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«Enchanting Melodies (HP) (Web Novel) - Chapter 268: Eagle Eye

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Chapter 268: Eagle Eye

This chapter is updated by Novels.pl

8 November 1994, Beauxbatons, France

Luca Romano felt proud as he finally put the glowing sphere into the large rock he found in the clearing. He had almost lost hope when he woke up in his camp and realized that all of his team's medallions had disappeared, but outside of that, he was very confident that he had done well in solving the task.

He knew from the moment that the medallions were given to them that the whole thing was barely more than an incentive for them to fight, but nothing more. To win this way, a person would have to somehow defeat at least a single champion from each school, who would definitely not be alone if any of them had any form of critical thinking.

To be fair, they probably had no clue about the art of battle like his schoolmates did. The Accademia Arcana Italia was very militarized. Luca had worked very hard and fought a lot in the school wargames to be recognized as the Praetor of his own cohort. He had worked his subordinates to the bone, and his methods had worked since his cohort was not only one of the few selected to be part of his school's delegation but actually chosen to compete in the first task of the tournament.

It had been nerve-wracking at the start, especially considering that he knew very little about it, but he and his Centurions were chosen for a reason. He had picked the four best centurions and simply hoped for the best. After all, life was an unknown battlefield, and this task would be no different.

It had started out well enough. They had transfigured themselves weapons and armour, which they enchanted. They had made a defensible position in the form of a warded shelter and had designated roles for the duration of the task. He and his top lieutenant were designated as the scouts, while three would remain in camp, one of them acting as a warder, and the others as guards in case they were infiltrated.

Everything was looking good. Until it didn't. Somehow, someone had knocked them all out. He guessed that it was some kind of airborne potion that would have bypassed their ward, and then they somehow took over their ward to knock out everyone inside.

It was all very vague, but that seemed to be the perfect explanation… No one had even noticed that they had fallen unconscious, nor did the ward break…

He couldn't really blame anyone. After all, even he had been taken out by the trap, which cost them their medallions. It hadn't really mattered since it was unlikely that every other school would be taken out that quickly.

Luca decided to swallow his losses and try to make the best out of the situation. He had simply asked them to look around and saw the first key, in the form of a riddle. That had quickly gotten the morale up, since, after all, even if someone else won the task, there was no dishonour in coming in second place.

And then the rest was history… They had solved riddles, dodged carnivorous plants, fought off trolls and even some kind of weird species of enhanced wolves that Luca had never heard of before. They even had to run away from a fucking wild Griffin. It was all so… perfect.

It wasn't hard to realize that such a format of a task was obviously flawed since it didn't guarantee any form of conflict in the forest. It was just too structured, and Luca could easily see the fingerprints of someone controlling the action from afar. It was disappointing, but it was proof that the ICW was technically contributing to making the tournament safer. Of course, that also meant that the outcomes could be predetermined…

Still, even with that sad fact, his cohort had done an admirable job, and he was proud of what they had achieved. It took almost two days, but they had quickly found the hidden orb and found out the correct place to enchant it, to lead them to the finish line.

Immediately, he and his cohort were teleported before the stands, where the spectators were mildly applauding and cheering their arrival. Luca's lieutenant, Romeo Conti, looked around, "There are fewer spectators…"

Yes, he couldn't deny that either. There were maybe half as many people as were there during the start of the task. Did they really do that badly?

Before he could do anything, his entire team were asked to follow one of the organizers, who brought them to their tent. They were all a bit stunned at the anti-climactic course of events. He could hear his cohort whispering and he shut them up with a sharp glare.

It didn't take long for Luca's best friend, another Praetor called Marco Bianchi, to sneak inside. The Italian champion quickly motioned him to follow and put a few privacy wards up to avoid anyone eavesdropping on their conversation. Immediately after doing that, he turned towards his friend, "What the fuck happened?"

"It's a bit complicated…"

"Just give it to me straight. Which place did we come in?"

Marco gulped slightly, and spoke up, "You're the third school to finish…"

They came third. Disappointing, but not really the end of the world. The time that they were knocked out probably made up the difference. Still, that didn't explain much, "Then why is half the crowd gone?"

"Well, you see, you're the first school to finish traditionally by solving the puzzle. It was very impressive and everything… But in first and second place came Hogwarts and Beauxbatons, and they sort of finished yesterday… People didn't want to wait an entire day or more for third place, so a lot of them just left."

Luca couldn't help but feel slightly sad at the fact that his team's effort wasn't noticed, but that was overwhelmed by the sheer disbelief at the fact that someone had finished a day before him, "Yesterday? They must have finished the task in an hour… How the fuck did that happen?"

Marco grinned in amusement, "I know it's bad and everything, but it was so fucking badass. You probably won't believe me… You'll need to see this."

