I came back up after saying everything I needed to say, but it was a mystery as to whether Imperial Prince Cédric would act as I wanted.
He simply let out a low snort and did not react in any other way.
The nobles were endlessly whispering away while looking at me.
I did my best to avoid them and received a glass bottle from Ganael.
Looking at the pomegranate ade and the pieces of lemon floating in it made my mind feel a bit more relaxed already.
Christelle’s eyes were sparkling as she asked me a question.
“Your highness, what did you say to his Royal Highness?
“I told him to go easy.”
“Oh my. I would have asked him to properly crush him.”
I took a sip of the ade and smiled awkwardly.
I would have normally left the Imperial Prince to do as he pleased, but I felt as if I had no choice this time because I had an extremely ominous feeling.
From where I currently am, I could clearly see Christelle’s handkerchief tied to the hilt of the Sword of Wisdom.
“The duel will continue until one side announces their defeat. Two witnesses will be observing from the side. His Royal Highness, Imperial Prince Cédric, is a Grade 7 mage, a Grade 8 swordsman, and a fire attribute novice Holy Knight. His opponent, young Duke Robert Blanquer, is a Grade 8 mage!”
Marquis François Duhem was standing in front of the stands as he started his commentary, never accidentally biting his tongue even once.
Hearing it like this made it clearly sound like the Imperial Prince’s strength was overwhelming.
He was a scam character who was good at everything, as expected of the male lead.
He might be lacking in comparison to the young Duke when it comes to mana, but it seemed like the fight was already over unless the young Duke was skilled in sword arts as well.
I peeked at the young Duke.
He had a wooden staff about 50cm tall in his right hand. The sword strapped around his waist seemed more for decorative purposes.
His face seemed to be twitching.
“This won’t end in like five seconds or something, right?”
Christelle whispered. Sir Geens, who had been quiet this whole time, was the one to respond.
“Just like with Holy Knights, attributes are very important for mages. It might be difficult if his Royal Highness’s mana attribute is a bad match with the young Duke’s.”
Vice Captain Élisabeth pulled out her sword and stabbed it into the ground at that moment.
“And it is starting!”
The young Duke released his mana circle, the magic formation, as soon as Marquis Duhem said that.
A red square started spinning clockwise as soon as it appeared under his feet. It then duplicated itself until there were eight spinning squares.
– Clang, clang, chhh!
The spectators gasped once the magic formations that fanned out gathered together.
Watching a mage form their magic formation was an interesting show for me as well, since I had only seen the portal magic formations until now.
The Imperial Prince had never given me such a show because he didn’t need magic formations to use his special ability.
I didn’t have any time to observe other mages during the Great Clearance of Demonic Beasts.
It looked similar to a priest’s ether circle but upon closer inspection, it was not a round circle like the ones I could make. It was actually eight separate squares elaborately placed in a pattern.
Eight magic formations was the reason he was a Grade 8 mage.
“The flow of his mana is quite stable. Those of the Blanquer bloodline are truly different.”
Sir Geens commented.
The young Duke, who finished trying to supress the Imperial Prince’s spirit, released his circles before swinging his staff without any hesitation.
Dust shot up from the dirt on the ground.
“What is that?”
My mumbles were lost under the shouts of shocked nobles. It was neither dust nor fog.
Black particles floated up, causing an elegant whirlwind. The particles reflected the sunlight as they moved, shining here and there.
The Imperial Prince simply stood there silently and watched, not even pulling out his sword.
A short burst of understanding sprung in my mind.
The young Duke’s mana contained magnetic force.
The iron powder in the sand was gathering and scattering at his command.
‘Wait a minute. The Imperial Prince’s mana reacts to metal.’
Young Duke Blanquer smirked as he swung his staff with greater force.
Chhh! The iron filings charged toward the Imperial Prince, making a loud noise and they moved.
It looked as if the Imperial Prince disappeared for a moment before returning back into view.
A sword aura instantly shot out, cutting through the iron veil.
The reason it looked as if he disappeared for a moment was because his movements were too swift to follow.
I couldn’t keep up with my eyes. The Imperial Prince shot forward without delay.
He was using a different sword than the Sword of Wisdom. He instantly arrived in front of the young Duke.
It then sounded as if the air was crying.
Black powder stuck to the Imperial Prince’s sword like a swarm of bugs.
