Mario was truthfully an introvert around females. Any male who had been trampled by Sharmie that often would more or less develop masochistic tendencies. Furthermore, he had very little experience in the aspect of love. Other than training, there was very little free time left in his life, which was either spent being monkeyed around by Sharmie, or playing babysitter for the squadron. Although he did not have a domineering personality, and had very good relationships with other people, he wasn't someone that girls would like. Therefore, he basically had zero experience in dealing with girls. Coupled with the fact that the girl before him was really cute, very beautiful, had put up a pitiful look, and with so many eyes staring at him from behind, he really did not know exactly what was the right decision to make here.
As for the matter about Sharmie being a girl, Mario had immediately tossed that thought aside. His big sis was absolutely not feminine at all!
"Cough, let's go over there and talk."
The two of them walked over to an isolated corner. Only at this moment did Mario feel more comfortable to reply her. "Is it alright if I just sign on the front of this?"
Mario took the notebook and pen from the female student's hands.
"Please help sign on here too." the female student pointed shyly at her budding chest. Her fresh and cute suspenders revealed a valley that wasn't very deep, yet brought about a distinctive charm that was exceedingly enticing.
At this moment, he had only 2 choices, either turn his head to see, or to turn his head away. Yet, Mario had chosen to look up. This female student had a problem with her head! She's not a fan!
However, upon raising his head, he suddenly noticed that star-like sparkling eyes gently blinking about. As they did so, the pure lustre present on them was gradually changing into a pinkish shade. Continuing to stare, they proceeded to radiated with a pinkish radiance.
Noticing these changes, Mario opened his mouth. All of a sudden, it appeared as though this pair of eyes had transformed into his entire world.
3 hours later...
"Strange, where's vice-captain?"
"Didn't he go out to see his fan? Isn't he back yet?"
"That can't be, right? Why's the vice-captain's Skylink turned off?"
"Could it be that a spark has turned into a blazing fire..."
"Has vice-captain's youth really arrived?"
"No wonder! We better not tell the captain!"
A wave of laughter only understood by men rang out.
On the morning of the 2nd day...
"Captain, something's up! Vice-captain Mario who had left yesterday to meet with a female fan has yet to return! His Skylink has not been turned on since then…"
Finally discovered that something wasn't right, the squadron members braced their ice cold bodies to find Sharmie and confessed everything honestly to her.
Having just finished her breakfast, Sharmie was somewhat outraged by this matter. So this was why she did not see Mario at all since yesterday! " You bunch of idiots! Why did you guys only tell me about such an important matter now?"
While she was shouting at them, Sharmie's heart turned icy cold. Regardless of any matter, Mario would definitely not turn off his Skylink, especially for today! There was only two more hours before their match against the Fiery Arrow squadron!
"What are you all still stoning around for! Hurry up and find him!"
Now, Sharmie was extremely worried and anxious. After shouting at her squadron members, she immediately went to the security staff allocated by the organising committee to take care of this CHF. Not only did the organizing committee not put up a false show of concern, they had also treated this matter extremely seriously. They immediately launched an investigation, and had even sent out tracking specialists hailing from the aristocratic families to find him. However, the outcome of the search caused the flames of anger in Sharmie to grow even bigger.
"I can definitely say that Mr Mario has been taken away by someone. The other party is extremely cautious. Furthermore, the kidnapper is extremely proficient in erasing their tracks. It's like that we're unable to find Mr Mario in a short amount of time."
Hearing that, the Blazing squadron members all fell into self-blame. If not for their rowdy jeering and heckling, Mario would definitely not have gone out to see that fan, and none of this would have happened...
As for Sharmie, she had clenched her teeth hard in response. At this moment, instead of scolding and blaming her squadron members, she instead consoled and comforted them.
Nonetheless, the emotions within her heart had already thoroughly exploded, with her chest size even growing a size larger than before.
