Chapter 2: the old man finally decides on his destination.

Sorry for the delay! I’ve been having problems IRL so I didn’t have as much time as before. I will try to get the next chapter out on monday.

<Start of Chapter>

Once we arrived at Grannel, we headed over to the inn we stayed at previously and decided to have a meeting to decide our next destination.  Although I asked everyone for their preferences earlier, there wasn’t an option to satisfy everyone. There wasn’t a clear cut correct option as every destination had their own pros and cons. 

After a long wait, our drinks and dishes had arrived. Especially our main dish, a whole roasted chicken. The Paradise Bird was one of Grannel’s specialties however there were many other monsters that dropped delicious chicken meat in the city.

  [Uwaa, it has so much volume to it.] (Til)

  [Yuuya, it looks delicious, it’s juice is sparkly!] (Luna)

  [It’s another delicious chicken found in Grannel. It’s a whole roasted Surprise Chicken. If you cut open its belly like this…. Bingo. The delicious umami of the chicken will spread throughout its entire body.] (Yuuya)

For Beef (Average) and Pork (Average), they typically dropped in chunks of meat wrapped in tree bark and weighed about 2 kilograms. However, for birds they typically dropped chicken meat. Their necks were cleanly cut off and their skin and feathers were plucked off. Even its internal organs were cleanly removed. This meant that you would be presented with a clean whole chicken making specific dishes possible.

For this dish, the chicken was stuffed with various ingredients, rice, spices, and seasonings instead of its internal organs.

  [Now then, I’ll begin cutting up its meat.] (Phil)

I could feel my expectations rise as the gravy within the chicken began to flow each time Phil cut through its flesh. Phil proceeded to portion out the meat and handed out equal portions to everyone.

  [Is it time to eat? Luna wants to eat it quickly!] (Luna)

  [Uhn uhn, I’m gonna start drooling if I don’t.] (Til)

  [You’re right. Let’s start eating then.] (Yuuya)

Just as I said that, the duo began stuffing their cheeks full of meat and rice with satisfied expressions.

It looks delicious so I should start eating as well.

… This is good.

It’s crispy skin was coated in a delicious sweet sauce. It was truly the ideal way to enjoy a whole roasted chicken as even the rice stuffing was appetizing. Not only was the rice piquant, it was mixed with sliced pickles making its taste not as heavy and easier to eat.

  [Looks like this dish is a huge success. It both looks great and tastes great. I have to try to replicate this dish.] (Phil)

  [I agree, it feels like a truly wild and interesting dish. It might even taste better in the middle of the dungeon when we’re surrounded by nature.] (Selene)

Even Phil and Selene liked the dish.

I could agree with their opinions as this definitely felt like a dish that you would enjoy more around a bonfire in a camp. If this tasted this delicious despite being Chicken (Average), I wonder how good it would be using Chicken (Excellent)? It’s a shame that we couldn’t replicate it with the Paradise meat as the Paradise meat only dropped a cut of thigh meat and breast meat.

  [Ah Luna. It’s unfair of you to get seconds for yourself!] (Til)

  [It is fair. The first to get seconds is the winner.] (Luna)

After emptying her plate, Luna immediately reached out to grab the leftovers from the main dish. Watching this, Til tried to stuff down the food remaining on her plate to grab a portion of the leftovers. 

She looked extremely creepy but at the same time it was a cute sight. It felt like I was being rejuvenated watching them.

.

.

.

Aside from the roasted chicken, we enjoyed several other dishes until our dinner ended.

Now, it was about time to bring up the main topic.

  [Everyone, it’s time for us to decide on our next destination. Unlike our past few destinations, there aren’t any urgent circumstances for us so we have the freedom to head to any town we like. Let’s try to choose our next location with an appropriate reason.] (Yuuya)

  [Uhn. Understood.] (Luna)

  [I can feel the tension rising right now.] (Til)

The duo began to lean onto the table.

  [The first option is the village of snow and ice, Kritarus. It’s one of the villages on the northern mountains. Both its city and dungeons are covered in snow… It is also one of the locations where we can learn the art of blacksmithing as well as the place where we can obtain the materials required for blacksmithing. We’ll also be able to make one of the strongest weapons possible using the materials from the Temple of the Primal Flame. There are also unique foods such as the Silver Rabbit Meat. Although trying to hunt down a Silver Rabbit in itself is a difficult feat.] (Yuuya)

  [Hurray! It’s Luna’s new dagger! And delicious meat!] (Luna)

As expected, Luna was the first person to respond as it was a highly favoured destination for her. Furthermore I wanted to obtain the blacksmithing skills and items present there. With the ability to blacksmith, I would be able to synthesize equipment and items using special materials. However, since it was only to the extent of synthesizing equipment, it had limits when compared to an actual blacksmith. It would be impossible to perform finer adjustments and affecting the equipment’s center of gravity.

However, there was a bug present in the game that made it possible to strengthen weapons using specific materials. In fact, Luna’s new weapon would be made abusing that bug. I hoped to create the weapon as soon as I got my hands on the materials but that dungeon had a recommended level of 41 making it an impossible task to challenge early.

  [Are you saying that rabbits are edible?] (Selene)

  [Eeeh, Selene are you saying that you have never eaten rabbit meat? It’s extremely delicious! It’s one of my favourite foods!] (Til)

  [It is one of the elves’ most hunted prey since it was similar to chicken meat, but less pungent and more tender. It is also a better source of protein and much more interesting to cook with although it is much more difficult to obtain.] Phil)

  [That sounds interesting, I can’t wait to try it.] (Selene)

I’ve eaten it several times myself and it was delicious. It was even considered a luxurious dish in several towns plus I wanted to find out how delicious its unique drop would be. However the only problem was, the Silver Rabbit had one of the fastest speed among all the monsters that existed in exchange for giving a large amount of experience.

Even adventurers who possessed Presence Detection wouldn’t be able to capture it as it would escape the moment you entered a two-hundred radius around it. It’s fur had a unique characteristic that made it resilient against physical damage, reducing any physical damage by 70% as well as a “Super Reaction” which allows it to sense and react to any long distance attacks. 

This caused the monster to be considered a Phantom Monster as it was impossible to come across one, much less defeat it. In the game, it was highly likely that not a single person managed to obtain the monster’s meat drop. On the other hand, this meant that even after the respawn period, there were probably a large number of them running around the dungeon. If we managed to find a way to defeat them, then we would be able to level at a speed far beyond common sense.

  [Speaking of which, in Kritarus, it is likely that one of the three elemental dragons, the Ice dragon lurks in one of its dungeons.] (Yuuya)

  [Yuuya-ojisama, you’re making it sound like we will not be attempting the dragon in the town.] (Selene)

  [Even if we head to Kritarus, we can’t challenge it. If we tried to, then we would die a hundred percent. That’s why, we’ll move on to the next option.] (Yuuya)

The Corona Dragon was strong, however the Iceshell Dragon, Aldovaris was much stronger. The difficulty rating of the battle was four point five out of five with ice-resistant equipment and five out of five without it. The highest rating a boss battle could get was five, however even among those bosses Aldovaris was one of the more difficult battles. It was said that the battle required a minimum of two resetted characters.

  [Uhn. In that case, we’ll raise our levels a bunch and challenge afterwards!] (Luna)

  [We’ll be staying in Kritarus for quite awhile, most likely two or three months. If we become strong enough within that period, then I’ll consider it.] (Yuuya)

Truth is, if we were to defeat enough of the Silver rabbits, we could shorten our stay there by a large margin. As difficult as it was to defeat it, the monster provided ridiculously high amounts of experience, a unique meat drop as well as a unique material used for fur coats which provided one of the highest resistances against Water (Ice). If we were to challenge Aldovaris in our visit there, then the Silver Rabbit is a monster we must defeat to have a chance to survive. 

