Chapter 14 ~ Entry to Battle
“Today is a free time.”
My family members gathered together inside the living room at Elf mansion. We are discussing today’s schedule.
Today marks the end of Gladiator Competition qualifier round. It is a rest day given before the main tournament start.
Our agendas in this Kingdom are not all fulfilled yet. We are finally given a chance to take a break, so if I don’t actively use it, I’d feel like my everyday life in this another world will be spiralling down.
To be honest, I want to rest for the entire day today, but I think maybe Sati wants to train.
“What do you planned to do, Sati? Either taking a day off or go for a practice, I’m fine both way.”
“I want to continue practicing for a while.”
Yesterday, she was severely beaten by Armand with his dual swords. I am sure she wants to review those technique diligently while her memory is clear.
“Then I’ll keep you company this morning. Let’s go have fun later in afternoon.”
I’ll be troubled if today’s activity ending up interfering for tomorrow’s match.
“By the way tell Tamara that I said thanks.”
So, Ellie told me.
She is one of three slaves that I recently purchased, Tamara the married woman.
Turns out, she already has a man in her heart even before I purchased her. It feels like a waste, but I still help them be reunited.
As for that newlywed, we brought them here husband and wife to Kingdom’s capital for their honeymoon. Of course, it’s a gift from me, and I would like to observe whether the protection will apply on her……simply an experiment, putting it the other way.
As for the man-hating Lufutona chan, I heard that she fell sick because she was surrounded by too many people. She’s gone back to the village earlier and right now she’s staying at home with a group of elves.
“Seems like there are a lot of thing to enjoy out there. We can go for a sightseeing after this.”
I guess they can enjoy the Kingdom’s capital without getting interfered with anything. I know that I’m the one who planned it, but how very enviable.
I was planning to go sightseeing today, but now I wonder if it’s worth to be in hurry. I can always come to the kingdom’s capital anytime I want. I don’t want to bother going out for sightseeing especially now when capital is congested due to festival period.
I was really looking forward to the festival, but I don’t feel like I was having fun with the events that has transpired for the past few days.
So, I concluded that I don’t want to enjoy the festival on my own. I want to enjoy having fun in the festival with everyone.
I wonder if we can slowly enjoy the second half of this festival?
There is still a little something regarding the relationship between Sati and the King when it comes to participating in this competition, but it’s not something that is much concern to me. It will not come as a surprise if Sati managed to win the overall championship. Since the King was already satisfied with yesterday event, I doubt he will meddle in the future.
Let’s think about it optimistically.
For now, there is no contact with God. As busy as we are right now, there is nothing that will become a danger to our life.
Surely, with this event the connection between Sati and the King will strengthen in positive way.
When I think about it that way, the series of events happening after we decided on Sati’s participation in the competition might not be that bad either.
So now, what should we do in the afternoon?
Maybe we should look for a bookstore. Since we are in the Kingdom’s capital, I’m sure there is a large bookstore around. After that, we will look for an adequate food stall and purchase our foods. Regardless of the festivals or sightseeing, I’d like to have a normal date. When we’re tired, we will go home——while everyone is talking endlessly with each other, we were told by the elf that there is a visitor.
“A guest arrives to meet Masaru sama. They are from the Gladiator Competition administrative office.”
“Me? Not Sati?”
“Yes. Their business here is strictly with Masaru sama only.”
I wonder what it is. Was it because I conceal myself while acting as a priest during the first day qualifier? But even back then, my role is to simply administer general medical treatment.
“So umm, don’t tell me these people are angry?”
“There seems to be a request for you.”
If they’re approaching me as an adventurer, then wouldn’t it be more appropriate for the guild to do so? As expected, this must have something to do with medical treatment.
Are they recruiting me for a job in anticipation of my power?
Yeah. As expected, they are here to talk about general medical treatment stuff, perhaps. And that kind of talk is……no, there is still the matter regarding masked priest……so this talk must be about something different. But if that’s the case, then this matter should fall under the temple jurisdiction and no longer be something under the Gladiator Competition administrative office.
I failed to understand no matter how much I’d think. Maybe I should go ask whether they truly are angry or not.
But I’ll make sure that everyone comes along. I’m anxious. I have a bad feeling.
Two men are waiting inside the guest room. One of them has a well-defined body and I can sense how his mana doesn’t fall short. He is around 30 years old. He is wearing some good-looking clothes, maybe he is a noble. He looks quite skillful, and he give off a feeling that he requires no escorts and no problem to come unarmed.
“Mr. Yamano Masaru. Congratulations. We have recognized your admission in the Gladiator Competition.”
