39 – Flash Attack
After the battle was over, and I left the resting room to leave through the entrance hall, what awaited me was an assault of endless flashes.
I quickly raised my hand in order to protect my eyes. But of course, the people there were no enemies. They carried large cameras and sound recording equipment. In other words, they were the press.
“Mr. Yukito! Now that you defeated the most likely champion, everyone is saying that your win is all but guaranteed…”
“You overwhelmed him in an instant! Please tell us your thoughts on the fight…”
“Hey, don’t push my camera!”
“You’re the one who is pushing!”
It was so overwhelming, and I could not understand the sight that sprawled out before me.
Uh, they were just taking photos without permission.
And now they were fighting…
Suddenly, a familiar girl’s booming voice tore through the air.
She must have been running, as her shoulders heaved up and down as she breathed.
Yes. It was the girl on the mic.
“Hey-hey-hey-heey! Stop, stop this at once!!”
She rushed out in front of me, causing the press to scatter.
Oh, could it be that she is protecting…
“We have the right to interview him first! You must follow the rules!”
“This is tyranny!”
“No, it is not. If you have any complaints, contact the front desk.”
Uh, I was wrong.
She received a chorus of booing that echoed through the hall.
As I stood there awkwardly, I heard a loud cough from behind.
When I turned to look, I saw the Lord Count standing there, his hands held together behind his back. He was smiling—that ‘intimidation’ smile of his.
“I am sorry, but Mr. Yukito is very tired. He should be allowed to rest now, so any interviews will have to be conducted on a later day.”
“Uh, but… I have priority when it comes to interviewing…”
“Hmm. Priority. But I believe it is not mandatory?”
The Count answered her immediately. At this point, the other reporters were already defeated. And even the one stubborn girl was growling as her shoulders slumped.
But then she quickly raised her head again and turned towards me.
“It’s a promise then! I shall interview you tomorrow! Exclusively!”
‘That’s not fair!’ ‘How dare you!’ the others cursed her… But I ignored it and slipped away from them so that I stood next to the Count.
“Sorry, but we should hurry. My daughter and the others are waiting.”
The reporters were still booing.
Really, what was this?
“I’m sorry about that.”
Once we were in the car, and I was calm again, the Count apologized.
Speaking of the car, us men were outnumbered.
It was a spacious limousine. Aside from me and the Count, Ms. Iria, Ms. Aize, and Ms. Sherry was also inside.
“I forgot to explain to you about this possibility. …Though, normally, it would not have been as extreme as that.”
“It’s because Teacher’s fight was so intense.”
Said Ms. Aize, and the Count nodded.
“It was just as Iria said. You were too overwhelming. At this rate, you might be on the cover of next month’s Time On Fighters.”
“Time On Fighters?”
“A famous martial arts magazine. Aside from radio broadcasts, they also have their own martial arts tournaments.”
Tournaments? Like K1?
“This is the Empire, after all. Combat skills are valued incredibly highly. Strength attracts that much attention and praise.”
“The Combat Technique Tournament is the main event in the biggest festival of the Empire. The preliminaries take place months in advance, and everyone watches with eager anticipation.”
Woah. That was at least ten times bigger in scale than I had imagined…
“And in such a tournament, you left with that outstanding result. It is no wonder the press will be interested.”
“…I am starting to want to withdraw.”
“Do not even think of it.”
I was weary, but the Count stopped me with a serious expression.
But I did not like that feeling of my sword turning into a circus attraction.
Well, this was something necessary, so it could not be helped. I turned to look at Ms. Aize, and she tilted her head a little.
I see. Apparently, she did not know why I had come to participate in the tournament.
And there was no need for her to know.
After some time, the limousine stopped.
We appeared to be in the parking lot of some hotel.
Another car stopped shortly after, and I saw the other students come out. They were the ones who had been there to support time.
“I have taken the liberty of preparing a feast. To celebrate Yukito’s victory today, and to wish the best of luck to you students who are competing tomorrow. Please enjoy it.”
The students cheered.
I couldn’t help but smile as well.
If it was prepared by the Count, then it would be delicious, without a doubt. He was a real food enthusiast. I happened to know!