Chapter 32 ─ Festival (2)
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I'm sorry I haven't uploaded nothing, it was because I was busy and that's why I leave two chapters for you to enjoy.

With this we close the final chapter of this arc, the next one is the interlude.

How is the arc going dear readers?

You will like the interlude as it is an experiment.

The moment the referee gave the signal, he ran out of the place.

In a swift movement, Sieghart stomped his foot and went straight for Rei.

Rei could not notice at what moment that old man disappeared and came to stand in front of him.

Sieghart used a dull approach sword, it was just like a steel plate.

The reason for using such a sword was because a wooden sword would be crushed by his hands.

Rei used a cheat skill known as "Reinforcement" which allows him to increase the resistance, attack or defensive power of an object.

He gave an approximate 110% defense to the wooden sword and 300% attack. It even added 200% agility to make it move faster.

But still, Rei's sword was destroyed.

Sieghart's move was purposely used to destroy the sword.

Seeing that, everyone gasped.

Rogue too, then muttered a story from Sieghart.

"I-Incredible. Now that I remember, my father before he died said that he watched as he had fought peer to peer against a sword saint of the empire."

"Clementine Davernoch, known as the iron shield."

"His armor was so heavy it could easily sink in a river. But even with that armor, he could destroy his enemies easily."

Rogue noticed something in the ring, he watched his son approaching quickly from behind him.

He shouted at the sight of him.

"Fionn, you idiot! Never try to attack the back of a man who has his senses at their peak!"

No one could hear what Rogue said as the audience was screaming at how awesome that move was.

"Unbelievable, Commander Hogan is certainly strong!"

"I always thought it was absurd for an old man like him to be the commander of the royal knights. Now I take it back."

"I-I can't believe it. It was the blink of an eye and he got to his position."

Fionn approached from a blind spot without making a sound.

(I'm sorry commander. But this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. To be able to take a swing at the strongest man in the empire!)

At that moment.

"You should have listened to your father. Attacking from behind is not only dishonorable, it's also useless when you have it planned."

Sieghart spun around slightly lifting his leg and kicked Fionn hard in his face.

The kick was so hard that it sent him flying almost out of the ring.

Fionn used his fire magic to surround his hands with fire so he could pin them to the ring.

After being inches away from falling.

He noticed Alfred coming towards him.

Fionn forgot that this was a fight between everyone and he was only going for one opponent.

Alfred used combined magic of two elements.

Court mages must be able to use at least two elements to enter.

There are few people who can use three elements, let alone use all four elements, as that is impossible for them.

With three magics together would leave them bedridden for weeks, using all four would be fatal.

Discarding the four elements, there were also the other two elements. Healing magic which is used by few, dark magic which is used as illusions or hypnosis and finally, cheat magic.

The latter did not exist until Rei arrived, only the people of Brune know about it.

Alfred used his water and wind magic to create an ice bow.

"Combined magic: Crescent Ice Arrow."

The arrow was fired at Fionn, who quickly stood up and used his sword which he imbued with flames.

With a single slash he managed to cut and destroy the ice arrow.

Fionn saw Sieghart staring at Rei. He muttered.

"Tch. I'll save it for last, I'll deal with you first."

The battle between them continued.

◇◇◇

The fights were divided into pairs of two.

Rei was facing Sieghart, Alfred was facing Fionn, Bret was alone as his opponent went to fight someone else.

Nadine and Oliver were fighting Isaac.

Getting rid of the most troublesome enemy, a mage, was the natural thing to do.

The two cooperated just by looking at each other.

Isaac was a mage like Alfred, he could use two elements.

As a child he could use only one, but as he grew older he could use another.

Isaac's magics were fire and earth.

"Earth Magic: Sand Wall."

A huge wall of sand was created around Isaac.

He then activated his second magic.

"Fire Magic: Firebolt."

Isaac shot his fireball into the sky, Oliver and Nadine wondered what this meant.

