Ning went to his room and took a cold bath before going to sleep. He could have absorbed some Essence through the window, but he felt like sleeping as he was feeling lazy.

He woke up early the next day and left his room to go meet his friends. Tenn was already up, but Kaleb needed some knocking to get him to wake up.

"You guys will be staying for lunch, right?" Tenn's mother asked. "I will make my best recipe for you guys."

"Sorry, Mom. Just have the cooks make some simple ones. We will need to return to the arena soon," Tenn said.

"Ohh… that's a shame," his mother said. "Alright, I'll have them prepare some simple ones."

Ning and the rest had a simple meal before leaving the mansion.

"Can't we go around this place for a while, roam your family's very own city?" Kaleb asked.

"Sorry, but we won't make it in time if we don't leave," Tenn said.

"It's your fault for sleeping in. Had you woken up earlier, we could've gone around," Ning said.

"Hey! Don't make this my fault. You know I sleep a lot," Kaleb said.

The three reached the gate where Kaleb and Ning took back their weapons. The guards seemed hesitant to see Ning take his sword away, but they had no choice but to let him go.

"Your cousin must have told them to stop me or something," Ning said. "They are at least supposed to let him know when I take back my sword."

"That… I'm sorry this is happening, brother Ning," Tenn said meekly.

"Don't be sorry," Ning said. "It's not your fault. Although, do tell me, if your cousin comes to attack me and I fight back, will you stop me from killing him?"

Tenn's eyes grew wide in shock and looked at Ning. He couldn't believe that Ning was talking about killing people.

"Have you killed someone before?" Kaleb asked too with a curious face.

"I've had the misfortune of knowing what it's like to kill someone," Ning said and didn't elaborate further. "So, what's your answer?"

"I… I don't know," Tenn said. "He's still my cousin, my family. So… I will most likely be against you."

"Understandable," Ning said. "Now let's hurry up. If we go back in time, they might let us leave today too. If we get to, we can roam the city today."

Feeling excited, Kaleb quickened his pace, and to not get left behind, Tenn increased his pace as well.

They quickly left the city and made their way toward the arena. It was half past 8 in the morning, so by the time they got to the arena, it was well past 9.

In just a short time, the audience will have fully gathered and the matches would start.

"Please, just consider it," a desperate voice spoke loudly from the hallway that led to the academy's viewing space.

Ning frowned a little when he realized he knew who that sound belonged to.

"Is that… Teacher Hayan?" Kaleb said curiously. They followed the voice and quickly arrived at a commotion that included not just Hayan, but also various other teachers from their academy, including the headmaster who seemed too glum to talk.

There were other adults from various academies, but they were more on the sideline, looking at the drama that was unfolding.

"Please, you have to understand our problems," the teacher said. "Surely you can just think about it."

"What do you want me to do?" the other group he was talking to responded. "Do you want me to stop the competition for just your sake?"

Hayan couldn't say anything to that.

The three newly arrived students were very confused, so they got closer to see what was happening. When they did, the teacher Hayan noticed them.

His gloomy face suddenly lighted up for a moment.

"Wait, wait, we have some," he quickly said and turned around toward the 3. "You guys, are you alright?"

"Us?" Kaleb looked confused. "We're fine."

"Then do you want to take part in the competition today?" the teacher asked.

"Huh?" Tenn responded. "But teacher, I just finished my competition yesterday. What about the ones that should be taking part?"

"They're incapacitated right now. They couldn't even walk here," Hayan explained. "Because they can't be here, we're without any players for the combat competition taking place today."

"However, since you guys are here, we can have at least 3," the teacher explained.

"Oh, just 3?" Ning asked. "Isn't the total amount 20 per academy?"

"As I said, the others are out for the moment," the teacher said. "So, what do you say?"

"I wouldn't mind taking part," Ning said. "My competition was quite boring, so this would add the bit of spice necessary honestly."

"Great!" the teacher said. "At least we have 3 players."

"Oh… about that," Ning said and turned around.

"Hmm? What's with the crowd here? Did someone start a circus or something?" a young man's voice echoed throughout the hallway.

"Prince!" the teacher shouted in surprise once more. "You're back!"

"Of course, I'm back," the prince said. "What? Were you worried I went ahead and joined a different academy? Haha, don't worry, I won't be leaving the Blackhawk Academy at all."

"He's obviously worried about something else," the princess behind him spoke. "Go ahead teacher, tell us what you want to say."

The teacher looked at the prince and princess, as well as the two bodyguards that remained with her always.

"7," he said softly under his breath. Coming to the arena today, he had expected the academy to be disqualified from the combat competition of the next 3 days, which gave the most amount of points.

Thankfully, he now had 7 people to help him. That was still a far cry from the original 20, but it was still a lot better than the nothing he had just a few moments ago.

"Oh?" a voice spoke. "Do we get to join the competition on our own? Then I want to join too."

Hayan looked at the red-haired girl who had just arrived and couldn't help but smile.


That gave him more relief than anything during the stressful day.