Arena, Ruling Saint, Rift
“Students, the Spirit Summoning Ceremony successfully concluded five days ago. Over these five days, if you wish to know if you have managed to build a strong bond with your spirits, it will be dependent on the result of today’s battle. The competition today will take place in four separate areas, the first area is for first year students, the second area is for second year students, the third is for third year students, and the fourth area is for battles with no grade restrictions. The top ten rankers from each of the the first three areas will have the chance to participate in the fourth area. Now, I want to remind all of you first year students here, do not ever think that you cannot get the upper hand against your seniors. Even if your ranks may be lower than theirs, with good rapport with your spirits and the right conditions, you definitely have a chance to win against them, so…”
On the platform of the assembly area, Assistant Yonechi was still giving her speech. At this very moment, the assembly area was packed with the students of Pillar Nofu Academy; furthermore, seats all around were also being occupied by big-shots… The scene was very spectacular.
The style of this competition is a single elimination battle, competitors will be eliminated as soon as they lose once. Although it is unfair to some, it can’t be helped – after all, the number of students was just too large. Each grade has twelve classes and each class has an average of sixty students, then the whole school housed an estimated total of two thousand one hundred and sixty students.
If someone happens to be eliminated due to a mistake, they need not brood over it. Even though the competition affects the rankings among the students, so long as a student can join a team of his or her own choosing, then the ranking of the individual student holds little importance; what matters most is the ranking of the team.
A good team can help a student win status within the school. Those teams in the top rankings will have the chance to take up missions. These missions include driving off demons, hunting, or killing them, etc. Rewards will be given for successfully completing missions and the amount of reward varies depending on the mission’s difficulty level.
“…With that said, students, now is the time to bring out your best, to face what’s to come in today’s competition!”
“YEAH!!!” The whole school responded with a unified roar, the roar echoed in the big assembly area, adding even more vigor, so much so that even students such as myself who are not competing could also feel their blood boiling.
The school has more than ten arenas that are split for team battles and single battles. The arena stage for singles battles is about 200 square meters. The place is equipped with simulation technology or something similar, I can’t really remember. In short, it is just an empty flat area normally, but when there’s a competition, the simulation technology or whatever will be activated and the arena will turn into snow field, volcanic crater, forest, swamp and many other settings of nature. As for the settings for a match, it can be decided upon by both parties of the match. However, so as not to let the opponent have the upper hand, most competitors choose to randomize it and let fate decides.
I sat at the first area that had hardly any spectators, near the arena for the first year students, yawning from boredom… Because I did not participate in the competition, I naturally didn’t go for the preliminary battle which was held at the mock battle room… You can only participate in the actual battle in front of all the students if you win in the preliminaries. The number of students who can be eligible for it is around a hundred or so.
“Yawnnn~~” I let out another yawn, then I laid down on the spectator bench comfortably and closed my eyes.
When it’s Kitashima’s turn in the competition, I have to closely observe his every movement and find out his battle style. Only when I know my enemy and myself do I have an increased chance of beating him.
“What are you doing here?” An elderly voice, that was still full of vigor and spirit, rang out next to me.
I opened my eyes and vaguely saw a white-haired old man. I scratched my head groggily and sat up, “It’s as you see, I was sleeping, yawn~” I covered my mouth as I yawned.
“The preliminary is done?”
“I did not participate.”
“I do not have a spirit.” Who is this old man? Hmm? Judging from the spiritual aura from his body…he’s a Ruling Saint!? Isn’t that like half a step from achieving the highest rank of magician – Ruling God? He is not some simple old man.
After the old man heard my response, he started to size me up intently, from head to toe, and toe to head, then he suddenly spoke, “No spirit? En… indeed, your spiritual aura is weak… Hmm? …it’s weird… This feeling… it feels like… like a dragon?”
Dragon?? When I heard what the old man said, my head immediately cleared up, my heart felt like something was gripping it. This old man… He saw through me?
“What are you saying, old man… I don’t seem to understand.” I tried my best to maintain a goofy smile and an expression of cluelessness.
“Strange… it’s really dragon energy… young man… could it be you…” The old man expression became more and more imposing. Has he really seen through me? That doesn’t sound good…
I picked myself up, bowed in his direction, “I cannot comprehend anything you are saying, ah, I have to go back to my classroom, goodbye, old man.” As I said this, I started running towards the arena exit.
