"We shall now begin the Semi-Finals!"

As soon as the host made the announcement, the whole crowd exploded in delight at the news. They cheered for an entire minute before finally allowing the host to begin with the first match.

"For the first match, let me call over our two combatants. The first is the dark horse of the competition. From the Blackhawk Academy, we have Ning Ruogong."

The crowds cheered at his name.

"As for the second combatant, From the same Blackhawk Academy, we have the Icy prince, Allen Black!"

The crowd cheered at his name too, perhaps more so as the females were smitten by his handsome look and his playful demeanor.

"What… do I do?" the prince looked toward the teacher.

"For now, just go on. You will both get disqualified if neither one of you goes onto the stage," the headmaster said. "As for Ning, if he comes, he comes. Don't worry about him."

The prince nodded and left. He arrived at the stage in the midst of cheers as he waited for Ning to arrive. Not only he, but the host and the audience waited as well. However, no matter how long they waited, Ning wasn't going to arrive at all.

In the end, the prince was awarded his victory and he moved on to the finals. He couldn't feel anything positive about the scenario. It wasn't like he had won the fight to move on. He was simply awarded a victory due to his opponent's absence.

'Is he heavily wounded?' the prince wondered.

The same worries went through the minds of many. From what they had seen, Ning had walked away quite easily, but it seemed he wasn't as okay as they had thought he had been.

The prince arrived back at the seating area and sighed. Then, the next contestants were called.

When the girl from the Ash Wind Academy was called onto the stage, there were few cheers compared to Ning and the prince. But when the princess was called, the cheer returned all over again.

The princess stood in front of her opponent who showed no fear, for she knew that fear wouldn't help her win. Confidence would.

She was nervous, but she hid it well. When the match began, she immediately brought out her turtle-shelled Water Essence Soul and began attacking the princess.

The princess formed a layer of magma that formed a wall in front of her. The wall protected her from almost all the attacks that the young woman could throw against her.

Since water evaporated at the touch of the magma, the girl couldn't do anything at all. She continued fighting, but it wasn't a fight to win, but rather a fight to survive.

And survive she did.

She managed to move around, spending enormous amounts of Essence to create tons and tons of water that solidified most magma that tried to flow toward her. Even then, the heat from the steam alone was getting to her.

She still tried, throwing water snakes, water geysers, water blades, and even flooding the entire arena.

However, none of that worked at all.

Alena's magma grew slowly, but steadily and soon it overwhelmed it all. Her opponent tried to keep up, but against such a strong foe, she crumbled.

The referee stepped in to save her at the last moment when a wave of magma flowed in her direction. The girl breathed heavily and sighed in the end after knowing that she had lost.

She stepped away from the arena, giving one last look toward the princess and then to the seating area for the Blackhawk Academy. At least, she was going to come 3rd overall from the looks of it.

Her academy would be happy as long as she came third.

The princess stopped too and left the arena, going back to the seating area.

"Yay! Sis, we'll finally officially battle each other. We'll finally know who will win," the prince said.

"It's obvious, is it not?" the princess said. "I would win."

"Aww, don't be so sure about that," the prince said. "You haven't fought me at my best."

"And neither have you," the princess answered before looking around. "So, he isn't back yet?"

"No," Tenn answered. "I think we need to send someone to tell him that the match for 3rd place is going to happen soon."

"Someone should be telling him right now. If he cares, he'll come," the headmaster said. He was quite nervous as well as he didn't want to let the chance to have all 3 finalist combatants be from his academy, but he couldn't force someone injured to fight if they couldn't.

The host announced that the next match between Ning and the girl who had just lot would take place in exactly 15 minutes, to give some resting time for the girl before her next fight.

The girl didn't think she needed it. Her opponent wasn't going to come. Still, just in case, she pulled out a crystal from her storage artifact and started absorbing it.

Everyone patiently waited for 15 minutes as time seemed to pass ever so slowly for everyone. Then, when the 15 minutes passed, the host arrived on the stage to begin the final 2 matches of the competition.

He called out the two contestants.

Ning and the girl from Ash Wind Academy were called onto the stage. The girl swiftly walked up, but as expected for most, Ning was nowhere to be seen.

The host looked around. "Well, it seems like—"

"Stop!" the headmaster suddenly shouted from the seating area and pointed somewhere. Everyone's eyes turned as they saw Ning run into the seating area.

"Headmaster!" Ning shouted. "Am I late? Did it start?"

"No," the headmaster spoke toward Ning who ran to the group. "You're just in time. Go that's your opponent."

"Huh? Oh!" Ning realized he was too late.

"Wait," the headmaster quickly spoke again. As Ning turned around, he handed something to Ning. "I was told to give you this before the match. Now go."