92 Issenza Match Part 1
Title matches are held twice a year in an arena near the Royal Castle, in summer and winter.
I wonder how many thousands can it hold? It’s a huge, colosseum-like, circular arena, and a large crowd is currently in it.
In the special seat in the front, I can see the figure of Maine. After all, the Title Matches are, in a way, contests held in the presence of the King. In other words, it can be said to be a tournament held to show the peak of the fighting arts to the new King of the Castall Kingdom, Maine.
“――Starting now, the 466th Winter Title Matches will begin! ”
After giving a lengthy introduction, Maine finally proclaimed loudly. Immediately after, thunderous applause could be heard coming from the audience seats.
This is a scene I’ve seen many times in my previous life. However, no matter how many times I’ve seen it, I just can’t get tired of it. This surging feeling, it makes me feel like I’m back. Like, I’ve finally returned. To this glorious stage――
“Second-dono. The Issenza Match will soon begin. Is it alright for you to not make preparations? ”
As for the matches we will be participating, they are, starting from the first day: the Issenza Match, then Kisenshou Match, Eishou Match, Kongou Match, and lastly the Reiou Match. The Matches for one Title are held each day. This seems to be due to the small number of participants, so the tournament starts in the morning and the winner will face off against the current Title Holder later on the same day. Or to put it differently, a new Title Holder is decided every day.
” I don’t need some stupid preparation……Well, whatever. I’m off.”
“Umu. Good luck.”
“Second, good luck! ”
After Silvia and Eko conveyed their words of encouragement, they walked towards the spectator seats reserved for the contestants.
Right then, I found some familiar faces among the audience. There’s Yukari. Or rather, the group in that area seems to be my servants. Looking closely, aren’t there nearly a hundred of them? That’s amazing.
Eh? Ahh, there’s also Sherry-chan and the First Royal Court Magician Division’s mages over there. In addition, I can see the uniforms from the Royal Magic Academy here and there. There’s even Chérie, the daughter of the Earl, in the front row. I wonder if everyone is cheering for someone? Or maybe for me? Nah, that can’t be.
“Issenza Match, first fight, Second Firstest, versus, Kasakari Kerala! ”
I heard my name being called from the commentator’s seat. Quite brief I should say. Seems like he’s not a commentator but more like a presenter. At the time of Mobius, there were many commentators that lived up the venue while also reading aloud the live comments on the internet, but well, I don’t think that’s really necessary in this world.
Holding my familiar mithril sword on my waist, I walked down to the center of the arena. On the other side was a middle-aged man with a slick hairdo, wearing a pair of slender glasses and a kimono that looked like some sort of national costume. It seems his name is Kasakari Kerala.
Well then. With the number of participants in the Issenza Matches being four, me included, this could be called the semifinals of the challenger tournament. If you win this and the final, and you win against the current Issenza holder, you can win the Title of Issenza in a single day. All it takes is three wins. Well, this might be an easy win.
“It’s an honor to mee you, new face.”
“Ahh, yes. Likewise.”
A simple bow. He’s quite a polite person.
While checking the rule settings on it, we equipped the item for the duel, called “Duel Crown”. Damage display function on, fatal wound after reaching 1 HP is a forced stun……Alright, everything is good.
Since there’s no problem, we both accepted the duel.
Kasakari pulled out his weapon from his waist and took a stance on one leg. Ohh, a rapier, huh? How unusual. And that’s a peculiar stance. That looks more like a batting stance.
I didn’t need to draw my sword or take a stance and just stood there waiting for the signal to start.
The referee’s signal came.
In just a moment. Kasakari quickly closed the distance by three steps.
Well, thinking about it, the way he bent his body, and moved back and forth looked just like a dance.
……An Issenza Match, or to put it in other words, a match between fellow 【Swordsmen】, is a “Battle to dominate a space”.
I see, then those actions make sense. It certainly makes it difficult to grasp the timing. And, he is likely waiting to see how I’ll approach it. After all, I’m a new face in this tournament, so there’s no prior information on me.
“It is my principle to not being reluctant of going all out.”
I declare in advance, taking into consideration the courtesy my opponent has shown me.
It doesn’t matter if this is the first or the last match. I’ve decided to go seriously straight from the beginning in these Issenza matches.
