Chapter 123: Sacred Hero
As Celseus described before, it was a festive day for the gods.
The Supreme God used his creation power to build a huge amphitheater in the plaza of the Gods’ realm. I heard that this building, which could accommodate tens of thousands of gods, was completed in just a few minutes. I was deeply impressed by saying, “This place really is the Gods’ realm after all”.
Once I came inside, I noticed the presence of numerous gods sitting at the stone benches that surrounded the arena of the amphitheater. It seemed that most of the gods from the Gods’ realm gathered at the amphitheater. The place was so crowded that I could hardly step inside.
I walked through the crowd and managed to find the seat that Aria reserved in advance. After I sat down at my seat, I felt a steam of heat coming from the gods at the arena because the sunlight was pouring directly inside since there was no ceiling. Ugh, so hot…!
At this time, a high-spirited voice was heard from behind my back.
「Iced coffee, iced coffee. Who wants a cold and delicious iced coffee?」
Ah, a sales boy! That saved my day!
「Excuse me! I want one please! 」
Looking back, I noticed that the sales boy was Celseus who carried a heavy coffee server on his back.
「What the hell!! It’s you!! 」
「Wha…What’s wrong with that. I can see my favorite Divine Cup up close, and I can earn heavenly money at the same time. It’s like killing two birds with one stone, don’t you agree?」
「Hey you, each day you’re less and less a Swordsman God… 」
He took some coffee out of his server and gave it to me. I handed over a godon coin, which was the currency of the Gods’ realm.
「By the way, Lista. How did you get such a good seat? 」
「Ah. Aria provided this seat for me. 」
「It’s a god’s privilege to participate or watch the Divine Cup. You’re lucky.」
Despite being so crowded, I stood in the front row. It was a great seat where I could see the whole arena. Celseus placed down his coffee server and sat next to me.
「It’s about to start. I need to take a break now. I’ll sit next to you, is that okay?」
「Ehh…! Why does it have to be next to me! 」
「Because both of the seats next to you are empty!! So, why isn’t it all right!?」
Those seats were meant for Aria and Adenela as promised. Yet, Celseus sat right next to me. Then, a lively voice echoed throughout the arena.
「Everyone! Welcome to the big day! This is the 10th anniversary of the Divine Cup! I, Musa, the Goddess of Sound, will be the announcer of today’s game!」
A goddess with cat ears was raising her voice from the center of the arena. Even though there was no microphone, the sound of her voice reverberated all over the amphitheater. This was probably due to Musa’s power as the Goddess of Sound.
「Well then! I shall announce the first match! From the west side, I present you Aegis, the Shield God, who’s in charge of the “Iron Wall Hero”…the contestant Morino Masato!」
「Ah, Lista. Here comes the heroes. 」
Celseus pointed with his finger to the door at the end of the passage, which connected to the center of the amphitheater, opened with a loud noise. From there, a person with armor walked towards the arena. The hero was a delicate man who did not match the large shield that he was equipped with.
「And from the east side! I present you Ariadoa, the Sealing Goddess, who’s in charge of the “Heavenly Charging Hero”…the contestant Mochizuki Reimi!」
The woman who appeared from the opposite door was lightly equipped. She wore a dress like the stunning goddess’ dresses, and held a wand on her hand. She was probably a magician type as Aria described. Mochizuki Reimi was a woman that seemed to be in her twenties. She had a long reddish-brown hair that went down to her waist. Moreover, she had a high nose and a beautiful face.
「So, that girl is Aria’s hero… 」
In the arena’s east corner, Aria and Mochizuki Reimi were talking seriously, and in the opposite direction, Aegis, the Shield God with white beard, was talking with Morino Masato. This scenario resembled the boxer matches of Seiya’s world, where a corner man, or second, assisted a fighter during a bout. Perhaps, the gods in charge would even send instructions to the heroes during the match.
As a large crowd of gods cheered aloud, the two heroes eventually left their gods’ side in order to face each other at the center of the arena. Aria’s hero, Mochizuki Reimi, smiled fearlessly, while Morino Masato seemed quite nervous.
「We shall start the first match now!! 」
The sound of gongs echoed throughout the arena. At the same time, the cheers from the audience increased dramatically. Immediately after the start, Mochizuki Reimi took some distance from Morino Masato with a quick back step. When Reimi swung her wand, a huge magical circle appeared in front of her.
