However, the minotaur didnt inflict any of the terrible endings that Dezra had imagined on her. It didnt crush her body through its forceful grip, nor did it dash her against the ground. Instead, it simply threw her at the entrance of the path leading into the center of the labyrinth.
Dezra was so consumed by fear that she forgot her training to deal with falls. So after skidding across the ground, she just lay where she fell, whimpering in pain. Her whole body was aching after having flown so far through the air before falling, and it felt like she had broken several bones.
“Since youve lost, get back out of the way,” Eugene ordered.
“It hurts…!” Dezra cried out piteously.
“Well, of course it would hurt,” Eugene pointed out without sympathy.
“Why did it just stop at throwing her” Ciel asked, her face showing incomprehension.
Although it wasnt like she wanted to see such a brutal scene taking place right in front of her, no matter how much Ciel thought about it, the minotaurs behavior just now didnt seem like something a monster would do.
“Thats because that thing over there isnt a real monster,” Eugene replied dismissively. “Theres no reason why it has to kill us, since the moment it gets its hands on us, weve already lost.”
The organizers of this ceremony also had no reason to want to truly traumatize the young children.
Having watched this situation play out, Cyan got up with a relaxed smile on his face.
“Hmph. Instead of rushing out first, you should have recognized your place. Did you really think that youd be able to defeat a minotaur”
Dezra was unable to respond, and she could only sob and curl her aching body into a ball. Cyan smirked as he stalked past Dezra into the center of the labyrinth.
“What a fool! Just sit there and keep your eyes peeled wide open as I show you how its meant to be done. Ill prove once for all that the blood of the main family is on a different level to a collateral descendant like yourself.”
Cyan felt like he had to compliment himself on such a magnificent speech. Of course, these words werent just meant for Dezra; they were aimed at Eugene as well. However, Eugene was simply smiling in amusement, as if he saw something funny that Cyan had missed.
‘…Bastard. Does he really think that I cant kill a cow-headed bastard like that
Cyan drew his sword with an eye-catching flourish. Then he began focusing his concentration on his sword. As he did so, the mana circulating through his body began flowing into the sword as well.
Dezra felt a huge shock hit her. A faint light had wrapped itself around Cyans sword. That was definitely sword-light, something that could only be manifested once your mana had been trained to a certain level. Dezra personally knew just how powerful a light like that was. It was basically a blade of mana that could cut through anything it touched. She had sometimes seen her father wrap the spear-equivalent of sword-light around his spear and use it to pierce through a large block of iron as if it were a piece of tofu.
‘If you train hard once you return from the Bloodline Continuation Ceremony, youll also be able to manifest sword-light,” her father had told her before she left for the main house.
In order to activate the slightest ray of sword-light, you needed to have trained your mana for at least ten years. However, Cyan was only one year older than her and could already manifest his sword-light. This fact frustrated Dezra greatly.
“…Haha!” Cyan laughed as he came out of his focus.
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Cyan enjoyed seeing Dezra in shock. Unfortunately, he couldnt maintain the sword-light for very long with the amount of mana that he possessed. However, it wouldnt take him very long to slice this stupid cow-headed bastard into pieces.
With a confident gait, Cyan approached the minotaur.
However, before he had taken much more than a few steps, Cyan halted in his tracks. The mana that composed the sword-light had suddenly scattered. Cyan looked at his sword in confusion. He tried to focus his mind once more on emitting the sword-light, but no matter how much mana he used, he couldnt stop the sword-light from scattering into the air.
Eugene looked at Cyans bewildered appearance with a playful light in his eyes. While it had been a surprise to see that Cyan already knew how to manifest his sword-light, the fact that he knew how to do this only made Eugene even happier.
A faint magic circle was drawn on the walls surrounding the central cave, so faded that you needed to look very closely to see it. Eugene had recognized the appearance of this magic circle. Although several points seem to have been changed… the basic gist of it still remained.
This was a magic circle that cut off all use of mana within its range. Three hundred years ago, Sienna had used this very same magic circle to counter several demonic wizards.
