The sudden and unexpected development caused even the angry voices directed to the judge to die down. The audience probably didn’t know what happened either.
After all, it looked like the platoon captain who was attacking without stopping suddenly found himself up in the air.
「Eh? What happened? 」
「Don’t know. It was so sudden……, but it looked like the Countless Swords Sorcerer threw him. 」
「No way, it’s impossible for him to throw someone larger and fully equipped. Maybe it’s possible if he used magic. 」
Although the majority were tilting their head at what happened, there were also people that has knowings on martial arts.
「Hmm, that’s interesting. He used his opponent’s momentum and threw him. 」
「Using himself as the axis and changing the direction of the force like a waterwheel. I see, it makes sense. 」
「I heard there was a country that developed techniques like those……, is he from there? 」
「With a technique like that, I can probably do it too. 」
While analyzing what happened calmly, they were greedily trying to find enlightenment that can help themselves improve.
Ardis while looking at the platoon captain slowly took some distance. Although Ardis didn’t think that he’s dead, at the very least, he won’t be able to move after getting hit right on his head with that force.
His opponent had fallen on the arena without moving. Ardis still remained standing on the other hand. In other words, the match is over as his opponent is incapacitated.
It’s an outcome where no one can argue Ardis’s victory. However, the judge still kept quiet without saying anything. And after a minute of silence from the judge, the audience that were murmuring seeing the platoon captain on the ground became impatient.
「Oi oi, what is that guy doing seriously! 」
「What the hell! Is that even a judge―! 」
「Isn’t it the outcome decided already! Quickly announce the end already! 」
「Don’t you dare try to match-fix! 」
「Change the judge―!」
Once again, the entire arena were filled with angry voices.
Although it was already obvious just now that the judge did not announce Ardis’s victory when the platoon captain dropped his weapon, the situation now is clear for anyone that Ardis’s victory is unarguable.
And as expected, the judge’s eyes started to look panic. Sweat can be seen forming on his forehead. However, even while being showered with insults from all sides, the judge didn’t move a muscle.
Or rather, he couldn’t move. Ardis noticed that his gaze was looking at the nobles’ seating for a moment.
Seeing where the judge looked, there was the figure of Marquis Holguin with his hatred filled gaze.
「I mean, the Marquis must’ve told him 『Don’t let him win no matter what』 but……. What is he going to do in this situation. 」
The angry voices from the audience were getting louder as time passes. It would not be long until riots happen from the audience if nothing is done.
「Oi, judge. 」
Ardis called out to the judge who was enduring all the fire.
「Is that fine, leaving that guy there? 」
Ardis asked while pointing at the platoon captain on the ground, the judge seemed confused at that.
「He’s probably still alive now but, if you left him there like that, there’s no knowing what will happen. Even though it’s best he receives treatment soon, you wouldn’t announce the result. There might still be time now. But if that guy died because of you dragging on the time, are you going to be the one responsible? 」
The judge’s face color turned green at that question. It’s natural.
After all, the opponent that faced Ardis is the captain of the assault platoon in the army. He’s not someone to be replaced easily, with his abilities, he can be said one of the cornerstones of the army.
If a person like that died because he was untreated, whose responsibility would that be. Of course, there would be people blaming Ardis but, in the match, any matters regarding life and death will not be pursued publicly.
After all, the organizer, the army had announced in advance and there was also a contract that all participants would have signed upon entry.
In reality, there would probably still be people blaming him for that, but at the very least, he won’t be held guilty publicly.
And the judge too, normally he would’ve no reason to be responsible over a death of a participant. But the situation now isn’t normal.
After all, he had obviously judged unfairly to the point he isn’t even a judge, and because of that, treatment was not given to the platoon captain collapsed on the ground.
If that platoon captain died because of that, the responsibility will surely lie with the judge.
「How it’s going to be? I don’t mind either way but, are you going to wait? I mean, he might regain consciousness if we waited long enough. And well……, he might also never wake up again. 」
At Ardis’s words that had essentially forced him to make a choice, the judge was terribly in panic. It seems like his desperation was really at its limit, as he looked at Marquis Holguin at the nobles’ seating for help.
「Isn’t he looking at the nobles! 」
「Are you some brat’s lackey――! 」
That was probably evident to the audience’s eyes too. More angry voices flew towards the judge. As that happened, the Marquis at the nobles’ seating screamed at a servant nearby angrily, before disappearing into the back.
