Kuntarian was shocked when all of his Exar was scattered away, opening a path for Rian's attack. Rian was too skilled to let the chance pass.
Kuntarian felt Rian's Bander striking him against the weapon and gasped. He had been too focused on using Exar that he missed Rian gathering his Bander.
"You… bastard… I'll kill you!"
Kuntarian gritted his teeth. He felt embarrassed that he allowed an attack to pass and showed his shock to the spectators. He then began wielding an enormous amount of Bander from within and started hacking away at Rian.
Rian calmly blocked Kuntarian's attack, but the difference was too large to withstand.
Rian failed to block the attack and he was open to getting beat up on all parts of his body. When Kuntarian regained his senses and stopped attacking, Rian was on the verge of fainting. He needed immediate attention from the priests.
'Dammit, I overdid it.'
This could've angered the Count. Kuntarian turned to where the King and Count Roman were sitting and found a weird scene. Both of them were looking at the other side of the spectator's area with concerned expressions.
Kuntarian then heard Rian murmur something and turned back.
'It's okay… don't…"
"What? What are you saying?"
Kuntarian closed in on Rian who was kneeling down, covered in bruises and blood.
'It's okay Sian… I'm okay… don't do anything stupid…'
Kuntarian could not understand what he was saying, but figured it was just mumbling because of the shock of a loss. He felt a chill coming to him was because of Count Roman, and he vowed to win that sword. Feeling uncomfortable, he left the Coliseum to rest on the streets of Tra-An.
The spectator seat that Count Roman and King Narasha were looking at was where Sian was sitting.
"Uh… Sian? Are you okay?"
Celine leaned closer to Sian to check his expression. She whimpered and jumped back after checking Sian's face.
"Hey… relax… It's going to be okay. Look, the priests are signaling too!"
The priests who were stationed to tend to the wounded checked on Rian who was still in the ring and raised a yellow flag. It meant it was bad, but it wasn't life-threatening.
Sian had his hand on his sword hilt and was about to draw it. Celine began to feel sympathetic toward Kuntarian.
'Ugh… rest in peace.'
It would not end up with a simple knock-out this time.
'I guess Sian won't kill him…?'
Celine couldn't say for sure.
Sian was barely holding back his anger. Rian kept whispering that it was a fair fight and that he was okay. It was a small whisper, but Rian must've known that Sian was listening to him. A few hundred yards were nothing to him.
'It's not a fair fight, brother.'
Kuntarian had beaten Rian up even after he was unable to keep fighting. Rian told Sian to stay out, but that beating would've been severe enough to make Rian never recover again, so Sian secretly sent his energy to protect him. If it wasn't for Rian's request to stay out, Sian would've already cut off the man's wrist.
Sian did his best to keep his brother's request. It was enough.
Kuntarian was to be left alone until the tournament was over so that the people's attention on him would dwindle. If he acted now, rumors would spread about Count Roman getting revenge for his son. The only people who could do something with Kuntarian at the capital were the Grand Banders, which would hurt his father's reputation.
'Just you wait, half-wit.'
Kuntarian easily became victorious. After Rian struck him once, he did his best to defeat all the opponents and it allowed him to claim victory.
The <kaloan> champion was able to choose his prize. What Kuntarian chose wasn't a famous artifact like the <protection of="" the="" north=""> or the <wrath of="" karandal="">, but a sword that was at the side. Everyone was confused by the choice.
Compared to the other artifacts that allowed one to concentrate on using offensive Bander like the <protection of="" the="" north="">, or the artifact that allowed one to multiply their Bander output like the <wrath of="" karandal="">, the sword was like nothing.
It was brought back from the Great North Wall by Count Roman when he returned from Guard Duty and presented it to the King. Roman had been ambushed by an unknown tribe while guarding the Wall. The chief of the tribe had this sword, which made it difficult for Roman to fight him. Therefore, Roman brought the sword back to the capital.
Even after the Exalted Magic Council examined it, the sword was made with such advanced technology that they could not decipher the mechanisms behind it. However, they discovered that it had a strange power that could multiply the user's energy. The only downside was that the user needed to use both Exar and Bander together.
Since no one was capable of using the sword, it collected dust at the Royal Storage until it was chosen to be a prize of the tournament.
Count Roman knew this and considered Kuntarian's selection to be a good one. Kuntarian seemed like a man who would be able to utilize the sword.
'But how did he recognize the sword?'
Its power wasn't to be known until it was actually used. Count Roman looked at Kuntarian with interest, but that wasn't the important point.
'Will he be able to return home safely?'
Roman immediately looked over at his second son Sian the moment Rian was beaten up. As a father, he was also sad and angry that his son was getting beaten up, but that was the life of a warrior. Rian wasn't a boy who would cry and reach out for help from his father. Count Roman knew this and knew it wasn't his job to interfere.
But Sian was different. He did not care about what others thought. Sian had been educated to not be violent and always mind the responsibility of using force, but nothing would stop him this time. Sian had no greed or ambition, but he loved his family. Especially his brother.
He always tried his best to not get in the way of his brother, but he was always worried.
And now this happened. It was amazing that Sian was still keeping quiet. Count Roman was prepared to jump out and stop Sian from beating up Kuntarian right after the boy started pummeling Rian.
'Sian, please don't kill him. Not to mention… the King knows about Sian.'
He saw the King looking at Sian. It was obvious that the King knew about Sian because of the way he turned to look at the boy, and that relieved the Count. He needed to talk to the King about Sian, but it was so unbelievable that he was hesitant about telling him. If the King already knew, then it was easy.
-One week after <kaloan>-
Kuntarian enjoyed his victory for a while and began preparing for an entrance ceremony. He wasn't to be disturbed, so he even borrowed a small mansion in the outer area of the capital. Excited, Kuntarian looked at the sword in front of him. After this ceremony, he was going to be reborn.
And when that time came, no Grand Bander was going to stand in his way.
That was what the heart of a <kal-gul> warrior, which replaced his own heart, was telling him.</kal-gul></kaloan></wrath></protection></wrath></protection></kaloan>