(TL: Battle of Loyalty has been changed to Battle of Purity. Loyalty was chosen because it was one of the possibles meanings of the word but given how the rules work, nakedness would fit it more but that sounds stupid, thus purity.)
The third day of the Three Battles…
Halfmoon Leak’age: Today’s the first day of the Battle of Purity?
Di Qi Ju: Mhm.
Di Qi Ju: …eh? You’re joining the Battle of Purity as well?
Halfmoon Leak’age: Mhm, after giving it some thought, I decided not increase the fines Commander Breman has to pay for our withdrawal.
Di Qi Ju: Then why did you register for it in the first place? I heard that Nine Heaven never had the intention of participating.
Halfmoon Leak’age: That’s right. Whether it was from the standpoint of helping One’day High or taking revenge, there wasn’t actually a need for me to participate in the Battle of Purity…
Halfmoon Leak’age: However, isn’t the Battle of Purity one of the most primal forms of combat a human can engage in?
Di Qi Ju: Oh, probably, the kind where you wrestle in a nearly naked state?
Halfmoon Leak’age: That kind of battle doesn’t sound that bad honestly, it’s worth a try.
Halfmoon Leak’age: As you know, all that’s left in my body is an instinct to murder people.
Di Qi Ju: Mhm…
Halfmoon Leak’age: After learning that One’day High is going to withdraw from the Expeditionary Forces, I did some reflecting of my own as well…
Di Qi Ju: …ah? Don’t tell me you…
Halfmoon Leak’age: That’s not even possible. Don’t forget, my goal for joining was to atone for my crimes.
Halfmoon Leak’age: It’s just that after giving it some thought, I realized that since my abilities were already so specialized and limited, I’m afraid there’s no other way for me to feed myself except by relying on my body and fighting.
Halfmoon Leak’age: So there’s a need for me to try out other forms of fighting as well.
Halfmoon Leak’age: Had it not been for One’day High’s words, I might have just made the decision to forfeit this battle already.
Halfmoon Leak’age: Anyway…since I’ve already registered, I might as well participate in some harmless fighting, right?
Di Qi Ju: Oh, mhm.
Because there was no keeper clause in the Battle of Purity, Breman wasn’t able to enter the backstage so he resigned himself to watching from the stands while canvassing for investment.
Lee Sole’shot and Mo Chuan seemed to be working in concert to verify whether or not Ferdila had completely given up on causing trouble for Bailey.
As for One’day High, he was fulfilling his promise to work hard in his liaison role before leaving the Expeditionary Forces.
Having finished our preparations, Halfmoon and I left the Checkered Path and made our way to the coliseum.
Halfmoon Leak’age: So Di Qi Ju, what’s your motive for joining the Three Battles. I still haven’t heard you or Breman mention it.
Di Qi Ju: Oh, about that…do you still remember the initial reason for me coming here? Wasn’t it because Breman rewarded me with the opportunity to perform the Sacred Rite in the Middle Ring.
Di Qi Ju: Well, after learning of my experiences in the Expeditionary Forces, the clergyman gave me a test –prove my worthiness in the Three Battles.
Di Qi Ju: If I do not do so, the clergyman won’t permit me to perform the Sacred Rite in the Middle Ring.
Halfmoon Leak’age: Oh, is that so.
Whew—I finally used it. I prepared that reason well ahead of time and even rehearsed it multiple times, so this time for sure, no one should be able to see through my lie right?
At this rate, I might just end up as some big shot politician who can lie through his teeth!
Halfmoon Leak’age: Based on my observations, I had assumed you had some other reason for doing so.
Di Qi Ju: …other reason? What kind of reason could I possibly have?
Halfmoon Leak’age: Hm…for example…
??: —Hi, Little Ju.
Di Qi Ju: —ah??
Before I even had the chance to turn around, an arm wrapped itself around my own with the force of a collision, forcefully pulling me to the side.
In the this world, the only one who would address me like that and also the only one who would do that was probably…
Poppy. Poppy dressed in the garb of a civilian.
Di Qi Ju: —-eh? What’s up, why are you—
Poppy: Oh, there’s no classes today so I came over to watch you compete, Little Ju.
Di Qi Ju: This isn’t a competition, it’s not that relaxed at all…it’s a battle where injuries can happen at any time.
Poppy: It’s fine! I’m sure you will win without any injury!
Di Qi Ju: Even if you give me that look full of expectation…
Poppy: I’ve been like that since you specially came over to inform me of your participation.
Poppy: You’ll do your best today right?
Di Qi Ju: Ah…right.
Not like there’s any way for me to not do my best in finding that sinner, right?
Poppy: Mm! Do your best!
Di Qi Ju: Hah…of course.
Halfmoon Leak’age: So, it really was another “reason”, huh.
Di Qi Ju: Hey, don’t give me that “Ah, I get it” look! It’s really not what you think it is! No wait…I guess it sort of is…
Halfmoon Leak’age: —oh right, I have to scout out my opponents. I’m sure someone as strong as you doesn’t have to do that, right Di Qi Ju?
Di Qi Ju: …huh??
