Thanks to the effect of the Eternal Ring, I teleported towards the surface as I landed not in the ring, but in the middle of the audience. The ideal situation would be if Lutra managed to defeat Princess Aure, however I fully intend to interfere with the battle even at the cost of her victory if it meant saving her life. In order for Lutra to have a chance of victory, Princess Aure had to be in the dark about our activities.
[Such a waste of an amazing item.] (Yuuya)
It seems that the item only had a single charge left as the moment my Teleportation ended, the ring shattered. This answered my question about the man’s hesitation in using the ring as he wouldn’t be able to teleport the monster to Princess Aure if he had used it against us. A nearby spectator was surprised by my sudden appearance as I continued to inch towards the ring. Meanwhile, an attendant who was nearby noticed my presence and began approaching me. However I kept him away by informing him that I was under orders from Prince Aleck, as a hero of the kingdom was conducting a secret investigation. He was clearly one of Princess Aure’s underlings, but Lutra’s safety came first.
When the ring came into view, Lutra and Princess Aure were already facing each other as the referee gave the signal. I prepared myself to jump out at anytime while carefully observing the ring.
(Ten minutes earlier, Lutra’s waiting room)
Princess Aure and her escorts entered the room.
Immediately after noticing her sister, Lutra got into her battle stance as she grabbed her shield, suspecting that she came to finish the job before the match started.
[Lutra, you don’t have to be so alarmed by me.] (Aure)
[I’ve already decided to be vigilant against you. Aneue, I trusted you. Yet why?] (Lutra)
Rather than hostility, Lutra’s tone was filled with sadness and loneliness. Even after being eaten by the Starfish Larvae, even after she knew that her own bodyguard tried to kill her. Even after encountering the trap placed for her in the royal dungeon, she had a glimmer of hope as she tried to find evidence against her sister’s motive.
Previously, her siblings had prevented Lutra from obtaining any information about her surroundings. However thanks to her sister’s absence and her brother ceasing his obstruction, she was able to finally understand the situation with the help of a certain hero. Although she set out to prove her sister’s innocence, she managed to justify her murderous intentions instead.
[Since you’ve discovered the truth, I will not make any excuses. It was all done for me to become the queen. If nothing was done, aniue would be the king with you by his side. Then there would be no place in the Laluzulu Kingdom for me. For my own sake, I had to eliminate you and aniue.] (Aure)
Aure’s face remained calm with a smile as bright as the sun.
[Aniue, and I, we both needed you. Aniue even said it, he would have needed your power if he became the king. And I told you that I would have placed you on the throne if I had won!] (Lutra)
[It’s a sad turn of events isn’t it. Before the incident with the Starfish Larvae you didn’t tell me that you were going to push me to the throne. The incident in the royal dungeon, was also your doing wasn’t it? “If aniue was his old self and better than me in all aspects, you would put him on the throne over me.” You said it yourself. It’s a shame but he hasn’t changed at all nor am I on his level in any aspect. Which means that both of you must be erased.] (Aure)
[…. how did you come to such a conclusion.] (Lutra)
[Lutra. All I am doing is answering your question. Abstain from the tournament. You don’t have any hope of winning.] (Aure)
She had seen them begin to move when Prince Aleck’s battle had ended. She trusted her reliable allies to change the situation somehow.
[I might not be able to defeat you. But that doesn’t mean that I’ll lose to you.] (Lutra)
[No. There is no hope left for you to win. If you don’t withdraw right now, the situation will be worse. Remember how I wasn’t in the castle recently at all? Well I’ve managed to find a suitable marriage partner for you. If you’ll remain outside of the kingdom, then I’ll revert to the kind and loving sister anytime.] (Aure)
Even though she wasn’t bright when it comes to politics, Lutra knew that she would just be used to reap profits for others.
[…Thanks to this, my mind has never been clearer. I’ll win. The reason why you’re here, is because you’re not confident in your victory. You would never waste time performing meaningless actions, this is enough for me to know that I will not lose.] (Lutra)
[I can’t believe that my Lutra has become this twisted. I’m incredibly saddened by this.] (Aure)
[Then you can continue doing so. Aneue, it’s about time for you to return. The match is about to begin. I won’t be misguided anymore and I will beat you in the match.] (Lutra)
‘I won’t be misguided anymore’. Her words were filled with conviction but unknown to her, Yuuya had already created the key to her victory. In order for her to win, then she couldn’t hesitate and move forward.
