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『──It’s finally the first match of the K block! From the east gate Seidoukan Academy’s Team Enfield makes their entrance!』
When the entrance gate’s door, which was renovated, opened, cheers fanned by Miko’s excited voice rattlingly shook the air.
Before, the pathway of the interior connected directly to the stage, but now, because a trench for the protective gel was made, the entrance itself has greatly changed. First, the hatch of the protective gel under water opened, and then a huge pillar-shaped entrance gate gradually rose from there up to the same height as the audience seating. Afterwards, it was a really large-scale mechanism where a semi-transparent path extended up to the sky stage in the air when players appeared from the inside of the pillar.
As Claudia advanced through that path at the vanguard, Julis spat out with a dumbfounded face.
“There will be no use even if I say it now, but…… I see that this tournament devoted itself to useless performances as always.”
“Fufufu, we have no choice but to come to terms with the fact that that’s how it is.”
On the other hand, Claudia, who walked in front, responded to the cheers by waving her hand in a completely familiar way
“B-But, this is a little…… embarrassing.”
Kirin, not seeming to be able to adapt constitutionally, either, hung her head down with a bright red face.
“……I don’t care either way, so I want to return quickly and continued my work.”
It seems that in the end, Saya did not make it in time for this first match with her lux remodeling. Though she said that she wanted to get it over with by the main battle, she seemed to run fairly into difficulties.
When turning a fleeting glance to the rear, many huge space screens were unfolded around the entrance gate and an image of Seidoukan’s school badges and players’ presentation were broadcast on them. This was certainly quite embarrassing.
When they arrived at the end of the path, where the stairs began, and went down those stairs to the stage where the six academies’ school badges were drawn, their opponent team for the first match was going to appear from the opposite entrance gate just at that time.
『And, and! Challenging this Team Enfield, which is one of the favorites, is Le Wolfe Black Institute’s Team Black Venom!』
『If this Team Black Venom wins, it’ll truly be the most spectacular victory, but how will it be……』
With their uniforms, which has been remodeled to the extent that any part of the original (uniform) hardly remained, countless tattoos painted on their exposed skins and their individual hairstyles ── five male students dressed like typical Le Wolfe students turned provocative gazes to Ayato and company.
There were varied expressions such as those, who glared as to intimidate, and also those who laughed frivolously; but they obviously had a bad attitude. All of them have already deployed their luxes, and those were all long-range weapons such as assault rifle type luxes.
“……I’ve heard that it was a mish-mash of hoodlums, but it’s more than I imagined.”
As she recalled their previous meeting, Saya muttered as such.
From what Claudia had said, they were all outside the list. As such, there was hardly any data about them, too. Although among the six academies, Le Wolfe was the academy where the replacement of ranks was the most intense, she could grasp their (hoodlums) rough ability when facing them like this. ──Honestly, she did not think that they were that much of a threat.
“There are many people of this kind who misunderstand the comparing it to the other after all.”
Julis made a somewhat fed up expression.
“As the is for team battles, the hurdle for participation is high…… At the same time, as you know, it’s also the with the most surprises/unexpected results. In other words, many people participate in it by gathering the required number of people so as to aim for victory even by a fluke.”
“Only, it’s something one understands by actually watching a match, but most teams, which raised a giant killing, exerted great efforts accordingly. That is, hauling in the moment when they have cleared/jumped over the ability difference. The isn’t something so sweet that hooligans, with foolish thoughts such as ‘it’s natural that we’d lose; if we can luckily pick up a victory, then we gradually can’ and like, win.”
Julis resolutely cut off there.
“Hehehe…… Yo, . I didn’t think we’d meet you guys again in such a place……”
The Mohawk-haired man, whose school badge faintly radiated as proof of team leader, stepped forward and said so with a stiffened face.
After Julis intently stared at his face for a while──
“Who are you?”
She tilted her head to the side with a puzzled expression.
“Wha!? You bitch, you don’t remember me?!”
Perhaps because it was quite a humiliation, the enraged Mohawk-haired man’s face dyed red.
