The next day, the second day of the magic tournament.
Two competitors were facing each other in one corner of the six stages. One was a large senior student who had repeatedly casted spells and was now breathing heavily. The other was a petite junior student. He hadn’t used magic even once, as such, his breathing was normal.
“Kuh—! W, why isn’t my control working!?”
The senior student was consistently trying to unleash only beginner spells from the beginning. It was because information had leaked—that his opponent, the petite boy, would take advantage of his opponents’ advanced spells, and use amulets to counteract and exhaust them.
However, the magic circle that the man had unleashed immediately expanded. Even though in the beginning, it was small. After completely depleting the man of his magical power, the magic circle vanished.
Why is this happening?
Didn’t the boy only possess two types of amulets? One that could cancel, and one that could amplify? He hadn’t heard about the boy’s third amulet, which not only expanded a magic circle, but also canceled it afterwards!
The boy’s opponent during the first round was the second prince of that kingdom. Unfortunately, the senior student also had a match during that time, so he couldn’t observe. Even worse than that, the loser turned out to be the second prince.
He couldn’t just casually ask people, “How did the prince lose?” and gather information!
“—You’ve gotten it wrong.”
That day’s match was witnessed carefully by the second prince’s supporters.
Many times, he’d witness his own magical circle expanding before disappearing on its own after the boy held out his hand. It was enough to change the senior’s mind—
—that boy made a new amulet that allowed him to freely manipulate magic circles.
“Who said that only one type of amulet can be used on a magic circle?”
“W-well, that’s just common sense!”
His field of view gently tilted. Nausea rushed in. It was difficult for the senior to remain standing—that was when he realized he had run out of magic.
“—The victor, Riol Glen.”
As he collapsed on the marble stage with fatigue ransacking his entire body, the last thing he heard was the referee’s voice announcing the victory of his petite opponent.
“Hey, His Highness Roland is still not around…”
“Maybe he was injured somewhere during yesterday’s match…”
“But it’s been a whole day? If His Highness’ injury were so severe that he couldn’t get up for the rest of the day, the teachers and doctors would be making a huge fuss.”
After the lunch break, the second half of the second day’s magic tournament. Just before the first round in the afternoon, rumors about Roland spread across the audience seats.
“…Well, maybe yesterday’s loss was too much for him, and he’s withdrawn…”
“Come on! You rarely say anything useful! As if His Highness would stoop that low!”
The area around the seats where Sharina and the others sat were of no exception. Roland’s name could be heard from all directions.
“But… considering the way he was defeated…”
One of the voices sounded familiar. It was none other than the overly-frank girl from yesterday. All of her friends beside her kept disagreeing with her because her impression about yesterday’s match was just too blunt. It seemed that today, she came with different friends.
“He isn’t one to be ashamed of his defeat! I was scared I wouldn’t be able to see His Highness due to my seating yesterday, but for him to be defeated that quickly…”
“Not to mention, he got defeated fairly easily, too…”
“N, nothing, never mind!”
Apparently, the friends she was with today didn’t know the details of Roland’s match. On the first day, more than 10 matches were carried out at once, so depending on the seat, it might not have been possible to see some competitors. Especially considering the magic of other competitors.
“It’s a shame that he lost, but for me to not be able to see His Highness Roland today, as well…”
“It’s also a shame that His Highness Roland was unable to come today due to yesterday’s match…”
By the way, of course, Sharina asked about Riol’s stage in advance, and took the most strategic seat today and yesterday.
“Riol, what happen?”
Riol’s match was during the morning, so they were currently just watching the other matches. With the exception of Tobias, who returned after the lunch break to check up on his lord once again, Sharina was sitting between Riol and Angelica, just like yesterday.
“For His Highness Roland to not show up even during the afternoon, that’s just too much…”
“It’s not for you to worry about, is it, Riol-kun? It’s that person’s own business!”
Riol’s expression was dark, even though he won both matches. At the moment, he was holding his hand over his mouth and lowering his gaze to think—
…If that current posture of his wasn’t modeled into a statue and passed down for generations to come, then humanity would be suffering a great loss.
“Is there anything wrong with His Highness Roland not being around?”
To prevent humanity from suffering a great loss, Sharina was thinking of hiring a craftsman. However, she felt sympathy towards his distressed expression, and silently asked.
“…I was thinking about the possibility of him not showing up for the rest of the magic tournament.”
Riol replied with a slight gesture.
“If things were to stay like this, the credibility of the rumors would only increase steadily—that he’s too afraid to come out after suffering such a defeat. However, at this rate, people will end up thinking that far from the tournament, he won’t even return to the academy in the future.”
Even if that were to happen, wasn’t that Roland’s own problem?
However, Riol’s anxiety told of something else. He wasn’t merely sympathizing with the prince.
Certainly, he was the prince. A crown prince, to be exact. Moreover, just a few months ago, the former crown prince was deposed—and he was the new one. Sharina involuntarily held her mouth.
“But we still have the third prince! So, it’s all okay!”
“No, I’m not talking about him being eliminated…”
It was understandable how she’d come to such conclusion. It’d be a big problem if the crown prince, the future king and also the successor of the kingdom, were to turn into a hikikomori—that was just way too unfashionable.
“…Even if so, I still doubt His Highness would be able to become king.”
Angelica whispered, pulling the sleeves of Sharina’s uniform. She inadvertently nodded deeply and halted at the last minute.
“Still, if the new crown prince were removed after such a short period of time, that’d also bad for the public. Even if the third prince were to become the next crown prince, he still needs to be educated for at least a few years.”
“In only a few months, such great changes are happening…”
The first prince committed a catastrophic failure and was deprived of his right to succeed the throne. As of the present, he was imprisoned in the palace under the notion of house arrest. Afterwards, the second prince, who became the current crown prince, immediately became a hikikomori and imprisoned himself—
—there were no brakes to the royal market’s stock crash.
“Did I perhaps overdo it…?”
“That’s not the case at all! Riol isn’t in the wrong!”
“Yes, it’s His Highness’ own doing… he did it to himself, he should’ve avoided doing anything extra…”
If it lasted for a day or two, it could still be considered as an illness. He could also fake sustaining physical injury from the match—after all, the students who knew the details hadn’t spoken so far. Regardless, if the second prince were to be absent until the final day of the tournament, everyone’s distrust would increase at once.
“I have no choice but to pray that Tobias will succeed in pulling him out.”
“I agree, he could also just carry him out with force.”
“That’s too last resort, Shari.”
Looking down, the first match of the afternoon session had already begun. If Roland arrived by the end of that match, the sowed distrust would surely cease.
“What if we tie him up and carry him here?”
“That’ll only cause more distrust…”
However, everyone’s prayers were in vain. Be it the second, the third, or the fourth day, the prince still hadn’t shown up.
***T/N: Lmao, the villain in the second arc eradicated himself rather fast… Such a disappointment you are, Roloon. Can’t even put up a good fight (literally).
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