Circle Star Adventure. The Ever Blooming Flower.

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Chapter 32. The First Fight And A Bet.

- Let me introduce the fighters while they are making their way to the arena! - Vorin continued. - Lyren is a Silver Rank adventurer, who quickly climbed up the ranks in the Guild. With his four Star Silver companion Drana they defeated many monsters. Both wielding greataxes each they are known as Deadly Greataxe Duo!

The crowd cheered with excitement anticipating the next introduction.

- And their opponents are Dirk and Randy! Being a Silver Rank adventurer, Dirk is impressive with his shield defense. His partner Randy is fast and precise with his attacks and is also known as a Swiftstriker! Together they swept their opponents of their feet and reached the finals. Everyone welcome to the arena team number two and number nine!

Again people shouted and cheered. Everyone was on their feet greeting participants of the first match.

Baah… just my luck. If I had Eve with me, I’d probably get away as a ‘Master of Super Cute Companion’. But now I will probably be introduced as some ’Lucky Nobody Finalist’ or something like that. I never expected them to do intros of some sort. Somebody save me from the embarrassed. - (TC)

The cheering subsided and all four of them stood in the middle of the arena, waiting for the signal to start. Everyone, including me, in the lounge stood at the front to watch the fight. The winners will be someone’s next opponent, so learning more about how they fight was important. Even a slightest advantage can help win the match.

- Begin! - Vorin gave the signal.

Right away Dirk took defensive stance and was ready to repel incoming attacks. Not surprisingly, Randy took a few steps back and reached into his side bag.

Same strategy like before, eh? Their opponents must know what will come next. Still, it’d be safer to drink a potion before the fight starts. Why did he wait? - (TC)

Lyren and Drana weren’t so hot headed to charge in as the ones during Dirk and Randy’s previous fight. Both of them were carefully stepping sideways, wanting to attack from two opposite sides.

That was a good move on their part. This way Dirk won’t be able to defend against both of them at the same time. Lyren and Drana probably wanted to separate their opponents and take them down one at a time.

Lyren charged at Dirk swinging his huge axe.

- ‘Bang!’ - it hit the shield.

- Yaaa! - Drana was swinging from the other side.

- ‘Swoosh! Ding!’ - however, Randy jumped in and parried her attack.

She didn’t expect him to be so fast. His speed was incredible.

Speed Boos Potion again, eh? - (TC)

Randy was fast, but Drana wasn’t slow also. She swung again, spinning around twice and creating a whirlwind wave around her.

- Spinning Strike! - ‘Swoosh! Swoosh!’ -

Randy barely managed to jump away, rolling backwards few times. Once his feet were planted on the ground, he used the momentum to push himself forward and dashed towards Drana.

- Haaa! - he tried to stab her with the sword.

She turned and rolled to the side to avoid his attack.

Oh! Nice. She’s not bad after all. Looks like they are evenly matched. Of course Drana is not using any potions. Otherwise, Randy would’ve been done for. - (TC)

While Drana kept Randy busy, Lyren was furiously hacking and slashing at Dirk.

- ‘Bang! Ding! Bam!’ - every attack was strong and fast.

Unfortunately he couldn’t penetrate shield’s strong defenses. Lyren’s opponent was firmly holding his ground. Dirk indeed was awesome at protecting himself from each attack. The winner was yet to be decided.

The battle was going back and forth, with neither side showing any signs of backing down. Dirk was on defensive, while Lyren tried every attack in his arsenal to take him down. Drana was holding her own and using rare opportunities to swing at Randy. However, since her opponent used Speed Boost Potion, it was difficult to catch him off guard.

Suddenly, after yet another Lyren’s attack, Dirk swung his mallet to counter, but Lyren was fast enough to jump back and away from his opponent. That gave Dirk an opportunity to drink a potion himself.

- Careful Master! - Drana shouted. - Dirk’s Shock Wave attack incoming!

Lyren braced himself, ready to jump away in order to avoid getting hit. As everyone expected, Dirk raised his hand with a mallet in hand. However, to everyone’s big surprise, instead of swinging, he dashed towards Lyren. He was as fast as Randy and was close to Lyren in half of a second. His opponent didn’t expect it at all.

