“Can you think of a grand menu for a food stall?” Said Riol.
“Leave it to me! Other than the classics, I’ve also considered the orthodox flavor of strawberry, and also coffee as a variant!” Said Sharina.
“What are you talking about…?” Said Angelica.
They managed to reach the magic tournament quarterfinal in time. Sharina and the others apologized to Angelica, whom was waiting for them, and sat at their respective seats.
“…Just in case we get exiled.” Said Sharina.
“What are you talking about—!?” Said Angelica.
“What flavor do you like, Ange? Peach? Melon? Come visit us if you like, although it may be a bit far.” Said Sharina.
“Seriously, what are you—!?” Said Angelica.
After taking a seat, they had finally settled down. Riol had also recovered enough to make a joke.
No, was it because he was tired enough?
Due to his sweat, Riol took off his coat and set it aside as he held his book with one arm. The reason may be the latter.
“Well, let’s leave that for now and see how the guy who’ll be Tobias’ next opponent fights.” Said Riol.
“Wait, is talk about exile something you can easily leave for later!?” Said Angelica.
While Angelica was still unconvinced, the the start of the quarterfinal was signaled from the stage. Incidentally, Tobias’ match was scheduled as last for that morning. Tobias, whom was in the block opposite to Riol’s, had been steadily winning.
“To be honest, I was hoping to fight Riol in the finals.”
Tobias, who sat next to Ange, said dejectedly.
“Who said I’ll abstain?”
“I, it’s just, back then, I still didn’t understand Riol’s true capability. I have, now!”
Since the order of seating was Riol, Sharina, Angelica, and Tobias, Riol’s muttering should had been a bit difficult for Tobias to overhear, but he managed to with ease.
…If the distance was small, he could pick it up no matter how low it was. Indeed, he was the same knight who was catastrophically bad at picking up indirect speech, implications, and reading between lines.
“Fufu, Tobias sure is worried about Riol. At that time, too, Riol was—huh!? Hyaaa—!”
When Sharina was about to retell the exchange they had before the competition—
A black cloth covered her view.
“Wow, what’s—ouch, ouch, ouch!”
“Ugghh… I let my guard down…!”
The next moment, she could feel the view beyond of the cloth becoming brighter. Angelica’s moan could be heard.
“Sorry, I was only able reach Sharina in time.” Said Riol.”
“Uuh, that’s alright, but you know…” Said Angelica.
“What happened, Ange? What happened?” Asked Sharina.
The black cloth fell from her head to her lap. She soon learned it was nothing other than Riol’s uniform jacket. Looking around, everyone in the audience was covering their eyes with both hands.
“One of the players used light magic, which suddenly made everything became very bright…”
Angelica pointed to one of the two players whom were currently facing each other on stage. Tears filled her eyes. The opponent was crouching, holding his eyes with both hands, just like the spectators.
“I saw the magic circle of light. The spell itself was powder of light. I think it was meant to cause dizziness.” Said Riol.
“I was wondering why such a beginner light magic was being used!” Said Ange.
Sharina also saw the magic circle right before her view was covered with the black fabric. It formed as a powder of light spread across the stage.
Among the difficult spells of light attribute, it was considered relatively simple. The way the light scattered was akin to a child’s trick. Another name for it was ‘pain, pain, go away’ spell, or ‘the magic of fairies’. The spell was often used by aristocratic parents to comfort their children. The spell was likened to a fairy powder, which could make any wish come true.
That didn’t mean the spell itself had any power or effect. However, the way the powder glittered was beautiful. Sharina wondered why such a spell was being used during that exact moment of the match.
Sharina clapped her hands as Riol begun his explanation.
It seemed that the player tried to boost the beginner light spell to blind his opponent for tens of seconds. The plan went well, and the match was thus settled. The player who had cast the light magic shielded his own eyes remembered to blast his unknowing opponent off stage with intermediate water magic.
“Eh, I love it…”
“I’m a bit interested as to whom that was directed. I somehow doubted you mean to direct it towards the player, so do explain a little more.”
“I love Riol who grasped the purpose of the light magic circle, and instantly sensed that it’ll also affect the audience. No to mention, your fluid movements as you protected me… thank you very much…”
The moment she said such while returning his coat, he replied while bashfully looking away.
“…I love you, too.”
“Eh, what happen to Riol-kun? Won’t he usually change the topic before Shari can confess…”
Filled with joy, she quickly embraced Riol. She put her arms around his back. The current Riol was also amazing!
“…Shari, Riol-kun’s jacket has fallen.”
In the corner of Sharina’s vision, Angelica was bending over to pick up something. However, at that moment, she couldn’t hear anything other than Riol.
“Shari, it’s Riol-kun’s jacket, his jacket…”
“I just felt bad that Sharina was the only one confessing all this time.” Said Riol.
“Eeeh, even Riol-kun is ignoring me…”
“No, it doesn’t matter at all. I like confessing to you. Although, I’d of course be happier if Riol reciprocated my confession!”
“Oi, the two of you, the next match is about to start. Are you guys okay with missing it?”
It was as if the world only consisted of them two. Tobias remarked without reading the atmosphere as Sharina talked about her excitement in high tension.
“If only my leg hadn’t slip…!”
“You should go wash your uniform, it’s drenched with mud.”
“At the very least clean your hands. By the way, I’m hungry…”
“Would you like to wash your jacket? Although I’m not sure we can properly dry it…”
After the morning session, they had a lunch break. Sharina and her friends were eating their lunch boxes in the sparsely populated audience seats.
“No, I’ll just not wear my jacket anymore. I’ll go home and wash it along with my slacks.”
It was after the last match of the morning. Unfortunately, Tobias lost. The opponent was a water magic user, while Tobias was good at earth magic. As their skills collided, the stage was covered in a muddy stream. Tobias attempted to wear his opponent’s magic down. However, after several collisions, Tobias was engulfed in the mud and rolled off the stage.
“I’m glad my match was at the end of the morning session. It’ll take some time to get rid of this mess.”
Currently, under the audience seats, the stage was being cleaned. Due to the great war between soil and water, it’d take another thirty minutes for the stage to regain its former shine.
“That’s right, after all, the queen will arrive in the afternoon. What should I do? I’m getting nervous.”
“Indeed, but I wonder if it would would make much sense for the queen to watch the game without His Majesty…”
“It’d still be meaningful for raising the morale of the students who’ll carry the future of this kingdom…”
“Future… oh, what on earth is His Highness Roland doing. I can’t face the queen.”
When she glanced at the audience seats on the other side, the teachers were making the final confirmation of the reserved seat separated from the other seats. The queen would be watching the game there in the afternoon session.
In all actuality, she was supposed to watch Roland’s semi-final and final.
After the end of Leonardo—no, he wasn’t actually dead—no one in that academy was on par with Roland in terms of magic and skill. Roland’s advance to the final tournament should’ve been decided.
However, due to Riol’s grand victory, said prospect had collapsed.
“…His Highness Roland won’t necessarily come out.”
The busy queen’s effort to make time to attend would be wasted. Every student seemed to have reached that same conclusion even if they didn’t say anything.
***T/N: That’s too much saccharine, alright…
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