MTY: Chapter 120

I can’t see anything. Everywhere I look all I see is smoke, it’s as if the entire arena has filled to the brim with a bright white fog.

I draw my sword and keep up my guard as I fish for more information.

“What’s this?! It seems that one of the competitors has filled the arena with smoke! While a smoke bomb _is_ considered a tool, I always hate to see someone use a strategy like this. I suppose we will just have to wait until the smoke clears to see the fight unfold.” The announcer proclaims in a disappointed tone

So the crowd can’t see much either then?

Swish!

While I try to think of a strategy a gash opens up on my arm.

I instantly swing in the direction the attack must have come from, but my sword finds nothing but smoke.

How can he find me in this smoke? Perhaps he memorized my location before the smoke went up. In that case, I’ll need to reposition.

With a strong backward jump I manage to make some serious distance between me and my starting location, however, as I flew backward several more gashes appeared across my body.

Can he really see me clearly in this smoke, and what’s with that ridiculous speed?! Not only did he manage to keep up with me while I repositioned, but he managed to land several attacks quickly enough that I couldn’t even see him.

In this kind of zero visibility situation, isn’t the solution usually sound?

I strain my ears to their utmost limit trying to listen for Incha.

MURMUR MURMUR MURMUR

It’s no use. Any kind of subtle sound is completely lost in the loud disgruntled murmuring of the crowd denied it’s show. Could someone really manage to hear something as subtle as the air rushing past me in this kind of noise?

“INCHA! Enough of your tricks! Face me!” I yell growing irritated

The gashes around me aren’t deep, but they are bad enough to slow me down. Is his intent to draw the fight out and slowly weaken me? Surely the smoke would clear before then.

whistle THUNK!

“AGH!” I let out as a knife quickly flies through the smoke and buries itself in my thigh

The pain is intense, far more than a simple stab wound should be.

Due to repeated exposure, you have gained:
Poison resistance II

 

 Poison?! Is that even allowed?!… Thinking about it, there didn’t seem to be many rules or restrictions on what kind of weapons one could use during this round. As much as it seems like a cheap cowardly dirty trick, he is simply using the rules to his advantage. 

He did give me an idea, however. If throwing weapons are okay, then I have a surprise or two of my own up my sleeve.

I quickly search through my inventory for every dagger and cooking knife that I managed to filch from the castle I started in.

First I throw one in the direction the knife buried in my thigh came from, and then randomly around. With the speed and power in which I release them, they resemble an arrow or possibly even a bullet. Even if he can see me, he shouldn’t be able to avoid all of these.

“Oh dear! Knives have begun to fly out of the smoke at high speed! I encourage you all to take cover! Our medical team has already started helping those hit. What in the world could be going on in there that could explain this sudden storm of knives?!” The announcer excitedly reacts

The crowd? How could they be hitting the crowd? I’m sure I’m throwing them level to the ground… are the curving upward because I’m throwing them too hard?

tink

Still trying to figure out the previous mystery, one of my knives fall back at my feet. Less than thrown, it seemed to be dropped. Immediately I look up, and what I see faintly in the smoke sends a chill down my spine.

A web. A faint glint reflecting off the cords shows the familiar sight of a spiders web in the smoke only a foot or two above.

Scared, I throw a knife directly at the center to cut it down, but much to my surprise the net sends it back to me like a trampoline.  When I look at the tip of the knife, however, you can tell it didn’t come out unscathed. The part that impacted the web looks shredded to bits.

This is bad! That thing is centered right above me, which means he knows exactly where I am… if he manages to close those threads in around me it’s my loss for sure. What can I do to stop that though? I can’t risk using my sword against it, after all, if it gets destroyed I’ll never stand a chance in the next round. If only I could use magic this would be a breeze.

…If these things have been what’s been cutting me, then that would mean he can’t actually see me right? He must have figured out where I was when I yelled out for him, but aside from that, he must be as blind as I am… In that case, I have an idea.

“Fine, I can always just wait out the smoke!” I yell out

When I receive no response I carefully and quickly I begin digging at the ground beneath me, trying to stay quiet about it. I dig a small trench, just large enough for me to fit in lying down, and start to cover myself in the dirt directly below the center of the web. I do my best to cover my entire body, leaving a space directly above my face to see and breath. I’m sure the disguise could be easily seen through in almost any circumstance, but in this, near zero visibility arena, it just might work.