Halfmoon Leak’age: Then I’ll be off, you two can take just take your time together—
Di Qi Ju: Hey—!!
Di Qi Ju: ……
Poppy: Haha, what a sensible man.
Di Qi Ju: …I’ve definitely just been mistaken for a man who is trying to impress his girlfriend.
Poppy: And there’s something wrong with that?
Poppy continued hugging my arm while she slowly circled around to my front. Her face was visibly warm and even though we weren’t touching, it felt like I could clearly feel her warmth.
Poppy: I love the kind of man who would push himself and show off his competitive side…
Poppy: Even if he “pushes himself all the way in”…I’ll welcome that as well, hmm.
Di Qi Ju: …that’s enough, stop touching my belly and don’t reach any further down…
The proactively passionate Miss Poppy seemed to have gathered all the heat of summer and was in the midst of roasting me along with my restraint.
I vaguely remembered her being more reserved when we first met…was it a seasonal effect? Or was it because she knew that her freedom was close at hand so she ended up being more clingy than usual?
No matter how I looked at it, the latter seemed more likely.
I wonder how would our relationship change once that day arrives. Would we end up like One’day High and Savile —leaving the Expeditionary Forces to start our new life together?
Even though she was older than me by ten whole years, but just thinking about how our life would be, it didn’t seem that bad at all.
Lover, big Sister, mother…in that order, yet at the same time, she seemed like fusion of all three. That was the kind of person Poppy was to me.
Of those three, which identity held the greatest weight, I wonder?
Was it…a lover? A person I could have a romance with? Me and Poppy, we are lovers, right?
A girl like Poppy was actually in love with me…a beautiful, proactive and clingy girl…a girl that would unconditionally accept and respond to me…
A girl whose mouth and lips seemed to invite you with their warm, soft moistness. A girl whose skin seemed so silky smooth and whose shapely body seemed to evoke the desires in a person and drive them into a frenzy…
As I thought about that, memories of every occasion we were intimate with each other flashed through my mind…
Di Qi Ju:……
Poppy: Hmm? Little Ju, what’s the matter?
Poppy: Your face is so red, do you have a fever or something?
Di Qi Ju: That…
Di Qi Ju: I’m sure it will pass soon enough? Thanks for your concern…
Poppy: Ehhh, aren’t you being a little too distant here?
I directed the arm that wasn’t wrapped around my own onto my hip in order to prevent her from advancing any further downwards.
She obviously knew what I was thinking, I bet that’s why she was being so assertive.
She…continuously doing that to a sixteen year old boy, don’t tell me she doesn’t mind if I suddenly turn into that sort of person? A person along the lines of a “crazy rapist”?
…looks like it is time to bump my “sexual desire management” up to a daily thing.
My bodily reactions which had been numbed by pain seemed to have all returned to me today thanks to Poppy.
Mhm…I need to fix the issue of my “jammed rifle” soon!!
Poppy: Hm, Little Ju, this isn’t the road leading to the Grand Coliseum, is it? Did you make a wrong turn?
Di Qi Ju: It’s like this, in order to complete Hilda Karlyle’s request, I had to request for someone else’s help.
Di Qi Ju: As for the details, I’m sure I don’t need to mention them, do I? With your ability, you can see it yourself.
Naphier: –yo, Di Qi Ju, you aren’t by yourself today?
Upon arriving at the entrance of the Mechanist Symposium, Naphier, who seemed to have been waiting for me since a while ago, approached me right away.
Di Qi Ju: Ah, Miss Naphier. About today…how should I say it…
Naphier: Oh my, my, you brought your girlfriend with you.
Di Qi Ju: Ah hahah…
Di Qi Ju: Poppy, this the head mechanist of the Mechanist Symposium, Miss Naphier.
Poppy: Greetings, my name is Poppy. Di Qi Ju is my husband.
Naphier: Laborer? (TL: The pronunciations are similar for both in Chinese.)
Di Qi Ju: Err, I’m not married yet…
Naphier: –OH!! I get it, I get it, it’s that kind of fetish isn’t it?
Di Qi Ju: Fetish??
Naphier: –Di Qi Ju, you were hired by Miss Poppy to be her boy toy, right?!
Di Qi Ju:……
Poppy: –let’s just take it as that!
Di Qi Ju: –hey, hey, hey!!
Naphier: So laborers nowadays can used in that way as well, I think I’ve learnt something today.
Naphier: This isn’t good, not good at all…a new invention is starting to take shape in my brain already!
Naphier: —I must get back to work! Just watch, I’m going to break new grounds on a Bodily Sensations Experimentation Tool.
Di Qi Ju: Wait wait wait–we discussed this already, what about that thing we talked about, [the last topic we discussed previously]??
Naphier: Oh, that’s right, I almost forgot!
Naphier: Here you go.
Naphier casually tossed me a book before rushing back into the Mechanist Symposium without ever turning her head back.
Naphier: My inspiration–must hurry–before it disappears!!
Di Qi Ju:……
Di Qi Ju: Seems like you caused some kind of serious misunderstanding, Poppy.
Poppy: That can’t be blamed on me, can it? She’s must’ve originally been that kind of person.