- Haaa! - ‘Bang!’ - Lyren partly blocked his attack, but but the mallet hit his left arm.

- Aaaa! - he fell down and rolled away from the blow.

Shocked by what happened, Drana looked at Lyren to make sure he was fine. That gave Randy enough time to drink another potion.

- Yaaa! - he quickly closed the gap between the two of them and swung at her.

Drana was quick to react and lifted her axe ready to block the incoming attack.

- ‘Bam!’ - she blocked it, but the strike was much stronger than before.

- Aaargh..! - Drana was blown away and fell on the ground.

Aha. They are smart after all. That’s why they didn’t use the potions from the beginning. Dirk drank Speed Boost Potion to get close to Lyren, which surprised him. And Randy used Strength Boost Potion to overpower Drana. Nicely done. - (TC)

Lyren and Drana picked themselves up, but it was obvious they sustained injuries. Lyren held his axe with the right hand only. His left arm was injured and he was in pain. Drana held onto her chest while getting up. There was a chance few of her ribs were broken.

None the less, they weren’t ready to give up just yet. Both of them moved close to each other and were ready to continue the fight. At the same time, their opponents didn’t want them to recover, or use any Healing Potions. They instantly charged right at them. With the Speed Boost Potions, Dirk and Randy closed the distance between them in a mere moments.

However, that was a mistake. Same mistake their opponents made during the previous fight. Lyren and Drana were ready to counter attack. They raised their greataxes at the same time and:

- Double Mooncrest Slash! - Lyren.

- Double Mooncrest Slash! - Drana.

Both axes swung at once, creating a tall, half moon shaped blade, piercing through the ground. The strike was aimed directly at Randy and he didn’t have enough time to evade the attack.

- Move! - Dirk bumped into Randy, pushing him away. - Shield Absorption!

- ‘Badang!’ - Mooncrest Slash hit the shield.

- Aaargh! - Dirk was being pushed away by immensely strong attack.

The slash slightly changed the direction, but went through the ground, and hit the wall at the end of the arena. A cloud of dust followed and covered the area. The spectators went quiet, wanting to know what happened, but couldn’t see through the dust.

However, Randy didn’t wait for the dust to settle and quickly jumped at Lyren.

- ‘Swoosh!’ - he swung his sword.

- Look out! - Drana pushed Lyren away, and was cut in the arm instead of him.

- Aaaa! - ‘Swing!’ - she swung back at Randy with her axe, but he easily dodged it.

Wow. She’s good. If she hadn’t pushed Lyren away, he’d be done for. - (TC)

Randy didn’t waste a moment and attacked Drana right after the dodge.

- ‘Swoosh! Swing!’ - he swung again and again.

Drana was blocking and parrying, but with her injuries, she wasn’t as fast as before.

- Get away from her. Yaaa! - Lyren got back on his feet and attacked Randy.

Unfortunately, he easily evaded his opponent’s swing and jumped back. Using the opportunity, Randy quickly dashed at Lyren to finish him off. He was fighting both of them at the same time and was holding out well.

- Take this! - Drana threw her axe at Randy.

- Hu- Whaaa! - he didn’t expect that.

He managed to cover his chest, but was hit and injured on the side.

- Aaaaa! - he yelled from pain and fell on the ground.

At the same time, Dirk jumped out from the dust cloud, swinging his mallet at Drana.

- Haaa! - this time Lyren threw his axe directly at him.

- Argh! - ‘Bang!’ - Randy managed to raise his shield in time, but was blown away from the impact.

Haha. Nice. They are better at throwing than swinging their axes. Dirk and Randy were dumbfounded by what happened. However, as fun as it was, what will you do now? - (TC)

I was amused and impressed at the same time. It was funny to see Dirk and Randy being blown away in mid air with giant flying axes. Lyren and Drana’s Double Mooncrest Slash was amazing as well. Dirk must’ve taken some damage, even if he blocked it with a shield. The attack was too strong to stop it, and since it changed direction slightly, it means the strike was deflected to the side.

