Chapter 11: Main Tournament 3rd – 8th Matches
Due to the roar of the synthetic beast, the flame poison frog’s sticky slimy substance spread widely throughout the arena.
Although it took quite some time to clean up, this major event could not be canceled for that reason alone.
The main tournament proceeded smoothly.
In the third match, a battle unfolded between a warrior crab larger than the rock dragon and a weasel with curved blade-like front legs.
Warrior crabs were large crabs with different shapes of claws depending on the individual, and the one that appeared in the third match was a rare mutant with claws of different shapes on the left and right.
The left claw was so large and thick that it could protect more than half of the body, while the right claw was slender and pointed, like a shield and spear combined.
The weasel attacked agilely while using spiritual arts, but was unable to penetrate the iron defense boasted by the crab’s left claw.
In a moment of vulnerability, the weasel was defeated by the right claw that pierced its throat.
This solid fighting style was impressive enough for me to take note, but it was disliked by Woodsorrel for being too plain.
The fourth match was a battle between an artificially created spirit, the Shadow Wolf, imbued with will through a special catalyst, and a wild Ice-Fanged Wolf that lived in the snowy mountains.
The former was a docile jet black wolf, while the latter was a solitary pure white wolf that lived without forming a pack in the freezing snowy mountains.
Although their shapes were the same, their upbringing, personality, and color were completely opposite, making it an exciting match for the audience.
The winner of the battle was the Ice-Fanged Wolf, and the decisive factor was the Ice-Fanged from which it derives its name.
The Ice-Fanged Wolf has the ability to coat its teeth with a spiritual power that gives off a cold aura.
Although the artificial Shadow Wolf spirit could not be physically harmed, it could be injured by the cold energy created through spiritual power.
Furthermore, since the Ice-Fanged Wolf was a wild beast, it had ample combat experience.
Without being able to fully utilize its strength and with such a difference in battle experience, there was no way the Shadow Wolf could win.
Woodsorrel was delighted that the prettier of the two had won.
The fifth match was between the spear-headed rat, whose body was covered in spikes thicker and stronger than metal, and the Land Emperor Bird, a large, fierce bird that could not fly but had a huge beak.
As its name suggests, the spear-like spikes of the Spear-headed Rat were deadly weapons that could cause injury simply by being pushed against the opponent.
In addition, they could be used as armor to defend against attacks, making it a creature that embodies both offense and defense.
However, it seemed that they were a terrible match for each other.
The Land Emperor Bird paid no attention to being injured and used its powerful legs to hold down the Spear-headed Rat, pulling out many of its spikes with its huge beak and exposing its flesh before devouring it.
This too was the law of the jungle, where the strong preyed on the weak.
The sixth match was between a fierce beast with a dazzling mane called the “Radiant Lion” and a flying eyeball with two pink, glossy wings known as the “Cursed Flying Eye.” It seemed that the outcome of this battle was determined by their compatibility.
Although the Cursed Flying Eye was originally meant to torment its enemies through its special spiritual arts, it ended up staring directly at the Radiant Lion’s glowing mane with its large eyeball, causing the mane to shine even brighter as the Radiant Lion’s fighting spirit increased.
The Radiant Lion crushed the Cursed Flying Eye underfoot, causing it to fall and suffer in agony, bringing an end to the battle.
The arena was filled with boos due to the lack of excitement and tension in the fight.
The fat manager had a hard time collecting the remains, which pleased Woodsorrel.
Frankly, I had the same feeling with her about that.
Although the sixth match had a boring result, the seventh match was an extremely intense battle.
On one side was a large battle doll made of a rare metal that spared no expense in its creation, while on the other side was a bear with a prominent horn protruding from its forehead, boasting a size that could rival the battle doll.
This heavyweight battle was nothing short of spectacular.
The battle doll blocked the bear’s strikes with its arms, while its counterattacks were suppressed.
Sparks flew as the horn clashed with the doll’s metallic armor.
In the end, they both abandoned their defense and engaged in a fierce exchange of blows, yet the battle doll emerged as the victor, standing tall at the end of the fight.
Although the victor of the battle was the battle doll, its entire armor was covered in scratches and many areas were dented.
It was truly battered and bruised, and after the match, a group of people who seemed to be the creators gathered around and started tinkering with it.
They were probably making plans for repairs.
