I Never Run Out of Mana - Chapter 202
It was a night of a downpour of rain.
Wearing the raincoat that Dump handed over, we headed towards the Larkenta castle together.
I was going there after hearing from him that someone who used a special ability had appeared in the Festival of Blood, because I thought that there was a chance it was Barub.
Because the Festival of Blood was a show only for nobles, I needed to increase my status.
There was no information about me to begin with, neither in Larkenta or anywhere else.
After all, I was an otherworlder than fell from the sky.
But since I had plenty of money, I could probably make do by buying my way through.
Since we were in quite the rural area, it seemed that it would take a good amount of time to get to the castle.
Since I needed a bit of time to rest after pouring everything into hunting all day, I didn’t bother speeding up and instead walked to match Dump’s walking pace.
Also, one could not enter the castle before the sun rose.
This meant that even if I did hurry, it wouldn’t let me find out about Barub’s identity.
With each step towards the castle, I began to sink deeper into my inquiries.
If the man called a wild beast in the festival is Barub, that would mean that instead of hunting even a single more monster to get stronger, Barub had become a plaything for the nobles out of nowhere.
The confidence I felt when I first heard the news continued to wither, and now I was half sure and half unsure.
Speaking over the sound of the rain, I asked Dump.
“Hey… Mister. What do you think the one called a wild best could obtain from the Festival of Blood?”
“As I have stated before, an immense amount of material wealth and honor. Not only that, but they should be able to obtain political power as well.”
“Is there anything beyond that? If considering everyone and everything in this world… If someone is so strong that they are without equal, don’t you think that they would be able to get that much wealth on their own?”
“There is something else you can get as you continue to win the Festival of Blood.”
“What would that be?”
“Yes. As you know, when you defeat a monster, doesn’t all of their strength become absorbed by your body?”
“That isn’t something that only applies to monsters.”
“Are you implying…”
“Yes. That’s right. If a Protector kills another Protector… All the strength of the Protector that was killed gets transferred over to the Protector who killed. With that in mind, one would be able to grow stronger a lot faster than growing through hunting.”
“Butcher’s Sword… The demonic race… Seems this is turning out to be a bigger headache than I had expected.”
“Sir Guardian. If you even have the slightest consideration to join in on the Festival of Blood, please give up on such ideas immediately!”
Dump spoke with a forceful tone I had never heard from him before.
It was filled with frustrations similar to that of a parent warning their child.
“I believe in your strength, Guardian. Not only do you have strength, but you have good morals. I know that this is a chance for a huge benefit laid out right in front of you. However… One cannot hold the throne forever. It won’t be long before someone who is stronger than the wild beast appears. Just like that, the king will be changed again and the old one will be forgotten. The price for the brief moment of sweetness would be your life.”
“I do not have any intention of doing what you’re worried about. I just want to confirm. I feel as though this might be what I need to get on the trail of recovering my memory. The existence of the wild beast, that is.”
“Hoho. If that’s the case, I’m relieved.”
After finishing what he had to say, Dump looked around before continuing.
“Is this the right path?”
“Should I light up the area?”
“Ah. If you could, I would be thankful. Normally I would be okay with just the moonlight, but tonight really is a night without a speck of light.”
Arriving at a store near the castle, Dump had a cup of alcohol before finding us a place to rest.
Making small talk with him, I had a bit of a snack.
When morning comes, I should be able to increase my status to that of a noble and be able to spectate the Festival of Blood.
There was no way for me to find out if the wild beast was Barub from just looking.
After all, we had set the rules in this world to exclude any spells that allowed the user to identify the nature or detect the energies of their opponents, such as the Eye of Insight.
However, I should be able to notice when the wild beast performs.
The killing intent they exuded wasn’t something I could forget so easily.
“Are you asleep?”
“No. Not yet. It seems that you have a lot on your mind. What’s wrong?”
“It’s about the Festival of Blood.”
“Hoho. Seeings as you’ve been asking about it constantly, it seems that this isn’t something trivial.”
“What did you say when I asked when the battles between Protectors began?”
“Hm… Around a month ago is when the wild beast took the throne. And to my knowledge, I know that it hasn’t been ten days since the fight between the Protectors have started.”
“Ten days… Mister. There is something I wish to ask of you.”
“As soon as the sun rises, I will head for the castle to raise my status to that of a noble.”
“While I do that, could you obtain information on the people who had faced the wild beast so far? If it is money, then I can…”
“Hoho. That shouldn’t be too difficult. After all, this place is enthralled due to the new Festival of Blood. Do not worry and sleep, Sir Guardian.”
“Yes… I understand. Then rest well.”
Despite a lot of time passing after our conversation, I could not sleep.
I was thinking that if that person really was Barub, there was no way for me to keep up with their growth.
I had already witnessed firsthand the benefit of the Butcher’s Sword back on Earth.
On top of that, I saw the transfer of power similar to this in the demonic realm.
A transfer of power that completely stole it off the opponent…
I knew better than anyone else that this kind of a gap could never be closed.
The amount of thoughts that filled by head became incomparable to what I had when I left Dump’s house.
Just like that, I spent the night with my eyes open.