I wait… what I’m sure are minutes I feel drag by as if hours. Should my plan fail and he discovers me I would have served him victory on a silver platter. I strain my eyes to their limit to monitor the wires now far above overhead. Although entirely invisible in the smoke at this distance, the occasional glint reassures me they are there. The job of spotting them becomes easier however as time passes. The occasional glint becomes a light show not only above but all around as the wires silently become denser.

The sound that came next could come to haunt my dreams. The sound of thousands of wires as sharp as blade sliding against one another as the constricted around what was once my location. As the wires grew close enough for me to see clearly I realized the sheer scale of the trap that was set for me.

A wall resembling orderly steel wool passed over my head. The previous image in my head of being chopped to bits turns to that of being Puréed.

“KRYAAAAAAAAAAAAGHhhh-….” I channel that fear into a blood-curdling scream as the wires finish their constriction

Then again… I wait.

After several more minutes of silence pass, he finally arrives to check the scene. My previous gamble paid off, but this one is far riskier. If he manages to notice that there is no Maou-paste at the center of his web before he gets into range he will disappear back into the smoke and my trick won’t work again.

Slowly he approaches, I can see the confidence on his face, the lack of regret. Not only does he think he killed me, he is proud of his achievement. Perhaps it’s that pride that blinds him long enough for me to grab ahold of his leg as he treds next to me.

I pull his leg and knock him to the ground before springing from the dirt to mount him and keep him pinned to the ground.

“Your trap was clever, but now-” I start as I draw back a fist to smack his smug face with, however, I’m interrupted

“I SURRENDER!” Incha yells in a clear consice, and annoyingly not panicked voice

“Wha?! What do you mean?!” I nearly yell in his face

“You heard me, I surrender, you win. Good match friend?” He says as he puts out his hand to shake giving a knowing grin

“You are unbelievable!” I yell as I get up, kneeing him “accidentally” in the ribbed as I do

As I get up, the smoke begins to rapidly clear, and the wires beigin to move like snakes towards Incha, who has started forming an odd hand gesture. In mere moments the arena is perfectly visible, and not a wire is in sight. It happens so quickly it feels as if the entire fight from a moment ago could have just been an illusion.

I look back to Incha to see that he still has his hand outstretched.

“You are going to help me back up aren’t you?” He asks in a smug tone

In response, I take his hand as if I am, and instead pull hard enough to toss him to the ground again.

cough “So you are immune to it.” He says with a smile as he just lays there

“WELL FOLKS, IT SEEMS YOU DON’T HAVE TO SEE IT TO BELIEVE IT! It looks like Contestant number 34 Mano will be moving into the semifinal round! The mystery newbie continues to amaze, but how will she face off against her next opponent? How did she even face off against this opponent?” The announcer excitedly riffs now that he can finally see what he is talking about

 

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MTY: Chapter 119

The time until the next fight passed quickly. I practiced with my new sword in any given opportunity I had, although I’m still not completely confident with it. The weight is significant. Even if I can swing it with ease, it delays the speed of my attacks that had become second nature during Shishous hellish training. If possible, I shouldn’t rely too heavily on it this round.

As I sit in the waiting area in the arena, waiting to be escorted back to my prep room, I make sure I’m mentally prepared.

What kind of attack will he come at me with? With such a small physic he is either a mage or relies on speed most likely. If he is the later this should be a simple fight of my speed versus his, but if it’s the prior then I should be on the lookout for tricks. Any mage that would enter this tournament would have to understand the disadvantage they were at. That being the case if they still joined they must have a trick or two to help them advance through the rounds up their sleeves.

“I don’t know whether to be flattered or insulted that you are so deep in thought just before our match. I suppose the answer lies in whether you are deep in thought about me or not?” A familiar voice says snapping me out of my focus

I’m almost started by how suddenly Incha appears before me. He is certainly light on his feet.

“I suppose I am. I have no idea how you fight after all. That, and something a friend of mine said is still weighing on my mind I guess.” I answer

I still haven’t discovered who rigged this next round. I can’t really figure out why someone would to be honest. If it’s to decide who moves on to the next round, was I the person meant to lose or Incha? The bracket was decided before almost anybody here had seen me fight so surely nobody should have been counting on me progressing unless Incha is truly weak. If so, then why not rig the first round as well to make sure I made it this far?

