KENS Chapter 43

Chapter 43 Fighting Tournament (2)

Noon, a few days after I had my dinner date with Aya. While chewing on the skewered Orc meat, I walked through the main street when Mururu, who was also eating the same, suddenly stopped. Wondering what happened, I also stopped only to see her ogling another food stand. Her tail shaking energetically underneath the cloak was cute but considering this had happened so many times already, I sighed.

“You’re still eating right now. At least wait till you’ve finished that.”(renji)

“…….please?”(mururu)

“No means no.”

When I clearly declared that, she started walking again with her animal ears drooping sadly. It’s a bit irritating that I am the one who feels so guilty when she does that but, I must harden my heart this time.

And Feirona was walking behind us while enjoying the scene with a smile. When I shot a glare at him, his smile only deepened. And at this expression from him, the women passing by us all seemed to be smitten instantly…..I think. Well, handsome people look attractive no matter what expression they make.

Beside Feirona, another beauty was walking, Solnea. Seeing her walking in the falce where usually Ms Francesca would be felt a bit fresh. She had, rare to this world, long silky black hair, pale white skin and somewhat lifeless ruby red eyes. She was wearing a black cloak similar to mine which was hung down from her shoulders. The thin cloth dress she wore emphasized her sensual body lines, especially her thin waist where a belt had been tightened.

Normally, seeing the handsome guy walk along with the magician girl felt really picturesque but seeing this shadowy beauty with him looks amazing as well. I feel like I’m the only one in this party that doesn’t really have exceptional looks. I started feeling depressed just thinking about it.

[What happened, Renji?]

“Nothin—-”

“I’m done eating!”(mururu)

“——that’s way too fast. Chew properly at least.”

“It’s fine.”

[…….Do you even know the meaning of that?]

I’m pretty sure, she doesn’t. While I was pondering over my status in this party, Murur had finished her meat and looked up at me pleadingly. She really looked like a puppy waiting to get fed. She’s a wolf though.……She must want more food I guess. Her gaze seemed to switch from me then to the stall after all.

“Have you forgotten what we’re going to do next?”(renji)

“No problem. I can’t move on empty stomach.”(mururu)

“It’ll be fine if you didn’t move much as well, to be honest. Fine, this is the last time, okay?”

Like handing change to a child, I gave her a copper coin. Taking the coin, she literally skipped over to the stall at an incredible speed.

From hereon, the qualifiers for the fighting tournament will begin and Ms Francesca will be taking part in it. We decided yesterday to go and cheer her on. She seemed to be all fired up to take part but, let’s see how she fares in the battle. It’s very probable that she would fall in these preliminary rounds. So, this might be our only chance to cheer her like this, we decided to go today. I got scolded by Ermenhilde when I said that out loud though. Her quiet, calm voice of anger is pretty damn scary than a normal raging anger. Well, it’s not like I was serious when I said that. I don’t know what level students of magic academy are at but I do know the level of the adventurers and mercenaries that take part in it. I have taken part in this before as well, after all. The chance of her actually getting to take part in the battle is pretty low. She might get one chance through family connections though.

Feirona and Mururu didn’t seem to know about the tournament at all so I invited them since they seemed interested. Solnea didn’t really have any other place to go so I took her with me as well. As you’d expect, she had no interest in the tournament either.

“Are those really that tasty?”(sol)

While we were waiting for Mururu, Solnea came beside me and asked that. Her gaze was at Mururu——or rather, at the stall.

Mururu was currently getting a hot dog replica with bread, veggies and orc meat. Why doesn’t she get fat even though she eats so much meat. Well, I guess she does move a lot with all the monster hunting we do.

“Yeah, it’s pretty delicious. Want some too?”(renji)

“…….I can?”

“I don’t mind. Getting one more won’t hurt now.”

Saying that, I handed a copper coin to Solnea as well. By the way, the gold I had given her before had disappeared in buying clothes. Apparently, Ms Francesca didn’t make any compromises in getting clothes for Solnea. In fact, I was told that one gold coin wasn’t enough so she spent her own money for Solnea as well. As expected of a lady from a noble house I guess. Well, it’s her own hard earned money, it doesn’t matter how she decides to spend it. But it should be noted that both Feirona and Mururu were really tired by the end of it.

Taking the copper coin, she also headed towards the same stall as Mururu. As I saw her off, Feirona came beside me.

