The Crown's Entrapment

Chapter 401 A Sickening Scream (2)



With a click of her tongue, Clara held her ground as her opponent launched herself at her once more. Tensing her muscles, she kept her eyes peeled for wherever the woman's blade might come from. With her lack of a proper weapon, she would have to improvise her defensive strategy.

In a blink of an eye, Clara held her breath as her opponent bore her blade at her. Seeing the speed of the woman, she knew that there was no way that she'd be able to block what was coming.

Quickly jumping away, Clara wasn't even on even footing yet when the woman rapidly approached her once more. It was clear that she was on the backfoot, with her opponent pressing her advantage as she kept on waving her sword around with the obvious intent to kill.

[What're you doing?!] Sheba barked at her. [Fight back!]

[Any suggestions then?!] Clara bit back, her attention still firmly on trying to dodge her opponent's strikes. [I can exactly deflect still with flesh!]

[Then improvise!] Sheba yelled back. [Use anything! We don't want to die here!]

Clara bit her tongue as she took the risk and let her eyes roam across the battlefield. Other than the dirt under her feet, there was nothing except flat plains for her to try and use. No cover, no terrain. Except…

Ducking below, Clara ran her fingers through the dirt below, grabbing a bit of dust and quickly throwing it at her opponent's face. The plan worked, with the woman briefly stepping back as she quickly tried to wipe the dust off her eyes.

[Get in there!]

Heeding Sheba's advice, Clara stepped right inside her opponent's arms, using her fists as her weapons as she worked the woman's midsection. She then delivered a fierce uppercut right to the woman's chin, a resounding thud echoing across the arena as the woman briefly went flying.

"Is that it?"

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[Not yet!]

Clara narrowed her eyes as she saw her opponent quickly recover, twisting her body across the air and letting her land on her feet. Before Clara could even think about drawing her bow and trying to play keep away, the woman was already right in front of her, that damnable sword already poised to swipe at her legs.

[Jump, you idiot!]

She was too late.

"ARRGHH!!"

Clara let out a biting scream as she felt a piece of her leg muscles get sliced off her right leg. Rolling onto the ground, she fought the urge to curl up and nurse her wound as she forced herself to keep an eye on her opponent. There was no way that she'd take this woman lightly now. This woman was out to kill her, and she just had her speed taken away from her.

The woman's sword aimed right her even as she slowly walked towards her. Forcing herself to stand up, Clara took in a deep breath, the stinging pain coursing throughout her body making her wince just standing in place. Reaching for her quiver, Clara took out one arrow for her to use, wielding it like a dagger as she prepared herself.

[You should quit,] her wolf worriedly suggested. [There's no way you can fight her now. You'll be limping out of this arena one way or another.]

'Right,' Clara mused.

She raised her head to speak, but her opponent didn't even wait for her to get her footing back. Lunging ahead, Clara could see that she was aiming right for her neck.

With a focused breath, Clara did the only thing she could do. Feinting a half step, she baited the woman into overextending, her eyes narrowing as she saw her window of opportunity flash right in front of her.

Aiming for the woman's heart, Clara plunged the silver arrow right through it. With the force of one of a fully aimed punch, she brutally gouged the woman, a sickening scream gurgling from the woman's throat as her sword finally fell to the ground.

Clara took a step back, only to immediately fall to the ground as her bad leg gave out on her. She couldn't help but stare at the bleeding body in front of her, the bloodstains on her hands seemingly clung to her very being.

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"I… I killed her…" Clara weakly whispered.

*****

"And the winner is Lady Clara!"

Gilas hissed through his teeth as he watched Clara limp away from the arena. Despite the cheers rolling across the arena, it felt like he had still lost. He could only watch as his mate did her best to wipe away the blood and disgust on her face, in her hands was the very arrow that she had used as a makeshift weapon to kill the crazed woman.

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This was a disaster. How had he missed that woman? The way that woman fought was almost exactly like Pinra, even down to the ferocity and speed.

"How in the world did I miss her?!"

Grinding his teeth, he wanted so badly to go to her and see to her injuries, but he had no choice but to continue with his duties as the one in charge of the tournament. On top of his king only having told him to keep his focus just a few minutes into the fight, Gilas could already tell that he was being told to stay put for his own good.

[Or you could just defy your king and check on her yourself,] his wolf supplied.

[Doing that would just cause undue ire to come to me,] Gilas sighed. [We can't afford to screw this up, especially with this tentative alliance we still not fully in effect.]

There was no way that he'd risk losing the king's protection now that he had it. Still, the fact that he was being prevented from coming to Clara's side was honestly making him reconsider his options.

"She'll be fine," he whispered to himself in reassurance. "She'll have Cordon's best healers to attend to her."

Despite everything that had happened, at the end of the day, he would have to be happy with the fact that Clara would move on with her life intact. For now, he had to look at the rest of the other participants. If one of them managed to slip through his net, then who knows how many of them were getting through to the finals.


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