And after a while, a messenger ran towards them and whispered to the judge. It’s probably the Marquis’s orders.
The judge that had been showering in insults by the audience looked like he found salvation, and while glaring at Ardis, he put his right arm up.
And announced the words that the audiences were waiting for.
「That’s it, match! 」
That moment, everyone in the arena cheered.
Rather than congratulating Ardis, it was more like the cheers of winning against a noble that tried to manipulate the outcome of the match.
Of course there’re those that praised Ardis.
However, for Ardis, his intentions to participate in the Lotus Cup was never that.
The Lotus Cup this time had a judge from the army that was obviously unfair, and on top of that, looked like he was ordered by some noble. And since many had witnessed it happen, the blame would surely be directed towards Marquis Holguin who is the organizer and sponsor of the Lotus Cup.
After the judge gave the declaration, multiple people ran towards the platoon captain on the ground. Some that looked like healers chanted magic, before carrying him away in a stretcher.
Seeing him getting carried away, Ardis muttered to no one.
「Well, there’s only one match left. 」
Walking away to return the borrowed sword without even a glimpse of fatigue, he left the arena that was filled with cheers.
There were three people watching Ardis leaving the arena from a corner of the nobles’ seating.
「He can even win against this odds huh. I knew he was capable but, I didn’t think he could win against that. 」
「Isn’t it a natural outcome? Isn’t it unbefitting of the acting head of Nyrestia Duchy to not discern Shishou’s true strength even after seeing it for himself? 」
There was the figure of the young lady of Nyrestia smiling proudly against the Duke’s opinion.
「Moore. Is it me or my daughter is being a little disrespectful recently, is this what they call rebellious phase? 」
The Duke asked for an opinion from the male escort behind him after getting a reply from his daughter.
「Your Excellency, please don’t drag me into family matters. But please don’t worry as Ojou-sama is a gentle lady if it doesn’t concern Ardis. So Your Excellency might need to endure until the Lotus Cup ends. 」
「What, you won’t take my side? You’re going to be the next guard captain for my house right? 」
「The duties of a guard captain doesn’t encompass mediating a parent-child relationship. By the way, since I have no doubts in Ardis’s victory from the beginning, in that sense I agree with Ojou-sama. 」
「Yare yare, I really don’t have anyone on my side huh. 」
The Duke shrugged intentionally, but a smile was on his face. The two beside him also knew that it was a joke.
「I’m already aware that Ardis-kun’s abilities aren’t normal. But in a situation that magic is forbidden, and on Marquis Holguin’s set up stage. I thought he wouldn’t be able to avoid a difficult fight. 」
「Certainly that was too much. It was obvious to anyone’s eyes that the organizer favored the platoon captain. Even though enemies, I sure hoped they used their brain rather than being an utterly stu――, khmm. Ee――, rather than being so rash. 」
Moore panickily corrected himself as he was on the verge of swearing. Even Minerva who was snickering at him agreed at the judge’s obvious action.
「It is as Commander Greystar said, that judge is just too much. Would he still be the judge for the finals? 」
「I don’t think that can be the case. He had made all the audience his enemy. He probably wouldn’t ever appear in the Lotus Cup again. 」
「It would be good if we can recommend a judge too……」
「That’s impossible. That Marquis wouldn’t stay quiet if we did that much. His hands must be full now trying to hide from His Highness. 」
「Is that so……」
「It’s going to be fine. He had obviously overdone it this time. The other house is probably going to tell on the prince too, and the worst case even His Majesty would come to know about it. At the very least, the judge for the finals would probably be better. But well…… 」
「But, what is it? 」
Minerva asked the Duke.
「It’s Marquis Holguin we’re talking about, he probably have another hand. 」
Moore tried to cheer up Minerva who seemed to have clouds above her head.
「It’s fine, Ojou-sama. That Ardis is not going to lose that easily even with a trick or two right? It’s Ardis after all. 」
「……Yes, you have a point. 」
As if recalling Ardis’s strength suddenly, Minerva suddenly regained her energy.
「Yes, that’s right! That must be the case! Shishou won’t lose even if it’s a disadvantageous situation! 」
The surrounding adults watched her as she proclaimed confidently while her fist tightened.