Chapter 13 ~ Gladiator Competition, Second Round Qualifier ——Attempt——
There is nothing much to watch during qualifier.
The truly strong one was not required to win in qualifier, so all of them are exempted from this round. That ensure the odds for the strong one to be paired together lower and with that lesser chance that they are going to defeat each other. Thus, there isn’t much spectacular matches ongoing for this round.
Though, the fight between mid-rank people with about equal ability might stirred up more excitement for flesh and blood. This tournament was probably aimed to gather the average level fighter, so they can make name for themselves.
As I expected, Sati is by far a lot stronger. Although there seems to be several exceptional people who look strong, so far, the only person who might pose as her rival might be Francesca alone.
The other never came back, and just when I was getting bored, Sati pointed out to the venue.
“Masaru sama, it’s Lazard san.”
I was wondering where the heck is he supposed to hide nearby here while waiting for the qualifier to end. Turns out there is a place which resemble a waiting room.
“I was requested by him to, ah”
While I was answering Armand, his opponent on stage got blown away. The memory during the time I was blown away the same way resurface vividly. That leaves an unpleasing feeling.
Fortunately, the injury is not life threatening. He received medical treatment and is now recovered to safety. I wonder if Lazard is going easy against his opponent.
He is a power type, but he also has good skills. A typical adventurer would usually use two hands to handle the same sword, however he can easily swing them with a single hand. He can even execute a lesser technique. I wonder if his natural detection instinct is high.
He is the ideal type for a swordsman. His muscles are well-trained, and he is blessed with a good physique. He is extremely skillful, combined together with that is his abundance of experiences. He also happened to possess a braveness and determination to charge on a dragon head on.
Lazard san safely win his second and third matches. And he won all the matches while he is still hiding his true ability.
“Sati……do your best.”
If we are aiming for the championship, the chances that Sati is going to face Lazard san is by no way low.
At my current state, I don’t think I cannot win against him. Still, a scary thing will always remain scary. I’m glad that I didn’t participate in this tournament.
After Lazard san matches were over, all the other matches went on like usual, and only after the number of contestants and the audiences has thin out, the others finally came back.
Surprisingly, Ann looks like she was drunk.
“That’s because they serve a delicious alcohol—. I got a bottle as souvenir on Masaru’s behalf—”
So, she said, and she showed me the alcohol. My stance still wouldn’t budge though, so no matter how good the alcohol they serve in the royal palace, it’s still a no thank you. The others seem to enjoy their stay, so I’m satisfied with that.
Alongside that, she also brings a takeout for me. I laid them all on the table, then I repeatedly asked them for the latest development.
Although Lilia’s story keeps on going, it can be concluded that their visit to the royal palace ended without any problem. The served food and drinks were delicious, and they were even permitted to tour around the royal palace. Ellie told the King about our village development, and by the look of it, the King himself promised to visit us once our village is on the track.
“It’s still too early for that kind of talk, but like this when the time comes everything will progress smoothly, no?”
The approval of our territory and the arrangement for a formal visit are supposedly done through Earl Park acting as the intermediary. But now that we have requested directly, there is no need for the Earl anymore, as we already established a direct connection with the King.
Previously, we planned to ask for help via the Elf, but if we continue that way, I feel like we are going to land in a troubling position, once I’ve become more important. I don’t think I’m close to be an important person soon. Compared from asking the Elf royal family for help, it would be safer to contact the King directly. Or so I believe.
We are currently in a peculiar position, so right now it’s impossible to judge what kind of choices are the correct one.
But at the very least, compared from making a reservation with the Earl, there is no mistake that getting into the King good side is much better.
Either way, this is something that will happen several years later. When the time comes, the situation would have progress further.
For now, as long Ellie is satisfied, I have no objection toward this matter. Everything is progressing smoothly within my expectation, hence if my wives are happy, so am I.
Now that all the matches for the qualifying round has ended, everyone returns to the Elf Mansion. Just like we arranged, Sati and Armand is going to have a duel.
Same requirement applies. Armand equipped the same shield that he has for qualifier. It’s his style to go easy with his opponent.
Within the training ground inside the Elf Mansion, both are facing each other while the elves serve as spectators. Sati is quite enthusiastic to have her revenge. She can be very competitive.
After hearing my starting cue, Sati advances forward, first step, second steps, third steps, and she finally stop. Her starting position was far away, but now she is perfectly inside the Mubyōshi-uchi range.
“How nice. Now that’s what I called a swordsman.”
He said, and on the same time, he moved——clang. Sati completely stopped Armand’s sword.
Both ceased their movement at once.
Even after I witnessed it again, I noticed that there isn’t any difference between his and Sergeant dono Mubyōshi-uchi. In that case, I should be able to block it too.
Armand smile in delight and resumed his attack.
Sati’s dodged his attack at a hair breadth. Then she launches a counterattack. Armand dodges all of them too. It seems like they are going to recreate the same battle as previously with Armand and Francesca.
