Two weeks have passed since I was summoned to this world.
No wait, I wasn’t summoned, but was sent here by God’s Realm to assist the Heroes and bring peace to this world.
Okay, so two weeks have passed since I was sent into this world. Aside from the first quest of exterminating goblins, Phiria’s bold advances during our free time and that mugging attempt by those Adventurers, everything went pretty smoothly.
I finished a large number of quests during this time, which included, but were not limited to, herb gathering (in really dangerous places). Most of the other quests were related to monster extermination; monsters like goblins, ogres, wyverns, giants et cetera. I was hoping for a Dragon or Titan, but wasn’t that lucky (perks of having zero LUC). There was one which was a guard duty for an influential noble, along with Lantz. Some bandits tried to attack us during the guard duty, but our team managed to ward them off, without killing them.
We even managed to work with that party, ‘Wanderers’, again, though no anomaly happened during the second time and we managed to kill the monsters pretty easily.
Due to the insane number of quests I handled, I managed to rank up to Emerald, though the mystery of why I wasn’t levelling up hadn’t been solved yet. Actually, today was the day when we would finally take the test for the Ruby rank.
Ruby and above belonged to the upper strata of adventurers who were treated as elites. They had some form of authority, and everyone generally respected them. Of course, there were some shitty adventurers among them as well, but they were not too many in number.
But most importantly, getting to Ruby would allow me to take part in the ‘Contest of Champions’, the tournament which Selica was talking about. I dunno who decided that name, and I sure as hell don’t wanna meet them. Winning that tournament would ultimately get me closer to my surface as well as real goals, though I need to pass the test before that.
Regarding the test, Selica had made another offer to me; if by any chance I failed that test (though she’s adamant that I won’t), she would recommend me to the tournament. In effect, she would be my sponsor.
It seems that the person hiding behind her really wants me in that tournament. But why? Is it because they think that I’m someone so competent that I should be working alongside the Heroes? Or do they want me to defeat someone from the opposition who would be participating in the tournament? Or is it just a silly reason like wanting to humiliate me by defeating me?
Oh well, I guess we’ll know soon enough, though I should prepare just in case.
“Well then, are you ready?”
I asked Phiria.
With her response as the cue, we came down to the ground floor where Selica was already waiting for us. It was early in the morning, around 5 am, so not many adventurers were around.
“I hope you are ready for the test.”
“I’m ready perfectly.”
My response elicited a smirk from her.
“Oh, confident, are we?”
“So confident that I think I could defeat a dragon.”
Well, technically speaking, that wasn’t a lie.
“Shall I prepare for a dragon then?”
“That would be interesting, but our fight will destroy this city so I’ll pardon you this time.”
“Uhuh.” She rolled her eyes. “Let’s go now.”
And with that, we followed her into a hallway.
Within these past 2 weeks, Selica had grown closer to us, or perhaps it would be better to say that she has grown to be franker with us. Is that a good thing?
Interestingly, the tests for me and Phiria were going to be different, which was because we had different classes. Since Phiria was a healer, her test would involve healing while mine would perhaps be related to fighting an instructor since I was a swordsman.
We were led to the training ground behind the Guild’s building, and strangely enough, we were the only candidates for today. According to Selica, back then the tests were taken in batches, but due to the reforms introduced by the second princess, they now take the test as soon as an adventurer is ready for it. The reason for that is, of course, the upcoming war with the demons. They need talented individuals, and they need them fast.
The Contest of Champions is also for that. Most probably, the winner and the talented fighters would be either drafted into the army or given official positions. Normally, I would’ve liked to just make a name for myself and then exit the tournament, but I guess this time, I will win the tournament.
And that shouldn’t be impossible; it’s not like a Lord of Hell will appear as my final opponent haha.
Anyway, let’s keep that aside and focus on the test. Other than Selica and us, there were two more men standing in the middle of the ground.
The one standing on the left had a well-built body as evident from the muscles bulging under his clothes. His sharp glare, his posture which although seemed leisurely left no opening for attacks and the sword hung on his waist all pointed to the fact that he was the swordsman.