The Champion looked down at his friend's hand and saw some kind of modified Omnioculars, which he activated, allowing an illusion to appear before him. In it, he saw Harry Potter running around very quickly…

It was hard not to notice Harry Potter, by far the youngest champion in the first task. He had thought he would have been a liability. Prodigy or not, the boy was barely fourteen and inexperienced, that's not to mention the giant bounty on his head. Fifty thousand Galleons was a stupidly high amount of gold just to stop a kid from winning… To be perfectly honest, Luca thought that whoever had put up that bounty was either not planning on paying it or was planning something far more sinister with the boy…

Luca was tempted to take the money, he knew that his centurions were planning on doing something, but it was just too much trouble to risk doing something this shady while you're being recorded. Sure, he would have taken out the kid if they had fought, but he wouldn't have actively tried to find the Potter boy. Nevertheless, he fully expected people to swarm the boy and take him out quickly.

This was why he was baffled by the fact that Marco had just shown him a recording of the boy of all people…

Before he could voice his confusion, he saw how the boy stole one of the Spanish medallions without them noticing and even put a curse on the fake he replaced it with. Then came the small fight with the Greeks.

It was all so efficient… So simple… The boy hadn't even used complex magic outwardly, outside, of course, of the obvious magic he used to run around with a ridiculous speed, and the large-scale tracking charm that he must have used to find people, "Any comment on the speed or tracking?"

"None, but people think it's some kind of family magic since he didn't use a wand for those."

Luca nodded and kept watching. Of course, the next of the boy's victims was Luca's team. He noticed how the boy fooled the wards and carved out runes that would be powered by their own magic to knock them out before taking over the ward and turning it into a trap.

It was quite ingenious, really. Even if he had snuck past the wards, using any magic would have been detected. Carving runes isn't really magical, and since they were being powered by people who were allowed into the ward, no one detected them…

Holy Juno, this was like watching a master at work… He couldn't even be mad about that. The tactics… The boy was something else.

Of course, what came after made all of this look like child's play. Was the kid messing with the task so much that they sent a fucking Leviathan after him? Of course, to make things even better, he got ambushed by both Durmstrang and Nebelheim and somehow took them all down. The rune work went a bit over Luca's head, but he had not only defeated the Leviathan, but he also tricked whoever was controlling it to take out everyone else, and actually knocked the beast down.

He was so taken by what he had seen that he hadn't noticed that he was gaping at the illusion. Nor did he notice the four centurions behind him, with their mouths open. It had been a good two minutes since the recording ended and the illusion dissipated, yet they all just couldn't look away.

Another silent minute passed before someone decided to speak up. It was Romeo, his lieutenant, "Did," his voice broke, and he needed to pause to swallow before carrying on. "Did that really just happen?"

"…Yup," Marco cheerfully replied.

"Oh…"

"That was…" the warder started to speak up but trailed off in the end, unable to think of the words to properly describe what he had seen. But he didn't need to finish, they all understood what he meant.

"Yeah," Marco replied, still looking smug.

Silence once again filled the room.

Finally, someone snapped, "Who the fuck was that?"

Luca still had no words to properly explain what he had seen. Instead, he took a deep breath, "Don't you recognize him? He's Harry Potter."

That seemed to have struck them all dumb once more. After all, they had actively tried to eliminate the kid from the task for the bounty… They were lucky that they were just knocked out…

Marco decided to continue, "Yeah, so after this pretty show, the kid just steals another medallion from a Beauxbattons champion, as he did to the Spanish, but without the extra curses. Then he just combined the medallions, got the sphere and found the finish line. Then he sent the other medallions to the Hogwarts Champions, who had gotten lucky fighting the French and Spanish Champions. They made an orb of their own and got to the finish line. That Veela girl, Delacour, I think, faked being stunned and woke up her teammates. She had put a tracker on the British champions and got to the finish line right after them."

Luca decided to summarize things a bit, "So, you're telling me that a fourteen-year-old kid split up from his team, stole half of the medallions, angered the organizers enough to send a fucking living weapon against him, beat that weapon, took out two other schools, stole one final medallion, and won, all in just a couple of hours? No, not only did he win, but he indirectly made two full schools finish the task days ahead of time, and eliminated two other schools fully since they were injured after their confrontation."

Marco nodded, "Yes, and since over half the competitors had either finished or were eliminated, spending the night with the healer, most of the spectators just became disinterested and left…"

"And all of that was because of a single kid."

"Apparently, he wasn't going to compete if it wasn't for Flamel's Diary which the Beauxbatons Headmistress put up as a prize for the winner…"

Luca snorted, feeling a mixture of amusement and bitterness, "Fucking Diary…"

The rest of the room nodded and echoed his statement, "Fucking Diary."

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