“Our hotel’s price is fair. We have great balconies with a unique view, breakfast and lunch are even offered if you stay for three nights, and you can even rent dwarven crystal spectacles especially made to watch the tournament with.”
In a landing plaza for the sky crystal ferries in Eichemalar, an inn’s clerk was sparing no effort to bawl.
This clerk stared all of a sudden.
From the ferry that had landed not long ago, the ones pouring out were almost all students wearing Holy Dawn Academy’s light-blue uniform and girls wearing Agate Lake Academy’s uniform.
“Are you all students of Holy Dawn Academy and Agate Lake Academy?” someone in the plaza couldn’t help but ask.
“That’s right, we hurried here to cheer for team Holy Dawn and team Agate Lake.”
“But team Agate Lake already lost to team Golden Stag a few days ago.”
“A match that brought glory despite the defeat, plus our St. Lauren also has a match the day after tomorrow between Holy Dawn Academy and Silver Trout Academy. Many students from Divine Shield Academy and Iron Forest Academy are also going to hurry and come here.”
This inn clerk immediately understood. This year, the two teams coming from St. Lauren had both exhibited very outstanding performances. They’d both earned a new level of respect for themselves. So all the academies in St. Lauren felt proud and elated, and many people had rushed there to encourage them just for the occasion.
As soon as he understood, this shop clerk instantly changed his angle of approach. He shouted in a loud voice, “Everyone at our inn is a fan of Holy Dawn Academy and Agate Lake Academy! As long as you’re a supporter of Holy Dawn Academy or Agate Lake Academy and check in for more than three days, you get a 10% discount! We’ll even gift you with a big poster of the members of team Holy Dawn!”
After the interruption from the Evil Dragon followers’ scheme, the first round of the accelerated group stage after the tournament resumed was already over.
Thanks to Holy Dawn Academy and Agate Lake Academy’s outstanding performances, many students had rushed to Eichemalar to watch the tournament after receiving the heartening news, in order to cheer for Holy Dawn Academy.
“The Most Important Matches Of The Second Round In The Group Stage!”
The newest issue of Breith Magazine used such a title.
After the end of the first round, among the eight groups, there was already no suspense left as to the qualifications of Dragon Breath Academy in group one, Abel Academy in group two, River Bend Academy in group four, Winterfell Academy in group six, and Deepwood Motte Academy in group eight.
For that reason, the matches Breith Magazine focused on were Silver Trout Academy against Holy Dawn Academy in the upper half, Golden Stag Academy against Hawkmoon Academy in the lower half, as well as Three-Headed Dragon Academy against Sea Gale Academy in group seven.
Compared to the past, it was already a rare sight to having half of the eight seeded teams with their future still hanging in the balance.
“Apart from Silver Trout and Holy Dawn, the most unpredictable matches in the eight groups should be last year’s seventh, Three-Headed Dragon Academy, against last year’s ninth, Sea Gale Academy.”
In a small restaurant mainly serving things like black beer, bread, and barbecue, Ivan, Charlotte, Wilde and the others also had the newest issue of Breith Magazine in front of them.
Charlotte couldn’t help but shake her head when she heard Wilde’s words. “No matter who wins between Three-Headed Dragon and Sea Gale, the match will be incomparably harsh and desperate. After the winner qualifies for the last eight, the end result will probably the same no matter the team they end up meeting.”
“Well, from what you said, isn’t Holy Dawn Academy in the same miserable situation? Even if they defeat Silver Trout, they’re probably going to have to pay a great price for it. After entering the last eight, any team left is an outstandingly powerful team,” Wilde said, looking at Charlotte. “The reason Rinsyi sounded so confident is that every substitute in Silver Trout has the strength of a celebrity contestant. Even if they have some members of their main roster severely wounded and forced to withdraw, their global strength won’t be much affected even with a substitute or two instead.”
“But team Holy Dawn is different from all the other teams. Ayrin, Moss, Chris, as well as Rinloran now… Each of them is a guy you simply can’t predict or see through. Who knows how they’re going to fight,” Ivan said.
Then he suddenly looked up at the entrance of the restaurant.
In the doorway, a girl wearing a black dress with a long skirt was making her way inside.
“Ivan… This girl looks a little cold. I didn’t know that’d be your type.” Seeing Ivan’s gaze stray to that girl, Wilde couldn’t resist quietly teasing him.
But after saying that, Wilde suddenly thought this girl with the long black-skirted dress seemed more and more familiar.
“Ruler of Blades, Sarina?” He suddenly recognized her. He couldn’t help but throw a glance at the issue of Breith Magazine on the table.
On the magazine, among Silver Trout Academy’s portrait, that girl’s face and the girl making her way inside at this moment were impressively identical.
Just then, this girl had already made a beeline for Ivan and taken the initiative to greet him.
“Sarina, do you want something from me?” Ivan said, standing up.
“Is it really Sarina? You know each other?” Even Charlotte stare at Ivan was a little blank. She had no idea either Ivan and Sarina were already acquainted with each other.
“We happened to be in the same team in a mission not long ago,” Ivan quiet said, his face impassible.
“I never heard you mention it,” Charlotte mumbled.
“Must have had something in mind, or else, why did he never mention it before?” Wilde and the others suddenly took on an ambiguous look.
Sarina first politely nodded at everyone, then sat opposite Ivan.
“Our match in two days is particularly important for us. I know you’re very close with members of team Holy Dawn, so I came to find you so I can ask you not to tell them about the characteristics of my arcane skills.”
“So it was like this…” Wilde and the others suddenly looked at Ivan, waiting to see how he would respond.
“We might only have been temporary teammates, but keeping your team members’ secrets is something every arcane master should do. I hope for team Holy Dawn’s victory, but of course I won’t tell them about your latest characteristics,” Ivan looked at her and told her very frankly. “That said, Sarina, with your usual character, you would usually never have come looking for me and asking a request like this. Even if you have this sort of misgivings, you’d change your way of fighting at most.”
“That’s because I very very… very much want to win this match,” Sarina quietly said, a little downcast. “The matter about Shinro was a huge blow for our captain Nolan. For our captain, Shinro wasn’t merely a freshman with remarkable strength. He spent a lot of energy and care training and worrying about Shinro in the past year. Even now, he still can’t understand why someone he’s sincerely guided with genuine enthusiasm would actually become a traitor, would choose to be his enemy. That’s why, after they investigated our team last time, he decided to go to a sentry post at the front in the Southam Demon Forest and join the Shadowfiend Corps.”
“You know like me that…” After a pause, Sarina looked at Ivan and added, “A place like that is a place where anyone could die fighting. For that reason, for us, this tournament isn’t only the last tournament he’ll participate in. It has an even greater meaning.”
“Someone you completely see as a friend and a companion, yet who in fact harbors evil intentions… That Shinro guy really deserved to die.” Ivan heaved a soft sight. “Nolan’s indeed a good guy. Don’t worry, no matter who wins out of you or that group of guys from Holy Dawn Academy, I wish for that match to be a fair and spectacular battle.”
“To tell the truth…” Sarian’s face finally exposed the trace of a smile. “You also fought against Holy Dawn Academy. You’re familiar with them, so what do you think, who’s more likely to win the match between us in two days?”
“I would rather not answer this question;” Ivan couldn’t hold back a smile.
“I can already tell the answer from your reply,” Sarina said with a faint smile. “So even you aren’t optimistic about our chances. It seems that the match in two days will really be a great challenge.”
“The match against Silver Trout is in two days already… Can you really be about recovered and come out by then?”
At this time, Ayrin’s figure filled Charlotte’s mind.