But, Ayato, who was watching their exchanges from the side remembered earlier than Julis.
“Ah……! Look, he’s the one from when I had Julis guide me around the town before……”
When Ayato had just come to Asterisk, he had asked Julis to show him around the central district. He was probably a Le Wolfe student who was hired by Silas Norman, who was aiming at Julis at that time, and attacked them in the form of rolling them up in a scuffle then.
“……Ah, those hoodlums who were tricked by Silas Norman and attacked us, huh.”
Julis seemed to more or less remember it, but she didn’t seem to be that interested in it.
However, it seemed to be different for the other party.
“Damn, messing around with me! ……H-Hmph! But, well never mind. I didn’t think that I could have a golden opportunity to get back at you from that time in this tournament, which I participated in just for fun. From the start, we didn’t think we could win, but we’ll take at least even you alone along with us in our fall. So prepare yourself……!”
When the Mohawk-haired man spitted as he said so, he turned back and returned to his match start position.
Though Julis remained silent as is with cool eyes, she glanced at Claudia.
Claudia, who received her glance, smiled and nodded.
『Well then, the filling of the protective gel has begun, too, and the match start time finally approaches! Now then, will an unexpected result occur?!』
As the match was about to begin, the protective gel welled up from the trench, gradually surrounding the whole stage. The protective gel was a photo-curing type liquid resin, and its surface was solidified by means of laser irradiation. It covered up entirely the surroundings without spilling over even when exceeding the stage’s wall.
Naturally, the sound was isolated in the inside and outside; but because there was a built-in speaker on the stage’s wall, live report, commentary and cheers could be heard with almost no sense of incongruity.
The protective gel, which appeared slightly bluish during the filling, visibly turned transparent.
“ K Block first match, battle start!”
And when the mechanical voice announced the match start, the members of Black Venom all turned their gun muzzles only towards Julis alone──
Along with a roar, they suddenly changed their target to Claudia who was the team leader.
A storm of light bullets shot from five luxes attacked Claudia, and a dense cloud of dust filed the surroundings.
“Hahahaha! How is this?! According to the rumors, it seems that has the ability of future foresight; but there’s no way you’ll be able to deal with a saturation attack, right?!”
The Mohawk-haired man, who’d set the surprise attack, laughed somewhat excitedly.
It looked like he was convinced of their victory.
──But, as Julis had said, the was not that sweet.
“Your idea wasn’t bad…… but, your bluff from the start was too obvious.”
“Well, it was that plain after all.”
The cloud of dust cleared away, the face of the Mohawk-haired man, who saw the figures of Ayato and Julis standing so as to protect Claudia, was distorted with shock.
Ayato used as a shield, Julis deployed the Great Crimson Heart Blazing Shield (Anthurium), both of them guarding Claudia.
The Mohawk-haired man and his teammates hurriedly set up their luxes again, but it was already late.
“──Here I come!”
At that time, Kirin, who drew out Senbakiri jumped into their chests.
A silver sword flash shone; the school badges of the dread-haired big man and the man with a snake tattoo on his bald head were cut off at the same time.
Although the obese-like big man, who took up position in the very rear, tried to contain Kirin by firing the heavy machine gun type lux which he held in both hands, the silver-haired girl easily evaded the gunfire and then cut the school badge of the tall man with ruffled hair.
“Guuuuuuh! J-Just stay still……!”
The obese-like big man swung his heavy machine gun around to somehow catch Kirin, but the barrage of light bullets which were scattered did not even graze her.
“H-Hey! Rather than that little girl, first the leader──”
The light of the Type 39 Lux Laser Cannon Wolfdora that Saya fired grazed the side of the Mohawk-haired man who shouted while running away to take distance from Kirin.
The obese-like big man who was swallowed by the whirlpool of light was flung against the stage’s wall along with a scream as is. The sound of a heavy, dull shock resounded and the big man, who was buried like he was crucified to the wall, in which cracks ran through the length and breadth, seemed to have already lost consciousness.
