Lone quickly found a seat in the fighters waiting area. After he had sat down, he took a moment to inspect his fellow competitors.
All of them looked ridiculously unremarkable except for five of them. These five looked like they were more than capable enough to defeat Lone assuming he didn't put his full effort into beating them. The thought of such an event occurring pleased Lone since he could properly test his limits against these five. Lone only hoped that he wouldn't accidentally activate his blind rage or control and ruin everything.
He took a moment to view their appearances to remember them for his future fights with some of them.
Four of them were men while the last was a woman. The woman seemed to be a mage of sorts while the other four all appeared to specialise in close combat except one who looked like an archer of sorts, or at least that was all Lone could conclude from their clothing and the weapons they held. Lone took an unusually long time to inspect the woman because he really hoped he would face her. It would be his first time fighting a mage properly if that happened. Lone didn't consider the mage from the five assassins to be worth noting.
Lone himself was receiving many stares and appraising looks due to his nine tails and oddly designed armour sleeve.
'Why is he staring at me?! I-I... no... no way, did this Foxkin fall in love with me? But papa said I can't talk to men so why did he fall in love with me? I haven't even spoke- my looks? He's fallen for my looks, hasn't he? Kya! I can't. I shouldn't... but he's so handsome... ' the female mage who looked no older than seventeen said to herself in her head when she noticed Lone's gaze. She was very inexperienced in life due to being a bit of a sheltered princess.
In fact, she shouldn't even be here, the only reason she was, was because her maids had helped her sneak out to have some fun. Originally, she wanted to shop in the city centre, but she couldn't hold herself back when she heard about the tournament happened today, which led her to this point.
'Stupid Lone,' Sophie commented via telepathy. She obviously wasn't very fond of the way the woman had reacted to Lone's appraising gaze.
'What? I'm just checking out the competition,' Lone replied in a defensive manner. He wasn't overly self-aware as far as his looks were concerned because he didn't really care. He was happy with his current appearance, but he had forgotten how charming he could be without intentionally trying to be.
'Stop staring at the mage, please... she's... misunderstanding you,' Sophie pleaded in a sweet voice that was close to tears. She knew Lone would never do anything to hurt her in that regard, but she was allowed to get upset over these occurrences, no? He was her first and most likely, the only boyfriend she had or ever would have.
'Oh, my bad. I'll check out another one of the contestants,' Lone sheepishly replied before he moved his gaze to rest on one of the four men. He had only realised the way the mage was reacting after Sophie had mentioned it to him.
'Thank you,'° Sophie happily said. She was a bit annoyed that she had to remind Lone, but she was happy enough that he wasn't bothered by her jealousy.
The particular man that Lone had started to observe gave him an odd feeling he seemed fairly ordinary except for the strong aura he gave off and his two engraving-filled shortswords. However, Lone was getting a different feeling atop of those ones, almost like he shared a connection to Lone of sorts, however, this connection originated from his affinity to contracts.
"Hmm... how interesting," Lone mumbled and then he activated his Lord of Contracts title to inspect the man.
|Target has one contract bound to them|
|Target name: Cecil Evergreen|
|Contract Type Held||Contract Rank and Level|
|Summon Contract||Intermediate Level 2|
'What an odd name. Well, he is an elf after all,' Lone said internally. He had apparently noticed the man's concealed ears thanks to his master level illusion skill. Thankfully for Cecil, Lone didn't care what race he was, however, unfortunately for him, Lone needed his knowledge of summoning contracts to help Sophie obtain her pet.
As Lone was inspecting him, a voice suddenly boomed across the entire room.
"Hello, participants. Welcome to the third monthly tournament held in honour of the crown prince this year. The first fight shall begin momentarily, please enter the arena upon hearing your name being called," the voice announced through the entire room which was quite amazing considering that it was about 300 meters² in size.
'Amazing. Was that sound magic? Maybe a technique in the wind branch of magic?' Lone contemplated while he marvelled over the voice. He was very surprised at all of the magic he was now being exposed to. Lone could only hope that he got to fight the mage and elf before either they or he got eliminated.
'I wonder what style of battles it will be? Group? Round-robin? hmm,' Lone further thought. He hadn't asked Grimsley since this was his first time in such a situation, so he had simply forgotten to. He could only hope it was a one on one elimination styled set-up as that would help him to test himself the best, or so he assumed.
"Participants, The Lone Wanderer and Edward The Rookie. Please make your way to the arena," the voice boomed which pulled Lone out of his thoughts. He stood up and began walking to the stairs which led to the mentioned stage.
"Edward... why does that name sound so familiar?" Lone asked himself when he had reached the arena. Standing opposite him was an oddly familiar face. However, Lone couldn't quite put his finger on where he had seen the young man standing opposite him. Lone was too busy thinking even to care.
'Is there a waiting area just as large as the one I was just in on the other side of this place? I wonder how much it cost to build?' Lone pondered. He wasn't taking Edward seriously because the boy was obviously far weaker than him. Of course, Lone had a few strands of his attention on him because he didn't want to underestimate him, just in case he was hiding his real strength.
'My rival! Make this another enlightening experience for me, Mr.The Lone Wanderer!' Edward requested in his mind. He was happy to face his rival once more. After his 'duel' at the Adventurers Guild, Edward felt confident enough to go on a few simple quests with his friend, Jeff. He could now proudly say that he was an H-ranked adventurer.
"Participants, begin your battle, don't worry about killing each other as a judge shall prevent all fatalities," the same voice as earlier announced.
'Oh really? How interesting,' Lone thought after hearing what the voice had claimed. He then noticed that his opponent, Edward The Rookie was slowly edging his way towards Lone with his sword held firmly in both of his hands.
Lone figured that now would be the perfect time to test the voice's claim. He took Dawn out of his dimension and willed it to weigh exactly one kilogramme since he thought that making it weigh nothing would force it to be too difficult to keep track of since he was used to his weapons having at least some weight.
Lone then activated his invisibility and rushed to Edwards side.
Edward had no idea what had just happened. He was slowly making his way towards his opponent, Lone, then he suddenly disappeared after an intimidating grey weapon had appeared in his right hand. Before Edward could utter any questions about this occurrence, he suddenly felt a very sharp blade being lightly pressed against his neck. This blade was being held between the fingers of an extremely ordinary looking man who was wearing a suit of heavy silver armour.
"Now now. No need to get serious so quickly, no?" the average looking man said while he slowly pried Lone's weapon away from Edward's neck. "The Lone Wanderer is the victor," he continued after he let go of Dawn since he felt like the distance he had pulled it to was far away enough from Edward's neck.
The audience roared and cheered after the man had said that. The very first fight was such an interesting one so they could only get pumped up for what was to come in the following hours of matches.
"Wow. That was crazy. You must be at least A-ranked, you seem just as strong as George, maybe even stronger," Lone commented in awe. He was very surprised that such a common event, despite being held in the name of the crown prince, was being judged by such a powerful man.
"Hmm? George? Well, try to tone it down on the weaker ones, okay? I don't want to catch your blade every fight," he replied before his scarless face smiled, he then sauntering off to the sidelines before walking up to the spectator's area where he began blending in with the crowd in the stands above.
"Insane... no wonder I never spotted him before... being ordinary looking has it's perks, huh?" Lone commented and then walked back to his waiting area. Edward merely stood there in confusion.
"... Eh?" he asked. He had no idea what had just happened. Had he already lost?
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- The Scottish Slothy Sloth
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