MTY: Chapter 112

I explained the situation with the Goblins to Riese, as he stared back at me in disbelief. I leave out the bits about my being the Maou, but it seems the rest was surprising enough as is because after I finish he is left silent and awe-struck.

Was I wrong to tell him about this?

Cold sweat begins to run down my spine as the silence runs long.

What will happen if he decides to tell people about the village? The goblin chief said that human hunt down monster settlements.

“How do I talk to them?” I hear in a sheepish voice

“Eh?” I let out as his words snap me back to the situation at hand

“I don’t know how to speak goblin! What do I cook?! Do goblins like monster meat? They must… but what kinds?! Wait… Goblins are even smaller than humans! Ahhh! What if I step on one?!” The giants worries erupt all at once

As I watch him anguish over the minor details, my worries flow away. I’m not quite sure what it is about him, but he seems like the type that couldn’t even tell a lie, much the less betray someone.

He does bring up a good point though, what will the new people I bring in do in regards to cross-communication? Reice understood the chief’s questions, so he must have been speaking the human language when we were talking, but the other goblins certainly don’t know it. Even if I asked the chief to start teaching the other goblins the human language, it wouldn’t solve the problem if I started bringing in other monsters like the Chief wanted… I suppose that’s another issue to tackle in the future.

“You’re worrying too much! The goblins will eat just about anything happily, and trust me when I say they are nimble enough to avoid you… so long as you don’t try to stomp on them that is.” I say as I remember our fight

Seriously, why is he so fast? Is it a bug? Must be a bug.

“Communication might be a bit slow, but the chief should be able to help you out. If any of the goblins bully you, you let me know alright? They can be a little mischievous.” I explain

I bet at least one group of the “human-hating faction” is going to try something. I would already be thinking up countermeasures… but honestly, I doubt they could even scratch him. The worst they could do is some emotional damage, which Riese seems unfortunately susceptible to.

“Wow! Your friend is really big lass.” I suddenly hear in an enthusiastic voice behind me

I nearly jump out of my skin in surprise as I turn to find Tea standing there looking up in amazement. He seems to be carrying something wrapped heavily in cloth that is tied down with leather straps under one arm.

“Geez, don’t sneak up on people like that. My nerves are still a bit shot from my last fight.” I let out with an exasperated sigh

I don’t even know who my opponent is. I haven’t met the man I befriended at the opening ceremony, nor have I worked up the nerve to admit that I can’t read so someone can tell me. Since anybody could be my next opponent I just can’t seem to relax. It’s hard to believe nobody will try to play dirty.

“Me? Sneaky? You must be rather shaken up there lass, I’m a lot of things, but quiet isn’t one of them. With all the tools I’m carrying you could hear me jingling down the streets from miles away.” Tea explains as he taps his belt with his free hand

“I told you the tournament was nothing to scoff at! Well, whether you win or lose all that matters, in the end, is that you got away without serious injury.” Tea says as he nods to himself

“Hmm, I suppose so. Next round would have been a lot harder if I was dealing with an injury like that.” I respond

That said, I haven’t found the limits of my “Restore” spell yet. If it doesn’t kill me, or leave me out of MP, I should be able to make a full recovery from most wounds quickly. I hope the Yuusha doesn’t have an ability like this, at least let me monopolize monster-like regeneration.

“Hm? Wait! You won?! You’re going to the next round?!” He lets out in surprise as he drops his package

“Yes? Isn’t that why you’re here? To deliver my weapon for the second round?” I ask in confusion

The thing he just dropped is my sword, right?

“Well, yes, but… wait, who did you fight? I was told it was some reeeeally big guy!” Tea asks with disbelief and excitement

Not really sure how to answer I just point to Riese behind me.

“Not that big though?!” Tea practically screams out as he looks at Riese again

It’s a little embarrassing actually, so I look around to make sure nobody saw.

“Hah…Hah…Hah. Okay, I think I’m good now.” Tea says as he catches his breath

“Your no joke, are you lass? When I was told you were going to be participating I got really worried. Kiel made a friend, then that friend threw herself into the swords of the worlds strongest fighters in basically no time at all. If you could beat someone like that without even a weapons though, maybe you really have a shot… I’m rooting for you! Hopefully, my weapon is good enough that it won’t hold you back!” Tea says as he unwraps the sword

I can’t help but stare at it in stunned silence when he does. It looks completely different from before. The previously silver metal is now a shineless black. In stark contrast to the murky white gem that forms the tip of the blade.

