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A note from UnstoppableJuggernaut

Hiiii everybody! I loved everyone's reactions to the cover. :)

I keep staring at it and smiling hahahaha. 

Now, it's been a bit since a shoutout! Today, I'd like to shoutout The 3rd Law of Cultivation: Qi = MC^2. This is a sciency-cultivation novel that kinda reminds me a bit of Chicken and my own story. It's right on royal road too.

And now then...leeeeeet's get ready to ruuuumble!

​​Harmless and Najyah squared off across the arena cage. The eagle looked regal and deadly, while Harmless looked…well, not very bloody harmless.

Khalik was watching the crocodile closely with his hands clasped behind his back.

Kybas’s large eyes darted from Najyah to Khalik. His goblin ears twitched.

“Who will win?” Mrs. Lu asked. “That crocodile has been pretty nasty.”

“I was thinking about its name earlier: was I hearing right…is it actually named Harmless?” Mr. Lu asked.

“Ya, that’s its name alright.” Alex laughed. “It’s tough to say who’ll win,” he continued. “Harmless is already a terror, and Najyah’s fast and she can be a terror herself, so it’s hard to say. Plus, Khalik and Kybas haven’t been overdoing it with their mana, so they’re both still pretty fresh.” He shrugged.

“And they will need to keep saving mana for the finals,” Isolde pointed out. “Whoever uses what they have left in the most timely and efficient manner, will carry the day.”

Mrs. Lu looked at her. “And who do you think that will be?”

“I too have no idea-Oh, and here we go.” She nodded toward the arena floor.

The announcer held up a hand.

Both familiars tensed.

Both masters tensed.

“Begin!” the announcer cried.

Kybas and Khalik began shouting directions as soon as the announcer called for the round to start.

Najyah’s wings cracked open, and Harmless went charging across the field, kicking up dust with his belly, webbed feet and powerful tail. His jaws snapped open as he approached her with unnatural speed: covering nearly a quarter of the arena’s width each second.

Kybas finished casting the running enhancement spell, doubling Harmless’ running speed. The croc shot forward just as Najyah took to the air.

She screeched as Khalik’s body enhancement spell flooded into her, enhancing her agility, but Harmless was too fast.

Alex could hear jaws snap as they slammed shut just behind Najyah, catching a tail feather. The eagle flew off screeching as Harmless opened his mouth, releasing the tail feather.

The crowd roared, caught up in the action of the semifinals far more than earlier matchups.

Khalik’s lips began moving again, quickly casting a spell, materialising stones around Najyah that pointed straight at Harmless. Kybas spoke an incantation for green force armour to appear—encasing most of his crocodile in protective magic.

It didn’t cover those deadly crocodile jaws, Alex noticed—no doubt the goblin-wizard had kept them free for an advantage.

Khalik continued casting.

Najyah circled Harmless, strafing him, but the croc zigzagged across the arena floor, making himself a tougher target to hit.

Still, the stones kept blasting down at him.

Until Khalik finished his second spell.

In mid-air, the stones transformed—changed to orbs of tightly packed sand—and exploded upon impact with the arena floor and Harmless’ force armour. Taken by surprise, the crocodile began coughing, choking on a massive dust and sand cloud that had erupted around him.

“Whoa, nice trick!” Alex shouted.

Khalik had already cast the incantation for Orb of Air, and Kybas was starting to do the same.

Orb of Air materialised around Najyah’s head first.

Isolde winced. “Khalik is not holding back on his mana enough.”

“Yeah, but if he holds back too much, that croc’s gonna have Najyah for a snack,” Thundar said.

Silently, Najyah swooped down through the sand cloud before Orb of Air had formed around Harmless’ head, and began swiping at him with her talons.

Even from their distance in the stands, Alex could hear the deep impact of talons on force armour.

Then he heard a different sound. A bellow of pain.

Najyah flew up, screeching in victory.

‘The jaws,’ Alex thought. ‘She must’ve gone for his jaws. Brave. Dangerous, though.’

Harmless tried turning in place and snapping at her, but she was quicker than he was with her agility enhancement. Kybas frowned, eyeing the arena.

Alex could only imagine what was going through his mind: keeping Harmless in the sand cloud wouldn’t work, but if he came rushing out, he’d be a much easier target.

In the end, Kybas decided to go for the rush.

“Go!” he shouted. “Go where you can see her!”

The crocodile charged from the sand, whirling on Najyah.

He snapped his jaws, prepared for her next attack.

But it never came.

Najyah simply swooped at him, keeping out of reach of those jaws.

Kybas paused, clearly deep in thought.

The crocodile was probably behind on points now: even though he’d managed to grab a tail-feather earlier, Najyah had blinded and hit him several times. Now, all she and Khalik had to do was avoid any offensive their opponents put up.

If the crocodile didn’t get any hits on Najyah, he and Kybas would lose the round.

But, if Kybas burned through too much mana, he might win the round, but lose the match.

In the end, Alex saw Kybas shake his head then shout, “Stay, Harmless.”

