The hooded figure cloaked in white was still standing amidst the sea of blue flames burning the arena around her.
"Impossible!" The young princess of Helena, Purice Xane screams out of annoyance. They've been fighting for at least over half an hour now, the bargain she had made with her Father no longer applied as she had exceeded the time limit. She had underestimated her opponent.
"Fine!" She mutters before standing tall.
"I'll admit my mistake but It. Ends. Here!" Purice holds out her hand and balls into a fist. The Earth beneath the cloaked figure crumbles into blazing hot ash beneath her and seconds before she makes contact the siren signalling the end of the match blares.
"This match goes to the Princess of Helena!"
The crowd cheers.
From the stands her older brother, Adam watches the figure in white emerge from the sea of ash not completely unscathed but not completely down either.
"I thought it was supposed to be a death match, but look she's still alive and kicking."
The man standing to his right laughs. Adam had no idea who he was but since he was wearing the traditional red and gold tailcoat he assumed the man must be a Helanian aristocrat.
"This is just the beginning of the exam, there's no need to start with such extremities already."
Adam eyes him considerately.
"And how do you know that?"
The man laughs.
"Me? I'm an alumnus of Heartia University. I've come in support of both you and your sister, your highness." The man bows gracefully before smiling rather widely.
"If you have any questions or concerns about the exams I'd be glad to answer."
By the time the figure in white manages to haul herself up out of the pit and to the hall, she collapses on the ground the second she sets foot inside.
"That was a good show, pity the Princess of Helena had so much power, you were skilled but not powerful enough to take her on it would seem." A young man in white emerges from the hall's shadows and stoops down to eye her. "But then again you did just get out of the hospital, wouldn't you say this is overdoing it Yumi?"
Yumi rips off her hood while ignoring him she angrily glares at the ground between her legs.
"I'm fine." She mutters angrily.
"No you're not. You're lucky your imp suit had high heat resistance otherwise you would have been roasted like a marshmallow!"
A vein pops on Yumi's head her lilac irises hardening but she says nothing in defence of herself. She had lost against one of her country's rivals, she didn't even want to wonder what her relatives thought of her right now.
The man studies her for a bit before tousling her hair.
"Don't worry you didn't do too bad, I'm sure everyone was satisfied with the fight you put up, don't beat yourself up too much."
Surprised by his sudden change of attitude Yumi stares at him.
"I'm also proud of my little sister, unwinding the princess like that." he grins.
Yumi smiles a small one.
She goes to hug him when he stands.
"Don't act so friendly with me, I have a lot of enemies and if they discover our relation they'll use you to get to me." Kazuo glances around suddenly cautious.
"What would it matter I lost didn't I?" Yumi kicks the air.
She shoots her brother a dangerous look.
"I just so happen to be one of the judges this year," he blinks at her. "Don't tell me you forgot that I am also an alumnus...judging by your face you did." He sighs. "Well, I guess I can't say you're completely clueless given that no one not even Grandfather knows what I've been up to." He scratches the back of his head before smiling at her once more.
"Well, you'll just have to trust me. Don't pack your bags and stay put until they announce the contestants safe for the second phase."
As he turns to leave a thought suddenly occurs to her, instead of voicing it she holds it in. Her brother wasn't one to be moved by bias, he wouldn't vote for her just because of blood relation. Yumi sighs. It wasn't one of depression but of relief. She would be getting another chance! At the time it was all she could think of.