CH99: Martial Arts Tournament 6: Orn vs. Oliver
“Now, the only thing that remains in the advanced searcher’s division of the martial arts tournament is the upcoming finals! I think the match-up cards are as expected by most…!”
Martial arts competition day four.
As I meditated in the waiting room with my eyes closed, I heard the voice of the host.
Finally, the finals.
He and I were born in the same village and we’ve been building each other up ever since.
The gap in physical abilities began to widen when I became an explorer, and by the time I reached the lower levels of the Grand Labyrinth there was a gap that could not be bridged.
And then after I converted him to a grantmaker, Oliver continued to grow.
You can’t match him in a pure contest of strength.
But that doesn’t mean I haven’t done anything.
I’ve had a lot of experience as a grantmaker and I’ve kept a bird’s eye view of Oliver’s movements.
I know his habits better than he does.
It’s no different than what we did with Fuca.
I’ll play to my strengths.
“Ladies and gentlemen! The time has come, so let’s call the two of you who are going to fight! First of all, the leader of the current brave party who has reached the unprecedented ninety-fourth level of the Great Southern Labyrinth, the explorer also known as the <Sword Saint>! Oliver Cardiff!”
Oliver walks towards the center of the field from the other side of the ring.
The audience cheered loudly when they saw him.
“Against him is the ace of the Silver Rabbit of the Night Sky, nicknamed the Dragon Slayer for his feats in defeating the deepest floor bosses single-handedly! Orn Dura!”
My name is called next, and I head out of the waiting room to the center of the venue.
Cheering can be heard from the audience, but it’s even louder from the area reserved for the members of the Night Sky Silver Rabbit.
This fight isn’t just about me.
If they can win here, the Silver Rabbit of the Night Sky will have an even greater advantage in the future.
That’s why we can’t lose.
“It’s been a long time, Orn.”
When they’re in position, Oliver calls out to them.
It’s been a really long time since we’ve had a real conversation.
Oliver was the one who got kicked out of the party, and the day after we killed the black dragon in the 50th level, I was the one who talked to him, mostly one-sidedly.
We haven’t spoken in over two months.
I’m not exaggerating when I say this is the first time we haven’t talked like this since I can remember.
It’s been a long time. I’ve heard about Akebono’s success. That’s quite a feat to collect that amount of magic stones in less than two months.
“… You’re being sarcastic?”
Oliver’s voice is cold in response to my comment, his expression unmoving.
“I’m not being sarcastic. I just thought it would take longer for you guys that I know. My replacement seems pretty good.”
If you are active as an explorer in Tutrail, you can get some information about explorers who are not in the Great Southern Labyrinth.
I also did some research on Philly Carpenter, the grantmaker who replaced me in the heroes’ party.
But I couldn’t find anything on her.
Well, grantmakers are rarely mentioned.
So it’s not surprising that we don’t have any information, but the Marquis of Forgath has the final say on the party composition.
Would he allow an unknown grantor to join our ranks?
Now that I think about it, I feel uncomfortable about this appointment as well. ・・・・・・・
“Oh, she’s good. Her support magic is ・・・・・ a few steps ahead of yours.”
“… I see. Then, are we going to start attacking the ninety-fourth layer?”
“… I’m not gonna tell you, you’re an outsider.”
That’s for sure.
“… No more questions. Get ready. I’m gonna beat ・・・・・・・・・・ like I’ve never beaten you before.”
Oliver’s mood changes to that of combat as he says this and he draws his sword.
“I know you’re obsessed with conquering the Grand Maze. And that’s why we can’t lose here… But I have my own reasons for not losing. I’m going to win today!”
I’ll tell him that, and then I’ll switch sides.
Draws a long sword from his left hip and holds it at the ready.
Both fighters are ready. Let the finals begin!
They start to close the distance between them.
Oliver cleaves his sword horizontally as they come to blows.
And you take the attack head-on with your long sword.
(I knew it… but it’s heavy…)
He leaps backwards to gain distance from the impact coming from the long sword.
“A flash from Oliver at the start! Orn can’t hold back and moves out of range. Will this be a quick finish?
The last time Oliver and I had a sword fight was years ago.
You can see what kind of moves he will make by looking at his preliminary moves, and you can imagine his power to some extent from his sword speed, but when you see him in action, you will realize that he is much more powerful than you imagined.
I don’t think he meant it, but it’s nice to get a shot at him.
I close the distance again, and this time I do the Kesa-giri, which is easier for me to do.
Oliver, on the other hand, is a reverse-respiratory, and he can take my attacks with ease.
The sword is being pushed up from the Tsubagakure, even though I should have the advantage in that I’m swinging my sword down.
You can find a lot of different types of leather-based footwear available on the market.
With his left hand he draws the dagger from his waist and thrusts it at Oliver’s chest.
The blade is drawn so that it will not pierce you, but if the tip with force hits you, you can be injured to the point of breaking a bone.
This injury is fatal.
Just before the dagger’s tip reaches Oliver’s chest, it is blocked by something hard.
It’s due to Oliver’s [Convergence of Magics].
I knew this was going to happen and I jumped backwards to get some distance again without being upset about being blocked.
(Now we know the sword’s power and [Convergence of Magic]’s skill level.)
As for the sword, you’ll be outnumbered in no time if you hit it properly, as expected.
