LTBE - Chapter 403: Moment of Glory (1)
Amidst a brilliant flash of light, Roel and William were transported back to Leinster’s colosseum. Both their substitution magic tools had been destroyed, and their fatigued bodies were covered in injuries.
Their return was met with deafening applause and cheers from the crowd.
Regardless of faction or nationality, all spectators rose to their feet and applauded with all their might. The excited cheers only crescendoed with time. The fight had far surpassed their wildest imagination.
Everything was mind-blowing, from Roel overcoming the limits of his Origin Level with an ancient spell, William’s transformation, to the epic fight between two legendary existences. The revelation of William’s true appearance at the conclusion of the battle added a touch of romance to the fight, leaving many young women swooning.
There was no doubt that this fight would go down in the history of the Challenger Cup, reverentially spoken of even decades from now.
The outcome of the battle was amazing too.
Similar to how heroes overcame all odds to accomplish the impossible in epics, the final victor of the duel was not the Origin Level 3 William but the Origin Level 4 Roel. This was completely unprecedented. Never in the Challenger Cup had an Origin Level 4 transcendent defeated an Origin Level 3 transcendent in a frontal clash.
All these surprises filled the spectators with respect and admiration for both fighters. The applause refused to fade as time passed. Even the distinguished guests at the VIP stand, under Antonio’s lead, had started clapping too.
Most of these distinguished guests were powerful transcendents themselves, which allowed them to discern minor technical details that influenced the flow of the battle. The sharp wits and responses from both duelists throughout the battle were educational, such that even the powerful Antonio had some gains from watching the battle.
The commotion spilled out of the colosseum to all over Leinster. Drinkers in taverns raised their mugs and chugged their drinks. Spectators in the city square hugged each other out of sheer excitement. The streets that were empty a second ago suddenly burst into life.
In the colosseum, Roel reined in his frost aura, and William released her blade. The medics rushed onto the field and conducted emergency treatment for the two of them.
While William had lost the fight, she was still in fairly good condition after Roel had retracted his frost aura from her body. She was severely weakened from overexerting her mana, but she would be fine with some rest.
In comparison, Roel was in a terrible state.
The frost aura produced by Glacier Creator couldn’t hurt Roel, but the slash on his shoulder dealt real damage to him. When the blood crystals defrost and the sword was pulled out, fresh blood spurted out and splattered all around.
The spectators gasped in shock.
Alicia’s eyes turned teary. Charlotte anxiously shot to her feet. Lilian worriedly leaned forward.
However, Roel didn’t pay any heed to his injuries. It wasn’t fatal anyway, so there was nothing to be worried about. Rather, he was more concerned about the side effects setting in too quickly.
Perhaps it was because he had been through too much over the years, but he was exceptionally composed about the situation. The resilience he displayed won him the admiration of the crowd, but the medics weren’t loosening up at all.
They had to ensure that Roel was fit enough to go on stage and receive his prize later on. Their faces were so grave that those who didn’t know better would think that they were trying to resuscitate a dying patient.
“Stop the blood loss!”
Roel was still planning on walking out of the colosseum with his head held up high, but at the horrified insistence of the medic, he could only obediently lie down on the stretcher and let himself be carried off.
It was only after Roel and William stepped off the field that the cheerings and applause slowly died down.
The colosseum entered an intermission. Performers went up on stage to entertain the spectators.
In previous years, if the two finalists didn’t sustain significant injuries, they would be able to proceed to the award presentation ceremony after a quick preparation. However, Roel and William had clearly overexerted themselves in the battle, so they would need time to recover.
An hour later, the award presentation ceremony finally commenced.
It was because of this ceremony that the hundred challengers who cleared the preliminary round were invited here today.
The top musicians of Leinster started playing a grand melody that stoked everyone’s hot-bloodedness. At the same time, magic fireworks rose to the sky and exploded into ribbons.
Under such fanfare, the heavy gates of the colosseum opened.
A red carpet flowed gracefully from the colosseum’s entrance toward the stage. Armed soldiers marched into the colosseum and took their positions along the red carpet.
A war horn sounded.
William was the first one to enter the venue. She was still dressed in full armor; it wasn’t the set that had shattered from the earlier battle but a spare one intended for parades, as shown by its extravagant design.
The crowd warmly welcomed her, and she responded to them with a wave of her hand, which stirred another wave of excitement.
Behind her was the second runner-up of the tournament, Lilian. There was a rare smile on her face. She was in a joyous mood from Roel’s victory over William. The spectators from the Austine Empire and Saint Freya Academy felt their hearts skipping a beat, for they had never seen such an expression on Lilian before.
Following that, Teresa, Charlotte, Kurt, Juliana, and Edward, the top eight of the tournament, entered the colosseum, leading the remaining hundred challengers behind them.
Brittany, Selina, Stuart, Glint, Geralt, Paul…
All of the challengers who had spilled their blood, sweat, and tears in the tournament stepped into the crowd’s view, and they were met with warm applause.
Those who had watched the previous few tournaments of the Challenger Cup, especially Leinster’s locals, knew deep well that this year’s tournament far surpassed the previous few, be it in terms of the challengers’ strength or quality of fights.
The greatest difference stemmed from the participation of the youths from the Knight Kingdom, who had brought many surprises to the crowd.
Those who had traveled here from afar to watch this tournament were satisfied. They already knew that they would be bragging to others about how they had witnessed the rise of Sia Continent’s future powerhouses.
The hundred challengers walked to the area beneath the stage and stood at attention. Representatives from prestigious Scholar Factions and the upper echelons of the Leinster’s academies stepped forward and presented them with honorary medals.
Over a hundred cannons were fired simultaneously, filling the sky with ribbons once more.
The drums started rolling at this moment of glory, a black-haired man and a white-haired elder appeared on the highest stage in the colosseum together.
Most of Roel’s injuries had recovered after the emergency treatment, but it was impossible to replenish his lost blood and depleted mana right away. Antonio noticed his pale complexion and cast a few recovery spells on him, which helped a little.
After that, Antonio turned to the crowd and began his speech.
“The Challenger Cup is a festival organized for the youths of our Sia Continent. It’s a stage for our youths to showcase their talents and prove their worth. I’m honored to have witnessed this exciting tournament with the rest of you seated here.
“I’m sure most of you would agree with me when I say that this tournament is different from that of previous years. Due to several considerations, the organizing committee decided to lower the age restriction and allow the participation of First Grade students. We were deeply worried when we first made this decision, but I can proudly say now that we have made the right call.
“The relaxation of the restrictions has raised the standards of the tournament, bringing about a peak for the Challenger Cup. Today, I’m honored to present the champion trophy to the youngest ever winner of the Challenger Cup.
“I hereby declare the champion of the 56th Challenger Cup… Roel Ascart!”