Ansarivan’s Five Hundred Years Festival
Whilst busily preparing for the Five Hundred Years Festival every day, Ash’s days flew by like an arrow.
Thus it was now — the twenty fifth day of the month of Libra. The first day of the Five Hundred Years Festival had finally arrived. From the first day to the second day, it was decided that this was when various preliminary rounds would be scheduled. In addition to the residents of the Academy City, there were also many tourists who came from outside, causing the Academy arena to become packed. The Paladin, Oswald, and the nobles of the Knight Country also attended in the VIP seats. Beside the plump Oswald respectively sat the First Princess Veronica, as well as the Third Princess and Academy Headmistress Mirabel on both sides. Cassandra Lautreamont, who was currently studying in the Chevron Kingdom also attended the ceremony. In addition to the mayor of Ansarivan, naturally, the Academy City’s dignitaries also came to watch the tournaments. Next to Cassandra, the figure of the Chevron Kingdom’s Third Prince, Uriel, could be seen; he seemed to be having an intimate conversation with Cassandra. The rumours that those two were dating was not particularly new gossip.
“Uriel and Cassandra huh…in terms of their poor character, they’re almost like a natural fit for each other.”
In the contestants’ lounge of the arena, Oscar muttered to himself. When Celes, who was standing at the door heard that, she seemed startled.
“Are you afraid, Oscar?”
Oscar scoffed as she revealed a calm smile.
“Even if it is Uriel, he probably wouldn’t dare to make any moves at this Five Hundred Years Festival. I will take this opportunity to let him see what my true strength is in person.”
(Part 1 of 7) (10/9)
After a one hour break, the first round of the <Dragonar’s Gunnar Bout> began in the afternoon. All of the contestants had gathered in the centre of the arena. This included the President Rebecca, Vice-President Oscar, Disciplinary Affairs member Silvia, Secretary Lucca, Accountant Max, and Ash of General Affairs. The Pals of the contestants were also present in a line, creating a spectacular scene. Amidst the gathering of Maestros with silvery-white fur, the presence of Eco and the Asia Brigid was rather odd and unexpected. The next step would be to draw lots, so that they could determine who would face each other as opponents. The tournament was in a knockout format, the winners of the first, second and third rounds would be able to advance to the last day of the Dragon Riding Festival — they would qualify for the final round in five days’ time. The final round would be between the top three contestants; this information had been published three days ago. The audience in the stands were all extremely passionate, and their cries reverberated throughout the arena.
“Rebecca-sama—! Cú Chulainn—!”
In every kind of festival in the past, Rebecca had always stayed behind at the back, so it was rare of her to personally compete, thus Rebecca’s supporters were all wearing bright red shirts, and held horizontal banners in their hands as they shouted out their cheers of support for her.
As a Princess of the Knight Country, the cheers that Silvia received were not inferior to those of Rebecca. While one side of the audience was composed of deep crimson, the other side was composed of ice blue colours.
“Our Lucca Sarlinen! The star of Ecbald! The Rider of Gawain!”
Amidst the flurry of red and blue in the arena, the cheers for Lucca also began to rise in volume. The sounds of their cheers were like the recital of a poem. One corner of the arena had ‘exclusive seats for Ecbald people’, and a cheering squad of the Ecbald led by the Chief, causing Lucca to feel so embarrassed that she couldn’t lift her head.
“Kyaaah! It’s the <Baron of Sonic>!”
“He’s as handsome as always!”
“Tristan is also so heavenly and elegant!”
The high-pitched and birdlike cries of the girls were cheering for Oscar Brailsford. Compared to everyone else, the cheers or cries for Ash and Max were barely audible.
“…What, is no one cheering for us right now? You’re obviously a real Dragonar as well.”
The sound of Eco’s complaints made their way into Ash’s ears.
“It can’t be helped, the popularity of us and those four simply can’t be compared.”
Ash smiled wryly as he placed his hand on top of Eco’s head.
“In this world, results are everything. As long as we can advance into the final round of the <Dragonar’s Gunnar Bout>, we’ll definitely garner attention, and I don’t have any intention of being defeated by anyone either.”
