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KENS Chapter 48

Chapter 48 Team Battles (2)

I wonder if I am stupid to feel that I have become stronger just by putting on some gauntlet, greaves and armour? Above it, I also put on an extravagant mantle.

As I gave a small thanks to the maid helping me, she bowed to me. I still can’t get used to people being so humble towards me.

Maybe my reaction was amusing as Kuuki, who had finished outfitting himself early, was snickering at me.

By the way, nearby, Toudou was going through difficulty trying to put on his armour. His physique had gotten much bigger than one year ago after all. It must feel pretty stiff for him.

Since he was also not used to putting on armour like me, he was in distress along with the maid helping him. While laughing at him, even though I had not been any better, I moved to a different part f the room.

The room given to us for changing was pretty big. Going by the high value furniture kept in the room, this room normally might be used by someone of pretty high status. It would’ve been fine just to give us some normal room though. Whether it be the high class furniture or the flowers decorated in the room, neither seemed to suit the atmosphere of the Coliseum we were in. not to mention all of this looked extremely costly as well. I’m scared to even touch it………..well not really, but still, I’d rather not get too touchy with it.

“Armour really suits you, Kuuki.”

When I said that, Kuuki scratched his cheek in slight embarrassment.

With a gentle expression and tall height, the magnificent knight armour truly seemed fitting on him. With his red mantle swaying behind him and riding a horse, he’d probably get really popular with the noble girls.

“Rather than saying that it suits me, it’s more like I’m simply too used to wearing it all the time.”(kuuki)

“Really?”

“Well I do have to wear the armour almost everyday, all the time, for my work after all.”

Well that’s true as well, I guess. As the vice commander of the Knight Order, he spends everyday working as a knight. He’s also in a relationship with princess of this country by the way. Looks like he’s winning in life. I sound like a jealous man now.

Well, leaving the princess aside, I still think that armour won’t suit someone better just by wearing it more. Me and Toudou are examples after all.

I guess anything looks good on those with good looks. Whether it be Kuuki or Souichi, it’s like that. These guys, how should I say this, have some kind of aura with them, of a leader, or rather, someone who stands above others. Maybe because they are confident in themselves. They have such an Aura.

[It suits you as well, Renji.]

“Why, thank you.”(renji)

While listening to Ermenhilde, I moved my now much heavier arm around. It’s really hard to move in. Must be because I’m not used to it like Kuuki. After I hang the mithril sword on my waist, will I look a bit more like a knight? I tried imagining myself like that.

Yup, doesn’t suit at all. Feels more like the extravagant and clothes are great which is why I look fine as well. The armour seems more prominent than myself.

That said, in the end, I have no choice but to be in this outfit for the next few days. I hope I don’t get laughed at. If someone laughed while saying that it doesn’t suit me, I’ll probably break.

“So, what’s next for today?”(renji)

“Next, we’ll be observing today’s matches with the king.”(kuuki)

“That’s it?”

“Yup.”

I confirmed today’s schedule with Kuuki. It’s not like he’s my secretary or anything but yet he spoke so smoothly.

But still, observing the team battles with the King, eh? What an uninteresting event, maybe I’m the only one who thinks like that. I’ll probably get beheaded if someone heard me say that though.

[fumu. Sounds boring.]

“I know, right?”

Kuuki gave a wry smile as I agreed to the voice in my head. In fact, I’m only interested in the matches that have my friends taking part in.

Ms Francesca, Souichi, Aya are in the same team as well. Other than that, there’s just Masaki-chan’s team. Except those………. I don’t even know who else is taking part even.

A few from the Knight Order seem to have made a team as well but I didn’t know any of them well so I wasn’t interested. There are teams from various guilds and schools as well but it’ll probably be the Knight team that’ll win.

Souichi and Masaki-chan’s team would also perform well but since this isn’t just a knockout tournament, having just one with exception strength won’t be sufficient to win.

