Translator: “Hakou” Editor: “Weasalopes”
About four days’ ride west from the royal capital of the kingdom with a regular golem wagon that was once available for commuting to this place.
It is a small city called Landbarn. It was conquered about half a year ago, and is now the frontline city of the empire.
The lord of the city, the Margrave, is currently welcoming a person into his office.
「You will be going to the Holy City? Certainly, it is already the time for “that” isn’t it?」
The bald-headed, middle-aged feudal lord let out a voice that contained deep emotion. What he was thinking about is the event from last year.
Everyone was gloomy and depressed.
(An operation to weaken the kingdom that involves the use of drugs, which failed because it was exposed. It was around the time I had to clean up the mess from that)
What was even more depressing was the escape of his associate who was in charge of the operation.
He returned to the imperial capital, claiming that he was sick. However, when he noticed it, all the responsibility had been placed on his side.
(What’s with that obvious attempt to escape? Why didn’t he use that ability of his when it comes to the actual work?)
That was how he felt from the bottom of his heart.
Then that former associate of his returned to the roundtable meeting after a temporary illness. At the meeting, he expressed his doubts about the Margrave’s capability.
『We wouldn’t have ended up like this if only the Margrave listened to my opinion. Of course I’m still the one most responsible because I couldn’t persuaded him, my boss, in the first place』
When his subordinate told him what his former associate had said, his vision turned red with anger.
(Oh well. That was all in the past, and the truth has been revealed, making him lose his status and fortunes)
As he was feeling a dark sense of satisfaction, the tall, skinny man sitting in front of him opened his mouth.
Then he uttered a low voice with no intonation.
「It’s not like I have to participate. It is also possible to refuse with my duties here as the reason」
This person is the Grim Reaper, the pilot of an A-class Knight, and is highly regarded as the strongest in the Empire.
He is highly trusted by the emperor and has been dispatched personally by him to this place.
(Honestly, I will be more reassured if he would stay here, at Landbarn)
The words of the Grim Reaper troubled the Margrave’s hairless head.
The kingdom, elves, and an unidentified Knight. There was no end to the number of unsettling factors.
「But, it’s the divine tournament in the temple of the god of business, right? Isn’t it the most prestigious of the world’s grand slam tournament? Wouldn’t it affect your position if you withdrew from participating in the tournament?」
Grim Reaper’s fighting power. He is ranked at the top of the world.
The Margrave was hesitant to make the decision to keep this prominent figure out of the tournament.
「What did His Majesty say about this matter?」
He asked the Grim Reaper to push the responsibility to the top. However, the reply was curt.
「“You can discuss this matter with the Margrave”, is what he said」
The Margrave finally made his decision while shaking his head a few times to the left and right.
「Then please do participate」
The knight order of the kingdom has not made any significant moves, and the Ghost Knight has not shown up.
And Count Rosehip is setting up a system of guards around the great hole, so there should be no imminent danger.
「Understood. Then I will go」
With a nod of his pointed chin, the Grim Reaper left the room. The Margrave lets out a small sigh as he watches him go.
(He doesn’t seem to be very enthusiastic about it)
The Grim Reaper who wields the death scythe, both on the battlefield and in bed.
It is in battle that he finds his purpose in life. That’s what the Margrave thought until now.
『Lord Reaper had changed』
A word that has been going around recently comes to his mind. The Margrave agreed to this statement.
Both eyes glow dark with hunger. In the past, the Grim Reaper was a being that required courage to make eye contact with.
Now, however, there is this calmness, or rather, a sense of serenity, about him.
(But by no means he’s getting weaker)
According to Count Rosehip, who had a spar with him with their Knight, on the contrary, he became someone that has no opening. He said he couldn’t imagine an image where he won against the Death Scythe, which he swung so naturally without hesitation.
(He has become stronger and easier to talk to. I guess this is a good change)
It’s not good to pry into other people’s hearts. So he thought and called a maid.
He called the maid to clean up the drinks on the table.
The maid puts the cup on the tray and wipes the table. The Margrave’s cheeks relaxed at the sight of her.
The hem of the back of her skirt was caught in her underwear.
(Did she just come back from the toilet, I wonder?)
She might have tucked in the hem when she pulled up her underwear.
He looked at her fully exposed butt as he imagined such a thing.
(The fact that she doesn’t realize it is wonderful in itself)
The maid with a composed face leaves the room. The Margrave squinted at her back as she left the room.
(I feel like a good thing will happen today)
A small fortune to be found in everyday life. It warmed the heart of the Margrave.
The stage then moves east from Landbarn to the royal capital.
