The Main Event Begins: Yuki’s First Match
Editors: Speedphoenix, Joker
I stepped back onto the stage the day after my preliminary match. It was time for my first real match. And I was ready. My mask was on, my hair was dyed, and my trusty sword was slung over my shoulder.
“First up, we have the man that single-handedly ended his preliminary match without even drawing his weapon, a mysterious cutthroat sent by the king himself to eliminate everyone in his way! Ladies and gentlemen, I present you a man whose abilities have yet to be unveiled. Please give it up for Ypsilon!”
The MC’s intro led the crowd to break into cheers.
“And up against him is a giant of a man who uses his large frame to deliver all sorts of different attacks, one that always surprises us with a series of new moves. I would like to extend a warm welcome to a man that has participated in Destia Trome a total of ten times! To Paragrowe!”
“Paragrowe! Paragrowe! Paragrowe!”
“Kick his ass, Paragrowe! You got this!”
The crowd broke into a much louder set of cheers the moment my opponent stepped in from the opposite side of the area. Wow, okay. Fuck this guy. I’mma totally murk his ass.
Paragrowe was just about as big as the master of ceremonies had described. He was a hulking mass of a man dressed from head to toe in nothing but pure muscle. The way he lumbered onto the stage almost made me think that he was some sort of gorilla.
“Winning. The. Preliminaries. Like. That. Must. Have. Felt. Good.” He spoke in a deep, throaty voice. Listening to him seemed like more of a pain than not given the fact that his speech was distorted. He had to take a moment to inhale after each word. “But. Don’t. Get. Cocky.”
“All. You. Did. Was. Crush. A. Bunch. Of. Weaklings. Any. Of. Us. Regulars. Can. Do. That. With. Ease.”
“Hah. You. Scared? How. About. You. Say. Something?”
“Oh, my bad. I wasn’t really paying attention since I can’t speak gorilla. You’re probably going to need to learn to stop snorting each time you say something if you want me to actually understand you.”
The gorilla’s veins began to bulge as his face twisted in anger. The look he had on his ugly mug clearly conveyed his thoughts in a manner that his dysfunctional mouth couldn’t. My taunt seemed rather well-timed, as the gong signifying the start of the match rang throughout the arena the moment I pissed him off.
Spurred on by the bell, the Gorilla charged right at me. Each of his steps was accompanied by a tremor; he was so swole that the earth shook in response to his actions. He pulled his fist behind him and launched it with all the force of a cannon as he loosed an angry battle cry. The oversized monkey turned out to be exactly what his gear, or rather lack thereof, suggested. He was the type of fighter that preferred the use of his body to any sort of artificial weapon.
“I! Will! Shred! You! To! Bits!”
The cannonball that was his fist flew straight for my face. But it stopped in its tracks before it could reach me.
King Kong screamed in surprise as he realized that his full force punch had lost all of its momentum the moment it came into contact with my open palm.
“You know, that wasn’t a bad punch,” I said as I began to grin (not that he could see it given my mask.) “Well. My turn.”
I smashed Zaien, sheath and all, into the side of his gut. I would have loved to draw the blade I thought of as my daughter, but I couldn’t. He was too weak. Tanking a hit from her was sure to end his life.
The tournament was freestyle, so most things were allowed. Killing one’s opponent, however, was not. Doing so was considered foul play and would result in immediate disqualification. In other words, I was probably going to have to keep Enne in her sheath for quite a few fights unless I wanted to get myself booted out of the tourney. I wonder if anyone’ll actually be strong enough to force me to draw her?
Fortunately, my sheath strike wasn’t heavy enough to flat out kill my enemy. That wasn’t to say it was weak, however. The tap had not only knocked the wind out of him but also sent him skidding across the arena. He kicked up clouds upon clouds of dust as he slid.
And that was only the beginning. I wasn’t about to be done just yet.
I dashed past him and moved behind his needlessly large frame before he could so much as fully hit the ground. There was only one thing any reasonable person would do from such a position: smash his fucking head into the ground. And I did exactly that. I placed a foot on the back of his cranium and pushed hard enough to slam his face against the arena’s floor. I wasn’t a hundred percent sure he was out, so I gave him another stomp for good measure.
When the dust cleared, it revealed that the match was over. His eyes had rolled back into his sockets; he was out cold.
“W-what!? What just happened!? I couldn’t even see what happened! Paragrow was supposed to be the one on offence, but it looks like his attack didn’t connect! The ten-time participant is on the ground, down and out for the count!”
The MC immediately described the situation to the audience, which promptly responded with a series of boos. They didn’t seem to like the fact that I was using my foot to grind the gorilla’s face into the dirt. Well, fuck you too!
