On the arena stands, Sparta warriors are furious at Apollo’s words, deeming them disrespectful and unacceptable. On the divine side, they find Apollo’s actions foolish, questioning why he wouldn’t leverage his advantage.
Ares looks distressed, Zeus chuckles, saying that’s Apollo for you. Apollo initiates a move called the ‘Embrace of the Midnight Sun.’ According to Hermes, this radiance hasn’t been seen since the Gigantomachy. Apollo’s strength stems from his spirit, fueled by allies’ cheers and opponents’ scorn. Ares remains perplexed as usual. In essence, it’s the power of camaraderie, burning brighter with more support.
Not only the Spartan warriors but the Valkyries as well. Geir frets that this might unsettle Geirkoguls, but Hilde reassures her. Geirkoguls appears and promises to eliminate Apollo. Leonidas agrees, but there’s a task at hand: making the god kneel before them. Geirkoguls laughs and begins to transform. His divine weapon changes into a mace. Before Apollo can finish his sentence, the ground shatters. Apollo avoids the attack and confronts Leonidas. Surprisingly, Apollo charges directly instead of evading, claiming he shines brighter in close quarters. He lands a few punches on Leonidas. Apollo uses Artemis to restrain Leo’s arm, preventing his counterattack. Leo attempts an offensive with his shield, but Apollo’s quick maneuver disrupts his balance, followed by another punch. Apollo enhances his glove and delivers a devastating blow, nearly knocking out Leo. The atmosphere in the stands grows tense, assuming the inevitable.
Hilde notes that “End” isn’t in Sparta’s vocabulary. She assures Geir that Spartan strength isn’t just combat prowess but unwavering pride. Apollo, confident in victory, is surprised as Leo regains his senses. Leo seizes the tied ropes and pulls Apollo close, delivering a powerful headbutt. Unexpectedly, Leo counters with his own body. Freeing himself, Leo instantly retaliates, hitting Apollo in the face with his mace. Apollo falls. Leonidas questions, “How does it feel to be underestimated?”
Chapter 81 concludes.