I ran and I ran and then a loud “Thump!”, all of a sudden, I felt like I bumped into something and fell onto the floor…
“Ouch~ It hurts.” I massaged my nose.
What the hell was that? I was this close to getting a broken nose. I stood up, and reached out my hand in front of me… and indeed, there was am invisible barrier… Is it the isolation barrier? No, the isolation barrier has a distinct color and it isn’t invisible… This must be the work of that geezer.
I turned around, with a look of helplessness, I asked, “May I ask what your intention is? I only wish to go back to my classroom.”
With his hands behind his back, the old man walked towards me while he smiled at me, “Young man, don’t be so tense… I won’t hurt you… I only want to know where your dragon energy came from. Could it be that you are a dragon descendant?”
“Dragon descendant? I don’t know. I don’t understand what you are trying to say.” Dragon descendant? Isn’t that a dragon slayer? This old man actually knows about it?
“Hahaha, young man, stop lying to me. Others may not notice, but I have some friends who are descendants of the dragons, so it is nothing unusual for me to be able to tell that you have dragon energy within your body. I just want to enquire who your father is, and get acquainted, he may even be my old friend.”
This old man… actually acquainted himself with dragon descendants? Judging by his spiritual energy, his status must be very high, so with him actually knowing some unusual people may not be all that that surprising. In that case, so long as I don’t expose Freed and Yalide, it should be fine with me just responding to him casually.
“Eh… Actually, I am not sure either. As you can see, my spiritual aura is so weak, I am just your regular failure, how can I have the dragon energy that you mentioned?”
“Still not in the mood to talk about it? Relax, I will not go back on my words, I definitely won’t hurt you.”
“I really don’t know.” I gave him the look of complete cluelessness.
“You really don’t know?” The old man was still suspicious.
“Really.” I nodded with certainty.
“Hm… is that so… looks like it is a spiritual mutation… then never mind, come, sit down, let me tell you about the story concerning dragon descendants.” As the old man spoke, he sat down on the spectator seats.
“I… am fine… my mother told me not to talk to strangers…”
“Hahaha~” The old man laughed loudly, “Your mother said not to talk to strangers? How old are you already? Just come. Sit down, take it as helping an old geezer pass his time, what do you think?”
“Ugh…okay.” Since I can’t escape… might as well just listen to what he has to say.
So, I sat in a seat that was two seats away from him.
“What are you doing sitting so far away? I am not a demon, I won’t eat you. Besides, I am an old man already, I can’t speak that loudly when I talk. Come, sit closer.” The old man tapped on the seat next to him.
Sigh~ I quietly sighed to myself, looks like I get myself involved with a weird old man…
“Can I ask, what’s your father name?”
“Lin Fan… is that right?” The old man’s eyes lit up with a streak of golden light, it looked like he did know my father.
“The son of Lin Fan… definitely has a chance to have a spiritual mutation…” The old man nodded to himself, I was totally unable to understand what he was trying to bring across.
“You know my father?” Although I already knew they were acquainted, I figured that it wouldn’t hurt to ask about it… maybe I could get a better understanding of my father.
“Yes, your father was a genius among geniuses! At only 35 years old, he had already reached the rank of Battle Ancestor. Do you know? A normal battle technician can’t even reach that rank before 50, 60 years old… your father’s death… what a pity…”
“…” So my father was actually an awesome person? Then my uncle should be comparable to him. Otherwise, he wouldn’t be so busy that he could hardly come home.
“When I first heard that Lin Fan’s son had very low spiritual power, I immediately thought that was impossible…”
So sorry, bookworm ‘Lin Xiang’ spiritual power was indeed low…
“… After all, your father was such an awesome person, no matter what, the son he nurtured couldn’t be that bad… This… you definitely have a spiritual mutation, what ought to be your spiritual energy has transformed into dragon energy…”
Actually… that is because Freed and Yalide are inside my body.
“… Dragon descendants, simply put, are just people who can generate dragon energy; in their bodies, they possess something called dragon power.” The old man beamed as he explained this to me, hoping that it would pique my interest… but sorry, I already knew all about this.
“Eh? Weird, you don’t think this is amazing?” He probably noticed my disinterest, the old man’s face showed suspicion.
