"Please announce what your demand is behind this duel." The knight commander spoke with a serious expression.
"I want Nicokel to forfeit his position as an heir." Gelen playfully looked towards Nicokel, who wore light leather armor.
In Gelen's mind, the thought he would lose never once appeared. The same could be said for all the nobles spectating them.
In response to Gelen's gaze, Nicokel's lips perked up involuntarily.
"I want to be sent to the battlefield to participate in the war. Ah, and I want the Verskein family's full support throughout my time there."
Since Nicokel got a chance to ask for something, he decided to make full use of it.
The knight commander turned towards Verselc, who was seated at the foremost of the arena.
Verselc nodded his head slightly, finding both demands acceptable. The head butler standing beside him showed a surprised expression though.
Not only him, but many revealed peculiar expressions.
There was no nervousness or fear in Nicokel's voice. It was extremely calm and relaxed in opposite.
'Just where is he getting such confidence from...?' Everyone couldn't help but think.
The knight commander began speaking again: "As young master Nicokel awakened mana just a week or so ago, it has been decided a small bout shall be carried on before the real duel."
Nicokel's attention was attracted to the commander hearing his words.
Thinking deeper into it, this bout was to maintain the image of the Verskein family.
The match-up between, Nicokel and Gelen was really unfair. Gelen had trained with the sword for almost three years, while Nicokel was just a beginner.
"The bout shall be carried out in the form of hand-to-hand combat. The use of mana is prohibited. The winner can temper the loser's demand slightly or he can put a handicap on him too. The bout shall go on till you either forfeit or lose the ability to continue." The knight commander instructed with a calm face.
Two knights walked in and took away the sword held by Nicokel and Gelen.
Gelen, who had a dissatisfied expression, slowly relaxed when he heard it was a hand-to-hand combat. He was still overflowing with confidence to beat Nicokel senseless.
"Get in your position."
Even after the commander's instruction, Nicokel didn't move and just gazed at Gelen silently.
Strangely, Gelen felt like he was being taunted.
It was almost as if Nicokel didn't feel threatened by him in the slightest.
'What is his deal? By now, he always shows an ugly expression, but he has been calm the whole time.' This point made Gelen feel dissatisfied.
The knight commander sighed, looking at Nicokel who stood full of openings. He could already imagine this ending in an instant.
Gelen dashed forward almost immediately with a serious face.
"You're dead!" Gelen threw a punch right at Nicokel's face.
The people in the arena closed their eyes, expecting it was over. They were all somewhat knowledgeable about combat, hence they could already imagine the outcome.
However, when they opened their eyes, a totally different scene played on.
Nicokel dodged Gelen's punch with just a slight movement of his head and drove a punch right at Gelen's chest.
All the air in Gelen's lungs was busted out, with a sharp pain rising internally. Even breathing had become hard because of the sharp pain arising in the process.
'I don't want it to end too soon. Hitting him in the chin or solar plex might end it immediately after all.' Nicokel coldly thought to himself.
Nicokel was the kind of person who enjoyed other people's suffering. Even more when he did it himself.
If he could, Nicokel always preferred making his enemies suffer and then killing them while they cowered in despair. It can be considered to be his hobby.
Nicokel's eyes moved to Gelen, who knelt holding his chest with both hands. Voice refused to come out of his mouth, making his body shake in both pain and embarrassment.
To such a Gelen, Nicokel began speaking with a playful tone: "Hey, Have ever kissed before-"
"What..." Gelen lifted his head in indignance, he froze immediately seeing a shadow before his face.
"With a foot!"
Gelen was blown almost a meter away from Nicokel's kick.
The noble quietly watched such an exchange, their mind had already grown blank for a while now.
Was...was this how a formal duel proceeded?
That too in the Verskein family?
In their eyes, Nicokel's current action was no different from that of a roadside gangster. He kicked Gelen who was already down and even seemed to be enjoying that with a smile.
"What is happening...? How can young master Nicokel beat Gelen up so easily...?" A young heir of the family was confused.
His voice made many nobles harden their expression. They had almost forgotten this point!
Confusion covered the nobles, while Nicokel continued moving towards Gelen.
"You...You bastard! Don't get cocky just cause you landed a hit...!" Gelen who gained his bearings got up with a furious expression.
"Oh, okay then." Nicokel smiled back mysteriously in response to Gelen's expression.
Nicokel lifted his index finger, with a sneering smile. "Just one hit. I will defeat you with just one hit."
Nicokel's confidence in his close-range ability was very high. Only a few could match up to him in it.
"Bullshit!" Gelen flared up, but hesitation and unknown fear could already be seen on his face.
"Wanna bet then? If I defeat you in the next hit, you will have to plant your head on the ground and apologize to me for all the time you beat me up in the name of sparring?" Nicokel continued provoking with confidence, not attacking immediately and standing his ground.
"There is no way I will lose!" Gelen spoke up while staring at Nicokel's hateful face.
"So then, do you accept the bet?"
"Alright! What will you do if I don't lose to your next move?"
"Then, I will kneel and beg you for forgiveness," Nicokel spoke jokingly, finding it funny to beg for forgiveness for no apparent reason.
"Let's begin then." Nicokel took up a boxing stance.
Gelen's brow rose in amusement. He had never seen such a stance in his whole life. However, he felt pressured to look at Nicokel, who had suddenly grown serious.
Seeing Nicokel not moving, Gelen moved first again. This time he was not conceited and looked at Nicokel's every action. His eyes immediately shrunk, watching Nicokel's leg moving slightly.
Gelen immediately brought his hand to block one side of his face. He didn't plan to counter-attack, he just needed to block and not be defeated.
However, When Gelen turned to Nicokel, he found a smirk stuck to his face.
Nicokel moved half a step forward and punched right at Gelen's chin.
Gelen knew that he couldn't dodge, but he still kept hope. 'I can't possibly lose with just this one punch...!'
However, the reality was different. A force a lot stronger than Gelen expected came in contact with his face.
"No..." Gelen tried to hold on, but he didn't have any prior training to protect his chin, it was a square hit. He lost his consciousness in a few seconds.
Nicokel clenched his hand, 'This is why techniques are important. A jab uses strength from surprisingly a lot of parts of the body, used properly, the strength of the punch can increase exponentially.'
The commander announced with a smile: "Young master, Nicokel wins."