The tip of was thrust at the neck of the Mohawk-haired man in a dumbfounded sorry state who gapingly opened his mouth.
“The leader…… what?”
As Claudia said so with a refreshing smile, the Mohawk-haired man announced that he gave up while sinking down to the floor as he was unable to stand up due to fear.
“I’m sorry, please look here, too!”
“Eh, then I’d like to ask player Toudou, but by how much have you narrowed down the targets when you attacked at the very beginning……”
Before the passage leading to the waiting room, a place with a space slightly wider than others was the interview space where the winner interview was held. An official press conference room furnished with a table and chairs was often used after entering the main battles, but in the qualifiers, unless in some really special circumstances, it was done briefly in this place.
Even so, if it was two people like in the , it would not take that much time, too; but it was five people in the . In addition, due to the fact that Ayato and company were one of the favorites, there were many reporters who’d gathered.
“I think that you know that your team is considered to be one of the favorites in this tournament, but judging from you, player Amagiri, which are the teams that you regard as strong opponents, and the teams that you think it seems they will become you guys’ rivals?”
“Errr, well…… As expected, I think that Garrardsworth’s Team Lancelot and Team Tristan are strong opponents.”
“Speaking of player Sasamiya, the numerous original luxes that you used in the became a hot topic; but have you prepared any new luxes this time, too?”
Actually, one wondered whether they would be held back by this and that for nearly 20 minutes in such a way.
Julis, already seeming to be quite fed up with it, plainly revealed a displeased expression.
“I’m sorry, everyone. May we already end this as such?”
In that timing, Claudia mildly declared putting an end to the interview.
“U-Um, then can I ask one last question?”
A hand was suddenly raised from the back of the crowd of reporters, and a slender young female reporter leaned forward. There was the mark of ABC on the press card hung on her neck.
Perhaps she was a new recruit, as she looked somewhat tense.
“E-Errr, player Enfield, you’re participating in the now for the first time after your last three years ago, but is there any particular reason for it?”
“No, I have just waited until choosing an environment suited in order to display the most ability. I believe it to be the shortest way for me in order to fulfill my wish after all.”
“And what is that wish?”
To her question, the other reporters became slightly noisy.
Regarding the reward for having won a ── in other words, regarding the fact of having the Integrated Enterprise Foundation grant one’s wish, it was of convention not to inquire into it too much. Unless in the case that the person themselves declared it beforehand, inquiry into it might incur the Integrated Enterprise Foundation’s displeasure in some cases.
“Fufufu…… let’s see. It is a good opportunity, so I will talk a little about it.”
When Claudia shook her shoulders happily, she took a slight pause as if putting on airs.
“……Everyone, do you know Professor Ladislav Bartsheik?”
“If you speak of Professor Bartsheik, I can only think of the one related to the ogre luxes research……?”
An atmosphere of confusion flowed among the reporters.
However, Ayato noticed that there were several people among them who suddenly became restless.
Perhaps they might have information related to Ladislav to some extent. He could easily imagine that some sort of information control/restriction was applied to the media-related people by the Integrated Enterprise Foundation.
“But, hasn’t Professor Bartsheik cut off all contact for a quite long time and should be missing even now……?”
When the female reporter, who had questioned earlier, asked so to Claudia, the latter easily answered as if she was waiting for it.
“No, the professor is currently held in custody as a person concerned about the judgment regarding the . My wish is to meet and talk with him.”
Unlike a while ago, clear unrest/agitation ran among the reporters.
Anyone (everybody) knew that all things related to the were a taboo in Asterisk. Although it was not like they could just forget it, careful attention was necessary when touching that topic.
“E-Errr, what do you mean……?”
“A secret which only the professor knows ── I would like to share it with others.”
Claudia said that, gave a small bow to the reporters, whose faces became stiff, and briskly left the interview space.
Though Ayato and company, who were left behind, were dumbfounded for a while, they quickly came to their senses and hurriedly ran after her back.
“I don’t really know the details, but…… that statement just now, is it all right to make it?”
