16-45. Pier Rock Kingdom, Oblation Contest (1)
Satou here. I love watching sport matches, but I'm not good with martial art matches that involve blood. It's not because I dislike blood, but more because I don't like painful sensations I get from watching it. I love bloodless matches like Judo though.
"This is quite a huge arena isn't it, Master."
Liza is looking over an arena made of ocher colored stones from the audience seat.
This arena is apparently a historical structure magically made in the ages of Furu Empire.
Liza and I headed straight to the Zaikuon Main Temple the instance we arrived at Pier Rock, but since the only Zaikuon miko who had Oracle skill was participating in a tournament at the arena, the ritual is postponed until after her matches are over.
Thus, I went with Liza to see the crowded tournament and also to kill times.
"It's really really pig nanodesu." <TLN: No, it's not a typo.>
Tama and Pochi showed up like poof.
Looks like they got here, the audience seat, from the airship's gate through Tama's ninjutsu.
Judging from the times, they must be on lunch break.
『Show 'em the strength of [Warriors of Garleon]!』
『Don't ya dare lose to Garleon temple followers! Make it known that [Holy Warriors of Zaikuon] are the strongest eveeeer!』
Cheers erupted from the audience.
The tournament this time appears to also serves as an oblation contest, all the players belong in teams bearing their god's names and they're donning mantles and armor bearing the holy marks.
There seem to be bets that also serve as almsgiving, lots of bookmakers bearing the holy marks loiter around.
"The players for the next match have made their entrance it seems."
Garleon team is a pair of a giant man holding a huge two-handed battle axe, and an old man with a long sword. Both are of upper level 30s, none carries a shield.
Zaikuon team has a handsome young male temple knight equipped with a small shield and a one-handed sword, and a priestess holding a long mace that looks like an iron club along with a round shield. The temple knight is level 29 while the priestess is level 40, rather unbalanced.
"That priestess seems to be quite the fighter."
Liza looks at the priestess.
"Muki muki nanodesu." <TLN: Onomatopoeia for 'very buffed'.>
Tama and Pochi made their opinions known while posing like body builders, undoubtedly taught by Arisa.
These two and their soft squishy builds won't look muki muki no matter what they do.
Just as the two said, this priestess has a muscular build that wouldn't look out of place for the Supreme Ruler of the Century's End. <TLN: Fist of the North Star's references.>
Not sure if it can be considered a praise for a woman, but she has this reliable aura that would fit the word [Rock] most.
She seems to come from Norooku Kingdom, Princess Mitia who's staying at the labyrinth city might know about her.
"--However, is that priestess really the miko we're looking for?"
"Yep, looks like it."
Liza's face looks like she finds it hard to believe.
She's wearing priestess uniform instead of miko's, however, my AR readings show that she has the [Oracle] skill.
Liza must be bewildered since she's the first of this type among all the miko we've met so far starting from Sera.
『By the honorable name of Zaikuon, may his grace be with holy warrior Senuma.』
My Attentive Ears skill picked up the Rock Miko reciting something as she gestured a holy mark sign.
Yellow light overflow out of the temple knight's golden circlet.
That's--similar to the [Super Strength] state of Lady Karina granted by Raka.
"It seems the battle axe user will fight the priest, and the long sword old man will fight the temple knight."
"They're not cooperating together nodesu?"
Apparently, it's going to be a one-on-one fight even thought each team consists of a pair.
The temple knight rushed out at superhuman speed and made a head start over the long sword old man.
"Ojii-chan, do your best nanodesu!"
"The temple knight's attacks are sharp and heavy, but there is no experience behind them. He would create an opening if it keeps up--"
Liza stopped her speech midway.
Just as she's suspected, the long sword old man made a clean hit on the defenseless flank of the temple knight.
But the reason why Liza stopped was not because of that, but the results.
"Just like Karina~?"
"Small shields made of yellow light came out nodesuyo."
As Tama and Pochi said, small shields made of yellow light blocked the long sword old man's attack.
According to AR readings, the golden circlet the temple knight is wearing seems to be a divine treasure of God Zaikuon, called [Zaikukaan].
Thanks to that divine treasure, he's able to match or even surpass the more skilled old man.
Slightly later, the battle axe man rushed toward the Rock Miko and swung down his axe with the momentum.
