I met with Avon and his teacher. Surprisingly it turned up Orwen Wild. It’s a small world, huh. They were satisfied with my equipment and acquaintanceship with Violet Megan.
They told me about situation in the Kingdom. Looks like king wanted to meet me… I don’t know that Arena Challenge is so much important event… And I ran away before my nomination… That’s why Orwen had a hard time persuading king to nominate me as a representative of the Kingdom. So I must show some results. By the way Avon not even once gets to the final.
Of course I also greeted Violet. She has a ton of plans about my promotion. We wasted half a day to prepare my final speech. I don’t even get to the finals! The tournament isn’t even started! But she is right. When fights started no one would have any way to communicate with me. Well, I have Scully.
I met Carolina by chance. Haha! As if. That girl is S-rank thief. I will never believe that I can meet her accidentally in the city when she wears presence hiding cloak. She returned my sword and bag to me, so I can show up before Chie… Gliranor and Gledenel without fear.
Greeting was somewhat awkward, but then I suggested went to find some adventures in the city.
Somehow we ended up annihilating some drug trafficking organization that evening.
I learned from Carolina that there are five S-rank thieves in the Guild. Each has his own field of expertise.
For example, Carolina is an expert on the field of undercover operations. Another one from the Kingdom is an ace of assassination. Two thieves from Republic are social engineering and theft respectively. And the last one from Empire is an expert of espionage.
She also told me about Cristina. Sirent family is very rich and powerful. But it has only two daughters. So their father wants to find a gainful husband for them. For this reason Carolina once run away from home and now works at the Guild. And looks like the same story happen to the younger sister. Cristina wanted to run away from Castellum, because her father has good connections there. But when she escaped from home she didn’t take any money. So she chose to steal them from some drunkard in the random tavern. And here I am come to the scene! Unfortunately I blow off all my fortune that night so she stole my weapons and went to sell them to the pawnshop. She was deceived there. She sold my unusual bow for one gold coin, when its cheapest price is 5 at least. She thought it was uncommon.
She was very surprised to find out that her sister became S-rank thief. Carolina took Cristina under her wing. With her abilities their father never finds them.
But it’s somewhat sad story. I hope one day they reconcile with their father.
I also saw many A-ranks from the Kingdom and Republic on the streets, but too few from Empire. Avon told me that Empire’s forte is magic science, so they have a little chance to win in the arena where magic is prohibited.
I spend remaining days roaming, performing on the streets and making donations to the orphanages from money that I earned by singing and playing my guitar. I became somewhat famous. Many people greet me on the streets. Some even ask my signature.
I hope it will improve Violet’s image of me. Her behavior is strange when we are alone in the room. She is afraid to be close to me.
“I won’t eat you, Violet!”
“…But those rumors…”
“Brothel girls are just brothel girls. Every man wants to relieve some stress. Especially when he is adventurer. We often risk our lives. Of course we want some good rest after that. Drinking, going to brothel and vandalizing at night are some kind of rituals for us to remind that we are still alive. I never make a move on the woman if she doesn’t want it.”
“…Doesn’t want it?”
“Hm? Yeah. Something wrong?”
“A? No. I understood… But there are new rumor about you. It says that you were deceiving girls in the Central park.”
Oh! That rumor…
Her expression changed to contempt.
“No-no-no… It’s not like that… You see there is that guy…”
Her expression changed to enlightenment.
“That guy? You mean…”
“Please stop! I know about your hobbies, but, please, leave them for the times when you will be alone.”
“That guy is S-rank thief and master of deceiving. I thought that if I compete with him for the girls in the park I can become better in communication skills.”
Her expression changed to enlightenment again.
“So it’s a competition between men…”
No matter what I say she never listens…
“But how do you know that he is S-rank thief? No one from the Guild except for the S-ranks doesn’t know anything about S-rank thieves. All information about those guys is under protection.”
“I have a S-rank friend. She told me it.”
“Please, leave it in a secret.”
“No problem, but if you win this tournament you will become S-rank yourself. So there aren’t any problems. But keep it from other people.”
“Ah? I will become S-rank?”
“Will I become S-rank?”
“Don’t tell me you never heard about it.”
“You are just too much. To become S-rank you can complete a heaps of tasks or win in the one of the tournaments. For craftsmen it is to create a one rare gear. I don’t know about merchants and alchemists though.”
I looked at my hand. There isn’t any craftsman ID. I said goodbye to Violet and went home. There I checked my hand once again and asked Scully about it.
He told me that S-rank’s ID hidden most of the time and they can show it to prove their identity.
My ID came back and there was big “S” letter in it.
It became hidden.
Hopefully it can become hidden.
Or else there would be a big commotion.
On my last day before the Arena Challenge I went to the usual park to compete with that guy. I have a trick this time.
“Look! Look! It’s Yalle!”
“That street singer! Really!”
“Let’s go to him!”
Yes. I am celebrity.
He doesn’t have a chance.
All girls are mine! And boys… And elders… And even kids… Let’s call this a draw.
After few hours of my performance I went home.
On the next day I went to the Great Arena. It’s a big stadium that can hold almost fifty thousand people.
After registration two guys, magician and craftsman, checked my equipment. Then they lead me to my room.
“Here you will spend all your time when not in the fights. This room contains magic circle to increase regeneration. It will help between battles. Take care!”
They exited and closed me in.
There will be sortition in the afternoon. Somebody then will tell me results.
Scully, roam around facility. Maybe you’ll see some familiar faces.
I once again checked my weapons and took a little nap.
Scully woke me up.
‘Sortition ended. I know one of yours opponents. She is a thief from the Guild. I once worked with her two months ago. Her name is Gill and she is very skilled. Even I with my “shadow step” was left behind when the two of us was running from pursuers. Your first fight will be with her. I don’t know anything about her weapons though.’
She is fast… Hm…
Somebody opened door to my room.
“Yalle! Your fight will be after an hour. Prepare yourself! Your first opponent is Gill Run.”
I know most information already, but
Man closed the door.
So… How to fight fast opponent. If she is faster than even Scully before death, who can leap for tens of meters, than she will be troublesome. I better win in the first few clashes. If she understood that I am very strong she will run around me to make a draw. Group fights have time limit. I will have only one hour to beat her.
I was thinking about some tactics to outplay that girl when somebody opened door to my room again.
“Are you ready, Yalle?”
“Yes! Show me the way.”
We went by the long corridor, made some turns and exited to the stage. When I turned around there wasn’t anyone behind me. Even with my “hunter” perception skill I failed to discover their disappearance.
I was in the round big room. Its diameter was almost one hundred meters. The ceiling height was around five meters. Walls were made from bricks. There wasn’t anyone else in the room except for one person.
There was girl standing fifty meters ahead. There was something like a magic screen between us. I believe that when it will disappear the fight will start.
There wasn’t any information about girl in my mind. Looks like this magic screen can prevent my identification skills.
Ok! Then let’s wait.
We were looking at each other. This girl is really pretty. But her equipment was somewhat shabby. All is made from cloth just like me. Also, she has a knife and an… umbrella? Well that might be some dangerous weapon. I shouldn’t be imprudent.
She has a short brown hair. Her tall figure harmonizes with her thin physique. Her legs have good muscles. She can run fast even without any gear I believe. I afraid even imagine how fast she is with it.
I saw her somewhere.
AH! In the Praesidium auction! She desperately wanted to buy some lots, but hasn’t a chance against my luck-cheat wealth.
What it was? Speed pants! Right! So she wanted to become even faster.
But at that time somebody started to announce us.
Introduction. Rules. Some joke. Countdown.
Magic screen disappeared.