TWEM Vol. 1 Chapter 5

 

Chapter 5 – Ability Test

 

When we arrived in the arena, there were three men already there, talking.

Neena gestured at them and spoke to me.

“You may choose one person from this party of three rank B adventurers. The mock battle will end when one loses consciousness or admits defeat.”

“Roger.”

When I answered the three adventurers noticed our presence and approached us.

“Neena, this is the guy that’s going to fight us?”

The question, asked in a rather annoyed tone, came from a muscular man carrying a broadsword.

Behind him there was a man wearing a hooded robe and carrying a staff, probably a magic user, and a man carrying a spear, who glanced at me and sighed before talking.

“You’re the one who took this request, saying it was going to be easy…don’t act like it’s a pain now.”

“Hey hey, aren’t you too young for this stuff? Don’t go dying on me now!”

Neena frowned a little because of the three men’s haughty tone.

“So? Who’s it gonna be?”

The swordsman-looking man threw the question at me, so I thought about it for a little.

Hmm, I might as well…

“All three at once, I guess.”

So I said with a chuckle, resulting in the three adventures and Neena looking at me, speechless.

The swordsman then stretched a smile and spoke again.

“Hey now…is this a joke? Did I hear wrong?”

“No, you didn’t. I said you can fight me all at once. I guess it’d be a good experience.”

I repeated my decision and the three adventurers shouted, their faces livid with anger.

“Tch! Don’t mess with us, brat!!”

“You can get seriously hurt with that attitude, you know?”

“You won’t dare say you want to be an adventurer anymore after we’re done with you!!”

Neena, her face pale white, pulled on my sleeve.

“Mr. Haruto! What nonsense is this? A beginner couldn’t possibly take three B rank adventurers at once!”

“Ms. Neena, you don’t know my actual ability yet, right? Besides, you didn’t say that I can only choose one of them.”

“That, that is true, but…”

The swordsman, still livid, interrupted us.

“If that’s what he wants to do, why not? Let’s do this!”

“Yes, no problem.”

Neena probably understood that I wasn’t going to change my mind, so she sighed and gave up on trying.

“…understood, I will allow it then. But I am going to report this to the guildmaster.”

“Sure.”

“Fine by us too.”

After I and the swordsman replied, we put some distance between us and prepared our weapons.

The magic-user and the spearman also had theirs ready.

“ —you may start!”

Neena, after moving away to a safe distance, gave the signal and the mock battle started.

The swordsman and the spearman charged me first. The magic-user stayed in the back while chanting a spell.

This time I wanted to see how much I could move without using the Physical Boost magic.

In order to do that, I wanted to defeat the magic-user first, since he could use long-range attacks.

With this plan in mind, I parried the swordsman’s downward slash with my sword. In my former world, I couldn’t do something like that, but my maxed out Sword Arts made it all too easy.

The next instant, I lightly kicked the swordsman’s unguarded sides.

I didn’t know how resilient he was, so I held my power back to avoid killing him…

<<Skill “Hold Back” acquired. Skill level reached 10. Skill added to Martial Unification.>>  

…for some reason, I learned a skill…so it can make them automatically like this? All Creation sure is convenient…

The swordsman surely did not expect not only for me to parry his attack, but that I would also kick him back: he had a very surprised expression on his face as he was knocked backwards.

Then, with a loud noise, he crashed against the walls of the arena.

The spearman, who attacked at the same time as the swordsman, was surprised too, but he shot sharp thrusts at me all the same.

“Haaa!!”

I dodged them all, however, and circled behind the spearman, lightly kicking the back of his knees to disrupt his balance.

“Wha!?”

I was about to attack the collapsing spearman again, when— 

“Fire Arrow!”

The low-grade fire magic spell cast by the magic-user flew at me.

I didn’t falter, though, and using No Chant I cast the same spell, to have them cancel each other out.

“W-what!? No Chant!? Only those who have mastered magic can use it!!”

I rushed towards the shocked magic user, but it wouldn’t go so easily.

“Not so fast!”

So said the swordsman I had previously kicked into the wall, standing between me and the magic-user.

He was probably still hurting because of the kick, as he was still unsteady on his feet: I didn’t slow down and kept running towards him.

“Wha-”

Then, right in the solar plexus of the surprised swordsman, I planted the hilt of my sword.

“G…hah…”

The swordsman groaned as he fell on his knees and then on the ground, ultimately losing consciousness.

