Volume 4 Chapter 94 – The Cosmos Arena (5)
[Translator – jhei]
[Proofreader – yukitokata]
Jin quickly concluded that a fight against Dante was winnable.
‘If I could use magic and spiritual energy.’
Not long ago, he defeated a former Vermont Special Forces agent—though she was retired and washed out.
It was true that Dante was very talented, but Jin could definitely take him down.
‘But if we were to fight only with swords, there’s no certainty.
His crescent slashes, agility, explosive strength, and accuracy were all extraordinary.’
The second battle began, but it didn’t catch his eye.
Instead, the sight of Dante beheading Mantis constantly repeated in his head.
Dante Hairan definitely practiced more skilled swordsmanship.
It was inevitable because he was three years older.
So Jin had to analyze.
He could possibly win if he gathers all methods of victory until he meets Dante in the arena.
‘But unlike the other contenders, I don’t want to use tricks or gimmicks on him.
It’s only meaningful if I beat him head-on.’
While Jin was deep in his concerns, on the opposite side of the arena, Beradin couldn’t contain his beating heart as he sat in his VIP seat.
‘Thank god I came.
Who would’ve thought that Jin also entered! And seeing him and Dante meet swords like this… is a miracle.’
Jin and Dante.
Beradin considered them to be his only two rivals in the world, and he never expected to meet both of them here.
Unfortunately, Jin didn’t really care about Beradin.
Jin watched all of the battles in groups 1 and 2.
He concluded that there was no other formidable foe aside from Dante.
From the beginning, he could tell that the arena was closer to a tragic slaughterfest than a fighting tournament.
Those who were 3-star and below were busy using tricks.
And the inexperienced contestants fell for said tricks, which then satisfied the nobles who were watching.
The veterans tortured their opponents, and the crowd would then cheer.
That was the Cosmos Arena.
‘Starting tomorrow, they’ll start doing four or five groups per day.
Then I’d be on the field after four days.
He had to survive the nights in the arena.
Which was the most dangerous aspect—more than the battle itself.
There were 147 people left in the arena living spaces.
Out of 182 contenders, 35 had already died.
About ten of them actually died from battle, and the other 25 died while fighting in their cells before the real fights.
Poisoning, assassination, and ambush were staple methods.
There were also gang fights.
Just sitting in one’s room and trying to rest was a one-way ticket to hell.
However, Jin couldn’t just not sleep for the next four days.
Having a light nap while in the audience seat was possible, but a deep sleep was impossible.
‘I did get insomnia training during my cadet years… But this is the first time I’m trying to last four days.’
He had already thought of making some contestants his underlings and they could take turns resting.
But is there anyone he could trust in this tournament Trust them with his back, enough to protect him while he eats, sleeps, or rests until his battle.
There was no one.
About 70% of the contestants were plundering pirate outlaws, and about 20% were cunning gangsters.
Still, the slightly-better 10% were just regular knights who attended just to gain some experience since they didn’t know much about the world.
In simpler terms, they were incompetent, ordinary people.
And most of them had already died.
They were too naive to survive in the hell hole they were in.
But if they were alive, Jin would team up with them anyways.
I’ll just stay awake.
It’s not like I’m the only tired one.
The ones who’ll try to kill me will also die of exhaustion.’
Jin unsheathed Bradamante and set it on the ground as he sat down, making it easier for him to swing it as soon as someone attacked him.
Time passed very slowly.
While his senses were heightened, time felt as if it passed even slower knowing that there were 147 enemies outside his room.
As he watched the time pass at a snail’s pace, the sun eventually rose and illuminated the surroundings.
And Jin was not attacked a single time.
‘Did cutting off their fingers scare them off I didn’t think that no one would come to my room.’
Of course, that didn’t mean that Jin could sleep tonight without worry.
The others could be waiting for Jin to lower his guard.
‘It seems that many fights broke out throughout the night.’
The contender count decreased from 147 to 140, and although not dead, there were many who were severely injured.
As he satiated himself with dried food and water, the guide notified the start of the battles.
There were battles scheduled all the way until the next morning.
With tired expressions, the contenders moved their feet.
Just like last time, Jin waited for the crowd to die down before proceeding to the audience seats himself.
And the events were the same as yesterday.
He watched pathetic scuffles and returned to his room as the battles ended.
Because murder was prohibited while in the audience seats, Jin could catch multiple light naps.
