Chapter 3:

3 - Kingdom of Dalmatia - The bet on the last day of school part II

Angel of Death

Part 2 - The tournament starts and the coin falls

Slowly the audience is filling the arena up, the crowd's excitement can be heard all the way to the top floor.

"Hm, seems the main event is starting soon," Scarlet says as she signals with her hand to a nearby a guard. Him seeing that slowly approaches the two of them.

"I have a bad filing about this but fine, what is the bet about then? "

As Grey agrees to be part of his Queen's little schemes. The guard approaches them greeting Grey - by bowing his head - and answers in a respectful tone.

"My Queen?"

"Tell her to get ready and have Marija start the first match as agreed"

The guard seemingly understanding who the Queen meant and quickly bows his head                - showing he understood - and leaves the room to finish the task given to him.

As Grey silently watches the guard and the Queen interact after that he asks.

 "So, mind telling me what the plan is? Or is it obvious to all present but me"

"A yes you see I would like to arrange a match between that girl of yours and one of my own if that's not much to ask?"

Not like he has a choice having agreed to it already he just indicates she should continue on.

"Of course not for free it's a bet after all. So I would like to place some coin on it"

"That's fine with me. Tell me how much do you plan to lose. I mean bet" Showing his confidence quickly but the Queen does not fall to his provocation.

"23 big gold coins"

"23 what?" That statement caught Grey by surprise enough that he started to rethink his decision for a moment.

Dalmatia's currency conversion is as followed; 

1 big gold coin equals at 12 gold coins

1 gold coin equals at 37 silver coins

1 silver coin equals at 43 copper coin 

As Grey reviles the business sense of a seasoned treader, he quickly calculates the worth of it in silver which is the most commonly used currency by treaders and the preferred way of paying for quests by the guilds.

"That's 10 212 silver coins. What?" As he reviles a surprising yet distrusting expression on his face.

Scarlet turns back and sits down in her chair as she does that one of the guards approaches with a small wooden box and places it on the table next to her, opening it and reviling the content of the box.

The glow radiates just enough that even from the window Grey quickly realizes what the guard just broth forth.

"Its all here check for your self" Giving her permission Grey approaches the box and checks the coin. Picking one of them he glances over it checking the weight and the purity. 

Being skill at such things was thought and honed to perfection by his grandfather years ago.

"Well, sure enough, it's.... well. As you say then again, no need to check if it's from your I guess"

Old habit dying hard, his grandfather's habit of checking and evaluating the coni sure enough past on to him - even tho it's a bit unnecessary to check seeing it being the Queen's coin and all that -

"Good, then I believe we have a deal right?"

"No problem with me but, tell me I was not expecting such a sizable amount of coin. " As he thinks about it now he realizes he has no need to put the same amount of coni and just as he was about to ask.

"O, just. Just put the usual" Scarlet expresses her self all happily, even brightening her smile.

"One golden ticket it is then, so mind telling me the who my Lucy will fight against?"

"Of course that goes without saying"

After explaining the plan Grey seemingly just nods - as to approve - and quickly leaves to find Lucy.

The arena becomes quiet and all eyes focus on the woman approaching the center stage.

Her feminine features caught the attention of every man and woman alike, the slim body reveals a beautiful figure under her black kimono with red and orange flower patterns. 

And her long hair that's tied up has a flower in it, matching the flower on her kimono one can not help but notice her tail that's slightly above ground waiving back and forth as she walks, along with her cat ears that are twitching slightly from time to time.

The eyes revile a bright blue color matching the brightness of her skin the only accessory on her is a small chain neckless on her neck.

She is accompanied by a small grey cat that she is holding gently in her arms, yet despite that, she moves swiftly almost soundless across the stage stopping in the middle.

"Dear guest and students of the academy, it is my honor to open the first match of the tournament" The voice spoke reviling a soothing tone escaping from her lips.

"As many of you know I am Prime minister Persa and today will be the acting judge for the tournament, on behave of Queen Scarlet I thank you all for coming today and, of course, extend my congratulations to today graduate students" Persa elegantly bows down to the audience and once again turns facing the top - VIP room - where the Queen is watching from.