[I’m sad that I’ll have to lose my sister this way.] (Aure)
[And so do I… There’s just one thing I have left for you. Thank you for everything until now. Even if it was just a lie, I would never had survived and stand up on my own two feet, if it wasn’t for the kindness you showed me.] (Lutra)
Looking at Lutra’s face, Aure turned back without saying anything as the conversation she intended went completely awry. She intended to ask Lutra to repay her graciousness at the beginning by surrendering or take advantage of Lutra’s naivety and disrupt her thoughts right before the match. All to gain benefits for herself.
However, there was something in her heart that couldn’t let her say so. She felt that if she said that, then that important thing she had left, would break into a million pieces.
Her battle with her sister was inevitable, and in a few minutes, one will be the winner who has everything.
And the loser will be left with nothing.
[It is time for the final round of the succession ceremony! Competitors, enter the ring!] (Referee)
Lutra and Princess Aure were facing each other in the center of the ring.
The distance between them was only two metres as both of them waited for the referee’s signal.
The moment the signal was given, the two fighters began moving. Princess Aure took a leap backwards while Lutra charged towards her at full power.
Both parties knew that this was the deciding moment in the battle. Lutra’s only chance of winning was to defeat Princess Aure before she activated her *Summoning Magic* while Princess Aure jumped back to gain as much distance as possible. Although Lutra’s exclusive class, Crusader didn’t have any increase in speed when compared to an average person, her fully charged rush forward was still fast enough to mistake her as a Thief.
It was the movement technique called Shukuchi which was thoroughly beat into her by Yuuya. It was a movement technique which converts the user’s potential energy into kinetic energy for an instant, allowing them to travel at a higher speed than they normally could. While using Shukuchi, a sword was simultaneously being quickdrawn as her sword was pulled out of its scabbard and stuck out with all of her strength, erasing the two metres as well as the distance gained by Princess Aure’s leap. However, Princess Aure was still calm.
Note: Shukuchi is called Ground Shrink or something similar to the sort in other novels. I’m unsure on what to name it so I’m leaving it as it is for now.
She had expected this the moment her magic was exposed as it was a crucial weakness to a magic user, which allowed her preparations to bear fruit. Her battle dress wasn’t particularly strong in defense, but it provided an additional effect that was crucial to magicians. The defense of a magic user was so ridiculously weak that it didn’t make any sense to reinforce that tiny amount, but it was possible to supplement it with something else. Which is why they had this special ability.
It was a passive ability that nullifies any attack inflicted on an hourly basis and attacks the source of the damage. The moment Lutra’s blade touched her dress, the sword began to crack and shattered, nullifying her sword thrust.
It was a legendary equipment hidden in the castle’s vault, the Siren Dress. The armour was capable of rendering other legendary equipment unless for a period of time, and if the weapon used wasn’t on a similar level, then it would be destroyed instead.
[Looks like it’s my victory.] (Aure)
Princess Aure said with confidence as she completed her summoning magic while Lutra lost her weapon. Although her alarm was instantaneous, Teleportation took five seconds to cast and one second to take effect. Taking into account the guard’s reaction and other possible human errors, it took a total of eight seconds. In other words, it would be her victory once eight seconds was over.
However, nothing happened after eight seconds.
Instead of panicking, Princess Aure immediately assessed the situation and assumed that something happened to the monsters. She had expected that Yuuya or Prince Aleck would be able to see through her plan and immediately activated her second alarm, extending Lutra’s time limit by another eight seconds.
Another set of monsters would be summoned in eight seconds whereas it was impossible for Lutra to get a replacement weapon and strike at that time which meant that her victory was just delayed by another eight seconds. All she had to do was to endure the attacks of the Crusader class which had weak offensive power for eight seconds.
She looked into Lutra’s eyes which were filled with even more vigor than before as Lutra threw her broken sword aside, continuing to rush forward while thrusting her shield forward.
Princess Aure was taken by surprised by her sudden actions as she couldn’t understand her thought process.
‘Shields aren’t meant for attacking, even if it was used for that it wouldn’t be lethal’.
[Are you that desperate to resort to a shield? Clear Wall.] (Aure)
As a precaution, Princess Aure casted a barrier-spell which blocked physical attacks. However, Princess Aure didn’t know. The trump card Lutra had, was being trained by Yuuya.
The legendary battle princess, Senki Renoir’s battle style was forgotten over the years and revived in her.
[Shield Bash!] (Lutra)
Her cold voice resonated throughout the ring.
Lutra’s flawless movements was mesmerizing even though it was refined purely to strike others. Placing her entire body’s strength while amplifying her body further with a rotation, she thrust her shield forward. It was the thrust that Lutra was forcefully learnt, her speciality that was refined by the one and only Yuuya Grandwood.
