Fists, fists as numerous as droplets of water rained upon my body.
So, this fellow was a fist fighter as well? I bet he only did so because I had that “hit me” look on my face right now thus he decided to test the waters first with his fists.
While I wasn’t sure what kind of scene was playing out in front of the audience right now, his punches were nothing more than a tickle to me.
Di Qi Ju: It’s not going to work, Nine Heaven, how about you take out your weapon already?
Nine Heaven: !?
As if he had just witnessed a pile of mince meat talk to him like a normal person, he suddenly dodged backwards with a small leap.
Nine Heaven: You…
Nine Heaven: What kind of monster are you?
Di Qi Ju: Hmm, I’m just a normal human, the kind you can kind anywhere on the streets.
Nine Heaven: …haha.
Di Qi Ju: This is nothing more than a wish ability given to me by Westrealm so don’t give me that scoffing look.
Di Qi Ju: I’m just an, ordinary, everyday, human, being.
Nine Heaven: Is there a point in emphasizing that fact? Either way no one here sees you as a human!
I turned my head slightly and glanced at my sides.
What was originally a stadium filled with cheers was now filled with a strange silence.
As if the audience’s movements were slowed down, each of them didn’t dare to make any sudden movements out of fear that a single movement on their part might startle some kind of creature.
Even the MC(master of ceremonies)’s commentary had stopped. His mouth hung slightly open, revealing a tongue that seemed tied up about what it should say.
Ah, this reminds me of that day when I fell for Coagan’s ambush. They had the same look as well.
Di Qi Ju:……
Di Qi Ju: I don’t mind being temporarily treated as a monster, Mister Nine Heaven.
Di Qi Ju: If you have any methods to use against a monster, how about you just reveal them right now?
Nine Heaven: ……
It was a probing question, hopefully he would take my hint and reveal a certain trump card. If Nine Heaven was truly the sinner, he probably had no choice but to use that forbidden ability now in order to win.
In preparation for this moment, I specifically wished for an ability prior to the start of this battle. It was merely a 1 point wish but it should suffice in preventing me from becoming his victim.
“An ability that sends out a warning should there be any reduction or loss in my wish abilities” , 1 point.
All I needed was that thumping sensation to warn me and that was more than enough to determine that the person in front of me was the sinner.
The moment the sinner was found, Breman would immediately step in to intervene as a keeper. At the same time, he would employ a capturing device unique to the Expeditionary Forces.
I doubt the sinner would have enough time to decipher or test the stolen abilities even if he managed to steal some of my key abilities.
As long as we took advantage of that split second when the loss happens, it wouldn’t matter even if he gained some new ability.
Focusing my entire attention onto Nine Heaven, I quietly waited for his reaction and the “warning” in my heart to fire off.
However, reality didn’t play out as I had expected.
Nine Heaven merely reached inside his tunic and retrieved his weapon.
It was a simple short blade that was extremely thin to the point where it resembled a surgeon’s scalpel.
Di Qi Ju: Is that your trump card?
Nine Heaven: What do you think?
—the sensation of something entering my body.
Even though those words had just left his mouth, I suddenly felt a chill in my back like something had entered my body, though it didn’t cause me any harm.
By the time I reacted to that, Nine Heaven’s voice came from the back of my ear instead.
Nine Heaven: If all you have is a regenerative ability, then all I have to do is sever your nervous system.
Nine Heaven: If you die from this, don’t blame me, it was your overconfidence that killed you.
Then came even more prickling sensations as if I was undergoing some sort of acupuncture treatment on the back of my neck.
Those blades were slicing into my spinal cord with breathtaking speed.
Di Qi Ju:…
Nine Heaven: I bet you can’t even talk now. Even if you’re able to regenerate or revive, those blades would still remain in your neck, preventing the electrical impulses of your brain from controlling your limbs.
Nine Heaven: Hah, how could a skill less greenhorn like you even consider winning?
Di Qi Ju:…
Di Qi Ju: Let me guess.
Nine Heaven: —!?
Di Qi Ju: Your wish ability should be something along the lines of being able to penetrate everything, I bet.