In my surprise, I forget to comment on the reveal, and Tea begins to look at me with concern.

“Is something wrong with it?” He asks as he gives the blade a once over again, checking for cracks or nicks in the blade

“Not at all, it’s just… this is quite the upgrade,” I say as I stare at the blade

There is one concern I have, but it’s not one I could voice. The blade… looks like the kind of thing a villain would wield. It has an ominous vibe to it, the kind that makes you worried that it’s cursed.

“Isn’t it?! I tried a new tempering method with magic iron. It should adapt to the magic flow of the user, which should make the interference with the magic crystal much lower. Since I already had a magic crystal attuned to your magic from before, I went ahead and let the metal absorb and adapt to you. I was afraid I messed up somehow when it changed colors, but the durability seems to have improved.” He begins to gush as he hands the blade to me

Growing weapons obtained:
Demonic Rapier lvl 1

 

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Quick update

I thought I would be able to get it fixed before too long passed so I didn’t say anything, but I got delayed because my pet turtle needed some care and it took some money. My laptop charger cable finally gave out, and I need to replace it to be able to use my laptop to write quickly. The next chapter is nearly complete as I’ve been typing it over my phone whenever I’m free, but it’s going to take quite a few passes to get rid of the spelling mistakes cause I have massive thumbs and a kinda tiny screen.

The money to replace it is coming in on the 5th from my Patreon (those that donate to it are really saving my hide here), but the chapter might be out before that if I can finish writing it and proofreading it before then.

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MTY: Chapter 111

With the match that I had been stressing myself over for what feels like forever finally over, I drag my exhausted body back to the waiting area. The receptionist that brought me in before explained that the room I was given before was for contestants fighting in the next round, so instead I went to the general waiting area where the rest of the fighters were resting.

Still sore from the hit I took I immediately go to work healing myself.

“Tei-La-Tu Restore” I say as I bathe myself in healing light

People begin to look at me, and before long I feel as though I am the center of attention for some reason. Many are looking at me with resentful glares. I try not to pay them any mind while I recover my wounds.

However, even after I stop using the magic the unsettling glares continue.

Why do so many people look angry with me? Was I not supposed to use magic between rounds? I don’t remember that being in the rules anywhere, so is it just an unspoken rule? Either way, I have no intention to continue being glared at like this until the next round starts.

I decide to take a walk outside while I wait for the next fight to begin.

As I walk out the side entrance used for competitors I notice my opponent from the last round lying against the building nursing his head.

“…You okay?” I ask in a nervous fashion

I put all of my strength into that hit, but I don’t think I’ve ever tested my full strength before. It might have been in desperation, but admittedly I’m feeling a little guilty about it.

“…Oh! It’s you! That was a great fight!” The giant says excitedly as he brings his face down to meet mine

Seriously? You can still be this energetic after taking a direct hit from me at full power to the head? Am I weak or is he just that strong?

“Wait, aren’t you upset that you lost?” I ask confused at his happy enthusiasm

“To think a mage like you could move like that! You hit me soooo hard too!” He happily continues, my words clearly not reaching him in his excitement

As my guilt fades I simply watch on with a smile as the oaf sings my praises.

“…You’re a good person. I’m glad it was you I lost to.” He says with some of the joy draining from his face

For some reason when he says this, my heart stings a bit. A mixture of anger and guilt swirl in me as I dwell on his words. I’m not even sure why I feel this way, but I’m compelled to correct him.

“Appearances can be deceiving you know? You should really learn to doubt people a little more.” I tell him

“…I get tricked easy, but I’m sure I’m right about this! You don’t think I’m different or scary… and you talk to me like I’m normal. I was scared when I punch those stands… but you lured me where there wasn’t anybody to hurt! Your strong, and smart, and kind, and and-!”

I throw up my hand to stop him as I avoid eye contact.

Please, don’t continue, I’m genuinely starting to feel bad here. Those are just places where I lack common sense, and I had no idea that area was empty of people. I thought the whole place was packed, where in the world could he have hit that it was empty?