But I’ll be keeping that information to myself as I myself wasn’t sure if the strategy I had would be successful in hunting the monster.

  [The next option, is Phil and TIl’s hometown, the elven village. There is actually a hidden dungeon present there.] (Yuuya)
  [Eeehh? Lies. I’ve never heard about that before.] (Til)

  [Which is why it’s a hidden dungeon. There is your long awaited unique fruit present in that dungeon and its recommended level is 42. Since it’s a hidden dungeon, the monsters are there for us to hunt and it is also the lair of the final elemental dragon, the Roaring Thunder Dragon, Tempest. The merit of this destination is, both you and Phil will get to visit your hometown.] (Yuuya)

This is the second location, the elven village. In the past when I accepted the request to protect it from Filoria Cartel, I didn’t have my memories nor did I perform any investigation but it was an important location where many events were held. The hidden dungeon was one of the special events and was a dungeon where you could get special benefits by clearing it.

  [Uh.. I’ll have to refrain from that.] (Til)

Til who ran away from her village had a difficult face as aside from Phil’s regular letters, their families would most likely be upset once she returns.

  [Til, don’t affect the decision due to your own personal reasons.] (Phil)

  [But okaasan will definitely be furious! But on the other hand, there are fruits… Fruits….] (Til)

Til was conflicted however I still had a suggestion. The benefits from clearing the dungeon wasn’t small, plus comparing Tempest and Aldovaris, Tempest was the better option.

  [The last option was the underwater city of Lunaria which was filled with advanced dungeons. The monsters that appeared there generally provided large amounts of experience as well as a variety of item drops. Thanks to this, the adventurers there are dispersed across the different dungeons making it always possible for us to hunt monsters. It is a stable location for level fourty adventurers to raise their level. Since it’s an underwater city, whether it’s in the dungeon or outside the dungeon, it is filled with seafood. The shellfish that you could harvest their leaves a large impression.] (Yuuya)

There aren’t that many adventurers who managed to reach the level forty range.

Thus with the large number of dungeons and scarce number of adventurers spread throughout the dungeons, the monsters in each dungeon were less likely to be hunted.

Normally, the respawn period for the dungeons in a city were synchronized, however this town was different. Each dungeon had their own respawn period making it the perfect hunting ground to raise your level. In addition the equipment stores there sold equipment especially suited for high levelled adventurers befitting of their wealth. The entertainment industry in that town was also flourishing.

  [There are several other options but these were the best options.] (Yuuya)

The village of Snow and Ice, Kritarus, the Elven village and the underwater city Lunaria. These were the three locations that we could head to.

  [I think that the elven village would be better. Although Kritarus seems to be the most attractive option, if Aldovaris is too difficult for us to fight then it would be better for us to become stronger at the elven village then head to Kritarus.] (Selene)

  [Luna chooses Kritarus! It has delicious meat and strong weapons! Plus with blacksmithing not just Luna but everyone will become stronger too!] (Luna)

  [I choose Kritarus too! It’s not because I’m afraid of okaasan at all!] (Til)

  [I choose the elven village as well. The reason is the same as Selene’s. Plus it would be nice to show everyone in the village that Til is lively and doing well. My bad, I’m getting my personal feelings involved as well.] (Phil)

Til made an extremely reluctant face towards Phil as everyone’s opinions was divided into two.

  [In that case, let’s head to the Elven village first since someone’s vote was nulled due to personal reasons.] (Yuuya)

  [Aahhhhhh, Yuuya-niisan is a devil!] (Til)

Til began to pout as she stared at me. Meanwhile, Luna tapped Til’s shoulders.

  [Calm down and eat this.] (Luna)

Luna placed the strawberry from the dessert into Til’s mouth as Til reluctantly chewed on it. However she still continued to stare at me with a hateful look.

I wasn’t doing this just to bully her but it looks like I can’t help it. I’ll get her a dessert before we depart tomorrow.

Til was a simple person who could be appeased with her favourite sweets.

.

.

.

The next day, we entered the guild building in Grannel to check for any exclusive requests or letters sent to us. This was one of the services provided by the guild for adventurers.

Apparently, a letter was sent to Phil from her village as she had informed her family about her new guild card number due to her level reset.

… It looks like I should inform my acquaintances about my new guild number as well as they could be sending letters and the like to my old number. After looking at the letter, Phil folded it neatly and placed it in her pocket.

  [Now then, Yuuya. Let’s head to Kritarus instead. If you think about it, it would actually be the better option. Now the votes are reversed. Let’s send our information and achievements towards Kritarus and make that our next base of operations.] (Phil)

  [Just what was written inside that letter?] (Yuuya)

She had blatantly changed her opinion from yesterday as if she did not want to return to the village. Til sneaked behind Phil and pulled out the letter from her pocket as her eyes widened.

  [Yuuya-niisan. As expected Kritarus is the best! It has snow everywhere after all!] (Til)

  [Wait, what does snow have to do with anything?] (Yuuya)

TIl clearly went crazy.

  [Yuuya-ojisama, i think it’ll be the best for us to follow their instructions.] (Selene)

  [Well, I’m fine either way.] (Yuuya)

  [Hurray! Meat! Looking forward to it!] (Luna)

In the first place, I brought this up since I was fine with all three locations.

  [Now then, it’s decided. I’ll head over there and apply for the Kritarus guild to take note of our arrival.] (Phil)

Phil immediately left for the counter.

This is suspicious.. I’ll have to ask her for the reason afterwards.

Regardless, the next destination was Kritarus. Since it was my first time heading there in the flesh, I’m looking forward to seeing what kind of town it actually is.

Advertisements

Volume 5: The old man’s second reunion

Chapter 1: The old man begins his departure.

After the ceremony had ended, I proceeded to the dining area as instructed by the newly crowned king Laluzulu. Due to the content of our conversation, the number of people present was kept to the bare minimum. In my case, only my party members were presented while King Laluzulu only had his second half, Leonhard and several bodyguards present.

Our meeting was being conducted over a meal as the food was delicious as usual. However the silence in the room was deafening as the knights present in the room occasionally glanced towards our two beloved duo who despite their heavy meal last night, devoured their food heartily at the table. Just as our meal was about to be done, the first person to bring up the main topic for today was King Laluzulu.

  [After her recovery, Aure was arrested for her treason against the royal family. After conducting an investigation, we discovered several cases of money laundering as well as definitive proof of her betrayal. The person herself had revealed everything without any form of resistance. The monsters that she possessed were bought from an organization called Firoria Cartel. We’ve also tried to make contact with her secret contact in the organization but the person was found dead in an alley. Most likely, once Aure’s plans were foiled, the organization decided to cut their losses and destroy any traces leading to them.] (King Laluzulu)

  [They moved really quickly. Even though it was to eliminate their own traces, it was far too quickly.] (Yuuya)

Speaking of which, even with the incident in Rumberg back then, the defective guild leader whom was kept under tight supervision was quickly silenced as well. An enemy who couldn’t be too careful that was quick, decisive and accurate in their actions…. But it is to be expected if our opponent was the Firoria Cartel.

  [It’s an extremely tight organization. Firoria Cartel. Knowing you Yuuya-dono. Would you happen to know anything about them?] (Yuuya)

  [I know them. They’re an enemy that I know all too well.] (Yuuya)

When I heard their name earlier, I was desperately trying to suppress my rage and it was the same for Phil. To the two of us, it was a name we could never forget.

