elves, Vampires, and the high-level Beastkins.]
True, it does seem like they’re trying to get rid of us early. There fuckers…
[Well, what can you do? If you think about it, this isn’t even unfair. You guys are just not powerful enough to compete against them.]
Damn… If only I could get enough life points to buy that new unnamed 01 skill, these guys wouldn’t dare to underestimate me.
[Well, true, you might be able to defeat Princess Ilyrana by forcefully activating Beast Awakening, but let me give you an advice— don’t show that skill carelessly once you buy it. Save it as your hidden trump-card for emergency situation.]
But anyway, I am not going to go down that easily. I will give my best and maybe, I might even win!
[Pff-hahaha— I-I mean, that’s the spirit… Yay!]
Just fuck off…
Evelyn and I climb up the stairs, entering the stands. Even though the place is not that crowded at the moment, the seats are filling up extremely fast. Fortunately, Layla and others have already saved us a couple of seats in the front.
“Have you guys seen the fixture!? What is happening!?”
As I settle down on my seat (between Layla and Maya), Riley immediately bursts out about the match arrangements. Being one of the ten qualifiers, she seems quite angry about this as well.
“By the way, where is Kate? I cannot see her anywhere. Both of you are in the first match, right?” I ask Riley after looking around for a while.
“Yeah, we’re going against Princess Leena. Anyway, you shouldn’t worry; she’s with her parents. I met her before you guys came,” Riley reply.
That’s why she didn’t come to see me immediately…
Once the stadium gets filled up completely, Principal Winde finally enters the arena to address the crowd and to officially start the main Magical Tournament.
Unlike what I expected, he actually explains the reason behind this five-versus-one arrangement. According to him, this will give the human students (and some of the weaker Beastkins) a fair chance to climb up in the tournament.
But honestly, all of this is bullshit to me. Even if all fifteen of us fight against a single princess, there’s no guarantee that we could win.
“… I would like to end my speech here. Now, without further ado, let’s start the tournament! Participants in the first and the second match, please assemble in the waiting area near the stairs!” Principal Winde calls out.
“Wish me luck,” Riley mutters as she stands up, looking somewhat nervous.
We try to fire her up a little before sending her off towards the waiting area. Immediately afterward, I turn around and start looking for Kate again. This time, to my relief, I successfully spot her at a distance.
Woah… what is that??
Kate’s standing in front of an extremely large, gorilla-like man. His head and face are covered with a ton of black hair and his body looks similar to a buff wrestler who’s way past his prime. Even from this far, he looks really scary.
Please God… Don’t tell me that he’s Kate’s father…
Kate moves forward and hugs the huge man before moving away towards the waiting area.
Oh, for fuck’s sake!
Once all the participants get assembled, Principal Winde asks them to enter the arena while leaving for the stands himself. Riley, Kate, and the other three people walk out of the waiting room with a stiff smile on their faces. Leena also stands up from her seat and elegantly climbs down to the arena.
All of them take their respective positions before Principal Winde starts the count-down.
“Three… Two… One… Start!”
Before her five opponents could even begin casting their spells, Leena raises her right hand and waves it gently. Suddenly, black miasma envelops around Kate and everyone else around her, and the next instant, they all collapse on the ground— fainted.
The stadium quiets down as everyone looks at Leena in shock. Completely unperturbed by this, she turns around and starts walking back to her seat. A moment later, a team of medics rushes into the arena and takes away the unconscious bodies of Kate, Riley, and the other three on stretchers.
“Eh… Winner of the first match is Princess Leena!” Principal Winde announces, looking a bit surprised as well.
“And yes, please let me remind you that none of the participants on the losing side were harmed in any way. Miss Naomi just informed me that they will wake up soon enough.”
The crowd collectively sigh in relief. Everyone, including me, saw that strange black miasma and thought that something bad might’ve happened.
“So, this is how powerful the other races are… It was truly amazing,” Maya mutters in awe.
Everyone nods, silently agreeing with her. The match ended just way too fast. It was quite overwhelming for everyone.
After the shocking first match, a series of somewhat similar duels go on for almost an hour. For some reason, Vampires and Elves are matched against the low-level Beastkins. Even the high-level Beastkins keep eliminating the weaker contestants from their own race.
After a while, Zakira’s turn comes and the exact same thing happens in her match as well. She just waves her hand and all of her five opponents collapse a second later (though there’s no black miasma this time).
“What the heck? This is so boring…” I complain loudly.
“Yes, the disparity in power is too great. Nothing exciting is happening,” Evelyn agrees.
“Hmm… It’s like they are deliberately trying to eliminate all the weaker competitors,” Layla says.
“I think so, too,” I say, remembering what Pink said.
After some more duels, I finally get called to the waiting room. Looking a bit grim, all of my women wish me luck before sending me off. Clearly, that they don’t want to see me lose, but there’s nothing anyone can do about it.
Oh, fuck it… I am not going to just drop down without doing anything. I will try to land one spell, at least.
Walking down the stands, I enter the waiting area. The people in my group are already here, looking quite nervous and fidgety already.
As my group consists of all the top rankers in the qualifying tournament, Debbie (Leo’s girlfriend) and Aria (Rebecca’s sister) are here as well. But unlike their usual talkative selves, they’re unbelievably quiet today.
“Alright, it’s your turn now. Go to the arena.”
Finally, Miss Laura (my class-teacher) enters the waiting room and leads us to the arena.
And once again, things start progressing in the same pattern as before…
We take our respective positions in the arena, Princess Ilyrana walks down from the stands with a faint smile on her face, and Principal Winde begins the count-down.
There’s just one tiny difference this time— I have not given up like others. As my goal is to just land a single spell, I am already preparing for it.
And mind, it’s not going to be just any spell, it’s going to be the most powerful spell I can currently use. Black system taught me this spell a while ago and I have yet to use it in an actual duel/match. It’s not like I didn’t want to use this spell, it’s just that nearly all of my mana gets depleted once I perform it— rendering me unable to fight anymore.
You can say that this is the perfect opportunity to use it.
Here we go…
“Three… Two… One… Start!”
“Chaos-ball!” I shout out without wasting a second.
The next instant, a sphere of dark purple energy materializes between my hands and launches itself towards Princess Ilyrana.
Looking a bit impressed by my quick action, Princess Ilyrana gives me a wide smile. But that’s it, she doesn’t seem remotely concerned about my attack. Lifting up her delicate hand leisurely, she casts a counter-spell. Immediately, a powerful white light erupts a few meters in front of her, forming a thick semi-transparent barrier.
But well, her smile falters the moment my chaos-ball comes in contact with her barrier— getting replaced by a horrified look instead.
Why? Because her barrier doesn’t last even for a second against my chaos-ball, getting shattered immediately.
Looking extremely flustered, Princess Ilyrana raises bother of her hands this time, preparing to cast some more defensive spells— but there’s no need for it anymore.
With a small popping noise, Naomi appears in front of Ilyrana and points her hand towards my chaos-ball. Suddenly, the space around the chaos-ball distorts and it vanishes into thin air.
“Jacob and his team are the winners of this match.”
Naomi says in a low and cold voice but it still gets carried throughout the stadium. And for the first time since I met the White Fox Goddess; there’s fear in her eyes.