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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MTY: Chapter 107

Although I spent most of the day thinking on the matter I couldn’t quite come up with a strategy.

I might be just a tad traumatized from the Orc incident, but I don’t really know how to deal with larger opponents. When he was moving around outside the arena he didn’t really seem hindered by his large size at all, so I can’t hope for an advantage in skill any more than I normally would. With the sheer mass behind his hits, however, there might be a real issue if I get hit.

I eventually give up and go to sleep.

“Maaaanoo, waake up~” I hear as I snap awake in my usual fashion

Along with the whining, I’m greeted with a feeling of pressure on my chest. I open my eye to see Mana eagerly waiting for me to wake up.

“Yay! Mano, come play with mana!” She cheers as she notices me stirring below her and gets down from her position on top of me

Hmm, I haven’t really had the chance to play with Mana since we entered town. Even though the princess has been looking after her, maybe it’s just a tad cold never to do so myself. I seem to be pretty stuck in terms of thinking of a strategy anyways so it might serve as a nice change of pace.

“Sure, what do you want to do?” I say as I get up

“Really?! Yay! Let’s go see the music!” She cheers as she practically jumps about the room

“The music?” I let out in surprise

————————————————————–

 

After basically being dragged by Mana’s monstrous strength through town I finally stand before a building smaller than a typical house.

“This is where the princess takes you to listen to music?” I ask dubiously as I stare at the small building

I expected some kind of theater or auditorium, but what kind of places has the princess been taking Mana?

“C’moooon they are about to start!” Mana whines as she begins to tug again on my arm

I suppose even if it’s some kind of shady place there is little to worry about. Mana seems to be able to handle herself anyways. Maybe I should be more worried for the princess.

As we go through the door to the small building all that I can see is a staircase that descends into unbreaking darkness, but before my caution could stop us again Mana pulls hard on my arm and drags me down the staircase in the almost full sprint she is descending. It takes everything I have not to fall as she pulls me along.

Due to the darkness of the staircase, and the speed we were moving, when the darkness finally breaks it happens too suddenly and I’m left blinded for a moment.

“…Woah….” I let out as the image of my surrounding comes into focus

A damp brick tunnel extends forward lit primarily by torches. Despite that, I can only describe the atmosphere as cheerful and excited as I see the crowds of people lined up around small stages listening to preformers play. The juxtaposition of the atmosphere isn’t the only thing that takes me aback, however.

“Is that… jazz?” I ask as I listen to one of the closest bands play almost familiar instruments

“Jazz?” Mana responds in confusion with a tilt of the head

Perhaps it’s just similar, but several of the bands seem to be playing a type of music quite similar to swing surprisingly. I had expected to see a few bards and singers at best when Mana said she wanted to go listen to music, so to suddenly hear jazz has all but stunned me.

As we begin to walk through the odd tunnel I look on in wonder at all of the fantastical and strange instruments. Some look quite similar to ones I’m familiar with, such as a saxophone, but others are difficult even to describe. What’s more, I hardly understand how a few of the stranger ones work.

One, in particular, catches my interest. It looks incredibly simple and yet the music coming out of it has such an incredible range of sound.  To describe it, it is simply a crescent stick with a gem attached to one end, with a string strung between the gem and the other end. The man playing it is dragging a bow similar to that of a violin across the string, and somehow with every motion, the sound seems to change to fit the tune at hand.

Before I can unravel the mystery of the instrument, however, Mana has begun dragging me away yet again. Eventually, the tunnel opens up into an incredibly large auditorium, with a stage centered towards the opposite end, with an array of brightly collards gems lighting it.

The stands that surrounds the stage are packed with people that bustle about as they wait for the band already preparing on stage to begin.

♪♪♪~

With the first stir of sound, the entire room goes deathly silent. Even the hallway to our back has gone quiet in hopes of hearing the music.

One of the members on the stage sound their instrument sharply. The sound is projected through the room as if over some kind of speaker, but I see no microphones. When listening carefully however I can even hear the footsteps of the people on stage. Perhaps the stage itself is amplifying the sound.  The band does not immediately start playing however, it seems to have just been a sign that they are about to start. The room is silent, all except a subtle thumping sound.

When I investigate the source of said thumping my eyes are drawn downward to see Mana sprinting at full speed towards the stage.