Di Qi Ju: At the very least, that should be the end result of your wish ability, am I right?
I lifted my right hand and stabbed it into the back of my head. Reaching into the region near my spinal cord, I swiftly located the offending blades.
Nine Heaven: ……
*clink clink clink* —Nine Heaven’s weapons fell to the ground with a deafening clink. As those blades shattered the brief but tense moment of silence, it seemed like his sanity was shattered in the process as well.
Nine Heaven: You…you…
Nine Heaven: That’s impossible—!!!?
Di Qi Ju: You seem to be mistaken about something, Mister Nine Heaven.
Nine Heaven: …?
Di Qi Ju: I never once said that my ability was regeneration or revival. The fact that people assumed that I had the ability to endlessly revive myself had caused me some degree of awkwardness as well.
Di Qi Ju: Actually, you hadn’t even injured me at all.
Di Qi Ju: Surrender or perhaps reveal your trump card.
Di Qi Ju: Choose, Mister Nine Heaven.
Nine Heaven:…I admit defeat.
His temples exploded as he gnashed his teeth in resignation.
Nine Heaven: If that wasn’t enough to finish you off…I have nothing else to show.
It was a victory as expected. The moment I took on the case and decided to find that sinner, this victory was already determined. However, the outcome wasn’t what I had envisioned.
As I watched him walk off the stage, a thought inexplicably occured to me. If he truly had a more powerful ability to use, he would’ve definitely used it to slap me in the face.
He was a proud man, so proud that there was no way he would willingly bow his head to me.
He was a brilliant man: even if he only had a few seconds to think, he would still be able to concoct some kind of winning plan. Of that, I was sure of.
He was also a rash man, so rash he would murder a person because of an unconnected bit of anger.
If he truly had some kind of forbidden ability, he would’ve already shown it in that battle just now.
The fact that he surrendered like that meant only one thing…
—mostly likely, he wasn’t the man I was looking for.
Judge: —ladies and gentlemen, that spectacular match has just ended but I’m sure that everyone is still hungry for more, right?
Judge: The third princess of the Reitdarke royal family, Naysis Ferne, actually managed to defeat her opponent in a manner reminiscent of the Battle of Righteousness!
Judge: Though there are some strange rumors swirling around this princess, however, that had absolutely no effect on her unparalleled performance today!
Judge: Especially that weapon she used; that rapier of hers that wasn’t very long but was extremely sharp and thin. Looking at how she dances with it and slices her opponent, doesn’t that remind you of someone?
Judge: That’s right, I’m referring to that Double champion of the Battle of Death and Righteousness, “Sword Soul” Savile Kuine!
Judge: As you all would know, it has already been two years since the Sword Soul vanished from the scenes. Within these two years, countless people had tried to locate her, countless people prayed and eagerly awaited her return yet there was no news of her.
Judge: I heard there was even a bet made in the gambling scene where top gamblers wagered an enormous fortune on whether or not she would return!
Judge: It’s just…we can’t seem to find any record or news of her registering for this Three Battles, how truly disappointing…
Judge: I apologize for that bit of irrelevant banter! It’s time for our next Death Match, will the contestants please—
Naysis Ferne: …
Having just finished her battle, Naysis Ferne was in the midst of returning to the backstage while checking on her weapon. While she was doing so, she couldn’t help but finger the ring she wore.
Each time she did so, she would always lift her head and scan the surroundings as if she was searching for someone.
However, the look in her eyes suggested that she didn’t want to meet this person.
All she wanted was a glimpse of him; now wasn’t the time for them to meet yet.
Carmen: Princess, congratulations on your maiden victory.
However, the person that appeared before her instead wasn’t who she was thinking of.
Naysis Ferne: Oh…
Naysis Ferne: Meeting Di Qi Ju shouldn’t be problem if I continue like this, right?
Carmen: As long as your Highness doesn’t lose, it’s only a matter of time before you encounter him.
Carmen: However…given what he is, your chance of victory doesn’t seem that high, does it?
Naysis Ferne: We can leave that matter for when I actually encounter him.