The frail looking middle aged man said so. Maybe this is the person responsible for administration task.
“Masaru, since when did you applied?”
So, Ellie asked, but naturally even I don’t remember when I applied for an admission.
“I’ve never applied.”
“That’s all. I’ll look forward to see your participation in the Gladiator Competition main battle tomorrow……”
“If I really want to participate then I would’ve registered myself from the beginning. Plus, what spurred this decision anyway?’
This must be either Armand or Sergeant dono doing, or it might be a suggestion from the King himself.
“Leave the explanation to me.”
Finally, the other person opened his mouth.
“It is for the sole reason of avenging my nephew whom his enemy is Masaru dono. My name is Gustav Byron. I am George’s uncle.”
Who the hell is that? Even if he said that I’m his nephew enemy, I have no clue who that person is whatsoever.
“Wait a moment. Do you still not understand even after I tell you the name?”
Tilika tug my cloth from behind to get my attention.
“A candidate for my husband, you dueled him with Golem.”
“Hey, might it be……that your nephew died or something?”
Don’t tell me the wound from that time, but there’s no way, right?
“He is extremely healthy.”
“Then why you tell me that you are here for vengeance?”
“Thanks to you, George completely destroyed his chance for a marriage. He is completely depressed right now.”
He reaps what he sows.
“George saw you at the competition assembly hall. So, he clings to me and ask me to deliver you a swift punishment.”
“How dare he pushed his fight to his own family to settle!”
Lilia immediately reacted to Gustav words.
“Please wait, Elf dono. I have already warned him not to do something like that. I wish to not cause more problem anymore.”
People has been complaining about that case to Adventurer Guild and Truth Official. If he caused a problem again, this time, not only George will be held accountable, it might develop into something where the Byron family need to take responsibility.
I don’t know how Adventurer Guild is going to react but turning the Truth Official into your enemy is frightening indeed.
“So, what about the Gladiator Competition?’
“To put it simply, I registered for you so that we can have a duel. We are going to meet on stage during Gladiator Competition.”
“That’s not what I mean. Plus, there is no way we will be conveniently paired, right?”
There is no problem regarding that matter, the management guy said so. He explained how Gustav family possess an exemption for a reserve match as preliminary round before entering the main battle. He said only the winner will advance to main battle.
Although it’s a slightly irregular occurrence, the match will be held before the pairing is made, so there is no problem.
“Even on our side, we couldn’t afford to withdraw.” —Japanese idiom——
George is the youngest child in Byron family. He is considerably talented, and because of that, he is loved by both his parent and grandparent.
Well, this George kun. Due to the disturbance in his engagement with Tilika, he’s been injecting a lot of ideas into his household. Something like I’ve taken a coward measure to defeat George, or somehow or another I managed to snatch Tilika away from him.
Then, an assault plan was derived at Byron family residence in the Kingdom’s capital. And Gustav was pointed as the responsible person who’s going to execute that plan.
Gustav is not a member of a main family, he is from branch family. The main family head is currently absent from Kingdom’s capital. Even if they managed to contact him, he will not make a move soon.
“That’s why, with this Gladiator Competition, hopefully things will be solve peacefully.”
“You mean, a public execution during the match?”
He nodded after I made a little deliberation.
“It’s no use to keep up an appearance in front of the Truth Palace, but we are still talking about you taking a beat in front of a large crowd. Of course, I will hand you some “flower” for your effort. You are an A rank with enough skill to beat George in one hit, don’t you? Let’s fight fair and square, prove your ability to everyone and make them satisfied.”
Hmm? I cannot overlook what he said just now. Did he just assumed that I’m going to lose?
So, George arbitrarily planned an attack and to prevent that, this guy drags me out into the stadium and is going to beat me up?
It’s enough even if I lose unsightly. If I’ve shown myself to be strong enough to fight back, George lies will easily be disproved.
“Naturally, you will not do it for free. If you accept this duel, I’ll pay 100 gold coins as request fee.”
100 gold coins here is equivalent to 10 million yen. The payment probably includes for my trouble and a hush money. I wonder if the amount is a lot because it’s an abnormal request fee.
“That’s quite a selfish decision.”
“You only need to accept the duel. Isn’t it simple?’
Maybe the thought never crosses his mind that, there is no way me, who has an occupation of an adventurer, will be reluctant to participate in this tournament.
If I get injured, I can easily heal myself with Recovery Magic. Moreover, he’ll also pay 100 gold coins and I can get him to promise to go easy during battle. It’s certainly is a simple request.
“I’m warning you, as a Truth Official.”
