This town is several times larger than Golbul.
Lots of stores of all kinds are open for business around the dungeon's entrance.
It's evident so many of those stores are selling shields and bows.
Lecan has heard this dungeon tends to drop bows, perhaps it's true for shields as well.
Lots of armor and combat gear stores as well.
Same with weapon stores naturally, but most specialize in spears for some reason.
Many stores have <Curse Granting> signs put up.
At first Lecan thought the town would be sleepy since the dungeon had gone dormant, but that wasn't the case at all.
In fact, you could find street performers doing their things everywhere.
If you think about it, all the adventurers who would usually be in the dungeon are on standby outside for the next five days, so of course there's a lot of customers around. Meaning to these stores, it's the best time to profit big. Lots of street stalls around too.
Besides, entertaining adventurers and making sure they don't get bored ultimately contribute to this town's prosperity.
Hence, this period of dungeon lull has turned into some sort of mini festival.
"Will no one else take on this challenge! You won't get this chance ever again! We have none other than <Shield of Wolkan> as the prize! Such an extraordinary shield as your reward! Come, get it if you dare!"
<Shield of Wolkan> was that shield Jinga had which boasted resistances against both magic and physical attacks and even got an ability to contract and expand itself.
Lecan approached the shouting man. Eda and Arios followed behind him.
"Ooh? Fancy a challenge, big dude?"
"A challenge in what."
"A shield match!"
"Yep yep. Lookie there's the ring."
The man pointed at a raised platform supported in eight directions.
"You're gonna fight equipped with a club and a shield."
"What constitutes a win?"
"The umpire's gonna decide the winner. You'd lose if you fall off the ring."
"What shield can you use."
"You hafta bring your own shield! We're gonna provide the club."
"There's no restriction in how you use the shield right?"
"Of course! Ya think anyone's gonna complain when an adventurer fought off a magic beast with a shield or somethin'?"
"What if you die?"
"You're weak you die, that's it. In a dungeon, it's your own fault for being weak!"
"Is anyone free to enter then."
"What are you, a dingus?! 'Course not! You gotta offer one large red potion. We're gonna use that potion on you if you're hurt bad in the match tho'. 'Course you lose that match."
Lecan raised his overcoat's collar, took out a large red potion and handed it over to the man.
The man's eyes opened wide for a bit before laughing out loud and held the red potion high up.
"We've got a new challenger----! Give a round of applause to this black dude here----!"
The peanut gallery encircling the ring cheered loudly. Followed by jeers.
"So dude, what's your name?"
Looking closer there's a temporary tent set up with a long desk inside. Three elderly men are sitting on the opposite side of the long desk. A shield and a basket are put on the long desk. That shield looks identical to the <Shield of Wolkan> Lecan saw once.
Most of the peanut gallery appear to be adventurers. Lecan caught sight a familiar man in the front row.
It's the slender man of <Vega>.
<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >
He didn't carry a weapon yesterday, unlike today. A sword.
The swordsman was looking at Lecan with a huge grin on his face, but the moment their eyes met, he laughed like he found something super interesting.
"Come now dude, bring your shield and take a seat over there!"
After saying that, the man went to the tent and put Lecan's large red potion in the basket. The three elderly men smiled faintly as they watched. One of the elderly men was relatively younger than the rest with a good build. Another was quite at an advanced age, thin and small, with a necklace and a wand as his equipment. The wand is of an intermediate size between thin and fat wands, first time Lecan has ever seen the type.
Lecan was led to a spot next to the square-shaped ring. Men carrying shields with them are sitting there, waiting for their turn.
Lecan went behind a cover and took out a giant shield.
The shield is tall enough to cover Lecan from his neck down and wide enough to completely hide his body. It's rectangular shaped yet the surface is not flat, but curved naturally. It's like if you cut a cylinder in half.
In his former world, there was a floor where he had to traverse through a valley where countless rocks were flying at him to reach the boss area. The stuff he procured then would see occasional use later on. This shield is made to be very sturdy and thick. Its surface is full of scratches, proof of many fierce clashes it had gone through.