But they realized too late.

The wall of sand moved around them enclosing them both.

Then, the fireball was coming down at high speed.

Isaac commented.

"The density of the fire is low, it won't kill you, but it will knock you out."

As he adjusted his glasses.

Isaac was confident, but that was a mistake on his part.

Oliver used his sword and a large fireball was sent into the sky. Nadine also joined in.

She used her wind magic and with that sent a blast behind the fireball that Oliver threw.

The fireball and the blast mixed into a flaming whirlwind that swallowed Oliver's fireball and then exploded.

Because Isaac was paying attention to that fact, he didn't notice that the sand wall was crumbling due to lack of attention.

Nadine went out first, Isaac used his earth magic to create a shield, but Nadine's sword was faster and cut the shield, then Oliver jumped out with his flaming sword.

Isaac used a fireball and Oliver cut it, but that was his mistake.

Nadine was close to him and used the sword reversal to hit Isaac in the face and sent him out of the ring.

The referee yelled.

"Isaac Ashton is out! Disqualified!"

That narrowed the field of opponents.

Oliver and Nadine looked at each other.

"I guess it's time to end this."

"I agree."

They heard a voice approaching them.

It was... Fionn.

◇◇◇

Moments before Isaac was defeated.

Fionn was facing Alfred.

Giant ice arrows were flying towards Fionn who used his flaming sword to cut them down.

Alfred became very angry.

"Really my arrows are that weak? This guy is ridiculously strong."

Slowly Fionn was closing in on him.

Alfred stepped back and used his magics separately.

"Water magic: Water Dome."

"Wind Magic: Torturous Typhoon."

Fionn was enclosed in a water dome which was protected by a small typhoon.

Alfred pointed at Fionn declaring himself the winner.

"I'm sorry my friend. But the wetness will make you lose consciousness from lack of air."

"Admit your defeat now if you don't want to fall unconscious."

"... Is this really it?"

Fionn smiled from that water prison.

He got into a fighting stance as if he had his spear.

The sword caught fire and he said.

"Fire magic: Flaming Storm."

"Gae Dearg!"

The flame imbued sword turned into a spear and destroyed the water prison.

After piercing it, it approached Alfred who dodged it, his eyes focused on the spear which was destroyed after a few seconds.

"You must never look away. It is the number 1 teaching in combat."

It was too late for Alfred, Fionn took his sword and hit him hard in the face, then grabbed him and threw him out of the ring.

At the same time Isaac was sent flying outside.

Fionn noticed Nadine and Oliver who were staring at each other, he took that opportunity and grabbed Isaac's sword after stretching out his hand.

He walked over to them and smiled.

"Two against one, I like it. The mages were already disposed of, now it's your turn."

◇◇◇

It's not even five minutes since the fight started and Rei was having a horrible time against Sieghart.

Rei materialized another sword this sword was made of steel.

Sieghart's sword did not hesitate and went for Rei.

Rei used his sword to attack, but his opponent's attack was so strong that his hand was sent backwards by the force of the impact.

This caused his feet to be lifted and propelled backwards.

Sieghart again approached and using only his left hand, launched a flurry of attacks in all directions.

Rei covered herself using both hands, and even took off a defensive magic field.

The field was destroyed by the power of the attacks.

Sieghart spoke to her as he pushed him back.

"You know, I met your grandfather."

"Bryan Redblade."

"He was a foolish man. He was always confident in his abilities."

"I worked for him when I was a young commoner."

"I always saw him bragging about his accomplishments."

"But I respected him."

"...?"

Rei was puzzled at what he said.

"You see, a man who knows what he wants, achieves what he sets out to do, and is not intimidated by anyone."

"He's a man who deserves my respect. Deep down I aspired to be like him, that's why I set myself the goal of always looking into the eyes of whoever I talked to."

"I was wimpy and cowardly, but as time went by I became the commander of the royal knights. I got my family name and it is thanks to him that I became a margrave."