“Jorn!!”

Shouted the spearman behind me. So the swordsman’s name was Jorn.

“Damn it!! I’ll avenge you, Jorn!!”

Wait!! He’s not dead yet!!

The spearman rushed at me from behind, unleashing a rapid flurry of thrusts.

I could see each one clearly, however, so I dodged them all, with the bare minimum movement.

Someone who couldn’t keep up with our movements might have thought the spear wasn’t hitting me on purpose.

“Shit!! Why can’t I hit you!?”

You’d kill me if you did with this much power, though! …or maybe I could endure it now?

“I-incredible…”

So I heard Neena whisper to herself as I was lost in such thoughts.

The magic-user probably finished chanting, as he shot another spell at me.

“Fire Arrow!!”

The spearman jumped back, to not risk getting hit by friendly fire.

Again, I cast the same Fire Arrow via No Chant to cancel the spell: the spearman took advantage of the opening to strike.

It was his quickest attack, probably his best one. He also waited for the perfect timing, the instant after I cast my spell.

His thrust, however, stopped right in front of my eyes.

“What!? This can’t be!!”

The spearman, unable to believe his eyes, stopped moving completely.

“Oh no, it can be.”

I used that opening to pull in the spearman’s weapon, causing him to lose his balance, then planting my right fist into his unguarded stomach.

With a dull thud, the spearman collapsed on the ground too.

“Damn it!! Not Lorn too!! I shall avenge you, friend…!”

So the spearman’s name was Lorn…but I didn’t kill him either!!

So I mentally reacted as the magic-user started chanting again.

Normally, magic users should be defeated before they finished chanting, and that was what I planned to do at the start.

Now, however, I chose to wait.

I never saw a real, professional magic-user cast magic, after all.

So I stood there waiting. Neena probably understood from the chant the spell that the magic-user was going to cast and suddenly shouted loudly.

“This chant is…a medium grade Fire Wave!? Mr. Haruto, please take cover quickly!!”

The magic-user, however, grinned. It was probably too late.

“Hehe…my chant is already complete…die!! Fire Wave!!”

As soon as the spell name was announced, a two meters tall wall of fire rushed towards me, just like a wave.

Hmm, using the same spell to have them cancel out again wouldn’t be stylish at all…

“Guess I’ll use Fire Tornado.”

The spell I casually cast was a high-grade fire spell, Fire Tornado.

A large whirlpool of fire wrapped the approaching wave and turned it into nothingness.

The ground was scorched and melting here and there because of the fire spiral.

I looked at the magic-user and found him standing there with his mouth agape.

“…..”

“Hey, are you done?”

The magic uses silently nodded at my question.

“Okay, so it’s my turn now.”

I put my sword back in the sheath, raised my fists, and took a fighting pose.

“H-hey! P-please wait!! It’s our loss!!”

“Hm? Did you say something?”

I pretended not to hear, kicked the ground hard, and moved right next to the magic-user in an instant.

“I-I said, wait— ”

I started to pity him, so I stopped my fist right before it hit.

The wind pressure removed the magic user’s hood. He was still standing, but foam came out of his mouth and his eyes had turned white. He had lost consciousness already.

…I guess I went a little overboard…

Then, Neena came running to me.

“Mr. Haruto!! Are you okay!?”

“Yeah, as you can see.”

“I’m so glad…anyway, please wait here. I will go call the guildmaster!”

Neena immediately ran out of the arena.

I didn’t know how long she would take, so for starters, I checked my newly acquired skill.

 

<Hold Back>

Automatically reduces offensive power to avoid fatal attacks. Cannot be used when equipping weapons.

 

I see, it’d be pretty convenient in mock battles or when I didn’t want to kill my opponent.

Hmm…Neena isn’t back yet…guess I could wake up the magic-user.

I approached the magic-user, tapped his cheeks, and woke him up.

“Hey, get up already. We have to move your mates.”

“Eh!? Y-yes! Yes sir!!”

Sir? Seriously?

Puzzled by the change in attitude, together with the magic-user I moved the swordsman and the spear user to the center of the arena and laid them on their backs.

Soon after, Neena came back, accompanied by a middle-aged man.

“I apologize for the wait.”

The man with Neena was probably in his fifties.

“So you are Haruto. I am Dass, the guildmaster of this Waxe branch of the adventurers’ guild. I’ve heard the gist of what happened from Neena, but…it really looks like you put on quite a show. Neena, please heal those two first.”

