First of all I want to give a massive thank you to Moyatori who edited this chapter and made it possible for you to read today. I recommend checking her blog out for a variety of different anime content! Releasing this story has been taking an insanely long time so I’m very thankful for the massive help! Also if you’re wondering why this chapter is better than all the others now you have an answer!
Our Story so far: Maron, Kil and Rob have just got back from burning a huge tent in the kings tournament. Now it’s they go into the next day wondering what their actions could have caused.
Several days had passed and Kil and I had won our fights using the magic taught to us by Rob. Honestly it wasn’t very difficult to use, you just needed somebody to awaken it for you. Thankfully Rick was recovering well;, in the past few days I had seen a side to him many others hadn’t and it was great wake up next to him and see him improve each day. We were both happier together and I was amazed by the things he’d told me.
He said that he fell in love with me nearly straight away, which was something I couldn’t believe – for all that time walking and travelling he had loved me. The moment he knew it to be truer than anything was when I got run over by the horse and cart. Seeing him come to my rescue and furthermore, understanding the motive behind it, made me happy. I wasn’t too affected by it now but I’m sure the mark still remained.
All three of us were through to the third round of the tournament but we’d basically given up on any chances of victory at this point. The best people there would use magic too and we wouldn’t stand a chance. Though we thought we could identify a few Kovans, we were still wondering if they were actually taking part in this conspiracy.
Word had spread that there would be another announcement later that day so we all headed to the newly assembled stage to hear what it was about. It was the same person from earlier but because there were so much fewer people than last time, he didn’t have to raise his voice as much. He still raised it anyway, but he didn’t have too.
“CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL OF YOU CONTESTANTS!” In the old crowd that would have received a cheer, but the winners here were too stoic and reserved to react in any way at all.
“IF YOU’VE MADE IT THIS FAR THEN IT MEANS THAT YOU ARE IN THE TOP 25% OF CONTESTANTS!” Nobody seemed too pleased; the remaining people were here to win, not to be praised.
“OVER THE COURSE OF THE TWO WEEKS THIS TOURNAMENT HAS BEEN TAKING PLACE, WE HAVE HEARD MANY COMPLAINTS, AND WE’VE BEEN LISTENING. YOU ALL HATE GOING OVER THE TOURNAMENT BOARD AND THERE’S BEEN TOO MANY PEOPLE WHO HAVEN’T SHOWED UP TO MATCHES JUST BECAUSE THEY COULDN’T FIND WHEN THEY HAD A MATCH! WELL I SAY NO LONGER!” This actually did raise a cheer, people really hated the system.
“WE ARE GOING TO GIVE ALL OF YOU A TOURNAMENT FIXTURE BOOK, WHICH WILL HAVE EVERYONE IN IT FOR THE COURSE OF THAT ROUND! EVERYONE WILL BE IN THERE SO THERE WILL BE NO CONFUSION TOWARDS MISSING YOUR MATCHES!”
“OH AND ONE LAST THING, PLAY FAIR, THERE’S BEEN TOO MANY ATTACKS LATELY AND WE CAN BARELY COPE. WE ARE INCREASING SECURITY TO TRY AND FIND THE CRIMINALS BUT UNTIL THEN, DO YOURSELVES A FAVOUR AND STAY OUT OF TROUBLE!”
“THAT IS ALL, GOOD LUCK CONTESTANTS!” He left the stage and that was it. For my whole life I’ve heard people talk about criminals yet I never thought that I would end up becoming one of them. I was fearful of this – of course I was – we were going to need be a lot more careful from now on.
What I found interesting was that he didn’t even say where we could get the books from. I’m sure they wouldn’t be difficult to get but even so…
“So where can we get these books from?” Kil asked the two of us. I honestly wasn’t sure, so I remained quiet.
“I’d assume they’d either hand them out now, or put them in a place where we could easily get them, maybe where the old scoreboards are.”
I looked around. Nobody wanted to move; everyone was just waiting for someone to do something.
“Wait here” I said to them as I got up and left., Everyone was looking at me as if I knew what I was doing, but I really didn’t know at all. I just worked out that if I was wrong I could borrow Kil’s book but if I wasn’t maybe I’d be able to get the books first.
Approaching the location of the scoreboards it became very clear that I had made the right decision. There was a stand with a man sitting at it, with some books. That had to be it. But then I realised something: out of everyone who was just waiting there, if none of them had a match book, then I could actually win. What if I were to take them down and burn them? I would be the only one with a tournament book and I could win easily!
Unfortunately for me a few people had gotten up to follow so it was out of the question. I didn’t know if I would be able to do that anyway.
“Can I have a tournament book please?” I asked the man behind the desk.
“Tournament card please,” he responded. I got it out to show him, and he handed me the book and ticked my name off a list. I flicked through the item he had handed to me. The contents of the book were amazing. It wasn’t just about the fights that people needed but included a list of contestants who were favourites to win, with pictures, and most of them were the people we were looking for. This would be great, as we would be able to find all of the Kovans early and hopefully get rid of them. I could barely contain my excitement.
It also told me that I wasn’t the only female here – there were three others. It wasn’t a lot but it was better than nothing. As I walked back I saw a worrying headline called “big surprises,” and it shocked me to the core. I was in it, right at the front of the display. If this wasn’t going to get me attention I didn’t know what would. This was about to become very bad, and very difficult for us to do our jobs.
