Author’s note: I made a typo in the last chapter, it was supposed to be Niras, not Miras, so yeah, just a heads up.
On another note, I’ve had a rough night, some drunk idiots have been screaming throughout the night like 10 meters away from my window…
That’s what happens when you live in a small town and some band comes to have a concert…
Mosquitos bothering me didn’t help either, so if you feel like this chapter seems off, let me know and I’ll try to fix it tomorrow.
Commentator: Now the round everyone has been waiting for! Who’s going to advance to the finals!? Will it be Icicle Whitesnow or should that be Niras, unexpected darkhorse of the tournament?! We’re about to find out!
“Go kid, let me win big!”
“You’ve come so far, end it with style!”
“Kyaaa! Date me, Icicle!”
… umm, okay, that’s getting weird real quick.
Commentator: We won’t delay this any longer! Semifinal round. Icicle Whitesnow versus Niras. FIGHT!
Icicle: I surrender.
Niras moved at a speed of light, appearing right in front of me.
If not for the instinctive sidestep, I would’ve been cut in half.
Commentator: Did I hear it right?! Icicle Whitesnow has just admitted defeat!
“What are you doing kid?!”
“My money was on you!”
“Why do you do this to us?!”
These idiots can’t even see that the entire ring was cut in half…
Just how much of a monster is this guy?
Did the developers make Master level something like “cut the mountain in half with your sword” bullshit?
I don’t know how many of the human players can cope with such level.
Not only the strength, but speed…
Is human brain even able to withstand such a sudden change?
From a normal human to a superhero…
I don’t know how all of this is supposed to work out.
Am I underestimating the power of a human’s brain?
Whatever, I’ll leave it to the developers.
Niras: So you knew, huh?
What does he mean?
Icicle: Knew about what?
Niras: That I wanted to get the first prize, of course.
Icicle: I figured.
Niras: Individuals of your level shouldn’t be able to gauge my power level. Who told you to surrender?
Icicle: Does it matter? You’ve won, so get your prize and stop bothering me.
Niras: Tsk, tsk.
“What are you chit-chatting for?!”
“You’ve rigged all of this from the beginning!”
“I had faith in you boy!”
“How could you betray us and join these tournament schemers!”
I couldn’t take it any longer and snapped.
Killing aura seeped out, tingling the noses of all the spectators.
Icicle: ALL OF YOU SHUT YOUR FUCKING TRAPS. HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO FIGHT WITH TWO BROKEN ARMS, HUH?!
I was actually surprised it worked so well.
Icicle: You probably can’t see it from your position, and because it’s such a precise cut, but the ring I’m standing on was halved by this man, Niras! I’ve fought partly for you guys, because this was the chance all of you have presented me with! But! There are things I can achieve and things that are outside my grasp! Winning this tournament is sadly one of the latter…
After the first round, I was already in a weakened state. Yet I still grit my teeth and fought on. Now I’m faced with an expert who’s way above my level even in my peak condition, and you’re telling me to fight him with two broken limbs? Don’t be ridiculous!
What I’m doing right now is focusing on the place I can reach, that is the 3rd place! If you’re not comfortable with me actually grasping whatever I can, and probably saving you some money, then get your ass in here, on this very ring, and substitute me! I’m sure all of you will do a much better job than I could ever have! Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to get some rest before the 3rd place duel starts.
Commentator: Icicle Whitesnow surrenders! The winner of this short bout is… Niras!
“Were we just told off by that young man?”
“Icicle’s right though, it wasn’t his fault that we bet on him…”
“But such an amount of money… how can I simply forego it?”
“Let’s hope he reaches third place. At least we’ll earn something.”
At the same time, Judges’ table
Sarya: Why did Icicle’s words sound so convincing? It’s not like he was making any viable points… All he said was “I admit that I’m weak” and then cussed his supporters…
Hylzar: Hohoho, it’s not about what Icicle said, it’s about how he has done it. Thanks to this man’s innate talent and probably the Ice Mages’ inheritance, Icicle’s leadership and charisma is way off the charts. What’s more, showing your flaws to the public is one of the ways to make them sympathize with you. I presume princess knows about this whole ordeal firsthand.
Princess Saress: That’s true, whatever this man says will sound even more convincing than if it left my mouth. That’s just how it is.
Uryuu: So not only is he quite strong and collected for an adventurer’s level, Icicle’s even more of a leader? Hahaha, what an amusing young one.
Princess Saress: Why are you so silent, Noren? No comments on the matter?
Cardinal Noren: …
Princess Saress: You’re probably thinking “We’ve antagonized the wrong person”. Hahaha, serves you right.
After Icicle’s speech, Coliseum’s bleachers
“Mom, is that dark-haired white-eyed man strong?”