With the world’s number 1 ‘steps’, the “Seven’s System”――Which has been carefully crafted.
“! ! ”
In the first step, with a combined attack of 《Soldier Swordsmanship》 and 《Knight Swordsmanship》, I aim to pierce Kasakari’s right foot.
The second step, Kasakari takes a step back. The obvious response. Immediately after, I aim and slash at Kasakari’s left hand with 《Soldier Swordsmanship》, which was left unprotected mid-air as he regained his balance. That’s the third step.
Seems like he evaded at the last second. Kasakari then took distance in a hurry. This is the fourth step; he gave quite a huge opportunity. The fifth step, while keeping close attention to our distance, I used 《Rook Swordsmanship》 and rushed while thrusting at his bosom.
“I won’t let you! ”
Kasakari started preparing 《Gold Swordsmanship》 to defend against it with his rapier. That’s the worst he could’ve done as the sixth step.
Ahh, what a shame. In that case, this will settle it.
“No way, that’s――!? ”
I canceled the skill and immediately after I prepared 《Bishop Swordsmanship》 with my mithril sword and ・・・I threw it.
It’s impossible to avoid it because the Gold skill won’t be ready in time to repel it. In a flash, the mithril sword pierced the defenseless neck of Kasakari.
The seventh step. It’s all about pushing back one’s opponent.
Kasakari fell to the floor while scattering fresh blood. I was already preparing a 《Dragon Horse Swordsmanship》 attack after taking out another mithril sword from my inventory, but……Kasakari never got up. Apparently, since I hit him in a vital spot, all his HP was blown away in a single strike. And, according to the duel settings, Kasakari was stunned, leaving him with only 1 HP.
“…………W-WINNER, SECOND FIRSTEST!! ”
After a brief moment of silence, the referee declared in a loud voice.
At the same time――earth-shattering cheers and applause echoed all across the arena.
What an incredible atmosphere. It might be louder than it was back in Mobius.
Especially, the corner where all my servants are is quite intense. But since it felt good, I waved my hand towards them. Wow, they are even more excited now. That’s great, it makes me happy.
“What the heck was that!? ” “Was THAT Kasakari completely defeated!? ” “What a crushing victory! ” “It was over in a second! ” “I’ve seen something amazing! ”
Listening closely, one could hear the various impressions from the audience seats. Most of them were of praise.
However, the way they said “THAT Kasakari”……It caught my attention. That was an expression as if that man was strong.
That’s stupid. There’s no way for a person who devises such a petty trick like dancing to disguise his reach to be strong. That was more like something a middle schooler who was just hooked up on Mobius would do to try and gather attention, with the excuse of showing ‘originality’.
I can’t deny it would have a good response with the audience, but he was still lacking on the basics. I don’t know how the regular audience sees him, but I can’t see him as anything more than some guy trying to put on airs. This makes me a little angry. I don’t want them to consider someone like him, a strong man. I don’t want them to think a Title Match is something like this. There’s still more to see, way more.
“Oh wow, that was impressive. What amazing sword movements.”
On my way to the spectator seats for the contestants, an unknown man suddenly spoke to him. He looked like your everyday, ordinary middle-aged man, one you could find anywhere, but his eyes had an abnormal gleam. So, I just ignored him as someone creepy, thinking that maybe he was even some Caramelia addict.
The other semi-final was a match between a large man named Gram and a blonde, handsome man named Jerez Lumberjack.
I remember Gram. He’s the man who wielded a large sword and whose family was taken hostage by the Prime Minister. However, it seems he no longer uses that huge sword. He probably listened to my advice. People who can be honest and listen to the advice of the opponent who defeated them have, in my experience, left a strong impression. I can tell he’s a man with the tenacity to go through thick and thin if it means securing the victory.
On the opposite side is a man named Jerez Lumberjack. I somehow got the feeling I’ve seen him before and heard of him……where was it?
……Eh!? No, wait. That’s right! Of course, I know. Speaking of Lumberjack, he should be family with Chérie!
“So, he’s that girl’s brother!? ”
“You only noticed this now? Then, Second-dono, that’s not all, come on, can’t you remember? ”
“Huh? Remember what?”
