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Published at 9th of July 2017 08:44:52 AM

Chapter 27

Chapter 27 – Finals, Final Day (Part 2)


 

Waiting Room (Chie POV)

After the match with Stupid Swordsman, I returned to the waiting room .

When I entered the room, I saw Celes and Long Blue-haired Ikemen getting ready for the next match .

“Oh, you’ve returned . ”

Long Blue-haired Ikemen called out to me as he readied his bow .

He normally acted as if he was on holiday .

However, the serious expression he was making now could not be compared to what he normally looked like when he was about to go into town to pick up women .

Even so, that was understandable since, in a way, these matches determined who the best commander was .

It was no surprise that he felt tense .

All the other commanders in the room were similarly affected .

They normally chatted amiably with each other, but currently, they were silent .

That was why Long Blue-haired Ikemen didn’t say anything else after greeting me .

“Archer Corps Commander, Spear Corps Commander, please head to the arena . ”

The soldier on duty broke the silence in the waiting room .

Blue Long-haired Ikemen and Celes both stood up and left .

Now then, shall I watch the match unfold on the big, 1 meito-wide crystal?

A magician had cast a clairvoyance spell on it .

During military operations, the spell was used to reconnoiter an area .

Since it didn’t consume much magic power, it could be sustained for a long time .

Of course, that was based off of the average magician, who had a lot of magic power .

To the general populace, it was a high-rank light attribute spell .

Now, let’s see what the next match is like .

********** (Adolf POV)

Arena Grounds

I, Adolf Addinsell, was facing off against my opponent, Celestia Avary .

I put on a calm facade, but on the inside, I was in a cold sweat .

At any rate, my opponent was Celestia .

For any of the vice-commanders other than Conrad, I could attack without entering their range, but such simplistic attacks would never land on any of the commanders .

Especially since Celestia was a spear-user .

This was a wide-open area, and I was also facing the Empire’s best spear user, who wielded the spear as if it were an extension of her body .

I wondered how I should attack her .

“Are the two of you ready?”

The referee asked .

We both nodded silently in response .

We raised our weapons .

“Ready…begin!!”

At the signal, Celes rushed forward with her wooden spear at her side .

I did a backflip and cast a spell .

“Ice Block!”

Dozens of pillars, about 6 meitos tall, formed in the arena .

They were the same pillars I had used as cover during the Archer Corps battles .

However, in a place where movement was limited, like the arena grounds, they served a different purpose .

Case in point…

“Kuh! I can’t just charge in as I please like this!!”


Since she had such a long weapon, I could seal her movements .

Moreover, we weren’t using our real weapons in the match, but wooden practice weapons instead .

She would be able to break through with her normal weapon, but in these circumstances, her movements were restricted .

I should have a slight advantage now .

We archers would be no match against any of the other corps, apart from the magicians, in a head-to-head battle .

Archers weren’t suited for close-quarters combat .

The Black Knight did not let that problem go unsolved, and suggested that we train our footwork .

I, who was used to shooting at game while moving, was confident in my footwork .

I couldn’t use my hands for punching, since the bow required two hands . If one hand was disabled, I would be rendered unable to use a bow and arrow .

It would be suicide to face Celestia in melee range, so I couldn’t afford to do that .

That was why ranged attacks were the only option .

I would have no chance of winning if I didn’t ambush her .

Since I was an archer, I didn’t have to incapacitate my opponent in order to win the match .

Just like in the Archer Corps preliminaries, we would win if we hit the head or the heart .

It might be cowardly, but that was how we archers fought .

I sent an arrow at Celestia .

She immediately defended with her spear and dashed directly at me .

On the other hand, I began to move while firing consecutive arrows and using the ice walls as cover .

Celes deftly avoided the arrows as she ran across the arena .

She had the advantage in physical strength .

Since I had a limited number of arrows, I had to recover them as I moved, while also planning my next action .

That was why I concealed my location with the walls, but it wasn’t a big advantage .

Rather, if she found me, the fight would be effectively over .

I tried to conceal my presence as much as I could, while still firing arrows at the areas where I predicted she would dodge to .

I attacked from as many different directions as I could to cover up my location .

Celestia continued to dodge my arrows .

Soon, we were both breathing heavily, and judging that it was the right time, I acted .

I had discretely created a stairwell of ice using Ice Block .