“Anyway, aren’t you upset that you lost? You don’t seem like the kind that would come here to fight for the sake of fighting after all. Didn’t you have something riding on this?” I ask trying to change the subject

“Oh… Ya. I almost forgot. Where am I going to go now?” He says as the color drains from his face and he leans back against the wall

“What do you mean? Wouldn’t you just go back home?” I ask confused at his question

“…I break things a lot. People don’t make cities or houses for people as big as me. In my country when you break something the law is that you have to pay for it, and when your debt becomes too big you are executed or sold into slavery. Our king had been covering my debt on the condition that I fight for him… but my debt grew too high even for his patience. ‘If you don’t bring back the victory and the money then don’t bother returning! I will have you head myself if you do!’ is what I was told this time.” He explains as tears begin to well in his eyes

How much did he break exactly? When magic isn’t involved I can’t really imagine this guy losing to just about anyone, so wouldn’t that make him perfect for subjugating powerful and dangerous monsters? Exactly how much debt did he have to rake up for a king to throw away such a powerful pawn?

…Well, regardless of how much it is, it’s foolish all the same. I’m not going to follow in the footsteps of such a foolish king.

“I know somewhere you can go.” I say as I make up my mind

“Really?! Where?!” The desperate giant ask as his face quickly swings back to my level

“It’s a… place where you won’t be treated badly… but you will be different from everybody else.” I say tentatively as I think of how to describe it without freaking him out

“…Obviously? Is there a place that isn’t like that?” He asks in a confused tone

“You will be expected to work, and occasionally you will be asked to fight.” I continue

“I can have a normal job? Really?! All I’ve ever done is fight!” He excitedly responds

“… and you won’t be able to interact with other humans anymore.” I finish

… He doesn’t respond immediately. Silence falls between us for several minutes as he mulls it over.

“…Okay. I accept. Humans have always treated me like I was a monster… This is good.” He says with a look that shows he’s not totally convinced

Well, I’m not gonna tell him he can’t leave, but hopefully, if he does he will keep the secret.

KRTchZ

“Hey Hierch, I’ve got someone here I’m gonna send your way. He will be useful in helping you build, but in return, you have to feed and protect him. Understand?” I say with authority over the com-stone connected to the goblin chief Hierch

“Not really one for pleasantries are you? What manner of beast have you managed to tame this time?” He asks in an almost mocking fashion

“He’s not a beast, he’s a human. One of the Kollosaal. He was banished from his nation. Make sure he’s not treated badly there and he should be a great asset.” I explain

Honestly, my biggest worry is that the goblins are going to treat him badly since he’s human. Even though they treated me and my party pretty well, some of them still obviously harbored a grudge. I might need to head back there occasionally and beat some sense into them since I feel like he won’t defend himself.

“Hmm… More manpower is nice and all, but what we really need are artisans and craftsmen. Do you know if he has any kind of skills we can use?” Hierch ask in a much more serious tone

I look up at Reise whos face is next to me for an answer.

“I can cook I guess?” He says with a troubled look after a moment

“Hmm… It will have to do. I’m not gonna ask what it is you had to do to convince a human to come live here, but if you’re going to make a habit out of it we could really use a blacksmith or someone with architectural knowledge.” Hierch lets out in a disappointed tone

Where I want to tell him not to look a gift horse in the mouth, I can understand where he is coming from. Thankfully Hierch seems to have some idea of what he is doing, but he is a hob-goblin at the end of the day. Without some help, setting up a proper village with any kind of longevity isn’t going to be easy.

“I’ll keep an eye out, but it’s not going to be easy to find people that will want to live in a monster village. Do you know of any other monsters that have that kind of knowledge?” I ask

“If such monsters do exist, they aren’t going to be easy to find. Humans track down and kill any monster settlement or nest they learn about. It’s not easy to learn a craft when you are constantly in hiding. The only monsters I know of that would have that kind of knowledge are creatures like dragons or ancient turtles that humans have learned to avoid.” Hierch explains

Humans never really stop being a nuisance, do they?

“Alright then, as soon as I’ve finished my business here I’ll set to work tracking down one of these turtles or dragons. They sound really conspicuous, but they seem like our best bet for now.” I respond

“…Heh, you never stop saying interesting things, do you? Alright then, we will wait to hear back from you. Try not to become dragon chow before we next speak.” He says as the com stone disconnects

“Um…” Riese lets out after a few moments of silence

“Did you say ‘a monster village’?” He ask with a nervous look

 

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MTY: Chapter 110

As the ground grows still, I regain my balance and face my opponent.