“Being a babysitter sure looks tough.”(elf)

[Seriously.]

“Why are you saying that?”(renji)

You did literally nothing. Only Feirona heard that Ermenhilde’s voice other than me. I still don’t trust Solnea enough and Mururu seems like she’d overreact everytime she hears Ermenhilde’s voice. I can trust Feirona to act normally at all times. At Ermenhilde’s voice, Feirona shrugged his shoulders and continued talking.

“So, got any idea of who or what she is?”(elf)

“None at all. I let her meet Utano-san as well but there was no abnormality she said .”(renji)

“If the Sage herself says so, it might be true.”

[Though I wonder if you can actually say that there are no abnormalities in a person who was literally living inside a crystal.]

Seriously. Last night, I took some time and introduced Solnea to Utano-san but didn’t agin much info. She is a normal human, apparently. Even the crystal recovered from that cave was no different than normal crystal sold in cheap shops.

Well, it might be stupid to ponder over something you know nothing about I guess. With a sigh, I decided to cut that train of thoughts. I might start getting over suspicious towards Solnea and have a bad effect on her instead. I don’t like such things. I should end it all within my thoughts. I’ll deal with whatever happens, when it actually happens.

“For the time being, the only thing we know is that she doesn’t have any magical energy inside her.”

“fumu.”

When I said that, Feirona went into thinking while resting his chin on her fingers. His every action makes him look good, really.

[So she’s basically the same as Renji, eh?]

“Pretty much. Well, I have you so I don’t really have much trouble though.”(renji)

[……..hmm.]

In my case, I just don’t have magical energy because I am not from this world in the first place. But……What about Solnea? But there’s no need to worry about that now. Certainly, people with no magical energy are rare but it’s not like they are non-existent. Special people like that do get born every once in a while. And it’s not like they get discriminated against either. You can use convenient things like magic if you have magical energy but it’s not like everything requires it. As long as you can get education, you get a well paying job as well. Just like in our world. There are countless things a human can do without magical energy.

What is concerning is that the crystal she was sleeping in did have magical energy. And there was no answer to that question either. It was difficult to discern who she was with the info at hand. All I can do is take care of her as just a person I found in trouble. While I was thinking of that, Mururu and Solnea came back walking alongside each other while eating their hotdog replicas. It was not very well mannered to do that so I could only sigh and give a wry smile. Black and white. Their colours were the opposite but they totally looked like sisters.

“It’s bad manners., seriously.”(renji)

“But it’s tasty.”(mururu)

“Well, great. I spent money on those so please relish them properly while eating at least.”

“I know.”

“I hope so.”

She remained expressionless as usual but her stuffed face looked really cute. The ketchup sticking on her mouth only added to her charm.

And just like the white girl, the black girl was also expressionlessly eating the hotdog. Since she was eating it nicely while taking small bites everytime, she looked more sweet than Mururu.

“Is it tasty?”(renji)

“Yes.”(sol)

When I asked that, she gave a short, concise reply. It’s really like her to do that.

“It’s good that you’re enjoying but let’s hurry now. We’ll miss Francesca’s turn otherwise.”(elf)

“Oh right, I almost forgot.”(renji)

“*gulp* let’s hurry then, Renji.”(mururu)

“……..you’re the reason we’re late, you know?”(renji)

As Feirona began to walk, we followed him as well. Walking between Mururu and Solnea felt like I had a flower in both hands but unfortunately, both of them were more concentrated on their food rather than me. Stomach before everything, I guess. It’s pretty sad in my position to be honest.

“Renji.”(mururu)

“Hm?”

“Can Fran clear the prelims?”

Whit a ketchup stained mouth, she asked me that.

If Fran—-Ms Francesca would be able to clear through the prelims.

“Well, who knows.”(renji)

When I shrugged my shoulders, she frowned at me in a somewhat angry manner. Did she want to me to at least say that she’d pass, even if it was just words?

But, I can’t help that. I don’t even know who her opponent is, and neither do I know the skill level of the participants this year.

Though Ms Francesca has gotten used to fighting with monsters with her journeys, she’s still a bit naïve. I feel like that part of her personality will appear all the more so since this time she’s facing living humans rather than monsters. Monsters and humans are fundamentally different. I’m worried whether she’d be able to fire her magic against humans. Even Aya and Koutarou still hesitate in doing that. Utano-san doesn’t hesitate but she does get depressed later on. Even I remember how bad I felt after the first time I cut down a man. Hurting others puts a lot of burden on you mentally. Can Ms Francesca handle that burden?