Was Incha meant to lose this round then? His opponent dropped out of the first round, so it was possibly rigged in his favor. If so, then why? Who benefits from me advancing to the third round to fight Afeuro? Worse yet… could Incha have rigged the drawing?

“Contestant number 34 Mano, and contestant number 35 Incha, please proceed to your prep areas.” An attendant says robotically as she indicates the way for us

“I guess it’s our turn. Let make it a good fight.” Incha says with a smile as he holds his hand out to shake

“Of course.” I respond as I grab it

Tcht!

“Ow!” I let out as a sharp prick hits my palm out of nowhere

The pain is enough that I was sure I must be bleeding, but when I inspect my hand I see no wound.

Confused I inspect the hand I was shaking, however, there doesn’t seem to be anything in his palm. He’s not even wearing a glove.

A look of regret flushes over Incha’s face as I inspect his hand.

Due to repeated exposure, you have gained:
Curse resistance I
Poison resistance I

 

“Oh my goodness! I completely forgot I’m so sorry!” Incha says as he hovers his hands around mine looking at it, but avoiding contact

Confused at the message I received and his sudden panic I simply look on skeptically.

“I was born with a curse… it hurts those that I come in contact with. It is so rare that I make friends that I had forgotten about it.” Incha says with a sorrowful look

His face… looks genuine, but I can’t help but remain skeptical. Regardless, thanks to my new resistances it doesn’t seem to have affected me, so, for now, I’ll just go with it.

“It’s alright, I feel a tad wheezy, but I should be fine before the fight.” I say attempting to look a bit sickly

This is a complete lie. The first time he touched my hand I will admit I felt a little woozy, but I figured it was just because of how hungry I was. That fight really took it out of me. This time, however, I feel completely fine.

“Is that so? Thank goodness. Not to put myself first, but if you had dropped out of the fight as well I probably would have been kicked out on suspicion of fixing my fights. Are you sure your okay?” He asks again as he hovers around me in a doting kind of way

I suppose he does have a point. It would look suspicious if his second round opponent dropped out as well, plus with a curse this weak there is no way he would have been able to take down Afeuro using this method. He would have just been defeated next round instead if he was relying on some cheap method like that.

“I’ll be fine. If you really feel guilty about it, just treat me to some ramen after the fight.” I say with a smile

“…Pfft, is that all?! You must be fine after all. Alright, it’s a deal, I’ll treat you later.” Incha says as he goes to put out his hand to shake on it

He jerks it back before he fully extends it though, clearly remembering what happened.

“Sorry, I’ll be more careful.” Incha says with a nervous smile

The attendant standing next to us is beginning to look a tad irritated, however.

“This. Way. Please.” She says as she points with irritation towards the prep rooms

“Shall we?” I say as I follow her instructions

Incha gives a nod and we separate into our prep rooms.

While I wait for my our fight to begin I give my stats a thorough inspection to make sure the curse hasn’t affected them. Although I can’t seem to find anything wrong I cast “Restore” on myself just in case.

I receive no visitors while I wait this time, and I spend my time waiting enjoying my peaceful boredom. It doesn’t last however as after a short while the attendant pokes her head in yet again to lead me to the Arena.

“LADIES AND GENTLEMEN! We have yet another amazing fight for you today! I’m sure you are all excited to see our one-hit wonder in action again after her last fight, but today she is matched up with another new face to the tournament. Due to a drop out in the first round, it is still unknown what kind of fight we have ahead of us today. Will it be a one-sided slaughter, or will the unknown element turn the tables? I suppose the only way we will know is if we get down to it. LET THE MATCH… BEGIN!” The announcer excitedly says as I take up my place across from Incha

I begin to draw my sword, but before I can even get it out of my Scabbard, my vision goes white.

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MTY: Chapter 118

After letting my anger settle about the king fixing the bracket, I began to consider what Juire had been telling me. Perhaps there is more to Incha than there appears to be. Since nobody got to see how he fights there is no telling what kind of threat he could be, no matter how weak he appears.

I only have until tomorrow, but I might as well spend the time I have polishing the one advantage I have going into the next round.

“Shishou! I want you to teach me how to use a sword!” I say with a determined bow

“Not gonna happen.” He responds nonchalantly as he picks his ear with his pinky

His figured perched on top of a large boulder in the park could not be any less dignified if he tried.

