Chapter 16 – Hierarchy
The ranking system in the guild was merely a way of optimizing the distribution of quests, and not necessarily an indication of an Adventurer’s true ability.
After all, there would be Adventurers who couldn’t hunt magitec beasts, which was the requirement for being promoted to C-Rank, but who had abilities that allowed them to track such monsters. In order to prevent them from all being stuck at lower ranks, the guild had created a rating system, which was the Adventurers Guild hierarchy.
Regardless of you being solo or in a party, your contribution to the guild, combat ability, scouting, tracking, patrolling abilities etcetera were all taken into account. And the top fifty were given numbers.
Among them, the number seventeen had the highest rank for a B-Ranking Adventurer. And while he was solo, Red Lightning had reached this position purely based on combat ability.
Wenz could feel the cold sweat dripping down his back.
The chain chakram flew through the air. With the least amount of movement necessary, Tor controlled the weapon so that it writhed like a dragon and shot out red thunder.
It knocked down the Magic Centipede subordinates with a speed that you could not react to without body strengthening. Wenz and the other B-Rankers were able to follow it with their eyes, but Wenz’s weapon was a great sword. And so its swings were not as fast, and he struggled to defend himself.
In fact, Wenz and the others were signaling to each other with their eyes.
Tor was still too far away, and no one could attack him.
Wenz ordered the others, and then two small shield wielders moved diagonally behind Wenz and focused on defense. And two spear wielders held their spears forward as they stood behind Wenz. Wenz himself would rely on his own great sword for defense.
There was no need to defeat Tor. Their goal was merely to capture the twins.
When Wenz started to run, the other five moved at once. Even now, they were still a B-Rank party, and they were completely synchronized.
While there was a good distance, they could close it if they ran at full speed. Now that they had strengthened their bodies, they could temporarily dash at the speed of a horse.
Wenz growled in order to rouse the others.
The two behind him launched their spears at Tor with all of their might, and then they pulled out the daggers that were their sub weapons.
They were now halfway across. Considering the time it would take Tor to deal with the spears, they should be able to get close enough.
…That is what they thought.
But Tor casually waved his arm.
And red lightning danced in the air.
Just like that, the flying spears were knocked away by the chain chakram.
By the time Wenz understood what had happened, he was also flying in the air.
He did not understand what had happened, and so he muttered dumbly.
After falling onto his back, he reflexively jumped back to his feet and held his greatsword up in front of him. Then his eyes scanned the scene in order to figure out what had happened.
The two spear wielders were on the ground. There were deep lacerations on their limbs. They could not stand as they groaned there.
And the two shield wielders were looking at their shattered shields in disbelief.
Apparently, the chain chakram had lashed out like a whip at the speed of sound, and scattered the enemy across the floor.
Wenz was stunned by the fact that he had not been able to see the chain chakram.
Not only was he unable to bridge the gap, but he hadn’t been able to detect the attack.
There was no way that he could win…
He regrouped with the shield wielders, who had regained their calm and unsheathed their short swords.
Tor pulled his arm back, and the two shield-wielders fell to their knees after having something slash their backs.
The chain chakram had gone around them and cut them like a whip.
Wenz realized it then.
Tor had not taken a single step since the fight started.
He took in a deep breath, rested the great sword on his shoulder and lowered his stance.
“…Ahh, damn it. When was the last time I fought someone above me?”
Wenz chuckled at the near forgotten sensation as he targeted Tor.
Four years ago, they had discovered a mysterious metal in a dungeon. This metal would melt in hot water. And they had used it to smuggle magictec materials. That was the start of it all.
The life of an Adventurer was filled with risks. However, it was also an expensive one, when you took armor, travel and lodging expenses into account. As a low-ranker, just when you finally gathered together a meager set of equipment and set out, you could encounter a powerful monster or magitec beast, and be killed in an instant. Such stories were quite common.
Surely they should be allowed to make a little extra on the side, as people who were able to climb up to B-Rank. It was such reasoning that led to the smuggling.
And so he had gathered together a clan of Adventurers who had lost limbs and had to equip magitec arms and legs. This was so the smuggling would be easier. However, he could not deny that he felt sympathy towards them as well.
It had been merely luck that allowed them to survive with all of their limbs up until now.
If you encounter someone stronger than you, run. That was the trick to living long as an Adventurer. And it was the reason that Wenz and his men had survived.
Now that they were in the smuggling business, they were supposed to be safe from life-threatening battles. And yet, they were now in a position where they had to fight a superior without the option of retreating.
“You reap what you sow, eh?”
Wenz chuckled with a look of resolution, and then he ran forward.
He enveloped his beloved sword in magic energy, and then activated the magic.
A gust of wind surrounded the blade. The great sword on his shoulder created a storm, and Wenz accelerated even more.
And in the moment that Tor moved his arm, Wenz swung down hard with his sword.
A violent blast spread through the area, the wind caused the chain chakram to slow down so that Wenz could follow them with his eyes.
“Now we’re talking!”
With his superior build and the help of the wind, he suddenly swung upwards with his greatsword as if to attack the chain chakram.
The chain chakram was knocked into the air after being hit.
He didn’t think that he could win. However, he wanted to land one hit at least. In spite of everything, he was still an Adventurer at heart.
And so before the chain chakram was retracted and the next attack came, he wanted to get Tor within range of his great sword and hit him.
That had been Wenz’s plan, but he then heard the ominous sounds of metal against metal, and he reflexively looked at his greatsword.
The chain was wrapped around it.
Considering the difference in size, when it came to a tug of war, he should not lose.
And yet, the honed battle instincts of a B-Ranker were ringing warning bells inside of Wenz.
…He would lose the great sword.
The moment that he gripped the handle as tight as he could, Wenz was thrown into the air like a fish being pulled out of the water.
He looked down at Tor
Tor wasn’t even moving his arms.
However, it was as if the chain chakram had a will of its own as it lashed about in the air in every direction.
The enchantment on the chain chakram created a magnetic force. The magnetic field of both chain and battle rings were manipulated, adjusting the repulsive and suction forces. Even without moving his arms, Tor could control them intricately. The earlier movement of his arms had been a bluff.
But even though Wenz understood the trick now, the battle was over.
The chain chakrams swung down and then the great sword was pulled away and plunged towards the ground.
Wenz had no choice but to let go of it.
Once he landed on his feet, he started to dash towards Tor. Even though his hands were now empty, he would not give up.
Tor just smiled.
“Oh? So you are capable of acting like an Adventurer. But it’s too late now.”
Such true words. Wenz agreed in his heart.
Immediately after, from the side, he was hit by the great sword that was wrapped in chains. And Wenz lost consciousness as he was knocked off of his feet.