"You were right Zero... She really is a witch."
The attack happened so suddenly that there was a slight pause of silence afterwards as no one had really processed what had occurred yet. The announcer stammered to continue his broadcast until finally getting his bearings and saying, "A DEVASTATING ATTACK BY HERA SHIBUKI, HOW WILL MURPH AND JAYLEEN RESPOND?" Upon hearing the announcer, the crowd finally realized what had occurred and started cheering wildly yet again.
Jayleen clutches her broken net around her ribcage which is now stained red with blood. "You bitch, you won't get away with this." Jayleen shakily raises her crossbow over to a smiling Hera before having her wrist pushed down by Murph.
" We resign."
"What!? Murph what are you saying, we --"
"We lost Jayleen, come on."
"WE HAVE A RESIGNATION LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, A DOMINATING DISPLAY FROM HERA AND GARU."
"NOOOOOOO MUPRH! WHY resign?! Man I really wanted Murph to win Glare, I can't believe he got eliminated so quickly," cried out Zero.
"You never listen do you, Zero? He did the right thing, another attack from her and they would have been in serious trouble. They lost the battle but not the war."
"What do you mean? They took him out in the first round!" continued to cry out Zero.
"Tsk. You really didn't pay attention did you. There's a loser's bracket, he's not out yet."
"Wait, you mean there's still a chance for him?" sobbed out Zero
"That's what I'm trying to tell you, he played it smart. Had he taken any more injuries he probably would have had a tough time in the loser's bracket even with the medical assistance. He chose to back out now and fight better prepared. I'm sure we'll see more of him."
Twelve more fights transpired after that one and whilst they entertained the audience and put up good fights, people seemed a bit underwhelmed.
"These other kids are quite good but..." "It's that girl from Gemmare isn't it? She's too strong!" "Is she really a newbie?" "Why's a girl from Gemmare in the Tenmori tournament anyways, something feels off."
No matter the fight, people just couldn't stop talking about that Hera's display. Hera would win, everyone was sure of it.
"It's our time to shine Zero, don't slow me down."
"Don't slow you down? Need I remind you that you've never beaten me in a race."
"Well lucky for me it's not a race."
"ON THE WEST SIDE ALL THE WAY FROM ROOT HAVEN WE HAVE GLARE HAORU AND ZERO KUROGANE.
As Glare and Zero begin to walk out into the arena, their childlike wonder overtakes them once more as they've never been in a stage so large before.
"Hey isn't that the cook from that restaurant we went, Garu?" pondered Hera as she watched from the stands.
"Hmmm, no I'm pretty sure the cook was a red head."
"That's true... Maybe his brother?"
"AND ON THE EAST SIDE WE HAVE TENMORI'S MOST LOVEY DOVEY COUPLE RAINIER AND CARTER."
Two men walk out holding hands and waving at the audience. They wear matching outfits of long pink pants, a white shirt with a big pink heart drawn in and matching sunglasses.
"Prepare for trouble boys, the Passion Duet is gonna make some noise!" sings out Rainier.
"3... 2... 1... Show us your fighting spirit!"
Glare is a kind, modest, loyal and hard working person. But there's one thing that really transforms him into a different person entirely. Competition. Glare is a sore loser and above anything he wants to excel at any competition. Whether it was showing off his skills or to silence all the people saying Hera would win or even to tease Zero, who knows, but the events that followed after the announcer began the fight ended far too soon for anyone to follow.
In the blink of an eye, Glare took out his Bow, charged two spiritual light arrows and shot them towards the couple. The couple quickly reacted and sidestepped the shots much to Glare's surprise.
"Non non! Too predictable Hun!" yelled out Carter.
"Howling Gale!" Screamed out Zero as piercing winds pushed behind them changing the directions of the arrows and landing critical hits. Rainier was just about to blurt out some rhyming sentence but his words were replaced by coughed blood. Confused, he looked down to the pierced skin by the winds and the gaping wound left from the spiritual arrow.
"AN ELOQUENT DODGE FROM THE PASSION DUET! Wait... They're unconscious?" Noticeably the announcer and the crowd were confused as the attack was even faster than the water slice from before. "AMAZING! I DON'T KNOW HOW THEY DID IT BUT THE PAIR FROM ROOT HAVEN ARE VICTORIOUS, WHAT A MARVELOUS SHOW OF SKILL."
"Whoa who are these kids? I thought only that girl was interesting but what even is this?" "Are these really rookies?" "Who do you think will win? That girl from before or these two?"
The tournament's mood had now shifted. A competitive spirit resurged.
"Oh? Interesting... Glare Haoru and Zero Kurogane. This might actually be a little interesting. Garu be a dear and get me another beer please, I'm starting to feel excited."
"Those cowards? Psh. All they do is attack from afar with their bow and arrow and a little breeze. They won't get through this thick skin baby" as Garu flexes his biceps while passing a beer and opening one for him.
"Big talk from someone who got whipped by a frog."
"Tsk. Please, I just felt bad for the weird thing, I knew we had it under control."
Hera gets close to Garu as she embraces her arm around his neck. "Listen here dear, you start feeling bad for killing the rats in your home, they'll kill you by poisoning your food. Showing mercy is the same as showing weakness. You're not weak are you?"
Garu stammers as he is completely wrapped up by Hera. "Of-of-of course n-not."
"Exactly, from here on in, I expect perfection from you, no more mistakes. Okay?" says Hera with a suspiciously charming smile.
"R-r-right. You got it."
Second round of the tournament started shortly after that. In the winner's bracket, another series of wipeouts led by Hera and Glare. The expectant air for their projected semi-finals match continues to grow.
"Could you please stop naming your attacks Zero, that's gonna bite us in the ass one day."
"You worry too much Glare! Think about future Spirit Threaders who hear my attacks and get inspired."
"Sigh. We're doing fine so far I guess."
"Glare, the real question is, are we actually prodigies? This is a lot easier than I thought it would be."
"Truth be told, I expected a lot more competition as well. That being said, that Hera chick is probably gonna be a good match."
"I'll be much more than a good match for you dear." says Hera as she struts towards them.
A shiver rolls down Zero's spine as he turns around to meet her gaze.
"You're definitely right that everyone here are a bunch of weaklings. This generation doesn't care about becoming stronger, they all think Lyra will protect them forever." says Hera as she trails her finger around them. "But you... You're different aren't you?"
"It's not just us, careful who you underestimate Hera." retorts Glare.
"Glare's right! Not everyone thinks that way. Murph is strong, just watch!" Screams out Zero as the loser's bracket begins and Murph heads once more to the stage.
"LADIES AND GENTS, AS NIGHT DRAWS TO A CLOSE, OUR FINAL FIGHT BEGINS. THE MYSTERIOUS MURPH AND JAYLEEN VERSUS THE PASSION DUET CARTER AND RAINIER... 3... 2... 1... SHOW US YOUR FIGHTING SPIRIT!"
"Zero's right about one thing, not everyone here is a weakling, just look." Everyone's eyes shift towards Murph's undeniable determination.
"Our comeback begins now, Jayleen."