◆ Avangard Grassland ◆
The three of them approached Roel with a haughty attitude. I grabbed him when he tried to reach out to her, annoyed that he didn’t even turn around. The man with the all-black hair lagged behind, and then looked at me.
「 What, are you in a party with Roel?」
「 So what? What is it with you people?」
「 Hey, this is the same person who won the fighting tournament, Ryua.」
The woman whispered to the man, looking at me as if she was trying to talk to me. Without much surprise, the man looks at me again with his mouth half open and a sleepy look on his face.
「 Such a big name is with Roel? Haha, so that’s what it is. Roel, how dare you take advantage of me when you’re useless? Once the party is set up, all you have to do is keep quiet. I really didn’t expect to see you here again. Hey, Roel, I don’t know how you did it, but aren’t you ashamed?」
「 Umm……I am……」
「 Haah? I can’t hear you…? What are you trying to…?」
He put pressure on his wrist. You show up out of nowhere and tell her she’s useless. From the way Roel was acting, I had a pretty good idea of what was on. These guys used to be in a party with Roel. And I You can tell how they treated Roel by looking at their behaaviour.
I don’t know what’s going on, I don’t know if Roel has caused me any trouble. I just felt sorry for Roel, who was being abused and couldn’t turn around. Making fun of Roel is the same as making fun of me. I was going to snap him, but I’m in the middle of a test. I didn’t want to cause any more trouble.
「 Ow, ow, ouch…… what the…… But why would a big name like you be in a party with Roel? What’s she got against you? Hmm?」
「 Anyway, would you stop messing around with Roel and get this stupid problem out of the way already.」
「 Haah, fine. So long, and at the very least, be careful not to let that piece of shit drag you down.」
I let him go, but he wouldn’t stop swearing. I half regretted that I didn’t break his arm. The three of them disappeared, giggling and laughing.
「 I’m sorry, Ryua. …… I’m sorry I made you uncomfortable……. Those guys and I used to be in a party when we were in Quimil. And at that time, I was so bad at it that I got in trouble with those people……」
Roel was on the verge of tears as she spoke, and I could almost tell from the way she was talking how much she bad she had been treated. Even so, Roel’s insistence that she was at fault made me want to cry too. Then there is only one thing to do, pass this exam and look back at those guys.
「 Let’s show them what Roel is now. Don’t worry, I’ve got your back.」
「 Yeah, you’re right……. I’m not the same as I used to be either.」
「 Let’s start with this problem, here……」
I was determined to do it, but I got stuck right away. After all, I had no idea what the answers were. And it’s not something I can figure out by thinking about it, it’s something I need to know completely to answer. I wondered if Yuyu had thought of this problem. If so, she’s a very generous angel.
「 Roel, if you keep going on like this, we’ll never know the answer. If we do this……」
「 You just looked at my answer, Gugaah!」
「 Hah? If you don’t want to be seen, you might want to watch your back a little more.」
「 You totally blew it……!」
There’s already a dispute over there. Whether he saw the answer or not, if Yuyu saw him, he would immediately disqualify him. That’s what I was sure of until then. But Yuyu was still smiling and watching the whole thing unfold. It’s funny, stealing exam questions is a surefire way to get disqualified. And yet, Yuyu remains silent.
The two men who had been struggling over there finally pulled out their weapons and started to fight. The sound of clashing blades began to echo in the meadow. Before I knew it, some of the gallery had surrounded them and were getting excited in a strange way. I wondered if those people were able to write their answers. Maybe some of them have already given up. The two of them were so close in their abilities that it was hard to decide who would win. If you only look at the battle, it was heated, but now is not the time to be doing that.
As I watched in amazement, Roel tugged on my arm.
