SS) First Match
Aiden stretches his arms over head as he steps onto the Academy arena. While there aren’t any expectations on him advancing very far in the academy’s Strongest Under Heaven Magic Battle competition, many magicians are curious as to how he’ll perform. It’s the perfect opportunity for him to showcase the changes the ascension ritual had on his body. As such, he was selected to appear in the opening match on the first of October.
A carefree smile floats across Aiden’s face as he recalls the previous night’s training. His fellow Maoli magic style training mates don’t watch the opening matches of the competition. Kalani even went so far as to say, “Those opening matches are a waste of time. Real magic doesn’t start appearing until after the elimination rounds so just save your time off for that.”
Aiden’s current opponent is a first year. Despite being a second year himself, his poor record the previous year coupled with the ability for magic he has exhibited so far seeded him into a position where he’ll start of against students not well versed in magic. Still, he is a second year and as such, the first year he’s up against is one of the better ones of the class.
More important than that, however, is that none of his training classmates will be in the audience. All of them are instead busy working to keep the island operational. If none of them are watching, then he doesn’t need to worry about his status as an academy student being exposed.
I spent all that time wondering how I’d face them afterwards for nothing. Well, maybe not nothing. I’ll still need to come clean in December…
Aiden looks around once he reaches the center of the arena. Seated within the amphitheater is practically the entire first year class, a fifth of the second-year class, and magical researches there only to observe him. Still, despite that showing, not even a fifth of the seats are occupied.
I can’t believe I didn’t even notice last year. With those thoughts in mind, Aiden continues to look around the audience. Only after his third sweep across does he give up searching for Camillia.
His opponent says, “Can we start already? I want to finish this today.”
Aiden sighs as he lowers himself into a martial arts stance. “Yeah, might as well get the over with.”
“Wait, you seriously think you’re going to beat me? Are you stupid? I’m the top of my grade and you’re just the special scholarship student. I actually deserve to be at this academy.”
Aiden ignores him and waits for the match to start. Although he can freely use magic now, he wants to keep that a secret for as long as he can.
His opponent continues to taunt him. He moved from self-entitlement to critiquing Aiden’s decision to use martial arts. “Seriously, what kind of 4th rate magician resorts to punching? Actually, I have the perfect spell for this. Get ready to punch yourself in the face! A big, fat, bloody nose-”
The match then starts while his opponent is in mid-sentence. Aiden dashes forward, covering the 30 meters between them in less than a second, and smashes his fist into his opponent’s face. He had originally been intending to sock him in the stomach, but this guy is too annoying.
The first-year flies back and kicks up dust as he tumbles across the ground. He comes to a stop flat on his face. Not a twitch comes from his body as blood spreads out beneath him.
Aiden looks at him and says, “Don’t underestimate you opponents,” before leaving the ring. No one cheers. His victory was too sudden and unexpected for the majority of the audience. Only the second years who saw him compete in the previous year’s competition anticipated such an outcome against such an opponent.
“I wonder if I’ll be able to get through the rest of today’s matches without having to use any of my real magic?”