Chapter 72 – Annual Tournament Arc
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We start by approaching each other while walking in a circular way gauging each other range and then I feint a dash, to which he thrusts the spear and I attempt to cut it in half hitting it but failing as it is too tough.

"It seems like it's no ordinary spear," I smile becoming more excited.

"It certainly isn't it is made of steel, a tough material which will make you unable to cut it."

"I wouldn't be so sure about that," I mana coat my left sword making him smile and mimicking.

Notice: 400 mana has been deducted.

 

He takes a step further and stretches the arm increasing the range and speed of the spear thrust, which I dodge while parrying it with my left sword causing our mana clash making a small bang, then his spear goes all the way to the floor making a small hole in it.

"Ice bind it," the tip of the spear is frozen in the floor and I take the chance to dash at him.

Notice: 300 mana has been deducted.

 

He runs in my direction using strength on the spear jumping above me while mana coating the feet, which he then uses to kick the ice in the spear as he falls on it, making the masses go crazy at the acrobatic skills.

I dash at him striking the waist before Raphael has time to move while he quickly jumps backward allowing the spear to extend upwards from the floor, which I use my left blade to cut it in half which is responded by increasing the mana in it protecting it causing yet another bang.

"Dance of death," I spin my body fully accelerating temporarily hiding my right arm which appears from his blind spot on his right flank while my left pressures the spear, which Raphael notices late still doing the best possible to avoid it getting cut in the hip.

Raphael pulls the spear to him and regains some distance, then places the hand on top of the body part that is bleeding and says," heal," the wound I just made vanishes leaving the shirt cut.

'Seems like a tough opponent has appeared, best to save my mana and make it a long battle like teacher Ray would advise me to do, in other words, I'll use my natural aura to overwhelm him into doing mistakes,' I breathe deeply and then spread the aura around me mixing it with my ice element causing everything around me to freeze.'

In return, he extends his own aura mixing it with the light element creating a protective layer of sorts, 'her aura is making me spend mana to shield myself from the cold,  what a nasty way to use your element.'

Raphael dashes and starts thrusting relentlessly, understanding that I'm attempting to go for a long match, which I parry every blow and then mana coat my right sword forcing him to do the same so his weapon won't break, and then I add a layer of ice element to it making the spear heavier each time I hit it or he hits my sword.

"That's completely nasty!" He shouts angrily realizing the weight I'm producing every time we cross weapons making him go slower.

'This is the only way I could compete with teacher Ray and even then he would ignore the slowness and beat me to a pulp, at least it works against you,' I smile innocently at him throwing him off.

"Unique skill heavenly throw," as he steps forward to finalize the throwing of the weapon, I freeze the floor beneath making him slip then fall on the floor resulting in missing the spear, which is then blocked by the mages protecting the audience as it flies far away.

I then approach and place both swords on his throat in a cross shape," I surrender, and... as promised I'll join your army."

To that I retract and then hold both swords with my left hand, and extend my right hand to him saying," well fought," he grabs it and gets up," thank you your combat style is pretty ridiculous."

I smile at his words and leave the arena, "and the general Aurora wins once again will she be the final winner? Just a few more rounds to go everyone!" The audience claps as a whole excited from all the rounds.

'I didn't expect Iris to be this strong seems like she really received her and Aurora's share of gifts, who would've guessed that a peasant could've come this far, and the same goes for that Raphael it seems he acquired a unique skill that will be a great addition to our army,' the crown prince thought while smiling happily.'

'Not only did that brat kill one of my faction leaders but also is going to fight my representative next, such nerves just where did my brother find this filthy peasant?'

"You sure found quite the representative Julius."

"She's a very pretty one for sure," Liliana spoke enticed by the child.

"It was a random found truly, who would've guessed my friend Luke the healer would have such an interesting daughter," Julius laughed happily while hiding the fact she has a twin sister.

'Playing around with trashy peasants and actually find the somewhat good ones,  this guy truly is lucky.'

"Won't you give her for myself brother Julius?"

"Don't you already have Angelica heir fighting for you?" He laughed lightly to not make his sister angry at him.

"Well yes but both she and the daughter Ange are a little too muscular, yet yours looks like a doll that I could use to sleep hugged to during the night."

"Sadly she's indispensable for my army otherwise I would've allowed it, my dear sister."

"Oh... I understand, also next round it'll be both of your representatives fighting," the statement makes the brothers look at each other.

"Best of luck Marty," as to which he says, "for you to Julius you'll need it."

"Really? I look forward to seeing what your representative has been hiding."

The match's order alternates to give variety and the fight that begins next is between Ange and Alicia.

"Seems like this one will be very interesting to watch as well, good luck sister."

"Thank you Julius may the best of them win," she says with a kind smile as the princess knows both since they're practically babies.

Ange wields a big ax while Alicia unsheathes a beautiful blue sword, which is now signed with her name through the use of mana.

'I wonder why Iris told me to sign the sword, but knowing her she wouldn't say something that would harm me,' she looks at the sword confused not finding anything peculiarly different.

"Hello lady Alicia, it has been a while since we played together, I hope you won't hold back," she smiles happily finally having an opponent she can go all out as the past ones got overwhelmed by her strength.

"But of course lady Ange I saw a few of your matches and it looked like you were bored, that's totally a bad thing for a lady to feel," Alicia smiles back at her.