Julis, who’d caught up with her, asked her as such in a perplexed voice.
The matter related to Ladislav could only antagonize Galaxy. Having said that was none other than Claudia herself.
After she easily declared such a statement like this, it was no wonder that Julis would be perplexed.
“No, rather I judged that this was the very best timing.”
Claudia did not stop and turned only her face with her usual smile.
“Fufufu…… Hahahahaha! Haa, amazing. What a surprise…… yes, honestly it was beyond my expectations. The young lady of Enfield isn’t to be taken lightly, eh.”
Madiath let a laughter, which he was unable to bear, resound in the office and gave a round of applause to his praise that contained no trace of lies.
Team Enfield’s winner interview was projected in the space window floating before his eyes until a little while ago, but it switched to CM now.
“It was the right decision to cancel the broadcast delay system, I guess.”
Before, the ’s image transmissions, although it could be said to be “live” broadcast, were broadcasted while including time for censorship. However, the fans’ opposition regarding this was deep-rooted from the beginning of the , and Madiath immediately abolished this system after he assumed his position as Management Committee Chairman.
“……What is the meaning of this?”
An indifferent voice was raised from a corner of the room.
Having appeared as if melting from the shadow of the wall was a young woman ── Varda hanging a mechanical necklace.
“Why does that woman request to enter in contact with Ladislav?”
“Hou, are you worried about your father?”
“……Certainly, Ladislav was the one who created me, but it is not that kind of relationship.”
“I’m only joking. However, the reason why that young lady requests to enter in contact with the professor, even I don’t…… hmm?”
There, Madiath received a call on his portable terminal.
When he opened the space window, what was projected there was a redheaded young man whose face was dyed in irritation.
『What is the meaning of this, Madiath!?』
Though Madiath smiled wryly to these lines, which were exactly the same as Varda’s, the young man fully conveyed what he wanted to say.
“Like I said, I’m troubled even if you asked me that. Or if you want, how about you try asking her directly? I’m also interested in it.”
『Don’t bullshit me! Hurry up and spit out what you know!』
“I don’t know with what kind of intention she spoke of such a thing. What I just know is that she has been investigating about the professor since some time now and that it looks like she is about to antagonize Galaxy because of that.”
When he honestly stated so, Dirk glared at Madiath with a face as though saying that he did not trust him completely.
『……Tch, well whatever. But anyway, what that woman did is completely crazy. To think that she would stir up trouble with an Integrated Enterprise Foundation ── and the one backing her academy at that of all things. I can only think that she has a death wish.』
“Even I don’t deny that at this rate, it’ll turn out like that as a result. But I think that the course will probably become slightly more complicated.”
“It won’t be able to be dealt with by ordinary means, is what I mean.”
As Madiath leaned his body on the sofa’s back, he intertwined the fingers of both his hands while curling his lips.
“This is a great opportunity to make Galaxy fall. Now that it’s been a long time since the six Integrated Enterprise Foundations has reached a power balance, do you think that the other Integrated Enterprise Foundations will let this chance slip by under their very noses?”
『But, the other Integrated Enterprise Foundations shouldn’t be aware of Varda’s existence itself. Ladislav was only the ideological leader of the , nothing more nothing less. Well, even if only this fact is exposed, it will be enough to cause considerable damage, but……』
When Dirk temporarily cut his words there, he folded his arms and pondered.
『To begin with, hasn’t Galaxy already come to an agreement with the other Integrated Enterprise Foundations regarding Ladislav’s treatment? They can’t afford to break it, right?』
“That’s the point. The matter this time is only Galaxy’s internal problem after all. Naturally, Galaxy will exert itself in extinguishing the fire, but if it’s only interfering by objecting to Galaxy’s means, it won’t really be regarded as breaking the agreement, right? Even from a humanitarian viewpoint, the fault in that case will lie with Galaxy after all.”
Though it has been a long time since the thing called a sense of ethics became weak, it remained deeply rooted as a public stance even now. Although this in itself hardly held any power, it was not like it had no utility value at all.
