Chapter 31:

Round 1: Earn Your Place

Adventures of Zeleon

A week had passed since the unfortunate announcement that the Tournament was forcibly postponed due to the nature of Maeva and Leon's injuries.

But now, thanks to the advanced medical technology that Zelenia has, they've made a full recovery.

As Maeva woke up that morning she looked over at her still sleeping husband with a small smile. "You're in constant hibernation I swear. If it wasn't for me, you'd be a big, pudgy, laze. Even then, you'd still be cute though."

She stretched out letting out a squeaky noise before hopping out of bed. They were staying at a motel since her village was hours away from Zelenia, she opened the curtains and let the light in. She lightly smacked her cheeks using both hands as she let out an outburst. "I'm going to kick his ass today!!"

Her husband Robin stirred, focusing his eyes at his still half dressed wife pep talking to the world. "Are you hyping yourself in front of the balcony again? What if someone saw you dressed like that? It's only a third floor building."

"Hey! This is coming from a guy who suggested pressing me against the glass the other day was invigorating! You're lucky I healed properly!" She exclaimed as her face turned beet red. Robin hid under the covers not responding to her.

"Oh no you don't, you're gonna own up to it! Charge!!!" She tackled him in the bed and got a hold of his arm, pinning it to his back. In spite of being almost nine inches shorter, she was definitely the stronger of the two.

"Okay, okay! You win, I did thaaaat! Let me go now please!" He spoke desperately as she soon released him.

"That wasn't so hard~was it." She said teasingly as she quickly went to go into the drawers and get herself ready.

Robin got out of bed with a yawn, looking at his wife as she still seemed a bit nervous. "Would some food quell your nerves? I could order room service."

Maeva shook her head. "I might puke in front of everyone if I did that. But..I suck on an empty stomach. So...yeah go ahead. I'll eat all the veggies and light stuff."

"Alrighty dear. sure you're ok? You seem more stressed than usual."

"Ugh. I don't know. I think the week break did me a disservice. I had time to think and it's getting to me at the worst moment. Leon is a terrifying individual, if he had more experience and wasn't from Earth, he'd be the betting favorite." She sighed as she began getting herself into her combat outfit.

"Hmm. While he is a threat, try to make him overthink himself. He feels like he has even more to lose, actually….he might. The Queen and that Courtney girl are counting on him for a purpose, and he's going against the one he's feared. With you, the worst you can do is possibly disappoint me. Which isn't possible unless you didn't put everything and more into your dream." Robin explained in the best way he could.

Maeva smiled at him and pulled him into a gentle kiss on the lips. "This is why I love you so much. You kind of look like a villain with those red eyes, but you're the sweetest guy. Win or lose today, I always got you. But...I have to win. For my dream. And to make that twerp my sidekick!"

"Oh jeez, I forgot about that bet you made. What if you're his sidekick?" Robin asked with a sly tone.

"Then...I am. I'd have fun with him. He's a super good kid, his mom raised him well. He just has a complex with people, which I get. Humans are really awful sometimes."

"In that case, go into today at your best. Whatever happens, happens."


A few hours later, the Tournament was back underway. The Semifinals were set to begin.

The first match started by the time Maeva got there. She rushed back to the competitor's room somewhat out of breath.

"Damn. I could've been disqualified for that! Stupid broken clock, making me think I had time!"

She took deep breaths as she watched intently on the screen to see who she'd face if she defeated Leon. The outcome was over within ten minutes. Justice advanced to the Finals.

The black knight passed by Maeva in the tunnel, as she asked the question nagging at her for a while.

"Who are you?"

The knight didn't respond which agitated her a bit.

"Hey, who are you?!"

The knight didn't speak, but rather had a piece of paper that said. 'You'll see in the Finals.' With that, Justice walked away.

"You're damn right I will."

Maeva made her way out, as a sea of boos was already in progress, telling her Leon was out there. "Even now? If they only knew...maybe they'd respect him a bit."

As soon as she walked out an outburst of cheers exploded from the audience, she pulled the hood down off of her head. As she saw both Courtney and Robin sitting together in the front row.

"I can only imagine what that conversation is like. If he exposes my secrets the whip is gonna make a grand return."

She looked to Leon, as he was hopping up and down trying to get himself psyched up.

"What's wrong? Are you not confident enough? If you go into this half hearted you're banned from being my sidekick."

"I'm playing music in my head...I'd usually listen to it before something like this…"

Maeva laughed. "I'll send you home so you can."