「 Ryua-chan, if you’re allowed to do that, why don’t you just look at other people’s answers?」
「 What are you talking about? That Yuyu is the one who said it……」
「 But, Yuyu-san, despite all that’s going on, she haven’t said a word since a while ago. Remember the first explanation that she gave you. You can solve it alone or in a party. The explanation that it’s up to each of us to figure out how to solve it, I think, means exactly what it says. I was not blamed for walking around during the exam, and Yuyu-san didn’t say anything when I did that. And maybe the reason why they designated this place as the test site was in anticipation of something like that happening.」
I’m kind of convinced. I feel sorry for the beaten man who still haven’t woken up, but on the other hand, it’s okay to do anything as long as you’re not told. It’s not easy to look at someone else’s answers, but it’s the only way for us to pass.
But of course, the person who knows the answer will feel uncomfortable. I don’t think I’d lose in a fight, but I’d like to keep it as civil as possible. I don’t know whose answer to look at. Since so many people are struggling to figure it out, there must be very few people who have the right answer. If I find the wrong answer, there’s no point.
「 Roel, I’ll see if I can get some answers from someone.」
「 I see, alright…… I think that person would be okay. 」
It was Balm that Roel had specified. For a moment, I wondered if he was all right, but he said he was taking his tenth exam this year. I’m sure he knows a lot of things, and the way he analyzed the dragon slayer’s poison, he’s no stranger to it. It’s a good idea to have a specific target of what you’re looking for. He doesn’t seem to be interested in the conflicts going on over there at all. He looks both tired and bored.
I can’t write. I can read simple letters, but not complicated ones. But in this case, it doesn’t matter if I can read or not. The point is that I should be able to remember the answers to the questions, so I should be able to copy at least the letters.
But then I thought to myself. If I ask him, he might be able to show me the answer. I didn’t know him well, but I had a feeling that he would.
「 If he haven’t passed the exam for 10 years, the I think he would expect competitors like us to come around. He might show it to me, but there’s a chance they’ll be wary of me after or say no.」
It may be a plausible opinion. Maybe I’m biased, but that’s one possibility I can think of. If that’s the case, I’ll just copy his answer. I’m confident that he won’t notice me at all. No, not just him, but everyone in this area.
It’s just a short dash to the uncle’s place. I ran behind Balm, who didn’t even try to hide his paper. It only takes a second or two to go back and forth. In the split second it takes me to pass by, I take a quick glance at the paper. The answer seems to be correct.
After consulting with Roel, we looked at the answers of others just to be sure, and if there were many of the same answers, there was a good chance that they were correct. One by one, we took our time to fill in the answer boxes.
◆ The first round of exams will be over soon ◆
「 Yup, you’re almost right. Passed 」
I was not as happy as I should have been. I don’t know why, but probably because I copied other people’s answers, so I don’t feel any sense of accomplishment. I don’t know why Yuyu made the exam like this, I don’t think it’s necessary for A rank and you can just learn the information about the questions later.
Looking around, it was noticeable that people were still struggling. On the other hand, there were also many people who had passed the test and were taking a break or just having a good time. Apparently, battles had broken out all over the place since then, and regardless of whether they won or lost, the traces of the battles were left on the grasslands.
「 You’re a real piece of work, you know that?……」
「 Looks like you’re the one with the skills.」
Those guys who had fought in the first place seemed to have developed a kind of friendship. They had been fighting for a long time, and I’m sure they would have both been disqualified, but they were going out for drinks afterwards, so maybe they didn’t care about the test anymore.
「 Ryua-chan, that guy over there is amazing!」
「 What’s amazing about them?」
「 Hmm, well, I just can’t help it……」
【 Bebe Lv：30 Class：Merchant B Rank 】
There was a man there who gave me money to copy the answers. I see, that way it’s much easier to get things done. We were honestly impressed. But he was small, fat, and shorter than us, and didn’t look like he was very good at fighting.
「 You’re a pain in a lot of ways, you know that?」
「 Ah~, oh no, my favorite boots are already so dirty……」
There were about ten adventurers lying around that badly behaved Marilyn and Kank. And in each of their hands, they each held a number of question papers. They languidly checked each sheet and wrote the answers on their own question paper.