Max adjusted the position of his glasses with his finger while he calmly explained his opinion. Because of the Ashley incident earlier, the relationship between Ash and Max became somewhat rigid, but the two of them were slowly able to speak to each other naturally again, taking a load off Ash’s mind.
“What Max said is right.”
“Then, let’s draw lots now!”
After Rebecca made that announcement, silence enveloped the arena. In front of Ash and the others, there was a wheeled round table and wheeled blackboard, while the lottery box was placed on top of the round table. Jessica had a piece of white chalk in her hand, and a nervous look on her face as she stood beside the blackboard. Led by Rebecca, the contestants took turns at drawing lots. Every time a piece of paper was pulled out, Jessica would write down that person’s name on the knockout tournament draw. After a while, the draw was completed. The cheers of the crowd became even more sensational.
With an expression of disbelief, Ash stared at the draw in a daze.
(1) Rebecca Randall VS. Ash Blake
(2) Silvia Lautreamont VS. Lucca Sarlinen
(3) Oscar Brailsford VS. Maximillian Russell
“For such bad luck, I really feel sympathy for you. It seems that unless the sky was to fall, you won’t have any chance of facing off against me. Let me remind you first that in the slim chance that you do defeat Rebecca, you won’t win unless you defeat me as well.”
After the matchups for the tournament were unveiled, Oscar immediately began to provoke Ash. Behind her, the down-spirited Max could be seen. Ash clenched his teeth. His first opponent would be Rebecca — the Academy’s strongest <Scarlet Empress>. In addition, Ash’s mount was Brigid. No matter how one saw it, it seemed like there was no chance of winning…
—No, I can’t put down my own self-esteem!
After Ash firmly shook his head, he cheered himself up. Oscar was a Dragonar who was on par with Rebecca in terms of strength. If he couldn’t defeat Rebecca, then he wouldn’t be able to defeat Oscar either. As soon as Ash turned his thoughts around, he was able to muster up his fighting spirit. Even if his opponent was Rebecca, all he could was to go all out. Moreover, Ash also had the honourable Princess of Avalon’s Holy Dragons’ Emperor Family — Eco standing here…
“Hey come on, why aren’t you saying anything? You aren’t thinking of giving up before the battle has even started, right?”
A ridiculing sneer emerged on Oscar’s face. When her noble-like beauty revealed such an expression, she evoked a very strong sense of courage. Ash clenched both of his fists, and faced Oscar as he stared back.
“You should worry about yourself first, it’d be a shame if you lost to Max, right?”
“Hmph. You should judge yourself before speaking.”
After Oscar laughed with a ‘humph’, she elegantly turned around and left.
After the lottery and matchups were concluded, the beginning of the first round was announced immediately.
“I’m sorry, Ash. I understand your current dilemma, and if possible, I’d also like to help you win…but this is the sacred stage of the Five Hundred Years Festival. As the Student Council President, I can’t show any mercy.”
After making that declaration, Rebecca began to equip the Ark that Cú Chulainn had presented her with. After a flash of light, Rebecca’s entire body radiated a dazzling light. After her naked outline faintly appeared, the crowd went into an uproar. Immediately afterwards, a red Ark appeared. Although the helmet protecting her head helped to increase her defence, it did so without sacrificing any of the beauty of the armour, and it added to the overall brave atmosphere of the armour. This was the second type of Ark that was revealed to the public for the first time since the duel between Rebecca and Oscar.
“Right from the beginning and already…!”
Ash deeply felt that Rebecca was being serious this time. When he was so nervous that his mouth became dry, Eco sternly rebuked from behind him as if to cheer him on
“What’s so surprising? An Ark of that degree will be smashed to pieces by a single strike from the treasured sword of Avalon’s Holy Dragons’ Emperor Family!”
“That’s easy to say…anyway, all we need to do is be victorious. Hold on tight!”
After Eco grabbed onto Ash’s waist, she began to recite the chant to present his Ark.
“Almete, Gorjal, Peto, Espaldar, Brafoneras, Faldaje, Escarcelas, Bufetas, Hombreras, Brazales, Codales, Antebrazos, Manoplas, Quijotes, Guardas, Grebas, Escarpes — Espolón!”
