Monthly extra chapter thanks to my Patreons as usual. Grateful for the support!
Chapter 0079 Third day
The third day of the Whitnash Port Opening Festival.
Finally, it was the day for Niels and Amon’s race.
The two, who had been enthusiastic since the morning, headed for the venue of the 『30th two-seater boat race: Adventurer’s category』.
However, a shocking scene unfolded there.
“Why are you here?”
“Ah? That’s my line.”
Dan from Room 1 of the Guild Dormitory had also entered the competition.
That scene was also visible to Ryo and Etho in the audience seats.
“I guess that is Dan.”
“Niels is clashing with him.”
Niels’ attitude toward the other party verified their suspicions.
Dan’s followers were gathered a little away from them.
Originally the entourage consisted entirely of men, but Ryo noticed that there was now a girl among them.
(Huh? If I’m not wrong, that kid is … the kid Dan helped in the courtyard of the dormitory … I see, so she entered Dan’s party? She’s looking at Dan with a really worried expression, did she fall in love with him …? )
Ryo pondered to himself.
Seeing that, Etho followed Ryo’s gaze.
“Yeah, do you see the girl in there? She looks like the one Dan helped previously.”
“Hoho ~. That is Sasha in Room 2. I know her because she’s a Priest just like me. She’s apparently only 16 years old, but she’s pretty good. The other kids in Room 2 were scouted for E-rank parties. Sasha must have been invited too, but … it looks like she went to Dan’s party. They didn’t have a priest there, so with Sasha in the party, it will be a very well-balanced party.”
As expected of Etho, he was familiar with the inner-goings of the dormitory.
While talking about that, the preparations for the 『Two-seater boat race: Adventurer’s category』was steadily underway.
The race was as simple as taking four oars to a boat prepared by the tournament, boarding it in pairs, and rowing with the oars to circle a buoy 400 meters offshore before returning.
However, from the moment they cross the buoy in the middle, they can be attacked by participants from other boats with their oars.
Magic usage and boarding other boats were forbidden.
They had to keep both their feet from the heels to the tips of the toes on the boat.
Also, weapons other than oars could not be used. However, that didn’t apply to the physical body.
The rules were simple, yet violent, so it was a popular event every time.
It was the 30th race this year so it boasts a history of roughly 150 years.
All 30 boats arrived at their positions.
“Ready … Go!”
And all 30 oars began rowing at once.
Anyway, in the first half up to the buoy, there would be no attacks from the other boats.
They focused entirely on rowing towards the buoy.
But think about it.
A two-seater boat … even if some have not actually ridden on one, such boats could be seen in photos or videos … how would the rower seat?
Yes, they would turn their back to the direction of travel and row the oars.
That’s not always that the case? But such boats were not prepared.
Since this was entertainment, they sought a scene that made the audience happy … A martial arts scene at sea was the desired goal.
Basically, one person rowed and the other directed … it was explained that way and suitable boats were prepared … but usually, it wouldn’t work that well.
By rowing without looking at the direction of travel … it was easy to hit other similar boats.
Contact, running over, anger … The sea became a battlefield whirling with annoyed screams.
During the race, even if a participant fell into the sea, they could resume by returning to the boat on their own.
However, if they were to be thrown into the sea while unconscious, they would be rescued by the tournament committee members who were waiting at sea and will be disqualified.
It was a terrifying scene.
“I’m glad I didn’t get lured by money …”
“Etho, don’t they need the power of a priest?”
“Nah~, my strength is insufficient … sorry.”
Ryo and Etho in the spectator seats were in awe as they watched the hellish scene.
A short distance away from the spectator seats, four people from the Empire were watching that hellish scene as well.
“That’s a tough competition beyond my expectations.”
The chief of the Imperial Emperor’s Magic Division and the princess, Fiona, expressed her thoughts with her eyes wide open.
“It’s hard to attempt it without magic.”
“If magic was allowed, it would end in an instant …”
The conversation between Adjutant Jurgen and Deputy Chief Oscar sounded dangerous.
“Teacher … not everyone can cast powerful magic like a teacher, okay?”
“No, even if Chief attempted it, wouldn’t the result be the same?”
When Fiona pointed that out, Oscar retorted while addressing her in an unthinkable manner.
He addressed her as 『Chief』 instead of the usual 『Your Highness』 because no one was listening.
“In any case, they can only attack with their oars.”
Marie, her adjutant and maid, pulled the fruitless conversation back on track.
“Leaving that aside, Chief really likes that crepe. You ate it yesterday too, didn’t you?”
Marie said in a surprised manner when she saw Chief Fiona filling her mouth deliciously.
She had been taking care of Fiona for almost two years, but she had never seen Fiona so obsessed with food.
She didn’t dislike any food, but she didn’t like any food in particular either. That was her impression.
“Yeah, this is delicious. I hope we can have it at the training ground too …”
“That is impossible.”
Deputy Chief Oscar dismissed it.
“Te-teacher, please overlook it somehow …”
“In the first place, the training ground is a place for training and exercises. The meals are carefully selected and only healthy foods are served in the cafeteria. Sweets are not included.”
Even though he was the Deputy Chief, the words of Oscar, who was also Fiona’s magic teacher, were absolute.
Even though they were absolute, she couldn’t give up on the crepes.
“Then, we can call a crepe stall to come to the castle …”
Her mutter did not reach Oscar’s ears. Or perhaps he pretended to not hear it …
“We-well, there are a lot of really delicious stalls, right?”
