Chapter 1: The Final Victor
“Let’s get started, Wicked. Don’t make me repeat myself,” my voice, laced with anger, rang out.
Wicked gazed at me solemnly, a trace of melancholy in his eyes. At long last he drew his sword and said, “Then, before that – I want to duel Zui. I can’t let you keep hogging the limelight.”
I scratched my cheek, wondering, Had I really been hogging the limelight? Okay…maybe just a little. “As you wish.”
I glanced over at Zui and Fan, just in time to see Fan being forced into a corner before being cut in half by Zui. Seems like Fan isn’t Zui’s match in one-to-one combat, despite being his superior when it comes to strategy and tactics… (Or should I say Fan’s a sneakier bastard?) Could it be that it was very cruel of me to have forcibly hauled Fan back from the brink of death, only to let Zui beat him to death? …Never mind! At the very least, it’s better for him this way than being beaten to death by me instead.
After finishing Fan off, Nan Gong Zui walked slowly toward me. It can’t be that he wants to challenge me to a duel, can it? Interesting! I thought. With a faint smile I raised Black Dao, readying myself. I watched as Nan Gong Zui drew closer to me with each step. He’s about to attack! I tensed up…
“Thank you, Prince,” Zui said suddenly.
“…Huh?” I froze. Thank me? I massacred all his allies and still the man wants to thank me?
“You gave Fan and I the chance for a fair duel to the death,” Nan Gong Zui hastened to clarify as he eyed my unconvinced expression. “Besides, that was the main reason why I entered the tournament in the first place.”
“Oh… Ah, right, Wicked said that he wants to fight you first.” I pointed over at Wicked.
Nan Gong Zui simply smiled upon hearing that. “There’s
no need; I’m the only one left in my alliance, so there’s no point in fighting on. Besides, I have more important matters to settle, so you might as well kill me now, Prince,” he said, a deep melancholy in his eyes.
His gloomy mood rubbed off on me, and I said softly, “All right then…”
Before I had even finished what I was saying, a sword’s blade suddenly pierced through Zui’s chest – and the owner of the sword was none other than Wicked. Wicked wore an irate expression as he looked at Zui.
I can overlook the fact that this fellow became friends with Xiao Lan, he thought, and it’s no big deal if he had the opportunity to be carried by Xiao Lan in her arms. But now he actually dares to ask Xiao Lan to kill him? Why can’t he just go and find some place to die quietly by himself?
“Wicked, what are you doing?” I exclaimed, deeply displeased. “Zui already said he wanted me to kill him!”
A flicker of realization darted across Nan Gong Zui’s face as he looked at Wicked’s resentful gaze. “Never mind, it doesn’t matter, Prince,” Zui said. “After I’ve settled my business, I’ll look you up for a drink…”
The conversation was once again interrupted as a translucent arrow was fired from behind me, on my right, landing squarely in the middle of Nan Gong Zui’s forehead. The culprit, Gui, threw a cold glance at Nan Gong Zui. I thought, I guess you could say that Gui was more chivalrous than Wicked; at least he waited for Nan Gong Zui to say that he would come back to look for me before he finished him off!