95 Duel 1
After a bit of walking, the lady led Max and Ryan into one of the openings. Well, It was just an entrance. But since it was underground, Max couldn't identify the unique structure.
As he entered the place, he found that it wasn't different from a high class area.
" Sir, you can move through this passage.", the lady pointed to the passage in the corner.
Ryan gave the lady a nod before walking into the passage with Max following behind him.
After a few steps, Max could see the light at the end of the passage.
But as they neared the exit, a bustling noise entered his ears.
" What is this noises?", he asked Ryan.
" It's the battle area. There must be some kind of fight going on.", Ryan replied.
The moment they walked out of the passage, Max was surprised.
It was an underground stadium.
There were rows of people in the audience seat, shouting and cheering.
There was a fight going on. It was a death fight between two low-level mages.
" This is a common occurrence here. It is a kind of betting event.", Ryan said with disgust on his face.
" Sir, you are here for Blacksmith Duel, right.", a man in staff uniform walked in front of them.
" Yes, we are.", Ryan replied.
" Then please follow me to the waiting room. It looks like the battle will take a bit more time.", the man said.
" Ok, Let's go Max.", Ryan replied
He wasn't keen on watching two men fight to their death. He took the opportunity and walked towards the waiting room with Max behind him.
It was a good idea to wait there as he could take a bit of time to adjust to his peak state and perform his best in the duel.
Max on the other hand, reluctantly followed him. He really wanted to watch the battle. But he knew that if he insisted on staying, there would be another lecture coming to him. So, he could only give in.
About 20 minutes later….
" Knock! "
A knock sounded on the door.
Ryan was sitting quietly on the side and meditating to adjust himself.
So, Max walked towards the door and opened it.
" Sir it's time for the duel.", the staff waiting outside the door spoke.
" We will be there in a minute.", Max replied.
Hearing him, the man nodded and left.
" Are you ready?", Max asked as he turned towards Ryan.
Ryan opened his eyes as he slowly breathed in and out before looking towards Max.
" What do I need to get ready for? I can beat him with my eyes closed. If I lost to a lazy guy like him, I would really be too ashamed to show my face to anyone."
" I get it. Let's go now.", Max said in annoyance.
He couldn't help but release a sigh. This guy really did change his character when it came to blacksmithing.
Max followed Ryan as they entered the stadium.
The audience immediately started discussing the next event.
Max could hear several voices in the crowd.
" What's the next event?"
" The guy looks weak."
" Why are four people entering the arena? "
" Is it a team fight?"
At this moment, the host stepped up and spoke.
" Ladies and gentlemen, it looks like most of you haven't paid attention to the list of events. But not to worry, I am here. The next event is a Blacksmith duel.", the announcer said.
Hearing him, the audience immediately calmed down. There was no excitement in them. After all, a duel between blacksmiths wasn't so interesting for ordinary folks.
Seeing their reaction, the host smiled and continued, " Even though you might not think much of this event. Let me tell you there are huge stakes behind this event. The duel is for earning the right to sell crafts in the Black Weapon Pavilion. Only the best will get the opportunity. The black weapon pavilion only allows top-notch products."
The host was clever. He deliberately spoke the last few sentences about the stakes to attract people's attention and create a bit of excitement in them while at the same time glorifying the Black weapon Pavilion saying that it only has the best quality product in them.
The tactic worked as it got audiences' attention. But it was still not enough to excite them. Besides, they couldn't bet on them. If it was a fight, they would have placed a bet depending upon the contestant's aura and physique. But they had no idea about blacksmiths.
But still, a few people just randomly placed their bets testing their luck. It was a common occurrence and nothing out of ordinary. After all, there wasn't a lack of wealthy people in this circle.
" Now then, both the contestants are here. Betting booths will close in the next two minutes. Hurry up and bet before the match starts.", the host said with a smile.
Max and Ryan stood on one side of the arena while Renard and his bodyguard stood on the other.
The arrangements were made beforehand. All the tools needed for crafting along with a blazing furnace were already prepared in the arena.
" Well, time is over!! Let the duel begin!!"
The host shouted trying to rile up the audience.
But he still couldn't get any strong response from the audience. In the end, he smiled awkwardly before describing the topic for the duel in detail.
" The item to be made is a 4★ Black Blade. One of the most expensive and destructive equipment in the category of 4★. It is one of the weapons with the most difficult crafting process."
The announcement was finally able to stir up the audience for a moment.
After all, even though people didn't know much about blacksmithing. They still had an idea about weapons.
On the other hand, Ryan and Renard began their crafting process.
Max stood behind Ryan and acted as an assistant passing tools and carrying water.
Even though many people didn't understand the meaning behind their actions, some people did.
After all, there were blacksmiths in the audience too. They appreciated and praised the skills of both Renard and Ryan.
As time passed, the audience started to get bored and people started to chat.
The crafting process was too coming to an end and there wasn't much for Max to do. He just stood there feeling bored.
But suddenly his ears perked as some important information entered his ears.
" Did you hear about it?"
" About what?"
" There was a huge internal fight in the Seven Sins. It occurred in several parts of the continent."
" Tsk.. aren't those just rumors."
" Who knows?"
" I heard it too, the Sin of Pride vanished overnight."
" Yeah, it sounds ridiculous. Why would they fight between themselves?"
" Who knows? Those bunch from the Sin of Pride were weirdos to begin with."
Max couldn't help but think that something was going on.
Even though it was just a rumor. He remembered meeting Derek with several wounds on his body.
There were chances that the incident was not false. And if it was not…
Several things floated in his mind.
There was a traitor in one of the 12 Noble Houses.
And now, there was a huge internal fight.
Could there be some link between it?
It was too early to assume anything. But if he could find Derek, the situation would become a bit clear.
But where could he find that guy? It had already been a week since he last saw him. He might have already left Arcane by now. Besides, he didn't even have enough time to look for him as he had to get back to the Academy and attend the field trip.
Max felt his head hurt.
For now, he could only open his chat box and inform others about this development.
But it looked like everyone was busy as there were no replies. Specially the Average Man. They hadn't heard from him since the last time when he had been given the responsibility to investigate the matter about the traitor among the 12 noble houses.
It was another worrying issue.
" The time is over!!! It's time for the evaluation by the judges. Both of the contestants please stop."
The announcement pulled Max out of his thoughts as he came back to his senses.
He saw a group of three people being led by Mr. Han towards them.
" Remember to bow when they arrive.", Ryan said.
" Hm.. Who are they?", Max asked in confusion.
He thought that they were only ordinary judges called by Mr. Han.
" I didn't know that man was here. The old man you see right beside Mr. Han is one of the top 10 blacksmiths in the Black Market. No wonder, Mr. Han made a lot of expenditure to hold such a large scale event." Ryan shook his head.
" So, he is just doing a promotion event. What a cunning old man. He really made the most out of this.", Max said.
" Shut up! They are here."
The old Man led by Mr. Han walked in front of Ryan and took a look at the shining black blade in front of him.
" What a nice blade!! Who is your master kid? ", the old man looked at the blade and spoke.