If she can…….she actually might pass the prelims.

“Well, the odds might turn in her favour today. We can’t say who’ll win for sure till we see the battle itself.”(renji)

“I see.”(mururu)

[How realistic. Wouldn’t it be fine if you  tried to be a bit more optimistic for her?”]

That’s not what my character is like, and you know that. I simply shrugged my shoulders in answer to Ermenhilde.

Mururu’s tail seemed to be drooping down and was sulking due to not getting the answer she was hoping for. Even though she was the one who asked the question in the first place.

It’s easy to say that someone will win. But, it’s Ms Francesca who actually has to work hard. It’s not something I can say so easily like that.

While seeing her cute sulking face, I finally saw the huge building appear in front of us. And the main street felt like it became populated and energetic as we got closer as well.

The Colosseum. The cylindrical building was tall enough that you had to raise your head to see the top and it was currently filled with people. Everyone has gathered here to see the fighting tournament. There are already more than hundred people here already. And the tournament hasn’t even begun yet. The crowd will only get bigger and bigger.

Normally, the arena is a place where moneyless adventurers, mercenaries and young men proud of their skill put their lives on the line to fight here to earn money. They fight against humans, demi-humans, beastmen and even captured monsters here. The monsters only include low level ones like goblins, kobolds and Orcs though. And only, in one vs one battles. Though one vs many battles are very popular with the spectators. In this world that lacks ways of amusement, such dangerous things were the only way for them to feel excited. If you win, the reward is great, if you lose, you’d be badly injured. You might even die. That’s the kind of place we were heading to. Well, what I gave was an extreme example though.

Normally, there are very rarely any people who fight till their deaths. Against humans, as long as you say ‘I surrender!’ the battle is over. And even if one doesn’t do that, the referee would often declare the victor and it’ll settle the match before there’s a need to fight till death. Those who are ready to actually put their lives on the line and fight against monsters are a very small group of people who are very desperate.

“So what do you think about this, Feirona?”(renji)

“I hope she wins, really. Francesca has been really working hard for this.”(elf)

I see. Am I the only one being too harsh?

While thinking of that, we joined the line of people as well. I could get a free pass for myself but I’ll feel bad to let these guys wait in the line alone. As I looked around, I saw a lots of people just looking at those waiting to get an entrance to the arena. There were also a lot many stalls here than the main street as well.

“It’s painful to not have you hardwork pay off.”

“……Yeah.”

I felt a certain gentleness from Feirona’s words. Did that come from personal experience? Or has he actually developed a sense of bond with Ms Francesca while travelling with her. In either case, this elf man seemed to be wishing for Ms Francesca’s victory. And Mururu as well. These guys sure have started to get along with each other. Seeing their warm bonds, I gave a smile. Being aware of that, I hid my mouth with my right hand but the sharp sighted Elf just averted his gaze acting like he didn’t see it. I wonder if he’s happy or just embarrassed.

“Oh right, will you guys not enter?”(renji)

Remembering suddenly, I asked that. I know that both Feirona and Mururu were much more skilled than normal adventurers. They might not win the whole thing but they’ll probably go pretty far in the tournament.

But, while realizing my thoughts, Feirona shook his head. Mururu just continued eating her hotdog. This girl really prioritizes food over everything, doesn’t she.

“I don’t like standing out.”(elf)

“Aah, I completely get what you mean.”(renji)

[……..And why are you guys okay with that?]

Ermenhilde gave an exasperated sigh towards both of us. I am one thing but its rare for Feirona to get the same reaction as me from Ermenhilde.

“Renji won’t be appearing?”(sol)

“Hm?”

The voice came from someone unexpected.

Solnea, who was eating just like Mururu, asked me that. I wasn’t surprised, but it was a bit rare. I thought she didn’t show any interest in such things. Well, then don’t take her to a place like an arena. I feel like someone will tell me that. Whatever. I can’t just lose sight of an amnesiac girl either, can i?