…So fast! She deployed a magical circle in an instant!
However, her opponent Morino was already holding his shield to prepare himself against an attack from the magical circle. And the next moment, I doubted my own eyes. The shield that he held up, multiplied immediately and spread to the right and left sides! More than ten shields surrounded Morino to protect him!
「Oh lord! Morino used the so-called direct transmission technique of Aegis, the Shield God! On the other hand, Mochizuki is preparing herself to strike against those prevailing shields with her magic powers!」
Reimi’s magical circle began to shine when she waved her wand.
「…Tidal Wave. 」
A large amount of water emerged from that huge magical circle! With increasing momentum, it attacked Morino like a fierce tsunami!
It seemed that the terrible water current swallowed Morino. Yet, after the tsunami left, Morino was standing in the same position as before while surrounded by his numerous shields. Apparently, he didn’t receive any damage. Still, Reimi had already deployed a new magical circle in the air.
「Lightning Ball. 」
The next thing that emerged from the magical circle resembled a lightning glowing sphere. In the blink of an eye, dozens of spheres were formed and released towards Morino. When they landed, Morino’s shields rattled. However, the Shield God Aegis smiled victoriously while touching his white beard.
「A lightning strike after getting him wet? Too bad, but as you can see, he didn’t receive any electric shock. I taught him one of my special skills “Absorbed Shield”. This skill completely protects the user not only from physical attacks but also from magical attacks. Besides…」
The goddess announcer exclaimed high as if she noticed something unexpectedly.
「Wha…What a reversal! Even after the lightning strike, Morino’s shields are still emitting the opponent’s lightning! It’s as if Mochizuki’s lightning has been absorbed completely!」
I swallowed my saliva. That shield wasn’t just a defensive mechanism! It absorbed the opponent’s power just like the technique that Seiya showed during the Death Emperor’s Battle!
「Don’t keep defending. After all of her magical attacks are over, activate the counterattack strike to defeat the opponent.」
「Roger that. 」
Morino and the Shield God were talking like master and pupil.
…What were you going to do, Aria!?
I stared fixedly at Aria’s complexion, but she was so calm. That was the usual Aria’s demeanor. Mochizuki Reimi laughed then.
「A counterattack? I wonder if you can succeed with that. 」
And then, she waved her wand one more time.
「Tidal Wave. 」
She…She was using her water magic again!? Magic powers won’t work because they are going to be absorbed by the opponent!!
The tsunami hit Morino as before. Yet, the situation was odd. That large amount of water didn’t disappear from the arena and remained around Morino like a large sphere of water.
「…Floating Bubble. 」
Reimi pointed her free hand at Morino. The Goddess of Sound announcer shouted high.
「That attack was combined with wind magic! Morino is trapped now! 」
Morino was now inside a huge water ball. Even if he had a great defensive skill, Morino was still a human being after all.
「Are you okay? You’ll suffocate if you remain still. 」
Immediately after Reimi laughed. Morino released his shield when the water accumulated fully, and managed to pull out his sword that cut through the water sphere. A large amount of water flowed out from there along with Morino.
「Ah, ah, ah… 」
Morino uttered words of relief when he took a deep breath. Before he realized it, countless of lightning balls surrounded him from all sides! The lightning balls hit Morino’s body before he had the time to activate his shield!
At the same time, those lightning balls hit his body; Morino was electrocuted and fell to the ground. The Goddess of Sound declared the following words.
「And…And with that, the match is officially over!! The winner is Lady Ariadoa’s hero, the contestant Mochizuki Reimi!」
The crowd of gods that surrounded me in the arena stood up, applauded, and cheered tremendously.
Tha…That was Aria’s hero! To be honest, the match wasn’t that overwhelming! I expected a little bit more, even if the opponents were fellow chosen heroes…!
「Hey, Celseus! Are these battles with heroes so quickly settled? 」
「No! Sometimes battles last more than an hour! But this time the difference in power was rather obvious!」
Celseus spoke with excitement.
「Even so, Lady Aria is amazing! Her “Unsealed” ability can release the power that is hidden in a person! Lady Aria’s power made Mochizuki Reimi a super-strong thunder master! She proved herself when she summoned a great hero!」
Celseus wasn’t the only one excited about this match. The other gods in the arena cheered with excitement as well. I could hear several voices from behind.