Ding! Ding! Ding!

A bell—forged in the shape of two dragons with wings spread to form the shape of a tower bell—rang, and both combatants went to their respective sides.

The spells that Kybas and Khalik had cast on their familiars were dismissed, and each went to their masters for a water break.

Every eye turned toward the judges’ booth, eager for their decision.

There was some shuffling then, three cards came up:

10-9.

10-9.

10-9.

Unanimously in favour of Khalik.

“Yes!” Sinope and Thundar cried.

Kybas patted the side of Harmless’ jaw, while Khalik stroked Najyah.

Alex…didn’t know quite how to feel.

Soon, everyone fell quiet as the opponents re-entered the arena floor. Khalik and Kybas gave each other a respectful nod.

“Begin!” the announcer roared.

Najyah took to the air again, but Harmless came forward more cautiously than in round one. He tracked her, slowly lashing his tail back and forth.

They were both guarded. Conserving mana. Conserving energy.

Najyah circled above, while Harmless watched and waited, his tail still slowly lashing back and forth. Apart from his tail, the rest of his body was as still as stone, poised to spring.

Khalik was watching cautiously…the moments ticking by. Since he had the lead, it was wisest not to be aggressive. He hadn’t even cast a body enhancement spell on Najyah.

Alex looked at Kybas and saw his lips moving. Maybe he was about to go on the offensive. Which would make sense: he was behind. Suddenly, the sand and dust—on the arena floor from Khalik’s spells—burst into the air from a Move Earth spell.

It formed another cloud of grit that hovered above Harmless, blocking him from Najyah’s sight.

“Najyah! Up high!” the prince roared, trying to get her out of spell range.

In a flash, mana bolts shot from the croc’s back as Kybas continued casting. The line of shots streaked through the air, sending Najyah diving away.

Harmless’ mouth opened wide.

A Conjure Water spell materialised, spraying directly into Najyah’s path, showering the bird of prey.

“Oh no! Eagles can’t fly when their feathers are wet!” Selina's alarmed cry reached her brother.

“They can’t!?” Alex asked, surprised.

Sure enough, Najyah was drifting to the ground while Khalik tried desperately to cast another body enhancement spell of agility on her.

Like a lightning bolt, Harmless shot up from the cloud, his legs and powerful tail launching him higher than Alex would have expected.

Clearly, it was more than Najyah and Khalik expected too.

Jaws snapped like a trap, closing over a wing and drawing gasps from the crowd, but Harmless wasn’t eating her wing—the magic on his teeth would prevent the wing from being torn off—he was pulling her downward toward the ground.

And even with body enhancement magic, there was no way she was getting away from those jaws.

Harmless raised a webbed foot over her head and pressed her in place, holding her wing.

A pin.

Khalik shouted out a body enhancement spell for strength, but so did Kybas. Najyah’s activated first, but Harmless’ greater weight and leverage let his grip hold.

One! Two! The pin was acknowledged and Harmless let Najyah go. She hopped away fluffing up her feathers while Harmless spat feathers onto the stone.

The rest of the round went opposite to the first. Harmless snapped at Najyah from the centre of the arena, while she kept her back to the cage. Each time he went for her, a volley of stones materialised around her, firing suppressing blasts at his face to keep him away.

The crocodile couldn’t get near, and the round ended without a second pin.

Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding!

The bell rang ending the round.

The judges’ decisions came up.

10-7.

10-7.

10-7.

The second round was Kybas’.

“Oof,” Thundar grunted. “That went badly. Real badly.”

“Khalik’s far behind in points now,” Theresa said.

“Yeah, if he can get a pin in the final round, then maybe he can turn this around. More would be even better.” Thundar said.

“Yeah.” Alex tapped his knee. “But Kybas’ll be ready for him now. And all he has to do is play defence.

Khalik whispered something to Najyah before letting her back into the arena cage for the final round, while Kybas was hugging and planting big, sloppy kisses on Harmless’ snout before sending him back in.

“Okay,” Alex said, “Here we go.

There was a moment of silence as the tense crowd waited.

“Begin!” the announcer cried.

“Forward!” Khalik roared at Najyah, spitting out an incantation. Another body enhancement spell for strength flowed into her.

Kybas cast the same spell on Harmless plus force armour, then sent him running forward. Aggression and a hunger for victory almost seemed to vibrate through the goblin as he hopped up and down.

“Get her!” he yelled. “Time for a croc-apocalypse!”

Then, the croc surged toward Najyah, but the charge was careful. Harmless—in his force armour—looked ready to dodge any projectile spells from Najyah.

But none came.

Najyah flew straight, never changing course.

Suddenly, another spell took her.

Khalik’s earth armour spell formed around her body, solidifying as she folded her wings: turning her into a heavy projectile of earth magic and massive eagle.

Before Kybas could utter the first word of a spell, she collided with Harmless’ snout, the impact threw the young crocodile onto his back. Najyah landed on him hard, spreading her earth covered wings, keeping him from righting himself.

