Tl Note: This chapter was split into two parts due to length. The next chapter contains the whole length, just go there. I left this version here, so people can read the comments or experience the split version if they want.
After declaring that he’ll be accepting the duel, Ryouma made a rod with his short sword by cutting off and shaving a moderately sized branch of a nearby tree. The adventurers surrounding him, gave a sidelong glance as they whispered amongst themselves.
These kinds of squabbles are fairly common amongst the adventurers. Well, for it to reach to the point where it turns into a duel is pretty rare, but fist fights do happen a lot. So with that in mind the adventurers basically didn’t try to stop the fight.
Because adventurers put their lives on the line for their job, the ability to be able to judge the strength of their opponent in comparison to theirs is very important. Even if one were to end up badly hurt after picking a fight with someone stronger, the one at fault is the person who couldn’t properly gauge his opponent’s strength. This is true even if it’s not a quarrel between two adventurers and is a job. If you take a request that you can’t handle, if you fail, then you’ll lose your life.
Normal people would fail that once or twice, after which they’d understand their limits. But even then, there have been hardly any deaths when it comes to arguments between adventurers. Even if an adventurer was known for his bad deeds, he would still remember the days when he too was inexperienced and will keep himself from going overboard.
That’s why, other adventurers won’t do anything else aside from spectating. Unless the members of the Fang of Orbtem really try to kill Ryouma, or injure him in such a way that it will leave irreversible injuries, they won’t do anything.
These people are the same, believing that Ryouma is a novice that picked a fight with an opponent he cannot win against, and plan to leave them alone for it to serve as a lesson for him, going in only to help when his life is in danger.
However, not all the adventurers are just there to watch over them.
There are also people that are cheering. For example, the group of Wereanna who had just finished eating and had come back.
Since they can’t fight, they decided to at least throw Ryouma words of encouragement.
After that, Wereanna asked Ryouma,
“Ryouma, why did you accept the duel when you didn’t even say anything to the six in the cave?”
“Those guys were also annoying but these guys are wearing armor so it won’t end that badly for them. I wanted to settle it by talking, but that doesn’t seem to possible right now… and also…”
“Actually, there’s also that urge to let loose, you know? I believe I’ve talked about this a little while ago with you guys, but I haven’t actually fought a lot. I’ve always remained defenseless except for situations where I’ve decided that my life is in danger.
And even if I were to resist, it would be as self-defense. Without killing my opponent and dedicating myself to running away, and no matter what fighting only when it’s not possible to run away. That is my way of living. Because I had to do that, that’s why. But, right now is different.
I thought I’d try to choose how to live my own life. So I thought that I’d like to use the skills I’ve trained in my life, and resist unreasonably for once. That’s why those kind of guys are really convenient. Not only are they wearing armor, they have also been trained. If it’s like that then they won’t end up too hurt.”
“Ryouma. I can’t stop you guys, but be careful.”
Having talked up to that point, the place where they were going to duel was finally prepared, and so they called Ryouma. Ryouma took the rod he made out of a tree, and went to duel. Seeing that, the six members of the Fang of Orbtem and the surrounding adventurers couldn’t help but laugh.
“Hey, hey, hey, what is that piece of wood?”
“How funny, it’s perfect for an F rank!”
“I’m just holding my weapon, isn’t it fine?”
As he said that, the adventurers of the Fang of Orbtem laughed even harder.
“Hey brat! Are you seriously thinking of picking a fight with us with that?”
“That’s right. I’m not good at holding back, if I use a weapon with a blade attached I might accidentally kill you.”
At those words, the surrounding voices quieted down, and the faces of the adventurers of the Fang of Orbtem flushed deep red.
“You looking down on us bitch?”
“I am not looking down on you. I have taken into consideration your ability as well as mine, and have decided that this is for the best.”
“You fucking brat! I’m gonna fuckin’ kill you!!”
At those words the other adventurers also raised their voices. Right after that, Wogan, who took the role of the referee, gave the signal to start, and two of the men came rushing at Ryouma.
Ryouma quickly swung the rod he was holding up, hitting the pommel of the sword the man swung down with his right hand and repelling it. He then took a half step and hit the solar plexus of the man with the opposite side of the rod.
As if he was flowing, he kept moving and swept the rod to his left, hitting the grip of the man to his left. Returning the rod, he hit the wrist, and with the kote, a gauntlet used in kendo, he slapped down the sword, and thrust the man’s throat.
Having lost the grip on their sword, and receiving a blow to the pit of their stomach and to their throat, the two men gave a painful moan as they backed off. At that opening, Ryouma rushed in, and quickly hit the chin of the two with his rod, giving the two a cerebral concussion and knocking them out. As the sound of the swords hitting the ground echoed, the two men fell to the ground.
The onlookers believed that Ryouma didn’t have the ability to win against the six people in front of him. And even if he had fought only one, he still wouldn’t be able to win, in the end the six would have just made a sport of him. But seeing the scene unfolding right before them, they couldn’t help but tremble as they were left speechless.
The 6 people before Ryouma were the same. Failing to understand the sight of two men falling into the ground, the four remaining members completely forgot to move.
“Hey! The four over there, you coming?”
At those words, one of the men clicked his tongue, wielded his axe and jumped at Ryouma.
The axe came falling down at Ryouma’s head. Seeing that, he spun his body, and as he did so he hit the side of the axe with the rod, moving its trajectory, and allowing him to dodge. Continuing that, he moved the rod that had just hit the side of the axe and thrust it into the man’s throat. As he took control of his spinning body, he turned the rod and used the tip that had just plunged into the man’s throat to hit the chin. Doing so he sent another man into a cerebral concussion, putting the number of men down at three.
