Chapter 18: The Grand Tournament 1
The next day, the two Shiros meet once more as both of them are participants of the grand tournament, alongside Shizuku and a knight deployed by the nightmare king. A few moments later, the other clan representatives came by to see who their opponents might be. The Akumu clan had Akumu Shiro, Kurogane Shiro, Akumu Shizuku, and Kishou Todou. The Akuma clan had Akuma Ittou, Kengan Kou, and Koga Temaki. The Yami clan had Yami Hikaru, Toki Kaito, and Tsukinoe Koede. The Kage clan had Kage Ryuu, Tsukine Motoi, and Kitamura Renji. The Tsumi clan had Tsumi Mai, Tsumi Anzen, and Tsumi Moroha. “16 contestants, but only one winner, that winner will be named the strongest demon of the realm. This year’s person to beat is Akumu Shiro” says the grand king. The other contestants go to the side to wait for the line-up. “Akumu Shiro vs. Tsumi Moroha” the Stage called for the first round. At that time, Shiro didn’t want to underestimate his opponent as he has never seen him before. on the other hand, Moroha was a bit worried for himself because he will be facing the strongest demon in the first round. The match started and Shiro chanted “Alchemy seal: blade entrapment” Moroha floated from the ground enclosed in a cage made of sharp blades for bars, Moroha tried to escape but failed as once he touched the blades, it cut his limbs that touched it. Shiro then releases Moroha of the cage as he saw that he is no longer able to move his feet. “Come, 008, 009” Shiro chanted once more. He pointed the blades to Moroha’s throat wanting to cut it open, while the crowd shouted “KILL HIM! KILL HIM! KILL HIM!” but he wanted Moroha to surrender by himself, he didn’t want to kill another soul. But Moroha didn’t want to give up, so Shiro had no choice but to cut his head off. The first round finished in a flash, no thrill at all, the crowd wanted Shiro to put a better fight than that. Those who will advance to the 2nd round were, Akumu Shiro, Kurogane Shiro, Akumu Shizuku, Akuma Ittou, Yami Hikaru, Kage Ryuu, Tsumi Mai, and Tsumi Anzen. The 5 kings’ arena was divided into 4 stadiums, one for each pair of contestants, Akumu Shiro vs. Tsumi Mai, Kurogane Shiro vs. Akumu Shizuku, Yami Hikaru vs. Tsumi Anzen, and Kage Ryuu vs. Akuma Ittou. Each of them fought inside their respective battlefields, Shiro was thinking that he would only use silent chanting when he is going to fight in the finals, where he should meet his mentor, Kurogane Shiro, but he calculated wrong as he thought that he would battle him in the semi-finals. Now, Shiro and Mai going head-to-head to their battle, with Mai belittling his tactics, Shiro gets pissed off and made rash decisions that almost led him to his defeat, but he remembered that his queen would be waiting for him when he reigned victoriously. So he tried calming his mind, and chanted “Alchemist seal: Ouroboros, Flooded cage” he chanted. His mentor heard him chant and thought that it would be his last resort before facing defeat, but he also thought that he would want to use it against him, and that put a smile in his face and was determined to win at all cost, the battle of Shiro and Mai concluded, Mai surrendered, and Shiro won. As for Shiro and Shizuku, Shizuku gave up and Shiro won. Hikaru and Anzen’s fight has yet to conclude while Ryuu and Ittou’s match was won by Kage Ryuu. The three waited for Hikaru and Anzen’s fight to conclude, they went to the waiting area to rest their selves to gain as much energy for the next match. Anzen won the match after an hour passed since the first three matches concluded. The finals were decided, the four that would compete for the crown is Akumu Shiro, Kurogane Shiro, Kage Ryuu, and Akuma Ittou. This time, the 5 kings were the ones going to settle who would fight in the semi-finals, then they decided. From four, the arena formed into a whole again as the matches are to begin soon. “Akumu Shiro vs. Kurogane Shiro” the announcer said “The both of you would fight next to Akuma Ittou and Kage Ryuu” he added. As the fight began, Ittou chanted his skills first, but was somehow negated by Ryuu, Shiro noticed this and thought that Kurogane might be the one causing this. On the other hand, the other Shiro was a little worried for his apprentice and himself too because the public has yet to see Shiro chanting silently, it might be more of a weapon that only he knows, but he worries for himself a bit more because the first time they fought was won by his apprentice. The fight between Ittou and Ryuu continued for another hour as they both were giving and receiving hits from one another. Shiro took his mind off the battle ahead and took some time to talk to Ryuujin for a while “What is it that you wanted to talk about?” Ryuujin asks him “Can you lend me some of your power when my match starts” Shiro answered, Ryuujin wanted to know the reason as Shiro explains his. “In that case, I’ll lend you some” Ryuujin then accepts. When Shiro came to, the battle was already won by Kage Ryuu, as for Ittou, he surrendered because of exhaustion.