The other man was thinner, and his gaze was softer. But the aura surrounding him was that of a veteran.
Selica stepped forward and introduced those men to me.
“Well then, Samael and Mary. These two are the examiners, Pars and Sipher. As you might’ve already expected, both of you will have different examinations; Sipher will be the examiner of Mary while Pars will handle Samael.”
The thin looking veteran stepped forward.
“I’m Sipher, the examiner for this test. Which among you is the Healer?”
“I see. Please come with me; we’ll conduct the test at a different place. I’ll explain to you the rules there.”
“Yes.” Phiria turned to me. “All the best, Samael.”
“Yeah, you too.”
They both walked away inside the building, leaving us three alone.
“Hmm, so you are the guy Selica has chosen.”
“Please do not word it in such a strange way.”
Selica narrowed her eyes.
“Sorry sorry.” He extended his hand forward. “I’m Pars, an Adventurer and your examiner.”
I took his hand and shook it.
“I’m Samael. Please take care of me.”
“I like your humility. Anyway.” His expression became firm. “I’ll explain to you the rules of the test so listen carefully. The test is simple; I’ll attack you using a wooden sword for 5 minutes. You are free to do whatever you want: you can just defend, parry, or even attack me back. I’d say that you also allowed to run away, but you’ll automatically fail the test if you do that. I’ll evaluate your performance using that and determine whether you’re fit to proceed to the next rank or not. Is that clear?”
I nodded in response.
“Selica, can you please pass us the wooden swords?”
She threw us the swords from a distance. The wooden longsword was light, but even though its edge was blunt it would still hurt if hit with enough force.
Now then, how should I approach this test? Should I just defend? Or defend in extravagant ways? Or should I attack in return?
⟦What do you think, Tzeeneth?⟧
Hmm, the third option?
Yosh, I’ll defend in extravagant ways.
I could feel Tzeeneth grumbling under its breath ‘I knew you’d say that you bastard’.
“Well, should I start?”
He gripped his sword with both of his hands and stood with his right light forward. It was the position which the Japanese call ‘Kamae’.
In return I gripped my sword in my right hand, waiting for him to strike. A gentle breeze blew from somewhere and blew our hair. As the wind stopped and a leaf passed in front of my eyes, the leaf was suddenly bisected into two as Pars suddenly appeared in front and landed a simple downward slash.
I quickly sidestepped to avoid it, but before his sword could hit the ground he twisted his body and aimed the sword right at my head. I leaned backwards to avoid it, and using the opening created some distance from him.
But he didn’t relent and followed me, his sword moving like a snake and following my every movement.
By the way, for my extravagant defending, I had decided that I would dodge all of his strikes without raising my sword even once. But that was proving to be a bit difficult since I was trying to hold back, and because he had better technique.
As I was thinking that, a slash aimed at my legs was released and I jumped to avoid it. Pars, using the moment of that slash quickly rotated his body and aimed a perfectly timed thrust at my solar plexus when I was still in the air.
Is he trying to kill me or what? Time to get a bit more serious, I guess.
I increased my speed and hit the ground with my feet to launch into a front flip, passing over his head in the process, thus dodging the thrust by the breadth of hair. As I landed behind him and prepared myself for another assault, Selica shouted.
Her shout brought Pars back to his senses who had gotten too excited due to my last manoeuvre and was about to come at me for real.
He turned to me and said with a sigh.
“Damn, five minutes are already over? I should have decided on ten minutes.”
Yo this is straight up not good.
“And? Did he pass?”
Selica returned to us and asked after taking the wooden swords from us.
“Well.” He turned to me as his expression turned serious. “You have incredible physical ability, that’s for sure. Your flexibility is almost on par with Selica’s, while your eyes were fast enough to follow my attacks. You also managed to make a calm judgement during my last attack and managed to save your ass. And most of all, you didn’t use your sword even once!”
“So, with this.” He patted my shoulder. “You pass. You are now a Ruby ranked Adventurer.”