Silvia, who was standing next to me, asked. Since I honestly couldn’t think of anything, I turned towards Eko.
“At the time with the dragons, right? ”
Eko, on the other hand, seemed to have remembered. She looked at me with her round eyes as if implying “Do you really not remember? “, while also tilting her head. Somehow, it feels kind of harsh. However, I can’t remember what I can’t remember, there’s nothing I can’t do about it.
“Sorry, when was it? The time with the dragons? ”
“It was when we three went to the Metio Dungeon to learn Dragon King and Dragon Horse. Don’t you remember when we saw a swordsman and a maid on our way back? ”
“What? Ahh! You’re right, I saw them. You’re both amazing, to be able to remember that.”
“Well, seeing your fight just now, Second-dono, I couldn’t help but think about your beautiful figure that I saw that day, and that also made me remember the other time I thought that, that’s all.”
“Beautiful figure? ”
“Ahh……No. I-It’s not like that! It’s embarrassing, so please don’t ask me.”
Silvia embarrassed and self-destructed all by herself. I intentionally answered with a “Hmm”, as if showing no interest. Only someone dense would keep asking her. I turned my gaze away from her, but I could easily tell she was thinking about ‘that’ night right now. Well, this is something I can tease her later with.
“Look, they’re about to make a move! ”
Silvia pointed at the center of the arena, trying to change the subject.
Gram and Jerez had been staring at each other for about 20 minutes. This is a common situation in matches where the participants’ abilities are close. After all, in an even match, it’s usually disadvantageous to make the first move.
In the matches for the challengers, the time limit is one hour. So certainly, as Silvia says, it’s about time for either of them to start to make a move.
Eko, who was quite enthusiastic, stood up from my knees and leaned forward. I supported her thin waist from behind in order for her to not fall forward. I can’t really see the match because of Eko standing up, and her tail swings all around, tickling my face, but my teacher side feels happy that she’s so absorbed in the Title Matches. That’s right, the Title Matches are interesting. Be it watching them or participating in them.
“OHHHH! A brute force approach!? Chérie’s brother is amazing! ”
“BOOM! BANG! GOOOO! ”
Somehow, she seems quite excited. But what does she mean with ‘boom’?
“He overpowered him! Did you see it!? Did you see it!? Second-dono! ”
I obviously didn’t.
“Speaking of which, why are you girls in such high spirits?”
“Well, we couldn’t do it with your fight, Second-dono.”
“Why not!? ”
“Because it was over in no time.”
“When it started, you won.”
Ahh, so it’s that……
“Looks like Chérie’s brother will be in the next fight.”
“It seems like it.”
“From the looks of it, seems like he’s using an old style.”
“Hee, that doesn’t matter.”
“Ehh……Somehow, in some way, you seem like someone else. Are you okay? ”
“It’s too late to start getting pumped up now. The match is almost decided before it even starts.”
“Hahaha, you’re such a man unworthy of cheering for. However……Yeah, that’s also cool.”
“You should also start practicing looking cool, Silvia. To win a Title Match means you’ll have a large number of people following after your back. As their object of adoration, you have the duty to look good. Also, the bigger the back, the better.”
“……It was the same with me, I remember admiring the Title Matches when I was younger. I always dreamed of becoming a strong knight, like them. But now, I’ll be standing on the dreamed of side.”
“You first should practice with our servants. That’s perfect for trying to look cool. And they are sure to give their compliments.”
“Fufu, then, let me show them an even bigger dream. Look, it’s almost your time to enter.”
The final battle of the Issenza Matches, to decide the challenger of the tournament.
My opponent was Chérie’s brother, Jerez Lumberjack.
He spoke to me while I was silently checking the duel crown.
“Second-kun, this is the first time we’ve met. My name is Jerez. I’m a wandering swordsman.”
“Right, but I’ve seen you once before. You were fighting an Emerald Dragon in the Metio Dungeon.”
“I see! Then you should know my ability.”
“That’s right. More or less.”
“I heard you’ve taken care of my sister. I also watched your match against Kasakari a while ago. And I too know about your incident with Kisenshou.”
“……What are you trying to say? ”
“I’m just happy, too happy that I can’t hold it anymore. Please entertain me, by all means.”
