Chapter 123 – Challenge to a Wish
“What is this important thing that you want so much?”
The words confused and shook Luke greatly.
His mind was not as quick as it usually was.
He wasn’t sure what he was being asked, or how to respond.
No, in truth, he did understand.
And that was why he could barely think.
The difference in status.
As the heir of the Waldstein family, he could never be with her.
He knew the kind of rumors and slander that would spread.
The world of nobles was full of tension.
If you showed any weakness, they would attack you all at once.
It was cruel and unfair.
And he did not want to pull her into any of that.
He wanted her to be on a path to happiness.
But there was also a part of him that just wanted to tell her.
Surely it was fine now.
Was it self destructive?
Just wanting to end it all now.
…The truth is, I loved you from way back…
What would happen if he said that?
Would she be surprised?
Would she reject him?
She would be happy.
Anxiety and elation.
He wanted to just say it.
And if she were to nod her head. Nothing could make him happier.
Even if he lost everything else, he would be happy.
The possible future rushed through his mind.
Sharing in each other’s lives.
Waking up next to each other.
He would get up first and make french toast.
They would drink orange juice together and relax on the sofa.
Their strides were different, as were the things they liked.
But he would love those differences as they walked.
He wanted for them to be like that.
He wanted to let passion carry him away and put an end to it all.
However, his intellect would not allow him to do that.
“I can’t tell you…”
The education he had received from childhood was close to abuse.
And so he could not get carried away by emotion, as he was too used to killing it.
There was something cold in her voice.
From her point of view, he had chosen a secret over a friend.
However, her next words were a little different from what Luke had expected.
“Well, you are a little more mature than me. And so I suppose there are things related to your family that are difficult to talk about. If that’s what you think is best, then you should do it. But as your friend, I have some conditions.”
“But don’t go too far. If it is too dangerous, you must withdraw. You can’t be selfish, just because it’s your own body. It would hurt me if you were hurt. Many others would be sad as well. I won’t forgive you if you make this the last time. You have to return safely. That is my condition.”
And then she patted Luke on the back.
“No matter what anyone else says, I’m rooting for you and your dream. I know that you’ve worked harder than anyone. So go and prove it. That you’re the strongest.”
Why did her encouraging words make him this happy?
Because she was looking at him.
And that alone made him feel invincible.
“Thank you. I’ll do my best.”
The next day, the opponent that was chosen for Luke was the worst possible one.
A monster, who was one of the three greatest non-human magicians in the world.
The strongest magician of the tournament. The Fairy Queen of the forest.
“Damn it. Of all people…”
The others were horrified.
However, Luke remained calm.
“If anything this is a good thing. If I defeat both the winner and runner up of the previous tournament, then no one will be able to doubt my ability.”
He was positive and appreciated his misfortune.
Took the bad as something good, and made an effort to move forward.
This was a chance he had finally been given.
With the best results, no one in the kingdom would be able to argue against him.
The empire was trying to build a new magic world.
And by defeating the greatest magician of the west, he would become someone who could be with her.
And so Luke Waldstein’s battle began.
◆ ◆ ◆
“This might as well be the final round.”
In a special spectators booth.
An old butler nodded at the speaker, a man with a black signet ring.
“It seems that way.”
“What good luck. While we failed with manipulating the pairings, God ended up creating this situation. The world always seems to be a little kind to me.”
Said the man.
“If there is a God, he must be a great villain. Otherwise, I would have been punished a long time ago.”
“Not at all. You are a wonderful person, sir.”
Said the butler. The man with the signet ring smirked.
“Thank you. That’s reassuring.”
“Who do you think is going to win, sir?”
“Who indeed. In the last fight, he proved that he is capable of reaching the top. If fortune smiled on him, then he might have a chance of victory.”
“However, you do not want that, do you?”
“It won’t be a problem. I have ensured it.”
With a cool, emotionless expression, he continued.
“But I will try to enjoy it for now. This will be the last World Trophy, after all.”
The crowds cheered all around them.
The sense of excitement was different from the previous battle. It was more heated.
Evangeline Runeforest, the undefeated champion.
Along with the Dragon Emperor and Night King, she was one of a trio of powerful magicians.
She never showed any signs of struggling during previous battles, and had always dominated the individual matches.
As for the Ardenfeld, they had never cared much for the tournament, in spite of having great skills with magic.
The country was like a sleeping lion, and they had sent one of their most promising young geniuses…Luke Waldstein.
And the sight of the one-sided fight, where he destroyed Estelle Blueforest, was still fresh in the memories of the spectators.
And so for once, the results were uncertain.
Everyone watched with bated breath.
It was as if no one even wanted to blink.
Excitement and expectation.
The fanfare and fervor.
The two faced each other in the circular field.
And then the fight began.