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Day 3: Siblings Battle
Day 3 of Harmonia Academy’s Quinquennial Festival finally arrived. The most awaited event on this day for many people would be the battle between the Hartmann siblings. Not to mention that the crown prince also participated there. Aside from that, the people were divided into fractions of those who wanted to see other performances for different reasons, for example, their children were there.
Still, the Colosseum was already flooded by the euphoria of the upcoming match. Lyra’s match with Altaire wasn’t the very first match, but people still decided to gather early in order to ensure they gained seats to the match.
As several matches were held first, the amount of people continued to increase. Even if there were no more seats available, the other people decided to just stand and watch. It was like that yesterday too, but today was even more crowded than before.
As usual, there were several academy staffs stationed there. The academy staffs were spread to other places such as the auditorium, the main yard where they were holding sport competition, and other important places to supervise the events that were happening. Some also patrolled around the academy as they also enjoyed looking around the festival. Everyone looked so happy that they were enjoying themselves.
Among the stationed staffs here, one of them happened to be the chancellor, Sarrifissia. It might be that one of the highlighted matches held there was too attractive that she decided to witness the battle. Of course, her eyes seemed to be closed throughout all the battles, but if one of the other staffs were to ask her or make a comment on the battle, Sarri would be able to answer just fine. This amazed the staffs that weren’t so familiar with their chancellor even more.
The participating teams were quarantined inside the Colosseum as well, just not at the battlefield, but at another hidden spot that was especially prepared for them. The highlighted battles were held in the open-area Colosseum, while the other battles would be held simultaneously in the other colosseum with several fighting grounds that were usually used for classes.
As such, Lyra couldn’t witness the twins’ match, but Cyan and Cassie managed to watch it. The twins won their match today splendidly, and they really managed to display their magical prowess. Both parents were proud of their children, especially Cassie who was training them most of the time.
When it was finally time for Lyra and Altaire’s highlighted match, Cyan and Cassie managed to come in time along with the twins and Rurune as they joined Niina who was already there, booking the seats for them. Ein, Nicole, and Clyde were already there as they luckily didn’t have another event to witness at this time. Kiri’s father, the head of the royal knights was also there.
It was unfortunate that the royal couple couldn’t attend, but they already asked to have the match broadcasted live to them. So, they could take a break from their duty to watch their son’s match when it begins. As such, Leticia was taken along with Cyan and Cassie.
Cyan, Cassie, and Kiri’s father were all just going to be here to watch their children’s match, though. Once it was done for, they had to quickly return to resume their work. It was already a blessing that they could witness the matches today and also their children’s performances yesterday.
Besides them, the Flugel main family were also sitting somewhere inside the Colosseum. And Briar-Rose was sitting between the miracle twins, totally excited to cheer for her idolized ‘aneki’. She even made a headband with the writing of “Aneki Love” that she wore that day, along with a fan with the writing of “Aneki ♡”. Actually, if Valerie didn’t advise her earlier, she would’ve brought the flag and banner she made as well.
Carbuncle and Iris were sitting next to their classmates, and Harvey was also sitting with his own classmates. It was clear that they were cheering for the opposite side.
Even Erneste and his friends were also there in the Colosseum, perhaps he hoped Lyra would notice that he was also there, cheering for her.
Sitting on another place was Elise Elandia, accompanied by her brother, Eugene, her maid, Karina, and a boy who was wearing an oversized hoodie that covered his head.
At long last, it was finally time for the match to begin. The referee who was also the MC announced both teams to enter the battlefield. As they walked into everyone’s vision field, the Colosseum broke into uproar.
Lyra had experienced being the spotlight since she was Reinst before, but for some reason, she couldn’t help but be nervous. Her previous life’s school certainly didn’t have such a large-scale event like this. It was true that she had battled in front of the others before, but it wasn’t as merry as this one.
The two teams were easily distinguished as they were of different levels, thus they were wearing different uniforms. For this purpose, both teams were wearing their winter clothes which were more formal than the summer counterpart. After all, their battle was one of the highlighted battles.
Even if she was going to fight against her own big brother, the irregularity that she had known so well, Lyra wasn’t really afraid. She wasn’t afraid of injuring her big brother as well, because every person who was going to compete in any combative competition would be clad by the magician teachers’ protection. So that they wouldn’t suffer any grave injury. Later on, there were staffs who would be on standby to heal them.
At this time, Lyra finally could see the last member in her opponent team, the only one she wasn’t familiar with. Celeste. Overall, she was a pretty girl that exuded a different aura. At one glance, Lyra felt like Celeste exuded an isolating aura that caused the others to think that she was distant and difficult to approach.
