'What do you mean, ‘what am I going to do?’.'
Riley looked back at Ian with his intentions imbedded in his eyes.
He had no wish to deal with the cheese factory any longer, not to mention it was annoying.
Ian nodded with confirmation.
Riley quickly turned around.
At the same time...
The first son of Erenjium family, Aploc and his follower quickly pursued, shouting “How dare you!'”
It didn't seem like they would allow them to escape.
"Excuse me. But we cannot let you past this..."
Ian spread his arms in order to stop the two from catching Riley, then frowned.
'His movements aren't so bad?'
The follower was nothing if not ordinary.
But the boy who named himself Aploc...
As the first son of Erenjium, his movements were quite special.
"Ho, not bad for an old man but...sadly it's 2-on-1."
Ian's hand which tried to grab his clothes, only grasped the air behind Aploc.
Ian's face was scrunched by the fact that he allowed Aploc to slip by.
Ian turned his head around.
Aploc was already approaching Riley with a grin.
He was just an arm's reach away.
"How dare you show your back!"
It was a dishonourable act for a noble.
From his aggressive tone, it seemed he was not fond of Riley's actions, and was looking to punish him dearly for it.
"For someone who doesn't have a shred of nobility in you..."
Aploc grabbed onto Riley clothes.
He looked into Riley's face.
He annoyed of the fact that his clothes were caught.
The threatening face Riley was making had nothing backing it, not even mana. But it was enough for Aploc to hold his breath.
'What's this? This atmosphere?'
The leisurely atmosphere that was around Riley when he was apologising was gone.
In it's place was a chilling aura which made Aploc gasp.
"...I was trying to get by easily. Why this again."
Riley opened his mouth.
The moment Aploc's senses came back, his wrist was already in Riley's hand.
Aploc struggled to release himself from the grip.
More accurately, tt was his instinct to escape from the chilling fear.
Run from here immediately.
That's what his body was telling him.
'What the, his strength is...'
Aploc began to use his mana.
The blue mana moved from his heart to his shoulder, form his shoulder to his forearm, into his wrist.
Now, all that was left was to swing his wrist.
The wrist should have been free...after the swing.
But strangely, Riley's hand continued to grip on Aploc's wrist like a vice.
In fact, it was getting stronger to the point where the wrist felt like it was about to get crushed.
'What? What is this?'
It doesn't seem like he's using mana?
He has no problem in a contest of strength, even when I'm using mana.
Actually, he seemed like he was ahead.
Very far ahead.
Ian and Aploc's follower stopped their skirmish and looked at what was happening here.
Glancing at Riley who had never looked like this before.
Ian just stood there, unable to speak a word.
"Why do you have to irritate me like this? Huh?"
"Uuh! My wrist...my wrist..."
Moving past Ian, Aploc's follower extended his arm in order to save him.
Realising that Riley was no push over, the follower's hand was already imbued with mana.
"Let me just..."
Riley spoke as he swung the arm which was holding Aploc's wrist.
Aploc's body moved like a ragdoll.
"...live in peace!"
As he continued his words, Riley swung his arm once more in the opposite direction, deflecting the follower’s hand and released Aploc's wrist from his grip.
The follower was hit by Aploc's back and flew in an arc, landing at the entrance of the rest room.
Aploc continued to fly in the direction he was swung with such force, such that he became stuck in the wall from his back.
Ian who had been watching Riley all this time moved his eyes to look at Aploc who was imbedded in the wall.
It seemed he had managed to absorb most of the impact with his mana, as Aploc still maintained his consciousness despite the cracks present on the wall.
Although he seemed a little out of it.
The storm has gone past, and Riley sighed greatly.
Riley glimpsed at Ian, then stepped toward Aploc.
Riley spoke as he moved his face close to Aploc's.
Aploc could not answer, and simply looked back at him with his jaw ajar.
It seems he was quite shocked at what had just happened.
"I'll only say this once, so listen carefully."
Riley let his killing intent seep out.
Aploc's face began to turn blue.
Ian simply held his breath.
With a whisper, Riley spoke to Aploc with his mouth on Aploc's ear, and Ian was unable to hear what was said.
Nonetheless, he could tell that Aploc's face was getting paler than before.
Aploc nodded furiously.
It seemed Riley had made a request.
"Remember. You speak about this, then I don't care if you're of the Erenjium or the Orangium... I'll make a mess out of it."
"...Tha-, Ah, Y-...Yes! Of Course!"
Even as a 3rd party, the killing intent felt overpowering.
How would it feel to be the person it is directed at?
Riley's call snapped our Ian from his thoughts.
The clear killing intent that could be felt from Riley was now gone as if it were just an illusion.
