Debbie screams, her feet sinking ankle-deep into the ground as she falls down face-first. Due to the impact and her lost concentration, the Earth Gauntlet she assimilated on hand shatters as well.
Hehe… As expected, she didn’t even consider countering my spell— much less dodging it.
Her brick-like face covered in dirt, Debbie looks up at me with pure rage in her eyes. I know she will charge again like a mad bull the moment she gets up. But, of course, I don’t plan on letting her do that.
For my next— and most probably last— attack, I start running towards Debbie, my arms extended, closing the distance between us. A bit startled from this, she desperately tries to get to her feet.
But it’s already too late…
“Dual Water Swords!” I shout, reaching just a meter away from Debbie.
The next moment, high-pressured jets of water erupt from the fingertip of both my hands— hitting Debbie’s back. Normally, there would’ve been a few holes in her body by now, but lucky for her, Naomi’s wide-area barrier activates the moment my water swords get near her— at the expense of her own mana and energy, that is.
Rapidly losing strength, Debbie makes a desperate last attempt. She starts swinging her arms around, trying to hit my legs and trip me. But well, I was anticipating something like this.
“This is already over,” I say, taking a step back and evading her arms.
After a few more seconds, Debbie finally stops moving, her exhaustion overcoming her will to continue.
“Debbie Sherman is out of mana! Jacob is the winner!” the commentator announces, much to the crowd’s applause.
The medics quickly run to the area, helping Debbie to get back on her feet (with much effort) and escorting her back to the waiting area. On her way, she weakly turns around her head to look at me again.
What? You want to spit out a few more curses?
I give a disdainful look.
“I am forgiving you for crushing my boyfriend, Jacob. Strong men like you deserve to win,” she says, smiling.
For some horrifying reason, her rock-hard cheeks are tinged red. She even winks at me in a somewhat flirtatious way— sending chills down my spine.
I have a bad premonition about this…
Maybe, I should’ve just let her won…
As I start to leave the arena while suppressing my terrifying thoughts, I notice Miss Laura hurrying towards me.
“That was a good duel, Jacob. Do you need some time to recover your mana?” she asks.
“No, I just used two spells, ma’am— not enough to deplete my mana pool,” I answer frankly.
“Oh, then you don’t mind if we start the final match right away, do you? Princess Leena is requesting us to do so, and I just want to make sure that you are comfortable with it before giving her a reply,” she tells me.
“Well, sure. I don’t mind,” I say, sighing softly.
“Good to know. I will quickly go and inform everyone. You stay in the arena, okay?”
Saying this, she turns around and starts jogging towards the reserved area for VIPs.
[Leena doesn’t want to wait, huh? She must be looking forward to dueling with the person who defeated the other two princesses.]
[Hehehe, imagine if something unexpected happens once again and you defeat her as well. I can already picture the priceless look on her, and everyone else’s, face.]
Yeah… Let’s try to avoid that all cost, shall we?
I’ve already won against Ilyrana and Zakira, and because of that, there’s a ton of unwanted attention on me. Things will only get worse (though I cannot imagine how) if I defeat Leena as well. I know it’s practically impossible for me to do so, but that’s what I thought with Ilyrana and Zakira as well— and look how that ended up.
Well, I know what I have to do today. I will just surrender the moment our duel starts. I am not even going to try to attack or defend.
[Well, I cannot see how anything could go wrong with that. Good luck, buddy!]
I don’t think I need luck just to surrender, but thanks…
“We have exciting news for everyone! The final match of the tournament — The Dark Elf princess Leena versus the human Jacob— will be happening right now! Without any breaks!” the commentator announces.
Amidst the loud cheering from the crowd, Leena stands up from her seat, gracefully walking down the stands while waving back at the crowd. As expected, she’s wearing a very confident smile on her face, looking as if she’s already won.
Here we go…
Leena enters the arena, moving towards the block that’s opposite to mine. But, to my surprise, she doesn’t stop there— continuing to march forward until she’s standing right beside me.
“Princess Leena?” I mutter, confused.
But she doesn’t say anything to me. Instead, she moves up her hand, snapping her fingers right underneath her chin. Then, turning sideways, she looks at the crowd.
“Please listen to me, I would like to say something,” she says, her sweet voice magically magnified, addressing the crowd.
Immediately, silence falls in the stadium as everyone listens to her intently.
“Most of you probably don’t know this, but Jacob is actually my very close student. When I was with his class, I observed his uncommon talent in magic— which others failed to notice, by the way— and gave him the opportunity to be personally trained by me. Of course, it goes without saying that I taught him everything he knows about magic,” she says, gesturing at me proudly.
What is she doing…?
“Now, as a teacher, it goes against my personal ethics to duel with my student in a tournament like this— especially when there’s something like a prize involved. And thus, I have two things to announce,” she continues.
“First, I am withdrawing from this tournament. And second, my decision automatically makes—”
Leena grabs my hand and raises it up in the air. Thankfully, she’s wearing thick gloves this time.
“— Jacob the winner of the Mixed Race Magical Tournament!”
“I still cannot believe that she did that. I mean, I had my suspicion, but I never thought she will actually do it,” Zakira says, shaking her head in frustration.
Currently, Zakira and I are on the school grounds, walking a few feet behind the rest of my women to have a private conversation. After giving a lot of hugs and kisses to congratulate me, Layla and others finally agreed to let Zakira talk to me alone for a while.
“Yeah, and her ethics are pretty weird, too, don’t you think? She never told me anything about them. What’s wrong with fighting her student?” I ask, looking at the huge trophy in my hand to avoid the awe-filled gazes of the people around me.
After the tournament ended, a grand ceremony was held where I was given this trophy and a check of 25,000 Yeux. Adding to the 5,000 Yeux that I got after winning the mock duels, I have now earned a total of 30,000 Yeux from this tournament— which is not a small amount by any means.
Also, now that I’ve actually won the entire tournament, my popularity has gone through the roof. I actually feel a bit uncomfortable from all the stares I am getting.
“Please don’t tell me that you seriously believed her bullshit, Jacob. She was clearly lying. In fact, I know why she withdrew, and it has nothing to do with her ‘morals’,” Zakira says viciously.
“Really? You do?”
“Yup, it is quite easy to guess, actually. She was just scared of losing to you. After defeating me and Ilyrana, you became too unpredictable for her to risk having a duel— it could’ve resulted in her losing face like us.
“So, she went for this route instead— basically telling everyone that although she’s stronger than you (having taught you everything you know), she cannot fight you because of her stupid ethics,” Zakira tells me.
“I see, that’s pretty clever. But unfortunately for her, I was going to surrender anyway. So, all she really did was just lose this trophy and 25,000 Yeux— not that these things really matter to a princess, I guess,” I say with a small laugh.
Honestly, I am pretty happy with what happened. I didn’t accidentally defeat another princess and I even got so much money for winning the tournament.
“Clever? Not at all. Just wait and see what happens when we get to the Elven country. I am actually looking forward to it now,” Zakira says, smiling rather sinisterly.
“What do you mean—”
“Oh, that reminds me, are you done preparing for the trip? We will be leaving tomorrow so you should hurry up.”
… the fuck?