TWEM Vol. 1 Chapter 16
Chapter 16 – Rank S Adventurer
The next day, Finne and I slept until late because of the previous day’s fatigue: when we finally woke up it was already past noon.
After a lazy lunch, we decided to go to the adventurer’s guild, since we couldn’t go the day before.
On the way there, we excitedly talked about what we had for dinner the previous day.
“The meat in the main dish was so tender and delicious!”
“Yeah, it melted in your mouth, it was so juicy and tasty…”
“I really want to eat it again!”
“Same here. We should visit the castle for lunch next time.”
“Eh? Well…I don’t know if it’s okay to visit it with food as our reason, though..”
Finne looked conflicted.
They did say we could visit anytime, so why not?
While chatting like this, we eventually reached the guild.
Once inside, I noticed the “post-apocalyptic” fashion guys, the nudist pervert, and his buddies — though he was wearing clothes now, as weird as it sounded — and two berserker-looking men.
The berserkers were looking at me and grinning, like before. I heard them whisper “Let’s try picking a fight, yeah?” but I wasn’t going to give them any attention.
We arrived at the counter, and I remembered that I still had materials to sell.
“Very well. Please show me your adventurer card and place the materials on this table.”
“Thank you. I have them in my magic bag…they’re too many for this table. What should I do?”
So I said while giving my card to the receptionist.
“Oh, your magic bag has that much capacity? And you’re rank A…? Ah, I-I’m sorry! Please follow me to the back of the guild then!”
The receptionist raised her voice, attracting the attention of the people around us.
She quickly realized it and apologized, then led us to the back of the building.
“This way, please.”
I followed the receptionist and took out the materials in the designated spot.
“So, so many…and I see rank B monster materials too…I-I’m very sorry, I cannot handle them all by myself, I will call for backup. It will take a bit of time, so please wait inside. We will call you as soon as we are finished.”
We went back to the guild’s main building and sat at a table.
A little while later, a staff member brought us drinks. One looked like coffee, while the other was the same fruit juice we drank the day before.
I picked the coffee-like drink and smelled it…it was coffee all right.
“You didn’t even add sugar or milk…?”
“Yeah, what about it? You don’t like this?”
“It’s too bitter for me…I can drink it with a lot of sugar, though…”
What? You can’t drink bitter stuff? How cute can you be?
Finne took a sip of the fruit juice and smiled.
At the same time, the two berserker-looking guys came up to us.
One of them was a muscular man about 180 cm tall, with brown hair and eyes. He carried a broadsword about as long as he was tall on his back.
The other was a large man too, probably 190 cm tall, with scarlet eyes and a bald head. He was wearing full body armor and gauntlets.
“Hey there, brat. You got time now? You do, right?”
The man with the broadsword spoke first.
I knew they were going to come…maybe if I apologize they’ll go off somewhere…
“Aah, I’m sorry, I’m waiting to sell materials, so I don’t have any time to spare. Very sorry.”
The two men, however, refused to back down.
“That’s not going to end anytime soon, man, they’ve just gone to the materials store! There’s an arena in the back, come with us.”
“Yeah, we know you’re strong. Let’s have a match, right now.”
You aren’t listening, are you…
Sheesh, what a pain…I’ll just let them win…
“Don’t even think of going easy, by the way. We can tell. If you do, we’ll just fight you again and again.”
Shit, they already figured out my plan…
I looked around, hoping for someone to help me, but only found people looking at us with wry smiles and shifting eyes.
“…fine, fine, I’ll do it. Why do I have to go through this, honestly…”
I had no choice but to go. When I stood up, I noticed Finne was looking at me, beaming.
“Do your best, sir Haruto!! I haven’t seen you fight against other people other than yesterday, so I’m really looking forward to it!!”
I was wondering why Finne didn’t say a word…hmm.
Looking at her lovely smile, I felt charged with energy.
“Right!! You two, off to the arena!!”
I looked at the two berserkers with a wide smile on my lips and they replied “Yeah…sure.”, looking creeped out at my sudden change. You guys invited me, don’t look like that now…
The two berserkers, Finne and I started walking towards the arena, followed by the adventurers in the guild with time on their hands.
One of them tapped on my shoulder.
“Hey man. I’ve never seen you around here, so you probably don’t know, but those two guys are rank S adventurers. They’re not bad guys, but whenever they see someone strong, they always rope them into sparring matches. Well, break a leg, I guess.”
The man said all that, winked and left.
Why do I have to be winked at by some guy I don’t even know…?
But more importantly, those two are rank S? They said there are only five rank S adventurers in the whole world and they do stupid stuff like this?
I thought about what could be their reasons for a bit, even though I couldn’t come up with anything, and in the meantime, we arrived at the arena.
“So this is the arena…larger than I expected.”
So I whispered to myself, and the berserker with the broadsword replied.
“I guess it’s because it’s used for training, or whatever…anyway, you ready to fight?”
You’re literally itching for it, huh. But before we start…
“Can you wait just a moment? You’ve brought me here pretty much against my will, so it’s just fair if I request just one thing, isn’t it?”
I was actually looking forward to it too, but in a situation like that, I had to act detached.