The dust cleared and Dirk was standing firm on the ground, with his shield in front of him. Randy picked himself up and seemed rather ok. He was injured from the axe throw, but was still able to fight.

Things didn’t look as good for Lyren and Drana. Their injuries were far worse and they had no weapons to fight back. It didn’t look they can do much in the condition they were in. Not many people were surprised at what happened next.

- We surrender! - shouted Lyren, falling backwards on the ground.

Dirk and Randy were ready to attack, but stepped back after hearing it.

- Winner number nine! - Announced Vorin.

- Yeaaah! - cheered the crowd.

And with that, the first fight ended with Dirk and Randy as the winners. Arena assistants rushed in to help the injured fighters. Everyone left the arena with people shouting and cheering. All four of them came back to the lounge and took their seats. The second match was about to start.

- Next match! Number one, Roland and Meera, versus number sixteen, TC! - announced Vorin.

Huh? My turn now? Oh boy, here we go. - (TC)

- Roland is a Gold Rank adventurer and belongs to Conquerors Division. He took part in a recent raid to take down the Ferocious Chimera! Wielding his powerful sword Gundar, Roland’s swordmanship skills are exceptional! Meera is his Three Star Gold companion. With her unbreakable shield and always at the front of the battle, Meera’s defenses are second to none!

The spectators went wild hearing the introduction. Apparently those two are well known and are praised among the citizens of Saramis. I couldn’t have asked for a better first opponent. They belonged to Conquerors Division as well and I was itching to find out how strong those two are.

- And their first opponent today is a Bronze Rank adventurer TC! He joined the Guild only recently, but already made an impact. During one of his quests, he single handedly defeated Orgob! Not many adventurers can boast of such achievement! Please welcome the participants to the arena!

The crowd cheered again. But the introduction was pretty decent, which surprised me. Vorin noted my achievement of killing Orgob. That’s a big deal in here as far as I know. Thanks to him I was able to save my face. He’s a real leader indeed.

The stairs were right next to me, so I walked out to the arena first.

- Hey! TC! Good luck! - I heard Rori’s voice.

But of course you’ll be here. The rest of the gang are here as well. - I waved at them.

(at the seating area)

- But wait, I don’t see Eve. Is he going to fight by himself? - Rori was surprised.

- It would seem so. - said Robert.

- But why? Eve is so strong. Was she hurt yesterday? - she asked.

- No, she wasn’t. TC won the last fight by himself. - said Angi.

- But will he be ok by himself? He’s facing a Gold Rank adventurer after all. - commented Don.

- TC is strong for sure. Yesterday’s match convinced me of that. I was no match for him at all. His attacks were so strong I thought I’ll lose my arm. Maybe fighting alone in the finals was his plan from the very beginning? - said Robert.

- Defeated Orgob, hah? Who cares. He’s facing a Gold Rank Conqueror Division adventurer. - commented one of the spectators, in a loud voice.

- Haha. For sure. How did he even end up in the Finals? The Guild Leader sure is generous to those Bronze Rank adventurers. - added the other spectator.

- Wanna bet he won’t last a minute? - said the third.

- How dare you? TC is so strong, he definitely will win. - Rori didn’t like their comments at all.

- Huh? You must be joking. He’s only a Bronze Rank adventurer. - said the first spectator.

- Yeah. If you have so much confidence in him, why don’t we make a bet? I bet one gold coin Roland and Meera will win in less than a minute. - the second spectator grinned at her.

- I will bet my gold coin TC not only last for one minute, but will win the fight. - announced Robert.

- Robert? - Angi was surprised, but happy at the same time.

- Are you crazy? He doesn’t even have a companion. - the first spectator commented.

- Oh yeah? TC is so strong he doesn’t need his companion to win. - added Rori.

- What a loudmouth girl. If you’re so confident about his win, why don’t you bet your own money to prove it? - said the third spectator sarcastically.

- Errr… I mean… - Rori was at a loss.

- Here. I bet for her. One gold coin. - Stan showed a yellow glowy coin in his hands.

- Aaah Stan! My hero! - she hugged him excitedly, pressing her chest at his face.

