245 – Winners and Losers Alike, Walk Forward
「Ah hah! That was so lame, Mistress!」
The person laughing at the fallen woman is the Flame Spearman Amii. He looks like a flame in Human form, but his expression can be read by the different colored flames arranged in his facial area.
After laughing for some time, the expression disappears.
「So…? What’re you gonna do with the guy who bumped into you and didn’t even apologize. Burn him?」
「Stop it, Amii.」
「For a joke about fire, it was as cold as ice.」
「That’s what you have a problem with? And hey, that joke was super hot. I mean, you’re right next to a living flame here.」
「It gave me chills.」
「Want me to hold you close?」
「I’ll drench you in water.」
First off, Aym seems to be perfectly fine.
The person who bumped into her stopped right in front of me, but when she noticed that our eyes were on her, she turned around and slowly stood back up.
The sight of her standing up and gently brushing the dust off of her gave the impression that she was calm.
Different from the gorgeous dress she wore when in her Avatar, she gave off the air of the beautiful lady next door.
But if you look closely, you can tell that she is the Fire Manipulator. Or you could guess from Amii next to her.
「C-c-contestant Aym?! Did…did I just bump into you?! Please forgive me!」
The visitor kept bowing his head in apology. By the way, he is a man.
「It’s fine, now can we please stop bringing up the fact that I fell down?」
「Yeah, watch it. The extremely lame image of my mistress going “Ngyaaah…!!” while tumbling is forever burned into my mind and will never leave, so please, stop bringing it up over and over. It just makes it more and more pathetic. …Heh.」
「I’ll forget about it! I’ve already forgotten it!」
「Thank you. Amii, I’ll punish you later.」
「Wha?! Why me?!」
「Because you laughed at your mistress.」
They seem to get along well.
「Hey, far be it for me to spoil all the fun, but what do you want with our Lem? We kinda have plans to get to.」
After Wraith said that, all three of their gazes return to me.
「…This won’t take long. I wished to talk with the Black Sorcerer Lem, but it isn’t something that must be discussed at this very moment. For today, I shall just give him this and excuse ourselves.」
She gave me a piece of paper with her e-mail address on it. She probably prepared it before she came here.
It would be rude to refuse, so I accepted it.
…No, I accepted because I could see through what her business with me might be.
「Just Lem again? Man, it really is your time to be popular with the ladies.」
He’s probably talking about the time with the Scales of Justice Astrea and the Dragon King Valac a while ago.
「Oh, you were splendid as well Water Hero Wraith. But besides, that isn’t what this is about, so don’t be mistaken.」
「Yeah, that’s right, kid. My mistress is as dry as a-」
As Amii said that, Aym released a murderous aura.
「…Right. Shutting up.」
「Clever, but too little, too late. Consider your punishment doubled.」
It seemed like Amii’s heat dimmed and he became a little smaller…
What an odd master and servant pair. Amii constantly teases Aym, but he never disrespects her. Even if his jokes go too far, I can see that there is respect for her deep within.
Trying to break the tension in the air, Aym clears her throat once.
「Well then, I suppose I shall take my leave today. Black Sorcerer Lem, till we meet again.」
「Ah, yes. I’ll…uh…keep in touch.」
「Same to the short stuff with the big arm. I won’t be the one who gets burned next time, alright?」
Amii waved a hand at Fran while smiling.
「We’re leaving, you lolicon.」
「Hey, hey, I only have eyes for you, mistress.」
「Your punishment is now threefold.」
Those two got along even until they left.
「So? How bout you? What did you come here for?」
Wraith calls out to the man.
「You’re Mauri, right?」
The man was a little shocked when I said that, then he nodded happily.
He is the leader of the party of only Black Sorcerers.
That party was registered as the Mauri party in this tournament.
「I actually came in hopes of having a conversation with Sir Lem, but I happened to hear what you said in the interview moments ago and I was deeply moved…!」
He suddenly closed the distance between us.
「Ah… I said some pretty self-indulgent things, but if you didn’t mind, then I’m glad.」
「On the contrary, your words blew away all the doubts we held in our hearts. Actually, just before I was defeated, the Vampire Queen asked me “How did you intend on seizing the seat of the strongest?”」
Even Carmilla foresaw the problems in his party.
「It just hit me. The idea was to see how far we could go on this new path we had found. But the Carmilla party was aiming for victory. She gathered allies in order to defeat all sorts of strong opponents and trained herself.」
Since there are a lot of participants, it is difficult for all of them to share the same passion and purpose.
It isn’t as if participating just to make it a momentous occasion is a bad thing.
However, the higher you go, the more parties you’ll run into who wish to prove that they are the strongest. When that time comes, how do you win? Does your party have what it takes to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat?
If you can’t answer that, then only hardships lie before you.
