Due to the unexpected guest, Alicia eventually didn’t raise any overboard requests with Roel. She obediently went off to sleep after chasing Juliana off.
On Roel’s bed, that was.
Roel had already somewhat anticipated that this would happen by now, so he took the same measure and installed a barrier of pillows and bolsters. Nothing happened during the night, but there was an odd sense of déjà vu when he woke up the following morning to find Alicia lying on his chest yet again.
It left him at a loss for words.
He knew that it wouldn’t do for them to continue this way, but he was simply helpless against Alicia’s pleas.
Am I vulnerable because I haven’t seen her for the past half a year?
Roel sighed helplessly before beginning his usual morning routine.
After the previous round of fights, the Challenger Cup was finally down to the top 16. Palpable excitement could be felt on Leinster’s streets as the crowd was dying to know who would emerge victorious in this golden generation.
Challengers from Saint Freya Academy started to be matched up with each other, and even the transfer students from the Knight Kingdom also encountered their own people.
Roel was quite fortunate to be matched with a top student from another one of Leinster’s academies. He had no plans of holding back since he had already put his money on himself.
As soon as the battle commenced, he summoned a huge golden snake that launched a concentrated bombardment on the enemy, and he eventually wore down the opponent within five minutes.
Thanks to that, he was able to further increase his little fortune.
He chose to remain in the colosseum to watch the subsequent battles, and he soon found out his opponent for the next round—Kurt.
The opponent Kurt had to face in the top 16 was Juliana.
Juliana was a talented transcendent of the Blood Race, but unfortunately, her spells that focused heavily on utility weren’t that useful against the humongous giant.
Kurt’s gigantified punch launched everything in the vicinity high into the sky, robbing Juliana of the shadows she needed to effectively maneuver around. Left with no choice, she could only fight him in a disadvantageous head-on battle, which, to no one’s surprise, ended in her defeat.
“KURT! KURT! KURT!”
The sight of Kurt overwhelming Juliana with his gigantified fist left such a strong impression on the crowd that their hearts raced with excitement. Their feelings were relayed through their loud chants that echoed throughout the colosseum.
Faced with the roaring cheers, the towering man waved his hand at the audience before turning his gaze toward Roel. His eyes were filled with fighting will.
This exciting battle had rocketed Kurt’s reputation to greater heights, and his fan base grew substantially. Many couldn’t wait for the battle between Kurt and Roel, such that speculations swiftly began to arise.
“Will the resourceful summoner, Roel, clinch the upper hand, or will the inheritor of the ancient Giant Bloodline, Kurt, continue his brilliant legacy? Choose your winner and place your bets!” shouted a staff member from the Challenger Cup’s official betting house.
Buzzes could also be heard from the smaller betting houses along the streets.
It was stressful to have so much attention on him, but Roel thought that it wasn’t too bad. Stress was a form of motivation as well, and he did want to teach a certain arrogant someone a lesson.
Time flew by amidst the hype.
After a week of hyping from the betting houses, the long-awaited fight was finally here.
On one end of the field was a black-haired man calmly holding onto a staff, and on the other was a towering man with crossed arms. There was an intense atmosphere between the two fighters. Unlike his previous duels, Roel’s attitude toward this battle was very different.
There were no words between the two fighters as they understood each other’s obstinacy. Words couldn’t hope to resolve their argument. Roel also thought that actions might be far more useful on the inheritor of the Giant Bloodline.
“Selecting the battlefield.”
“9th Field, Cinder Desert.”
When the staff member holding onto the crystal ball declared the location of the fight, the crowd burst out in cheers. Roel lifted his eyebrows.
The Cinder Desert contained flying ashes and cinders left in the wake of a blazing inferno. There were no covers that could conceal one’s body, meaning that those in this battlefield could only directly confront each other.
This suited Roel and Kurt’s will. Both of them were intending to clash directly with each other.
Before the expectant eyes of the crowd, Roel and Kurt stepped into the field and were immediately battered by dust and small bits of rocks. In the vast desert, they stood a thousand meters away from each other.
A thousand meters might have been a long distance for any other challengers to cover, but not for Roel and Kurt. It was just a few steps to them.
Kurt’s bloodline originated from the giants, but he didn’t inherit their Strength Origin Attribute. Instead, his Origin Attribute was Renascence.
The Renascence Origin Attribute was a unique one exclusive to the Gustav House. It allowed Kurt to evoke his Giant Bloodline and summon the towering physique of the ancient giants, bringing back what was already long gone back into the present day.
As the word ‘Renascence’ suggested, the Gustavs furthered their transcendent abilities through uncovering the origins of their bloodline, not dissimilar to that of Roel or the adopters of the Wisdom Origin Attribute. For that, they had devoted great efforts into researching the history of the giants, and that was how they discovered the truth regarding Grandar.
Contrary to their burly physiques, the Gustavs were an academic house. They were meticulous and thorough in their research. That was also the reason why the conflict between Kurt and Roel was particularly intense, for it was the clash between the two proud academics who had come to hugely varying conclusions on the same topic.
Under the glaring sun, the two men standing on opposite ends of the desert didn’t bother wasting their time on words. Without a moment’s hesitation, they unleashed their prowess and charged forth.
With a furious roar, Kurt released a tremendous outburst of mana that triggered his Giant Bloodline to its greatest degree. Under the effects of his bloodline, his body swiftly reshaped itself to emulate that of the mighty giants.
Muscular legs that were overflowing with explosive power, a thick waist that had no lack of flexibility, broad shoulders that provided him with greater pivotal force, and a pair of arms that harnessed unimaginable strength.
Faced against Roel, Kurt chose to undergo complete gigantification for the first time in the tournament. His imposing stature was reminiscent of a deity, leaving others not daring to approach.
“Giant! A real giant! It isn’t just a partial gigantification but a complete gigantification!”
Over at the spectator stand, Kurt’s supporters roared in frenzied joy, which was understandable given the fortune they had staked on him. The distinguished guests coming from various countries began discussing fervently amongst themselves.
The intimidating disposition of the giant could be felt even through the projection, rattling the hearts of the viewers.
However, the black-haired man standing directly in the presence of the giant himself seemed to be the exception.
Roel looked at the seemingly infallible giant without the slightest hint of fear in his golden eyes. He began channeling his mana too, causing a crimson aura to swiftly shroud his body. In mere moments, a humongous skeletal being exuding a blood-red glow manifested around him.
Unlike Kurt’s imposing air, Grandar’s presence commanded reverence and deference. Even the crowd in the colosseum found themselves gripped with looming fear that silenced them.
When Grandar raised his head to gaze at his adversary, the latter dared not to meet his eyes.
The battlefield was plunged into a discomforting silence. This was the air of intimidation that came from a Race Sovereign.
Perhaps he was unable to tolerate being suppressed in terms of aura, Kurt chose to make the first move after a momentary standstill. The giant he manifested out of mana roared furiously before charging across the desert with deafening thumps.
On the other end, Roel also began making his move. Grandar raised his massive skeletal arms, and the blood-red aura around him began to darken.
It took a mere instant for both sides to come into contact with each other, but the ensuing result was the most intense clash throughout this Challenger Cup.