Shortly after that, the arena explodes in applause revealing the kingdoms Prime ministers popularity and approval she enjoys among the people.

Persa raises her hand slightly the crowd falls silent, shortly after that she points to the right corner and announces the first competitors. Seeing who stand there a smile escapes her and with a cheerful ton, she continues.

"From the right corner one of the academy finest, and among this year's honor student Lucy Halbell along with another fellow student she is one of the today youngest graduates under professor Rose's personal watchful eye she has finished top of her class at the tender age of 66 and is today's student representative - leader of this year's honor students - once again please welcome miss Lucy Halbell"

The rumored Halbell girl that was one of professor Rose top student and this academy rising star, there have been rumors and talks of the army waiting to recruit her. Despite her unusually young age - most races tend to measure their lives in century some even tend to live well beyond a millennium so one is still considered a child until they reach 100 years age at least in the Kingdom of Dalmatia that is - more precisely the 7th Hunters and the 2nd Titans.

Seeing as the 2nd Titans General along with a few of her captains was talking to her this morning, and among the military officials present a captain of the 7th can be seen sitting in the front row.

There must be some truth to those rumors, of course, various clans and guilds have their eyes on her none the less. If the person with the front row - judge Persa - view decides she wants her not even the Generals or various clans can do something about it.

As the somewhat hard to ignore whispering and excitement can be heard from the audience, Lucy approaches the stage.

The stage was sizeable enough for 10 people to fight on at the same time, but when takin into considerations Lucy's - and here opponents - overwhelming ability it was only natural they would fight on the biggest stage.

As she approaches Lucy's nervousness starts to slightly show after all nobody told her that judge - big sis Marija - Persa would be the one to overs the match.

"My Lucy, you truly have grown up, it's been what 10 years?"

"7 years to be precise master- " As Lucy, bows respectfully while answering her question.

Persa puffs and pouts, and says harshly but without the somewhat expected strict tone. " It's bis sis Marija did I not tell you that last time, I know we are in public but. Nobodys gonna hear us if we talk in a normal tone of voice" Meow as if agreeing with Persa the small cat also voices her opinion.

"It's as you say. Big, big sis Marija my apologies"

Nobody would be expecting much less the people present but the Prime minister of Dalmatia and this little girl have a deep and long connection with one another, evident by the relaxed ton of there conversation and the reason why she was so nervous when she saw the judge for the match.

"Tell me Big sis are you in on this, or?" The question obviously referred to her master's previous orders.

Simply understanding what Lucy meant she answers in a sly tone of voice. " No, not really. I'm on the orders from the Queen here." As she turns toward the left corner indicating that she plans to announce the opponent Lucy cuts in before that.

"I see good, it would be a shame to have to retake your ticket, of course, that is only if you were part of his schemes - seemingly saying that her instincts tell her something is fishy - I just hope he does not do something stupid"

Obviously, to a third party, this might have sounded like a threat - to the Prime minister - from a little girl yet, Persa having turned her back to her already, slightly shakes her body in fear the cold sweat seemingly from her arms and forehead indicate some sorta reaction. Tilting her head up - towards the VIP room - she whispered.

"I swear Grey if this cost me my yearly ticket. Shes serious here ahhh" Releasing a long sigh at the end she continues on with her previous intent.

"Announcing her opponent from the left corner" As all eyes moved to the left - in unison with Persa's hand - they gasped in surprise.

" Our special guest form the Takeda's school of Warfare and Combat  - Yamatos counterpart to Dalmatia's 1st Royal Military Academy - this years representative of the honor students              - Takeda's version of Lucy - it is my honor to introduce her majesty Princess Yuki I. Dragna" 

To all present, that name was very familiar even if she came as the representative of a foreign school, and on top of that as Yamato's representative. The crowd erupted in cheering and applause welcoming her whole hardly.

