TLN: Two chapters today! Make sure you didn’t miss the previous one.
Ritial Zentry has the outward appearance of an elderly aristocrat but, in his prime, he was actually one of the legends that served as the leader of the group where the Holy Fist Gradona was in.
His personal skills were high without question, but he also excelled at finding outstanding talents, so he was called The Eye of Truth, and is an important individual that raised the quality of Morgana’s current upper layer.
“Mix-sama was present too, huh. It has been a while.” (Ritial)
“Please stop with the -sama. I told you before that I am just a member of Morgana!” (Mix)
“Aah, sorry about that. But I am terribly indebted to the previous king of Taizu, so I can’t not give special treatment to the daughter of my benefactor.” (Ritial)
Ritial-dono was born as a noble in Taizu. He treats me formally at times in this way because it is known that I am royalty, so he is someone I don’t like to meet often.
“It seems like you are currently working under the current king of Taizu. Was Salvet doing well?” (Ritial)
“Lord Ragudo is still on active duty. It seems like he even had a spar with Gradona-dono recently.” (Mix)
“Gradona showed up in Taizu too, huh. Must have been rough for Ban.” (Ritial)
“You could say that…” (Mix)
“Speaking of which, I heard Gradona took in a new disciple and that she has come to Kuama, but is she not together with you, Mix-sama—Mix-san?” (Ritial)
“She is a comrade of mine, but she ended up registering at Riodo instead.” (Mix)
“Oh, that’s a shame. I heard that Gradona went out of his way to take in a new disciple despite not taking any disciples after the ones he had were wiped out, so I thought she was an extremely exemplary person though.” (Ritial)
It is hard to tell him that she has gone beyond exemplary and has surpassed Gradona-dono. Wolfe-chan is a demi-human, but I think she would still be pretty effective even in Morgana… Making Ekdoik-dono gather information alone would make me feel bad though.
“She is a demi-human, you see. Even if there’s no discrimination towards demi-humans in this era, it would still stand out.” (Mix)
“So vexing, but it is truly sad that I can’t say you are wrong. It is exactly because we treasure formality that our traditions run in bad directions. Things would have been different if I had been able to wipe that out in my charge.” (Ritial)
Ritial-dono doesn’t hold prejudices towards demi-humans. He had demi-human members within his adventuring partners, so there’s no way he would have.
But it is not like he can do anything he wants now that he has become the top of Morgana.
“Oops, sorry about that. You came here for the application of Rakura-san, right? I have the bad habit of rambling when I meet a friend.” (Ritial)
“No, no, don’t worry about it.” (Mix)
“If I remember correctly, you are a cleric of Mejis that was under the tutelage of Archbishop Ukka, right?” (Ritial)
“Oh, I am impressed that you know.” (Rakura)
“Everyone calls me the Eyes of Truth, but my strong point is my ears. I try not to let any information escape my ears, so I can locate outstanding individuals. Well then, allow me to borrow your documents.” (Ritial)
Ritial-dono read the referral letter that we brought.
“I see. With these many achievements and connections to the representatives of nations, there won’t be any issues in joining Morgana.” (Ritial)
“That’s great to hear.” (Rakura)
“But these are achievements that are pretty hard to believe considering your past reputation.” (Ritial)
The reputation of Rakura-dono before coming to Taizu was certainly not a good one.
She excels at fighting, but I have heard she couldn’t do most of her job as a cleric and wasn’t given any proper work.
“This may be a rude question to ask, but the rumors I heard were that Rakura-san was the favorite of Archbishop Ukka, and you climbed to priestess because of preferential treatment. I would like to hear your opinion regarding this.” (Ritial)
“Hmm, preferential treatment, huh. It is true that Ukka-sama had his soft spots with me.” (Rakura)
Rakura-dono, won’t that just worsen your impression?
Wouldn’t it have been better to say he saw something in you instead of being honest about it…?
“Oh, you won’t deny it then?” (Ritial)
“Yeah, my achievements were pretty much all battles against devils after all.” (Rakura)
“Fumu, then you have quite the confidence in your battle prowess?” (Ritial)
“I don’t know about that. There’s been a lot of impressive people around me lately, so I can’t really say.” (Rakura)
You shouldn’t compare yourself to Lady Ratzel and Wolfe-chan-desu zo!
Those two are completely out of norms and Mister Friend is on a different spectrum.
“I don’t know if to see this as you being humble or… Well, we can just see that personally. I can accept the application to Morgana on my own discretion after all.” (Ritial)
“Wow, you are a pretty important person then, Ritial-san.” (Rakura)
He is beyond important. He is the top of the guild…
But how to say it… This is a nerve wracking conversation. Rakura-dono is operating so much as usual it is worrying-desu zo.