“Yes, master.”

“No wait, I’ll do it.”

Neena nodded and approached the two wounded, but I stopped her.

“Eh!?”

Dass, Neena, and the magic-user too looked at me, puzzled.

I ignored their reactions, walked closer to the swordsman and spearman, then used a high-grade recovery spell on them.

“ —High Heal.”

Seeing the two men’s wounds visibly closing, Dass was bewildered.

“You can even use recovery magic….ahem. Please come to my office after this. We have to talk about your rank. It’ll be quick. You will come, yes?”

Dass looked at me, clearly showing that I had no real choice, so I sighed and nodded.

“Haah, yes, of course.”

I left the swordsman and spearman to the magic-user and followed Dass and Neena to the guildmaster’s office.

“Please, come in.”

The guildmaster’s office was surprisingly simple and frugal, with a minimal amount of decorations.

A bookshelf covering one of the walls, a table with piles of documents, a low table, and sofa for guests. 

I sat on the sofa, as I was invited to, and Neena brought us something to drink.

The mock battle left me pretty thirsty, so I drank without complaints as I listened to Dass.

“Haruto, I was thinking of having you start at rank B. Honestly, rank A wouldn’t be far-fetched either, but there are no precedents and I am only allowed to assign ranks up to B.”

“I see, that’s fine.”

“Thank you. If you come back tomorrow, you’ll have your adventurer card waiting for you.”

It took more time than expected to issue an adventurer card.

I stated that I would come back the next day and left the room.

Right before I closed the door, I could’ve sworn I heard a tired sigh escape Dass’ lips.

~

On my way back to my lodging, I felt my stomach rumble so I looked around the street stalls.

As I thought in the royal capital, there were a lot of dishes and items I’d never seen on earth, so it was really interesting to see.

I was walking while looking left and right when a pleasant-looking man standing behind one of the stalls called out to me.

“Hey friend, yes you, try one of these!”

The man showed a block of meat which kind of looked like chicken wings.

“What meat is this?”

“It’s Whitebird meat, super delicious stuff.”

“Whitebird…?”

I cocked my head, curious about the unfamiliar name, and the vendor looked at me, surprised.

“You don’t know about Whitebirds? What remote country village are you from? Whitebirds are one Metol tall…pretty much this big, white bird-like monsters. They taste really good grilled like this.”

The man spread his arms as he talked. So one Metol here pretty much corresponds to one meter…

“Okay, give me two then.”

“Thanks, that’ll be 200 Gould.”

I pretended to look in my pockets and took out two large bronze coins from my dimensional storage and gave them to the vendor.

“Here you go.”

The man gave me piping hot Whitebird meat, so it was probably fresh from the grill.

I started walking again to my lodging, chomping on the meat before it went cold.

“Hmm, this is really good.”

I couldn’t help but voice my thoughts.

The meat was probably marinated in seasonings, as it was really flavorful. The crust was crunchy and crisp, and the scorched sauce stimulated the appetite. I finished eating long before I arrived at my lodging.

After a quick rest in my room, I headed to the trading company, where Bacchus was supposed to be.

I wanted to report that I had registered at the guild and that I planned to leave town the next day.

I would feel bad to stay there at his expense, and since I managed to become an adventurer, I wanted to go see the world…though I didn’t have any particular destination in mind.

So I was thinking as I arrived in front of the trading company, but Bacchus spotted me first and came up to me.

“Oh, Mr. Haruto. What brings you here today?”

“Hello, Mr. Bacchus. Actually, there is something I would like to talk about…”

I told Bacchus about my plans and he recommended a place for me to visit.

“How about visiting the border town of Vaana? If you cross the border you’ll be in one of the three great states, the kingdom of Perdis. It’s a wonderful country, a great place to live in…well, to tell the truth, we’re heading to Vaana tomorrow.”

The three great states were three of the many countries that formed this world: they were the kingdom of Perdis, which Bacchus just mentioned, the kingdom of Glicente, where we currently were, and the Galzio empire, which boasted the largest territory of all.

“I see. I guess I’ll try going there, then.”

After chatting a bit with Bacchus, I left the trading company.

I went for a bit more sightseeing in town, I returned to the lodging and found Bacchus and the others having dinner, so they invited me to have a little feast with them.

When I could finally return to my room I checked the map with God Eye, confirmed the path I would have to take to go to Vaana, then fell asleep.

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