Wearing a huge smile, Jerez pulled out the sword from his waist. Just like me, he wielded a mithril sword.
“Second! Don’t lose to something like my brother! ”
At that moment, a mocking comment came flying from a certain young noble girl in the audience seats.
That caused Jerez to drop to the floor.
“She called you ‘Something’.”
“Ha-Hahaha, it seems she has gotten cheeky after not seeing me in a while.”
“You sure get along well as siblings.”
“At the very least, I do think so.”
Apparently, he’s one-sidedly disliked by his sister.
“Participants, get ready! ”
Finishing our small talk, we get to our positions according to the referee’s instructions.
Jerez’s expression changed to an icy, sharp one, quite different from the innocent boy’s smile he had until moments ago.
We bowed to each other.
The second after, Jerez immediately closed our distance. Just like Silvia said, he’s quite the straight forward, gung-ho type.
Well then. The first step is the same, a combined attack of 《Soldier Swordsmanship》 and 《Knight Swordsmanship》, aiming to pierce Jerez’s right foot. It’s the first move of the “Seven’s System”.
“That move, I’ve already seen it!”
He probably yelled so show off his superiority. For the second move, unlike Kasakari, Jerez didn’t dare to avoid my attack and instead made a counter using 《Silver Swordsmanship》, swinging from the upper left side while pulling back his right foot.
Those who understand would know. The meaning of that “Oh boy”. Come on, let’s say it together. “Oh boy”.
Third move, I could’ve canceled the skill and back off, but I didn’t; instead, while leaning to the left I knocked the handle of his mithril sword slightly sideways with my fingertips.
――Jerez’s 《Silver Swordsmanship》 attack connected to the ground. And my 《Soldier Swordsmanship》 went to Jerez’s left ankle.
I certainly felt it touching it. Then, while crouching, I swung while spinning, then prepared a 《Rook Swordsmanship》 attack.
For the fourth move, Jerez “passed”. I wonder if it’s because he lost his leg, and therefore, his balance?
In the fifth move, my 《Rook Swordsmanship》 attack hit his brain directly. The outcome has been completely decided.
Jerez’s head, which should’ve become a mess because of the attack, was actually unharmed due to the effects of the Duel Crown. However, since his HP has been reduced to 1, he was stunned and had passed out showing the white of his eyes.
“We have a winner! Victor, SECOND FIRSTEST! ”
It was somewhat of a tasteless victory.
The audience seats roared with excitement. Chérie on the other hand was shocked still, with her mouth agape. I can imagine how of a shocking image it would be to witness your brother lose his ankle right in front of your eyes. I guess it couldn’t be helped.
Just like in the first match, I waved my hand towards Yukari then headed towards the contestants’ seats as loud cheers echoed at my back.
Over there, a familiar glass-waring man was waiting for me.
“Most certainly. I am Kasakari Kerala.”
Apparently, he already recovered from the stun and got his HP back. He looked full of energy.
“Second-dono. I’d like to ask you one question about your swordsmanship, for later study.”
He approached me with a serious expression in his face, so I nodded saying a few words. However, Kasakari’s eyes rounded in surprise at my reply.
“I never expected you would actually answer.”
“Then don’t ask.”
“Oops, please don’t take it the wrong way. It’s just that this could be called a universal thing. Usually, whenever a swordsman asks someone else about their swordsmanship earnestly, the answer is always a no. You are very different. But that makes me quite happy. I’m so excited I can’t control this urge to just wanting to dance.”
You’re also very different from my image of a swordsman, but I decided not to voice those thoughts, or else the story will derail even more.
“Excuse me. It’s just that in my hometown we express our feelings like this from time to time. How about you come to visit my hometown, Second-dono–”
“Just get back to the main subject please.”
“Oh, right, I’m sorry about this. It’s a bad habit of mine. Well then.”
After taking a deep breath, Kasakari opened his mouth slowly with a very serious expression.
“About your first strike, I thought it was best to evade it. However, I didn’t know what to do from there. Or more like, I couldn’t see where to go from there. I find your swordsmanship somewhat strange. It’s a style of swordsmanship that I can’t help but reconsider the common sense that the receiving side has the advantage. Id’ love to ask you to teach me the secret.”
He asked quite the direct question.