  [Firoria Cartel is an organization which dwelled in the underworld, dealing with dirty work behind the scenes including assassinations, drug trafficking, and trading of slaves. It mostly consisted of adventurers who were fired from society due to their unrestrained behaviors, participating in crimes and other violations. They mostly operated in the southern countries. Which is why for Prince.. Sorry, your majesty to be oblivious of them isn’t unexpected.] (Yuuya)
  [It’s fine even if you call me Aleck. You can call me however you like. I see, it’s a southern organization then. But even if they belonged to the south, such a large organization wouldn’t be difficult to catch. It looks like we’ll be able to catch onto their tails far quicker than we thought.] (King Laluzulu)

I shook my head. Since the organization seemed to be planning something big, then it wouldn’t be difficult to grasp the scale of their operations. Even if their base of operations was out of the Laluzulu Kingdom’s reach, it would be easy to obtain information about them just by following their messengers.

  [No, that’s impossible. The organization has already been thoroughly crushed years ago. They were once the leading figure in the underworld as the main distributor of elven goods. They had imprisoned countless elven girls to manufacture Drop of the World Trees for them to sell all around the world while training them and selling them as slaves. They’ve even destroyed numerous elven villagers just to replenish their stocks. Due to the anti-aging properties of the Drop of the World Tree, nobles and even government officials had a hand in allowing their activities effectively giving them the freedom to do whatever they damn pleased.] (Yuuya)

Treating elfs as a money-making machine was something I’m not pleased to say out loud.

  [Then how was the organization enabled all around the world, destroyed by anyone?] (King Laluzulu)

  [It just so happened that an elven village which they targeted had issued a subjugation quest request to the guild. The elves tried to scrounge up all the wealth they had, but it was never a large amount which never attracted any adventurers. The problem became exasperated once word that a criminal syndicate was involved in the quest spread around which was why there wasn’t any adventurers at first, however, a stroke of good luck had struck.] (Yuuya)

I closed my eyes as I recalled the memories of those days over a decade ago.

  [Legendary elven adventurers and other respected figures had contributed their own wealth to the quest making the quest much more attractive than its risk. Those adventurers had made use of their own connections as well, gathering many powerful adventurers to fight for their cause. As a result, other adventurers decided to join in proclaiming to be justice by battling against the wrongdoers.] (Yuuya)

I was part of the latter who participated in the quest. My former teacher was also present as I owed him a mountain of gratitude. Even with the possibility of being targeted by a criminal syndicate, it wasn’t something I could refuse.

  [I see, if the government officials were already bought over, then the only hope left was to rely on the adventurers. By gathering the top adventurers from all over the world, then it was possible.] (King Laluzulu)

  [That’s right. For the bunch that targeted the elven village, they unexpectedly found themselves in a war against a large number of adventurers and as a result, found their main forces completely destroyed and their whole infrastructure collapsed. Afterwards, the syndicate decided to take revenge by retaliating against the adventurers who participated in the subjugation but the result was once again not what they expected as the adventurers’ collusion was thorough as they launched an attack against the syndicate before any assasination attempts could be performed. After the remnants of Firoria Cartel was wiped out, the organization was dissolved completely. The events of the quest is still fresh in mind as I was one of its participants.] (Yuuya)

It was one of the worst battles I’ve ever seen. Adventurers were prepared to lose their lives in battle due to their trade, however it was rare for us to have any experience in taking the lives of other humans. In so many ways, the battle against the syndicate was a much more of a nightmare than the defense of the elven village…. 

I never want to experience that ever again.

I’ve built too much and have too many important people to lose now.

  [Yuuya-niisan, is that village…] (Til)

  [That’s right, that village is both Til’s and Phil’s hometown.] (Yuuya)

  [It’s understandable that you can’t remember anything. You were far too young back then. If back then, Yuuya and the other adventurers hadn’t stepped in then everyone in the village would have been captured. Til and I would still be at their mercy even until today.] (Phil)

The entire incident wasn’t completely bad though as I ended up meeting Phil thanks to it. Thanks to that one incident, Phil had left the village in adoration of adventurers and one thing led to another, resulting in her being under my tutelage.

  [I see… I understand now. Thanks to Yuuya-dono I’ve gotten the full picture about Firoria Cartel.  I’ll be starting the investigation from this point on. I’ll be sure to share any information we obtain with each other.] (King Laluzulu)

  [Please do so. If the organization was to be revived, then it won’t be just another country’s problem.] (Yuuya)

Firoria Cartel. The person who killed the head of the organization was me. Not only that but I’ve already hindered their operations twice in Rumberg and now with Princess Aure. It wouldn’t be surprising if I was already being targeted.

…. But why would the organization go out of their way to adopt the name of a deceased syndicate? In the underworld, your name was everything. Without a respectable reputation behind your name, people would never patronage your business. By using the name of a defeated criminal syndicate, you would only be defeated once more. That was how the underworld looked at it. Even if they accepted the negative aspects of picking up the name of Firoria Cartel, they would be exposing themselves to the dangers of the organization’s past actions even if they were unrelated.

Without sufficient information, we have no choice but to just keep our guard up against them. Moving onto the next topic..

  [Then what will you be doing about Princess Aure?] (Yuuya)

This was something that was also eating at my mind as she was someone Selene cared about more than I did.

  [It’s regrettable for us to lose a valuable asset such as her. Which was why in exchange for her complete obedience, I decided to allow her to continue contributing to the kingdom. Under strict supervision of course. Lutra, you’re fine with that too right?] (King Laluzulu)

  [Yes. It’s nice to hear that aneue would continue to live. I was saved by her once. And above all, the Laluzulu Kingdom needs her ability.] (Selene)

Both rationally and emotionally, both parties agreed that she was beneficial to the kingdom.

  [However, Aure is a stubborn person. She would rather lose her life than to work under me.] (King Laluzulu)

  [I’ll persuade her. If it doesn’t go well today, then she will never change her mind no matter how many times we try. That’s why we will confirm her decision today once and for all.] (Selene)

Selene had made her decision as she would be leaving the city with us tomorrow.

Today was her last chance to persuade Aure.

  [I understand…. I’ve been holding off on any decisions regarding her situation but I can’t keep it that way forever. If she doesn’t relent in a week then I have no choice but to proceed with her execution. Please let her know that.] (King Laluzulu.)

  [I see…] (Selene)

Although it sounded cold, I believed that his judgement was correct. 

Afterwards, the conversation proceed as normal aside from King Laluzulu’s declaration towards me that he would go so far as to utilize the entire kingdom to hunt me down if I attempted anything with Lutra with half-baked feelings. 

He even elaborated on it even though he mentioned something similar in his letter. I tried to reassure him that Phil was my lover and that I didn’t intend on having multiple partners but his expression seemed convinced on something.

…. He didn’t seem like it but he was really a full-fledged siscon. It feels like I’ll have to be sincere when it came to Selene just so that I wouldn’t be killed.

  [Yuuya-dono, I leave my younger sister to you.] (King Laluzulu)

  [Leave her to me. I made an oath earlier, that I am Lutra’s knight and I will protect her even at the cost of my life.] (Yuuya)

  [Thank you.] (King Laluzulu)

King Laluzulu bowed his head towards me.

My words were from the bottom of my heart. So long as I am Lutra’s knight, then I will be sure to fulfill my role.

.

.

.

Since we were done with our business, we proceeded to leave the castle.

We’ve been through a lot in the capital city of Laluzulu as it has been an intense experience the past few days. After purchasing the necessities and finishing our packing, we proceeded to board the raptor carriage.