Then, Dirk irritatingly snorted.
『Hmph! Certainly, if they (Galaxy) were pressured by the other Integrated Enterprise Foundations, it’ll be quite difficult for them to openly crush that woman, huh……』
“Moreover this time, it’ll be five versus one. Galaxy won’t be able to act rashly. And it’ll be easy since the other Integrated Enterprise Foundations will just have to give them a warning.”
『However, will it really be to the point of them falling?』
“They will fall. I’ll make them, that is.”
『……Will you side with that sly fox?』
Though Dirk threatened with a voice filled with anger, Madiath calmly warded it off.
“As the Management Committee Chairman, isn’t it natural to protect the participants?”
『……Tch! You too are in a sense an executive of Galaxy, right? I don’t care if things go awry!』
“Of course, I’ll skillfully deal with that. Besides, if Galaxy gets serious ── in other words, if they are prepared for some loss, even I won’t be able to stop them.”
It was almost at the same time when Madiath answered so with a soft smile that Dirk, whose irritation went to the extreme, cut the transmission.
Then, Varda, who heard the exchange between Dirk and Madiath without butting in until now, muttered with a flat voice.
“As usual, I do not understand humans. Why are they deliberately trying to make things complicated for themselves? I cannot understand that.”
She probably did not expect an answer to that, but Madiath shrugged his shoulders and slightly laughed.
“If only restricted to me, I’d answer ── it’s because it’s interesting that way.”
The special conference room of the Galaxy total headquarters had not even one gaudy ornament.
There were just a long desk and chairs, and someone entering into this room for the first time would probably felt an uncanny insipidness.
──As he did in the past.
Although, Nicholas Enfield, who was waiting sitting upright close to the wall, fully understood its meaning at present.
For Galaxy, anything other than useful existences was unnecessary in this room.
Be it people or things.
“Then, let’s begin.”
When a calm and cold voice told so, the 18 top executives ── though more than half of them used communication video ── simultaneously turned their gazes to the voice’s owner.
The voice’s owner was Isabella Enfield. She was Nicholas’ wife and direct superior, and one of the top executives sitting there. Wearing her soft blond hair up, her figure, which wore a well-tailored black suit on her body, preserved her beauty which did not let one feel her age at all. Her face revealed a calm smile which Nicholas has never seen crumble for more than ten years.
But, only her eyes retained a machine-like coldness like the other top executives.
“The subject of this time concerns the treatment of Seidoukan Academy’s Student Council President Claudia Enfield. I ask for your unreserved opinions.”
Isabella indifferently said emotionlessly.
Even though it was related to her daughter, not even a fragment of emotions was felt there.
And at the same time, there was no one existing in this place that bantered about that fact.
That was natural; after all, all of them knew that people, who selfishly interjected just because of one’s relatives, could not sit on a seat of a top executive.
“A claim, that requested for a fair judgment by holding up the just cause that is the , has already arrived from EP, Solneige and Frauenlob. And the groundwork to the various quarters from W&W and World Dragon is advancing.”
“A processing/treatment will be difficult publicly.”
“But, we cannot leave her as is.”
“That said, it is not yet guaranteed that her team will win the championship, right? How about we watch the situation for a while?”
“Still, we should make preparations.”
“Since it is the Festa, we should just use Madiath Mesa. If we make him disqualify them by giving an appropriate reason……”
“No, that man is not trustworthy.”
“Besides, since the other Integrated Enterprise Foundations holds some implication, it will be difficult to work it out.”
Voices were raised one after the other by the executives, but they never overlapped. After someone’s statement ended, the next voice was spun almost without pause. Moreover, since all of them were voices just as if they were trimmed of all personality, it was to the extent that one did not even know who made which statement.
In fact, there was not even the need to distinguish it in this place.
This was because they did not state their own opinions, but were doing as such in order to make every information and possibility converge.
It might be said to be the, so to speak, self-questions and answers of the huge existence that is Galaxy.