This man, despite being a Title Match contestant, asked me the “secret” without any shame or regard for his honor.
……It pisses me off. It pisses me off, but it’s fine. If it’s only the basics, I’ll tell you.
Therefore, by the summer, please become a suitable contestant for the Title Matches. I beg you. You too, Jerez. I just hope you won’t disappoint me.
“It’s best to put everything to avoid it. If you aim for a counter, you’ll end up like Jerez just now. You either break it with Soldier or avoid it. Both were fine. In your case, using Gold was a bad move. Against Rook, you could’ve turned the battle aiming for a critical with a combination of Bishop and Knight.”
“Hmm, I see.”
“Or rather, there would be no end if I were to teach you how to respond to each one. After all, you haven’t gotten the basics down.”
“……What do you mean? ”
“Always have multiple aims. Don’t cut corners and be careful with particular details. Cover all the bases and think of every way to respond to the other party’s attacks. Make sure to give these three points a proper thought.”
“Please wait. Ahh, no, I think I understand……Comprehend? How further? ”
“Don’t ask me, but why don’t you think of it as a tree diagram?”
“Would such a thing be really possible? ”
“No, you have to do it. Don’t think about whether you can or cannot do it. Do it. First, do it. Then repeat it for days, months, years. Do it until you can do it properly. And keep at it after. That simple. If you can, you’ll win. If you can’t, you’ll lose. Therefore, you just have to keep doing it until you can do it properly.”
What’s with this guy?
Even though he has lived in this world before I.
Even though everything he could’ve done in his life had a meaning.
“If you got it, get lost. You’re making me feel sick.”
“……You have my thanks. And I sincerely hope for the birth of a new Issenza.”
＊ ＊ ＊
“It was amazing! Simply amazing! A-MA-ZING! ”
Meanwhile, the servants of house Firstest were making a fuss in the audience seats.
“Shut up already, Pani-cchi.”
“Look who’s talking, you and your noisy panting during the match were a bother! Cosmos! ”
“Nice, big sister El. I also thought she was being too noisy.”
It was said that when more than two women came together, they were very loud, but this was already beyond that level.
There were the Ten Great and their boisterous subordinates, alongside The Big Four with their respective noisy men under them.
“Did you see it? Momo, that’s Master. Firstest family head, the Master we’re proud to serve! I once was taught how to not get nervous by Master, but that’s a different magnificent story, I even remember it word by word as if it were yesterday. Want me to tell you about it? Do you want to hear it? Well, it began while I was walking in the garden of the servants’ house――”
“I get it, I get it, Marina. Please be quiet a little. Or rather, please stop talking to me altogether. Let me savor this emotional aftertaste.”
Marina, the vice-captain of the Es Squad and Momo, the vice-captain of the El Squad were having a conversation of seemingly good friends but were actually biting at each other with their comments.
“……A-Aniki. T-This is Second-sama? Seriously? What an amazing person……”
“So, you finally noticed!? Geez! What a useless fellow! ”
On the other side was the blue-faced and shivering stable-hand, Ploum, who kept being hit on the head by the high-spirited Stable Master Jast, who wore a happy expression for some reason.
All the other servants also shared their feelings with each other, speaking excitedly about their thoughts. There seemed to be those who recorded every move from Second without missing anything, those who analyzed his tactics, and those who were talking about their expectations for the next round.
“Yukari-sama, is it alright for you to not call for discipline?”
“It’s fine for today. This is Master’s moment to shine.”
“Do you mean it is our duty as servants to make a lot of excitement?”
“Well, making noise without doing it consciously.”
“……Yes. As for me, I can’t stop shaking from a while ago.”
“It can’t be helped. Second-sama’s swordsmanship……How to explain it? It’s nothing short of abnormal.”
“I agree. However, you guys, as his servants, are in a position to ask Master to teach you.”
“I think I would like to thank Second-sama for being born into this world.”
“You do that.”
Like this, one of the reasons why Yukari came to watch the matches with a large number of servants was for the servants’ brainwashing education. In order for them to never betray Second, she brought them to show them his heroic figure to gather their trust, which could be called “fanatism”, and their admiration, which could also be called “worship”.
