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Chapter: 623


Chapter 623: The Semifinals [Part 1]

After the impressive entrance ceremony, three of the four contestants were each given a dart of different colors. Prince Jason wasn’t given any because his grandfather had already told him what he was planning to do for the Semifinals. 

There was nothing special about the darts, except for the fact that it would decide who their opponents would be.

In order to make the match as fair as possible, Emperor Leonidas decided to choose this method of pairing the contestants with each other. This way, no one would say that he had rigged the tournament and chose an advantageous opponent for his grandson.

A spinning board with the design of a Yin and Yang appeared at the edge of the arena. Although the four contestants already had an idea on what they would do with the dart in their hands, they still waited for Emperor Leonidas to explain the mechanics of the Semifinals.

"When that spinning wheel starts to spin, the three of you will throw your darts," Emperor Leonidas explained. "If two darts land on the same color then the owners of the darts will fight each other in the Semifinal round.

"If all three darts landed on the same color, we will base it on which ones landed first. Of course, the one who didn’t get a pair would be matched against my grandson. Do the three of you have any other questions?"

Lilith smiled because the method the Emperor used for the Semifinal Match was fool proof. 

‘As expected of Emperor Leonidas,’ Lilith thought. ‘He surely knows how to appear fair and just on the surface.’

She had to admit that she didn’t expect this kind of method would be used for the pairings. In truth, she wanted to fight Ephemera in the Semifinals. Lilith believed that among the four of them, she was the weakest.

Of course, this was just Lilith’s excuse. 

The truth was that she didn’t like the Seven Virtues. Ephemera represented Justice, and just like the name suggested, she only believed in her own Justice. Even if she was in the wrong, she would insist that she was in the right.

Lilith had long wanted to beat the crap out of one of the Seven Virtues, and Ephemera was her first target.

Prince Jason crossed his arm over his chest. He didn’t care who his opponent was, because he was confident that as long as he had Aamon’s artifact he would win the tournament.

Emperor Leonidas and the rulers of the various factions had a meeting a day ago about the artifact that Prince Jason was using. Surprisingly, the representative of the Gunnar Federation, and the Silvermoon Continent didn’t care whether Prince Jason had an artifact that would boost him to the Saint Rank.

For them, this was something trivial and they weren’t worried about it. Even Empress Andraste didn’t comment about the issue. Because of this, no one raised an issue about the bracelet that the Prince of the Kraetor Empire used during his last battle.

Since the representatives were fine with it, there was no longer any need for discussion.

The first one to throw the dart was Ephemera. Not wanting to be outdone, Lilith threw hers as well. 

Kenneth was the third to throw. He didn’t really care who he would end up fighting up against. For him, no matter who his opponent was, he would strive to come out as the victor.

In time, the spinning wheel slowed down, showing the pairings of the matches.

Kenneth’s and Ephemera’s darts landed on the black portion of the spinning wheel. Lilith’s dart landed only a centimeter away from Ephemera’s dart, but it had hit the white area. With this, the pairings had been made, and no one would be able to find fault in the outcome.

Prince Jason glanced at the Amazon Princess who was going to be his opponent. Lilith was an Amazon Warrior and her body was filled with vitality and strength. Even so, her womanly curves were still present. Not only that, her sun-kissed skin was quite appealing as well.

Perhaps if Prince Jason wasn’t dead set on Princess Sidonie, he would consider Lilith as a potential bride candidate. The Prince raised his head to look at the seats where the Kraetor Royal Family was located.

His gaze briefly stopped on Princess Vanessa before shifting to the beautiful Princess with long reddish-brown hair. Even though they were far apart, he could tell that Princess Sidonie wasn’t looking in his direction.

This made him feel a bit irritated, but soon, this irritation disappeared without a trace. Prince Jason knew that when his match started, his beloved Princess would have no choice but to watch his fight.

He intended to show his best performance in order to win her heart.