She is dressed in a knightly attire one very similar to the ones worn by the members of the 1st royal, her skin pure white eyes bright crystal blue color and her hair has a striking resembles as the guest of honor - in whose name this tournament is being held - the expression she carried was that of a leader and ruler, as an aura of power and authority accompanied her.

Approaching the two of them she bows to Persa and nods to her opponent, then turns - facing the VIP room - bowing a second time.

Among the cering audience, one particular group drowns out the rest with cheering. They were the members of the 3rd and the 1st division of the 1st Royal army lead by none other than General Emmor himself.

The reason for that is without question her identity Yuki I. Dragna the daughter of Queen Scarlet and the Kingdom of Dalmatia's 1st royal princes.

Being a member of the Dragon clan and royal family she is without a douth the future of the kingdom.

"Graduating at the age of 98 she has studied under the personal teachings of the Takedas school Headmaster Eziliy I. Takeda the Queen - Shougan - of the Yamato hawing also graduated from the 3rd Academy of Elemental Nature. - one of Dalmatia's four national academies - 

As well as this school graduate student - having graduated some 27 years ago - and one of my humble students as well" As Persa goes on the list of schools was just the beginning as the list of the people and individuals who have personal thot her in the fields of warfare, diplomacy, governance, economy and so on and on.

"Master Persa it is nice to see you again, I hope you're in good health" 

"You as well my princes, its been too long since your return home. Allow me to congratulate you once again on your success in Yamato"

The conversation between the two of them as they exchange words was a stern opposite to the one between Lucy and Persa.

Turning her eyes toward her opponent Yuki spoke - respectfully - "You must be my opponent, to finish top of the year under the strict teachings of professor Rose as well. It will be my honor to duel against you miss Halbell"

"The honor belongs to my humble self, to think I will get the honor to face your majesty it is a once in a lifetime chance, allow me as well to congratulate you on your safe return to your homeland my princes"

"Umu, just call me Yuki no need for formality you as well Persa. As if you need to speak such manner as one of my teachers your more then my senior in may ways yet"

The aura of dominance surrounding her reviles a humble and respectful side to her as Lucy quickly realized. She was not dealing with a stuck up prices on a high horse no she was dealing with someone who has years of experience and knowledge that will not allow oneself to underestimate her opponent.

"Then allow my humble self to introduce my self formally as well" Yuki indicates that she goes on.

"I'm Lucy Halbell graduate of the Warfare and strategy as well as self-defense and Economic governance division, currently my affiliation... " Hesitant to mention her clan because of their reputation yet knowing it would be disrespectful to her master who paid and arranged for her to attend the academy she continues. "Well I have yet to decide my choice but I wish to serve in her Queen's navy once my graduation is over. And please permit me to ask you to call me Lucy your majesty"

"I see that's impressive in of its self to finish three division under Rose no less"

"From the way you spoke you know Profesor Rose personally?" 

"A yes, yes. Of course, I do have studied under her years ago... that makes me your senior Lucy" As Yuki stats that Lucy smiles and nods in agreement.

"Then permit me to call you my senior" But behind her lovely smile, Lucy's mind already started to devise counter strategies and measures because she knows all too well what it means to be one of professor Rose students and as such her attitude gets serious.

"Dammit, master are you serious after that long ass resume on top of that she one of Rose's pupils, you truly got me into a fine mess," Lucy thinks to herself.

"Then shall we start?" Asks Persa and continues after checking with the both of them, as they nod in approval they both return to there respective starting positions on opposite side of the corners. 

"Good then the rules go by the standard once; use of weapons allowed, use of ability allowed victor will be decided if the opponent falls out of the ring or is unable to continue on or surrenders the match. There will be three rounds 10 min each victor is best out of three mache good luck"

Part 3 - The match starts and the coni falls

Lucy immediately assumes a fighting stance, keeping a fixed distance from her opponent she readies her arms in a fighting position ready to strike the moment a chance preset its self.

With watchful eyes, she inspects her opponent, seemingly not planning to move or make the first strike watching for Yuki to make the first move.

From the crowds, one can hear the excitement yet some voices their disappointment at the Halbell girl, seemingly indicating that she is scared of her opponent before they even fought.