The difference is, Francesca has a little oomph in her movement, whereas Sati utilizes a lot of sidestep and back step.
Was it due to the gap in their experience? In order to stop the opponent from dodging at that distance, one must be able to anticipate their movement. Sati has insufficient experience in one to one fighting.
Sati sidestep once again. This time she utilizes her step work without any reservation.
As for ability……I think she hold a bit of an upper hand against Armand? No, his left hand is unusable, so his ability is still unknown.
Since it’s practice, there is no point to win through aiming for his weak point. It’s a brilliant fight, so it matters not even if she loses here.
Sati, however, is aggressively on offence. She skilfully uses her footwork and repeating a hit and retreat. Although she frequently attacks Armand, she is obviously inferior.
But the conclusion to this fight arrived before long. Sati didn’t miss the vulnerable part where Armand couldn’t handle Sati continuous attack, and where his stance waver, she added more blow and this session ended.
She just happens to attack that part by chance and it’s not like she purposely targeting his weak point, so it can’t be helped. Sati just don’t have the luxury to not do it.
“Good work, Sati. Armand san, are you hurt?”
“I’m fine. She stopped right before she hit me.”
“Is Sati’s judgement correct?”
“I too believe that it’s over.”
And that marks the end of today’s event. I thought it was time for me to wash my sweat at the bath and eat dinner, but somehow, I was nominated next.
“I don’t need this test or anything.”
“Now, now, please don’t say that. I’m sure these ladies want to witness how well their husband fare in a fight too, am I right?”
He received no reply, but Sati looks like she’s looking forward to it.
For the love of God, I would love to decline him, but fleeing at this stage would seem unmanly.
“Come on, the girls look like they are looking forward to it.”
I’ll not pretend that I don’t know his weak point, thus no gentlemanly act from me. I’ll most probably win. So, I thought, but after I equipped my leather armour and confronted him, I realized that Armand is now holding two swords. Is he serious.
“Even if I said that I’m not top form, to think that I’m defeated not only once, but twice in the same day. I think I better start showing my strong suit now.”
But as far as I can see during qualifier, he never does something that’ll meaninglessly damage his opponent.
“For once, please take this seriously and give me your best, okay!?”
I will keep that in my mind.
“I know. This will serve as a test to my ability.”
“Masaru, he’s serious.”
That being the case, he’ll serve as a suitable opponent, so I thought when Tilika drive the nail in. My motivation flies out from my face.
“……understood, I’ll be serious. Can I use magic?”
Not possible, huh. Well, it can’t be helped. I just have to give it my best.
His power is probably on league with Sergeant dono. The only way to proceed is to come to him with killing intent. No, first, I need to intercept his Mubyōshi-uchi.
“Fair warning. It’s harder to block this technique with dual sword.”
He said before we start the match.
Eh, what was that? Why I’ve never heard of it.
Immediately, I tried to create a distance between us, and Armand make his move.
Two swords approach from left and right. the sword movement comes in completely different timings——
“Impossible to block of them.”
I block one with my shield and managed to block another one with my sword.
Oh crap. I really should just have to receive the blow just now.
No, I promised Tilika that I’m going to fight him seriously. Let’s face him in earnestness.
“You can finish me if you pursuit your attack.”
“But then, I cannot witness your true power.”
Then, he pulled back his sword from our deadlock and I use this opportunity to create a distance. The problem is how to proceed from here on. Naturally, I don’t know any effective countermeasure against him since I’ve never fought against a dual wielder before.
Armand doesn’t make a move. Maybe he is waiting for me to make my move this time around.
There is no use thinking too hard about it. I can only believe on my own experience that I’ve accumulated so far and my skill set.
The person in front of me is an Orc. A rare Orc with dual wielding skill. Unless I defeat it, I’d die. Good, I’ll just proceed with this setting.
Any lesser technique is useless. I’m sure my status well exceeded him, too.
I aggressively step right in front of his space to commence my assault. I released a strike from downward with full speed and all my might. I let loose a slash that will absolutely send Armand to death if hit.
He evaded it. Still within my expectation. Now, I’m going to intrude inside his space further——woah that’s dangerous!? The sword in his left hand is leaping towards me as if it’s a creature with its own mind, warding me off. Coincidently, his right sword is coming and is being blocked by my shield, but I’ve yet formulated how to block the sword in his left hand——oh shit oh shit. Nothing at my rear, now to turn around——
Frantically, I ended up rolling on the ground unsightly trying to dodge his attack. Armand wait for me to stand on my two feet.
My breath turns ragged. Cold sweat run through my face.
C-close, I might go down without realizing anything.
What should I do? ……no, there is nothing. Too much difference between our ability.
Keep on struggling without giving up, and a miracle might cast itself on you.
Sergeant dono words rang in my head. I gathered my resolve. I will not let it die.
I step forward. I dodged. Again, an attack from his dual swords. Now that I have calm down——here.
I let my mana flows. My magic is just a feint.