After becoming a god, the desire or need for sleep did not exist, but due to my habits I had when I was a human, I did fall asleep from time to time.
However, due to the frustration I could not control, I couldn’t even do that.
The light from outside the window became blueish in hue, and Dump left now early in the morning to take care of the request I had made before.
After agreeing to meet back home after finishing each of our own list of things to do, I headed straight for the castle.
Despite being so early before dawn, many people were lined up in front of the entrance of the castle.
Observing and drawing a conclusion of the situation, I joined in on the line.
After a short time had passed waiting for the castle door to open, it happened.
“Did you also come here to join the festival, bro?”
Someone had spoken up to me while tapping me on the shoulder from behind.
Their thin and lithe voice was something that you’d expect from a treacherous retainer from a historical drama.
Turning around, I saw a man that was too large to be called sturdy with an awkward smile.
His voice did not match his appearance at all.
His stomach was bulging out so much that his armor seemed to be custom made to fit his belly, and his chin folded nearly enough to reach his armor.
In his hand was a massive mace, and behind his back was a massive shield that poked out above his head.
I could tell from a single glance.
This was someone who was willingly trying to become a slave in order to participate in the Festival of Blood.
Ignoring what he said, I looked forward instead.
My head was already filled with thoughts, so it was really annoying to be bothered by such rude words.
I loathed being meddled with after all.
However, the overweight man continued asking questions to the point of annoyance.
“Of course… If you’re born a man, you need to at least leave your name in history. Isn’t that so?”
“My name is Raol. Remember it well. It’s the name of the person who will be defeating the wild beast Demon in there.”
“You. Where do you hunt?”
“Hahah! So now you finally decide to talk. I hunt in the unexplored territories. And alone to boot.”
“To put it simply, the 11th tier?”
“Right! I can catch 10 at the same time easily. How’s it. Don’t I look different now that you know? Hahah!”
“Should give up while you can. Don’t become the meal that only makes them stronger.”
“I guess you don’t know the rules of the festival that well. You don’t fight against the wild beast right away.”
“After all, I will be serving under Marquis Millions.”
“What do you mean?”
“Ohho! To think that someone trying to enter the festival doesn’t even know this much… There are many nobles in the castle. However, only the title is fancy, as most of them aren’t worth anything.”
“The only ones who can produce warriors used in the festival are the count and the marquis. The castellan can do so as well, but why would they be interested? Anyways, the wild beast that holds the throne currently is a slave that is being raised by Marquis Millions. How could they end the festival after a single competition? Instead, slaves with similar strengths that have different owners fight against each other. And the end to that is the fight against the wild beast. That is why I’m considering waiting to become a slave of Marquis Millions. I, Raol, will one day take the seat of the wild beast.”
“At least there won’t be a situation where you’d be killed by them.”
“Did you have in mind who you’re going to serve under?”
“I’ve only come here to purchase the title of a noble.”
“Even your jokes are crude. To think that you have the appearance of a Protector, yet say that you’re not a noble. Hahah! Don’t be like that and tell me if you get any useful information.”
“We’ll meet again if we get the chance. If you survive that is.”
“Hahah. Sure. If you don’t have someone specific in mind to serve under, then choose the same one that I have. You have to pick the right place from the start. Got it?”
As if I was trying to lose this man who spoke aplenty, I quickly headed into the castle.
To think that someone would volunteer after seeing such a crazy ad like this.
I thought to myself that he must not be sound of mind.
However, after listening to him and looking around, I noticed that most of the contestants were Protectors.
The reason why such a large crowd gathered was to volunteer for the Festival of Blood.
Just by defeating a single opponent similar to your strength, you were able to obtain power that would allow you to become twice as strong as you were before.
It was obvious just how enticing the prospect was.
However, they’re going to kill people like themselves for no other reason than for their own gain?
I thought to myself just how fitting the name Hell suited a place like this.
Since I did not have an ID in Larkenta to begin with, I was met with trouble at the gates right away.
Due to my identity that could not be confirmed, it was not possible for me to even enter.
Only after going to a shadier place and handing over a massive amount of gems did the situation somewhat settle.
I realized that as long it was a place where humans resided, morally questionable shortcuts existed and worked, regardless of whether the place was back on Earth, in Hell, or anywhere else.
After that, everything went smoothly.
It didn’t take even an hour before I was able to purchase the title of a noble, and I headed for the Festival of Blood battle arena that was erected at the center of the castle.
Despite being early in the morning, there were so many gathered that there were nearly no seats left to sit down at.
Coincidentally, the festival just began and the announcer was doing introductions while standing in the center of the arena.
“The first battle. Count Cretas’ Garum. Marquis Ideon’s…”
It wouldn’t be long before the wild beast would show themselves.
My hope that the wild beast was Barub had all but disappeared, and instead I was hoping desperately that it wasn’t Barub.
If Barub had chosen the Festival of Blood as a way to grow stronger, then the situation would evolve into where I couldn’t be certain of my victory.
Just like that, the horrible fights continued for quite some time, and the announcer spoke once more.
“I am sure all of you have been waiting for this bloodbath. The last fight for today. Marquis Millions’ wild beast. Demon!”