If I survive my next match, I will have to face it next time, so there was no need for them to repair it.
I have already strategized on how to fight the doll based on what I’ve seen, but I know for sure that it will be a tough opponent to beat.
I earnestly hope that I face no fatal injuries in my match.
“Sorry for the wait! We will now begin the eighth match of the main tournament!”
As the manager announced, a snake appeared from the entrance opposite to me.
It was quite large, its body length being more than three times my size.
The overall girth was thick, but only the base of the head had a particularly wide, eye-like pattern.
The scales that covered its entire body were mostly black, but there was a yellow line from the corner of its bright red eyes to the tip of its tail.
The fierce-looking snake silently appeared in the arena and coiled up, raising its head and flicking its tongue in and out.
Its appearance was grand, but the black stake that was stuck in its forehead looked painful.
This stake was called the ‘Binding Stake’ and it had almost the same effect as the ‘Binding Collar’.
I’ve heard Georg telling the young master that it had a stronger coercive force than the collar, but it also lowers the thinking ability of the pierced individual.
“Here it is! The Sovereign Dragon Snake! Known for strangling even direct dragon species, it is the absolute ruler of the desert—the collateral lineage of the dragon race! Look at its magnificent appearance! It truly is the tournament’s second favorite, having won the preliminary rounds unscathed, trailing only the Rock Dragon!”
The so-called Sovereign Dragon Snake was incredibly strong.
Its overflowing spiritual power and fighting spirit were incredibly powerful.
However, even though I could sense it, I didn’t feel afraid of the snake in front of me.
I didn’t know why, but I felt like I could win without too much trouble.
But just as I was thinking that, Woodsorrel hit my head with her tail.
When I wondered what was going on, she sent a telepathic message to me.
Her thoughts had an unusually serious atmosphere.
“Hold yourself together! You’re being affected by that snake’s spiritual art! Quickly raise your spiritual power or fighting spirit! Hurry!”
After I increased both my spiritual power and fighting spirit as I was told, I felt a clear-headedness rush over me like a fog lifting, but at the same time, I shuddered.
I hadn’t even realized that my cognitive abilities had dulled down.
Regaining my senses, I finally felt a sense of danger from the snake’s strength.
In other words, I wasn’t sure I could beat this opponent even if I gave it my all.
Why was I so confident earlier?
“Don’t look at those snake-like patterns.
They’ll affect you with weak spiritual interference that’s hard to detect.
You won’t be controlled by them, but rather be led to let your guard down.
It’s hard to notice, but…that petty spiritual art won’t work on me, though!” Woodsorrel proudly concluded her explanation.
In fact, without her advice, I would have rushed in with baseless confidence.
The only thing waiting for me there would have been a humiliating death.
It was a really dangerous situation.
Although I tightened my resolve, my body seemed to move on its own, contrary to my will.
It seemed that I had been ordered by Georg to go to the arena.
Will he not come here like they did during the preliminary round? It would be convenient if he didn’t show up, as it would prevent Woodsorrel’s true identity from being revealed.
I slowly made my way towards the arena with the support of the demon fox’s cheers.
“The opponent is the assassin of the desert, the Underworld Scorpion! In the preliminary rounds, it used its deadly poisonous stinger to defeat powerful rivals.
Now, in the eighth match of the main tournament, it has become a battle between two desert dwellers! What will be the outcome? Now, let the match begin!”
As soon as the manager finished his announcement, I received the command to fight from Georg.
But before I could even react, the dragon snake lunged at me with incredible speed, trying to bite me.
If I had still been under the influence of the opposing spiritual art, I would have been unable to react and would have most likely been eaten alive.
However, thanks to Woodsorrel’s warning, I had long regained my senses and dodged to the side, attempting to pierce the snake’s throat with my poisoned stinger.
Unfortunately, it seems that the snake’s scales were tougher than expected.
Although I managed to break the surface, the poisonous needle’s tip did not penetrate the flesh.
It seemed that a single blow with the stinger wouldn’t be enough to defeat this opponent.
They truly deserved to have made it this far in the main tounrament.
Seemingly reluctant to be approached, the Sovereign Dragon Snake quickly retreated back to its original position.
It sprayed poison from its fangs and tried to strike me with its tail, which it wielded like a whip as it moved further away.
