Chapter 31 – Setting the Board
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The days had passed by rather quickly. I spent them practicing magic, healing the wounded, getting beaten to a pulp in the obstacle courses and going to the library to research the spells I wanted to learn. This pattern repeated until day three.

Sadly, I now stood on a football sized field that was known as the dueling arena. There were multiple smaller versions of these fields scattered across campus but this was the main one. This had a backlog but because we were on a holiday there was no wait. I think the school meant for you to wait, so the parties involved could calm down and settle it without violence. That did not happen for our duel.

Amy stood on the one side of the field, decked out in a magical armor with multiple potions hanging off her belt. Next to her was a thing that looked like a cross between a rhino and a porcupine. Its head and tail were covered with long, thick, and coarse needles. The rest of it looked like it was covered by plates of armor. I stared at it, then at her and back to whatever that thing was. This was so unfair. Two against one should be against the rules, right?!

Sighing, I first constricted my aura as best I could and then began to cast every augmentation spell I had onto myself. With my current ability they were three times stronger than when I first started. The ‘Golden Armor’ spell now looked like I had on a suit of full plates made of light. ‘Blasphemer’s Detriment’ followed it and a golden sparrow with a twig in its mouth appeared on my new leather armor but it was hard to see through the ‘Golden Armor’. Amy’s face fell but I was not done yet. I cast Aid and my skin began to take on a more healthy glow.

I gave a nod as I readied my bow and spread out my wings. I was unsure if she could still see me through the bright light that emanated from me. She hesitated but then cast a few spells onto the spiky rhino, drank a potion and gave her nod. The fight was on.

I flew up and began to rain arrows down on Amy. I did not thing I had any weapon that would even hurt her monster so while I kept an eye on it, I did not attack it. I watched the two arrows I just shot miss her as she blinked out of existence and then blinked right back in a few meters to the right of where she was. The Rhino charged but after I took off snorted and looked confused.  Amy gave it a new order to shoot me and it flicked its tail. Sharp spikes flew in my direction right as I tried to hit Amy with another couple of arrows.

I watched as the first arrow missed causing her to blink right into the second arrow. I thought as much. That potion she drank is called ‘Transference’ and the effect was to move the caster a few meters to the right unless that area was blocked. My arrow did not pierce her armor but I did not expect it to. Dark yellow gas mushroomed out from where it impacted causing her to wheeze.

It cost me though as one of the spikes lodged itself into my armor and my side. I hissed in pain and lost some altitude as I lost focus for a second. Just how strong was that thing? A single shot had punctured my armor! I tugged at it with my free hand but my armor held it in place. Grimacing, I selected two different arrows and pulled my bow one more time.

This girl had no battle experience and it showed so why did she have battle gear? She had ordered the beast out loud but the professionals just had to think and their beasts would listen to them. Perhaps I was just over thinking it. I would just end it, collect my money and go back to train. With this in mind, I let one arrow go, re-aimed and let the other one go. I then folded my wings to drop straight down and watched the spikes fly over my head. I unfurled my wings and flew downward.

My arrows created globes of darkness so she could not see me. I also could not see her but as I landed behind her the rhino snorted and charged at me.  Since I place her in between the rhino and myself, it really charged at her. I did not see what happened when the rhino ran into the darkness but the loud bang and crunching noises indicated they reunited. I flew back up just in case but the fight was over.  I pouted a little. I did not even get to see my new spell.

I saw the field managers rush toward the collision and did something that removed the two globes of darkness. It was only a low level shadow enchantment but I did not expect they could just wave it away. What was revealed was a spike filled body of a tall brunette and a rhino that was still stomping on her. One of the guys used earth magic to corral the rhino and the other went to Amy. She should get back up once the anti-damage magic removed the fake damage it mimicked but she failed to do so.

I flew down and checked her health window. I ignored it during the fight simply because the magic the Dueling arena used gave false readings and I figured I would just eyeball her damage. Now, looking at her broken body, I felt that might have been a mistake.

Amy

Grade 3 kidney laceration

Pneumothorax: (Punctured Lung)

Broken Leg

Broken Arm

Broken third and fourth left ribs

As I landed the guy next to her was shaking his head, “You killed her. Why did you sabotage the protective magic with this?” He held up a miniature skull about the size of a cats that was teal in color. It was an enchantment I had never seen before.

“She’s still alive.” I said in an expressionless voice. I had obviously been out maneuvered. I silently cast healing spells on her since I did not want the label of murderer put upon me. I could just bring her back if she died and I was a bit curious how the power worked but I wanted her to know she had been used. I might be able to get at the people behind this if Amy was shaken enough.

I could only heal so much simply because they would not let me treat her. They left the thick spikes inside her and would not let me remove them. They obviously wanted her dead but we were not the only ones around. I caused a ruckus. Yelling, “She’s dying!” and “Let me heal her.” And so on just to pull in the crowd. I needed others around or they really would just watch her die or worse make sure she was dead.

Their shouts about her being dead did not hold up once she twitched and moaned in pain. That set off the small crowd and forced their hand to let a few healers near her. They were not specialized and Amy’s cries of pain as they treated her kept echoing across the field. Seeing she would live I turned to go but a hand grabbed my shoulder and held me in place. “Where do you think you are going?”

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