Ash’s body was suddenly enveloped by an extraordinary amount of magical energy. Based on appearances alone, it was not possible to notice any changes. Ash still appeared to be wearing his normal Dragonar clothing, rather than an Ark. The surprised voices of the audience could be heard amidst the crowd. The Ark which still did not have a clear shape yet was overflowing with magical energy, and even exceeded that of Rebecca’s Ark. Its appearance aside, Ash’s Ark seemed to have the upper hand when it came to performance. It was just that after the end of the match, it was highly likely that he would experience severe muscle aches…
“Hmm. I would like to say this again first, it’s not that I refuse to show mercy — but under these circumstances, I don’t have any margin to hold back.”
At the same time that Rebecca softly uttered that, the bell to mark the beginning of the match sounded.
“Appear! The certain hit magic spear — Gáe Bolg!”
“Appear! The all-conquering steel that can slash through anything, a holy sword meant for the knight of all knights — its name is Excalibur!”
The voices of the crowd drowned out the sound of Rebecca’s and Ash’s chants, and only the people confronting each other on both sides could hear each other’s voices. But this coincided with Ash’s intentions. Ash clearly knew that his own fighting technique had always been unorthodox, so he didn’t want to leak out too much information to the audience. Not to mention that Uriel, who was from the Chevron Kingdom was currently in the VIP spectator gallery. This Third Prince was a dangerous character that even Oscar did not take lightly. If what Oscar said was true, then his ambition would likely cause unrest throughout the continent.
“You’re asking for trouble if you think about other things during a battle!”
Rebecca suddenly shouted out loudly, while her eyes felt so sharp that they almost made Ash shiver. He gripped the hilt tightly with both hands, and finally restrained his impulse to tremble. He used his legs to tighten his position on the saddle so that he wouldn’t fall off Brigid’s back. Cú Chulainn soared into the sky above the arena. And then stopped at a height of fifty metres above the ground.
“Magic spear Gáe Bolg — [Wheel of Fortune] !”
“You’re using your ultimate technique right at the very beginning!?”
At the same time that a geometric pattern appeared in the sky, a blast of magic exploded.
Brigid understood Ash’s intentions, and jumped backwards. And the very instant that the aura from [Wheel of Fortune] which charged forth like a raging wave seemed like it would pierce the earth, it suddenly changed its trajectory to fly parallel to the ground, and once again moved straight towards Ash.
There was absolutely no way to evade it this time, and Ash had no choice but to use Excalibur to counter it. A powerful flash of light obscured his field of vision. Then the sound of an explosion reverberated throughout the arena.
Although he was barely able to cancel out the [Wheel of Fortune], Ash, Eco and Brigid were still subjected to the impact of the aftermath.
Brigid issued a sharp cry, as it struggled with its four legs to remain upright, and thus avoiding the situation of falling over. In terms of the rules, one would be disqualified as soon as they fell off their dragon, which was why the rider couldn’t let go of the reins under any circumstances.
“Since that’s the case, all I can do is release all of Excalibur’s power and break through the [Wheel of Fortune] and Rebecca-san at the same time!”
“If you knew that, you should’ve done that from the very beginning!”
Eco coughed incessantly, while complaining to Ash at the same time. But Rebecca didn’t give them any room to relax, and followed up her assault with a second wave.
“[Wheel of Fortune]!”
“You really are being ruthless, Rebecca-san!”
Ash switched his stance to use the sword one-handed, while he used his other hand to take control of the reins. Brigid charged forth without stopping according to Ash’s instructions. However, it was not the same as the Maestro which could freely move around in the three-dimensional space, as an Asia was limited to moving in a two-dimensional manner over the surface of the ground. From Rebecca’s perspective, Ash’s only way to evade was by running around on the ground.
“Are you complaining, Ash? If you keep this up, it looks like you’ll be at the mercy of Oscar’s outrageous requests!”
Rebecca stood on top of Cú Chulainn’s head as she shouted
“According to the agreement between you and Oscar, if you’re able to win, not only does she have to give up on involving you and Eco, but also giving up on me, right!? Honestly speaking…I’m very happy. Because this is the first time that someone has come forward to protect me.”