“How about we deal with Bartsheik even here right now?”
“That will go against the agreement made with .”
“Is there any need to abide to it faithfully?”
“We will get absolutely nothing out of it were its existence to leak out to the others (IEF). It will be bad to stimulate it the wrong way.”
“In the first place, where is it and what is it doing currently?”
“According to the report of those Yabuki lots, it seemed to have been confirmed in Rikka in the beginning of spring, but……”
“As expected, rather than trying to do something about Bartsheik’s surroundings, it will be faster to deal with Claudia Enfield.”
“Then, we should just use those Yabuki lots.”
“No, we should use them as the last resort. More importantly……”
“First, our position as Galaxy……”
It was then quiet again for a while, nevertheless the wheel of a conversation in which an uncanny heat lurked in the depths went on……
“──Then, let’s proceed as such.”
As Isabella said so before long, the meeting ended with that as the signal.
── fourth day, Canopus Dome.
Zhao HuFeng stood stock still on the stage as he was at a loss for words.
The absurd orders of his master, Fan XingLu, were as usual.
He could still understand the order of the first round where she prohibited all battle acts to their leader Woo Xiao Fay and ask the remaining four members to win without him. This was because HuFeng was able to convince himself that the order was probably given with the intention of not revealing Xiao Fay’s cards. In fact, there was the ability difference that they could handle that much without any problem considering the level of the team that they were to confront in the first round.
But as expected, he couldn’t help but find it very difficult to understand the contents of the order given by XingLu for this second round.
Quite contrary to the first round, Xiao Fay was to overwhelm the opponent team all by himself. Even so, if the opponent team was a weak team like in the first round, HuFeng would still understand. Xiao Fay had the ability to be able to accomplish that much. However, the opponent of the second round was not a team which should by no means be taken lightly.
The leader was Seidoukan Academy’s rank #4, the . All the other members were also in the list. Even if they could not aim for the championship, it was an average team which had enough ability to be a qualifier for the main battle participation.
Basically, major contenders did not clash against each other in the preliminaries of the , but it was a different story when it came to average (middle) teams like this one. This was because it would look bad for the Management to do match making where all the qualifiers’ results would be predicable even without the need to watching the matches.
Inevitably, one or two middle teams were allotted to a block where there was a prominent team. And it was often such teams which caused surprises in the .
『H-How astounding……! Who would have thought that this second round third match, which was considered to be the best attention grabber, would unfold so one-sidedly……?!』
The reporter’s voice which could be heard through the speaker was slightly trembling. On the other side of the thick membrane of the protective gel, one could see that the audience seating fell silent.
It was no wonder.
After all, it was also the same for HuFeng and company from the same team.
At the center of the stage, two young men ── the Magician of Ice Frost and Xiao Fay faced each other. And around them were four Seidoukan students lying down.
The Magician of Ice Frost’s handsome face was painfully/bitterly distorted; although he bent his knees and breathed heavily, he set up a blade of ice which he made with his ability.
On the other side, Xiao Fay was calmly looking down at him with a spear type lux in his right hand as is.
“Fufufu…… It’s as if I’m seeing a bad dream, .”
The Magician of Ice Frost glared at Xiao Fay with eyes filled with coldness and fury.
The surroundings’ mana rustled, and cold air, which chilled even in this place dozens of meters away, could be felt rising.
“But ── At least a single sword stroke!”
The ground instantly froze ten meters all around with the Magician of Ice Frost as its center.
No, it was not only the ground. Like that, the blocks of ice which covered the ground swallowed Xiao Fay’s legs until the calves, thus sealing his movements.
At the same time, six sharply pointed icicles were formed around the Magician of Ice Frost and fired along with his shout.
A long-range attack from many directions after having sealed the opponent’s movements. It was not a bad move.
But when Xiao Fay casually struck his feet with the spear butt end, all the lumps of ice covering the ground were immediately shattered to pieces and scattered.
And while the fragments of ice danced down like diamond dust, he swung his left hand towards the icicles approaching, with the momentum of an arrow. Before one noticed, one piece of talisman was grasped in it (hand).