I say nothing as my face flushes red. Whether it is out of anger, or embarrassment of my one-sided determination I cannot tell.

“In the first place, you only have until tomorrow. Anything I could teach you in that time would only serve to make you weaker as you ignored your own battle instinct to try and use what I taught you.” He continued as he flicked earwax from his finger in my direction

Anger. Definitely anger.

“Alright then, I suppose I’ll just do a bit of image training then. After all, I have to get myself used to the weight of my touched up sword before tommorow~” I say as I draw my sword

“Alright but don’t tire yo- WOAH!” Shishou says as he jumps off of the boulder I sliced in two

“Oh, were you up there? Sorry about that. I suppose I got too focused on my image training.”  I say as I take up a stance and face him

“Hmph, I see. Then perhaps I should do a little training myself. I don’t want to get rusty before I have the chance to beat some sense into this disciple now, do I?” Shishou says as he picks up a nearby stick

The stance he takes is different from any he has taken before however, and an air of intimidation radiates from him. He looks serious. Perhaps I went too far in provoking him?

As these thoughts pass through my head Shishou lunges forward at an incredible speed. Despite still being quite some ways away, in a single step he has managed to close the gap enough to strike. I instinctively move to avoid the incoming attack, but I’m powerless against it. He jabbed my stomach hard enough to knock the wind out of me… and yet his measly stick doesn’t even seem damaged.

I begin to ready a skill… but decided against it. I need to prepare myself for the next round. I need to try not to rely on skills or magic, even against an opponent like Shihou. After all, I have an advantage in this fight with or without them.

I charge at Shishou with a strike, and as soon as I am within range I lunch my sword at his chest.

“Naive!” He yells as he smacks my sword to the side

crycht CHACK!

Moments later the stick he was holding explodes into fragments. Even the part he is holding shatters into chunks of wood and falls through his grip.

“You know, I’ve been wondering about that for a while. Despite both of us being able to land blows that can easily break stone and wood, somehow your makeshift weapons seem to be able to withstand the backlash of those blows. At first, I simply thought that it was due to your level of mastery, but after a while, I started to have my doubts. You infuse them with magic, don’t you? The same way I do with my sword.” I say as I revel in the look of surprise on Shishou’s face

“Indeed. When your stats begin to rise you start running into the issue of your gear not holding up anymore. So long as you give a steady flow of magic to an object, however, it will share your strength and durability. However different materials have different capacities for mana. Typically if you exceed that capacity the objects will fall apart, like my stick just now.” Shishou explains

As he explains, however, a faint glow begins to form around his hand and begins to take shape.

If however, you have enough mana and a strong enough image in your head, you can bypass the object entirely and manifest a weapon.” He continues as a crystal blue rapier forms in his hand

The phantasmically transparent material combined with the near crystalline structure of the blade is quite something to look at. It almost looks like an exhibit in an art gallery.

woosh

Something odd happens in my attempts to admire it, however. As if I had blinked, Shishou disappears with nothing but a light breeze from his surroundings to acknowledge that he was even there in the first place. Before I have time to react to this astounding sight, however, I feel a sharp cold prick on my neck followed by an equally cold voice.

“What I’m curious about however is how it is that you managed to introduce extra mana to my weapon with a strike? While we are at it, why don’t you tell me all about that strange weapon you showed up with?” Shishou says from behind me

In the corner of my vision, I can the see the edge of the crystal blade he formed moments ago. The cold feeling on my neck is clearly his blade.

“I literally have no idea what you are talking about! I just thought if I pumped my weapon full of more magic than yours I could break your stick!” I say in a slight panic

Shishou is probably the only person aside from the Yuusha that I could trust without a doubt could kill me.

“And the sword? I’ve never seen that material before. How can it hold such a large amount of Mana?” Shishou ask as he presses the blade slightly into my neck

“It’s just magical iron! Tea said it became like this while he was crafting it, he doesn’t know why!” I explain

I do my best to lie without saying anything false. If Shishou checks my story and finds out I lied things could turn out badly, but he would get suspicious if I tell him it became like this from being infused with my mana.

Shishou falls silent for a moment or two before releasing me from his grip, but his face still looks serious as he holds out his hand.

“Let me see it.” He says simply

I do as he says as hand my weapon over, trying to hide my nervousness.

