Loud cheers filled the venue and echoes rumbled the ground as the wooden door raised . Rhode and Marlene couldn’t help but frowned as the rumblings were rather vexing .
Then, accompanied with the entrance of the city owner Klautz, the cheers stopped gradually . Klautz appeared eager to get straight down to business as he briefly explained the conditions of this competition and announced the rules one by one . For convenience’s sake, the rules would be equivalent to the Midsummer Festival . Both sides would decide on a battle mode before sending their members up for battles . As long as either side fell off the arena, fainted, or surrendered, there would be a victor . However, killing was strictly prohibited and offenders would be deemed the loser .
The battle started .
“Alright then . I’m up!”
Marlene said confidently without turning back and stepped straight up into the arena . This move surprised Lize, while Rhode and Gillian exchanged curious glances . Despite Marlene’s aloof expression, her inner self was actually in high spirits . She normally wouldn’t be this eager .
The crowd burst into cheers upon witnessing a beauty stepping onto the arena . They didn’t know Marlene’s identity and were here to enjoy a bustling scene anyway . They might as well use this opportunity to catch glances of some beauties . Their cheers roared and filled the entire place, as if welcoming a very important person…
On the contrary, the opposing mercenaries were hesitant as soon as they saw Marlene . Unlike the crowd, they knew Marlene’s true identity . The Senia Family wasn’t a family who they could mess with . What if they injured this young lady of theirs… What would happen to them?
As they discussed their options, a Thief-class mercenary interrupted .
“I’ll go . ”
The opposing mercenaries gazed oddly . The Thief was the vice leader of the Cyclops mercenary group . His skills were decent, but it felt rather risky for him to take the lead .
“Hey, you have to consider the young lady’s identity first . ”
Someone reminded the vice leader . However, the Thief shook his head .
“Don’t worry, I know what you guys are afraid of . But, it’s a battle between mercenaries now . No matter her identity, it’s a mercenary who is standing right there… Even if she loses, she’ll need to admit it, right? This is the rule of the mercenaries and since she’s already a member of a mercenary group, then she will naturally need to abide by the rules . ”
Although the vice leader made sense, the others were still rather hesitant . In the end, they nodded in agreement . The Thief smiled as he drew a dagger from his waist and stepped on the arena .
“Why do I feel that he seems to bear a grudge against that young lady?”
The leader of War Shield said dubiously . The rest of them scratched their heads as they had known each other for a long time . Many of them saw the complains the Thief had against Marlene . However, no one knew exactly what happened in the past .
In fact, they guessed it accurately .
She’s still the same…
Walking up the arena and facing Marlene on the other end, the Thief let out a sneer .
In fact, both of them didn’t have any real relationships in the past . When Marlene arrived in Deep Stone City initially, she sought adventures and battle experience through joining mercenary groups . However, many mercenary groups had rejected her and Cyclops was one of them . In fact, many people within Cyclops had actually welcomed Marlene because there weren’t too many Mages out there .
However, it was otherwise for the vice leader . As a Thief, his sharp senses detected the loathe toward mercenaries hidden under Marlene’s facade . It was apparent that Marlene didn’t belong in the same world as the vulgar mercenaries . So although she seemed polite and well mannered on the outside, there was no little spitein her . Of course, the vice leader hated such emotions and even more so since she was a noble . In the end, he rejected her application and Cyclops didn’t recruit her .
But now… This woman actually stood on the mercenary’s arena .
It seemed that her view on mercenaries didn’t change at all .
The Thief clutched his twin daggers . He was unsure of Marlene’s abilities, but despite the rate of Starlight’s growth, she was still young, after all .
So then… Now’s the time, Young Lady . Although I’m not sure how your leader pampers you, you should know that it’s not as easy as you think to be a mercenary!
Marlene grabbed her staff and stared at the Thief before her . She wasn’t mindful of his hateful expression . As the heir of Senia Family, she had faced all kinds of ridiculous jealousy, admiration, and hate . She didn’t care much about what the Thief thought about herself . She was fully focused on only one thing: battle .
Ooo… Ooo… Ooo…!
The bugle horn sounded and the battle officially started .
The Thief darted forward in a flash . He wore a greyish-white armor and cape . He stooped forward and roamed around Marlene with a pace unique to Thieves . Soon enough, the Thief blended in with the entire arena, and the crowd couldn’t see him at all . Marlene stood in the same spot and didn’t move an inch . It seemed that she couldn’t detect the opponent’s movements either .
Hmph, I see .
The Thief laughed grimly . Judging from Marlene’s expression, he saw that she couldn’t pinpoint his position . It was as though Marlene was staring into the spot where she hoped the opponent would jump out from .
Hahahaha, do you really take me as a fool, young lady?
The Thief sneakily appeared behind her, which was extremely dangerous for a Mage . Not to mention that Marlene didn’t cast a defense shield at the start of the match . Under such circumstances, this was totally advantageous for the Thief .
Now’s the chance!
The Thief leaped forward with his dagger hilts aiming for the back her head . It was apparent that he wished to knock her out with this move and finish her off cleanly .
At this moment, Marlene finally moved .
She lifted her staff .
A dazzling radiance erupted from the tip of the staff, which brightened the underground colosseum in an instant . It was so bright that the crowd had to close their eyes . The Thief subconsciously shut his eyes and his heart sank .
Just as this thought flashed through his mind, he heard a crisp voice .
Whizzing gales instantly lifted off from the ground .
The Thief, who was in midair, couldn’t dodge this attack . He tried finding means of escape frantically .
But this was only the start . Marlene had no intentions of stopping the storm . She brandished her staff and swiftly drew a mysterious, complex symbol . As she linked up the final stroke of the bright, magical symbol, a giant fireball emerged above her and abruptly exploded .
Huge waves of pressure filled with scorching flames exploded beside the Thief . The Thief had nowhere to hide . At this moment, he had totally given up the idea of teaching Marlene a lesson . All he hoped now was to save his own life . He had totally forgotten that this place was an arena as the dazzling radiance, whizzing storm, and scorching flames brought him into an illusion of hellish abyss .
Then, Marlene once again lifted her staff .
The storm became ice-cold to the marrow . The Thief felt as though a battle hammer had smashed heavily on his back . Then, he almost threw up due to the intense pain and pressure .
The whole crowd had gone oddly silent .
The Thief opened his eyes slowly . He felt his body aching with soreness as though his limbs were almost torn apart . Before his eyes was the domed roof of the underground cave . However, it wasn’t the smooth flat slab of the arena on his back, but spongy soil instead .
The Thief stared blankly and was speechless . Then, he heard a young lady’s calm, peaceful voice .
“Next . ”