Dang no one tried to tl it for the last 8 months or so. That’s why, I am back at again.
“Contestant Rose, a few words!”
“What are your plans for the finals?”
“How are you going to face contestant Olgren!?”
“What are your countermeasures against the unique magic ……!?”
Shut up, shut up, shut up, shut up, shut up, shut up, I thought to myself.
A large number of people from the interview team surround me.
And they were asking me questions one after another. They just wanted my comment. They didn’t even know what I was thinking right now.
But on the surface, I responded with a resolute attitude.
“That’s right. I will give it my all.”
“Are you confident you can win!?”
“…… Ariane-Olgren is a strong opponent. That is why I am also determined to give it my all.”
I put on a mask and just answered the numerous questions in a matter-of-fact manner. But it was only a facade. It is a given that I will do my utmost. I want to say to the reporter in front of me, ‘Can’t you even understand that?’ ……but I can’t show this feeling here.
No, I don’t care where my feelings go.
Because they are just a group of people who want to get a good word out of me.
I was genuinely happy when I finished the semifinals.
” …… I, too, managed to come this far …… I can do it. I can properly advance …….”
As I returned to the waiting room from the venue, I was muttering to myself and chewing on my victory.
At last, the finals.
I made it this far. If it were not for the days with Ray, I would not have made it this far.
However,……, I haven’t spoken to him since the start of the Magic Chevalier.
I’ve been listening to his voice as everyone cheered me on in the Amelia Cheerleading Squad. I haven’t had a good conversation with everyone.
It was a reminder.
Because I knew that if I talked to them, I would probably waver in my decision. And if I met Ray, …… I would surely cling to him. That’s why I kept him away.
Because I was weak. I’m still weak.
So when I go on, I’ll be alone.
Then, when I win, I will be greeted with a smile. With this in mind, I finally made it to the finals. I finally made it this far.
I could meet everyone. I watched the other semifinal, imagining a future where I would be congratulated from the bottom of my heart.
“Wow ……, those two …….”
I watched their match closely. At the end of the corridor leading from the players’ waiting room, I watched Ariane and Albert fight.
Ariane was overwhelmingly the one pushing. But he did not break. He kept on enduring and kept on surviving the onslaught. No one would complain even if he admitted defeat. Yet, I could tell from Albert’s expression of gruffness that he would never give up.
His body was covered in wounds and his knots were frozen. He probably didn’t even have any sense left…….. And yet, he persisted. He never gave up.
He, too, has changed after the battle with Ray.
That’s genuinely amazing. I know how tough it is to deny who you are and keep going from there.
But in the next moment, I felt my confidence, everything I had built up, being shattered.
It was like glass being shattered into pieces. I felt as if everything I was made of was breaking down.
“Wa ……. what …… is that..?”
Ariane’s limbs turned reddish-black. Her limbs were covered with multiple layers of reddish-black cords,…… and then, Albert seriously swung the white blade. She crushed it …… in her grip as if it were a joke.
I don’t remember much from there.
When Ariane swung her fist at his abdomen, I …… saw him rolling on the ground as if he had blown like something that wasn’t a person and …… I imagined it.
That is surely me in the next game.
I understand it clearly.
That sorcery is Unique Sorcery. I am sure that Ariane has worked very hard to reach that point …… where those with talent can reach the end of their efforts. That is the Unique Sorcery.
The sorcery that is only for them.
The same is true for Ray’s Ice-blade. That is also a Unique Sorcery, the ultimate sorcery that only he can handle.
After all,…… Ariane’s a person of that side after all.
I knew, I knew that for a long time, and yet I …… was terrified of Ariane, waving her hands to the applause of the crowd.
How …… am I supposed to win?
Do I have sufficient sorcery to counter that Unique Sorcery?
Ariane’s true strength is her super close quarters. But even if I fight with some distance between us, I will get beaten in front of that overwhelming Unique Sorcery. So should I keep my distance? No, that is impossible. That Unique Sorcery was invoked on all four limbs. So it’s not only her arm strength but also her leg strength that must have been strengthened as well.
I do not have the sorcery to maintain a long distance.
My skill as a sorcerer may indeed be of a high standard. Ray praised me for it. But I have no trump card. So when the opponent plays a trump card like this, I can’t deal with it.
Ray was concerned about that, too, but in the end, there was not much time.
“How am I …… supposed to fight ……?”
I stare in a daze.
I knew the world was ruthless.
Why do I feel this way? I didn’t want to make it to the finals if I was going to know what it felt like.
I was mistaken.
I should never have had the illusion that I could fly away from the cage. Embracing what is in my own size, my own thoughts, is what I should have done.
My shaking body …… continues to tremble.
No matter how I struggle, I can’t imagine winning against Ariane. I thought I would just be overwhelmed and end up rolling on the ground like Albert.