I could vaguely hear the sound of the man getting back on stage again to tell people where to go. It would seem that he had begun shouting “GO TO THE PLACE WHERE THE OLD SCOREBOARDS WERE TO GET THE BOOK! THERE ARE PLENTY BUT IT’S ONE EACH FOR NOW!” As I started heading back more people began to follow and a crowd was forming.
I saw Rob and Kil walking in the same direction calmly. I whispered to Rob, who was walking on my side very confidently, “This is terrible!” He looked at the book shocked, and quickly became nervous.
“Why’s it so bad?” He asked.
“What, this is bad?” Kil said, as if it wasn’t obvious. “I’ll run and get another, this sounds bad.” He was then gone, running towards the correct location. Kil was a great runner who was physically strong, so he would have no problem overtaking most of the people there. I saw a few people following Kil’s idea and running after him before I turned back to Rob to continue whispering in his ear.
“I’m in it,” I said. “People are going to be looking for me, and I won’t be able to go unnoticed as easily.” Rob didn’t look very nervous.
“LOOK! Look at this!” I opened the book to the correct page, the one with the big surprises on it. While I wasn’t in the dead centre, I took up a large portion of the page and had a whole piece written about me.
“It’s nothing to be afraid of,” Rob said calmly. “It just means you’re doing well.”
I couldn’t tell if Rob was being genuine or just trying to help me calm down; if it was the latter it didn’t work in the slightest. My nerves had been more on edge than ever lately and this was one of the worst things because it showed the terror to come. Having me noticed by the creators of the tournament would only put me in the limelight even more, and encourage them to pair me against the difficult guys to force me out of the competition. They saw what I had done, and they hated me for it and wouldn’t rest until I was taken down for good and either dead or too injured to move. This tournament was too rigged, it was obvious from the start that other countries would try to influence it.
I just wanted to escape from all of this; why did it have to be me? Why couldn’t Rob have found someone else to help him? Why couldn’t he still? We weren’t good enough to win, not even Rob won his match so how could we?
“Rob, how did you lose your match even though you have magic?” I asked because it was the first time I had ever questioned it.
“Well it’s simple really. I can’t use magic on myself, because it doesn’t work like that.” He seemed to question his words and mull them over in his head, paying special attention to how he worded everything. Magic was a foreign concept to me so it must be hard to explain. “I am unable to cast magic on myself., Well I could, but… it’s way too risky, I wouldn’t be safe and more importantly other people wouldn’t be safe, and I know what you’re going to say!”
I had no idea what I was going to say; it made sense that he didn’t think it was safe.
“You must be thinking: if Rick could do it then why couldn’t I?” Of course, it was really strange, but I was eager to know what he had to say.
“Why couldn’t you?” I asked. He said it was too risky so I guess that was the reason?
“As I said earlier I could have done it, but there wasn’t anyone else around who could have used magic on me. I didn’t want to lose control of everything and kill everyone around me – it would have been terrible and I would have been eliminated. When Rick was fighting I let him cast the magic on himself because I was there, if I really needed to I could have removed my spell and then removed his spell. I however had no option to do that, the spell makes you more violent, we’ve not tried doing it for very long but once we removed every target the person started trying to strangle themselves, so I could have died as well.”
That was pretty unlucky but it didn’t answer one thing. “Weren’t any of your other friends capable of using magic?”
“Oh um no, I had my match after the tent got burnt down, and they died. So I couldn’t use it in the tournament”
That was really unlucky for him. But as soon as that question was answered another one popped into my head: when Rob had talked about trying his spell, it sounded like an experiment that he did with many others. “How did you learn magic, and what group were you with when you learned it?”
“A group, I wasn’t in a group!” Rob said as if I was being outrageous.
“But you said “we” when referring to trying out the spell; were you with a group, the Mages’ Guild? Is that a thing? The Fighters’ Guild is a thing so I’m just wondering.” I said. Rob was being very confrontational about this when I had no intentions of being rude to him.
“Yeah the Mages’ Guild – it does exist but I’m not in it. Not anymore. So that’s where I learnt it all.”
“What else did you learn?” It was rare for Rob to tell anyone about himself so I was ready to take advantage of this rare opportunity.
“Um not much really, I’ve shown you a lot of what I know already. There is the one which makes you experience reality at a slower speed, makes it fe… I mean the one that heals you for the duration of the spell and a few others.” He said.
“You didn’t tell me any of the new ones!” I cried at him, he was pointlessly holding information away from me just so he could tease me.
“No I don’t want to talk about it, I’m getting my book.” He stormed off a lot more angry than I thought he would be. Maybe I pushed him too far. Since he was involved with this level of magic something could have happened to him.
The talk with Rob was only a minor diversion from the anxiety that I felt due to the book. I decided to go back to Rick. He was a comforting presence and was often a lot more mature and interesting than he looked. I didn’t really understand why I liked him but his confession really struck a chord at the time when I needed it most, and now I needed him again.
Thank you for reading chapter 23 of the broken tournament. If you like what you read here I recommend checking out Moyatori’s blog!
Now that everybody has a book of contestants how will the group proceed with their plans to stop the tournament from being rigged?