“It’s already been decided that I’ll be taking part. In the main matches on the second day though.”(renji)

The tournament was divided into two days. On the first day is team battles. And on the second day, it’s one vs one tournament with the qualifiers from today’s preliminaries and us summoned heroes included. At least, the weapons we have to use aren’t holy swords or magci/demonic swords but rather, training swords with dull edges. Aya should have been limited in some way as well.

Just like Utano-san wanted, it’d be great if we could pull a lot of crowd to watch the show.

“I see.”(sol)

“What, are you interested in things like this?”(renji)

“Meaning?”(sol)

“The tournament, the arena, fighting in general. Are you interested in such things?”

Saying that, I looked towards the entrance of the arena. Solnea also followed my gaze and look towards it. But, she remained silent. Getting no reply, after some time I looked back at Solnea only to see her staring at me. I still couldn’t feel any wave of emotion from her. Her gaze still like in a daze. Actually, being constantly stared at like from so close that increased my heartbeat slightly.

“No, not really.”(sol)

“I..see……”(renji)

Feeling a bit embarrassed from her straight gaze, I lost my words for a second. At that, Mururu who had been eating till now looked up towards me.

“Your face is red.”(Mururu)

“Just your imagination.”(renji)

“Kukuku, it’s a hot day for the end of the year eh?”(elf)

[…….Tch.]

You guys really do get along well. Is it that much fun to tease me? Goddamn it. Scratching my cheek that felt like it was gonna cramp, I averted my gaze. At that, Solnea simply looked at us in confusion. I guess she simply became slightly curious about the fights which is why she asked that. There was no other reason behind it probably. I simply overreacted seeing her say something like that, that’s all. And to her gaze as well.

For some reason, I’m not good at being looked at so directly. Is it because I lack confidence? Because I feel like they’d see through what kind of person Yamada Renji is?

“But, Renji, I’m interested in seeing you fight.”(sol)

“I see, I see. Well, I’ll try to work hard in my fight so be sure to enjoy it.”(renji)

That said, my opponent is Souichi. Trying hard alone won’t let me win but I don’t intend to give up before even starting. For starters, I’m gonna give it a shot at least.

[How unusual. I thought you’d be totally reluctant to do such things?]

I wonder what she thought of me as Ermenhilde spoke in a somewhat surprised voice. Normally, at such moments, I’ll usually say something pathetic and the Ermenhilde would scold me for it. That’s how it had been.

Even I think that. I don’t like standing out, and it’s not like I’ll use Ermenhilde in the tournament either. In a situation where the benefits from cheats to me are almost minimal, my strength is only slightly more than normal adventurers. Even if I fought Souichi while using training swords, there’s a very low chance for me to win. Just like Ermenhilde said, I’ll probably put in a little effort and then quickly lose and get it done with. At least, I wouldn’t say something like I’ll work hard.

[I see, I see. Good.]

What followed, was a truly happy voice from Ermenhilde. Normally when I hear that, I’d say something random at her and tease her but somehow, for some reason, I couldn’t say anything. Because I knew what Ermenhilde was thinking very easily. She’s simply genuinely happy that I decided to work hard. She has been telling that to me for so long after all. Seeing her so happy like that, I didn’t feel like saying anything else at all. In a different sense from Solnea’s gaze, I covered my mouth.

But this time, nobody seemed to have noticed my reaction. I looked at the crowd gathered in front of the arena with a daze. And Solnea looked at me continuously.

“What is it?”(renji)

“You’re an interesting person.”(sol)

Saying just that, she returned back to eating her hotdog replica. Unable to realize what she truly meant by that, I could only tilt my head in confusion.

[As usual, she’s a weird girl]

Seriously.

.

.

(Part 2 )

By the time, Mururu and Solnea finished eating their hotdogs and we had entered the arena, almost half of the spectator seats had already been filled. Sitting on the stone seats, Mururu and Solnea sat to my left and right. Feirona sat done on the other side of Solnea.

As I held on to the skewered orc meat in my hand, I recalled watching baseball matches like this back in my original world. Just then, Mururu, who was also eating the same thing moved her sights. On following her gaze, I saw Ms Francesca wearing her blue school uniform. She was currently standing at the entrance to the main stage. It must be her turn next.