“Now, before we start our match I would like to announce our guest for this round. I’m sure you all know her by this point, after all, she’s the darling child of the arena. I’m pleased to say we have Umana the three-time champion with us today!” The announcer continues in a slightly more calm tone than before

Thunderous applause and cheers erupt. Uncomparable to my own introduction, she is clearly loved by the crowd.

“Ahhh, even though I was given such a long notice, it still pains me to be introduced as an announcer rather than a fighter. I wonder if I can convince the king to let me fight next tournament?” She wistfully whines over the mic

She isn’t allowed to fight? Was she banned or something?

“Oh? Have done damage to the invincible bulwark? Maybe I should have my go in the ring.” The announcer jokes

“Oh? How about we duke it out after this as an exhibition then?” The guest says in a way that feels only half joking

Is she some kind of battle maniac?

“I suppose we should get this match under way shouldn’t we?!” The announcer nervously spouts

“Tch!”

“Don’t click your tongue! It’s what we are here to do!”  The announcer bickers

Chuckles poor out of the stands as people enjoy the comedy act.

“Well, I suppose it does seem like an interesting fight.” The guest concedes

“And with that, let’s get this fight under way! FIGHT!” The announcer quickly shout to set the match in motion

I suppose a count down would have been a bit too much to ask for, wouldn’t it?!

THUMP THUMP THUMP

As if waiting for his moment the giant begins his charge. His speed is faster than I had imagined it would be, but I’m ready. I charge into his legs and attempt to find a haven beneath him.

“And they are off! Let’s hope the match doesn’t end too quickly!”

“Oho? Maybe the girl has experience fighting larger opponents? Immediately trying to constrict his movements is a nice start.”

Just as I reach a blind point, he begins to move oddly. The foot I am hiding behind swings around sharply and knocks me over. It seems like, despite his size, he is dexterous enough to spin on his heel. I’m forced to evacuate the position quickly as a strike immediately targets the place I was knocked down to.

THUNK!!

His fist leaves a dent in the arena floor. I definitely don’t want to get hit by that.

“But it won’t be enough. The Kolossaal are fighters of great prestige. Despite their appearance, they focus on training their speed and acrobatics to make up for their weak points.” The woman comments

I noticed his speed when I saw him take down that Orc, but I didn’t think he would be able to move this smoothly. Wasn’t he supposed to be a clumsy oaf? How can he pull off such moves flawlessly?

This is going to be even harder than I thought. Let’s switch up the plan a bit.

He lunges again towards me again, but I can’t seem to figure out how he plans to attack. He is simply running full sprint towards me.

Unable to understand his actions I’m forced to remain defensively in place. Even if I attempted to run away from him, his large strides and superior speed would close any distance I could make in an instance.

“Hup!” He lets out as he does the unthinkable

Moments before he is practically stepping on me he leaps into the air. Soaring above my head and landing behind me.

THUMP!!

When he lands his intention becomes clear. The impact from him hitting the ground launches me into the air, even higher than when he entered the arena.

When he entered the arena earlier, was he testing me as well? Seeing if I would fall victim to this kind of attack?

As thoughts like those rush through my mind, I notice the true horror of this move. The giant prepares a fist yet again, and using the momentum of his fall, twirls around to strike me square in the air with it. With no way to dodge mid-air, I am sent flying at such a speed that I whistle sharply through the air into the arena wall.

“Oh! Debris and smoke fill the arena! She must have hit that wall hard. Well, it was bound to be a short match after all. So miss Umana, how would you ha-” The annoying announcer commentates on my slip up

“Quiet, it’s not over yet.” Umana corrects harshly, quieting the emerging chatter of the entire audience as they focus on the arena again

THAT HURT! I’m glad I’m not dead, but I’m definitely sore enough that something should be broken! I need to end this quickly. If I take another hit like that, it really will be over. Thankfully with that strike, I’m in the perfect position to begin my secret strategy.

