“Bout damn time, I was beginning to think he was asking Master Charis if he could forfeit due to his broken arm.”
“The fucker better not, if he knows what’s good for him. Not after the shit he said when he stormed into our classes.”
“Look, Tabor is coming out. He’s going to cut down the fucker down in half.”
“Ahaha, you guys better get my money ready. The duel is as good as over.”
“Oh yes, it’s starting. This is going to be awesome.”
“Why are they still standing? The fuck is going on?”
“Is the fucker trying to talk his opponent to death?”
“Come on, get on with it!”
“Less talking, more stabbing.”
“Why is nothing happening? How the hell could a person talk for so long?”
“This is boring me. Hurry the fuck up!”
“Ah, he’s taking Master Cahris’ sword.”
“Finally! I was about to go there and kick the fucker’s-“
“THE DUEL STARTS NOW!”
“THE DUEL IS OVER!”
“WHAT THE FUCK!”
Master Haithur is currently standing at the farthest edge of the courtyard in order not to draw any unwanted attention to himself. He watches as the paramedics struggle to carry the Class 5A student from the courtyard using a stretcher. Looks like the student known as Tabor has lost the use of his legs and couldn't even walk out himself. What a useless pile of muscles, thought the male teacher. Didn't even manage to wound the little shit. I was right not to scout him for Ouroboros, Master Haithur continues to stew angrily and silently.
The male teacher looks on as a second challenger walks up to the boy after being called upon by Master Charis. This time the boy didn't launch into a long monologue like he did previously. It seems everything that the little shit wanted to say has already been let out during his duel with Tabor.
Nevertheless, it is as if the onlookers are watching a repeat of the first duel. As soon Master Charis announces the start of the duel, the boy lightly slashes his opponent’s chest with the swiftness that could rival the speed of a lightning hurled from the heavens itself. His opponent, a student from Class 4C, didn't even get the chance to raise his own sword to defend himself.
Due to the speed and the lightness of the attack, the older student is still having a hard time processing what had happened. The Class 4C student is looking downwards towards his chest, wondering why his favorite and expensive shirt is ripped, and whose blood that is currently staining his shirt belongs to.
The dazed Class 4C students had to be escorted by the paramedics before the boy’s third opponent could step up. The third opponent, a student from Class 6B, immediately puts up his guard right after Master Charis announces the start of the duel. Looks like the older student has been watching the two previous duels closely, and seems to have wizened up.
Not that it matter because the boy struck the Class 6B student’s sword with so much forced, it nearly knocked the weapon out of the older student’s hand and momentarily puts him off balanced. Before the older student could pull back his sword in order to guard his chest, the boy calmly jabs it, as if he is poking a balloon with a needle.
Master Charis declares the duel to be over and the fourth opponent is summoned. The older student from Class 7C also seems to be taking notes from the previous duels. As soon as the male teacher announces the duel has started, the Class 7C student takes a few consecutive steps backwards in order to create some distance between him and the boy.
To the crowd and the older student’s surprise, the boy also takes a few steps forward just as Master Charis has finished making his announcement. It looks like the boy has managed to read his opponent’s intention and is in the process of chasing the older student down. The Class 7C student suddenly stops and thrusts forward his sword, intent on skewering his opponent. The boy merely parries the attack aside and nonchalantly stabs the older student in return, lightly wounding him in the chest.
Even though the boy didn't put any strength in his counter, the Class 7C student still falls flat on his back after receiving the boy’s thrust, perhaps more due to shock than the power of the boy’s attack. The older student spends a few moments lying on the ground, contemplating what had just happened to him. As the Class 7C student looks up into the blue afternoon sky while wondering what went wrong, something enters his field of vision.
The boy is holding out left hand, extending it to his fallen upperclassman with the intent of helping his senior up. The Class 7C student is extremely touched. Just earlier, the older student had launched an attack that would have skewered the boy if he didn't successfully parry it, but here he is, offering assistance to his opponent like it was no big deal.
The Class 7C student clasps his underclassman’s hand and is immediately lifted up. Such strength and power, the older student thinks. He looks into the boy’s eyes with a new-found respect and admiration. Somewhere at the edge of the courtyard, a certain girl with a rotten personality is trying her best to staunch her severe nosebleed.
“Thank y-“ just as the Class 7C student is about to express his gratitude, the boy cuts him off.
“Please vacate this place immediately. You’re holding up the line.”
“GIVE ME BACK MY RESPECT AND ADMIRATION!” is what the older student wanted to shout but he meekly does what he is told.
The boy’s fifth, sixth and seventh opponents didn't even fair much better either. The boy’s fifth opponent, a student from Class 5C, decides to go on the offensive from the start. The older student’s effort is rewarded with the boy casually side-stepping him and lightly slicing the Class 5C student’s side at the same time.
The boy’s sixth opponent, a Class 4A student, manages to block three of the boy’s powerful attack before the older student’s sword is blown away from his hand and is launched high into the sky. Before the Class 4A student could do anything, the boy catches the sword and returns it to its original owner… but not before using it to wound the Class 4A’s chest lightly.