Who! Who could it be! Why did they have to take Mario away? Ever since he was young, Mario had always been following behind her. Other than fighting in competitions, he had never had any beef with anyone. So, what benefit would the other party have to make Mario disappear?
Fiery Arrow squadron?
She grew increasingly suspicious the more she thought about it. Nevertheless, other than the Fiery Arrow squadron, there seemed to be no one else who would benefit from eliminating Mario at this point in time.
However, being an S rank squadron, would the Fiery Arrow squadron really need to do such a thing? Even if Tianqiong Musk really wanted to win, he wouldn't resort to such a lowball method, right? Were they not afraid of damaging their reputation?
One had to know that in a massive event like the CHF, the most important benefit a person could obtain was reputation and influence. Any despicable means used to obtain victory would only result in disgust and dislike from others.
However, after giving it some careful thought, she remembered that the Musk Family seemed to excel in cheap tricks like making their opponents vanishing before a fight, or the night before a bid. Primarily, incidents where their opponents had mishaps weren't isolated cases.
The Musk Family had such a tradition.
There were many problems involved in this matter. However, it was already time for their squadron to enter the arena.
"Let's not care about him first. Our match…"
The television channels started to broadcast footage from earlier matches as well as recordings of interviews, while the Skylink analysts had already started to give their own weigh-ins on the two simultaneous matches that were about to start, in order to hype up the audience.
Blazing Squadron vs Fiery Arrow squadron!
"The fight between two fires! This match is actually still very interesting."
"That's right. The main goal of the Blazing squadron is to push this match into the group battle phase, while the Fiery Arrow squadron's main goal would be to end this match within the duelling phase."
Naturally, there's also a possibility of a 1 VS 5. This has almost become a contagious trend for the S rank squadrons."
"Hahaha! I'll just treat that statement as a joke. With the Blazing squadron protecting Sharmie, her runic cannon would theoretically be able to blow up anything she targets."
"That's very strange. I seem to be unable to find the defensive core of the Blazing squadron, black magician Mario."
"Their vice-captain? Let me see… Oh? You're right! Mario isn't present within the Blazing squadron members present in the arena."
"Could Mario be absent for today's match? That will be extremely grim for the Blazing squadron then."
In the Blazing squadron preparatory area, an extremely depressing atmosphere hung in the air, with all of them still finding it hard to believe that their vice-captain Mario would be absent for their most important match in this CHF!
Wang Zhong, Milami and Ma Dong had come over to the arena. On one hand, they were here to see their potential opponents. One the other hand, they were here to cheer for Sharmie.
In fact, Ma Dong and Milami had completely no burden present on their shoulders. Although they hoped for the Blazing squadron to win this match, it didn't really matter, given that they'd already made it this far in this CHF. While Ma Dong had come here for one purpose, there was in fact no need for Wang Zhong to be here.
The reason Wang Zhong had come here was honestly not for the sake of looking at Tianqiong Musk, but for Mario. Admittedly, there were experts present within the S rank squadron. However, there were also many astonishing experts that had appeared within other squadrons. An example would be this Mario, the black magician, who possessed an extremely rare dark attribute special ability. Generally speaking, attribute type special abilities weren't very powerful in their developmental and growth phase, with the primary reason being that there were too few people who possessed such abilities. This led to the lack of understanding and developmental paths those gifted few could choose, which were unlike the extremely well-researched paths that other special abilities had. However, Wang Zhong was able to see a greater and wider possibility of development in Mario after his performance during his previous match. His dark attribute special ability possessed extreme plasticity, especially with his "flames of hell" move. There was the possibility that it was formed via a mutation of his special ability due to the influence of the Blazing City. To sum it up, talents like that were exceedingly frightening.
Wang Zhong was looking forward to what trump cards Mario was going to unleash.
The match had officially commenced.