Ash was unable to hear the last part of that clearly. Compared to the profound emotions of those words, the magic bullet that [Wheel of Fortune] released flickered brightly, and mercilessly charged towards Ash and the others. In response to the magic bullet that was coming towards him, Ash thought that just when he was about to be hit, he could use Brigid’s powerful legs to dodge; and if he failed to evade it, then he could strike it down with Excalibur. As he desperately racked his brains for a way to escape, Ash felt spurts of anxiety. If this continued to drag on, Brigid’s physical stamina would sooner or later be depleted. When it came to that, he would have no choice but to defend with his own body, and Rebecca would have total control over the situation. He had to quickly come up with a countermeasure…!
And in that moment, Ash felt that something wasn’t quite right.
—Could it be…
The name of the attack, [Wheel of Fortune], was the same as the one used against Oscar, it was a streak of light; he remembered that its firepower was incredible, and much like a turbulent storm. In comparison, the current [Wheel of Fortune] was not the same thing. The explosive energy of each strike was quite small, and it was another type of attack entirely. It was basically like a bullet.
—At the beginning, I thought that Rebecca used her maximum firepower so as to prevent me from having any opportunities in an attempt to defeat me with one strike. But in that case, why is she frequently resorting to such fragmented attacks? Did she change her tactic to gradually wear out Brigid’s stamina? No, a petty tactic like this doesn’t suit Rebecca-san’s style…
At that time, Brigid let out a breathless cry. Probably on the brink of exhausting its physical stamina, its mobility also began to decline significantly, and the magic bullets also grazed its scales. Not long afterwards, Brigid finally stopped. The scene of its struggle to catch up to Lancelot during the ‘Aries Dragon Riding Festival’ once again recurred.
Brigid no longer responded to Ash’s calls, and simply continued panting breathlessly. Even so, Rebecca continued to mercilessly rain down a flurry of magic bullets. Upon seeing that Brigid was no longer moving around, she arranged eight magic bullets in the air to form a ring, and launched them all for a simultaneous attack.
Ash changed his stance to grip the sword with both his hands as he held it up high. At the same time that the radiance of his sword and the eight bullets collided with each other — a surprisingly massive explosion which shook the very earth took place. Dark smoke was emitted from the arena, and it completely devoured the figures of Ash, Eco and Brigid. A terrifying silence then shrouded the entire arena.
The massive explosion set off a chain reaction, producing powerful blasts of wind on a level even above that of the explosion. Hovering in the air, Rebecca and Cú Chulainn were also affected. However, Rebecca maintained a relaxed expression as she stood on top of Cú Chulainn’s head. Cú Chulainn seemed mostly unaffected by the blast of wind, and continued float in mid-air. Rebecca leisurely overlooked the site of the explosion, and murmured with a melancholic tone
“Ash…surely you’ve got more than just that as a Dragonar, right? Where has the you whose strength always exceeded my expectations gone to right now? You protected Ansarivan from being destroyed by the Necromancia, you also repulsed Avdocha; and during the training camp at Allonnes Lake, you were able to help Lucca recover from her situation, and you were also able to emerge victorious from the battle in Fontaine City. Come on, let me see it, blow away my expectations of you, and show me something that will leave even me in disbelief to defeat me!”
Unconsciously, Rebecca’s quiet whispers had turned into a loud bellow.
“Respond to my expectations — Ash Blake!”
Rebecca’s voice grew even more powerful, and it loudly resounded throughout the entire arena. As if in response to her shouting, brilliant rays of light suddenly burst out from the site which had been filled with smoke and dust from the aftermath of the explosion.
Sensing the waves of a violent aura, Rebecca immediately raised her magic spear. There was an unusual atmosphere about the place. She thought that Eco had awakened, but she could not see any of the signs of the ‘Avalon Princess’ who had originally plunged the capital city into chaos. After a moment, the smoke and dust began to clear. When clarity in her vision was restored, Rebecca undoubtedly saw it. It was a Maestro with a physique not inferior in any way to that of Cú Chulainn’s. And — standing on top of that Maestro’s head, were Ash and Eco, mutually supporting each other.
“How is this possible!? He’s turned Brigid into a Maestro!?”
Not even the usually calm Rebecca could conceal the words of surprise that she whispered.