"Really that man was my inspiration. But... he died very young."

"I couldn't go to help him and return his thanks for being my goal."

"That's why I thought his son or grandson would be worthwhile men to support."

"But what did I get?"

Sieghart showed his anger at the mention of Rei's father.

"Your father is a man blinded by his ego."

"He thinks of nothing but satisfying his ego, he is different from your grandfather who planned how to outdo everyone and prove the fame of his territory."

"That leaves you, the Redblade's worst mistake."

"... Hey."

Sieghart managed to get Rei to bend his legs.

He could use some cheat skill, but if he beat him using one, it would leave him very disappointed in himself.

"Kate hasn't told you anything about me?"

"I'm just asking. I'm not really interested in truth."

"... Who is Kate?"

Rei couldn't understand what Sieghart was talking about.

But he became angry, he showed an expression after a long time.

"You... how dare you belittle me."

"I am..."

Then, a memory of that day came to his mind.

Azoth was sending meteors at him.

His hands were shaking and Rei fell to the ground.

Sieghart pointed his sword at his neck.

Rei tried to stand up, but couldn't.

"Come on, stand up."

"Damn, damn, damn..."

Rei cursed at his legs as he tried to get up.

Sieghart sighed.

"I heard about that incident, a mysterious enemy left you scared like that."

He bent down and whispered to Rei.

"You can't protect that elf or the princess if one hit leaves you that scared. You make the Redblade family name dirty."

Rei's gaze was furious, his eyes bloodshot.

But he still couldn't get up.

Sieghart put away his sword and approached the referee.

"I served my purpose. I am discharged."

"Everything is left in Bret's hands."

Sieghart stomped outside the ring and the audience screamed.

Turning to look, he was shocked by what he saw.

◇◇◇

The duel between Fionn against Oliver and Nadine was easier than he thought.

Despite having two opponents.

It was very easy to hit them so he simply hit unblocked parts.

Even though he had already fought Oliver last year.

He did not remember it.

Nadine and Oliver's hand movements were clumsy compared to those of Fionn.

Unlike Isaac and Alfred who were mages, the other two were knights, not experienced in magical defenses.

"Ugh. I can't even hit him having him one hand to attack me."

Nadine blocked his attacks, but was occasionally hit by him.

Fionn spun around and his leg hit Nadine in the belly.

She spat some spit and was sent flying falling close to the edge, her toes were inches away from touching it.

Oliver, on the other hand, received the fury of Fionn's two blades.

"I'm sorry about this. But now that I have both my hands available, I'll make you suffer hell if you don't surrender now."

Just as Fionn said, he showered Oliver with pain.

The swords moved at great speed, as if they were spears.

They struck Oliver to the point of not only dropping his sword, they also brought him to his knees.

A large amount of blood was pouring from his mouth.

Fionn was about to strike him, but seeing his bruised face he stopped.

His stern gaze focused on Bret.

He was very serious, with one hand on the handle of his sword and his arms crossed.

Fionn fiddled with his blades as he spoke to him.

"You know, I have nothing against you. But my father said he was offended."

"Therefore, I must restore his pride."

He pointed his sword against his nose.

"So let's have a spectacular duel."

He said that waiting for a response, Bret ignored him with a straight face.

Then.

"D-Don't claim victory yet."

He heard Nadine approaching with blood coming out of her mouth, arms and one of her eyes.

Fionn was shocked.

"I'm shocked. Despite being a woman and giving you that beating. You still want to challenge me, very foolish of you."

He got into a fighting stance.

"I'm sorry to tell you, but I won't be as generous as before."

Fionn marched straight at her.

He gave a great dance as he swung his swords at her.

Nadine tried to block his attacks.

But Fionn's strength and experience was superior to her.

Only a miracle could save her.

"I'm sorry about this girl. But I have no more chances to achieve my dream of becoming a knight as a father."

"Becoming a royal knight is different from being a royal guard."

