9: Just a bit of info:
Ryua uses “boku”
Roel uses “watashi/atashi”
Seigel uses “Ore”
Cynthia uses “watashi/atashi”
Xant: All them self words, I don’t even :I also tourney pl0x
This chapter can be considered as an after-arc or before-arc chapter but not a side-story. Kind of an interlude.
Chapter 32 – My Pride
The road ahead of us was wide enough for a lot of people to walk on it at once.
Thing is, there were so many people that I can’t move around easily.
If someone bumped into you they would just click their tongue and move on.
(TL:迎え から 来る 人 にぶつかっ て 舌打ちさ れ た。)
The buildings here were about 4 or 5 floors tall, and the gaudy shops were so over the top you couldn’t tell what they sold.
Even so, this place has a pretty townscape.
It’s a large enough city that you may not find your way back to your inn if you got lost.
That’s how I feel about this place, the Imperial Capital.
“Well then, we’ll part ways here. That was a good journey.”
“Yes. Thank you very much, for various things.”
Seigel waved his right hand at us as he walked away.
He was a conceited guy right up to the end.
Though it seems Roel somehow admires him.
I won’t lose.
“Let’s go to the festival now! I’m pretty sure the street stalls are somewhere around here.”
Cynthia disappeared into the crowd as she said that.
“Well then…let’s go to the guild and get this settled.”
“Good idea. I wonder if we’ve reached B rank?”
We need to hurry and reach B rank.
I need to be at least A rank to get into Ikana Village.
Relying on the map Seigel gave us we headed to the Adventurers Guild.
We wandered for a while without finding it. Somehow we had passed it without noticing.
The door wasn’t the same as the one Kwimill’s guild had, instead of a small wooden door it was a 3 meter wide glass door.
It looked like a 5 floor hotel from the outside.
Upon entering we saw a large counter manned by many staff members.
Kwimill only had one person, Rintei, working while this place had an innumerable amount.
Roel looked like her soul had been extracted.
Of course she would be surprised at this.
…No wait, she’s just looking at the Royal Jelly.
She was doing just fine earlier…
“The escort quest from Kwimill? Yes, this way please. This is your reward for completing it.”
I’m glad that we got the reward, but I still haven’t heard the important part.
“How much more do we need to reach B rank?”
He seemed really annoyed as he looked over a bunch of papers.
This person was really blunt, unlike the polite Rintei.
“Did you just reach C rank? You need to get at least three times as many achievements to reach B rank.”
“Yes, yes. Now move that way please, the person behind you is waiting.”
His hands were doing the “shoo, shoo” motion as he drove us away.
What’s with that guy? Why was he so rude?
“It seems we were slowing things down. There’s a lot of people waiting.”
Adventurers were lining up behind us, and we could see lines of them waiting on the counters on either side of us.
“This quest is for B ranks, we just need to enter a mountain and get some mithril ore. No problem.”
“Yosh, it was worth rising up to B rank!”
There were three men and a woman in a party all talking in an amicable tone.
They’ve reached B rank while we’re still C rank.
Just what kind of achievement did they accomplish?
“That’s right! Ryua-chan, it’s been a long time since we last measured our levels. Perhaps you’ll be able to figure out your level now!”
“Ah. You’ve got a point. Let’s see, which way is it?”
There were too many passageways so I couldn’t tell which way it was.
Roel just started walking, it doesn’t seem like she minds getting lost.
It’s her first time here as well but she seems to know the way.
“You can see signboards on the ceiling, they tell you where to go.”
Now that she mentions it, I notice something written up there.
I don’t understand the characters since I can’t read.
I was only recently able to grasp the basics of the written language but I still can’t read very much.
I’m really bad at studying. I get attacked by sleepiness when I start.
We entered a room where a large number of <Level Checker>s were lined up. This amount is incomparable to what we saw in Kwimill. I had been calling them iron boxes so far since that’s what they looked like, but apparently they have a name.
“Level 34!? Even though I’m as strong as an A rank…”
The adventurer seemed disheartened from the <Level Checker>s result.
I wonder if that person is also B rank?
“How about taking the A rank Status Up examination this year? You worked hard since last year in preparation right?
The person’s friend talked about the examination I heard about before.
For some reason I feel a chill when I hear about the examination.
“You’ve got a point…but you know, passing or failing that test doesn’t really reflect the examinee’s capabilities. Even though I’m not an A rank I’m still a splendid adventurer.”
“That train of thought will keep you at B rank for a long time.”
Saying that, a man came out from the <Level Checker> beside the two people with a cold stare.
His muscles are big but not quite as large as Grundom’s.