“Is that for real!? My Brigid has turned into a Maestro!”
Amidst the bright red crowd of spectators — mercilessly deceived by his own friend and Pal, the boy who waved a banner around and cheered for Rebecca as his favourite — Raymond’s hands slipped, causing him to drop the banner to the floor. Upon seeing Raymond’s shocked appearance, the classmate who was sitting beside him asked with a surprised look
“Raymond, the problem is…are you going to be appointed as a Dragonar under such circumstances?”
“I’m not sure about that…hmm!?”
Raymond suddenly revealed a serious expression, and lifted his red T-shirt upwards.
“Uwah! Why are you undressing in front of such a large crowd! I’m not interested in those kinds of things!”
“I’m not either! The important thing is that my <Seikoku> is gone!”
Raymond’s face went pale, and his entire body trembled.
“If I remember correctly, your <Seikoku> is on the left side of your abdomen?”
“How would you know that so clearly!? …Uh, that isn’t important right now! Look, it’s really not there! I can’t feel Brigid either! The connection of our Astral Flow is broken!”
“Hey…isn’t the situation a bit bad? This means you won’t even be a Breeder anymore…”
Raymond’s state of panic was written all over his face. If someone was no longer a Breeder, they would lose their right to stay in the Academy.
“Ash you bastard, WHAT THE HELL DID YOU DOOOOOO!”
After Raymond cried out heartbreaking, his legs gave out and he tumbled down on the spot.
After Ash issued his command, Brigid let loose a frightening roar. And then as soon as it soared into the sky — Ash felt the pressure of the wind pushing against his entire body. Its speed was astonishing. Speaking of which, why did Brigid become a Maestro? Ash couldn’t figure out the reason for that either. Perhaps having thought of a possibility, he asked Eco who was behind him.
“Brigid become a Maestro, is that something done by your abilities? Or the Avalon Royal Family’s…?”
Hearing this, Eco was also surprised.
“I’m not sure about it either. But just before we were hit by Rebecca’s attack, I felt as though Brigid and I connected with each other. Look.”
Eco hugged onto Ash as she showed her right palm. In the centre of her small palm, a pattern like the head of a dragon had appeared. It was like a false, replacement <Seikoku>.
“Could it be that you’re connected with Brigid right now? But how is that related to it becoming a Maestro?”
“I said I didn’t know! It’s just that after the Astral Flow between Brigid and I connected, I seem to have inadvertently infused my own magic into its appearance. Because…I wanted to be able to protect Ash.”
After Eco’s face reddened, she lowered her head in embarrassment. Ash also felt embarrassed as well, and he felt his cheeks begin to heat up. This so-called Astral Flow was originally a channel that Breeders used to supply Astral to their Pals.
Eco used this channel to send her own magic to Brigid?
The problem was, in order to turn Brigid into such a magnificent Maestro, just how much magic was needed for that? Ash was unable to imagine it.
“If it didn’t respond to my feelings, we wouldn’t have been able to do anything but sit there, and we would have been defeated by Rebecca, that is the one thing that I can be sure of.”
Eco used eyes full of loving affection as she stared at the strong and mighty Brigid.
“Yeah, that’s right. Thank you, Brigid.”
Brigid answered with a roar of joy. Ash suddenly realised that he seemed to be forgetting something highly important, but he decided to put defeating Rebecca as his top priority. Thus he pushed his non-essential worries into a corner of his mind. After all, even though Brigid had become a Maestro, the gap between the strength of the two sides should have only been decreased by a small amount. But all fear disappeared from Ash’s mind.
“I’m coming, Rebecca-san!”
Rebecca seemed to have been stunned and remained motionless, and only when she heard Ash’s voice did she raise her head. To actually appear shaken, Rebecca was currently below the standard that she normally showed. But she glided around in the sky at high speed with Cú Chulainn so as to prevent Brigid from attacking her from behind, the strain from that speed couldn’t be underestimated. After the aerial battle between the two Maestros began, the thunderous cheers of the crowd shook the air. Now, the cheers of support for Ash had grown to match those of Rebecca’s supporters. Aside from the cheer squads amongst the spectators dressed in bright red, everyone else kept on shouting out Ash’s name. After escaping from Ash’s chase, Rebecca began to pursue him from behind. Cú Chulainn opened its enormous mouth and spewed out a Crimson Ex-Breath ; Brigid quickly turned around, and evaded the flames at the same time to curve around to Rebecca’s back. Cú Chulainn’s enormous body swerved into the attacking range of Brigid.
