2.1 John and Sora
Sora and Yami enter the adventure’s guild and head straight to Rieza. Sora says, “I’d like to get Yami a guild card.”
Rieza gives a spirited, “Understood! Yami-chan, please wait just a bit longer.” She then passes over a document from her desk’s drawer.
Sora says, “Would there be a problem if I fill it out?”
“There’d be no problem~.”
Sora fills the form in lieu of Yami under the pretext that she doesn’t know how to read or write to hide that she doesn’t have an age or race. Under name, he writes, Yami=Basard; for age, 12; and race, human.
Rieza accepts the document back from Sora once it’s complete and takes it to the back.
Sora uses that free time to search Elias’s memories for a way to raise his rank. He finds two methods. The first is by steadily, gotsu gotsu, completing quests one at a time. That’s the standard method. The second is by achieving a marvelous victory against an examiner. This method is faster, but the examiner is really tough.
Sora naturally decides on the second option. A strong examiner is just who I need to test my new skills, collaboration and metastasis. Collaboration allows for pets to gain the same amount of experience as its owner from defeated monsters. Metastasis allows for transportation from one area to another. I’d like to try that one later.
Rieza returns to the counter while Sora trembles, waku waku, with excitement. With a bright smile, she hands Yami her status plate.
Sora says, “I’d like to raise my rank. Are any examiners prepared for today?”
“Eeh, saying such a thing so suddenly…”
Rieza becomes quiet for a few moments. She must be trying to remember if anyone is available. After a couple tens of seconds, she says, “Etto, the examiner in today… oversees the S rank examination, John=Bob-san.”
Is his name John=Bob or Bob=John…? But S rank, huh? A rank would have been fine, but since I’m getting the chance, should I just go for it?
“Then, where can I find John? Bob? –san?”
“Eeh!? You want to challenge the S rank? I’ll be blunt, you should reconsider this.”
“Then, could you tell me his level?” If it’s lower than Cerberus’s, I’ll have nothing to worry about.
“I believe… he’s at level 96.”
An ominous grin, niyari, spreads across Sora’s face at Rieza’s reply. He’s only six levels higher than Cerberus. I’ll get to test a lot of my skills on him. He covers his mouth with his right hand to hide his insuppressible glee and says, “I’d like to challenge him now.”
Rieza is shocked by his decision. “Haa, very well. I doubt you’ll listen to anything else I say. I shall go and notify John=Bob-san. Please proceed to the examination hall.”
The examination hall sits more or less in the center of the Nelga Kingdom. It is a beautiful, stone, arch shaped building that’s 3 stories high. While the second and third floors host seats for the audience, the ground floor is a large, circular, ring. Not only is it used for guild rank examinations, it’s also used to host mock battles.
Sora trembles, waku waku, with excitement his entire trip there. It’s like a scaled version of the Colosseum. He enters without any difficulties while Yami and Sura proceed to the second floor to watch.
Sora waits tens of minutes on the first floor, but the examiner still doesn’t appear. “Oh?” People begin to gather within the spectator seats. What the? I didn’t tell anyone about this. Or, are these just curios people-san?
“That brat’s taking on the S rank exam?”
“Rieza-san said she had high expectations for him… but he’s just a wimpy kid.”
“Well, I guess we can kill time with this.”
I heard that, and dang, you guys are terrible. All of that was harsh… but, Rieza believes in me…
Sora is shocked by the number of people appearing because of Rieza’s advertisement. Rieza sure is popular…
A man 2 meters tall, covered in full body iron armor, and carrying a great sword on his back, enters the arena once the spectator seats are full. Sora says, “Uwaa….” The man is bald and has a scar on the side of his face, but what stands out the most are his gentle eyes and small, sharp ears. A pressure similar to, but weaker than, the Maou radiates off of him.
Is John? Bob? this guy? This doesn’t feel right. There’s no way a guy with eyes as gentle as his could be evil. He looks like the type who’d drop out before reaching the end.
The man speaks with a low, masculine voice. “Hey, are you the person challenging the S rank exam?”
“Yeah? Is John? Bob? you?”
He scratches his nose while saying, “What kind of question is that…? Yeah, I’m John=Bob, but everyone just calls me John. Who are you?”
Guess I was wrong. I thought actual his name was Bob.
“My name’s Sora. I’m a G rank.” He purposely avoids naming himself as Basard for the off chance someone might understand its significance.
John says, “Haa ha! G rank? How reckless. I’ll have you know that I adventured with the Yuusha in my younger years. Ahh, I still remember that journey.”
Yuusha, does he mean the previous Yuusha? I wonder if he knows they committed suicide (were killed)? Probably not.
Sore says, “That must have been a lot of fun. By the way, do you know what those Yuusha are up to now a days?”
John looks down at the question. “……” He speaks with a low voice. “…They committed suicide. No, actually, they were killed by that shit queen.” His voice is so small that none of his emotion can get through.
….He hates that queen too.
Sora lowers his voice so only John can hear him. “I didn’t think anyone else knew the truth. How’d you learn it? The only people there should have been the Dai Maou, the Yuusha, and the queen.
John stares at Sora with disbelief. “Yo- You know? This is something I learned from surviving akuma. I didn’t believe them at first… but then I saw their corpses. How did you find out?”
Sora is at a complete loss on how to answer. I can’t tell him the truth, so what should I say? He starts talking without a clue as to what he’s saying, “Well, I heard it by chance from an akuma I tortured. I didn’t believe it at first, but each one kept saying the same thing. Hearing the same thing so much, I don’t have much choice other than to believe it.”