Her straight long hair was in a princess cut, covering her ears. But based on Altaire’s description, Celeste should have an elf bloodline and that her ears were pointed. Black hair colour was rather unusual to elves, so perhaps Celeste inherited her straight black hair from her parent that had other races’ blood running through their veins, presumably a human.
Her lemon yellow eyes confirmed that she was indeed calm about all this. Lyra began to admire Celeste in her heart, as she looked mature.
Perhaps Lyra was staring too long, as Celeste noticed her gaze and her eyes met with Lyra’s. Lyra was surprised, but before she could react, Celeste smiled to her. So, Lyra could only smile back at Celeste, while thinking that Celeste looked beautiful when she smiled. No wonder Altaire easily admitted that he thought Celeste was beautiful. Because she was indeed beautiful.
Her body was of petite build, so Lyra’s first impression was that Celeste was the kind of ‘fragile girl that needed protection’. But if she was selected to participate in this competition, that couldn’t be true.
“On your positions…,” the MC said after he finished introducing both teams.
Both teams immediately assumed their battling stances.
Several actions happened simultaneously. Lyra immediately unsheathed her magic sword, Altaire taking out and twirling his dagger, Clavis jumped out to attack Kiri who immediately blocked his hands or claws with sword, Luca grabbed his rapier while Celeste put her hands in front of her as a magical light ball appeared in her hands.
“Go first, Lyra,” Altaire smiled.
“Then, I won’t hold back!” Lyra said as she ran towards Altaire, summoning the cold air around her sword—some manifested into ice particle.
The moment she inched her gap with Altaire, Lyra swung her sword, summoning several icicles that were hurled to Altaire.
Altaire dodged some and blocked some with his knife, while his other hand summoned his [Void] magic to devour the remaining icicles to the emptiness.
At the same time, Celeste unleashed her magical light ball towards Luca. As Luca dodged it, Celeste immediately casted another ball. This hindered Luca from approaching Celeste smoothly. Luca finally decided to stop and counter Celeste’s light balls with his fire balls, sending them to Celeste. The impact from the fire ball and light ball caused the area around them to be covered in smoke.
Luca made use of this opportunity to run closer to Celeste, who was trying to endure the heat from the fire balls that passed her as she tried to adjust her vision.
Seeing Luca who suddenly leaped towards her with his rapier, Celeste immediately summoned a light wall that blocked his attack. In an instant, Celeste teleported to another spot.
Meanwhile, Kiri was blocking Clavis’ rapid attacks using his sword, concentrating on seeing Clavis’ movements as Clavis tried to attack him using his claws and kicks. After a while, he found an opening and removed his sword from blocking Clavis’ attacks before he thrusted the sword to Clavis. Thanks to his quick reflexes, Clavis managed to dodge the attack before the sword injured him.
The tables had turned, as Clavis was now on full defensive mode while Kiri was on the aggressive side.
The audience was surprised to see an intense battle right from the very beginning, especially when they saw an unknown magic casted by Altaire. It was so shocking to see, especially to outsiders. Some who had heard the rumour about a [Void] magic user was initially sceptical, but they couldn’t deny the reality anymore.
“Lyra-chan’s initial stance and the way she rushed towards Altaire seemed similar to your family’s style, don’t you think? But then, her next actions lost that characteristic,” Nicole commented.
“Really?” Clyde asked back.
“It might be a coincidence, right? Big Sis Lyra’s movements there are quite fast. Dad’s style isn’t that quick,” Ein commented, as he had learned a bit from his father.
“Hmmm, really? Isn’t it just a quickened form of the same stance?” Nicole wondered.
“Mum, then it is a different style already,” Ein explained.
“Is that so? Well, I don’t really understand swordsmanship after all. I only can deduce from my memory,” Nicole smiled.
In the battlefield, Lyra successfully made Altaire focused on her icicles attack, so she immediately launched her next attack.
[Frêosan!] (Freeze) Lyra said as she focused her magic on her feet and kicked Altaire’s feet.
“Whoa!” Altaire was caught off guard and got his balance disturbed. It was at this time that he felt extreme coldness from the ground that extended to his feet.
Altaire smiled for a moment before he countered.
The ice formation was immediately stopped and the formed ice immediately broke apart before they disappeared.
“…kh!” Lyra half-expected this to happen, so she glanced to her surrounding a bit.
By this time, Kiri and Clavis’ attack-and-defense melee combat had come to a halt as the two of them was separated by a distance. Several red marks appeared on Clavis’ face as her claws turned stronger and bigger.
“You’re not bad! But let’s end this, shall we?” Clavis was clearly using his [Blood Fervor] art.