  [Everyone, did you forget anything?] (Yuuya)

  [Nope, Luna is ready!] (Luna)

  [If there was something, then it would be Selene. She’s late.] (Til)

  [It’ll take some time for her to talk to her sister… If it doesn’t go well.. Then it would be the last time they will end up speaking.. Let’s just wait patiently.] (Yuuya)

Although we were preparing for our departure, Selene was taking a different course of action from the rest of us as Selene had finally arrived along with several bodyguards thirty minutes later. This time however, she was dressed in her usual adventurer clothing rather than her royal clothing. Not only that, she had a shabby backpack as well as black hair.

Above all, her facial expression looked relaxed.

  [How did your talk go?.] (Yuuya)

  [It went well. It’s been decided that my elder sister will be helping my elder brother in managing the kingdom.] (Selene)

  [Just how did you do it? I’m sure that having to work for King Laluzulu would be enough for her to be dissuaded.] (Yuuya)

  [It’s a secret. I’m glad though. Speaking of my sister, she was afraid that she would had been abandoned by me and was anxiously waiting.] (Lutra)

Selene has really grown as she was now the one leading Princess Aure by the nose. With this, there truly isn’t anything left for us here as we can leave with a clear mind.

  [Now then, let’s depart. We’ll be heading towards Grannel first. Once we arrive there, we’ll decide on our next course of action. Since there are multiple options for our next destination, I’ll list out the possible destinations and everyone will get to vote for their favourite destination.] (Yuuya)

At minimum, every single option would at least have a level 40 dungeon. There were several towns each with their own benefits and disadvantages.

  [Uhn. Luna wants somewhere with delicious meat! Luna wants to eat something like the Paradise Meat!] (Luna)

  [For me I want somewhere with delicious fruits and vegetables! Didn’t you mention earlier that there was a special fruit somewhere!] (Til)

  [Let’s go somewhere efficient for our level. As expected, the best thing would be to raise our level quickly.] (Selene)

  [I wish to defeat the three dragons to get the title! It’s about time for us to challenge the next dragon in my opinion.] (Phil)

Everyone listed their own opinions and there were several candidates that fulfilled several of their needs. However it was impossible to satisfy all of them, making it difficult for me to decide our next location.

However, our party was amazing.

I let out a laugh while signalling to raptor to leave.

I’m worried about Firoria Cartel however it was much more important for us to become stronger rather than researching and preparing ourselves for a preemptive attack. Furthermore, in order to do that we would have to do several preparations.

It’s still a long way, but our adventure continues.

We’ll continue to journey into the unknown, and enjoy ourselves doing it.

Prologue: The old is entrusted with a divine sword

Sorry for the long wait! I am officially back from my holidays and the releases will resume. Next chapter should be out on wednesday.

< Start of chapter >

When I realized that Lutra was going to continue travelling with us as Selene, I couldn’t help but feel extremely happy about it. Not just me but everyone seems felt the same way as Luna and Til, who were usually the ones to devour our food within seconds, had served the dish to Lutra instead. Even more surprising, that dish was a large bowl of chicken stew.

  [The last dish is for Selene to eat!] (Luna)

  [I’m grateful for your consideration.] (Selene)

Selene smiled brightly as she received the dish. As someone who had been together with us for a long period of time, she knew how special Luna’s gesture was

  [It’s great that Selene is finally going to be with us for sure. But it may become complicated now that my oneechan’s rival is back.] (Til)

  [Til, you’ve been saying that a lot recently. I wonder if you’ve started to develop an interest in romance? Continuously teasing me while watching Yuuya’s reaction closely. You’re starting to develop a bad habit.] (Phil)

  [Ow- Ouchie, you’ve got it all wrong. What’s wrong with playing around with my own elder sister.] (Til)

  [I see. In that case please listen closely. If you inflict pain onto others then you should expect to be shot back. Speaking of yesterday night, while everyone was sleeping….] (Phil)

Phil looked straight into Til’s eyes with a smile and eyes which didn’t look harmless at tall.

Frankly speaking it was horrifying.

  [Wa-, Wa, Wa, Wait a minute, oneechan you noticed that!?] (Til)

Til’s face turned completely red as she began flailing her hands around.

  [Well.. What is this about?] (Yuuya)

Truth was, both me and Phil had noticed it. Unlike Luna who slept like a pig, Phil and I were in a state of half-conscious in our sleep to keep a lookout for any potential assailants in the castle.

However, I pretended that I didn’t know anything in order to protect Til’s purity.

  [Yuuya-niisan, Uhm, its….] (Til)

  [What are you talking about? I slept really well last night so I don’t know what happened.] (Yuuya)

  [Eh, really. Thank god. Oneechan, make sure you never say a word!] (Til)

  [That’ll depend on your attitude from now on.] (Phil)

  [Grrr, Oneechan is a vicious person!] (Til)

Til began scowling towards Phil as the two of them had a heartwarming relationship. Not only was Phil her older sister, but it seems that she had taken good care of her sister as well.

  [It’s about time for us to head back. We have plans in the morning after all.] (Yuuya)

Since the celebration was completed a while back, the new king had been officialized. However, we had several unrelated errands to perform before departing the city. At the very least, I hope to have a nap before the day begins.

  [Uhn. But before that, is dessert! Luna wants a super duper gigantic extra sweet pancake with lots of fresh cream! No, Luna wants three of them!] (Luna)

  [Uwa~, there are so many fruit-based desserts here. I want a mixed berry tart. No I don’t want a cut, I want the whole thing!] (Til)

  [Having something sweet after a heavy meal like this sounds amazing. In that case, I would like one of your signature oversized parfaits with additional melon toppings please.] (Phil)

Luna, Til and Phil ordered their desserts right after the meal. I could feel the heartburn in my chest just from listening to their names as all three of them ordered something that was meant to be shared among several people..

  [….I’ve been thinking about this, how does everyone eat this much but not seem to get fat from it.] (Selene)

  [Demihumans and Elves aren’t as proficient as humans in storing fats in their body.] (Yuuya)

Since their bodies were built for efficiency, unlike humans, they were less prone to producing excess flesh that hindered their movements. They, like humans do store fat as well, however their fats were much easier to convert into energy thus making it much easier to burn. 

This was why no matter how much Luna ate, she never appeared to gain any weight. There was still a downside to this “blessing” though, as they would not be able to efficiently store energy in their body. Once they ran out of food, they were extremely vulnerable to starvation. Although that couldn’t specifically be said as a disadvantage.

  [That… Sounds really nice.] (Selene)

Selene looked hesitant as she stared at the dessert section on the menu. She probably wanted to order a dessert as well but she was afraid of getting fat.

  [It’s fine for you to eat more you know. Aren’t you going to be an adventurer together with us? In that case then we’ll continue our training tonight.] (Yuuya)

  [… That’s true. I won’t get fat so long as I keep my body active. In that case is it fine if I got the chef’s signature cake?] (Selene)

Selene asked for a normal portion of cake unlike a ridiculous amount like Luna. Since it felt uncomfortable to be the only one without dessert, I ordered the same dish as Selene. 

Although the sight of Selene continuing to death stare Luna who seemed to gobble down the mountain of sugar easily made me laugh out loud.

.

.

.

The next day, we returned to our room in the wee hours of the morning and took a quick nap before packing our belongings and heading towards the top floor of the royal castle.

  [The current Yuuya looks so cool!] (Luna)

  [Really. It’s embarrassing wearing something like this.] (Yuuya)

My current attire was the uniform worn only by the senior officers in the Laluzulu Knight Order, as well as a ceremonial uniform meant for battle. Thus, its design was fairly sophisticated and quite expensive. Since it was a battle uniform, it’s decorations were kept to a minimum as well as it’s material to reduce its user’s silhouette as much as possible. Thanks to its minimalistic design, it gave off an extremely dignified look.