Sora waits in fear for John to see through his lie, but John says, “So that’s how you found out. But, you tortured akuma? You’re a bit of an akuma yourself.”
Ahre? He believed me!?
John then adds, “Let’s talk more about this later.” Once Sora gives a small nod, John claps his face and releases his fighting spirit. “Saa! Let’s go!”
“Yeah! Bring it!”
The audience cheers as the two unsheathe their weapons.
First thing’s first. “Physical strengthening [Reinforcement Body].” Let’s see just how strong a level 96 is. Sora thrusts with the short sword in his right hand.
John deflects the blade with his great sword. The impact breaks Sora’s balance, but he recovers and slashes with the short sword in his left han— John’s kick sends him flying 3 meters back.
Sora doesn’t take any damage from the attack. He shudders at the thought, if I didn’t have physical strengthening [Reinforcement Body]…
He gets ready to once more rush John, but John, smiles, poka-n, for some reason. Sora says, “What’s up? You looks like you’re about to pour hot water into cup ramen.”
“I don’t know what that cup thing is, but for a G rank to use physical strengthening… Not to mention, you withstood my kick. Looks like I’m going to have to get serious for this.”
That kick wasn’t serious… “Should you really be going easy on me?”
“Haa ha, then I’ll use my skills too! Physical strengthening!”
“— —!” He’s gone!? Where… Behind me!?
Sora turns around upon feeling John’s presence and crosses his blades overhead.
Sparks fly as Sora’s short swords resist John’s great sword. Crap, he’s stronger than I thought. Then, as Sora gets pushed back, too strong! Maybe I can catch him off guard—
Sora kicks John’s stomach with his right foot. John isn’t blown away, but he does waver. Sora sweeps John’s leg and manipulates the great sword to destroy his tester’s balance and drop him on the ground.
Sora says, “Alright! Next…”
John gets back up on his feet and slashes with his sword. Sora defends himself, but John continues to attack without faltering. Sora parries the attacks, but this is terrifying.
After a few minutes, Sora notices that every third slash is weaker. Maybe it’s because he’s attacking at full strength? Either way, I can use this!
Two… One more!
Sora repels John’s weaker strike and as expected, John falters. He once more sweeps John’s leg and drops him on the ground. Then, as John tries to get up, he uses gravity manipulation.
John is once more forced against the ground.
Sora says, “Here I co—?” He can’t move his legs. He looks down and sees that the ground swelled up to restrain him.
Damn! What is this? I never even notice! Sora tugs with all his might, piku, but can’t break free.
John says, “Fuu, escape is impossible. This is the end!” He breaks free of Sora’s skill and attacks.
Sparks fly as Sora blocks John’s great sword by crossing his short swords overhead.
John puts more force behind his attacks as he says, “Haa ha, can’t throw anymore kicks like this!”
Guh, I’m gonna lose if this keeps up… No choice. Sora wanted to continue testing his skills, but the current situation forces him to change his plans. In contrast to John’s triumphant smile, he gives an eerie one. “Isn’t it a bit early to celebrate?”
“Ah? What are you talki—”
Sora pictures the place he wants to be as he chants. “Metastasis [Teleport]!” He appears behind John, free of his restraint, the moment he finishes.
Alright! Success! Sora adopts a guts pose in his heart. Then, while John is still confused by Sora’s disappearance, Sora places his danger around John’s neck. “You lose.”
John releases his great sword as he says, “….Yeah, I have.”
The audience turns silent as his weapon hits the ground. Someone then says, “That brat actually did it!” and everyone cheers and claps.
Sora, despite feeling bashful, shakes hands with John.
John says, “Incredible, being able to use metastasis… that was a good match. As of today, you’re an S rank!”
An S rank examiner acknowledges a G rank adventurer. That shocking story spreads this way and that in an instant. The outcome to it isn’t something Sora is able to predict.
After the match, Sora reunites with Yami and Sura and they join John for a chat at the pub. As a minor, Sora naturally refrains from drinking alcohol.
John explains various things to them. The main topic of his discourse is about the previous Yuusha from the Lizaril Kingdom. Everything he’s saying pretty much matches what I learned from Elias’s memories. Night falls by the time they part.
They return to the inn and have a meal prepared by the good spirited ossan. Delicious. They then return to their room where Sora decides to take a bath and then go to sleep.
“So….ra….. Sora….. Sora!”
Sora wakes up. He rubs his eye while saying, “What the… Who is it this time?” Then, upon seeing the owner of the voice, he grows stiff.
“Hey, hey, are you alright?”
“I’m, haa!” Sora looks around. He’s at a complete loss to his situation, everything is white. He speaks to the owner of the voice. “Where is this, Elias?”
The owner of the voice (Elias) says, “Nn~, this place~ is Sora’s dream~.”
“My dream? …Then, why are you here?”
“You see~, I wanted to see Sora’s face so I entered your dream~.”
“That’s why? You don’t want to talk about anything in particular?”
“Yeah, you got it~. Alright, now that I’ve seen Sora’s face, time to go~. Bye bye~.”
“You’re really leaving with just that!”
Sora sighs in his heart. He isn’t sure if Elias even heard him. With that, he once more closes his eyes.
T/N: I was actually hoping for Sora to lose, but this victory is acceptable. He didn’t win by overpowering John, but instead through deceit. Still, that says a lot about John’s abilities. For someone who’s an S ranked adventurer, he should have guessed some sort of trap. Considering his age, which should be a lot since he adventured with the previous Yuusha, he should have guessed something was afoot. Granted, teleportation might be a ridiculously difficult skill, but a vanishing enemy is never a good thing.
By the way, is it just me or is Sora really cold to Elias??