The 5 kings went down to the field to congratulate Ryuu for his victory and gave their good lucks to him as they know that whoever would battle him in the finals would be tougher than the rest especially the two Shiros that are battling next. After an hour, the announcer called to the two Shiros up on stage, both of them thought that this is another master-apprentice fight between them. Their battle went ahead as for the two of them dashed to each other without a sound but Shiro chanted “Alchemist seal: Ouroboros, water blades” hitting the other one with razor-sharp water bullets. Ryuu thought that he would be going up against Kurogane Shiro at the finals because he thought that Shiro couldn’t chant silently while the other can, but his thought broke when he saw that the cage enclosing Akumu broke without him saying a word. ’That must be it, the two Shiros can chant alchemist seals silently’ he thought. After an hour, Shiro started to chant loudly once again, the ACO was watching the two of them fight, but was shocked because Shiro, the apprentice wasn’t in his peak form. The organization knew that Shiro can invoke dragons to his side and chant silently as well, but the two of them are fighting evenly with the master chanting silently while the apprentice is chanting loudly. The other Shiro was impressed by how Shiro was using chants that unable to be deflected by cage break. Another hour has passed when the other Shiro was down on the ground, weak and bruised. While Shiro was still on his legs with much more to give. “Come, Orochi” Shiro chanted without the presence of Ryuujin found in the area, he pointed the tip of the blade towards the other Shiro’s throat wanting him to surrender on his own as he didn’t want to kill his master without even having a third fight against him. Kurogane Shiro then gives up before the crowd could even scream “kill him” at that point, Ryuu was more frightened as he was before because even though he has a dragon on his side, his opponent was stronger than him for about ten times his own, but he brushed the thought off because he still has one more card to play before he can give up. After the match ended, Shiro went to his master to thank him that he gave up “What do you mean?” his mentor asked him “I was afraid that I would have to kill you if you didn’t give up” he answered. Kurogane Shiro patted his shoulder and told him how to use the ultimate alchemist seal. His eyes widened as he then wanted to use is the next round, first thing. The finals went ahead with the fight, Ryuu chanted “Invocation: Kurogane!” as his body get covered by Kurogane’s aura and armor but was suddenly stopped for some reason that the spectators didn’t realize, on the other hand, Shiro was not only standing there, he was also grinning with his killing intent. “Got you” he then whispered. Ryuu’s eyes widened as he knew that he chanted silently to break the invocations he used, things went mysterious after Shiro had successfully stopped his invocation, after that, Ryuu then tried to invoke seals that shouldn’t be countered by alchemist seals but to his surprise, Shiro countered his seals by using alchemist seals. “Had enough Kurogane?” Shiro asked, Ryuu then tried to all out to his weapons but this time, Shiro let him slide with the weapons that it made Ryuu think that he can’t cancel a skill related to his weapons so he chanted, “Seal: Entrapment” Shiro thought that this was the perfect opportunity to trick him into coming in close before he can strike, so Shiro stopped himself from moving for a while as a trap for Ryuu. After some minutes, Ryuu moved in to cut him up but he failed as Shiro stabled him with Orochi in hand “Got you again” he said after the strike hit Ryuu.
The final moments of the fight were much more gruesome than the rest of the tournament, Ryuu was stabbed more than 60 times, by Shiro’s “Yamata no Orochi” where the blade forms into a gauntlet then stab their opponent multiple times that it would be fatal after 80 times. At that moment, Ryuu wanted to give up, since he cannot use his dragon, weapons, and seals and yet he is being killed by the person he managed to call his friend. On the other hand, Shiro’s mind was blank with only one thought, the “Alchemist seal: Encore” which stops one to invoke their dragons, but in Shiro’s case, he modified his encore to prevent his opponent to do anything at all. Another hour has passed, Ryuu was on the ground bleeding almost dead with 90 strikes from Yamata no Orochi, Shiro was unfazed by his opponent as it couldn’t do anything. Ryuu then gave up as he didn’t want to die. “That settles this year’s Grand Tournament, the victor is none other than Akumu Shiro on his third year in a row” the grand king announced. That night, a feast was given in Shiro’s name for winning the tournament, and within 2 years, Shiro will reign grand king. At the feast, Shiro bumped into someone very familiar to him, his eyes widened as he saw someone important to him when he was still in middle school, Miyanagi Tomoe.