TL Note: Makeup chapter. Also, error in the previous chapter. Ryouma did not WIN, he ADVANCED to the semifinals.
Volume 4 Chapter 24: Semifinals
On the morning of the third day of the magic beast tournament when the semifinals and finals were to be held.
“We’re cheering for you! Beat ‘em in one hit!” [Fan 1]
“Do your best!” [Fan 2]
“Be careful!” [Fan 3]
News of Ryouma’s advance to the semifinal had already spread all over town. More and more people were calling out to him now even he was just taking a walk.
“Thank you very much! I’ll do my best! I’ll be careful!” [Ryouma]
As Ryouma honestly replied, he left the first town. He entered the second town while eating his skewered meat. Then with his dimension magic, he teleported to the service entrance of the arena. Onee by one, he brought out of his ‘Dimension Home’ five king sticky slimes. He also took out a poison slime and a medicine slime.
“I’ll be relying on you guys today.” [Ryouma]
Ryouma caressed each and every one of his slimes as he said that. After that, he called out to the official inside the service entrance.
“Good morning.” [Ryouma]
“Good morning, Takebayashi-sama. Please put on a good show for us today as well.” [Official]
“I’ll do my best. Will you be searching me?” [Ryouma]
“I’ll call the person-in-charge, so please wait for a moment.” [Official]
As the official went inside, Ryouma caressed his slimes and waited. While he was waiting, Ryouma suddenly noticed a particular man entering through the service entrance.
(…An annoying one came.)
That man was none other than the tamer guild’s top senior – although it was only on paper – Matthew!
“Good morning, Branch Head Matthew.” [Ryouma]
Matthew gritted his teeth when he saw Ryouma, but Ryouma continued to act civil on the outside. After a few seconds of staring at each other, Matthew weakly spoke.
“So even a bastard like you managed to get through the main tournament…” [Matthew]
“Fortunately. Speaking of which, I hear you’ve been busy lately. Is everything alright at work?” [Ryouma]
“I’m taking a break!” [Matthew]
Ryouma quickly changed his way of thinking when he saw Matthew since, after all, it wasn’t strange to meet him here. Instead, he wanted to ask him why he would show up in the tournament, but before he could, Matthew overreacted when Ryouma mentioned hms being busy at work. That topic was apparently a taboo for Matthew right now.
“I see.” [Ryouma]
It’s not like Ryouma was really that interested, so he just left it alone. Silence continued on again for some time, but before long, Matthew started grumbling as if he was cursing someone or something.
“Annoying… When I think about it… I’ve gotten this far… What assistant? If I don’t win… I won’t have anything left.” [Matthew]
(…Him grumbling like that coupled with how dark the service entrance is sure makes for a creepy atmosphere. And what does he mean by ‘If I don’t win I won’t have anything left?’… The winning prize is only enough to cover some living expenses, right? Did he do something desperate?)
Inside that unfavorable atmosphere, Ryouma looked up ahead, praying for the official to come faster. And as luck would have it, perhaps his prayer did have some effect, as the official came not long afte.
“Sorry for the wait.” [Official]
“Please take care of us.” [Ryouma]
“Then let’s begin.” [Official]
Having felt the dangerous atmosphere, the official quickly searched Ryouma. After confirming that Ryouma didn’t have any magic tools on him, he ordered another official to lead Ryouma to a waiting room.
“Now then…” [Ryouma]
After having been brought to the waiting room, Ryouma first placed his poison slime and medicine slime above the desk. Before the slimes were the dishes upon which the light meals meant as service for the participants of the tournament were.
“How is it?” [Ryouma]
The poison slime and the medicine slime didn’t react.
“So there’s no poison in the food then, huh. Good, then next is the water.” [Ryouma]
Ryouma is using the poison slime to test for poison and his medicine slime to test for medicine. One of the two slimes will react if there’s any mixed in.
As Ryouma was having the slimes test for poison and medicine, Ryouma checked the room for anything suspicious. Ryouma decided to do this mianly because of three reasons. First, because of the reveal of the big slime yesterday. Two, because he reached the semifinals. And three, because Matthew was participating.
Ryouma was also keeping a watchful eye on the officials. After he and the slimes finished their respective searches, Ryouma was finally able to heave a sigh of relief. There were no poisons or anything out of the ordinary.
“So the schedule for today… first is the semifinals, after which is rest and if needed treatment for the beasts. Then there’s the exhibition match until the afternoon where the participants and their magical beasts fight against other magical beasts… And, ah! Right, there’s also the deciding match for the third place. Then after all of that is the finals.” [Ryouma]
Ryouma checked the movements of his king sticky slimes as he waited for match time. When the official called him, he left the waiting room, and went toward the stage.
<<The long awaited match is finally here. This stage’s very first magic beast tournament has already reached the semifinals! After fighting beast after beast to come out on top, four names have come before us. Two out of those four are here with us at this very moment. And only one of them will receive the right to battle for the tournament’s peak!>.
The host hyped up the crowd.
<<Leading five ogres, each and every one of them equipped with excellent weapon and armor, and a strict fighting style like that of the army! This great man who secured victory after victory is none other than Participant Roodman!!>>
The crowd cheered as a man bulging with muscles like a bodybuilder walked up the arena, leading several ogres.
<<On the other corner, the dark horse of the tournament, who used slimes to secure match after match even showing us a complete and utter domination of a match in the third round of the main tournament, overturning everyone’s expectations, I present to you, the 14-year old participant, Ryouma Takebayashi!!!>>>
Just like the cheers for Roodman, the stage shook at the sound of Ryouma’s name. Ryouma walked up to the stage, leading five king sticky slimes, and a poison slime and medicine slime on each of his shoulder.