“Ugh… Wah! So incredible.”
“What is the meaning of that? Never mind, you are Lin Fan’s son, naturally, you wouldn’t be surprised by such a small matter. Next, what I am going to say will definitely amaze you…”
He is not thinking of telling me about Dragon Roar, is he??
“… Dragon descendants can release their body’s dragon energy explosively through their shout, and inflict damage on their enemy…”
Fine, it’s really about Dragon Roar… I will just act amazed: “What!? That powerful?”
Sigh… it’s such a pain to act amazed.
The old man smiled, quite pleased with himself, and said, “Hehe, you finally know it’s prowess? Originally, only dragons can use Dragon Roar. However, dragon descendants can also use it because of the dragon power in their bodies.”
“Really? Then can I also use Dragon Roar?”
Sigh… It’s even more of a pain to act ignorant…
“Of course, you just have to train more, then you will be able to use it too.”
“Wah! So amazing. I really want to learn, do you know how to do it?”
“Haa~ I don’t know how, but I have friends who do, only that their tribe’s temperament is a bit eccentric, so they only live deep in the mountains or somewhere with almost no other humans… So to ask them to teach you the Dragon Roar is a tad troublesome…”
“Is that so… then forget about it. Can I go now?”
“Don’t give up like that, you have the dragon power, that’s a God’s gift to you, you must utilize it wisely. You are the son of Lin Fan, I will definitely help you to get in touch with them.”
“It’s okay, old man, don’t be so determined, I don’t want to learn Dragon Roar…” Is this old man joking? I already know how to do Dragon Roar, why would I need others to teach me? Furthermore, if my dragon power is somehow different from theirs, it will run the risk of exposing Freed and Yalide. Once exposed, I will be sent to some organization… then… become a lab rat!? By no means do I want that.
“Listen, young man, to have dragon power in your body is something extremely rare, so…”
“Chisato-sama! What are you doing here!? Quickly remove this aura wall.” I turned to look towards the direction where the voice came from and saw five, no six, guys dressed in black, standing outside the invisible wall.
“Damn… Just when I managed to sneak out while they were not paying attention, I didn’t expect that I would be found so quickly.” The old man muttered to himself, his face showing his bad mood.
“Ugh… sneak out?” Just who exactly is this old man?
“That’s right, these bodyguards are so annoying. Young man, I’ll take my leave now… otherwise, they will take you in for questioning…”
Take me in for questioning? But why? Just because we had a conversation? Just who are you, old man?
“Old man… Who are you really…”
“Me? I am an Elder with the Human World Defence Force. After I forced the issue over and over and over again, those bastards finally let me out to watch today’s competition… ”
“I see…” The Human Defence Force’s Elder… he is indeed someone important.
The old man stood up, walked towards those bodyguards, then he turned around, smiled at me and said, “Don’t worry, I will definitely ask my friend to teach you Dragon Roar. Son of Lin Fan”
“Th…Thanks…” Looking at the back of old man leaving… I felt a bit helpless…
Forget it, since he meant well. Let’s not even talk about whether he will be able to persuade the dragon descendants, even if he really manages to do so, I may be able to learn some other dragon roars from them… Freed and Yalide just have to hide themselves well.
———————— One hour later
“Curses… I am supposed to be able to stand in that ring… I didn’t expect to make a mistake there. Damn it!” One of the student sitting in front of me grumbled to his friend beside him.
“Let’s not dwell on it, what done is done.” His friend patted him on his shoulders.
The spectator seats currently had already been filled with students. There were some from year two, year three, who didn’t really seem to care about the matches of their own grades but hoped to find some new prospects from among the first year contestants.
“Pii~ The match will be starting soon, will the contestants from both sides get ready.” The broadcaster blared. The people present gradually started to quiet down.
“The contestants for this match, Year One Class D, Sakata Taisa versus Year One Class F, Danko Sabi.”
At this moment, two people started walking to the center of the ring, where a judge stood.
“Will the competitors choose your battleground.”
Because the spectator stand was too far from the ring, and it was built way high up, approximately two and half stories above the ring, I was unable to hear what the contestants were saying. I could only glean from the big screen by reading their lips to tell more or less what they could be saying.
That guy, whatever his name was, bowed in a gentlemanly way to the girl. Then it looked like he said he would let the girl decide the location of the battleground.