“Wait! What are you doing!” I whisper frantically at her as I try to chase her down

Worried about interrupting the show that everybody is so anxiously awaiting I run as quickly and as quietly as I can manage, but Mana is just that much faster. She arrives at the stage before I even have a chance to catch her and starts waving at the band, her hand only just clearing the height of the stage.

“Hmm? Hey, everybody! The singing girl is back!” A voice resounds throughout the room as one of them runs to the edge of the stage and lifts Mana onto the stage

Unexpectedly a large portion of the crowd begins to clap and cheer. Utterly confused I simply look on and watch. Mana positions herself in the center of the stage facing the crowd.

“In that case, lets get started!” The same member says as he gives a sharp nod to the rest of the band which begins playing a soft, beautiful piece

“The sorrow of the world is gone when darkness falls below~” Mana begins to sing

Just as before the meaning overlays the sound somewhat. It’s as if the song and the meaning are separate in my head, but I can’t help but process them at the same time.

“I love the world and all it’s ways, with all that I have~
I love the sun, the food, the songs, the air~” Mana’s voice is angelic as it fills the auditorium

The tranquil beauty is astonishing. I try to focus on just the song, but the meaning of the words seep into my head despite my struggle.

“Before it was hollow, and filled with quiet despair~
Food without taste, and breathing without air~”

I look for the nearest seat I can find and watch on as I lose myself in the music.

“Loneliness was painful, and so too was its wake~
The feeling of forgetting, as your regret begins to fade~
Where do you place the blame, of times constant flow~
Should you feel contempt as you begin to grow?~

The sullen song makes me begin to wonder about Mana’s past. What was it like living in that dungeon? How did she come to live there in the first place?

“But, life is music full of sound, and tasty food all day~
It’s laughing with your friends as you all play~
Growing might have been scary, but it is for the best~
Growing lets you see the world in shades far from gray~
Growing lets you laugh and sing your old worries away~”

As the music grows lighter and more jovial Mana begins to dance. Even the members of the band playing the music are looking on in amazement as Mana sings with a look of joy plastered on her face.

“To live and love is our greatest gift~
and we give it with such joy~
No matter how you live or grow~
There is no better toy~
So live, and eat, and play and sing~
There is truly no greater thing~”

The music draws to a close and the room fills with silence again, until a torrent of deafening uproarious applause erupts around me. Mana scans the crowd eventually locking eyes with me a few rows from the stage. She looks at me expectantly gauging my response. I begin clapping as well to show her how much I enjoyed the show.

Along with the band, she sang another 3 songs before the performance was over. When the crowd began to disperse Mana jumped from the stage and ran up to give me a hug.

“Well?! Did you like Mana’s singing?!” She asks excitedly as she stares up at me

“I loved it, I never knew you were such an amazing singer!” I say with genuine surprise

I would be upset that she was acting so conspicuously, but how could anybody be upset aftering seeing her enjoy herself so much?

“Are you her sister? Mana talks about you all the time.” The band member from before asks as he approaches

Did Mana introduce me as her sister? I suppose I think of her as a little sister as well, so that’s pretty appropriate.

Although I’m not sure if this world has the concept of a celebrity considering how casually they are walking past him, I give a short bow before I speak.

“Does she sing here often?” I ask still trying to grasp the situation at hand

“She comes by occasionally, but always by surprise. I was beginning to wonder whether she was coming today or not, and almost started without her.” He says with a guilty look

“That’s cause Mano’s a sleepy head!” Mana pouts as her face grows red

“Hahaha! No need to feel embarrassed, we are used to your sporadic appearance. Don’t you usually come with the princess though?” He asks as he ruffles her hair

“I wanted Mano to come! Mano thinks Mana is amazing!” She cheers with a blush on her face

“If I may ask, who wrote that first song?” I ask

I presumed earlier that Mana wrote the song about her past, but maybe the two are unrelated. The other songs seemed to be about all manner of random things after all.

“Well, we had written the instrumentals years ago together as a band, but Mana is entirely responsible for the vocals of all the songs. Thing is, even when we play the same song what she sings is always different. She seems to have some kind of genius-like talent to improvise lyrics.” He says with a proud look as he continues to pat Mana’s head

…Seriously? She came up with all of that one the spot?

Mana smiles at me, proud of her achievement.

My friends are monsters in all kinds of respects, aren’t they?

 

 

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MTY: Chapter 106

Although I told them to try to cut back on leveling, they still insisted on gathering a few more large monster corpses before leaving. It seems Kera has been using their training efforts to restock her stand in the market. I consent to a few more, with the condition that she give me a cut.