I climbed up the stairs, crouched down on a pillar of ice near Celestia, and nocked an arrow .

Since she should be wary of attacks coming from every side, she might not have thought of one coming from above .

I had avoided attacking from above and instead attacked from the sides for this purpose .

I had two reasons . First, I wanted to lower her awareness to attacks from above .

Second, it was an all-or-nothing gamble .

If she realized it, I wouldn’t be able to move, my location would be found, and I would be taken out in one hit .

However, if it did succeed, then I could land a hit on her head, deciding the match .

I took a deep breath, opened my eyes wide, and leapt off the pillar .

My shadow would be hidden by the pillar’s shadow, so I wouldn’t be given away by it .

‘(I got her!)’

I was certain my arrow would hit .

The arrow flew straight at Celestia .

Clang!

“Wha-!?”

She knocked the arrow away, smirked at me, and then threw her spear at me .

“Sho–!”


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The spear struck me right in the stomach, and I was smashed into a pillar of ice . Just like that, the world went dark .

**********(Chie POV)

Waiting Room

Aaah, Blue Long-haired Ikemen lost .

As I watched the match on the crystal, I broke into a grin, but it was hidden by my helmet .

His strategy wasn’t bad, but the current Celes wouldn’t be tricked by that .

That was because I had once gone on a bandit subjugation with only her . At that time, the bandits had also distracted her, tired her out, and shot at her from above .

That time, Celes hadn’t noticed .

However, I had . Before I had any time to think, I cut down the bandits around me and cast the ranged attack magic Dark Shot . The black ball smashed into the arrow that was aimed at Celes’ head .

Celes didn’t know what had happened at the time, and just defeated the remaining bandits around her .

The reason we killed them all was because of the atrocities they committed, so the order to subjugate and imprison had become an extermination request .

Well, since that time, in order to avoid making the same mistake twice, Celes has always been wary of archers .

That experience greatly influenced the result of the match, which ended in her victory .

As expected of a soldier . They made an effort to not make the same mistake twice .

When Blue Long-haired Ikemen lost consciousness, the pillars of ice disappeared, and the arena turned back to normal .

After the referee had announced the winner, the Ikemen was carried out on a stretcher .

Celes left the arena floor .

Soon after, she silently sat down on the couch and sighed heavily .

Unusually, she was fatigued .

It showed that Blue Long-haired Ikemen was that strong of an opponent .

Though they used the same tactics, comparing the Archer Corps Commander to the bandits was unthinkable .

From what I could see in the crystal, the Ikemen’s aim was accurate .

It took a lot of effort just to dodge his arrows .

Perhaps, if there had been even the slightest of openings, he would’ve taken advantage of it .

I guess that skill was truly fitting for the Commander of the Archer corp .

As I was thinking this, the soldier on duty came and left with Mr . Musclehead and Amy .

At any rate, after those two left, I started to feel a bit lonely .

If the participants of the matches weren’t taken to the medical ward, the winners would return to the waiting room, and the losers would head to the seats for military personnel .

Oh, Mr . Musclehead and Amy had arrived on the arena floor .

Now then, it was time to see what they had to show in the finals .

**********(Brandon POV)

Arena Floor

I, Brandon Adams, was about to face off against Amy Arnold .

I didn’t have my usual weapon on me .

I couldn’t afford to go easy either, since my opponent was a fellow commander .

On the other hand, it was good that I didn’t have a reason to hold back .

Against all of the vice-commanders other than Conrad, I had to hold back . However, it wasn’t the same against a Commander .

That was why I would use my original fighting style .

Honestly, I didn’t want to lose, but I also didn’t really want to win .

Especially against an eighteen year old girl .

“Now then, are you both ready?”

The referee asked .

“I don’t mind . ”

“I-I’m… ready…”


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We answered the referee .

“Ready, begin!”

Upon hearing the referee’s signal, I rushed forward .

I swung my fist down .

“Shield!!”

Amy created an elementless, transparent shield .

However, that wasn’t a problem .

—-Bakin!

It only held up for an instant .

The elementless shield was the weakest defensive spell there was .

It might be enough to withstand attacks from goblins, but not from me .

Even then, it still held up for an instant .

In that instant, Amy had put some distance between us .

Unlike other magicians, she could make use of that instant, and as I had expected-

“Oh Earth, capture him and seal his movements . Gnome Chain!!”