“Fran, she’s there.”(mururu)

“So it seems. Aah, she really seems nervous.”(renji)

I could tell even from this far away that she was extremely nervous. She seems to have a sword as a weapon as she held it, while inside the scabbard, tight to her chest. Moving my gaze, I looked at the two who were currently fighting in the arena right now. Maybe because the number of applicants was great, the selection process was being done through survival battle method. Around 10 or less participants will fight at the same time and only the last man standing would go to the next round. Except for the 2 fighting, there 5 other participants currently lying on the ground groaning in pain. At least they’re not dead.

The skill level of the two currently fighting was…….not really high. No, maybe I’ve simply gotten a bit used to seeing higher level battles due to watching the training fight between Masaki-chan and Souichi. Compared to the adventurers of this world, these guys seem to have average skill. One of them was using a large sword, as tall his own height, and the other was using short swords skilfully in his both hands.

But seemingly uninterested in their fight, Mururu continued to be focused more on the meat in her hands. Is that fine with you?

“Don’t overeat. We’ll go for lunch with everyone later as well, you know?”(renji)

“No problem. I can eat that as well.”(mururu)

“…….You’ll get fat.”

When I said that, she began to touch around her chest as if checking something.

[Maybe we should let her get fat for once?]

“That’d be troublesome on its own though.”(elf)

It was Feirona who answered to Ermenhilde’s suggestion. Certainly, for Mururu, who was the vital point of the vanguard of the party, to get fat would indeed be troublesome. Though I’m not sure if he was just joking or was actually serious. I gave laugh hearing him.

Not paying any attention to our conversation, Mururu continued patting her chest. I have heard that a girl’s chest grows bigger on massaging but that’s just a superstition. Utano-san had clearly verified that. I don’t know what she’d do to me if she heard that though. Solnea on the other side just was in some kind of daze, wondering about god knows what. As usual I guess.

The main arena was cylindrical in shape and surrounded by a stone wall. That stone wall had countless scratches and cuts marked on it. The ground had many parts still blasted out and there were even some broken weapons lying here and there. All of this was an indication of the intenseness of the [show] that takes place here.

It was at least 200m in diameter, I think. Pretty big, in my opinion. It closely resembles the colloseum we see in movies. At the very top of the spectator stands was place covered in high quality cloth. It was the place from where the royalty would sit and watch the arena. Right now, we were currently directly opposite to that area. The other spectators were excitedly shouting and enjoying the fights in the arena right now.

The fighting tournament was the main event that takes place at the end of the year. The winner gets a reward of 5 silver coins, and other than that, if one gets acknowledged they might even get appointed as a Knight or a court magician as well. Not just that, it was also the best place to test your own strength. In this world that lack ways of amusement, there were many people who’d work hard all the year round just to take part in this tournament. In a way, it was considered an honor to just get to take part in this tournament.

“Will I also grow as much as Fran one day?”(mururu)

“It’d be great, if you do.”(renji)

“Yeah.”

I decided not to ask ‘growth’ of what exactly. That’s my way of being kind. Unlike Ms Francesca, imagining a flat grassland, I said that. Soon, Mururu returned back to eating her meat. By the looks of it though, the one thing you’d grow right now is your stomach rather than chest. Well, considering the her body movement as a beastwoman, she probably won’t gain much fat. In fact, I feel like I’ve never seen a fat beastman.

In the meantime, the battle in the arena seemed to be reaching its climax. The adventurer using two swords began to fight in a more aggressive state suddenly as the crowd went wild with cheers. As if being powered up by those cheers, he dealt out a combo of attacks with actual skill and not just random movements. But the man with huge sword was blocking that combo very well.

“Who will win?”(sol)

“Hm?”

That question came from Solnea sitting beside me, still looking straight at the arena.

“Probably the one using the large sword.”(elf)

It was Feirona who answered. I also nodded at his unhesitating answer. The dual sword wielder had the momentum but the large sword user had more stability and solidness. He’s defending against the flurry of attacks with ease. Anyone with even slight experience could tell that it’s only a matter of time before the dual wielder runs out of stamina.

And as expected, the momentum of his attacks soon began to fall. But still, the large sword user didn’t take action. He must be aiming for the momentum when his opponent is completely out of stamina……… I guess he’s the type that lays importance on dealing attacks with max certainty. His way of thinking wasn’t wrong either as the moment the dual wielder stopped his attack, the large sword user blew him away along with his 2 swords in a single swing. As large roars of cheer rose, the man gave a bow an went back to through the gate having earned his pass to the next round. Seems like an unsocial, or rather, boorish guy. Very manly indeed. Even his weapon is large sword.