However, there was an unexpected change that occurred during this match, with Sharmie unexpectedly being fielded as the Blazing squadron's vanguard. Indeed, with her tyrannical firepower, she had completely obliterated the number 2 soldier from the Fiery Arrow squadron. Unleashing an exquisite succession of cannon fire with close range hammer blows, she increased the distance between her and her opponent. Upon accomplishing that, cannon fire rumbled out, decimating her opponent in a single breath, showing her considerably abundant experience in such fights. The ball queen's might had once again attracted countless applause and cheers from the audience.
However, a crisis had appeared once again, as the Blazing squadron was met with three successive defeats, while their other core member, Mario, had yet to make an appearance. This was the primary reason why Sharmie had to take the role of the vanguard for her squadron. With the first duel being a blind matchup, Sharmie had gambled that Tianqiong Musk would not sign himself up for that role. Faced against a Mo's list soldier, she would not be able to obtain a win. Although she could still put up a fight, Sharmie was comparatively stronger in a group battle setting than in a duel.
Dammit, Mario! Where the hell are you!
Wang Zhong had noticed this problem right from the very beginning. Suddenly recalling his conversation with Sharmie the day before, a slight frown appeared on his forehead. Never did he imagine that those matters would find their way to the Blazing squadron. Moves like these really did cause people to feel disgusted, and could be said to be more vicious than the Zhao Family's plot of using Grai's pollen allergy to affect the match.
For a soldier, there was nothing more infuriating than missing a fight; putting in a great deal of effort for many years, only to let it go down the drain.
In fact, Sharmie had been employing delaying tactics throughout this match. Nevertheless, the Skylink and arena were already buzzing with discussions, as news about Mario's absence had already spread.
This development had also caused Tianqiong Musk to frown. He was not the perpetrator behind this matter, and there was also no need for him to do such a thing! What's more, even if he had done so, he wouldn't use such a stupid method to accomplish this feat!
Exactly who was trying to pin the blame on him? However, the problem was that such a matter was something that couldn't be wiped clean with an explanation! That person behind all of this better hope that he didn't find them!
In another location, the female student fan was currently enjoying her lollipop in a leisurely fashion. Looking at the time, "Looks like it's about time to wake him up.". She couldn't let him miss such a good show! I've accomplished this mission with such beauty and perfection, so I should ask the young master for 10 lollipops! She really loved the cola flavoured ones!
All of a sudden, Mario was blown awake from his stupor with the ring of an alarm clock. Upon looking at the time, his face immediately turned green, before proceeding to rush out like a bolt of lightning.
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At this moment, Sharmie was taking a deep breath of air. She had yet to decide who she should send up to welcome their last defeat for this match.
In fact, she was even thinking about whether to just concede defeat like this. Naturally, such a move would not be good for them, and did not conform to the spirit of this CHF. However, this wouldn't allow the squadron to vent their rage.
However, she just so happened to notice Tianqiong Musk, with a long sword and shield in his hand, walk up the stage, before sending a faint smile right towards her.
A faint smile!
In an instant, Sharmie felt as though she could hear the sound of her psyche completely exploding apart! What the fuck was with that smile! Did he think that his teeth were that pearly white! It was extremely obvious that Tianqiong Musk was planning on personally ending this match! In fact, he had even brought along his famous sword and shield! This was his stance of doing whatever it was needed to obtain victory!
Although Musk had a smile on his face, no one could imagine the flames of fury raging in his heart. Exactly which bastard had implicated him like that! Was this the doing of the other families?
That was a possibility. With 2 of the 10 great families being successively eliminated, the upper 5 families might be thirsting for even more resources. Also, there was naturally the possibility of the parliament influence that was guiding their own show. At this moment, clearly knowing that he could not outplay the hand that was acting against him in this current scenario, who would be willing to disappear quietly under the control of the organising committee?
Turning her head, Sharmie had made the decision to send up a substitute to show their plan of conceding. However, her eyelids just so happened to twitch, causing her to spot Mario...
"MARIO!!!" Sharmie shouted out at the top of her lungs.
Mario took a deep breath before saying. "Cap, captain, I'm back."