“Now what’s left is what rank you will begin in. Is there one you desire?” (Ritial)
“Oh, speaking of which, I haven’t explained to you yet. Rakura-dono, there’s ranks assigned to the guild members, and the difficulty of the requests you can take depend on your rank.” (Mix)
“Is it like a grade?” (Rakura)
“Yes. It goes from rank 1 to 10. Rank 1 is the highest status. By the way, I am 2.” (Mix)
“So you are an impressive person, Mix-chan! What’s your rank, Ritial-san?” (Rakura)
“Me? Rank 1.” (Ritial)
“Rakura-dono, Ritial-dono is the top of the guild-desu zo…” (Mix)
“Aah, right.” (Rakura)
The Rank 1s have to act as the faces of Morgana after all. It is a trustworthy rank that could take on requests from kings of other nations.
But you would get busy with notifications from Morgana, so I am keeping myself at Rank 2.
You normally need to be Rank 1 to accept the requests of Ani-sama, but because of my origins and direct nomination, I was called here as a special case.
“I think there’s no issue for Rakura-dono to be Rank 4 or 5.” (Mix)
“I don’t really get it, but is it okay to ask for other ranks?” (Rakura)
“Of course. However, we will have you perform a simple test in order to ascertain whether you are suitable for the rank. If you pass that test, you will get the rank you asked for; if you fail, we will be registering you as a slightly lower rank than the one we judge you appropriate in.” (Ritial)
“Oh, slightly lower?” (Rakura)
“Yes, it is a measure towards people who don’t know their own skills.” (Ritial)
“Then, would it be better to begin from a low rank?” (Rakura)
“That’s fine too. But in order to increase your rank, you would need to show results in Morgana for a set period of time and pass the promotion exam. Also, you can only raise your rank by one on that occasion.” (Ritial)
When you become a member of Morgana, you can designate a rank you like instead of beginning from Rank 10.
This is a chance given to the people who are confident in saying ‘this is the rank most befitting for me’ and it is also the baptism to teach you your place.
If you are the appropriate rank, then you can increase your rank and skills, and undertake requests matching your abilities.
But I heard that the process to climb up is pretty rough if you are registered as below your appropriate rank.
A system for the sake of correctly assessing your own ability. Most people that wish to join Morgana would normally choose a rank that’s below their appropriate one, but…how does Rakura-dono evaluate herself?
Ritial-dono places a parchment on the table. These are the examples of what requests you can accept depending on your rank.
“These are the requests you can accept depending on the rank. Use them as a reference.” (Ritial)
“Hmm…since the opportunity has been presented, I would like the highest rank!” (Rakura)
Oh, this is unexpected.
“A prompt decision, huh. Then, you wish for Rank 2?” (Ritial)
“Oh, not Rank 1?” (Rakura)
“Rank 1 is special, you see. It is absolutely required for you to have a track record in Morgana.” (Ritial)
“Can’t be helped then. I will go for Rank 2.” (Rakura)
“Understood. We see the specialty of the person in our tests. Is there a specialty you can display?” (Ritial)
“Nothing aside from fighting.” (Rakura)
“Then we will prepare a test for battle prowess. Please wait for a moment.” (Ritial)
Ritial-dono said this, bowed, and left the room.
I thought Rakura-dono would choose a rank a bit lower than her appropriate rank judging from her personality, but is this the influence of Mister Friend and Ekdoik-dono?
Rakura-dono made an awkward face, most likely after noticing my gaze.
“Uhm, Mix-chan, did I do something bad there?” (Rakura)
“No. I thought your appropriate rank was Rank 3 or 4, so I thought that you would take a rank that’s slightly lower due to your personality.” (Mix)
“So it was that. But I can take the test now, so I thought it would be worth challenging the higher one.” (Rakura)
“A desire to improve is something good-desu zo! But well…” (Mix)
“Is something the matter?” (Rakura)
“It is more often than not that you will get dropped to an even lower rank if you fail the test for a high rank.” (Mix)
I have even heard of a story of a person with skills of around Rank 4 requesting for Rank 2 and, after failing the test, they were dropped to Rank 10.
It is basically telling the people that aim too high to know their place… Well, it is not like Rakura-dono is going to be working as an adventurer, so there’s no issues with her being Rank 10 though.
Also, if it is a battle prowess test, there’s a high chance for Rakura-dono.
There’s an issue though. She will be going against a human not a monster.
If she kills the opponent, she is disqualified. Would the barrier magic of Rakura-dono with its high killing power be hard to use?
“I think you will be fighting against an adventurer of the corresponding rank for the battle exam. How much experience do you have fighting against people, Rakura-dono?” (Mix)
“My battle experience against humans? Uhm…one time against Ekdoik-san, I guess.” (Rakura)
…Mister Friend, is this going to be fine?
