Ducart had a lofty expression as he stared at the group of young nobles. He could care less what they were scheming as long as they knew what boundaries not to cross. Sebastian hearing those words from Lyon, had a vague premonition of what was to come. He especially lacked in the aspect of martial training, that was why he always sorted to improve his mind instead.
“Hector, Willard, the both of you are to be careful. I think they are plotting against me right now.” Sebastian said in a low voice to the both of them. ‘Could this be what Ade was plotting?’ Sebastian thought to himself. ‘That can’t be, this woman is too careful to associate herself with wolfs of that caliber.’
Although Sebastian had warned Hector and Willard in a low voice, that did not stop his warning from falling to the ears of Ade who stood beside him. “Don’t worry, your trusted guards here should be able to protect you,” Ade said with a straight face. Sebastian couldn’t get a wrap on her words. He couldn’t tell if she was being sarcastic or honest.
“A martial competition among juniors would bring more delight to this wondrous ceremony. Don’t you think so?” A bulky man who stood at the elevated portion of the hall said. Everyone with the exception of Willard knew who this man was. He was the currently leader and head of the Helden household, Darey Helden, and Asyut’s father. Ducart gave a pleasant smile as he nodded.
“As a special addition to this year’s event, we would have a martial display from our younger generation. Those who wish to compete should do so at the terret ⌈1⌋ section of the hall.” Ducart said pointing to a desolate looking corner of the hall. Asyut bloomed to an elated state as he heard Ducart’s statements. He had tried various methods of dealing with Sebastian in the past, and they were all in vain. He tried assassinating him by employing a three-star assassin. That one move had cost Asyut about fifty percent of his total wealth, and to his complete surprise, Sebastian had still survived. The entire ordeal had made him severely depressed. If he couldn’t gain an advantage with an underhanded method, there was no other way for him to do anything against Sebastian. Until now, he had found a way to vent a little anger on Sebastian. Although he couldn’t outrightly kill him, he could still cause Sebastian to cower and hide behind his tail.
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Asyut hastily walked into the terret section of the hall. He wanted to be the first one on the stage to make sure he could challenge Sebastian.
“Would brother Sebastian like to challenge me in this martial display?” Asyut directly asked. Asyut did not bother with false auspicious words. He did not care what others might think about his actions. All he wanted at the moment, was to make use of the opportunity he had gotten right now.
Sebastian hearing that had a rueful smile. His premonition had come to pass. “Brother Asyut, I Sebastian am not one who walks the martial path,” Sebastian said with a slight pause, before turning to face the Ducart Minya. “Although, I do not walk the martial path, I have recruited some of the best talents who walk that path. I humbly ask the house head to permit their representation of me.” Asyut hearing those words had a frown on his face. It was a well-known fact that Sebastian lacked any martial aptitude, which was one of the reasons Asyut had wanted to quickly challenge him. But hearing Sebastian’s diverting response, Asyut frame of mind quickly changed.
“The martial path isn’t one we all can walk. It is talent in itself for one to recruit a good follower. You and your fellow young nobles are permitted to send in a warrior to fight in your honor.” Ducart said in response to Sebastian’s statement. Ducart himself was similar to Sebastian in the fact that he had no aptitude for martial training, but his talents in commerce were what set him apart. He single-handedly raised the Minya family to its highest level of power and influence.
‘What utter nonsense. This was supposed to be my opportunity.’ Asyut thought in anger. ‘It’s a good thing I brought that fellow this time.’ Asyut looked into the crowd of people before stopping his sight somewhere in the middle. He made a calling gesture signaling someone to come forth.
“Brother Sebastian, would you dare send any of your followers to meet this challenge?” Asyut said with a little smirk.
As Sebastian laid eyes on the person Asyut had called to the terret, cold sweat broke on his face.
“Isn’t that Mailey of the Blue dragon academy.” One of the young nobles blurted out in surprise.
The Mailey character was somewhat of a famous mage within the entire Amber kingdom. Mailey was a young handsome mage that had gained some fame for his prowess in magic at a very young age. He was currently eighteen years of age and was publicly recognized to be at the 10th level of natural energy. Mailey was considered one of the very best young mage within the Amber kingdom. It could be said that within the natural energy level there were less than five people capable of beating Mailey in a fight.
Sebastian knew this time around he had encountered a real dilemma. If he refused to meet Asyut’s challenge, he would be viewed very poorly by the entire nobles present. After all, he was the one to suggest sending a follower to fight. And if he sent someone, he would most assuredly lose.
“Hector, try to hold out for ten exchanges before you surrender. There is no point in you risking yourself right here.”
“I think I should be able to hold out for that long,” Hector responded.
Normally, Hector should have the advantage since he was a warrior and fighting a mage in a one versus one battle. But his opponent this time around was Mailey who was particularly adept at close range battles.
“Why don’t I give this a try,” Willard said calmly. Sebastian was a little-surprised hearing that. He smiled and looked to Willard. In his mind, he knew Willard meant the best, but he was just oblivious to the situation. This was Mailey they were talking about, he was considered a once in a century type of genius. Although he was still at the natural energy level, everyone knew it was just a matter of time for someone of his talents to break into the elemental level.
“This Mailey fellow can be considered among the top twenty young genius of the entire kingdom. He is not someone to take lightly.”
“Then this should be an interesting match to watch,” Willard responded with a confident smirk. Sebastian laughed a little and nodded. In his mind, Sebastian thought that this might just be a good introduction to the top talents of the kingdom. This fight will help him understand the level of competition between the top talents of the kingdom.
Willard walked through the crowd and made his way to the terret where he met the indifferent expression on Mailey’s face. The crowd started murmuring as Willard got into the terret.
“Who is that fellow?”
“It seems Sebastian is not willing to risk a good subordinate.”
“This will end fast.”
The crowd was making comments of this sort. To a corner, Asyut stared intently at Willard. Something about the person on the terret seemed familiar, but he couldn’t quite put his finger on it. After a couple of seconds of trying to figure that out who that person was, Asyut stopped thinking about it.
To another corner of the room, Ade stood straight up as she saw Willard walk to the terret.
“This should be interesting. I will be able to confirm the actual strength of this Willard fellow.”
After Ade’s brief interaction with Willard, she couldn’t help but think a little highly of Willard. He was bold, brash and decisive. She couldn’t stop thinking about the level of natural energy he had used against her when they first met.
- Terret: A designated training/fighting section within a mansion ↩