Rose was waiting for him with a pair of bottles filled with his blood on her hands. She carefully fed him with them. Of course, this act was mainly a sham so that Thorn could use his Life Restorer skill.
With a very concerned and gentle expression Rose asked him: "Will you be alright?"
Seeing Rose acting like that, a warm feeling rose up in Thorn's heart. "Yeah, I'll survive." He replied, a wide smile forming on his face.
But just some instants later, his smile stiffened. (Wait a moment! In the first place, wasn't she who convinced me to pretend to be a girl!? And in the second place, wasn't her idea what made me participate in this tournament!? In the end, the main culprit of my wounds and humiliation is she! Damn! I almost let her fool me! I'll definitely find a way to teach her a lesson later!)
Every one of the ninety individuals on the southern seats wrote ten names on a paper, they then handed over those papers to an assistant of the Zelu family. The assistant read all the papers and nodded. He approached Lenna Zelu and whispered to her ten names. After which, the assistant disappeared into some door.
Lenna Zelu clapped twice to attract the attention of everyone, and said: "The results of the second phase are out. But before I announce them, I'm going to tell you what will be the prize that the ten participants who are going to pass to the third phase will receive!"
After hearing the word 'prize', Rose's eyes lit up.
The hostess pointed with her finger toward the ten empty seats on the southern part of the hall, and continued saying: "The ten will receive the right to occupy those seats. They all will be ascended to one-star veterans!"
The spectators gaped in shock, they though perhaps they had heard wrong.
To climb up the ranks of any guild wasn't something easy to accomplish, it required more than just strength, it demanded to have the trust gained over years of cooperation with the guild. And naturally, to have a higher status within a guild meant to have more benefit from the guild.
As for the benefits of having the title of veteran within The Mercenary's Guild, they were quite generous. Not only the veterans had the authorization to freely use the libraries of the guild, they could also request higher ranked jobs from the guild, increasing greatly their income. Besides these advantages, as individuals of higher prestige and social status, they received discounts on almost every shop, and gained access to certain restricted areas of the world.
The title was definitely very valuable and sought-after.
And now, this priceless title was being given as a prize! Naturally, the spectators would be stunned.
As for all those participants who had a certain degree of confidence in getting into the top ten; except, of course, the clueless Thorn; they were almost jumping up and down from extreme joy.
Rose had a radiant smile on her face, she was thinking expectantly: (If this is for the top ten, what will be the prize for the first place!?)
The dullahan whose pitch-black smoke had the shape of an 'S' began to explain the next procedures: "I'll announce the ten participants who passed to the third phase. If your name is mentioned, please go to the southern seats. There, your novice license will be changed for a one-star veteran license. Then you'll have to wait for the third phase to start in one of those ten empty seats."
Immediately after, she initiated with the announcement of the ten winners of the second phase: "Harl Rora!"
A silver-skinned male goblin happily began to make his way toward the southern seats.
Thorn's right eyebrow slightly rose. "Isn't that goblin the one from the first match? Was he strong enough to get into the third phase?"
Since Thorn hadn't seen the combats before his, Rose decided to give him a detailed explanation: "At the beginning, that cunning little bastard was just saving up his Complex Energy. He made appear it as if he won the first match with much difficult. Then in the second match, something similar happened. By the time he won the third match, it became evident that he was just pretending to be weak so he could ambush his opponent at the right moment. In the end, he won four matches, only in the fifth match he was stopped, but it was only because he was already quite exhausted. His strong point is his mastery over his Racial Skill, Link Control. That together with his Earth Type Awakened Skill make him hard to deal with."
He nodded and assured her: "I can handle him."
It was a valiant female war elf, with white skin, golden hair, blue eyes and pointed ears. She wore a menacing red armor, and had a sword and shield, both seemingly made of white crystals.
"How about her? What is her strong point?" Thorn asked, his eyes glued on Chloe Tara's sexy and voluptuous body.
Rose ignored Thorn's pervert nature, and said: "She is quite strong as well. Although her cultivation is only in the Second Level Advanced Awaken, her Racial Skill, Physical Leap, already can enhance her physical strength up to ten times her original strength. So basically, her physical strength can be equivalent to a Fifth Level Full Awaken cultivator's. And finally, her Crystalloid Type Awakened Skill in cooperation with her proficiency on the sword and shield make her defense and attack even scarier."
"Oh, quite the intimidating warrior we have here. Still, I can handle her." Thorn affirmed confidently.
It was a beautiful female gorgon, her serpents were white with black spots, and she wore a luxurious white armor dress.
Without waiting for Thorn to ask, Rose said: "She is one of the Bullo twins. You'll have to maintain a powerful wind barrier around you if you end up fighting her, because not only does she have one of the two rarest Elemental Awakened Skills, the Light Type Awakened Skill, but she can also blend it with her Racial Skill, Poison Control."
"No problem, I can handle her." Thorn asserted unhesitatingly.