  [Luna looks cute too. The outfit suits you.] (Yuuya)

  [It’s too tight and hard to breathe. But if Yuuya says so then Luna likes it too.] (Luna)

  [Hey hey, what about me, what about me?] (Til)

  [Til looks cute too. If you went out like this, then people might mistake you as a princess.] (Yuuya)

  [Fu fu. Yuuya-niisan is incredibly sensible at times like this. I’ll give you a free service. Luna, you should do a spin too, your skirt will twirl along with you! This will make any man’s heart flutter! Although don’t twirl too much, you’ll expose your underwear. My mother used to tell me that it’s much better if you can barely see it.] (Til)

  [If Yuuya likes it then Luna will do it too!] (Luna)

Luna and Til began spinning around and twirling their skirts provided by the royal family which would be considered the finest and most fashionable clothing that any noble could wear. Luna and Til were wearing a red and green dress respectively which looked good on them as they looked much cuter than usual.

  [You look beautiful in that dress.] (Yuuya)

  [Really? I should wear this sort of clothing more often then.] (Phil)

I complimented Phil’s dress as her face became completely flushed. Unlike the duo who wore fluffy and colourful dresses, she was currently wearing a sleek black dress which fit her small stature and although her chest area was slightly lacking, she was still extremely charming.

  [The two of you, it’s about time for us to head out. We’re approaching the promised time.] (Yuuya)

  [Uhn. Understood.] (Luna)

  [If the leading role is late then it’ll be extremely lame. Let’s hurry!] (Til)

The two of them pulled my hands as Til reminded me of my role today.

Let’s pull off the best performance ever.

.

.

.

Guided by the servants, we headed towards the king’s chamber where we could directly converse with the King. The servants entered the room ahead of us as they ensured that everything was prepared.

  [Now then, please enter this way.] 

  [Ahh, Okay.] (Luna)

After everything was prepared, I separated from the girls as they went to another door while I waited next to the front door. My turn came next as the front door opened shortly after.

  [Yuuya Grandwood is entering.] 

The servant raised his voice as trumpets were being played in the room. Following the servant’s instructions, I stepped into the room. 

At the back of the chamber, Prince Aleck.. I mean, King Laluzulu was sitting on the throne while Lutra was sitting next to him without her hairpin. The red carpet covered the path to the throne with numerous high profile nobles being lined up on either side, with the exception of Luna and the girls who were currently pretending to be my relatives. As I walked to the end of the red carpet, I started to kneel on one knee as I lowered my head. 

King Laluzulu nodded his head in satisfaction.

  [From this point on, Yuuya Grandwood will be appointed as an official knight of the kingdom, as well as the title of an honorary noble.] (King Laluzulu)

This entire ceremony was only possible as King Laluzulu was finally appointed as the ruler.

Although I had participated in the tournament for knights, I was merely Lutra’s knight in name as knights could only be admissioned into the tournament directly by the royal family. 

I was given the status of a noble, but since I wasn’t going to remain in the kingdom, the king avoided giving me land as a reward as I wouldn’t be around to govern it. Instead, he decided to provide me a monthly wage to act as a knight and an honorary noble since it didn’t come with any obligations to a land or any unnecessary work.

Prince Aleck had informed me about his decision before the inheritance ceremony as a reward due to the fact that I was Lutra’s benefactor regardless of the outcome. And above all, this was necessary to bestow one of the divine treasures of the country, the Divine Sword. Unless I was an official knight of the kingdom, merely gifting me the sword wouldn’t be possible.

Truthfully I had received a similar proposal previously but I chose to decline as I wasn’t able to stay by Selene’s side nor did I feel like I had the ability to receive the blade. However, this time I will continue to protect Selene by her side and I would gladly receive the power that came along with the blade. I had zero reasons to decline.

I still remember that day. After refusing the offer, Leonard continued to mumble on and on about how it was a waste that I refused it and that I would never be able to get a second chance for it. It was really noisy, but I had zero qualms about rejecting the gift and that had saved my life. It was because I had endured his complaints and was insecure about my inferior stats that gave me this second chance.

A wave of nostalgia hit me as I wondered what could change Leonard this much?

He was a good person which was why I accepted him as a disciple and even entrusted my back to him. I didn’t want to limit his limitless potential and left the party the moment he thought about challenging the Tower of Trials. I still can’t believe that he would say something as headstrong as taking Phil back by force with all his strength.

  [Raise your face, Yuuya Grandwood.] (King Laluzulu)

  [Yes your majesty.] (Yuuya)

After a short delay, I raised my face immediately as I realised that my mind was drifting off.

  [Before I appoint you as a knight. Tell me. For what reason does your sword exist?] (King Laluzulu)

  [To protect my princess.] (Yuuya)

  [Are you willing to stay true to your word? To protect your princess even with your life?] (King Laluzullu)

  [Yes, I would.] (Yuuya)

  [Now, I officially appoint you as a knight of Lutra Laluzulu as well as the title of the Strongest Knight in the Laluzulu Kingdom.  I shall bestow upon you the title, Knight of Oaths as well as the divine blade, Dainsleif.] (King Laluzulu)

Following his words, Lutra walked down from the throne holding a sword with a pure white sheath.

  [My beloved Knight. Accept this blade. And swear on your life, that your words are true and pledge your loyalty.] (Lutra)

I accepted the blade as I took Lutra’s hand and kissed her hand.

  [A pledge has been made here and the divine blade has been bestowed. The divine blade has been passed down to the strongest knight of the kingdom. The knight of Princess Lutra, the Knight of Oaths. Yuuya Grandwood. You are a knight, it is your duty to honour your title.] (King Laluzulu)

  [I understand, your majesty.] (Yuuya)

Voices could be heard as an applause could be heard propagating throughout the chamber.

Being entrusted with this sword as well as being officiated as a knight was something to be proud of. 

However, more than that, I had a strong urge to test out this Dainsleif since like Renoir’s shield, it was a god-tier weapon. It was even better than Renoir’s shield in performance as it originated from Scandinavian mythology. 

… After the ceremony, we would have a lot to talk about during lunch regarding Princess Aure’s punishment as well as the organization behind the evolving monsters.  It was impudent for an adventurer to talk to the king directly about matters such as this, however it was necessary.

I continued to hold that thought as we headed for lunch.

The organization which created the evolving monsters as well as Princess Aure were important pieces. Especially the former which felt extremely ominous.

Epilogue: The old man goes drinking.

It was finally the final match of the tournament. My opponent was Leonhart, the personal knight of Prince Aleck. He had always accompanied Prince Aleck even during his journeys into the dungeon resulting in his high level along with the prince, however he wasn’t just high-leveled. He had also joined the prince and his training with the sword, resulting in a similarly fast and sharp battle style. It could be said that he was the other half of the prince.

  [His blade is too honest.] (Yuuya)

If he was battling a monster, then he wouldn’t have any problems. However, against a human opponent that was capable of reading his attacks, his attacks wouldn’t connect easily. Similarly to Prince Aleck, he lacked experience against other human opponents. His preliminary movement was minimal and he hadn’t made that many unnecessary movements, however his movements were far too linear which was why I could defend against his attacks easily.

On the other hand, Leonhart had problems reading my movements as he was consciously forcing himself to follow my movements. Everytime he tried to block my attacks, he was slowly losing his sense of balance as his movements became more and more limited until finally, his blade flew out of his hand into the air.

  [You got me, Yuuya-sama.] (Leonhart)

The winner was decided as the referee announced.

