Translator: Charlotte Editor: Weasalopes
I logged in to a cloudy sky outside.
The time was just 6 am.
The sun wasn’t completely out either. It was still relatively dark outside.
Just like always, I summoned Zangetsu, Helix and Obsidian and headed towards Legias.
Maybe because of the weather, I took an ambush from a Hunter Bat while I was passing through the forest.
Obsidian had no issues counterattacking, but I still had to be careful.
The situation was similar on the road to Legias.
I was attacked by a female Wild Pheasant that shot out of the forest.
And I was attacked by a Striped Raccoon some time later, too.
Although I managed to defeat them both without any problems.
It would’ve been a lot easier if I had Volff with me.
When I arrived in Legias I immediately started looking for Mio’s stall.
When I found it, I parked Zangetsu in the back and entered the stall.
「Good morning, and welcome.」
「Thanks. Good morning.」
Yuka gave me a plate of yakisoba and horse meat, and I sat down at a random table.
Rick came over by himself. Looked like Fiona wasn’t with him.
「I heard you’re participating in the tournament?」
「Yeah. I have a match today, too.」
「Woah. That means you’ve won a couple of times before, right? And you will need to win a few matches today to advance to the main tournament.」
「Nice. I won’t be able to make it to the main tournament, but I think Fiona and the others will come and watch you. Do your best.」
「I will, thanks. Speaking of which, I don’t see Fiona here today.」
「Yeah, she’s not here today. Such is the life of a travelling merchant. Fiona should be in Remut this afternoon though.」
「I just arrived from Remut myself. Call it switching shifts.」
I saw a wagon filled with goods earlier. It must’ve been Rick’s.
You had to be opportunistic to be a good merchant.
「You have anything I could take off your hands today?」
「Ah, sorry, it completely passed my mind.」
I lined up the haul from the day before on the table.
The total amount was less than usual, but since I had a good amount of Wild Horse Hide with me, I still managed to make a nice amount of money.
「Well, give my regards to Fiona and the others.」
I gave Fudo and Yuka a quick nod before leaving the place.
I wanted to get to Remut a little earlier than I did the day before.
Today was my third match, after all.
I wondered about who my opponent would be.
I arrived in Remut.
I managed to arrive almost completely uninterrupted.
I only had to fight two Steppe Hawks on the way.
My third match would be at the old training grounds.
A staff member used【Identify】on me before letting me into the waiting room. I noticed that Gelta was already waiting there.
I didn’t see her yesterday.
Oh, I wanted to watch the matches before mine.
I leaned up to a wall in the waiting room and watched the match from there.
My turn was scheduled at 9:40 am.
I had more than enough time.
It looked like that day’s matches hadn’t started yet. Gelta suddenly appeared in the centre of the arena.
She raised one hand, and players appeared from two corners of the arena.
Looked like the first match was starting.
I looked at the time. It was just 8 am.
The match began.
The matches were so exciting, even though they were only the third round of the qualifiers.
There were several times I subconsciously made sounds of awe.
The most frustrating type of opponent I would have to deal with would probably be the fighter I saw in the first match.
He sacrificed his defence for more power, holding a heavy-looking axe in both hands.
No, he did have a shield, but it remained strapped to his back.
His opponent was a dwarf, and he overpowered the dwarf with sheer force.
It looked that way, but in reality, that wasn’t all.
The fighter could move with incredible speed and dodge the dwarf’s attacks perfectly.
That’s how he could beat the dwarf’s strong defence.
That one player that used【Light Magic】along with a bow was interesting too.
She used the light magic spell【Illusion】to confuse her opponent.
Apparently, 【Illusion】could create clones of yourself in the target’s mind.
The spell became even more tough to beat when the player was using a bow.
That way you would really have no idea where the attacks would come from.
Cast【Illusion】and fire off arrows. Rinse and repeat.
Well, maybe because she wasn’t a mage, there were times when her opponent could see through the spell, but the whole fight was still in her favour.
What a scary strategy.
There was another player using a similar strategy, just using【Dark Magic】instead.
As soon as the signal to start began, half of the arena was immediately covered in pitch black darkness.
A way to confuse the opponent?
A method to buy some more time?
The result was a little underwhelming.
The spell only lasted for about 30 seconds.
Looked like the opponent successfully used a spell to cancel it.
Probably, 【Dispel Magic】.
Just looking on as a spectator, it was difficult to tell exactly what magic spells were being used.
But it was clear that both of them were mages.
It wouldn’t be strange for one of them to have【Dispel Magic】at a high level.
That first【Dark Magic】spell was a fatal mistake.
「Keith, right? Please proceed to the arena.」
At some point, a staff member was standing next to me.