“Please stay down, I don’t want to hurt you… You are really nice.” The menacing loaf says as he confirms that I’m still standing within the clearing cloud of smoke

“Sorry to tell you, but I’m not as nice as you think!” I yell out to him, goading him to attack

“See? You even try to make me feel better when you have no chance of winning… I’ll try to make this quick, so please stay down this time?” He lets out in a soft voice, unbecoming of the violence I’m sure he means to do with the attack he’s readying

Perhaps a twinge of irritation passes through me as I feel slightly mocked.

The giant begins his charge again. With me clearly in no state to dodge his quick yet powerful punch, he comes at me with no tricks.

As he nears me I jump as high as I can into the air, throwing the fear that stings every nerve in my body as I see the ground get farther and farther away out of my head for just a moment.

He lets out a smile as he watches my figure rise. It was too early. His fist had not yet been let fly, and as such he simply re-adjust before throwing it out right where I’m going to be.

Or so he thinks.

“Sorry about this.” I say as I vault over the approaching fist and lunge myself towards his face

He begins to draw his fist back, and draws his other hand to swat me away but-

IYAAAAAA!

The screams of the crowd stun him in place as he realizes what he’s done.

Don’t think bad of me alright? I am the Maou after all.

BAAAAM!

THUNK!

“…And with one miraculous move, the seemingly unbeatable first round wonder has been felled!” The announcer screams out as the giant’s unconscious body hits the floor

phew

I put everything into that hit, but I wasn’t sure whether that was going to take him down or not. If his defense was anything like his attack than I would have been defeated for sure. After all, it’s not like an attack like that would have worked twice.

“She used the crowd to stun her opponent?… An interesting strategy. She might be fun to fight after all.” Umana lets out in a curious and slightly creepy tone

“It certainly did seem that way. This, however, isn’t strictly against the rules. We remind people every year that watching these fight can be just as dangerous as being in them at times. Even I’ve had a bolt of lightening or shrapnel from a blast wiz by my head a time or two. Though we do discourage it, so if fighter Mano doesn’t mind, please don’t do that again.” The announcer says in a disapproving fashion

I don’t know what kind of fighters usually come here, but I would have likely died if I didn’t do that. Does the announcer think that scolding me is going to make me feel bad about it?

“With that, however, we can certainly call this round a close! Everybody, please take a small intermission while we clean up and repair the arena for the next fight!” The announcer yells out as the stands begin to empty

A small door opens up around where I entered and I can see an arm beckoning me. I let out another sigh of relief as I confirm once again that I actually pulled it off.

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MTY: Chapter 109

The day has finally come, hasn’t it? My first fight of the tournament. I can’t really help but be nervous. Did I prepare enough?

I attempt to take several deep breaths as I make my way to the fighters reception area.

 

There is a clear air of tension in the room as I enter. The atmosphere of this waiting area is incomparable to the opening ceremony. Everybody is preparing for their matches. Some are doing light workouts, while others seem to be psyching themselves up. Those that aren’t are scanning the room, assessing the condition of their competition.

“Ah, are you number 34? Your match will be taking place shortly if you would follow me this way.” I am almost relieved when a woman walks up to me and motions to follow

I jog to follow her, eager to escape the death glares of the others in the room. After a short while down the hall, she leads me to a small wooden door. Inside of which is a well-lit room with a mirror and a chair.

A mirror! Ahhh, I haven’t seen one of these since I appeared in the castle. I…. do not look very good. Thinking about it, I haven’t often had the chance to bathe properly. My hair especially really looks like it’s taking some damage. I wonder if I can find somewhere with shampoo in the market?

“Ahem!” I hear suddenly startling me

I turn to see Shishou entering the room behind me.

“Is right before the match really the time to suddenly start caring about your looks?” Shishou says with an annoyed tone

What does that mean?! I care about my looks! I’ve just been busy is all!

“Focus, you can win this if you play your cards right. I won’t let my disciple lose in the first round.” Shishou sharply comments

He has an oddly serious look on his face. I almost forgot that when he’s not torturing me in some fashion or another that he tends to look quite intimidating.

“Did you manage to think up any strategies?” He ask

“Well… I managed to come up with one I think could work… but I don’t know if I should use it.” I say as I nervously ponder over the idea

If it doesn’t work, I’ll be in some serious trouble after all. Even if it does work…

“Use it. If it doesn’t break the rules then you should brandish every weapon you have.” Shishou barks in a commanding tone

“Well it doesn’t… but-”

“No buts! You need to go into this knowing your strategy will work. Doubt will only make you weaker.” He interrupts

Is this him trying to be inspirational?