Kiri glared seriously at Clavis as he tightened the grasp on his sword, fixing his stance.
Meanwhile, Luca successfully approached Celeste and unleashed his rapier to attack her—only to find himself jumping into light air as Celeste’s figure dissolved. Fortunately, Luca managed to land safely as he immediately turned behind him—Celeste was already there, separated by a few distance, casting several light rays heading towards Luca.
‘Light particle manipulation, huh?’ Luca quickly realized what Celeste just did. She had teleported behind him long ago, but she manipulated the light particles to give the illusion that she was right in front of her.
Lyra decided that it was time for her to use the strategy they had discussed before, so she jumped and used her [Wind] magic just to bring her to the center of the field. There, she quickly touched the ground with both of her palms.
As she chanted, the ground was immediately covered by ice, starting from her palms as the source. A thin layer of ice covered the whole battlefield in no time.
Lyra then concentrated to make the ice cover the opposing team members’ feet as well.
“Thanks!” Luca smirked as he used the thin layer of ice beneath him to glide, dodging all of Celeste’s light rays.
Altaire saw that the ice continued to rise from his team’s feet. Lyra was planning to end this match by freezing all of them, thus unleashing huge amount of magic to accomplish this feat.
But there was no way Altaire would let that happen.
After smiling in pride to his sister, he unleashed [Void] magical miasma that enveloped the whole battlefield.
As the miasma disappeared, the whole battlefield was devoid of Lyra’s previous [Ice] magic and returned to how it was before.
Perhaps expecting this, Lyra decided to let it go and focus on taking Altaire. She started to freeze the ground in order to trap Altaire’s feet—but even when she touched her palm to the ground, it did nothing.
“Hehe, confused? I made the ground absorb my [Void] magic, so you won’t be able to change the battlefield anymore,” Altaire smirked.
“…So you can also do that?” Lyra learned something new about her own brother’s magic today.
“Yeah, I never really used this magic, you know?” Altaire said, confirming the fact that it was still natural for Lyra not to know about this magic.
Lyra refused to waste any word as she decided to fight Altaire close-ranged. She rushed to Altaire and swung her sword right away, that Altaire blocked immediately with his dagger.
“Now you want a bout of physical combat? Sure,” Altaire said as he jumped backward and immediately attacked with his dagger.
Still, Lyra’s swordsmanship technique triumphed over Altaire. She managed to easily block and avoid Altaire’s attacks and turned the tide again.
Altaire began to feel that Lyra’s sword attacks overwhelmed him.
He always knew that when it came to pure physical combat, perhaps Lyra was even better than him.
Therefore, he decided to put some distance between them before he threw his dagger up and—suddenly, his daggers multiplied as they were suspended in the air. Then, at the same time as Altaire swung his hand towards Lyra, all the daggers flew towards her.
Lyra managed to disarm all the upcoming daggers in front of her—but she didn’t notice that Altaire’s real dagger was hidden by his illusion magic, aiming at Lyra’s sword. When the moment was right, the dagger was reinforced with [Wind] magic and flew at high speed at Lyra’s sword—thus disarming her sword.
As a result, both Altaire and Lyra’s physical weapons were planted on the ground.
“Ah…,” Lyra reacted quickly and was about to retrieve her sword when Altaire’s [Void] ball hindered her from doing that.
“Let’s go all magic then,” Altaire smirked.
“Uh… Alt-nii…,” Lyra felt a little bit upset at Altaire, since she was so close to winning if they continued their melee combat.
Meanwhile, Clavis and Kiri were still going at attack-and-defense switching. However, it was already clear that Kiri was quite worn out.
Clavis’ physical strength and speed as a beastman—no, as a werebeast—was several times stronger than a normal human’s like Kiri, after all.
It was only a matter of time that Kiri was defeated. Kiri was only hoping to stall the time now, wishing that his friends would be able to finish their enemies and help him.
He wanted to keep Clavis occupied with himself for as long as his stamina could permit.
But at this time… Kiri started to feel dizzy.
As for Celeste and Luca—Celeste didn’t give any opportunity for Luca to get close to her, as she knew she wasn’t able to compete in a close-ranged combat against Luca and his trained swordsmanship.
By this time, Luca already regretted that he was hiding his [Dark] magic. He began to think that perhaps it was time to reveal his magic and ask Lyra about hers, as well. After all, what could counter Celeste’s strong [Light] magic might as well be his [Dark] magic.
[Fîn stânhege] (Fire Wall)
Luca then casted a fire wall that trapped Celeste inside.
