Translator: Charlotte Editor: Weasalopes
Out of the four matches that started at the same time, my match was the last to end.
I kind of expected that.
The match ended because of the time limit, after all.
My HP bar was at about 20%.
My opponent’s HP bar was at about 30%.
Maybe that was just due to the difference in our strengths, but maybe not.
I was too exhausted to think about it further.
I picked up my scattered equipment from the ground.
My opponent pulled his nata hatchet out of the tonfa it was stuck in and handed me the tonfa.
「Sorry about that. My name is Yosaku. I’m a lumberjack.」
「No worries, thanks for picking that up for me. My name is Keith, I’m a summoner.」
We shook hands.
He was actually a really pleasant person.
I’d never heard of anyone called Yosaku before though.
「It might be a bit rude of me to say this, but thank you for the fight. I learnt a lot from it.」
「No, not at all, I’m grateful too. Good luck on your next fight.」
「Thank you very much. Oh, could I ask you one more thing?」
「Are you really a Summoner?」
「Yeah, looks like it.」
Oh no. I reflexively worded that really vaguely.
We returned to the centre of the arena and gave each other one last bow.
Looked like we had gained quite a bit of attention, being the last game to end and all.
The applause was thunderous.
I bet a lot of the same people were booing me just an hour earlier.
「Oh, you’re Aurnier’s boy. Could you stand over there?」
I heard a voice from behind me as I was leaving the arena.
I turned around to see Gelta standing in front of me.
I immediately froze.
I walked over to the place she was pointing at.
I stood on a furry carpet.
Suddenly, the carpet below me started faintly glowing.
Some of the cracked Evil Ant Shells on my equipment returned to normal.
「Could you hand me your damaged equipment?」
I handed over my broken Kaya Wood Rod and the brittle Tonfas.
She brought them over to a piece of cloth on top of a desk.
She repaired them in just a moment.
I was amazed. Wow.
「It usually fails on wooden equipment. You best be grateful.」
「Thank you so much.」
「You fight really strangely, even though you’re Aurnier’s pupil.」
Wait a minute…
Gelta’s line of sight was fixed on something behind me.
I turned around to see Master standing there.
She must’ve told him where we were going to be.
「How was it, Keith? Did you have a good time?」
「Well, I guess so.」
「I thought you would do alright against people since you seemed to do alright against monsters, but to think you would make it all the way to the quarter-finals…」
He gave me a cheerful smile.
No, it was more of a playful one.
It felt like a punch to the gut.
「You mind coming along with me? I’ve got a special seat for you to watch the rest of the tournament.」
「Oh, yes please.」
That was some very good news.
The whole arena was packed full.
There was no way I could say no to that offer.
「Oh! You did well!」
「Thank you. Well, I still lost though.」
「What are you talking about, making it past the qualifiers is no small feat!」
The Guild Leader was sitting on the elevated platform reserved for esteemed guests.
Master sat down next to him.
I stood next to Master.
「There are empty seats over there, you know?」
「No, I’m fine this way.」
The elevated platform had rails to prevent anyone from falling off.
The rails made it difficult to see.
The audience applauded again.
I saw four players down below.
One of them was the lumberjack Yosaku.
He held his axe in one hand and his shield in the other.
The matches were about to start. Looked like his opponent was an elf with a bow.
I saw the fisherman again.
He had his net over his shoulder, and a harpoon in one hand.
His opponent was a standard-looking fighter.
I realised two out of the last four players were in production jobs.
I wondered how they would do.
The matches began.
The matches ended relatively quickly.
An aura of dissatisfaction started building up in the arena.
Fisherman vs. Fighter.
That fight ended especially quickly.
The two of them dashed at each other the moment the signal to begin was given.
The fisherman looked like he was going to throw his net.
But that’s not what happened.
The fighter threw several throwing knives, and one of them hit the fisherman right in the shoulder.
The fisherman had to stop and pull out the blade.
He had a few opportunities to attack with his harpoon, but he was too distracted with his shoulder wound.
It became his downfall.
He was slashed countless times by the fighter’s sword, and the match ended.
Lumberjack vs. Elf.
I thought it would be a long fight.
The elf immediately built an earth wall and perched on top of it.
The same strategy I had to deal with at the qualifiers.
With no way for the lumberjack to get closer, it should’ve been a one-sided battle.
But unexpectedly, Yosaku pulled out a really strange tactic.
He just started attacking the wall.
He ignored all the arrows flying at him and broke down the wall.
I saw that he was building a makeshift staircase.
Now all he had to do was walk up to the top.
「Just one match left, huh.」
「It’s kind of sad, actually.」
《You have received a message from a friend.》
While listening to Master and the Guild Leader talk to each other, I received a message.
It was from Fiona.
I looked down from the edge of the platform.
I saw Fiona’s usual group of four.
Wait a second…
I saw Mio talking to Adele and Irina.
Looked like Adele and Irina came to watch too.
Fiona raised her voice and yelled at me.
「Keith, what are you doing after this?」
「I’m watching to the end, I don’t have anything planned after that.」
「Could you hang out with me for a while, then? Meet up at the horse-parking spot outside?」
I wondered what she had in mind.