"They fight enemies of the kingdom and you are only safe in the walls we protect."

"Our goals are different."

Hearing that, Nadine used all her strength to repel his attack.

She showed a ferocity she had never shown before.

"Don't you dare say that my dream! My desire to protect the princess... is less than yours!"

Nadine remembered the image of little Eli.

She wanted to protect her.

She wanted to protect that smile.

If she didn't win, she wouldn't be able to prove to her that she can protect her.

Nadine covered her body with a wind blanket and thus created a light shield.

Fionn smiled victoriously.

"My element is fire, do you think that will be able to stop me?"

"Obviously not. But I do."

"...!"

Fionn didn't notice that Oliver crawled over and hugged him by the sword, causing him to lose his center of gravity.

By grabbing his arms, it didn't leave him full mobility.

Nadine saw Oliver and understood that this sacrifice was not for her. It was for his resolution.

Oliver wanted to be a royal knight, but the girl in front of him took a beating and threw herself against an opponent superior to her.

Even though he was a man, he ended up worse and could not move.

For that reason, he handed her a slight advantage.

Fionn elbowed Oliver hard in the nose.

"Stay out of my way!"

This caused him to regain his mobility as Oliver fell to the ground.

But it was too late.

Nadine would have covered her sword with a veil of wind.

She used it as a bat as she approached Fionn's stomach.

"Take my resolve!"

"Don't joke with me!"

Fionn draped his swords in the shape of a lying cross.

His swords were on fire.

(This should be enough to stop her.)

It was what he thought and it turned out to be useless.

Nadine's sword became a small typhoon.

It hit the swords which it shattered at high speed.

"How could this be possible!"

It was because of her magical training.

She wanted to be an expert in magic sword art, but she still couldn't consider herself a novice.

Therefore, she used a suicide attack.

If she missed, she would lose, but if she won?

"No way!"

Fionn shouted as he was slowly pushed back.

"Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!"

Nadine let out a roar from her insides and as if she was batting, she smashed Fionn's blades, put her foot forward and as her sword broke bit by bit.

"This... is... for the princess!"

She gave her final shout as she sent Fionn flying.

"Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!"

He shouted as he was sent not only out of the ring.

He impacted against the wall.

His eyes rolled as he slowly he fell to the ground.

One of Nadine's eyes was closed.

She staggered as she approached Bret.

"This... it's not over."

"There's... still... him..."

It was the last thing she said before her consciousness shut down from exhaustion.

Her body rocked forward.

But her head fell on Bret's chest which moved slightly to catch her.

There was a brief moment of silence.

But it ended when a great wave of screams emanated from the bleachers.

"That was amazing girl!"

"Amazing! Fabulous!!! That was the best fight I've ever seen in my life."

"As a woman, she makes me feel like I can achieve the same if I put in the effort."

"Nadine!"

"Nadine!"

"Nadine!"

"Nadine!"

"Nadine!"

The bleachers screamed her name, Eli stood up and went to her friend. Behind her was Rose and Emma following her.

As they ran, Rose looked to see that Rei was outside the ring.

But the cheers weren't just for her.

They also went to Bret.

"Captain Bret really showed off."

"My heart wouldn't stop beating."

"Truly a star was born in this country."

Many watched as for the duration of the duel.

Bret had not moved once.

His only move being to grab Nadine.

Despite the fact that she lost and there was no winner other than Bret. The crowd didn't care.

Watching her struggle made their hearts go pitter patter.

Rogue looked down at the ground with bitten lips as his son lay on the ground unconscious.

"Fionn... you idiot son. you're a disgrace to us!"

◇◇◇

(Huh?)

(What's going on?)

Until a few moments ago, Bret was unconscious.

After seeing Sieghart destroy Rei's sword, his consciousness faded away.

He even got into a cool position to look intimidating.

After regaining consciousness.

Bret saw Nadine approaching, he didn't understand why she was hurt, but he stopped her from falling.

