Chapter 18 ~ Tournament Final First Match, Battle Against Francesca
This battle is finally balanced after my opponent was left with only a single hand usable.
Am I weak? Or was Lazard san too strong? Supposedly, the person with Recovery Magic should be overwhelming the other by dealing more damage yet————
Lazard san remains standing till the last moment. After I healed my wounds, I stand up slowly.
The match is already over. I don’t have to worry about it anymore.
It’s finally over. That was my honest impression.
Our match end after Lazard san gave up. After having rehashed our simultaneous strikes from the first half of the match, it was decided that it’s impossible for him to continue the match considering the damage he received at his right arm is as bad as expected.
The victory is mine, but wouldn’t there be a suspicion that we are match fixing since I was winning this match miserably?
My victory is unexpected.
“Why the long face, when you have won? Rest assured; for this victory is definitely yours. No one is complaining. It’s fine to stick your chest high.”
Perhaps I’m the only one who is worried. This is the victory that I’ve finally achieved after spilling so much blood.
Maybe, this is the first time I suffered so much injuries from this tournament.
“If you are not convinced, then I don’t mind if we have another go. Right, ref.”
“Yes. There is a precedent for a rematch after both contestants healed their wounds. However, it can only be done if both sides agree……”
I shook my head. I prefer not to do that.
“Well, I’m already hungry. Next time, once you have grown stronger, I’ll let you become my opponent again. I’m looking forward to that time!”
I did have plan to train at the Sword Saint’s place, but how much growth will I have, I wonder?
If my level goes up, then my status will grow further, meaning my speed and power will rise as well. Just that recently there isn’t any growth to both my level and status. Unless I get involved in a large-scale battle, there is no way I can earn much experience. Hence, any expectation for a big improvement is hopelessly thin. I may not meet your expectations.
Although, with my magic included, I think I can give him a better fight. Rather, considering how the actual battle goes, it is more practical to coordinate my combat skill with magic.
I don’t want to turn him into cinders with my Fire Magic. Therefore, by adding features like rapid fire and stronger air hammer in addition to large Golem, I believe they are enough to satisfy Lazard san battle lust. Not like I will do it for real.
After Lazard san treatment was over, we received a great applause as we exited the stage. I wonder to whom these applauses are directed to? The audiences might be booing me, and honestly, I’m too afraid of the audience’s reaction that I turn deaf ears to them.
Since I won, that means I still have another match to fight tomorrow. I also need to buy the lottery for the tournament’s final after this.
Fighting all out for an extended period truly makes me tired and aches the whole body. I’d wish to go back home, put on my bedding and sleep. But I have acquired a lot of knowledge on the side. Without a doubt, my swordsmanship has improved, and I also acquired Recovery Magic operation knowledge in actual battle, especially the ability of Regenation was also known. They are valuable combat data that I will never gain no matter how many times I practiced.
As Sergeant dono put it, the tournament proved to be a good experience. I want to practice for a little while my memory is still clear……
“Deep in my heart, I would like to renounce you from the match, and made you rest for at least three days.”
So, Ann told me right after I came back.
I vomited blood, and my internal organs must have been considerably damaged. I would be delighted to abstained from the next match and spend my times with my family but alas, now isn’t the correct time. The expectation around me is heavy and crushing.
Well, the wounds itself has completely cured without any issues. I should be fine if the match can be ended shortly. In reality, I’m still amidst recovery, and going overboard will definitely set back my recovery process. From my understanding, the injury is not something life threatening.
“Bro! We made a great profit!”
Alongside a sound of coins heavily clinging to each other, Will excitedly proclaim while he is talking to me. Despite being a prince, his mind is surprisingly like a commoner. The coins weren’t that much.
“That’s great. I was betting on myself and now I have gained a profit.”
Of course, I was betting on Satie as well, and everyone seems to have done the same.
However, the problem is tomorrow. My physical condition is weakened, and it may bring an impact to Sati. If I wish to put Sati in the final, then I need to cleverly pull the drawing lot. Afterward, the overall championship candidate, Francesca will have to face against Sati. Then, Sati will win the overall championship while I became a second runner-up.
Not long after the final match ended, the drawing lots session started. The contestants are introduced as each one goes up on the stage, and after each contestant has finished introducing themselves, everyone take turn to draw lot from a cylindrical shape drawing lot’s box in order.