It was time.
I got a little too excited watching the matches and completely lost track of time.
I put my hands on the crystal and recovered all my HP and MP.
I stood in my corner.
The match wasn’t starting.
I found out why as soon as I looked up to check out my opponent.
There was nobody at the other corner.
《You have advanced to the fourth round of the qualifiers! The fourth match will be today, 1:30 pm, at the old training ground A.》
Looked like being late meant forfeiting the match.
They probably had some other business come up at the same time.
Well, not everyone was like me. Some of them had lives in the real world too.
It was a bit of a let-down, to be honest.
The next match would be in the same place.
I used the clock function to set an alarm.
I set it to go off at 11 am.
I wanted to have an early lunch before the match.
I wanted to dodge having to fight right after eating a meal as much as possible.
Maybe it wouldn’t matter since this was a game?
Well, just in case.
I sat down to watch the other matches.
The staff members couldn’t do anything to prevent contestants from watching the matches.
Very nice. I got to enjoy the matches for a while.
One match was between what looked like two fighters.
Fighters tended to learn some magic skills, too, so it was difficult to tell sometimes.
But most of them were just simple enchant spells.
I saw a few of them take advantage of the time taken to cast enchant spells to cast attack spells instead.
I didn’t see a lot of them use martial arts.
I remember reading about there being a penalty for using metal equipment.
I put myself in the shoes of my opponents.
Getting beat down using martial arts definitely felt scarier.
Even if using spells would result in more raw damage.
But I felt like the scariest opponent would definitely be an archer.
They could get around the penalty by using non-metallic materials for their arrowheads.
With a bow, they had multiple options for long-range attacks.
The bow wasn’t a very well-liked weapon by the audience since it would always be a relatively boring fight, but it was still fun to watch from time to time.
Fights between two archers, both of them using wall spells to try and fool each other, were especially interesting.
Different elemental wall spells had different effects.
They were using the walls to both block attacks and move to more advantageous positions.
One fight between the two archers ended in a rather unexpected manner.
The archer using【Earth Magic】looked like he was focusing more on building walls than attacking his opponent.
At some point, he had managed to completely surround his opponent.
The strategy made sense. The less your opponent could move, the higher the chance of you hitting them.
But he wasn’t done. He kept using the walls to squeeze his opponent into a corner, before raining down arrows on them.
An offensive way to use a seemingly completely defensive spell.
I didn’t have any of my elemental magic skills at level 6.
It would be a lot of time before I could compete with the others using magic.
There was no guarantee my【Dispel Magic】spell would work either.
I thought about what I could do to remedy my position for a while.
I couldn’t come up with a solid answer.
Well, that was what made the fights fun.
After all, there wasn’t any fun in a guaranteed win.
I learnt that from my third fight.
But how would I deal with that kind of difficult opponent…?
How would I win…?
How would I not lose…?
…Thinking about that was pretty fun too!
My alarm clock rang.
I quickly finished eating lunch before returning to the arena.
I sat down to watch some more matches.
The first match I saw after I got back was between two fighters that looked like the strongest yet.
One of them had a sword and a shield. Pretty standard stuff.
The other one looked like they were going to go in using just hand-to-hand combat.
I cheered at the top of my voice.
For which one?
The grappler, of course.
He used the same throws and joint locks that I liked to use.
I didn’t think there was someone else like me.
I’d love to get to know them later.
But the result of the match was disappointing.
The grappler managed to force his opponent to let go of his sword.
After the grappler pinned him to the ground, I thought he would win for sure.
But after that, the pinned swordsman pulled out his sub-weapon, a knife, and stuck it into the grappler’s thigh.
I couldn’t see how many stabs he could put in before the grappler had to get away.
The match quickly ended in the swordsman’s favour after that.
But weren’t grappling styles kind of scary?
Being able to fight while hiding a weapon.
You would have no idea what kind of attack could come next.
Well, I suppose that applied to everyone, including the swordsman.
It was a spectacular match.
Even if the result was a little disappointing.
Ah, this is bad…
My heart was pumping inside me.
I walked around a bit, trying to work the adrenaline out of my body.
「Keith, yes? Please proceed to the arena.」
While I was enjoying another match, a staff member came to tell me it was my turn.
I placed my hands on the usual crystal to restore all of my HP and MP.
I stood in position and looked at who was at the other corner.
Leather armour and a leather helmet.
Full leather armour, including armguards and boots.
They had a bow in one hand, and a quiver strapped to their back.
An archer, huh.
I thought they liked to pair together players with similar fighting styles.
But still, an archer, huh.
I brought to mind all the different archer fights I had seen up to that point.
I wondered how my opponent would come at me.