“Yeah. If we’re going to fight anyway, why don’t we bet something on it?”
The two berserkers looked at each other and grinned.
“Sure thing, why not? I’m going to bet my own sword!”
“Then I’m going to bet my gauntlets! Not that I think we’re ever gonna lose! Hahaha!”
“Eh? I don’t really need any of those though…”
I honestly wanted something like a condition, like that they wouldn’t challenge me to a mock battle anymore…even if I won their weapons, I wasn’t going to use them anyway…
But well, betting weapons sounded kind of fun too.
“…I’m going to bet this katana of mine too, then.”
“Oh? Are you really sure? You’re not going to see it anymore, you know?”
“That’s my line, you know?”
The man with the broadsword responded to my taunt with a grin.
When Finne and the other adventurers who followed us settled on the arena seats, I was facing the two adventurers in the center of the arena.
“Oh yeah, boy, didn’t catch your name yet.”
“Don’t call me boy. I’m Haruto, rank A adventurer — your turn.”
I could hear a small commotion from the spectator seats. They were surely surprised by my rank.
I glanced in that direction and saw Finne looking all smug.
I turned again towards my opponents and the one with the broadsword introduced himself first.
“So you’re Haruto, huh. Pretty impressive to be already rank A at your age…my name is Dyne, I’m rank S. Let’s have a match to remember!”
The man with the gauntlets followed.
“No wonder you look strong if you’re rank A…I’m rank S too, my name’s Norverne. This is going to be fun!”
You guys sure can get really excited over a sparring match…
A guild staff member I had seen before acted as a referee. I heard him sigh “They’re doing it again…?” to himself, so I guessed it happens often. Cheer up, man.
Dyne and Norverne talked with each other and decided Dyne would fight first.
Norverne would be next if I was still able to fight after the match with Dyne.
…I had the feeling he’d force me to fight again, even if they had to find a healing magic user somewhere.
While I was musing over this, Dyne took out his broadsword and assumed a fighting stance; Norverne walked away from the center of the arena.
I too put a hand on the sheath of my Black Katana, ready to draw it anytime.
I could hear people “cheering” on me from the seats, shouting things like “Do your best boy!!”, “Don’t you die now!!”, “You’ll get a bunch of fractured bones at worst!”.
The referee confirmed we were ready for battle, then raised his voice.
“In this sparring match, lethal attacks and lethal magic spells are prohibited. In case of a rule breach, your adventurer card will be revoked and you will be banned from the guild for three years. Furthermore, in this battle your weapons are at a stake — these are the rules, are you ready?”
Dyne and I nodded and the referee’s signal resounded through the arena.
“Then…may the battle start!!”
I expected Dyne to rush me as soon as the battle started, but he was standing still and opened his mouth instead.
“You’re not going to draw your sword?”
“This is the stance I use. If you’re going to attack, then do it.”
“Hmph! You asked for it!!”
Dyne stepped on the ground forcefully and lept in my direction.
His sword swing was considerably fast, but I calmly followed its path, quickly drew my katana to strike the broadsword in the middle, and deviate it.
Dyne surely didn’t expect me to dodge like that, as evidenced by his surprised exclamation.
The next instant, I stepped to his side, without using skills, and swung my katana.
Dyne, however, avoided it by jumping to the side.
“Not bad, not bad!! To strike at my broadsword to dodge my first attack…and to even counterattack after that, you sure got guts.”
Dyne sounded rather impressed, and the spectators started a small commotion again.
“What’s up with that kid’s movements!?”
“Nah man, his technique is what you should be looking at here. I don’t know anyone who could manage to dodge Dyne’s broadsword by knocking it off its path like that!”
Such comments reached my ears as I felt Dyne’s pressure grow stronger. I drew my Black Katana and prepared for the next clash.
Dyne rushed towards me with incredible speed.
He was faster than before: he probably used Physical Boost or similar.
The next second, his broadsword was sweeping the air.
I quickly jumped backwards, but when the tip of the broadsword was directed towards me, the blade stopped instantly and Dyne switched to a powerful thrust.
I instinctively reacted by swinging my Black Katana and repelling the broadsword upwards.
Dyne, however, brought down his broadsword on me immediately.
This time I dodged it with time to spare, but Dyne’s blade again stopped instantly at the height of my waist, then switched to a horizontal sweep.
Because of the continuous irregular attacks, I couldn’t help but shout.
“What the hell was that!?”
I stopped the sweep with my katana, letting the momentum knock me away.
After putting some distance between us, I asked again.
“What was that last attack!? You stopped instantly and changed the direction of the attack, right?”
“Hahaha!! That’s how I fight!! I can’t remember the last time someone ever blocked that attack, though…you’re really something, Haruto! This thrill…! This battle is really fun!! Hahaha!!”
Crap, the guy is a berserker through and through…better wrap this up quick.
“It’s my turn now. Here I go…!”
I started by releasing 20 fireballs.
“Oh, magic? I’ll just slice them all apart!”
The fireballs flew towards Dyne, who prepared his broadsword to counter them.
He tried to cut down the fireballs flying in his direction, but I could move the fireballs as I wished.