“Is this… cursed?” He ask as he looks closely at the blade

A faint shimmering begins to appear around his hand as he hovers it a few inches over the blade.

Is that a skill? Maybe I should check his status?… No, not right now. I don’t think I’m out of the water yet. Since normal people can only see names and levels from status it would be suspicious for me to use it in this circumstance.

“That’s… great! Cursed weapons inherently have abilities infused in them! This one must be able to flood others weapons with your mana! With this, the next round should be a breeze. Mana infusion is fair game in the second round, so all you need to do is shatter your opponent’s weapon using this technique!” Shishou gushes as gleams with joy at the blade

“If it’s using an ability to shatter the weapons, wouldn’t it still be against the rules?” I ask as I try to subtly ask for it back

I know he’s not going to break it, but it makes me nervous to be separated from it for some reason? Was I always this attached to my sword?

“Cursed and enchanted weapons are allowed due to their rarity, but I doubt anybody has ever used a cursed weapon in the tournament before.” He answers as he returns the blade to me

“Why’s that?” I ask

“Simple, this is a pretty heavy distraction for most.” Shishou says as he presents the hand he was holding my sword in

The parts that were gripping the sword have turned a stark red, and blisters seem to be forming

“The backlash from a cursed weapon hurts whoever is in contact with it. Seems this one gives a pretty nasty burn to its victim. Though your dainty hands seem to be just fine.” He says with a raised eyebrow

“Really? If it supposed to be burning than I think I know why. For some reason, I don’t burn easily. Once when I was a kid I got stuck in a fire, and I hardly had any burns at all when they got me out.” I explain as casually as I can muster

It’s true that I was born with a fire resistance, but I suspect that has to do with being the Maou. I don’t know if it’s something that normal people can get, so I need to play it off like I don’t know why I have it.

“A skill from birth? Or perhaps one that developed from the stress of being trapped in a burning building as a kid?… Regardless, these two strokes of luck will work perfectly in our favor!” Shishou ponders to himself happily

“Not that I don’t appreciate the enthusiasm, but why are you so invested in me winning? You didn’t seem to care if I even joined just a few days ago.” I ask slightly confused

Shishou freezes in place, and his eyes dart away so they don’t meet mine.

“Ah.. well… y-you see! I’m a bit low on funds you know! So I might have… bet on you to win?” He says sheepishly

“That’s… not a bad idea. I should get Kera to bet our money on that as well.” I say as I consider the option

There is already a payout for winning, but I see no reason not to profit a bit more on the side.

“Why do you seem nervous about that though? I’m flattered that you think I’m going to win, but you might want to put in a little more effort training me! Sure the next round seems in the bag, but I have to face Afeuro in the third!” I try to scold Shishou

Weeeeell, that’s kind of the thing about it. I bet more on Afuero. Sorry kid, but chances of you being able to beat the legendary monster slayer after a month of proper training is slim, even for you. You couldn’t even hold a sword properly when I met you…” Shishou says while giving a sharp glare at my hand

“Scratch that, you still can’t hold a sword properly.” he says with a slight sneer

“If you win the next round I’ll get two payouts though, so fight for us both!” He says with a hearty chuckle as he begins walking towards the remnants of his rock

As a thank you for his heartfelt pep talk I decide to give him a gift and throw one of the rocks he seems to love so much at the back of his head.

 

 

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MTY: Chapter 117

As we are escorted out of the castle grounds by the only guard that seems to be able to walk us out without wetting himself, I do my best to stop myself from fuming in anger. As we make our way onto the normal streets, and the guard parts from us, Juire begins to talk to me.

“Sorry you got dragged into that, I would have warned you he was going to try something, but I figured he would at least sit on his over-confident laurels for at least another round. I guess the trouncing you gave that big fellow really scared him good.” Juire says in a genuinely apologetic tone

The change from his normal tone is so drastic that I can’t help but stare stunned for a moment.

“Was beating up Riese really that big of a deal? I mean sure it was difficult, but surely that alone doesn’t make it look like I’m on par with the Yuusha?” I ask in return

If I was in the king’s position I certainly wouldn’t be freaking out just yet. I nearly lost after all.