Ash shouted out loudly. Brigid fired out a Shiny Silver Lightning Blast , Cú Chulainn’s reaction was slightly delayed, but it immediately erected a Hexagonal Shield . The hexagonal face which acted as a protective barrier was able to block the magic attack just in the nick of time — however, it was unable to completely nullify the shock waves from the attack, thus causing damage to Cú Chulainn’s body.
Seeing Cú Chulainn groaning in pain, the audience began to stir. The audience was not cheering, rather, they were shocked by what they saw and were now in uproar. Has that Cú Chulainn ever groaned in pain in front of such a large crowd? That was the one thing that everyone was thinking about.
“We have a chance of winning, Ash!”
Eco began to cheer for Ash.
“Yeah. Even if our opponent is the <Scarlet Empress>, I don’t feel like I’ll lose right now!”
After Ash confidently replied, he hugged Eco’s shoulders even tighter. After Eco’s cheeks became a shade of rosy red, she revealed a panicked expression.
“Hey! What are you doing!?”
“Thank you, Eco. Thanks to your help, I was able to fight until this moment.”
“I-I just did what a Pal should do!”
Eco snappily turned her face away to the other side. However, her body was still tightly pressed against Ash’s body, and she didn’t seem to have any intention of separating with him. Feeling the warmth of Eco’s body, Ash felt an indescribable sensation in his heart. Even though they were clearly supposed to be facing off against Rebecca right now, his current state of mind still had room for relaxation, causing Ash himself to feel disbelief.
After the all-out aerial battle, the two Maestros confronted each other as they floated at a high altitude in the sky. The two of them were separated by a distance of approximately fifty metres. The meeting place had unwittingly become silent. Everyone was so nervous that their mouths went dry and they felt thirsty as they stretched their necks to look up at the sky. Even Mirabel also put down her book out of concern for the battle situation. Fifty minutes had already elapsed since the beginning of the match. There was only a brief amount of time before they would reach the sixty minute limit—
“It’s time to decide this match, Ash.”
Rebecca raised up Gáe Bolg, and declared that majestically.
“That’s just what I wanted.”
Ash replied with true sincerity. Rebecca’s intent was very clear — I will pour everything I have into this one blow. That being the case, Ash could only use everything he had to respond.
“Magic spear Gáe Bolg — [Wheel of Fortune]!”
Along with a rumbling noise, Rebecca’s ultimate weapon and charging stance began to surge towards him. The magic spear which interfered with fate had locked onto Ash’s life. The ‘outcome’ had already been decided. Right now, it was his only chance to break [Wheel of Fortune], before the reasoning behind it caught up.
“The all-conquering steel that can slash through anything, a holy sword meant for the knight of all knights—!”
Ash recited the chant out aloud, and then raised Excalibur up high with both hands. He felt as though all of the magic energy which had accumulated within the invisible Ark was being transferred towards the holy sword, causing the holy sword to unleash an incredible pressure on top of the pulse-like energy that the sword inherently had.
Ash swung down the holy sword in one strike with everything that he had. An immense amount of magic energy poured out like an overwhelming avalanche, and the unusually thick beam of light sliced straight through the atmosphere. A clash of magic collided between the two Maestros and shook the air. When Rebecca and Oscar fought against each other, their power was in a deadlock until the very last moment. However, that wasn’t the case this time. The beam of magic energy that the holy sword Excalibur expelled was not something that Gáe Bolg could contend with. Containing an overwhelming destructive power, it was comparable to the time when he had previously used it to defeat Mordred in the capital city of Fontaine. Rebecca now seemed to be losing ground, and Excalibur had almost entirely engulfed all of Gáe Bolg’s attack. The [Wheel of Fortune] which had locked on to Ash’s life had also long been torn apart. Even if she was equipped with an Ark, it was possible that there would be a threat to Rebecca’s life if she continued like this — unease surfaced within Ash, causing him to open his mouth and shout towards her
“The outcome has been decided! Surrender! Rebecca-san, I don’t want to hurt you!”