He had an intimidating and stiff face, his eyes were narrow, and his mouth was in a “へ” shape.
“Geh! It’s Hekaton the <Crusher>…”
“With such a renowned A rank entering the Tougi Taikai tomorrow it really makes you rethink your chances of winning…I can at least hope to enter the semi-finals.”
On Hekaton’s back there was a massive hammer.
It has more impact than Gantetsu’s axe.
“That’s impossible for you guys.”
The two adventurers couldn’t rebuke his words.
I must be mortifying to hear someone say something like that to you.
“Let’s see…my level is…54? Looks like it increased again.”
He seemed disappointed as he said that. I can’t remember if his name was Hekaton or Dokapon but just because he’s an A rank doesn’t mean you should be allowed to brag so much.
Well, since once of the people he mocked had said “many years” he’s probably been A rank for a while.
“If you’re more than just talk, enter the Tougi Taikai. The reception desk is open till late tonight so you have time. Though since you’re a B rank with no nerve I wonder if you’ll muster up the courage by then? Hahahahaha!”
Hekaton walked away with heavy steps as he spouted those words.
“That was surprising…I didn’t expect someone like the <Crusher> to be here.”
“Roel, do you know that guy?”
“He’s one of the elite A rankers, same as Seigel but not as strong. He’s still famous though. That hammer of his is made of orihalcon and can smash even magic barriers, hence his nickname <Crusher>. I haven’t heard many rumors about him though…”
“Due to that it seems he’s very conceited.”
Though, we’ve spent enough time here. Where is that reception desk again?
Since I’m entering the Tougi Taikai I need to sign up at the desk or else I can’t participate…
“Roel, I need to sign up at the reception desk for the event, right?”
“Yup. Let’s see…I’m sure it was on the way to the castle…”
We checked the pamphlet we had recieved earlier to confirm where the castle was.
It only had a map but the Imperial Capital was so big it could make you dizzy. There was sectors like A and B, and although I understood terms like that, just sector A alone was bigger than Kwimill.
Let’s see, from the guild which is here to our destination which is there we need to turn here and then…
“Agh! I give up!”
“Hold on, don’t just throw away the pamphlet…”
I realized I could hear laughter. It was the two adventurers from earlier.
“For your own sakes, don’t enter the Tougi Taikai this year. It’s just a warning out of concern for you, but it’s honestly a waste of time. Since even elite A rank adventurers are entering, lower ranked people such as yourselves don’t have a chance. On top of that, even though the rules prohibit killing you can still be severely injured to the point where you may never walk again, or your hand may become nonexistent. People end up like that every year. Wouldn’t just watching to learn be an adequate replacement?”
The older adventurer kindly warned us about the event.
But even knowing all that, I still want to enter.
“What’s your level? Hekaton is the most likely to win unless another high ranked adventurer enters as well.”
‘Level’…as I heard him ask me that I recalled the other reason for coming here.
I should measure myself quickly.
As the circle of light passed through my body, I noticed it seemed much faster than the one we used at Kwimill.
My level should show up any moment now…
“Ryua-chan, how did it go?”
“A-ah well you see, it’s…999…”
“Ni-ni-nine hundered and ninety nine?”
“Yeah, this is high right? Since Hekaton was only 54…”
Suddenly a crowd gathered around us and silence fell upon the room.
“Hey, the max level this <Level Checker> can measure is 999 right?”
“Well yeah, we have no reason to go higher since only S ranked adventurers are over level 100…truth is 2 digits should’ve been enough.”
“Maybe it’s broken? We should call someone to fix it.”
Only when I use it?
Though it only showed overflow at Kwimill, it was written properly this time…?
“Ryua-chan, I believe in you…”
It seems she could guess how I felt. Roel was grasping my hand tightly.
A staff member quickly showed up to inspect the machine.
I fought for ten years without a break in the <Caves of Hell>.
That achievement alone is my pride.
I don’t want it to be sullied.
“No matter where I look, there isn’t a single abnormality. We can take it for a closer inspection.”
The guild staff member quickly returned with my adventurer card.
999 was clearly written on it.
The old guy near us saw it and had a face that showed pure disbelief.
“That is definitely a mistake. The staff will be able to fix it though, so don’t worry.”
If you aren’t going to believe it then just keep it to yourself.
I was extremely bitter about the reaction this was getting so I quickly left the room and exited the guild building.
Roel chased me, flustered.
Tougi Taikai is more important than all this.
When I appear at the tournament they won’t believe my level is actually that high anyways.
Onwards to the castle…
“Ryua-chan, it’s this way.”