The art formula put into the talisman was released and created a wall of flames. The icicles which crashed into it evaporated and disappeared after exploding; then became steam and wrapped up the surrounding.
The Magician of Ice Frost shortened the distance under cover of the white smoke and unleashed a slash.
Fast. Furthermore, the ground froze again and then stuck Xiao Fay’s feet onto the ground once again.
Even if cutting only the offense of defense off this instant, one could understand that he balanced his ability as and the combat techniques at an extremely high level.
──But, Xiao Fay blocked even that desperate blow with his spear without batting an eyelid.
The Magician of Ice Frost’s movement was clearly faster. In the first place at this distance, the sword that the Magician of Ice Frost used should be much more advantageous than a long-handled weapon like the spear that Xiao Fay used. Despite this, as one wondered whether Xiao Fay’s right hand relaxedly moved, the spear held in that hand blocked the ice blade.
Although the Magician of Ice Frost put strength into both his hands and somehow tried to push back his opponent, he did not move an inch. On the contrary, when Xiao Fay shook off the spear that he set up with one hand, the sword of ice was sent flying from the Magician of Ice Frost’s hands, shattered to pieces in the air and scattered.
An overwhelming difference in physical ability.
Even so, the Magician of Ice Frost, without being discouraged, reconstituted a sword of ice bigger than the one earlier and drove in slashes one after another.
He sliced it down diagonally from the shoulder, mowed it down with a loud scream and released a stab with all his might.
But as expected, it did not hit/reach his opponent. It did not even graze him.
No emotions at all could be read from the expression of Xiao Fay who dealt with these attacks silently.
Having given in first was as expected the sword of ice.
Cracks ran on the bluish sword blade with each stroke, fragments flew around as the blade was chipped…… and before long, it (the ice of sword) made a transparent sound and shattered.
The color of despair spread on the Magician of Ice Frost’s face.
At that instant, Xiao Fay took only one step forward ── with just that alone, the ice which stuck his feet onto the ground shattered and disappeared ── and, with casual movements, put his left palm on the Magician of Ice Frost’s abdomen.
A slow palm stroke as if caressing.
Immediately after, one understood that a tremendous shock went through the Magician of Ice Frost’s body. A crater resulted from the step that Xiao Fay made and the shock ran throughout the stage.
The Magician of Ice Frost lost his conscience completely by that blow.
He crumbled down like a doll whose threads were cut.
“End of the Battle! Winner, Team Yellow Dragon!”
While the mechanical voice resounded, HuFeng recalled his master’s words the other day.
『──This fellow won’t have any problem. It’ll be all right either way.』
They (words) meant exactly as they were stated.
XingLu always attached extreme importance to individual strength. For that reason, it was rare for the disciples of to be taught team play. This was because, though they could learn it independently, XingLu did not stopped to studying it diligently and might also accept training them if asked, for her, coordination with others was only something naturally acquired when expanding/enhancing individual ability.
“Phew, as expected of Great Brother. Even I’ve been struck dumb.”
Cecily standing next to him (HuFeng) muttered as she was amazed while floating a sweet expression.
“I believed I believed I had understood Great Brother’s strength fully enough, but……”
“Today’s was just like Master’s strength……”
Something similar to awe could also be felt in the voices of the twins who were behind him.
As a matter of fact, this was not the first time that Team Yellow Dragon’s members saw Xiao Fay fighting. They also had a bout with him during training.
However, they finally realized that it was only a fragment of Xiao Fay’s ── ’s power.
“……Let’s go back.”
To Xiao Fay who came over to them, the bodies of HuFeng and company naturally bent on their knees and they took the stance of Bao Qan.
“That was splendid, Great Brother.”
── sixth day, Sirius Dome.
Actually, something like an absolute strong person was not that welcomed in the .
Immediately after a match is over, the audience’s interest dampened, so it was the management’s true intention to want to avoid a development which dampened enthusiasm as much as possible. The TV program made great efforts to fill the gap, and the gambling’s bookmakers did not establish gambling in the first place.
