After we left, I contacted the others and told them where we should meet up. I decided not to summon the imps until we all met up again. As we make our way to the meet-up, I continue to think about the offer Juire gave me.
Even if I decide not to participate, I should probably attend the tournament. If for no other reason than to learn the general strength of this country’s best fighters. I’ll admit though… it does sound a little fun.
“Ah! Miss!” I hear a familiar voice yell
When I turn to see the source, I see Jorge waving happily.
“Thank goodness! Are you alright?!” He asks as he frantically circles us checking us for wounds
“Stop that! Why wouldn’t we be?!” I say swatting him away
“We received a report that a woman with a similar description to yourself and a child were spotted being taken to The Grand Tier Company. That place is seriously dangerous so I was really worried. It must have been somebody else though.” The guard explains giving a sigh of relief
“No, that was us. They offered us a job, but we declined.” I explain
Hopefully, this will dispel any kind of rumors about me working with them.
“Yup, they were nice! They gave us good food!” Mana spurts out happily
“…Seriously? You’re… awesome! Little miss too! Even the guard captain won’t go into The Grand Tier Company unless the king orders him too!”
…Or start worse rumors.
“Keep it quiet though. If all goes according to plan, they should be leaving the capital soon enough.” I say
Their plan, at least. No weird rumors should start now, and I’ll have a fallback if it gets out that I’m working with them.
“Got it! You won’t hear another peep about it from me!” Jorge responds with a salute
“What do you know about the tournament?” I ask as we begin walking again
“The tournament? I think the next tournament will be the kingdoms annual royal tournament. If you’re looking for a ticket then I think you’re a bit too late. Some people save up for years to be able to attend one of those. Weird thing is, I’ve never seen them selling tickets before… They always say they’re sold out, no matter when you come.” Jorge says scratching his head
This is that big of an event? If the scope of the event is that big then the chances of running into somebody that will be a threat later are rather high as well. It also means that nearly every eye in the kingdom will be on me. High stakes, but big rewards. I suppose I can lessen the chances of things going wrong if I enter separate from the deal Juire presented me.
“How about entering as a fighter?” I ask
“Hmm… Well, prelims for regular entry ended last month, but you can still enter a sponsored fighter I think. Are you thinking of sponsoring a champion?” Jorge asks excitedly
“Actually, I was thinking about possibly joining myself. Know anybody that might sponsor me?” I ask slightly dejected
Juire might have taken this into account. It’s a matter of course that strong fighters would gather for the tournament. His offer might have been as small as it was because entering the tournament itself was meant to be part of the reward. Did he just guess that I wasn’t registered already though? Maybe there is a public roster somewhere.
“You?! Are you that strong miss?” Jorge asks dumbfounded
“I’ve never seen the mettle of this country’s fighters before, so I have no idea how I compare to them. I was quite the fighter back home though.” I say casually to sidestep his question
I’m kind of used to people reacting like that by this point. Pretending that I have no clue what I’m talking about just seems easiest.
“Really? I never would have taken you for much of a fighter, miss. The tournament can be kind of ruthless though, you should really be careful.” Jorge says as if explaining it to a child
I understand the reason for his tone, but it annoys me nonetheless. Regardless, I keep my expression clear and continue.
“I will take the necessary precautions, I assure you; but before that, I need to know if there is even a chance for me to enter. Who all can sponsor a fighter?” I ask
“Well, to be a sponsor you need a certain amount of money and a royal decree of nobility. I’ve got to say though, if anybody was interested in sponsoring a fighter, I think they would already have done so.” Jorge explains
So Juire really is my only real hope then… Well, it’s not mandatory that I go anyway. Nevertheless, letting Juire sweat it out for a little while will make him more willing to sweeten the deal.
Once we arrive at the meet-up point I summon the imps and we wait a while for everybody to find us. After a short while everybody manages to meet back up again aside from Gero. It seems that we lost him at some point while I was chasing Kurobe earlier. We waited for sometime near an hour before Jorge offered to put out a search notice for him. Gero doesn’t seem to eat or sleep, and he should be able to escape any kind of trouble he gets into, so I don’t think we have to worry too much about finding him quickly. I just hope that he has enough sense to try and keep a low profile until then.
Once he was finished, Jorge began guiding us to the Inn that he had mentioned earlier . This is slightly off topic, but while we waited, the Imps played tag using their “blink” skills. People started to gather and cheer because they thought it was some kind of street performance. Some people started offering tips… it was easier to accept the money than to explain their mistake.