The royal castle is located north of the central square, and the headquarters of the knight order is located further north. Here too, two men were facing each other in a room.
「Permission to participate in the Divine tournament in the Holy City, huh?」
Sitting on a chair and nodding with his thick arms crossed is Corneal. Despite being only in his late twenties, this macho man holds a high position in the knight order.
Specifically, he is just below the vice commander.
And now he was being consulted by the subordinate he’s in charge of.
「Fine, I’ll allow it. You’ve been working hard after all. Go and spread your wings there」
Standing in front of the desk and saluting is a pilot, who has a short beard over his mouth. He was probably about the same age as Corneal.
「Thank you for your consideration」
His name is Lightning. He is a pilot from the Black Locust country, but he has been dispatched to the Kingdom.
The kingdom that is currently suffering from a lack of manpower, his home country that is struggling with the cost of maintaining B-class Knights, and Lightning who wants to expand his own horizons.
This was the result of the three parties’ desires coming together.
「But the previous winner of the men’s division, huh? That’s pretty amazing」
An invitation from the organizers to enter an A-class tournament. When Corneal heard this, he let out a gasp of admiration.
Lightning shrugged his shoulders awkwardly as his boss gave him a look of respect.
「I’ve been very lucky with my opponents」
But Corneal doesn’t believe in such modesty. Because Lightning’s opponent in the draw was Jayanne’s number one who had defeated the Grim Reaper.
However, Lightning quietly shakes his head at Corneal’s cold words.
「No, it’s true. If I had fought against that person, I wouldn’t have stood a chance」
He mentioned the name of the woman who was the champion of the tournament. It was Cool-san who Corneal knew well.
「I guess you could say that I was in awe. Watching that high-speed rotation was enough to give me chills」
Lightning looked down with a sorrowful expression.
He would have lost if he had been hit by that in the first match. If that had happened, he would not have been able to get his wife and child back, and he would not be standing here as a pilot.
「Yeah, that woman is fearsome」
Corneal agrees while frowning. The reason why he frowned was because he remembers the pain he experienced.
He had experienced being twisted and broken after being cocky when she called him the 『Skewering Whirlwind』.
「And for that person to obey Tauro-san, he’s just as amazing」
Lightning who heard this fact for the first time lifted his head.
「That Tauro-dono is… making that person his subordinate?」
Corneal was surprised at Lightning’s reaction, but continued to speak.
「He is, yeah, I’m pretty sure it’s called 『Doom Squad』. With Tauro-san as the leader, and her as one of his subordinates」
Then he stroked his chin with one hand and let out a small sigh.
「I was invited once, too, but I turned it down. Because I think that I’m still not good enough」
Lightning stops moving with his mouth half open.
For him, Tauro was more of a pilot he respected. He knew that he had participated in the Divine Tournament, but it never crossed his mind that the champion of the tournament was under his command.
(And to have that 『Skewering Whirlwind』said this much about him)
They may be from different countries, but here they have a boss and subordinate relationship. He has also been visiting a brothel with the others.
There, what he heard about Corneal’s reputation was that he is a very strong man.
「Will Tauro-dono be participating in this year’s Divine Tournament?」
I really wanted to see what he could do with my own eyes. However, my expectations were easily shattered.
「Hm? Ah, he said he won’t be participating this year. Or he can’t, was it?」
Corneal explained to Lightning, who had a puzzled expression.
In the kingdom, the ranking system is not very common. Because of that, there is no one who participates in the tournament by points.
As a solution to that, the merchant guild has set up a quota, and the participants are decided on the recommendation of the guild master.
「Besides, the one who participates was never the same person. It’s the guild master’s policy to allow as many people as possible to gain experience」
The national pilot of the Black Locust country nodded deeply in agreement.
Corneal offered him to sit. He wanted to have a little chat with someone with whom he had a common acquaintance.
「By the way, why did Tauro-san lose? I believe he lost in the third round, didn’t he?」
Even when I asked him myself, he only answered with 『the others were just too strong that it was too much for me』.
If it were someone else, that reasoning would make sense, but it was Dr.Slime, the treasure of the royal capital’s red light district. I just can’t be convinced with it.
「I also never heard the name of the person that defeated him」
Looking at his superior that made a wondering look on his face, Lightning smiled because he realized what his superior had said earlier about the world ranking not being well known in the kingdom was true.
『Long Tongue-sama of the eastern country』
She is a regular at A-class tournaments and has a high double-digit world ranking. Lightning, on the other hand, was struggling in the regional tournaments to qualify for the A-class tournament.