“…You’re too naïve, Ash!”
Rebecca’s tone was calm and indifferent as usual as she coldly retorted against Ash.
“Gentle…that has always been one of your strengths, but that’s also your weakness! As the current Student Council President, I’ll have to teach you a lesson for being too naïve!”
“—Surpass me, Ash!”
Rebecca revealed a fully self-confident smile.
“Someone able to surpass me, regardless of whether they’re from the past or present, the only one is you!”
Seeing her smile was like a wake-up call for Ash. He now understood the reason behind why Rebecca insisted on only using fragmented attack at the beginning of the match. The magic bullets that she fired at that time were obviously quite similar to the magic bullets that Oscar used. Rebecca abandoned her original tactics, and continuously repeated using attacks similar to those of Oscar’s, apparently for the sake of training Ash for his battle against Oscar.
“Your plan from the very beginning was to train me…and you personally did that during the tournament!”
If that was the case, then was this tournament matchup deliberately arranged by Rebecca in secret? This idea briefly crossed Ash’s mind. Even if Rebecca looked forward to a duel with Ash again, this draw would end her journey prematurely. But, for someone such as Rebecca with incredible talent, doing something sneaky during the draw probably wasn’t a problem. Moreover, Rebecca didn’t mention her own ‘request’ when everyone was talking about their victory. To put it bluntly, didn’t this prove that she never had the intention of winning in the first place? In that instant—
The beam of the holy sword Excalibur slashed through Rebecca’s entire body. Not only Rebecca, but even Cú Chulainn suffered immense damage to its body. Cú Chulainn’s body began to wobble, and it began to fall down from the sky. Seeing that Rebecca had been tossed off from its head, Ash immediately cleared his mind. Rebecca seemed to have lost consciousness. A moment later, cracks began to emerge in the bright red Ark, and it eventually shattered and turned into dust. Her bare body which was surrounded by a cloud of dust from the shattered Ark fell down from the sky which was full of shining, bright red glitter.
“Quickly go and save Rebecca-san!”
Ash hastily returned the holy sword to its scabbard, and issued that command to Brigid. Brigid dived in the air, gradually narrowing the distance between him and Rebecca. Ash stretched out both of his arms towards that white-skinned body. With her body held horizontally in his arms, her light weight startled him. Renowned as the distant <Scarlet Empress>, she was just a graceful, and ordinary girl right now. After successfully protecting Rebecca’s safety, Ash breathed a sigh of relief, but in the blink of an eye he blushed deeply out of embarrassment. Rebecca was completely naked right now. Ash accidentally caught a glimpse of her ample breasts and slim thighs, making him so nervous that it felt as though his heart was about to pop out. The beauty of her naked body was akin to that of a goddess carved out on a stone statue.
“Hey! What are you looking at!?”
Without saying anything else, Eco kicked Ash’s calf.
It was so painful that Ash couldn’t help bursting into tears. The reputation of the Avalon Knight which was finally established was so easily destroyed. It seems like the Ark that Eco had personally created had been lifted at some point. Could Eco have released it? Because it didn’t have a visible form to begin with, and also because his attention was focused on Rebecca’s naked body, Ash hadn’t realised that his armour had disappeared at all.
“The winner of the first round is Ash Blake! His Pal is named Eco! And the exception that allows two people to ride on it as a mount, that is the Asia which has transformed — the Maestro Brigid!”
The referee’s announcement was made to welcome Ash and the others who had landed in the centre of the arena.
“Rebecca VS. Ash ~A.S.B.1365.10~” is closed.
 Kana was Wheel of Fortune, Kanji was Ring of Fate. Also corrected this in Chapter 2, as I seem to have forgotten it.
 Kana was Crimson Ex-Breath, Kanji was Crimson Breath of the Fire Dragon.
 Kana was Shiny Silver Lightning Blast, Kanji was Silver Ray of the Thunder Dragon.
 Kana was Hexagonal Shield, Kanji was Hexagon Barrier.
(Parts 2 to 7) (17/10)
Continues on to Epilogue