Seeing that tiny devil walking towards me, my body screams at me to run away. It’s not like the pressure she has been giving off has changed at all, but it is clear as day that her smiling is a red flag. I fight my legs to stay where I am as she grows closer and closer.
From what I’ve seen watching the other matches, it seems like poor etiquette to get too close to the opponent before the match starts, and yet she continues closing the distance between us until she is standing right before me.
“You… stronger now… how?… no, don’t care… this will be fun.” She says as she fights back an even bigger smile
Is that what it is? She is just happy to have a good match? Just how much must she have been looking down on me before then?
“I’m glad this seems to be entertaining you. I have no intentions to lose today, I will be coming at you with everything I have.” I respond trying to muster courage into my words
How did she instantly grasp my power? Most of the reason why this fight has had me so on edge is that I can only guess at how powerful this little girl really is. My only clue has been that everybody that’s seen her fight in the past is confident I will lose. Yet, she seems confident that she knows exactly how strong I am at only a glance. Even if she is using magic or some kind of skill what could she be measuring? Neither my stats nor my level has risen since the last time we met, they have probably gone down since then actually.
“Mm… good… Let’s kill each other… give it your all!” She says with slow excitement
The girl before me looks like a child delighted to death to have a new toy to play with. To be able to request a fight to the death with such a cheery look… what must this girl have experienced up until this point.
“It seems our fighters have wrapped up their introductions with one another! The tension down there is palpable! This is bound to be exciting!” The announcer starts to excitedly rave, raising the crowd’s excitement with every word
Afeuro takes the queue to return to a reasonable distance. I suppose I should start my preparations now.
“Here to help me commentate on what I’m sure is going to be an amazing match we have a surprise guest!” The Announcer enthusiastically yells out
“I’m so excited! I finally get to see the master swordsman lady fight!” I hear in a dreadfully annoying voice
They brought the Yuusha out to commentate?! Why?!
“Oh? Did you not catch any of Afeuro’s previous matches?” The announcer asks in a curious tone
“Hm? Oh, no not her! Mano! I’ve only had the chance to see her sword skills in action once, but it was soooo cool! She saved me from a monster!” The idiot barks out
How in the world am I going to focus during this fight while I have this moron spouting nonsense the whole time?
“What is that?! To think Mano was a master of the sword enough to even impress the Yuusha! Although we have seen her bring a sword to the last match we never got to see her in action! To think such a swordsman will be going up against the ‘Monster Slayer’!” The announcer reacts with surprise
great, now everybody is going to be paying attention to my horrible sword skills. Wait… maybe once the Yuusha sees that I’m just an amateur with a sword he will finally leave me alone. I wonder if it will be worth it though? I can already here Shishou’s mocking remarks after I embarrass myself out here.
“I think we have kept the people waiting long enough don’t you esteemed Yuusha? Would you like to do the honors?” The Announcer asks coyly
“You bet I do! Ahem…. Let the fight begin!” The Yuusha yells out signaling the start of the fight
As much as his babbling irritates me, I am ready at his signal. Without wasting a moment both Afuero and I start moving.
Afeuro, of course, came dashing straight towards me, while I dashed as quickly as I could away.
While I have already set the preparation for my strategy, I’ve got to get a read on how she moves before I can spring it. How exactly is it that she attacks though? I’ve heard rumors of her wielding tremendous weapons, but she is currently unarmed. She was also unarmed when she lobbed off that massive orcs head, however, so I can’t let my guard down.
“…Don’t run.” I can hear her faintly say as she stops in place and points her hands to the sky
As she begins to chant something too quiet for me to hear at this distance the air above her begins to swirl.
“Sorry, but I’m not the kind to let my enemies charge up their attacks. Now!” I yell out as I focus my Mana
In response to my command, a dozen metallic hands rupture from the ground and grab onto Afeuro.
“?!… how! no… chant!” She lets out in surprise and she tries to wrangle herself free
Perhaps because her chant was interrupted the spell above her begins to fade.
It seems like my gamble paid off, my lack of chanting made her let her guard down against magical attacks. It seems like it was worth all the trouble and danger I went through to get this.
I suppose I should thank that granny from the Mages guild next time we meet.
“This won’t… stop me!” Afeuro says angrily as she begins to strike the hands
“That’s not going to work! I’ve transmuted those golems dozens of times! At this point, they should be dozens of times stronger than iron!” I say as I begin casting a small fireball
While we were waiting for the match to begin I poured as much mana as I could into those golems. Not needing to chant means being able to silently set traps like this even when I wasn’t technically allowed to. I probably would have been disqualified if they had anybody trying to detect magic before the fight, but thankfully it looks like they didn’t. The kingdom is rather sloppy in how they manage this tournament, aren’t they?
I continue to refine the fireball I cast moment ago, making it hotter and more dense by the moment. Even with my fire resistance, the heat becomes too much for me to handle, and I have to cast a barrier between me and it. Since I managed to get her to stand still long enough to charge up an attack I’m not going to waste it. I’ll aim to finish this in one move.
“…You have got to be kidding me.” I say in disbelief as the small girls strikes manage to shatter one of the metal hands grabbing her
“I suppose this will have to be enough!” I yell out as I throw the fireball at her as fast as I can manage
As it streaks through the air the light around it begins to distort, and the ground beneath it begins to scorch.
Seeing this Afeuro changes her attention from the hands to my attack.
Just as I think my attack has hit its mark, I see it split into two and land either side of Afeuro. As the two halves of the fireball hit the ground they erupt into a fire that swiftly covers large portions of the arena.
In the midst of the fire and the smoke stands Afeuro still in the grasp of my golems… wielding a tremendous blue sword… smiling.