Maybe it was about that thing I wanted to ask her about before the tournament.
「Look Keith, it’s starting.」
I turned my gaze to the arena.
The first player to enter was the fighter.
A sword and a shield.
But I knew he had throwing knives too.
I wondered what other hidden sub-weapons he had.
Out of the other corner came the lumberjack Yosaku.
He walked in holding just his axe in one hand.
The audience cheered.
Everyone was hoping for some real action.
I was honestly a bit pessimistic at the idea.
The audience gave another thunderous cheer when the signal to begin was given.
Yosaku quickly ran to close the distance.
The fighter didn’t pull his sword out of its sheath.
I saw several throwing knives in his hands.
The fighter threw them one after the other at Yosaku, probably trying to get him to stop running.
But he didn’t stop.
He rushed in, fully prepared to take some damage.
It was probably the right call.
The fighter finally pulled out his sword.
A close-range fight began.
A fierce clash of blades.
The fighter was clearly trying to pressure Yosaku with the higher frequency at which he could swing his sword.
He was doing better in terms of HP, too.
But that all changed in just a single moment.
The fighter was too slow in blocking the axe with his shield.
A direct hit to the belly.
The match was over, just like that.
The audience gave the loudest cheer yet.
「Well, looks like it’s time for the closing ceremony.」
「What’re you going to do, Keith?」
「I’m sorry, but I have an appointment with someone else.」
The Guild Leader walked over and grabbed Master’s arm.
「Aurnier, my friend! I’m going to need your Summon Monsters to help out with cleaning, don’t run away, alright?」
「I would do no such thing!」
「Good. Well then, Keith, I’m going to be busy for a while. You can stop by at my place after 3 pm today.」
「Hey! He’s my pupil!」
「If I remember correctly, someone entrusted him to me.」
They continued their usual exchange.
I saw them start to pull on each other’s beards.
I gave a quick nod to the usual middle-aged staff member and left the room.
I was really grateful for the special seats.
Although I’d better hurry up so I wouldn’t leave Fiona waiting.
When I got to the place I saw somebody petting Zangetsu.
Well, I already knew who it was going to be.
Fiona and the others were having a conversation, but Irina noticed me and gave me a warm smile.
Adele kept stroking Zangetsu without a care in the world.
Hey, what’re you doing to someone else’s Summon Monster.
「Sorry to keep you waiting.」
「Nah, sorry for calling you out so suddenly.」
「No, I was just going to leave myself.」
Fiona was the same as always.
But the other three looked a little strange.
「Turn yourself in!」
「Guilty, no matter how you slice it.」
「What? I don’t know what you’re talking about, but I assure you I’m innocent.」
「Keith. You shouldn’t do that to girls…」
Were they talking about that thing that happened at my second match?
That was just one big misunderstanding.
I couldn’t defend myself.
Someone call a lawyer!
「Ah, yeah, looks like you had quite an “exciting” match there, in a not-so-good way.」
「Why do men always have to be like that!」
「But to be honest, that mage was a lot worse than Keith…」
Yeah, I figured it was about that.
The others kept going, talking about another player I didn’t know.
《You have received a Union request from Fiona. Will you accept it?》
《You have received a Union request from Irina. Will you accept it?》
I received two Union requests at the same time.
I looked at the two of them.
Looked like Fiona wanted to talk in secret, and Irina was inviting me to the general group chat.
Of course, I accepted both of them.
『This isn’t a good place to talk, let’s talk while we’re on the way to Legias.』
Well, I wanted to talk to her about something anyway.
About the new magic skills I got.
Looks like Fiona and the others came with a carriage.
A horse pulling a covered wagon.
A little less than half of the wagon was filled with merchandise.
Fiona said she wanted to carry some more as a merchant, but the sooner we all got back to Legias, the better.
We decided to eat our meals on the way.
The carriage was naturally faster than just walking.
But still nothing compared to riding Zangetsu.
I would have loved to get you to run at full speed.
Adele let Mio on her horse, and Irina let Reina on hers. In that fashion, they hunted the few monsters we encountered on the way.
I got Helix and Obsidian to help them out.
It would be alright to let them play for a while.
I sat in the carriage with Fiona and Saki and ate some food I bought earlier.
I showed Fiona the spells I wanted to talk to her about at the tournament.
Fiona told me that the forums were already full of discussion about those spells.
I didn’t think the forums would care so much.
Well, as long as it was just the forums, that would be alright.
Apparently, Fiona got some direct messages from a few players, asking about the magic spells I used in the tournament earlier.
I was a little doubtful of that at first, but she told me that summoners were really rare to begin with, so I stood out even more.
Especially combined with what happened at the tournament.
What were those spells?
How do you get【Lightning Magic】, 【Tree Magic】, and【Ice Magic】?
Why isn’t this information more widely available?
Those kinds of questions.
I listened to Fiona rant about it to me, but it’s not like I was intentionally hiding it from her.
When she was done, she looked me and gave me a wry smile.
We changed topic to the “Best Bout”. Players could vote on which fight they thought was the most entertaining.
Unexpectedly, my second fight was getting quite a bit of traction.