- Amm… mhm… - Stan almost fell backwards from his seat.

- Ain’t you a lucky one? - Don was amused.

- You’re the one to talk. - Amelia looked away, cheeks burning red.

- Indeed. Haha! - Don laughed his gorilla laugh.

- You’re on! We bet three gold coins he’s going to lose. - said the third spectator.

- Then I’ll add one more gold coin to make a total of three on our side too. - Don jumped in on the bet.

- Hah. You guys are dumb. You can give up your money right now and save yourselves from the embarrassment. - said the first spectator.

- What’s all the commotion down here? - Sieran asked, while coming down the stairs.

- Huh? Mister Sieran? - Stan turned around.

- And Madam Norel? - Rori was surprised to see her.

- What are you all so excited about? - asked Madam Norel.

- Oh… aaa… nothing much Madam Norel. - one of the spectators became nervous.

- Yeah… Just a friendly bet on who’s going to win. - said the other.

- Did I hear someone say a ‘Bet’? - a shrewd, well dressed man came over from the other side of the seats.

- Oh my. Aren’t your ears sharp when someone talks about gambling mister Squintl? - said Madam Norel.

- Hey, money likes to be jiggled as I say. - Squintl smirked.

- Hah. Figures a gambling shark to be around when people want to waste their money. - commented Sieran.

- No need to be sharp with your words Mister Sieran. I’m just a humble money trader, who tends to be lucky winning a bet now and then. - he put on a fake smile. - Now, who cares to enlighten me on what’s going on here?

- Of course. These fools want to bet their gold on that Bronze Rank adventurer. We simply took them on the offer. - the first spectator said arrogantly.

- Interesting. And how much are you betting? - Squintl asked.

- We bet our three gold coins against theirs three gold coins. - answered the second spectator.

- Aha. Mind if I be the intermediary for your bet? This way I will take all the risks in case you lose and pay all the winnings in case your bet wins. - he offered shrewdly.

- And what are your predictions for this match dear Mister Squintl? - asked Madam Norel.

- I will be delighted to share some of my information Madam Norel. From my humble knowledge I’d say Ronald and Meera are this Tournament’s favorites to win. The bets are two to one in their favor. On the other hand, that young adventurer is rather interesting, but I know very little about him. From what I know, he indeed defeated Orgob on his own. But the odds of him winning against Ronald and Meera are one to twelve. - was his answer.

- Wow, that’s really low. - said Rori.

- Ya just saying that to fatten ya own purse. - Sieran clearly didn’t like Squintl.

- I do take care of my own fortune first. No need to hold me in contempt because of that. Only fools blame others for their losses. - Squintl’s words were as sleek as a lizard’s skin.

- Then how about I bet ten gold coins on Mister TC’s victory for this fight? - offered Madam Norel.

- Oh my, aren’t you generous with your bet today Madam Norel? - Squintl smelled an opportunity.

- Will you take my bet Mister Squintl? - madam asked again.

- Well of course. It would be my pleasure. - he grinned from ear to ear.

- What about you my dear Sieran. Are you in a mood for some entertainment? - Madam Norel asked.

- Hah, a good pint of booze is the best entertainment for me. But that young lad helped me make a few extra coins, so I guess I owe ’im a favor. Two gold coins on the lad from me. - he took out the money from his pocket.

- Very kind of you to trust me with your bet. - Squintl was happy with another customer.

- Hah, don’t get ya hopes up you sleek weasel. I never said I trust ya. - added Sieran.

- As harsh as ever. - Squintl took the money.

- I want to bet too! One gold coin on Ronald and Meera. - another spectator approached them.

- Yeah, me too. - said yet another.

- My, my. This is turning into quite the attraction. - said Madam Norel as more people were eager to bet on the fight.

- By the way, how come the lad’s on his own? What happened to his companion? - asked Sieran.

- So true. I hope my dear Eve is fine and well. - said Madam Norel.

- To be honest, we don’t know. Both of them were fine yesterday. - Robert answered.

- Good to hear that. Ah well, let’s see what the lad is made of. They’re about to start. - Sieran took the closest empty seat.

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