Though the poison was useless against me, as I had developed a resistance to it, the scaly tail, which was harder than any iron whip, was a serious threat that could easily crush my body if I were to receive a direct hit.
Rather than trying to dodge, I stopped both the poison and the tail with my pair of pincers, hardened with fighting spirit.
As I had anticipated, the poison had no effect on me, but the blow from the tail was heavy enough to make my whole body creak and groan.
I braced myself with my jointed legs to prevent myself from being knocked down, and, in a counterattack, I grabbed the tail with my pincers and squeezed it with all my might.
The snake’s scales were still as hard as ever, and its skin was both supple and tough, with muscles beneath that were as dense as a bundle of steel cables.
However, with my increased strength from using my fighting spirit, it was not an unbreakable level of strength.
With a sharp snap, the snake’s tail was severed.
The snake hissed in pain, perhaps not used to feeling such agony.
Noisy thing…complaining over just losing a bit of its tail? The great moniker of ‘absolute ruler of the deser is weeping over that!
Georg would always say that shedding my exoskelton would heal all my injuries, so he imposed rigorous training before shedding.
Because of this, I’ve even had my entire body torn apart under the guise of training, and not only was my tail segment severed but even some other body parts, but only to the point where I didn’t die.
With a body torn apart, I realized that no one would come to help even if I writhed in agony.
It taught me that, to survive, I must act under the assumption that I won’t get any help.
Even though I should have been living in the wild, did I not know such a basic fact?
Ignoring the twitching tip of my tail, I ran towards the Sovereign Dragon Snake once again.
My legs stepped powerfully on the stone floor, producing a tremendous speed without making a sound.
The Sovereign Dragon Snake seemed to fear my deadly pincers that could reach its vital organs and hurried to escape.
However, its movements were awkward.
It was because its tail had been severed, throwing off its balance.
To disturb its movement at this level…no, perhaps it couldn’t be helped.
In the wild, encountering a powerful enemy that causes bodily harm would logically make survival impossible.
It would be impossible to train to fight even with physical injuries like mine.
The advantage of a trained battle beast may be its ability to adapt to special situations.
Moreover, the Sovereign Dragon Snake was called the absolute ruler of the desert, sitting atop the ecological pyramid of the desert’s ecosystem.
It probably suffered little to no wounds.
Which is why it had a low tolerance for pain.
However, I still thought that this individual’s nature was precisely what made it flee immediately instead of turning pain into anger and fighting.
Perhaps it was cowardly despite its intimidating appearance.
Regardless, I won’t show mercy and will kill it right here.
I quickly caught up with the Sovereign Dragon Snake and ran up its back, ignoring the bouncing tip of its tail.
I tried to clamp my pincers around its neck and cut it off.
The Snake went half-mad and thrashed around, trying to throw me off.
But since I was fixed in place with my legs, I didn’t fall off.
However, I couldn’t cut off its thick neck in one breath, and my claws only cut through the scales and embedded themselves in the flesh.
My pincers should have cut it off at this point, but I had already won when the…… scales broke.
I pierced the wound made by my pincers with my stinger and injected my deadly poison.
The Sovereing Dragon Snake, which also had poison, probably had the same resistance as me.
However, it was helpless against the enhanced poison created by Georg.
The snake convulsed like the scarlet-eyed dog before finally succumbing to its death.
I made sure to cut off its head this time.
“Th… the winner is the Underworld Scorpion! It has defeated the absolute ruler of the desert, achieving a magnificent rise from the bottom to the top!”
The words of the manager seemed to have served as a catalyst, as the arena was engulfed in a loud cheer.
Though being praised, I didn’t feel happy at all for being forced to kill.
I simply picked up the head of the dead snake with my pincers and was about to put it in my mouth to satisfy my hunger.
I was starving and couldn’t help it.
However, my pincers suddenly stopped moving.
Georg must have ordered me to stop.
The bastard, with his nonsensical theory that starving makes one fight harder, most likely wanted to maintain that state.
What a piece of shite!
“Great job! You were amazing! You looked so cool!”
Although I was not feeling happy but rather increasingly frustrated, right after I returned to the cage, I heard Woodsorrel’s telepathic voice in my head.
Her pure admiration somehow healed my irritated heart.
It seemed that what I was seeking was not the admiration of ten thousand people but the comfort of just one person.
I wagged my tail in a nod of appreciation and gratitude towards her, and then settled back into my cage.
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