Looks like the battle axe man used [Great Strength] skill while the Rock Miko used [Body Reinforcement] skill.
"Full of openings~?"
"She went under the axe, going for Achilles Hunter nodesu!"
Tama and Pochi cheered on the Rock Miko while raising their fists overhead.
Before our view, the Rock Miko hit the battle axe man's arm while blocking his axe with her round shield.
"Her attacks are simple but steady."
"Slow and steady~"
"Axe's movements are getting squeaky nodesu."
The Rock Miko made use of the fleeting chance when the battle axe man grimaced and swung her mace toward the battle axe man's temple.
The battle axe man sacrificed his arm to block the mace and kicked back at her.
The Rock Miko blocked his kick with her legs.
"Grappling match nanodesu!"
"Not like Karina~?"
"Karina-sama does it by continuously moving without stopping, but for them it's a clash between muscle-armored bodies."
The fight between these two kinda reminds me of pro-wrestling.
After some painful looking exchanges, the Rock Miko snatched away the victory.
The Rock Miko who gallantly wiped her nose off of blood is looking at her comrade seriously.
"The temple knight seems to be at a disadvantage now."
"Too many wasted movements~?"
"Ojii-chan is moving so wonderfully wondrous nanodesu."
The temple knight has exhausted his mana and is gasping for breath, but he's unscathed.
On the other hand, even though the long sword old man is fiercely attacking the temple knight with a composed looking face, I know from AR readings that he's also quite exhausted himself.
There are cuts dyed in red on the old man's surcoat, put over his armor, here and there.
"He dodged it nodesu!"
The long sword old man smoothly evaded the Rock Miko's mace who rushed on him from behind.
The temple knight tried to slash at the old man's flank, but that opening was a trap, as the old man parried the temple knight's sword and guided it toward the Rock Miko instead.
The Rock Miko turned her neck and managed to dodge the temple knight's sword, but she was forced to receive the temple knight whose back was kicked by the old man.
"They're in a pinch nanodesu!"
As the old man was going to stab the temple knight's back with his long sword, the Rock Miko used her body to block it instead.
The long sword pierced her body but she tightened her muscles to stop the thrust.
The temple knight's sword was going for long sword old man.
The old man let go of his long sword and blocked the temple knight's sword with his gauntlets.
Those gauntlets seem to be defensive type magic tools.
『Do not interfere!』
The Rock Miko who had thrown away the long sword was stopped by the temple knight when she tried to help him.
And then the temple knight put all his body weight on the sword to push down the old knight in an attempt to end the fight.
"It cannot be helped. There is no way to evade that."
When they were close enough their foreheads could collide, the old man exploded his gauntlet decorations to shot out small pellets.
Even the yellow light shields couldn't block them all, perhaps because the explosion was too close, the temple knight staggered as he got hit by some of the pellets.
The old man snatched away the temple knight's sword and swung it toward its former owner.
"Nice assist nanodesu."
The Rock Miko shoulder rammed the old man and immediately got away from him using the recoil, before she swung around her long mace at him.
The old man managed to handle it for a few swings, but he couldn't endure the Rock Miko's strength as his sword got thrown off of his hand, cornered, he declared his loss.
Once the match was over, the Rock Miko began to chant in order to heal the temple knight.
Looks like she failed to cast the healing spell.
The Rock Miko apologized to the temple knight while looking sorry, but he pushed her aside and went to the waiting room without even a hint of anger.
He must feel awkward losing after he tried to finish the match by himself.
<TLN: If you're reading this novel at any other site than Sousetsuka .com you might be reading an unedited, uncorrected version of the novel.>
The next match was between [Magic Warriors of Karion] and [Love Warriors of Tenion].
There was nothing of note in the match itself besides their eye-catching names, so we're watching while enjoying the piping hot potatoes we bought on a stall along the way to the arena.
Even though Tama and Pochi must have got their lunch in the school before coming here, their appetites are still in full swing.
While watching over the two who were munching on the potatoes, I gave a bite myself.
Simple saltiness. People prefer steamed potato in this country, since it's a bit cold here.
The potato wasn't too good itself, so I cut it up and put some butter in.
Nice aroma of butter melting in the hot potato pervaded in the audience seat.
"It must be, must be, super good nanodesu."
I put butter on the potatoes the two held out to me as their tails fluttered around.
"This is tasty."