Naysis Ferne: All I want is to tell him something, to have him listen properly.
Naysis Ferne: Victory…it’s just a means to an end.
Carmen: Mhm…it would be good if everything worked out.
Naysis Ferne: By the way, Carmen, you seem different ever since this morning.
Carmen: Oh? Is that so?
Naysis Ferne: How should I say it, it feels like you are looking forward to battle, even more so than when we just registered for the Three Battles.
Carmen: That huh…
Carmen: I guess…it’s probably because I just saw that wanted criminal in the backstage?
Hearing that, Naysis’ expression chilled slightly.
Naysis Ferne: What is he doing here?
Carmen: My guess is that he’s trying to win a position for himself so as to cancel the bounty Reitdarke placed on him.
Carmen: As you know Princess, in the country of Skills, a person’s personal worth is able to, in a certain sense, trump the law of the land.
Naysis Ferne: Ah…I get it.
Carmen: In that case, I mustn’t let him have his way here.
Carmen patted her waist. Immediately, the joyful sounds of a sword rattling about in its sheath, resounded from there.
Carmen: I’m the last contestant for today, my opponent so happens to be him.
Naysis Ferne: Oh…is that so.
Naysis Ferne: Hey Carmen.
Carmen: Hmm? What is it Princess?
Naysis Ferne: You’re really looking forward to today’s battle, aren’t you?
Carmen: That’s right.
Judge: —and now, for the last Death Match of today, “Carmen” versus “Coagan”!
Judge: Will both parties please exchange their opening words!
Coagan: It’s you huh.
Carmen: Aren’t you being a little too lackadaisical about this with that “it’s you”?
Carmen: How about being more formal and introduce yourself?
Coagan:…either way this is the country of Skills, I doubt you can do anything to me so why not I guess.
Coagan respectfully took off his hat and bowed slightly before putting it back on while ignoring the stares the audience gave his head.
Coagan: This one’s name is Coagan Blutgerinn, from the country of Cold Iron.
(TL: Special thanks to Cat-aclysm, for the name Blutgerinn!)
Carmen: Sigh…Cold Iron huh.
Carmen: Based on the standpoint of our nations, we are rivals. Looks like there’s another reason for us to have a “proper fight”.
Carmen: Let’s settle that issue of your offense at the same time then.
Coagan: …you’re from the country of Molten Steel?
Carmen: Ah, that’s right.
She reached behind her head and gently undid the band around her hair. In an instant, her clear forehead was blocked by flowing strands of hair.
Though it was merely a minor cosmetic change, the impression she gave off now was vastly different than before. At the same time, it hammered in the fact that the normally tomboyish Carmen was actually a girl.
She continued by tugging on the shoulders of her butler uniform and like a cicada shedding its skin, the uniform came out as if it was a second skin.
Beneath that uniform was a dark colored, skin-tight combat uniform. Elegant, unique and proper. A combat uniform that only a true swordsman would possess.
Strapped to her waist was a long, thin rapier that, with a shing, smoothly left its sheath and readied itself horizontally.
The moment that happened, the entire coliseum was dumbfounded.
With practised precision, she levelled the rapier at Coagan’s nose and slightly lifted her head in a provoking manner.
That uniform, that stance, even more so, those moves…to the people who were present two years ago, whether they were spectators or contestants, those were something they would never forget.
Because this very stance was the origin of the title given by the King himself, “Sword Soul”.
Carmen: —this one is Savile Kuine, from the country of Molten Steel.
Carmen: I look forward to your instruction, Coagan Blutgerinn.
(TL: Blutgerinn is derived from Blutgerinnung, a German word that means blood coagulation or clotting, at least I think that’s what it means. If it’s not, feel free to tell me in Discord though I probably won’t change it.
This name was accepted because of the “European” theme I wanted to maintain with all the human names. Naturally, the Chinese equivalent translates to that as well.
On a side note, Mo Chuan’s name was deliberately kept as pinyin as a way of differentiation and not because I couldn’t think of a better name. Definitely not because of that.)
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Special thanks to Kaung Thant Win Naing!!