Ruler Vol 4 Chapter 28
“So, with this, you pass. You are now a Ruby ranked adventurer.”
Pars smiled and patted my shoulder.
“But damn, aren’t you strong? You are already fit for the Silver rank.”
“Then you must be an Adamantium adventurer.”
He cocked his head in puzzlement.
“I mean, you were holding back while fighting me. You could have easily defeated me if you wanted to.”
And so could I have, of course.
“Hahaha.” He laughed. “Of course, I could. And I would have loved to go all out against you, but Selica there would kill me if I did something like that, so I had no choice but to hold back and act my part as the examiner.”
He pointed to Selica who was overseeing us, whose cheeks flushed red instantly.
“I had no other choice, did I?!” She barked. “If I don’t keep an eye on you then god knows what you’ll end up doing!”
“Haha, true enough. As I always say, you are the only one fit to keep an eye on me. So let’s marry!”
Huh? Did this guy say something outrageous as if it was nothing?
As expected, Selica’s glare turned colder and she looked at Pars as if she was looking at filth.
“I refuse.” Her denial was cold and ruthless. “You know that I don’t like to be tied down. And I definitely won’t marry someone who can say these words as if they are a joke!”
“Haha, so I was rejected again.”
He laughed while rubbing the back of his head.
For a guy who was rejected, he didn’t seem to be as down as I would’ve expected him to be. Most probably, this kind of exchange has turned into normal banter for them, and Pars, assuming he truly wants to marry Selica, has already accepted the rejection and knows that his half-hearted words aren’t going to be enough to shake Selica’s resolve.
Of course, I could be wrong about this. But since there’s no particular need to be correct (as I don’t really care), there’s no need to enquire any further.
While they were bantering and I was trying to decipher their relationship to pass my time, Phiria appeared along with Sipher. Judging from her confident smile-
“Samael, I passed!”
“Of course. I had no doubt about that.”
“Eeeh, you could act a bit more excited, you know.”
“Isn’t that because I had complete belief in you?”
“Still, you should have been excited!”
“I’ll try my best next time.”
I can’t see why that would matter. Anyone who knows her true identity would have acted in the same way as me, so I don’t think I did anything wrong.
“Anyway.” Selica ended her pointless argument and turned to us. “Come to the reception with me. We’ll complete your registration there and provide you with new Adventurer Cards.”
“Hmm? So, we get new cards?”
“Of course. Every rank above Ruby has a different Adventurer Card, so that they can be easily identified and deployed in emergencies.”
“I see. And how long would that take?”
I wanted to rank up even further by completing more quests. Maybe reach Gold by the time the tournament started.
“None. Because I have already prepared your cards in advance. I knew that you wouldn’t fail.”
She smiled smugly.
“Your thoughtfulness is greatly appreciated.”
Isn’t she overestimating me a bit though? I mean, it’s true that I wouldn’t fail but still…..
“I wish you had that much confidence in me.”
“Oh, I do have confidence in you.” Pars lifted his face with a grin. “Confidence that you’ll always remain a scum.”
Pars shouted with a strained laugh. He had my condolences while Sipher snickered. We reached the reception pretty soon where Barge was handling the quests as usual. Upon seeing us enter, he asked Selica with a glare.
“And? What are the results?”
Barge exclaimed painfully as Selica put her hand forward. As everyone looked in confusion, Barge took out a pouch from his pocket and handed it to Selica. She jiggled it, the jingling making it apparent there were coins inside, and put them in her pocket with a satisfied smile.
With the glare of a defeatist, Barge retorted.
“Pars, you idiot! I lost 10 gold coins to Selica because of you!”
“Don’t blame me!” He retorted in return. “Samael is just that good! You’re at fault for betting with Selica! You know you haven’t won even once against her!”
“All right, now step aside; I need to get the Adventurer Cards for the winners.”
With that, she took out two new cards and two pendants. The pendants were ruby coloured this time, and so were the cards. On the cards were our name and class.
“Don’t lose them, okay?”
Anyway, since we have gotten our new cards, it’s time to take our higher ranked requests. But as I was thinking that-
“Ah, I forgot to tell you one thing.” Selica started. “The registration for the ‘Contest of Champions’ starts today.”
“It starts today? Where? And how can I register?”
“It’s simple. Just go to the royal castle and register at the reception. They’ll ask you to fill out a form and brief you on the rules.”
“I see. So when does the tournament start?”
“It starts in 3 days.”
Huh? 3 days? Isn’t that really fast?
“Why so early?”
“Because of the ongoing war, of course. They can’t afford to waste too much of their resources on just a normal tournament, now can they? It is only due to the Third Princess that they are even holding this tournament; they were initially going to postpone it to next year.”
“This tournament is a yearly thing after all. It wouldn’t really matter if they didn’t hold it for this year.” Pars added. “Though as I’ve heard, the tournament will run only for one day instead of its usual 3 days.”
Only for one day? That sounds convenient.
“Ah, but.” Selica interrupted. “The Third Princess is holding a special event for this year’s tournament. I think you should look forward to it.”
A special event?
“I’m not a part of that special event, I hope?”
“That would depend on you.”
Hmm? Why? Does that mean that the special event involves the winner of the tournament?
“I see. Well, I’ll register for the time being.”
“Okay, I’ll complete your new registration at the Guild in the meanwhile.”
With that, we exited the Guild and headed towards the royal castle.
The Royal Castle of the Imperial Capital Sia was surrounded by the noble’s district. As the name suggests, that’s the part of the capital that’s exclusive to the nobles of this country and the officials of the castle. Moreover, the closer a noble lives to the castle, the higher ranked he is. They govern their territories while living in that place.
The noble’s district is separated from the commoner’s district by a wall. Just like the outer wall, that wall also has four gates. However, even though Guards are stationed at the gates, anyone can enter or exit that place as they wish to without any checks. I guess the wall was made for emergencies like civil wars.
Anyway, we reached the wall within an hour and entered the district of the nobles. The guards eyed me with suspicion as I passed by them due to my peculiar appearance, but soon averted their eyes, probably because there were more than just a few eccentrics within the Adventurers.
Contrary to the place we had come from, the streets here were less crowded and cleaner. There were no stalls or the likes, so the place was quieter. This place reeked of nobility.
We moved towards the castle and soon arrived at its gates which were open for the public because today was the day when the registration had started. Though I still don’t understand why they would register the participants at the castle.
The security was tight as there were soldiers everywhere. We walked inside after going through the crowd at the entrance and reached a hall, where a large reception desk was set up with three receptionists behind it.
“I’ll register then. What about you?”
“I’m not really interested. I’ll just watch you from the arena; that would be much more entertaining for me.”
So leaving her alone, I joined the shortest line out of three. After some time, my turn came.
“Thank you for waiting-” The receptionist started her greeting but stopped midway. “Are you, Mr. Samael?”
“Yes, I am.”
“Ah, we’ve been waiting for you!”