As he raised his head, everyone was cheering for him along with Nadine.

The referee reached over and grabbed Nadine's neck to check her condition.

"It's not serious, she just got tired. Bring a stretcher."

Many stretchers came for the injured and proceeded to carry them to the medical room.

◇◇◇

After a few hours, night fell.

The doctors informed Rei, Sig and the girls waiting outside that they could enter.

As they entered, they observed their acquaintances sold out.

Isaac and Oliver were on the left side, Alfred and Nadine on the right side, Fionn was in the adjoining room by special request.

Sig approached Alfred who had a sling on his neck.

"You look like crap, you know that?"

"Hey, hey. Can't you feel sorry for me, I got my ass kicked just for an oversight."

"Well, serves me right for averting my gaze from the enemy."

"The important thing is that you got hit hard since you were always teasing me that I would get hurt if I entered the tournament."

"Hey."

As Rei approached his two friends.

"They did well I have to say."

Oliver had casts and bandages on his arms.

"Hahaha, it was really a good fight I have to say."

"We mages fought in the rear to channel our spells. At least this fight made me realize that not only do I need to get better, I also need to know how to organize myself and my team so I don't end up dead."

"Wow, now that was deep."

Rei argued while eating a tangerine.

"You guys want tangerine?"

Leaving last to Nadine who turned her gaze from Eli.

"..."

"Nadine, look at me."

"..."

She didn't want to look at Eli, but suddenly her chin was grabbed and Eli's face was close to hers.

Their noses could touch as their breaths could feel each other.

She wanted to close her eyes, but Eli gently caressed her cheek.

"It's okay. You don't need to hide it anymore, it wasn't your fault. Don't blame yourself for something that was an incident that didn't end in tragedy."

Hearing those warm words brought her to tears.

"But... princess... I... if I had gone with you at that time..."

"I would have been kidnapped anyway, and with you even. If you had tried to protect me, you would have been killed."

"I didn't want that. So, Nadine, stop seeking my approval, you are already my friend."

"I consider you more of an important person to me than my escort."

Nadine burst into tears as she was hugged by Eli.

"Princess, I really want to be by your side!"

"It's okay. You can stay by my side forever if you want to."

Seeing that scene, Kurono commented.

"Well. This was happening the same in the game so we could say that like Rose, Nadine already got her happy ending."

As Nadine's cries flooded the room, a group of men in suits entered.

They each approached the wounded, greeted them politely and pulled out a letter.

"What is this?"

Alfred asked as he received his letter and opened it.

"What is it, Al?"

Alfred's eyes grew wide as he read the contents.

He wasn't the only one.

"Congratulations."

The contents of the letter stated that the person who received this has been selected to be able to enter the royal knights or court mages upon graduation.

According to the description, it said that during the final duel.

The participants showed fantastic as well as amazing talent which would be wasted if they were not recommended.

After graduating, they can decide whether they want to enter their future workplaces.

"Yes!"

Oliver shouted raising his arms in joy.

"This wasn't what I expected, but it's a pleasant surprise."

Isaac said as he adjusted his broken glasses while keeping himself from crying.

"Now I'll be able to help Sig closer from a position in the palace."

Alfred commented.

As Nadine tore up the letter.

"...!"

They were all shocked, she answered them after tearing the paper completely.

"Thank you. It is an honor to be selected to be part of the royal knight corps."

"But..."

She smiled for everyone as Eli hugged her.

"I'd rather remain to the end as the royal guard of Her Highness Princess Elicia."

"It's Eli. Pum!"

Eli showed a pout as she was called by her full name.

Everything was happiness.

"What did you say!"

Until a shout from the adjoining room startled them all.

◇◇◇

Rogue went in to see his son who had several bruises on his face.

He didn't say anything to him, he just stood there looking at him.

At that a man came in, handed a letter to Fionn which his father picked up.

As he read it... his eyes rolled.

"Father, what's wrong with you?"