I was looking forward to it.
Please surprise me.
I wouldn’t want the fight to end too easily.
Whether I was going to win, or if I was going to lose, all of that wouldn’t really matter if I didn’t have a good time fighting beforehand.
I genuinely thought that.
A deep bow.
I used the usual martial arts skills at the start of the battle.
I started running at my opponent
I had to close the distance between us as soon as possible.
I saw arrows fly towards my feet.
Two of them.
One of them missed completely, while the other grazed my boots.
To get me to stop?
I saw that my opponent had an arrow in his hand, but he didn’t put it to the bowstring.
It looked like my opponent was casting a spell. He started running to close the distance between us.
I finished casting a spell first.
「Magical Enchant: Light!」
Moments later, my opponent finished casting their spell.
I immediately prepared to cast my next spell.
A wall of earth burst out in front of me.
It was at quite a distance away from me.
A tactic I had seen countless times before.
They were going to use the wall as cover and attack me from there.
I saw my opponent.
He was peeking out from above the wall.
The wall was less than three metres tall.
Definitely more than two metres, though.
I felt the confidence radiate off of my opponent.
He started shooting more arrows at me.
One of the arrows grazed my head.
The other one hit me right in my shoulder.
The shock and the pain weren’t so bad.
Looked like it didn’t penetrate my armour.
But it did hurt quite a bit.
Oh… It’s on now!
I let go of my rod and ran up to my opponent.
I jumped and put my right hand on top of the wall.
I managed to get a grip, but my momentum still sent me flying into the wall.
Ah. That hurt.
I directed that feeling of frustration towards climbing the wall.
I climbed the wall and stood on top of it.
My opponent quickly rushed at me.
He had an arrow pulled back.
I tackled him right when he released the arrows.
The arrows made a whooshing noise as they flew past the side of my head.
I grabbed his left leg with both hands and pulled.
But he stood his ground and didn’t collapse.
I pulled off just my right hand and swung it towards his face.
A direct hit.
It just felt like a direct hit. I couldn’t see his face from where I was.
But that was alright.
What mattered was that I managed to hit him.
After delivering the right hook, I reached for his left arm.
The arm that was holding his bow.
I let go of his leg and grabbed his left wrist with my left hand.
I twisted his left elbow joint.
His entire left arm took on a painful-looking shape.
The bow dropped to the ground.
I could see his expression under the helmet distort in pain.
I drove my left knee into his belly.
The moment my knee made impact…
I used a throw.
I picked him up on my shoulders as his head started going down, and threw him onto the ground.
I felt like I heard the dry sound of bones breaking.
I followed up with a kick, knocking him off the top of the wall and onto the ground below.
He lay sprawled on the ground.
I jumped off of the wall.
I walked over to give one last kick even though he wasn’t even trying to get up anymore.
《Match set! Please stop fighting!》
My last kick didn’t connect.
Looked like the game forced me to fumble and miss that attack.
I didn’t know what to do with my leftover adrenaline.
《You have advanced to the fifth round of the qualifiers! The fifth match will be today, 2:40 pm, at the old training ground D.》
I managed to hold myself back and give one last bow before leaving the arena.
At first, I felt like the fight ended at a really bad moment.
But after I calmed down a bit and thought it over again, I realised how dangerous another kick could’ve been.
Continuous attacks after securing the high ground looked like an effective strategy against archers.
Using【Dispel Magic】to destroy the walls was an option too…
But to do that I would have to get close to it and take all the arrows that my opponent would have saved up for me.
It would take some time to cast【Dispel Magic】too.
Even with some distance between us, it would be difficult to run away from an archer, especially with the height advantage.
Hmm… That bow-and-wall strategy was actually pretty effective in theory.
I made the right call to climb the wall before he got ready.
I finally found a combat use for the two Support Skills.
It felt great.
I killed some time watching some more matches.
I could watch the fights, but getting too involved was dangerous.
I had to limit myself.
It wasn’t good to go into a fight with my blood boiling.
I kept restraining myself until it was time for my next match.
A staff member called out to me.
「This will be your last match for today, Keith. Good luck.」
I gave a quick response.
Urged on by the staff member, I put my hands on the crystal and fully healed all my HP and MP.
I looked at my opponent standing at the other corner.
Clearly a mage.
A very standard-looking mage.
A staff in one hand.
The rod I had was technically a staff, but it was designed for hitting people. The staff my opponent was holding was clearly different.
The bit near the tip of the staff was thicker than the rest of the staff.
I vaguely recalled Reina telling me that it was a shape that could amplify the power of magic spells.
The issue was what kind of elemental magic my opponent would use.
If I had to guess, I’d say I could take two blasts of any attack spell.
