It was the sixth night of Thanksgiving and I had finished my duties for the day and was on my way to the office of the Chancellor.
The pairings for the martial arts tournament for A-rank and above searchers that starts tomorrow have finally been announced.
It’s already open to the public, so I’m sure there’s a lot of betting going on in the bars right now about who’ll win.
Mr. President, it’s Orn.
When you get to the Oval Office, knock on the door and let them know you’ve arrived.
I hear a voice inside saying, “Come in.” So he opens the door and enters the room.
The President, Selma, Will, and Jerome, the head of the PR department, were already in the room.
“Excuse me… I’m the last one. Sorry for the wait.
“No, no problem. I’m sorry I put you in charge of all this.
I apologized for coming so late, and the president apologized in return.
“I won’t be able to help much from tomorrow, so it’s only natural that I’ll help out when I can.”
Sir, let’s get to work. We need to decide what we’re going to do.
Jerome will recommend that we start a discussion.
It’s true that I have to decide on a policy for the dissemination of information about the Night Sky Silver Rabbit at the martial arts tournament in less than half a day, and I have to carry it out.
The busiest people from now on will no doubt be the public relations department, led by Jerome.
Right. Selma, give the three of them the tournament schedule for the martial arts tournament.”
“Okay… This is the tournament list for the martial arts tournament [Advanced Explorers Division] that starts tomorrow.”
Selma-san hands the three of us a piece of paper with the combination written on it.
(I guess this is a tournament, not a qualifying round like the open competitions that were held from the first day of the tournament. Well, let’s see what kind of combination we’ll have…)
With this in mind, I check the tournament table I received.
“… It feels contrived. It’s too good to be random.”
Will, who has reviewed the contents, lets his thoughts slip.
The first thing that struck me when I saw the tournament list that I received was the small number of participants.
The number of participants in this competition was sixteen.
Well, I think one of the reasons is that we were notified too late.
And the artificial combination Will mentioned.
There’s a small number of people, so there’s no chance that this combination is a coincidence, but the host is the Marquis de Forgath.
“The combinations are said to have been made at random. There are two from the S-rank party and one from the A-rank party. The participants from the same party are placed in different mountains.”
Selma explained what was ostensibly being said.
So Wilkes and Orn will play in the finals.
“Orn aside, I’m going to face the ace of the heroes’ party before I fight Orn, so it’s going to be hard for me to make it to the finals, isn’t it?”
Yeah, I was in a different pile from Oliver.
I’ve been thinking that Marquis Forgas would hit them in the first round, but it looks like he’ll hit them in the final, which will be the most exciting round of the tournament.
If I’m eliminated before then, it’ll be for the best.
“… Hey Orn, to be honest, what are my chances of beating this guy?”
Will’s gonna ask me some questions.
The other three guys seem to be interested too, and they’re all looking at me.
“Will thinks he’s a skilled warrior. I’ve never seen anyone use a double-bladed sword that well before and I’m sure of it… But it’s hard for Will to beat Oliver. If he fights ten times, he’ll probably lose nine or more times.”
The air in the room gets heavy when I say things like that.
I knew this would happen, but there’s no point in trying to offer comfort here.
“… I didn’t know there was that much of a difference. But there’s still a chance we can win, right? Then it should be possible for us to win in the real tournament. Orn! See you in the finals! Don’t let the Sword Princess beat you too!
I could tell right away that Will was trying to be upbeat. But I probably shouldn’t mention that.
“… Yeah, okay.
Will’s right. If I play my cards right, I’ll have to face Fuuka in the semi-finals… I’ll be facing Fuuka in the semi-finals before the finals.
The other person who is likely to win is Lauretta, the ace of the up-and-coming A rank party <Jade Haze: HISUI NO HAYATE>, who is sure to win the first round.
The second round is for the brave party of Derrick .
The semi-finals are at Fuqua .
And I feel bad for Will, but I think Oliver is a lock for the finals. I think the runner-up is Hurt, the leader of the Red Copper Lanterns.
“I’m sure you already know the rules of the martial arts tournament, but let’s go over them just in case.”
Selma says this and then begins to explain about the tournament.
First of all, let’s talk about the schedule. No two participants fight on the same day.
The first round is on the seventh day of Thanksgiving, the second round on the eighth day of Thanksgiving, and so on.
You will fight in the arena in Tutrail.
The arena is a very common circular structure with a diameter of about 20 meters.
The victory condition is simple.
When the opponent admits defeat, or when the referee decides that the match has been decided.
That’s all for now. Does anyone have any questions?
“Can you leave the publicity and such to us?”
No problem. I’m still in charge of the whole operation.
“Okay. I’ll discuss it with the department… If you’ll excuse me, Mr. President.
Yeah, promote the Clan, please.
Mr. Jerome leaves the room as soon as he says that.
We’re really running out of time.
“Will, Orn, once again, good luck in the martial arts competition. I hope you both make it to the finals.”
We’ll get a pep talk from the chief, and then we’ll leave the room.
