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Due to how early we had come, there was quite a long wait until the game actually started, but the time had finally arrived. The A-Rank Adventurers were on the stage. There had been a massive group of eighty people yesterday, but there were much fewer people today. It seemed closer to twenty.
“And yet, they have come from all over the Empire.”
“So there are so few A-Rankers, huh?”
What did they call A-Rankers again?
“That’s right. By the way, is there anything above A-Rank?”
According to Daniela, there were only a handful of people with those ranks. A+. And above that, there was S. And then further on, S+, SS, SS+, SSS.
“That’s a lot more than I thought…”
“Well, there has to be, for the races with longer lives. Anyone can strive to reach the top. But for us, the path to our limits is a long one. But it means there are more mountains we can climb.”
There was an SSS rank because someone had reached that level in the past. Of course, it would never happen for me, but I now hoped that Daniela would one day reach it after I was gone.
“Ah, it’s about to start.”
Lemon’s voice brought me back from my reverie. The fighters were spreading out, weapons in hand. In order to maintain fairness, they all wielded weapons and wore armor that had been prepared for them. The blades were all blunt. As for armor, there were light, heavy and robes. That wasn’t particularly great for people who relied on enchantments, but there was nothing you could do about it.
It made me wonder what would happen if I entered the fight with my own equipment. My AGI was higher than most, but I doubted I could match the fighters who had lived much longer than me.
Still, you could apparently wear your own equipment in the main fight, so that was a relief. I also had the magic decoy tool.
I focused my eyes as soon as the voice sounded. Every fighter moved at once. Weapons swung in every direction. During the B-Rank fights, there were people who fell on the first or second strike.
But this was an A-Rank game. Losers sometimes turned into clay and crumbled, while others were swallowed up by a furious current of water. The storm of magic and weapons seemed too large to fit on the stage.
“I don’t even know where to look!”
“Senior Asagi! Over there!”
I looked to where Lemon was pointing. I saw someone who had conjured multiple sword-shaped lightning bolts that floated in the air. The man had golden hair, just like his weapons. His opponent had constructed multiple layers of earth walls, and seemed to be pushing him towards the boundary. The lightning-wielder must have seen he was at a disadvantage, and so he quickly moved away and changed his target. He dashed through the field in a zigzag pattern, just like a lightning bolt. And then he swung his sword into a fighter who had been using wind magic.
However, before his weapon connected, a pillar of ice shot out of the ground right from under him, blowing him into the air. It was quite a surprise attack. While he struggled to regain his balance in the air, it did not help him stay within the boundary.
“I’m getting dizzy!”
Daniela leaned forward as she watched. There were two people who had thrown away the provided weapons and were now fighting with swords they had made with stone and ice. If I wasn’t wrong, it was very difficult for users of earth magic to create stone like that. That meant that this fighter was incredibly skilled.
The fighter who fought with the ice sword was also quite impressive. As someone who also used ice magic, I could just tell. There was a lot of energy in that thin, supple blade. I had never seen ice like that before.
I tried simulating it with Jack of all Trades, Master of None, and it was clear that it took incredible skill. The magic had to allow the ice to constantly change shape while also maintaining it. It was ridiculous… But if I could do it, maybe I could create an ice whip one day? It was an amusing thought.
The fighter with the thin ice sword was pushing the enemy back with precise thrusts. The fighter with the rock sword had cuts all over his hands and was clearly losing his calm as his swings grew wilder. The ice fighter didn’t let that go unpunished and so charged forward and landed a kick, throwing his opponent off of his feet. And then the ice sword was pointed at the man’s neck. The defeated man raised his hands in surrender, and so the ice fighter nodded and moved on to the next target.
“That was amazing…”
Daniela also fought with a narrow blade and seemed to be quite moved by this display of skill. She now leaned back into her seat. As I had always watched Daniela closely, I could also recognize the skill. Or at least, I think I did. The precision of the thrusts and thosee bold steps. It wasn’t something that anyone could do.
The dizzying battle raged on. There was one desperate fire user who tried to burn the entire stage in a sea of fire. This caused several users of water magic to unite and create a giant wave to push him out of the field. Several others were caught in the attack, while others were electrocuted or even frozen. However, there were also fighters who cut through these attacks with their blunt swords as if they were nothing. Seriously, these freaks were about to give me a heart attack.
Still, all things must come to an end. The start had been a storm of magic. The middle was a combination of swords and spells. And at the end, it seemed like it was the sword that had the last word.
Because it was the fighter with the thin ice sword who stood there at the end. And also one other, a hooded, slender fighter who fought with three short swords held in each hand for a total of six.
Hmm. I hadn’t even taken notice of that last one.