Chapter 11 ~ Gladiator Competition, Second Round Qualifier ——Audience——
“Last night, Sati finally managed to master Recovery Magic.”
I report to everyone during breakfast. We are currently in the dining room, and right now there is only us, a family.
“Onee chan, amazing.”
“But I can only cast small Heal for now,”
“Even so, it’s still a great advantage for the frontline fighter to be able to use Recovery Magic themselves. Even with the small Heal, you can still fix broken bones or stop bleeding.”
“This is just the fourth day since she has started. Was our learning process accelerated by the divine protection during our practice with Masaru?”
“I don’t know if it was the protection, but I tore my hand with a knife.”
During my explanation, they gasped when I gestured how I cut my own hand.
And right now, what unfolded in front of me is the gladiator competition.
The second day of qualifying is done in a mini tournament style. Those who win three matches advance to the main competition.
I think Sati will do just fine, however this time her opponents are those who have passed the first qualifying round, too. And unlike yesterday, today she couldn’t afford to lose any single match.
Just like yesterday, today I went to see the matches in pair with Sati. We go to the bulletin board located outside the fighting area.
Sati is in the third group. There seems to be other group with only seven contestants. Those groups are getting a rearrangement, but Sati group is already full of eight contestants.
The odds are eight time as much. One defeat is enough to affect everything.
Together in the same group is this yank who has 1. 5 times odd. This guy will most likely pass. The other contestants also have a lot of odds stack on them.
I look up to number 776 too. The contestants who passed from the previous same venue are not divided into the same group because they are sorted separately. He is in the first group. His name is Armand. His odds are 4.2 times. It is weird how his acceptance rate is low despite him winning three matches beautifully, but I quickly understood the reason. Because together with him in the same group is someone with 1.1 odds. Her name is Francesca Stringer. She has a full name, must mean that she is a noble.
“Francesca sama, was it? She is the winner of last year tournament.”
The elf captain told us the details. Seems like they have been checking out the tournament from the qualifying for every year.
Francesca Stringer. An affiliate of the Knight Order. The Duchess daughter. She currently has no right to succeed the throne, however she is still the King niece. Last year, she won the tournament when she is still a fifteen-year-old. Ever since she is young, her talents with swords was already showing, and together with Tenbin, they are two people whom are likely to inherit the Sword Saint title.
“She is the most favourite contender for the winner this year. I think she will serve as Sati sama biggest obstacle. She qualifies with a 1.1 odd, and albeit it is a solid bet, I will not buy it because it is not as fun.”
“Now that you mentioned it, isn’t those kinds of people exempted from qualifying?”
If they are an A rank, or a holder of some track record, they will be exempted from the qualifying matches.
“And yet, why?”
When I asked the receptionist with Sati, I soon figured the reason. Due to her barely able to apply, she was exempted for the first-round qualifier, however she is required to enter the second round qualifying round which happens today.
The winner candidate and Armand. That guy is unlucky to be grouped with her.
“Well, firstly we need to pass the qualifier.”
“You are correct. Sati sama has eight times odd to win too!”
I see you are going to give full support on Sati this year, captain. I shall join you.
After we sent off Sati, I was guided by the elf to an excellent seat at the front row. It is a relaxed box space that is equipped with good chairs and desk.
“We are cooperating with the tournament organiser, hence why we get good seats.”
When it looks like it will rain, the elf will use the water spirit to remove the rain cloud. Occasionally, the participants will misfire their arrow, so the elf command the wind spirit to surround the venue with wind as protection against arrows. These are the tricks that cannot be imitate by an ordinary mage.
Right above our seats are spaces reserved for the nobles. If something happens, they will act as the bodyguards. The elves are quite trusted by the Kingdom government by the look of it.
“I worked in this Kingdom ever since the previous King’s era for one after another. His Majesty the King has been pretty much in love with this tournament since his childhood.”
One after another……each time, I failed to read an elf true age. Even if she looks young, she must be not less than 100 years old since she is holding captain position.
“If it is King Albrecht, then even I know him. He visited our country around 20 years ago, I think?”
“Correct, Lilia sama. It has been around that long.”
It was the story about the young prince who has gone for an outing. During that time, he stayed at the Elf Country for almost one month. During that time, the current elf captain act as his bodyguard, and it was that time her friendship with the King deepened.
“My, isn’t that great. Let’s greet him while we are still at the Kingdom’s capital.”
Ellie suddenly said an outrageous thing.
I don’t see any merit to go and greet him now. It will only spell trouble.
“Fumu. If Masaru said so. Originally, I never intended to meet him myself.”
“Once you are granted your aristocracy status, you need to meet him sooner or later anyway, you know?”
“That doesn’t mean that it necessarily means now.”
It is not the matter that I’m becoming a noble.
“However, Masaru sama. Since Francesca sama is here, don’t you think the King will come here as spectator?”
The captain said so. In that case, his seat will be just over there.