"Cap your face! I'll tell you, if you can't smash that bastard, this old lady will make sure that you'll live in an abyss of suffering for the rest of your life!"
The entire audience finally managed to gasp a breath of relief. Finally! He had dared to show his face! However, from his just-awakened appearance, could he even obtain a victory???
Truthfully speaking, it was alright for him not to turn up. If he had hurried all the way down here just to lose, it would cause the Blazing squadron to appear even more hollow, like they were in a one-sided massacre.
Sword VS sword, shield VS shield, the showdown between soldiers!
Mario took a deep look at Tianqiong Musk standing across from him.
The flames of anger and fury were continuing to grow within him. Other than the Fiery Arrow squadron, who would dare to kidnap him a day before this match?!
"Tianqiong Musk, don't you think that such methods are too filthy?" Mario could not help but say the words that had been fermenting for very long in his heart. Even if he knew that the other party would not admit, but! After saying that statement, the atmosphere surrounding him grew to a new level, as though he had doubled in height!
A frown appeared on Tianqiong Musk's face as he replied. "You must be prepared to suffer the consequences for what you say. That's a price that someone as lowly as you will not be able to endure!"
Hearing such a reply, Mario's rage and fury continued to rise as he glared at Tianqiong Musk. The latter appeared calm and indifferent, as though he was not affected by the increasing pressure coming from Mario. Very good, let's continue...
Gu Gu Gu...
All of a sudden, a thunderous growl rang out from Mario's abdomen.
His stomach was growling. Only at this moment did Mario remember that he hadn't eaten since yesterday...
Upon hearing that sound, Mario was sent into a daze, and so was Tianqiong Musk. Both of them simultaneously felt as though there were crows flying around their heads.
Subsequently, Tianqiong Musk took action.
Boom! With a ferocious stamp of his feet, Tianqiong Musk shot off like an armoured train, making a beeline straight towards Mario.
Seeing this, Mario's eyes immediately narrowed, before he lowered his centre of gravity. In the next instant, a strange power condensed within his waist. Boom!
Dark yellow and black light suddenly erupted from Mario's large shield. As he took a few fierce steps back in retreat, he noticed Tianqiong Musk's long sword stabbing right towards his left ribs under the concealment of his great shield.
It was extremely hard to grasp such timing to attack, what more to launch an attack at a vital spot, his left ribs, when it was exposed without any defences.
Mario hastily moved his body sideways, while sending the longsword in his hand up to welcome the incoming stab. However, a faint smile appeared on his opponent's face as the tip of his sword suddenly changed. Raising the screening giant shield, he transformed it from defence into an offence, smashing its sharp edge right down towards Mario.
Mario retreated backwards for quite a few steps. Tianqiong Musk's strength was extremely terrifying. Although he did not make any big movements, the force transmitted from that shield blow felt just like a cannonball smashing right against his sword.
Tianqiong Musk did not follow up with a chase. Instead, he took a deep look at Mario, as he was really surprised that Mario was able to block his earlier shield strike. So this was why he had always been kept by Sharmie. His defence truly was astonishing.
Taking a deep breath, Mario said. "Lights off."
From the looks of Tianqiong Musk's actions, he knew that the latter had completed his observations. As he muttered, dark energies started to gush out from his body like a waterfall.
The dark energies instantly grabbed hold of Tianqiong Musk. This was a move from the dark attribute special ability that could not be evaded. As long as it was activated, it would display its effects almost instantaneously.
"It's an extremely practical way to use the dark energies. However, it a pity that darkness of such a degree isn't useful against people at my level." Tianqiong Musk commented with a smile. All of a sudden, a layer of faint golden radiance surfaced on his eyes, before a wisp of dark gas was immediately forced out.
Seeing this, Mario's face instantly contorted. Never did he imagine that his opponent actually possessed a way to dispel his blinding darkness "lights off" move! In the next instant, he raised his finger and pointed right towards Tianqiong Musk.
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