Chapter 10 – The Magic Tournament

 

 

I woke up early and did a few stretches before heading towards the town’s Coliseum. It was located in the centre of the capital and was of an impressive size. It was big enough to host approximately 1000 persons. I walked to the entrance and presented myself to the guards. They showed me the way for the contestants.

According to the schedule, assuming that I’d keep winning, I would battle 5 times today and tomorrow would be dedicated exclusively to the semifinals and final. Not forgetting the promise I made with Blume, I was determined to make it as far as possible.

I looked around me and noticed other participants. Most of them were youths of various age between the range of 13 – 20 years old. A lot of them looked quite powerful and I suddenly started doubting my strength. But once again, remembering the promise I made with Blume was enough to fill me with confidence once more.

One of the contestants approached me. He looked sturdy and at first glance, one would think of him as a swordsman rather than a magician. Although my Magic training included muscle work, my body still wasn’t built on the same level as Tras or this man.

 

“Yo ! I’m Boogie. I heard you talking to the guards, you’re Zwölf, right ?”

“Yes, nice to meet you.”

“Drop the formalities, my friend, for I am your first opponent !”

“Oh is that so ? What kind of Magician are you ?”

“Ahahaha, sneaky ! You’re trying to find out everything about me before the match even begins, right ? Well it’s a secret ! You’ll find out during the match hahaha.”

“Ah, is that so… well, good luck.”

“Yeah you too !”

 

It looks like my information gathering approach failed. Well, not that I expected too much on that side though.
The rules prohibited the use of physical weapons and any magical items. In other words, Magic and martial arts were the only thing allowed. It was a Tournament that was focused on pure ability with Magic after all so it was natural that they’d eliminate things that could make the difference between a poor and a rich Magician.

Considering Boogie’s body build, it was probable that he was the physical type. Since weapons and Magic items were not allowed, the chances that he’d use Water, Fire or Lightning Magic were close to 0. I was an Expert in Wind and Earth Magic so I should be fine when it comes to Magic power, however his reflexes and physical ability (dodging, close combat and running) might prove higher. I couldn’t release my guard around him.

 

When the time for my first match came, we were brought in the middle of the arena. I felt hundreds of stares on my back. It looked like this event had gathered a lot of spectators.

Boogie stood in front of me, with a wry smile on his face. He looked pretty confident. I, on the other hand, was calm and pragmatic and was trying to evaluate each potential move carefully. Then finally, the referee shouted “Go !” and the duel started.

 

I was the one to move first. According to my strategy, I fired『Wind Blade』twice. As expected, he wasn’t as weak as to be defeated by Intermediate Magic and managed to dodge them, barely in time. He then rolled on the ground and fired a 『Wind Bullet』 at me.

It went so fast that I only had time to escape it by using 『Wind Push』on myself, just like I did against Grog. However, the bullet was faster and grazed my right flank. As I was preparing to counter attack, I was surprised to see Boogie still on the ground. The smile he had kept up until now was now gone.

I fired a『Wind Blade』at him. Right before getting hit, it looks like he managed to snap out of it and dodge. However, unlike last time, he was too slow to react and the blade of wind slashed his stomach. He fell on the ground.

I watched him as he started bleeding and convulsing on the ground. A Healer immediately ran to him to treat him and behind me, the referee shouted.

 

“The contestant Boogie Drake has been defeated ! Zwölf Kreizig is the winner !”

 

A roar rose all around the Coliseum. I had… won ? But why ? Why didn’t Boogie follow up ?

I ran up to him to ask him that but he was breathing heavily. Although the Elf healer had closed his wound, he could still feel the pain from the impact.

 

“Ah… ah…. well done, Zwölf… You’re… really strong. I… didn’t expect you… to dodge my『Wind Bullet』… No one… has ever… dodged it before… Where I come from… I am called… Boogie of the Certain Death…”

“But… but why didn’t you follow up with another one after that ?”

“Although it is very powerful… at my current level, it takes me… half an hour to prepare one bullet… and I can’t move much for 10 seconds after that…”

“…”

 

I didn’t feel that way after using it… Was it because of my training using Creative Magic in addition to the repeated burden inflicted to my body by『Dragonfly』?

Well anyway, I won my first match like that. Talk about something anti-climatic.

 

***

 

My next opponent was a girl with deep blue hair who had a very different approach to battling. She basically spitted and used the Water Cindril inside of the saliva to fire 『Water Bullets』at me. Although it was quite a creative idea to use Water Magic, I could easily protect myself with 『Rock Shield』. I don’t know if she expected to beat me with only low-level techniques but I was a bit disappointed. She kept spitting and firing bullets at me with a high firing rate but it had no effect against my strong defense.

I waited there until she finally ran out of saliva and was left helpless as to what to do next. Surely, she had imagined she’d knock me out before that. Did she only know Water Magic ? Anyway, it was now my turn to attack.
She was a frail-looking girl and she was easily knocked out with a single『Wind Blade』.

Even if she got a deep cut from it, thanks to the amazing Healing Magic cast by the Elf referee, she didn’t keep any scar.

 

It may be a bit disrespectful to not mention them but my next three opponents were beaten almost as easily.

I honestly couldn’t tell whether I was the one with overpowered Magic or whether they were the ones who were weak.

Just like that, I qualified for the semifinals and returned to the inn. A bit later, Father also came back and didn’t look surprised when I told him I had gained a place for the semifinals.

 

“Well, I expected that much, after seeing you training. You might not have noticed it Zwölf but even though your Mana capacity is normal, the speed at which you learn and master things is incredible.”

“Is it really like that ? As long as you understand the theory, it’s just a matter of having enough Mana to cast a spell, I think.”

“You might think that way because it’s you but it’s not the case. Look, you’re at an Expert level after having started to learn Magic for only a few months…”

“Yeah… so what ?”

“Most people take about 2 years to reach Intermediate level and mastering Expert level spells takes so much practice that usually, one’s at least 20 when they finally succeed casting their first Expert spell, or so I heard.”

“I… I see. I understand now.”

 

This tournament’s cap age is 20. This was probably done in order to limit the use of Expert magic which is a lot more lethal than Intermediate level, even with a Healer ready to act.

Boogie managed to cast an Expert level spell but to him, it was such an achievement at his age that he was certain that no one could stop his 『Wind Bullet』, that’s why he didn’t expect anyone to be able to beat him with such a high level technique.

 

“You know, most people who can use Expert level magic are given high rank positions in the army. With your current level, you could probably get my job almost immediately. And although most people don’t try to improve their magic any further due to the difficulty, the rare people who can use Master level Magic stand at the very top of the hierarchy in the Empire.”

“Is that so ? Wow, I didn’t know Magic allowed me to get a job that easily.”

“Hahaha, that’s my son ! Although you could be considered a genius with this ability to assimilate Magic that fast, you still lack awareness in some other areas !”

“Hearing that doesn’t make me happy…”

 

I had actually heard something like that. Apparently, the current Emperor was a Fire Master and also knew Master level Earth Magic. According to the rumors, every Porcephone Emperor up until now knew Master level Fire Magic.

 

“Ah, by the way, did you know that the Emperor’s son also entered the tournament ? He qualified for the semifinals, just like you.”

“Oh really ? Will I be facing him then, I wonder.”

“Maybe. Well I heard he’s very strong so be careful if you do.”

“Yeah, sure.”

 

I braced myself for the oncoming semifinals as the first day of the tournament ended.

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