Looking at them closely, I noticed that neither of them had any weapons in their hands at all. That means they had defeated that many people with their bare hands. The rest of the people who seemed to have challenged them were all demoralized. Some were gritting their teeth and staring at the two with a grudge, while others were sitting down and nodding off.
「 I’m surprised they let you do that. 」
「 But we’re not doing it in a very admirable way, either……」
Kank began to tear up the others’ question papers. The people who shouted weakly already seemed to have no energy to stand up. It was too much, as expected. What is the point of an exam if this is allowed.
I was about to get up and go to them when Yuyu clapped her hands loudly.
「 All right, we’re done. I will now announce the successful applicants once again. First of all……」
Yuyu nonchalantly read out the names of the successful applicants. At first, he read the names seriously, but then she realized that it would take a long time to read the names of hundreds of people, so she stopped reading. Our names were read out correctly, but Kank and Marilyn were blatantly tongue-tied when they were not mentioned. In fact, they were swearing in a small voice, and if she heard them, I’m sure she would have rolled over there. I wonder if she’s okay.
「 How was your experience? There are many ways to achieve your goals. It was fun to see everyone’s unique ways of looking at other people’s answers, getting information with money, and screwing things up with force. Of course, there is no one right answer. Whatever the method, it is only one method. You are all already adventurers, so it may be tactless of me to say this now. This is an adventurer. There are times and circumstances when you must accomplish your goals by any means necessary. I’ll tell you right now that this is especially true at the A ranks.」
At the end, the wording became strange, or that’s what Yuyu wanted to say. I understand that, but the people who were made to cry were not happy. The people who were crushed by Kank and Marilyn there must have suffered unbearable humiliation. We did our own thing, but we didn’t want to hurt people for nothing.
「 Now then, the number of successful applicants is 312. I’m sorry for the 183 applicants who failed. Please come back next year 」
The people who seemed to have been rejected quietly walked away from the place. I wonder if those people will take the exam again next year. There are people like Balm who have not passed the exam in years, and there are many people who want to move up to A-rank. On the other hand, what about me? I just want to go to Ikana Village, that’s all. I was a little curious to see how strong the feelings of those who failed were.
「 Before you know it, it’s already noon, just in time to start the next exam. Well, the second examiner should be here soon…… Ah, it looks like he’s here.」
「 Uooho! Lo, look at that.!」
「 Gi, Gigas Horse!」
A huge carriage pulled by a gigantic horse came rumbling from across the grassland. It was very muscular and its legs alone were as thick as several logs put together. The hoof alone was strong enough to kill most of the monsters, I was sure of it.
Since I came to the outside world, it’s one of the monsters I encountered that seems to be pretty strong. I’m not sure what to make of it.
When I looked around, I could see that the test takers were clearly divided into those who were overwhelmed by the horse and those who weren’t. Seeing that Kank and Marilyn were yawning, I guessed that they had some ability.
「 Just in time, MSimbu-san 」
「 I don’t know why I’m being made to babysit these people.」
「”Fancy Kill” Shinbu……So, the examiner is part of the top 5 again 」
A dazzling man in all pink emerged from the carriage and jumped down gallantly. Is he the next examiner? Just like when I first met him, he gives me a bad feeling. And for some reason, he wants me to move up to A rank. He may have spotted me right away and distorted his mouth in a suggestive manner.
「 I’m Shinbu, the second examiner, and I’m amazed at how many people showed up. I’m not going to pretend that most of them don’t deserve to be tested……」
Shinbu points at me and the rest of the test takers with his backhand as he wiggles his hips weirdly. He’s so rude. I don’t know what’s wrong with him, but this guy is an examiner. I’m sure he’s not doing anything wrong, but I wish he wasn’t the only one.
「 Get your ass in that thing. We’re moving to the second test area.」
I knew somehow that they would change their location when they came with that huge carriage. The question was, even if they were going to move as a group, where would they even be going with something like that?
Current number of accepted students 312/495
◆ new progress ◆
An endlessly wide sea
Shin was sinking into it.
He could have traveled to the kingdom of Avangard in a flash.
Shin is traveling towards those two.
I’m lost. I want to die.