  [The winner is, Yuuya Grandwood! With the title from his previous victory, the title of the strongest knight in the Laluzulu kingdom goes to the knight chosen by Princess Lutra, Yuuya Grandwood! The knight who triumphantly returned to the kingdom after saving his princess and overwhelmed the competition. He is no longer the Weakest Strongest Knight, he is officially the Strongest Knight!] 

The audience started a standing ovation as everyone recognized my strength in the competition. The earnings in the finals was 1.2 times your original bet. More than half of the audience believed in my victory rather than Leonhart. 

Leonhart’s handsome fact distorted as he forced out his voice.

  [I wanted to win, for that person’s sake.] (Leonhart)

  [You’re strong. If I had battled you ten years ago instead, then I wouldn’t have won. You’ll win it next year.] (Yuuya)

  [I thought that would be the case this year. I never would have thought that you’ll have become even stronger as you age. You’re a monster… However, I learnt a lot from this battle. Thank you very much for this valuable match.] (Leonhart)

Leonhart bowed respectfully before leaving the ring.

If Prince Aleck has a loyal subordinate just like him, then I’m sure he would be safe. 

Interrupting my thoughts, the referee requested a speech for the audience. As I felt slightly annoyed at this, I answered without thinking. However, it wasn’t too difficult to choose my words as there was only one thing to say here.

  [I dedicate my victory to my princess, Princess Lutra.] (Yuuya)

It was extremely cringe-inducing and embarrassing, but I am Lutra’s knight. This was definitely something I had to do. It felt like the audience was riled up as their cheers became much louder, especially the women who let out loud pitched screams.

However it just made me more embarrassed and I wanted to run away as soon as possible.

.

.

.

After exiting the ring, the ceremony to celebrate the new ruler had begun.

For the ceremony, the new ruler would greet the royal family in the ring before exiting through a special gate leading to the city. and enter a gaudy carriage to perform a parade throughout the city. The audience would then return to the city where a city-wide celebration would begin. Just for today, the stores would be open all night long and the party would continue all the way till sunrise. This was the Laluzulu Kingdom’s most renowned holiday as well as its number one tourist attraction as the city was filled with tourists.

The ceremony began as Lutra entered the ring, followed by the flamboyant carriage for the parade. She was wearing an elegant white dress with full makeup and hair full of ornaments befitting a new queen.

  [Lutra, she look beautiful!] (Luna)

  [Uwaa, she looks just like a princess.] (Til)

  [I expected her to be beautiful with makeup but I didn’t expect it to be this beautiful.] (Phil)

Everyone was admiring Lutra who was fully dolled up, including me. It felt like we were reminded once again that her true identity was a princess.

…. Or rather, she was a queen now. That Lutra begun to speak as her words were fully audible by the entire audience with the magical loudspeakers.

  [There is something I want everyone to know. I’ve won the succession ceremony and gained the right to inherit the throne. It is my genuine feelings that I’m elated to be given this opportunity.] (Lutra)

The voices of the audience could be heard congratulating Lutra as she continued her speech.

  [However, I am currently lacking as a queen. A true ruler isn’t just about their strength. This country will not prosper just because I bested my siblings in a duel. This will not result in the happiness of the kingdom. Which is why I decided to concede the throne to my elder brother, Prince Aleck, and crown him the king of the Laluzulu Kingdom. His abilities and experience is what the Laluzulu Kingdom requires to prosper.] (Lutra)

As Lutra’s speech ended, Prince Aleck appeared behind her wearing the crown, the proof of his succession. 

Although it was supposed to be a touching moment, the audience’s response varied as some people did not support having the loser of the ceremony succeed the throne as it did not follow the Laluzulu tradition.

  [Just as Lutra as said, I will become the new king. However, this will only be a temporary arrangement until Lutra is ready to take over the throne. On the other hand, I intend to put my heart and soul into turning the kingdom into her ideal form…. This is the end of our petty sibling rivalry. From this point on, we will combine our strength to make this country, and the people in it prosper from now until forever. Everyone, please lend Lutra, and I your wholehearted support.] (Prince Aleck)

Someone somewhere began clapping their hands as the applause began to spread until the entire audience roared in support. There were even people who began admitting the fact that Prince Aleck would be a splendid king. 

So this is the answer that Lutra and Prince Aleck chose. 

 It felt like there are still too many things lacking if Lutra succeeded the throne, which is why they decided that Prince Aleck would become the king and provide guidance to Lutra until the day she reclaimed the throne….

I didn’t think that Prince Aleck would be supportive of these conditions which felt way too beneficial to Lutra, however it felt like the right decision regardless.

  [Then, our party..] (Luna)

  [Let’s celebrate the birth of a new Laluzulu Kingdom.] (Yuuya)

Prince Aleck and Lutra lined up on the ring as they declared the birth of a new era as the people began to cheer, “All hail the Laluzulu, all hail King Aleck, all hail Princess Lutra’. When the special gate opened and the two of them entered the carriage, everyone began to rush out of their seats as the carriage headed towards the city. It was the beginning of a long night.

  [Lutra has gone on her way. Luna feels lonely.] (Luna)

  [She has always been with us hasn’t she.] (TIl)

  [Kyuii..] 

Luna whispered in a low voice as Til and Erik’s expressions sunk. 

Once again, everyone realised that we would be parting ways with Lutra.

.

.

.

After the ceremony, instead of returning to our room in the castle we decided to head out into the city to enjoy the festival in order to forget about our farewell with Lutra.

The city was burning with a festive mood as the stores’ services were extremely good and were much more generous than usual. Thanks to our gambling in the coliseum, we had a large sum of money to spare as we bought several things.

  [Yuuya, that food in that stand looks extremely delicious!] (Luna)

  [It’s a fruit that I’ve never seen before.] (Til)

  [It’s seasoning tastes just right.] (Phil)

Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves, however it still felt a little forced as Lutra’s absence still left a large hole in the party.

.

.

.

After touring a majority of the city and a bit of shopping, we entered a bar.

There were many shops which were full of people likely looking for a break from walking. 

We had entered the bar for a break, however the food and alcohol in the bar was much more delicious than we expected as we continued to eat to our heart’s content. The alcohol in particular was amazing as I was drinking lager rather than my usual ale. Typically, lager was undrinkable due to its bad taste at room temperature but the lager here was surprisingly good. Furthermore the drink was served chill making it much more refreshing in this heat.

  [This meat, is delicious!] (Luna)
  [This coconut juice is so cold its cooling my entire body!] (Til)

  [Wheat based alcohol aren’t my specialty, but this is extremely delicious.] (Phil)

We enjoyed the bar’s cooking and their drinks as we ordered their specialty, a beef stew made with cow innards called “Laluzulu”. It also went well with the alcohol. There are very few towns which rear livestock as a lot of meat was available in the dungeon. This meant that very few towns served animal visceras in their dishes. Regardless of the quality of ingredients they used, this store’s cooking was without a doubt, delicious.

As we talked about our plans for the immediate future, our stomachs were becoming swollen.

WIth this, our adventure in the castle, has come to an end. We’ll be leaving this city after sending our greetings to our companions as well as paying a visit to Prince Aleck to check if he has gotten any leads on Princess Aure’s situation.

We are adventurers after all. There isn’t any reason for us to stay in a single place for too long. Our main topic for today were the matches that occured today as I began chatting with the girls. Our dinner was fun as we continued to chat while having good food and alcohol.

However, it wasn’t enough as everyone seemed to think so.

It felt much emptier since Lutra wasn’t around.

It was at that moment.

  [Is it alright for me to have this seat?] 

I heard a soothing voice from behind me as we were currently seated at a six seat table, which meant that two seats were available.