It was a blond male human. His light armor was black. And he exuded a Fourth Level Advanced Awaken aura.
On the northern seats.
Ramph Zelu commented: "Arger Dal, you sure are lucky, that boy has a really extraordinary skill."
Delia Adver also commented: "I hate to admit it, but he probably is stronger than my disciple."
"Hahaha… I certainly got lucky. It'll be interesting to see who will win the tournament now that there are so many talents. Hahaha…" Arger Dal said overjoyed, after all, the two with the highest chances to win the tournament were from The Mercenary's Guild.
On the public seats.
"Well, here it is, your greatest obstacle to obtain the first place." Rose said, a hint of worry in her voice.
After detecting this worry in her voice, Thorn frowned. "Why is that?" He asked.
"His Arrogant Awakened Skill is especially incredible. It is called Absolute Reflect and it can create a barrier that can return back anything thrown at it, anything. It is really a powerful skill. With it he won twelve matches, twelve! Even you, after only eight victories, were already at your limit." She explained, it was clear that Derek Niun's Awakened Skill impressed and intimidated her.
Thorn held his breath, he was left without words for a while. Still, in the end, he stuttered: "I-I can handle him."
It was a beautiful male gorgon, his serpents were white with black spots, and he wore a luxurious light black armor.
"As you can imagine, he is Eli Bullo's twin. He also has one of the two rarest Elemental Awakened Skills, the Darkness Type Awakened Skill." Rose stopped speaking for a second. "Well, this ends the explanations. You already know how strong are the next five participants who will be announced as winners of the second phase."
"Ehh? S-seriously?" Thorn's expression couldn't be more bewildered.
"Hehehe… Don't underestimate me. After seeing the entire second phase, others may not be able to know, with one hundred percent of certainty, who the winners are, but I do know. The five already mentioned, four are participants you fought with, and finally you. Ten in total." She said with a smile.
"Oh…" Thorn now understood.
Lenna Zelu ended up calling out the exact names Rose had predicted.
Thorn looked over at Rose's triumphant smile, and thought: (As expected of the little monster.)
He walked toward the southern seats, once there, Vei Dal said to him in a good mood: "Congratulations Thorn! You really gave me a tremendous pleasant surprise when you showed your skills!"
"Hehehe… You won't find someone with more talent than me. Hehehe…" Thorn said self-assuredly, he looked just like the spoiled daughter of an aristocrat.
"Hahaha…! That's for sure. Hahaha…!" Vei Dal was in reality quite serious about it.
Thorn handed over his one-star novice mercenary license to the shadow human, and received from him a one-star veteran mercenary license.
Vei Dal couldn't help but say: "Seven days, just seven days is the time you took to ascend to one-star veteran from one-star novice. You did that with a cultivation in the Second Level Intermediate Awaken and with no background whatsoever. There just aren't words to describe the admiration you made me feel for you. Arhg! Enough of this! What I am trying to say is: good luck in the third phase, I'll be hoping for your victory more than anyone else's."
Hearing Vei Dal's sincere words, a single slice of ice melted on Thorn's frozen heart. A genuine smile which couldn't be contained or suppressed naturally formed on his face. "Thanks. And don't worry. I'll definitely win." He said as a light of determination flashed through his eyes.
Vei Dal's heart began to madly pound. Thorn's expression at this moment was just too mesmerizing. The emotion Vei Dal was feeling was the same emotion a kid would feel for a hero.
"Alright. Go take a seat then. You must rest as much as possible to be ready for the incoming battle." Vei Dal suggested.
Thorn nodded and sat down on his corresponding seat. He closed his eyes and just rested.
An hour later.
The shield shaped platform began to open up in half. There was an artificial lake under the platform. And on the lake, there were forty small shield shaped black platforms floating about.
After the huge platform opened up completely, Captain Fou Tre of the kingdom's military forces led his fourteen knights toward the center of the hall. They then surrounded the artificial lake in a symmetric fashion. Finally, Lenna Zelu descended on one of the small platforms.
Most spectators became confused after seeing such scene.
It was at that moment when Lenna Zelu's voice echoed out once again: "For the third phase we'll receive the assistance of our respected Captain Fou Tre and his honorable knights. The third phase will be a Battle Royale of ten participants. In this phase a participant will only lose if it is knocked out, in other words, if it loses consciousness. Captain Fou Tre and his Knights will maintain the participants within the combat area. And as you can see, the terrain for the third phase will be slightly different from the two former phases."
She then turned her body toward the southern seats and playfully said: "To lift your fighting spirit I'll inform you all about something you are very interested in: what will be the prize for the first place of the tournament."
The participants and even the spectators became restless after hearing Lenna Zelu's words.
She nodded satisfied at this reaction, and loudly proclaimed: "The third place will receive nothing! The second place, nothing as well! And the first place will be granted 4 black coins! Yes! Only the best, the last standing will earn everything!"
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