"Come on Halbell, show us what you got" Yells one spectator and ads. 

"If you win even one match we will take you in the Nara guild"

Nara guild is one of the branch guilds of the main guild they are affiliated. The Sky guild, even so, Nara has a reputation as a fierce and strong guild, being situated near the northern border they have nurtured some of the best warriors that have later filled the ranks of the 1st Air fleet as well as becoming outstanding adventurers.

Becoming part of Nara grants oneself a secure future in the military and a safe life in one of the Sky city's something that many today are aiming for.  

Yuki on the other hand slowly approaches her, leaving her sword untouched and not taking any stance showing confidence and says - after the crowd starts to get louder and louder in their excitement-

"Well, I guess it's only proper, to give my junior a handicap" Raising her hand and pointing at Lucy she says "Come I will give you the first strike. It will make a good impression on them"

Both Persa and Lucy show a surprised look yet Lucy quickly regain herself, just moving to the side slowly circling Yuki - who was now in the center of the stage - keeping a safe distance she answers.

"No thanks, like I have any interest to impress a third-rate guild like Nara"

"Is that so" Having this brief exchange the both of them resume with the fight.

That was only proper as Yuki fighting with a sword she has a longer range then Lucy who fought barehanded. Even if she did not use her sword to Lucy that lookt like nothing more then a taunt to lure her in not just with that but with her words as well - Yuki's invitation to allow Lucy the first strike - meet no response.

"Ahh, have it your way then" Yuki rushes swift towards her aiming at her chest she throws a few light strikes but Lucy evades it and moves away.

Having felt the force behind those strikes Lucy knows that was not full power and remains on alert keeping a distance and watching the footwork and body movement of her opponent.

6 minutes have past aside from a couple of light exchanges and brief clashes nothing much happened.

The impatient of some in the audience can be heard, as they voice it.

"Really!? You bring shame to the school not even daring to attack once" And such as.

"Pathetic I expected more from Rose's pupil"

Hering that Lucy seems to not mind the boing and complaining and carries on.

Seeing that Yuki just before the first round ends she asks her. " Then, are you just planning to stay on the defense. I was expecting more from the top student of this school hmm, seems the standard has fallen quite a bit from my time." Trying to taunt her as well.

Lucy showing now intent to respond just stays vigilant in front of her.

"Well I guess I leave it at that, but next round" And with that, the first match ended in a draw.

As Yuki returned to her corner she passes by Persa who - just talking to her self- mumbles to her self.

"I guess that should be enough, for her" Reviling a lax and intriguing expression on her face.

Yuki seemingly not intending to respond casts a look on to the crowd, there she saw General Emmor and her clan members watching - the rest cheering on - yet Emmor silently watching his eyes fixed on Yuki's opponent.

Persa announces the next round, and much, in the same manner, the first five minutes pass.

Yuki clearly angry calls out to Lucy "So you intend to just run away again, I don't mind but do you think that someone wanting to join the kingdom's military can afford to show such pathetic behavior. You do know that General Emmor is watching this and various other military officers" Raising her hand to the side showing - pointing to - the VIP room and say.

"Especially the Queen herself do you intend to disgrace both of us"

Having the top room in the same line of sight as Yuki, Lucy's eyes slowly cast a look at them while keeping an eye on her opponent.

And then, she stops in her tracks for a brief moment she hesitates. Seeing this Yuki thought that the mentioning of the Queen watching and General Emmor as well put the young girl to the realization of her mistake.

But that was not it, what Lucy saw for a brief moment was - from the window watching the match - her master. At that moment she understood and somewhat realized why he wanted her to partake in the tournament, after having fought the princes she was sure of the reason for that all the more.

"Ahhh, yes yes I guess play time is over. Then better get this over quickly" Lucy says, the sense of urgency nonexistent in her voice. While relaxing her body she scratches her head.

Seeing this Yuki's fell and before she can even react to her field of vision, flips upside down and the image of her opponent becomes smaller and smaller.

