We walked Lemon back to her inn before continuing on to our own. The cool wind felt especially nice on our hot bodies after so much drinking. Lemon’s inn was quite fancy. Daniela had already been jealous, but her face was full of despair once she saw the building for herself. I asked her about it later, and it turned out that it was one of the places that had turned her down. Right…I would have felt the same in her shoes.
“The nights are getting colder.”
“It will really start to freeze once the Imperial Sword Tournament is over.”
“I see…winter, huh.”
A lot of time had passed since I came here. As there hadn’t been anything as hot as summer, I had assumed that there was just one season all year round. But apparently, they had winters. This was good because I hated the summer. And I had the ice attribute as well.
“Winter… Is that what they call it where you are from?”
“Yeah. A season where the temperature drops, plants die and the snow falls.”
So they didn’t call it that here then. It seemed like the kind of thing that Heroes of the past might have spread… But maybe not, since they didn’t have summers.
“We call it the Icesnow Phase. A harsh time when water freezes over and all is covered in snow.”
“Then I’ll call it that too. People will understand me.”
When in Rome, as they say. There are many times when it is best to follow the customs of the land.
We talked about such things on our way back. The clear sky above was filled with beautiful stars.
□ □ □ □
The next morning, I forced Daniela to get up with me and head for the arena. The food stalls were early this time, as it was the second day of the preliminaries. We had been eating a lot of street food recently, and so I restocked our supplies before going in through the same entrance as before. The same guy greeted us.
“Good morning, Mister Asagi.”
“Ah, good morning. I’m back again.”
“Yes, thank you.”
We submitted our status cards and were granted permission to enter.
“Miss Daniela, yes. Good luck in the main event.”
We took our cards back, bowed and moved along. There was just one door and then we were inside with the other spectators. Yesterday, it had been hard to find a seat. But today…
“Hey! Over here!”
The trusty junior Adventurer had secured seats for us. We sat down with Lemon between us. Yes, they were good seats.
“Thank you, Lemon.”
“Oh, I am just so happy to be of use to you, Miss Daniela!”
Last night, Lemon had offered to save seats for us and so she had. And this was in spite of the fact that her room was much further… But Daniela’s refusal to wake up on time gave Lemon a distinct advantage. I could have abandoned Daniela and reached here first, but the consequences for that were too scary to imagine.
“It’s about to start. The C and D-Rankers will be fighting today!”
“I see. There are only four days, so they have to do some of them together.”
“Um, but it was in the instructions…?”
I put on an expression of pure ignorance and she looked at me with exasperation.
“E and G are on the first day. C and D on the second. The third day is B-Rank. The fourth and final day is for A-Rank.”
“So it’s balanced out then.”
“Yes. The differences really show themselves at B-Rank.”
They really put a lot of thought into this. I mused. Just then, the audience erupted into cheers. The fighters were now entering the arena. Like yesterday, there were about fifty of them. I would have been among them had I not ranked up. But then again, maybe not, since I had the recommendation.
“At this point, skills and magic have really started to develop, so you can expect them to be faster. I would pay close attention!”
“If you say so…”
I closed my eyes and concentrated. Then I slowly opened them. They were now a different color. It was Eyes of the God Wolf. A skill I had received from Rachel. All-seeing eyes.
“Huh. Was your eye color always like that?”
“It’s a unique skill. It allows me to see far away.”
Her excitement was rather adorable. If I adjusted it correctly in conjunction with Jack of all Trades, Master of None, I was able to see the fight as if I was just outside of the boundary.
But Rachel hadn’t taught me to use this skill, so it was still difficult…
I wasn’t able to focus properly without using Jack of all Trades… I would need practice. Maybe I could do it while looking out of the window in my room.
“And it feels odd not being able to hear things that appear to be close to you.”
“Stop whining. We have to strain our eyes to see.”
“Oh…I’m so sorry. I will get you better seats tomorrow…”
“Ah, it is not your fault, Lemon. I did not mean to hurt you.”
“Hey, it’s starting.”