I never heard about this bit where contestant need to be introduced……
Sati was introduced, and it’s pleasant to see the amount of cheers from the crowd. I’m completely unwilling to do this, but without showing it outside, I waited for my introduction to end while leaving my mind empty.
I’ve defeated one of the winning candidates despite entering this tournament for the first time. Though, I have shown a strong Recovery Magic ability as weapon during my previous match.
The drawing box is getting passed over and Francesca draws number two.
Sati draws number four. That means these two won’t met until semi-final.
Now it is my turn to draw the lot. The order of withdrawal follows the order of our match for today. I’m the seventh out of eight today, so there is still at least two more number left. What left is number one, who will be paired with Francesca, or number five. Please, not number one……
“Contestant Masaru, number one!”
This is the end. Tomorrow morning I’m going to face against Francesca in the first game. If I won, then I need to face Sati.
Well, it’s unlikely that I’m going to win the first match tomorrow, so I’m going to place my bet on Sati. No but what about my first match? And against Francesca? Can I abstain? I guess not.
I quietly rest inside the carriage that came to fetch us while returning to the Elf Mansion. Since Sati insists on taking care of me, the matter of my food and my clothes were all left to her. After taking a bath, I’m now resting in the living room when Tilika, who was acting separately behind our match returned.
“Regarding the matter of dealing with George, the Truth Official has confirmed the responsibility.”
So, Tilika came to me and reported.
If George is entrusted to Byron family, he might receive more lenient punishment. The Truth Palace is also in friendly term with the military. It is said that they have the means to send out George as an apprentice for a military force that is stationed at the frontier and is out of control from the Byron family.
Being stationed at the foremost line of the force, he will never be treated as the son of a noble family and he is required to work there for at least two years.
In this tough world, I’m sure the level of severity is no joke. Besides, the demons have their military stationed there. I cannot imagine what will happen throughout the two years he will be spending there. I’ll just pray for his happiness……
Now, what will happen to George doesn’t concern me much. Sati takes my priority. There is a hint of melancholy in herself since she is required to hit me for real in this tournament. We did it in daily basis during our training, however when it comes to a match, things can get quite crazy. It has become obvious from today’s match that it’s impossible to stop ourselves at the last moment before we hit the other. I, too, doesn’t want to hit Sati……
“I will not hesitate, and without giving up, let’s do our best.”
Once I’ve said that, the tense atmosphere around Sati dropped.
After thinking for a moment, I cut a piece of note, and proceed to write on it.
“If you won against me……no. I’ll give this as a reward, if you become the champion in this tournament.”
“Masaru one day access ticket?”
“Correct. You can have me for yourself for one whole day and do whatever you want.”
“By whatever, you mean I can ask for anything that I want?”
“Definitely, anything is fine.”
Well, I find Sati to be cute whenever she acts selfishly. Plus, she seldom asks for what she wants.
“I will do my best!”
Good, that’s great. I can see her spirit slowly recovering. Sati needs to get even stronger. She needs to be capable of swimming through whatever this world is throwing at her. So that she can survive, even if I fall.
The match begins at noon. However, while I was asleep, the time past by in a blink of an eye.
I still don’t feel well. I don’t have any problem moving my body, but overall, I still feel tired and sleepy.
After arriving at the venue, I decided to have a bit of practice by acting as Sati’s opponent, but I soon feel tired. Perhaps my stamina is being absorbed in exchange for my body recovering. I am still capable of light movement, but there is no telling how much I can exert my full strength.
But more importantly, my will is shaken after seeing how high the tension is in the atmosphere. The stadium is packed with spectators who have no room left to stand and they are waiting for the match to start. I initially thought that I have gotten used to this atmosphere for a little, but it seems that it was just in my mind.
My match is the first one for today, and yet I’m feeling so nervous and unable to concentrate for the match. If I win, then I am going to face Sati next. I can’t help but to feel demotivated.
Finally, the call for the first match was announced. The venue quickly gets engulfed with excitement. These cheering are mostly for my opponent, the knight princess, Francesca.
The leading candidate for overall championship. An inborn talent, also the successor for the Sword Saint who is also a member of prominent family. With an outstanding beauty, her plain leather equipment failed to hide her gorgeousness.
Following Francesca, I also climbed the stage. Crap, my nervousness meter is rising. If I don’t climb up the stair carefully one step at a time, I might fall again. I feel the tension rising after remembering that I had fallen yesterday.