“I think he is son. Everyone makes mistakes, but this Icicle fellow realizes that he’s weak yet he’s still trying to take whatever he can. I don’t think anyone can blame him for forfeiting.”
“Do you and dad make mistakes too?”
“Of course. We’re just humans after all.”
“So what if you’re weak, I bet my money on you!”
“Stop crying, he can still get third place. We may not earn as much, but at least that’s something…”
“I would’ve definitely won against this impromptu swordsman!”
“Then jump into the ring and fight him! What are you waiting for?!”
“HUH?! What did you say bastard?!”
Some fights broke out on the coliseum’s stands afterwards…
Commentator: We have our finalists, but it is time to decide who’s getting the 3rd place first! Icicle Whitesnow, who’s changing the audience’s mood like a clown in the circus, versus Yggar, who drew a short straw in the other semifinal! Who’s going to come out on top?!
[Yggar] [Earth Mage] [Level 120]
These NPCs actually had so much power at levels 100-105. Is this guy supposed to be a veteran amongst them?
“Go for it young man!”
“I won’t mind even if you lose, just give it your best shot!
“Don’t you fucking dare losing! My budget can’t take it!”
“Gooo big brother!”
“Yggar show this kid who’s the boss!”
“Pummel that arrogant brat!”
Yggar: Hmph, I’ve barely lost to that goddamn Berserker and I’m supposed to fight a mere Water Mage? Is this supposed to be some kind of a joke? It’s an easy walkover for me. Can you just forfeit and save us both the time, brat? You can’t even fight in that sorry state.
Icicle: Don’t be like that… Can’t you even defeat a cripple properly?
Yggar: Hmph, what a full of himself young’un.
Commentator: It’s time for the 3rd place battle to start…! COME ON GUYS, LET ME HEAR IT!
Yggar: Earth element counters water element and yet you still want to challenge me… I admire your bravery! But it’s nothing more than a little child’s dream. Give up! [Face the ground]!
Earth moved, and the ring that was already damaged earned another hole in it, through which a large fist made out of earth appeared.
It wasn’t just an ornament, no.
I had to break a sweat to actually dodge this monstrous pile of earth.
Everywhere it hit, the destruction followed.
“Don’t give up kiddo!”
“Finish him off already, Yggar!”
Yggar: Still not giving up?!
The spell I was working on in the dungeon, [Water entanglement], it was still not complete, but I had to give it a try.
Streaks of water latched onto Yggar’s arms and legs, making him unable to move.
Yggar: Hahaha! You want to defeat me with just that? Dream on kid!
Icicle: [Pillar of ice].
This one was going straight for the Earth Mage’s heart.
Yggar: Don’t underestimate me, young one! [Earthen armor].
My attack didn’t even leave a scratch…
The defense this so-called [Earthen armor] provides is ridiculous.
“AHHH! That was close young man! Don’t lose heart! Keep on going!”
“You have to succeed!”
Icicle: [Water prison].
Yggar: What’s this, first you tickle me with ice, now you’re trying to enclose me in water? You’re really amusing!
Poor bastard, if only he knew what I’m about to do…
I couldn’t use my hands, so closing the distance to the still enclosed in [Water prison] Yggar, I cast [Ice breath].
Water sphere changed into a ball of ice, or if you prefer, an iceball.
Moving the mana in my body to my right foot, I pushed the frozen ball with all I had left in me.
Ever so slowly, it started moving.
Yggar: Now you’re going to spin this ball of ice to make me dizzy? You’re such a comedian!
What that arrogant Earth Mage didn’t realize, is that he was about to get ringed out!
“Yggar, break out, quick!”
Yggar: Ok, ok, I’ve had enough!
Breaking out of the impromptu ice prison, Yggar saw himself outside the ring.
Commentator: RING OUT! Icicle Whitesnow wins in an extremely fancy fashion! What a spectacle!
“YOU DID IT KIDDO!”
“MY FAMILY BUDGET IS SAFE!”
“That was awesome!”
“Such a shame, Yggar!”
“You worthless trash, how could you lose to that inexperienced kid!”
Yggar: I-I lost? … Impossible!
Earth Mage dropped on his knees, disappointed.
Princess Saress: Prepare the stage for the finals!
There were some people dawdling around the stage.
I didn’t know what was going on, but after a closer look, these people seemed to be Earth Mages, just like Yggar, repairing the aftermath of our unconventional duel.
That didn’t concern me, so I moved to the waiting area.
…ke up! Wake up, you hear me?!
Young female? Who’s voice is this?
Icicle: *yawn* What’s going on…?
Attendant: What do you mean what’s going on! Everyone’s waiting for you! Princess Saress has sent me to bring you to the arena! It’s an award winning ceremony. You’ve ended up as 3rd place, remember?
Still a little dizzy, I remembered that something like that indeed happened.