And now Khalik—his lips moving rapidly—cast a final spell. Clay gushed from around Najyah, splattering over Harmless’ stumpy legs, instantly hardening, weighing him down, keeping him in place.

Then Najyah placed her beak to his throat.

Alex was half out of his seat.

One second passed.

Two seconds passed.

Pin.

Alex jumped up along with everyone around him.

Kybas screamed, and began to mutter more incantations, but he paused, looking puzzled as Khalik did something unexpected.

He cancelled Najyah’s earth armour.

As the earth fell away, he sent her airborne, and—using the hardened clay on Harmless’ underbelly as a hold—she picked him up and launched into the air. She soared to the top of the arena cage and held the crocodile there, dangling.

Khalik didn’t cast his hail of stones like when Najyah carried Yo-boo, instead, he simply let Harmless hang, squirming to get out of her grip.

When the count began, Alex realised what this meant.

Harmless was helpless: even if he wasn’t being pressed to the ground, it counted as a pin.

An aerial pin.

“Second pin!” the announcer roared.

As the pin was announced, Kybas finished chanting a spell as Najyah swooped close to the cage floor. Mana bolts shot out from Harmless’ back and up toward her. She let go, swooping away.

The crocodile impacted the ground, slowly fighting to his feet.

But it was over.

Kybas still hadn’t given up though, and put up a hell of a fight, pouring spell after spell from Harmless. Water, more sand screens, mana bolts, even acidic splashes. But at that point, Khalik was prepared for his spells, letting Najyah keep out of reach, and staying on the defensive.

Until the round ran out.

Ding!

Khalik had won.

The goblin grimaced, and for a long moment, he looked up at the judges then sighed as the final scores were shown.

10-5.

10-5.

10-5.

One point lost for a weak performance and the other four for being pinned twice. It was enough of a point spread to place Kybas and Harmless fourth.

Very respectable for their first time competing.

But still, no award.

Alex saw Khalik raise his fist in victory as Kybas shook his head.

He gave a pained smile that made Alex feel for him, and feel even more conflicted. Khalik’s win was awesome and it had been a good fight, but Kybas could have used the prize money.

And even if Khalik wanted to be generous and hand it over, it would never work. Kybas had the kind of pride that made him work two jobs and never ask his friends for a single coin. He’d never done so once in the times Alex had been around him.

At the same time, Khalik had too much honour to insult Kybas by trying to give it to him, even if he did know about his financial situation.

In the end, the crowd was mostly silent--though there was some jeering--as the two young wizards met in the middle of the arena with their companions at their sides.

“You were good today,” Khalik’s deep voice rang out, as he offered Kybas his hand.

“You were better.” Kybas gave a half-smile, half-snarl and extended his hand with no sign of hesitation. “But, maybe not so much better next time!”

“Then, I look forward to it, my friend.”

They shook each others’ hand.

The crowd’s cheers—especially from Alex’s group—filled the arena.

After Kybas and Harmless were eliminated from the competition, things moved on to the final round.

Khalik had expended a lot of mana during the semifinal, but so had the opponent he’d be facing in the final. The prince limbered up, using a light mana regeneration technique to raise his energy while he got ready for the first round to start. From the information on the scoreboard, Alex could see that the majority of creatures who’d made it to the later rounds were familiars. They weren’t necessarily the most powerful beasts or constructs, but they had the advantage of their master’s magic to use.

So, when the announcement was made that two familiars would be facing off in the final match, Alex looked forward to another exciting match.

The other familiar’s master was also a first year student, and his familiar was a young falcon named Solo. Even though she was a bird of prey like Najyah, she was smaller and less powerful.

She was a faster flyer—and her master had good instincts—but in skill, it soon became clear that it was a bad match-up.

Najyah pinned her opponent early in the first two rounds, then Solo’s master tried to send her on the offensive in the third round, but he had to yield when his mana went too low.

The score for the third round was:

10-7

10-7

Yielded.

“And the winner is, Khalik Behr-Medr and his Harpax eagle familiar, Najyah!”

The announcer called the match in their favour as Najyah soared around the cage, obviously very proud of herself. They had won their first ever Duel by Proxy: Lightweight Division, and were awarded the golden medallion and the purse of 350 gold. Alex and his friends jumped out of their seats shouting, clapping, and whooping, while the other spectators gave the champions an enthusiastic standing ovation.

Alex was almost vibrating with excitement.

He looked down at Claygon, a smile of anticipation spreading across his face.

Tomorrow afternoon, it would be his turn.

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A note from UnstoppableJuggernaut

And there's one pokemon divi-I MEAN TOTALLY ORIGINALLY WIZARD MONSTER DUEL BY PROXY division done. Soon it will be time for Claygon. I love the upcoming fights.

And that's it for me for now! I'll catch y'all tomorrow!


Big thanks to all my readers—I appreciate each and every one of you—and a very special thanks to my patrons on my Patreon. There's up to 20 advanced chapters ahead on patreon as thanks for support!

If you want, I'd love it if you boosted me on Top Web Fiction through the following link.

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