Otherwise, it would be unthinkable for Yukari to bother bringing “maids who could become rivals” to such a place where they could see the splendor of Second and develop a passion for him. So to speak, it was a tough decision for her. This was such an action unthinkable for the past Yukari, who had a strong desire to monopolize him.
“Yve. In how many seconds do you think the final match will end? I’m betting within 40 seconds.”
“Within 30 seconds, is what she said.”
“Is that so? If I win, I’ll leave the instructing of the assassination squad to the two of you for a day and take a vacation. If I lose, I’ll give you a bracer made with Bestowal.”
“Eh!? ……er! ”
“Eh, please wait, I can’t be a teacher. Is what she said.”
“This just happened because you bet without asking for the conditions.”
Yukari, Yve, and Luna were all talking about such things; however, their facial expression showed no change. But somehow, the atmosphere was a bit livelier than usual.
And Yukari being Yukari, she was considerably enjoying it.
Thank you for reading.
- HP Hit Points
- MP Magic Points
- SP Stamina Points
- STR Short range attack skill power, strength, physical power.
- DEX Long range attack skill power, dexterity, hit rate.
- AGI Quickness, avoidance rate.
- INT Attack Magic skill power.
- LUK Good luck, critical rate.
- VIT Simple defense.
- MGR Magic defense.
Types of combat skills
Named after shogi pieces (The word in bold is the one being used in this translation). From easier to acquire to harder.
- Pawn/Soldier (Fuhyou)
- Knight (Keima)
- Silver General (Ginshou)
- Gold General (Kinshou)
- Bishop (Kakugyou)
- Rook (Hisha)
- Promoted Bishop/Dragon Horse(Ryuuma)
- Promoted Rook/Dragon King (Ryuuou).
List of Swordsmanship skills
- 《Soldier Swordsmanship》 Normal attack.
- 《Lance Swordsmanship》 Piercing attack.
- 《Knight Swordsmanship》 Precision attack.
- 《Silver Swordsmanship》 Strong single-target attack.
- 《Gold Swordsmanship》 Small-range attack to all directions.
- 《Bishop Swordsmanship》 ???
- 《Rook Swordsmanship》 ???
- 《Dragon Horse Swordsmanship》 ???
- 《Dragon King Swordsmanship》 ???
List of Shieldmanship skills
- 《Soldier Shieldmanship》 Normal defense.
- 《Lance Shieldmanship》 Piercing deflection.
- 《Knight Shieldmanship》 Defense + knockback.
- 《Silver Shieldmanship》 ???
- 《Gold Shieldmanship》 Ranged guided defense + knockback.
- 《Bishop Shieldmanship》 Reinforced defense (Temporarily boosts VIT and MGR)
- 《Rook Shieldmanship》 ???
- 《Dragon Horse Shieldmanship》 ???
- 《Dragon King Shieldmanship》 ???
List of Archery skills
- 《Soldier Archery》 Normal range attack.
- 《Lance Archery》 Piercing range attack.
- 《Knight Archery》 Precise sniping range attack.
- 《Silver Archery》 Strong single-target range attack.
- 《Gold Archery》 Weaker range attack with added knockback.
- 《Bishop Archery》 Strong piercing range attack.
- 《Rook Archery》 Very strong single-target range attack with scaling % damage.
- 《Dragon Horse Archery》 Powerful piercing range attack.
- 《Dragon King Archery》 Powerful on-impact range attack.
Types of Magic skills
They use the “Form” or “step” system of martial arts. From lower to higher.
- First Form Regular attack
- Second Form Extended range attack
- Third Form Strong single target attack
- Fourth Form Strong extended range attack
- Fifth Form Extremely powerful extended range attack
- Their cast time becomes longer in this order First→Third→Second→Fourth→Fifth.
Ranking of the skills
From lower to higher, then it changes to the “Dan” system of martial arts, which means Grade.
- 16th class
- 15th class
- 14th class
- 13th class
- 12h class
- 11th class
- 10th class
- 9th class
- 8th class
- 7th class
- 6th class
- 5th class
- 4th class
- 3rd class
- 2nd class
- 1st class
- Grade 1
- Grade 2
- Grade 3
- Grade 4
- Grade 5
- Grade 6
- Grade 7
- Grade 8
- Grade 9