Tilika interrupted us seeing that I’m speechless for an answer.
“To begin with you, the Truth Official, weren’t you introduced to us as lady Tilika, the sweetheart during your betrothal, right from the start? I don’t want to hear you discussing about this case as a Truth Official.”
“To be exact, a fiancée candidate. I don’t remember ever agreeing.”
“That’s a matter of the other side. Here, you were introduced to us as the fiancée, that’s what happened. I admit there is a problem with how George was dealing with things, but the shame from failing to do this will fall onto mine.”
Well, from George’s own perspective, it’s one side of the truth when he lost the battle and got his fiancée stolen. I partially understand, and partially don’t.
“I think this matter is already too late to be closed during that time when George was defeated. George already convinced everyone in his family, and this matter already reached the upper branch of Truth Palace. Right now, this is a problem between you and George, but once this matter escalated, you will be officially recognized as the enemy of Byron family. I’d say that’s a bad outcome. Duel me. And this problem will be solved.”
He promised them to get a duel with me and that’s the reason for his visit today. If Gustav returned back home downhearted, he’ll have his pride crushed while George and the rest of his family will have their doubts remains.
“Masaru sama is a guest in our mansion. Will Byron family turn the elves into their enemy?”
After hearing Paula san words, Gustav was left with a puzzled expression.
“As someone of Byron family, I failed to see any relation between us and the elf at all……”
“Even when this matter is being discussed inside the Elf Mansion?”
“That’s why, I’m offering this lad here for a fair and square duel.”
Ah, for once, I’m glad to be staying inside the Elf Mansion. I wonder what would’ve happened if I were staying inside a cheap hotel.
“I dare you to lay a single finger on Masaru. The elf will never forgive you.”
Lilia said while glaring at Gustav.
“The elf will make an official objection to Byron family.”
Paula san said in response to LiIia’s threat.
“Going that far for this matter is kind of……”
“When someone laid their hand on our guests, that is an appropriate reaction.”
For some reason, the elves are reacting excessively, and this matter is developing into larger problem. This is kinda bad. If I accept his duel, will thing resolve more peacefully?
“If it’s a duel that you seek, how about we do it elsewhere?’
For now, I need an alternate plan. I’m fine with a duel, I just don’t want to enter the tournament.
“That’s possible if we can get everyone agreements, but how do I put it……accidents may occur.”
Accidents. In other words, if we have a private duel, the Byron family might come up with something? I don’t think it’s possible considering we are under the Truth Palace watch……no, it’s still not too late. Even if that’s not the case, since we’re fighting on an informal stage, if either one of us dies or becomes inconvenient due to an accident during the duel……like that, it’s much safer to fight under a large audiences and tournament rules.
Besides, we’re required to use a weapon allowed by the tournament only, so it’s more of a proper fight. A sword with blade, as opposed to that time with George?
“Do you hate to lose under the public presence?”
I’m more afraid of the public more than losing.
“I don’t think I’ll lose.”
“If so, fight me fair and square. Win against me.”
I can’t tell him that I’m afraid of large crowd now. I’ll be treated as a fool.
“Masaru, that’s enough. I don’t know how old their family’s history is, but if they’re looking for a fight, we just have to thoroughly crush them.”
“What’re the elves planning to do!?”
“Are you aware that we’re in a close acquaintance with the king? I’m sure the king is interested to hear this story.”
“I wonder what will happen, if George’s exploits happen to spread further?”
He’s bombarded with questions from Paula san and Ellie.
“In the future, Byron family will no longer……won’t you retract the duel now?”
“Interesting. If you’re going to do it, then allow me to accompany you to the end!”
Ah, jeez. Everything is settled if I agree to enter the tournament.
“Yes, yes. Enough, both of you.”
I clapped my hands to draw their attention.
“This matter is my own personal problem and in no way they are related to the elves. Don’t you think so?”
After hearing my exclamation, Gustav gave off a relieved look.
“Let’s have a duel. I’m sure this matter will be concluded afterwards, no?”
I cannot use the excuse where I’m afraid of big stage forever. I believe what’s better is to overcome this weakness.
The only other risk that I can think of is if I stand out too much and people start being suspicious of me being an apostle. But now that I’m an A rank, I’ve more opportunity to show my real strength. Since Sati is participating as well, I think this is a good chance to make our name more popular.
If I don’t participate, Byron family will not be convinced. But if they make a pass at me afterwards, the elf will ride on that reasoning to start a war. Seems like the best route with less disadvantage is for me to obediently show up in the tournament……
“I swear with my pride as a son of military family.”
“Well, are you fine with this, Masaru?”