No matter how strong Souichi or Masaki-chan are, it’s useless if they aren’t together. 5 vs 5. Out of the 5 rounds, the one who wins 3 wins so in that sense, the adventurers and knights have the advantage as it’s their job. The Magic City student team does have both Aya and Souichi but still that’s only two rounds. To win another one……..it might be difficult for a student.

“Oh, you’re not very interested in it?”(kuuki)

“Except for the ones that has people I know, no, not really. Honestly speaking, seeing adventurers who I nothing about fight it out seems so……”(renji)

“Well, I understand what you mean.”

I guess even Kuuki, who agreed with me, found this to be boring as well.

Both Kuuki and me, rather than watch others, prefer to do the job ourselves. And, I have a premonition that I won’t get to watch in peace either. I was gone for a year, I will definitely be asked about what I had been doing. While drinking.

……….the guest seats made for nobles and royalty cannot be seen well from the normal audience seats. They might see our faces but its far enough that let alone see what we’re doing or talking about, they wouldn’t even be able to tell what expression we’re making. That alcohol loving King will do whatever he feels like there.

“Don’t let that show on your face though, okay?”(kuuki)

“Looks like you’ve gotten used to all this as a knight eh?” (renji)

As I gave a small sigh, he gave a small laugh.

Well, it’s not like I don’t like spending time with the king. I love alcohol as well and I do like King Joshua as well. I can’t come to hate anyone who worries about me like that without holding any malice or ill intent behind him.  The fact that he gets a bit too casual while going with the jolly festive mood is a bit of a problem though.

“So?”(renji)

“What?”(kuuki)

“Who do you think is gonna win?”

[I am betting on Souichi’s team to win.]

“Thanks for the uninteresting answer, Ermenhilde.”

[Muu.]

Saying that, I sat down on a nearby chair. Due to the armour it felt really uncomfortable.

But still, it felt really weird to have a maid even pull a chair for me to sit. It seems I really am a commoner to the very core. But without letting such things show on my face, I looked at Kuuki.

Looking towards this tall man, he folded his arms as if he was giving it some thought. Seriously, it’s envious how he looks good doing everything. Even the maid appointed to him seemed to be glancing towards him  but he didn’t seem to notice it. What a sinful man he is.

“I think it’ll be the Knight team. Them or the adventurer team from Tactics city. They are pretty high skilled as compared to the ones here, in the capital.”(kuuki)

“fumu.”

I see as someone working with the Knights, he should be more knowledgeable about such things than me. Must be as he says.

As the name of the Tactics City would suggest, their whole focus is on fighting. That’s because, though there’s the ocean in between, it still is the closest city to Abenelm continent.

Back when the Demon God was still alive, monsters and demons that could fly, and monsters that could cross through water would attack almost daily. As a result, the amount of fighting done there was much more than other cities and automatically the skill level of warriors in there grew higher.

It was the front line of hell. It was more of a defensive establishment and a city in name only. The adventurers and mercenaries that come from there hold much confidence in their skill.

And confidence is the most important thing to have. Without it, you cannot fight and once broken, everything is over. I wonder who was it that said that.

Ermenhilde was betting on Souichi’s team whereas Kuuki was betting on the Knights.

“Renji, who do you think will win?”(kuuki)

“I…….let’s see.”

The most chances of winning are with either Souichi’s team or the knights. The Brave and the Grand Magus. On the other hand we have veteran knights who have fought in the war. In the Knight Order, there are many that come from the Tactics City as well. In terms of composite strength, I think the Knights are the strongest.

But that means I’ll also be taking Kuuki’s side. That won’t be interesting. It’s not like we’re actually gambling but it’s still not much fun if there isn’t much difference in opinions. But that means, the options I have are limited. Or rather, only one is left.

“Then, I am gonna bet on Masaki-chan’s team.”

“Oh wow. You’ll be at quite the disadvantage though?”(kuuki)

“It’s not like we’re actually betting anything after all. It’s a good chance to go for the underdog for once.”

“Eh, we’re not actually betting anything?”

“……..you want to?”

“Let’s make a bet!”