His gloved left hand stopped in midair as if it was nailed down. I could see the tip of his sword shaking.
My jaw dropped at this unexpected development. The spectators gasped.
A Grade 8 mage’s mana was dominating a Grade 8 swordsman’s weapon.
“Is this because his Royal Highness’s mana is weaker than the young Duke’s?”
I urgently asked. Sir Geens calmly responded.
“I’m sure that is playing a role, but it seems as if the young Duke’s special ability is more intricate. His Royal Highness’s special ability stops at moving metal. It is like a form of psychokinesis.”
That was true.
Even during the Great Clearance of Demonic Beasts, the Imperial Prince simply sent daggers flying forward or back to him and did not use it for anything more complicated.
I thought that his ability was already amazing enough, but there was a bastard who was even more amazing.
The young Duke could imbue magnetic force into metal and his ability was so focused that it could even control the metallic powder hidden in the sand.
It was basically as if the Imperial Prince’s special ability was sealed.
The Imperial Prince cast aside his first sword without any hesitation and retreated.
The sword that was covered in black dust fell to the young Duke’s feet.
‘That must be why he brought multiple swords with him.’
The Imperial Prince’s shadow disappeared as soon as he pulled out the second sword.
There was a loud noise and the iron filings floating in the air fell to the ground.
The second sword was also stopped in midair. However, this time it was not because of magnetic force.
The attack was so swift that the young Duke released his special ability and cast a defensive magic formation.
Red mana burst out of the Imperial Prince’s sword.
“He can’t multicast.”
Christelle analyzed the situation. I nodded my head.
Multicast, as the name implies, is when a mage is able to use more than two spells at the same time.
It wasn’t surprising that the young Duke couldn’t do it as I heard that it was an ability only an extremely few high-ranking mages were able to use.
He was unable to use his special ability and the defensive spell at the same time.
The young Duke’s boots were pushed back. His brown hair and the tip of his staff were shaking.
The Imperial Prince’s mana and physical strength were pressuring him quite a bit.
Red mana from both men shot up like smoke.
There were gasps all around the stands. The Imperial Prince’s sword was slicing through the barrier.
I clenched my fists in shock. His orange eyes seemed to be on fire.
However, his expression was surprisingly calm.
The young Duke groaned while clenching his teeth and reached out his empty hand. He then tightly clenched the Imperial Prince’s sword.
Ganael, who was seated in front of me, quickly covered his mouth.
The second sword was broken in half as soon as the magic formation was released.
The nobles were screaming in astonishment. The Imperial Prince threw the hilt of the sword to the side as if he had expected this.
Christelle, who had long since cast aside her opera glasses, gently hit my forearm.
“That’s that, isn’t it your highness? Magnets!”
“Yes, he seems to have pushed magnetic force of the same pole into the sword and……”
‘Broken it in half.’
I knew that he must be confident in his special ability, but to release his defensive magic formation with the Imperial Prince’s sword right in front of his eyes…
This guy had balls.
The Imperial Prince pulled out his third sword as quickly as a flash of lightning without moving back.
He still didn’t seem to want to use the Sword of Wisdom.
‘What is he thinking?’
A broach that flew up from the young Duke’s jacket was stopped by the Imperial Prince’s dagger.
The two metallic items were shaking against each other in the air before they crumpled into one metallic ball and fell to the ground.
The young Duke used the opening to pull the sword out from his waist and stabbed toward the Imperial Prince.
The two swords were unable to touch as they shook like two magnets being pushed against the same magnetic pole.
The Imperial Prince pushed back with strength. He had to do so with such an opponent.
The young Duke was clenching his teeth and his left hand was bleeding while the young man’s picturesque face showed no signs of hardship.
“I won’t let you!”
The young Duke shouted with all of his strength and swung the staff in his right hand.
The air roared and the two men’s bodies were unable to overcome the magnetic force and were pushed back in opposite directions.
The young Duke’s sword flew up and stabbed into the dirt. The Imperial Prince’s sword left his hand as well.
It was as if an invisible force had taken both of their weapons.
A long sword swung like a propeller and was flying toward the stands.
I felt as if my eyes would burst out. It was aiming right for me.
A barrier activated as soon as I opened my Holy Domain.
There must be a spell here to protect the spectators as there had been at the Great Clearance of Demonic Beasts.