"Who among you wants to fight first?" the referee asked the four contestants. "The rules for the matches are not too strict for the Semifinals. We can start the battle as soon as all of you are ready."

Prince Jason took a step forward and threw away his princely robe. Since there was no order of who would fight first, he would take the initiative to take the limelight and secure the victory for the first match.

He had already seen how Lilith fought, and for him, it was such a clumsy performance, so he didn’t think of Lilith as a worthy adversary.

"I’ll go first," Prince Jason declared. He then glanced at the warrior standing not far from him and gave her a brief nod. "Is that fine with you, Princess?"

The corner of Lilith’s lips curled up into a smirk as she nodded her head. "Might as well be the first."

Ephemera and Kenneth glanced at each other before leaving the arena at the same time. Their time to fight would come, but for now, they would give the stage to the Prince of the Kraetor Empire, and the Princess of the Amazons.

Empress Andraste chuckled before glancing at Emperor Leonidas.

"Who do you think will win?" Empress Andraste asked.

"My grandson, of course," Emperor Leonidas answered without even looking at her.

"Oh? Then do you want to have a bet with me?"

"Sure."

Both the Emperor and Empress had full confidence in their representatives, so they were not afraid to have a bet with each other.

"If my daughter wins, I’ll be taking your grandson’s bracelet," Empress Andraste said. 

Emperor Leonidas frowned. The bracelet belonged to the Temple, and it was not his place to use it as a betting material. Before he could reject the Empress’ condition, the Oracle of Aamon’s Temple voiced her opinion on the matter.

"Go for it, Your Majesty," the Oracle commented from the side. "I approve of this bet."

Empress Andraste looked at the Oracle and smiled. There was a common understanding among the people that the Oracles could see the future. However, this was far from the truth. 

The Oracle’s main duty was to receive the message of the Gods that they serve. Although there were Gods that had the power of Clairvoyance, not all of them did. 

Aamon was a God from Hell and his specialty lay in warfare. If Empress Andraste was up against the Oracle of one of the scholarly Gods then she might find the situation rather tricky. Fortunately, Aamon was not a scholar, and his Oracle couldn’t see the future. 

As long as no one knew the outcome of the match, Empress Andraste was confident that her daughter would come up as the winner.

"Very well. If you win then the bracelet is yours to keep," Emperor Leonidas replied. "Then how about if I win?"

"Feel free to state a condition." Empress Andraste rested the side of her face on the palm of her right hand. "As long as you don’t ask for too much, I will agree to anything."

Emperor Leonidas pondered for a bit before giving his reply.

"Gleipnir," Emperor Leonidas said. "I want Gleipnir."

This time, it was Empress Andraste’s turn to frown. Gleipnir was one of the treasures of the Amazon Race and it held great powers. It was said that anyone that it bound would not be able to break free, even if it was a Demigod.

Emperor Leonidas smirked when he saw Empress Andraste’s expression.

"How about it?" Emperor Leonidas asked. "The artifact of a God for the artifact of another God. I think this is fair trade, don’t you think so?"

The other rulers didn’t say anything and simply watched the outcome of the negotiation. Deep inside, they were tempted to join the gamble. The artifacts of Gods were very different to the artifacts created by mortals.

The power they possessed was enough to tilt the scales of war in their favor.

After weighing the pros and cons, Empress Andraste resolutely nodded her head.

"Fine," Empress Andraste replied. "I accept this bet."

"Good. Don’t go back on your word."

"Between the two of us, you are the ones whose words can’t be trusted."

Emperor Leonidas and Empress Andraste smiled at each other. The two had been lovers in the past, but they were now the rulers of their respective Empires. They needed to prioritize their own gains, and this bet was one of those opportunities where they could legally take a priceless treasure from each other’s hands.

The two once again shifted their attention to the arena, where the two young warriors were preparing to fight with everything they had.

No one knew the outcome of this match, not even the Gods. The audience watched with bated breath as they waited for the first battle of the Semifinals to begin.

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