Di Qi Ju: …forget it, either way we’ve gotten what we came for, let’s head to the grand coliseum.
Poppy: Mhm. But, what’s that?
Poppy pointed at the book that I was in the midst of stowing into the interna; pocket of my tunic.
Di Qi Ju: Oh that, there were some topics which caught my interest the last time we met so I asked for materials on it. Who knows, it might help me complete Hilda Karlyle’s test.
Di Qi Ju: You don’t have to worry about that though. Once I finish this test, the Divine Hall won’t have any reason at all to chase you.
Di Qi Ju: Please believe in me!
Poppy: –mhm! Alright!
Prior to the first round of the Battle of Purity, before I met up with Halfmoon Leak’age, I ended up bumping into another person. A person who I couldn’t say I was surprised to encounter here.
Di Qi Ju: Mr Double Seventeen, nice to meet you.
Double Seventeen: …oh, Di Qi Ju.
The first time this robust, burly man whose entire head shone like a pinball, turned around to face me, my heart shuddered for a second. Had it not been for my wish ability which placed me in an undefeatable position, the previous me would have been scared stiff by now.
However, the moment he flashed me that broad smile of his, that gulf between us instantly disappeared.
…such a charismatic man.
Double Seventeen: I already said so, didn’t I? “Double Seventeen” is just the title the King gave me. My name isn’t Double Seventeen at all.
Double Seventeen: But…I guess it’s fine, everyone is used to calling me that anyway so I’ll just accept it for now.
Di Qi Ju: How truly confusing…by the way, what’s up with the title the King gave you?
Double Seventeen, About that, all the top 32 contestants of each Battle, so 96 in total, will receive a title from the King.
Double Seventeen: Of those, only the champions of the Three Battles will have a title given to them by King himself in a ceremony. As for the rest, they will receive a notification letter after which their title will be made public via a ranking board.
Double Seventeen:To the people of Skills, the significance of these titles trumps that of their names, in fact these titles are able to take the place of their names.
Double Seventeen: I’m sure you were there to witness the arrival of Sword Soul. Do you remember how they chanted Sword Soul and not Savile?
Di Qi Ju: How truly…
Di Qi Ju: By the way, is your goal for this year to receive a title from the King himself?
Double Seventeen: ……
Double Seventeen: Haha! Shouldn’t that be the goal everyone here rushes toward?
Double Seventeen: Even though I say that, I still know my limits. For example, after watching all the Death matches yesterday, I chose to forfeit the Battle of Death.
Di Qi Ju: Eh?
Double Seventeen: I’ve already tested you twice so there’s no need for us to fight anymore.
Double Seventeen: Forfeiting isn’t shameful, it’s show of approval for that someone you acknowledge.
Double Seventeen: I believe you will be able to reach the end of the Battle of Death, Di Qi Ju.
Di Qi Ju: About that…thanks for your praise, I guess.
Double Seventeen: —but, if it’s the Battle of Purity, I don’t think I will lose to you.
Di Qi Ju: Oh…fine then, I’m itching to give it a shot as well!
Judge: —for this match! We have “Di Qi Ju” versus “Halfmoon Leak’age”!
Judge: —will both sides exchange their opening words!
Halfmoon Leak’age: ……
Di Qi Ju:……
Halfmoon Leak’age and I were dressed in the designated costume of the Battle of Purity which had just enough material to cover our private parts. As we stood on the stage, we gazed at each other for a long while.
Halfmoon Leak’age: Di Qi Ju, you know the rules of the Battle of Purity, right?
Di Qi Ju: …mhm., “after suffering a certain number of effective hits or knockdowns, the match will be judged as your loss”.
Halfmoon Leak’age: Then…I’m attacking now, alright?
Di Qi Ju: …err, okay, bring it on.
Judge: —victory has been decided! The winner is—
Judge: “Halfmoon Leak’age”!!
Di Qi Ju: Ahhh…why did it end like this again…
Di Qi Ju: I ended up repeating the results of my Righteousness match, a loss right from the start…
Di Qi Ju: What do you mean sensible man! What do you mean by saving face or not saving face! Halfmoon doesn’t even get it at all!
Di Qi Ju: How is that even considered “going easy on someone”!
Poppy: It’s alright, it’s alright Little Ju, it’s just one match, don’t forget you still have those virtually unlosable Death matches.
Di Qi Ju: But but…
Di Qi Ju: I don’t want to, ahhh—
After losing to Halfmoon Leak’age, I ran off to the backstage in a fit of anger and buried myself in the chest of Poppy.
With my temper getting the better of my sexual desires, I willfully twisted my head around in her cloth-covered breasts while she accommodatingly raised her breasts for me to better vent my anger.
Even though losing didn’t mean a thing, even though losing didn’t mean a thing, even though losing didn’t mean a thing, why did it feel like I’ve just failed two tests in a row and ended up being at the bottom of the class.
What’s wrong with me today…I seem so childish.
It must be because we’ve been apart for so long.
For all I know, I’ve been unknowingly spoiled by Poppy in some areas.
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Special thanks to Kaung Thant Win Naing!!