“You are on a first name basis already? You certainly are a mysterious one, aren’t you? Here I was planning to wait until he recovered from the shock of losing to swoop in and take such a valuable asset, and yet you managed to grab him up even before I did.” Juire says with a snake-like grin

“How much do you know?” I ask as I place my hand on my weapon

I wasn’t cautious enough. Even if it seemed like we were alone, I forgot that Juire has ears and eyes all over the city. I can’t risk a villain like having valuable information on me like that monster village.

“I know that the envoy I sent to recruit our large mutual acquaintance was turned down and that the lumbering oaf seems to think of you as his benefactor. From your reaction though, I imagine that can’t be all there is to learn? Perhaps I should dig deeper?” Juire responds

“I would advise against it. I don’t care what kind of deal we have, I won’t hesitate to cut down someone that digs into my past.” I say as I draw me blade

“And here I thought we were starting to get along better? I joke anyways, we don’t dig into our business partners business. Call it a thieves code if you will, but most groups we work with have a similar policy with prying ears and eyes.” Juire says as he puts his hands up in surrender

I let my blade fall back into its scabbard, and he continues.

“Your right, however, about the king overreacting, but he did so with good reason. Your fight looked staged.” Juire says as his smile returns and he lowers his hands

“Staged?” I ask almost insulted

“It looked like a poor attempt to hide your strength. Although you seemed to be on the ropes for most of the fight, you walked away from a strike that would have killed most with virtually no injury. All of course before taking down your opponent in a single strike. To a coward like that king, the fact that you could afford even a poor charade like that against a thought unbeatable opponent made you a real threat.” Juire explains

“It’s like I didn’t get hurt. If the fight had dragged on anymore it would have been trouble. Thankfully I managed to end it fast so I could heal myself right away.” I respond in a huff

I’m not being humble either. I’m pretty sure I was bleeding internally after that blow. Forget losing, if I had been banned from using magic much longer I probably would have outright died. How exactly is spitting up blood “Virtually no injury”?

“…Did you say you healed yourself?” He asks in the most stunned face I’ve ever seen him wear

“What… was I not supposed to? The rule on not using magic is only until the round ends right?” I ask nervously, afraid I might have made a mistake

How stupid can I be?! I did it right in front of all of the other contestants too!

“No, it’s nothing like that. It’s just… Healing magic is incredibly rare. Enough to be called a national treasure if you are capable of it. You just keep becoming more interesting.” Juire says as his smile returns with twice the schemeing behind it

So thats why I was getting such weird looks when I healed myself. If healing magic is so rare I can’t imagine a country would ever risk sending someone capable of it to a foreign country to fight to the death. The fact that I was able to take out Riese must have put them plenty on edge, but to realize that I could use healing magic on top of that must have made me everybody’s enemy.

“You should be careful by the way. The king rigged the drawing so you would be against the worst match in each round. Riese the Kollossal in the first round, and Afeuro in the third, but somehow his attempts to rig the second round failed. It seems like someone might have gotten to it before he could.” Juire says growing more serious

cric CRACK crack cri-

The cobblestones under my feet begin to crack as a wave of anger washes over me.

“HE WHAT?!” I yell out

“What?… You hadn’t realized yet? You didn’t find it odd at all that you were slated to go against the strongest people participating?” Juire ask with a disappointed look

I clench my teeth at his question.

I mean I might have noticed if I could READ!

“Of all the no-good tricks! How could he and Anata even be related?!” I let out angrily as I stomp the cracked cobbles

“It’s not like I don’t like to watch you destroy public roads, but I don’t think you’re understanding me here. Sure he performed an underhanded trick, but it’s not like that alone was something I didn’t think you could handle. The problem is even I have no idea who this hidden element that rigged your next fight is. No matter how deep my organization digs it’s as if this guy doesn’t exist. They could prove to be far more of a threat than that measly coward of a king.” Juire continues with a serious face

 

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MTY: Chapter 116

The room goes silent as a well-adorned man walks into the room with an air of elegance, and sits upon the throne in front of us.

“My liege, to what do I owe the opportunity to be in your presence?” Juire asks with a wicked grin

“You know why you are here you worm. I wanted to see the fighter you seem to be so confident can defeat the Yuusha.” The king returns with an equally wicked grin

His grin disappears however as he looks me over. Something about his conceited look irks me.

It’s rather impressive that Juire’s intimidate doesn’t seem to work on him, I wonder if that thanks to a special skill or something?

Curious I whisper “status” under my breath aimed at the king.

