XXX. Jealousy is a Disease

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The following day, the arena was packed, for it was the second to last day of the tournament. The remaining competitors made their way to the dugouts eagerly.

"We made it, boys," Kai said jokingly.
"Yeah!" Jace concurred excitedly, "I never thought I would have made it this far."
"That makes two of us," Lena muttered with a half smile.
"Today will be the best yet!!" Luke said excitedly.
"Um, Luke," Aria cut in, "You remember we... lost yesterday, right?"
Luke paused.
"I... half-forgot," he admitted, receiving giggles as a response.
"Like I said yesterday," Kai replied, hesitating a little at first, "You both did really good."
"Yeah," Aria smiled, "We tried our best and that's all that matters. Now, we get to support you from the crowd!"
"Still would have been great to win, though..." Luke pouted to himself. Aria, who heard him, just nudged him and offered him a comforting smile in response.

"Like Ms. Danford said earlier this week," Dai said, "This tournament is about fun."
He looked to Luke.
"You had fun, didn't you?" he asked.
"Yeah..." Luke muttered.
Dai gave him a smile, "You two better go to the regular seating."
"Try and find Judith if you can!!" Kai added, "She's a short girl, brown hair, glasses-"
"The girl you have your sights on," Luke teased, "Gotcha."
"Hmph," Kai huffed, and Dai chuckled at his brother's expense.

Luke and Aria diverged from the group and made for the audience seating, while the rest continued on to the dugout. Once they were inside, Lena noticed Melany sitting by herself in another dugout across the arena. Melany didn't see her, so Lena kept her gaze on her, thinking of the events that transpired over the past couple of days.

Her train of thought was interrupted by Ms. Danford, however.
"Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to day five!" she announced, "I am honored that today's commentator from the Gifted Council is fire Symbol Feu Fray!"
"You gotta be kidding me," Raina muttered as her father stepped up to the mic.
"Thank you, headmistress," the man smiled, "Today, we go through with the last fights before the semifinals, as well as the final battle, tomorrow. Eight noble contestants remain, and after today, four will be left. Our first battle, will be Melany Topal versus Raina Fray!"

Raina blinked, surprised, as her brothers and friends just turned to her.
"Huh," Kai chuckled, "Going from partners to opponents."
"Shut up," Raina huffed, "It's not a big deal."
She then made her way out onto the arena, and Lena watched as Melany joined her.

"Melany's gonna have a rough time of it," she said to Jace.
"Maybe," Jace replied, "But, Mel's tough, she'll be fine."
"So is Raina," Lena replied, and she watched the two girls intently.

"You have twenty minutes," Feu announced, "Begin!"

Raina nor Melany made an immediate move. They just looked at each other in anticipation. Before long, Raina felt vines wrap over her feet, and tighten down. She looked down, then back up to see Melany running at her, jumping up to deliver a powerful kick.
Raina saw this coming, and with a flaming fist, caught her foot just before her chest, and tossed Melany to the side, the brunette tumbling over and over across the sand.
Raina lit her feet on fire, burning the vines off, and took flight into the air. Melany had gotten back up and formed two vine whips, swinging them upwards. Raina used fireballs to deflect both whips before charging down at her.
Melany raised a leaf shield to block her but it wasn't enough. Raina flew right through the leaf and shoved Melany across the sand.
She scrambled to get back up only for Raina to fly by, whacking her in the face as she did, knocking her back down.
Melany then grimaced as she got up on all fours.
Raina hovered a few feet away, trying to guess what she was going to do.
Melany then stood on her knees and raised her arms up, a creature with a venus flytrap head climbing up out of the sand.
Raina let out a chuckle, and flew over to them.
The creature was about halfway out when Raina stopped and stood in front of it, and using a flaming fist, punched straight through its head.
It wilted away, and Melany just looked up at her in utter defeat. She just plopped onto the ground and let the countdown begin.

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