It was said that the King is close with his little sister and very much adore the daughter, or his niece, Francesca. That’s why, he will come to watch all her matches.
“If that is the case it will be better if we go and greet him.”
Regardless of visiting the royal palace, it is rude if we didn’t greet him even when we are already nearby……
Ah, my stomach is churning for some reason.
“Ah, I can see the King. He is quite early today.”
Just when I thought people are talking clamorously upstairs, it seems like the King’s party has arrived. From the noble seats, I notice a knight is glancing over here, then waved his hand. The captain waves her hand in return. They might be acquainted.
The reason why the King’s party arrived quickly are known soon after. It was because of Francesca sama. She is in the first pair from the first group to have the first match for today.
“My stomach hurt. Toilet……”
“I will not let you escape.”
I got caught by Ellie.
“【Heal】. This should curb the pain for a while.”
My stomach pain disappears after Ann cast her magic.
“Paula, sent the early greeting.”
“Yes, Lilia sama.”
Following the elf squad captain, Paula san instruction, one of the elves heads to notice the King who is sitting at the noble seat.
“Well, let’s go. What, it is just a light greeting.”
“The King is a gentle person. There is nothing to worry about.”
“As usual, Masaru just need to nod your head. Also, make sure to lower your head from the beginning, alright?”
“If you seriously dislike it, I don’t mind if you wait here.”
At any rate……there is no doubt that this must be done. It is too selfish to say that I dislike having to send them my greeting.
I’ll harden my resolve.
Perhaps, it wouldn’t take that long to finish.
Suddenly, I caught Will watching over here.
“Will, are you coming too? I will introduce all of you together.”
“I’m just your everyday adventurer and I have no particular reason to meet the King. Big bro and others go without me, please.”
I think for a short while, and there is no reason for taking him along unless the fact that he is a prince is known. I can’t afford to take him along.
Only a few steps upward are where the King is seated. The absolute monarch, the supreme authority. I don’t like it. He can order for someone to get behead, and I don’t think the person has any right to object.
Truth to be told, he doesn’t seem to indulge in such an act of lawlessness, and any worries are unwarranted since he is in fact a gentle person, however I certainly should avoid from making him angry.
As expected of the noble seating dedicated for the King. The spaces inside are about five times wider compared to the one provided for the elves, and inside, quite a few people have gathered.
“Oh, Paula! It has been few days, isn’t it?”
“Yes. There are some guests coming from my country. Please let me introduce them.”
First, Liliane sama who is his old acquaintance greeted him.
“And you……are young lady Liliane?”
“It has been a while, Prince Albrecht.”
“That nickname feels nostalgic. Right, Liliane has not changed at all even after twenty years has passed.”
If he met her around twenty years ago, that means Lilia was ten years old back then. Did she truly not grow that much since then?
“On the other hand, you have grown old.”
This King who simply laughed off Lilia’s rudeness is forty years old. His appearance is that of an ordinary middle-aged man. His clothes are clearly made of great quality, but they are not particularly striking, and he will be indistinguishable if he walks among common man.
“Even so, I aged appropriately as any other human being. So, who are these people at your back?”
“My husband and my family members.”
Since I was nudged repeatedly at my back, I had no choice but to step forward reluctantly and lowered my head. Everyone else proceed to kneel together with me. Lilia is standing still.
“Masaru Yamano. I am an adventurer.”
As for the other elves, since they are not the vassal of the King, they naturally lower their head. In their case, they are not required to get on their knees. However, since we are still considered the subject of this country, we are required to show some respect. It is a bad idea not to bow properly.
“A human being, as well an adventurer. Yamano……I have never heard of that family name.”
“Fear not for I am just a commoner, your Highness.”
“A commoner and an adventurer, yet you are betrothed to an Elven Princess. What else is it unless than it smells like a romance.”
“Umu. I am the one who requested him to take me as his wife.”
“In that case, you need to tell me more in great details!”
It’s too late for me to back down now, and a seat was already prepared for me besides the King.
Didn’t you mentioned earlier that this is just going to be a light greeting!
Didn’t you said it’s fine since all I need to do is to nod!
However, excluding me and Lilia, the others were seated at a different table. I’m sending the most reproachful gaze that I could muster to them. Moreover, there seems to be plenty of time to talk until the game starts.
Or rather, I guess I will be stuck here for the whole day, huh……?
The distinguished people around the King and my family members greet each other.
Besides the King, sat the King’s offspring, the Prince, and the children of the Duchess couple, parent of Francesca. The others are great people like the ministers. Many knights were deployed around us as bodyguards.
Next, Lilia informs him about the recent thing that happen. The king seemed to quite accurately grasped the damage from the battle of the Elf Country, which comes to my surprise at how informed he is regarding the dread of the situation.
And just when Lilia about to reach the part of the story where our love began to bloom, cheers rose in the stadium. Apparently, the game is about to start.
“Qualifier, first group, first match!”
