Ch. 221 It Will Be Fun From Now On (2)
The group six knights tried to chase Derek down like madmen.
“Stop him! You must stop him somehow!”
Derek reached the support archers at the back, but there were not enough of them to take him on head-to-head. He forged his way through, and thanks to his plan, the rest of group six was too injured and in too much disarray to wall him. It was the perfect tactic for group three to use as many archers as possible and sustain as little injuries on their own.
At last, Derek yanked the enemy’s blue flag high into the air.
A loud shout came from the audience as group three snatched an astonishing victory from the favored winners.
Each of the knights were scored by a judge, and he announced the results.
“…Derek Blaise, group three. Nine points.”
Derek received one point less from a perfect score, even though he had led a disadvantaged team to victory. The group three knights who heard the ruling began to protest.
“Why doesn’t Lord Derek have a perfect score?”
Some of those present knew that the judge had ties with the Anita family, and they couldn’t help but frown. However, the judge continued onward brazenly.
“If anyone opposes my ruling once more, I will deduct points from them.”
The knights looked resentful, but they bit back their dissatisfaction. Before anything could get worse, Derek stepped forward.
“I’m fine, don’t worry. All of us in group three worked hard.”
Although his perfect score was unfortunately broken, he was still more than likely to be one of the ten final competitors in the tournament. While some might be jealous of the fact, all the knights in group three rushed to Derek in unison and congratulated him.
“Lord Derek is worthy to be one of the final ten knights!”
“If you win, I’ll buy you a drink!”
Even Derek, who was usually so stoic, couldn’t help but brighten at all the congratulations he received.
“Thank you all.”
Group three held on to each other’s shoulders in a show of support. The people watching from the stands also cheered on with good spirits.
The tides had turned for group three.
Afterwards, the match between group five and nine began. All the members of group five were powerful, but Wickley outshone them all. As expected, group five began to overpower group nine at the start of the game. As Wickley rushed towards the enemy flag, he struck down all the men who were unfortunate enough to be in his way.
Red blood spilled onto the arena ground, and the crowd gasped in shock. Injuries were to be avoided as much as possible, although casualties were not penalized. However, it was rare for anyone to cut another down intentionally.
Wickley’s mouth tilted in a grin as a knight fell at his feet. The man didn’t move afterwards.
“Ah, I made a mistake.”
Everyone looked at Wickley stunned surprise, but he confidently strode forward and lifted the enemy flag. The result was a victory for group five, but no one shouted in celebration. Only Wickley’s laughter rang in the heavy silence of the area.
The judge of the competition, who had been wordlessly observing the match, opened his mouth to speak.
“Wickley Tai, group five. Perfect score.”
As expected, Wickley was a favorite to win and would move on as one of the final ten knights.
The remaining matches took place, and the knights were all scored. The total scores were all calculated, and the knights that would move onward were announced.
Naturally, Derek’s name was included.
Regardless of the scores the judge gave, however, the ones who made the strongest impression in everyone’s minds were Wickley and Derek alone.
Cassana approached Ophelia, who was watching the games from the best seat in the stadium.
At Cassana’s voice, Ophelia glanced sideways. The lady-in-waiting leaned deeply towards the Empress’ ear to whisper to her.
“I’ve made all the arrangements as you ordered.”
“Is that so?”
A wicked gleam lit up in Ophelia’s eyes. Her gaze moved towards Derek as he walked back to the waiting room for the final round.
“It will be fun from now on.”
She couldn’t give her gift to him in the arena where everyone was watching. It would be too easy to notice a lethal poison. Even Ophelia would not do a thing amid the noise of Marquis Selby’s assassination attempt.
And so, Ophelia prepared something that could never be traced. It wouldn’t kill Derek for sure, but it would be enough to cause him to drop from the competition, as she intended. It didn’t matter to her whether he forfeited the match because he felt unwell, or if he was too stubborn to do so and ended up getting killed or injured. Whatever the result was, Ophelia achieved her goal.
As she watched the empty space where Derek once was, she murmured to herself in a deeply satisfied voice.
“…Yes, I’m looking forward to how much fun this will be.”
The smile on Ophelia’s lips deepened.