“Masetta Noitch, I would like you to be the test opponent of Rakura Salf.” (Ritial)
I received a request from the guildmaster Ritial-sama and I accepted without hesitation.
And so, I am currently facing that Rakura in the privately owned plaza of Morgana.
The first time I met Rakura was on the commemorative day when I joined as a believer of the Yugura Church. It was at the time when Ukka-sama honored us with his presence as our guardian.
Rakura was by my side and she was rocking her head before it even began.
The moment the talk of Ukka-sama was over, she pushed her forehead on the backrest of the chair in the front, and fell asleep like a child.
What an unbelievably ill mannered person. This was the first time I felt disgust towards someone walking the same path as me.
I didn’t want to lose to a person like that. I decided to consider her a bad example to motivate myself at that time.
But the skills of Rakura were astonishingly low.
She failed all the time and couldn’t do any work in a satisfactory fashion. On top of that, I couldn’t even feel the desire to reflect and better herself.
Aah, she is the type of person that even trying to oppose her is a waste of time.
If I concentrate on her, my pace will be disturbed. The only thing she served for was to make me feel better that I am at least better than her.
I thought about this and made sure not to lay my eyes on Rakura as much as possible.
The other people also took distance from Rakura.
As someone in the middle of training, my job is to improve myself. I understood that getting involved with someone that would just get in the way of this would be pointless.
The only thing I thought of was to become a priestess as fast as possible and contribute to the world as a believer of the Yugura Church as I polished myself every day.
I spent days and nights working together with people who shared my views, did my best in my training, and waited in excitement for the day when I would finally fulfill my objective.
But the one who became a priestess first within our classmates was Rakura.
Everyone was baffled. There were even people who went to complain to Ukka-sama because they couldn’t accept this.
I was one of them too.
But Ukka-sama only said ‘I have my reasons’.
Rakura didn’t change even when becoming a priestess. Not only that, her failures became even more visible.
Why is that above us?
I couldn’t endure the anger and challenged Rakura to a duel.
But she went and said ‘I am not good at fighting people’ and ran away.
It wasn’t allowed to force Rakura to a duel since she is above in standing, and my displeasure just continued accumulating.
I wasn’t even qualified to put her in her place.
In that case, I had no choice but to become a priestess like her. And so, I continued polishing myself with even more zeal.
The training while chewing my shame was a truly bitter experience.
By the time I became a priestess the next year, Rakura had been taken off her duty as a priestess.
It is because she harmed the barrier protecting the grand church due to a mistake and was judged by the Archbishops that she wasn’t worthy for her duties.
Rakura was instead given the job to subjugate devils around the Mejis Nether.
It is an actual battlefield where your life is at risk. Everyone thought there’s no way that thing would be able to survive.
I was irritated for a time because the person I wanted to vent my accumulated resentments on was gone now.
It was only after my friends helped me out in moving me to a different path that I managed to finally forget about that thing.
I then obtained actual combat experience, and managed to walk my life in a favorable fashion.
I managed to join Morgana in order to spread my horizons even more, and my accomplishments there were something I could be proud of.
I managed to become a Rank 2 adventurer despite being a priestess.
Everything is going well -is what I thought, and yet…
Rakura suddenly appeared in front of me. Moreover, having obtained the recommendation letters of the kings of multiple countries, and stepped into my territory in one jump.
“It has been a while, Rakura.”
“Uhm…who were you again?” (Rakura)
Rakura hasn’t changed at all from before. Her body has grown and become that of an adult, but her attitude that pisses off people is still the very same.
“I see, so you don’t even remember the face of a classmate.”
“Ooh, you are a classmate of mine?! Sorry, I didn’t have much involvement with others, you see…” (Rakura)
“Let’s leave the chit-chat for later. Now then, I will explain the details of the test.” (Ritial)
Ritial-sama cuts into our conversation.
There will be no later. I played second fiddle for her in the past, but this time it will be the opposite.
Then, there’s no reason at all for me to show mercy. I will thoroughly show her our difference in strength to the point where a fool like her, who wishes for Rank 2 all of a sudden, can’t ever show her face in front of me and will make her know her place.
“The details are extremely simple. It is a duel where you utilize your skills. The battle is settled when someone surrenders or I have judged that the winner is clear. There’s no need to hold back, but it is prohibited to intentionally try to kill your opponent. No objections on both sides, right?” (Ritial)
“It is okay. Please treat me well.” (Rakura)
Attempting to finish someone heavily injured goes against the etiquette of duels, but unfortunate accidents obviously happen.
There may be bloodlust welling up from me, but I have no intention of killing her. I wouldn’t be able to give her time to regret it if I did that after all.
I will corner her into serious injuries and etch the fear deep into her.
“Then, ready…go!” (Ritial)
The only chance Rakura has for victory is to catch me off-guard and win without me being able to do anything.
