Riol proclaimed such a thing while eating a sandwich made by Sharina.
“In front of the venue, there’s no schedule for the bronze medal match of the tournament.”
“Eh? That’s right, come to think of it… did they forget to write it? I don’t think they would…”
That day, four quarter-finals were scheduled in the morning session while two semi-finals were scheduled in the afternoon session. Like last year, there should’ve been a bronze medal match before the final, but for some reason, it wasn’t on that year’s schedule. The final hadn’t only been accelerated, there was also a gaping, unnatural, hole between the time after the final and the starting time of the closing ceremony.
“Out of consideration towards the rehabilitation of His Highness Roland, which is for preventing him from being withdrawn for life, and also preserving the queen’s image, this is probably the only option left.”
“Is there be a way to resolve everything in one fell swoop?” Said Ange.
“They won’t just blame it all on Riol, right?” Said Tobias.
Sharina, Angelica, and Tobias looked at each other while tilting their heads.
“…It’s a repechage.”
Swallowing the last piece of his sandwich, Riol said something that stunned everyone.
The matches during the afternoon session were tense for both the players and the audience. The reason was obvious: the queen of that kingdom was in the same venue as them. Her seat, especially prepared for the royal family, was one step higher than the surrounding seats. The students stretched their backs and shoulders more than ever when the queen scanned the audience beneath her.
“…It’s as Riol said…”
It was a quiet audience with few words exchange. Unlike the morning session, everyone spoke in low, almost inaudible, mutters. However, it seemed that there were also some people who couldn’t read the atmosphere and spoke in a normal tone.
Riol glanced at Tobias while holding a finger against his lips without saying anything. Tobias covered his mouth in a hurry. “Whoops—!”
“Well, let’s start today’s final match!”
On the stage below, a teacher spoke through the loudspeaker.
Currently, they were at the end of the afternoon session. On that stage, the last match should’ve ended. Next to the teacher, the winner of the final match, the player whom was the winner of that tournament, stood with a baffled expression.
“Taking into serious consideration the injustice that occurred during the first match of the tournament, we decided to remove the bronze medal match and repeat the final match.”
The words flowing from the teacher’s mouth should have been properly heard by everyone due to the assistance of the loudspeakers. Sharina looked down at the stage with cold eyes, wondering if the teacher was about to repeat what Riol had said during the lunch break.
“With the final concluded, His Highness Roland will appear. Afterwards, the final match will properly be held. Had there been no foul play, His Highness Roland would’ve advanced to the final.”
The player whom had just finished the match couldn’t have the capability to fight the prince. The outcome was almost fixed.
“As such, the bronze medal match is being erased. The one who lost during the first final will place as third. Those who won the semi-finals no longer need to fight.”
At the upcoming closing ceremony, Roland would be recognized as the ‘winner’, while the true winner would be awarded second place—
—everything was as according to the predetermined script.
“…It’s a farce, then.”
“Don’t say that. With this farce, the future can be saved.”
In the audience, where the noise grew stronger, the small mutters of Sharina and Riol weren’t picked up by anyone.
While most of the students were still confused, the second final began.
“A, alright then, Your Highness, do your best!”
“T, that’s right, Your Highness Roland!”
Soon enough, the girls started cheering for Roland. However, their cheers were also much less energetic compared to the first day’s.
“His Highness! His Highness Roland!”
“You look wonderful!”
Although it didn’t completely get rubbed off, the dignity and the charm of the crown prince remained. As expected of the title of the royal family. It didn’t come off—it was like a persistence oil stain.
…Would it come off if I rubbed it with mandarin orange peels?
Thinking about something blasphemous, Sharina felt someone’s gaze and raised her face.
“Oh, nothing… it’s just in my mind.”
The seating especially reserved for the royal family, it was the opposite from where Sharina sat. She felt like the queen, who calmly sat there, was eyeing her.
No way, that was just impossible.
There was no reason for the queen to even acknowledge Sharina’s presence. There should also be no way for their eyes to meet from such distance. Perhaps, the queen was merely scanning the students whom were cheering for Roland.
“By the way, does this solve the problem of His Highness Roland’s withdrawal? It should’ve restored his prestige.”
Sharina, who regained her calm, asked Riol.
“No… think about it, the perpetrator of the tampering remains uncertain. Therefore, His Highness’ honor won’t have recovered the way he wanted.”
Instead of anything, Riol quietly shook his head, looking over the boys who couldn’t hide their confusion and the girls who were mellowly cheering.
 Repechage: Repechage is a practice amongst ladder competitions that allows participants who failed to meet qualifying standards by a small margin to continue to the next round.
***T/N: Roloon… pathetic. Like, seriously that’s all I can say …pathetic. BTW the image of Sharina brushing Roloon’s face using mandarin peel with all her might is entertaining.
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