"I'll leave cleaning the mess to you. If anyone asks, it was done by you okay?"
"I'll take responsibility. It's a request okay? Mercenary hero?"
Riley returned to his seat.
And in the corridor leading to the toilet were just Aploc, his follower and Ian.
"You took a while."
"Hm? Young Master, where is Ian?"
"I think it's a big one. It seemed like it was going to take a while so I stopped waiting and came first."
"But um...didn't you hear some kind of an explosion before?"
"Explosion? I didn't hear anything. Maybe it's Ian? Pff, quite the intense one he's having. You've got some good ears Sera."
Riley who had ditched Ian began to gulp down the black sugar beer.
He drank it as if trying to forget the cheesy lines from before, and after a few gulps, he exhaled with satisfaction.
"Ah, it's starting. So, what's the main point to look for in this match?"
Riley asked Sera as he watched both contestants enter.
Despite the unintended incident at the toilet, he had still managed to come back before it had started.
"It seems one of them is a winning candidate. A lot of people are cheering for him. I'm one of them as well."
Sera answered with a smile.
Riley tilted his head.
"Yes, do you see the person with two swords?"
He wore an indigo cape which extended down to his waist, along with two swords of unequal lengths hanging at his sides.
Riley crossed his arms as he inspected the man Sera was pointing to.
The atmosphere around him didn't seem too bad.
From Riley's judgement, he assumed that Lloyd, the second son of Iphelleta house, would be similar to him if he was of a similar age.
Just the fact that he used two swords as his weapons was the difference.
"He's the only contestant who dual wields like me. That's why I'm cheering for him as well."
Sera continued to explain with a blush, as if embarrassed.
"He is from the Jenier family... This is the first tournament he'll be fighting in."
"It's his first tournament and he's the winning candidate? He must be quite famous? I didn't think that just because he dual wields, that it would be like this."
"Yes. Well...before the tournament started, it seems like he showed amazing skills in the mock battle which was done in privately amongst the contestants. Ah, and one more thing!"
Sera spoke with her index finger extended, as if this was the most important point.
"He's saying he wants to surpass the Iphelleta House as well. That was his main reason for entering this tournament."
"The Iphelleta House?"
"Yes, Iphelleta is considered the best when it comes to swordsmanship in nobility."
Riley's face became confused.
"Then, shouldn't we not cheer for him?"
"What's wrong with that? It's nice to see that he has some ambition in him."
Sera laughed while waving her hands in the air.
Riley turned away from her to watch the match, unable to understand.
The referee in the square raised his hands.
"The match will continue until one of the contestants is driven off the stage, or until he can no longer move. Use of mana is allowed, but using it with the intention to kill will be grounds for disqualification. This judgement will be done by the referee. Do you understand?"
The referee explained the rules of the match to the two nobles.
The two nobles nodded.
The noble Jenier nodded with a calm demeanor.
While his opponent was breaking a cold sweat, and nodded a little later.
It seemed he was quite nervous.
"I think the match is already decided."
The countdown began as Sera made her comment.
The two contestants drew their swords.
One side looked confident while the other looked quite grim.
It seemed he was ready to head to the toilet at any moment.
"I'm not so sure about that."
Riley keenly observed the match.
He seemed quite interested.
"What's the family of Jenier's opponent?"
"His opponent? Well... What was it?"
2 seconds left.
The match began.
"Ah, I remember. It was 'Erenjium'..."
Before Sera could finish her words.
Jenier's twin blades flew in the air.
The opposite of Sera's expectation occurred.
The Jenier contestant could not believe what had happened.
Both of his hands were in the air with his swords discarded.
He was completely open.
His opponent, Erejium charged toward his stomach after the first strike.
It was if he had expected this would happen.
Riley didn't even check what was happening afterwards and recalled about the Erenjium family.
'I, Aploc, first son of the Erenjium family!'
Riley's face turned sour.
The person he had just man handled was from Erenjium as well.
"I, I did it?!"
Soon after, there was a mutter from the contestants.
Towards the man who could not believe what he had achieved just now.
The referee shouted.
"Victor! Erenjium's second son, Aplion!"
"I, I won? I won!"
So he's the younger brother?
Riley scratched his head as he saw the timid boy who was unlike his brother, then turned his head.
It showed on his face that he remembered something.
'Now that I think about it...'
Ian had not returned yet.
'Is something happening?'
It's been some time since he left Ian to deal with the clean up.
It wouldn't be strange if he had returned by now.
Something was odd.
'Nah, what could possibly happen?'
It was weird.
But detecting no big changes to Ian's mana, Riley decided that it was nothing to worry about and began to eat the snacks Sera had prepared.
Buy us some coffee!