Three would probably be too much.
I could use【Magical Enchant: Light】to increase my magical resistance, but even then, I doubt I could take more than three hits.
If I knew what elemental magic my opponent was going to use, I could use the corresponding resist spell instead.
It was probably the most important factor in this fight. I tried to figure out what it was.
But there was one big problem with that.
My body just wanted to fight.
I couldn’t control the urge. I couldn’t think about anything else.
We looked at each other.
We simultaneously gave a bow.
I broke out into a run as soon as I finished using my preparatory martial arts skills.
The urge to fight in me was burning.
I didn’t even care about the state of my HP bar anymore.
I just wanted to direct the fire in me somewhere.
「Magical Enchant: Light!」
I increased my magical resistance.
That way it didn’t matter what elemental magic my opponent used.
If I wanted to be certain, that was the way to go.
My opponent casted their first spell.
A wall of fire burst out in front of me.
Should I run around it?
No, what other options were there…
But my body was pushing me to go for another option.
I steeled myself.
I kept going and ran through the fire.
The hot fire caused streaks of pain to flare up all around my body.
But I didn’t care.
My opponent was standing right in front of me.
I ran at him as he stared at me with his mouth hanging open.
I thrust my rod at his stomach.
When he doubled over, I delivered a knee strike to his face.
I let go of the rod and wrapped around behind him.
I wrapped my right arm around my opponent’s neck.
A perfect headlock.
I used my left hand to push on the back of his head.
I put my entire body weight behind my left hand.
My plan was to crush his windpipe.
It was the best course of action for a mage.
I kept squeezing.
It was going great.
But I still couldn’t get careless.
I recalled the many times a hidden sub-weapon turned the tide of a battle.
I saw my opponent’s hands claw at my right arm.
Like I would let you peel off my arm just like that.
The hands stopped.
They started tapping on my arm instead.
《Match set! Please stop fighting!》
Was the match over?
Were those taps a sign of resignation?
I knew that a headlock put you in a pretty hopeless situation, but please…
How do I say it…?
I would’ve loved for you to just try a little harder.
It wasn’t enough.
My spirit couldn’t be satisfied with just that.
My blood was still boiling as hot as ever.
A staff member helped my opponent stand.
We faced each other.
We gave each other another bow.
Was that it?
《Congratulations! You have advanced to the main tournament! The first battle will be tomorrow, 8:30 am, at the new training ground D.》
《2 bonus points have been awarded for clearing the preliminary round. You now have a total of 5 bonus points.》
《Please arrive at the new training grounds by 8:00 am tomorrow.》
That was it.
I looked at the info screens in complete shock.
That was way too short.
It wasn’t really the game’s fault, but it was just a little frustrating.
I healed what little damage I took at the crystal.
I cooled down pretty quickly after that.
I was left with just one emotion.
I returned to the waiting room.
I took a deep breath.
I calmed down.
I told myself I was calm.
I had to be.
No, when I sat down to watch the rest of the matches, I realised my match was the very last one.
At that point, I realised I was really anything but calm.
Race Human Male Racial Lv7
Job Summoner Lv6
Bonus Points Remaining: 3
Staff Lv6 Punch Lv4 Kick Lv4 Joint Lock Lv4 Throw Lv4 Evade Lv4 Block Lv4 Summon Magic Lv7
Light Magic Lv3 Wind Magic Lv4 Earth Magic Lv4 Water Magic Lv4 Fire Magic Lv3 Dark Magic Lv3 Ice Magic Lv1 Lightning Magic Lv1 Tree Magic Lv1
Alchemy Lv4 Pharmacy Lv3 Glassmaking Lv3 Woodworking Lv3
Cooperation Lv6 Appraise Lv6 Identify Lv6 Discern Lv1 Cold Resistance Lv3 Grab Lv5 Horsemanship Lv5 Precise Manipulation Lv6 Jump Lv2 Heat Resistance Lv3 Climb Lv3 Dual Wield Lv3 Mental Reinforcement Lv3
Kaya Wood Rod x2 Kaya Wood Tonfa x2 Snow Leopard Push Dagger x3 Wild Rabbit Breastplate+ Series Snow Ape Armguard Wild Horse Boots+ Snow Ape Leather Helmet Rucksack Item Box x2
Survival Knife Woodworking Set
Old Summoner’s Pupil
Guardian of the Forest
Man of the Middle Path
Volff Wolf Lv6（Asleep）
Zangetsu Horse Lv4
Helix Hawk Lv4
Obsidian Owl Lv4
Jean Bat Lv4（Asleep）
Jericho Wood Golem Lv3（Asleep）
Goki Demon Lv2（Asleep）