“Do you know how much trouble you’re in young lady?” Tafel’s mother asked as she glared at her daughter.
“I’m sorry,” Tafel said. She was sitting on her hands with her head down and shoulders hunched over. Her mother and father were standing over her while Dustin stood by the doorway.
“You deliberately ignored us and you lied to Dustin,” her father said. “That wasn’t a very nice thing to do. Your mother was worried sick about you.”
Tafel remained as silent as a board.
“No more magic training for you,” her mother said, “ever.”
“No buts. You brought this upon yourself.”
Dustin frowned. “Isn’t that too much? It was my fault too for not verifying her words,” he said.
“There’s no need for Tafel to learn magic,” her mother said. “There are things more valuable for her, like politics and etiquette. As for you, Dustin; you should know me well enough to not have let her go.”
“Mina…” Dustin said. Tafel’s mother let out a hmph and brushed past Dustin as she left the room. Tafel’s father sighed and walked after her.
“It’s not fair,” Tafel mumbled with tears in her eyes. Dustin walked up to her and pat her head.
“I taught you all the basics of magic. You can still practice even if I can’t teach you. Work hard and you’ll be strong enough to do what you want one day.” He took off his necklace and clipped it over Tafel’s neck. “This should help you when you practice,” he said. “Return it to me when you become an adventurer.”
Tafel grasped the gold necklace and looked up at Dustin. He smiled at her, then turned around and left the room. He closed the door behind him, but he could still hear sobs as he walked away.
“Tafel has so much talent in magic; it’d be a shame if she stopped,” Dustin said to Mina and her husband.
Mina looked at Dustin. “How I raise my children is none of your concern.”
Dustin’s chest tightened. “Tafel became my concern when I was entrusted to teach her.”
“And now she is no longer your pupil. You don’t have to worry about her affairs any longer.”
Dustin opened his mouth to speak, but stopped when Mina raised her hand. “Thank you for teaching her, but you should leave now,” she said. “Of course, the request will be counted as fulfilled and you can retrieve your reward at the guild.”
Dustin gritted his teeth and nodded. “Then I bid you farewell,” he said and turned around to leave.
The demon lord turned to his wife after Dustin left and asked, “Did Dustin do something?”
“I don’t think I can trust him,” Mina said and sighed. “Have Prim take care of Tafel. I need to lie down for a bit.”
The sun shined overhead, causing shimmers of air to appear on the ground. The seating area of the arena was packed and filled to the brim. Hissing sounds filled the air as people discussed today’s match and placed their bets.
“And now for the match that we’ve all been waiting for. Forty-nine time winner, the hungry servant, versus the legendary rhimon. Countless numbers of contenders have participated in our arena, but only a few dozen have ever reached the forty-ninth win mark and none of them have ever gotten past fifty. That’s because of the legendary beast you see in front of you. People say one look into its eye can cause instant death to the faint of heart. It’s the embodiment of death itself,” the lamia announced. “Will the servant eat this beast too? Or will he be consumed himself?”
“Wow, he sounds scary,” Vur said to Lindyss. By now, he could understand snaketongue and had accused Lindyss of lying about playing games. She had just smiled at him and said she wasn’t a dragon before rubbing his head.
“Didn’t you say the manticore sounded scary too?”
“He did sound scary! Just not as scary as he was tasty though.”
“Then this should be the same.”
“But that’s a giant eyeball. I don’t like eating eyes. They’re too squishy and slimy,” Vur said with a frown.
“Just fry it with fire first then,” Lindyss said. “I still think it’s barbaric you don’t cook your food first.”
“It’s not as tasty or chewy if you burn them,” Vur said. “Grimmy told me that’s why he never hunts with fire or magic.” Lindyss sighed.
The gates swung open; both Vur and the rhimon dashed out at the same time. The rhimon looked like a giant yellow ball with wings, a tail, and two clawed feet. It had one giant eyeball that took up 85% of its body and a mouth filled with rows of shark like teeth. It was 8 feet tall and had a wingspan of 24 feet. It flew up into the air and let out a screech that made the audience tremble as they covered their ears.
Vur fell to his knees and plugged his ears with his fingers. He grit his teeth and circulated mana through his body. The rhimon’s screech ended and it dived towards Vur with its claws outstretched. Vur cast aero towards one of its wings and it spiraled to the ground as it lost its balance. It crashed onto its back and Vur dashed forward while unsheathing his dagger. He wanted to stab it in its weakest spot—its eye—but he didn’t want to be caught off guard in the air if he jumped. Instead, he stabbed towards the next weakest spot closest to him.
The rhimon let out a miserable shriek and its legs thrashed as it felt pain in a place it never felt pain before. Lindyss fell off the bench. Snuffles looked at her and oinked. “I’m okay,” Lindyss said as she sat up. I have to rename that dagger, she thought.
The rhimon struggled to get up and flapped its wings, but Vur was relentless in his pursuit. He repeatedly stabbed Lust into the rhimon’s newfound weakness before it could take flight. Tears sprang from the rhimon’s eye and it shrieked while spreading its wings. Its eye glowed with a black light and a roulette appeared in the air above its body with an image of Vur’s and its face on it. The wheel spun and Vur stopped his assault to watch it. The arrow above the roulette rattled and it slowly stopped, ending over Vur’s image.
Vur’s hairs stood on end and a shadow descended behind him from above. It was a black robed figure without a face holding a scythe over Vur’s head. Vur felt his body collapse, but his view didn’t change. He could see his collapsed body on the floor and he saw an ethereal figure of his body standing above it. The scythe swung down and rent his spirit in two. Vur watched as his misty body dispersed and his vision went black.
The robe let out a cackling noise and it faded from view. The audience was silent as they took in the scene. The lamia announcer broke the silence. “The rhimon used its last ditch skill, Roulette, and it seems like the heavens were in its favor. It’s a pity, but-. Wait! What’s this!?”
A red light engulfed Vur’s body and faded away. Vur let out a groan and sat up. The ring he wore as a necklace had one less ruby on it. Vur looked at it and then looked towards Lindyss who gave him a smile and pointed at the rhimon. The rhimon saw this and let out a wail as it turned around. It flew back into the gate it came from and pulled it shut with its claws. It curled up into a ball and started rocking back and forth.
“I-it seems like the rhimon has surrendered. The winner is the servant! History has been made today folks; the first contender to reach fifty wins has been crowned!”