His son asked him as he read the letter addressed to his name.

He too was speechless after reading it.

It was the same content as the others' letters, except for one word.

"Rejected."

Because Fionn elbowed Oliver for grabbing him from behind, it was a cowardly act that only someone who would not hesitate to sacrifice his comrades would do.

They didn't even want to take into account the fact that he could get the lives of all his companions endangered if he was that savage in a real battle.

Therefore, they had no choice but to reject him.

He earned his place to enter no doubt, but that behavior of underestimating others and harming your allies is something unbecoming of a knight.

Rogue was thinking that it was written by someone who hated him, being about to claim, he noticed that it was signed by Sieghart.

Therefore, the knight commander did not see Fionn as a good royal knight.

Rogue got up and left the room, his son wanted to say something to him, but he ignored him.

◇◇◇

After leaving, he found Sieghart drinking tea outside the place.

Seeing him, she went to face him.

"It was personal, wasn't it?"

He stopped drinking his tea and looked him in the eye to answer.

"It wasn't. I saw it while I was fighting, you raised your son just like you."

"That's not right."

Rogue snapped angrily.

"He's my son and I'll raise him any way I want!"

"That's the reason you weren't promoted to commander."

"... Excuse me?"

Sieghart stood up to face him.

"Everyone knows you want to be the commander. But just like your father, you won't be able to have that position because a commander must look after every subordinate under his command."

"Every man is critical, no matter his skills, no matter his status, your father always wanted to achieve honors on the battlefield, but that only generated that his soldiers would end up wounded, lose limbs or blind."

"I focused on keeping my hundred men under my command from dying and those hundred from returning home. Let's complete the mission as a team and celebrate that we are all complete."

"But your father never celebrated as he always ended up failing in his goals."

"You are on the same path, but thanks to your talent with the spear you don't lose subordinates."

"I don't want your son to end up like you, so, if he wishes, he will be tested in a few years to see if he deserves to enter the royal knights. In the meantime, I will not allow him to enter."

Rogue showed his anger and unsheathed the weaponized spear he carried at his side, it had no edge, but it could do damage.

"Don't think I'll let this insult end without repercussion for you, Hogan!"

Rogue prepared to use his finishing move against him.

"I'm going to make you pay for all this humiliation right now! Take my strongest attack!"

Before he uttered a word.

"And you get mine."

Sieghart attacked him in a single move, as hard as it was fast, knocking him out instantly.

Rogue didn't know what happened, because, using only the palm of his hand, Sieghart defeated him.

He settled him in the seat he was in and said to him.

"This has been a very hard day for you. Come to your senses and come back on Monday with a better way to raise your son."

"Don't make the same mistake... no, forget it."

He left to get some knights to take him home.

◇◇◇

Zoey was looking at the stars from her room.

"I guess... it's over."

Her sad thought was due since she agreed to be Rei's girlfriend, which beat Finne's cousin and sought a duel against him.

Zoey thought it would be the end of her life like her father's.

Then, being in a melancholy mood, she noticed at the window a sound she heard.

She went to look and found Rei floating.

She cried out of course.

"Kyah! A ghost!"

"Don't exaggerate."

Rei opened the window from outside and went into Zoey's room.

Which after a while she came back to her senses.

"W-what are you doing here?"

She asked in fright.

Rei gave her his hand for her to stand up.

After doing so he said to her.

"Come with me."

"Where to?"

Zoey asked confused.

Rei pointed.

"To the place where I will eliminate all your fears."

Rei took Zoey to the place where the duel against Bertram would take place.

_______

Gae Dearg: It is one of the twin spears of the Celtic hero, Diarmuid Ua Duibhne used, according to legends, this spear had the blessing that allows you to cut something without leaving a mark on the cut.

I leave fanservice of Nadine since she was the one who had the most development.

https://chan.sankakucomplex.com/es/post/show/25749062

The reference of the final fight is this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSLCp8id64I

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