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Right after our first battle, Raynevere and I went to the audience’s seat to rest and wait for our next fight. These qualifiers consist of three Gladiator Battles for each participant in a randomized manner. We already won one, so there are two more fights to win!

I don’t think we’ll be as lucky as the first battle, so I have to make sure that I fix my Command Cards Deck. The moment we had our butts resting, I immediately opened the Gladiatrix System’s Main Menu and clicked Edit Deck.

I looked at my card list and saw that the probability of having those bricked Command Cards altogether, and in the starting hand, is just 3%! That means I’m just so unlucky to have those cards at the start!

Meanwhile, Raynevere is busy drinking her ice-cold bottled water. Sweat has been crawling on her face and neck, so, naturally, she should rehydrate herself. She even had a towel ready for this situation as if it were just a regular exercise routine.

“Mister Elzane? Why the long face?” Raynevere looked at me with naivety.

“N-Nothing.” I shook my head.

“Ah! Are you angry because I did a high kick even if I’m wearing a short skirt? Don’t worry! I’m wearing gym shorts inside! Look!” Raynevere raised her pleated frilly skirt and revealed black gym shorts.

For a moment, my face became ketchup-red! I had a view of her flawless white thighs and that is enough to make my mischievous thoughts roam around my brain!

“I-It’s not that, Miss Raynevere!” I cried.

“Are you sick? You look pale, Mister Elzane!” Raynevere pushed her face forward and checked for my temperature. The slight touch of her fingers on my forehead made me freak out inside my mind!

“N-No! I just… needed some time to think… about our next battles.” I sighed. “You see, the Command Cards I drew earlier turned out to be unusable so I failed to support you.”

“Oh, alright.” 

Raynevere smiled innocently like she already knew what happened earlier. She seemed to be not a little bit mad about the situation, and I’m relieved about that. She even offered the half-empty bottle of ice-cold water to me.

“Here, this will make you relax,” Raynevere said.

I took the bottled water and looked at its opening. Normally, I would reject an offer from a bottle that has already been drunk by other people. But since it’s Raynevere- my ultimate crush, I will take it on and have an indirect kiss!

I gulped the water in one go. It didn’t feel particularly special, but at least I did it. It’s enough to bring back my ego and energize me!

“Let’s edit this deck before any unlucky draws like that happen again!” I pumped myself up.

I immediately removed most of my situational combo cards and replaced them with some easy-to-use Skill Cards and Counter Cards with easy activation conditions. I think there are only three combo cards left on my deck so this will do.

Just before I could close the hologram menu on my Gladiatrix System, a somewhat familiar voice entered the background.

“Yo, Elzane!”

When I put away the hologram HUDs blocking my view, I saw the face of a ginger-hair teenage guy with a somewhat friendly face and a medium masculine build. Judging from the metal plate accessory on his head and a huge broadsword on his back, this Gladiator is a Cyber Knight. If I remember, his name is Firius.

Beside him is his adorable blonde Kaiser, Esthesia. She had her hand crossed below her ample breast and seemed to be avoiding our gaze from us. Especially from her eternal rival Raynevere.

“So you guys joined the Entry-Grade Qualifiers too. And judging from the looks of it, you won your first fight! Great!” Firius clenched her fist.

“Y-Yeah,” I answered. Seriously, I don’t know how to lengthen my sentences. My social battery is draining fast!

Firius approached us and Esthesia followed, still averting her gaze to Raynevere. Meanwhile, Raynevere is just looking at Firius with a true neutral expression: not happy nor angry, or sad. Firius still went closer with a dumb smile on his face.

“I hope we won’t fight each other in these qualifiers. Let’s do our best to enter the Battle Fiesta!” Firius cheered.

“Yep! Good luck to both of us!” Raynevere finally replied, and it was in a jolly tone.

“Hmph!” Esthesia remained sturdy and cold, still not acknowledging Raynevere’s presence.

All of a sudden, we heard a loud boom! People in the audience’s seats immediately stood up to look at the source. Some even went closer to witness what happened.

“What was that?” Firius asked.

We’re not far from the arena, so it was already clear to my eyesight what happened.

At the Second Arena portion of the coliseum, there stood a girl with purple hair tied in twin ponytails. She has a pair of metallic cat ears on top of her head, and she’s wearing a blue frilly dress and black leggings. Her weapon of choice is a pair of gauntlets with metal claws.

At the center of the arena is a giant crater that contained the defeated Kaiser. Whatever attack that purple cat used, it’s clearly over the top. She didn’t have to exert a lot of effort just to directly attack a Kaiser which is a normal human being.

“Himeno Yuusha,” Raynevere muttered.