I don’t plan to use it. But if he can sense a mana flow, then this isn’t something that he will ignore——
As a result, my sword clashed with one of Armand’s sword, and another one of his sword went straight to my neck. Too bad. Yamano Masaru has died!
“You are quite a scary fellow.”
Even if I really did use a magic, it would be nowhere enough to cut through this bone and flesh. Armand sword will cut through my neck, while in some chance if my magic hit him, it’s not enough to leave fatal wound.
“Armand san too.”
“Just now, why didn’t you release the magic?”
“I’ll receive a fatal injury, meanwhile Armand san will just be hindered temporarily from acting.”
Perhaps, if I launched a Fire Magic at that time, the result might have ended up as mutual defeat. Sadly, the magic that I tried to conjure just now was an Air Hammer.
“What if you use magic from the beginning?”
If there is enough distance available, I’m confident enough to even take down someone like Sergeant dono. I’ll have an upper hand with Transition Sword and Summoning Magic.
“Let’s have a rematch. This time, use your magic.”
I don’t think I will lose if this is a no hold barred fight, but if it’s just a duel……simply trying to win is complicated.
“Let’s stop it here. Unlike when fighting an opponent with a sword, my magic is too strong to be used on another person.”
For a strong opponent like him, I need to finish everything with a single strike.
“More importantly, please have another match with Sati, this time while duel wielding.”
It’s seldom to have a chance to fight with a person with a higher rank. This will serve as a good experience for Sati.
“Huh. So, you already meet that man.”
“Both him and the little girl.”
“Do you find them both fascinating?”
“I’m sure master will be more pleased to meet the little girl.”
Possessing that degree of swordsmanship at such a young age. Her body is still small too, so we can expect much bigger growth.
“You might be right. Sati, well, it’s just been somewhere around half a year since she started practicing sword.”
“Half a year!? If that’s true, then you must have trained her carefully, Vaulk dono.”
“I only give her a minimum guidance. Sati become stronger through her own mean.”
After listening to the details, it seems that she began to learn how to swing a sword, also learn how to hold a bow when she first arrived at the Adventurer Guild.
While she was working together with Masaru and other adventurers, in just one, or two months, it was said that no one in the guild branch can take her on anymore.
“So, she can even handle a bow.”
“Looking at how well she is performing with them nowadays, I’d say her proficiency with a bow is no less than with a sword.”
Looking at them carefully, I see there are almost no difference between Sati and Francesca. But it can be said that Francesca has been gripping her sword for 3 times far longer. Ever since she started, it’s been nothing short for ten years since she has devoted her life to sword. But, the other girl only has half a year. Her adventurer rank already reaches a B rank. Did her well-tempered ability comes from an actual combat?
“But Masaru surely is one interesting character.”
“But isn’t his motivation kind of lacking?”
“Umu. Besides, his tremendous magic arsenal is a great deal towards his fighting ability. He always doing thing in his own way. Plus, he was always absent for a long time from our guild, hence I couldn’t force him to attend practice.”
Despite being a wizard, his swords skills are truly extraordinary. Sadly, his lack of motivation has rendered them useless. If only he is a little younger, alas, I couldn’t expect much physical growth from a 23 years old man. I wonder how much time he has left to grow as a swordsman.
“Masaru arrived at our guild seven months ago.”
“Don’t tell me Masaru never held a sword before, too?”
“He was capable of using a sword and basic magic right from the beginning, somewhat. However, during his first day on a hunt, he lost to Wild Rabbit and immediately return to the town.”
The Wild Rabbit is ferocious, but even a child can win against them if they’re holding a weapon. And it’s only been seven months since then? It’s not as surprising compared to Sati who has only began wielding a sword for half a year, still his growth rate is extraordinary indeed.
“The problem here is Masaru’s lacks of to no motivation. Sati has been practicing whenever she has a free time, however Masaru dislike to put in an effort. Of course, as an adventurer, he did have a drive to grow stronger. It’s only for a short period of time, but I did give him a special training. But usually, he never put a serious effort in his practice. And yet, look at his growth rate. I just can’t understand him.”
“Then, his growth rate is as exceptional as the little girl?”
“Even his magic is growing tremendously. Remember when I told you how he only possesses a fighting prowess that’s not even enough to take down the Wild Rabbit? And right now, did you hear how strong his magic has become?”
“Magic that’s strong enough to change the terrain, right?”
He boasted how he can defeat me if he combines both his swords skill and magic together. He wasn’t bluffing.
“Sati will grow even stronger. If she managed to grow safely to adulthood, I’m sure she will make herself a name as one of the great swordsmen.”
“No doubt about that.”
I know a lot of people who has about same ability like her. However, I’ve never seen one at such a young age.
“But Masaru will be more than that. He will become an adventurer who will mark his name in history.”
By the way, his party is consisted of swordsmen, mages and a Spirit Magic user. Moreover, a priest and a Truth Official. This is as if——
“Like the Hero of legend?”
The legendary hero was a magic swordsman too.
“I will not be surprised if Masaru raises his power and become a hero someday.”
Interesting. My master will surely love to hear this story.