But I can’t even tenaciously persist through it like he did.
Because my heart has already accepted defeat.
Ahh, …… I am weak after all.
Why did I think that I, who am so weak, could win the championship?
After the interview, my steps were heavy. I just didn’t want to feel anything right now. I just wanted to be alone. Fortunately, tomorrow is my day off. Besides, before the finals, there is the rookie tournament and the third-place game of the main tournament.
The final match, in which I will participate, will be held in the afternoon.
There is still time.
I went back to my room in my dormitory and opened my notebook. I was going to think about how I should fight against Ariane,……, but all that came to mind were two words: my defeat.[TN: Two words cause Defeat (haiboku ‘敗北’) got two kanji’s so I used ‘My Defeat’ to make it a bit more relevant] )
It’s always the same.
I can’t do anything at the critical moment.
I was just being presumptuous. There was nothing I could do.
The match will be over, just overwhelmed by Ariane.
That day, I went to bed shivering and feeling inferior. Fortunately, my body was tired and I was able to sleep. Then I thought.
I don’t want to wake up anymore.
I no longer wanted to stare at reality.
“…… morning, huh”
And then I woke up. Time cruelly passes. But today’s not a holiday. Today was the day of the …… final. I spent yesterday aimlessly. I just sat still in the corner of my room with the image of losing to Ariane etched in my mind.
Then I ate a decent meal and went back to sleep.
And so, without being able to do anything, the final day of the …… Magic Chevalier arrived.
Everything will be decided on this day.
But there is one result that we already know.
The winner of the rookie competition will be Ariane.
That much is certain. Because right now I have no image of winning, and I don’t have the energy …… to fight.
I walked on in a daze.
Moving so as not to be noticed by the interviewers, I reach the waiting room early. The third-place game has probably already started by now. I can hear the cheers of the spectators and the loud voices of the play-by-play announcer and commentator.
But I didn’t want to hear any of that right now.
I just sit in the corner of the room, holding my knees and …… my head down.
I want to live up to everyone’s expectations. I’m sure everyone in the cheering section believes in me in the finals.
I must be the winner.
Until now, that had been my strength. That’s why I was able to fight. But now, …… it has become the biggest obstacle.
No, it’s not just everyone. The finals will surely have the most attention. In the midst of all this, I’m going to be an abomination. I really want to escape. But I don’t have the courage to run away, and I don’t have the courage to fight properly.
The bird in the cage had its wings torn off as soon as it got up …….
I was so stunned that my heart broke when I saw the overwhelming power of it in front of me. Ariane is different after all. The talent is different, the amount of effort is different,……, and the way she is is overwhelmingly superior to me. It’s transcendent.
I am only a pedigree.
I should have stayed quietly in my cage. Then I wouldn’t have had to have these thoughts ……. But as soon as I thought that, I wanted to deny …… it. Because my days with everyone were …… real.
Such contradictory thoughts would take over.
I shrink to the corner of the room, conflicted and almost defeated by myself.
That is the essence of Amelia Rose.
I want to see everyone. I want to see Ray …… I want to see him. I want to talk, I want to tell him what’s in my heart. I want to expose myself. I want to throw it all out.
But no one comes here.
Because I know that, I …… plunge my heart further into the darkness. In the end, there is no way to change. That’s why I …….
I repeat this thought for the umpteenth time, and then I hear the door to the waiting room open. But the time should not be up yet.
So why was the door open ……?
But …… doesn’t matter. It was probably just someone coming to clean the room or something. They would leave soon, I was sure of it. I thought so, but then I thought I heard a …… nostalgic voice from above me. No, nostalgic is an exaggeration, but I felt like I hadn’t heard that voice for a long time.
I hear an auditory hallucination.
It couldn’t be. Ray has a job as a management committee member. He’s always been busy. And he’s probably working as a vendor, too. So there was no way he could be in a place like this.
This is an auditory hallucination created by a weak mind.
Ahh …… how foolish I am,……. But his hand that gently touched my hand was certainly warm.
It was no illusion.
“Amelia,……, there you are,…….”
“Why …… why …… here…?”
” ……I know exactly where Amelia is running from since …… her training.”
“T-that’s …… because…….. because ……. I ………..”
I roughly shook off the hand that was gently over mine.
Ray was the one I didn’t want to see me right now.
I wanted to see him, but I didn’t want him to see me in this pathetic state.
I was thinking that, and I noticed. I looked closely and saw that Ray’s hand was also …… trembling.
“Amelia,…… I,…… I was scared,…….”
What is he saying ……?
Did I mishear ……?
When I raised my face with that in my mind, I saw not the usual confident look on his face, but a somewhat lost expression.
And so we exchange the last words before the match.
I got to know. His true feelings, and mine as well──.
Also heard that it’s getting an Anime treatment, so I gonna milk it. Buhahahahaaa
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