The boy’s seventh opponent, a student from Class 6C, succumbs after the boy kicks out the legs of the older student from under him. The older student falls face first into the dirt. Much to the shock of the onlookers, the boy appears to stab the Class 6C student in the back of his head but in reality the boy’s sword is planted a few inches to the left. It didn't stop the older student from declaring loudly and repeatedly that he chooses to forfeit.
The boy’s eighth fight is an interesting change of pace. His opponent, a Class 5B student, declares he wants to duel the boy in a hand-to-hand combat. The boy obliges, but unlike his previous duels, the fight didn't go as the crowd expected.
Compared to his earlier duels where the boy would dominate his opponents with such ease, he seems to have trouble taking the older student down. It looks like the boy is at a disadvantage with his shorter arms and legs. Every time the boy would try to hit the Class 5B student, the older student manages to keep him at bay because his range of attack is longer and wider than the boy’s.
And things continue not to look so well for the boy, because every time he manages to successfully lands a punch or a kick, his bigger older opponent would just shrug it off. It seems the boy is useless without a sword which earlier had provided him with the benefit of winning against his opponents by taking advantage of the first-blood rule.
The boy only succeeded in winning over his eighth opponent by launching himself at the Class 5B student, dodging low to avoid the older student’s kick, tackling him and putting the Class 5B student in a submission hold. The struggle went on for a couple of minutes, perhaps because the boy is only partially successful in putting the older student in the submission hold due to having only one good arm. But compared to his short and brief fights earlier where the boy successfully took out his opponents in just a few seconds, to the onlookers watching, this duel seems to last a lifetime.
The Class 5B student finally taps out, and the boy instantly lets go. The crowd of onlookers notice that the boy doesn't get up immediately. It looks like the strain of fighting eight opponents back-to-back has finally taken its toll on the boy. Master Charis moves to the boy’s side to check up on him. The male teacher says something to the boy, and the boy gives out a thumb-up sign as if to reply. It seems the boy is willing to go on even though he is currently lying on the ground in a state of exhaustion.
As the boy slowly gets up and leisurely prepares to meet his ninth opponent, Master Haithur motions a junior member of Ouroboros from the support team to come to his side.
“Pass my message to the first, second and third group. Tell them to abandon their weapons and challenge the little shit to a hand-to-hand combat. Try to make it last as long and as painful as possible. And when the opportunity presents itself, break his neck and make sure he no longer breathes.”
“Understood.” replies the obedient follower who is not participating in the duel. The junior member of Ouroboros then discreetly makes his way to the group of students who are waiting in line to challenge the boy. A group which is now solely comprises of Ouroboros members since the last non-member, the ninth participant, is currently challenging the boy.
You are dead. You are dead the moment you crossed my path. And when I get a hold of your corpse, I’ll make sure to cut it into little pieces and feed them to the dogs, you weak pathetic…, just as Master Haithur is about to finish his eulogy for the boy, the male teacher suddenly has the horrible realization that something is very wrong. Master Haithur looks down to the ground in front of him, trying to figure it out. He has missed something important… something tiny… something…
Weak! Are the boy punches and kicks really that weak? Earlier when the boy was using the sword, he had enough strength to blow away his opponents defenses. Then why did he have so much trouble taking down his opponent during his eighth duel? Unless…
Master Haithur suddenly feels a chill run down his spine. He realizes he is being watched by someone… or something. The male teacher looks up and notices the source of his discomfort. There... yards and yards away... in the middle of the courtyard... the boy is watching him while smiling. The boy lifts up his left hand and waves a little hello at the male teacher.
The crowd of onlookers become aware the boy is looking and waving at something. They follow his gaze and straight away notice Master Haithur standing at the farthest edge of the courtyard. A group of female students who are fans and admirers of the popular male teacher immediately stampedes their way to Master Haithur’s side.
“Master Haithur. We have faith in you. We know you’re not a bad person.”
“Don’t worry, Master Haithur. No one here believes those nasty lies spewed by that horrible boy.”
“Please accept these cookies we baked in class.”
“Master Haithur, why aren't you participating in the duel? You can easily defeat the vicious boy in five seconds flat.”
The boy laughs as he watches the popular male teacher being swamped by the female students who adore him. Their blind loyalty towards their favorite teacher will serve the boy well. Master Haithur will undoubtedly find it difficult to pass on any messages or strategies to his followers, not with that many worshiping eyes trained on him.
The boy needs Master Haithur’s last order to his followers, fight the boy in a hand-to-hand combat, to remain unchanged.
“THE DUEL STARTS NOW!”
“Where the hell are you staring at?” bellows the boy’s ninth opponent, a student from Class 7B. The older student is full of confidence after he had watched the boy struggle to fight without a weapon in the previous duel. He advances towards the boy like a raging bull.
“Your opponent is me! Never take your eyes off your ene-“
The Class 7B student never managed to finish his sentence. The boy avoids the older student right cross with the barest of movement while delivering a sucker punch that knocked the Class 7B student out.
“Thanks for the advice.” says the boy to his unconscious senior.