From his perspective at the time, she was an existence who’s far above him.
「I’m sorry, I didn’t watch his match at the tournament」
Corneal looks disappointed. The back of his chair creaks, and he exhales as he looks at the bookshelves in the room.
「Even in last year’s special issue, all it said was, 『She overwhelm her opponents with her long tongue and won』. I don’t know the details」
An unknown participant who was defeated in the third round. And if it’s a battle with Long Tongue-sama, it would be written like that.
Lightning nodded while a thin crease forming between his brows.
「May I ask how Tauro-dono normally fights?」
「You don’t know? How should I put this, he come at his opponent, targeting their weak points with pinpoint accuracy」
He massages his opponents while using his magic eye, raising them higher and higher. And when the timing is right, he will poke them with his optimized Astral Sword.
In addition, Corneal passionately talks about the heroism Tauro did in the past.
「An aphrodisiac that’s close to being a poison? Curing people for free? And then, Doctor Slime」
Lightning shook his chin several times with an impressed expression. He felt he understood the motive behind Tauro’s healing him of his injuries.
(Without showing his figure, he saves people and doesn’t ask for something in return…… How noble!)
He was unable to stop being moved by his deeds.
Lightning continued to listen to Corneal’s story while hanging his head down.
The stage moves a little further.
This is the red-light district located southwest of the headquarters of the knight order. It is Jayanne, one of the three families.
In the waiting room, two figures are sitting on a reception desk. It’s the same people that Lightning and Corneal were talking about a while ago.
「You’re last year’s champion, aren’t you? Are you sure it’s okay not to go to the Holy City?」
As I enjoy the aroma of the tea, I ask the lady in front of me, Cool-san.
Her back is as straight as ever, and she has a dignified appearance like that of a daughter of a samurai family.
「It’s okay since what I want isn’t there」
She really meant to not go huh.
(But there must have been a penalty if you declined the invitation. Besides, if you win enough, you can get a lot of money)
She just lightly shrugged her feminime shoulders when I asked her that.
「There will be a minus in my ranking point. But since I’m not registered in the first place, it doesn’t matter」
It seems world ranking doesn’t matter to her.
「Besides, if it’s money, I already have plenty enough」
She was blessed with good looks and talent, and she worked hard. She had a large income as a sideline of one of the three families.
She didn’t have any use for it like Explosive onee-san that needed money to fund her magic research. She didn’t seem like the type to be extravagant, so she must have been saving up.
(Her fame… I guess she’s famous enough already)
The sideline of the three families. It is equivalent to being a successful actress, singer, or announcer in my previous life.
On the other hand, winning the Divine Tournament is like winning a gold medal in a major Olympic event.
「It seems they don’t have the thing you want for this year’s prize」
If I’m not wrong, the prize this year is some kind of jewelry. In comparison, last year, it was the right to offer one’s first time to God.
The winner of the women’s division would get a boy, and the winner of the men’s division would get a girl. The winners would then take their first time on behalf of God.
「That was delicious」
She must have recalled that time. Cool-san puts one hand on her slightly reddened cheek.
In spite of her appearance, she has enough karma to fall and become a monster because of her desire for virgins.
(As expected of unicorn, how very reliable)
I remember how overwhelmingly strong she was last year.
She burned her karma and turned it into power. Everyone was powerless in the face of her high thrust from the afterburner, no matter how strong they were.
Following that thought, something came to mind.
(Could it be that it was Cool-san’s fault that this year’s prize is changed to jewelry?)
Unicorn devoured the innocent boy’s body and soul.
I have not heard what happened to the boy. However, it was very unlikely that he woke up the next morning and acted as if nothing had happened.
(I bet he changed)
I can imagine a scene where he resisted the strong high priest like a demon.
(Ah, it’s already this late, huh?)
The time of my reservation is approaching. Of course, it’s going to be with Light cruiser-sensei.
I stopped my thoughts and looked up. I can’t afford to be late.
「The tea was delicious. Thanks for the drink」
As I left my seat to go to battle, Cool-san called out to me.
「She has two open slots after you, chief. You may go all out to your heart’s content」
When I heard that, the expression on my face disappeared for a moment, and then it filled me with joy. This is truly wonderful news.
She is fulfilling her role of gathering information about the red-light district, and she is doing it perfectly.
「Thank you. I’ll be sure to give it my all」
On Cool-san’s face that rarely had a change of expression, her eyes were smiling gently at me.
「She will accept it all as long as you come to her fair and square, and don’t use the rear entrance. Please enjoy your time to the fullest」
I nodded strongly and skipped lightly as I made my way to the lobby.