“Oh, yes, Orn. Sofia’s got a message for you. She wants you to meet her in the Search and Rescue office when we’re done here.
Sophie? I wondered if something had happened to her, but Selma didn’t seem to be in a panic or in any trouble.
Then why are you calling me?
Well, we’ll see about that.
“Okay. I’m gonna go now.”
“Good luck, Orn! If we have to fight in the finals, let’s fight as hard as we can.
Will was raising his fist to his chest as he said this.
“… Yeah. And I promise you I’ll fight with everything I’ve got.
He responds, clenching his fist against Will’s fist.
I went to the usual room of the Search and Rescue Department as I was told, and found not only Sophie, but also Log and Carol there.
“Master, thank you for your hard work! I’m sorry for calling you out of the blue.
No, I’ve done everything I need to do today, so it’s not a problem. So why’d you bring me here?”
“Actually, I have something for Mr. Orn.”
Sophie will answer my questions.
… You want to give it to me?
You said this was Shisou’s birthday month. So here it is! The three of us have a present for you!”
Carol handed me something wrapped in a heavy cloth.
“Congratulations, Mr. Orn!”
Then three of them celebrated my birthday month.
Too many surprises…
Since I became an explorer, I’ve rarely had anyone, including myself, celebrate my birthday in the month of my birth.
Birthday month… No, we don’t celebrate birthdays in other countries, but you don’t hear much about it here.
I’m so happy, but I honestly don’t know how to react.
“… Thank you. I’m sorry, I hardly ever get to celebrate my birthday month. But it makes me happy, really. Can I see what’s in it?”
“Yes. I hope you’re pleased.”
Log looks half-expectant and half-anxious.
It was sent with me in mind. I’d be happy with anything.
I opened the package excitedly and found three books.
The books were all published in other countries.
“Yes, yes. Mr. Orn has always read books, so I thought something like this would be good…”
Sophie replies in a fearful way, wondering how I’ll react.
I think I have an indescribable look on my face right now.
If no one had been here, I’d be on a high right now.
I just don’t want to appear that way to my students.
All the books I’ve received are ones I’ve never read before, and the contents are of great interest to me.
This present was a gift that made me happy from the bottom of my heart.
“I’m glad you’re joking. Thank you, all three of you.”
“I’m glad Shishou is happy! Actually, this gift was a tip from Seirei’s sister.”
The genie’s sister? How does Carol know about the genie? I mean, she can’t even recognize a genie, let alone talk to one… I don’t… Hmm? No way.
“Is that someone about my age, with long indigo hair?”
“Yes. Are you an acquaintance of Mr. Orn, by any chance? The sister said that Seirei told her what would make Mr. Orn happy.”
“… Yeah, I know exactly what you mean. Oh, yeah, that’s his advice. Yeah, that’s great.”
I’m pretty sure that’s Luna.
I’ve shown Luna a few times how excited I was to get a new book…
I see. She didn’t hate you. Good.
I thought Luna hated me.
He’s ignored Luna’s desire for him to come back to the party and joined another clan, and he was recently involved in Luna’s father’s arrest, albeit not directly.
I don’t know how much Luna knows about what happened, but she knows I was there.
So I didn’t think it was fair to hold a grudge.
I don’t know how Luna and these guys met, but I’m guessing they gave her some advice after the child abductions went down.
The day I told Sophie my birthday month was the same day the case was discovered.
I’m gathering information now to make sure Luna doesn’t get charged with anything related to the Flockhart Trading Company, whether she likes it or not.
Because I don’t think Luna’s involved in child abduction.
The trial, by the way, will not take place until after Thanksgiving.
“Hey, hey, Shishou, what’s a seirei? She said you knew a lot about it.”
Carol asked me about the genie.
Spirits are not something you get involved with in normal life.
I don’t think you need to know this, since most people go their whole lives without knowing the existence of spirits, but if you’re interested, I can at least give you an overview of what they are.
We all have some understanding of the arcane arts.
“Okay. So now I’m going to teach you about the spirits. It’s a special lecture.
When I said I was going to give a lecture, the three of them took their seats and took out their pens and notebooks, just as they would in a normal lecture.
It’s the kind of stuff you don’t have to take that seriously…
And I’ll probably never fully understand.
“Before we start the lecture, Carol…”
“This is a question for Carol, who has recently begun studying magic. Tell me how to cast a spell.”
“Hmph! That’s easy! The magic is triggered by ‘constructing a formula’ to assemble the blueprint of magic in the brain and ‘magical influx’ to convert the surrounding magic into magic, right?”
You’ve taught him well, Mr. Lane. You’ve taught him the theory.
“Correct. Remember what I said before about magic being a general term for phenomena that humans can cause with their magical powers? Now here’s another question. Let’s see who can answer it. Suppose you’ve invoked the first level of magic. What do you think happens after the phenomena determined by the formula… what do you call the residue of the magic?”
After you attack an enemy with [Fire Bullet], the fire will disappear.
But the truth is, they never really go away.
Now, can you answer this?