When the three remaining men saw that, one of them put his sword back into the scabbard and walked out. What was he planning? Is he giving up? No. The man that has now become unarmed, plans to take Ryouma’s rod. Once he has taken control of Ryouma’s rod, the two behind him will make their move and attack with their spear and knife.
The man succeeded at grabbing Ryouma’s rod. At that moment he believed that Ryouma has now been pushed into a corner.
However, in the next instant, Ryouma poured out his fighting spirit as he thrust his rod into the man while the man was still holding it. As the man was thrust away, he let go of Ryouma’s rod, and came crashing at the two men behind him.
Because of that the man ended up receiving the knife of the man behind him, and the man that had a spear had to dodge the man, causing him to stagger and show a huge opening. Ryouma did not miss that opening. He quickly took his rod, and hit the man’s head to knock him out.
When the man with a knife saw that his comrade that held a spear has been knocked out, and the unarmed man was beside him squatting as he held his stomach, he clearly became panicked. To such a man, Ryouma leisurely walked closer.
They all thought that they had the advantage, everyone did. However when the battle had begun, Ryouma one-sidedly trashed the other five. Unable to come to grips with the reality before him, the man couldn’t accept their loss.
The man frantically held his knife and rushed at Ryouma, but such a thing wouldn’t work. Ryouma quickly swung his rod diagonally from his right below going up to the left, and knocking down the knife. Continuing that, he swept against the man’s leg with the rod, hit the head when the man fell, and thrust at the throat.
These men kept spitting insults at Ryouma, yet this men’s abilities were no better than an amateur’s. These guys were the kind that would pick on people weaker than them or around their level, and would only overpower them by their number.
Since from the start these men didn’t have any guts to fight people stronger than them. When they see that there’s a difference in power, they will immediately withdraw, and without any hesitation surrender like this.
“I, I give up! I’m surrendering!”
“Winner! Ryouma Takebayashi!”
At Wogan’s declaration, the surrounding onlookers all cheered for Ryouma. The eyes and the comments that were around when they thought Ryouma was someone who didn’t know his own limits had all disappeared, and now the crowd unanimously admired Ryouma.
A man came out from the ring of onlookers with a double-edged axe on his back. As he moved closer to Ryouma, the crowd grew quiet.
“Not bad. For a brat. I’m the leader of the Fang of Orbtem, Sacchi. What do you think? How ‘bout joining us?”
It was a sudden invitation, but Ryouma gave a prompt reply.
“You’re refusing my invitation?”
“There’s no way I’d want to suddenly become the comrade of a bunch of guys who were looking down on me just a while ago.”
“Well, that’s true. But you see… we need to do something about the fact that you sullied our name.”
At Sacchi’s words, Wogan put himself in between the two.
“The one who proposed this duel was your men. It’s unreasonable to say that just because you lost.”
“Unreasonable? That kind of thing doesn’t matter. The problem is that what belongs to me just lost to this brat. You also understand, right? Just how important this thing called ‘face’ in this job is. An adventurer with good reputation will find a lot of jobs, and a poor reputation will find few. And for an adventurer, the worst kind of rumor, is the rumor of being weak. A weak adventurer can’t do jobs, that’s what it means to be an adventurer. To an adventurer like that, jobs won’t come.”
As he said that, Sacchi looked at the six men on the ground and then declared this,
“From now on you bastards aren’t allowed to use the name, Fang of Orbtem! You’re fired!”
“W–wait Sacchi-san, please wait!”
“Shut up!! To think you would actually, in front of all people, lose to this brat! I don’t need weak bitches like you in my team! Right now I really want to kill you fuckers! If you’re going to surrender then you might as well die!”
At those words, Ryouma remembered something from the past. Sacchi’s words right now were similar to the behavior of an authority in the company that his deceased mother had insulted. Realizing that, an unspeakable displeasure crawled through Ryouma’s body. It’s not like Sacchi hasn’t done anything to Ryouma. If I must say it then right now Sacchi is trying to find fault with Ryouma. But, that’s just it. Between the two of them, that’s all there is.
However, right now, Ryouma has the urge to thoroughly tear Sacchi apart. The reason for that is the repugnance and hate that he had continuously piled up for the authorities and the company employees in his past life that he had forgotten since coming here. But of course, Sacchi had nothing to do with that. Understanding that, Ryouma kept his urge. But that was extremely unpleasant.
Furthermore, Ryouma is as calm as he can understand the difference in ability between them. However, what that means is that even if Sacchi were to attack with all the members of the Fang of Orbtem, he would deal with them without question. And that prediction was correct.
Although the members of the Fang of Orbtem are D Rank up, that is not because of their own individual strengths but because of their number and the quality of their equipment. The only ones that actually have ability are Sacchi and several of the cornerstones of the Fang of Orbtem. Moreover those people are Rank C. If Ryouma were to seriously go at it, he would be able to deal with them easily. To put it bluntly, there isn’t a single factor for Ryouma’s defeat.
However, strangely enough, it was that calm judgement that became one of the factors that loosened Ryouma’s bound of reason. If the one here right now was someone that he absolutely could not win against, then he would have made a decision to withdraw. Even if it was only dangerous and he could actually win, he would still make the decision to put up his guard and try to avoid fighting.
But, Ryouma can win. Easily too. Because of that all thoughts of running away ceased. Right now, just keeping himself from picking a fight with this man has already pushed his reason to its brink.
And in that brink, Sacchi’s words reached him and… it broke his last sense of reason.
“If you just hand that brat over to us we can settle everything peacefully. It’s better even for that brat’s sake, right? I heard it you know? That brat is being raised by some noble. From now on he’s going to be kept until he dies, and if the nobles get tired of him they’ll just throw him away. If he does something poorly, won’t they just throw him away? Rather than being treated like a tool by some noble, it’s better for him to go with us and live more freely…”
TL Note: So proud of myself