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The first match of the tournament faced a complete change from the initial street performance showdown as the match turned into a fierce battle.
The three Flaming Lions created by Pierre assaulted Marina from three directions.
If Marina was not strengthened by her second job, Hunter, she would have been wrapped in flames like Milky yesterday and suffered from severe burns.
However, there was a limit regardless of how much her status was enhanced.
The arrows shot from the Wind Bow had no effect on the Flaming Lions.
The Wind Arrow she just shot at the Flaming Lion blew away a part of it but it didn’t suffer from any damage at all.
“You’re quiteee good~! However, you should realize by nowww that my lions can’t be defeateddd~? Why don’t you considerrrr~ surrenderingg?”(Note: Don’t really know how to show the way he speaks, he pretty much just stretches the pronunciation for certain random words in the sentence.)
“Stop babbling with that strange way of talking. It’s certainly true that these Flaming Lions are my natural enemies ― but Pierre. Aren’t you at your limit too? I’m sure you can’t bring out more lions because that is the case. In other words, it is my victory once I defeat these three lions.”
“That’s right~ But, are you capable of defeatinggg them? When you can’t even see through the trick behind myyyyy Flaming Lions?”
“Hmph, I’ve already seen through it a long time ago. You used incombustible paper to create your Shikigami ― that’s all there is to it.”
Pierre’s expression distorted slightly.
Incombustible paper ― just like the word implied, it was a type of paper that can’t be burnt. By soaking paper in special chemicals, it would gain resistance towards heat.
By doing so, he was able to wrap the paper in ultra-high temperature flames and protect the Shikigami from its weakness ― flames. The remaining weakness would be water but,
“Your poker face has crumbled you know? Isn’t that a disqualification as a clown? You ought to be applauding how I splendidly saw through it instead.”
“I guessss a person talented in the art of magic tricks won’t serveeee as a good audience to it. Well then, have youuuu thought of a strategy? I’ll let you know beforehanddd that it is pointless to wait for the chemical effect to wearrr off! Sinceeee my Shikigami can burn for more than an hour.”
“I suppose ―”
Marina laughed but in actual fact, she was honestly waiting for its effect to expire.
There’s the possibility that Pierre was lying but her intuition was telling her that he was speaking the truth.
However, on the contrary, she had a sudden insight because of that.
The problem was if it was possible.
(I have reached the edge ― )
Marina had been chased to the edge of the arena.
From that position, it would be impossible to evade all the attacks from the three Flaming Lions. She should only have been left with the option of repelling the Flaming Lions with her Wind Arrows.
However, she lowered her bow.
Everyone accepted that Marina had lost from that action.
“Marina, that’s it, surrender! We will work it out somehow!”
Kanon shouted. As the tournament does not permit surrender on behalf of the participant, she urged Marina to surrender voluntarily.
But Marina quietly laughed and said.
“Pierre. What’s wrong? I’m right here ― are you not going to attack?”
Her statement made Pierre suddenly show a serious expression.
“True, it is an embarrassment as an entertainer to pause in the middle of a show ― I admire your spirit so I shall send you off with a fanciful last finale.”
He declared seriously as opposed to his usual fancy tone.
“Go, my Flaming Lions!”
The three Flaming Lions attacked Marina the same time he gave the command.
At that same moment, she also charged forward. Towards Pierre.
She grabbed the neck of her mantle and tossed it.
“You can’t prevent my attack with something like that!”
Pierre shouted as the three Flaming Lions tore through that mantle.
“As I had expected, the Flaming Lions have no will of their own. They can’t judge on their own ― That’s why I can evade the attacks from such lions even when I have been driven to a corner as they are just enormous flames in the shape of lions.”
Marina said and pointed her Wind Bow at Pierre.
“It’s my win.”
Pierre believed that those Wind Arrows would be targeted at him.
He was always behind the Flaming Lions so he wasn’t in a position where Marina could attack him.
However ― it was different now.
I’ll be shot ― he thought.
However, Marina turned her back to Pierre and shot two Wind Arrows at the Flaming Lions to her left and right.
Pierre only gave one command to them against that attack ― to evade.
And he immediately regretted giving that command.
The Wind Arrows were intentionally aimed slightly off. Since a command to evade that attack was given, the two Flaming Lions naturally dodged inward. And since the three Flaming Lions had already closed in on Marina for the attack, the three Flaming Lions ended up colliding against one another.
At that moment, the flames from the Flaming Lions swallowed the other lions.
“Your prided Flaming Lions that can endure an hour of regular flames ― you commanded them to always attack from three directions not because you wanted to corner me but it was to prevent the Flaming Lions from affecting one another. I could immediately tell after noticing the minor movements they make. All that was left was to create the perfect timing. That was careless of you at the end Pierre, allowing them to self-destruct due to your error in command. But then again, even if you didn’t give the command, my Wind Arrow would have pushed the lions from the side and forced them inward as well. Now then, Pierre. I suggest you surrender. This match is my victory.”
”… True, I no longer hold any means to defeat you. However, Marina-san. My lord does not permit surrender. Please use your Wind Arrow to ―”
Just as Pierre said that, Marina collapsed on the spot.
Pierre didn’t do anything at all. There was no way somebody else attacked her either.
”… Magical power depletion huh?”
Pierre muttered quietly.
Then, Pierre lowered his head towards her.
Why she didn’t target him with those Wind Arrows ― was because the power of those Wind Arrows was too strong. He would have been killed if anything went wrong. Pierre was able to notice that.
That’s why it was mortifying for Pierre.
Actually, he wanted to admit his loss. He realized that he was inferior to that lady in terms of being an entertainer as well as a fighter.
However, he was not allowed to do so.
“I am sorry ― Marina-san.”
He took off his hat and bowed deeply.
Then, the judges announced Pierre as the victor.
Marina was held by Kanon who went up the stage and was brought to the medical office.
“Good job, Marina. You were splendid.”
Kanon said as she shed tears.
However, nobody considered that Marina had lost.
Nevertheless, Stella’s camp started with a defeat for the first match.
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