There’s a high chance she will set a surprise attack in the beginning.
I deploy a barrier around me first. I don’t see any magic seal stones in her attire, but I deploy a bigger one than usual just in case.
With this, she can’t surprise me with magic attacks. Because of the scale of the barrier, even if she were to be hiding a small magic seal stone, it would be outside its effective range.
On the other hand, Rakura is…simply watching me here, taken aback.
Is she flustered from the fact that I have sealed her surprise attack? Or did she simply react too late?
Whichever is fine. My defense is perfect.
You normally can’t shoot magic while you have a barrier deployed.
Even if you did, it would just disperse inside the barrier and you would self-destruct.
But it is a different story for me. I control the mana remotely and make contact with the barrier.
I make only my mana resonate outside and form magic outside the barrier.
If you can’t shoot magic inside the barrier, just shoot it outside. It is a simple answer, but you need abnormal degrees of training to actually pull it off.
I synthesize several spells and shoot fire magic to Rakura.
Rakura set a barrier after seeing this.
She has also learned in the Yugura Church. I know she can use barrier magic.
It is difficult to break a barrier with fire magic. The fire was blocked by the barrier as I thought and didn’t reach Rakura.
But blocking this with a barrier sets your doom.
“Oh, this fire…” (Rakura)
“That’s right, this fire continues burning until the mana infused in it runs out!”
The fire coils around the barrier Rakura made and continues burning.
A normal fire spell would end with just the fire dying out, but this one sticks to you.
The downside of the barriers you learn in the Yugura Church is that you can’t move. They are sturdy, but it consumes a lot of mana.
As long as the fire continues burning, she has no choice but to maintain the barrier; if she maintains the barrier, she can’t move.
If her mana runs out, that’s the end. In order to avoid this, she has to undo her barrier and immediately blow the fire away with magic.
That’s not all there is to the sticky flames. If a blow of certain strength is dealt to the flames, the mana will combust in one go.
In other words, if Rakura tries to undo her barrier and blow the fire away, her surroundings will explode.
Now, show me how you will act here. Or are you going to endure until your mana runs out?
“Hmm, can’t see anything with this. Let’s move. Ei.” (Rakura)
What happened just now? That’s impossible.
The method Rakura took was to push the barrier she had deployed with her hand and expand it.
The square barrier turned rectangular by pushing it to the sides.
And then, Rakura walked inside the expanded barrier.
The barrier was stretching more and more, and then, a spot where the fire cut off had appeared.
“Uwaah, this fire really stretches a lot. This place should be fine.” (Rakura)
Rakura undid her barrier and the fire fell onto the ground, burning pitifully.
“Stretching a sturdy barrier makes no sense!”
“I thought so at first, but it is made out of mana, so you can actually stretch it if you try, you know? It turns brittle if you don’t add more mana to it though.” (Rakura)
Is that so? It must be?
No, this is not the time to think that.
Rakura avoided the fire, but it is not like the battle is set here.
I was so dumbstruck that I forgot to follow up on my attack.
I now know that she can expand her barrier. In that case, I should have just burned the place she was expanding.
You will need more mana to maintain it if the barrier gets bigger. It is just a desperate measure that accelerates her running out of mana.
“Uhm, you should create an opportunity for your opponent to show off too in a duel, was it? In that case, it should be fine to finish it now, right?” (Rakura)
Rakura looks over here. Is she going to attack?
I am protected by a barrier. This barrier won’t be destroyed with just any attack.
Even if she has a high attack power spell that can destroy this barrier, I just have to switch to evasion after seeing the formation of the spell.
No, if she is going to use a high power spell that takes time, I just have to hit her with my fire first and I will wi—
My vision suddenly got lower and my body was smashed onto the ground.
What happened? I can’t understand the situation.
But this is not the time to be on my leisure. I immediately stood up, regained my posture…my posture…
I can’t move my arm…no, I don’t feel my arm.
I moved my head and looked down, and both of my arms were gone.
Not only that, both legs too.
I saw my arms and legs on my peripheral.
It took time for me to understand, but I ended up understanding.
My limbs have been severed.
There’s a huge amount of blood coming out from the places where my limbs were.
There’s barely any pain. That instead created surplus for me to feel fear.
No way. I got hit by an attack?
But my barrier… Uh? My barrier is gone.
What did Rakura do? Rakura is…
Rakura is already looking elsewhere. She is looking at Ritial-sama.
“Ritial-san, I think severing her head would kill her, so…” (Rakura)
“Y-Yeah, match set! Please stop the bleeding and provide medical treatment to Masetta at once.” (Ritial)
Lost…? I lost…?
Even though I don’t even know what she did to me?
My whole body was losing blood and my consciousness was dimming. I can tell people were gathering around.
Rakura is…Rakura is…yawning as if bored.