And so, the quarterfinals were underway.
There were more people in the venue than yesterday, and each of them could barely contain their excitement.
The first match for today was between Philia-san and Noel-kun.
As both of them were familiar with how the other fought thanks to the time they served in the hunting team, I for one was looking forward to how their fight would turn out.
As soon as the go signal was given, Philia-san nocked an arrow. Fierce winds then blew and concentrated on the said arrow.
The next moment I knew, the arrow wasn’t in her bow anymore and instead had made impact on Noel-kun’s shield.
The arrow spun in place for a good while, enough for me to think that it might actually be able to drill its way through. In the end though, it eventually stopped spinning.
That result wasn’t surprising since the shield was made of mithril. If anything, the fact that the now-still arrow remained lodged in the shield was a testament to how powerful that attack was just now.
"Hmm, I figured a direct attack like that wouldn’t pierce through."
"But how about this?"
Philia-san said so and then amazingly nocked ten arrows all at once. More surprising though, once the arrows were unleashed, each one was following a trajectory that was different from the rest. She was probably using the wind to direct the arrows, but even so, this was utterly amazing.
It was perhaps only natural for one to think that even Noel-kun wouldn’t be able to defend against all the arrows coming from different directions with a single shield.
However, Noel-kun did something unbelievable. He raised his shield toward the sky, leaving his body fully exposed to the incoming arrows.
In the next moment, all the arrows stopped being controlled by Philia-san and moved as though they were being absorbed by Noel-kun’s shield.
"Wha…He can do something like leading attacks to his shield…? No, now that I think about it, he has done something similar whenever he received attacks meant for us back when we were exploring the ruin…"
Much like the rest of us, Philia-san was dumbfounded upon seeing such a crazy move.
Yesterday’s match against Balrath-san proved that simply attacking after tiring Noel-kun wasn’t enough. But if even Philia-san’s tactic didn’t work, I have to wonder what would. It was almost as though Noel-kun was truly an impregnable wall.
That said, Noel-kun has been on the defense this entire time and hasn’t launched a single attack. After all, Philia-san has been making sure to maintain a fair distance between them.
Thanks to that, the match has fallen into a deadlock.
"Shield Bash, modified!"
Huh? From there!?
Noel-kun initiated a charge but then let go of his shield, sending it flying with tremendous force.
Philia-san was unfortunately unable to respond in time and got directly hit by the shield.
The thrown shield was so full of momentum that it carried Philia-san all the way out of the ring.
In other words, she was defeated.
Upon seeing a totally unexpected conclusion to the match, the crowd grew wild.
And with that, Noel-kun advances to the semi-finals.
The second match of the quarterfinals was between Selen and Gai-san.
Gai-san was a member of Alec-san’s party of adventurers.
He possessed the [White Magic] Gift. In addition, he had a strong body and also talent in martial arts that made use of a staff.
In other words, he could fight in the frontlines while healing. Not many people could claim to do that. Apparently though, he was also applying strengthening magic on himself so that his physical abilities would be improved further.
Gai-san swung his staff with great force, but Selen moved nimbly and avoided it. It was almost as though she completely saw through that attack.
Gai-san’s mastery of the staff didn’t originate from a Gift but rather from his own efforts. Sadly, even with strengthening magic, such mastery alone wasn’t enough against Selen.
An intense light flared up. This has caused Selen to close her eyes unintentionally.
Taking advantage of that opportunity, Gai-san struck a blow with all his might against the now-blinded Selen.