I don't think it's that good, but the three look blissful like they've just tasted some first-rate cooking.
I watch the match while biting on the buttered potato.
This reminds me of the [Jaga Butter] eaten during Hokkaido winter festival somehow.
In the end, [Magic Warriors of Karion] won the match without anything worthy to point out.
"Seems like the next match is between 『Beast Warrior of Parion』 and 『Sun Warriors of Heraruon』."
I told the info I heard from Attentive Ears to the beastkin girls.
"And Fifi too nodesu."
Tama's tail stood upright while Pochi's tail swung around buzzingly when [Beast Warriors of Parion]--tigerear-kin Rusus and the wolfear-kin Fifi entered the arena.
I knew that these girls were in this arena from my Menu, but I never thought that these two, who were attendants of the previous Saga Hero, would participate in the contest.
I don't find it odd considering these two are battle junkies though.
Once the match began, [Beast Warriors of Parion] quickly reigned victorious in a one sided match.
The level gaps are just too big, and most importantly, the experience they've accumulated across many harsh battlefields along with Hero Hayato cannot be compared to other warriors'.
"Fifi was really strong too nodesu."
"The Sun Warriors weren't too bad themselves, but those two are just on a whole different level."
The beastkin girls' eyes were glimmering, as if saying that they want to fight them instead.
While waiting for the semifinal, we warm ourselves with consommé soup I brought over and listened to Tama and Pochi about their school life.
"Next is a match between 『Beast Warriors of Parion』 and 『Holy Warriors of Zaikuon』 it seems."
Rusus and Fifi are going to fight without a rest, but if I had to say, [Holy Warriors of Zaikuon] look more fatigued instead.
The match earlier was a one-sided game after all.
『By the honorable name of Zaikuon, may his grace be with holy warrior Senuma.』
The Rock Miko put the temple knight into [Super Strength] state with the same ritual as before.
Looks like the temple knight is going to use a great sword this time.
『Attendants who serve upon Hero of Parion!』
The temple knight closed in on Rusus at high speed.
『I am Holy Warrior Senuma! The one who will defeat you!』
Rusus blocked the sweeping great sword with her palm.
I think she's using the def up skill [Vajra], but that's still quite reckless of her.
『Who's going to defeat who again?』
Rusus showed a ferocious smile while tightly gripping the temple knight's great sword.
The temple knight is frantically trying to pull the great sword off of her.
The temple knight lost his footings when Rusus let go of his great sword, then she lightly kicked his stomach, blowing him away.
Rusus chased after him faster than the temple knight's earlier with Flickering Movement and attempted to land another hit on him, but the Rock Miko blocked her attack using the long mace.
『Oh you're pretty good--』
Rusus praised the Rock Miko.
『--But still not good enough.』
Rusus twisted her wrist and the Rock Miko's long mace got flung away from her hand.
The temple knight swings down his great sword toward Rusus, on a trajectory that would cut the Rock Miko along with her.
『At least you've got guts--』
Rusus kicked away the Rock Miko to get her away from the great sword, then she lightly swung her sword, separating the great sword from the temple knight's hand.
Looks like she cut the temple knight's wrist in that instant.
"It's gonna fall off nanodesu."
Tama chased the swaying wrist with her eyes, Pochi covered her face while looking pained.
Liza muttered as she looked at the Rock Miko.
The miko ignored her long mace lying on the ground, and chanted holy magic toward the kneeling temple knight.
Rusus is looking at them without attacking.
Doesn't seem like Fifi has moved an inch since the beginning of the match.
It seemed the Rock Miko used a mid-level healing magic, the temple knight's wrist managed to get attached back.
『--Still wanna go at it?』
『No, this is our loss.』
The Rock Miko shook her head at Rusus's inquiry.
『Oy! I can still fight! I, holy warrior of Zaikuon, Senuma-sama--』
The temple knight was going to object the Rock Miko, but Fifi zeroed in on him in an instant with Flickering Movement and knocked him out in one hit.
"Now then, looks like the miko is done with the contest, let's go to the temple after greeting Rusus and Fifi. Tama, and Pochi, wanna see them?"
The other semifinal was [Force Warriors of Urion] vs [Magic Warriors of Karion], but since it didn't seem like it'd be interesting judging from their last match, we turned our back without any hesitation and went straight to the waiting room.