Great Wise Man's Beloved Pupil - Chapter 19
『The first duel of the year is finally about begin. Everyone! Are you all excited?!!!!!!!』
『Okay! Thank you for all your excitement! 』
The whole school was aware of the duel that was about to take place this afternoon. So, I already expected lots of people to be there, but I was expecting more of a solemn arena since this was supposed to be a duel after all…
“Eh? What’s with this atmosphere?”
I was standing by one of the two entrances to the arena. Blue Hair was also getting prepared at the other side across the central platform directly opposite to mine.
When I stepped through the doorway to the arena, I was suddenly overwhelmed by the heated atmosphere inside the venue. It felt like there was a festival inside.
“Everyone reacts the same way to this when they’ve never seen a dueling arena quite like this one, I’m relieved to see that you’re no different.”
Zest was also standing by the entrance to the arena for some reason. Wait, no, what does he mean he’s relieved? In what way? What does that even mean?
“You can think of [Duels] as a great opportunity for the students to use magic to their heart’s content. And at the same time, it’s a great show for the spectators to witness an all-out battle with no restraints. The second years are making a fuss since they already know about all this.”
So basically, it may be a duel for us but it’s just a show for them. That’s not so hard to understand now, is it?
“It certainly is a fun spectacle for some, but in this case, many students came here today just to see the outcome of the battle. The victor’s glory and the loser’s humiliation will be open for everyone to see. So don’t be mistaken. This is all thanks to you running your big mouth at the entrance ceremony.”
“In this case huh? To be honest, I was actually disappointed that no one picked a fight with me so far even after I said so much.”
Zest let out a troubled sigh.
“Even if they had the intention to, they probably would have waited for the first month to pass. That’s usually why the duels become more active after about one month into the start of the new school year.”
So basically, this is the timeframe to gather intel about the opponents before challenging them to a duel.
“If it weren’t for the headmaster’s request, I honestly wanted to witness the duel firsthand. I mean, that was the reason why I went through the tedious duel submitting procedure.”
Although it hadn’t been long since we first met, I already knew that Zest had a very serious attitude when it came to magic. He was a sloppy person in general, but if you put aside his private life, he was very meticulous when he was teaching in class.
Despite his casual language, If the question was serious, he would answer the students in the same manner. It was not a surprise that he had the headmaster’s full trust.
“Um, I know it’s kind of late to ask this now but, why is Zest-sensei here?”
“Obviously because I’m your homeroom teacher. Hyria’s probably with young master Ganoark on the other side.”
Zest pointed towards the opposite entrance to the arena.
“Alright, enough with the idle chatter, hurry up and head in. And I’ll be carefully observing your magic from here.
“But Alfie was called in to be the commentator, you know?”
“Don’t be silly. A magician is someone who uses their own eyes to see things and their own mind to interpret what they have seen. You can’t possibly rely on other people’s words.”
Rather than being serious about magic, it was more right to say that he was crazy about Magic. Actually, in that aspect, he was pretty similar to Great Sage Obaa-san.
“As your homeroom teacher, I hope that your declaration at the entrance ceremony wasn’t just all talk.”
“… I’m not sure if I can meet sensei’s expectations but I’ll do my very best to prove myself.”
I slammed my fist against the palm of my hand and strode into the arena.
As I stepped into the arena, the atmosphere surrounding me felt very heavy, as if some indescribable ‘weight’ was suddenly put on top of my shoulders. The heavy pressure was created by a myriad of curious gazes concentrated on just one figure, which was myself.
“This is great. I’m getting a little excited now.”
A great sense of excitement welled up in my heart, pushing down all the nervousness within.
『Here we have from the east gate, the star of today’s show! A freshman of the Noble class this year, Welcome! Duelist Reese Louiseeeeee! 』
『Among all the freshmen gathered here, he achieved the highest score in the school entrance exam this year! What’s more, he received the perfect score for not just the written exam, but for the practical exams as well! This is a rare feat no one was able to achieve for the past few years! And that’s not all, he is also notorious among the new students for his challenging speech at the entrance ceremony! Very notorious indeed! 』
Oy! That last part was unnecessary, even though it was kind of true.
… Come to think of it, they’ve been talking about that from a while ago, but who even was she?
『Ah I’m sorry, I almost forgot. Let me introduce myself. I’m Saldana Marksi and I’ll be your live host today. Actually, this duel will be my first live coverage. But I think there will be many opportunities to meet everyone in other duels soon after this. So, please take care of me in the future!!』
『Thank you for your enthusiasm! Ah, allow me to explain this to our new students, the job of a live host is to give a little dramatic commentary of the battle to keep everyone amused and entertained throughout the entire match. 』
No no no, that was neither amusing nor entertaining at all. Are you really going to be okay like this?
『In addition, we also have a guest commentator today. He is the person who achieved the 3rd place in this year’s entrance ceremony, another promising student among the freshmen this year. And more importantly, he also happened to be duelist Reese’s childhood friend. Everyone, please welcome Alfie Lightheart! 』
『…. Um, am I supposed to talk into it like this? 』
I heard Alfie’s voice. He was probably using the same loudspeaker magic tool that was used back in the entrance ceremony.
『Yes, just like that! So~ Let’s talk about placing 3rd in the entrance ceremony. That’s such an amazing achievement, isn’t it? 』
『Well, I’m just disappointed not being the first. 』
『Oh, we got a rather challenging remark right here. Perhaps you also plan to challenge Duelist Reese at some point? 』
『Of course, I will. 』
I finally found the press box after peering through the crowds for a while. It was located a little higher up from where the students were seated. Alfie was there, along with a high-spirited female student sitting next to him. 1 The press box is a special section of a sports stadium or arena that is set up for the media/hosts to report about a given event.
While I was looking up at them, another bout of loud cheering rang across the arena.
It seemed that the other party had made their appearance.
『Oooooh~, Here comes our next main character from the west entrance! Duelist Latos Ganoaaaaark!! 』
As I turned my gaze back to the front, my eyes caught sight of Blue Hair walking up to me with a brooding expression on his face.
『The Ganoark family, home to Duelist Latos, well-known throughout the kingdom for their prowess in water attribute magic. He may have missed out on entering the Noble Class this time, but even so, his results were still among the cream of the crop of this year’s new students! Depending on his future performance, entering the Noble Class wouldn’t be just a dream! 』
The Noble Class was a place only for those who received the highest results within their grade. And of course, If you failed to keep a consistent grade, you would naturally be transferred to other classes. It was an arrangement made for the other students with excellent grades to be able to climb up to those top positions.
『By the way, according to some information we had received, it seems that Alfie-san is aware of the circumstances behind why Duelist Latos had challenged Duelist Reese to a duel… Care to fill in the details? 』
『I have no comments on that. Besides, I don’t think it matters how it happened, after it already happened. 』
『W-what do you mean? 』
『Blue Hair challenged him to a duel and Reese accepted, and here we all are in this place. That’s all that matters. 』
It was a bit of a haughty remark, but when coming from Alfie, it sounded rather natural. Shrill voices resounded from the audience seats.
『S-so cool!!? Eh, wait, this guy is really, he’s too cool! He’s younger than me but he’s just so handsome! Ah, why don’t we have a meal together after this is over? We can start off as friends— 』
『Get back on the live feed. 』
『Yes! I’ll ‘get back to work’ right away! Aaaa~ even such a cool reply can numb my heart. Oh! But don’t worry, I take my job very seriously! Rest easy. 』
We can’t rest easy at all…