After they promise me that they will stop after gathering what they need, I decide to part ways with them. I have only a short time before my fight with the giant and I would like to be prepared for it. I was told to think up a strategy, but what exactly should I do?

I ponder strategies as I walk through the town.

“Heeeeey! Mano-san! Over here!” The princess calls out from not too far off

When I look up I see the princess waving at me with the Yuusha and one other surprising guest. Standing with them is the small girl that was getting threatened by thugs the other day.

“Princess, Perfect timing! I was hoping you could help me with something.” I say trying to look friendly

For some reason, It’s hard not to scowl with the Yuusha so close by.

“Hm? You need my help?” The princess ask in response cocking her head to the side

“I was wondering if you had any strategies for fighting against that Kolossaal? Without magic, I don’t know how to take down someone that size.” I explain

“Ah… well… good luck?” She responds with a troubled expression

You’re fighting against a Kolossaal in the first round? You must have some horrible luck.” The young girl comments from behind the Yuusha

She flinches as I look in her direction. I promise the scowl isn’t pointed at you.

“Haha! Even I wouldn’t want to go up against someone like that without any weapons or skills! Better luck next time!” The Yuusha blurts out in laughter

I feel my scowl deepen as my irritation grows, but I know that he has a point. As far as possible first opponents go I probably got the worst. In a fight without tricks, he is clearly superior. I don’t even know if I can damage him with my bare fist.

“Hm? So the Yuusha would give up so easily?” I taunt in an attempt to mellow my irritation

“Wha?! Of course not! If it were me I would totally win!” He retaliates in a childish tone

“Oh? How’s that? Can your punches move mountains?” I continue to taunt

Maybe if I can get him riled up enough I can get an insight into his battle strategies. It might be helpful in the future to make sure I don’t get outwitted.

“No, but if I winged it I’m sure it would turn out okay.” He explains leisurely

…Or not.

Is this guy really my arch nemesis?  Somehow I keep feeling a sense of shame that I’m so worried about him. Did the humans pull a dud this time around? No, I can’t afford to think like that. Even if he seems like a complete idiot I must remain vigilant. After all, he might be some kind of idiot savant.

 

“Oh! I almost forgot! Let me introduce the newest member of our party! This is Lul our mage!” The princess says after a few moment of silence pass between us

So she joined their party? Is this one of those “Thank you for saving me, let me repay you by becoming your companion!” type events? Well, he didn’t really do anything anyways.

“Are you sure about letting her join as your mage? Wasn’t the entire reason she was in that mess before because she failed to get into the magic academy?” I comment as I get a better look at the young girl

She has short red hair and a very passive demeanor. Honestly, the entire scene just looks like they kidnapped a child. Is it just me, or is she glaring at me? Oh, she is turning red.

 

“I’M NOT A GIRL!” She yells out angrily with her both her fist clenched

… What?

“PWAHAHAHA! Don’t worry, I guessed wrong too! He’s got such a pretty face!” The Yuusha doubles over in laughter

“Y-You guys are so rude! I, of course, knew he was a boy” The Princess says with a guilty look as she avoids eye contact

I suppose I can sleep a bit more soundly knowing that the princess isn’t a very good liar.

“Tetra-Ka-Fier Endless Burn!” The young girl yells as she throws her clenched fist towards the sky

I’m immediately thrown into a panic as I recognize why.

Above her is a mass of fire, quickly growing as it swirls into itself furiously. Before long it is easily the size of a small building.

I jump into a fighting stance as my brain races to try and think of a solution. Even with my fire resistance, I doubt I will come away from that in one piece.

Thunk

And yet, with the sound of a small thud, it begins to dissipate.

When I look down to see why I see the child unconscious and being held up by the Yuusha.

“Sorry about that, he’s really sensitive when it comes to his appearance.” The Yuusha apologizes as he adjust for a better grip to carry the young boy

“How did someone who could do that fail to get in the academy?!” I let out in surprise

Don’t tell me that the mages of this world are of such a high level that that is considered insufficient!

“Apparently he only knows very high tier spells. The exam is to cast a simple fireball spell. When they asked him to do so he destroyed the practice building he was assigned to, and they automatically failed him.” The princess explains with a relieved look on her face

“…Is he an idiot?” I let out stunned by her answer

Again the princess averts her eyes.

I’m not the only one who has it rough I guess.

 

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