But I seem to be better than you at convergence.
Overwrites Oliver’s past data with the latest data we’ve got and simulates his battle plan.
“You’re still fighting like a runner.”
Oliver spoke to me as the distance opened up.
Thank God for that.
“You can’t win a real fight with him.”
I’ll go over the patterns with Oliver as I talk to him.
So… So? You got a better plan?
Did you go out of your way to give me the time of day?
You’re so calm and composed… What?
Just when I think Oliver is licking his chops, he comes at me faster than I’ve ever gone before.
If I wasn’t used to Oliver’s moves, I wouldn’t even be able to react.
You’ll be able to catch the slash with your long sword as soon as you can, but you’ll lose your stance a little from the attack which is sharper and heavier than the previous one.
Without a moment’s pause, a golden mass appears before my eyes.
Somehow I managed to keep my distance from it, and soon afterwards a golden mass exploded.
(So you can see how I fight.)
Of course, Oliver knows me as well as I know his moves and his fighting style.
I can’t believe they went to the trouble of making me look even weaker than normal, knowing I’d be watching.
Oliver’s barrage of blows is still coming at me.
He’s got me on my heels with moves that make me think he’s using some kind of supportive magic.
“Here comes Oliver’s rush! No one has ever been able to survive this rush before, but what about Orn?”
He knows Oliver’s next move from his preliminary movements and is able to survive, but if not for that, the fight would have been decided immediately.
I jumped backwards several times to keep my distance from the barrage, but finally I was driven back to the wall.
“Finally, Orn has been driven into the wall! Is this the end of the world?
There’s no way out now. The game is won. This is a friendly homecoming. If you give up now, I’ll let you go. I won’t give you a moment to talk from here on out.”
So Oliver’s goal was to drive me up the wall.
… Yeah, I knew that. ・・・・
When you’re doing what you want, you don’t even know you’re being moved.
[Bombing with the Convergence isn’t your thing.
I’m going to focus the power that was converging above me… and I’m going to direct it down on Oliver.
In case of the aftermath, we can create a magical convergence to take the place of the barrier.
Magic barriers are also classified as magic, so they can’t be used in this battle… but with [Converge Magic] it won’t be an obstacle for me. Oliver has used it many times.
I think he’s realized what I’m trying to do by deploying some kind of magic barrier.
Oliver looks up.
I escape Oliver’s gaze and, keeping the black mass of magic in the air, I erase the magic barrier and plunge into Oliver.
[Even a surprise attack by Convergence is likely to be dealt with by Oliver.
That’s why even this surprise attack is a decoy.
Oliver notices me approaching, and he glances back at me in a panic, but it’s too late.
He swings his long sword sideways with all his might.
Oliver’s sword blocks him just in time, but he manages to break his position.
He takes Oliver’s back and swings his long sword at him again.
Again he is blocked by the sword before he can reach Oliver, but he manages to drive him back against the wall.
The next time you jump backwards to get away from them, you’ll be able to strike down the black mass of magic in the sky above you.
The mass of magic, which was adjusted so that it would not kill Oliver even if it hit him directly, diffused close to him, enveloping him in a jet-black magic.
“A moment of attack! Then something black explodes and attacks Oliver! Magic is forbidden in this tournament. Perhaps this was due to Orn’s supernatural ability! I knew that the ace of the Night Sky Silver Rabbit possessed a supernatural ability!”
I had one rule in this tournament.
It’s to use your powers as little as possible when fighting non-supernatural beings.
It is not an exaggeration to say that the presence or absence of a different ability will determine the winner in this tournament.
If you abuse [Converge Magic], you can overwhelm everyone except for Oliver, Fuuka, and Hurt-san.
However, he decided not to use it as much as possible, because he didn’t think the audience would want such a fight, and he didn’t want to be hassled after the tournament was over.
Well, when I was about to lose, I’d just throw all those decisions away and use my powers.
Oliver has the same ability as me.
If we can fight on the same terms, we’ll be happy to use them.
but it looked like a direct hit. If it hit the wrong way… this could be the end.
We don’t know what Oliver’s like up in smoke.
I don’t think it’s intact.
The smoke surrounding Oliver suddenly begins to move erratically and violently, golden light leaking from the smoke.
When the smoke finally clears, Oliver appears, bleeding from the forehead and breathing on his shoulder.
And in his hand he holds a sword imbued with golden magic.
I could do some serious damage, but my eyes aren’t dead at all.
He sheathes the dagger in his left hand and holds the long sword with both hands.
Oliver holds his sword in the upper stance as well.
The air was tense,
We both swing our swords at the same time.
The jet-black and golden slashes collide in the middle of the two.
I’m… I’m sorry, Oliver. I’ve been using Converge for a long time. You’ve been using it in defense lately, but your skill with Converge is no match for mine. And you have a shorter convergence time than I do, so there’s no reason why you can’t win.
The two colors had been battling it out, but the black was slowly beginning to erode.
Like the setting of the sun and the coming of night.
And at last the jet black that had swallowed all the gold swallowed even Oliver without slowing down.
Silence reigns throughout the arena.
Oliver was lying unconscious, and I was the only one standing there.
The winner, by unanimous decision! The winner, by unanimous decision, is Orn Dura!
The entire audience cheered in response as the MC’s voice broke the silence.
And so the tournament ended with me as the winner.