Blacksmith of the Apocalypse - Chapter 285

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Second to last day. The Single PVP Tournament had a whopping 500+ participants registered. Just like the party event, they would go through a traditional tournament.
The many fields in the stadium had been turned into 50 arenas.
"On the first day, we will cull the herd and reduce the numbers to 64 combatants in the first 5 rounds of the tournament! These warriors will proceed to the great finale on the sixth and last day of this great event." the announcer explained excitedly.
The first day was the hardest for the Field Service of Minas Mar as they had to take a look at all the people that looked promising. Not so much for Seth. Since there were a lot fewer participants than in the PVE part, his was work less than before.
Within only a few rounds the top64 became more or less clear. Among them were many famous adventurers and guild leaders who already played a role in the last part.
But it was the otherworlders like beast people and demons that were the true eyecatcher. Their exotic skills and abilities marveled the audience and they managed to take out the one or other audience favorite.
The Adventurer King literally plowed through his opponents with a brilliant succession of one-hit knockouts. His fighting style was that of a mock or a martial artist based around a kind of claw-weapon that mimicked jaguar claws.
In a similar fashion, the favorites of the big guilds like the Ice Queen of the Mountain Guild, Elza, Master of the Volcano Guild, Marcel, and Master of the Boulder Guild, Brock were making their ways to the top64.
Other notable combatants included a Demon that could turn into mist like in a vampire myth and became immune to physical damage and most magic and a Valiant Tiger Tiijahk. The cat warrior was not part of Drosi's caravan, but a sole wanderer.
Not much changed for these people up until the quarterfinals. They were head and shoulders above the others of the top64. The last 16 duels were held one at a time on a big stage in the center, as these were the strongest and most promising combatants.
In this round was two of these frontrunners finally crashed into each other. The tiger warrior and Brock, the earth-bending Monk met in a phenomenal clash of brute force.
Neither held back and went 100% from the start. With a massive roar, the tiger went into his frenzy state and grew to over two meters. A tank of bulging muscle covered in robust orange-red fur and armor barreled towards the monk.
The Monk reciprocated the Tigers challenge. Although smaller than the beastperson, his muscles bulged as he buffed himself and exploded the flimsy robe off his body. A monk didn't need armor, his steeled muscles glinted in the sun as his lion roar shook the stadium.
Tiger claws and iron fists met in the middle of the arena as the two shot at each other. For the first few minutes of their exchange, there was almost no visible difference in their performance. But soon wounds started to creep up.
The monks prided muscles of steel kept taking damage from the tiger's sharp claws while his own fist strikes could ultimately not penetrate the armor and fur to deal decisive damage.
Brock was not stupid. He wouldn't hold back just to meet his opponent on even ground. Erath spikes started shooting at the tiger as the guild master used a shell of stone to defend against the tigers attacks.
This was another twist in the fight as the tiger was now forced into the defense. The earthen spike, rock shots, and traps the monk kept using made it hard to evade while the fists of iron kept showering him.
It was the Thijaahk's turn to take damage as his eyes grew redder and redder from rage and annoyance. The honest and forthright seeming monk was much craftier than expected.
The decisive change was when the tigerman crossed the limit. He jumped back and started to transform again but he didn't turn back and become smaller. He became bigger.
Suddenly Brock was faced with a three-meter tall, ferocious tiger. He was petrified for a moment by the deep tiger eyes. The monk had not much time to think. Everything ended in a blink when the tiger suddenly vanished only to appear behind Brock and break his neck in a single bite.
Everything went black for the winner of the party event as he fell to the ground lifeless.
While Brock disintegrated to be revived at the guild station, the tiger slowly turned back. The beastperson stood there half-naked and heavily breathing as he was announced the winner. Cheers rained on the tired cat as he limped out of the arena to recover.
His opponent in the quarterfinals, a magician specialized in barriers, immediately admitted defeat as he didn't wish to face the tiger.
In the quarterfinals, another two of the favorites clashed. The Mist Demon and the Adventurer King met in the ring. At first, it looked like the latter had no chance.
His physical attacks and skills could not even touch the mist while the marks of invisible claws kept building up on his armor and exposed muscle. They bled, but were too shallow to deal severe damage.
What they did was enrage the prideful hunk. The taunts and jeers of the mist demon didn't help to calm the arrogant fellow. His eyes started glowing in a bright yellow flame.
"You asked for this! I wanted to set the stage and unveil it during my win in the final, but now you will feel the wrath of God! !"
Bright light suddenly filled the stadium as the arena was covered in a flash of light and heat. It was as if the Sun had descended into the ring. When it finally receded and people were again able to see what was going on, there was only the Adventurer King left standing in the ring.

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His exposed skin had healed and bright golden runes covered his skin. His eyes were golden holes with yellow flames licking up. On the ground laid the charred body of the mist demon. The sun flare had covered the whole arena and forced it to turn back or be completely obliterated.
"I am the champion of Vitzliputzli, warrior god of the sun!" he announced proudly and the golden runes and flame finally dimmed. He stayed in the arena with a smug face even after he was declared the winner of the match.
He looked around for his applause but the cheers were rather reserved. He was already known from the party tournament and people had gotten an idea about his terrible personality. That kind of person being chosen by a god was more worrying than exciting to most.
Displeased the showman left the stage.
The last 4 left in the semifinals were Marcel, Elza, The Avdenturer King and the Tiger Thiijahk.
Before the last two rounds, the participants were given a good break while a live performance was played for the audience.
Seth entered the break room of Dohu, the tiger.
"Who are you?" Dohu asked grumpily looking at the person who had just entered his private space.
"Hello! I'm Seth from Minas Mar. You could say I am one of the organizers of this tournament."
"And what do you want, Mr. Organizer?" the tiger asked slightly exposing his teeth.
He knew these kinds of situations. These bloodsucking vermin would come and ask him to fake defeat for the bets or for their pitiful human pride. He was so fed up with-
"I came to ask whether you know a Thijaahk named Drosi? He's a caravan leader." Seth asked, ignoring the tiger's antics.
Seth knew that the caravans of the cat people kept contact, but he didn't know whether a sole wanderer like Dahu would know of Drosis whereabouts.
"You know Uncle Drosi? What do you want from him?" the tiger asked with a surprised face.
"I met him a few months ago and we traveled together to Delta. We kept in contact after he left but... I didn't hear from him for two months now. It's just that I'm a little worried."
They got into a conversation and Seth explained how they met and what had happened during their journey. They ended up talking about Drosi and subsequently Dohu. Drosi was not his uncle by blood. But the cat elder had taken care of him and was a father figure to him since his childhood.
"Two months, you say?" Dahu pondered. "It's really unlike Uncle Drosi. He wouldn't break contact without reason. I will have to write some letters after the tournament. I will check if someone else got a message from Uncle. If nobody did, we may have reason to worry."
The announcement of the beginning of the semifinals ended their conversation. Seth left the tiger with mixed feelings. He was glad that he was able to speak amicably with Dahu but he was worried about Drosi and the caravan.

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