I made them dodge Dyne’s slashes and set them in position, then sent all of them to attack him at the same time.
Dyne looked surprised, but spun in place with his broadsword several times, ultimately cutting through all fireballs.
He looked like he still had more than enough energy left.
“Hey Dyne, are you going to get serious or what? I’ll get bored at this rate!”
“You said it now!! I’m going all out now, get ready!!”
Dyne grinned at my taunt, took a fighting stance, and released pressure.
He continued by wrapping his broadsword in lightning and his smile widened.
“Haha, you’re even withstanding my pressure…you better get serious too!!”
I activated Physical Boost and used Magic Power Manipulation to infuse my Black Katana with magic power.
I took a fighting stance, then released Intimidation.
“!? Not bad, not bad!! Here I go!!”
Dyne faltered for a second, then stepped forward, more powerfully than before.
I dodged his horizontal sweep by stepping backwards, like before. I knew a forward thrust was going to follow, though.
Contrary to my expectations, however, what followed was a lightning burst from the broadsword.
I instinctively reacted by creating a barrier in front.
The barrier repelled the lightning attack, but Dyne — after whispering “Lightning Speed” — vanished from my sight, appearing behind me the next instant.
That speed was insane. Without Detect Presence, I would have probably lost him completely.
I managed to turn around without losing my cool: I then created a small barrier on my palm, to block Dyne’s swing.
While Dyne reacted with surprise, I “repaid” him by circling behind his back and placed my katana on his neck.
While feeling the blade against his neck and breaking in cold sweats, Dyne raised both hands and announced his surrender.
“M-match over!! The winner is Haruto!!”
After a moment of silence, the referee’s proclamation resounded throughout the arena.
The eyes of the spectators were focused on me, but no one managed to utter a word…Finne was the only one moving, clapping her hands and saying “That’s Sir Haruto for you!”
After I let Dyne go, I could hear other adventurers say things like “Is that guy for real…? He won against Dyne…?” and “Is he really rank A…?”
Dyne put away his sword, then called to me.
“I lost completely…but you still held back, didn’t you?”
“Who knows…it’s your partner’s turn now. Go watch from the stands or something.”
“Yeah, I’ll do that…it was a great battle, though. To think there were more people stronger than me! I’m glad I met you, man! Let’s fight again one day!”
You still want to fight, after that…? Oh yeah, I should go ahead and try Appraisal while I can.
UNIQUE SKILLS :
Lightning Magic LV 7
Physical Boost LV 7
Fighting Spirit LV 8
Sword Arts LV 8
Tenacity LV 6
Intimidation LV 6
S Rank Adventurer
Ooh, as expected of rank S…and there are skills I’ve never seen before too.
Enables the usage of attacks homing on the target.
Physical attacks towards the user are reflected with double speed and offensive power.
The user can create an aura of fighting spirit to boost fighting power.
Increased resistance to physical attacks.
At the cost of losing most of the ability to reason, all abilities are boosted and the user enters a berserk-like state. After activation, the state continues until the user loses all stamina, falls unconscious or dies. In the very rare case the user keeps their reason during activation, it can be stopped by the user’s will.
So his blade’s weird change of direction was due to the Unique Skill’s reflection.
…that Berserk Switch skill sure is insane, though.
I sure would like that reflection skill for myself…but All Creation can’t make Unique Skills…
<<Skill “Copy” acquired.>>
Hmm? Did I get a skill different from reflection?
Wondering what caused it, I used Appraisal.
Enables the duplication of physical objects. Weapons up to Rare grade can be duplicated.
Can also copy skills and unique skills.
Copying unique skills, however, results in a skill with inferior capabilities.
Ooh, now this is going to be useful. I don’t need to copy skills thanks to All Creation, but copying unique skills is a great bonus.
I immediately tested the skill by trying to copy “Trance Retaliation”.
<<Skill “Reflection” acquired. Skill added to Magic Unification.>>
Enables the user to reflect physical attacks directed towards the user.
So that’s what it meant by inferior copy. I guess I should copy Fighting Spirit too since I’m at it.
While I was busy with the new skills, Dyne and Norverne’s conversation reached my ears.
“Dyne…for the “Lightning Speed Crazed Blade” to really lose…how was he?”
“Strong, a lot stronger than me. It felt like he still has a lot to show, though I can’t fathom how much. Norverne, don’t hold anything back…if you don’t give it your all, you’ll get killed in seconds!”
Er, I’m not going to kill anyone, okay?
Norverne bumped fists with Dyne, then walked towards me.
“Give me a fine battle too, Haruto!”
“Yeah, let’s have a good one.”
After replying, I took my Black Katana and put it in my dimensional storage.
“…what is the meaning of that?”
Norverne looked at me, perplexed.
“You fight with your fists, right? So I thought I’d do the same…I don’t want people to think that I won only thanks to my katana.”
After hearing my words, Norverne grinned fearlessly.
“Haha, you sure act tough, even if your opponent is rank S. Well, if you can fight like that, then sure…don’t go disappointing me now, okay?”
I answered simply by raising my fists in a fighting pose.