The sword that was stopped by the barrier slowly slid until it fell by my feet.
I was still breathing heavily as I looked toward the battlefield.
“We need to get a coffin for that son of a bitch. That was one hundred percent on purpose.”
Christelle mumbled viciously.
Everybody gathered here, as well as the Imperial Prince who had landed gently, were looking this way.
His eyes grew dark after understanding the situation.
‘Uhh…… This is a bit dangerous…’
The Sword of Wisdom was pulled out. I didn’t even have time to calm myself down.
The Imperial Prince switched his grip on the inky black sword and threw the sword toward the young Duke?!
The bizarre sound of magnetic force moving could be heard. The Sword of Wisdom was also a metallic weapon.
Even this weapon from god seemed unable to escape the grasp of a Grade 8 mage’s power.
The young Duke smiled fishyly as he moved his staff to his left hand.
He then reached his right hand out with a triumphant look on his face. The handkerchief created a sky blue arc in the air.
“I will happily take it since you offered it to me!”
The moment he grabbed the sword…
The Sword of Wisdom burst in flames. The young Duke screamed in pain and let go of the divine item.
Christelle’s handkerchief turned into ashes. The spectators all stood up from their seats.
“How dare you.”
I could hear the Imperial Prince’s low voice.
We had no choice but to stand up as well as we couldn’t see anything anymore.
I calmed Percy, who was intensely flapping his wings, and raised my head.
The young Duke’s palm had burned so much it was melting.
It didn’t seem to be a regular burn.
He was crying while holding his right wrist with his left hand.
The metal filings scattered everywhere were twitching while reacting to him.
The Imperial Prince moved toward him step after step. I couldn’t take my eyes off of him.
He reached his left arm out and the Sword of Wisdom gently flew over and landed in his hand.
The black sword was sleek as if it had never burst into flames.
He had taken off the glove on his right hand at some point.
The Imperial Prince flicked his finger in the air with a haughty look in his eyes.
The young Duke’s body was flung back like a bullet. A portion of the spectators fainted.
I gasped and quickly looked at what had just exploded.
The broken swords from earlier were viciously sparkling under the June sun.
The ones stabbed into the ground weren’t too bad.
But the young Duke was bleeding in multiple places with pieces of swords stabbed all over his body. I opened and closed my mouth without being able to say anything.
Basically, the first sword that was covered in iron powder that he had cast aside…
He seemed to have pushed some fire into it to explode it like a bomb.
The now red metal filings were sizzling as they burned the young Duke’s clothes and created holes in them.
I quickly looked at the Imperial Prince.
He had not received even the slightest of burns since he had the protection of an intense fire attribute ether.
He seemed to have used his mana to stop the pieces of metal that flew toward him. I could finally sigh in relief.
I could hear the young Duke’s voice that sounded as if he might die at any moment.
“Wait, your Royal Highness…… I, I admit defeat.”
“You will even regret your regret.”
The Imperial Prince flicked his finger again and a piece of metal that had rolled over to the young Duke’s head exploded.
I shouted in shock.
[Stop, your Royal Highness!]
Time then stopped.
I could hear someone’s gasp-like mumbling. I quickly caught my breath and looked at the Imperial Prince.
The bundle of the broach and dagger that was exploding with his flame was a sphere as red as the sun but had stopped mid-explosion.
It looked like something done with CG.
The young Duke was unable to stand the intense heat by his neck and groaned as he rolled his body back.
He had not died. The Imperial Prince had stopped it mid-explosion.
[……You did well, your Royal Highness.]
I simply said whatever came to mind.
My legs felt weak and I had cold sweat down my back but I couldn’t plop down.
The nobles were still looking at the Imperial Prince and me.
The person who thankfully broke the ice-like silence was Marquis Duhem.
His voice was shaking as well.
“Young Duke Blanquer has announced his defeat. His Royal Highness, Imperial Prince Cédric, is the winner of the duel!”
Claps burst out as if they had been waiting for this. People then started fiercely chatting with one another.
I fiercely petted Percy’s small head with the tip of my index finger.
‘It’s okay. It seems to have ended okay.’
The young Duke had both his arms and legs, his eyes, and although he was bleeding, he was still conscious.
As for the mental damage…… I’m sure he’ll figure that out himself. He brought this upon himself anyway. Yes, that’s right.’
It’s time to du du du du du du duuuuuel.