Celeste recoiled a bit as she didn’t expect Luca to take this action, but she quickly figured a way out of this fire wall.
[Lêohte clustor] (Light Barrier)
A radiant light enveloped Celeste’s whole body completely as she escaped from the fire wall.
Luca had already expected this kind of counter, but he didn’t think that Celeste’s reaction was as quick as this. Thus, he failed to give another attack to the trapped Celeste.
[Fîn Hearmloca] (Fire Prison)
Luca’s magic spell just increased in level. This time, his flames completely covered Celeste—from her front, back, sides, and even above. It was like a box of fire just engulfed Celeste.
The audience cheered at the crown prince’s strategy as they were thinking that perhaps Celeste was done for.
Since this spell also consumed quite a lot of mana, Luca thought that he could finally assist either Kiri or Lyra. He started to walk away towards Kiri’s direction when suddenly, a weird voice was heard from the direction where Celeste was.
When he turned to look at the fire prison he made, there wasn’t anything different. But then, a blinding light started to escape from the fire prison before it finally expanded out from the middle of it. It was at that time Luca finally understood what was happening. Celeste was using light blast from herself to destroy the fire prison. The light blast expanded until it completely destroyed the prison.
Thus, Celeste’s free figure came to view—though it was apparent she looked slightly more fatigued than before.
‘A tough opponent, huh?’ Luca thought as he took this more seriously.
Lyra and Altaire were still fighting using their magic by this time. Lyra even created a sword using her ice magic and inched closer to Altaire as Altaire always tried to touch the sword and erase it. But from their positioning, Lyra could see what was going on with Luca and Celeste.
So, we really have to go all out, huh?
After getting her ice sword erased again for the umpteenth time, Lyra jumped back and distanced herself from Altaire this time. Altaire was surprised by Lyra’s change of strategy and thought that his little sister was going to do something else.
Sure enough, Lyra created swirling ice from her hand that transformed into countless ice swords that were flying.
“Copying my dagger strategy but with ice magic?” Altaire asked as he started to charge his energy in order to bring all of the ice swords to oblivion.
“Go!” Lyra commanded, and the ice swords flew to Altaire’s direction right away.
“Too bad!” Altaire dodged some and created a ‘black hole’ using his [Void] magic, consuming the ice swords in its vicinity.
Altaire thought he held the winning hand, but when he saw Lyra smile, he noticed that something was wrong.
He trailed Lyra’s eyes and glanced behind to see that there were several stray ice swords!
Lyra’s objective wasn’t really him—it was Celeste!
“Celeste!” Altaire quickly shouted, warning her as he continued to maintain his ‘Void’ black hole. It was too bad he couldn’t create a stronger version of it yet—since if he could, the ice swords wouldn’t stray off to Celeste. If only he was stronger, he would be able to divide his power and concentration to dodge, maintain the void black hole, and summon some void balls to help Celeste from the ice swords.
Celeste was still focused on fighting Luca, so when she saw the upcoming ice swords, she wasn’t prepared at all. She was still maintaining her repelling light magic in front of her in order to ward off Luca.
Unexpectedly, Altaire decided to fling his void black hole to the ground, causing a weaker void spell that formed a wall instead. At the same time, he quickly did a short teleportation spell and positioned himself shielding Celeste from the ice swords. Then, he instantly put his hands in front of him as he created [Void] barrier in front of his hands.
It all happened so quickly. Some of the ice swords managed to break through the void wall he built and grazed his side instead.
“…!” Lyra, Celeste, and Luca were all surprised by Altaire’s sudden and quick actions.
Lyra was thinking of helping Luca bring Celeste down first so they could face Altaire together or so Luca could assist Kiri who seemed like he almost collapsed soon. Just look at how his defense was falling apart and how Clavis just successfully landed a kick on him.
She also thought that Altaire would focus on protecting himself, making his fighting power 100% as that seemed to be the more advantageous option compared to decreasing his fighting power by getting hurt protecting Celeste. After all, Celeste was already quite fatigued after her fight with Luca.
It was clear that Altaire was the strongest in his team and was his team’s ace.
“Altaire!” Celeste noticed Altaire’s wound and called out in concern.
“I’m fine! Just focus on Luca, I’ll take Lyra’s attacks!” Altaire said.
“Here you go!” Lyra quickly recovered from her surprise and whirled a strong ball of ice magic towards Altaire.
“Not so fast!” Altaire shouted back as he whirled a strong ball of void magic as a counter.
The two balls clashed in the middle, bringing impact to its surrounding before they disappeared.
It seemed like Altaire’s void magic ball disappeared after it brought Lyra’s ice magic ball to oblivion.
