Hearing the elderly judge’s question, Gregory and the others were also at a loss for what to do. What are we going to say? If we announce that the verdict is void, Roderick will take advantage of the situation and claim that Jipsdale is not fair and thorough enough to have even botched the announcement of the results.
However, it would be unfair to Kai for us to announce that the verdict is valid and let Roderick take first place, as Kai’s Focus Pill is many times better than Roderick’s.
While the judges were plunged into a dilemma, Roderick was still shouting in an effort to instigate the crowd. At that moment, Viola stepped forward. “I have an idea, Mr. Stark, but I’m not sure if it’ll work.”
“Go ahead. Tell us,” Gregory said at once. The elderly judge, too, leaned over to hear what Viola had in mind..
“Since the verdict has already been announced, let’s proclaim Roderick victorious! However, this won’t be the final verdict. We can add another round and let that be the deciding factor. The venue and rules of the trial will be decided by the Alchemist Fair of Jipsdale, so even if Roderick protests, there’s nothing he can do about it,” Viola told them her plan.
“That’s a good idea. This way will both guarantee the prestige of the judges and the impartiality of the Alchemist Fair!” The elderly judge nodded approvingly. Gregory nodded eagerly as well. “That’s a good idea. We’ll give it a go!”
“How could you change the rules just like that, Master? It’s not fair. The rules were laid down a long time ago, and now you’re adding another round. Isn’t that cheating?”
Pearl was displeased to hear that as she was hoping she and Roderick would go away together upon his victory.
“Hold your tongue! I will definitely get to the bottom of this. If I find out that you have indeed colluded with Roderick, you will be in for a world of trouble,” Gregory said with a vicious glare at Pearl. As Pearl fell silent, Ghaylen said, “What will be the test for the additional round?”
The crowd fell silent upon hearing Ghaylen’s question, as the additional round was so newly added that they had had no time to even consider its content.
“It doesn’t matter to me. Let Roderick suggest whatever he wants to compete in. I want him to know that he will never win with despicable tactics,” Kai stated confidently. “All right, then. We’ll see what Roderick has to say.”
The elderly judge nodded before returning to the judges’ table. “After discussing with the other judges, we have decided that the verdict will remain in effect, seeing as they have spoken,” he announced loudly. “The victor in this contest is Roderick.”
Roderick leaped up excitedly at those words. “Hah! I won! I’m number one! I can finally meet with the count of Jipsdale. Oh, I can’t wait. I wonder what the special reward would be?”
However, the elderly judge spoke again, interrupting Roderick’s victory dance. “However, since there will be a special reward offered this year, the third round is not the last. You need to go through a fourth.”
Roderick froze at the elderly judge’s proclamation. “How could there be a fourth round?” he yelled furiously. “There never was one before. Are you trying to play me for a fool?”
In response, the elderly judge glared at Roderick. “The rules of the Alchemist Fair’s competition are decided by Jipsdale. All you have to do is turn and leave if you refuse to accept them. We won’t force you to stay. If you want to participate in the competition, then you must abide by our rules. I hope you understand.”
“Did I win for nothing, then?” Roderick asked, displeased.