「We had become severely stubborn. We even resented this industry that has treated us with disdain. We tried to prove that we could win on our own. However, we had overlooked something so basic that even a child could see it.」
That a Black Sorcerer is ultimately a support Job.
「…But that gave rise to an outcome that showcased the possibilities of a Black Sorcerer, right?」
Mauri’s face was too close.
In videos, he gave off the impression of being someone who was calm and collected, but he seems quite passionate. Or perhaps he’s just really excited? Maybe even both.
「After tasting defeat, the mood of my party was grave. We weren’t able to reach the top. We were obsessed with that result. I could only see the words from the Vampire Queen as her pointing out our mistakes. In fact, that…that is what I wished to come and talk to Sir Lem about if I could.」
I guess he thought to ask me, a former 4th-ranked, for my opinion on what he should have done.
「And so, listening to your interview just now, Sir Lem, I was deeply moved…! Do not despise the road you tread upon and continue looking forward above all else! That way of thinking is related to your rapid advancements since withdrawing from the Fenix party, right?!」
「I-I wonder. I…suppose so. In my case, I feel as if I have been blessed with people around me, though.」
「These people came to you because they had seen what you had done, hadn’t they?」
The road to reuniting with Milla began with my rescuing her in the first place.
Even Aerial was interested in me during the time I was part of the Fenix party.
Nicola was a fan of mine long before I met her.
Fenix asked me to form a party with him.
He’s right. He’s…probably right.
「If so, I’m glad.」
「I’m sure it is so…! And we shall be even more diligent to become just like that!」
「I’m certain you all will. The Black Magic you all displayed in the preliminaries was superb.」
It greatly exceeded that of the average Black Sorcerer. It is a realm that can only be reached after long periods of training.
If I consider the state of Black Sorcerers, I know how difficult it is to awaken to this Job and to continue working hard without becoming discouraged.
Aiming for great heights while your surroundings deny your very reason for existing is very taxing on one’s mental state.
That’s why people like the Mauri party are very precious.
Mauri was moved to tears by my words.
「Thank you so much, Sir Lem. …If…if you don’t mind, I very much would like another chance to talk sometime. I would like to introduce you to the others who aren’t here.」
「I would be delighted.」
We firmly shook hands.
Then, Mauri headed back to his allies while repeatedly looking back at me.
「Sorry, guys. I kept you waiting.」
I say to everyone, then Wraith looked at me as if he had something to say.
「What do you think, Lem?」
「It’s good being an Adventurer too, right?」
…Come to think of it, this wasn’t the only time that Wraith wanted to make me a party member.
「You’re right. Working hard to claim victory as a party of five. Yeah, it’s fun.」
「It is, but that’s not what I meant. That guy, Mauri, was it? He got a deep impression from the Black Sorcerer Lem. The interview said this too. The Black Sorcerer Lem is the shining ray of hope to Black Sorcerers. With us, won’t you be able to become the hero you’re aiming for by staying as you are?」
Not with my identity hidden as the Monster Lemegeton.
But aiming for the hero I want to be as the Human Lem.
That was a very, very attractive proposition.
「Thanks, Wraith. But-」
「No, no, you don’t have to say it. I already know you’re going to say no. But y’know, Lem? I’m persistent.」
Wraith gave me a mischievous smile.
「I’m the successor of my father’s title of Unyielding, after all.」
The Unyielding Hero Altreed.
The former World’s 1st Ranked Hero. My inspiration. The sole Hero who got to 1st Rank without a Spirit.
A legendary person who is waiting alongside my master for their challenger at the end of this tournament.
Also, Wraith’s father.
Now, honest respect for his father has returned to Wraith.
Through the Raid Battle, he became even stronger. Particularly his heart.
It certainly wouldn’t be easy to make him give up on me now.
It’s a luxurious problem to have, as I give a wry smile.
I suddenly noticed something.
Fran has been tugging on Wraith’s sleeves.
「What is it, Fran?」
「You don’t have to pout. I’m counting on you too.」
「…I’m not pouting.」
「Then what? Are you hungry?」
「……Yes. I’m hungry. That’s all.」
Seeing them like this, they look like two children who are great friends.
No, they are children. Children who are also strong Adventurers.
「Now that you mention it, I’m hungry too.」
「Actually, same here.」
When I said that, Josh voiced out in agreement as well.
And then, Melania’s stomach made a large grumbling noise.
When we looked up at her, her face turned red and tears welled up in her eyes.
「No-this is…it-it’s not like that…」
「It’s only natural to get hungry. Let’s eat plenty while celebrating our victory. We’re gonna need our nutrition to win our next one.」
「You’re right. Shall we?」
The Wraith party has passed the first stage of the main event of the All-Heaven Festival Contest.
Four parties have been eliminated, and we advance.
This is a placeholder of the upcoming Welcome to the Impregnable Demon King Castle New Chapter 246, it will be posted soon so make sure to bookmark us !