After the girl heard what the boy said, without being surprised or being happy, she nodded. She then picked out a card from the judge and raised it up high… Through the screen, I could see… that it was a card with fire as the background… It probably is a volcano or something like that…
Very quickly, the ring started to emit a dazzling light, which slowly turned red… A forest that was being consumed by wildfire appeared… then both contestants left the center of the ring to their designated position.
What exactly the simulation system used, whether is some kind of advanced technology or whatever, I do not understand, but I do know that it is extraordinary. It can create out of thin air different scenarios, and the objects in the scenario are almost like the real thing…
“Without further ado, let the battle begin.”
The moment the broadcast sounded, the two contestants started to move… Looking from above them, their positions could be seen clearly, but to those two, the trees would block their line of sight.
The boy appeared to be a battle technician… He did a sneak attack on the girl using a titanium sword infused with the water element and slashed at her… the girl, having received the full force of the attack… rolled on the ground…
Even though the girl was slashed, she did not bleed or suffer any physical damage. This was because the arena has a special barrier – that is, within the arena, regardless of the kind of damage received, the body would not suffer any injuries. Even though the bodies wouldn’t suffer any injuries, the sensation of pain was preserved, and it would continuously signal the brain of the ones being attacked, until they either surrender or faint. That would mark the end of the match…
When the boy saw the girl fell onto the ground, he gave a charming smile, then slowly walked towards the girl with the sword in his hand… At this moment, the surrounding fire encircled the guy, binding him till it looked like a fireball… but not long after, the guy cut open the flames, at this time, he was already out of breath. It looked like he took quite a tremendous damage.
The girl waved her magic wand, the surrounding flames became tongues of fire and ferociously flew towards the boy… while the boy rapidly swung his sword and cut all the tongues of flame… If it weren’t for a sword infused with the water element…. if it were another element… he really wouldn’t be able to cut the flames……
The girl is of the sorcerer class, while the boy is a battle technician? The boy just has to close the distance between them and the chance of him winning would increase greatly, but if the girl could distance herself from him and use long distance attack… then it could wear the boy out… This boy shouldn’t have given the privilege of selecting the battleground to the girl… in this sea of flames… the girl basically did not have to consume any magic…
This match was very exciting, this was my first time watching this kind of matches, the girl controlled fire, making the flames take many different forms to attack the boy… but when the boy was reaching his physical limit, the girl underestimated him… and allowed the guy to confuse her with a water clone… The boy then slashed her from her backside, causing the girl to faint… the match had a victor…
————————Six battles later
The me who had sat watched through six battles fundamentally did not learn any new skill… The majority of the contestants were sorcerer class… there were only two battle technicians…
“Pii~ The match will be starting soon, will the contestants from both sides please get ready for the match? ”
At this moment, Satsuki walked onto the ring, her opponent was a guy.
Through the big screen, that boy gave the decision of the battleground selection to her and she chose a ravine setting.
When one speaks of ravine, one would immediately think of wind… Satsuki uses fire and wind… a ravine is indeed a good choice.
… About five minutes later
Satsuki’s fiery lion was incredibly powerful. It was constantly emitting a fire aura. With the aid of Satsuki’s wind magic, the fire aura was further empowered. The opponent basically had no chance of retaliating… Suddenly, the broadcast blared. The warning signal changed to red, “Gugugugugu~ A space abnormality has been detected, the space in the first area is being cut open. I repeat, a space abnormality has been detected, the space in the first area is being cut open…”
“The space is being severed? Don’t tell me…”
“It’s demons! Demons! They have come!”
“Impossible! This is a school! How can demons appear here.”
“Up to you to believe it or not – regardless, demons are going to appear soon, look… the hill in the ring… did you see it? There’s a black rift…”
“Oh my god! Demons are going to appear! Everyone, run!”
In an instant, chaos broke out among the students in the spectator area… all rushed towards the exit…
I looked at the aforementioned hill… there was indeed a dimensional rift… It looked like demons were really coming out… Satsuki! Shit, the exit of the arena is closed off till a winner is determined. Furthermore, the containment barrier around spectator area has already been activated… the demons this time must be really strong.
Satsuki is still below. Screw it…
I stepped on the gradually rising barrier, did a leap and jumped into the ring… and ran towards the clueless Satsuki.