“Looks like Feirona was correct.”

“Anyone could tell that. Didn’t you predict that as well, Renji?”

“Well, you can’t tell the result till the battle’s finished after all.”

“fumu, you’re not wrong, I guess.”

[The next one’s starting.]

At the same time, cheers rose again.

The fainted participants had been carried away by the staff personnel. At the same time, the next batch——Ms Francesca and others appeared.

“It’s starting.”(renji)

” n, I know.”(mururu)

Quickly finishing the food, Mururu’s gaze turned towards the arena. 7 participants. But only one will be the winner. The names of the participants began to be announced and the first one was Ms Francesca. The announcement echoed in the minds of the spectators directly through magic. I’m pretty used to it thanks to Ermenhilde but it still feels a bit weird to hear someone else’s voice directly inside your head.

Except Ms Francesca, everyone else seemed to be adventurers from either the capital or the Tactics City, making everyone close combat type fighters. A magician like Ms Francesca actually might win it if she could position herself well and avoid direct battles.

“Can she win?”(sol)

“We’ll know soon enough.”(renji)

As I answered that, the participants started to spread over the arena. Maybe too nervous, Ms francesca was taking deep breaths. Adventurers used to fighting won’t overlook her like that. A troublesome magician, and since she’s nervous, she’d be the first one to get targeted. It’s easy to understand how their mind works even without being actually there on the battlefield.

Mururu seemed to be equally nervous but she kept looking at Ms Francesca without even blinking.

[So it begins.]

“Yeah.”

And the sound to begin the fight echoed. Even without the use of magic, it felt like the sound echoed all over the arena.

At the same time, all the participants began to take action. You’d think they’d go for the closest opponent but two of them went for Ms Francesca. At first, a baldy sword user and a dwarf axe-user attacked her from the front. She probably didn’t expect that to happen as her reaction seemed to be one step too late. It wasn’t normal for two contestants to team up like this, especially when they haven’t even met beforehand.

But Ms Francesca had also gained a lot of experience since the first time we met. She was only surprised for a second, the very next instant she lightly kicked the ground and the baldy suddenly fell to the ground face front. It was a pitfall trap, a skill we were already used to seeing. She had created a small hole that wouldn’t be noticed easily. Only big enough for someone to get his foot stuck in it and trip over.  Since that man was holding his sword with both hands, he was unable to even recover from the fall quickly. Seeing the one beside him fall like that, the dwarf’s movement also stopped for a second. The next instant, the dwarf was blown away by a invisible magic ball—–an air ball. Next she hit the baldy, who was groaning in pain from hitting the ground with his face, with her short sword, while still in the sheath, into his stomach. Since there was no danger of cutting him, she hit him with all her strength and the man fainted. The dwarf, know to be one tough race, unsteadily stood up but another contestant used that chance to hit him in the head and knock him out. Ms Francesca wasn’t the only opponent, showing an opening like that would result in loss.

Now only 4 remained. While Ms Francesca was dealing with those two, another one had been taken out. One magician, 2 swordsmen, and one using his barehands. Probably a martial arts user or a dark vessel user. Ms Francesca had the advantage in reach of attacks but I doubt the other 3 would give her such an opening. The deadlock remained for a few ten seconds. The first one to move was one of the swordsmen. Using daggers in both hands, he faced the barehanded warrior. He swung a slash towards the enemy’s flank but that man dodged it with minimal movement and struck the sword user’s torso with his fist. Even though he was wearing leather armour, it seems like the attack was too strong as he dropped his daggers and fell to the ground.

“Only 3 remain.”

“Right.”

I nodded to Mururu’s words. The fight’s going in the right direction, I think. At first, when those two attacked together, I thought it’d be over but she did well to beat them. The announcement had introduced her as a student, but due to that first battle, others are now wary of her. In terms of fighting experience, Ms Francesca is nowhere near the other two. But the fact that she’s still maintaining the pressure, not allowing the other 2 to team up against her, is because the first ambush on her failed. Also, they have yet to see the pitfall as well. This is a great advantage to her. Basic magic includes fire or air balls or rock and ice arrows. The pitfall magic isn’t really included in the common sense of magic in the people of this world. At the most, the only info around would be that the Grand Magus and one of the heroes, Aya sues such a magic. Even after an year, I doubt many magicians have started using such a magic. At least I have not heard of any such magician. Then, that pitfall might become her trump card.