Without a moment’s delay, she cast an intermediate level Earth element spell to try to restrict my movements .

Earthen chains erupted from the ground and shot at me .

I avoided them and went back on the offensive .

While controlling the Gnome Chain spell, Amy cast an earth element defensive spell .

Judging from her personality, she was probably trying to stop my movements, so that I could no longer fight .

She didn’t go easy on fellow magicians, but when against those who fought with weapons or fists, she often tried to defeat them by immobilizing them .

For better or for worse, she was a gentle person .

Even when she knew it would be impossible, she didn’t attack until she absolutely needed to .

Sheesh, how tricky .

I continued my offense while dodging her Gnome Chain spell, and she continued to defend .

Eventually, Amy grew tired .

“Sylph Shield!”

Amy erected a barrier of wind around her and began to chant .

I pounded the barrier while continuing to dodge the earthen chains .

As expected, an elemental shield was stronger .

I couldn’t break it easily .

As I continued attacking the barrier and dodging chains, Amy finished her chant and pointed her wand at me .

“Explosion!!”

There was a flash of magic power .

—-Boom!!

The ground where I stood exploded with a deafening roar .

**********(Amy’s POV)

I detonated the highest level Fire element spell, creating a large explosion .

“I w-went a bit o-over…board…”

He had some protection, so he wouldn’t die, but it was still a crude solution .

I dispelled Sylph Shield and searched for Brandon-san .

He had probably been knocked out by that, though .

—Tap

“Eh?”


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I heard a footstep behind me and turned around .

While wearing a sharp glare, Brandon, who I had thought was knocked out, was swinging his fist upwards .

**********(Chie POV)

Waiting Room

“Eh? What happened?”

Celes was surprised .

The crystal screen was showing Mr . Musclehead’s fist, stopped right in front of a disarmed Amy’s face .

“Ah, you missed it, didn’t you?”

“What are you talking about?”

The sofa was quite far from the screen, so it was probably hard to see it clearly .

If I hadn’t been as close to the screen as I was, I wouldn’t have understood what had happened .

I doubted that the audience, or even the referee, who had left the arena after starting the match, knew what had happened either .

Thanks to the crystal screen, I had seen something, for only an instant .

“Mr . Musclehead dodged Amy’s explosion magic at the last second . ”

“F-For real? In that short of a time frame!?”

Celes asked incredulously .

Hey, hey, haven’t you known each other for a long time now?

“Did you forget? Mr . Musclehead is fast . , With his reflexes, it’s possible . Well, it’s not guaranteed that he could do it every time though . Of course, he didn’t get away unscathed, but as expected of the Fighter Corps Commander, he endured the damage . ”

If they braced their bodies to their limit, then they would be able to just barely endure it .

“After this is just my conjecture, though . After dodging the spell, he hid in the cloud of dust and waited for Amy to dispel her Sylph Shield . As Amy searched for Mr . Musclehead, who she thought had fainted, he snuck behind her and hit her hand, making her let go of the wand, and stopped his fist right in front of her face . Well, it was probably something like that . ”

Celes’ jaw dropped .

Upon which,

“That’s exactly right . What great reasoning, Black Knight . ”

I turned towards the entryway and saw Mr . Musclehead . He was wearing a light brown mantle over a dark green gambeson, which was in tatters from the explosion .

His face and hair were completely covered in soot .

I looked back at the screen and saw that nobody was in the arena anymore .

Since the first three matches had finished, there would be an hour long intermission .

Having back-to-back matches would be hard, so there was a break in-between .

However, there was a more pressing matter .

“When did you return?”

Since I didn’t have to be alert here and I was immersed in the conversation, I didn’t notice his presence at all .

“I arrived when you said ‘From here on’ . ”

“I see . Even then, that was a bit fast, wasn’t it?”

I shrugged and laughed it off .

“I’m tired from the match with Amy . Also, don’t call me Mr . Musclehead . ”

He plopped down on an unoccupied sofa .

So these were the strongest two Commanders .

Well, the other three weren’t weak .

I wouldn’t lose to them in either power or speed, but I was worried about whether I could keep my calm, since I had less experience than they did .

Ah, I was feeling nervous . I decided to take a short walk outside .

I left those two behind and took a deep breath of fresh air .

“Suuu~haaa~”
(TL: Deep breath)

Two more matches . You can do it, me!!

To be continued

 

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