[You two, you’re being improper.]

That said, I don’t really have anything to bet though. Ermenhilde seemed to be saying something as well but I just ignored her.

I thought of various things I had but nothing’s worth selling. Neither do I have anything rare or new.

While sipping the tea made by the maid, Toudou, now finally dressed in armour, also came towards us. As expected, it didn’t suit him either, the same as me.

“Good clothes do make the man, eh?”

“I can say that right back at you.”

Saying that, we both sighed together. And now we both have to go in front of people in such an unfitting outfit, a sigh was only natural. I’ll probably stop minding it once I stop paying attention to it though. But still, at first it does feel embarrassing.

In my head I heard [Don’t talk about it if it only makes you more depressed.] but I ignored it.

“……..So, what you guys talking about?”(toudou)

“We’re betting on which team will win.”(kuuki)

“You really like such things don’t you?”

“It’s one of my few pastimes after all. So which one are you betting on?”

I also told him that we chose Souichi, Masaki-chan and the Knight’s team already.

“You guys have already taken the favourites…”

He dropped his shoulders. Well, it’s your fault that you took so much time just to put on armour.

“Before that, what are we betting?”(kuuki)

“It’d be troublesome to bet money though. After the tournament is over, how about a treating dinner?”(renji)

“Sounds nice. Even though we’re all here, we men alone haven’t gone together even once.”(kuuki)

“Yeah. A treat at Toudou’s restaurant.”

“Wait a sec……..doesn’t that mean I’ll have to prepare the place, food and labour?”(toudou)

“It’d be fine if you won the bet though, right?”

“A team with the brave and the knights……….. all flags point to me losing!”(toudou)

“It’ll be fine.”

“How?! On what basis!?!”(toudou)

*Kakaka* as I laughed, Toudou made a pathetic sound.

But, oh well,

“The food you make is just too tasty. I want to eat together with everyone. We won’t have to be too considerate with just men as well, after all.”(renji)

“Yamada-san……..”

“I just to want to chat and fool around while eating, Toudou.”

“………Well, I guess it’s not like it’s decided I’ll lose for sure either.”

Saying that, Toudou gave a happy smile. What a soft guy.

Well, I wasn’t lying either though. That said, it’s still funny to see him accept it so easily. It’s different way of teasing than what I do to Ermenhilde.

Kuuki was also grinning while looking at us talk. I wonder what they were thinking as the maids in the room gave a bow and quietly left the room. Let alone footsteps, there was not even the sound of door closing. As if showing off the skills of a true maid. Above all, they could even read the mood. I wish a certain medal would learn that as well.

“fuu, maids sure are tiring to have around.”

“How can you say that when you have multiple ones working at your restaurant?”

“Those are just acting like maids. They’re not actual ones. In the first place, real maids won’t work as waitresses at a restaurant I think.”

“Well, that’s true.”

“Oh right, you had made the spare dresses you took into the uniform of your restaurant, right Toudou-san?”(kuuki)

According to what Kuuki said, the clothes Toudou got are the same as the ones worn by the castle maids.

It seems he requested the head maid for the spare ones that might be left. Recalling her face that has helped me quite a lot of times, it’s amazing how Toudou was able to say that directly to her.

With long brown hair tied-up, the Head Maid is beauty with an aura of perfection around her. Hearing that might make you think that I’d lust after her but she’s actually very strict and formal. She wants perfectness from all type of work, or rather, is too hard headed. I don’t think she has ever cut corners in her life. Anyway, she’s just strict. And very scary. Except for what’s necessary, the fact that she doesn’t even talk when at work is apparently famous with the other maids.

It’s amazing how he was able to say something like ‘please give the spare maid clothes to me’ directly to her.

“She’s not actually that scary you know? Normally, in private, she’s a pretty interesting person.”(toudou)

Is what Toudou says. I didn’t hear much but apparently she’s completely different from what we have see. I can’t even imagine her like that.

Or rather seeing how happily toudou is talking about her, it might give the wrong idea to her children about Toudou and her relationship. Or maybe I’m just a dirty adult?