Well, in the end, he’s right. I don’t have any other ideas. If that fight with the Orc was any indication I won’t stand a chance by normal means.

knock knock knock

“Your match is about to begin if you would please head this way.” An attendant poke her head into the room after a brief knock and ask me to follow

I give a sharp nod to Shishou and leave. As I follow the attendant in silence through the barely lit halls my heart begins to pound in my chest. The methodical thumping that rings in my ears with each beat only furthers my nerves.

When exactly did I get so invested in this? These fights aren’t exactly life or death after all. Aside from helping Tea in a more peaceful manner and hindering the Yuusha a tad, I have little reason to fight… so why am I so nervous?

“IT’S HEEEEEEEERE!” An enthusiastic voice screams over a loud speaker system that rumbles the floor

The sound is so powerfully echoed through the hall that it nearly knocks me to the ground. My heart feels like it’s leaping out of my chest.

Who in their right mind would do that to someone?!

The attendant never faltered once. She continued to walk forward, never even slowing her pace despite my stumblings.

Which one of us exactly is meant to be a demon again?

“Ladies and gentlemen! We have what is probably the most incredible fight of the first round for you today! Though I can’t promise it won’t be over quickly, so keep your eyes peeled and don’t you dare blink!” The loud voice continued with equal enthusiasm but thankfully lower volume

The sound is still loud enough to hurt my ears, but thankfully it doesn’t make me as dizzy as before.

Seriously, did nobody think about the freaking acoustics down here?! What would you have done if I went deaf before the match?!

“Hurry up, you need to head out there when he announces you.” The attendant says giving a harsh glare over her shoulder at me

Wait… does she have something in her ear? She does! If you have ear plugs then give me some!

“Our first contestant is new to the scene, but her main traits seem to be her stunning beauty and her absolutely horrible luck! Give it up for Mano!” The announcer continues

What is up with that intro? I can’t really argue with that comment about my luck, but he is really setting me up for failure on that beauty comment. Just about every girl I’ve met has been cuter than me. Heck, even Kera is when she’s not being a pain in the neck.

sigh

Whatever, it’s not like I really care what the crowd thinks of me anyway.

Following my intro, I walk out into the arena. It’s hard not to squinch my eyes as they adjust to the bright light again, but when I do I’m met by a pretty amazing sight. The massive arena that is several stories tall and packed to the brim with stands doesn’t have a single empty seat in sight.

WOOAH

Light cheers and applause ring from the crowd as I come into view. The thunderous roar they make is both inspiring and nerve wracking.

“Now, you all might want to hold on, because our next fighter will knock you out of your seats with his entrance! He’s big, he’s… well he’s mostly just big! Give it up for Riese the Kolossaal!” The announcer continues

I have been wondering about this. He can’t simply walk in like I can, so how exactly do they plan to get him in here?

A horrible chill runs down my spine when the sky suddenly grows dark. I look up to see a massive man hurtling towards the ground.

PAAAAAM!

To say the ground shook when he landed would be an understatement. With nothing to hold onto I was flung into the air. I couldn’t even stand after landing due to the residual tremors.

“Hahaha! What did I tell you? Pretty amazing right? Were you blown away? I know somebody was at least.” The announcer annoyingly quips

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Update

Just wanted to let you guys know that the chapter should be up soon-ish. I had to go on a trip for a week, got back to a near house fire which cut my power for a few days, and somehow as soon as all that chaos was over I got roped into planning and setting up a wedding for a friend of mine. As far as I know, the chaos has ended though so I’ll have a chance to write now.

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MTY: Chapter 108

The fight is tomorrow, and I still have no idea how to handle it. I’ve considered counters, attacking weak points, and even the possibility of tricking him out of the ring, but I’ve not been left confident that any of those strategies would work. I realized that my main disadvantage going into this fight was that I’ve never seen my opponent in action before. If I hinge too much on any one strategy and he counters it, my loss will be all but decided.

I asked everybody I could think of, even non-combatants, to see if anybody had a useful idea. The only one I received was from Juire.

“If you don’t know enough to think of something yourself, then just learn more about him. I hear he’s been spotted in the woods to the west.” He said before shuffling me out

He seemed to be busy, and many people were bustling about in his office. I hope they aren’t scamming people again. It’s already hard enough to justify why I’m working with them to Kiel.

