Guess who else has been upgraded to be softer and fluffier and better in every single way!? Not Durandal! Me! Well, the ribbon on my tail was enhanced to be softer and fluffier, not myself, sadly. But Durandal also got an all-around upgrade. Before, his weight limit capped at 35 tons. Now, he can go up to 70 tons; that’s a 100% increase! I thought it was a 200% increase, but Ilya corrected me. Not only that, but Durandal claims he’s no longer directionally challenged. Can you believe that? I can’t, and I won’t let him test it because we’ll get lost.
“Now don’t forget what you said to me,” Ilya Number Two’s grandmother said. “You said you’d help me beat up Cain if I enhanced your items.”
“That’s right! I’ll definitely forget it though, so you have to remind me when the time comes.” I’ve accepted I have a weak memory, which is why I started a diary recently. Ilya’s trying to teach me how to read and write, but it’s tough. So I just draw pictures of the events that happen. I’m an excellent artist if I may say so myself.
“Maybe you’ll get the chance to today,” Ilya Number Two’s grandmother said. “I wish you the best of luck during the competition. Be sure to take care of Mirta for me.”
“Will do! Let’s go, Ilya Number One and Two.” Today’s the day of the Godking’s Brawl. None of that preliminary crap that didn’t really count for anything. Well, it let Ilya Number One and Two compete, so I guess it did count for something after all.
Ilya nodded and grabbed Ilya Number Two’s hand. “Do you know the format for the competition, Lucia?” Nope! “Of course you don’t, why’d I even ask? So the appropriate follow-up questions are, do you want to know and are you going to pay attention if I tell you?”
“I want to know, but no guarantees on paying attention.” I can’t promise things I’m not sure about. It’s unethical.
Ilya sighed. “Well, I’ll monologue on the way there, I suppose,” she said and shook her head. “The competition is not a normally structured tournament where people face off one against one and half the people drop off after a round. A lucky person can rise higher than someone they’re weaker than in that scenario. The brawl is a ranking system, not a luck-based system. Most likely, there’s going to be a test to determine everyone’s general levels of ability. Then, the climbing portion will begin. The people at the bottom of the ranking list will be allowed to challenge anyone above them and claim their spot, causing everyone else to drop one place. At least, that’s the format the brawl’s followed for the last five times.”
“Then what’s the point of seeded positions? Like our reward from the preliminary.” Don’t tell me it was really, really pointless. But I wouldn’t be surprised if that annoying man gave a hundred people a useless reward.
“People in the seeded positions start higher up,” Ilya said. “They get a tiny bonus on their evaluation test. The main advantage is they need to fight less to climb higher. After all, everyone partaking in the brawl is a talent. Fighting against someone will drain your energy. The less people you have to fight, the easier it becomes.”
“So you’re saying my battle plan should be to take last place, then challenge the first place person before the competition ends? When would the competition end?” Well, I’m not going to do that even though that plan makes a lot of sense. I have my promise with Al…. Why do I keep forgetting his name? The crown prince. I have to keep my promise with him for that sweet, sweet reward!
“The competition ends when no one wishes to issue a challenge within thirty minutes of the last fight,” Ilya said. “The longest brawl took place forty years ago and went on for three days.”
Three days? That must’ve been super boring to watch. And we’ve arrived at the coliseum just as Ilya finished explaining things, how convenient. I wonder what the evaluation system’s going to be like. Wouldn’t I just get first place again if it’s anything like the preliminaries? That annoying man wouldn’t do things to make my life more difficult, would he? Well, it doesn’t matter since I already have a plan!
“That’s Lucia Fluffytail, watch out for her.”
“I heard she attacked Cain during the preliminaries. Is she crazy?”
“Did you know she’s afraid of water?”
“There isn’t even a Fluffytail family in the whole beastkin kingdom. I checked.”
“If you want to distract her, throw acorns at her or bribe her with hot chocolate.”
Why are so many people talking about me!? It’s a good feeling though. The first step to becoming a legend is to have plenty of people spread rumors about you. I should hire some bards to sing good things about me all the time.
“That’s Ilya Pentorn over there. She’s the world’s youngest sixth-circle magician. She’s only fourteen! I heard all the families are planning on sending suitors to her coming-of-age ceremony.”
“So what if she’s a sixth-circle magician? She’s the first person to ever cast a sixth-circle chaos spell. Even Cain’s never done that.”
Hey! Focus, rumor spreaders. I’m the legend here, not Ilya. Jeez.
“And that little elf girl over there, she’s Mirta, Marilyn’s granddaughter. You all know high elf Marilyn, right? She’s the only person able to place divine enchantments on items. She dotes on her granddaughter a lot, so whatever you do, you can’t hurt Mirta.”
Even Ilya Number Two gets rumors spread about her!? I should stuff these traitors into a bag and hide them away from the public. They’re side characters; side characters should stop stealing the main character’s limelight. And the main character is me, just in case anyone didn’t know.
Gah! Ilya poked me. “Are you thinking weird things again, Lucia? Did you hear my question?”
“Nope, wasn’t listening.”
“I asked if you saw Snow. That’s him over there, right?” Ilya pointed at a beautiful bunnykin woman. Man. Cross-dressing bunnykin man! It’s Snow! He really showed his face!
“Snow Flopsy! You’re dead!” The bunnykin’s eyes widened as I charged at him. “Unrelenting Path of Slaughter: Breaking Fist!”
“W-wait!” the bunnykin shouted. Wow, his voice really turned much more feminine. Shouldn’t it have gone down in pitch instead of up? Ah? I missed? “You have the wrong person! I’m not Snow! My name is Reena!”
Huh? Did he really think I’d fall for something as stupid as that? “Unrelenting Path of Slaughter: Breaking Tail! Breaking Kick! Breaking Fist! Stop dodging, damn it!”
“Please, stop! I’m really not Snow!” the bunnykin said with tears in his eyes. “This is the seventh time I’ve been mistaken for him!”
Caught him! “So you’re saying you’re not Snow and happen to look exactly like him?”
“That’s right,” the bunnykin said, nodding his head. “Can you please let go of my ears?”
Is this bunnykin really not Snow? Huh, there’s no Adam’s apple. Did he get rid of that? “Let me check something.”
“What are you—!?”
What…? There’s really nothing down there. Is he, no, is she really not Snow? “You’re really, really not Snow?”
“I, I can’t get married anymore,” the bunnykin said and hung her head. “I’ve been tainted.”
“Nonsense, I washed my hands before I left the inn. I’m perfectly clean.” At least I think I washed my hands. I’m pretty sure I did…. But how does Snow have a female doppelganger!? And she’s wearing sandals without socks, so unless Snow abandoned Bouncykins, his Adam’s apple, and his penis, then she’s really not him.