Name: Enrich III Roan
Species: Human
Level: 20
Skills:
High management
Royal disposition
Mana forming
Royal Mana
Fire Magic mastery
Lightning magic mastery
Ice Magic mastery
Command
Titles:
King of Teslgr
Incompetent
Loved by Mana
Due to high compatibility, you have acquired the following skills:
Royal Mana
Royal disposition

… I suppose I should have guessed that he would have high spec skills, but what is up with this “Due to high compatibility” nonsense? It only gave me the skills that seem to be unique to royalty. What do they even do?

Royal Mana: Naturally refines mana, and increases stat growth.
Royal disposition: Reduce the effects of skills that affect the psyche greatly

 

Ahhh, so that’s why he seems to be alright with Juire around.

As a test, I look towards Juire again. The intimidating air that usually surrounds him has all but vanished, though the look of confidence on his face remains unsettling.

Royalty really has it good, don’t they? Aside from having a useful skill like this, it seems they are also gifted with naturally powerful magic.

Aside from that, he seems to have a few “Titles” which are something I haven’t seen before. I suppose most people must not know of them though since one of his titles is “Incompetent”. I should make efforts in the future to avoid any embarrassing titles like that.

“Does your mind wander girl? You are in the audience of a king, and yet you do not bow, and worse you look away in disinterest?! It seems you must be taught a lesson!” The king yells out as he motions the guards towards me

Hm?! Was I too in my own world?

I ready myself to fight the oncoming enemies, but rather than a sudden assault I look around to see gradually approaching men with spears drawn.

Oh, right, they are still terrified by Juires “Intimidate” skill, aren’t they? Despite that, it seems like they are intent on approaching anyways even if it’s with extreme caution. I wonder if the effect stacks if I use it as well?

As I activate the skill the color on the soldier’s faces go from pale to blue in an instant. Some fall to the ground shaking in fear, while others drop their spears and flee. As I look at them trembling silently, I can’t help but feel bad and deactivate it… not before looking towards the king, however, to see that he has fallen out of his chair.

I hold back a chuckle as I deactivate the skill and look back towards the king.

“Now, now, now you aren’t trying to cheat your way out of our little bet now are you? I mean a king as great and courageous as you wouldn’t do something cowardly like summon us here to try and arrest us on some petty charge and disqualify us, right?” Juire asks with a smile that stretches from ear to ear

There is no doubt, he is elated to watch the king squirm. I should take care not to take too much pleasure in watching people squirm, shouldn’t I? I mean he really looks like a villain right now.

“S-so you’ve found another with that damned curse of yours, eh? No wonder you seem to be so sure she can defeat the Yuusha. It makes me wonder if you didn’t make this bet just to coax me into allowing you to test your fighter against our countries greatest strength?” The king let out with an accusatory tone

“Oh don’t go getting your overly expensive man-panties in a twist, I have no interest in taking over your country using my good friend here if that’s what you’re implying. After all, I would rather be a farmer in the peaceful countryside than some measly king.” Juire says plainly

The king begins to grit his teeth as he sits back down on the throne.

“Hmph! Why would I worry about such trifling matters as the ambition of a slum rat? It’s not like you would ever succeed even if you tried. After all the Yuusha is immune to your little trick.” The king says with a smug grin as if he plans to crush Juire with this statement alone

Ah, so the king is a sadist too? I worry for this country.

“Then I suppose this little bet is all but lost for me right? Oh then, might I be allowed to leave, and prepare my charitable donation to your little “Project”? Juire asks with a snakes grin

“Every interaction with you is torture, get out of my sight before I have you executed.” The king scoffs as he waves us away

I can feel my irritation rising at the thought of being called and sent away with so little thought.

“Oh, I know you love it, otherwise why would you keep calling me?” Juire teases as he and I walk out the door

As we close the door behind us the sounds of yelling and things being thrown can be heard as the incompetent king accost his guards.

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MTT: Chapter 115

I continued to watch the remaining fights for the day, but none of the fights were particularly interesting. Though it did give me more of an idea of what this tournament actually is.

While there were still a few fighters that put up good fights, there were also some that seemed like complete amateurs. More than once the announcer introduced someone as a great mage just for them to be taken out in minutes if not seconds after the round started. Even still, few of those that lost seemed that upset by it.