「As expected of Lady Aria! She showed us the greatness of her hero! 」
「If Lady Valkyrie wins now, the final match could end up being a showdown between Lady Valkyrie’s hero and Lady Aria’s hero!」
After hearing these words, I stood up immediately. Celseus looked at me with surprise.
「He…Hey. Where are you going, Lista? The next match will be with Lady Valkyrie’s hero, did you forget that?」
「No. They’ll win anyways. I will only watch the finals. If Aria comes here, say hello for me.」
「Hey, are you serious? You haven’t drank your whole coffee yet! 」
「Throw it away because it tastes bad. 」
「Why are you being so rude to me!? 」
I left the amphitheater while waving goodbye at a screaming Celseus.
I ventured out of the plaza, and then, I stared at the amphitheater from the outside. I could hear the loud cheers of gods even from this distance. It seemed that the arena would be removed as soon as the Divinity Cup was over. Since it was created with the power of the God of Creation, it could be instantly erased. The next event was going to be held a thousand years later.
I recalled the previous match. It was a decent match. These transcendental battles by various heroes would continue in the future. As a goddess who saved earthly worlds, it may be necessary for me to study firmly about the regular events that happened in the Gods’ realm. But…Even so…
…Ah. I wished Seiya had participated as well…
A deep sigh came out of my mouth. In other words, I felt extremely frustrated. That’s why I left the amphitheater. Certainly, the ability value of Valkyrie’s hero seen through my clairvoyance ability was frightening. Aria’s hero was also a formidable magician. Still, there was plenty of opportunities for Seiya to win if he activated his Berserker state. To put it in another way, Seiya’s ability values were at a different level than those two.
…The other gods would scream in admiration if they saw Seiya’s battle style!
My mood became so gloomy afterwards. While thinking about such a thing, I noticed the presence of a special venue a little away from the arena.
「Oh…What is this place? 」
The signboard said the following words, “The Memorial Hall of Successful Heroes”.
Huh. Why did they build such a thing? Since it was a memorial, did that mean that this place comprised of heroes who won the Divine Cup?
I was about to go back to the amphitheater but I stopped midday. After I watched a match, I thought that I’d at least check out what kind of heroes won in the past. Therefore, I ended up walking into the memorial hall.
It was quiet inside the memorial hall because the next match had probably started by now. The amphitheater was built two days before the event, and this memorial hall was probably built at the same time. Perhaps, it was something important one should’ve seen before the event started.
I heard a voice from behind. When I turned around, I saw no figure. But, when I moved my eyes downward, I could see a little girl wearing a kimono.
「La…Lady Rusti? 」
「Lista. It’s been a long time. 」
Rusti, the Goddess of Change, was the one who taught Seiya about the art of change. This goddess was short and innocent enough to be considered a child. Yet, it seemed that she had lived for more than ten thousands of years. She was usually in the Heavenly Mountain of Seclusion…
「Why are you at this place? 」
「I lost because of rock-paper-scissors. That’s why I was forced to take care of this place.」
「Is…Is that so. Wait! Rock-paper-scissors, you said…? 」
「I was bored that nobody came here. But, since you’re here now, I’ll just explain it to you.」
Then, Rusti beckoned me and started walking. Just like a museum, the passage of the memorial hall was lined up with paintings.
「These are portraits of legendary heroes. They don’t display only the Divine Cup winners, but also the legendary heroes who have saved different worlds for countless of times.」
「This memorial is usually under the jurisdiction of the innermost world of gods. But, they’ve relocated it here because of the Divine Cup. So, it’s just a temporary exhibition.」
「Even so, there are so many paintings here…! 」
I was surprised to see dozens of portraits of men and women. Rusti continued to talk.
「By the way, the Divine Cup started 10,000 years ago. 」
「It…It’s been held for that long!? 」
「Well, in the human world, it has been only a hundred years since then. In the meantime, many heroes have been summoned. Some of these heroes shown in these portraits have already stopped being humans and became gods and goddesses.」
「Ah. I see. 」
「Well then. It’s better for you to look around slowly. 」
Afterwards, I walked alone while looking at the portraits. At the bottom of each portrait was a plate. The names and titles of the heroes were written on those plates.
