369 None the Wiser 1
Delia was completely oblivious to the command for her death. Instead, she continued to fight as though nothing had changed.
Her sword style, something that she had refined again and again along with Madeleine, was elegant and glancing. She often practiced under Madeleine's playing not only because the tunes gave her a revitalizing and focused feeling, but also because she did her best to model her sword play after a dance.
Patia-Neva, in the ancient Planet Naiad language, or something Dyon would probably label as reminiscent of mortal realm Spanish, was very roughly translated to 'leaf covered in snow'. As Patia-Neva had said, often times, it was the duty of a Patia-Neva to find the meaning of the words.
Although Delia had yet to come to a full understand, there was no doubt that it subtly influenced her in many ways – including her sword play.
In the end, with little more difficulty than the first round, Delia glided and parried her way through the second round – thus earning a place for the third battle royale.
Seeing Delia move on, and so easily, Oliver and Jessica could only bury their complaints. Neither of them had made it out of the first round, something that Oli Sapientia had expected. But, it was still very much surprising to see Delia, someone they both had seen as a Junior Sister, surpass them both – especially with her being much younger.
Aside from Delia, there were others making a name known for themselves as well.
Caedlum Pakal, a young man Dyon had met long ago, was one such character. That said, Caedlum was not as little known as some others considering he had earned a spot on the top 100 cumulative rankings. However, what drew people to him wasn't the fact he was unknown, but rather, his young age.
Caedlum was just as young as Ri and Dyon, and yet his performance was more domineering than Ri's. The difference? He made no use of weapons or wills.
His red tinted skin flexed under the high sun's light as his fists unleashed a flurry of power. Simply by relying on the prowess of his body, Caedlum tore through his competition – his face serene and his breathing relaxed. It was as though this was an expected outcome for him. He was a Pakal. He was destined for victory.
Aside from Caedlum, however, the Ragnor God Clan's twin first in line geniuses were making their mark. Thor and Vidar, each in their respective battles, lit their fields up with arcs of lightning. Their so-called competition stood no chance.
Vidar took a sick pleasure in this, cruelly paralyzing his victims before charring them from the inside out. There were no rules against death in this tournament. In fact, it was almost encouraged. The harsh reality was many stepped into this event knowing they would never step out.
In the end, the second round was almost anti-climactic. Aside from the few groups that didn't have ranked competitors or far and away favorites, every round ended smoothly. Even with the ridiculous number of warriors, both the first and second round only took about five hours, leaving a still steady stream of daylight.
"Haha! The first two rounds of our battle royale did not disappoint!" Elder Er's voice boomed as the last warrior fell.
"Our Planet Earth put out a strong showing. Although it's a secret as to who's who, shh, those smart ones of you might have good guesses by the techniques they wield." The Elder played the crowd, winking, bowing and waving.
"That said, putting my bias aside, the other four planets are not lagging behind in any way. The race is tight, and it just might be a photo finish!
I have some good news! Because we've done so well on time, we'll be able to keep this third round to only five battles per section! Bidding will be opening up soon for the final group stage, so it's best you all keep your eyes peeled for your favorites!"
Cheering erupted. This was the best part of the world tournament. If you managed to find a hidden gem, you could be set for the rest of your life. If Dyon was there, he would have likened this to when the lottery hit its peak after a few years of building. Everyone knew their chance of winning was slimmer than slim, but that didn't stop nearly the whole population from playing.
"We started with 50 000, and now only 2 500 of you remain! Who will advance! Who will despair! Only time will tell!
Rest well warriors, very soon, you'll step into the arena for what for many of you, may be your last battle."
Away from the arena and within Dyon's spatial ring, something odd was occurring.
Arios stood behind a demon general named Kaeda. She was actually one of the demon generals of the lower essence gathering level that Dyon had named to be one of his Vice Commanders due to her grasp of music will.
Oddly enough, Arios wasn't the only one who stood behind her. Tens of demon generals of a similar level placed their hands on her back, and when her back ran out of space, the next demon generals would place their hands on those who were attached to her. And so on and so forth.
In the end, the weird arrangement of palms to backs fanned out to include about a hundred demon generals, all seemingly focused on one task.
In front of Kaeda, laid Dyon. Still seemingly unconscious with the Elvin Tome lying flat on his chest.
Well, seemingly unconscious was exactly right. Because anyone who paid any real attention, would have noticed the growing smirk on his face.