Fran and I stopped by the Adventurer’s Guild not too long after we finished staring down the brackets. Our goal was to figure out as much as we could with regards to all the other participants.
「Erza not here.」
『I’m honestly not all that sure he would’ve told us what we wanted to know anyways.』
『I mean, he’s technically one of our competitors, you know? Though, I guess he does seem like he’d gladly comply so long as it’s you that’s asking…』
Relying on someone we might have to fight against for information just didn’t sit quite right with me.
『How ’bout asking Dias or some other adventurers instead?』
Fran began moving towards a group of nearby adventurers so she could ask for a bit of information — only to be immediately denied the chance by the person she’d originally been looking for.
「Congratulations Fran! You did it! You made it to the main event!」
Erza dashed right over with a huge grin on his face, one so friendly it made me feel like an idiot for even considering him a rival of sorts.
「I watched your match! You did soooo well!」
「That Blue Catkin was really rude… You should’ve beat him up some more, mhm!」
「But might’ve been disqualified.」
「Oh… right, I almost forgot you weren’t allowed to attack people that’ve already surrendered. Oh well, I guess he gets off easy then… More importantly, Fran, something about you seems a bit different.」
「Let’s see… It’s kinda like you’ve gotten more reliable. You’ve really got this huge sense of presence.」
「Is that really it? Mmm… I guess that does make sense. You seem like the type that’ll grow at an explosive rate the moment I take my eyes off of you. I’m sure the tournament will help you get way stronger.」
「So what made you want to come to the guild today?」
「Wanted to research opponents.」
「Really? I always thought you were the type that wouldn’t really care who you were up against.」
「Intel very important.」
「Yup yup! Totally! As for the person you’ll be going up against first… Hmm… I don’t know anything about him.」
「Mhm. I’ve never heard of any adventurers named Zefmate before.」
Erza not recognizing Zefmate meant two things: he wasn’t from Ulmutt and he wasn’t anyone really famous.
「Let’s try asking someone else.」
Erza approached the adventurers seated at the bar and asked them if they knew of Zefmate.
「Do any of you know an adventurer named Zefmate?」
「Zefmate? Never heard of him.」
None of the ten adventurers present had any idea who he was, which in turn led me to suspect that Zefmate wasn’t actually an adventurer given that some of the participants were in fact not.
There were also mercenaries, Knights like Phillip, mages, and other decently strong non-adventurers present as well.
『Alright, looks like he isn’t someone anyone around here knows. Let’s try switching gears.』
「Nn. Would like information on Dimitris-Style Martial Arts instead.」
「Oh my. Whyever would you need that?」
「Might have to fight person with it.」
「I didn’t know any of the tournament’s entrants knew how to use Dimitris-Style Martial Arts.」
「Don’t know why, but won’t use.」
「Oh, I guess that must mean the person you’re talking about is going through his trial.」
「You didn’t know about the Dimitris Trial? They’re really famous. Anyone that wants to be an official disciple has to go through one of them. The trial goer needs to become an A ranked adventurer with a part of their strength sealed by a really special magic item.」
The trial apparently really was famous, as all the other adventurers seemed to know about it and filled us in with a few additional details. They told us that the magic item sealed away both a portion of one’s skills and stats.
No one present knew the exact details, but it seemed that one’s stats would drop by a minimum of 20 percent upon equipping the sealing item. It prevented one from using many of the Dimitris-Styled Martial Arts and also pretty much lowered the level of every single skill one happened to have.
Learning that promptly allowed us to understand why Colbert had suddenly gotten stronger the moment Barbra fell into chaos. He must’ve undone his seal in order to help us kill Rynford.
Erza himself had partied with someone familiar with the Dimitris-Style Martial Art in the past, and had the opportunity to witness its techniques from up close.
「Though, she wasn’t too high ranked, and couldn’t do anything too incredible at the time.」
Apparently, the thing that made the Dimitris-Style so amazing was its focus on Qi.
Qi was defined as the act of applying one’s energy either within or on the surface of one’s body in order to either use it as a weapon or simply reinforce oneself. It was similar to magic, which used the exact same energy source to create the phenomenon known as a spell. The distinction between the two basically lay in the manner in which the energy was directed. Like magic, Qi’s strengths and weaknesses were dependant on its user’s skills and natural disposition.
「Dimitris-Style Martial Arts take the concept of Qi to a whole new level. I don’t know too many details, but I think they’ve started to mix the concepts of Qi and Magic together. Mhm.」
「Qi and Magic at same time?」
「Yup yup. Dimitris-Style martial artists can send their Qi flying or deploy it as a shield. I think they can also send their Qi into their opponents’ bodies in order to destroy it from the inside out. I’ve heard that the style’s more experienced users can do even more than just that, but I haven’t really heard any details.」
Apparently Dimitris-Style martial artists were able to do a lot more than just fire off the Kameh*meha. Being able to totally wreck someone’s body from inside out sounded really troublesome to deal with.
「I don’t really think you need to worry about it though. At least not for the purposes of the tourney.」
「Trial goers aren’t supposed to be allowed to lift the seal unless it’s to help people or defeat someone thought to be evil. You aren’t supposed to release the seal out of self-interest.」
Doing well in the tourney pretty much fell into the self-interest category, which meant we probably wouldn’t have to worry about Colbert undoing his seal, which, to us, was fairly beneficial. It boosted the hell out of our chances of victory.
「Is there anything else you wanted to ask?」
We asked for details about Royce, Goldalfa, Amanda, Forrund and last but not least, Radyer.
「Good old Radyer? He’s a strong one~ He doesn’t have too much stamina due to his age, but he’s really well experienced. You’ll need to be able to deal with all sorts of magic if you want to beat him.」
「As far as I know, he can use Greater Earth Magic, Greater Water Magic, and Storm Magic.」
Radyer sounded hella tough. He was the only mage we knew that was capable of using three different advanced magics. The closest to his level would be Royce, who was capable of using Greater Earth Magic, Moonlight Magic and Space/Time Magic.
We didn’t really know much about Greater Earth Magic or Greater Water Magic, so we were going to have to proceed with utmost care.
「Did you want to know anything else, or is that all?」
「Nn. All for now.」
「Mkay. Tell me if you ever want to know anything else. I’ll tell you everything I can!」
「But that doesn’t mean I’ll go easy on you if we end up getting matched against each other, mkay? We’ll have to fight it out fair and square. That’d be rude.」
「Oh my, you seem really pumped and willing to go already. Fufufu.」
Erza was a bit surprised by Fran’s happy looking smile, but soon began matching it with his own while also returning her aura of belligerence.
Oh god damn it! Erza was a battle junkie too!?