The shield which moved forward at an extraordinary speed continued to pursue Princess Aure who was trying to escape.
Princess Aure smiled as the shield was going to miss by just an inch. Even if she miscalculated and the shield was going to land cleanly, it was just an attack by a crusader. The Clear Wall let out a screeching sound as it got struck by Lutra’s shield. So long as the shield held up, then her monsters would arrive. In otherwords, it would be her victory.
However, her delusions were shattered.
Right as Lutra arm extended forward, Princess Aure saw the tip of the spike in Renoir’s shield appear out of the shield as the spike was forcefully pushed out of the shield at a speed exceeding the speed of sound due to it’s activation as well as Lutra’s speed and rotation on top of it.
Clear Wall was struck down as if it were made of paper as Princess Aure couldn’t even catch what happened next as she flew out of the ring, landing onto the wall next to the audience seats.
[Aneue, you aren’t the only one with a trump card. In the past, I would have told you about it. But this time, it would have been my loss if I did. That’s why I kept the spikes hidden while I was in the castle. Just for this moment.] (Lutra)
Although she was the winner of the battle, Lutra’s voice sounded somber as the audience began to confirm Princess Aure’s condition, who had let out a huge gasp.
[This is-, the winner is, Princess Lutra!] (Referee)
The referee declared Lutra’s victory as two monsters appeared in the ring, as the audience began to panic in confusion. The supposed summoner was unconscious, which meant that her chanting should had been interrupted.
[I may have won, I wonder if I’ll survive this.] (Lutra)
Lutra said with a weak voice.
Two monsters in their fifties, was far too difficult for Lutra.
But retreating would expose the audience to them instead.
The bipedal giant rhinoceros and giant cyclops was rushing towards Lutra as Lutra already had one foot into despair.
It was that moment…
[You will survive, I am here.] (Yuuya)
The back of the most reliable person in the world appeared in front of her, as the battle was practically over. With this person’s help, the battle wouldn’t be worrying in the slightest.
Yuuya completely deflected the two giant monsters’ attacks as he performed his signature. The ability created from the warrior who was, status-wise at the bottom of the barrel and was willing to show it to the whole world. Any anxiety she had was blown away as cheers rang out from the audience.
It was as if everyone knew that she wouldn’t lose with him here. Or rather, it could even be perceived as an exhibition.
[Perfect timing. It’s time to show off your newfound abilities.] (Yuuya)
[Yes, I’ll definitely do it.] (Lutra)
Yuuya and Lutra stood back to back while facing each of the monster. The appearance of the two gigantic monsters facing off against the two warriors caught everybody’s attention as her appearance was not just beautiful, but so was her movements. In fact, the most mesmerizing fact wasn’t her abilities nor his, but the perfect collaboration between the two.
[You would have lost if you hesitated. You performed perfectly.] (Yuuya)
The key created by Yuuya, was the additional eight seconds from when Princess Aure’s first summoning had failed. If he hadn’t found the monsters, then Lutra would had lost right after eight seconds. Although he had gone through so much trouble in that short amount of time, he had only earned her another few seconds. If she had hesitated even for a moment, then the key would have been gone.
[I decided to win, even if it meant harming her. I didn’t have the intention of killing her since I truly believe I was saved by her. Even if it was a lie. I had already decided a long time ago, to win without killing her. I was prepared from the beginning.] (Lutra)
Yuuya let out a smile as he had witnessed the moment Princess Aure was sent flying
If she had used her spike, Princess Aure would had definitely been blown to bits. Her spike was made of a special magical metal which could be shaped into anything it’s user wanted.
This time, her spike was much rounder than usual making it more similar to a rod instead. Furthermore, her thrusts were usually slightly inclined towards the ground, but she had aimed it slightly higher this time, causing the impact against the terrain, the wall to be softened as some of the energy was wasted blowing Princess Aure away. If she had aimed lower, then she could have been killed instantly with the shock of being slammed on the ground.
Lutra had made her preparations, both mentally as well as meticulously because of her conviction to not kill but defeat her sister.
The battle dance performed by the princess and her knight, Lutra and Yuuya ended as the giant rhinoceros and cyclops began fading into blue particles.
As it ended, Lutra’s strength was clearly transmitted to everybody present as the audience began to cheer and stood up in awe.
[Lutra, wave to the audience. It’s your first job as the heir to the throne.] (Yuuya)
Lutra nodded as she turned to the audience, waving back with a dignified smile which riled up the audience further causing everyone to become even more enthusiastic in response.
Her silver hair shone brightly in the sunlight as the setting painted a beautiful sight, signalling the end of the inheritance ceremony.
It was the birth of the new queen.