『Attacking Hero 』Tsukamoto Akihiko
『Enthusiastic Hero 』Hitani Gouki
『Furious Hero 』Michiaki Hoshi
『Satisfactory Hero 』Enoki Mitsue
『Agile Hero 』Mitarai Hayato
『Lucky Hero 』Yotsuba Kyoko
The…There were many titles of heroes!
Of course, Seiya would be the “Cautious Hero”, right…I was walking from portrait to portrait because I thought that these titles were quite interesting.
Eventually, I reached the end…
「Hmm? What’s this? 」
My voice leaked out naturally. There was a picture frame at the end, but it didn’t have a portrait. At the bottom of the portrait stood a plate inscribed with the following words.
『Sacred Hero 』
It was strange. It had a title but the picture frame was empty. It was as if the original portrait had been removed. The plate didn’t even have a name…No…If one looked closely; there were traces of the hero’s name. Still, it looked as if it had been erased, or was I mistaken?
When I looked around, I noticed that Rusti came to me in a hurry.
「Sorry, Lady Rusti. But, this picture frame… 」
「Lista! It’s serious! 」
Rusti showed me a crystal ball with exhilaration. It showed footage of the arena.
「Lady Valkyrie’s hero will be fighting against Aria’s hero now! 」
「Ehh!! That fast!? 」
「It looks like both forces will be in equal standing! Valkyrie has trained more than five legendary heroes so far! But, on the other hand, we have the poised Aria! This match is the ultimate showdown of destiny! It’s the decisive battle!」
Valkyrie was the strongest goddess of the God’s realm. But, Aria was a veteran goddess who had saved over three hundred different worlds. I wasn’t sure how the match would end.
「This memorial hall must be closed now! I want to watch such a great match live!」
「Wa…Wait, Lady Rusti!? 」
Rusti threw away her crystal ball and ran like a rabbit.
Ehh, didn’t she have to close the doors of the memorial hall!? Bu…But, I wanted to watch that match as well!!
「Please, wait! I’m going too! 」
I chased after Rusti and headed back to the arena.
「Well then! This match will be a fearsome battle! Already at the center of the arena stands Mochizuki Reimi, the “Heavenly Charging Hero”, where she’ll go up against Ethan Sifford, the “Destruction Hero”!」
Musa, the Goddess of Sound, spoke with a high voice.
I returned to the front row and noticed that Celseus and Adenela sat at the same bench but a little far away from each other. I tried to sit down in a hurry.
「Oh, Lista! You finally came here! 」
「It…It’s great, you…you are right in time. It…It’s about to start. 」
Aria was trying to give some instructions to Mochizuki Reimi.
「Reimi! Calm down! Keep a safe distance as we simulated before! No matter how powerful is the attacks of our opponent, there’s no chance against you unless he touches you!」
「Yes, leave it to me. I will never let him approach me. Just one more step before this ends.」
I didn’t see Ethan yet. But, Valkyrie was already on the other side. She listened to Aria and Reimi’s conversation and laughed out loud.
「Ah, Ah. You can try various measures. But, no matter how much you try, you won’t win against my hero!」
「I won’t know until I try! 」
Aria was showing an angry face. Who…Whoa. I’ve never seen Aria like that. The rivalry and competitive spirit were really in full force…
「Now, I present you the entrance of Ethan Sifford, the “Destruction Hero”! 」
The door of the passage leading to the arena was opened. At the same time, the whole arena was enveloped in loud cheers. The eyes of all gods, including me, were staring fixedly at the opened door.
However…No movement, even after a while. The Destruction Hero never came out of the door.
「What’s wrong? He is in trouble? 」
Valkyrie wrinkled between her eyebrows.
「What exactly are you doing, Ethan you bastard? Did you go take a piss?」
When the crowd of gods began to buzz, something was thrown out of the door into the center of the arena. It made a dull noise and rolled around through the cobblestone of the amphitheater.
I was able to see it clearly, because I was at the front row seat. I stared at it not once, not twice but three times to make sure that I wasn’t seeing an illusion. I stared so much that it clearly stuck in my retina. Nevertheless, I couldn’t process that situation in my head. The same happened with the gods that surrounded me. They were shocked, stunned and helpless before they could even shout, because something too abrupt and bizarre just happened.
Rolling down the arena’s ground was the distorted head of Valkyrie’s hero, Ethan Sifford.
The Tournament Arc ends here! Quite quick isn’t it? Please look forward to the upcoming chapters!!!!
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