Other contenders did the same, but it didn’t really help with getting rid of the exhaustion.
Another night came.
For the two days Jin was at the arena, he didn’t do anything.
Other than chasing out the previous inhabitants of his room.
Despite doing nothing, he felt like dying from acute exhaustion obviously caused by sleep deprivation.
But he wouldn’t be this tired just because of sleep deprivation.
The fact that he had to heighten his senses and be prepared for battle for two straight days exhausted him most.
It was hell.
‘Today, and tomorrow… Gotta hold on.
They said that I can get actual time to rest during the preliminary rounds, so I have to clench my teeth and endure.’
It didn’t matter.
As long as his opponent wasn’t Dante, he could destroy them with 20% of his power.
Even if it was a ‘talented’ veteran.
Jin kept Bradamante out, prepared to strike.
Time, again, went slower than ever.
Was it because of his accumulated exhaustion
He almost nodded off to sleep multiple times due to fatigue.
And strangely, the night was quiet.
There were occasional screams of death, but that was all.
Yet again, no one attacked Jin that night.
And the fact that no one did tortured Jin.
He confirmed that there were people who waited for him to lower his guard, but he felt humiliated realizing that he had no idea who was doing so.
And as the day’s fourth hour approached, a thought shot through Jin’s brain.
‘Do I just go out and kill all of them’
Most of the contenders were bad people.
However, he still debated whether it would be right to slaughter a hundred people for no reason.
‘Ha… I’m going crazy.
As Sir Kashimir said, it’s a dangerous competition.’
He took a deep breath, and regained his composure.
As a knight, he knew he could kill many people, but he didn’t feel the need to become a mass-slaughterer.
And after one hour—
He heard footsteps growing louder in the hallway.
There was no way it was just a passerby.
It had to be the movement of a person who intended to kill him.
‘And so it begins’
They could be going for someone else, but still, Jin silently picked up Bradamante.
The footsteps got closer, louder.
They stopped in front of the room adjacent to Jin’s.
One more step and it would be Jin’s room.
‘He’s going for me.
Is he bold or stupid He just comes at me like that Or did he go crazy from lack of sleep’
Jin stood and lowered his stance while firmly gripping his sword.
As soon as the visitor came inside his cell, Jin planned on immediately striking.
The man outside emitted a strong metallic stench—the smell of blood.
And then, Jin heard an unexpected voice.
“Wait… Can we talk for a sec”
A husky voice.
It was Dante.
‘What the… Why is Dante coming to me’
Suddenly, all kinds of thoughts went through his mind.
‘Does he know who I am If he does, did Beradin tell him Did he come to settle our anticipated battle without waiting Or none of that, and just coincidentally came here’
Jin could hear his heartbeat.
If Dante was in a rested state, Jin couldn’t win.
But he couldn’t decline the fight just because he was tired either.
Jin concealed his nervousness and calmly asked.
Jin thought for a bit before opening the door.
As soon as he came in, Dante kneeled on one knee, as if he couldn’t control his body.
While Jin’s eyes widened, Dante spoke.
“I apologize for the request on our first meeting… but please… let me sleep.
In exchange, I will guard you so that you can sleep.”
“What do you mean”
“Just as I said.
I can’t endure much longer.
I must sleep for at least an hour… so I won’t go crazy.”
If it was like this, his limit was different.
Like Jin, he kept his eyes wide open as he waited for potential assassins.
“But why me What is there to trust about me”
“Yesterday, I watched you.
Unlike the others, you seemed like a real knight.
Out of everyone… just you.
Which is why… I can trust… zzzzzz…”
Jin could only be surprised.
‘What in the world is this guy The audacity! On some aspects, he’s worse than Beradin.’
There would be no problem slitting Dante’s throat while he was vulnerable.
He was fast asleep on the spot.
‘Does the Hairan Clan not do insomnia training Either that or more contenders attacked him.’
However, before his frustrations receded, Jin heard evident footsteps from people who tried to sneak and conceal them.
It was the gang that waited for Dante to be knocked out, and at that moment, Jin finally realized.
‘Dante’s pungent metallic smell… He came here after fending off the many enemies that went into his room.
Unlike my room, which had no visitors.’
Making the Hairan Clan’s next patriarch indebted to him wouldn’t be bad at all.
Jin covered Bradamante with aura and prepared to fight the aggressors.