The enxt one to move was Ms Francesca and the other swordsman. The man using longsword and leather shield faced the barehanded man. Ms Francesca used a chant-less ice ball and fired it at the bare handed man further helping the sword user. But maybe because he had incredible kinetic vision, or simply had too much experience, he easily dodged the sword swing and the fist sized ice ball. And after that, countered the sword user in the same way as before but ended up being the one falling down. He didn’t fall flat on his face like the earlier one but this opening wouldn’t be missed by the sword user. Since he was too close, he couldn’t swing his sword so instead he used his shield to hit him straight and made him faint.

Now it was 1 vs 1. Without any gap,  the sworduser ran towards Ms Francesca. It showed that he was experienced in fighting against magicians. Magicians use long range, heavy firepower spells to take down their enemies, or so is the common image of magicians in this world. The best way to not let them concentrate and use spells is to rush them and enter close combat. Magic could only be activated by concentrating and heightening your powers of imagination. Reversely speaking, you could completely seal a magician if you don’t let them concentrate. It is a known fact.

A normal magician would here try to create space between them but Ms Francesca drew her short sword from the sheath. A light magical energy covered her limbs. Enhancement of physical abilities. I was a bit surprised seeing her use this as a trump card since I had never seen her use this magic before.

“That’s the way.”(elf)

I heard Feirona speak that. It was Feirona who taught Ms Francesca how to use a sword. The short sword and longsword clashed, and though slightly awkwardly, she handled the attacks. At the same time, she seemed to be even aware of not tripping over the fallen down other participants. The way of using the sword, the way of moving in a battlefield. She remembers to concentrate even while moving well. She has been taught really well it seems.

And, Ms francesca also had magic to help her. Did she start getting used to the opponents attacks, or did her opponent start panicking and making crude movements, he was barely able to fend off her attacks. She slowly became even able to completely fend of his longsword’s attack without much trouble.

“Compared to a lizardman, his movements are too slow.”

“Well, obviously.”

I agreed with Mururu who compared him with a monster. Monsters have much more physical strength and stamina than humans. It’s not even worth comparing.

Certainly, if she could face a more powerful humanoid monster, it made her skills easier to understand. Magician and swordsman. A rear guard job and the vanguard job. But even so, they were fighting on equal terms. Before I knew it, that newbie adventurer girl had already grown into such a competent adventurer.

After a few more exchange of attacks, the opponent began showing signs of exhaustion. On the other hand, Ms Francesca didn’t show any signs either conceit or pride. There was not even a sway in the magical energy enveloping her showing that she still had plenty of magical energy left. Finally, seeing her opponent make a big swing again, she used the gap to create a hole beneath him and buried his foot till the ankle. His attack met only the ground and his open side of his face was hit by her short sword. That’s gonna really hurt, yeah. The man rolled over the ground and twitched while laying there. Only his face had been hit but the impact of his body hitting the ground must have been hard as well. The blood coming from his nose shows how painful it must have been.

“fuu.”

“waah.”

It seemed even I had become nervous as I breathed out finally and heard the same kind of sigh of relief from beside me as well. Looking there, my gaze connected with Mururu’s. And at the same time, the voice directly coming to our heads declared the winner as Ms Francesca.

“She won.”(mururu)

“Yeah. Looks like we’ll need to celebrate.”

“Yeah.”

I smiled back seeing Mururu giving a rare wide smile as well. I felt my chest become warm seeing her expression.

Feirona didn’t show much change in her expression but I know he’s pretty happy as well. I wonder if he himself knows that the corners of his mouth are turned up much more than usual? Realizing my gaze, the handsome elf hid his mouth in a very casual manner. Since I’m always teased by him, I’ll definitely tease him later to my heart’s content. Definitely.

“She became victorious.”(sol)

But, only Solnea, like usual spoke that in a flat voice. I looked towards Ms Francesca once again. I’m guessing she is the most surprised with the result of her match. Even though she has been declared as a victor, she’s still staring at the short sword in her hand with surprise.

I wonder what kind of emotions are going through her right now, what is she feeling right now?

I became a bit curious so I decided to ask her later during the celebration. Till the official asked her to leave the arena, she remained standing there in surprise.

 

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