I decided to ask Incha about it and he explained that most of the fighters aren’t here to actually win. With monsters like the previous champion, Afeuro, and the Yuusha participating they know that they don’t have a chance. The tournament seems to be a status symbol for quite a few of the participants. Getting past the preliminaries already shows your one of the best of the best, but if you advance through the rounds your country knows to invest in you.

Titles, money, even a shot at entering the nobility. If you prove yourself here your country will shower you will rewards to try and keep in your good favor. Thinking about it from the nobilities standpoint, however, this tournament is a great opportunity for them. Not only do they get a constant flow of fighters desperately trying to get stronger for a chance to win, but each country gets a chance to prove their might over their neighboring countries.

In the end, none of that really matter to me though. It does mean however that if I get lucky I won’t have any challenging opponents until the Yuusha. It would be great if I can keep a few cards up my sleeve before I have to fight him.

I don’t plan on losing, but I’m not so hotheaded that I think I’m going to be able to beat him easily just because I’m not expected yet. A Maou has never won against the Yuusha before according to Gero, and I’m sure I’m not the only one that thought of getting a surprise attack in while the Yuusha was still fresh. If I’m going to win I’m going to need to give it everything I’ve got… but the fact that people often die in this tournament means that I won’t be punished if I do manage to kill him. My goal of living in peace would be achieved. If the opportunity presents itself I’m certainly not going to pass it up.

“Contestant number 34 Mano, you are to come with us immediately!” I hear in a sharp and strict voice snapping me out of my contemplation

A cold sweat runs down my spine as I look up to see several soldiers in full armor holding spears towards me.

“You have it wrong, I haven’t done anything yet!” I say as I throw my hands in the air in a panic

Do they have mind reading powers or something?!

“…The king has requested an audience with you, and he is very impatient. Come with us immediately.” The guard closes to me explains without lowering his spear

Eh? The king? Seriously?! Talk about short notice! Crap, I’m still a bit sweaty from earlier, and my clothes are still a bit covered in dust from smacking into that wall. Can’t I at least wash up first?!

Wait, this at least means I wasn’t discovered right? I can’t imagine the king would want to be in the same room as such a being as fearsome as the Maou, right?


 

After getting dragged away, without so much as a chance to make myself presentable, I was lead into an empty throne room and told to kneel. At first, the guards that lined the room showed a conceited look as I waited in the room on one knee, but when I heard the door behind me open their faces drained of color and their expression became ridged.

I tried to keep a dignified look because I thought it must have been the king, but when I turned to see who it was I saw Juire walking in casually with his pinky stuck in his ear digging for wax.

As Juire and his accompanying guard arrived next to me his guard attempted to speak.

“Kne-!” Was all he got out before a glare from Juire silenced him

Man… that “Intimidate” skill sure is useful, perhaps I should use that more often. Though, that would certainly be counter to my attempts to not make myself look like a villain. It seems like even trained soldiers have little resistance against it though. Perhaps it will make for an easier escape in the future if I’m ever discovered.

“What are you doing down there? Stand up already, you look ridiculous.” Juire says to me as he waves his hand to indicate I should stand

Nervous, but embarrassed that he is looking down on me, I stand up next to him. The guard next to him starts to glare at me angrily, but I simply return a defiant stare and look away.

If Juire is here, this must be about the tournament. Since he’s my sponsor we need to have a united front, even if that front pits me against the king at the moment. It’s not like I’m the biggest fan of the king anyway. Someone that would send his own daughter off in the hands of such an irresponsible brat to go on a dangerous journey must be messed up in the head.

“ALL KNEEL BEFORE THE KING OF TESLAGR, THIRD OF HIS LINEAGE, FIRST OF HIS SPLENDOR! LONG MAY HE LIVE, KING ULRICH!” The scrawny man standing next to the throne yells at the top of his lungs

I notice a grin crack across Juire’s face, the kind of smile you would see on a villain when he was hatching a plan.

 

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Update on MTY

So I’ve learned that while having a longer time between chapters is much better to help me from getting burned out, it also lends to more things coming up and slowing me down. For the last 6 chapters or so things have come up one after the other and delayed chapters further than what I’m comfortable with. So I’m going to start writing on a 2-week schedule from now on, just to give life less of an opportunity to get in the way. The next two week should be rather calm, so hopefully, I can pump out a long chapter to make up for the short one I just put out.

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