Icicle: Umm, yeah…
Attendant: Could you get going faster? Everyone’s waiting! Oh, I almost forgot! Here’s a message from the princess.
Message, what could Saress want from me?
“Meet me later this evening in the staffroom, we have to talk”
Is it about these land ownership papers?
Scrambling from the not-so-comfortable stone ground, I lazily moved to the arena.
“Here he is!”
“You sure kept us waiting brat!”
Looking around, I saw Niras and some burly guy in heavy armor and two-handed axe on his back standing near the judges’ table.
I have no idea what these judges were even for, I mean, there was no point system or anything…
Oh well, I guess it is a prestige thing.
Princess Saress: Here he is, the lost black lamb!
“That was a good one, princess!”
Princess Saress: So, mister always late, what is your excuse for making your ruler wait, hm?
Icicle: *yawn* My deepest apologies, princess. I’ve fallen asleep.
“Did you hear that?! That boy slept even with all this noise around!”
“How did he even end up as a 3rd place…”
“Oi sleepyhead, thanks for the entertainment!”
With all the cheering, applaud, and occasional booing, the ceremony has started.
Later on, evening.
[You’ve received a message from player (Sylph)]
We’ve enjoyed the tournament, brother. I hope you’re not hurt too badly. Quan realized her faults after I beat some sense into her. J… you seemed to be in a pretty bad shape, so I think that our duel can wait. I don’t want to fight a weakling!
My hand was balled into a fist…
So, all of us girls are going to get some rest. See you soon. Love you, Clare.
*sigh* Leaving me out alone, huh…
Can’t blame Clare, she has her own life too.
With nothing else to do, I started inspecting my prize, the Pandora Box.
Dark box looking like a cube, with golden edges, and a white crossed bone skulls on the side walls.
At first, I thought it is some kind of a pirate treasure, but it seems this is the real thing.
All in all, that famed Pandora Box wasn’t as promising as I hoped…
Oh well, I’ll talk it out with Cindy, maybe she’ll know something about it.
If I were to ask Eshel, he would most likely scare me so much that I would have shat my pants…
Zetra: I’m here master.
Is Zetra faster than before? That was way too quick…
I’ll check if he has improved when I get to the dungeon.
Icicle: Good, let’s go to Roland’s workshop, you’ll need to carry a lot of stuff tonight.
Blacksmith Roland: If it isn’t my favorite customer! Your order is ready, lord. Have a look!
Using [Observe] on each and every one of the swords, axes, bows and daggers, I felt satisfied.
Icicle: Good work Roland. The emblem looks majestic as well. Here’s 15500 gold I’ve promised you.
Blacksmith Roland: Thank you very much, kind sir.
Icicle: Can you store half of these weapons for a while for me? I need my familiar to transport it to another location and I don’t want to have them stolen.
Blacksmith Roland: Sure thing lord.
Icicle: Thank you, I appreciate it.
Zetra flew off with half of the weapons.
These two bags were barely sufficient to carry the weapons I bought without encumbering my overgrown black crow.
Icicle: My familiar is done with the moving. Thank you once again for this extra favor, Roland. I’ll most likely have a job offer for you in the near future. I’ll be in touch.
Blacksmith Roland: You know where to find me, lord.
Icicle: Indeed. Don’t celebrate too much, people expect you to work!
Blacksmith Roland: Don’t you worry lord, I won’t splurge all of this money away!
At least he understands that… well, I think he will drink it away anyways…
It was getting dark, so I went to the Coliseum’s staffroom.
Princess Saress: You’re finally here! How long was I supposed to wait for you?
Icicle: Until I come?
Princess Saress: As shameless as ever! Sit down, we’ve got some matters to discuss.
What the hell was that?
It’s not coming from the game…?!
Icicle: I’m sorry princess, we’ll have to reschedule, I need to go!
Princess Saress: Wait up you littl-
Waking up in my room, I took my headset off.
Someone was kicking at my front door.
Mr. Peng: Please stop that, just let the man open up!
???: We’ve got not time for that! Here’s the warrant!
With a loud sound, the door were forced open and flew a few meters across the corridor.
What the hell’s happening?
Lieutenant: Jeremy Grand? Here’s the search warrant. Guys, get to work!
Everything happened in a flash.
Five policemen started turning my apartment upside down, looking for something.
Icicle: What’s the reason?
Lieutenant: You’ll find out soon.
Policeman: Lieutenant, we’ve found something.
Some young guy with a golden tooth came forward, carrying a little plastic bag with white powder.
Lieutenant: Look at it here, it’s an ounce of amphetamine! Jeremy Grand, you’re under arrest for possession of illegal substances! Cuff him!
How could he know what it is without even checking?!
This… this was all a set up!
But who would dare to railroad me like this?!
Lieutenant: Wrap it up guys. Let’s get this druggie to the precinct!