Considering I was out of all other ideas I followed his advice and went to the western forest to look for the Kolossaal. At first, I had trouble doing so, considering the sheer size of the forest, but before much time had passed I found a trail of destruction leading away from the city.

This is either a path towards the person I’m looking for… or another vicious beast that I’m not sure I can handle.

Realizing the risk I move cautiously forward, moving as stealthily as I can. I activate Clear at about half power to help obscure me without eating through my MP.

sigh

I breathe a sigh of relief when my target comes into sight, and it’s not some horrid monster.

The Kolossaal is sitting in a flower field eating from a massive vat of soup.

growl

It looks delicious.

“Ah.” He lets out as he drops his spoon

SWOOSH!

“AAAAHHHH!” He yells out as he accidentally pours his soup trying to pick up the spoon

growl

I can’t help but feel a bit sad as I watch the gallon and gallons of soup pour onto the flowers.

I’ve been thinking this for a while… but he’s a bit of a clutz, isn’t he?

SIGH “I better go get some more.” He says to himself as he wipes the soup from his clothes

Now that I look a bit closer at him, he is covered in what look to be sewn together rags. His clothes have a myriad of rips and stains in them, and they look to be falling apart at the seems. I wonder why he is wearing such cheap looking clothes?

Amidst my mindless thought about his appearance, I notice a small thumping that seems out of time with the Kolossaals steps. However, before I have time to truly consider the implications of it, the reason is made clear.

“KRYIYAAA!” I hear in a familiar tone that sends a shiver down

From the trees comes stomping out an Orc. Although a different color than the last, still incredibly large with an intimidating atmosphere. Within moments of its screech, it begins its charge towards the Kolossaal.

…Wait. Is it slower than the last one? It seems to be taking ages to reach him.

BAAM!!

Just when I think the Orc is finally going to land its attack, a gruesome sight unfolds. With a single strike, the Kolossaal has shattered the creature’s head. The flowers receive a red rain as the creature falls to its knees and crumples forward.

“Perfect! I was more in the mood for grilled meat anyways!” The Kolossaal says happily as he begins to drag the orc

The beautiful field of flowers, that was pristine up until several moments ago has become a battlefield. The most disturbing thing about the entire situation, however… is that this image hasn’t deterred my appetite in the slightest.

I think it’s time to change my strategy.

“Oiiii! Mind if I join you?” I yell out as I approach

“Hm? WHA?! Wha-What are you doing here?! D-do you plan to fight dirty or something! We-we-we aren’t allowed to fight outside of the ring!” He begins to rattle off in a frantic voice as he drops the orc

I suppose that is how this would look, isn’t it?

“What? Of course not! If I wanted to do that, I could have just attacked you from the shadows!” I yell even as I grow closer

I have no idea whether he can hear me from up there. I feel like I’m constantly trying to talk to someone on the second floor of a building.

“Ah… I suppose that’s true… Then why have you come all the way out here? I-i chose this spot because everybody seems to avoid this area.” He says still somewhat sheepishly

He still doesn’t seem to trust me.

“To be honest, I came out here to hunt that Orc you just beat. I was tailing the thing for a while so I could take it down with less of a fight, but then you beat it before I had the chance.” I say scratching my head

Yeah right. To be honest I just thought that approaching him would get me more information. I doubt any monsters are going to present much of a challenge for him if he can do that to an Orc, and I would rather not watch him cook for several hours. Yup, it’s totally not because he mentioned cooking and eating that delicious looking meat.

“Ah?! I’m so so so sorry! I didn’t mean to steal your kill! Please take it, it’s yours!” He says frantically still as he bows repeatedly

I almost feel bad for spying on this guy. He is so polite… and gullible. He didn’t ask for any kind of proof at all before giving away a powerful monster’s corpse.

“Oh, I couldn’t! You did do all of the work after all, but I happened to overhear that you were planning on cooking it up. Would you mind if I got a little bit of the meat myself?” I ask attempting to stop the drool that is beginning to seep from my mouth

“…” He simply stares at me with a bewildered look for a moment after my question

“Did I say something… odd?” I ask

“Ah! I’m sorry! It’s just that… humans don’t usually eat monster meat. At least not the more grotesque looking ones.” He says avoiding eye contact

“What are you talking about? Aren’t you human as well?” I ask

I’m not mistaken, am I? Sure they have ancestry with giants, but they are still part human right? Are their stomachs less sensitive because of their giant heritage or something?

