The confidence that Ethan had wasn’t a blustering courage. It required neither dramatic and expressive displays nor arrogant declarations.
He exuded confidence simply by sitting there and speaking in his mild, indifferent tones.
Lacey was stumped.
She had not come across anyone like him before.
She couldn’t describe the feelings that overcame her when she was with Ethan. They felt like a mix of awe, nervousness, respect and a tinge of…adoration.
It was a complicated web of emotions that not even Lacey could untangle herself from.
“The next round!” Helis thundered.
Everyone’s eyes were drawn towards the arena.
The second round had started.
Those who had been eliminated in the first round had failed the test. Lacey knew exactly how that felt.
It was a feeling that she had experienced more than once.
She had been lucky this time though. She had passed the first round.
She corrected herself immediately. It hadn’t been luck. It had been the labors of her hard work. She had deserved it.
“The next match is between Carmen and Homer!” Helis’ voice thundered.
A commotion stirred in the audience. Everyone’s eyes landed on Carmen Reese and Homer Person, who were standing in the distance.
How could it be the two of them?
Alongside Marcel, Carmen Reese and Homer Pearson were the two other most powerful disciples in the Inner Court.
Marcel was stronger than the both of them while Carmen Reese and Homer Pearson were well matched. It was going to be a tough fight. Why were they being pitted against the other in the second round?
It was akin to trapping two tigers in the same cage. Only one would emerge triumphant.
This fight wasn’t simply one to pass the test. If that were the case, they could have held the test any time. Why was it being held today, when Clearheart Sect were entertaining visitors?
Everyone seemed a little confused. They couldn’t help but look at Liam and wonder why he had planned the fights this way. What was his intention behind this arrangement?
Cid turned towards Liam and gave him a look too.
When the crowd caught the look in Cid’s eyes, they realized that the principal of the Inner Court had no idea what was going on too.
Liam revealed nothing on his face. He was the only one who knew that he hadn’t planned this. Cid had been the one behind it.
He wasn’t going to say anything though.
He wasn’t going to interfere with the test regardless of what Cid had planned. This was the Inner Court’s test. Cid had full rein over how it was going to be run. Liam wasn’t going to interfere and let Cid have anything on him.
Carmen and Homer entered the arena. Their eyes shone brightly.
Those who weren’t familiar with them viewed them as evenly matched opponents who weren’t going to yield easily and admit that his opponent was more powerful than he was.
This was a great chance to prove who was the better of them both.
“Carmen, let’s find out who’s the better fighter today.” Homer Pearson smiled and cupped his fists in greeting. “Here’s to a fair fight.”
“And a good battle!”
As soon as they were done talking, they attacked at the same time with startling speed.
Their first blow resulted in a thunderous collision.
The ground trembled.
The force of their blows rippled in the air and blasted at the audience’s eardrums.
They were incredibly strong.
The crowd gasped aloud. The two fighters were the cream of the crop in the Inner Court and the younger generation of disciples in the sect. They were the second strongest fighters following Marcel.
They were going to be admitted to the Portico and become the Portico disciple of an elder sooner or later.
The fight in the arena looked intense. Carmen and Homer had charged right into battle as soon as the fight had started. Helis had retreated into the distance so that he wouldn’t distract the opponents in any way.
The audience was completely engrossed in the fight, their full attention drawn to the most exciting battle today.
Lacey was doing the same too. Her eyes were fixed on the two disciples in the arena. There was a conflicted look in her eyes.
“They’re really strong!” was the thought that occupied her mind.
They would have left her trailing in the dust in the past.
What terrified her the most was the fact that she hadn’t realized how much stronger they were.
Yet, within a span of a month, she had learned to discern things that she hadn’t been able to.
She turned towards Ethan and gave him a look. “Who’s going to win?”