"Not happening!" Leon retorted.


"I'm ready to show this kid his place!"

"Let's fucking get iiiiit!"


Maeva was eager to move, grabbing her weapons with her signature reverse grip as Leon unsheathed his broadsword.

She made the offensive push, making Leon backpedal immediately. Their weapons clashed with intensity as Leon frantically tried to block strike after strike, before the unthinkable happened, the broadsword actually broke from the constant attacks.

Her next blade strike almost cut his throat by accident as they both panicked. Maeva luckily caught herself and kicked Leon away from her.

He was gasping for air as his life flashed before his eyes. The audience gasped too, wondering how such a thing could've happened.

"Are you alright?! I almost killed you...I'm so sorry!!!" Maeva pleaded.

Leon caught his breath, looking at his blade. "No it's fine, I think I got screwed over. This blade looks damaged."

Atticus, who was in a little booth high above, let his voice be heard. "Leon would've had a death blow dealt to him. Maeva should be declared the winner!!!"

Maeva's eyes were in shock. "He declared me the winner? I won? No! Hell no! I'm not screwing him like that!"

"I REFUSE!" Maeva exclaimed.

Atticus was dumbfounded by her answer. "You what?! You won, didn't you hear me?!"

" have been rigging his luck from the start. He's taken the hardest path of anyone. You think I'm going to steal one like this?! I have dignity and honor! Leon deserves a fair shot to try his damndest!" The passion in her words touched everyone, and Leon, who had fallen to his knees in despair, looked at Maeva in shock.

Serena stood up. "This match will continue on. But will someone please give Leon a blade of worth?"

From out of the crowd, Varius rose and stepped his way down into the front row. He tossed another broadsword to Leon, with some fiery words to say. "If you fall to despair now, I'll never let you return to visit us again! Fight Leon!" He spoke with a growl, before returning to his seat.

Maeva reset herself as Leon drew the new blade, testing a few slashes after he got to his feet.

"You ready to go? That must've been a lot to bear." Maeva stated, as Leon took a deep breath.

"Two almost heart attacks in a few moments." Leon shrugged. "All in a day's work, right?"

"Heh, come on then. Attack me, or are you too startled to?" She taunted.

Leon went straight at her and struck with more precision than when they last met. Now Maeva was in trouble, using her smaller weapons to handle his heavier strikes.

"Wow. You really did get better didn't you? Well, so did I!"

On his next swing, she timed it right and blocked with only one blade, the other went to stab into him, or she made him think. As he moved back the stab became a punch in his freshly healed ribs.

He gritted his teeth as they were still very sore despite being healed. He returned fire with a headbutt, cracking his head into hers with force, making both of them stagger back afterwards.

"Not a bad save. You know what?" She paused as she sheathed her blades. "Let's give each other a fist or two."

Leon smiled as he sheathed the broadsword. "Let's dance."

Maeva had better burst speed than Leon, but he could dodge her attacks easier than before. She swung at him with more tact than Raize, but Leon was able to push her backwards, and swing a kick right into the back of her hamstring. She got stunned for a moment, as he kicked her in her other hamstring.

"He's trying to take away the burst in my speed, no matter, I'll bait him now!"

She moved in a similar way except slower, making Leon think he slowed her. He tried kicking her again, but she jumped upwards and punched him flush in the jaw. As soon as she landed, she chop blocked him in the back of the left knee, making it buckle before connecting a running knee strike across the temple.

Leon was down for a moment, he was still stirring but he was obviously dazed after the last hit.

"There's no way that'll keep him down but he'll definitely be slowed down now. My legs hurt right now, are they getting stiffer?"

Leon pulled himself back to his feet before falling a bit again. Maeva decided to catch him with a strong kick, but he caught her leg. He feigned his stumble to catch her, he hit her harshly in her thigh before releasing her and connecting with a step up knee strike.

She wouldn't go down, so he followed with a reverse elbow that knocked her on her ass.

"Well. I ate crow, didn't I? But...this is exhilarating!"

Maeva hopped to her feet in a wobbly fashion, but righted herself and put pressure on Leon again. The two began exchanging blows, some blocked, some connected. The audience was deafening, the two could barely hear each other despite being only a couple feet apart.

After their physical back and forth, Leon drew his broadsword again. Holding up two fingers in his free hand.

"Round two? So be it Leon!"

She charged Leon once again, drawing her weapons. The next phase was about to begin.