I raised my free hand and gave the crowd the finger, an action that only led to even more booing.
“W-what a display of arrogance!” Apparently, the MC wasn’t quite done shoutcasting, as he continued to narrate the events that occurred. “Ypsilon has not only disrespectfully stepped all over his opponent’s face, but also agitated the crowd!”
Wew. This is fun. You know how wrestling has heels? Fighters that like playing the part of the big bad evil guy? Yeah, I think I’m starting to get why they act the way they do. Like, holy shit. Doing whatever the fuck I want is so fun I think I might already be hooked. Woo! Plus one to being a fucking villain, and plus one to doing whatever the fuck I want!
On a related note, I know I’ve said this already, but I would have made a terrible hero. Thank god I didn’t end up stuck as one of those, right?
With my first round won, I casually began waltzing off the stage. The crowd was still booing me, but I didn’t care. If anything, their jeers only made me feel all the better.
The first thing I did after getting back to the waiting room assigned to me was to reach into my inventory and grab the bell that the demon king had given me. Unlike the room I had sat around in before my preliminary match, the room I was currently in was private. I was the only person in it, so I was safe to more or less do whatever.
“Welp. Time to summon me a CIA agent, I guess.”
I gave the strange, silent apparatus a quick shake. A series of magical waves emerged from within it and spread throughout my surroundings. One of Haloria’s coworkers responded to my summons immediately. One of the room’s corners rapidly distorted. Everything within a predefined space seemed to contort before coming together to form a single hooded man.
“Huh, never seen that before,” I said. “Was that spatial manipulation?”
“Wow, colour me impressed,” said the hooded man with a wry smile. “I didn’t think you would be able to see through me that easily. You even seemed to know exactly where I’d appear despite never having seen the spell before.”
“Ehhhh, yeah, I’m pretty good with that kinda stuff. It’s no big deal.” I shrugged.
Magic Eye allowed me to perceive anything that happened to involve mana. Seeing through a teleport or two was a piece of cake. You know, now that I think about it, that skill sure is batshit broken, isn’t it? It’s probably the most OP thing I’ve got. Man, I should preach this shit. In fact, I might as well start going door to door and asking people if they’ve got time to talk about Magic Eye, my lord and saviour.
Speaking of looking at things, I decided to analyze the secret agent as he appeared. His stats were as follows:
Race: Guardian Devil
Class: Silent Assassin
Sword Mastery VIII
Crisis Detection VI
Enemy Detection V
King’s Right Hand
The assassin that had appeared before me was incredibly strong. Monsters and dragons aside, he was undoubtedly the strongest individual I had ever analyzed. A part of his strength stemmed from his particular skillset. How the hell are you supposed to stop someone capable of manipulating spacetime? Shit dude, I can’t even begin to imagine how you’re supposed to deal with that kinda bullshit. Sound magic seems pretty useful too. I can swear I didn’t hear jack shit when he first showed up. Dude was totally dead silent. Looks like the demon king’s got some pretty competent men working under him, huh?
“So? Did you need me for something?”
“Yeah. Iunno if you know already, you probably do, but I just wanted to tell you that it seems the enemy’s got a few guys in the crowd. They were obviously trying to find a chance to attack me. I’d like you guys to do me a favour and take ‘em out whenever you get the chance.”
As far as I could tell, the individuals in question either were fiends or were working for them. They were standing by with spells at the ready. My ability to see mana had clearly informed me that they were looking for a chance to strike, but the battle had ended before such an opportunity had reared its head.
“You were able to notice them despite being in the midst of a fight? Impressive. I should have expected nothing less of the man the king deemed a necessary ally,” said the agent. “Would you happen to recall their positions?”
“Uhhh… let’s see…” I looked outside the waiting area and turned my gaze on the audience. “You can actually see them from here. You see how there’s a guy with a buzzcut sitting in the third row from the top in the section right across from us? He was the first guy. The second guy’s to the first guy’s right. He’s in the next area over. He’s the guy with the glasses in the front row, and he’s seated right next to the couple with the kid.”
I pointed out the first two I recalled before putting a hand on my chin.
“I feel like there were a few more, but I can’t remember where they were off the top of my head. Sorry.”
“No need for any apologies. You’ve already provided us with more than enough information. I’ve already been informed of where all the others are located. We’ll have them taken care of shortly,” said the assassin. “And thank you once again for your cooperation. You’ve been very helpful.”
“Don’t worry about it. Getting rid of them helps me as much as it helps you. Anyway, good luck.”
I dismissed the man with a wave of my hand. He bowed to express his gratitude before using the power of spatial manipulation to vanish into thin air.