‘Whod have thought that they would install this kind of magic circle in the center of the labyrinth
Since the collateral descendants hadnt trained their mana, this magic circles only targets were the children of the main family.
‘Well, he did say that he would be judging us on the qualities that we had inherited, not the concentration of our blood.
Gilead was the one who had said this, and he had really put his words into action. Usually, the collateral descendants would never be able to win against the children of the direct line. However, what if the children of the main family could no longer use mana
Not knowing what to do, Cyan hesitantly backed away. The minotaur simply stood idly by and watched Cyan as he did so.
‘Just… just what on earth is going on Why isnt the sword-light activating Even though I still have plenty of mana….
“Brother” Ciel called out to Cyan.
Cyans shoulders twitched at the sound of her voice. Could he really defeat the minotaur without the use of sword-light Cyan gulped. He couldnt even absorb any more mana into his body. That meant he wouldnt be able to maintain the boost to his physical strength for very long.
Did he really have a chance
“If you think youre going to lose, then just come back. Dont pointlessly get your ass beaten out of stubbornness,” Eugene called out as he snickered.
That irritating voice! Cyan bit down firmly on his lips. He had nowhere to retreat. If he admitted that he couldnt do it and just turned back now….
“Haiyaaah!” letting loose a loud roar, Cyan charged at the minotaur.
Like the last time, the minotaur only started moving after Cyan had rushed in. Although he couldnt call up his sword light, Cyans movements were incomparably faster than Dezras had been.
The minotaur swung its hand. Cyan avoided the minotaurs hand and dived into its reach with great difficulty. Then, with all his strength, he swung his sword.
Cyans sword sliced at the minotaur. However, this only left a shallow cut on the monsters skin. While enduring the pain in his wrists from the recoil, Cyan continued to fiercely swing his sword.
Cyan was extremely desperate. As he narrowly escaped the minotaurs attacks by dodging here and there, he continued to slash and stab with his sword. However, none of his attacks were truly injuring the minotaur. It was incomparably stronger than all the monsters he had faced up until now.
‘T-the leg. I need to hit its leg.
Cyans breathing was already strained. Having inflicted only shallow wounds so far, he was far from defeating the monster. He needed to make a decisive attack. For starters, it was just way too large, so he needed to bring it down somehow… but his thoughts didnt have the time to form properly.
Watch out for its hand!
Cyan quickly ducked his head. Then as he dived forward with his head down, he thrust his sword at the minotaurs knee.
Unfortunately, he had gotten the angle of the stab wrong. Cyans sword didnt pierce into the minotaurs joint as he had hoped, and instead, as it impacted with the minotaurs tough kneecap, the sword cracked into pieces. As he saw this happen, Cyans eyes filled with tears of despair.
‘But they said it wouldnt break!
The moment his sword broke, Cyan resentfully complained to Lovellian in his head, just as Dezra had done. Unfortunately, what followed next was also identical to Dezras experience. The minotaurs large hand wrapped around Cyan and threw him towards the entrance.
Fortunately, Cyan was able to control his fall to minimize the damage. However, he was thrown so far, and his body was so exhausted, that he wasnt able to fully mitigate the force of the throw. Coming out of his roll, Cyan writhed on the ground as he tried to grab at his throbbing back.
“Gaaah…!” he groaned.
“You lost as well,” Eugene teased Cyan with a chuckle.
Cyan couldnt say anything in reply, so he could only bite his lips in shame.
“Im not going to fight,” Ciel blurted out immediately. “His sword-light wasnt working because of that, right”
Ciels finger pointed at the magic circle that had been inscribed on the walls.
‘Oh…. Eugene exclaimed inwardly, impressed.
It looks like she really did have better eyes than her brother.
“How should I know” Eugene said with a smile as he stood up.
After looking at her brother with eyes that showed a mix of worry and amusement, Ciel turned back to Eugene.
“Can you win” she asked him.
“Ill have to give it a try,” he said, and with this reply, Eugene walked out to meet the minotaur.
Although he may have spoken modestly, Eugene had no intention of losing.