Chapter 4: Duel

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Log #524: Kingdoms

Both Devarden and Dominic are producers of Slayers and Guardians, although each does have their preference. Devarden excels at training the most proficient Slayers, while Dominic's Guardians are unmatched by any other. Those who chose to fight as their career in Devarden attend a school known as Sentinal Academy, and those who reside in Dominic with similar values join Patrel Academy. After four years, those from Sentinal are promoted to either Arcos or Mantle. Those who advance from Patrel Academy enlist in either Axiom or Rancor. The foremost mentioned in both kingdoms train their preferred fighter. Viscor, however, is still too young to prepare warriors for Chorus's wrath.

-General Elvira Ramos

0240 BPE

After everyone had successfully fused their personal weapons, we were given a week off to practice and formulate strategies and counters. On the second week of December, it was time to test our fighting skills and styles by taking turns in 1v1 duels against each other. There was no armor provided by teachers, just what we brought ourselves. Also, they enchanted our weapons with protective buffers to prevent fatal moves. Anything short of that was legal.

Throughout the entire week, Rosa had expressed minor concern over my potentially unhealthy levels of excitement, but as I waited in the red hallway with twenty other Juniors, the excitement quickly melted into anxiety: worry of who I was going to fight against, how I would counter their blows, and most importantly, how I was going to be victorious over whoever it was.

The hallway we were seated in was quite tall, some six or so meters to the ceiling. Two of the longest couches I had ever seen rested against the walls, reaching all the way across to the doors opposite to the arena. The door to said arena was reddish brown, with a golden handle and black outlines. The hallway was mostly red, but had some orange designs on the walls, making all sorts of strange patterns. With all the time and anxiety I had to manage simultaneously, I could probably relay every detail of this hallway, a week from now, to anybody who asked. Although the door was soundproof, I could easily imagine the sound of metal screeching against metal, and the cries from both fighters as they attempt to gain the upper hand.

It certainly didn't ease my anxiety.

After what seemed like an eternity, the soundproof door slowly opened a fifth time, revealing a brawny teenager with a halberd resting on his right shoulder. He stood easily at one hundred and eighty centimeters, scrawny dark-brown hair only reaching halfway down his skull. His armor was orange with brown highlights, and it somewhat resembled a football player's gear. Two large boots clanked against the ground as he strode smugly down the hallway, grinning at his obvious victory.

Matthew Boris, the behemoth of our class.

From the alarmingly short time the doors had been closed in that specific match, I cringed at the thought of a shrimpy kid stumbling out of the door opposite this one, or even worse, being carried out by a medic. Chills shivered down my spine as I proceeded to imagine that kid being me in five minutes. After all, I was up next.

Matthew patted me on the shoulder with his free hand, almost knocking me over. "Hey, good luck, kid. You're gonna need it," he jeered as we passed each other. He wasn't entirely wrong, since I was far from muscular, or even particularly strong. I was in good shape, but I'd never been especially flexible or strong. My best quality was being able to whittle away at my opponents until I discovered a weakness, and then finishing them.

As long as it's a large, clumsy foe or a somewhat inexperienced fighter, I should be in the clear, I silently prayed to myself. Knowing my luck, though, I probably just made things worse.

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