The two of them assessed the amount of power needed to defeat the other at the same time as they launched yet another magic balls that seemed to be stronger than before.
Second try ended up the same.
Now was the time for third try. Both of them seemed to be chanting and perfecting their magic balls longer than before. Their magic balls were considerably bigger than before.
“Now…!” The two of them swung their hands at the same time to whirl their magic balls toward each other. They totally didn’t feel the looming darkness that stealthily positioned itself between their magic balls’ track…
The battle was quite intense and all the audience were so absorbed in this exciting battle—including the mysterious chancellor, Sarrifissia.
But the moment the Hartmann siblings were about to whirl their strongest magic balls, Sarrifissia noticed an unsettling presence that she was quite familiar with. She instantly opened her red eyes and stood up.
“Now!” As the Hartmann siblings’ voices could be heard, Sarri finally clarified that the disturbance she felt came from… the battlefield!
Thus, she immediately shouted in a grave voice, “HALT THE BATTLE!”
Everyone was so surprised, including the battling teams as their concentrations were broken. They immediately turned to look at Sarrifissia. However, the balls were already headed towards each other.
Out of a sudden, a magical beast appeared in the middle of the battlefield. The beast floated with its almost transparent bottom. It was wearing a purple magician’s coat as a pointed hoodie covered its head completely. From the sleeves, two arms’ bones floated out, ending with claws that were extended to receive both of the balls.
As a result, the balls clashed against the beast’s claws before they finally disappeared. Unbeknownst to everyone, a looming dark shadow that was leaking out from beneath the ground then weakened before it disappeared without a trace.
Looking at the terrifying beast that popped out of nowhere, Lyra still retained her curiosity and tried to peek into the beast’s face.
Before she could take a good look at its face, she was assaulted by terror, so she immediately turned her face away.
By this time, Sarrifissia already landed on the battleground, finding her way to the beast that just interfered—it was her Familiar.
“Ermengild, good job,” Sarri sad as she stroked her terrifying Familiar gently.
Then, her expression turned stern as she looked at the others. Her usually closed eyes were still open—and her peculiar red eyes could be seen clearly by the people in the battlefield. There seemed to be a part of her red eyes that were darker—like they were black and formed a certain pattern… ‘y’?
Before Lyra could even think more about it, Sarri’s eyes were closed tightly again.
She then announced, “There was someone who wanted to disturb this competition with a malicious killing intent. Therefore, I sent Ermengild to interfere. Please forgive me for doing this, but I shall declare this competition as a tie and the next highlighted battles should be postponed. All staff, we are going to inspect everyone here. Nobody is allowed to leave.”
It was like a lightning in a clear day. Everyone was surprised and an uproar broke immediately. The battling teams didn’t have any clue that there were such things, not even Altaire and Lyra who were almost involved in the action.
“Whoa, really? That’s so scary!”
In the audience’s seat, Elise covered her mouth with her hand as she tugged on Yanze’s coat.
She didn’t even notice that Yanze looked peeved as if someone wronged him—perhaps it was due the hoodie that covered his face.
How could she detect that?!
Yanze had never expected there would be someone who could detect Miseria’s presence here, when Miseria was in her stealth mode.
Lyra and her friends returned to the waiting room as the staff were examining and healing them as well. Sarrifissia, Ermengild, and the other staff were inspecting the people present in the Colosseum one by one.
However, there was no result. Sarri could no longer detect that presence she felt before. She thought she could pinpoint the person involved in all this based on ‘her’ presence that she could feel if ‘she’ returned to her ‘host’ or helper.
Could ‘she’ have thought of this, thus leaving whoever her helper was?
Sarri could only bite her nail in frustration.
Since there was no longer a trace of the ‘fallen goddess’’ presence that she felt before, Sarri finally gave her permission to resume the activities, but she strictly asked everyone to be more wary.
After this, she also personally patrolled the academy along with her Familiar. However, the outcome was still the same—null.
When Lyra and her friends were able to roam freely, they went to where the adults were. Cyan and Cassie were especially worried for their children and immediately hugged Lyra and Altaire. The two of them seemed to have an idea about why Sarri acted like that.
Thus, they decided to remain a little longer as opposed to their initial plans of returning to work right after witnessing the children’s battle.
After making sure that the festival atmosphere returned to how it usually was, and since there was no more news from Sarri, also with their children’s assurance and urging to work, the adults finally left to work. They had also noted in their minds they should report this to the king—though the king might have already known about it and started to ponder over the matter.
In no time, this mysterious ‘almost’ incidence was quickly forgotten by everyone as their mind was focused on the remaining festival that they ought to enjoy today.