20.2 The Duel
“—Ha? What are you going to say, now? Don’t tell me, you’re going to make an excuse—?! How unsightly—!”
“Certainly, in order to stop magic before it’s activated, you must destroy the vessel so that the water does not accumulate, however…”
A magic circle emerged. Magical wind danced. But, the magic circle collapsed before the wind could turn into a weapon.
“…once it’s activated, it’s easy if you just flip the vessel.”
The first time Sharina had helped Riol making an amulet—
—she was excited, and praised Riol for being able to make such a powerful amulet even though they hadn’t learned it in class, yet.
It was then that he told her—“—this isn’t an amulet intended for those who learn in class.”
“What is this nonsenses you’re stammering—! Fuun, I understand—! You’re just buying yourself time—! A bastard like you should have about two or three amulets left—!”
Destroying a magic circle require too much power.
For example, take a wooden bowl, even if a large man tried to put a crack on it, it would be a difficult thing to do. However, to turn it over—even a baby could do it.
In addition, magic circles were invented to bring ancient magic to the present era… it was a portal that link the ancient with the modern time—in short, a very unstable plane.
“When your amulets run out, so will your luck—! Fly to the sky, then fall to the ground—I’ll show you your place—!”
A magic circle appeared—only a small wind blew. An amulet was torn. A magic circle destroyed—such things were repeated, over, and over, and over…
“…Bastard, are you buried in debt, now? Or, did you steal the money? As expected of a Rat like you…!”
He thought that Riol was about to run out of amulets, however, no such thing happened—for the first time, Leonardo showed signs of agitation.
“I made them myself. There’s still many left.”
“What utter nonsense—!! I’ve already told you, your lies don’t work on me—!!”
He hadn’t run out of amulets—there wasn’t even sign of it.
“Since I was twelve years old, I kept making prototypes—as such, there’s so many of them lying around, I can’t even count them.”
“Fuun…! You spit out lie after lie, have you no shame—!?”
As Leonardo uttered so, he was short of breath.
On the other hand, Riol didn’t even move an eyebrow. One, two amulets were tore in half and flew in the wind, but they hardly counted at all.
“Haha—! The amount of amulets you’ve used have exceeded thirty—! You won’t last long—!”
“Earlier, you said the same thing.”
No matter how powerful the magic of the royal bloodline was, it wasn’t infinite. Activating a magic enough to blow a person dozens of times in a row must be very taxing.
Even more so when he kept creating enormous sized magical circles every time—probably so Riol couldn’t escape.
Still, Riol’s amulets hadn’t run out.
“Kuh! Impossible… there’s no way… you can afford to buy this many…”
Finally, Leonardo was on his knee. His magical power had greatly diminished. The greater the magical power, the greater the load when one discharged a huge amount of magic.
Leonardo had no other means but magic. Even though it was possible for him to use his bare hands to steal Riol’s stash of hidden amulets.
But, in a duel between mages, it was an equivalent of admitting that he was the inferior one. It would result in him getting ridiculed—there was no way he would chose that path.
“…there, shouldn’t be, any amulets… left, by now…”
The audience was at a stand still.
“I’ve said it already, there’s still many left.”
He opened the book he was holding in his arm.
“Be it the Practical Magic Department, or the training for actual knights …or the Written Magic Department—writing this much is hard, you know?”
He put his finger on the spine of the book and flipped it—from it, hundreds of sheets of paper scattered on the stage.
On all of them, complicated procedures were written.
“I… I see through you—! Those are nothing but pieces of paper replicating actual amulets—! They have no power! There’s no way you can afford this many amulets! You’ll even go to this length to scare me, huh—!?”
“If that’s what you think, try using magic now. If you’re going to surrender, now’s your best chance.”
“Idiot—! As if I would fall to your lies—!”
As Leonardo screamed, a magic circle appeared again under Riol’s feet.
It was the biggest magical circle he had conjured up to now.
Just like before, the wind started to brew into something dangerous—
“Fuhahahahahaha—! As I thought! With this, I will put an end to everything!”
—however, this time, it wasn’t cancelled.
Even though it was covered with hundreds of amulets, the magic circle remained. On the contrary, it only grew bigger and stronger—the amulets were scattered away.
It was the first time this had happened.
Sharina stood up, about to leap from her spectator seat.
While the wind blew, Riol appeared… to be smiling thinly.
In the next second, the wind abruptly vanished.
“—His Highness—!? His Highness Leonardooo—!!”
Someone screamed Leonardo’s name in frustration.
Blood flowed from Leonardo’s mouth as he collapsed on stage. Afterwards, he didn’t move at all.
“Im, impossible, what has…”
“W, what happened—!? Why did His Highness suddenly collapse—!?”
“A, and he’s still standing… he’s the one who did it—!?”
After a moment of silence, the audience exploded.
Leonardo, who had the most outstanding magical power among the royal family— who was hailed as a genius since he first entered the school— who was said to be no match for even the teachers—
—against the lowest of the aristocrats, with the lowest magical prowess amongst all students, who was said to have enrolled in a department specified for losers…
Nobody could believe that sight.
“…As I’ve said before, magic circles are a vessel. The magic itself is water. If you don’t have enough water, the magic won’t activate. Such is the contract between magic circle and magic.”
Throwing his now thin book, Riol said to the back of the fallen Leonardo.
“Therefore, if the water is insufficient after activation, it tries to replenish it by force from the nearest person. If it’s still not enough, the magic will vanish.”
Riol’s voice, kindly explaining, wouldn’t be heard by the spectators currently in unprecedented chaos.
“My amulets aren’t only limited to cancelling magic, you know. Well, you can’t hear me anyway.”
It wouldn’t be heard by anyone—except for one person, who ran at the speed of light to the stage.
“Riol! Riol! You’re really awesome, Riol—!”
“The last amulet you used was the same as that time! The one that helped me conjure that pillar of water when I was swept away to the sky!”
Feeling impressed, Sharina hugged Riol.
“But why did his magic disappeared midway? Did the amulet perhaps increased the size of the magic circle, depleting his magic?”
“It’s because the amount still wasn’t enough for the magic to take root. I’ve enlarged his magic circle exactly for this outcome. It’s still a mystery how he managed to only grow more confident instead, when his magic circle expanded for no apparent reason…”
“The same answer would apply if asked where his confidence came from—mystery.”
“There’s that, too.”
As he combed his ruffled hair with fingers, Riol supported his back with his other hand.
He was just so cool, she felt dizzy.
“Speaking of which, is running out of magic that painful? I wouldn’t want to end up like that, I thought.”
“Un… I think it’s like blood? Imagine if you drain the blood out from your body—that’s the pain His Highness is currently suffering right now.”
“I see, you put it in a way that makes it easier to understand.”
Riol was right in front of her, no longer out of touch. Sharina was happy, she wanted to talk more to him.
“Winner… Riol Glen…”
It wasn’t the voice of Riol nor Leonardo, but an adult man. Sharina looked back in the direction of the voice.
“T, the victor, Riol Glen! The duel is concluded! Hurry, someone, bring His Highness a remedy!”
In front of the scales with one plate lowered to the ground, the referee teacher shouted in a hurry.
“Aah, that’s right.”
Speaking of which, Riol hadn’t yet decided his victory conditions.
***T/N: …If such display of humiliation done by this retard’s own hands doesn’t open everyone’s eyes I don’t know what else will…
It’s still a mystery how he managed to only grow more confident instead, when his magic circle expanded for no apparent reason…”
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