  [Go ahead. We plan to continue enjoying ourselves for a while.] (Yuuya)

  [Looks like you’re having fun even with just four people.] 

  [Well, it’s enjoyable even with four people. But it’s still better if we had five… Lutra.] (Yuuya)

Even without turning back, I could recognise her voice.

  [Lutra!] (Luna)

  [You actually managed to sneak out!] (Til)

  [Kyu!] 

  [I’ll order a drink for you immediately.] (Phil)

Everyone seemed to return to normal as compared to their forced expressions from earlier.

  [I’ll prefer it if you stopped calling me Lutra since it’ll attract attention. Furthermore, my identity right now is Selene.] (Lutra)

While pointing to her black hair, Lutra… No, Selene smiled back.

  [Are you sure? Being here.] (Yuuya)

  [Yes, the parade has ended and I’m already done greeting the nobles.] (Lutra)

  [I see. I’m glad that we’ll at least be able to have a farewell dinner for you. I didn’t think we would have another chance to enjoy a drink like this with you for the last time.] (Yuuya)

  [Farewell? Why are you pushing me aside out of a sudden? I wouldn’t want to be kicked out like this without my consent.] (Lutra)

Lutra let out a mischievous smile.

  [We’ll welcome that idea anytime, but is it really okay?] (Yuuya)

  [Yes. I’ve already talked to my elder brother. I’m sure far too inexperienced nor do I know about the outside world. Which is why I’ve been allowed some time. To explore the world and experience the vast world before I return to the Laluzulu Kingdom…. Yuuya-ojisama, most important of all, I still want to continue travelling together with everyone. Is that okay?] (Lutra)

  [I’ve already said it didn’t I? We’ll welcome you with open arms.] (Yuuya)

  [Hurray, we’re back with Selene!] (Luna)

  [We’ll always need a tanker with us!] (Til)

The glutton duo got up and hugged Selene as Erik landed onto Lutra’s head. It was a sight for sore eyes.

It was great that we would still be able to travel with Lutra.

  [Oh right, I have a letter for Yuuya-ojisama from my elder brother.] (Lutra)

I took the letter sent by Prince Aleck from Lutra as I looked to Lutra who seemed curious about its contents before opening up the letter. 

Just what does he think of me? Even if he didn’t mind that I reached out to Lutra, I wouldn’t lay a hand on a girl like her. Besides, I already have a lover.

  [What’s written in the letter?] (Lutra)

  [It’s too early for you to read this letter.] (Yuuya)

I stuck the letter in my pockets as she didn’t have to read this.

  [Yosh, let’s ring the bell and order more food. Oh, looks like Selene’s alcohol has arrived. Just in time, let’s have a toast.] (Yuuya)

I raise the glass as the girls each raised their respective glasses while Lutra raised the glass tha the waiter just delivered.

  [Cheers!] (Everyone)

It looks like we will continue to travel with this five man party from now on. I was so happy that I couldn’t help but smile. Although there were several issues with this, let’s forget everything for now and enjoy the moment and lucky for us, tonight is a good night for us to party till the morning.

<End of Chapter>

With this, it’s the end of volume 4!

Hope you enjoyed this volume even though my understanding of the language became really rusty. I’ll be taking a break for awhile, since I’ll be on a holiday until next month so the next chapter will most likely be in November once I get back.

Also, I’ll be activating my patreon once again although there won’t be anything there… Yet. It’ll be updated once I get back.

Edit: I’ve uploaded Volume 5’s prologue onto my patreon! I’ll be posting it on this site once I’m back from my holiday.


Chapter 21: The old man enters the old man battlefield.

Note: this chapter may be a little iffy since I had trouble understanding the chapter. Do let me know if there are areas that are confusing or require editing.

<Start of Chapter>

With Lutra’s victory, the inheritance ceremony has come to an end.

The right to the throne was given to Lutra and although she hadn’t told me about her decision, I’m sure that she would make the right choice.

After waving to the audience, the audience cheers became even louder as Lutra had proven herself with her strength, as the second coming of Senki Renoir making her popularity rise higher than before. Even after exiting the ring together with ger, the cheers continued on.

  [I won. Yuuya-ojisama, it’s your turn now.] (Lutra)

  [Of course. Do you think that I would lose?] (Yuuya)

  [Fufu, that’s true. I can’t imagine that at all.] (Lutra)

That was an overstatement as I’ve lost countless times in my life until now… Though I don’t recall losing a single match ever since I reset my level.  Lutra’s work wasn’t over yet as there was still a ceremony to celebrate the new ruler of the Laluzulu kingdom later.

However its preparations took awhile to complete as the victor wasn’t known until the finals, thus another event was hosted to keep everyone occupied. It was a battle to determine the strongest knight in the kingdom. The strongest knights sent by their units as well as knights sent by the royal family would be competing in the tournament. 

Of course, I was being sent as Lutra’s knight. 

The rules of the battle were to land a hit on a vital point on the opponent’s body using a dull blade. This was the tournament that I won previous with a heavy heart as the rules made it possible. With these rules, ending the battle in one hit was possible as someone who focused on polishing his swordsmanship.

This was how I was dubbed the Strongest Weakest Knight as someone who won the tournament, but could never win in a normal fight. This made me feel as if I had disrespected the knights while making them regret that they could not win the tournament. This was why I decided to overwhelm my competitors convincingly as the strongest knight.

.

.

.

The battle of the knights was about to begin in thirty minutes as me and Lutra parted ways in the coliseum. Lutra went to prepare for her ceremony while I went towards the waiting room. Right before we separated, Lutra grabbed my hand and stopped me before kissing me on my cheek.

  [Ma-.. Maybe, since I just won my match, I could share some of my luck with you. So, Yuuya-ojisama. Good luck.] (Lutra)

Lutra began to walk away with red ears.

  [Another reason for me not to lose huh.] (Yuuya)

Since I’m her knight, I just couldn’t betray my princess’s expectations. Since I received a blessing from the goddess of victory, then I wouldn’t be a man if I lost.

.

.

.

There were about twenty people who were considered the strongest knights in the kingdom competing in the tournament. The moment I entered the waiting room, everyone’s eyes turned to me. The competitors who had participated in the previous tournaments had looks of admiration, some had looks of hostility and people who directed their curiosity towards me.  I walked towards a chair in the corner of the room and sat there as I observed everyone in the room.

As expected of the knight order, only the cream of the crop was present as well as the personal knights of the other royals.

… That’s why I was burning with excitement.

I look forward to the start of the tournament.

.

.

.

Since a knockout stage with twenty participants would take too long, the first four matches were qualifying matches with several people instead. Dividing it’s participants depending on their achievements and levels, we were divided into four groups of five participants.

Each battle would be a battle royale and the last man standing would move forward to the knockout stage. Since the ring was too small for twenty people, the ring was currently being expanded and separated with partitions to allow the four groups to battle simultaneously.

The audience’s excitement reached its peak as the knights began walking onto the ring. Although this battle received a lot of attention, there was another reason for it. Since this tournament wasn’t a sacred ceremony like the inheritance ceremony, placing bets was allowed as aristocrats and rich merchants began betting ridiculous amounts of money into the battles.

Since large sums of money was involved in these battles, the audience’s enthusiasm was increasing at an accelerated rate. 

By the way, I was allocated the number one and would be participating in group A. Since the number was allocated depending on the person’s achievements, I was placed number one not due to my ability but my achievement as a previous victor. Since it was a gambling session recognized by the kingdom, a magic tool projecting the bets as well as the possible payout amounts for each group was used. Currently I was the third most popular knight while the most popular knight by a large margin was the vice leader of the fifth knight order in the group. Although it was more common to bet on the stronger participants aka the lower numbered participants, battle royales were valued differently.