Roel was leading me. Even though I could see the castle from far away it was a fruitless effort.
I noticed shops were set up here and there on the road. Are they preparing for the festival?
There was a tall stone wall surrounding the castle, about ten times as tall as a house. I was thoroughly fascinated by it.
The entrance to the castle had a large bridge spanning a river with two guards standing on the opposite side.
“Why is there a river and bridge here?”
“It’s called a drawbridge. If you pull the rope for it, the bridge rises up. It’s a countermeasure for invasions and attacks.”
“Hee~ so it will rise if you pull on it?”
It seemed kind of sloppy but it’s easy to understand.
While I crossed the bridge I noticed something that looked like a rope.
The soldiers moved in front of us to stop us from entering, it seems they misunderstood our intentions.
Roel clarified that we were going to enter in the Tougi Taikai.
“So you’re participating? If you’re looking for the reception desk it’s just inside.”
There was a large crowd in the middle of the hall.
I wonder if that’s where the desk is?
“Since I’m not entering you should get in line, Ryua-chan.”
There were 3 soldiers working the reception desk.
The variety of people here was astonishing. Some looked like adventurers and there were some that looked like the bandits from before.
Among these people was a woman who was wearing barely anything, her revealing upper armor looked really embarassing.
“Please fill in the necessary information here.”
I recalled my first day in the outside world, crying in the guild hall.
I’m different now though, I can write this time.
I’ve grown up! I can finally show the results of my training!
“Yes, let’s see here…Ri, Riyuwa? Is that how you read it? Adventyurer? You meant adventurer right? I was hoping this would be more readable but it is what it is…”
I heard someone stifling laughter with ‘pfft’.
I should have written everything properly though…oh wait, it should have been written Adven[tu]rer…
“It’s like the writing of a child…wait, aren’t you a kid!?”
The adventurer beside me was stealing glances and laughing at me.
How mortifying…even though I studied so hard…
“Ryua-chan, just ignore it.”
Roel gently patted my shoulder to comfort me. Her kindness helps me a lot.
Thank you, Roel. You are really too nice.
“So now that we’re entered it looks like the preliminary round will start early tomorrow morning. We need to hurry.”
“I wonder who’ll appear in the preliminaries?”
“Well it seems like the final selection for the tournament is eight people, but it’s all decided through the preliminary rounds.”
“That’s all? So I just need to win. I was worried for a moment.”
It doesn’t seem like there’s some special task to complete.
I don’t know if I’ll be able to win the tournament but if it’s just fighting I should be fine.
“Hou, it looke like we got 397 people this year. That’s more than last time!”
“Ah, captain! Thank you very much for your hard work!”
The three soldiers stood at attention and greeted the man they called ‘captain’ as he returned the pose.
T-that is the captain…isn’t he the person who showed up when I was attacked by that mysterious monster in Kwimill!?
So he’s in charge around here huh…
“Let’s see here…I wonder if Tifelia is participating this time? Well, considering how she is, she would think tournament is too annoying and barely made it time to enter.”
“If Tifelia-dono participates in the tournament then the champion is already decided…”
It seems that the captain noticed me but he immediately turned his gaze away.
I was curious if it really had been him that night so I gave in and asked.
“Hey, you were there that night right?”
“Hmm? What night? You’ve mistaken me for someone else.”
“Liar, it was definitely…”
I recalled holding a bag of money that night.
‘Forget about this’ were his parting words.
So…that was in exchange to stay silent?
“Ryua-chan do you know him…?”
“No, I don’t. Let’s head back to the inn.”
It ended up being awkward. I looked like I was running from the castle. Are things fine like this?
That monster, why did they want to hide it so bad? Knowing what I do…I feel something ominous regarding that captain.
【Ryua | Lv: 999 | Class: Sword Fighter | Rank: C】
【Roel | Lv: 16 | Class: Healer | Rank:C】
/ / /
“Is that girl going to participate?”
Kirkton had noticed two female adventurers leaving the castle.
“Eh? Well, they did finish their entry.”
“Is that so…”
Saying that, Kirkton rotated on his heel and walked away.
He had relief and fear on his face. It was a complicated expression.
“That was an unusual thing for Captain Kirkton to say.”
“Yeah, that was somewhat strange…”
Two of the soldiers were curious about their captain’s attitude towards those adventurers. It was really abnormal for him.
Anyone entering the castle would naturally be signing up so why would the captain ask something so obvious?
Neither of the men could figure it out.
“So that kid is participating…the one that defeated that monster…”
But there was one soldier who knew why the captain acted like he did.
However, his murmur was drowned by the din in the entry hall, remaining unheard by his comrades.