Instead of answering me however he simply stares blankly at me with a look of disbelief. After a few seconds pass he begins to rub his eyes for some reason before continuing.

“You’re a good person! In that case, let me cook it up, I’ll be quick as lightning!” He says with a happy expression

“Actually, if you could just help me prepare the meat I can do the cooking.” I explain

“Oh… okay.” He lets out with clearly disappointed body language

Clumsy and you can read him like a book. These might actually be really useful hints.

He pulls out a sharp looking rock from a pouch at his side, and I take out a dagger and we begin to skin the Orc. I thought it would take forever considering the size of the creature, but the entire experience is done in roughly and hour. Admittedly I did a lot less than he did, despite the fact that he was only using a crude rock as his tool.

He seems rather used to the experience. Does he typically hunt for his own food?

“Alright! Time to get started cooking!” I say as I roll up my sleeves

“Um… can we at least split the work? We can cook it faster if we do. Besides um… I can work with more meat at a time.” He sheepishly offers as he rubs his neck

Hm? Oooh, I get it. He wasn’t excited to cook the meat, he just didn’t want to wait for me to cook it on a normal sized pan.

“Don’t worry, I can do it all at once.” I say giving a sharp determined nod

Since I won’t be able to use magic in our match anyways, I might as well show off a bit. If he thinks that I’m a mage he might even underestimate me.

As I get ready to cook it, I can only wonder why this one feels different from the previous orc. The meet of the last one looked completely disgusting, but this looks juicy and delicious. It even has this amazing scent to it that wets the appetite.

“Fal-Kei-Tera Earth manipulation!” I yell out as I try to work out the dimensions of my new creation

The last one was made to burn to a crisp, but this one needs to be able to cook the meat all the way to the bone without burning it. That means placing it in fire directly is out of the question.

I begin to gather earth on every side of the orc, attempting to harden chunks so it will form easier when I move the walls into place. I begin by making a chimney for the smoke to exit the oven. I don’t really know whether there is any real benefit of making it tall, but I go ahead and do it anyways just in case. I want this meat to be made right.

After I’m done I start to harden the earth directly beneath the orc continuously until it is as hard and sleek as metal. Once I’m convinced it’s sturdy enough I hollow out an area below it and make tunnels towards the surface all around my masterpiece so supply air.

After that much is complete I raise the walls around the orc forming an igloo-like shape around it. I walk around the outside to make sure there are no cracks or imperfections.

“….W-Wow! That’s amazing! You made me such a big oven! I can cook my meals in one setting with this thing!” The Kolossaal says after staring in befuddled silence for a few moment.

Yes! Be amazing at my orc oven 2.0!

“I’ll go gather some wood to fuel it right away!” He says as he picks up his sharp rock and dashes into the forest

Aaaand there he goes. He left with such enthusiasm that I never even had the chance to stop him. Oh well.

“Fal-Su-Feir Fireball.” I say aloud as I focus on the cavity below the orc

The heat can’t be too high, so I focus hard on regulating the power. Somehow fluctuating the heat to match my needs is even more tiring than making the oven was. When it grows too hot I have to cool it down even below my target temp to let the cooking plate cool off properly. Stopping the flame from going out of control when I raise it, or from going out entirely when I lower it is a trial, to say the least.

“Ah! It’s cooking already?! Did you gather firewood before me too?!” The clumsy oaf says as he drops the large pile of wood he gathered in what seems to have only been a few minutes

“A-actually, I’m using magic to keep it going. This is harder than I thought it was going to be though, so if you could through in some of that wood please… quickly.” I say as I struggle to focus on the flames and him at the same time

Without even responding he quickly begins to fumble with the dropped wood to carry it over to the oven and insert it in the fire cavity.

sigh “Thanks. I bit off more than I could chew.” I say as I wipe the sweat from my brow

“I’d say, I’ve never seen anybody able to do that with magic. I’m glad I didn’t get matched up against you in the third round.” He says as he falls onto his butt and leans backward

Oi, doesn’t that mean that you still plan to win the first round? Even if your confident don’t say that kind of thing to my face!

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