This isn’t something that I prefer personally, but anything is better than a war. No, to be precise, isn’t George the worst offender in this case?
“You will be stricter with George after this, won’t you?”
He’s being suspiciously evasive towards my enquiry. Don’t tell me you’re going to leave George as he is.
“Tell only the truth.”
So, Tilika who has keep silent till now said.
“Masaru dono is strong, is he not? Once our battle is over, everyone in George’s family will know what George said was a lie. So, if George still doesn’t realise his mistake by then……”
“As a Truth Official, I will have you stand forward before me.”
“Guess I have no choice.”
So, Tilika said, and we decided to trust her.
I’ve experienced a similar thing. Getting interrogated by someone from Truth palace is not one of the pleasant memories that I can say.
Perhaps Tilika will make George look terrible.
Any more and things will turn troublesome. After all, George has attempted an attack against me. He also intentionally scatters bad tales about me in his household.
He was simply attempted an attack, but since I’m a commoner, he will not be charged anyways. There is no way for a commoner like me to put a charge on Byron Family.
Gustav is here to propose a personal duel to me. The elves overreaction and their threats have nothing much to do with it. The duel itself will be held during Gladiator Competition. I don’t like the place where we are going to have our duel, but the duel itself clearly will be something fair and square by using our own blade and sword.
Nothing is unclear.
Nothing is going to happen to George, and there is clearly nothing that I can gain from this battle.
I wonder if it’s possible for me to hit George afterwards. Oh, there is 100 gold coins too.
“Regarding the duel, I think it’s fair for me to pull out if you don’t lay out an appropriate offering. Right now, you are offering me 100 gold coins. Don’t you think that is a tad unreasonable?”
Not enough. There is no way that’s enough, not when I’m about to have a beating in public eyes.
Should I negotiate for an increase in case I won? Few times…….no, about 10 times more. That will net me around 100 million yen.
“Frankly speaking, the amount is so trifling.”
“Then let’s do it like this. The request fee is omitted if I lose the duel. On the other hand, if I win, I’ll demand the request fee to be 10 times more.”
Win, 100 million. Wow look at his high nose, so confident.
The duel is soon, but from my observation, he doesn’t look any stronger than Lazard san.
“1000 gold coins huh, I accepted. But bear in mind that I’ll not go easy on you?”
Gustav easily made a big decision without any hesitation. Whether he’s making light of me, or he still have spare room for such pricing.
“Very well. I’ll crush you with all I’ve got. More importantly, those 1000 gold coins, I believe you will prepare them as arranged?”
“I’ll make sure to prepare them before our duel. But, in case you lose, you sure you’re fine without any remuneration?”
“Let me tell you something before our duel is concluded, in case you complain later. Based on what the Adventurer Guild instructor has once said to me, he believes that my ability is enough to aim for the overall victory.”
“Heh, then let me tell you something too. I won a second place when I participated five years ago. And by this year standard, I don’t think I will lose, not even once.”
Seriously. He is awfully confident…….
“I’ll look forward, to our battle tomorrow.”
I may look composed, but it’s nothing but a feint. What should I do now?
If I lose this duel, I’ll just bring an embarrassment to myself, and working for free, too.
“Forgive me, Masaru.”
“Actually, Tilika did nothing wrong.”
It’s the Truth Official who is on fault. Also, George.
“Um, maybe it’s because I said I wanted to participate……”
Definitely not Sati fault, either.
“Still, you’re going to enter the tournament. You fine with that?”
Ann said to me worryingly.
“Well, it’s going to be fine.”
I might be pretending to be tough, but I’ve been watching the Gladiator Competition for two days now, and I pretty much am familiar with their atmosphere. I thought the fights were going to be spectacular, but I never expected them to be this stoic.
Even the other visitors are watching the matches quietly. If I just concentrate on the match, then I’ll somehow do it, perhaps.
As for tomorrow main round, I think they will hold two matches simultaneously. That’s to say, I’ll not attract that much attention.
So, I think. Or, what I believe.
Since they’re going to be an A rank match, it’s safe to assume that the match will be conspicuous to some extent.
No matter how much I try to sneak around, it’s hard to remain non-conspicuous unless I’m hiding behind a dark curtain.
What for sure is, no matter how much I think about it now, I’ll never came up with any clever ideas that I can use to avoid this duel.
“Anyway, Sati. Want to practice for a while?”
As for our afternoon plan today, going out to play is cancelled.
I spent chilling myself inside the Elf Mansion.
My stomach is churning when I think about tomorrow. But it wasn’t bad enough that it warrants everyone to take care of me.