I took a deep breathe in and breathe out. Alright. I think I managed to settle down somewhat.
My eyes met with Francesca. She is stifling her laugh by covering her nose. Perhaps the act is confusing as an onlooker.
But our match won’t wait. We stand at the beginning line. Signal to get prepared is released. Already! Too soon!
Francesca began her assault right after the starting signal was released. I blocked her attack with my sword. It’s light. But very fast. Just like that, she continues to unleash her second and third attack……oh, shit. I twisted my sword play to gain some distance, but soon she is already after me. I know she is fast, but only after I experience it that I know she is hella fast.
Besides, the way she moves differ from Sati. I already saw her full strength during that time when she was fighting against Armand. Experiencing it first-hand, however, is a big difference. Dealing with her is……again, I’m blocking her attack. This is bad. Right now, I’m blocking her attack with my shield on my left elbow. Yet she managed to skilfully slip through my buckler defence. My arm can still move, but they hurt a lot each time I attempt to move them. I want to cast a recovery magic but her fast attack is hindering me from casting my spell.
It should be fine to block her attack with my sword since her attack is so light, or so I thought, yet it is not that her sword is light. She is controlling the weight behind her sword. I tried to cram as much rotation and its speed as much as I can.
It’s light but fast, and the power behind it is perfect. If this hits a vital, then this match might possibly end.
But I’m gradually getting used to her speed and movement. If her attack is light, then there is a way to see around it. After showing a resolve to attempt for a simultaneous strike……I leap down and escape. With that, I gain some time for myself. I gather my mana and, ——【Small Heal】——finished chanting.
“I should have known, but it was really difficult. But……”
I don’t think there will be another chance to use Recovery Magic like this anymore. Using Recovery Magic while she is attacking in fast succession will be tough indeed. I know it’s already late, but I wish I had practiced with Sati.
I create some distance and rearranged my breath. As a matter of course, she isn’t letting me use Regenation. For that reason, she plunged right after me at the beginning of our match. I would like to use Heal one more time if I could, however once she detected my mana flow, she will begin her attack immediately. I shall give more priority for my rest time.
Sadly, the break doesn’t seem to last very long. And when the tension seems to be rising around her……she is coming. Her movement is sharp. She breaks into my territory, and her attack is coated with killing intent.
But I have enough mettle to fight her. My experiences fighting with Sati can be applied effectively. Even though it is hard to grasp her nimble movement, I can still……predict her move and follow up with my offense. Making a mistake means I’ll be put into predicament, but by skilfully putting obstructions to her movement……she is mine!
My blow enhanced with enough speed and strength behind it was blocked by her sword and in turn, Francesca was blown off. Her posture has crumbled, or so I thought, but it appears that she was not blown away, only receiving my attack without putting any force to oppose it and leap with the flow. There isn’t any opening.
But this way, I can afford another 【Small Heal】.
Creating an opening is a slow progress, but I’m thankful for each of them. Would it be possible to win if I keep this up? My body is no longer heavy, and I feel my strength is surging nicely. I can feel each swing of my sword now.
My problem right now is her evasion skill is too high and that renders my attack unhittable at the target.
Since Francesca is very good with her evasion, and since my sword was ward off beautifully, I couldn’t make the best of my power in my advantage.
There isn’t other way unless I find an opening.
Nonetheless, the fatigue from my yesterday match is much worse than I thought. My previous battle has exhausted my strength.
It’s still too early to relax my breathe. I truly want to take a breather, but Francesca is not letting me up.
I ended up being the first one to show an opening. While following Francesca movement, my foot ended up slipping for a little bit. Rather than an opening, it is more correct to say it as a small blunder, but Francesca does not miss that.
An attack aiming to my torso is coming. No problem here, since my shield can act as my defence……yet the attack never arrived. There is no sword coming from her right hand.
Once I realized, my head is already taking the full blunt from her attack. Her attack is coming from my blind spot after she switched her sword to her left hand. My head is protected with a sturdy iron helmet, but the aftershock is enough to cause a concussion and my movement has completely stopped.
When it becomes so, there isn’t any way left anymore. I received another 3 strikes from her follow up, and my consciousness faded.
Later, after I woke up, I heard she added another two additional strikes toward me who has fallen. I understand her intents to put me completely stop in motion in order to prevent recovery, but she truly is ruthless.
And thus, Sati is driven mad from seeing that cruelty.