~Side ???~ ～
“What a scam…” [Candidate 1]
After the first candidate’s test ended, he walked away from the garden and went back to the waiting room. He muttered to himself dejectedly.
“…Hey. That guy.” [Other Candidate 1]
“He picked a slime, didn’t he? …He couldn’t have lost, right?” [Other Candidate 2]
The rest of the slave candidates, who were waiting for their turn, clamored when they saw the dejected appearance of the first candidate.
To prevent the muttering man from talking about the test, the employee asked him to leave the waiting room.
(From the way he’s acting, it should be safe to assume that he lost. And even if he did win, something must have happened that left him in that state. Slimes… I never fought them in the arena, but perhaps there are also powerful and annoying types among the higher variants.)
One of the slaves was quietly observing them. It was none other than Ox Lord, but he stopped his thoughts in their tracks.
It would be a lie to say that he wasn’t interested, but it was not the slimes that he chose as his opponent.
As such, he put an end to the unnecessary thoughts and instead pondered about the boy he would be fighting.
(In that group of five, one is a noble, the other two are merchants, and then there’s another that looks just like a merchant, but there’s an exceptional aura hidden from within him. He’s no ordinary person. But what’s most curious of all is that within that group of adults, each clad in a style of their own, is a lone child. A lone child that I find exceedingly difficult to read, moreso than any of the adults in his group.)
People have a tendency to assume that strength is everything when it comes to gladiators, but the truth is that just strength alone isn’t enough for a gladiator to reach the top. Gladiator business is an industry that revolves around popularity and bets. Because of that the payout and the number of matches are greatly affected by how popular the gladiators are.
A gladiator that can’t charm the audience will remain second-rate forever no matter how strong he may be. Only a gladiator who is both strong and able to draw the crowd can be called first-rate.
Ox was someone who came very close to the top of that world. And beyond his sword, there was one other thing that he trained in all these years. It was the same ability that the head of this slave company possessed, an ‘eye for people’.
It was an ability he came to possess after experiencing countless battles as a gladiator and meeting many merchants and nobles as he grew in popularity.
By watching the gait of a person, the swing of one’s sword, or any action that one made, he could feel the temperament of a person.
A kind of ‘sense’ developed from continuous training and progressing along the path of the sword wholeheartedly.
This sense allows him to perceive the thoughts and movements of his opponents, allowing him to bring his skill up another level.
(After passing 30 and sharpening my senses, I managed to acquire Sword Mastery Level 5.)
Despite losing one of his hands, to this day, the one thing Ox Lord prides himself in is his ‘sword’.