The venue of the match is located directly in front of the noble seats. There are four venues for the matches properly constructed inside the stadium. A stone stage with about 20 centimetres high was newly made above the ground. And the stage is twenty times larger compared to the ring yesterday. It is large enough to evade Mubyōshi-uchi.
The cheers are raised again. Two swordsmen went up to the match.
One of them is a huge, rough man. The little girl is Francesca.
She is equipped with a standard size sword and buckler. Her leather armour also looks ordinary, and she is holding the helmet at her side. She has thin limbs. She is slightly taller than Sati, and her height is about the same as any ordinary girls. Her long black hairs exude gloss and youthfulness. The beautiful girl’s green eyes bear a strong will and determination.
There is certainly an air around her. However, she doesn’t look that strong. Compared to her, the opponent is a man with a large body like a gorilla, whom weapon is a large two-handed sword. If someone got beaten by such a thing, the cut will show no mercy. Most likely, their bone will crack, and the victim will die on the spot.
Francesca wears her helmet. After she tighten her helmet, she lightly swings her swords once and second times, then she nodded at the referee. Start! The referee gives the signal to begin.
The stage become still like death.
One steps, two steps. Francesca filled the gap. Her opponent falls one step.
What, is he getting overwhelmed? And toward a girl whom weight is half as much, no less.
Francesca suddenly lowered her body and sprung toward her opponent. Fast.
However, there is still some distant to cover. The opponent still has enough room to wield his sword, and he adjusted his sword accordingly to Francesca movement.
A strike. At that moment, as if floating on her feet, she evaded the large sword and dive under the opponent chest with a movement akin of dancing.
Both people interlaced——Francesca makes half a revolution, while her opponent got his knees folded and fell to the ground.
The match was decided in an instant, yet the big guy is nowhere a weakling. The big guy has a decent speed in his swing too. When she jumps in, he decided that his sword would not make it on time, and he changes to a low kick in close range.
However, his kick was evaded, and the blow at his neck ended this match.
Francesca evaded the low kick while inflicting a fatal wound at the same time. Moreover, her movement never lack elegance. Truly, a sixteen years old brimming with gift and talent. No wonder she is nominated to be the next sword saint.
When pit with Sati, I wonder which one is stronger.
Their speed might be equal; however, I will have to prop Sati for power and Stamina. There isn’t much power in that physique. Sati is small as well, but her power is boosted by skill and stats.
“I wonder which one is stronger, Sati or her.”
“We will never know unless they fought.”
“Is she that strong?”
Crap. I responded naturally to Lilia while forgetting that the King is here with us.
“Yes. Sati is seriously strong.”
“Oho. When is her turn?”
“The third group second match. I believe it will start soon.”
As the King inquires his servant who is behind him, an immediate answer come back. The game began at other venues after Francesca match was over. Sati is supposed to be at the third group venue. From here, it is opposite the stadium. I am a bit faraway, so it is hard to see. I didn’t use Hawk Eye, though.
Sati is……over there.
“The small one, yes that is correct. The beastsmen.”
I pointed her location to the King with my finger.
“She is really small.”
That’s why I said she is strong. Well, you will never guess unless you watch Sati’s strength beforehand. Her strength is almost 100% all the time, how frustrating.
The previous match ended soon, and Sati’s turn came up. Her opponent is a spear user.
Now that you mention it, has she practised with a spear user before?
Isn’t this quite bad……?
Sati looks this way before she climbed up to the stone stage. When our eyes met, she nodded her head. Then, Sati looked up and advance to the match.
The signal to start released. The spear user moves forward little by little menacingly while protruding his spear.
The length of his spear is about 3 meters long. The spear is consisted with a wooden handle and an iron spearhead. The tip is rounded, however a stab from that thing is enough to poke a hole in someone body.
Whether it be a sword or a spear, I don’t think the risk of injury is reduced just because one weapon has less blade. A lot of serious injuries were suffered by contestants yesterday too.
Sati makes her move. She quickly closes the distance with the spear user, but she nimbly steps back after the spear user lunge in response to clear her away. Afterwards, it was the spear user turns to attack. The spear user continuously let out thrusts after thrusts. Although Sati is retreating and keeping good judgement, it’s turning into a defensive battle whenever she is trying to get close to the spear user.
But she is nowhere near serious right now. She matches the rhythm of her opponent……
She avoided the thrust and step forward without stopping. The spear user swings their spear horizontally to sweep down Sati’s leg, however it was stopped by Sati’s shield——and she gently prod the opponent knee. The opponent dropped their shoulder.
“Near the end, she landed a hit at her opponent shoulder.”
Seems like the King didn’t see it. I managed to see her movement in fine details thanks to Hawk Eye, but the distance is too far for normal person.
She hit their body from on top of their leather armour, however since they are receiving the attack at such speed, it is unsurprising if they broke some bones and have difficulty to continue the match.
Immediately, the winner is declared, and the opponent received treatment from the shrine member.
“She is quite strong. So, this is how someone with 8 times odd looks like.”
Ah. I forgot to place my bet……