This time, it was the Adjutant Jurgen who somehow managed to patch the conversation together …
At sea, the battle was about to enter the climax.
Finally, the first two boats reached a position beyond the midway buoy.
“That is … Niels and Amon …”
“The other one is Dan …”
Ryo and Etho in the spectator seats were watching the race on the sea while drinking freshly squeezed orange juice and Lindo juice.
Niels and Dan, who had a fated connection, were fighting for the lead.
Or rather, both sides were working hard to outdo the other.
Amon rowed while Niels stood up on the boat.
To match that, Dan also stood up on his boat.
And they glared at each other.
As Niels shouted something, Amon pulled the boat over to Dan’s boat.
The fight with oars began there.
Strike, thrust, strike, strike, strike …
“Niels and Dan are doing amazingly despite standing on swaying boats.”
“As expected of Swordsmen!”
Ryo and Etho both seemed to be playing the funny man role of a comedy duo but there was no straight man in their duo.
As both E-ranks, the Swordsmen had already crushed one oar each and were fighting with their second oar.
In the meantime, the boats were moving forward little by little, but were overtaken by other boats that avoid unnecessary battles.
However, the cheers of the audience were monopolized by Niels and Dan.
“Great ~ Sock em ~ Push him off ~”
“There, put in a feint from the right and switch to a thrust at once!”
“From above, hit, hit, hit.”
“Punch a hole in the boat and sink it.”
“Oars are boring, attack with swords!”
“From their movements, they are both Swordsmen! If so, gather strength and slash diagonally from the shoulder, before suddenly reversing it and slashing your opponent!”
All kinds of cheers were flying around.
And at the moment when they finally struck each other, their second oar broke almost at the same time.
The audience seat spectators were roused.
As both were out of weapons … naturally it turned into a slugfest.
But … as they were on separate boats and the boats were swaying at different timings, neither of them could land a solid blow.
Both Niels and Dan, as Swordsmen, must have understood that.
Both sides grabbed each other’s right and left hands and shifted to a competition of strength.
They were locked in combat like professional wrestlers.
Just like how wrestlers proud of their strength displayed it in the center of a ring, the two were competing in male stubbornness.
Even though there was no movement, it brought a mysterious amount of heat that excited those watching.
It was the same at sea.
And … neither one of them had the upper hand in the lock.
However, the audiences watching were even more excited than before.
“Oh, someone else reached the goal …”
“Well, the last or the second last place is confirmed.”
Etho and Ryo weren’t excited by the power comparison of Niels and Dan.
Of course, they had unwavering support for Niels as his party member.
But … well, that was it.
And then, the turning point happened in an instant.
The combined hands and upper body did not move at all, but their feet were different.
On the swaying ships … or boats rather than ships … the boats couldn’t stand the pressure and broke.
Four people were thrown into the sea.
They were disqualified because their boats broke. With that decided, the tournament committee members immediately headed to recover them, but … Niels and Dan were still locked at where they were, that was, even when they were in the sea.
“For the tournament, a special prize will be given to the two teams that gave the spectators a good show.”
Niels and Amon, along with Dan’s team, received a congratulatory special award.
10,000 Florin per team.
“Niels, Amon, congratulations.”
“I’m glad you guys came back safely.”
Ryo and Etho also applauded them from the bottom of their hearts.
Both Niels and Amon seemed to be dissatisfied with everything … but when they received 10,000 Florin, they smiled.
The power of cash was so terrifying.
And, in the afternoon, the three-hulled Rain Shooter would be unveiled.
The four people from Room 10 immediately converted the 10,000 Florin, which was given as the special prize, to food, and were well prepared as they secured a place next to the guest seats.
Because that spot had the best view of the ship.
“Why are Ryo and the others here …”
Among the guests, Hugh, the Guildmaster of the City of Rune, who was seated in the farthest corner seat, whispered in a very quiet voice.
“Because this is the best spot.”
Ryo gave a very proper and accurate answer that also completely missed the mark for why Hugh was asking.
“I-I see …”
Hugh, who had accumulated fatigue from the talks and meetings since the previous day, decided to let it slide and accepted the answer weakly.
“And so … why is Niels looking like he’s about to drool?”
Hugh asked Ryo why Niels, who was looking at the guest seats, was in such a state.
“He’s just looking at that beautiful Princess over there.”
“Well … try not to do anything. It will definitely become an international issue.”
“He’ll be burned by the Explosive Blaze Magician?”
Ryo commented, remembering what Rin and Rihya were saying.
“I’m surprised you know. The Explosive Blaze Magician is here in this city as a subordinate of that Princess. His name is Baron Oscar Ruska. He’s a former adventurer who was elevated from a commoner to a noble for his achievements.”
While having that conversation, the Rain Shooter came into the harbor and slowly started operating in front of the guest seats.
“Truly a revolution in shipbuilding.”
Voices of praise leak from here and there.
The four people from Room 10 were no exception.
“She’s beautiful …”
“It’s moving forward like it’s flowing.”
“I want to ride it.”
“Why did they decide on a hybrid of air jet and water jet?”
Niels, Etho, Amon, and Ryo said different words, but they all expressed 『Admiration』.
The last comment from Ryo was also … in a sense, 『Admiration』.
And an unrefined comment was heard from the side too which was also a kind of 『Admiration』.
“The construction cost of 370 billion Florin is not just for show …”
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