Chapter 1:

The Joys and Sorrows of the Qualifiers

WELL, let’s get going.



After a full breakfast and a thorough look at her equipment, Fran left the inn. She’d wasted no time in using her newly maxed-out Blacksmith skill, and I was in top condition. She’d even thrown out the old rag she used before and bought a dedicated polishing cloth made from top-class monster materials. I really felt the difference, and her love for me truly made my morning.

“Hm hmm.”

You’re in a good mood.

“Of course! I can’t wait!” Fran smiled, clearly looking forward to today’s battles.

You’re so excited for these fights, it almost scares me. You still don’t know who you’re going up against.

“That’s why it’s exciting.”

Yeah, I guess you’re right.


Fran’s blood knight tendencies were showing—she wasn’t afraid of the unknown.

Guess I’m too late…


Nothing. I wonder who you’ll fight first.

Fran was heading to the battle arena for her first preliminary. The tournament itself started yesterday, and would be held over fourteen days. The first round of preliminaries happened over the first two days, with the second round following on the third and fourth. There were over a thousand entrants, and the organizers held five-man matches to get through the eliminations as quickly as possible.

The multitudes of adventurers in Ulmutt made it a spawning ground for arenas and training centers. With these facilities, the two hundred first-round matches wouldn’t take too long.

These matches were not open to the public. They were too much of a mixed bag. Matches between fellow beginners made for a dull fight, while a veteran would squash his competition in an instant. Spectators could only watch from the second round on, which would be held in larger venues.

The preliminaries whittled down the field to fifty. Adding the fourteen seeded fighters, the tournament would begin with sixty-four combatants.

It was incredibly bloody by Earth standards. Killing someone in the heat of battle was not a crime, and all the combatants signed a waiver acknowledging the risks. This world did have Healing Mages and potions which allowed someone to be brought back from the brink of death, but these were prohibited in the first round of preliminaries. The rule discouraged any participants who weren’t ready to put their lives on the line, and prevented the guild from bankrupting itself by handing out healing potions to everyone who participated.

Getting nervous, Fran?


She didn’t even know why she would be. The girl had nerves of steel. But then, we were more than prepared. We were the strongest we’d ever been, and I knew Fran felt the same way.

I’ll hang back to begin with, but I’m helping out if you’re up against someone tough. That okay?

“I’d like to see how much stronger we are.”

Our first match was at the Adventurers’ Guild’s training grounds, located right next to the guildhouse. We couldn’t miss it, and we had time before the match, so we took our time getting there.

I went over the rules again to pass the time. They weren’t complicated—the matches tended to be too violent for subtle strokes. The only thing Fran had to remember was the prohibition on healing potions. Combatants were allowed to use all the spells at their disposal. There was a ban on Fiend Magic, but that was a given. Using it was paramount to outing yourself as mankind’s universal enemy.

Summoning was allowed as long as the creatures weren’t humanoid. However, you couldn’t have them present from the start of the match. That meant we could bring Jet in, provided he stayed in the shadows until the match began. He was technically our familiar, but the rule only stated “summons and the like.”

Jet, you’re our ace in the hole.


Our direwolf was hiding in the shadows and raring to go, ready to pounce on our mark. There were no restrictions on enchanted equipment or manatech—the matches were a no-holds-barred exhibition of an adventurer’s full arsenal. Anyone who was knocked out of the ring was disqualified. Combatants could also forfeit by admitting defeat.

You got all that?

“Hm. Crystal clear.”

Are you sure?


Fran nodded, though her eyes were locked on the food stalls in the distance. The long wait was making her as restless as a girl with her first crush. Still, she wouldn’t spoil her stomach by eating right before a match. She wiped the drool from her lips and resisted the food stall’s gravitational pull.

You can eat as much as you want after your fight. Just hang in there.


Fran stole a final glance at the stalls. There were a lot more of them now the tournament had begun, and each one looked more delicious than the last. We hurried to the guild, but Fran stopped just in front of it.

What is it, Fran? Did she spot something she simply had to try?

“Over there.” Fran pointed to a stall. The name of the shop seemed familiar.

Is that…the Dragonhead?

The Dragonhead was a restaurant which had competed in Bulbola’s cooking contest. Now it had set up shop in front of the guildhouse.

“I’ll go and see.”


Fran ducked into the stall. She recognized the blonde dandy who was selling soup. Phelms, the former A-Rank adventurer turned restaurateur, was looking classy as always.

“Is that the proprietress of the Black Tail I see before me?” Phelms recognized Fran and approached us. His saunter added to the refinement of his age. I imagined he must have a lot of younger fans.

“It’s been a while,” said Fran.

“It really has. Will you be taking part in the tournament?”


“Well then, the best of luck to you. Though I imagine you wouldn’t need it.”

Fran asked whether Phelms was participating, and he told us that he was. More than that, he was a seed now, owing to the many victories he had racked up when he was younger. I didn’t expect anything less from the former A-Rank.

He’ll make for one hell of a tough fight.

People didn’t call him “Dragon Killer” for nothing. He killed them just to turn them into ingredients. What made Phelms even more

Вы читаете Reincarnated as a Sword Vol. 6
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