The exception was the case of having something, other than strength, which attracted people.
Helga Lindvall’s overwhelming martial arts accompanied with her beauty.
Or Orphelia Landlufen’s sinisterness to carve awe in the beholder’s heart whether they wanted it or not.
And ── Team Lancelot’s, which has won the two times successively, was supreme dignity. At least, Laetitia Blanchard thought so.
The Silver Wings Knights Squadron did not underestimate their opponents no matter who they were, nor were they frightened by illusions no matter what there were and they always opened up the path to victory and glory with all their strength’s swords.
The symbol of that was Ernest Fairclough running on the stage right now.
As Ernest mowed down straight, the sword blade let a pale afterglow shine in its trace/path.
The young man, who was his opponent, reflexively tried to block it with his own sword type lux, and immediately twisted his body as he was startled ── but it was too late.
’s blade, as if any physical obstacle did not exist, passed through the young man’s body.
But, it cut off only the school badge on his chest.
『U-Uh-oh, only several seconds after the match start, player Ernest Fairclough’s destroyed the first school badge! However, the player opponent should naturally know about this ability, too, right Seichi-san?』
『Well, even if you know about it, your body will react on its own the more training you’ve accumulated. Moreover, its wielder is Asterisk’s strongest swordsman. There are only a handful of players who can deal with this in their first bout with it.』
『Oh dear, so that is to say what is truly frightening is the Ogre Lux , which can cut only the selected target, and the who is its wielder, huh!』
While hearing the live report and commentary across the speaker, and the cheers welling up, Laetitia kneaded prana in an instant.
Mana gathered behind Laetitia and two pairs of shining/light wings appeared left and right from her back. Their size would easily exceed 20 meters.
Ailes d’Ange .
It was the ability of Laetitia, also known as the .
As the diamond-shaped wings with acute angles bent back and forth in the air, they ran into the stage as if protecting Ernest. Immediately after, the rain of light bullets shot by the opponent team’s rear guard attacked Ernest, but not even one of them was able to injure him as they were all blocked by the wings of light.
The Lionel Karsh, who sneaked around from the left side at that opening, charged as to break the opponent’s formation. When he swung a very long partisan type lux, which was twice his height, the opponent team’s two rear guards were mowed down in one go with only that.
Although, bringing them down was not the purpose as it was mainly to bring the opponent team into confusion.
At the instant when the shooting ceased, Ernest jumped out again and cut down the two vanguards’ school badges with a stroke of his sword. His movement was indeed suitable to be described as lightning speed.
“──To thou, O’ ring of light of mercy and atonement.”
The rear guard Perceval, who was protected by Kevin Holst also known as , solemnly said while raising one hand to the sky.
Over there, an ogre lux with shape just like setting a huge cup down on its side was floating. One sharp splinter/thorn rose on the bottom of the wide cup and a golden light was gathered on its tip. The light increased its brightness before one’s eyes, filled the cup, became a golden torrent and poured out with an intense force.
The golden brightness swallowed the two rear guards, that Lionel mowed down a little while ago, instantly just like the lightning of God.
When the light calmed down before long, there were the figures of two people lying face down there. Though there was no wound at all on their bodies.
The , which Perceval had, was, along with , an ogre lux for scholarship, and its ability is 『Remove Soul』. The light that the emitted dispelled/blew up only the opponent’s consciousness without causing any physical destructive power
“End of the Battle! Winner, Team Lancelot!”
Due to the opponent team’s leader having lost consciousness, the mechanical voice declared the end.
Three minutes has probably not passed after the beginning of the match.
『E-End of the match! No, but strong! What strength, Team Lancelot! As expected of the defending champion!』
No matter the opponent, Team Lancelot always faced them with respect by going all out. They did not need to hide their cards. Investigate as much as you want and then work out countermeasures. There’s no problem whatsoever. After all, they would just simply go ahead of it.
That was the figure of the team which was the king of the .
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