I tried asking him but he dodged the topic. Or rather, Toudou is not good at lying. It probably is not like that.

Tch, how uninteresting.

“Just when I thought that finally spring has come for Toudou as well………”(renji)

“I doubt spring would ever come for someone like me though.”(toudou)

“Self-depriciating as usual, eh? I don’t think you’re as unpopular as you make it to, you know?”(kuuki)

“Stop lying.”(toudou)

As usual he’s lacking in confidence about his looks, even denying Kuuki’s words with a smile. Short height and fat body. I guess his complex won’t go away in an year.

In though, even I think that Toudou actually might have some popularity. Not for his looks but his personality. And, he does have the accomplishment of having subjugated the Demon God as well. Though he might not be getting buried in women like Kuuki and Souichi, I pretty sure there might be women who support Toudou.

But, I do understand how Toudou feels. If you have the almost beautiful brave and the attractive and tall knight beside you, anyone would get a complex about their looks. And Toudou was above all, a hikkikomori, or rather , a NEET back in our world. A person who didn’t have any confidence in his looks and shut himself up in his room.

Though he ended up with no choice but to be outside after getting summoned to another world, that won’t remove his complex about his looks so easily. We are laughing about it right now but back then just the mention of fat or short height would get over excessive reaction from him. Well, I guess he has matured enough to be able to make fun of his own looks.

“You’ll also be 26 this year right? Shouldn’t you search for good partner already?”(renji)

“You’re also telling me that now……..”

“Also?”

That’s as if someone else has said that as well. Looking at Kuuki, he gave a troubled nod.

“Me aside, Toudou-san, Takashi-kun, Koutarou-kun are all saviours of the world yet unmarried men.”(kuuki)

“Ohh.”

“Nobles have a way of constantly introducing their daughters to them it seems.”

“Just a while ago, they said that Kuuki-kun was the one who introduced us though.”(toudou)

“I feel bad about it. But I’m nothing more than a knight. I have no choice but to answer to nobles’ expectations.”

“Toudou and Koutarou aside, even Itou is involved.…..?”(renji)

“He’s pretty popular you know? This world sees strength as the main charm point after all.”

“waah.”

Toudou gave a sigh at that. Don’t worry. At least you’re stronger than me.

That aside, Itou eh? Itou Takashi, he’s a hero that’s able to use any weapon perfectly enough to be called as the [Weapon King].

I don’t hear much rumours about him but from what I’ve heard here and there, he seems to be working as a mercenary hunting monsters. Even from back then, he’s always been the type that enjoys battles after all.

Given his ability as well, to Itou Takashi, battlegrounds must seem like the best place to make use of it. I’m not him so I can’t say for sure though. After all, I only fight when absolutely necessary.

Because he has such a personality, he might have become pretty popular with the ladies of this world. With the fight against the Demon God and the constant threat of monsters and demons, fighting for life and death has become a major part of the people of this world. Thus someone like Itou must seem like a reassuring person to them.

“It’s like that for Toudou-san and Takashi-kun but what about Yamada-san?(kuuki)

“Even if you ask me that, I’m fine as it is.”

I lightly swung my gauntlet wearing right arm. A dull sound reached my ears as it moved.

“That’s right rather me, Yamada-san’s case is more important.”(toudou)

“Got all your energy back already you bastard……”(renji)

“A while ago, I lent a maid uniform to Utano-san a while ago, care to explain what’s that about?”

“Like I know!”

[?? Does Yuuko have any need for Maid clothes? With her personality I doubt she’d wear it though.]

“It’s because her personality is like that, that’s its nice! Eru-san, you just don’t get it.”(toudou)

[fumu.]

“Don’t think too much about it. His stupidity will infect you as well.”

“Why so rude suddenly?”

“You asked for it, idiot.”

Koutarou and Kudou are more than enough to teach Ermenhilde weird things.