"The two ladies may begin the fight!" The crowd especially the men start shouting, one of them even saying he'd adopt both getting smacked by the wife right after.

Ange starts by using several skills that increase her statuses and then mana coating the ax she dashes at Alicia doing a body swing, which Alicia blocks with her sword being thrown 10 meters away towards the side due to the massive strength and impact Ange possesses. 

Alicia then buffs herself with wind and nature elements realizing that this gorilla girl has gotten even stronger since the last time they sparred, which Ange called playing together earlier as a joke.

Both dashed, and Ange started with a full swing carrying a brute force behind, to which Alicia swiftly dodged overwhelming Ange with her speed, vertically slashing the body making a long cut to what Ange responded by using her knee against Alicia's stomach, making her curve forward in pain lifting her in the air, and then blasting her in rage with the ax dull side with a loud bang.

Ange kneels on one leg feeling the pain from the cut while Alicia is practically unconscious from the pain as three right ribs broke from the impact, and then hears a voice inside her mind.

'Do you seek the strength to protect those around you?'

'A voice? Who are you? Anyway, it doesn't matter shut up, I need to get up and focus!'

''Do you seek the strength to protect those around you?'

'God that's worthless! the only strength I seek is the one to never lose, protecting others will certainly become easier with such almighty power.'

'For a weakling you sure have ambition.'

'Who are you?'

'I am a fragment of Rizia soul that lies dormant in that sword, didn't you sign a contract knowing that?'

'No, a friend of mine told me to do it.'

'A friend... that's strange but I understand, do you wish to sign a contract with me while knowing about it?'

'What are the consequences?'

'All the knowledge, memories, and emotions Ryzia had back then will overwhelm you, if you manage to win then you may be rewarded greatly, if not she will be reborn.'

'Very well become part of my power!' She grips the sword tightly.

A golden light expanded from Alicia's body towards the sky, making the sword of the first hero shine completely healing her, while she screamed intensively for minutes scaring those around her, especially Ange who remained speechless and confused as to what was happening with her childhood friend, making the spectators go in awe saying it is the blessing of the goddess Aria making every rose head, the pope and even the Saintess surprised while everyone got up from their chairs.

"The birth of a third hero," soft words left the Saintess's mouth as she watched the girl in front of her, making those around who heard the Saintess, shout the word hero repeatedly, quickly propagating through the entire audience.

"I beat you Rizia, ugh, that was quite the horrible life you had saving everyone around you yet no one to save you," tears that do not belong to Alicia fell from her eyes as the peasant hero felt understood at the very end.

"I don't think anyone from the participants can beat me as I currently am Ange, so resign," she points the sword at her while holding it with both hands, feeling fatigated.

She smiles and gets up," seems like you've had some sort of awakening, yet resigning is dying, if I were to die then I'd have to at the very least beat you to a pulp like when we were younger, unique skill berserk," Ange body became stronger and tougher making the muscles bigger and sturdier, more noticeable, and then she gripped the ax very tightly with both hands doubling the strength compared to before and dashed twice faster at the opponent while mana coating it, doing a big bang of a sound as Alicia blocked it being pushed back 10 meters away making the girl smile.

"It seems I was wrong, forgive me lady Ange," due to berserk mode she was ignored.

Alicia dashed faster than before and traded multiple sword strikes that got parried by the ax and then Ange attempted to knee her opponent who this time around dodged cutting the leg making a small cut as the skill also made her tougher.

Ange then punched her making her fall 3 meters away while blood poured out of her lips as they got ruined.

"You truly are a beast," Alicia spits some more blood to the floor, 'if this arena was any smaller I would have fallen outside its range a few times already.'

Ange dashed in an insane state to attack Alicia who heard a voice,' use my blessed skill otherwise you might die, and if you use it... you might die too.'

"Not much of a choice I don't want to lose here, blessed skill flowering goddess," using every muscle of her body for two seconds Alicia passed through Ange slashing her leaving behind a trail of colored flowers completely unnoticed by the girl, making her fall flat on the floor and cutting the ax in the process, leaving a long and dangerously deep vertical cut on the girl body next to the first one, and then in the next second, an intense pain filled every cell of Alicia body, making her cough even more blood as the body was not ready for such a skill, ending up fainting from the pain.

The healers ran urgently healing both while the tournament went into a pause.

"With the two participants unconscious they both lose," the judge says as everyone in the audience rose and clapped them for a very long time as their fight was truly honorable and full of action.

Truly grateful for you joining us on Patreon mister Kristian!
The best day to join it is the first of every month!

Guys for those of you who are interested in giving me that strong and cold, non-biased feedback, please feel free to join the discord.

I'm currently writing that professional edition (Volume 1 to later release on kindle amazon), so in a way, you'd get to take a peek at it, not a bad deal I'd say. As it is currently in construction the ideas you mention, the good and the bad will directly influence the novel. Like I've always said, criticism for improvement is more than welcome. System wise I've been tuning it a lot to make it less of a gigantic wall of text, the changes will definitely make a lot of you happy. I'm also inserting an extra arc between the prologue and the adventurer one where we get to see an initial training arc with her parents, and slow growth while she learns of the world around her. This gives space for some world-building while at it. Also to make friends and know people in the village. Adding some ceremonies and interesting perks to it. 

Anyways, thank you all for sticking around with my novel, and look forward to the rest of the chapters! 

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