Patroclus' actions were against his usual restrained and reticent character. The media meeting had gathered all journalists who provided coverage on the tournament. Everyone watched the young Ivantian Prince with great anticipation, waiting for him to speak out.
An Ivantian walked to the stage and informed Patroclus that all things were ready.
Patroclus nodded with a smile and then announced, "Thank you for coming. I have only one announcement: I will delay the final match for a week."
The announcement landed in the crowd like a bomb. Everyone, including all the journalists, was shocked by the news. Sensing the promise of drama, all journalists raised their hands for questions. Like hungry carrions, they smelled a piece of fat and juicy headline in front of them.
"Mr. Dower, the match was scheduled for tomorrow. Do you think the organizing committee would approve of your decision?"
"Touché! You have the edge over your opponent right now. Why would you want to give it up?"
Questions came one after another. But surprisingly, none of the questions was about the match itself, instead intending to find out Patroclus' motive in making such a decision. If Patroclus went with the flow, he would have become the most dominant fighter of his age by tomorrow afternoon.
As the crowd bubbled with questions, Wakana rushed into the meeting room with a couple of his assistants. His face was pale and taut before he had seen the roomful of journalists. However, even as he stepped into the threshold, his expression turned milder by the second. Dower was not a power to be messed with, and therefore, caution and restraint were called for. As an avid politician with a bulging belly, changing his appearance and mood was much easier than changing his shirt.
"Mr. Dower, I hope you understand that all of us have to play by the rules, including you. Unless, you can present us with a legitimate reason for being otherwise." Through the smile that Wakana plastered onto his face, people could still see the fire of anger seeping out from the folds of his unimpressed double chin.
Patroclus remained placid and watched the politician quietly.
"Mr. Wakana is right. All of us deserve an explanation." A clear voice broke the silence.
Wakana was annoyed by the interruption as he turned his head around and surveyed the crowd for the speaker. "Who's speaking!"
Zhang Mi, the journalist, stepped out of the crowd with a confident smile. Ever since her coverage of Wang Tong, she had quickly become the most famous journalist at MTV. The sudden fame had encouraged her; she stared at the fat politician with a trace of despise in her eyes.
"Rules are made by humans such as yourself, Mr. Wakana. And as a reasonable and rational human being, you would understand that rules could also be bent when called for. Don't you agree?"
Agreement from an army of journalists quickly followed Zhang Mi's question. Faltering, Wakana's face turned sour and green. He turned towards Patroclus and announced, "You have violated the regulation. I am entrusted by the committee to put things back to order. But first, do explain yourself."
The room became quiet as everyone watched Patroclus with anticipation. Patroclus surveyed the crowd one more time before he broke the silence.
"I do it for the sake of fairness," Patroclus announced calmly.
His words had perplexed everyone, since no one thought the match was unfair in the first place.
Wakana was amused by Patroclus's reply, so he said, "Do you doubt the fairness of the event? I can guarantee you that much!"
Zhang Jin stood up from her seat. She alone knew what Patroclus meant, and she was going to explain it to everyone else.
"What he meant, Mr. Wakana, was not the fairness of the entire tournament, but rather the final match. Patroclus is not here to gain the title of the champion. That, he already has; what he is here for is to battle with Wang Tong in his full capacity."
Everyone felt it strange that the usually reticent Ivantian Prince would have become so passionate about a public tournament. But Zhang Jin's words finally instilled some sense into the audiences, as they saw the pieces coming together.
Wakana was taken aback by Zhang Jin's announcement. He paused to search for words, but before he could say anything, the same female journalist that had interrupted him stood up and spoke out again.
"Miss Zhang, do you happen to know more details?" Zhang Mi asked, her question to the point.
Zhang Jin smiled and locked her eyes with Patroclus'. It was time for the instigator to speak out for himself.
Patroclus cast an empty stare at the crowd and announced with a heavy tone, "In seven days, you will witness the battle between the heir of Rilangalos and the new Balde Warrior!"
Patroclus turned his back and walked away as his voice was still hanging in the air. As the profoundness of the meaning in his announcement set in, everyone knew that nothing could change his decision.
The condition must be perfect, since both fighters had waited for centuries for this match.
First bubbling with doubts and questions, the room then fell into a deathly silence.
"The heir of Rilangalos? That must be Patroclus himself. But, who is the heir of the Blade Warrior? Wang Tong?"
Ten minutes later, clamor returned to the meeting room as a journalist hurried to report this news to their station. No one paid any attention to the fat politician sitting quietly on a chair, staring blankly into the distance.
A few minutes later, all media were broadcasting the same news.
"In seven days, you will witness the battle between the heir of Rilangalos and that of the Balder Warrior!"
"The heir of Blade Warrior!"
"Wang Tong: The new Blade Warrior."
"The biggest news of centuries: Blade Warrior Reborn!"
"Wang Tong—who is he?"
In a blink, Wang Tong's name had become the most searched item on the internet, surpassing the second most popular search item by a large margin.