“Maid clothes?”(kuuki)

“Well, I have no idea what that was about though.”(toudou)

“How envious.”(kuuki)

“From my point of view, you and your passionate love with the princess is more envious though.”(renji)

“Can you say that in front of Yuuko-san and Aya-chan?”(kuuki)

“Unfortunately, I don’t intend to commit suicide.”(renji)

And right now, I don’t have enough youthful emotions to be wondering about who I’ve got a crush on either.

[Your lust for women hasn’t changed at all, Renji.]

“Stop saying it like that will you? People will get the wrong idea.”

[But its not a false. In fact—]

Inside my head, Ermenhilde’s scolding resounded in my head. But that was only about the recent cases. About the girl from the village I saved from the Ogre, Ms Francesca, Mururu. It hurts my ears.

As I made excuses, it was a natural thing to do as a man and I can say with pride that I feel only very slight guilt about it all. That said, it’s not like my excuses would work. If Utano-san heard this, I’ll be done for. Definitely.

“Oh right, this time, Renji-san’s disciple is also taking part right?”(kuuki)

“Disciple?”(renji)

“Yamada-san’s?”(toudou)

Hearing something as weird as that, both me and Toudou ended up asking that again. Toudou aside, was me sounding also confused a surprise as Kuuki’s expression seemed to become a bit troubled for a second.

Toudou also looked at me. Don’t give me that look, will you?

I have not heard anything about this disciple. The only one who I could think of was Aya. Is it her? Since I taught her that pitfall magic………or rather, even that we thought of it together, that’s it. We’re comrades not master and disciple. Kuuki knew that as well so he won’t speak like that.

Then the only other option was.

“Is it Ms Francesca?”(renji)

“Ohh. The one travelling with Yamada-san?”

“Yeah. It’s quite famous actually. Taking part in the main tournament as a student and a beauty on top. Above all, she’s travelling with the [Hero] Yamada Renji.”(kuuki)

“Well that’s………it just happened to become a topic like that. And she’s just travelling with me and is not some disciple of mine either.”

“I see.”

“I haven’t even taught her anything that might make her my disciple and also, I’m not a [Hero].”

Not to mention, we’ve travelled together for only a few months. What a blown up rumour it has become.

I feel bad for Ms Francesca. Getting attention like that also means that people will be on guard against her. Now, her opponents won’t let their guard down thinking they’re against a student.

“Well, I guess with her looks and fighting skill, she’d get under attention anyway.”

If she can’t make use of openings, she’ll just have to use brute force. If she wants to leave with a good result, that might be better………now then, I wonder how far will she able to win and rise.

Though her being called my disciple still feels weird, I still want her to win as much as possible.

“So you’re travelling with a beauty again? How envious……”(toudou)

“Want to come and travel with me? It’ll be a good diet for you as well.”(renji)

“A diet while risking my life? I’ll get pretty thin.”

“You did get somewhat thinner back then as well after all.”

“I did, but almost died so many times as well.”

While we were chatting, the door was knocked.

After a moment was let pass, the maid who was serving Kuuki entered the room.

Since the preparations were finished we were being called to the Coliseum and we left the room being led by the maid.

“I feel nervous.”(renji)

“I should be the one to feel nervous. My armour doesn’t look weird right?”(toudou)

“It’s fine, it’s fine. It suits you, It suits you”

“How irresponsible!?!”

[Be quiet all of you. How embarrassing……]

While walking down the stone corridor, I looked outside the window.

The bright clear sky seemed to indicate the weather for today. Toudou’s nervous voice and Kuuki’s laughs resounded along with the dry sound made by the swords, hanging on our waists, as we walked.

Blue sky and white clouds. In the sunlight, the greenery shone brightly and the birds flew in the air. It’s perfect climate for the tournament. With the energy and enthusiasm of the spectators and the vigour of the participants is bound to make things heat up even in this winter.

Yes, it’s clear enough to give me premonitions.

Souichi, Aya, Masaki-chan, Ms Francesca.

A smile rose on my face.

Give your best. Words that won’t reach them here, I spoke inside my mind.

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