The next moment was as confusing as the last.

"Mach over Lucy Halbell wins the second round"

The voice belongs to Presa, as Yuki heard that she came to her senses.

Upside down she crashes into the wall behind her - out of the ring - as if she was shent full force backward. To most of the audience watching it happened so quickly they did not know what was happening, yet the trained officers the General Emmor especially along with some of the guild masters realized immediately.

Lucy Halbell she looks human and her body strength and build indicate as such. But she possesses extreme strength and power none the less.

As a member of the Elemental race that is, she commands the ability to use two elements; earth and fire and bends them to her will.

That's the reason she fought barehanded was that she has no need for weapons, yet her opponent did not realize that and just acted on the confidence that her dragon body offered. 

Of course, the reason she did not notice was that Lucy did not give away herself any obvious way that is. She body movement indicated only the basic standard footwork - thought to recruits in the army - Yuki head no way to notice that her opponent was a member of the Elemental race.

Having realized what happened, of course immediately Yuki stood up.

Persa calls them both back to their starter position. But before that Lucy says something.

"Yes your right, but my advice to you is you take this serious as well. Senior... that is if you plan to get serious because I was from the beginning" The nice smile was gone instead a serious expression was in its place her eyes glaring at her.

As she walks away, she looks at the VIP room and mumbled to her self as she walked away.

"Can't believe you make me play that role of all thinks. I feel stupid for taking this serious"

Having heard that loud and clear Yuki snapped as if the last statement was an insult to her.

Dragons being prideful creatures in nature, such a thing as not taking a duel serious was an insult and disgrace pure as that.

As the next and last match started Yuki abandons all form of restriction and decide to go full force. Swing her sword quickly and swiftly - almost untraceable to the naked eye - and opens a barege of attack all aiming at Lucy's weak points and keeping the pressure she starts to push, and push and push not giving her a moment to relax. 

And then, then it happened.

"If you think that's going to help, your just exposing your self more" Lucy hits the ground with her left leg the impact causes the ground to shake, in the same moment the ground in a half circle shape raises - creating a wall- almost two meters in length.

With both hands in a fist motion, Lucy opens a flame attack directed at Yuki, being that she's a Dragon fire of that scale did little to nothing against her.

But it did block her field of vision and then it came, from the smoke and fire two hands emerged, one grabs Yuki's sword and the other coated in stone delivers a full force strike in the stomach.

"Urg, yo-you" Filling the backlash from the strike she took, Yuki takes a step back - tries to anyway - Lucy was still holding her sword not allowing her to move.

"That's as far as I go, master, any more would be just torture" 

"What!?" Before she got the next word out Yuki's vision fades to black, and in that darkness in a somewhat fuzzy tone, she heard.

"Mach over winner Lucy Halbell. One draw two wins overall winner Lucy Halbell"

The crowd in shook. Yet despite that, they saw such an amazing performance by the Halbell girl.

The applause that followed came only after one person broke the silence General Emmor stood up and in an act - of praise - applauded the winner despite everything he and the military personnel did see a fine display of skill and ability.

"And with that ill be taking my coin," Said Grey as he moved away from the window not even waiting to see the final blow.

"O, umu that's fine with me. But, truly I somewhat expected it yet seeing it my self that girl of yours leaves nothing to be desired.

"Well thank you, so the favor from before stands?"

"Of course it does, Grey my boy who do you think I am" Not bordered by what just happen the Queen returns to her seat and continues on. "Then again I did read the report, coming from you I thought you spoiled the two of them a bit in it. Seems I was wrong if the brother is the same as her then I have no problem writing the recommendation"

"Good, well no hard feeling about the coin, then again want to tell me why you did this?"

As she turns towards him Scarlet answers "What, your askt me for it. O, you mean the bet? Well I have my reasons"

"Is that so, fear enough then" Pocketing the coin all thief like.

"Grey send word for her, I would like to congratulate the winner."

"I understand my Queen" 

"And give her the good news personally as well" Showing a satisfied look on her Scarlet tells the guards to leave the room.