Chapter 20 – Start! (1)

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Wow, time sure does fly when your own weapon spirits are trying to stab you repeatedly with spears while you’re drinking acorn stew. It’s already the day of the competition. You can stop trying to stab me now.

“Your armor of slaughter has greatly improved,” Durandal said and sighed as he stowed his spear. I think he’s been feeling frustrated ever since he lost the ability to abuse me. It’s not my fault he’s a sadist! “But how do you know where I’m going to stab when you’re not even looking at me?”

“Oh, that just happens automatically.” The best part about the armor of slaughter is its autonomous function. I just have to circulate my qi like I’m using the path of slaughter, and the armor will detect incoming attacks and reinforce my body appropriately. It’s a complete cheat! I love it. The downside is it takes a lot of qi to maintain. But that’s okay because I have these improved bones of strength carved out of divine qi! …I’m not addicted, I swear. I can stop whenever I want. My willpower’s increased a lot ever since Durandal returned to my life. I’m fine. Really.

The door to my room swung open. “Are you ready, Lucia?” Ilya asked. She was wearing a set of blue robes. They looked normal, but I could see thousands of strands of mana crawling inside of it. Ilya blinked and lowered her head while lifting her arms a bit. “Like my robe? My father helped me enchant it. Anyways, we should hurry.”

“What’s the rush? I thought we got to skip the boring stuff since I already have a spot.” The preliminary rounds for all the people who weren’t nominated were supposed to happen first. There were thousands of people outside, but the people who hosted the competition guaranteed it wouldn’t take more than a few hours to sort through all those people. How were they going to do that? A giant free-for-all?

“I’m competing,” Ilya said and placed her hands on her hips. “And I’m not going to be disqualified for being late. So hurry up and finish your acorn stew.”

Ilya’s going to compete? But she’s so … tiny. I mean young, that’s the word, right? “Will you be okay?” I finished up the rest of my stew while Ilya nodded.

“I’ll be fine,” Ilya said. “Do you know how hard it is for normal people to cross the first wall before the age of thirty? Out of all the competitors, you and Daniel are probably the only ones who’ve crossed the second.” Who’s Daniel again? “Daniel’s the crown prince.” Nice one, mind reader Ilya.

“Didn’t I trounce Daniel at the banquet with Rogath’s spells?” I did, didn’t I? “I’ll just do that again. Doesn’t that mean I’ll get first place?”

“You probably will get first,” Ilya said with a nod. “But there won’t be enough mana in the vicinity for you to use your magical tool. And you can’t underestimate people, got it? The Godking stood at the top of the world despite never crossing the second wall by reaching the peak of spirit warrior and sixth circle magician. I’ve asked around, and Algar’s supposedly managed to do the same.” Algar? “Algar’s the human crown prince. The one you made a deal with, remember?” Okay, stop with the mind reading.

“Mm, whatever.” I’m a divine warrior! I’m stronger than the Godking! What do I have to fear in this world? This competition’s going to be a complete walk in the park.

“You’re not listening to me,” Ilya said and shook her head. She walked out the room and I followed her. We headed to the giant coliseum in the center of the city that we weren’t allowed to approach before. On the way there, I saw the marquis that Snow was supposed to be representing, but that bastard was nowhere to be seen. I tried looking for him this past week, but I got tired of beating people up who were looking for Durandal. Ilya had to beg me to stay inside the inn before I started another world war.

“This crowd’s pretty big…” It was huge. The streets were completely filled. Could the coliseum even fit that many people? It was a two story building at most, and it wasn’t that large.

“The coliseum was personally build by Cain,” Ilya said. “The space inside is larger than the space on the outside like an interspacial ring.”

Oh, so it was like one of those pocket dimensions Durandal was stored in. I hope it doesn’t bring back bad memories for him. Well, it’s not like he can see anything since he’s currently inside mini-DalDal. …He can’t see anything, right? It wouldn’t make sense if he could. Everyone knows the saying swords and fists have no eyes. That’s definitely the context the saying was created for.

The coliseum was like a whole new world once we stepped inside. Literally. The skies were no longer cloudy, and the sun shone directly overhead even though it was only morning. There were no walls, and the floor was made of green grass and dirt. It was nothing like a coliseum. “Um, Lucia,” Ilya said with a furrowed brow. “Didn’t you hear what I said?”

“The space inside is larger than the space outside, right?” What about it?

“No, the part I said after that,” Ilya said and bit her lower lip.

“Nope, wasn’t listening.”

Ilya sighed and hung her head. “I said you were supposed to enter the other doorway to go to the spectator area where my father was waiting. Why’d you enter the competition grounds with me?”

“Oh. Well, that’s fine, isn’t it? Anyone can compete, right?” This’ll be a good warmup! Who wants to fight me? I’ll take on anyone! Hear me roar!

Ilya sighed again. “I know what you’re thinking, but the preliminary isn’t about fighting. It’s about talent and ability.” She shook her head. “Well, you have both of those, so you should be fine.”


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