Karan’s expression stayed the same, even after Nick’s match was over.
She had her eyes closed, and was concentrating on reviewing what she had been learning.
The village of dragon people, or rather, most settlements in regions far from cities, didn’t think education was very important. On the other hand, places like the Labyrinth City and the royal capital, where vestiges of the ancient civilization remain strong, place a much higher degree of importance in education, and the idea of children going to school is very deeply rooted in society. There was a very clear gap.
Because of this, there were many people that were cheated in the Labyrinth City, like Karan, and many people that cheated others, like Claudine.
There were those that pitied people like Karan, but did so from afar, and never attempted to do something on a fundamental level.
Some also saw being cheated by someone from the city as a rite of passage for people from the countryside, so not many people actually gave them a helping hand.
Very, very few people would get upset and tell them to learn.
“Hey, did you fall asleep?”
“Why are you talking like that? I’m just giving you a heads up.”
From the other side, she glared at Claudine with her eyes half open, which was enough to make her shut up.
Karan couldn’t wrap her head around the fact that Nick fell for this girl and gave her what she wanted.
“Why do you live like that?”
“Isn’t there anything you like?”
“…Are you picking a fight with me or something?”
“It’s not like that. It’s fine if there’s nothing.”
Said Karan, before she looked away. Claudine’s glare was intense.
“If you wanna fight do it later.”
Wilma approached them.
“The boys’s match ended in a time out, so now it’s your turn.”
“Good.” “Got it.”
“The time limit is the same as the their match, five minutes.
We will start by having you solve basic problems. Most people can probably answer everything correctly, but the more rounds they fight, the harder the questions get.
Get ready… Start!”
Karan and Claudine flipped their question sheets at the same time, and on it, were very simple math problems.
They were only addition or subtraction problems with two or three columns.
[Great. I understand this…]
Karan felt the results of her training.
She had only been learning from Nick and Sem for less than a month, but it was certainly helping. She could do calculations in her head with no problem.
What she could do gradually increased, and now she could put it to the test. She even forgot about her enmity towards the other person, and just let the pen run through the paper.
“…Alright, time’s up!”
The five minutes went by quickly.
Karan and Claudine wrote down the same exact answers, and naturally, nothing was decided, so the duel carried on with Nick and Leon’s fight.
The stalemate continued for three rounds, but something changed in the fourth round.
“Karan got 90 points, and Claudine 100.”
Wilma said with her cold voice.
A difference of ten points or more meant that a handicap would be added. In this case, it meant that the opponent would be granted a free hit.
Karan clenched her teeth, looking frustrated.
“What are you going to do now? The gap is just going to get wider and wider.”
Claudine sneered at her.
At the same time, Nick and Leon faced each other.
“Now where should I hit…”
“Get it over with.”
“You got it.”
Leon pretended he was going to hit Nick’s face, but attacked his midsection with a hook.
“Tch…! Are you really a normal person?”
Angrily said Leon, even though it was him who hit Nick.
Nick quietly took the hit, but didn’t so much as gasp in pain, because he learned how to tighten his body in an instant to reduce damage.
It definitely did cause damage, but he managed to make it appear as though it did not, although Leon wasn’t the reason why he wanted to make it seem like there was no damage done at all.
“I can take as many hits as this coward can dish out with no problem. Focus on what’s in front of you.”
Nick saw that Karan looked as though she was the one being hit, and tried to encourage her.
Karan’s face was tight, but when she heard Nick, she closed her eyes again, almost as though she was meditating.
“…You sure can talk.”
“Come at me if you want me to shut up.”
“Leon! Why are you running!? Attack!”
“Nick! Finish him! He’s looking down on you!”
It was the sixth round, and the match was in a stalemate once again.
There was once again a point difference in the math test so, just as it happened in the fourth round, Nick was receiving blows before the rounds started.
Still, it didn’t seem like Leon was trying to finish it.
By this point, the spectators caught on to the fact that Leon was stalling.
Even when it seemed like he was going on the offensive, it was nothing more than posturing so as to not make it seem like he was sabotaging the match.
Leon dodged Nick’s fists, and made his way back to his corner with safe footwork, not paying heed to the jeers from the crowd.
Once again, it was Karan and Claudine’s turn to fight.
Karan’s off the cuff knowledge was bottoming out, but she still held on.
Karan and Claudine finished their tests with near perfect scores, and once again, the ball was in Nick and Leon’s court.
It didn’t seem like it would end in this round either.
“Hey, do you have a moment?”
Tianna had a feeling that the match would continue to be prolonged.
“What is it, sorcerer from Survivors?”
“It’s Tianna. Can you just combine everything?”
“At this rate this is never going to end. You still have a few rounds of tests right? I’m saying you should combine them.”
Wilma started thinking, but people in attendance started booing in agreement with Tianna.
“Yes! Finish it already!”
“How long are you going to prolong this!?”
“Quiet! The people dueling decide the rules! Or do you want to brawl too!?”
Wilma’s intense screaming shut down the audience’s complaints.
“…So, what do you think Claudine?”
“Eh, w-well… Fine by me.”
Claudine looked at Karan in disbelief.
Simple questions wouldn’t create a big difference in points, but clearly Claudine would benefit from a rise in difficulty.
She was sure that a dragon person could not beat her when it came to intelligence.
Above all else, Claudine and her party had a trump card.
“What about you?”
Wilma looked at Karan.
“As you wish.”
Karan crossed her arms, and didn’t raise any objections.
“…Alright, then the time limit will be thirty minutes, so solve as many as you can.”
Wilma started getting the question sheets ready and, with a thud, she placed a bundle of paper on their desk.
“I don’t expect you’ll be able to answer them all. You would need to be a graduate of a school for nobles to be able to answer the hardest questions here, so stay calm and answer what you can. Well then, start!”
Wilma rung the bell, and the test was once again underway.
Something surprising happened, and the audience watching Karan started murmuring.
Karan started solving problems with lightning speed.
Her pen ran quickly, the blank paper she was handed to use for calculations filled up with numerical formulas, and the answers were being shot out into the answer sheet.
As if the curtain of a stage was opening, she turned over a new question sheet and steadily continued answering new questions.
Claudine instinctively looked at Karan’s face, and saw a serious expression.
The easy going smile was gone from Claudine’s face, and it was replaced by utter shock.