“…Huh? Miss Lemonfrost?”
So it was. Lemonfrost…something.
“It’s Lemonfrost Grasilf! Ugh. Are you always so forgetful, Mister Asagi?”
“Uh, sorry about that. It’s been a while. How have you been?”
“Ah, good health is the one thing I always have!”
She was a guard in the swampland town of Arkaroid. She had been bemoaning the fact that she had not been able to find time to come to the capital.
“What about your job?”
“Oh, that! I quit!”
She quit! …Well, it was probably a good thing, as they were terrible and never gave her a day off…
“And I decided to make the most of my newfound freedom by becoming an Adventurer!”
“Huh, an Adventurer. That’s great.”
“It is! I expect you to give me lots of good advice. Senior Asagi.”
Adventurer Asagi Kamiyashiro and his junior. And I just became A Rank the other day.
I wasn’t quite sure how to react to this, but my ears were suddenly filled with a roar so deafening that my heart nearly stopped.
“It’s about to begin!”
I looked at the center of the arena. There was a raised platform where the fighters were now standing on. These were likely group A. From what I heard, two hundred people had added their names to the list. These two hundred were to be split up into four groups.
“Today’s preliminaries are for G to E-rankers. Those who win will go on to the main match!”
“…Are there preliminaries for the other ranks as well?”
“Yes. From E to A. Of course, people above that are not allowed to participate. The fight would be a joke and the venue would probably get destroyed.”
“Oh…So I guess I barely got in then.”
“What? Mister Asagi, you’re A-Rank now?”
“That’s amazing…! You must be famous!”
I chuckled bashfully at her praise. But then I thought of something.
“Hey, Miss Lemonfrost.”
“You can call me Lemon.”
“Fine, Miss Lemon. Are the main fights divided into ranks?”
“The preliminaries are, but everyone participates in the main matches together.”
“But wouldn’t that put the lower ranks at a disadvantage?”
A G-Ranker who just barely got through would then have to take on a group of A-Rankers! It sounded like bullying to me.
“Well, it is a tradition.”
“Yes. The winner of the first-ever Imperial Sword Tournament was a G-Rank Adventurer. Some people made fortunes off of this unexpected ‘giant-killing,’ and those people became nobles. People love the unpredictability of the games, you might say!”
“I see…so that’s why hopeful Adventurers join, even if they have a low rank.”
Giant killing… So it meant I would do good not to underestimate anyone. I would have to stay on my guard. I clenched my fists and swore to myself that I would not lose.
“Ah, it has started!”
I looked up as Lemon shouted. The Adventurers had scattered out and were closing in on their targets.
The Imperial Sword Tournament had begun.