This shield barely passes Lecan's <Storage> upper size limit. He got experiences using bigger shields than this in the past, but he had sold them all since they were unwieldy.
When Lecan brought that shield with him to the waiting spot, other participants were shocked.
The spectators booed at him.
"Big dude! How're ya gonna move with that huge piece of junk!"
"Yep, he's dead meat."
"Bigger shields don't mean yer' not gonna get hurt. Ya big oaf!"
"You're gonna hafta use both hands to carry that shield! How're ya gonna fight then!"
Loud laughters could also be heard here and there.
"Come now, is there really no other taker?! This is your last chance! For real! Aaand, it's closed! Everyone, thanks for your patience! It's finally time to start this maaatch!"
Loud cheers resounded.
A man who appeared to be the umpire went up the ring.
"You and you, get to the ring."
That person pointed at two participants. Looks like they're going to pick players at random.
The umpire asked the two participants' names and handed them their clubs.
It's short clubs.
The grip part is thin, the striking part is thick. The tip has been rounded off, barely usable as a stabbing instrument.
"To the east, Gazef!"
The peanut gallery cheered when the umpire stated the man's name.
"To the west, Gonza!"
The match begun.
Gazef had a thick round shield, Gonza carried a patterned kite shield.
The two held their shields slanted forward, stooping slightly while slowly moving to the left and right, looking for a chance to strike.
Gonza attacked with his club.
CLANK, the sound echoed.
Gazef thrust out his club.
Gonza swiftly leaped backward to dodge that and struck his left shield horizontally at Gazef's arm.
Gazef's club flew off his hand, falling outside the ring.
"That's it! Gonza won!"
A huge cheer erupted.
(No wonder those clubs are made short.)
(You've got to go in hard to attack.)
(To enliven the match.)
If they provided weapons with a long reach, the match would turn into a long boring stand off from outside the range. This tournament is a performance intended to entertain their spectators.
"Gonza, you sit over there. Gazef, you can bugger off."
Gonza went to a spot next to the temporary tent. That seems to be the victor's seats. Lecan is gonna fight everyone who goes there from second bout onward.
Still, this town is quite different from Golbul.
Golbul was full of young adventurers, but you could barely find any here. As a result the mood of this town feels mellowed out, or more like, colored.
The majority of adventurers he saw here look like they have settled down in this town.
There's also a lot of powerful adventurers around. Not an insignificant number of spectators who have been booing at the match are quite capable themselves. Lots of people with strong mana as well.
What surprised Lecan was the fact that many people are carrying weapons with a long reach.
Dungeons normally have both spacious and cramped areas. You can't really brandish around long weapons in cramped spots. And yet long weapons can't be put in <Storage>. Meaning, you've got to carry them around with you everywhere.
Therefore, one employs long reaching weapons only on a specific floor against a specific enemy, such was a dungeon common sense in Lecan's former world.
And yet, many adventurers are carrying around long reaching weapons in this town.
Spears in all kinds of forms.
Halberds, glaives, three-pronged spears, cross spears, and even pike-like super long spears.
The dungeon here must consist of chains of spacious areas.
People carrying around spears without covering the sharp tips in cloth and without getting called out by the guard is an everyday scene in a dungeon town.
Just watching those makes Lecan so excited to enter the dungeon.
That's good and all, but something's been bothering Lecan regarding the tournament he's in right now.
The participants are all skilled shield users. Which means, they are those who are used to fighting with a shield.
However, there are powerful adventurers carrying shields among the spectators as well, and they're all watching the match with awfully repulsive looks in their eyes.
(I thought <Shield of Wolkan> was valued highly.)
(Are they just not interested in one?)
Lecan is also bothered by the relatively low number of participants. Perhaps, this prize item is pretty common in this town.
After several matches, the umpire finally turned his line of sight toward Lecan.
"You're up next."
He's been named. It's finally Lecan's turn.
When he stood up, Eda cheered for him from the front row.
"Lecan, give it your best shot!"
Lecan went up the ring after taking a quick glance at Eda and Arios.