I read some comments that said that my technique should be christened, “Shame Incarnate”.
Fiona gave me a suspicious look the whole time.
No, maybe that was my own fault…
「Maybe my intuition has gotten a little dull?」
That was the only comment Fiona gave me when I brought up the new magic skills.
Since there wasn’t any other information on it, we were just guessing.
I spent a lot of time talking about how I got the magic skills.
I started with【Ice Magic】.
Then how I got both【Tree Magic】and【Lightning Magic】at the same time.
I gave some guesses as to the conditions I had to fulfil in order to learn those skills.
The levels of the different elemental magic spells.
I mentioned my new title『Spell Archive』and my new Support Skill【Speedcasting】.
The more information, the easier the problem would get to solve.
「A lot of players take more than one elemental magic skill. I myself have both【Light Magic】and【Fire Magic】. What about you?」
Fiona turned her head to Saki.
「I have【Light Magic】, 【Fire Magic】, 【Water Magic】, and【Earth Magic】. My【Earth Magic】is still at Lv.4, though.」
「I’d expect that trend to be the same among mages, too.」
「I think Keith is right in thinking that there’s some other trigger.」
「Well, without verifying it, we can’t write about it in the forums, right?」
Saki gave a low hum.
Looked like she was giving it her all in thinking about it.
「I don’t think it’s a bad idea to write about it, even if we’re not entirely sure.」
「I don’t know…」
「Keith can just post his spell list and put a note at the bottom saying that he has no idea how the new spells got there. It’s better than stressing out about it on our own.」
Fiona started groaning.
Looked like Saki was getting to her.
I decided to give her some support.
「I’ll cooperate in whatever you think is the best course of action.」
「Right? Look, Fiona. Keith is okay with it.」
Fiona kept groaning.
「Is that really… alright?」
I said earlier I would cooperate.
But it looked like Fiona just wanted to be sure.
After that, she turned to Saki and started giving her instructions.
「I think there’s quite a few players in our guild that fit the conditions we were talking about.」
「Yeah… I’ll talk to them… tonight? Tomorrow?」
「Depends on Keith’s schedule. Make sure you take Keith with you.」
「I’m always free.」
「Great. I’ll just get them to gather in Legias.」
「Thanks, please do that. Could you take care of the forum post, Keith?」
I wrote down a rough draft and got them to look it over a few times before posting it.
I posted in a spells-related thread.
When I posted it, we were just passing the watchtower next to the forest.
I wondered what everyone’s thoughts would be.
Well, I could leave that for later.
I decided to keep going at my own pace.
Fiona’s wagon kept going slowly but surely.
The others had plenty of time to hunt the surrounding monsters.
I saw two Stray Horses in the distance.
I decided to try using【Call Monster】on just one of them for the time being.
『Adele, Irina, are you two alright with Stray Horses?』
『We haven’t fought them on our own before.』
『One of them is coming your way. Do your best.』
『On our own?』
『I’ll jump in if the Stray Horse gets too difficult and keep in mind, you’re not alone, you have Mio and Reina with you.』
We were speaking in the general group chat so everyone could hear us.
They would be alright.
『Hey! We’ve never taken down a Stray Horse, either!』
『We usually just run away from them.』
I looked at Fiona and Saki.
Some encouragement, please.
『I’ll make you some new equipment if you can get me some more Wild Horse Hide.』
『What a nice opportunity. Do your best, alright?』
Was that supposed to be encouragement…?
Judging from Mio’s and Reina’s worried faces, it looked like the answer was no.
I saw the Stray Horse running towards us.
I used【Identify】on it when it jumped out of the forest, and it was at Lv.5. Pretty strong.
But it looked like they would have no issues.
Adele and Irina focused on riding, while Mio used a spear, and Reina used her bow to attack it.
The tiger Mii-chan and the hawk Sky Eye were helping out too.
It would be an easy fight.
The moment the Stray Horse tripped and fell, the fight was pretty much decided.
As long as they didn’t let it get back up, that is.
Mio was especially effective with her spear.
Each attack from her took out a visible portion out of the Stray Horse’s HP bar.
It would just be a matter of time.
How about one more?
By the time we arrived in Legias, they managed to take down four Stray Horses.
I jumped out of the carriage at some point and joined them.
Fighting two of them at the same time really helped in getting back used to fighting monsters.
Mio and Reina were a bit hesitant to stick a blade into its head once it fell over.
Adele and Irina were already used to it.
A level-up came after we defeated the fourth Stray Horse.
《【Summon Magic】Level Up!》
I could get my eighth Summon Monster.
I decided to leave it for later.
I hadn’t yet decided on what kind of Summon Monster it would be.
Hmm… I couldn’t come up with any ideas…
Race Human Male Racial Lv8
Job Summoner Lv7
Bonus Points Remaining: 11
Staff Lv6 Punch Lv4 Kick Lv4 Joint Lock Lv4 Throw Lv4 Evade Lv4 Block Lv4 Summon Magic Lv8（↑1）
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 Lv2 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 Horse Leather Armour+ Snow Ape Armguard Wild Horse Boots+ Snow Ape Leather Helmet Rabid Horse Belt+ 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）