The best strategy for upsetting the tournament was to form a united front and defeat the favourites of the tournament. In addition to that, I was an outsider when it came to the other participants as the other four participants were all part of the knight order who were trained to cooperate, making it easy for them to form a team. It was painfully obvious that a one versus four battle was about to occur in my group which meant that the audience were less inclined to bet onto me.

  [Well, it could also be because of my class.] (Yuuya)

Since the person’s class was listed next to their name, my popularity was much lower due to my class as a magic knight. Since this was a tournament to determine the strongest knight, skills were allowed whereas magic wasn’t. Since a magic knight was strictly inferior to a normal warrior in close combat, this was a huge handicap for a magic knight. The referees from each group began to confirm their respective participants as the battle started.

.

.

.

The battle has begun. 

In group A, the other four knights lined up in a semicircle around me without hiding the fact that I was the main target. The vice captain of the fifth knight order was an excellent commander while the other three looked oppressing.

  [Is fighting a magic knight in a four to one battle the pride of a knight?] (Yuuya)

  [Yuuya Grandwood, I admire you. Previously, the participant who was weaker than everyone stood above everyone else purely with his skill with the sword. It was someone who was adored and admired by everyone, including me.] 

I did think that he was familiar, it turns out that he was one of the squires who were watching me in the tournament. That young man has already become a vice-captain of a knight order.

  [Somehow, you’ve managed to become stronger than before. This is our only way to win… I need to spare my knight order the humiliation of losing to a foreigner. It doesn’t matter what methods we resort to, we will win!] 

With perfect coordination, the knights began closing in on me as the semicircle began to shrink. I was surrounded on all sides by the top knights, making it difficult to defeat even a single one of them. To top it all off, I wasn’t able to show my full ability against them unlike the level fify monsters. It was difficult for me to defeat two level fifty monsters with Lutra, much less hide my true abilities against them for the tournament. 

However, my trump card wasn’t shown then as I began to breathe deeply.

The ability I uncovered when I face death in the eyes, and had honed for more than a decade. After obtaining the ability to perceive the blessing of the status in my body, I began to notice the white aura flowing and overflowing in my everyday life, gaining the ability to control it. 

By pulling my consciousness deep into my psyche, I forcefully pull out the white aura from my body and pushed it into my legs, pushing up my status.

This was something I called “opening the door”, the only thing I would call my trump card.

  [Sorry.] (Yuuya)

The vice captain of the knight order was blown away as he collapsed onto the ground.

Opening the door and concentrating the power on my legs, I released the fastest Shukuji possible while thrusting my blade forward as quickly as possible with a single hand resulting in a dash that doesn’t even get perceived by my opponents. Using this, I took out the vice captain while his subordinates were focused on surrounding me.

  [Vice captain!] 

  [I-, I couldn’t even see it. Is that even possible?] 

  [Don’t panic, there’s still three of us left.] 

I closed the door as the white aura was as exhausting as it was powerful. I would have to conserve my stamina for the battles after this as I’ve already defeated the vice captain responsible for their cooperation. This battle can be won even without opening the door as I continued to walk towards my next target.

.

.

.

The qualifiers has been decided as the winner of each block has been confirmed.

The winners for each block were me, Prince Aleck’s knight, the captain of the knight order and a young knight of the knight order. Every block ended as expected aside from block D as cries of joy and frustration could be heard. With this, the matches for the final knockout stages were announced with a projection magic tool. 

The participants for the first round was me and the captain of the knight order while Prince Aleck’s knight was battling against the young knight. Among the audience, foodstands were loudly advertising their food and alcohol as the final rounds were announced. People were running around placing bets on the matches while buying tickets to the actual matches themselves.

  […. That was dangerous.] (Yuuya)

As expected of the elite knights of the Laluzulu Knight order. I was completely pushed to a corner.

Having a numbers advantage in a battle was tremendous as I immediately took out the enemy’s leader and removing their chain of command. I would have lost otherwise as there were several dangerous moments even after defeating their leader. Since the allocated break was increased to an hour to allow the audience to place their bets, it was possible for me to return to the VIP seats to meet up with the girls while catching my breath.

.

.

.

Returning to my seat, the girls were still there as I realized that they were watching my battle.

  [Yuuya, that was amazing! Luna has never seen such a fast and powerful thrust!] (Luna)

  [Yes, you’ve never showed that to me either.. Yuuya, you can’t explain that without saying that it’s a skill. Even so with your current status, the calculations aren’t right. Thinking about it, there has been several times you’ve showed us things that aren’t possible with your stats.] (Phil)

As expected of Phil, she deduced it right away.

  [Right before I reset my level, I had obtained a power to increase my stats equal to an average person. Since it was something that couldn’t be detected just by my status alone, it gave me the chance to defeat the vice captain immediately who had grasped the limit of my status.] (Yuuya)

  [What the. That’s amazing!? Yuuya-niisan, teach me that too!] (Til)

I shook my head as I refused to explain the white aura for two reasons.

  [Luna gets it somehow. The moment Yuuya became fast, everything turned white!] (Luna)

  [Lies, I didn’t see anything you know.] (Til)

  [Same for me.] (Phil)

Shockingly, it seems Luna was able to see the white aura. 

The first reason why I didn’t want to teach anybody about the aura, was because it was extremely dangerous to do so. It took a near-death experience for me to recognize the aura flowing out of my body.

  [If you can’t see the aura, then I won’t be able to teach you. Luna on the other hand might be able to do it.] (Yuuya)

  [Uhn! Yuuya, teach me!] (Luna)

  [Ughh, this is frustrating. I’ll definitely learn to see it!] (Til)

Til looked frustrated as she squeezed Luna’s nose.

  [You may have the talent, but it’s still too early for me to teach Luna. If used incorrectly, you won’t be able to move a single finger. Think back to what happened in Rumberg with the Killer Ape. That wasn’t because I took too much damage from its attacks, but because I had overused the white aura.] (Yuuya)

That was the second reason. You wouldn’t be able to move after using it. Although there was a limit to how much you could use, it varied depending on your physical condition and strength. Unless you could gauge your own physical condition perfectly, it will be dangerous.

  [Yuuya, it’s too early but once Luna grows stronger, will you teach me?] (Luna)

  [Ah. Sure, I promise. If that time comes I’ll teach Luna.] (Yuuya)

  [Hurray!] (Luna)

I had told the girls to bet on me yesterday as I was familiar with the gambling culture. At the very least, I made sure to keep a reserve of cash we would need for our journey. However, it was a little worrisome as we had a large amount of money hence the amount we had placed was large as well. Since this was the biggest event of the kingdom, there were many aristocrats and rich merchants participating and placing large sums of money into the pool, which drastically reduces the amount we could earn by winning the bet.  However, it was still a profit.

That’s why the magic knight’s rating was low.

However, unlike the qualifying round, the knockout stage consisted of one versus one battles.

  [It’s time for me to head back. I’ll do my best for the rest of the tournament. When I come back, I’ll be the strongest knight.] (Yuuya)

  [Yuuya, do your best!] (Luna)

  [If you win, then you can get a nice private reward from me! Yuuya-niisan, I’ll let you look at my chest every now and then.] (Til)

  [….Til. By a reward you mean a punishment right?] (Phil)

  [Hiiieee. Oneechan, forgive me it’s just a joke.] (Til)

It’s nice to hear that they are still full of energy. I’ve gotten a good break before the final although it’s a shame I didn’t get to meet Lutra.

Let’s be sure to win the two remaining matches convincingly.