"I'll be going."
Leon told Isabell and left to enter the arena.
While going through the tunnel to the stadium, Leon's mind kept wandering back to the show of power Nathan displayed.
For some reason, Leon could tell that Mr. Pepe was around his age. Yet the gap between their abilities was as big as heaven and earth.
"I'm still too weak."
Leon didn't know why, but he felt that he needed to be stronger than Mr. Pepe no matter what.
Remembering the feeling he felt from Mr. Pepe's pressure, Leon believed that he will become an unstoppable calamity.
"I need to surpass him."
For the first time in his life, Leon set someone as his goal to surpass.
"But first I need to win this match."
Looking at the mana barrier that covered the arena, Leon's expression turned determined.
The person left me outside a room and hurriedly left.
Without minding him, I looked around.
There were quite a few people outside the room. All of them had two things in common: they seemed rich and they were upset.
I approached someone close to me to get an update on the situation.
The person paled, realizing I was Mr. Pepe, and easily told me everything. My brows furrowed, listening to him.
"This is the room of the slave trader of the battle slave that reached the top-16. But why is Iris calling me here?"
All these people came here to buy the battle slaves. But before bidding started, Sword Maiden and her entourage came and kicked them out.
('She' is not Iris)
(Don't lose your cool when you talk with her)
A deep sigh escaped my lips.
Even though I was going to meet Iris, I was strangely calm. I knew this was because Eth proved that Iris and 'she' were not the same person with his hypothesis.
But I knew.
I was calm right now, but there was no way I could remain calm when I'll meet Sword Maiden. Even if they were two different people, their appearance was too similar.
'Eth help me.'
I closed my eyes and created a thin layer of ether inside my ears. I then lost my vision and couldn't hear anything.
The layer of ether was to stop the sound from reaching my eardrums.
This was a simple technique that anyone with high mana control can do. It can't stop any sound attacks, but it can stop normal sounds more than enough.
It wasn't a problem for me to meet someone like this. Eth can see what is happening around me, even if my eyes are closed, and hear everything.
(Is this necessary?)
"Mr. Pepe, please come inside. Young miss is calling for me."
(The door of the room opened and a butler, wearing a monocle, is calling you inside.)
(Fifteen steps to front)
I walked to the door.
'It is necessary.'
I need to be calm for the upcoming discussion because it was most definitely a scheme from Sword Maiden.
Sure, I broke the rules by interfering in the match, but this is not something someone with the stature of Sword Maiden should handle herself. It will be below her dignity to deal with an Iota rank awakener.
For high-level awakeners, any awakener below Tesla rank is not worth a bother.
Yet, the Sword Maiden called me?
Suspicious. It was too suspicious.
The butler closed the door behind me after I entered.
Nathan entered the room and, guided by the butler, sat on the couch.
The room was brightly lit and basking in the golden hue radiated from the chandelier.
On one side, a small platform was a small stage. Over the stage three battle slaves stood completely still as if they were goods being displayed, naked.
Two battle slaves were male.
Other than the countless scars on their bodies, they appeared no different from humans.
The third slave, the mage, however, was different.
She had two fur ears on her head, and her eyes had vertical pupils.
She wasn't human and her appearance revealed that she was a beasthuman.
Nathan looked in her direction when Eth explained about her appearance and frowned.
Her appearance and the fact that Sword Maiden appeared here to buy confirmed the battle slave mage's identity.
'Merlin. Seat 2 of the Round Table and the strongest magician of Earth.' Though was in the future, when she will reach her peak.
"Isn't she beautiful?"
Iris' words brought Nathan out of his thoughts.
Nathan turned to 'look' at Sword Maiden, Iris.
She was wearing a military uniform and had blood-red hair. She had a grin as she stared at Nathan. Behind her stood two people.
One was the butler that had called Nathan inside the room. The other was a woman with purple hair who was wearing a mask.
Nathan was feeling a sense of oppression from the woman and Iris. This was due to the rank pressure they were releasing unconsciously.
Yet Nathan couldn't sense their ranks.
'They are all at least Tesla rank.'
Nathan wasn't feeling the rank oppression from Butler.
It wasn't because the butler was Enma rank or lower. Rather, Nathan couldn't sense the butler's presence itself.
It was like the butler wasn't even there.
"Do you want to buy her? She can help in you many ways."
Iris eyed Merlin's 'assets' with a sly grin.
Nathan directly refused.
He didn't understand what she was playing at but, with her knowing Merlin is capable of casting rank 4 spells at Iota-rank, she wouldn't let anyone buy Merlin.
"Congratulations, you lived. If you had said yes, I would've killed you, since I'm planning on buying her, and no one sets their eyes on my things."
"…Then why recommend her to me?"
Iris didn't answer him, but asked something else instead.
"But if you had a chance, would you buy her?"
Nathan didn't answer when Eth conveyed Iris' words to him.
'Is something wrong with her head?'
(I don't think that is something you should say.)
'I'm perfectly fine.'
(What answer are you going to give to Iris?)
'My answer is: 'Yes, I would buy her.' '
(You are sane?)
'Why, of course, I'm sane.'
The smile on Iris' face dimmed as Nathan was taking the time to answer.
She was grinning while talking to Nathan because he seemed interesting. But his hesitation was negatively affecting his image in her mind.
Nathan's action of taking time to answer her, when she had warned killing him if he wanted to buy Merlin, was logical.
But for Iris it was uninteresting.
"…Yes, I would buy her. But since Sword Maiden wants to buy her, I don't want to her now."
Iris' grin was almost gone.
Mr. Pepe may be strong, and may even become a powerhouse in the future, but if he got afraid of a small threat, then he wasn't worth her time.
She was disappointed, at least until Nathan again opened his mouth.
"That mage is talented, but not enough that I would go against Sword Maiden in a bidding war."
"Oh, why is that? Because you are afraid of offending me?"
Nathan shook his head.
"….If she was more talented, then I would have bid against you but…"
"The mage isn't enough talented for you?"
Iris' grin widened at Nathan's claim.
Iris was called Sword Maiden because of her strength. She was among the top geniuses on Earth and had met other geniuses, too.
She could claim without a doubt that the battle slave mage was a never seen genius.
Yet Mr. Pepe was saying that she wasn't talented?
In normal circumstances, Iris would call someone like Mr. Pepe delusional. But were the current circumstances normal?
Mr. Pepe suddenly appeared today in the tournament.
With the feats he showed, Iris knew he had Legendary-grade skills.
Iris already had her butler do a background check on Mr. Pepe, but nothing came up. This was his first public appearance and there were no records of him prior to this.
Not to mention they don't even know which portal Mr. Pepe used to enter the Underworld.
He knew about the Underworld's hidden information.
All this showed that he had a powerful organization backing him. After all, an Iota-rank is in no way capable of collecting many legendary-grade skills or knowing Underworld's covert information.
It was possible that there were more people, like Mr. Pepe, in his organization. If this was true, then it was a given that in his eyes, the mage wasn't talented.
After all, Mr. Pepe had defended against the very rank 4 spell the mage used on him
Use arrow keys (or A / D) to PREV/NEXT chapter