Up the stage, the two participants quietly faced each other. They sent their magical beasts forward at almost the same time.
<<Participant Roodman’s five ogres that he hasn’t changed once seem to be oozing with power.>>
<<Ogres are human-shaped, so they’reable to equip weapons and armor. It’s undoubtedly a strong advantage.>>
At the analyst’s words, most of the spectators looked at the ogres.
<<Great sword, hammer, tower shield… All of their equipment would be heavy if they were human, but with the strong arms of the ogres, they could carry these like one-handed swords or small shields. Of course, the attacking power is a given. And although they aren’t outfitted with full body armors – most likely to keep their movement and vision unhindered – they have more than enough defense. Coupled with Participant Roodman’s leadership, it’s no wonder they’ve managed to win all this time.>>
Moreover, the tower shield the ogres have equipped are magic tools. They can defend against magic so long as there’s magic power remaining in the embedded magic jewel. It’s because of these shields that Ryouma didn’t bring any of his magic slimes. With these shields around, any slime not suited for a melee would be nothing but a sitting duck.
<<As for Participant Takebayashi, he is using slimes as usual, but… he seems to be changing the variety every battle. The weapon as well. In the second match, he used spears. In the third match, they were barehanded. And this time around, they seem to be using staves.>>
<<Staves for slimes, with just this I can’t see how he could possibly win. But it’s Participant Takebayashi and his slimes after all, so he’ll definitely give us a surprise.>>
<From the numbers alone, they’re equal, but as for exactly what kind of match we will see today… Sit tight and watch!>>
After confirming that the two participants were ready––––
At those words, the ogres that were lined up raised their shields and advanced forward. The ogres only have a little space in between them as room for their attacks. They skillfully kept their distance to cover each other, not even a single one of them going out of line.
Facing them, Ryouma’s king sticky slimes were lined up like the character ‘V’.
<<Participant Takebayashi’s slimes are on the alert, but Participant Roodman’s ogres are steadily closing the distance.>>
The ogres moved slowly, but steadily. They gradually closed in on the slimes. There were no fierce movements; the arena was quiet as the audience watched over the two sides. And then the ogre passed the center of the arena; the two sides now a step away from each other’s range.
The moment an ogre took that step, Ryouma ordered his slimes to surround the ogres. Just as the ogre was about to attack the slimes, the slimes suddenly moved. The ogre chased after them with its eyes, but…
<<The moment the ogre lost its focus due to the slimes trying to surround them, the remaining slimes attacked! But the remaining ogres blocked the slime’s attempt!>>
There is a gap between the mobility of the ogres and the slimes. Because of that, Ryouma is having his slimes fight by luring the opponent and attacking the moment the opponent is about to attack. It was a battle plan that had a king sticky slime attack an ogre showing its flank or an ogre covering for one of its own.
When the weapons were drawn, the arena underwent a heaven-revolving change, the spectators’ cheers resounded throughout the arena.
<<Dodge! Dodge! Dodge! The five slimes are dodging the fierce attacks of the ogre while attacking at every opening! But unfortunately, the slimes just don’t have enough power!>>
At the left edge ogres’ line, the ogre struck with its hammer against the slime, but the slime twisted its body clockwise, dodging the hammer strike by a hair’s breadth, causing the ogre’s hammer to land on its own defenseless knees. Although the ogre grimaced, it didn’t break posture.
（The slime made the ogre aim for its knees because it was defenseless, but as expected, just once isn’t enough to deal a winning blow. There’s no other way but to fight an upfront battle. Fortunately, the slimes have the upper hand in skill, so they’re able to fight one on one against the ogres!）
This time an ogre swung the great sword it had in its right hand. It tried to send a slime flying, but at that instant, the slime raised its stick up and dodged the sword. Its body turned into a shape similar to that of a horse’s hooves as it stretched out a tentacle from its left side and grabbed the sword. Then without letting go, it swung its stick down against the ogre.
The ogre pulled its body, trying to dodge the attack, but the king sticky slime spit sticky slime on it, so it had no choice but to bring its shield up.
<<What was that just now!? Something just came out of the slime!>>
<<That was probably the slime’s sticky liquid. Slimes can generate poison, acid, or some other substance depending on the variety. It’s nothing special. But with this we finally have a slime acting like a slime. A slime that coats weapons in toxicants… No, to begin with, the fact that they’re using weapons is already plenty strange…>>
As the analyst started to digress, the match continued.
(It’s been equal so far, now what… Mn?)
Suddenly, the ogres’ movements changed. The ogres that have been maintaining their distance until now, gradually spread. It’s slight, but the gap from in front has widened. They’re slowly splitting up.
(It doesn’t seem like they’re doing it unconsciously… so they must have a plan of some sort. It might be best if I assume they’re trying to lure us in.)
During training, Ryouma would instruct his slimes on what formation to use and the timing to go with it, but after that, he would just let them train by themselves. Because of this, they’ve grown such that Ryouma doesn’t have to order them on every single detail. Because of that Ryouma was able to keep a watchful eye on the enemy, allowing him to immediately notice the slight change in their movements.
Ryouma focused his mind, and informed the slimes that the opening the ogres were showing was dangerous. Although he couldn’t predict what they were planning, with this, the slimes could at least exercise caution.
But a few seconds later. At the center of the five slimes, the king sticky slime that was fighting closest to that gap was forced to dodge toward that dangerous spot.
At that instant, the ogre to the left of the slime bashed its tower shield against its nucleus. At the same time, the ogre to the right also bashed its shield against the slime. The two ogres are trying to crush the slime’s nucleus!
––––As soon as Ryouma ordered that, the body of the slime scattered. The sound of water scattering and the sound of two metal shields clanging, shortly followed by a staff falling to the ground, resounded.